We find out what the latest beauty buzzword really means, and how you can get in on the anti-ageing action right here in Dubai.
There’s no shortage of luxurious treatments and products declaring collagen-boosting benefits that will leave you looking youthful in two shakes of an infra-red beam. But what is collagen, and why is it so important to battling the signs of ageing?
‘Collagen is basically the elastic tissue under your skin and under the fat, that holds the skin’s plumpness,’ explains Stephanie Askins, clinic manager at Eternel Clinic, which offers a number of different collagen-enhancing treatments, including Ultherapy, which involves the use of ultrasound technology to tighten and lift the skin. ‘As we age, collagen production slows down every year, to the point where eventually we’ll just stop producing it.’ But it’s not just growing older that can cause your skin to lose its natural elasticity, and Stephanie explains that external factors such as sun exposure, smoking, pregnancy and even working out, which all cause the tissue to stretch and tear, can speed up the loss of natural elasticity. ‘As we age, it takes a lot for the body to build collagen levels back up, so with every tear of the tissue and every sunburn, your collagen is no longer being repaired.’
Though Stephanie is not entirely in favour of collagen supplements and drinks (‘sometimes the claims aren’t always verified’) there are things you can do every day to help naturally support your own collagen production. ‘Basically, a good diet is definitely going to help, because the better shape your body is in, the faster the collagen is going to repair itself,’ she explains. She is also keen to note that loss of elasticity in the skin is not just a concern once you get past 30, 40 or 50 – people in their 20s should also be looking into trying out a treatment.
Not all procedures, such as Thermage (where radiofrequency is applied to help improve the appearance of sagging skin in clients aged between 30 and 50), are ideal for all ages, but a consultation with one of Eternel’s experts can help determine which will best suit you. ‘I would say that preventative treatments are key – because when something is broken, it’s much harder to fix it. If you maintain and keep your skin and collagen up, you’re going to have to invest a lot less money into how you look later on.’
Speaking of cash, in-clinical collagen treatments, though non-surgical, don’t come cheap. For a single session, you can expect to pay anything up to Dhs14,000 in the case of intense radiofrequency treatment Thermage, which works over the course of six months.
‘You’re not going to see immediate results, but your skin will repair, and in six to eight months with that particular treatment you’ll see full results that will last the rest of your life.’ It’s an impressive claim, and Stephanie is quick to clarify that the final results can vary from each individual. ‘It’s very important to come for a consultation beforehand. The doctor will assess which treatment is best suited to your skin.’
Consultations Dhs350 (discounted from subsequent treatment if booked). Eternel Clinic, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.eternelclinic.com (04 344 0008).
Try it in Dubai
Get an A-list treatment
Courtney Cox is a fan, so why shouldn’t you be? Ultherapy is now available in Dubai and uses ultrasound imaging to get results. The Ulthera ultrasound applicator is placed onto the face to enable the medical aesthetician to view the tissue beneath the skin and deliver low levels of heat to the right depth, stimulating the growth of new collagen. Expect tightening and a gradual lifting over a period of two to three months.
Price upon consultation. Rebecca Treston Aesthetics, EuroMed Clinic, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 394 5422).
Ingest the very collagen you want to see return to your skin with this quirky product. The bottles of Pure Gold Collagen, which contain a liquid formula of hydrolysed collagen and hyaluronic acid (to add moisture and plump the dermis) are available in a ten-day programme package. According to the brand’s cited studies, 2008 clinical trials in France saw that 10g per day of hydrolysed collagen peptan for 12 weeks produced noticeable results in participants’ skin – as much as a 30 percent decrease in wrinkles.
Dhs1,599 for a ten-day programme. Available from www.souq.com.
Take a tablet
Collagen supplement experts MedColl offers three different types of tablet – one for women in their 30s and 40s, one for women aged 50-plus and one for men, all designed to combat the effects of ageing. Each variety of capsule contains 100 percent pure Type I Collagen Pre-cursor Meno Complex (apparently vital for the formation of your own collagen type), high potency hyaluronic acid and anti-oxidant ingredients.
Dhs310 for 60 capsules. Available from Antiaging Compounding Pharmacy, Al Razi Building, Dubai Healthcare City (04 452 0646).
Use localised light-beams
Light-based, non-surgical solution, Soprano Near Infra-Red (NIR), aims to tighten sagging skin without downtime. The light is designed to trigger a biological response in the dermis, promoting collagen fibre to stimulate new growth. Not just for the face, it can be used mostly anywhere on the body and, over time, you should notice long-lasting improvements.
From Dhs600 for face only. Dr Amina Al Amiri’s Clinic, Jumeirah (04 395 2226).
Visit a Collarium
Dubai’s MegaSun Lounge offers two different types of collagen light therapies, which operate similarly to tanning beds. The Pure Collagen tower offers a slightly stronger collagen session, minus the tanning (though there is a built-in VibraNano powerplate to mix things up).
Dhs100 for one 20-minute session, Dhs555 per month for unlimited use. Dubai Media City (04 449 5485); Mirdif (04 284 7885).