From Botox to Ultherapy, my experience of in-clinic skin treatments

Over the last couple of weeks on this blog, I’ve been running through my skincare routine as well as the at-home devices that I use to help maintain the elasticity, health and vitality of my skin.

So in the last of this mini-series I wanted to touch on a few of the in-clinic treatments I’ve tried along the way.

Allow muscle recovery with Botox

I’m no stranger to one of the biggest drivers of customers to aesthetic clinics; Botox.

But, in line with my general approach to skincare, I get this done only sparingly, once a year, and just between my brows to soften my frown lines.

The general rule with muscles is if you don’t use them you lose them and so to maintain the strength and condition of the muscles you’re freezing with Botox, it’s not a bad idea to take a little breather between sessions to recover your muscle function before going again. It saves a lot of money too!

Hyaluronic acid filler

Aesthetic medicine continues to evolve apace with a new raft of biostimulator fillers like Radiesse® and Sculptra® now being used in some clinics which, rather than just adding volume, work over time to stimulate your own collagen and elastin production.

Traditional dermal fillers like hyaluronic acid are typically shorter-lasting and temporarily add volume and fullness – but they’re also more predictable.

Recently I had a tiny amount (.5ml) of HA filler injected either side of my temples next to my eyebrows to give me drooping lids a little support.

It only creates a subtle difference, but did give me a more refreshed look and if I’m opting for a clinical treatment I do want a highly predictable result so that’s why I stick with the more traditional options for the time being.

Balancing the benefits and risks of energy-based treatments

I’m also pretty cautious about heat and energy-based treatments like ultrasound and radiofrequency.

That’s not to say I don’t think they can deliver results, but it’s also important to understand that where you’re putting energy into the skin at certain depths and intensity, there is a chance it could melt facial fat.

In some cases this may be an advantage if you’re looking to tackle a double chin for example.

But it’s always worth talking to your practitioner about how they limit the risk of fat melting in areas where that wouldn’t be desirable.

I would also only ever have a medical professional with a good understanding of the anatomy of our skin deliver treatments of this kind.


A few years ago I was invited by a clinic to try Ultherapy, an ultrasound-based skin tightening treatment, which I had over my full face.

They avoid the eye area itself because the energy from the treatment is too powerful to use there.

It was far from painless, but tolerable and overall I felt the treatment visibly lifted my jowls, but I also lost a little fat in my cheeks as a result.

Thermal ablation

Around the same time I also had a series of Tixel treatments in a clinic. This is a thermal ablation treatment through which a heated plate is used to create controlled burns on the surface of your skin.

The skin tightening results are said to be equivalent to those of fractional CO2 laser or a deep chemical peel but the recovery time is only around three days.

I had quite dramatic swelling around my eyes for the first two days after Tixel and then it settled really quickly leaving only a bit of dry skin peeling for a couple more days.

The treatments helped visibly lift my upper eyelids but didn’t come close to the kind of result you could expect with a surgical eyelift.

Much-hyped Hydrafacial

The Hydrafacial, which has received a lot of attention recently after teaming up with JLO, is another clinical treatment that I’ve tried but wouldn’t rush to have it done again.

That’s simply because I’m not a facials type of gal.

Its popularity has got a lot to do with the design of the HydraPeel Tips used in the treatment which the makers say create a vortex effect combining suction to extract impurities while at the same time delivering hydrating serums into your skin.

Any redness that I experienced after treatment calmed down within an hour so there is no real downtime.

It combines many of the skincare actives we know to be helpful – exfoliating acids like glycolic, lactic and salicylic, as well as hydrating hyaluronic acid – along with red and infrared light.

For me it’s ideal as a one-off for skin brightening and clearing before a big occasion – and it would make a great gift idea.

Choose your practitioner carefully

There are of course other rejuvenating treatments available and the key is finding a reputable medical practitioner who is highly experienced and rated for the treatments they’re offering and who can help find the best solution for you.