The New You

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / Mar 12 2017 / 14:19 PM

Team Bazaar tried and tested the best enhancing treatments (so you don’t have to) from botox to teeth whitening, all in the space of a lunch break with minimal downtime

The New You

Fotona 4D Facelift, Natascha Hawke, Deputy Editor 

A combination of years of living in the sun, late nights and turning 35 has been a little tough going on my fair skin. I first heard about Fotona 4D through a friend and became curious after seeing the success that it had on her skin, so  I booked in with Dubai local aesthetician Rebecca Treston at Euromed Clinic to see what the fuss was about. Widely believed to be the second best non-invasive treatment around – Ultherapy comes in first – Fotona 4D’s USP is that it treats signs of ageing in not one, but four different ways, all in a single session, at 15 per cent the cost of a facelift. The procedure uses state of the art laser and heat technology to attack signs of ageing like red veins, enlarged pores and pigmentation. The difference with Fotona 4D is that it is also intraoral, meaning bulk-heating is used inside of the mouth for an even deeper effect, quite literally from the inside out. During the treatment I heard a few pops and fizzles, and there was a slight smell of burning as the skin was lasered away, but that was the worst of it. It was over in less than an hour and I could return to work immediately. Following the treatment, my skin was left a little red for the first day, a couple of days later a light peeling occurred, and then voilà, new skin and a lot of compliments about how much younger I looked. The effects are still showing, and are said to get better over time.  I will be definitely be going back, and you should too.

Dhs4,000, Euromed Clinic, +971 4 394 5422

Velashape, Jordan Grant, Digital Assistant 

If like me, you are one of the roughly 80 per cent of women who struggle with cellulite, you’ll know how frustrating those lumps and bumps can be. On a quest to be cellulite-free, I found VelaShape, the non-invasive body contouring treatment that promises cellulite reduction. The treatment uses vacuum and mechanical massage to manipulate your skin, while infrared light, and bi-polar radio frequency energies gently heat fat cells and the surrounding tissue to stimulate the growth of new and better collagen. The machine isn’t painful but can be slightly uncomfortable to begin with, however all settings are variable to accommodate different comfort levels and the treatment can target specific areas such as thighs, stomach, buttocks and arms. A session takes 45 minutes with absolutely no downtime; perfect for the woman who needs her beauty treatments to be as fast paced as she is. It’s recommended that you take six to eight sessions, which are priced individually, and these can be done within one week of one other.

Dhs800 at Aesthetics International; +971 4 346 9888 

Facial Rejuvination, Katie Trotter, Fashion & Beauty Director

The beauty of visiting ZO Skin Centre is that an entire personalised plan is put together just for you. Skin health is Dr. Manar’s passion and clear, supple, youthful skin is the end goal. After an in-depth consultation I was given a rather exhausting skin care regime to follow over the next month including a twice daily vigourous scrub and a twice weekly application of a retinol cream that promises to transform my mild rosacea and slightly  dehydrated  skin. This is followed by the ZO Detoxifying Skin Treatment with a Spirulina Green Masque that contains proteins, fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals. The final stage of the treatment (which took a fair bit of persuasion) involved a small amount of Allergen botox for the fine lines on my neck and upper part of face. One week on and my skin truly looks happier. That makes two of us.

Complete package from Dhs2900 at ZO Skin Centre; +971 4 380 9517  

Eye Brightening Peel, Paysley Ross, Digital Content Director

Eight hours shut eye doesn’t always do the trick but this noninvasive eye treatment helps lighten dark circles while softening fine lines with a pain-free, two-step peel. A specialist customises the treatments depending on skin type and it’s also suitable for a sensitive complexion. Peel one is applied, left for a matter of minutes and thoroughly rinsed then repeated for peel two, radiofrequency is then  used to tighten skin, before a 15-minute eye mask to finish. Results are instant, though admittedly they were not dramatic for me. I felt a little tighter around the eye area and I looked well rested, although I should add that during my visit the clinic mentioned my dark circles weren’t too heavy to begin with. With no side effects, pain or downtime, the half hour procedure is perfect for a quick, lunch break pick-me-up.

Dhs400 at La Vie Clinic, +971 4 394 7190

Mesotherapy, Gemma Deeks, Fashion & Beauty Editor

As a beauty editor, I was eager to try this sought-after treatment as I felt my skin was lacking in life. The dermatologist started by giving my skin a gentle cleanse then a head and face massage, followed by gentle microdermabrasion to unclog the pores. Once an anesthetic numbing cream was applied to my face (this is optional depending on your sensitivity, but as the treatment is only minimally invasive with tiny pinpricks, there’s no real pain), we were ready to start the Mesotherapy. The facial works by injecting ingredients such as vitamins, pharmaceutical and homeopathic medications and plant extracts into the middle layer of the skin (the mesoderm) to stimulate elastin and collagen, and I felt it did just that. The next day my skin was glowing, looked and felt hydrated.

