You might remember Joanne Willcox from my blog about colonic hydrotherapy when I christened her the ‘Queen of shit’. Don’t be fooled by the title – queen of shit she may be, but she’s also the queen of knowing her shit when it comes to all things non-surgical. I took my partner in crime, Nicky, over to Crabwall Manor to see Joanne and be my guinea pig so I could find out what the deal is with the new non-surgical plasma pen.
We chose a small area to test it out so the treatment Nic had was an eyelid lift.
Everything you need to know about non-surgical skin tightening
What is the plasma pen treatment exactly?
It’s a non-surgical treatment (I may have mentioned that already lol) that uses small concentrated shots of heat to cause trauma or superficial burns rather, on the treatment area. This causes the area to tighten and generate new skin as it heals. The marks left by the pen are like a series of small red/brown dots.
Does it hurt?
I mean, I can’t attest to it because I wasn’t the one on the end of Jo’s laser shooting magic anti ageing gun but according to Nic, once the numbing cream was on it wasn’t painful. Maybe a little uncomfortable if anything. Once the numbing cream had worn off after the treatment, her lids were a little tender but nothing a paracetamol couldn’t box off.
What’s the down time and recovery period?
Because it’s a non-surgical procedure, the recovery time is minimal. Where the skin has been traumatise/burnt, a scab forms and then eventually falls off, leaving new, tight brand new baby skin underneath. There is some swelling for the first couple of days after the treatment, but nothing you wouldn’t see from a hay fever sufferer from April to September.
Does it work?
Well Nic had only one treatment and it was on a low setting so the harder you hit with it, the bigger the win. That being said, there was a noticeable difference between Nic’s before and after shots. Have a watch of the below video for the journey.
How much is it?
It’s not cheap but it’s definitely cheaper than surgery. The eyelid lift Nic had is around £450 but brow lifts begin from £250
Ok so having eyelid overhang isn’t something I thought I would ever have to deal with – and certainly not in my 40’s – what can I say, I have been blessed with ALL the greasy skin and as a result I have very few wrinkles (well in Mum, nice one for that genetic inheritance!) but when I was asked to “pinch my eyelid and see if the skin springs back” I won’t lie I was flabbergasted to see that actually it didn’t. Spring back that is. It took its good old time, and while it eventually went back to where it should have been, there was no ‘springing back’ taking place and so with this in mind, AND taking into account that the more I looked at my face, the less eyelid I was actually seeing I hotfooted it over to Joanne Willcox’ clinic at Crabwall Manor in Chester to have a go of this new fibroblasting treatment aimed at rejuvenating the eyelid area without the need for surgery… Springy eyelids be MINE hurrah!
I had an initial consultation with Joanne. She went through EVERYTHING and I MEAN everything. All areas were covered, she appraised my face, she went through my lifestyle, my emotional state of mind she talked about what would happen before, during and after the treatment. Believe me when I say she left no stone unturned. She referred me to articles to read, to look at before and after pictures – she carried out a patch test on me for the numbing cream and for the eye drops I would be required to use post treatment and had a lovely chat, further confirming my initial impression of Joanne that she was professional, calming and most of all really really knowledgeable about the procedure.
The procedure itself took about 60 minutes all in all (including numbing time – the actual active part took less than 15 minutes). I was numbed up (eyelid area) and then Joanne set to work with her magic pen. As you can see from the video I am in no pain, chatting away while the procedure took place. I will be honest it was weird at first hearing this ‘snap snap snap’ coupled with the delicate aroma of what was effectively my skin burning but in no way was it uncomfortable, and Joanne being Joanne she would check in with me constantly to check my wellbeing.
Immediately post treatment Joanne gave me some cold compresses to put on my eyes – by this point the anaesthetic was beginning to wear off and my eyes were beginning to smart. If I had my time again I would have taken a couple of ibuprofen tablets to help with the pain afterwards. I am not going to sugar coat it, it does hurt. Quite a bit initially but I must stress this is very very temporary and certainly didn’t last longer than 24 hours. Once I had taken some analgesia I was fine.
The first 24/48 hours afterwards are the worst parts I would say. My eyes puffed up (understandable after they had just been battered with a laser pen!) but I just wore sunglasses and got on with my day. I wasn’t in any discomfort although I did find my eyes were a lot more watery than normal when I went outside into the fresh air – again quite understandable given their delicate nature and the stress they had just been under! I just took anti-histamine and carried on, it soon stopped.
I took daily photos of my progress and about 7-10 days post treatment I could see a difference – (only a very slight one, I had only had one treatment remember and Joanne recommends a couple of treatments for really dramatic results) I have found that my eyes seem a little wider and there is DEFINITELY less skin for me to pinch now so I am really glad I had it done.
It is NOT for the faint hearted. It DOES hurt afterwards, but only for a short time and if you are pre-prepared with remedies like I have mentioned above you will be fine. It is a much safer, more cost effective alternative to eyelid surgery and something I would definitely recommend.