Tweakments

What are Tweakments?

Tweakments are non-surgical cosmetic (or ‘aesthetic’) procedures that can rejuvenate the skin and soften lines and wrinkles, improve irregular pigmentation, tighten sagging skin, add back volume to ageing faces and adjust the proportions of facial features. They are mostly temporary. They are not cosmetic surgery. They involve injectable treatments, lasers and chemical skin peels, but no scalpels and no general anaesthesia.

Alice, the editor of The Tweakments Guide, has 20 years experience of reporting on and reviewing tweakments, and offers independent, unbiased information based on her experience. She is not a medical professional.

Using her knowledge and experience, she has created The Tweakments Guide website to help you understand what these procedures are and what they involve and, if you feel a tweakment is what you need, how to find a great and well-qualified, practitioner.

Botox

Botox

Botox – or botulinum toxin A if you want to get technical – is one of the best-known drug names in the world. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Botox is the proper term for all wrinkle-relaxing injections, but it’s actually just one of a number of brands on the market. It is, however, the best-known brand of wrinkle-relaxing injections and the one most commonly used by practitioners. Botox is extremely popular in the aesthetics world due to its relatively cheap cost (compared to a surgical face-lift, for example), reliable results, minimal pain level, and the short time it takes to perform the procedure.

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Fillers

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers (also known as ‘injectable face fillers’) are injectable gels made of high-density molecules which add volume or structure to the site where they are injected. They are one of the riskiest tweakments to get if you don’t go to a trusted practitioner due to the complete lack of regulation around the products in the UK. However, when used properly and safely, they can work wonders in reshaping and revolumising areas of the face.

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Dermaplaning

Dermaplaning

The idea of having your skin shaved, free-hand, with a scalpel may not sound like fun, but this is a gentle if rather advanced form of facial exfoliation, carried out by a well-trained skin specialist using an ultra-fine scalpel. It’s a swift way to improve skin texture on the surface, because careful shaving not only removes the top layer of dead, polluted skin cells that make the face look dull, but also all the ‘peach fuzz’ vellus hair on the face, so your newly-denuded skin feels extra smooth. It will also be that bit more receptive to skincare ingredients and that bit more sensitive to UV light, so stock up on sunscreen.

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Dermatology Facial

Dermatology-grade Facial

A dermatology-grade facial is a facial treatment designed to resolve or reduce specific problems with troubled skin. For example, a dermatology-grade facial may target problems such as acne (or acne-like conditions, eg perioral dermatitis), pigmentation problems, or sun damage.

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Electromagnetic

Electrical Muscle-Stimulating Facial

If electrical muscle stimulation makes you think of Dr Frankenstein shocking his monster to life, you may not feel like queueing up for a facial treatment that involves putting electricity through the muscles of your face. But electric currents can galvanise your circulation and boost the production of vital collagen and elastin, too. Here’s Alice Hart-Davis to tell you more about electrical muscle-stimulating facials and what they can do for you…

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Fat Freezing

Fat Freezing

Freezing fat sounds a mighty bizarre way to try to reduce fat – until you learn that if living fat cells are chilled below 4 degrees C, they die. It’s a scientific observation that was made years ago and dubbed ‘the popsicle effect’ (popsicle panniculitis is its technical name) when it was noted that children who spent a long time sucking on iced lollies (popsicles, if you’re in the States) could develop dents in the fat inside their cheeks.

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Fat Injection

Fat Injections

Pretty much as it says on the tin: fat injections are injections of fat – your own fat. The fat is used as a filler to plump up areas of the face that need a boost, such as the area around the eyes, which can become hollow-looking as you age.

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Fat Dissolving

Fat-dissolving Injections

I know, this sounds far too good to be true. But we’re living in the future now, folks, and there really is an injection out there that will quite literally dissolve fat. The secret ingredient is deoxycholic acid, which is naturally produced by the body and is a constituent element of bile. It works by breaking down fat cells, which can then be carried out of the body through the lymphatic and renal systems. You’ll see deoxycholic acid being used almost interchangeably with sodium deoxycholate in the formulae of these injections, the latter is the salt form of the acid and differs only in that it is more soluble in water.

