Cosmetic surgery isn’t for everyone. Many are happy to embrace the ageing process, crow’s feet and all. But going under the knife isn’t always necessary. With non-surgical alternatives available to tackle a whole array of problems from sagging skin and wrinkles to thin lips and tired eyes, it’s never been so easy to iron out those unwanted lines and achieve a more youthful appearance. There’s no rule to say we can’t look as young as we feel.
As we age, we look in the mirror and see the years taking their toll – lines around the mouth, eyes, a deep furrow in between the eyebrows – often we see someone who looks so much older than we feel staring back.
The once popular Botox is slowly losing its appeal as we realise that frozen facial muscles isn’t necessarily a great look (and is actually quite scary). As our celebrity idols across the pond are increasingly opting for alternative options, we’re following suit and trying out new treatments.
While Botox loses popularity, experts are seeing a rise in other procedures. The Harley Medical Group predict that this year will see more patients opting for rhinoplasty, eyelid rejuvenation, neck contouring and many are expected to opt for non-invasive techniques and minor enhancements such as earlobe reduction and dermal fillers. They credit this rising popularity of facial alterations to the selfie phenomenon.
Experts also predict that fat removal technology will advance further, with non-invasive options already available and professionals around the world continually developing new ideas. 3D liposuction and i-Lipo treatments are available now, using a variety of techniques and technologies to target fat removal, cellulite and skin tightening.
In California, the home of cosmetic surgery, Lipo-202, an injectable formulation of salmeterol xinafoate, is being studied and aims to complete phase three of clinical trials in the first half of this year, while ATX-101, a formula designed to target unwanted fat under the chin, has so far achieved positive results for over 90 percent of clinical trial patients.
When it comes to skin tightening, there are new treatments being trialled all the time. Collagen-boosting lotions and potions are everywhere and there are even some home laser systems available so you’ll no longer have to go to a clinic for skin-resurfacing treatments.
Whether you remain faithful to the do-it-yourself way, applying every ‘magic’ serum you can get your hands on, or succumb to the scalpel, there are more options than ever to help sculpt and mould our face and body. With private hospitals and clinics regionwide, you don’t have to go far to find first class surgeons and top facilities. While it may seem extreme to alter our faces and bodies, boosting self-esteem is important, and if a little nip or tuck can do that then why not?
What’s On Offer?
What? 3D liposuction is one of the most advanced machines yet and targets three problems in one: cellulite, fat and excess skin. It combines cryolipolysis, ultrasound cavitation and radio frequency to destroy fat cells and tighten skin, a process which continues for up to four months post-treatment.
Why? The main advantage of 3D liposuction is that patients are not required to exercise afterwards. By permanently destroying the fat cells, it isn’t necessary to metabolise released fat post-treatment – the results are instant, tightening excess skin and creating a smoother, more toned appearance. Patients can opt to have each treatment separately or book a full package.
Where? Pure Bliss Spa, Sunderland 0191 549 9999 www.pureblissspa.co.uk.Prices from £140 per session or £999 for eight sessions.
Lisa Seferi, Spa Director at Pure Bliss says, ‘3D lipo is the new way to zap fat – it's the high tech secret to a great bikini body!’
Semi Permanent Make-up
What? Semi-permanent make-up isn’t just about tinting eyelashes and eyebrows. It can also be used to help re-define features by adding colour and creating highlights and shadows. The treatment involves using computerised technology to find a natural colour suited to the patient’s skin tone. This pigment is then implanted into the upper dermis.
Why? By enhancing certain areas of the face, semi-permanent make-up can give the illusion of larger, fuller lips, more shapely eyebrows or simply draw attention to or away from a particular feature. It’s the perfect way to contour the face.
Where? Ann Oliver Harvey, 07739 391284 and salons regionwide
What? Unlike Botox which works by reducing muscle movement, dermal fillers have more of a plumping, smoothing effect. A local anaesthetic is applied before hyaluronic acid is injected into the desired area. The most common area injected is around the Cupid’s Bow, giving lips a more defined shape and a fuller look. Dermal fillers can also be used on other areas of the face and body to fill deep lines and wrinkles.
