Glass experiences the revolutionary Strawberry Laser Lift treatment

I CAN pinpoint exactly the moment that I became aware that genetics alone were not to blame for my soft and fleshy face as I had always assumed. Age 14, sat in my orthodontist’s office, he rather bluntly pointed out that my jaw was aligned further back than it should have been, causing an overbite. I wasn’t quite so concerned with this aspect of my oral health as I was the aesthetic implications; a potential jawline lost in a layer of youthful chubbiness, and a chin that was behaving in a decidedly shy manner, gently sloping back in the direction of my neck rather than forwards.

From a medical standpoint, the issue ended up being too minor to actually warrant any intervention other than a particularly attractive retainer, despite earlier suggestions of a particularly nasty-sounding jaw-realigning surgery, but the psychological implications were enormous. Where before I had been relatively non-plused about my appearance (as most 14-year-old boys are) now I looked in the mirror to see only my medical-grade flaws staring back at me. Suddenly, razor-sharp jawlines became my obsession.

Everywhere I looked I’d begin to notice one of the universally defining features of A-list celebrities, models and actors, male and female – a strong, square, defined and pronounced jawline and chin. Alex Pettyfer’s sharply squared teenage jaw in the movie Stormbreaker made me green with envy, and the mere mention of Brad Pitt’s lantern-jawed visage made me want to hide.

Matters were made only worse when a few years later at my insistence that something needed to be done about my shy and retiring lower-face, a different orthodontist gently explained to me that my nose was actually the real issue, with its exaggerated curving beaked-ness only proving the highlight the receding nature of my chin and weak jawline. An x-ray confirmed that this was indeed the case, and another facial insecurity was born. Now, rather than just hiding my chin with my hand when I spoke to someone, I was conscious of the off-kilter quality of my entire face.

Fast forward to today, and my now sleeky straightened-out nose, courtesy of a particularly skilled Harley Street surgeon, is healing perfectly following its refinement earlier this year. Scientifically speaking, facial attractiveness is deemed largely by the eye based on symmetry, proportion and balance, something that the lucky few are genetically blessed with. For others such as myself, it is more of a goal to be worked towards. Having (metaphorically) scratched my nose off my list by decreasing its size, the next logical step was to work on the lower portion of my face by increasing its proportion – hence, the appropriate facial balance would follow.

My initial idea was to undergo a chin implant procedure, however, cost and time are proving prohibitive factors in this decision. So imagine my delight when an email popped into my inbox, offering a trial of a new and revolutionary laser treatment which promised to banish double chins, define your jawline and melt away fat from your lower face in a mere 30-minute appointment – no surgery required, no downtime needed.

The Strawberry Lift Machine

The Strawberry Laser machine is indeed a revolutionary product – owned and operated by only a handful of specialist clinics in the UK – utilises laser and ultrasound technology to literally destroy the fat cells located in your chin, neck and jaw. It was a bold claim, that this simple machine could achieve such remarkable results without so much as a single needle being inserted, but nevertheless, I was anxious to see if it could live up to its high claims.

The treatment can be performed as a one-off but is recommended as a four-treatment package in order to maximise results – the more you use the lasers, the better the results will be, and unlike many aesthetic treatments of this nature, there is no real limit to how many times it can be undertaken.

Without hesitation, off I headed to the Kensington branch of the Eden Skin Clinic, where founder and head aesthetic therapist Lorraine Scrivener was to perform my treatments. I knew I was in good hands – as well as being an official ambassador of the company, Scrivener’s Eden Skin Clinic treats many famous faces. After a warm greeting and an initial medical questionnaire, Scrivener explained to me fully how the machine achieved the results it did.

 Before and after – results from a patient

“The Strawberry Lift treatment is the first laser in the world for double chin removal” she explains. “The device has two main parts of technology – the first, a handheld laser mask designed to fit snugly under the chin, is for the fat reduction side. and safely penetrates the skin to target the fat cells.” The mask looks a bit like a moulding of a jawline, and it does indeed fit well under the chin. This aspect of the treatment targets the fat underneath the jaw, working on double chins more than the jawline itself.

Scrivener explains the science of the laser, a process which is surprisingly easy to comprehend. “It works by creating tiny pores on the surface of those fat cells, which then allow the contents to spill out.” If this sounds a tad concerning, don’t fear – diodes are placed on the supraclavicular lymph nodes so that once the fat cells release their contents, the lymphatic system gets to work draining them out of the body naturally.

