Horrific tales of botched cosmetic surgery might put some people off going under the knife. But there are now procedures available which claim to offer similar youthful benefits without resorting to such extreme measures.
In Britain the popularity of cosmetic surgery continues to grow. Aside from the medical risk that these invasive procedures pose — and many do go wrong — do we really want to lose our character in the process?
We only have to look at the celebrity exponents of cosmetic procedures such as Joan Rivers, Anne Robinson, Cher, Dolly Parton, Jackie Stallone and the hideous looking “Bride of Wildenstein” to be convinced cosmetic surgery should be the beauty treatment of last resort.
These days there are ever more sophisticated alternatives to cosmetic surgery utilising natural substances found in the human body, including collagen, hyaluronic acid, and our own fat and cells, substantially decreasing the likelihood of nasty allergic reactions, demonstrated by actress Leslie Ash’s infamous “trout pout”. There are also lasers and radio frequency treatments which stimulate the production of collagen, plumping out the skin. One of the most exciting new anti-ageing treatments for the face is Isolagen, in which a patient’s own cells are cultivated and re-injected into lines and wrinkles. Another is Thermage in which radio frequency is used to stimulate new collagen.
The only downside to these natural treatments is that they are financially prohibitive because the effects eventually wear off and regular treatments may be needed to maintain the effects.
There are now several clinics offering these treatments in the City so it is possible to have a lunch-time beauty fix.
Although these procedures are usually non-invasive, they should still be carried out by a qualified medical doctor or by a nurse under the supervision of a doctor.
Always ask about qualifications and inspect their public/professional liability insurance certificate so that you will at least have financial redress should anything go wrong. Also check if they are registered with the Healthcare Commission. Although this is voluntary at the moment, it does demonstrate a commitment to professional ethics.
Evolence is a new collagen-based injectable filler which lasts for 12 months or more. It uses organically sourced collagen, which is purified and transformed to accurately mimic human collagen. Evolence is injected
into wrinkles, such as nasolabial folds, where it binds naturally with the skin. Treatment costs £450 per injectable syringe.
Practitioner: City Skin Clinic, 12 Brushfield Street, E1, tel: 020 7655 6920,
Further information at www.evolence.com
Fat is taken from different parts of the body — the bottom, hips or thighs, processed in a centrifuge and re-inserted into creases, lips and ageing hands that need plumping. Although there may be some swelling and bruising, there is likely to be no allergic reaction. The results last between a few months and several years. The treatment costs from £2,000 for an entire face.
Practitioners: The London Clinic of Dermatology, 60
Grove End Road, NW8, tel: 020 7266 8200
Dr Andrew Markey, The Lister Hospital, Chelsea
Bridge Road, SW1, tel: 020 7730 1219
Isolagen, which is used to treat wrinkles, lines and scars, uses a patient’s own living cells which are removed from behind the ear and cultured in a lab. The collagen-producing cells, called fibroblasts, are separated and stimulated to multiply and it is these that are re-injected into the patient’s skin. It is thought that the injected fibroblasts will continue to multiply within the skin and create new collagen that may fill dermal imperfections and wrinkles, and reduce the signs of ageing. The possibility of allergic reactions is substantially reduced as they are the patients own cells. Prices start from £3,500.
Practitioner: John Moran, 30A Wimpole Street, W1,
tel: 020 7935 4870,
In this treatment the skin receives intense multiple injections of rejuvenating vitamins. It can be used in conjunction with other skin treatments such as Botox. Mesotherapy is a similar treatment for sculpting the body and removing cellulite.
Practitioners: City Skin Clinic, 12 Brushfield Street,
E1, tel: 020 7655 6920, email:
Dr Georges Roman, Devonshire Medical Chambers,
W1, tel: 020 7323 2123
A chemical solution is applied to the cleaned skin and left on for a specified period of time to make the skin smoother and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Light peels require no downtime and can be done in a lunch hour. Deeper peels will result in flaking or peeling and will require a week to heal. Peels From £100 depending on the type and amount of treatment needed.
Practitioner: Dr Penelope Tympanidis, 19 Wimpole
Street, W1, tel: 020 7462 0030, www.renascence.co.uk.
