Even though most of our time over the past year was spent indoors with limited social interactions and minimal (if not zero) special events to attend, the medical aesthetic industry has seen a spike in demand thanks to the Work From Home arrangements. Remote working meant hours spent staring and scrutinizing our own faces during Zoom meetings, and plastic surgeons and aesthetic doctors around the world have reported surges in bookings for surgical and non-surgical treatments following lockdown, with everyone hoping to achieve a fresher, more youthful complexion.
Historically, a facelift is viewed as the ultimate solution for patients who wish to shed years off their looks. However the traditional surgical method can be invasive with potential risk of the skin looking overly tight and unnatural, not to mention the long downtime required for healing. Thanks to the development in modern technology and aesthetic medicine, consumers now have an array of choices in achieving the same desired results without having to go under the knives. 2021 is all about these zero downtime, non-surgical facelift treatments that will have you looking radiant within hours.
Profound Radio Frequency Micro-Needling Treatment
Profound is the first and only radio frequency micro-needling device that is FDA cleared for both the face and the body. It penetrates the skin at a precise depth with tiny needles and then it releases a burst of radio frequency energy, thus stimulating collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. It is clinically proven to produce these three fundamentals for youthful skin, not simply by adding them to the skin but by activating your own production. Currently it is believed there are only 5 Profound machines available in the UK, and Dr Sophie Shotter, who will be offering the pioneering technology from her Illuminate Skin Clinic from April, tells me a noticeable difference should be recorded after six weeks, and at six months the results are at their best and last up to three years.
Dr Shotter also recommends combining Profound with filler (her much anticipated “Tri-Lift” treatment) to target three modalities — the skin, subcutaneous tissue and bone. “Profound does a lot and the results are exceptional, but it doesn’t address bone loss, which happens as we age. In order to be able to offer my patients what I consider to be the best non-surgical facelift, I wanted to also address bone loss. Traditionally, patients who I refer to a plastic surgeon for a facelift, also have filler with me. There’s always a place for filler.” Dr Shotter says.
The Profound treatment is said to be suitable for men and women, with most patients over the age of 45. Dr Shotter states that she will always assess a patient’s physiological skin age rather than solely looking at their chronological age. Dr Shotter adds: “It can be safely used on Fitzpatrick skin types I to IV, and potentially in higher Fitzpatrick skin types by experienced doctors, with caution.”
Thread Lifting Using Minimally Invasive Nonsurgical Threads (MINT) Polydioxanone (PDO)
PDO threads are all the hype right now. Multi award winning facial aesthetic doctor, Dr Nina Bal of the Facial Sculpting Clinic says: “PDO threads combine potent collagen stimulation and skin tightening with mechanical, non-surgical lift of soft tissues including dermis, fat pads and muscles. It has very little if not zero downtime and is much less invasive than surgery, much less risky (not possible to get vascular occlusion or necrosis) than fillers — which are great to replenish volume lost but not at lifting, and the results last around 12 to 18 months.”
Dr Bal is a firm believer in preventative treatments, which is another trend we see in 2021, and considers patients who are “over 30, with skin laxity and have developed or started to develop lower jowls and lose the sharp jawline definition” are amongst those who would benefit the most from PDO threads. However Dr Bal also emphasizes the necessity of an in-clinic, face-to-face assessment before confirming to clients whether PDO threads are the right choice.
There are also supplementing treatments available to ensure the thread lifting procedure achieves the maximum desired results. Dr Bal says: “Threads work on the subcutaneous layers of the skin. In addition to threads I also recommend medical grade skincare products and bio remodelling treatments such Profhilo that tightens the 2 layers of skin above the threads.”
Dr Bal also recommends fillers after thread lifting to finish off the volume loss correction — the treatment can be done targeting the under eyes, cheeks, nose to mouth lines, marionette lines or jawline.
Ultherapy Treatment With Ultrasound
Ultherapy is the ultrasound non-surgical lifting procedure, and has been a trusted go-to option for tighter, better fitting skin. It is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive treatment for lifting and tightening the skin on the face, neck, chin and brow and, more recently, for the improvement of lines and wrinkles on the décolletage.
Recognized as one of the best medical aesthetics clinics specialising in non-surgical treatments for the face and body, the Cosmetic Skin Clinic is founded by Dr Tracy Mountford and has been offering Ultherapy treatment to customers for years.
Dr Shotter, who also sees patients at the Cosmetic Skin Clinic in London, says: “Ultherapy is an excellent option for people looking to rebuild their collagen bank. It uses ultrasound to stimulate new collagen production in the skin and in the deeper layers of the face. The procedure doesn’t have any downtime, and over a period of 3-6 months people can get a lovely tightening. I love using it around the jawline and for brow lifting.”
Tweakments: Botox, Derma Fillers, Profhilo
As mentioned by both Dr Shotter and Dr Bal, aesthetic tweakments can also be utilized to achieve a lifting result, either on their own or in conjunction with other treatments. When used correctly, Botox can help opening up the eye and thus achieving an overall fresher look, whilst fillers on cheek or behind the jawline can also help subtly lifting the skin. “Our skin professionals at GetHarley are currently getting many enquiries and bookings for tweakments following their skin consultations via our platform. The most popular tweakments are Profhilo, botox, filler and peels. It tends to be a natural progression from using good skincare products for many women,” Says Charmaine Chow, founder & CEO of GetHarley digital platform that offers simplified access to world-renowned professionals in the medical aesthetic industry.