Thomas in the middle of the lasering process

The next part of the treatment is a little more complex. “The second stage uses HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) which, unlike traditional ultrasound devices on the market which can create noise, pain and ringing in the ear, is totally silent and far more comfortable.” This part of the machine is shaped like a wand and is used to specifically target the jawline, using two wavelengths which meet at a focal point to coagulate tissue protein, stimulating new collagen growth and tightening the skin. In essence, the laser blasts fat cells and slims down your chin, jawline and upper neck, and the HIFU tightens the skin and defines the jawline, creating a smoother and more modelesque appearance.

Scrivener also mentioned that 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity performed within 12 hours of having the treatment was very beneficial to maximise the results, as the cardio would stimulate the lymphatic drainage system to its fullest potential, eliminating the floating fat cells entirely. It is worth mentioning that at this point, beauty obsessive that I am, I wasn’t entirely expecting all that much from the treatment. After all, how much could realistically be achieved by holding a hot chin mould on your face for 12 minutes, then gliding an ultrasound pen over it? As it turns out, you can actually achieve a huge amount.

A client undergoes the laser portion of the treatment

The laser was a little uncomfortable to use. You have to keep it pressed into your lower-face whilst it penetrates the fat cells for 12 minutes, during which time the device, although not actually that hot, begins to create a slight burning sensation on the skin. Rather than being painful, this aspect of the treatment is merely uncomfortable, but the 12 minutes goes by fairly quickly and the end results more than justify the temporary discomfort.

After this, a gel is applied and the HIFU wang is glided over the chin, neck and jawline. The cooling gel is a welcome relief after the heated intensity of the laser, and the process of repetitive, circular gliding motion is rather therapeutic (to the point where I actually fell asleep during my final session, only to jolt myself awake again.)

The client proceeds to have the ultrasound gel applied following the laser

All in all, the process takes only a little over 30 minutes to complete, including breaks to photograph the step-by-step progress achieved by the device. After Scrivener was finished with the first laser treatment, I went back to the bench for more photographs. She was audibly surprised by just how effective the treatment had been. When she showed me the before and after, I gasped.

As a 6 foot tall, 168lbs man, I M in no ways overweight, but due to a youth of indulging in all the wrong foods, a particularly persistent pizza addiction and the aforementioned receding jaw, I had a small pocket of fat displaying proudly as a double chin in my before photo. Just 12 minutes later, the fat was gone. Totally, utterly nowhere to be seen – instead, a smooth curvature from the nape of my neck to my chin had taken its place. The results, for lack of a less dramatic word, were astounding.

The results immediately after the first treatment

It was important to photograph every stage of the process, Scrivener warned, as the HIFU had a tendency to make the area slightly swollen directly after treatment. In reality, the swelling amounted to nothing that you would otherwise take notice of, but settled down over the following week to reveal a taut, tightened and noticeably more defined jawline.

I needed no more persuasion than this and gladly carried on with my final three treatments. Curiously, as I completed the remaining three procedures, the discomfort from the laser grew marginally each time. So too did the HIFU, which began to result in sudden zaps in my jawline as it passed over particularly sensitive areas. Although it was nothing remotely serious or painful, it seemed curious that I should become more sensitive to the treatment as time progressed, rather than less.

Before any treatments vs the finished results after completing the course of four

Two months after my initial treatment, my course of four is complete, and I’m reaping the benefits every single day. For the first time in my life, an actually noticeable jawline has appeared, breaking through the fleshy layer that came before to reveal itself, creating a stronger, more masculine appearance. The procedure has done wonders for my confidence, although I sometimes forget I had it at all. Due to the ease of the treatment and the complete lack of downtime, it feels more like having a standard facial than an actual procedure to rival invasive liposuction, but every time I catch myself in the mirror, the results are clear to see.

As an alternative to traditional liposuction, which begins at around £4,000-£5,000, this four treatment Strawberry Lift package is a relative steal at £1,500 – in fact, booking the recommended block of four means that one of the treatments, usually £500 as a standalone procedure, is completely free of charge. This beauty journalist is supremely impressed, not only at the effectiveness of the Strawberry Lift, but at the manner in which it is – quickly, painlessly, and without any telltale signs of cosmetic tinkering to show for it. What’s not to love about that?

by Thomas Marrington

Strawberry Lift is available in clinics across the UK, find your nearest location by using the Salon Locator here

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