When it comes signs of ageing I think lack of firmness can be more of an issue than lines and wrinkles. In the aesthetics industry there’s a concept known as the ‘The Triangle of Youth’. This refers to the shape our faces have when they’re younger – defined jawline, high cheek bones and mid face plumpness. As we age this triangle becomes inverted and our faces change with the onset of jowls, fat under chins and flat cheek bones.
Up until fairly recently the best way to restore a youthful structure has been with a facelift. However, in the the last few years there’s been an explosion of non surgical treatments for lifting skin and they’re getting better all the time. I recently attended an event with top cosmetic doctor Dr Sophie Shotter where she discussed the most popular current options and a couple of upcoming advanced treatments.
It’s easy to see why Dr Shotter has quickly risen to the top of her field and has been chosen for brand ambassador roles with Allergan (Botox and Juvederm) and Neostrata. She’s very knowledgable and innovative but she’s also warm, kind and honest which I think are equally key qualities you should look for in a cosmetic doctor. She has her own award winning clinic , Illuminate Skin & Wellness, in Kent and also works at the prestigious The Cosmetic Skin Clinic in London and Bucks.
Though it’s now possible to get near face-lift like results from non-surgical procedures, Dr Shotter is quick to point out there might be very little difference cost wise. This is because the results of non-surgical treatments don’t last as long and you’ll need top ups if you want to maintain them. Of course the big advantage with the non-surgical option is the short downtime and that you get to spread the cost over many years.
These are the treatments worth knowing about…
This is a procedure that’s currently getting a lot of attention. In theory it sounds great – threads are inserted just under the skin and pulled up to give an instant lift. However, the reality doesn’t seem to be living up expectations and Dr Shotter thinks they’re some very definite limitations to the procedure. The results are often not as good as anticipated by the patient which can obviously lead to disappointment. There’s a reasonable amount of downtime involved – there can be swelling and bruising and you can’t exercise for about 3 weeks. It’s not suitable for those with thin skin and generally there’s also a risk of of nerve damage.
Dr Shotter still carries out thread lifts but makes sure the patient is a good candidate and is fully informed about potential downsides. She also finds the best results come with combining it with fillers.
This is another treatment that can have mixed outcomes. It uses ultrasound to lift and tighten the treated area without needles or cutting. There’s no downtime but the actual procedure can be quite painful though this can be managed with medication. The results are visible after about 2-3 months. There has been concern in the past that it can cause fat loss to the face but these days the intensity of the treatment has been adjusted and Dr Shotter hasn’t found fat loss to be an issue.
The problem with Ultherapy is that it seems to work well for some people but not others. I’ve had it done and was really happy with the results. However, I’m not sure if I’d have it done again as you can now get such good lifting results from injectables which are instantaneous and not as painful.
Glowing skin is everyone’s goal as it’s such signifier of health and youth. Dr Shottor has created a range of treatments that restore moisture and hydration to the skin to give it that plump, lifted and dewy look. They sound really innovative and will give you the kind of results that can’t be achieved from anything else that’s currently available.
The basis for the treatments are two really interesting injectables – Profhilo and Volite.
Profhilo is a non-cross linked Hyaluroinc Acid that’s injected into about 5 places on the face and spreads under the skin to deeply hydrate but not add any volume. It stimulates the skin’s own production of collagen. Volite requires lots of little injects using very tiny needles and this plumps and hydrates the skin. Used in combination (but on separate visits) they work synergistically to give a great result.
There are three variations in the Ultimate Glow menu:
Ultimate Glow + Hydrate – This requires 3 visits in total, 2 for Profhilo and 1 for the Volite. Each time the patient will also get an intravenous infusion which will promote maximum water absorption into the injected HA.
Ultimate Glow + Sculpt – This will require 3 visits for the Profhilo and Volite plus a 4th visit for some additional filler and is for those who want a more lifted affect.
Ultimate Glow + Smooth – This will take 5 visits as it will include the 3 visits for the Profilo and Volite and an extra 2 for Viscoderm Hydrobooster which will give an extra smooth result.
The treatments launch in September and prices start at £2400.
Shape + Sculpt
This focuses on the lower half of the face and restores definition to the jawline. This is likely to become a treatment that’s popular with men as well as as women and can be adjusted to give a more masculine or feminine result.
There are two parts to the treatment. The first is to destroy any fat under the chin using the Coolsculpting CoolMini handpiece. The second part is to reshape the jawline using Volux. This is the newest addition to the Juvederm range of fillers which has been specifically created for the chin and jawline. Results can last up to 2 years but a top up of the filler after 12 months might be necessary.
If there’s no fat under the chin then the jaw can be redefined using just Volux. I’ve had a different Juverderm filler injected into my jawline about 18 months ago and thought the results were and continue to be amazing so would expect this updated treatment to be even better.
Prices start at £1450 for one round of Coolscupting and 1ml of Volux.
Following are some before and after images of one of Dr Shotter’s patients that show the natural but transformative results that she achieves.
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