An Interview With The Cathay

Is your daily skincare routine not working and looking for an alternative
Here’s how you can seek next-level professional aesthetics treatment!

Intrigued by the complex interplay between our skin, lifestyle and the environment, Skinscape explores how aesthetic medicine can be blended with functional treatments to optimise therapeutic outcomes. Their mission is to offer the perfect balance of science, nature and technology.

We asked Dr. Harvey Ho, founder of Skinscape for his advice!


1. Could you tell us more about how skinscape came about & your belief?

I recognised there is a growing appetite for holistic health and a need to rejuvenate not only the skin but also body, mind and spirit in tandem. A person’s skin health is closely linked to his or her mental, emotional, physical and nutritional well-being. With that in mind, I created a practice that marries both aesthetic medicine and evidence-based functional and complementary medicine. My clinic is thoughtfully designed to allow my patients the space to discover not just the full suite of aesthetic treatments we provide, but also the opportunity to slow down and reconnect with themselves. I want to encourage my patients to be intentional about self-care and have fun in the process of doing so.


2. How long have you been practising aesthetic medicine & what do you enjoy the most about it?

Six years flew by in an instant, and I know I am in a privileged position to love what I do so much it does not feel like work. I get up every morning, eager to come into my clinic and get my day started.

A patient’s face is like a canvas to me – I see a composition of shapes, ratios, contours and textures. I enjoy applying my medical knowledge and using the tools at my disposal to tweak exactly the canvas to achieve the desired results for each of my patients. Usually the desired improvements happen overtime and I get to know my patients intimately in the process, which is something I truly enjoy. As an extrovert, I also thoroughly enjoy the lasting relationships I form with my colleagues and suppliers whom I work closely with.


3. What are the difference between botox & dermal fillers?

Botox and fillers are both cosmetic injectables; their difference lies in their functions. Botox is a brand of neuromodulator, and it works by relaxing the muscle it is injected into. Fillers are usually made of hyaluronic acid, a compound which naturally exists in the skin, and are used to add volume to the face.

Many patients know that Botox and fillers are used to treat wrinkles, and I go by this simple rule: lines of expression need Botox, lines at rest need fillers. But Botox and fillers can do much more than that. By using various methods of injection, I can use them to enhance and contour facial features. For example, Botox injected at the jaw can slim the jawline, and Botox injected in the lips can improve a gummy smile, or increase lip volume and definition. Fillers can be strategically injected to improve facial symmetry, contour nose bridge or smooth nasolabial folds as well. I frequently use Botox and fillers in combination to get a more elegant and sophisticated result for my patients.


4. What are some of the main things to consider before going under the needle?

You would first consider the injector behind the needle. Always go with a reputable doctor with many years of experience and good word-of-mouth recommendations. That way, you will be assured of a good experience, especially if it’s your first time, and reduce the chances of having any complications.

You might also want to think about what are your areas of concern before you come in for a consultation. It would be good to do some research before you speak to the doctor so that you can ask the right questions. Having an understanding of your concerns and the treatments that are available will help you get to the right solution faster. You can’t walk into an aesthetic clinic expecting an upper eyelid surgery! Surprisingly, it’s a request I get pretty often!


5. How should you prepare before & after an aesthetic procedure?

Before an appointment, I typically advise my patients to stop all blood thinning medications such as NSAIDs, and supplements such as ginkgo biloba, vitamin E, and evening primrose oil for a week. You should also abstain from alcohol the day before the procedure. These will help reduce any possible bruising (although rare) from the procedure.

On the day itself, I encourage my patients to centre their mind and body by taking a moment to focus on their breath or do a quick meditation. I have incorporated a self-care space in my clinic for this very purpose! Meditation has been proven to reduce the stress response and will thereby lessen the experience of pain during the treatment. After the appointment, do take the post-procedure advice given very seriously and follow it closely to achieve the least downtime and the best results. Most people don’t do this enough, but it is also important to thank yourself and acknowledge your effort in taking care of your skin. An attitude of gratitude is fundamental to a person’s well-being. It is my biggest self-care secret that I share with all my patients.


6. How long will the results of dermal fillers last & what is the downtime? Do i need to refrain from eating/ doing something in particular?

Dermal fillers made of hyaluronic acid usually last 9 to 12 months. Dermal fillers which act as collagen stimulators, such as those made of Poly-L-Lactic acid (PLLA) and Polycaprolactone (PCL) last longer, at times up to 3 years. There is usually no downtime and you only need to refrain from drinking alcohol, vigorous exercise, and excessive heat on the face for a day after the procedure.


7. Is it true that fillers hurt? What are some of the other myths/ misconceptions that people often have?

Getting your first filler injected can be quite intimidating for some, especially those who are afraid of needles or have a lower pain threshold. However, there is really nothing to fear because with good numbing cream and pain relief, the experience can be quite painless and even enjoyable! Mindfulness techniques such as breath focus and body scan are techniques that I integrate into my pain management protocol as well. To be clear, these techniques cannot take away the pain, but it can transform your relationship with pain and bring about some relief.

People are also often afraid of looking unnatural or “overdone”, especially with all the attention celebrities with botched filler jobs get. This should not happen if you go to an experienced injector with an in-depth knowledge on facial anatomy and proportions. My approach to facial contouring is very technical and based on my patients baseline features instead of what is trendy. I will only make recommendations for natural-looking results based on the angles and proportions that suit them.


8. What advice do you have for people in their late 20s & 30s on early prevention for wrinkles?

Preventative botox is real. The aim is to slow the use of facial muscles to prevent deep wrinkles from developing. I typically advise my patients to get Botox when they begin to notice or are bothered by frown lines, forehead lines, crows feet or other early signs of aging. I recommend an injection regimen of three times a year to maintain the results and to see the most benefits in terms of wrinkle prevention. However, it is important to keep in mind that Botox can’t help with all types of wrinkles. Lines from sun damage and gravity will not improve or be prevented with Botox. Such lines are usually treated with energy-based modalities like Ultherapy and radiofrequency.

Apart from preventive botox, it is also equally important to protect the skin by applying sunscreen, getting sufficient sleep and hydration, and doing activities to reduce stress, such as meditation and yoga. Botox, together with healthy lifestyle choices such as these, will definitely be effective in reducing and preventing wrinkles.


Can’t wait to start your beauty journey?

Visit us at #03-17/18, The Cathay or
Call 6612 7496 to book your appointment.

Related insights

Skinscape Heal + Restore Mask

A Recovery Mask That Can Optimise Your Treatment Results

Read more
Bridal Beauty Treatment

A Guide To Beauty Treatments For A Beautiful Bridal Glow

Read more

Scared Of The Pain? There’s Always Numbing Cream!

Read more