AquaGold; The Best Insta Filter For 2022

AquaGold; The Best Insta Filter For 2022

AquaGold; The Best Insta Filter For 2022
by Dr. Marisa Heyns

Filters, no filters. Make-up, no make-up. We have all been tagged and challenged to post our most ‘naked’ true self for everyone to gawk at. We all strive to wake up each day with rejuvenated flawless skin with a radiating insta-glow. Let’s be honest; we can all do with a little bit of magic. And what better way to start 2022 with not just a glow, but an AQUAGOLD glow!

Allow me to let you in on the newest skin treatment trend that has hit South Africa’s sunny shores. One that will give you skin that requires no make-up nor the latest ‘smooth’ filter app. I call it my nearly instant insta-filter treatment, better known as the AquaGold De-Lux.

Never, and I mean never, have I been so pleasantly surprised by such a seemingly simple superficial treatment to give me back my radiantly glowing smooth textured skin! And all of this after only a single treatment.


The AquaGold De-Lux facial, also known as AQUAGOLD fine touch and The Golden Facial, is a patented gold–plated needle system that delivers customised active ingredient solutions into the skin at the ideal depth of 0.6mm. This small needle device consists of 20 x 24 carat fine gold-plated needles, thinner than a human hair that penetrates superficially into the skin, whilst at the same time allowing for the deeper penetration of the selected active ingredients into the skin. This is through its novel microchannel design that allows the product to run along into the skin when the device is applied onto the skin.


Did you know that gold has amazing skin rejuvenating properties? Back in the dark ages, acupuncturists using gold-plated acupuncture needles as part of Traditional Chinese medicine made an interesting discovery. Not only did the gold-plated needle help for general wellbeing especially around strengthening and toning, but it also showed a positive benefit on the quality of and appearance of the skin. Fast forward to 2022 and you will find a lot of products and treatments using gold as an active ingredient to rejuvenate the skin.


Part of the wonder of the AQUAGOLD effect, are two principal ingredients: hyaluronic acid and botulinum toxin! Wait, Botulinum Toxin for the skin? YES, not only does this wrinkle blasting treatment work its magic in the muscles to relieve and smoothen deep lines and negative facial expressions. AquaGold with Botulinum Toxin has become a recognized treatment to reduce visible pores. It does so by acting on the arrector pilli muscles in the dermis that are responsible for controlling pore size. that has been shown to have a shrinking effect on pore openings. This pore size action is temporary and will return to your “normal” once the neurotoxin has worn off (about 3 months).

Botulinum Toxin also exerts an inhibiting action of the oil and sweat-producing glands within the skin, thereby providing some relief to those suffering from excess oiliness and sweating in and around the face.

Did you know that we also use neurotoxin in micro-doses to treat redness and flushing associated with conditions such as rosacea and cuperosis?

Hyaluronic acid in my opinion should be added to any facial treatment where possible. Not only is it a master at replenishing and hydrating the skin. It is also an anti-inflammatory ingredient, thereby improving how the skin functions and how it regenerates in a healthy manner. We use a sterile medical grade hyaluronic acid that is meant to be injected into the skin so that you can be assured that your skin will receive only the best of the best gold standard ingredients.

As you know by now, at Nerina Wilkinson + Associates we take things to another level when it comes to creating bespoke treatments! This means that we can add specific active ingredients into the mix to suit your individual skin needs.  This can include a variety of choices such as vitamin and minerals depigmenting actives, anti-inflammatory and cell boosting ingredients to name a few.


Before we start, the skin is cleansed and numbed with a topical anesthetic. We then proceed by applying the AQUAGOLD device to the skin using a superficially stamping technique. With each stamp, the desired cocktail of ingredients can pass deep into the superficial layer of the skin. The areas covered are the face, neck, and décolleté. The skin after the treatment will look slightly reddened due to the skin stimulation. Bear in mind that this procedure is not the same as microneedling. It is by far less intense and not an aggressive treatment. And so, no wounding of the skin. This means there is no bleeding or swelling, just a little redness during the treatment. Once the treatment is finished, we supplement the healing and rejuvenating effect by adding our amazing Dermalux treatment to enhance the effects of the treatment. All in all the AquaGold De-Lux treatment takes about 60 min.


After your AquaGold De-Lux treatment, we advise leaving the skin and washing only with clean water. Avoid the sun for about 2 days. (You should be doing this in any case). And regardless of indoor or outdoor activities, slap on that 50 SPF. Check out our online store for some amazing summer sunscreen choices for all skin types. If neurotoxin has been added (yes, the Botulinum Toxin) I would advise abstaining from exercise for about 2 days to allow this wonder drug to do its GOLD magic at relaxing things. If you are a lover of retinol creams or strong active ingredients that aim to stimulate the skin, perhaps wait 3-5 days for the skin barrier to fully heal before applying and just continue with your moisturizer in the interim.


