More than a facial, less than a surgery: somewhere between the slow progress of retinols and the flick of a scalpel lies the fast-growing industry of tweakments. After the vanities of a world in lockdown, where we spent the better part of two years staring at our reflections in the narcissistic pool of Zoom, came the urge for a ‘fresh face’ that pops rather than drops on social media. From Baby Botox to laser facials, non-invasive aesthetic procedures that deliver natural results are exploding in popularity.
Cosmetic enhancements are no longer a closed-door skincare secret, or in a price bracket reserved for the rich and famous. Procedures that don’t involve being cut open, a general anaesthesia or even hibernating from the world for two weeks are viewed as a stepping stone between the 12-step skincare ritual, which isn’t quite hitting the spot, and a full-blown surgical intervention. Think targeted, futuristic facial with instant results rather than an elaborate eye or face lift.
Time to Tweak?
Tweakments are not designed to change your appearance, get Kylie Jenner’s lips or Bella Hadid’s cheekbones, but to accentuate what you’ve got. They are about lifting, tightening and looking refreshed – not plastic or fake – but beaming with the zen of a post-holiday glow.
The question, ‘Who is your doctor?’ used to be the biggest signifier of good ‘work’ done. As our appetite for non-aesthetic procedures increases – a gentle nip and tuck, a vitamin injectable, a boost of hyaluronic acid to plump things up – remarks like, ‘Are you back from a spa break?’ or ‘You look well rested,’ validate the success of a facial tweak.
Gone are the days of clunky old machines in chilly clinics or over-lit salons. Beauty formulas are now gentler, doctors and aestheticians are more experienced, and with the rise of Instagram influencers there’s no stigma to fat freezing, a lunchtime jab of Botox or getting your pores cosmetically smoothened. Treatments are mostly painless and results swift and targeted, going far beyond the power of skincare alone. So, if you are wondering just how those tiny rivulets across the landscape of a colleague’s face magically disappeared over the weekend, read on….
Trending Tweakments – Profhilo
What is it? Dubbed the Botox of 2022, this is the number-one skincare injectable. Essentially a first-of-its-kind moisturiser of 100-percent hyaluronic acid, it stimulates the production of elastin and collagen within the dermis resulting in firmer, plumper, fresher-looking skin.
Who’s it for? Those looking to address skin dullness, laxity, fine lines and appear rejuvenated. Topical hyaluronic-acid creams on the dermis can only do so much.
How long does it last? Injected once a month for the first two months with a six-month and 12-month follow-up, the effects being to wear off after a year.
Who should refrain? Many dermatologists consider Profhilo as a great ‘skinvestment’ because, unlike derma fillers, it does not alter the facial features. However, since it’s not a filler, it will not correct issues like sunken eyes, dark circles, loss of volume in cheeks, or deeper wrinkles – those will still require Botox.
What is it? This ground-breaking ultrasound treatment is the only US FDA-approved non-invasive face lift in the market. Working around the upper chest area, neck, eyebrows and under the chin, therapeutic high-intensity sound waves penetrate 4.5 millimetres under the skin surface, boosting collagen and elastin reserves without needles or scalpels.
Who is it for? This (moderately painful) treatment could be the answer to a smoother, contoured look at any age, but is most effective for those with mild to moderate skin laxity.
How long does it last? It’s performed in a single session once a year.
Who should refrain? If your aesthetic goal is ice-skating-rink-like smoothness, be aware: this is no facelift, the results are not as dramatic.
What is it? This 60-minute water-and-vitamin-based infusion facial is the gold standard in mature skincare. The gentle skin-resurfacing procedure vacuums out the blackheads and whiteheads while plumping and boosting with a potent mix of acids (glycolic, beta, lactic, salicylic and hyaluronic), vitamins and essential minerals. It’s as effective as microdermabrasion, minus the discomfort and downtime.
Who is it for? Anyone above the age of 30 with skin dryness, discolouration, signs of ageing or acne who is seeking a younger, fresher look which is still you.
Who should refrain? As a soothing, refreshing, non-irritating treatment ideal for all complexions and skin types, we cannot think of anyone who would not benefit.
What is it? A no-needle lip booster adjunct to the HydraFacial treatment. It involves exfoliation using mechanical suction and then soaking the lip area in a mixture of peppermint oil, aloe extract and wheat proteins.
Who is it for? Those craving full, smooth, perkier lips and are not quite ready to commit to a filler.
How long does it last? This super-efficient 10-minute treatment boosts your lips for just a few weeks, so it’s ideal before a special occasion or for intense hydration during the winter.
Who should refrain? It’s not a substitute for a lip filler, just a road-test to what you’ll look like with a full-on permanent pout.
Proceed with Caution
While the aim of tweakments is not to alter your appearance, idealising youth is a slippery slope. Shaming and shunning people for the ways they act on a natural desire to change their look does not help, but a reality check from a trusted friend now and then might.
(Text: Nikita Mishra)