As a cosmetic facial plastic surgeon, the mainstay of my practice is staying up to date on the most cutting-edge technology to help my patients look and feel their best. I do have to be cautious and weed through all the trends and hype and make sure I’m providing high-end, safe procedures that have proven outcomes. I must admit when first learning about the AquaGold Fine Touch and seeing all the celebrity endorsements, such as Kim Kardashian in her prep for the Met Gala, I was initially thinking this is just another gimmick and held off on adding it to my practice.
But after attending multiple conferences and speaking with other physicians, I was convinced to try it. The Guinea pig was me. And WOW, can I say the effects were amazing. While I offer an array of skincare solutions to help at the surface level of your skin, this treatment can restore and rejuvenate the skin’s beauty from within the dermis.
AquaGold Fine Touch is a device made of a glass ampule with 24 karat gold hollow needles that release product along the entire length of the needle. Each needle is smaller than a hair follicle. The 24K gold minimizes risk of irritation. The benefit of gold all comes down to chemistry. Gold is more biologically compatible with human skin than other metals. There are only a handful of substances that pure gold reacts with (mercury, hydrochloric acid, and in some cases, iodine), and none of them are found in the human body. This is a game-changer for patients with conditions like nickel allergies and other skin sensitivities. Unlike traditional micro-needling techniques that only puncture the skin with topical product application, AquaGold is able to infuse the products directly into the skin at depths of 6 mm, at the level of deeper dermis where it can have a more significant effect.
Some of the solutions that can be used to infuse are Botox, hyaluronic fillers such as Juvederm, pigment reducers, vitamins such as C, E and B, growth factors such as PRP (platelet rich plasma — your body’s own natural growth factors — my personal favorite), and glutathione. There is a range of different AquaGold “cocktails” that I can specially customize depending on what the patient’s goals are that visit.
After having my daughter, I was struggling with pigment changes, change in tone (looser skin) and adult onset acne. I used a combination of Botox, Juvederm, PRP, and vitamin C to address fine lines, pore size, adult acne, pigment and improve tone and texture. Boy, was this a game changer for me. Despite being an exhausted new mom and business owner, people kept commenting on how refreshed I looked and wanted to know what I was doing with my skin! I was officially hooked and knew I needed to start offering this to my patients.
The magic of AquaGold is in its ability to distribute cosmetic injectables deeply and evenly across the face, giving you incredibly natural-looking results that can make you look years younger in just a few minutes. It covers a larger treatment area than traditional dermal filler and Botox injections while allowing them to be absorbed over more surface area than with a single syringe. This is a procedure that can be done to the face, neck or chest.
During the treatment we give patients the option to have topical numbing cream applied to their face, even though the needles are so small that it is essentially painless, unlike traditional micro-needling. The skin is then cleansed and prepped for the procedure. The customized compounded solution is prepared by myself (the physician) with precision and care. I use a gentle “stamping” motion to penetrate the skin intradermally, delivering the solution painlessly without any bleeding into the face, neck and chest. The treatment takes less than 20 minutes to complete and involves no downtime or recovery other than leaving the office looking a little pink. Almost anyone and everyone is a great candidate for this treatment, especially patients who feel their skin looks dull and are trying to get overall skin rejuvenation.
With Botox as an optional part of the cocktail results can be reduced pore size, decrease in redness and flushing, decrease in oil production and breakouts, smoother skin, brighter skin and a decrease in sweat production. People who suffer from Rosacea are also great candidates because it has proven to significantly reduce the associated redness and flushing. Patients who have trouble controlling acne and acne scarring have seen a huge improvement. Adding hyaluronic acid filler such as Juvederm can help with superficial plumping to improve fine lines and wrinkles, while giving the overall skin quality a very “airbrushed” appearance. Platelet rich plasma contains hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which are naturally occurring proteins that signal pathways within neighboring cells to grow, create new cells or specialize in a certain job.
Growth factors play an integral part in maintaining healthy skin structure and function, primarily through fibroblasts. As skin ages, levels of natural growth factors and fibroblasts (cells responsible for creating collagen and maintaining skin integrity) decrease, leading to unwanted skin laxity and sagging. We can all see the signs of this as we age, when we start losing skin tone, texture, and tightness. These growth factors can now be placed back into the skin to stimulate fibroblasts and other skin rejuvenation pathways to fight back against aging and improve tone, texture and slow the breakdown of collagen.
This is a great treatment to have done before a special event to really give your skin a natural “glow-up.” Results typically last 2-3 months or more depending on compound used and can be seen as early as the day of the procedure. This can be repeated as often as monthly or in between treatments such as chemical peels, micro-needling, dermaplaning, and the traditional Botox and filler injections.
So, as far as new trends and celebrity endorsements, this is one that I have found to be medically beneficial not only to myself but to my patients. I recommend seeking out a board-certified physician that specializes in cosmetic procedures. Be cautious that compounds are carried out by a physician using sterile technique and using brand name AquaGold equipment to ensure you are receiving the highest quality treatment and lowest risk of complication.
Many of us have so many responsibilities in life that we forget to take care of our personal needs. This is particularly true for mothers, who have many caregiving responsibilities, but moms certainly don’t have a monopoly on letting life get in the way of taking care of themselves. And while it’s hard to prioritize something like taking time to care of your skin, when you have so many other items on your to-do list, self-care is an important aspect of emotional and physical health. The relaxation you get from self-care can trigger the relaxation response, which can prevent chronic stress from damaging your health, so in a sense, self-care is good for you inside and out. Taking time out to care for yourself can remind you and others that you and your needs are important, too. Having a well-cared-for body can make you feel good about yourself and your life and conveys to others that you value yourself. This can contribute to long-term feelings of wellbeing.
Dr. Pennington is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. She offers complimentary consults to discuss any procedures or questions patients may have. Her office is located at 6030 Line Ave Suite 110 in Shreveport. Phone (318) 216-5366. Before and after photos can be viewed in office for patient privacy and some are available online on Instagram and Facebook @penningtonfacialplastics.