Therapy of the week: Transderm Meso facial
By Claire Coleman - 24th February 2009
Transderm Meso Facial, £180 for a one-hour treatment including a session of microdermabrasion. A recommended course is £480 for the initial session, followed by three weekly 30-minute sessions. Call 020 7323 3660 or go to www.drmichaelprager.com.
Being a beauty journalist in my 30s, I'm constantly bombarded with offers of free Botox, or fillers. I'm not saying never, but so far I've not succumbed. It's not that I don't believe these treatments are safe and effective; it's simply that, rightly or wrongly, I'm not bothered enough by my facial flaws to go under the needle.
Skin saviour: Dr Michael Prager at work
However, when I heard about a system called Transderm Meso System that claims to be able to 'inject' substances like Botox and Hyaluronic Acid without using needles, I was intrigued.
For all the claims made by certain face creams, the fact remains that molecules such as those found in Botox and hyaluronic acid are simply too big to penetrate the skin - it's like trying to force a pebble through a sieve. This new system claims that by using electrical pulses, it is possible temporarily to break the bonds of the skin's sieve-like structure, allowing large molecules to pass through.
I go to Dr Michael Prager's London clinic to try it. It's just the right blend of medicinal and luxury, and once Dr Prager has talked me through the treatment, his nurse, Ori, takes over. First, to exfoliate the skin thoroughly and create optimum conditions for the Transderm process, she gives my face a microdermabrasion treatment.
One tube bombards my skin with crystals of aluminium oxide, while another instantly sucks them away - a sort of cross between sandblasting and vacuuming. It scratches a little, but doesn't hurt.
Then it's time for the transdermal delivery of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the skin and is a humectant, meaning it draws water from the lower layers of the skin to plump out the upper layers.
It's for this reason that it is frequently used in stabilised form in fillers such as Restylane. Ori works across my face a section at a time, applying the hyaluronic acid solution directly to my skin and then using the wand to deliver the electrical impulse.
The strength of the electrical impulse can go from zero to five. Most people stick at about two, and though it stings a little, especially round the nose, it's not painful. Apparently, some people even fall asleep during treatment.
Directly after, my skin looked slightly plumper but I didn't have any redness, and over the next couple of days it seemed firmer and more radiant. I'll definitely be going back to see if another three of these can help stave off the needle a little longer.