The 5 biggest appearance medicine trends you need to know about for 2019

In a sea of tweaks and treatments and the increase in appearance medicine globally, it’s more important than ever to weed out the treatments that are worth your while and the ones that aren’t.

FQ’s resident skin editor Sarah Simpson spoke to experts from Skin Institute, including Dr Sarah Hart, Dr Lara Courtenay and appearance medicine nurse Sally Ellison, to ask which of these trending treatments are worth trying—and will lead to impressive results.

1. Fat freezing for the chin and body 

For the chin: Belkyra
Double chins will rejoice with this treatment which has been designed to dissolve stubborn fat under the chin area. It’s one of the newest procedures on the scene and is the perfect answer for someone who feels like their neckline could do with some reshaping to create a more refined profile.

What is it?
With a series of injections into the fat tissue of the chin area, the formula that is used (which is FDA approved), essentially works to burst fat cells. How you ask? Well it comes down to the ingredient complex that includes a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid which is naturally occurring in our bodies. When this is injected into the skin, the body in turn naturally removes it into the bloodstream allowing it to be eliminated from the body permanently.

Who is it for?
This is an ideal treatment for anyone who is battling a bulge under their chin which won’t shift. Do keep in mind however; it’s not designed for those who have loose skin in this area – which can often be a result of weight loss or ageing.

The journey
As with any treatment, a consultation is imperative to find out if you are a candidate and also to manage expectations and get an idea of how many sessions may be needed.

What are the key questions you need to ask?
What is the downtime after having this treatment?
When can I expect to see results?
How long will the swelling last? 

Pain factor?
You will likely feel a burning sensation while the fat cells are being destroyed, but you will be asked if you would like a local anaesthetic, as well as pain killers and ice packs to help lessen the severity. Immediately after your chin will swell to twice the size which may feel tight – this peaks at 48 hours post-treatment and then will eventually reduce over the course of two weeks.

Woman with hands in heart shape on tummy

For stomach, thighs and hips: Cooltech
Following suit from Belkyra comes Cooltech, which has been created to rid stubborn areas of fat from places such as the hips, thighs and stomach. 

What is it?
As the name suggests, Cooltech works by cooling an area – well in fact, freezing an area. Cooltech collects a pocket of fat using a suction device and freezes it, working to allow the body to then disperse the frozen cells, in turn reducing the size of that problem area. One of the more unusual treatments on offer simply due to how your skin can look after treatment (imagine a frozen chicken fillet), this treatment has seen impressive results in those spots that don’t seem to tighten no matter how much diet and exercise you do.

Who is it for?
The most important thing to note with this treatment is that it is not designed for weight loss.

The journey
A thorough consultation will be your best guide to what your individual treatment journey will look like, with some areas needing more time to budge than others. They will look at the area you are interested in treating, measure it up and take photos while also checking your weight and BMI. Usually 2-3 treatments should be enough to see results.

What are the questions you need to ask?
What are the areas you can treat?
How many sessions will I need for the area in question?
Is the treatment permanent?

Pain factor?
It all depends on the individual but it has been described as more of an odd feeling rather than painful, as your stomach (or fatty lump) is suctioned into a freezing cold device for a period of around 60 minutes. The aftermath can also be painful for some, in which the frozen piece of skin gets massaged down and it can result in bruising in some cases.

 Dermal fillers

2. Large volume dermal fillers

We are all too aware of dermal fillers being used in areas of the face such as the lips and even under the eyes (treating the eye trough area); mostly smaller areas of the face. However, an emerging trend is to be using dermal fillers to treat larger areas. 

What is it?
Unlike treating smaller areas where the tiniest amount is able to be used, resulting in impressive results, this technique takes on a more heavy-hitting approach (using up to 3-4 syringes and successive sessions) to really get the results you want. Originating from the innovative work of Brazilian plastic surgeon Dr Mauricio de Maio, this procedure has been designed to work with your own natural muscle movement to fill, correct and reshape the contours of your face. The key to the success of this treatment is focusing on areas of the face that would not traditionally be targeted. For example, rather than plumping lips and cheeks, this technique supports areas like the temple, chin and jawline which all tend to show signs of ageing, and will essentially ‘lift’ the whole face with some clever placement.

Who is it for?
It is ideal for anyone who is showing signs of ageing and feels like a lift. 

The journey
This treatment requires a three session commitment, which will need to be spaced apart. Doing so will result in getting the best results for your skin and concerns.

