The Ultimate Guide to Ellansé Collagen Stimulator in Singapore (2021)

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Introduction

Age is just a number, but as signs of aging in the form of fine lines, wrinkles and saggy skin [1] starts to become more apparent, it is hard to see it as just a number. Thankfully, with today’s advancement in science and technology,  Ellansé, a collagen stimulator, can help reverse these signs of aging and give your skin a natural, glowy look.

young skin vs aged skin

Unfortunately, collagen production in our body starts decreasing when we are in our 20’s. This happens at an average rate of 1.5% annually [2]. 

How is this relevant? Collagen is the most abundant protein produced by the body, and it is the main building block of our skin. It also functions to maintain our skin architecture, elasticity and firmness. 

Read on to find out how this popular treatment can stimulate collagen production in your skin, reduce your fine lines and wrinkles, and at the same time, improve the quality of your skin. 

What is Ellansé collagen stimulator and how does it work?

Ellansé, also known as 少女针 (loosely translated from Mandarin as the Needle of Youth), is a collagen-stimulating dermal filler injected under the skin’s surface and is naturally absorbed by the body [3]. 

Ellansé reverses the effects of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles by restoring volume. It also improves skin quality through the stimulation of collagen production in your skin. Ellansé can be used on various parts of the face, including the temples, forehead, brows, nose, chin and jaw [4]. 

Unlike traditional fillers which uses hyaluronic acid, Ellansé is made up of 30% biodegradable polycaprolactone (PCL) microspheres and 70% carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) gel carrier [5]. 

Ellansé works to reverse the effects of anti-aging through a 2 step process [4]:

  1. Immediate restoration of volume: The CMC gel fills volume-deficient areas of the face immediately and the gel lasts for about 12 weeks after injection.
  2. Long-lasting volumisation: At the same time, the PCL stimulates Type I collagen (the main type of collagen found in skin) production and creates a long-lasting voluminsation effect. 

This means that the results of Ellansé last longer than that of traditional fillers as the hyaluronic acid breaks down and gets absorbed by the body after 6 to 18 months [6]. 

What is a collagen stimulator and what are the common collagen stimulators in Singapore? 

Collagen stimulators are known to be the next generation of cosmetic fillers and as its name suggests, they stimulate the dermal tissues to produce collagen [7]. Collagen stimulators help restore volume, skin elasticity, and provide a subtle lift to the face, resulting in a “natural, glowing and youthful” look. 

This stimulation process occurs subtly over a period of 2.5 to 3 months after injection into the skin, and the results can last 1.5 to 2 years [8]. 

Some common collagen stimulators include:

  • Radiesse
  • Sculptra
  • Ellansé

How many types of Ellansé collagen stimulators are there?

There are 3 types of Ellansé fillers: Ellansé S, M and L [5]. The differences between the 3 Ellansé fillers are the longevity of the results they provide. 

Types of Ellansé Collagen Stimulator

The longevity of results when using the different Ellansé fillers are as follow [9]: 

  1. Ellansé S: At least 18 months
  2. Ellansé M: At least 2 years
  3. Ellansé L: At least 3 years 

The difference in the longevity of results is because of the differing numbers of PCL molecules, which stimulates collagen production The longer the PCL molecule chain, the longer the results of Ellansé will last [10]. 

What are the effects of Ellansé collagen stimulator?

Upon injection of Ellansé collagen stimulator, the following will occur: 

  1. The depressed areas of the skin are volumised immediately
  2. Long-lasting volumisation of the skin due to the stimulation of collagen production. 

Other effects that Ellansé has on your skin include [11]:

  • Improvement in density and firmness of skin
  • Improvement in skin quality – smoother skin
  • Improvement in skin elasticity – younger and healthier skin 

How is Ellansé collagen stimulator different from Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers? 

As mentioned above, traditionally fillers are usually made of Hyaluronic Acid (HA).  The table below compares Ellansé collagen stimulator with the typical hyaluronic acid fillers [4]. 

 

Ellansé

Hyaluronic Acid fillers

Volume restoration

Yes (immediate)

Yes (immediate)

Volume maintenance

Yes

Gradual decrease

Longevity of results

18 months to 3 years, depending on the type of Ellansé used

6-18 months

Dissolvable?

No

Yes, with hyaluronidase

Migration (unintentional spread of the filler)

No

Yes

Delayed hypersensitivity (immune reaction to the injection)

No

Yes (necrosis and lumps)

What is the difference between Ellansé collagen stimulator and Sculptra? 

The table below compares the differences between Ellansé collagen stimulator and Sculptra (also a collagen stimulator) [12], [13], [14]. 

