Pull the other one: Would you get the ‘puppet’ facelift?

 By Rosie Wilson

It’s looking set to be the ‘it’ treatment of 2015: the miracle pick-me-up for thirty-something’s that only takes as long as your lunch break. But what’s your stance on the controversial puppet facelift?

While a lot of us would love to turn back the years, just as many of us balk at the idea of going under the knife. Surgery can seem like an extreme option, but over the counter anti-ageing products rarely some to have the results we want; it’s a catch 22.

That’s where the new puppet facelift comes in. It’s completely non-surgical, and performed under local anaesthetic (i.e. you’re awake when they do it). It involves pulling small pieces of string which ‘grab’ onto the tissue and lift the muscles in the cheek and the lower face. The strings are then snipped at the ends, meaning they’re left inside the face providing a lifting effect, gradually dissolving and being naturally absorbed by the body over a few months.

It might sound enough to make you squeamish, but the thread lift is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, requests for thread lifts increased by 1165% in 2014 compared to 2013 – making them one of the most in-demand cosmetic treatments of the year.

Dr. Sarah Tonks, who is a cosmetic facial specialist in London and champion of the puppet facelift, said: “This is a predictable and safe way of lifting. It’s very good for the jowls and cheeks.”

Admittedly, youth and beauty doesn’t come cheap. A puppet facelift will set you back between £900 and £1600 (depending on how much of a lift you want or need), but with a good facelift starting at around £4000, it’s a fraction of the price. Plus, for a lot of people, the idea of not going under general anaesthetic – where it can be at all avoided – is an appealing prospect.

Much like a lot of modern cosmetic procedures, the idea is to produce a natural result which is more subtly youthful than ‘wind tunnel’. In fact, because the treatment provides ‘lift’ rather than total face regeneration, it is being pitted as the perfect anti-ageing solution for women in their thirties, looking to combat the signs of ageing.

Dr. Tonks explains further: “Our thirties represent a transitional time, particularly for women. While the skin isn’t sagging enough to warrant a surgical facelift, the signs of ageing have started to set in – particularly around the jaw and the cheeks.”

“It makes them look refreshed rather than different. No one wants to look like they’ve had work done, especially in their thirties.”

Former Miss UK, Rachel Howard, couldn’t agree more. At 34 years old, she was beginning to feel the pull of ageing was affecting her looks, she revealed to the Daily Mail last week. “Like many women my age, I found the transition into my thirties distressing.”

“But now I look and feel more youthful, and I love that my family and friends keep asking me how I look so fresh, rather than asking me what I’ve had done.”

The results last up to two years and, while you’re encouraged not to smile or yawn for the week after your treatment and told to expect bruising and swelling, the puppet facelift has enjoyed glowing reviews citing results that keep getting better.

But the treatment is not just for thirty-somethings; surgeons say they are a viable option for anyone seeking anti-ageing effects without the surgery. Carol Brennan, 57, is another of the enthusiastic converts. Speaking to the Daily Mail, she confided: “I felt like my face was ageing me, but I didn’t feel a facelift was the right option for me. The idea of scalpels and invasive surgery made me shudder, but the idea of threads sounds perfect for me.”

“Before the treatment I looked like I was in my 60s or worse, but now I’ve had people say I don’t look a day over 45. My confidence has never been higher, and I feel like a new woman – this treatment turned back the clock ten years for me.”

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