Ever found yourself staring in the mirror wondering if a little bit of filler and botox could be the answer to your skin woes? You’re not alone, in fact many are no longer just wondering but committing – with botox and fillers now accounting for nine out of ten cosmetic procedures in the UK.
And whilst botox and fillers are on the up, data from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has revealed that facelifts for women have fallen by 44% this year, with brow lifts down a third. These days, nobody wants to look to ‘done’, but instead look like an improved version of themselves, with slightly fewer wrinkles.
There are many misconceptions surrounding tweakments, for starters that they are a form of cosmetic surgery. When in actual fact, “tweakments are all non-surgical procedures. Some are minimally invasive, but most are non-invasive. Cosmetic surgery is serious stuff, it requires scalpels, anastecia, time spent in hospital and a fair amount of recovery time afterwards.” explains Alice Hart-Davis, author of The Tweakments Guide.
So what do tweakments consist of? “Botox, cosmetic laser work, facial fillers and skin peels, the sort of treatment that might take an hour and after which you should be able to carry on with life as normal.” says Hart- Davis.
Another common misperception surrounding these non-surgical procedures is that women only want them to look younger, but when speaking to those who have had tweakments, we discovered that most just wanted their face to appear fresher and to feel more confident. And why not? It’s your face and therefore your decision. We’ve compiled the things to know about all things tweakments…
Firstly, consider what is troubling you about your face. “When you go to see a cosmetic doctor the first thing they should do is give you a hand mirror and ask you to look at your face and tell them what your main concerns are.” says Hart-Davis. To save yourself from being put on the spot, consider this before and be clear about what you want to change.
Find a good practitioner, it’s so important that you feel comfortable with your doctor and confident in their abilities. Hart-Davis recommends: “If possible, get a personal recommendation from someone you know who has tried the treatment you are interested in and has had a good result” Alternatively, look for a doctor or surgeon who is registered with one of the following associations: British College of Aesthetic Medicine, British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. It’s also worth checking out the website Save Face which is government approved and lists practitioners who have met the organisation standards and have paid the registration fee.
Before committing and booking in for the treatment, have a consultation with the practitioner you’ve chosen. Whilst this comes with a charge, it is a vitally important step as it gives you an opportunity to see the clinic and meet the person who will be carrying out your treatment. A consultation also allows you to make a final decision on whether the practitioner and clinic is right for you. Hart-Davis suggests: “If your gut instinct is telling you that the clinic is too laid back, and you would prefer somewhere more medical in its approach; or if it strikes you that all the clinic staff look a bit too ‘done’; move on. Finding the best practitioner for you may require trial and error.”
However tempting it may be to seek out a more reasonable option, don’t. “Tweakments are expensive. If there is one area of life where it rarely pays to economise, it is with tweakments. What you are paying for is not just the product and the time the procedure takes; it’s for the expertise and aesthetic judgement of your chosen practitioner, and that expertise can hugely affect the results you get.”
Botox are injections that make lines and wrinkles less visible and when carefully positioned, can really make all the difference. Dr Vicky Dondos, Cosmetic Doctor says: “It’s about smoothing the forehead lines, but very lightly so you can still frown.” Less is definitely more here and the process will take less than 15 minutes. Whilst needles are used, Beauty Journalist, Rosie Green said the injections, “stung rather than hurt. Within a week I looked considerably younger and fresher: my forehead less creased, my eyes opened up.” Whilst Botox is considered one of the least invasive procedures, it’s still of vital importance to go to a fully qualified practitioner.
Price: From £270 at Medicetics, London
A facial, but not as you know it. A treatment that elevates a basic facial through the use of laser, which works to safely stimulate collagen which is the protein which gives our skin structure and firmness. You’ll find when researching that most tweakments aim to stimulate collagen, why? “Our skin makes its own collagen and this process of producing and renewing collagen goes on very efficiently, until we hit 30, when the production line starts to slow down.” If there’s one thing you take away from this article, it should be the knowledge that collagen is fundamental to the appearance and quality of skin. Debbie Thomas, also known as the laser-facial queen offers a tailored ‘DNA Laser Facial’ which is tailored to you, using a carefully chosen selection of lasers and other skin boosting treatments. Helping to target any specific skin concerns you may have, this is a powerhouse treatment that requires no injections whilst improving the health and appearance of your skin.
Price: From £145 to £685, length of time and practitioner dependent at D. Thomas Clinic, London.
Fillers, also known as ‘scaffolding for the face’ are daunting for most. What are they? Injections used to fill out wrinkles and creases in the skin, which are also commonly used to increase volume in the cheeks and lips. Cosmetic doctor, Dr Tracy Mountford explains that: “Experienced practitioners will inject at different levels within the skin. I like to inject deep, often on the bone as this causes less swelling, less puffiness.” When done with the less is more approach, fillers really can structure and contour the face, but most are non-permanent so will require top ups. Green explained her post filler result as: “a prettier, fresher me. I couldn’t stop staring in the mirror. I looked like I’d spent a month in a spa.”
Price – from £350 at Cosmetic Skin Clinic, London
Chemical skin peels:
Chemical peels are essentially liquids brushed on to the face to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new cells. The aim being to improve the appearance of the facial skin by reducing age spots and evening out skin tone. It’s important to know that there are different types of peels: superficial, medium and deep. Superficial is the most gentle option where regular treatment is needed to maintain the effects. Medium peels are more invasive and results are more noticeable, as it is non-permanent, one is needed every 6-12 months to maintain. A deep chemical peel is much more invasive and requires your heart and blood pressure to be monitored as the chemical used, phenol, can cause dangerous side effects. This is a one off treatment with long lasting effects but Aesthetic Practitioner, Emma Searle believes: “Having medium peels twice a year is a safer way to have a chemical peel. I don’t offer deep peels as I feel there are too many risks.”
Price: £120 per session at Dr Leah Clinics, London.