When it comes to smoothing lines and wrinkles, it can seem like hitting the Botox hard is your only real option.
But what if you’re scared of needles? Or just don’t fancy getting your face jabbed every few months?
You do have other avenues available, including light, laser, and ultrasound therapies.
Laser therapy works by firing ultrashort pulses of laser light into the skin, to stimulate collagen and make your skin do the bulk of the anti-ageing work itself.
And while needles tend to be held up as the best approach, many experts put forward this treatment as an alternative option.
Dr Mario Luca Russo, cosmetic and dermatologic surgeon, tells us: ‘Although injectables such as Botox work immediately on eliminating wrinkles, they do only work short term.
‘For long term results, laser technology really is the answer – great news for those with a fear of needles.
‘I’ve found that the Fraxel dual laser treatment works the best in clients seeking smoother, younger looking skin without pigmentation.
‘Using two separate wavelengths, the shallower laser disperses pigmentation whilst the second penetrates deeper into the skin, targeting wrinkles.
‘Both use thermal energy to tackle problem areas, stimulating skin cells and collagen into reproduction; resulting in glowing skin.
‘Downtime is only a few days whilst the old skin cells are shed and the new skin settles down, with most clients needing no more than three sessions with the full effect visible within about a week. Results should last around three months.’
That last bit is important – this, too, is not a one and done type of treatment.
As with so many skincare bits, getting regular sessions is key – but it is thought that the effects of laser can be long-lasting.
Natasha Clancy of KICHI recommends LED light therapy as another option.
‘You can treat pigmentation, and signs of ageing without needles,’ she says. ‘Needle phobia is very common along with clients looking for less invasive treatments.
‘At KICHI, we love LED Light Therapy to treat pigmentation, and the results can be quite dramatic from a course of just 10 weekly treatments.
‘The therapy works by sending beneficial wavelengths into the skin’s deepest layers to energise our cells, in a process known as photo-biomodulation (a discovery originally made by NASA).’
Again, this treatment is all about encouraging the skin to do its work.
‘Energised skin cells not only function more effectively but can regenerate up to 200% faster, leading to a more youthful, healthy and radiant complexion,’ says Natasha. ‘The therapy also accelerates wound healing by regenerating the cells and delivering nutrients and oxygen to the treated area.
‘We use a green light for pigmentation, which can also be combined with a red light to specifically target collagen regeneration, fine lines, and wrinkles.’
Then there are ultrasound treatments, such as HIFU.
Like laser and light therapies, these work to stimulate collagen production, rather than injecting in any foreign substances.
‘HIFU is unique in its ability to penetrate the dermis and the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) layer,’ Natasha explains. ‘This is the same layer that is tightened during conventional facelift surgery, however unlike surgery, the technology uses natural means to stimulate your own collagen through thermal ultrasound energy.’
Then there’s the easiest approach of all: at-home skincare.
Let’s be honest – slathering on a face cream just won’t deliver the same results as these intensive therapies. But for those unable to afford pricey treatments, or scared of lasers as well as needles, getting the skincare basics down is the way forward.
Ensure you’re slathering on sunblock every. single. day. Prevention is the best treatment.
Try facial massage every evening, taking the time to increase blood flow and stimulate the lymphatic system.
And if you’re ready to really prioritise anti-ageing, it’s time to embrace retinol – thought to be the most effective skin-plumping ingredient on the block.
No, these won’t deliver the same dramatic difference as going to a professional, but they’re a great place to start. And there are no needles involved. Hooray.