Experts reveal: Facts vs fictions of anti-ageing treatments and injectables

MiNDFOOD promotion, in partnership with Skin Institute.

When it comes to anti-aging treatments and injectables, there is no doubt that you would have at least heard of Botox®, fillers and Dermapen. Despite their popularity, and growing demand there is still a lot of contradictory information and preconceived views about these appearance medicine treatments. To clear up the confusion, Skin Institute, one of NZ’s premium providers for Appearance Medicine treatments, gives their expert advice on what’s fact and what’s fiction in anti-ageing treatments.


We all love a good bargain, who doesn’t, right? But this is not the time to bargain shop. There’s no denying that most anti-ageing treatments or injectables are expensive, but that’s because the cost of goods is high. If you see a good deal that costs far less than the standard treatment, it’s likely some compromises are being made, either the skill of your provider or the quality of the product. The price that you pay also reflects your practitioner’s years of experience, which results in your own safety. So, rather than jumping onto the first deal you see on the internet, discuss your budget and payment package with your provider during the consultation process.


There is no such thing as zero risk when it comes to injectable treatments. Anti-wrinkle injections can result in temporary unwanted weakness of adjacent muscles and cause outcomes such as eyelid or eyebrow droop or an uneven smile. Filler injections can be placed in the wrong layer of the skin causing a bluish discoloration known as the Tyndall effect. Inexperience of the injector leading to the wrong filler choice, amount or placement can make you look odd rather than rejuvenated! There is also a small chance of the filler blocking a blood vessel, causing an area of skin loss and scarring; or in an extremely rare event, a more serious risk of blindness can also occur. A highly experienced practitioner should inform you of these risks during your consultation, before you undergo the procedure.

“At Skin Institute, we take all risks seriously and have systems in place to minimise the likelihood of occurrence. We also take this time to discuss not only the intended outcome, but to answer any concerns you may have,” says Dr Shona Dalzell, Appearance Medicine Doctor, Dermatology Associate and Phlebologist at Skin Institute.


Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) can be uncomfortable and can take a psychological toll. One of the most effective treatments is with Botox®, as it can help control the symptoms of severe underarm sweating (or other targeted areas) by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don’t have the chemical signals, the severe sweating improves. “One session of Botox® is normally all that’s required, and the effects can last up to 7 months,” says Dr Dalzell.

It can also help with chronic migraines (headaches for more than 15 days per month). Botox® appears to block chemicals neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from your brain to the nerve endings around your head and neck to reduce the effects of migraines.


One of the most common misconceptions of anti-ageing treatments is that they all provide the same results. Each treatment has its purpose and targets different areas of concern. For example, if your main concern is loss of hydration, and to restore firmness of the skin, then Profhilo® is the treatment for you. Profhilo® is a new treatment called a biomodulator. It not only hydrates the skin but stimulates your own cells to produce more collagen. The result is an improvement in fine lines and help with sagging and crepey skin on face, neck, décolletage and hands.

Dermapen® 4 with Advanced Skin Peel on the other hand, uses ÜBER PRO or ÜBER MD peels to enhance the overall result of microneedling, which can help improve not only the signs of fine lines and wrinkles but acne, hyperpigmented conditions and scars. Each peel contains different treatment actives and targets different area of concerns.

ÜBER PRO contains a specific blend of treatment actives to increase cellular turnover while addressing the signs of ageing, hyperpigmentation, melasma, milia and acne. It is suitable for pigmentation, sun damage, anti- ageing and problematic skin and safe to use on any skin colour.

ÜBER MD reduces the appearance of severe, deep ageing lines, assists in scar treatment, resurfaces uneven skin texture, reduces pigmentation and evens out skin tone.


The saying ‘It’s not what you’ve done, it’s how it’s done’ applies to all anti-wrinkle treatments, with too many examples of people who accidentally or purposely look like they’ve had too much work done. “To maintain a natural appearance, it’s about rejuvenating your looks, not making you look different. So, the key is to find a provider and practitioner who is experienced and understands anatomy and the natural proportions of the face,” says Dr Dalzell.

