Review by A2: Defying the Decades – Michelle Experiences a Non-Surgical Facial Augmentation


Michelle-Webster Pauli reviews a non-surgical facial augmentation that aims to enhance one’s features while preserving a natural, fresher appearance.

We often get told that age is just a number, which certainly rings true when it comes to the world of celebrities. Many A-listers seem to be immune to the passage of time, preserving their youthful appearance well into their 40s. For instance, how does Angelina Jolie still have a sculpted, gravity-defying jawline at the age of 43? Moreover, how can the likes of Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Aniston (who, unbelievably, turned 50 this year) not only manage to maintain a dewy complexion that is free of sagging skin and heavy creases, but still move their faces and look completely natural? It appears they’ve all been bathing in the proverbial fountain of youth…

The truth, thankfully, is a lot less exotic. Because instead of some magical forever-young potion that seems only accessible to the rich and famous, most of the celebs’ flawless looks are rather down to their super-strict diets, rigorous exercise routines and, of course, some aesthetic help thrown into the mix (though many would deny the latter).

Celebrities are, by and large, a reticent bunch when it comes to admitting they’ve had plastic surgery – or any cosmetic procedure for that matter. However, there are a blessed few that are open about their anti-ageing regime – such as the classically beautiful Robin Wright, who freely admits her love for botulinum toxin injectables (she says she treats herself to a sprinkle of it every six months), and Gwyneth Paltrow, who is a big fan of radiofrequency treatments.

Ironically, these stars who admit to having some form of aesthetic intervention don’t appear as if they’ve altered their appearance at all – instead, they look refreshed and renewed.

This is great news for the rest of us, as it proves that celebs are mere mortals after all. It opens up the possibility that their ageless good looks are not from mother nature alone, but is (partly) accredited to aesthetic medicine as welll – which is also within our reach should we want a little refreshing.

This was certainly my motivator. Approaching the big four-oh, I felt I needed a little ‘pick-up’, as I was starting to look a bit haggard and tired – particularly in the lower face.

I consulted Dr Sly Nedic of 8th Sense Medi-Spa for some advice on my general facial appearance, while observing my specific areas of concern and referring to my treatment history (I’ve previously had my frown lines softened with botulinum toxin, as well as thread treatments to address sagging skin.)

The consult

Dr Nedic examined my facial laxity, wrinkles and folds, ‘shadows’ and facial proportion to establish the best treatment for me to achieve and fulfil my expectations. She established that her main objective was to preserve a patient’s face and keep it looking as natural as possible, working on its features globally and holistically while respecting the beauty and unique structure.


It’s with the above approach in mind that Nedic developed 8thSense ‘Refresh’: A signature treatment that is a combination of techniques for collagen enhancement (exclusively achieved by Thermage), and 3D facial rejuvenation with fillers. The goal is for each patient to successfully retain their features while looking natural and renewed – which was what I was essentially looking for.


Now, because my skin had moderate laxity, it resulted in my face changing from a heart shape to that of more square, thus contributing to a more aged look. She suggested to address this laxity with monopolar radiofrequency – Thermage.  Nedic also pointed out that while I have some well-preserved volume in my cheeks, there is still a slight deflated look due to sagging skin and loss of collagen. She, therefore, wanted to pay particular attention to this area, and explained that by adding a filler with good lifting (and less volumising) capacity, she can give me more structured cheekbones, which will further contribute to a lifted effect.

Lastly, it was suggested that I have slight augmentation done on my chin, as my profile picture depicted a loss of expected proportions. Nonetheless, I was assured it would not alter the angle between my face and neck in any way, as this is my normal look.

The treatments

For my chin and cheek augmentation, Nedic used a biodegradable dermal filler – distributed in South Africa by Tasosol Aesthetics. This filler is both a non-soluble and sterile gel, which is a clear and smooth implant that helps smooth out areas of the face. It is especially good for reshaping the chin, enhancing the cheekbones, correcting the contour of the lip, reducing the nasolabial folds and smoothing out wrinkles. Notably, it is manufactured using SMART (Supreme Monophasic and Reticular Technology), which helps increase the amount of time it will last.

As for the excess skin on my neck and lower facial sagging, I had a single treatment of the collagen- enhancing procedure Thermage. This procedure involves heating the collagen, which initiates two natural biological reactions:

  • It causes the collagen to contract and thicken
  • The body’s natural healing response initiates new collagen creation

Experience and subsequent results

My overall facial rejuvenation took around four hours, which included my consultation, the application of numbing creams, undergoing Thermage, and the injection of dermal fillers.


The Thermage treatment was relatively quick (about 50 minutes) and produced an impressive 30% immediate improvement in my skin laxity. However, I was advised that this result will actually be enhanced over time as collagen production takes effect, with the end result seen in six months. As for the pain factor, I did feel some discomfort at times (sort of like a mild, stinging sensation), but this heat was adjusted accordingly during the application of the treatment, so I didn’t find it painful per se. Nedic was also using new CPT technology that increases patients comfort.

Dermal fillers

Similarly, I found my dermal filler procedure to be virtually painless. This is due to the numbing cream applied before treatment, as well as Nedic using a cannula instead of a needle to remove any discomfort while injecting. Indeed, I noted a very significant sculp, contour and  lift on my cheeks and chin.

Final thought

Now, while the benefits I experienced from both the dermal fillers and Thermage treatment were immediately visible (as can be seen on my before and after images), the beauty of this combination procedure is that it doesn’t alter what mother nature has given you – it just enhances it. Natural and fresh.

Points to consider

  1. It must be noted that while dermal fillers is a non-surgical procedure, there’s still some downtime involved. Expect some swelling, redness, mild discomfort and sensitivity for about a day or two after. If blunt tip cannulas are used (like in the case of my injections), the possibility of bruising is substantially less

  2. Although results can be seen immediately after dermal fillers and Thermage, the final outcome generally takes about six months post-treatment. Patients are asked to come for a final after-picture in six months

For more information… 

A2 Disclaimer: This article is published for information purposes only, nor should it be regarded as a replacement for sound medical advice. 

CURRENT Issue 29 – March 2019 (Autumn)

This article was written by Michelle Pauli EXCLUSIVELY for the A2 Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Magazine March 2019 Edition (Issue 29). 

A2 Magazine prints only four magazines each year – reporting seasonally on everything you need and want to know about aesthetics, anti-ageing, integrative medicine, quality and medical skin care, cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic surgery in South Africa – where to go, who to see, what to expect, something new and so much more! Never miss an edition – click here for more info about where you can buy the print and/or digital copy of A2 Magazine (including back copies).

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