Melissa Juried Kriebel
After several years of high stress (and approximately 31,252 Zoom-heavy working weeks) — not to mention all those post-pandemic wine binges — many of us have been left feeling we look a little less than our freshest. Whether it’s dull, tired-looking skin, furrowed brows, tech neck or RSF (Resting Stress Face, it’s a thing), many of us are looking for artificial ways to reverse the years and boost the all-important glow.
The extreme facelift style surgeries of yesteryear are (thankfully) on the decline, as we become a nation hooked on the “tweakment” – minimally invasive solutions, like Botox and filler, with little or no downtime. In fact, Google searches for ‘aesthetic tweakments’ increased 50 per cent in the year post-pandemic and searches on tweakment booking platform Glowday grew 85 per cent. Even John Lewis announced that it would launch Botox and filler services in six of its stores, firmly cementing tweakments as mainstream.
“The last two years of the Covid pandemic has resulted in a global surge in aesthetic medicine treatments,” says Dr Uliana Gout of the Harley Street LAM Clinic. “We should not be underestimating the impact of loss of routine, exhaustion, unpredictability we have all had to endure and it does not look like things are all back to normal yet. This explains why so many patients are seeking professional help to make them look fresher and healthier. I am definitely seeing a shift from simple requests like fuller lips or contoured cheeks to more holistic requests about improving the whole face and achieving a happier look.”
Botox and filler still account for the vast majority of tweakment bookings, but there are all sorts of exciting new ways to turn back the clock – and some of them are even needle-free. “People are increasingly aware that Botox and fillers don’t address everything,” says Dr. Sophie Shotter, founder of Harley Street Illuminate Skin Clinic. “They address a lot, but if you haven’t got a good canvas overlying the structural filling you are still not going to look great. So, a lot more people are investing in treatments that improve skin surface and tightness too.”
So whether you’re looking to lift your jawline, plump your lips, shape your nose of improve your skin texture and firmness, here are some of the hot new tweakments to know.
The injectable moisturiser: Teoxane Redensity 1
Ever found yourself talking to someone at a party and wondering how they look so glowing-from-the-inside healthy and well-rested? They may well have discovered the new wave of hyaluronic acid injectables which work to improve the condition of the skin rather than add volume like traditional filler.
The most famous name among these skin hydrating treatments is Profhilo, but Teoxane Redensity 1 is now also causing a stir in clinics across the country. “Like Profhilo it’s a hyaluronic acid,” says Dr Christine Hall of the Taktouk Clinic. “Which on its own is amazing, because it draws water into the skin.” Unlike Profhilo, though, Redensity1 also has eight amino acids, three antioxidants – one of which is glutathione (a chemical involved in tissue repair which makes skin appear brighter and healthier), minerals, and vitamin B6. “So it’s got all of those other ingredients that are the best of what you get in over the counter products – but in injectable form, meaning you get a much higher concentration than you would with topical application.”
The result? A subtly plumping, smoothing and evening effect that builds over a number of weeks. “In the first few days skin starts to look more dewy and hydrated,” says Dr Hall. “Between four and eight weeks after the treatment, your skin starts producing more collagen and elastin – that’s when you get a plumping effect which really helps to reduce fine lines and signs of tiredness, as well as improve texture.” It isn’t for the faint-hearted. After a numbing cream is applied, Dr Hall injects the face more than 50 times (most of the time you don’t feel it happening – and on the more sensitive areas, say around the eyes, it’s no more painful than a pinch) but anyone with a fear of needles might find the whole process tricky. “It won’t help on deeper lines,” says Dr Hall. “And someone with very dry skin might want to try Profhilo. But it’s an amazing treatment for younger skin.”
