How to (not) Age like a Supermodel!

By Keline Lim

The worlds of plastic surgery and aesthetics got closer each year, with more less-invasive anti-aging treatments available. Threadlifts are the latest and go-for 'non-surgical' facelifts. It takes just half-an-hour and no recovery time is needed. Read on and find out how Keline turned the face numbers back with her first threadlift treatment.

A-listers clamoring for threading face-lifts can finally breath an easy sigh of relief with the latest advances in thread-lifting technology. Looking at the arduous journey that threadlifts have taken over the years, it’s no wonder why women are now queuing up for the latest Silhouette Instalift.

Flashblack in 2004, the FDA approved the use of Contour Threads, which were marketed as non-surgical face-lifts that could help to lift the brow or firm the neck or jaw line. But in 2007, early thread-lift patients suffered serious side effects, including infection and thread breakage. #OUCH The "threads" used in these procedures aren't the kind you'd use for needlepointing. The ones used for face-lift purposes are barbed, meaning they have brambles that stick out and become difficult to remove from the skin.

Fast forward to today. The Silhouette Instalift, the latest youth-enhancing treatment to receive FDA approval, is an updated version of what you may remember as the "thread lift" from the '90s. Now, thanks to innovative techniques and high-tech threads, it's getting a second chance from doctors and their patients who want a face-lift without downtime or surgery.

Promising to painlessly lift sagging skin and deliver natural-looking results, Silhouette Instalift is a relatively straightforward procedure. Doctors use a fine needle to puncture a hole (the size of a dot) in the cheeks near the nose. From this site, one or more threads equipped with tiny cones is threaded in directions that would best lift your skin. That's where skill and expertise comes in and your doctor would be the best person to judge where to place these threads and how many threads you would need. So we asked the best experts in this area for their opinions.

Dr Kenneth Lee, medical director and co-founder of The Sloane Clinic, has probably notched up hundreds of Silhouette Instalifts under his belt. He’s apparently the go-to person if you want the best ‘facelift-money can-buy-sans-scalpel’. “Because the threads contain bidirectional cones, they're able to self-attach to tissue, lifting without the need for hooks or anchors. Once in place, they trick the skin into producing more collagen. Six months later, the threads and cones dissolve, leaving the face lifted and plump” he explains.

Dr Lee’s patients see results lasting from 12 to 18 months which is impressive for something that takes the same amount of time as an afternoon high tea. “Like filler, it's going to have to be repeated because it's not permanent, but it's also less invasive than a face-lift" he says. "Lifting and tightening without the knife is a major interest right now. This takes 30 minutes, and it doesn't involve any cutting or stitching."

I couldn’t wait to get started with this procedure, encouraged by the promise of wondrous transformation visible in the pre and post-treatment photographs in the clinic. Dr Lee’s Silhouette Instalift is done under local anesthetic. Living up to his reputation as one of the most meticulous doctors in the industry, Dr Lee carefully marked out tiny red dots to indicate where the threads would go in and out of my face.

I could only vaguely feel him touching and adding some pressure on my face but I didn't actually feel the needle pinch at all thanks to the anesthetic. Once both the threads have been placed in one side of the face, Dr Lee turns to the other side to create the same lift in the second cheek. Dr Lee’s confident and meticulous nature set my heart at ease, contrary to the fear and pain I was worried about.

The whole process took only 30 minutes, though it felt far longer. Immediately after the procedure, I was handed a mirror, and my heart skipped a beat as I could already see the instant lift in my face!

I was given a whole list of post-treatment instructions to follow which included not making excessive movements of the face, but honestly my mind was already in elsewhere - I couldn’t wait to see my husband’s reaction!

My husband is skeptical of cosmetic surgery, even the non-invasive kind. He was shocked when I walked in through the door. He even compared my new face to a photo of me ten years ago when we first met. I couldn’t have hoped for a lovelier comment.

I returned to Dr Lee for a review after a week and we both agreed that this knocked at least a decade off me. “Yet your face still looks natural - just more lifted, defined and less lined. That lifting effect should be even more noticeable over the next few months as more collagen is produced, thanks to stimulation from the cones” he explains.

I left a convert of Silhouette Instalift, and a self-professed lifelong follower of The Sloane Clinic. But will I tell anyone what I’ve had done next time they ask? Probably not. This is my little secret.


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.