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HIFU

High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound (HIFU)

HIFU is the shorthand acronym for High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound, a type of treatment that uses ultrasound waves. As its name says, HIFU uses ultrasound waves at high intensity rather than lower intensity and focuses the waves to a single point. The focussed ultrasound waves don’t hit the surface of the skin, as a laser would, but a predetermined spot up to 4.5mm below the skin’s surface.

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Hydrafacial

HydraFacial

A HydraFacial is a deep-cleansing, exfoliating facial that gives your skin a quick acid peel and plumps it with hydrating serums, all in the space of half an hour or so.

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Moisturising injection

Injectable Moisturisers

Injectable moisturisers are usually lightweight gels made of, or at least containing a good deal of, hyaluronic acid, a substance that is naturally produced by the skin and which has the ability to hold many times its own weight in water. Injecting this gel just below the surface of the skin gives long-lasting hydration and other benefits.

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IPL

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Like laser, IPL is a technology that uses light to achieve its effects. But unlike lasers, which use a specific wavelength to send beams of light that hit a precise depth in the skin, IPL is a broad-spectrum light, a collection of different wavelengths of light.

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HIFU

INTRAcel

INTRAcel is a treatment that uses a combination of radiofrequency and microneedling to tighten your skin. INTRAcel is a noninvasive procedure – it involves no surgery – and typically requires no downtime, or only minimal downtime, afterwards.

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Intraceutical

Intraceuticals

The Intraceuticals facial is a gentle, deeply hydrating, and face-sculpting treatment which makes skin look amazingly plumped up and glowing.

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Laser Facial

Laser Facial

Lasers can cut, weld, and drill with terrifying speed and precision, so they’re perhaps not the first thing you’d think of adding to a facial treatment to amp up its effects. But in fact a lightweight dose of the right kind of laser can be just the thing to freshen and brighten your skin.

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Laser

Laser Skin Rejuvenation

Laser skin rejuvenation is treatment that uses one or more lasers to make the skin look better. Laser skin rejuvenation uses laser light to remove dead cells and debris from the outer layers of skin; if a greater effect is needed, the practitioner can also use the laser to remove the outermost layer of skin itself.

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Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is a category of treatment using lasers to treat the surface of your skin, usually to make it smoother, reduce wrinkles, and remove sun damage. A laser uses a precisely focused beam of light, which is a powerful tool. What a laser can do depends on where it is focused – and the power at which it is used.

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LED Blue

LED Blue Light Therapy

LED blue light therapy is a treatment for clearing acne bacteria on the skin using blue LED light. This is a treatment that you can either have at a clinic or administer to yourself with a home-use device. LED blue light treatment is as easy as relaxing for around 20 minutes in the cool glow from a large canopy studded with small LED bulbs, or wearing a face-shaped mask which has LED bulbs on the inside.

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LED Orange

LED Red Light Therapy

LED red light therapy is a treatment for improving skin texture and softening lines and wrinkles using light from LED bulbs. Treatment with red light involves nothing more taxing than relaxing for around 20 minutes in the gentle glow from a large canopy studded with small LED bulbs, or wearing a phantom-of- the-opera–style face-shaped mask which has LED bulbs on the inside.

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Lip Fillers

Lip Filler

Lip fillers are one of the best-known and most requested tweakments – not to mention one of the most notorious, thanks to celebrities and reality-TV stars overdoing the fillers and ending up with lips that are distorted, protruding, over-filled or slug-like. The phrase ‘trout pout’, used to describe these lip disasters, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016.

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Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy

While many tweakments work on the epidermis, the tough outer layer of your skin, mesotherapy goes deeper and targets the mesoderm, the middle layer of skin. But what does mesotherapy actually achieve? How does it work? And – more to the point – how fearsome is the ‘meso gun’ when you meet it face to face? Here’s Alice Hart-Davis to fill you in on mesotherapy…

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Microneedling

Microneedling

Microneedling – also called ‘medical needling’ – is the process of applying a roller or pen tipped with rows of tiny needles to the skin in order to create thousands of holes in the epidermis. This isn’t just some dermatologist’s weird idea of fun, there’s actually a number of good reasons to try it, all backed by scientific research. There are a range of needle lengths and what microneedling can do for you depends on the length you use.