Three sessions, three weeks apart at £595 per session. Taktouk Clinic, 12 Sloane Street, SW1X 9LJ
The lip filler alternative: Laser Lip Lift
Needlephobes looking to plump their pout sans the filler should check out lip specialist Dr. Tijion Esho’s new laser lip lift, a needle-free alternative that promises natural results in ten minutes without the downtime. “I’m always looking at how I can improve the lip augmentation technique to make it safe and get more natural results,’ says Esho, who uses a hybrid laser that combines two forms of energy (fractional CO2 and 1,570 nm wavelengths) to stimulate the collagen-making fibroblasts in your skin, which causes your lip plumpness to develop over the course of the following six weeks.
£950 for a course of six treatments. Esho Clinic, 10 Harley St, London W1G 9PF
The Judy Murray facelift: Morpheus 8
For those struggling with saggy skin or a double chin, or generally looking for a lift, Morpheus 8 is the hot new name to know. It’s a fractional skin treatment that stimulates collagen production of the underlying layers of the dermis, improving skin laxity. “Morpheus8 has become one of the most popular non-surgical treatments in the last few years because of its relatively short down time and effective, but subtle results. Ideal for treating crepey skin and lifting tissue anywhere in the body it is particularly versatile,” says Dr. David Jack, an international ambassador for the device.
The treatment works by creating micro-injuries on the skin using titanium microneedles, coupled with radiofrequency energy, which heats the layers deep to the skin. The micro-injuries in combination with the radiofrequency heating stimulate a reaction in the skin, which (over the following 3-6 months) increases the levels of collagen and elastin in the skin to tighten, lift and thicken the supporting layers of the skin. It’s ideal for sagging, lax or sun damaged skin of all skin types. It can be used anywhere on the body, but the lower face and neck and double chins are the most popular. 2-3 sessions typically required for a fully transformed effect – just ask Judy Murray.
Face and neck (2 sessions) £2900 (£1450 per session). Dr David Jack Clinic. 96 Harley St, London W1G 7HY
The no knife nose job: Non-surgical rhinoplasty
Want to straighten or narrow your schnoz but not so keen on the knife? Non-surgical rhinoplasty could be your answer. The treatment involves injecting the nose with dermal filler to straighten or narrow the bridge or refine or lift the tip. It can also be used to treat asymmetry and make the nose appear straighter from the front, as well as from the side. “Masking a bump on the nose or lifting the tip can really harmonise an individual’s profile and can even make the nose appear seemingly smaller,” says Dr Bibi Ghalaie, who uses a very clever micro droplet technique to inject Teoxane’s Ultra Deep hyaluronic acid filler, allowing her to gently and gradually sculpt the nose whilst keeping her patients safe from complications. “The results usually last at least a year, often up to 18 months,” says Dr Bibi, “and the treatment can cost anywhere from £350 – £800 depending on the location of the clinic and skill and experience of the doctor.”
£550 per session, Dr Bibi Clinic, 10 Harley Street, W1G 9PF
Spanx for eyes: Nucleofil
Anyone sick of trying to cover their dark circles with concealer and improve their crow’s feet with creams, might want to try Nucleofil Soft Eyes, an alternative to tear trough filler treatment (which can often make the eye area look puffy) that’s on offer at Ocuplastic surgeon Maryam Zamani’s new clinic in Chelsea. Made from polynucleotides, the treatment deeply hydrates the eye area, promoting collagen stimulation and firming and contouring the skin. “I love this as an additional treatment option for those seeking natural skin rejuvenation, hydration and collagen production in a short treatment with little risk or potential downtime,” says Dr Zamani. “It’s the perfect fit for someone who wants improvement in skin texture and tone without adding volume.” You’ll need two sessions, two weeks apart and it lasts three to six months. Pain is mild and downtime is 24-72 hours. You’ll look well rested in no time.
