Tweakment Finder TWEAKMENT



The £100-a-month tweakments plan

12th September 2023

A great question came in from a reader called Ali. ‘I’ve got £100 a month to spend on tweakments,’ she wrote. ‘I know that’s not a lot but how would I get the most value out of that budget?’ Here are my suggestions on how best to spend that £1,200 a year on cosmetic procedures. Not everything mentioned here will be right for you, so pick and choose from the options that seem most appropriate and discuss these with your chosen practitioner.

What’s your biggest bugbear about your face?

First, have a calm, non-judgmental think about what bothers you most about your face. Is it frown lines? Is it pigmentation or thread veins? Is it loss of volume? Or your skin texture? Once you’ve decided that, you’ll know where to start. Here are my various suggestions.

Treat frown lines with wrinkle-relaxing injections

If you’re plagued by ‘elevens’, the vertical-tram-line sort of frown lines, then a few injections of well-placed botulinum toxin will do the trick to relax them. Many clinics charge by the ‘area’ for toxin – between the eyebrows is one area, the forehead is another area and the crow’s feet wrinkles at the sides of the eyes are a third. Start with the minimal treatment that your practitioner feels will make a difference. One area of toxin costs from £150-£300 depending on where you go and the expertise of your practitioner. So that’s a fair chunk of cash but you may well find that just the one area will make a big difference, and you that don’t want to go more than twice a year.

For thread veins, rosacea, or patchy pigmentation – try IPL

Anything that makes our complexion look uneven makes us look older – that’s why we’re all so keen on foundation and concealer, to skate over the pigment patches, age spots, thread veins and the flushing of rosacea and make our skin look a smoothly uniform colour. This is where Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) comes in. It’s a real workhorse of a tweakment, which uses flashes of light energy to target pigmentation in the skin so it can be aimed either at redness – the more obvious tiny capillaries of spidery thread veins, or the more diffuse redness of rosacea – or the brown pigment resulting from sun damage, that builds up into age spots. Can it be used on darker skin tones? It depends on the sophistication of the IPL device, so quiz your clinician about whether you’re an appropriate candidate for treatment, and how many sessions you will need in order to see the result you’re looking for. You might need two or three sessions, but the results would last you for a year or more.

PS, people often say to me that they had IPL for thread veins and it worked for a bit, then the thread veins ‘came back’, so it ‘didn’t work’. What happens is that if you’re the sort of person who’s prone to thread veins, the treated ones won’t come back but you are likely to develop more of them. That’s life.

From £150-£200 a session

Loss of volume – fillers

There’s no getting away from it, fillers are pricey, especially in the best, most expert hands (the ones who can give you the best results), starting at around £300 for 1ml. But if you can find a sympathetic practitioner who will work with you within your budget, they can do crafty work involving a limited amount of filler that may make an appreciable change to your face – and may well last you a year (fillers can hang around a lot longer than the six or eight months that we are usually told). Or, sign up with a well-accredited outfit like The Academy Clinic, which is the training school allied to Harley Academy, where all trainees are medical professionals who are supervised one-to-one by top trainers, from £125.

Rough skin texture? – Try microneedling

Basic microneedling seems to have fallen out of fashion. It may not be a sexy new option like, say, radiofrequency-microneedling but it’s a brilliant treatment in its own right and miles more affordable. What can it do? Stimulate collagen production in the skin so that over time, your skin becomes smoother, stronger, and better hydrated, with improved elasticity. Pores will look smaller, scars will look softer and it may even shift a bit of pigmentation, too.

Ideally, you’d have four sessions, a few weeks apart, depending on your budget, though even one session will stimulate your skin for the better for several months to come.

From £200-£400 a session depending on the extent of the treatment.


Pigmentation and skin texture – skin peels

Skin peels come in many guises, from gentle and superficial to deep-and-meaningful (but those ones usually come with a lot of recovery time). You could start with an advanced facial like the iS Clinical Fire & Ice facial (from £100 at time-clinic.com and many other places) which treats your skin to a glycolic mask (the resurfacing ‘fire’ bit), then a soothing, calming mask, so you emerge glowing.

Calming and rejuvenating stressed skin – LED light therapy

Medical-grade LED light therapy is one of my favourite treatments because all you have to do is lie down under the canopy and relax while the light goes to work. Sessions with a proper, clinical-grade device cost around £30 or £40 a time, and the benefits are cumulative (ie the more you do, the better the results you’ll see) but if you had any cash left in your monthly tweakment budgeting, this could be a great way to spend it.


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