Fifty-year-old Natalie Cheney of Erskine Park didn’t like looking at herself in the mirror.
”I was starting to look at my face and say, ‘Why bother?’ Nothing made me look the way I feel,” she says. ”I was spending so much on face creams that didn’t deliver results. And going under the knife seemed a bit drastic.”
The medical director of All Saints Cosmedical, Joseph Hkiek, who performed the procedure, says it uses Botox to relax lines and wrinkles and filler to replace lost volume and ‘gives the effect of a facelift without the risks’.
A Sydney general practitioner, Ginni Mansberg, says Cheney’s choice is becoming more common for many reasons.
“No.1 is cost – going under the knife is expensive because you need a hospital bed and that’s a massive cost,” says Mansberg.
“No.2 is less anaesthetic, as every anaesthetic has a risk. No.3 is downtime. Everyone’s seen the photos post-surgery and you look like you’ve been run over by a truck and you’re in a lot of pain for a couple of weeks afterwards and you need to take yourself off the party list for a long time.” With injections and fillers, most people are on deck in hours.
A registered nurse and director of The Clinic in Bondi Junction, Lisa Sullivan, says non-surgical treatments are for ”upward-thinking people”. ”The risk is minimal, the downtime is minimal and results are just as good. Satisfaction level is high,” she says. ”It’s all about skin; when your skin looks good, lines aren’t as obvious and you look healthy.”
”Results are subtle but it’s an investment in your skin and a building block for everything else,” she says. ”Thermage is huge in America. There’s no redness, no swelling and no bruising.”
Cheney was nervous about the liquid facelift and her family tried to talk her out of it but she’s extremely happy she went through with it.
”People now say I look great and fresh,” she says. ”But they can’t put their finger on why. Someone even said, ‘Have you changed your face cream?’ I’m happy to tell them what I’ve had done.
”We all get older and get wrinkles and our skin doesn’t renew itself as quickly. I don’t feel old so I don’t want to look old. And I don’t believe it’s something you need to hide – to me it’s like dyeing your hair.
”Yes, it’s still expensive initially but then you can just add a little here and there along the way to maintain it. I’m sick of spending money on products that don’t work.
”This gives instant results. My skin looks so great I don’t even have to wear foundation any more.”
”But there’s a stigma surrounding plastic surgery, whereas non-surgical is more acceptable,” he says.
”And with a facelift, you have a big scar from top of skull to in front of each ear. The face is numb for four to six weeks.
”And you can look really pulled.”
Mansberg agrees: ”The idea with a really good non-surgical procedure is that no one says, ‘Wow you’ve had a facelift’; but they say, ‘Wow you look great.’ ‘
Writer: Shelly Horton