While tempted by the facelift, I decide that the bandages will be hard to explain at work the next day, so I opt for the Hydradermie Lift Facial, which claims to buff up facial muscles by stimulating them with a micro-current. My therapist, Mira from Lebanon, begins by evaluating my skin with a nifty UV light. The reflection of my eerily blue face in the mirror highlights all the pigmentation spots on my face (my nose looks like the inside of an Aero chocolate bar) and shows how dry the skin around my eye area is. ‘You need to wear a higher SPF,’ she says and, for the first time ever (thanks to the scary image of me looking like a ginger Navi in the blue light), I listen.
The actual treatment uses high-end products from French range Guinot, and begins with a thorough cleanse and refreshing rose-water toner before a solid exfoliation. The tissues they use to dab my skin in between each process are unscented and beautifully soft – it may sound trivial, but there’s nothing worse that having expensive potions wiped off by an artificial-smelling, scratchy Kleenex. Mira then applies a freezing anti-wrinkle gel all over my face before performing a lymphatic drainage massage, which involves slowly and methodically running a metal ball roller all over the face and neck (above) in the hope of banishing toxins. While I’m not convinced of the efficacy of this, it is mighty relaxing.
Next up is the pièce de résistance: the stimulation, or the ‘non-surgical facelift’, which is said to penetrate deep into the muscle tissue and excite it, in the same way that weight training would pep up your biceps. Mira asks me to take off my jewellery, as metal can react with the current and make the treatment painful. Sure enough, it’s near agony around my mouth thanks to the metallic fillings in my teeth. The rest of the face doesn’t hurt at all, but when she touches down on my cheek my face involuntarily contorts (à la Jim Carrey), giving me the sense that my muscles truly are contracting. When the process is over, a tingling mask by Guinot (which contains vitamin C and retinol) is applied to my face and left for 15 minutes.
I don’t walk out with results as dramatic as a facelift (admittedly, you don’t get great biceps after one workout), yet my skin feels baby soft for a full week after the treatment, and I don’t have the bruises, bill and conspicuously different appearance that comes with a real nip and tuck.
The 90-minute Silkor Hydradermie Lift Facial costs Dhs700. Silkor Laser Hair Removal, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 348 0500).