Why? Not only does it mean unwanted lines and wrinkles, but ageing can also lead to lips becoming thinner because, as we age, the skin loses collagen. Dermal fillers help support natural collagen production and the bonus is it’s quick, produces instant results and doesn’t involve long recovery times.
Where? Dr Eva’s Health & Beauty, Newcastle 07804 472861 www.evasbeauty.co.uk. Prices from £185.
Dr Eva says, ‘Anti-ageing facial fillers are the non-surgical way to achieve younger looking skin and provide volume for tired lines and wrinkles.’
What? Mesotherapy involves injecting small quantities of vitamins and homeopathic ingredients into the skin’s epidermis using a very fine micro needle. It can be used on the face and neck or on larger areas of the body to help increase the metabolism, aiding skin tightening and the breakdown of fat cells. It reduces the permeability of the skin and also opens cellular pores to give tired skin a boost.
Why? The treatment has been tried, tested and has produced results since being introduced to the United States over 10 years ago. The procedure helps dissolve fat in the way that it would during natural weight loss and therefore has very few side effects on the rest of the body. Plus, long-term results can be achieved after only four or five sessions.
Where? Broom Mill Day Spa, Ferryhill 01740 654225 www.broommilldayspa.co.uk. Prices from £50.
What? According to Pro Skin, of all the skin rejuvenation treatments, nothing compares to Picosure. Picosure is used for tattoo removal and also to revitalise skin. It uses powerful laser technology to refresh the skin’s surface and boost collagen and elastin production. The fast procedure can be used to target areas all over the face and body, from crow’s feet and jowls to wrinkled hands and neck.
Why? Unlike treatments which use intense heat energy, Picosure is much gentler while still achieving dramatic results with minimal downtime (measured in hours rather than weeks as the case may be with more invasive surgery or treatments).
Where? Pro Skin, Newcastle 0191 230 4109 www.proskinclinics.com. Prices from £199 per session.
‘Just one laser treatment can diminish the deepest lines with no downtime and with long-lasting results,’ says Amanda Thornton, Clinic Manager at Pro Skin, Newcastle.
Microlaser Skin Peel
What? Sciton’s microlaser peels are a range of resurfacing treatments which can be used to treat a variety of skin issues including varying wrinkle depths, surgical scars, poor skin tone and acne scarring. They allow the clinician to plane down wrinkles helping to smooth the skin’s surface and stimulate internal collagen production.
Why? The technology behind Sciton treatments allow for precise application and depth and leave dull, wrinkled, uneven skin looking and feeling fresher, smoother and rejuvenated. Four to five sessions may be required and treatment can be controlled dependent upon the patient’s desired result and also their tolerance for downtime.
Where? Aesthetic Beauty Centre, Newcastle 0191 273 9339 and Sunderland 0191 567 2900 www.aestheticbeautycentre.co.uk. Prices from £450.
What? Pinpointe delivers a powerful, high-energy dose of light to target fungal infections in the nails. Nails are first thinned and cleared of any dead tissue before the laser is carefully applied to the individual nails.
Why? As we age, our feet can end up looking rather unsightly and nails often become thickened. Pinpointe’s laser light beam has no known harmful effects, causes very little or no discomfort at all and is targeted specifically at the infected areas of the nail to treat them efficiently, helping feet look pretty again. One treatment is often enough.
Where? The Dow Clinic, Newcastle 0191 265 0295 www.thedowclinic.co.uk. Prices from £350 for one foot or £450 for both.
What? There are various surgical techniques when it comes to a facelift. The MACS (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension) facelift is a full facelift, however there are other options such as the one-stitch facelift. Despite its name, the surgery involves more than just one stitch, though far fewer than a full lift, and usually takes just one to two hours.
Why? The one-stitch facelift, or mini facelift, is usually performed under a general anaesthetic and therefore requires some downtime following the surgery. However, it’s an ideal first step if you’re considering a full facelift, plus it’s a great choice if you think your cheeks and jowls need just a slight tightening and lifting. It can be particularly useful around the lower area of the face where a standard facelift might not necessarily achieve the desired results.
