With innovative and diligent skincare routines, holding back the years is getting easier and easier, but there's one thing our skin is yet to conquer—physics. As we lose collagen and gravity gets us down (hello, falling brow bone, softer jawline and oh, where did those cheekbones of mine go?), radiofrequency treatments like Thermage will help your skin stay firm and uplifted.
The best time to get radio-thermoplasty (excuse the doctor-speak) is when you start to notice sagging. The treatment is a form of thermal resurfacing that delivers radiofrequency energy deep into the skin. This causes the collagen to heat up and immediately contract, and then over time (and this is where the treatment really delivers bang for your buck) actually stimulates more collagen so looks significantly firmer.
Once all traces of make-up have been removed by a cleansing solution, a temporary tattoo grid is placed along the lower half of our face. A small patch with cords attached is stuck to the middle of our back to ensure the energy is localised to our face, which feels oddly reassuring. A technician then takes a handheld device with a freezing cold tip and begins to work her way across the grid. Each time the device is placed on a section of the grid, we hear a clicking sound and feel a zap enter the skin. For the most part, this just feels like buzzing and lasts about three seconds. Around the jawline and upper neck, we needed to employ deep breathing and made good use of a stress ball we were given. For those few seconds, the buzzing feels very, very hot. But the discomfort stops as soon as the zapping ends because, we’re told, as the skin is heating up the device tip is cooling it down just as fast. After each grid section has been gone over three times, the technician then contours along the jaw and cheekbones for added tightening.
Halfway through the appointment (which took 1.5 hours), we peeked at the side of our face that had been treated. Our skin looked a little firmer on the day, but more noticeable results were visible about four months later, when our skin looked significantly less saggy, especially along the jawline. To maintain results dermatologists recommend annual treatments, which we’ve already started saving for.
From $2,500-$3,000 at Northern Sydney Dermatology, nsdermatology.com.au or find clinics Australia-wide here.
Whilst there isn't a quick fix for renewing collagen with your own two hands, defining tools and targeted skincare will create a lifted effect day by day.
TRY: CLARINS Total Eye Lift, $100; clarins.com.au
If your eyes need lifting from their slumber, Clarins' firming eye balm lifts skin along the brow bone, raises fine lines and depuffs under eyes in 60 seconds.
TRY: CHANEL Le Lift Créme De Nuit, $225; myer.com.au
Smoothing fine lines and firming skin while you sleep, this night creme uses a botanical alfalfa concentrate (and ingredients of 94% natural origin) to gently leave skin bouncy and refreshed when you wake.
TRY: NUFACE Trinity Nu Face, $507; mecca.com.au
A buzz of microcurrent for five minutes a day contours your cheekbones and jawline and stimulates facial muscles as it glides across skin, to plump and perk-up your features with time.
This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of marie claire.