Under The Refiner’s Hand

Mariel Chow gets further touch-ups from Dr. Anna Hoo.

March 8, 12:00 AM

Aesthetic Practitioner - Dr Anna Hoo
If you’ve been following my aesthetic journey, you may recall a series of injectable treatments utilising Botulinum Toxin A (BTA) to uplift my tired face. As time progressed, Dr. Anna Hoo addressed unsettled problems with filler injections along the forehead, cheeks, chin and lips to balance lopsided structures and plump hollow regions. Finally, my nose was augmented and lifted through minimally invasive threadlifts. Since undergoing these procedures, I must – with all honestly – admit that I’ve never looked better. Apart from an obviously youthful, rejuvenated visage, my face also appeared natural, yet pleasant and symmetrical. 
Despite being content and grateful for my already remodelled face, Dr. Anna turned to me three weeks ago and said, “Now that we’ve fixed underlying support structures, I can enhance the soft tissues.” She continued, “Through the Korean Lift (K-lift) and Starwalker laser treatments, I’ll be able to elevate facial muscles and skin, encouraging attractive appearances which remain pleasant even at rest.” In other words, no more Resting B*tch Face! Not one to miss out on a golden opportunity, I immediately agreed to further treatment.
Come treatment day, as usual, I was asked to take multiple ‘before’ photos. By dramatising a series of facial emotions including sad, happy or surprised expressions, Dr. Anna can scrutinise images and investigate areas of probable concern. Following the quick photoshoot, my face was comforted with generous slatherings of topical anaesthesia. Customarily – and while awaiting the numbing creams to work their magic – I rested comfortably in my private treatment suite and took a power nap. 
After an hour, Dr. Anna walked in with a BTA-filled needle with which she gently pierced my skin whilst explaining the procedure’s innerworkings. “K-Lifts address the visage’s muscular plane. Many patients may find neuromodulating agents suspect because they ‘kill’ muscles. On the contrary however, injectables like Botox and Dysport actually relax tissues. “The face comprises of many muscles which either lift or pull tissues down. With the K-Lift, doctors have the ability to relax pulling muscles (platysma, depressor anguli oris, depressor labis inferioris and mentalis) to elevate, rejuvenate and harmonise the face,” Dr. Anna informed. 

When Dr. Anna designs K-Lifts, she pays detailed attention to each patient’s muscle activities, ensuring the right tissues are treated and addressed. In other words, by assessing each patient’s facial emotions, Dr. Anna can examine which muscles are to be maintained, weakened and strengthened. By understanding muscle strength and targeting their forces, doctors can enhance muscles which lift skin, while simultaneously relaxing muscles which pull faces down. Once strengths are at optimal equilibrium, not only is the visage uplifted and minimally-creased, negative emotions are similarly rebuked, allowing one’s cheerful personality to shine through.
Now, you may be wondering why I’ve undergone so many aesthetic procedures. I’m a young gal after all. Well, it’s all relative. Despite boasting pretty skin, I hated my lopsided brows and creased forehead. With my many concerns in mind, Dr. Anna previously injected muscle relaxants in my upper face. While results were initially favourable, outcomes were short-lived. This boggled Dr. Anna. She retraced her steps and asked herself, “Why didn’t results last?” To answer this question, Dr. Anna looked into my support structures and realised that my forehead’s right corner suffered severe bone loss. This has an inundated effect on my upper face’s muscle activity, causing severe brow asymmetry. To combat imbalances, Dr. Anna injected fillers in the hollow corners of my face to advocate optimal muscle function. While fillers undoubtedly rebalanced my previously stubborn brows, Dr. Anna believed additional K-Lift treatments could further equilibrate forces, providing more natural, enduring results. 
As explained K-Lifts – besides enforcing lifting muscles – similarly stimulate more pleasant, joyful appearances. With such goals in mind, Dr. Anna meticulously investigated muscles which prompted negative facial features such as sagginess, anger and sadness. As such, and because more positive outlooks were common goals, Dr. Anna decided to eliminate my frown lines and mentalis muscle movement while reducing depressor anguli oris and depressor labii inferioris muscle strengths. By eliminating and reducing targeted influences, she was able to refashion a face which complements my cheerful, outgoing demeanour. 
After fifteen minutes of painless BTA injections, Dr. Anna ended my treatment with the glorious Starwalker laser. The reason she combines K-Lifts with Starwalker is because lasers serve as tightening stimulants. Secondly, lifting results are more easily perceived when neuromodulators are combined with excellent laser technologies. In Dr. Anna’s opinion, the Starwalker remains one of the latest, most efficient systems for pigmentary disorders. In my case however, laser energies were employed to even tones, tighten skin and reduce pores. As a seasoned aesthetic writer, I’ve tried many laser technologies. Trust when I say that the Starwalker is in a league of its own. In fact, not only were pores visibly finer, my skin felt softer after just one treatment!
It’s been a month since the K-Lift and Starwalker procedure. My face looks so good, it’s almost criminal. My skin looked less textured, had fewer pores and was smooth to the touch. Once the neurotoxins began working its magic, creases along my brows disappeared, while expressive lines like crow’s feet and nasolabial folds were kept at bay. 
Compliments have now become so common, they don’t surprise me anymore. Honestly, I could on and on about how gorgeous I look and feel. I could also sing Dr. Anna’s praises till kingdom come, but I won’t bore you with the details. All I will say however, is pictures speak a thousand words. Attached are photos of myself over nine months and four treatments with Dr. Anna Hoo, which should speak volumes of her undeniable talent and artistry. 

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