[By Helen Ooi]

You don’t need a degree in medical science to understand what gravity does to your looks, you only need to look into the mirror. As we age, our tissues lose their firmness and volume, moving down south to give rise to a tired-looking face with lines and sagging skin. However, 60 has apparently become the new 40 in recent years. Age-defying celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Raquel Welch, Christy Brinkley and Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia refuse to let time dim their star presence, showing off firm faces and taut figures to give women half their age a run for their money.

The original “Uptown Girl” Christie Brinkley, 64 years young, appeared for the 9th time on the cover of Sports Illustrated with her daughters in 2017, 13 years since her last in 2004.

While dozens of surgical facelifts are probably performed each day around the world to reverse pesky signs of aging, there are now many non-surgical and minimally invasive options without the risks, costs, lengthy recovery time and possible scarring associated with open surgery. With medical aesthetics treatments going mainstream at a more affordable price tag than before, l am all ready to challenge my skin’s destiny.

After some serious online research and asking around, I finally decided to entrust my mini makeover to the SW1 Clinic, a one stop aesthetics destination that offers both non-invasive cosmetics dermatology and cutting edge plastic surgery. Although operations started late last year, the SW1 Clinic is hardly a newbie to the scene. It is actually set-up and managed by the exact same team of beauty specialists (doctors, nurses and therapists) formerly running The Sloane Clinic, a premium chain of aesthetics clinics operating in Singapore/Malaysia since 2003.When it comes to procedures on my face, it’s not just about dollars and cents but the experience and skill of the specialist that makes a difference and matters most.

Read More: 5 Things to Consider for Overseas Plastic Surgery in Seoul

On the day of my visit, I was consulted by Dr. Kenneth Lee, senior aesthetics physician and medical director of the SW1 Clinic, who immediately put me at ease with his warm and friendly disposition. Patience is definitely in his genes as Dr. Lee put in quality time to listen to my (long) “wish-list” before giving me a detailed examination, breaking down my problems by offering his professional inputs and laying out the options available for me as we moved along. With no hard selling and keeping me thoroughly engaged in the decision making, I decided that the Silhouette Instalift is the lunchtime facelift treatment of choice for me. This procedure uses 100% bio-absorbable Silhouette Soft® threads whose development is based on 6 years of experience in suture suspension with cones used in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in the United States. These threads are strategically placed under the skin to lift and restore facial contours. Over time, they help stimulate our skin’s own collagen production process, resulting in a firmer and smoother appearance of the treated areas over the next 12 to 18 months despite the fact that the actual threads placed would have disappeared way before.

Read more: Facial Thread Lifts: The Pros and Cons

The FDA-approved Silhouette Soft® threads used in Silhouette Instalift comes with 8 cones or 12 cones to cater to the differing needs of each individual patient

To begin with, I was prepped with a strong topical anaesthetic cream 15 minutes before treatment and frankly, I could not feel much of my face once the effect kicked in. Dr. Lee proceeded to make some markings, measuring my face with the precision of an engineer reconstructing an old building that was on the verge of falling apart! Following that, he informed me that he would be injecting some local anaesthesia to the entry and exit points and this is mildly uncomfortable, at the very most. The Silhouette Soft® threads were then inserted using a fine blunt needle (as pictured) without the need of incisions, being placed directly under my skin at a precise depth and position pre-determined by the doctor’s assessment.

“The main difference and advantage of Silhouette Soft® threads over others of lesser make is that they are held in place by innovative absorbable cones which suspend and lift saggy tissues to a more optimal position with overall improved efficacy. The lifting effect is visible immediately while collagen is stimulated over the subsequent months for a more prolonged smoothing and firming effect.”— Dr. Kenneth Lee, SW1 Clinic.

All in all, the whole procedure took about 30 to 40 minutes and strangely, I was even a tad disappointed that it was nowhere near as painful (nor bloody) as I thought it would be! Oh well, I supposed I’m brought up with the old school mind-set of “No gains without pain”? There was some swelling and bruises that were easily camouflaged with some concealer before stepping out of the clinic.

Read More: The Science of Beauty: When to Lift and When to fill

In short, the Silhouette Instalift is a very manageable lunchtime procedure and I didn’t even need to pop any of the painkiller that Dr. Lee prescribed during my recovery. There were no open wounds that require special attention and my usual skincare regime remained unaltered. Everything settled down quite nicely and by the end of the second week, the compliments were literally pouring in!

The proof is in the pudding and as far as I’m concerned, my improvement is nothing short of amazing. The benefits of Silhouette Instalift include tighter skin, improved skin texture and renewed facial contours, giving me a more refreshed and youthful appearance. There are significant softening of my laugh lines, jowls and droopy lip, with fuller, lifted cheeks to boot. Notice the difference in my eyebags too?

What’s my verdict?

Definitely a bang for the buck with all these subtle but significant changes without the need to undergo Plastic surgery!

Treatment done: Silhouette Instalift with Silhouette Soft® threads @SW1 Clinic

Price: from $3210 (inclusive of 7% GST)

More info: Silhouette Instalift


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