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January 2022 / Style & Wellbeing / by Liz Skone James

Facing the Future – Aesthetics Special

Thanks to the “Zoom effect” the demand for non-invasive cosmetic treatments is higher than ever before; we explore some of the hottest new treatments, and ask the experts what we should be looking for in 2022.

Since the Pandemic started, we’ve spent more time than ever before examining ourselves on video calls, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that we’re investing more on our appearance. Many of us are turning to tweakments – non-invasive treatments that smooth, tighten and sculpt. Unlike cosmetic surgery, these types of treatments require little to no downtime, making them super convenient. Added to that, they allow us to make smaller, more incremental changes that can add up to make a huge difference – gradually building a look that is natural; us, but better. And with celebs and influencers showcasing their results on social media, there’s no longer a taboo around admitting to having work done. 

Everybody has heard of Botox and fillers, but as technology advances, there are so many more options available to us. We asked some of the Capital’s best aestheticians what they think is going to be big this year.

From the experts

1. Dr Tracy Mountford, MBBS MBCAM
Founder and Medical Director of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic

“Our aim is always to enhance and beautify, rather than alter looks… I think that this year we will see more of a focus on regenerative treatments that stimulate and harness natural collagen production, with a focus on this rather than relying so heavily on the use of dermal fillers.

Injectable treatments such as Radiesse, Sculptra and Profhilo give very natural stimulatory affects that work over time with the patient’s own body to generate very natural, aesthetically pleasing results, and they are in increasingly high demand. 

These injectable treatments can also be combined with technological treatments that stimulate natural collagen production, such as Ultherapy and Morpheus8. Using two treatments in combination in this way often gives superlative aesthetic outcomes. Indeed, in select cases the results can be similar to surgical face lifting.

I also see there being a huge focus on refining the silhouette to create healthy, toned, shapely bodies; technologies such as EMsculpt NEO reduce fat by an average of 30 per cent and increase muscle mass by an average of 25 per cent. This can be used cleverly to reduce fat in key target areas, such as on the thighs to tone, reduce fat and to enhance and improve the shape. It can also be used very successfully to tone arms, as well as on the abdomen and glutes to create shapely curves. The exciting thing about innovative technology like this is that it is bespoke to each patient’s needs – one to watch develop and evolve during 2022.” (cosmeticskinclinic.com)

2. Dr Joanna Christou
Dual qualified Dentist and Facial Aesthetic Doctor

“This year there will be even more focus on skin health and collagen boosting treatments such as Profhilo (a revolutionary ‘beneath the skin’ hyaluronic acid moisturising treatment). These treatments are great long-term investments in the ‘age-well’ philosophy, and I like them because they don’t actually alter your natural face shape. When these are underpinned with an intelligent sprinkling of dermal filler and skin tightening treatments such as Ultherapy, which uses ultrasound technology to target the deep structural layers of the skin and increase collagen production, we can help to optimise the best clinical outcome.” (cosmeticskinclinic.com)

3. Dr Wassim Taktouk
L
eading Aesthetic Physician, MBBS (Lond) MRCGP DipDerm BCAM 

“In recent years we have seen trends focused on particular areas of the face – the lips, the eyes, the jawline – they have all had their time in the spotlight. I really see things being stripped back to basics in 2022: rather than following a particular trend, I think this will be the year of the individual. The year of the anti-trend – I think we will be rejuvenating patients to look like the very best version of themselves, appreciating and embracing their uniqueness. With fillers like Teosyal from TEOXANE we are now able to offer patients brilliantly bespoke, tailored treatments, suited to their individual needs – allowing them to truly embrace their own faces. The aim is always for them to walk out looking like themselves, just the very best version.” (drwassimtaktouk.com)

4. Dr Matin Ahmadi
I
n-house doctor at Pulse Light Clinic

“We have found that clients are increasingly asking for treatments that can address multiple concerns and achieve results as quickly as possible. Recent additions to our already excellent treatment offering include the Endolift, a cutting-edge technology in which laser energy is delivered inside the skin via a hair-thin microfibre. It works exceptionally well for facial contouring – tightening and contouring the jawline – and can even be used on the delicate areas around the eyes to remove bags. Considered to give the closest result to a surgical face lift, there is no need for needles and stitches, and you can resume your daily activities almost immediately. 

