Image courtesy of Jamie Nelson Beauty Photography
Till as recent as 20 years ago, the only option to fix a droopy jawline was with a facelift, both expensive and a slightly terrifying prospect with results that can go either way. However, things are shaping up with facial threadlifting, a non-surgical technique that promises desirable results without the risks and downtime tagged to a surgical facelift. Threadlifting is a procedure that works to tackle sags and folds, and as the demand for skin care where less is more grows, the procedure is becoming more popular than ever before. Hailed as a solution for both women and men that side-steps the commitment and healing time required for a traditional face lift, fine threads placed in the skin can get to places on faces other procedures cannot reach.But while thread-lifting’s touch may be comparatively light, it’s not to be undertaken lightly.
To help unravel the truth, ReadySetBeauty spoke to the ultimate beauty specialists from the SW1 Clinic to give us the down-low on this beauty fix that’s taking the medical aesthetics world by storm, with answers to all that you ever need to know.
What are threadlifts?
A youthful face is triangular in shape VS a mature face which is an inverted triangle or rectangular
Threadlifts are minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments designed to bridge the gap between traditional surgical facelift and machine based skin tightening and lifting devices with the use of ultra-fine, biocompatible and bio-absorbable threads which stimulate collagen production to tighten and lift saggy skins.
Thread lifts offer many benefits including the following:
- Rejuvenates and makes skin look more rested and firm
- Allows a more defined facial contour
- Achieves a youthful look without scarring and the need for general anesthesia
- A more affordable option or alternative to a full facelift
- A quick and effective solution for a wide range of aging problems
What are the areas that can be treated?
Academy award actress Sandra Bullock is one of many Hollywood celebrities that had chosen minimally invasive beauty treats such as facial threadlifting to maintain her youthful looks.
According to Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of premier aesthetic institution SW1 Clinic, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of thread lifts with the advent of innovative new threads and improved techniques that leave less downtime and yields greater longevity. Popular among men and women who have concerns about facial sagging, the best candidates are between the ages of 25 and 50, although this can depend on the condition of the skin because people with significant sagging do not have the tissue structure necessary to support the threads. There are also women in their mid-20s to early 30s who are using thread lifts as a preventative measure for premature ageing, and in Asia and Russia, there is a cultural standard that has led to a trend to use thread lifting to reshape the face to reduce facial roundness and create the aesthetically coveted ‘V-shape’ face.
Face: Most commonly used to tighten sagging skin on the face, a face threadlift erases wrinkles and facial lines like nasolabial folds, and is able to define a weak jawline for a coveted V-shaped that’s much more youthful looking. It can be also used on other specific areas like in the case of nose threadlifts for elevation, creating a sharper and more defined profile that’s aesthetically desirable.
Neck: Used to reverse the signs of aging by tightening sagging neck skin, as well as lax skin under the chin, addressing the unwanted features of a turkey neck. Neck threadlifts are also extremely helpful in improving the appearance of double chins, and is possible the next best bet to surgical double chin reduction via liposuction available on the current market.
One of the merits of threadlifting is the ability to fully customize the procedure to each individual’s needs, doing as much or as little to enjoy the lifting benefits. In order words, you can have a full facial and neck threadlift in the same setting, or you can opt for a partial treatment plan such as the V-Petit. V-Petit is an intelligent choice for those who cannot afford downtime yet desires a quick lift of the skin.The attending physician will assess your face and advice on the most ideal area to insert the threads. In more sagging faces, he may chart a plan to address multiple areas over 3 separate sessions. In addition, this is also a good option for those who have done facial threadlift before and wishes to prolong or boost their existing results.
How do threadlifts work?
Mode of action of threadlifts explained
The threads are strategically inserted under the skin which creates a scaffolding to support weakened tissues, lifting sagging skin and creating sharper facial features which are indicative of a more youthful looking visage.