 

Ellansé

Sculptra

Volume restoration

Yes (immediate)

Yes (gradually over a few months) 

Volume maintenance

Yes

Yes

Longevity of results

18 months to 3 years, depending on the type of Ellansé used

Around 2 years

Dissolvable?

No

No

Migration

No

No

Delayed hypersensitivity

No

Yes, but rare (<1%) 

Ellansé vs Radiesse vs Sculptra

The table below lists some of the main differences between Ellansé, Radiesse and Sculptra: [15], [16], [9], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22]

 

Ellansé

Radiesse

Sculptra

Composition

–30% polycaprolactone (PCL) 

–70% carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) gel carrier 

–30% calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres

– 70% carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) gel carrier  

Poly-L-Lactic acid (PLLA) 

Variety

Ellansé S

Ellansé M

Ellansé L 

Radiesse

Radiesse (+)

Only 1 type 

FDA approval

No, CE marking (approved for use in the European Union)

Yes

Yes

Number of treatment sessions

One-off treatment 




One-off treatment

Monthly treatments for the first 3 to 4 months, top up at 6 to 9 months, then yearly



Treatment areas

–Forehead

–Temples 

–Brow area

–Nose

–Cheek

–Nasolabial folds

–Marionette lines

–Chin

–Jawline

–Nasolabial folds 

–Marionette lines

–Chin

–Jawline

–Temples

–Cheeks

–Hands

–Temples

–Cheeks 

–Tear trough (under the eyes)

–Nasolabial folds

–Chin 

–Jawline

–Marionette lines

Time taken for visible results

Immediate

Immediate

Gradual 

Longevity of results

18 months to 3 years depending on the type of Ellansé used

12 to 18 months

2 to 3 years after 3-4 sessions

Post-treatment

Less post-treatment swelling 

Higher rate of post-treatment swelling

Post-treatment swelling possible

Aftercare

Generally does not require massaging

Generally does not require massaging

For optimal effect, requires massage twice a day, for 5 days in a row

Cost

$1200-$1800 per treatment

$800-$1000 per 0.75ml syringe

$1000-$2000 per treatment

Can Ellansé collagen stimulator be reversed? 

Unlike HA fillers that can be dissolved using hyaluronidase, Ellansé collagen stimulator cannot be dissolved, which means there is no way to remove it from your skin after injection. [23

Depending on the type of Ellansé collagen stimulator that was injected into your skin, it takes about 1.5-3 years for it to be naturally broken down by your body.  As such, it is important to choose an experienced and skilled doctor who you can trust, to ensure that the results are desirable. 

Is Ellansé collagen stimulator FDA approved? 

While Ellansé collagen stimulator is not FDA-approved, its components, CMC and PCL, are classified by the FDA as Generally Recognised As Safe (GRAS) substances [24]. 

Ellansé attained its CE mark in 2009, which means that it has met all safety and health requirements set by the European Union and is classified as a Class III medical device [25]. It also has a good safety profile from clinical studies.

Am I suitable for treatment with Ellansé collagen stimulator? 

Ellansé is suitable for most adults who are looking to reduce their wrinkles, folds, scars, or to enhance facial contours. [26

Ellansé can help with aging effects

However, Ellansé is generally not recommended for people who [11]:

  • Have severe allergies 
  • Have known hypersensitivity to any of the components found in Ellansé
  • Have acute or chronic skin diseases (infection or inflammation)
  • Have known susceptibility to keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring
  • Are currently undergoing cortisone treatment
  • Have active sepsis or infection
  • Have active (or history of) autoimmune disorders

Which areas can Ellansé collagen stimulator be used to treat? 

Ellansé can be used to treat: [9], [27

Upper Face

  • Temples
  • Brow area 
  • Forehead 

Mid Face

  • Cheek 
  • Nose
  • Nasolabial folds (the lines of either side of your mouth that extend from the edges of the nose to the outer corner of the mouth)

Lower Face

  • Jawline 
  • Chin 
  • Marionette lines (lines that start from the corner of your mouth and continue to the chin and jaw [28])
  • Corners of the mouth

However, the use of Ellansé is not recommended for areas with thinner skin such as the lips, eyelids and under the eyes because they may cause lumps when collagen production is stimulated [27]. 

Are the results of Ellansé collagen stimulator permanent? 

Ellansé is a semi-permanent dermal filler, meaning that while it produces long-lasting results (about 1-3 years, depending on the type of Ellansé used), it does not last forever. 

The CMC gel-carrier only lasts about 12 weeks from the time of injection, while the PCL can last about 1-4 years depending on the type of Ellansé administered to you.  At the same time, your body produces its own collagen and tissue network to replace the loss in volume in the treatment area. 

