The New “Face Lift” That Actually Creates More Collagen
I know about skin. Granted, not anywhere near as much as the skin specialists I find myself interviewing but believe me when I say that I’ve tried, tested and researched the hell out of everything they’ve advised me on. When it comes to searching for the holy grail of skin perfecting treatments, I’m like a dog with a bone.
I’m 36 years old and thanks to seriously sophisticated skincare and treatments (but sadly not down to genes) I can thankfully say that my skin looks 10 years younger on a good day (unless of course my friends are lying, which of course, they may be).
I’m not gloating, I promise – achieving good skin has been bleeding hard work and it’s always on-going! Through laser facials and prescribed skincare like retinol and various other acids, I’ve painfully peeled my way to shrunken pores, eradicated pigmentation and noticeably reduced fine lines. In my opinion anyone can have younger looking skin if they’re prepared to go through the cost and downtime of pursuing it (for more on this see my blog on retinols).
For some time great skincare was all my complexion needed but over the past couple of years I’ve noticed that despite smooth skin, I’ve started to age in areas that can’t be taken care of with products alone. My jawline isn’t as firm as it used to be and I have the beginnings of little puffy pouches below the corners of my mouth. The lines between my nose and mouth are prominent even when I don’t smile and in a bad photo, I’ve got jowls.
Don’t get me wrong – I completely accept that it’s all just a natural part of ageing and I also realise that I’m only at the beginning stages of noticing the ageing process. I could turn to injectables but to be honest I’ve never liked the look of too much Botox or fillers on anyone. The people I find most attractive have expression and I certainly wouldn’t want to get rid of mine. I suppose Botox and fillers have their place and I wouldn’t rule out the fact that one day that place may even be my face but for now, I’ll make my own collagen thanks…and I’ve found the secret to how…
Three months ago I visited Dr Elizabeth Dancey at Bijoux Medi Spa in Belgravia, London where I road tested the V Soft Lift, which is being hyped as the new, natural face-lift without downtime. And before I go into a detailed description of what it is, I’ll cut to the chase now.
Yes, it really does work.
My face feels firmer without any telltale signs that I’ve had anything ‘done’. In fact the results are so subtle that when I look in the mirror I can’t really see a massive difference but my face feels so much firmer to touch, my makeup doesn’t collect in the lines between my nose and mouth because the line is no longer as prominent and I can’t grab any skin around my jowly-bits anymore. My skin feels noticeably thicker and plumper. And this is all thanks to a revolutionary new technique that has actually forced my skin to produce more of it’s own collagen.
So how does it work?
I’m not going to lie, it’s not for the faint hearted but it’s also not as scary as it first seems. The treatment was originally developed in Korea before being modified in Sweden acheiving a CE mark. It takes around 30-60 minutes and is performed by placing absorbable, fine threads with a cannula needle into the dermis, 5mm under the surface of the skin.
Sounds scary, huh? Well, it’s not really…
Forget what you’ve heard about “thread lifts” before because this is entirely different to the permanent thread lift of the past, where gold threads were anchored into the skin, yanked upwards and expected to defy gravity forever (see Google images for why not to go down this route).
The V soft thread is thinner than a hair and consists of polydioxanone- the same material surgeons use for surgery (basically dissolvable stitches). Each thread is between 1 centimetre to 1 inch long and is placed wherever needed, overlapping in a criss-cross shape to create a mesh effect. Exactly where the threads are placed and how many you have depends on the area being treated. The threads quickly dissolve in around 3 months (and are broken down by the body as lactic acid), however the skin reacts by releasing platelets and growth factors, which effectively wrap around the threads and shrink as they heal, leaving a firm foundation of tight collagen where the threads were. The collagen has a lifting effect as well as firming and results last between one to two years.
Its really all about damage – if you damage the internal structure of the skin it will produce collagen as a healing response. Fact.
Before the treatment Dr Dancey numbed my skin with a topical anaesthetic, which was seriously effective – I hardly felt a thing- and placed the needles at various points around the face. At the top of my cheekbone I had around 6 of the tiny threads placed (the lifting effect of new collagen helps to soften the nose to mouth lines). I also had some along the jawline and below each corner of the mouth.
There was no downtime as such (I probably could have gone back to work that afternoon) but I did experience a small amount of bruising and every now and then over the first few weeks, I could feel a tiny, sharp pain at the tip of one of the threads when I laughed but it wasn’t too uncomfortable.
Who is it for?
Someone my age, in their mid 30’s to mid 40’s but don’t rule it out if you’re more mature. Anyone wanting subtle lift and volume is an ideal candidate because essentially the threads firm up the skin in a way that is subtle as well as preventative. Basically, If you want to look ‘youthful’ in a way that makes people compliment you on looking well, without them wondering if you’ve had ‘work’ this is the treatment for you. If you have lines on your forehead or slightly hooded eyes from brow droop, V Soft can be used to lift and smooth. When jowls and nose to mouth lines start to appear, it can soften and firm as well as add volume to the cheekbone. Crepey necks will love the freshening effect of V Soft. For more dramatic lifting and volume Dr Dancey recommends a different lifting technique using Silhouette, which is a similar process with slightly longer, thicker threads. Dr Dancey also combines Silhouette and V Soft techniques depending on what will give the most effective, natural looking result for the individual client.
How much does it cost?
It may not be cheap but thank goodness… This technique requires a doctor with serious skill and experience, which is why I headed straight to the renowned Dr Dancey. That said, it’s really not as expensive as many other cosmetic treatments and it really does work. Treating the entire face and neck costs around £1100 at Bijoux Medispa and in my opinion, it’s entirely worth it.
For more product information visit www.vsoftlift.com
To book a treatment in London visit www.bijoux-medispa.co.uk
If you’ve tried V Soft Lift or have any questions about the procedure I had – Drop me a line on Facebook, twitter or instagram