Beauty

I tried a non-invasive skin-tightening treatment that may last for years

Consider this intensive radiofrequency procedure if you’re looking for an anti-ageing investment with results that may last you through this year and beyond. Here’s what happens and what to expect from a Thermage treatment at DRx Clinic Singapore
 
DRX CLINIC SPECIAL
New year, new face, new skin? A discreet tune-up at a respectable dermatological clinic may be an investment well worth making right now.
You see, while topical treatments are the mainstay of any respectable beauty regime, there's no shame in admitting to needing a little extra oomph every now and then – so think of these aesthetic procedures as push-up bras for our faces.
What to try? Thermage is a terrific option when it comes to tightening your skin from within for a natural-looking firmer face that also appears “smaller” and slimmer.
Here’s what I learnt at my consultation. For one, Thermage is a bona fide “lunchtime lift” in that there’s little to no down-time: That means you can excuse yourself during your office break and tip-toe back to your desk with your colleagues being none the wiser for it.
As for the whys and wherefores, Dr Tsu Boon Hsiung of DRx Clinic Singapore tells me that the Thermage device directs radiofrequency rays deep into your skin to tighten and tone your facial features: "This non-invasive procedure provides deep heating to underlying skin, stimulating collagen production that should result in a tauter complexion." As Dr Tsu explains to me, this heating mechanism is believed to create a controlled injury site that in turn amps up your skin’s natural healing abilities to crank out more collagen.
That’s all well and good, but if you’re a beauty buff, you may be aware that Thermage is often pitted against Ultherapy, its close counterpart in the competitive world of complexion correcting. Which procedure should you pick? "Ultherapy uses ultrasound waves to target slightly different layers of the skin, and is particularly effective for lifting loose skin around the jowls," explains Dr Tsu. "Thermage, on the other hand, is very useful for addressing sagging and loss of volume in the cheeks." Different strokes for different folks!
Billion-dollar beauty question: Does Thermage hurt? Not going to lie, the prickly heat does take some getting used to, but it’s far from being a cry-out-loud, hold-my-hand experience. First, you can expect a thorough cleansing, followed by a generous slathering of a numbing cream on areas you want to treat. Practical time management tip: Allocate an hour for pre-treatment prep; then another hour or so for the actual procedure itself.
When you’re all numbed out, treatment commences with your therapist marking out areas of your face for precision application of the Thermage tip. (You’ll look like a char-grilled slab of meat with the stencilling all over your face, but these temporary marks will be erased with a secondary post-treatment cleansing.)
Depending on your individual concerns and pain tolerance level, your doctor will cycle through a number of different settings and passes of the applicator over your skin. You may notice him or her pressing the tip firmly against your jawline and sweeping upwards; these gravity-defying movements are said to "mold" your face into a more lifted, less tired position.
Individual results vary, of course, but Thermage seems to work, at least for me; my face felt noticeably bouncier immediately after my trial session. (Sensitive skinned folks may experience a little flushing from the heat, but this is transient and should dissipate by the time you’re back at your workplace.)
Best of all, the texture, clarity and firmness of your face and neck may continue to improve over the subsequent months. "Judging from the patients I’ve treated, it can take up to two months to see optimal results," Dr Tsu says. "Natural collagen production will persist over the next six months and results may last for more than a year."
Indeed, therein lies the "beauty" of a Thermage treatment, so to speak. Because your skin heals and rebuilds itself from within, you can expect to see gradual but noticeable results over the next few months from a single session alone. This slow-but-steady rejuvenative process means your face should look firmer and fresher as the days roll by – and no one will be able to pinpoint why, unless you decide to disclose your "secret", of course.
Cost also varies from clinic to clinic, but you can expect to pay about SGD$4,800 and up per Thermage session in Singapore. Intrigued and raring to give it a go? Find out more by visiting www.drx-group.com.
 
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