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LAVIV: A New Generation of Rejuvenation Injectables

Posted Jul 31 2012 2:43am

Contributing Editor Gloria Yang writes:

LAVIV is a new injectible that utilizes your own skin cells to reduce wrinkles. It’s very different from more popular injectables like Botox or Juvederm in that it induces your skin to create wrinkle-reducing and skin-firming molecules naturally.

LAVIV: The new generation of rejuvenation injectables.

LAVIV: The new generation of rejuvenation injectables.

Currently the injectable market is dominated by Botox and Juvederm – both highly-effective and proven injectables that smooth the skin. Botox, or Botulism toxin, works as a neurotoxin that works by blocking nerve signals that cause muscles to tighten and move. Juvederm is a brand of hyaluronic acid filler that works by acting like an inflated cushion to plump your wrinkles.

LAVIV is radically different – it’s neither a neurotoxin nor a filler. Instead, it utilizes your skin’s physiology to reboot itself.

First your doctor will take your skin cells to culture fibroblasts, a type of skin cell that produces collagen. Collagen is one of the two proteins our skin produces while young to maintain its firmness. Unfortunately our skin stops producing them as we age, which is why skin sags and gets wrinkly. Fibroblasts also play a role in healing wounds, something we’ll come back to later!

A sample of a Laviv culture.

A sample of a Laviv culture.

Once these fibroblasts are tested, qualified, and cultured in a lab, they’re shipped overnight back to your doctor. In a series of three treatments, your doctor will slowly inject the cells into the top layer of your skin. (Technique is super important – get it too deep and it won’t work!) From there, the large concentration of fibroblasts in areas that need more collagen help restructure the integrity of your skin. After three treatments in a span of six months, wrinkles and fine lines will look much softer.

Left: Before, Right: After 6 months of treatment

Left: Before, Right: After 6 months of treatment

If used to treat acne scars, fibroblasts will break down these scars first (since they’re recognized as a wound) and heal skin by producing more collagen. It’s similar to laser, except instead of using light, it’s using your skin’s natural molecules to heal itself. Plus it doesn’t discolor skin so people of any pigmentation can use it.

So is LAVIV the real deal? The theory is solid, but in an industry where everyone is churning out the new fountain of youth, the science underneath is a tad fuzzy. LAVIV is not meant for those seeking instant gratification – it’s a minimum six month commitment to see subtle results. You won’t look 20 or 30 years younger, but you will look like a refreshed and refined version of you. However, since the process uses your body’s own molecules to fill lines and repair scars, the results do last longer than convention fillers.

I wondered what doctors who don’t offer LAVIV thought, and so I sought out Dr. Stewart Wang , a plastic surgeon based in the greater Los Angeles area. He’s still on the fence:

“We are always watching for cutting-edge development in the field of cosmetic surgery,” said Dr. Wang. “A lot of the time hype plays a big part. There will be a lot more this type of treatment coming out and the hardest part is to figure out which is real vs. hype.”

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