If you have any enquiry on anti-wrinkle treatments or would like to book an appointment with Skin Institute, call 0800 SKIN DR (0800 754 637) or visit

Botox® is a prescription medicine for the treatment of frown lines, horizontal forehead lines and crow ’s feet round the eyes. Botox® has risks and benefits. Ask your doctor if Botox® is right for you. If you have side effects see your doctor. You will need to pay for Botox® and clinic fees will apply. For details on precautions and side effects consult your health care professional or the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) at Botox® treatment lasts about 4 months and further courses of treatment may be necessary. It should only be administered by trained medical professionals. (contains botulinum toxin A 50, 100 & 200 units) Allergan (NZ) Limited, Auckland. Profhilo®, containing low & high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, is a Class 111 medical device for the treatment of the face and body for contours, redefinition and laxity remodelling where skin laxity is a problem. Profhilo® has risks and benefits. Do not use with treatments such as laser resurfacing or medium deep skin-peeling. Do not inject into inflamed areas or intravenously or intramuscularly. Possible side effects: pain and swelling at injection site. Individual results may vary. This medical device must be administered by a healthcare professional. Skin Institute Level 1, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland, 0622.


How to choose which type of brow product is best to enhance your set

Bold and bushy or over-plucked and underrepresented, no matter your brow situation, there are ample products to suit. 

But sometimes that’s the problem. With a myriad of products available, how do you know which type of product to choose to make the most of your own set? 

Here are some quick tips to guide your choice:

MAC Cosmetics Eye Brows Styler

Use a pencil if: You have gaps to fill or need to create a strong shape at the start of each brow. Ideal for precision. Never draw a solid line with a brow pencil. Use a very light hand, sketching in fine short strokes that mimic natural hair, re-assessing constantly before continuing – less is more!

Bobbi Brown Brow Kit

Use a powder if: You have a decent amount of hair but are after a fuller, more groomed appearance overall. Brush hair upwards with a spoolie brush (similar to a clean mascara wand, often found at the end of a brow pencil) then when you get beyond the arch smooth the shape downwards. Then take a dense angle brush to pick up a bit of powder colour and start filling any gaps with small strokes. Alternatively start at the front of the brow and fill with short upward strokes, adding more colour to your brush as you go. 

Rimmel Brow This Way Kit

Use a solid gel or wax if: Your hairs are unruly or sprout out at odd angles. Applied with an angle brush these add dense colour and hold to fill in larger gaps and secure hairs in place, but they do run the risk of looking blocky, so don’t paint on, use small strokes. They can also be used as a base for powder if you want a dimensional, long-lasting effect. Many waxes come in kits with a coordinating powder to fill in gaps.

KVD Beauty Super Pomade

Use a pomade if: You’re after an ‘influencer’ brow: that bold, crisp shape with a tapered tail that gives you a sleek full set, particularly handy if you’ve got little to none to start with! The smooth cream or mousse in a pot is best applied with an angle brush, starting by defining the arch, then tail, then using an almost-clean brush to shape the front. Many pomades are waterproof and can handle hot climates or workouts well. 

Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel

Use a wand with a brush and tinted gel if: You want unstructured, yet well maintained brows or you have few hairs and want to volumise them. Brush lightly over so hair picks up the pigment but it doesn’t colour your skin. Some of these options contain extra fibres within the gel that help thicken up the look of your brows by clinging to the hairs that are already there.

Milani Weekend Brow Eyebrow Tint

 Use a marker if: You want to minimise the appearance of a scar or gap where the hair wont grow. The fine tip allows you to sketch single hairs easily in the direction of natural growth. They also suit oilier skin types as the tint delivered by the felt-tip lasts well.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze

Use a clear gel if: You have abundant hair in your brows and don’t need extra colour, you just want to keep them in place, or you want to re-create the look of a brow lamination. That’s when hairs are brushed upwards and set with a clear, sometimes shiny gel to give the look for a full, fluffy brow.  Brow lamination is a semi-permanent treatment you can have in-salon, but many clear waxes, ‘soap brow’ products and clear wands will give you the same look, if just for the day. 

1000Hour Lash & Brow Dye

Use a brow dye if: You want to enhance the look of your set and you have very light brows or your natural brow colour has lightened or turned grey. Or if you want a low-effort, waterproof option that means you don’t have to fill your brows every day. Brow and lash dyes are now easily accessible and the colour around six weeks.

Once you’ve decided on the type of product that suits, the hardest part is getting the right colour.  When it comes to brow products, shade is everything so we consulted an expert for guidance. 

“When choosing shades, staying close to your natural brow colour or one shade darker is key to add some attention to your brows”, says head brow trainer Rachel Steadman of brow specialist salon OFF & ON.

“Alternatively, match it up to the root colour of your hair.”