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Laura Jackson reveals this summer's most cutting-edge cosmetic treatments

Laura Jackson reveals this summer's most cutting-edge cosmetic treatments

2009, Daily ExpressView PDF

Sculptra

The Foot Jab

What's involved?
Find wearing skyscraper stilettos painful? Try the latest celebrity trend and have your feet injected with gel to give you extra padding. Sculptra is normally used as a facial filler but can now be injected into the soles of the feet to provide cushioning. Made from Poly-L-lactlc acid, Sculptra works by stimulating natural collagen and soft tissue in the skin pad on the base of the foot.

The pain barrier?
Balls of the root may be tender for a few days and sometimes lumps can form under the skin.

How long does it last?
Up to two years with occasional top-ups required.

Find out more
Call 020 7486 0040 or visit cosmetic-solutlons.co.uk

Lip enhancement treatment

What's involved?
You have hyaluronic acid injected into the lips. The injections are made around the lip line into the top layer of the skin rather than into the muscle. It takes an hour and promises to produce shiny, gently plumped lips. Previously available only in France this has just been introduced to the UK by Dr Phlllppe Bellity. Should patients be unhappy with the result there's an antidote to return lips to their natural state.

The pain barrier?
There may be a little bruising afterwards.

How long does it last?
Six months to one year.

The blue skin peel

What's involved?
Fresh from the us, the Obagi Blue Chemical Peel promises to tighten skin, reduce line lines, wrinkles acne scars and large pores. For eight weeks before the peel you have to apply skin-priming products. The procedure itself takes 20 minutes. Afterwards there is a four-week post-peel maintenance course. The peel is made from trichloroacetic acid combined with a blue base which controls the strength and depth of the peel. The complexion will have a bluish tint until the skin starts peeling two to three days later revealing new skin.

The pain barrier?
May be uncomfortable for two to three minutes.

How long does it last?
Skin continues to improve over a six-week period.

The bottom booster

What's involved?
Macrolane, nicknamed "the boob jab", can now be used to create the perfect posterior. The product is made from stabilised hyaluronic acid which the body breaks down naturally. It takes 45 minutes to enhance your assets and is recommended for anyone who wants to create a lifted look.

The pain barrier?
Macrolane is injected under local anaesthetic and the incision into the buttocks is tiny. After the operation most people are able to carry on as normal.

How long does it last
Between 12 and 18 months.

Invisible braces

What's involved?
Ideal for adults who want to improve their smile but can't face traditional steel and wire braces. Lingual braces are fitted to the inside of the teeth so are less conspicuous. The method does not take any longer than conventional braces and can correct both upper and lower teeth.

The pain barrier?
On first fitting the braces maybe uncomfortable but this eases as your mouth adjusts.

How long does it take?
Lingual braces take around 12 to 18 months to make a correction.

Sheep placenta facial

What's involved? This treatment uses sheep placenta to boost collagen and elastin production in the skin. During the treatment the protein complex is applied to the face with a dermal roller. The roller is studded with fine needles - about the thickness of those used in acupuncture - which push the proteins into the skin. One treatment is needed, taking around 40 minutes.

The pain barrier?
An anaesthetic is applied to the skin to reduce pain. Skin might be red afterwards.

How long does it last?
Improvements should be visible for around six months.

The C02 boob lift

What's involved? Carbon dioxide is injected just beneath the surface or the skin around the breast and décolletage. It claims to improve elasticity and stimulate collagen production to lift and plump the breasts. The best results are seen in women who have changed cup size after breastfeeding or gained or lost weight. The first treatment is an hour. Follow-up treatments take 30 minutes. The treatment needs to be performed at fortnightly intervals and a course of 10 is recommended.

The pain barrier?
Uncomfortable rather than painful but there may be some bruising where the needles go in.

How long does it last?
A maintenance treatment will be needed once or twice a year.

Anti-ageing injection

What's involved?
Restylane Vital Light is a new treatment for delicate skin such as that on the upper lip, crow's feet, hands and décolletage. The injection aims to improve elasticity and the texture of skin. It can be used on its own but is often used as a finishing treatment after botox or a skin peel. A course or three treatments is recommended.

The pain barrier?
The jab is administered with a special injector rather than a traditional needle, which aims to ease pain. An anaesthetic cream can be applied beforehand. The area around the lips is probably the most painful.

How long does it last?
From six to nine months

The Nefertiti Neck lift

What's involved?
Botox can now be employed to define the jaw line and tighten the neck. The Nefertiti neck lift, named after the egyptian queen with the famous swanlike neck, uses Botox to relax the underlying muscles in the neck. It is also injected into the jaw line to lift the skin and prevent jowls developing. The full effects take two weeks to be completely visible.

The pain barrier?
Patients should feel nothing more than a pin prick.

How long does it last?
Three to four months.

The no-cut tummy tuck

What's involved?
Thermafrax a radio-frequency treatment and Fraxel, laser heat treatment have long been available separately to treat sagging skin. Now Harley Street plastic surgeon Dr Yannis Alexandrides offers Thermafrax which combines both procedures to target the stomach area. First radio frequency waves are applied with a nozzle which heats the deep tissue and tightens the skin while the upper layers of skin are kept cool to ensure the treatment is comfortable. During subsequent treatments Fraxel is applied. Laser columns create microscopic wounds in the skin and as these heal they refresh the tissue and create younger-looking skin.

The pain barrier?
The Thermage part of the treatment will cause minimal discomfort and very little down time is needed. Before Fraxel a topical anaesthetic cream is administered. This procedure causes tingling and skin may be red for 24 hours.

How long does it last?
Between two and five years provided the patient maintains their weight.

The liquid facelift

What's involved?
Evolence is one of the first fillers which promises instant results. It's designed to fill out wrinkles and plump out the lower face. The product promises massively reduced swelling time as it is made from filtered collagen which is as close as possible to the body's own and can thus help avoid a reaction. There are two products available: Evolence, used on the lower half of the face and Evolence breeze which can be used to fill lips. On average the injections take around 20 minutes.

The pain barrier?
Evolence is reported to cause minimal bruising and swelling so you can return to normal after a few hours.

How long does it last?
Up to 12 months.

The eyelash lengthener

What's involved!
Allergan, the company that brought us Botox, has just developed a new prescription only eyelash growth treatment. Latisse is not available in the UK yet but was approved for use in the US in january. It is applied to the upper lashes nightly using a disposable dispenser. The makers claim you can expect lashes to be 16 per cent longer after 16 weeks. Latisse will be invaluable to those who have lost their lashes due to chemotherapy or pregnancy.

The pain barrier?
Some side effects have been reported including redness, irritation and dryness.

How long does it last?
Lashes will return to normal after a few weeks once you stop using the product.