All about skin that's firm

Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel that you have come up-close-and-personal with a time machine that erases 10 years off your face? Perhaps  (and with apologies to Ms. Julie Andrews) I should start at the very beginning. A few weeks ago, I had lunch with my friend Anne Torres-Bichelmeier. Anne, a former Look of the Year winner had been a much sought-after model many years ago. I would see Anne regularly and doing so would have theoretically made me oblivious to her usual appearance. But on this particular day, sitting across her at our favorite Italian restaurant, I was completely floored! Anne’s face had the dewy freshness and firm shape that she possessed when she won that modeling contest over a decade ago. Just the week before, we were together for merienda at a continental café. What could have happened between seven days that could have shaved what seemed to be a decade and a half off her face?

“The change just happened this morning,” she explained. “I went to Dr. Amy Patdu’s skin clinic and had Mistral and EndyMed. The treatments were very quick and totally painless. In fact, I almost fell asleep!” And just like that, I had to know about these two miracle-like procedures.

Patdu is a petite lady with impeccable, seemingly poreless skin and a pleasant disposition. I visited her immediately after my lunch with Anne (this journalist had to get the skinny!) and she was gracious enough to take time out to answer my questions.

“The change just happened this morning,” she explained. “I went to Dr. Amy Patdu’s skin clinic and had Mistral and EndyMed. The treatments were very quick and totally painless. In fact, I almost fell asleep!” And just like that, I had to know about these two miracle-like procedures.

Patdu is a petite lady with impeccable, seemingly poreless skin and a pleasant disposition. I visited her immediately after my lunch with Anne (this journalist had to get the skinny!) and she was gracious enough to take time out to answer my questions.

“EndyMed and Mistral are treatments that were created to firm up the skin. Both the EndyMed and Mistral machines (created using Israel-based technology) do this by regenerating the collagen in your face. In our system we have both collagen and fibroblasts. Collagen is the fibrous protein that gives your skin flexibility, suppleness and resilience. Fibroblasts on the other hand, are cells that stimulate the production of collagen. Think of a toddler’s skin. It is firm to the touch. That is because in youth we have an abundance of collagen in our system. We can liken skin’s integrity to a woven mat. Sufficient amount of collagen during our younger days gives the mat a tight and firm weave. Aging, cigarette smoking and excessive sun exposure deplete the creation of collagen and weaken the tendency of fibroblasts to stimulate collagen creation — as a result the skin can be likened to a weak and loosely woven mat,” Patdu explains.

EndyMed uses RF (radiofrequency) energy to firm up the skin. There are many RF machines (monopolar and bipolar RFs are the most common) in the market under different brand names. Monopolar RF uses a single generator and reaches the dermis  (a deep layer of the skin). The difficulty with a monopolar RF is that its RF flow is uncontrolled. It is very hot, painful and may cause burns. A bipolar RF uses two generators but these only reach the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). The deeper layers of the skin are not touched and so although your skin will momentarily look good, the results are superficial. EndyMed uses RF 3DEEP treatments that utilize six radiofrequency generators and has the ability to painlessly reach deep into the dermis. EndyMed ignites the fibroblasts into creating more collagen in the targeted body area.

The effects (as proven by Anne) are immediate. “Right after the treatment, you will see the results as the treatment induces immediate tightening,” Dr. Patdu shares.

Whereas EndyMed gives skin instant firming and tightening, Mistral (a light-based treatment) is Dr. Patdu’s choice for evening out skin tone and for giving your skin a youthful glow. In a nutshell, the light energy of Mistral reacts with the melanin content of your skin and pulls out excess pigment (the cause of freckles, age and sun spots).

“EndyMed takes about 20 minutes to perform,” explains Patdu. “I usually recommend that my patients go for six treatments spaced a week apart. Although one sees immediate improvement, one would realize full results after one’s sixth visit. The results should last for one and a half to two years depending on the skin’s original quality.”

Mistral, on the other hand, takes all of five minutes to perform. Patdu says, “I have to see to what degree the patient’s skin is discolored to prescribe a length of visit but usually it would take anywhere from five to ten treatments spaced two weeks apart to see optimum results.” She concluded our discussion with an optimistic view of the quality of skin-care treatments being introduced to the country. “In the past, Filipinas had to endure procedural pain and post-treatment downtime in order to have beautiful skin. Thanks to the strides made in modern technology, this need not be the case.”

Anne has since brought in three friends for an EndyMed and Mistral try out. Within the hour they bought complete packages. These lunch-time skin procedures can surely get addicting!

(Dr. Amy Patdu’s clinic is located at Unit 103 Admiralty Bldg., 1101 Alabang-Zapote Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Tel. 818-2698.)

(For best results, consult your doctor.)