Where? Nuffield Health, Newcastle 0191 543 1219 www.nuffieldhealth.com. Priced at £1,792.
What? A clear gel is injected to help restore volume and structure and also add moisture back into the skin. Restylane skin boosters are based on a hyaluronic acid gel which closely resembles the body’s own hyaluronic acid (a cushioning agent found in our joints). The products enhance skin’s elasticity and can also help target rough skin.
Why? Restylane products are safe and natural and therefore have a low risk of allergic reaction. The treatment is also non-permanent so if for any reason the result is not as you expect, it won’t last forever.
Where? The Beauty Lounge, Durham 0191 383 2259 www.thebeautyloungedurham.co.uk. Prices from £150.
What? Fraxel is a laser procedure designed to resurface damaged skin. It uses a dual laser to target wrinkles, acne scarring, brown spots and can also reduce pore size. A microscopic laser stimulates collagen production as well as the body’s natural healing process, forcing it to replace damaged cells to create fresh, glowing skin.
Why? Uneven skin surface and facial scarring can make you feel self-conscious and add years to your appearance. Fraxel is a safe, effective way to treat these problems and can be tailored to target specific concerns.
Where? The Sk:n Clinic, Newcastle 0844 669 7536 www.sknclinics.co.uk. Prices from £715 + £99 for consultation.
What? This new treatment is being described by professionals as ‘revolutionary’. The low-level laser lipo system uses a process called photobiomodulation, triggering the onset of the body’s natural breakdown of fatty tissue. Unlike more common thermal lasers, i-Lipo uses a low level laser for a gentler treatment. Exercise is recommended following the procedure in order to metabolise newly released fatty acids.
Why? i-Lipo is a gentle, pain-free and needle-free treatment and despite being non-invasive, has rapid, noticeable results. Typically, clients can expect to drop two dress sizes from the targeted area during their course of treatment and results can usually be obtained after just a few sessions.
Where? The White Room, Darlington 01325 461230 www.white-room.co.uk. Prices from £100 per treatment or £600 for a course of eight.
What? The application of fine needles causes the skin to regenerate and triggers its own self-healing process. As energy flow in the facial muscles is stimulated, sagging skin and wrinkles appear smoother and skin tightens.
Why? There’s a reason acupuncture has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years. The holistic therapy is known to have calming results in addition to physically reducing the appearance of tired skin and wrinkles. Some patients have even reported sleeping better and feeling healthier overall.
Where? Sun Hie, Whitley Bay 0191 252 6101 www.sunhieacupuncture.co.uk
What? Innovative new skin rejuvenation system, Dermafrac, uses three independent techniques. They are micro-channelling, microdermabrasion and LED therapy. Clinicians will customise and combine these dependent upon your skin condition.
Why? Dermafrac is relatively low-cost compared to other similar treatments and in addition to dramatically improving the texture of the skin, the final stage of the treatment also has a very calming and soothing effect.
Where? Finishing Touch Clinic, Consett 01207 580880 www.finishingtouchclinic.co.uk. Prices from £120 per treatment or £550 for a course of six.
What? Microdermabrasion is a form of intense exfoliation which uses rough grains to buff the skin’s surface. The exfoliating crystals improve the texture of the skin, clean pores and can help reduce scarring.
Why? Microdermabrasion is a convenient treatment which is comfortable, painless and provides instant results. It also increases the skin’s ability to absorb skincare products meaning they’re more effective.
Where? Behind the Scenes, Ponteland 01661 824080. Prices from £60.
What? As we age, we lose facial volume, skin becomes thinner and can sag. Sculptra replaces lost collagen to help correct deep facial wrinkles and folds. The serum injected into the face is made from poly-L-lactic acid and is biocompatible and biodegradable. Patients will require an average of three sessions over a period of around four months and the number of injections varies.
Why? Although the treatment takes around four months, and results may not show until between five and nine months after the initial session, the gradual change is gentle, long-lasting and of course much more natural than a sudden transformation.
Where? Absolute Image, Newcastle 0191 260 5222 www.absolute-image.co.uk. Prices from £400.