The word ‘tweakment’ may not have made it into the Oxford English Dictionary yet, but it’s been on my beauty editor radar for years.
What are tweakments? Minor, non-surgical, in-clinic procedures like injectables (think Botox and fillers) and lasers. Treatments that can deliver serious, visible results. No knife required.
If you are feeling like you need a refresh, like you need a youth boost, like your face has morphed into your mother’s, then they might be for you. They are not, of course, everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re certainly something that I am keen to investigate to give myself – and my face – a bit of a boost.
What is menopause face?
I’m sure it’s not news to you that menopause isn’t great for your skin. Collagen production falls off a cliff. Elasticity nose-dives. Fat is lost from the face (and seems to migrate to the tummy). The result is your face seems to slide south and your wrinkles deepen.
Tweakments are a way forward for me, and having tried some, I can confirm that the results are seriously good. In more than 20 years as a beauty editor, I have tried every face cream/serum/treatment known to womankind. The truth is that a cream can only do so much – a tweakment can go much further.
Beauty beyond creams
If you’re in the ageing gracefully camp, you can skip this.
But if you’re not adverse to a degree of discomfort, a little pain and parting with hard earned cash in return for some serious rejuvenation then read on.
With all of these tweakments, it’s not the product or machine that matters most (although they do matter, don’t get me wrong), it’s the person doing them. Getting filler with someone who’s done a three-day course, is not the same as getting it done with a doctor who has injected thousands of faces. This is no time to be a guinea pig so ensure you choose a reputable practitioner. Adding volume or paralyzing muscles in certain areas affects other areas and your doctor needs to know the contra effects inside out. Lecture over.
In the past few months, I’ve been on a mission to jumpstart my face, and here are the treatments I really loved.
The jowl beater: Ultherapy
What happens? A hand held device is passed over your face, delivering targeted ultra sound within the skin. This triggers a regenerating response, stimulating new collagen and elastin, which lifts, sculpts and redresses natural sagging.
Rosie’s verdict: I take some painkillers and a couple of Valium and the aesthetician draws a grid pattern on my face. He starts zapping, covering an area of a few centimeters with each ‘pass.’ Each zap feels like a spit of hot fat within your skin, not painful in itself, but the repetition can feel overwhelming in succession. The drugs make it bearable.
Was it worth it? It’s been three months now and I can honestly say my jawline looks more taut and my cheekbones lifted. It’s not without pain (I was mighty glad when the aesthetician said we were all done) and it’s certainly not cheap, but it works for most.
The details: Ultherapy from £1200 at The Cosmetic Skin Clinic. Results should last 12-18 months. cosmeticskinclinic.com
The jaw streamliner: Fillers
What happens? I decide to pop my filler cherry. After years of avoiding them for fear of looking like those chipmunk A-listers, I am inspired by a beauty editor friend who has had them and looks like she’s returned from a month at a spa. What are fillers, you might ask? They are a clear gel made of hyaluronic acid. They’re injected below the surface of your skin.
Rosie’s verdict: I book in with Dr. Tracy Mountford, who promises me fillers will streamline my jaw, return my cheekbones to their rightful place and generally make me look less knackered. She says they will deliver ‘structure and contour,’ acting as ‘scaffolding for the face.’
Dr Mountford likes to injects the fillers deep, often on the bone, telling me that it causes less swelling and puffiness when done this way. (This is sometimes called deep dermal filler).
First, she injects filler into my temples (they get sunken with age). It feels weird when the filler goes in, but not painful. She then injects along my cheekbones to ‘underpin’ and around my nose to ‘soften’. Afterwards her colleague Dr. Sophie Shotter adds fillers to even out my lumpy jawline.
Was it worth it? The results are subtle but transformative, but, around my temples in particular, I instantly look softer and younger.
The details: Filler from £350. Expect them to last 9-18 months. cosmeticskinclinic.com
The rejuvenator: IPL
What happens: I have to rave about the rejuvenating effects of IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). Redness is something I have always suffered with, but age has worsened it. What seemed like a pretty flush in my 20s and 30s now looks like ‘farmer face’. Redness around the nose and on the cheeks is ageing – no question.
Rosie’s verdict: IPL is not new, but it works. It’s also uncomfortable, but not painful. Think a trip to the hygienist rather than childbirth. IPL uses light to destroy the red blood vessels. The light beam targets the red pigment and then destroys it with heat. The vessel, for want of a better word, vaporises, then disappears.
I have three IPL sessions at Eudelo Clinic and the redness around my nose and cheeks is drastically improved.
The details: IPL from £395 at eudelo.com. Generally, you’ll need to go back once a year.
Two more to try
Profhilo is an injectable moisturiser that several beauty editor friends rate – I’m yet to try it.
Unlike traditional ‘thick’ fillers, this treatment uses a hyaluronic acid liquid that can be absorbed by the skin and spreads freely. It’s injected into the superficial layer of skin, stimulating collagen and elastin for firmer smoother skin. It delivers deep down hydration with no volume. Expect pinpricks of pain and puffiness for the first 24 hours, then you’re left with fresh, glowy, dewy and plump skin.
£850, for the face or neck, for two treatments, one month apart at medicetics.com.
If you have acne scarring, sun damage or hyper pigmentation and the skin creams aren’t cutting it, try a Dermamelan Peel. It removes the build up of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface to reveal brighter, smoother, more even toned skin. It also stimulates collagen. Do expect some stinging, flakiness or redness, depending on the depth of the peel.
Dermamelan Peels, £1500, Dr. Maryam Zamani, drmaryamzamani.com
To find a reputable practitioner, visit journalist Alice Hart Davis’s brilliant new site, thetweakmentsguide.com