Since the lockdown lift was announced, there has been a huge rise in the demand for aesthetic treatments, with six million Brits said to be planning lifts and ‘tweakments’ to prepare for the ‘big reveal’.
A survey by cosmetic company Uvence reported that we feel we’ve aged an average 5 years during lockdown - no wonder we want dramatic and instant results.
Are we seeing a move away from natural product-led facials to towards non-surgical, machine-led facial rejuvenation?
In the spirit of a re-entry quick fix, our Spa Spy set off to try the latest medi-spa trend - Ultherapy.
What is Ultherapy?
Ultherapy (aka HIFU or Ultraskin) is the latest trend in non-surgical face lifts, using ultrasound technology to stimulate collagen and heat-pulsating energy to lift and sculpt skin on the face, neck and decolletage. It is relatively painless with no recovery time, and only requires one session a year.
The aesthetician targets ultrasound energy at specific areas using ultrasound imaging. The heat energy targets depths of 1.5mm, 3mm, and 4.5mm to cause minor thermal injuries triggering skin cell repair and rejuvenation.
It is said to be really good for sagging ‘fat pockets’ under the chin, reducing wrinkles and contouring.
I booked in for an Ultraskin II (£995, 45 mins) at Beyond MediSpa based in Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge. I took the escalator to the 4th floor and found the clinic with its open, bright reception area. Nadia, my aesthetician, greeted me then took me through to a treatment room where she carried out a full facial consultation. My main concerns are my eye contour - dark circles, bags and lots of lines – while my skin looks a little lacklustre and saggy.
Nadia drew on my face with a white pencil highlighting six areas across my face. She explained that this is done to ensure that each area is worked on.
Next, ultrasound gel was applied to each area so that the handpiece could glide easily over my skin (anyone who has had a normal ultrasound will know what I mean). So, there I was, my face covered in gel and white pencil marks – lucky there was no fire alarm.
Each electrical pulse delivers a short, sharp shock. I have a low pain threshold but found it totally bearable – not as bad as a leg wax for example. It felt more like a dull tingle with a warm sensation.
At the end, Nadia handed me a mirror. I could see a difference immediately – my skin was clear, not red, and my cheekbones felt slightly higher in my face.
Nadia explained that the initial results will start to show after three months due to the body's natural process of re-healing. It’s a bit of a wait, but the results will continue to improve and can last up to a year.
It's been several weeks since I have had this treatment, and I can certainly see the results: my complexion is smoother, my cheeks look fuller and my forehead smoother.
I would definitely have the treatment again in a year’s time – if you think about it, it’s less than £100 a month which you can easily spend on a top end natural facial. Time to start saving!