One of the newest non-surgical procedures, BioSkin Jetting is ideal for wrinkles and frown lines. A microprobe is used to separate the wrinkle from the underlying skin, which stimulates the growth of new collagen fibres, plumping and firming the skin. Each treatment lasts between 15 and 40 minutes and can be taken individually or as part of a package.
A 15-minute treatment for a forehead wrinkle would cost between £35 and £55 and a 40-minute treatment for lines around the mouth of eyes is about £75-£100.
A bonus is that the facial muscles can move freely and are not frozen, making the overall impression much more natural, yet younger looking.
Practitioner: Chandra Curniffe at Elite
Beauty Services, 96 Stafford Road Croydon, CRO 4NF
tel: 020 8686 7234. Information: www.skinbysterex.com
Botox was first used to treat medical neurological conditions in patients, such as facial spasms.
In cosmetic treatments highly diluted doses are injected into the muscle causing it to relax, which softens lines and contours. The most popular areas which people have treated are crows feet, forehead lines, neck muscles, the corners of the mouth and upper lip lines.
Several injections are usually necessary in such treatments and at specific sites on the body. They may take a few days to take effect. Each treatment lasts for about three months. Costs from £200 for each area treated.
Practitioners: Dr John Moran,
30A Wimpole Street, W1,
tel: 020 7935 4870
City Skin Clinic, 12 Brushfield Street, E1
tel 020 7655 6920
Restylane is a synthetic filler containing hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body and is free of animal proteins. It is used in different thicknesses for treating different problems — fine lines and wrinkles, creases and folds and adding definition. It lasts about two years during which time it gradually breaks down. Several treatments may be required across a two month period, followed by top sessions. It costs from £270 for a 1ml syringe a session and several are required in the first two months followed by top up sessions.
Practitioners: City Skin Clinic, 12 Brushfield Street, E1
tel: 020 7655 6920,
Cosmedics, Re Aqua Spa, 12 Gravel Lane, E1 and The Gentry Salon, Canary Wharf, E14,
tel: 020 7386 0464
This new treatment is the result of work by South African cosmetic surgeon Des Fernandes. The skin is rejuvenated using a roller which creates tiny pin pricks all over the area being treated allowing deep delivery of rejuvenating creams from Fernandes’s Environ Skin Care range. Carried out under sedation and local anaesthetic, it can be used on both the face and body — for example, on stretch marks on the abdomen. The procedure takes about an hour. Costs vary but are about £1,000 for the face and between £500-£1,000 for the body.
For more information on the Roll-Cit procedure tel: 020 8450 2020 or visit www.vivida.co.za
Practitioner: Dr Lucy Glancey, Glancey Medical Aesthetics,
Grove Farm, Grove Hill, Langham, Essex,
tel: 0870 458 5483,
Sculptra is made from crystallised poly L-lactic acid and is used to
treat sunken cheeks and sculpt features such as the cheek or chin.
Injected into the skin it stimulates new collagen production, plumping out nearby areas which may have sagged because of ageing. There
can be some swelling following treatment but this usually goes after
two days. Three treatments up to six weeks apart are recommended
and the result lasts for two years. It costs from £300 a treatment.
Practitioners: Cosmedics, Re Aqua Spa, 12 Gravel Lane, E1 and The Gentry Salon, Canary Wharf
tel: 020 7386 0464
Thermage uses radio frequency energy to heat the collagen and
elastin below the dermis causes a tightening effect and stimulating
new growth. It is used for slack jaw lines and drooping eyelids.
Several 15-minute treatments are required and the improvements
take place over a period of months rather than immediately. It also
treats scars, acne and superficial wrinkles and skin that is losing its
elasticity on the face and body. A course costs from £3,000.
Practitioner: Dr Nicholas Lowe, Cranley Clinic,
tel: 020 7499 3223,
Threadlift is used to treat mildly sagging facial skin and uses a barbed medical thread which is inserted under the skin. The barbs lie flat in insertion and are then pulled in the opposite direction, hooking into the facial tissue, lifting the skin. The threads are left in place and there may be some swelling but after a few months the skin will have lifted. Patients, it is claimed, achieve between 30 per cent and 70 per cent of the result of a surgical face lift. It costs from £1,000.
Practitioner: Dr Lucy Glancey, Glancey Medical Aesthetics, Grove Farm, Grove
Hill, Langham, Essex,
tel: 0870 458 5483