When a colleague asks me to review the Radio Frequency Treatment – an anti-ageing solution for thirtysomethings worried about sagging jawlines, deep laugh lines, jowls and double chins – I’m a little miffed. Yes, I fit into the age range (amply), but I always thought my face was holding up well (although the less said about below the neck, the better). Of course, I don’t dare frown or make any other facial movements that could cause yet more signs of my rapidly approaching old age, so I just smile weakly and say I’d be delighted to help.
Like most cynical wrinklies, I’m sceptical about miracle cures that promise to knock years off you. Unless you’re prepared to go under the knife (I’m not… yet), these treatments seem designed to persuade even the most arthritic fingers to part with their cash. So it’s with a healthy dose of doubt that I approach my radio frequency (RF) session at EuroMed Clinic on Jumeirah Beach Road. My keen eye notices that anti-ageing specialist Rebecca Treston has a peachy-perfect complexion (although she’s very obviously pregnant and therefore, in my book, ‘cheating’).
She shows me a few impressive ‘before and after’ shots and explains the procedure. Apparently, as we get older, collagen – a protein that holds up the skin – begins to buckle, leading to wrinkles and slack, sloppy skin. Radio frequency, she assures me, will come to the rescue by destroying existing collagen to wake up the cells so they reproduce more efficiently. Working on the (correct) premise that flattery will get you everywhere, Rebecca kindly tells me I’m not a serious case, but promises I’ll see tighter, plumper skin after just one session. For whipper-snappers like me (at least in anti-ageing terms), she explains that the occasional treatment can act as a preventative measure against droopy jaws and baggy eyes.
She cleanses my face and pops a small metal plate on my back to conduct the RF energy, before applying a cooling, protective gel. She then circles and presses my skin with a metal radio frequency rod. It’s a gentle procedure and, while my face occasionally gets a little hot, there’s no real discomfort, at least not compared with a surgeon’s knife. She does one eye and lets me have a peep for comparison. I’m amazed: I didn’t realise my sockets were succumbing to gravity, but my right eye now looks much more open than the left, and the skin below, which is prone to puffiness, looks taut and plump.
I plead for more – I am, after all, only human and as vain as the next woman – and off she goes, zapping her RF energy into lifting my hitherto unnoticed jowly jaws. The whole process lasts less than an hour and I’m a bit pink for a couple of hours afterwards, but there’s no doubt I look bouncier and more polished. Even my husband, not renowned for his powers of observation, says I look ‘shinier’. Two weeks later and the results are still there. Not so anyone would suspect I’d ‘had my face done’, but my skin looks plumper, tighter and fresher than before.
EuroMed Clinic, above Kitsch Cupcakes, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 394 5422). A standard session is Dhs1,500, with six sessions for Dhs7,000. Special offer for Time Out readers: get one session for Dhs1,000 or six sessions for Dhs5,000
Eat your way to younger skin
Not convinced by pricey anti-ageing treatments? Let your diet do the work
Collagen juice: Japanese drinks brand Pokka has created a ‘Collagen Water’ drink flavoured with peach or grape. It supposedly injects collagen into the body, but whether it ends up anywhere near the skin is under question. The drink is also not in Dubai shops yet, but we’re assured it’s on its way.
Ketchup: Lycopene, found in tomatoes, is easier to digest when the tomatoes are pulped. It’s thought to block UV light and improve skin texture.
Tofu: This vegetarian food aids collagen regeneration to keep the skin plump.
Oats: These help to calm the nerves around the face to avoid frown lines. They also contain silicic acid, the element needed to grow spongy tissue underneath the skin.
Salmon: Astaxanthin, the element that makes salmon look pink or red, is used in most expensive skin creams.