Even though the AQUAGOLD fine touch system’s golden needles are thinner than human hair – they are still super sharp, and so really you would be unlucky if you come away with a few tiny spot bruises, which is really not the end of the world. You may experience a little bit of swelling and a tinge of redness but again not nearly the same after a microneedling treatment. These symptoms will settle within 24 hours. Arnica, either as topical cream or in tablet form, will help heal the bruising if there is any. Because the treatment is so superficial, and our therapists are so super-skilled the risk of infection, scarring or any untoward reactions are negligible.


As I mentioned: think of this treatment as a polishing refining treatment. It is not a replacement for microneedling, mesotherapy, chemical peels, IPL, or laser. It is the ideal add-on treatment after you have achieved your results and you want that porcelain smooth skin glow. So, the ideal client is someone already on a Dr. Nerina Wilkinson + Associates skin journey with the correct home care regimen and clinic treatments for their specific skin type. Clients struggling with visible pores, oily skin, fine lines, and wrinkles will benefit greatly, however, I think anyone will see an improvement in the texture of their skin.


Results are seen within 3-7 days after treatment and typically last approximately 3-4 months. The procedure can be done as often as every 1-3 months, doing several treatments throughout the year will continue to improve the overall appearance of the skin. We recommend 5 treatments ideally as part of a holistic treatment plan. Treatment variety is the spice of life, and the skin needs to be stimulated at all depths in order to make it glow.


For those who know me, I am not a big fan of foundation and I use the bare minimum when it comes to makeup. So, what you see, is really what you see when it comes to my appearance. However, 2021 has been a challenging year for me and my skin. With the big 40 beckoning around the corner, a 9-month pregnancy followed by 6 months of breastfeeding, a year of no botulinum toxin, no active ingredient home care products, and the bare minimum in in-office treatments, my skin started to feel and look as tired as a first time mom can be! And you do get to a point when you wonder if your skin will ever recover.

Although I do not suffer from oily skin or a huge number of visible pores, my skin complexion was looking dull and dehydrated, ridden with fine lines and wrinkles. So, I was super keen to try out this award-winning treatment. My bespoke cocktail of ingredients included botulinum toxin (a very small amount), hyaluronic acid, and some powerful depigmenting actives.

I am not keen on pain to be honest, but I decided to forego the usual topical numbing cream. In hindsight, I really did not need it. The treatment itself felt like tiny stamps into the skin, which for reasons unbeknown to me, felt oddly satisfying. The most uncomfortable part for me was the forehead and cheekbones, the rest was a non-event!  And before I knew it, it was done. The active treatment took no longer than 30 minutes.

Immediately after, my face was slightly red, however no blood spots or bruises. This is partly due to the superficial depth of the treatment but also, definitely due to the expertise of my senior skincare therapists, Sammy, and our latest addition to the NW inc. dream team, Bianca.

To complete the holistic treatment approach that we apply to all our skin treatments, I next received some healing light therapy with the award-winning Dermalux LED treatment. And for 30 min I could zone out, relax whilst my skin received some good LED vibes, whilst listening to some rejuvenating binaural beats.

Downtime? What downtime?! Apart from having an extra bit of redness for a few hours, I did not look like anyone who had just been stamped with tiny needles. It is however advised to stay out of the sun and avoid any activities that may worsen the redness.

So far, I have had 2 AquaGold De-Lux treatments and I must say I was blown away by my results even after the first treatment. At first, I thought I just looked a little more refreshed. But it was not until everyone at the clinic started commenting on how bright and healthy my skin looked!

As a doctor, driven by results, I needed more proof! What I love about our VISIA is that you get an objective assessment and the ability to measure progress. My VISIA Skin Analysis results were astounding. I have never seen such an improvement from a single treatment in such a short space of time. With no extra or added home care.

Check out my befores and afters below. What the VISIA showed, was an improvement in texture, fine lines, and pores, even my pigmentation looked better.



  1. Improved texture scores
  2. Improved overall clarity of the skin with fewer pores
  3. Improved brown spots
    In conclusion, the AquaGold De-Lux treatment is definitely a must-have treatment for 2022. Not only are the results amazing but it is such an ’easy’ customizable treatment to incorporate into your existing journey to boost your results. To top it all, it is easily tolerated with virtually no downtime.

    As with all treatments, and us wanting to meet your level of expectations, I would highly recommend an aesthetic couture consultation, to best assess your skin and create a bespoke treatment plan that will give you lasting results.

Go on, it’s your time to shine!

Written by Dr. Marisa Heyns