'I got the £2,000 Amanda Holden facial and now I'm sad I can only afford Boots'
I took myself down to 111 Harley Street to see if the treatment that keeps aids Amanda Holden's skin, could aid mine
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Sometimes celebrities really are just like us... but more often than not, they aren't. Sure, they might share their "makeup looks under £10" secrets with us now and again, but on the whole, they're supplementing their beauty routine with treatments worth hundreds of pounds. One such treatment, is the Thermage FLX radiofrequency treatment.
Thermage is a popular non-surgical face and body lift which has many celebrity fan. Gwyneth Paltrow even proclaimed after a session: "I feel like it took five years off my face." Much-loved Amanda Holden is also thought to have had this treatment. At age 51, it seems like Amanda simply does not age. Her skin just lives in a timeless vacuum.
I took myself down to 111 Harley Street to see if it was this treatment that helped her. Perched on the -1 floor of London's most botoxed street, the luxury clinic is a skin-care playground that attracts A-list clientele. "Half the time I recognise their faces, but I don't actually know who they are," my aesthetician Violet Grigiou told me, as she prepped my skin. "They could be Oprah for all I know."
READ MORE: 'I spent £10k on cosmetic surgery and now people believe I'm the real Britney Spears after a few drinks'
While it would be mere pocket money for Oprah, for the average Londoner this treatment comes with a price stag. Expect to pay approximately £1600 depending on the size of the area that you need treated.
When I got the chance to try the treatment myself, I jumped at the opportunity to see what could possibly warrant the price in order to understand, is it worth the hype?
The procedure is often touted as a "non-surgical face lift," and there are a few reasons why. Thermage FLX, which is FDA approved, uses radiofrequency technology to heat the dermis layer. The localised dermis layer will be damaged by the heat energy which will then stimulate the skin to re-build itself.
To borrow a term from Boris, it will ideally "build back better". When the injuries in the skin are left to repair itself, this boosts your natural collagen production, which then increases the elasticity and plumpness.
You can have this treatment pretty much anywhere on your body where you want a little lift. I opted for my face and beck area, but one London plastic surgeon told me they have seen a 200 per cent increase in people asking to fix their 'saggy knees'.
On the face, it is supposed to:
I am a complete novice when it comes to skin treatments - I'm allergic to pretty much everything. So I very much adopt the 'less is more' approach. My skin care routine, if you can call it that, consists of a makeup wipe (sorry) and moisturiser. And with my 30s on the horizon, I knew it was time to start looking after my skin.
Given my sensitive skin, I run in the opposite direction to any treatment that involves peeling, foreign objects or inflammation. But Thermage FLX, I was pleased to find, is not one of them. It was a painless process with zero downtime. An in-and-out job.
Here's how the procedure went down:
I sent a selfie of myself to my friend after the treatment, too which she replied: "Why are you sending me a picture of Amanda Holden". Jokes aside, did I look like Amanda when I walked out the door?
No. But did I leave with a sense that I had done something good for my skin? Yes. And I did have a noticeable glow the next day.
According to Violet, "You may see some immediate lifting, but the results are usually progressive, with optimal improvement at around the six-month mark and improved when combined with other treatments and skincare. As the treatment works by stimulating collagen levels, the results continue to improve over time." Fingers crossed.
I was also told many patients choose to have this treatment once a year. Avoiding drinking and 'poor lifestyle habits' is also recommended to accelerate depletion of collagen.
But seeing as I wasn't about to ditch the Aperol Spritz's or have £2,000 to spare every year, it looks like the sun cream and the Boots skincare aisle will be seeing more of me over the next few years. However, I will be visiting with a mix of reluctant acceptance of the inferior level or skin care and inspiration to look after my skin. But if you can stomach the steep cost, this collagen-boosting treatment might be for you.
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