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Microneedling

Microneedling Facial

Microneedling has a scary reputation for causing pain and drawing blood, and it certainly can be a hardcore treatment that requires numbing the face beforehand. But when included as part of a facial, microneedling uses shorter needles that cause minimal pain and no bleeding but bring significant benefits. Here’s Alice Hart-Davis to tell you more…

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Lip Perk

No-Needle Lip Plumper

No-needle lip plumper is a device for plumping up your lips temporarily without having injections. At the moment, you’ll only really find The Perk device being used, which was created to fill the gap between plumping lip gels and injectable lip fillers.

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Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is the proper term for a nose job. In non-surgical rhinoplasty, injectable fillers are used to reshape the nose. By adding volume to certain areas, a good practitioner can straighten a hooked nose, lift a drooping nose tip, balance out a wonky bridge by disguising prominent bumps, and much more. The procedure is quick and painless – and significantly cheaper than a surgical nose job – but while the results are both immediate and impressive, they are also temporary. If you’re unhappy with your nose and you’ve been considering a nose job, non-surgical rhinoplasty is a great way of testing the waters at relatively low cost before taking the leap with surgery.

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PLP

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

How do you fancy a ‘Dracula Facial’ or a ‘Vampire Face Lift’? Neither? Ok, then, does the term ‘PRP’ sound more appealingly medical for a treatment to improve your skin texture? Rest assured that no vampires are actually used, let alone harmed, in either the production or the application of PRP, though your own blood is… Here, Alice Hart-Davis tells you what PRP is, how it works, and what it can do for you.

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Plaxr - Plasma

Plexr/Plasma Treatment

Plexr is a treatment for tightening skin without surgery – for example, to lift the upper eyelids without the cutting involved in a standard blepharoplasty (lid lift – in Greek, blepharon is ‘eyelid’ and plassein means ‘to shape’). Plexr uses ‘plasma’ energy to burn away tiny patches of skin along the creases of the excess skin (in this example, the skin below the browbone), thus abruptly shrinking the skin back up into a neater shape.

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Radiofrequency

Radiofrequency

Radiofrequency, often abbreviated to RF, is a type of energy derived from radio waves. Radiofrequency can be used both for skin resurfacing and for skin tightening.

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Radiofrequency Facial

Radiofrequency Facial

A radiofrequency facial is a facial that includes the use of radiofrequency (RF), a type of energy derived from radio waves. The facial may involve only radiofrequency, or it may use both radiofrequency and other types of treatment.

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Skin Peel

Skin Peels

Skin peels are treatments that remove some of the top layer of skin from the treatment area in order to freshen up the skin’s surface and improve its texture and appearance. The improvement comes from fresh skin growing to take the place of the skin that was removed.

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Skin Peel Facial

Skin-peeling Facial

A skin-peeling facial is a non-invasive treatment that removes some of the top layer of skin from your face in order to freshen up the skin’s surface and improve your complexion.

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Threadlifting

Thread Lifting

Thread lifting has become very popular within the last few years as a quick, short-term alternative to a surgical facelift – but what are the threads and where do they go? How long does a thread lift take, and how long will it last? Here’s Alice Hart-Davis with answers to those questions and more…

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Tixel

Tixel

Tixel is a treatment for tightening and resurfacing your skin. Tixel uses heat energy to deliver smoother, firmer, and tighter skin.

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HIFU

Ultherapy

Ultherapy is a cosmetic treatment for lifting and tightening the skin on your brow, jawline, mid-face and neck without surgery. Lifting and tightening the skin on your brow can give the effect of opening your eyes further; treating the midface will pull drooping cheek tissues back out towards the hairline where they used to be, while Ultherapy on the jawline and neck can reduce sagging and crepe-iness and help the jawline to look firmer.

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Botox

Wrinkle-Relaxing Injections

Wrinkle-relaxing injections are injections of neurotoxins – nerve poisons – to reduce the ability of specific muscles to contract, and thus relax wrinkles in the skin above those muscles. Wrinkle-relaxing injections are widely used on the face to reduce dynamic lines and wrinkles on the forehead or around the eyes. (‘Dynamic’ lines are the ones formed as a result of muscle movement. When you raise your eyebrows and your forehead crinkles, those are ‘dynamic lines’). They are also used on other areas, such as to smooth a stringy or wrinkly neck.

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