I tried £6.6k of celeb beauty treatments to look young – I ended up looking disgusting with ‘thighs like uncooked steak’

DURING my 25 years as a beauty editor for national magazines, I have tested countless tightening treatments and products that promise youthful skin.

How can I give an honest view about lasers, mono-threads and chemical peels without trying them myself?

I am now 50 and generally have been happy with the results. But it is important to be honest about the aftermath.

We see celebrities on the red carpet with flawless faces, looking years younger than their true age. But they don’t talk about the help they get or the downtime since their last treatment.

So here are my post-tweakment out-takes from the past five years or so — shots I took in the days shortly after a procedure and before I was ready to face the world again.

From lumps and bumps to blotches and bruising, it really is “no pain, no gain”. But I would say it’s worth it. Also, not everyone reacts the same . . . and I bruise easily.

NUCLEOFILL

Look like a plague victim. An injectable hydrator, like Redensity-1, but spiked with polynucleotides, — molecules that get your cells to produce more skin-plumping collagen, hyaluronic acid and other glow-givers.

It is injected with six to eight VERY sharp jabs in the face or neck. I went for the neck area and the result was big angry lumps, as if I had bubonic plague.

But the solution spread under the skin over a few days.

Long term, you get more hydrated, collagen-dense skin so I’d say it’s worth looking a little frightening temporarily.

Cost: From £450

Worth the pain? Yes

PDO MONO THREADS

Thin blue lines in skin. A procedure to tighten skin and tackle jowls, laugh lines and even tech neck.

Up to 40 ultra-fine surgical wires are injected under the skin of the face and/or neck, to stimulate collagen production, increase tautness and densify skin.

Having the threads injected does not hurt but if your skin is thin, like mine, the initial blue shade of the wires will shine through.

My visible aftermath was minimal and gone in two weeks but the results too subtle at the price.

Cost: Approx £1,200

Worth the pain? No

TEOXANE TEOSYAL REDENSITY 1

Bee-sting victim. This one shoots hyaluronic acid into the skin’s deeper layers for a long-term hydrating and plumping effect.

The small injections themselves also have a collagen-boosting effect.
It takes more than 100 jabs, so no wonder I looked like bees had attacked me. It took a week for the lumps and bloody specks to go.

But it is worth the Freddy Krueger face for a few days.

After the three recommended treatments, my skin was more radiant for at least four months. I would happily have top-ups twice a year.

Cost: From £500

Worth the pain? Yes

COOLSCULPTING

Thighs turned to uncooked steak. Loved by celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian, this body contouring treatment freezes pockets of fat under the skin to kill the fat cells and nothing else.

The pads of fat are said to shrink significantly and permanently over three months.

While the bespoke paddles initially turned my thighs into red-and-blue frozen steaks, it settled after a few hours, leaving only a slightly bruised feeling.

Three months on, my saddlebags were a good 40 per cent gone. This is one of very few body-sculpting tweakments that actually works — and the drama is temporary.

Cost: From £400

Worth the pain? Yes

ENERPEEL EL

Burns around the eyes. A moderate-strength chemical peel designed to affect the deeper layer of the skin — the dermis — without affecting the visible top layer.

The acid-blend gel is smoothed on in three layers with an applicator to cause controlled micro-injury, inducing healing and upping collagen production.

Three sessions are required. This targets the eye and lip areas to soften crows’ feet, crepeyness and “smoker’s lines” and brighten the skin.

But something went wrong in my case and left chemical burns round my eyes.

Cost: From £300 per course

Worth the pain? No

PROFOUND SUBQBODY CONTOURING

Bruised for months. This is meant to combat saggy skin and smoothe superficial cellulite by minimising lumpy fat deposits.

I tried it on the area above my knees. The machine delivers intense radio-frequency energy, which feels hot deep under the skin, via microneedles.
This helps liquefy fat and plumps out, smooths and lifts skin, minimising the lumpy look of cellulite.

It’s hardcore. The bruising should fade in a week but in my case it has been months.

I am a bruiser, though, and three months on my skin is much tighter.

Cost: Approx £4,500

Worth the pain? Maybe

UNDER EYE MESOTHERAPY

Red bruising for two weeks. A hydrating solution with vitamins is injected into the under-eye area, tackling dark circles and fine lines, usually quite successfully. Some doctors inject a large amount of solution at once.

On me, this caused fibres to tear and I was left with red bruises that took two weeks to fade. This is rare but caused more issues than the treatment solved.

Cost: £400

Worth the pain? No

  • Inge is author of Great Skin: Secrets The Beauty Industry Doesn’t Tell You (Gibson Square, £12.99).

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