As a reader of this blog you might know that I have a little obsession with collagen. It’s basically a life source. One day, I woke up and I was hit with a very stoic reality that I was ageing. Me, the girl that always gets ID’d! And yes, while I do realise I still look like a teenager at the age of 25, I also know that prevention is far more effective than chasing a cure that doesn’t really exist, cue the non-surgical facelift.
Youthfulness has become very much a part of the wellness trend and while the first has always been in demand, the latter is something on the rise. The alignment between interior and exterior beauty is being increasingly understood as something that starts from within and 63% of people worldwide have practiced or are interested in mindfulness or meditation. Part of my need to hit the gym at least twice a week, despite events or late nights at work, has less to do with physical strength or losing weight and a lot more to do with stress relief and refreshing my meal times.
The Wellness Clinic
I visited The Wellness Clinic for a consultation with Renee Lapino, an aesthetician with 15 years experience. This place is a well kept secret, residing on the fourth floor of Harrods it occupies a vast space filled with detox waters, luxurious changing rooms stocked with Perricone MD as amenities and even private personal training rooms. For this visit, I had aesthetic concerns in mind.
I’m at the age where so many of my friends around me are turning to non-surgical procedures for maintenance and while I don’t think I’m quite ready for a commitment like that, I am looking for some natural anti-ageing treatments. After expressing concerns that I felt like my cheeks were sagging, forming a shadow either side of my mouth and that my lips had become thinner, she suggested that I go for the Phi lift, a non-surgical face lift with no down time. From looking at my skin, she also discerned that I had a problem with congestion, most likely from commuting and always being in the city.
So with that in mind, I was prescribed a bespoke treatment combining a hydraglow facial (it’s the one that uses suction to cleanse, extract and hydrate the skin) alongside the facelift that uses ultrasound waves to penetrate into various fat layers. Take a look at their menu here, if you’re interested in pricing and other services.
Watch the video for footage of both treatments and before and after results:
After the Phi lift
About three weeks from the first treatment, I could already say I was a devotee. This actually works. During my consultation I was shown several before and after photos that were so dramatic that Photoshop crossed my mind. But my own real life results were as quick as it would’ve been to have a retoucher to reshape my face. The area that hurt the most – around my mouth and the fleshy part of my cheeks – became taught and slimmer. It was particularly noticeable as I saw my side profile. After the Phi lift or “non-surgical face lift”, touching the muscle ached slightly as if I had taken my cheeks to the gym. In case you’re wondering, eating and talking had no impact on the sensation, you can continue your day as normal.
I was told that the effects would carry on developing, meaning my face shape and cheeks would become more streamline over the next two months. I have the cheekbones I always knew (or I always wished) I deserved.
How often? At 25 years of age, it was recommended that I go for the Phi lift every six months. This would be to maintain the levels of collagen that my skin was now geared up to producing. Doing this would maintain the toned, V-shape that comes with great skin elasticity.
Maintenance after the “face lift”
After the procedure, my pores were significantly smaller. Renee told me that when we have open pores and dirt gets in, the skin around the area thickens in an attempt to protect itself from harmful entrants. So on one hand, it’s not entirely our fault that it’s so hard to refine them. But alternatively, we have to be proactive about exfoliating and treating ourselves to facials for the sake of maintenance.
Back when I was living in Asia, most girls regardless of age and income had facials at least monthly. So while I understand that for some this is considered an ultimate luxury more so than it’s ‘practical’, it is definitely something that’s normalised depending on your culture. It’s expensive but it’s also a personal choice to maintain a regime. I grew up with a difficult relationship with my skin health for most of my teenage years, so there’s very little I won’t do to protect it.
How often? The Hydraglow facial is very much a maintenance treatment all about thorough cleansing. It’s quite comfortable with zero downtime. I was recommended that I do this monthly to keep my skin in optimum condition.
photos in this post were before the treatment
Read more about my facialist here.