A guide to non-surgical facelifts

Woman with wrinkle free faceNon-surgical alternatives to the facelift – such as Botox, peels and fillers – promise much, but do they actually deliver? Three women were interviewed before and after three different types of procedure – and they’ve given the lowdown on how good they think the alternatives actually are.Botox and fillersJane Schulz, 52, grew up in Australia, and a lack of sunscreen has taken its toll on her face – something that has been made worse by an old smoking habit. Before the procedure she said she didn’t like to smile as she hated the way the deep lines around her eyes creased. After opting for a combination of fillers and Botox, she said: “When I left the clinic, I was puffy and swollen. I didn't sleep much that night, as my face was sore. I woke up with my skin feeling tight and a big bruise in the middle of my right cheek - a side-effect of the injection.” After a month the swelling had gone down and she started to look younger, happier and clamer. She added: “I can't feel the filler at all. It just feels like my own youthful face – much plumper and bouncier. Friends constantly pay me compliments, and several have asked for the name of my doctor. My daughters think it's amazing, and my husband tells me I look beautiful and years younger.”Chemical peelTrainee lawyer Chloe Barton, 29, suffers from rosacea, which makes her skin go red and causes broken veins. She chose a chemical peel procedure – a treatment which only took ten minutes. Around 16 hours afterwards she began to experience some swelling and itching which was quickly dealt with by using some hydrocortisone cream. After around four days the skin started to peel in strips from her forehead – this stopped a couple of days later. “I was really pleased with the results. Now I have less pigmentation, and my skin is brighter and feels less dry. The lines on my forehead have disappeared,” she said. “My friends say I'm glowing and I look fresher.”Laser treatmentPatricia O’Brien, 58, opted for laser treatment. She was concerned by dark pigmentation around her eyes and on her cheeks. She said: “My skin had also lost its firmness, and I'd developed a crepiness under my eyes. I knew it was caused by sun damage.” After leaving an anaesthetic cream on her face for 45 minutes the laser procedure only took around twenty minutes. A Fraxel laser uses light to drill microscopic holes into the skin, encouraging it to produce more collagen, which makes it firmer and more even. Patricia noticed the treatment had really worked three weeks afterwards: “a regular customer who hadn't been to the shop for a while came in and said: 'Wow, there's something different about you. You look great.' “My husband and daughter also agree I look much better. From the pictures, I can see my pigmentation has improved, especially on my cheekbones.”