Needles are scary, perhaps not as scary as the knife, but daunting nevertheless. People who frequent cosmetic clinics may be used to the painful pricks associated with fillers, Botox and other anti aging treatments (they are not as painless as suggested) but those with virgin skin and a low threshold for pain are constantly on the look out for relatively less-invasive alternatives. This is where Pellevé comes in.
I head out to Dr Tasneem Nakhoda’s clinic in Clifton, Karachi and luckily found 37 year old Farrukh Imam* who was going in for her first Pellevé procedure. What was the ideal age to begin, I asked Azeemah Nakhoda, Dr Tasneem’s daughter, who is also a certified practitioner and was overlooking the Pellevé sitting.
Pellevé, I was informed, was basically a simple procedure that heated layers of the skin using advanced radio frequency energy without damaging the epidermis, or top layer. The heat caused the existing collagen in the skin to contract and tighten while it served the dual purpose of stimulating the production of new collagen. As a result the skin felt tighter. Since the human body starts ageing in the 20s (sorry, girls!) the 20s was as good a time as any to begin. Farrukh, at 37 was a few years too late but then her skin was in pretty good condition. Pellevé would be ideal to control the fine lines that had started building around her eyes, mouth and on her neck. It would not be as effective on older or more damaged skin.
I observed the process, which looked like 20 minutes of a heated massage whereby a special Pellevé hand-piece was glided over the skin. The temperature was kept under check and control, to avoid any inadvertent burning and Farrukh was advised not to move as the hand-piece was heated electrically and a broken contact would result in a mild electric shock. The immediate effect was a glowing, radiant complexion (caused by the heat).
This is what the patient was advised:
Her face would carry a post-treatment glow for 1 – 3 days after the procedure.
The skin would start reacting to the heat after 4 – 15 days and this was when the collagen building process would begin.
The collagen regrowth process would continue days, weeks, even months after treatment but it was recommended to receive at least 3-5 treatments about 4 weeks apart for optimal results.
The procedure was completely pain free (perhaps it was even a little pleasurable as it did feel like a hot massage) and there was zero down time or post-procedure care.
I kept in touch with Farrukh to see how she felt after a few days. She did admit that her skin looked visibly younger – people had noticed the difference. The only draw back, she felt, was that her skin felt dry because of the heat and she had to make extra effort to keep it heavily moisturized. She was looking forward to her second visit for more pronounced results. Was the procedure worth the 35,000 rupees she paid for a 2-minute sitting? She felt it was, especially since it was completely non-invasive and she wasn’t afraid of how it would look when wearing off. Also, this was something that made her skin feel good, inside out. The apparent difference was not as defined as it is after a facelift or fillers but then the cost and risks were also lower. It was totally worth it.
* Name has been changed for privacy because there’s no one who’ll admit to getting any professional help in looking the way they do!