Meanwhile, the Morpheus8 helps treat conditions such as sun damage, signs of ageing, skin laxity and pigmentation. Tiny silicone coated pins penetrate the skin while radiofrequency energy is delivered at exact depth to produce and remodel the collagen structure, resulting in skin tightening and rejuvenation.” (pulselightclinic.co.uk)

Esther Fieldgrass
F
ounder of EF Future Health 

“2022 will all be about offering people access to incredible skincare technologies, and beyond that, layering these technologies to trigger our systems to work more efficiently. That’s what EF Future Health is all about: offering future facing skin solutions that allow us to optimise our bodies, resulting in the slowdown of cell degeneration and ageing. I am very excited about our multi-layered Signal Cell Therapy Method as it uses advanced needling with dynamic penning to infuse Signalling Factors as a messenger for cellular repair, triggering a regeneration effect. What is exciting is that these brilliant signalling factors literally re-educate skin to function better, which results in it behaving like younger more vibrant skin. What’s not to love? The future of the smartest ageing is being able to trigger our bodies to truly regenerate and dramatically improve appearance and complexion, keeping our cells young and efficient.” (ef-futurehealth.com)

Fabric recommends

Eudelo

1. The Supreme Skin Regenerator
Eudelo 

When a facial promises to be the “Rolls-Royce of non-invasive treatments” it really must be tried to be believed. Can it really live up to such a grand claim? As you’d expect from a facial, it starts with a cleanse and peel, and then microdermabrasion to remove dead skin cells and prepare the skin for extraction. Next comes some fairly gentle microneedling – it feels tingly rather than painful and works on sending serum deep into my skin to encourage collagen rejuvenation. What follows is a lot more sci-fi, as a collagen mask is applied, which helps to cool the skin and reduce redness (definitely required after microneedling). A seemingly not-so scientific layer of cling film is applied over the top – my therapist explains that this is because the next stage of the procedure, lymphatic drainage, is performed with electro-pulse technology, and for obvious reasons, this necessitates a dry surface. As the probes are gently applied to my face I also have the double whammy of a warming LED light shining on my face, which is working its magic rejuvenating my skin. 

Not just the “Rolls-Royce” of treatments, this is also a world first, because the Supreme Skin Regenerator is performed under state-of-the-art brainwave optimisation. In other words, while my therapist gets to work on de-ageing my face, she pops some headphones onto my ears, and I listen to abstract sounds that are designed to stimulate blissful alpha, theta and delta brainwaves. This hypnotic state is the very pleasant half-awake/half-asleep phase that precedes sleep and is known to support cell repair and regeneration. The sounds are a chilled out mix of jungle noises, birdsong and music, and appear to work exactly as planned. I have no idea if I have been awake or asleep when the therapist gently informs me it is time to leave (no doubt she is too polite to tell me if I have been snoring!).

This ultimate facial is designed to help boost skin’s biosynthesis and improve the appearance of fine lines, firmness, tone and texture, as well as leaving the face looking refreshed and lifted. I definitely see evidence of that when I get a first glimpse of myself in the mirror. There is no redness, thanks to the cooling collagen mask, and is that a cheekbone or two I see? Hello, my old friends, it’s been while. BP

£755 for one session, £1,800 for a course of three. Eudelo, 63 Bondway, SW8 (020 7118 9500; eudelo.com)

Regents Park Aesthetics, Kay Greveson and her team

Non-surgical rhinoplasty
Regents Park Aesthetics

Like many, I don’t like my nose, but the thought of undergoing a nose job has always filled me with fear. Fast forward to 2022, in a growing era of lunch-hour tweakments, I am excited to learn that there are now more non-surgical options available. Non-surgical rhinoplasty, more widely known as the liquid nose job or nose fillers, is quickly becoming one of the most popular cosmetic procedures around. Practitioners are able to achieve incredible and instant results, reshaping and resizing the nose using dermal fillers. Considerably more affordable than surgery, the process is pain-free and requires zero downtime. 

Conveniently located in London’s West End, on Wimpole Street, Regents Park Aesthetics is reassuringly positioned within London’s most distinguished and respected private health care district. My appointment is with Kay Greveson – known for her light-handed and subtle technique, she has years of experience at top clinics under her belt, and talent in buckets.

When we meet in her consultation room, her warm and down to earth approach makes it easy to chat about my concerns and what I would like to achieve. I explain that the small hump on my nose and the imbalance in my front profile is something that I notice all of the time, especially in photos when the light catches it, and that I’ve been considering doing something about it for a while. Going down the non-surgical route gives me the option to try out a new nose, safe in the knowledge that if it’s not what I want, it will return to its original shape after a short while rather than being a permanent fixture.

A natural and well balanced nose is the aim of the game with Kay, and after an in depth chat during which she examines my face from every angle, she suggests using a small amount of filler to add to areas of deficit – which, for me, is along the contour of the profile and up at the top in the dent where nose meets forehead. Kay explains that this plumping effect will be achieved using Juvederm, a 100 per cent hyaluronic acid-based filling injection that has lignocaine local anesthetic built-in to enhance comfort during the procedure. 

I lay back in the chair and let Kay get to work. She first gently sterilises my nose and the skin around it and marks up the areas she will be treating. I can hardly feel anything as the needle is inserted, and with the lightest of touch, Kay carefully sculpts the filler as it’s gradually and precisely injected. There’s a real art to this, so it’s crucial to see somebody who is medically qualified, and who has both experience and a keen aesthetic eye. 

