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Melt Your Beauty Woes Away

For the aesthetically conscious, the search for the ultimate non-invasive face or body treatment is pretty much like Trinity’s search for Neo in The Matrix – who, or rather, what, in the One?

Jockeying for pole position is Exilis, the newest hot rod of the beauty world that promises to literally melt your fat away, albeit within reason. That means you will not go from size 10 to size zero in the space of four weeks, but you might be able to button your current-sized jeans without shifting your belly into the appropriate position first. And if you’re combating the evils of a double chin or jowls that can no longer be blamed on the puppy fat you should have lost two decades ago, some reprieve may be in store.

It’s a treatment that offers an alternative to those who have tried the likes of Thermage, Ulthera, Ultrashape or the myriad therapies available on the market, but it isn’t necessarily a replacement for them, says Rohan Mendis of Mendis Aesthetics & Surgery, which is the first clinic in Singapore to bring in the Exilis machine. Dr. Mendis says he first heard about Exilis at a dermatology conference in Korea where he saw prominent American cosmetic dermatologist Robert Weiss make a presentation on it.

“I decided to offer it after hearing about his results for skin tightening and fat reduction, which are common problems faced by individuals today. The treatment is also very comfortable with no downtime.”

Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Exilis was created by a Czech research company that was looking for ways “to introduce as much energy into the body as possible to provoke good visible response,” says its clínical director Tomas Boleslavsky, who was in town as week for a medical conference.

“Radio frequency had a really good reputation in heating the skin superficially so we wanted to find a combination that could bring the heat deeper without damaging the surrounding tissue and skin. That’s how we developed a way to blend radio frequency with ultrasound and cooling to get the best effect.”

Although Exilis started out to develop a body shaping tool, “during development it became obvious that it could be used for effective facial treatment,” adds Mr Boleslavsky. But because the face only requires superficial heating, the radio frequency and ultrasound are combined without the cooling aspect. But for the body “you are cooling the skin so that the heat can go deeper (into the fatty layers) without overheating the skin.

Unlike Thermage, which is a one-off treatment lasting more than an hour and requires numbing cream on the face to make the process more comfortable, Exilis is a fuss-free process lasting about half an hour where cooling gel is applied on the face to counter the heat of the probe that goes over the parts of the face that need work.

Four sessions of Exilis are required for the full effect, although Dr. Mendis says that some of his patients have seen come subtle tightening after just the first session. He has treated nearly 50 patients since he brought in the machine and all have seemed satisfied with treatment. Dr Mendis doesn’t feel that Exilis is a one-size-fits-all treatment but rather complements the other options on the market. For example, not everybody will benefit from Thermage, in which case Exilis might be more effective, while for body-shaping Exilis might suit some people more than say, Ultrashape.

Bring non-invasive also means that effects are not permanent. Exilis’s benefits last for about one year to 18 months, and it can also be a bit of a hassle for those too impatient to go through four sessions to see the best results. Also, pregnant women and people with metal in their bodies like pacemakers or hip and knee plates should not undergo Exilis treatment.

For everyone else, Mr. Boleslavsky is quick to add that Exilis doesn’t promise miracles, “We don’t treat the hyper-obese or those with a lot of hanging skin. We can’t treat visceral fat – those with beer bellies that are so had you can balance a glass on it –  that’s not treatable.”

But if you have a couple of winkles or your jeans are too tight, you may find that after two months the lines have softened and your tummy flatter.

Still, people with ageing skin and body-fat issues looking for a quick fix should understand that “diet, exercise and lifestyle make up the basic platform for achieving optimal results”, stresses Dr Mendis, “Following which they should a doctor they’re comfortable with and follow his advice. The treatments serve as the catalyst for the result but a lot also depends on the client’s co-operation and compliance with the advice given.”

So, much as you would like to believe the next big non-invasive treatment is the solution to your beauty woes, the reality is there are no miracles, but you can get a little push in the right direction. 


-By Jamie Ee

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