Dhs800 at Just Aesthetics; +971 4 399 8440

Thread Lift, Alice Jarman, Editorial Assistant 

Thread lifts are the new non-surgical facelift that take just half an hour of your time with no recovery needed – which is probably why they’re called the lunchtime facelift. The procedure is an effective lifting and regenerating method, based on the implanting of multiple mini-threads, by using tiny needles adapted to each treatment area, creating an immediate and visible lifting effect. The procedure is suitable for both men and women, and can be tailored to an individual’s needs and desired results. Threading areas include sagging and asymmetric eyebrows, ‘droopy’ cheeks, and the sagging soft tissues of the mid and lower face, jowls and neck area. I had my face numbed with cream 20 minutes before the 30-minute procedure, so it was only slightly unpleasant when the needles went in; it felt a little like acupuncture. The Polypropylene threads are absorbable, and sterile and are not even visible under fair or thin skin (Polypropylene is an extremely safe material used in heart surgery for enhancing cell cohesion). I only had five threads inserted into each side of my face, however I think to see the full effects of the treatment more are recommended, especially for more mature skin.

Dhs2,000-3,000 at Lesprit Medical Clinic; +971 4 338 8238

Coolsculpting, Anna Brady, Features Editor

Coolsculpting is hailed as a non-surgical alternative to liposuction, intended to freeze away targeted areas of stubborn fat that won’t budge no matter how many hours you spend in the gym. It uses Cryolipolysis technology to kill off fat cells through freezing them before they’re excreted. This can be applied to thighs, abdominals, the backs of the arms and double chins – wherever there is excess fat. It promises 20-30 per cent reduction, though in slimmer patients that might only be 10 per cent. The applicator is like the end of a vacuum cleaner, clamping onto the skin with a strong suction. It’s uncomfortable, as though someone has grabbed the flesh hard. Then the freezing starts, the intense cold makes the area go numb after around 10 minutes. Each treatment lasts 60-75 minutes and results are typically seen between three weeks and, more commonly, one to three months. I should add a disclaimer;  I had the treatment on the saddlebags below the buttocks but there wasn’t enough fat for the applicator to “grab” onto, so it pinged off before the treatment finished. A risk with slimmer patients, this would have been picked up on in the standard consultation beforehand  (I didn’t have one due to time constraints). The pros, there’s no downtime, no needles and you can go straight back to the office. The cons: bruising is common and payment is made per area of treatment so the cost can mount up quickly.

From Dhs2,800 at La Estetica Medical Centre; +971 4 321 2130

In-House Teeth Whitening, Lisa Rokny, Publisher 

The Apa Aesthetics clinic in Dubai feels like a modern beauty sanctuary, with slick interiors that will make you want to spend the whole afternoon. Dr Apa’s hygienist Beverly, explains that the in-house whitening treatment, that takes around one hour, is the fastest and most effective treatment on offer, but that the  follow-up home plan with Apa white duo is also integral to the process. I was completely distracted throughout what was anyway a totally pain-free treatment, thanks to the reclining chairs that look up at HD screens in the ceiling playing Apple TV complete with noise cancelling headphones. I remained  absorbed in my favourite TV show while the 45 minute application took place. Beverly used a retractor to protect my lips, cheeks and tongue and placed a soft liquid plastic on the gum – the results was a perfect, bright smile, that still looked natural. Similar to dyeing your hair, whitening needs to be maintained, so Dr Apa has developed the Apa White Duo for at home aftercare (which, helpfully, is included in the treatment). The kit comes with a whitening brush pen and easy-to-use, comfortable strips that you place on teeth for 90 minutes. For best results, it is advised to have a professional cleaning within one month before starting any teeth whitening.

Dhs4,500 at Apa Aesthetic; +971 4 709 1000

Eyebrow Tattooing, Acacia Stitcher, Group Art Director 

Whether over-plucking has caused permanent thinning of your brows, or if you’re keen to emulate the trademark look of catwalk beauties Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid, eyebrow tattooing has come a long way. Technology combined with artistic precision to ensure that your tattooed brows aren’t the thick, black strips of the ’90s attempt at permanent make-up, but rather feather-light, natural-looking enhancements. Owner Chloe Walsh applies pharmaceutical-grade pigments to the upper dermis of the skin to define the brow, using a teeny-tiny needle. On the pain scale, it’s more of a light scratching than a pin-prick. The thinness of the needle allows Chloe to make featherlight markings throughout your brows, identical to your own hair’s thickness. Used to fill in bald spots throughout the brow, re-shape or lengthen, the treatment lasts between 12 and 18 months and is medically approved by the Dubai Municipality. After an initial consultation, the treatment can take between one and two hours. A topical numbing cream is applied, so really, it’s not at all uncomfortable. Don’t get a shock when you take your first glimpse in the mirror. The darkness of your brows will startle you, but they’ll fade and settle within a few days.

From Dhs1,200 at Browz; +971 4 321 4828