Over time, the PCL molecules are degraded naturally and reabsorbed by the body [29]. 

What can I expect during the treatment of Ellansé collagen stimulator and how long does it take? 

During your consultation, you can share your concerns and what you want to achieve from the treatment with your doctor. Based on your targeted concerns and your desired longevity of the results, your doctor will be able to recommend the type of Ellansé to be used for your treatment.

Only one treatment session is required for Ellansé and it will last approximately 30-45 minutes. The patient is required to remove any makeup before the treatment can proceed. 

Before the injection, the doctor will mark out the injection sites and clean those areas with antiseptic. A numbing cream will be applied to help minimise any discomfort you may feel. 

Once the numbing kicks in, your doctor will inject small amounts of Ellansé under your skin using a very fine needle. Some doctors may massage the area post-injection to ensure an even distribution of Ellansé. [29

Medication may be prescribed to deal with the swelling and discomfort that comes after. [30]

Are there any side effects to Ellansé collagen stimulator treatment? 

Common side effects of Ellansé include:

  • localised redness
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • soreness [31

Side effects of Ellansé

These side effects are temporary and will resolve with no issues. [5] Swelling may worsen in the first 24 hours but will usually settle down after a few days. However, in some cases, it can take up to 1 or 2 weeks for it to fully resolve. [32]

Although rare, these adverse events may occur [11]: 

  • Infection
  • Pain at injection site
  • Early nodules (lumps)
  • Secondary oedema (accumulation of excess tissue fluid) 

When these happen, be sure to contact your doctor immediately. 

How long does it take for Ellansé collagen stimulator to work? 

Thanks to the CMC gel-carrier that provides immediate restoration of volume to the skin, results for Ellansé collagen stimulator can be seen immediately. 

After that, the PCL stimulates the production of collagen and the results will peak at 3 months after the treatment. [32]

How soon can I resume activities after my Ellansé collagen stimulator treatment? 

As the use of Ellansé is a minimally invasive treatment, it has minimal to no downtime. You may resume your normal activities as soon as treatment is over. [33

However, it is recommended to avoid any vigorous or strenuous activities for at least 3 days after treatment.

What are the aftercare guidelines for Ellansé collagen stimulator treatment?

After your Ellansé treatment, it is paramount that you care for your treatment sites properly to prevent any infections or complications from occurring. Here are some do’s and don’ts that can help with your recovery [25], [34]: 

Do’s:

  • Use an ice pack to help with swelling and bruising.
  • Wash your hands before touching the treatment area. 

Don’ts: 

  • Avoid massaging your face after treatment.
  • Avoid applying any makeup for at least 24 hours after treatment to reduce the risk of infection. 
  • Avoid vigorous exercise, sun and heat exposure for 3 days post-treatment to reduce the risk of prolonged swelling and bruising. 
  • Avoid alcohol and aspirin for 12-48 hours after treatment. 

Note that your physician may be able to provide a more detailed list of aftercare guidelines, depending on the type of Ellansé used, the location it is used on and the extent of the treatment received. Always follow the advice and recommendations given by your treating physician. 

How much does Ellansé collagen stimulator treatment cost? 

Ellansé generally costs $1200 to $1800 per treatment [30]. However, the cost may vary depending on the type of Ellansé filler chosen, the location of the clinic, as well as the experience and skills of the doctor. 

Is Ellansé claimable by Medisave?

Unfortunately, as Ellansé is considered a cosmetic treatment, it will not be claimable by Medisave. 

Conclusion

Collagen stimulators such as Ellansé are the future of anti-ageing treatments. By stimulating collagen, they provide better longevity of results as compared to other HA dermal fillers. This means that treatments with collagen stimulators are much more value for money and you will save more in the long run!

However, we would still recommend that you discuss your concerns and desires with your doctor in detail before undergoing any form of aesthetic treatment. All the best!

References

1. Zhang, S. and Duan, E. (2018). Fighting against Skin Aging. Cell Transplantation, [online] 27(5), pp.729–738. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6047276/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2021].

2. Bend Beauty. (n.d.). Why is marine collagen powder good for your skin? [online] Available at: https://www.bendbeauty.com/fish-collagen-the-answer-to-smoother-skin/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2021].

This article was written by Dr Cheng Yu Chua and published on Tuesday, 6 April 2021. Dr Cheng Yu Chua medically reviewed the article on Tuesday, 6 April 2021. The last update was made on Tuesday, 6 April 2021.

Disclaimer: Opinions belong to the author and not to the platform.