Topical numbing cream is first applied to the area(s) to be treated and left on for about 10 to 20 minutes.Local anesthetic injections are then given at various points, acting as “nerve blocks” to blunt your sensation and ensure minimal discomfort during the procedure. Depending on each individual’s requirement as determined by the degree of skin laxity, 4 to 8 threads are inserted to give the best outcome.
Over the next 48 hours the skin will feel tight and it is important to avoid major expressions so that the threads have time to attach firmly. Over the course of six to eight months, the threads will dissolve, however the structural support that was created by the threads will last approximately a year before the effects of gravity take hold, as these threads stimulate a matrix of supporting collagen to maintain the lifting effects, achieving an eventual restoration of your skin’s structural architecture long after the threads are naturally metabolized. The longevity of the procedure depends on individual and lifestyle factors such as age and skin.
What types of threads are used?
Short or long: While short threads are easier to insert and require little aftercare, they are limited in effect as compared to the use of longer threads which can provide a greater degree of lift. However, the shorter lengths mean that they can be better manoeuvred to selectively addressed smaller area(s) such as the nose and underside of the chin that require treatment.
Thin or thick: Thin threads may not be able to provide sufficient support to anchor the lift in place as compared to thicker threads.
Smooth or barbed/hooked: Smooth threads are less capable of providing traction between skin tissues for greater lift and a longer-lasting result but barbed/hooked threads especially earlier generation ones are at high risk of breakages and complications. The Silhouette Soft Threadlift 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 an excellent option as they have the lifting prowess of barbed/hooked threads without their dreaded adverse effects, strategically placed under the skin to lift and restore facial contours to turn back time. Over time, Silhouette Soft® threads help stimulate 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.
Polydioxiane (PDO), Poly L-Lactic Acid (PLLA) or Polycaprolactone (PCL): The main difference is that they are made of different materials. As PDO threads have been used as surgical sutures for many years, they’re extensively-studied and widely recognized to be safe for use. On the other hand, PLLA and PCL threads are newer but are touted to create a much lasting effect with a longer lifespan.
PDO threads such as those used for Infinity V-lift are by far the safest as they are fully absorbed into the skin by the process of hydrolysis within 4 to 6 months and doesn’t leave behind any scar tissue. The threads not only have an immediate tightening effect as if a facelift has been performed, over time, they stimulate collagen production so that even after the threads has dissolved over time, the lifting effect remains.
How much does a threadlift cost in Singapore?
Cost varies across surgeons, the area of treatment, the type of threads used and the number of threads needed. Typically, it can be anywhere from $1,000 to $12,000 SGD. According to Dr Low, one misconception is that the more threads used the better. It is down to the quality of the threads and their placement. If good threads are properly inserted, you do not need dozens of it to effect a good lift. If inferior threads are haphazardly inserted, even if you have fifty in your face, you may not notice a differnce, she says.
How important is it to pay a reasonable fee for a threadlift?
As the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. So although it may be tempting to get a threadlift that comes with an attractively low price tag, it is certainly wise to think twice.
Bear in mind that cost is factored in for:
Expertise: Practitioners who specialize in aesthetics medicine can better understand facial anatomy and its variations to ensure natural looking end results. These trained doctors significantly reduce negative effects from threadlifts such as bad-looking skin dimpling/tethering from placing threads too superficially, or damaging skin structures when threads are placed too deeply.
Experience: As with any surgery, threadlift consists of risks and side effects like possible scarring and thread extrusion. Accumulated practical experience minimizes these, along the expertise required when unavoidable revision is needed to achieve the desired outcome.
Material: Many cheaper, low quality threads have flooded the market, carrying with them the propensity of running into trouble. Do clarify with your practitioner the brand/manufacturer/origin of the threads used and clarify any doubt you have before proceeding. If you’re second guessing, it’s better to take your time to reconsider your decision rather than to live to regret.
Comfort: Many clinics do offer local anaesthetic to ensure the procedure to be as bearable as possible for a pain-free experience. Take note that these clinics should be clean and practice good hygiene, and ultimately you are not paying to be pressurized by hard selling into more procedures or treatments that you’ve not asked for!