Who are the patients in Russia?

Russian and Ukraine women pay a lot of attention to their appearance and want to maintain their looks for as long as possible. According to Dr Safonova Liubov, both female and male ‘metrosexual’ behaviours wont fade away and the way you look will remain highly important.

Dr Igor Rudenko believes that the percentage of beautiful women in Ukraine is very high. Being beautiful is in the genes, he says, but warns that staying beautiful is hard work, and many women consider cosmetic intervention to keep their good looks. Female patients aged 35–50 years represent the heart of the market for both surgical and non-surgical interventions.

The youngest women mainly want bigger lips, even though the trend for big lips à la Angelina Jolie is fading in both Ukraine and Russia. In general, the desire for an overdone look is not in fashion anymore; women want more subtle and natural results with a fresher and younger looking version of themselves.

In comparison with Western countries such as the USA, women seem to undergo facelifts at a younger age in Russia and Ukraine. For instance, Dr Liubov told PRIME that she has been performing endoscopic rejuvenation on young patients to correct a sad face; the idea is to lift the ‘sad mask’ to make the patient more attractive.

Patients are mainly active and successful businesswomen, as is often the case in Western countries. The way we look and how successful we are seems more and more related. To be successful, you need to project a good image of yourself.

Time is usually a big issue for Russian patients, as it is elsewhere — they want non-invasive procedures with no complications and no downtime — but the frequency of visits to their physicians is high, with nearly one visit per month and once every 2 months on average.

Smoking is still very popular in both Russia and Ukraine — especially in women; they smoke nearly as much as men now, meaning that skin ageing can be accelerated. But sun damage does not seem to be a strong complaint as it is in many other countries.

According to Professor Alexander Turkevych, PhD, and Dr Ekaterina Gutop, Russian and Ukrainian women are very concerned about their mid-face, upper and lower contours. Efficient treatments to rejuvenate the depression of the cheeks, heavy mandibular and eyebrow lines are in high demand. Slimming excess facial fat in the chin and neck to resculpt a strong jawline is commonly carried out with the use of lipolysis agents followed by dermal filler injections.

It seems that Russia and Ukraine could benefit from more high-quality facial volumising treatments. The introduction of Juvderm Voluma with lidocaine in January 2013 in Russia has been highly welcomed by physicians. And this region is a good candidate for some of the most exciting treatments coming to market, including ATX-101 from Kythera Biopharmaceuticals.

The market is overly dominated by women, with men comprising only 5% of procedures, but this is changing fast. Men tend to start having procedures a little later in life, usually between 45 and 65 years of age.

Top treatments

In top practices, botulinum and hyaluronic acid injections remain the most popular treatments, but there is a growing trend for light rejuvenation treatments, which prevent skin ageing and improve the quality of the skin with biorevitalisation, mesotherapy treatments and more recently, the autologous platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment. Also specific to the Russian and Ukrainian markets is rapid growth for non-surgical thread lifting interventions.

Boosting the skin with rejuvenating injections

Treatments such as botulinum injections and volumising dermal fillers cannot improve the quality of the skin. Dr Elena Z. Parsagashvili says that biorevitalisation helps to improve the quality of the skin and works well with middle-aged women. It boosts the skin’s cell metabolism and supports basic homeostasis (the process by which the body’s internal environment is kept stable) in the long-term. The two top brands to revitalise the skin with non-stabilised hyaluronic acid are the IAL System and Juvderm Hydrate.

The treatment protocol varies depending on the age of the patient and the needs of the skin. For a 40–50-year-old patient with dry and thin skin, an intensive treatment with six to eight procedures every 2 weeks will be required, but for a 30–40-year-old patient, three to four procedures with a 2–3 week interval is sufficient.

However, it is not only a preventive treatment to hydrate, but stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen. A short course of one or two treatments can also be used as an ‘express repair’ treatment for women who have been very stressed, or for skin which has been affected by too much sun exposure.