What are the questions you need to ask?
What is the filler used?
How much filler will you need to use?
What are the areas that can be treated?
How long can I expect results to last for?

Pain factor?
This is a fairly pain-free treatment and while you may feel some swelling, this fades after a couple of hours. The filler may feel hard or lumpy until it settles into the skin and softens. Bruising is quite common, but will also fade over the course of a week or so. 

aesthetic facial skin care, cosmetology
3. Threads

It might sound scary but this innovative treatment is set to make a huge mark on the appearance medicine industry and, in our opinion, will replace the likes of face lifts and more invasive plastic surgery treatments.

What is it?
As the name suggests, this treatment uses a thread which is injected into your skin at a point and then pulled tautly to help treat sagging skin and jowls. Like other appearance medicine treatments, they have had a makeover since they were discovered – whereas once it was permanent threads that were used, which remained under the skin, they now use dissolvable sutures similar to those used in surgeries which will dissolve over time. Fear not though, as your collagen will form around the suture creating and reinforcing the structure, so the results won’t fade once the sutures do. They have also become easier to use over the years, and are simple to insert to lift the face and sharpen the jawline. The real skill is deciding where and how many to put in, so you need to choose your practitioner wisely – the leading expert in New Zealand is Dr Piergiovanni Marzinotto at the Skin Institute.

Who is it for?
For those who are after an overall lifting effect to their complexion – think of this as a baby face lift, minus the pain, recovery and invasive surgery. If sagging skin, jowls and loss of volume are all gripes of yours, this is an incredible treatment to consider.

What are the questions you need to ask?
What are the threads made out of?
How many threads will need to be used?
Will they last forever?

Pain factor?
For this treatment the areas that are treated will be injected with a local anaesthetic which will numb the areas completely. Once this wears off, you will likely feel a tenderness in the areas where the threads were injected, but this will subside, as will any bruising, over the course of ten days.

4. Injectable moisturiser

If your skin is feeling dry, dehydrated and lacklustre, then a surge of injectable moisturiser could be just the key. Ideal for a special event, this treatment involved injecting droplets of moisture directly into the skin which promises a hydrated complexion lasting anywhere from weeks to months. A treatment like this is the ideal choice for someone that doesn’t feel sagging or excessive ageing, yet is craving a plumper complexion.

What is it?
Designed using the wonder-substance hyaluronan (a naturally-occurring acid that surrounds skin cells giving hydration and supporting collagen production), this procedure injects tiny droplets of the ingredient right under the skin’s surface resulting in a smoother, plumper skin that will last for weeks if not months.

Who is it for?
This is ideal for anyone wanting to give their skin a surge of moisture and hydration. This type of treatment delivers a swift form of skincare to parched, dehydrated skin that is showing the signs of ageing.

What are the questions you need to ask?
What tool do you use for this treatment?
What is injected into the skin?
How long can I expect the results to last?

Pain factor?
Numbing cream is used on the entire face helping to alleviate any pain, although you may still feel a slight discomfort during treatment. Your skin will probably look red with small bumps on it which dies down after 24 hours and some swelling may occur, but this is very rare.


5. Baby Botox

You’ve definitely heard of Botox, but a new approach – using “micro” dosages, placed in slightly different areas that are targeted to the patient’s specific needs – is becoming the norm.

What is it?
Botox is still one of the most frequently requested appearance medicine treatments and now we are seeing a shift in application to a version which has been coined ‘baby Botox’. Designed to offer a more subtle approach, this technique uses a smaller amount of Botox working to achieve a more natural finish while still catering to the clients needs.

Who is it for?
Anyone that wants to look fresher but not frozen – this is a treatment which leaves you looking like you’re well rested as opposed to overdone and this is also thanks to the skill of the technician.

The journey
After the consultation process, your technician will then map out the areas they want to treat before then moving onto the treatment. You will be in and out in under an hour.

What are the questions you need to ask?
Which areas do you believe I need to be treated for?
How long will the effects last for?
How long will the Botox take to kick in?

Pain factor?
Thanks to a very fine needle used for Botox, the pain is minimal – just a quick, sharp scratchy feeling which at times, you barely feel. Those who are adverse to needles may want to hold a stress ball during the treatment to help take your mind off it.

This article is brought to you in partnership with Skin Institute. To book a consultation for any of the above treatments, contact the Skin Institute on 0800 754 637 or visit

Words: Sarah Simpson
Photos: Getty Images and Supplied.