Treatment: Not new, just an update of the tried-and-tested old-school no-knife lift. Micro-current-based CACI has been around for more than 20 years, and now they’ve added LED light therapy to the mix in order to deliver faster, better results.

What it involves: Tiny electrical impulses are applied to the facial muscles to strengthen and tighten, providing a boost to flagging, sagging tissue. First used to help palsy patients, it works by stimulating the muscles to restore blood-flow, elasticity and firmness. The addition of LED light further stimulates the production of collagen — which naturally slows as we age.

How it feels: Rather boring — you just lie there while two probes are passed over your face. But it’s not unpleasant, and is completely painless. You may experience a slight buzzing or metallic feeling in the mouth, especially if you have a lot of fillings in your teeth. But the therapist can adjust the strength of the machine to suit your tolerance.

The results: Rather impressive, especially in the dreaded jowl area. Firmer, better defined contours. The more you have, the better the results.

Celebrity fans: Lindsay Lohan, Sadie Frost, Anthea Turner and Martine McCutcheon.

Ouch factor: 1/10.


If at all possible, get a personal recommendation from someone you know who has tried the treatment you are interested in and had a good result with it.

All the doctors, practitioners and clinics mentioned in these pages have had the proper training and hold the accreditation to carry out the various procedures they offer.

Research the doctor you are thinking of visiting. Before committing to anything, make an appointment to visit the clinic. Speak to the doctor or nurse who will be doing the treatment and book a consultation (they may charge for this, as you are taking up their time, but it’s well worth it).

At the consultation, discuss your concerns and listen to their suggestions as they explore the various options.

These may be different to what you think you need (for example, if you are bothered by nose-to-mouth lines, many practitioners will remedy this by adding a little volume in your cheeks, which lifts them and makes the lines vanish, rather than injecting filler directly into the lines that are bothering you).

A good doctor will also tell you when you don’t need treatment.

Don’t be pressured into committing to any treatment immediately. They should allow you a ‘cooling off’ period to think about what you have discussed before booking anything.

Effectiveness: 10/10 for a course.

Time taken: One hour.

Where? Marcela’s, 7 Holland Street, London W8 4NA (020 7938 1555), from £75. Also in salons nationwide, see

Sarah Vine


Treatment: The idea of having your skin shaved, free-hand, with a sharp blade may not sound like your idea of fun — but Dermaplaning, to give it its proper name, is actually an advanced form of facial exfoliation.

What it involves: Performed by a skin specialist using an ultra-fine scalpel, careful shaving dispatches the outermost layers of dead, polluted cells that make the face look dull, and leaves the skin more receptive to moisturisers. Dermaplaning also removes the fine hairs on the face known as ‘peach fuzz’.

How it feels: Signing the form saying I understand that the therapist will be using a scalpel on my skin gives me pause for thought. But after the initial anxiety has subsided, it proves to be a very gentle and relaxing treatment.

The scalpel is used so lightly I hardly feel it and the soft scuffing movements are so hypnotically soothing that, after an hour, I am almost asleep.

As exfoliating techniques go, this is much gentler than either microdermabrasion (intense exfoliation with a special tool to even out skin tone) or a chemical peel (where a chemical solution is applied to the skin to exfoliate the top layer).

The treatment finishes with hydrating and plumping serums that sink deep into my newly exfoliated skin.

The results: With all its tiny hairs shaved off, my skin feels as smooth as porcelain and looks miles younger because it reflects the light so evenly. I am glowing. My make-up glides on. A perfect treatment to have in preparation for the Christmas party season.

Ouch factor: 1/10

Effectiveness: 9/10

Time taken: One hour.

Where? HB Health Clinic, £160, Also in salons nationwide.

Alice Hart-Davis


Treatment: Not for the squeamish, this process harvests fat from somewhere on your body where you have an abundance of it (in my case my stomach) and injects it back into your face.

The idea is to restore lost volume and reduce wrinkles by adding rejuvenating stem cells, which stimulate the skin’s ability to repair itself. So first your spare fat is sent off to have the stem cells extracted.

How it feels: It’s not painless by any means — nor easy. The fat harvesting is almost like a mini-liposuction and the reinsertion of the stem cells, using a derma-roller that creates hundreds of little holes in my skin, hurts.

Expect to need some recovery downtime, too. For two days afterwards you look like you’ve gone a couple of rounds with Frank Bruno.

Not for the squeamish, this process harvests fat from somewhere on your body where you have an abundance of it (in my case my stomach) and injects it back into your face

The results: Incredible. It’s absolutely worth it. About two weeks later my skin looks moist, healthy, clear and, above all, young.

And what’s amazing is that the treatment keeps on improving for weeks as the new stem cells work their magic. It’s now three months since I had it done and people are still telling me how well I look.

Dr Maurizio Viel, the plastic surgeon who did the treatment, told me at the time that I would be able to go out without wearing make-up without feeling self-conscious and he’s absolutely right. I look fresh-faced all the time.

Ouch factor: 8/10.

Effectiveness: 9/10.

Time taken: Three to four hours, plus two days’ downtime.

Where? Stem Cell Facial Rejuvenation costs £6,000 at the London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery, 15 Harley Street, 020 7636 4272,

Helena Frith Powell

Source: Daily Mirror

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