£850 per syringe, Maryam Zamani Clinic, 110-112 King’s Rd, London SW3 4TX
Insta filter skin: bespoke mesotherapy
When it comes to getting a gala-ready glow, mesotherapy is becoming a go-to for those in the know. Using very tiny needles to administer a cocktail of ingredients to the Mesoderm (middle layer of the skin), the treatment stimulates fibroblasts to produce more collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid; effectively reducing fine lines, improving skin texture and wrinkles. Whether skin is suffering from sun damage, dehydration, hyper pigmentation or excessive sebum production, this treatment will heal it back to health. The Waterhouse Young Clinic in Marylebone has this month launched the Wow Fusion device which features 20 ultrafine, 24k gold plated needles with a special chamber which allows for a custom blend of ingredients to be administered, tailored specifically for your skin type. Regular mesotherapy tends not to be as bespoke as the ingredients are pre-blended by the manufacturer. “It is ideal for all skin types as we can blend targeted treatments tailored to individuals following an in-depth consultation,” says Waterhouse Young’s Dr Parisha Acharya. “This is hands down one of my favourite ways to rejuvenate the skin due to its unique blend of skin boosting ingredients it can help you achieve fantastic results with minimal downtime.”
£500, Waterhouse Young Clinic, 21 Devonshire St, London W1G 6PB
The power contouring combo: Lynton Focus Dual
Looking for a treatment that lifts, firms and tightens while also improving skin tone and texture? The brand new Lynton Focus Dual device combines Radiofrequency Micro needling (RFM) and High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), for a powerful anti-ageing effect. “I have found that combining technologies has always given me the best overall results with my clients,” says Debbie Thomas who just launched the treatment at her Chelsea clinic.
Following an in-depth consultation, you’ll be booked in for a series of treatments (typically three) alternating between HIFU, which uses ultrasound to heat the skin to 60-70℃, reaching the SMAS layer (the deepest layer that is tightened by plastic surgeons during cosmetic surgery) to boost collagen production, and radiofrequency microneedling, which tightens and refines skin texture. The HIFU is painless and has no downtime, but for the microneedling you’ll want to apply a numbing cream 30 minutes beforehand. It’s uncomfortable but manageable, and the machine allows for both the needle depth and heat of the radiofrequency setting to be adjusted depending on your skin needs and pain threshold. You might be pink for 24 hours after, but the collagen production increases up to twelve weeks post-treatment, so expect to see contouring results until then. “I especially love the fact we can work around the eyes and close to the lip line which so many of our clients are focused on as ‘problem areas’ but are notoriously hard to treat with existing technologies,” says Thomas. “If you are focused on rejuvenation and managing the ageing process this is the treatment for you.”
Up to three treatments carried out over 4-12 weeks. Price from £650 for a microneedling session and £1250 for HIFU. D. Thomas Clinic, 25 Walton St, SW3 2HU
Face shaping sans-needles
If you’re after tighter, smoother skin but don’t think you can stomach forty-five minutes of being needled in the face, then Sofwave offers the perfect solution. Working 1.5mm under the skin in the mid-dermis, Sofwave uses ultrasound waves to generate heat, targeting wrinkles and loose skin triggering that all-important collagen regenesis. The procedure also works to protect the uppermost layer of your skin by using an integrated cooling mechanism to prevent overheating. While it usually takes about three months for the collagen regeneration to fully kick into gear, aesthetic doctor Sophie Shotter has said that many patients will notice a difference immediately. “The results can be seen straight away (I tell my team to always do one side first so you can show them), with best results after 6 months.
Thanks to the lack of needles, the procedure has minimal to zero downtime, meaning that it can easily fit into the lives of even the busiest patients. During its clinical trial there were zero reports of bruising, pigmentation and ulceration. Unlike similar treatments, Sofwave also minimises fat loss in the face which could close off treatment options in the future, according to Dr Shotter: “If my patients decide to graduate to a facelift in the future, destroying fat in the face is not conducive to having a good facelift.”
Effective, yet uninvasive, Sofwave is the perfect choice for someone who doesn’t have the time or the inclination to recover from microneedling.
One or two treatments are usually required, depending on the patient. Price per treatment is around £3,000 for the full face and neck. Dr. Sophie Shotter, 10 Harley Street, W1G 9PF