The whole procedure takes ten minutes and I’m shocked at how quick and minimally invasive it is. Kay reassures me that any side effects of the procedure will settle down in just a couple of days. Simple maintenance is required following the procedure, and it is expected to last up to a year, but it could be longer. The results are instant: my nose looks thinner, hump free and more refined, exactly as we had discussed in the consultation. It is clear that natural-looking results are Kay’s signature – I am now the very best version of me, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her. 

£400. 19 Wimpole Street, W1G (020 7580 4813; regentsparkaesthetics.co.uk)

Advanced Cosmetic Procedures

Facial electrolysis
Advanced Cosmetic Procedures

I have what you could euphemistically call an ‘English Rose’ complexion, though perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I suffer from thread veins. Having been told that electrolysis can help (no, apparently it’s not just for hair removal), I make an appointment with Harley Street-based Debbie Wilkins. It certainly isn’t the most glamorous of briefs, but I know I’m not alone in wanting to banish my red nose for good. 

Debbie is exceptionally qualified and experienced, not to mention warm and reassuring, and I relax the moment I step into her bright practice room. This is no new fangled procedure – incredibly, electrolysis has been around since 1875. While laser and IPL treatments seem to get all the press these days, electrolysis has been quietly and successfully dealing with a multitude of skin complaints and blemishes, way beyond the typical hair removal treatments that are usually associated with it. Not just spider veins on the face, but warts, skin tags, excessive hair – pretty much any kind of blemish you can think of can be zapped away with Debbie’s magic needle.

An electrical current is passed into each individual vein through a needle the size of an eyelash, with Debbie systematically working her way around my nose, stopping every so often to allow me to have a breather – I’ll be honest, it does smart a little. It’s such an accurate method that there’s very little healing to be done afterwards (as Debbie says, “Why use a JCB digger to plant a daisy?”). While I am in the chair, Debbie offers to treat some of the little white dots (known as sebaceous hyperplasia) around my eyes. These can be caused by using the wrong types of skincare, or result from build-up of products like sunscreen in the pores. I also have a couple of rogue and very unwanted dark hairs that are swiftly dispatched.

After just one session under the magnifying spotlight I can see an immediate improvement. As I head back out onto Harley Street, I feel much more confident – ready for that close-up. BP

Prices on consultation. 1 Harley Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 5, W1G (07591 592210; advanced-cosmetic-procedures.co.uk)

Dr MediSpa

Emerald Laser
Dr MediSpa

I don’t know about you, but after two kids and years of riding the weight rollercoaster, I don’t love my tummy. In terms of boundary-pushing, revelatory statements, I am aware that sits somewhere between “like… duh”, and “stating the bloomin’ obvious”, but I spend an inordinate amount of time pondering the state of my stomach – so much more than, say, the condition of my wrists or the aesthetics of my earlobes. Fat Is A Feminist Issue was written by Susie Orbach in 1978, so is older than I am, and yet… here we still are. When I found myself pondering a full tummy tuck, I wondered just why it was that I was prepared to put myself through expensive, painful, significant surgery – as if the emergency caesarean wasn’t enough on that front – just to appease my vanity; but still, with a wedding coming up, I want to feel as confident and comfortable in my body as I (and indeed everyone) deserve to.

Enter Dr MediSpa, an award-winning group of clinics – newly opened in Knightsbridge, to join Marylebone and Loughton – who happen to be a UK Centre of Excellence for the Emerald laser fat reduction treatment. The Emerald laser is a new generation of fat-targeting treatment, particularly exciting for offering pain-free zapping with no downtime, in sessions of just half an hour each. The science is seriously impressive, but to distil it down into laymen’s terms: instead of killing fat cells, which can be counterproductive, causing the body to create more of them, the Emerald creates a temporary pore in the surface of the cells, allowing the fat to be released into, and processed through, the lymphatic system. This means the cells themselves shrink, but remain healthy and fully-functioning, enabling them to carry on sending the correct messages to the brain in terms of, among other things, appetite regulation. The results are therefore not only seriously promising in terms of inch loss but act as a ‘reboot’ to bodies – like my own – where years of yo-yo weight gain and loss have confused those messages.

The time that I spend having the treatment is not only painless, but actually pleasant – half an hour, on my own, in a quiet room, knowing that I will emerge from it ever-so-slightly slimmer? Truly, who would say “no” to that? I was aware that this treatment was never going to achieve the same result as a tummy tuck – how on earth could it? – and having one’s expectations managed effectively is, in my experience, as important to the process as the outcome itself. And so, I was delighted when the brief I rather apologetically offered up – “I don’t want a miracle, I just want to look a bit better in my clothes!” – was not only met but exceeded. I lost several inches of circumference on my tummy, saw good reduction on my thighs, and even found tops fitting slightly better, all of which gave me that much-needed confidence boost ahead of my big day. Whilst it may not be able to resolve the underlying reasons that body confidence is a struggle for so many of us, above all else it helped me to hold my head a bit higher with a smile on my face, and who can say they wouldn’t benefit from that? KH

A course of 10 Emerald laser sessions costs from £2,500. 18 Beauchamp Place, SW3 (020 3820 2199; drmedispa.com)