Dermal fillers have come a long way. In their earliest incarnations, fillers were used to shore up sagging skin and reduce wrinkles by standing in for the collagen we all lose with age. These days, new filters are available that provide the same benefits, along with actively stimulating the production of new collagen. Some are even so effective that they have come to be known as grow-your-own facelifts.
Among the most popular of these next-generation dermal fillers is Ellanse
Developed by London-based Sinclair Pharma, Ellanse promises immediate results characteristic of traditional fillers, along with steady, long-lasting collagen production.
Before we look at how Ellanse works, let’s step back and discuss the conditions it’s meant to treat.
Aging and Collagen
Collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in our bodies, appears as a tightly knit, highly elastic network of fibrous strands that lie within the skin’s deepest layer. It is significantly responsible for the firm, supple skin that characterizes youthfulness.
As we age, we lose collagen, and our remaining collagen is less able to support our facial skin the way it once did. The first signs of collagen loss include fine wrinkles and a loss of volume in the cheeks. As collagen loss progresses, wrinkles deepen and folds and smile lines develop. Eventually, the face’s very shape changes significantly: the forehead sinks, jowls form, and the jawline’s contour widens.
Collagen loss is usually gradual and occurs because the body produces less new collagen to replace aging or damaged tissue. But we never entirely lose our ability to grow new collagen: the body’s priorities simply change as we get older. When collagen is damaged by external factors, our bodies respond by producing more.
Most facial-rejuvenation procedures take advantage of this fact by precisely damaging bits of the collagen layer, inspiring the body to replace damaged collagen with even more than it started with. Laser surgery, micro needling, and the like all operate on this principle.
Ellanse also disrupts the body’s existing collagen, but far more gently, as part of a carefully calibrated two-stage process.
How Ellanse works
Like many modern dermal fillers, Ellanse is injected directly into the skin, where it provides immediate support for lost volume with a proven gel composed of Carboxymethylcellulose (often referred to as CMC). This gel provides the immediate results that patients have sought from dermal fillers for years now. Like previous-generation fillers, the CMC in Ellanse provides benefits that typically last six to eight weeks before it dissolves, is absorbed into the skin, and is disposed of by the body. It can be applied generally, throughout the face, or to specific areas like the jawline that need precise contouring.
Ellanse’s major advance is the introduction of microscopic spheres suspended within the CMC gel. Made of Polycaprolactone (or PCL), these spheres measure no more than 50 micrometers and are easily metabolized and completely absorbed by the skin.
Before they are absorbed, though, the PCL microspheres do more gently what some patients have enlisted lasers to do: they disrupt the body’s existing collagen. Because they do so through a constant reminder rather than by way of a severe intrusion, they can take longer to work than laser or micro needling procedures. And that’s the secret to Ellanse.
The two approaches are specifically designed to complement each other: while the CMC gel begins to dissolve, the PCL microspheres are already reminding the body of the need to create more collagen. By the time the gel’s effects begin to wear off, the body has begun to actively produce more collagen: the short-term solution gives way to a longer-term one.
The PCL microspheres continue to work for two to five years before they are dissolved, absorbed by the skin, and unobtrusively removed by the body’s natural processes. This allows the benefits conveyed by Ellanse to remain for up to six years, a terrifically long lifespan for any facial-rejuvenation therapy.
Because it works with the skin’s existing structure. Ellanse is appropriate for a wide variety of purposes, including
- Filling and lifting cheeks that have lost volume
- Smoothing deep lines (especially smile lines, or nasolabial folds)
- Lifting brows that have begun to sag
- Reshaping the nose and chin
- Enhancing the contours of the temples and forehead
It is also useful in areas beyond the face, especially the decolletage and hands. All this must sound quite good to you by now, so many positives and while it’s not exactly “cheap” Ellanse treatments could easily be more expensive and still be worth it – you can learn more about it over at Singapore’s premiere Health and Beauty portal UbiqiHealth.
Alternatives to Ellanse
Among the popular alternatives to Ellanse are Radiesse, which works similarly but is somewhat differently composed, and Sculptura, which takes a different approach to collagen stimulation.
Radiesse provides the same gel-and-microsphere formulation as Ellanse, with a crucial difference. Because its microspheres are made of calcium hydroxylapatite, which leaves the body much more quickly than PCL, its effects are much shorter-lived than Ellanse’s. Radiesse’s manufacturer cites clinical studies showing that its benefits last up to a year.
Sculptura uses poly-l-lactic acid to stimulate collagen, which typically takes up to a month. In the meantime, because Sculptura contains no dermal filler, patients only see gradual improvement. After three or four applications, Sculptura’s benefits typically last for up to two years. Contrary to what its name might suggest, Scuptura is injected into large areas of the face and is not used to address highly contoured areas like the chin, jawline, or the bridge of the nose.
Because Ellanse is designed to provide such long-lasting benefits, patients are advised to seek experienced practitioners to perform the procedure. It is impossible to overstate this point.
The effects of modern hyaluronic fillers, some of which claim to encourage collagen production along with promoting hydration, can be reversed safely with hyaluronidase, which simply speeds the natural process by which they are disposed of. Not so with CMC fillers, and certainly not the PCL microspheres that give Ellanse such a distinctive edge.
In some cases, more frequent applications of a less-long-lived product may be the wisest choice. But for patients who know exactly what they seek, and have access to qualified, experienced practitioners, Ellanse can be the closest thing currently available to a permanent answer to aging.