Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie has… a 10-minute facelift

The moment of truth – can a 10-minute facelift really deliver results for our incognito reporter?

Spa Junkie has… a 10-minute facelift

Image: Jay Yeo

July 26 2011
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2

Spa Junkie is undergoing a “10-minute facelift” procedure at the London clinic of dermatologist Dr Maurice Dray.

Moments later, Dr Dray holds up a mirror to show me the difference between the left and the right side of my face – the before and after. At first, all I’m able to see are the pinprick spots of blood trickling down; but when I focus beyond them, yes, I can clearly see a difference.

“You see how I have lifted this skin?” he says, tugging at my jowls. Then he does the other side of my face, and lays me down to massage the actives evenly into the skin to avoid lumpiness.

Me, tentatively: “Could you perhaps explain to me now what just happened to me?”

“Yes dear,” he says, as he continues a rather deep and quite painful massage. “This is a next-generation mesolift. It is injections of biphasic tricalcium phosphates,” (BTCPs, as they’re known among professionals – biodegradable microparticles commonly used in porcelain and dental procedures which restructure the jowl by encouraging the skin to produce collagen) “which I have had suspended in hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the body but decreases as we get older.”

“It seems that it’s the buzz ingredient,” I say. “Even over-the-counter products all claim to contain hyaluronic acid.” I sound smart, don’t I!

“Yes, dear; it’s the principal ingredient in many face fillers. It plumps out deep grooves and wrinkles and encourages the body to produce its own natural collagen.”


“Ok! Now sit back up.” He grabs my chin again, moves my face left to right. “Perfect. You will see in weeks to come just how effective this product is.” And seconds later, without so much as an adieu, the door shuts.

I can see a difference immediately. My chin is taut and my face a little more heart-shaped. But the real improvement – the marked increase in collagen fibres and the noticeably better elasticity – will, says Oksana, who comes to collect me, appear over the next six weeks.


As I walk out, I take a glance back in the mirror – and see two distinct bruises at my jawline. I have never had bruises on my face, and the severity of these surprises me. I come up with a lame excuse to last me the next couple of days, which involves an over-enthusiastic dentistry session. Which seems to be believable enough.


The results are stop-you-in-the-street good. I have been told by virtually every person. At the next spa experience I undertook in Italy (check this column soon for more on that), the therapists guessed my age as between 26 and 29; the aesthetician said 28, based on the tone and lack of wrinkles. So I’ve shaved a good few years off the perception, if not the reality.

I wanted to phone Dr Dray the next day to thank him for inventing a time machine. I now have, for the next six weeks anyway, what we all want – the knowledge and experience of my 30s and the face of a 25-year-old.

Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.