For dull skin that has lost its radiance, the biostimulatory filler Sculptra was recently FDA-approved for improving skin’s natural glow. With results lasting up to two years, the injectable has been considered a game-changer for the long-term smoothing of wrinkles and rejuvenating the complexion. Now, injectors can confirm what they’ve seen all along, as the “Sculptra Glow” has been proven during clinical trials. To learn how it was measured and the proper treatment timeline we spoke with experts who broke down the data.
How the “Glow” Is Measured
West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD notes the methodology used to measure skin radiance during clinical trials would be based on imagery. “It involves photographs and measuring reflectance,” he explained. According to the clinical study, researchers gauged the radiance improvement based on live assessments and photographs taken at various time points throughout the 24-month study.
From month seven to 24, the majority of investigators “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that subjects’ skin radiance improved after treatment. At seven months, improvement was noticed on 97 percent of participants and at two years on 95 percent. Two years after treatment 92 percent of patients acknowledged an improvement in their skin’s natural glow themselves.
“I am not surprised to see patients with improved skin quality and texture as a very first result of post Sculptra injections,” notes New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD. “We recommend Sculptra as a series of injections because it is a stimulatory procedure. It does take time for our body to produce collagen and elastin; however, the very first signs that patients report are really the improved skin tone, texture and glow of the skin.”
How to Get the “Glow”
Dr. Beer recommends half a bottle, or 2.5 vials, injected every four weeks for four sessions. “This protocol facilitates collagen regeneration without causing significant changes in volume. This is ideal for those in their late 40s or early 50s with moderately damaged skin.”
Louisville, KY, dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD expressed her enthusiasm for Sculptra’s clinical trials and its positive impact on skin texture and tone. “This is great for when menopause, among other factors, affects the complexion, making Sculptra an effective solution for skin rejuvenation.”
Southlake, TX and Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD offered insights into how Sculptra stimulates collagen production. “Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, Sculptra activates fibroblasts, which are like construction workers in our skin,” she notes. She also stresses the importance of the treatment’s dilution to avoid potential side effects such as nodules or lumps. “By using a hyper-blended approach, the particles of Sculptra are appropriately diluted, making it safe and effective for superficial techniques that result in radiant and more youthful skin.”
To maximize the glow, Dr. Russak recommends combining Sculptra injections with microneedling or post-procedure topical application for optimal results. “When Sculptra is used in combination with these treatments, the results can be even more dramatic. It can be applied topically after procedures that create channels on the surface of the skin. This allows more superficial delivery of the Poly-L-lactic acid to the layer under the skin, where cell fibroblasts are stimulated and start producing collagen and elastin. The result is the appearance of more youthful and glowing skin.”