I’m sitting here comfortably, waiting in the very Zen -like, luxurious ClinicBe, in Chelsea, (just behind Harrods, for the avid shoppers) waiting for the Emla cream to work. Today I’m giving myself back the 2 years of sleepless nights stolen by my toddler, along with all the self-inflicted stresses and strains of having a 6 year old in private school – still a year to go until seven plus but trying to keep up with the helicopter parents, pushing their children above and beyond and I’m in the same boat with a very unwilling (poor) son, rowing away frantically!
I’ve had my fair share of anti-ageing treatments. Mostly for ‘fun’, of course I’m vain but I’m lucky to be blessed with pretty good genes. I have however given them a run for their money, my body taking a fair amount of battering from far too many toxins! So, stressed, ageing and with little time on my hands for myself I have turned to Dr Barbara Kubicka for help.
A first consultation with Dr Kubicka at her clinic, Clinicbe convinced me that she was indeed the lady into whose hands I wanted to put my face! Highly skilled, as well as trained, her manner and ethos appealed straight away. The clinic brings together the best professionals and offers an holistic approach, treating patients using a broad range of health and lifestyle therapies from psychotherapy to life coaching and from hair loss to hormones and diet. Men have also become much of a focus. At last getting the attention they deserve. We all know it’s happening and that men are increasingly taking time for health fitness and indeed anti-ageing- Dr Kubicka has just launched a new website dedicated to men’s health and skin too. This lady understands that beauty is far from skin deep and that everyone is entitled to feel their best.
Dr Kubicka herself tackles the cosmetic and medical skin treatments. Qualified first as a doctor and then a postgrad in Aesthetic Medicine at the world-renowned College of International Aesthetic Medicine in Paris, you feel immediately confident and comfortable in her presence. Her most popular treatments are fillers, Botox and thread lifts. Her delicate touch and less is more approach keeps her clients coming back in order to stay looking the very best version of themselves. I have tried threads before – I was a guinea pig for the training centre a year or so back – I liked the treatment but would wait a while before paying to have them again. Dr Kubicka and I talked over the procedure. She personally sources her own threads and gets them manufactured bespoke, making so much more sense, better results, not as expensive and different threads for different issues. There are even tiny threads for lines under the eyes. I never knew. Her knowledge and engagement go beyond what I’ve seen previously. It’s no surprise that getting an appointment here isn’t easy.
We decided on what I’ll call a ‘liquid lift’. I’ve been researching fillers that boost the body’s own collagen production. Sculptra was what I first looked into. It’s a biodegradable, biocompatible filler; a gel with polycaprolactone polymer suspended within it that, as the body absorbs, reacts and stimulates collagen production. It also stimulates the most flexible type of collagen which means that natural facial movement is maintained. So, not a traditional filler but rather a stimulator of collagen. I liked the idea of my own cells producing the collagen and doing the anti-ageing rather than just filling my face in. Dr Kubica talked through the different fillers and we finally decided upon Ellansé which I now know is truly the holy grail of facial rejuvenation. Similar in every way to Sculptra but Ellansé doesn’t involve numerous treatments over a period of time; rather, just one and then a follow up to do any touching up that’s needed. So, perfect for a mother of two young kids with not a lot if time to spare. It offers instant gratification and even better results over time. There are actually four versions of the product with Ellansé S lasting a year and Ellansé E the longest lasting, broken down by the body slowly. In clinical studies this can be up to four years, amazingly – most other fillers last a lot shorter time. In practice we are probably looking at 2 years max but that is an astounding innovation over some of the other, more popular options on the market.
Working quickly and with sleight of hand, she skilfully inserted canulars through which the filler would be administered deep under the skin.
Starting under my eyes with the Perfectha, a hyaluronic acid filler that doesn’t stimulate collagen – who wants puffy eyes! – I couldn’t believe the difference. With the canular inserted, just a feeling of pressure, a little odd but nothing more. Eyes sink as you age and although I’ve never had big issues with circles or bags, the difference is astounding when you add the lost volume back. My eyes had sunken significantly. Dr Kubica used this filler because the eye area is very sensitive, skin is thin and therefore you must make sure that you get a super smooth effect. A small amount also above my inner eye, just below the brow, completed the eye rejuvenation. That alone knocked the years off me. I was astounded – a convert for life! It also lasts a long time as the eye area has little ability to breakdown what is injected there.
We moved on to my temples. This year I have lost a significant amount of weight and my face had lost a lot of its youthful volume. My temples had sunk too. Next, was to restore volume in the cheeks and to strengthen my jawline by filling at the outer edges to almost square it up. The effect at first worried me ever so slightly! Watching my face changing shape, changing my whole look was a little shocking but after the initial swelling (a couple of days), the desired effect was reached.
My previous experience with filler in the face generally amounted to filling above the apple of the cheeks to lift from there with filler at the sides of the lips to turn them back upwards – droopy lips equal ageing face! With Dr Kubica, treatment is much more sophisticated. Truly addressing the structure and shape of each individual face.
I left feeling very plump and over the next two days a little swollen. Little aftercare needed except no strenuous exercise or saunas for 24 hours and a little facial massage. The swelling does happen as it’s the body’s response to the polymer and it’s the collagen stimulation that is needed but after a couple days I looked and felt completely normal. Just a younger version of myself.
A month later I’m back for the final touches. Over that month, the few folds left that had worried me around the jowls, after the initial swelling had gone down, were all but gone. My face shape was my own but volumised. Dr Kubicka tweaked her great work, adding a little more volume where was needed – much better not to overfill the first time around and as an addition gave my forehead a touch of botox ( why not!) and I was good to go. Before and after photos below. I think the difference is clear. Stimulating collagen really does take the years off you and using Ellansé, that means results keep working longer!
So, a couple of months on – time enough for real results and collagen stimulation to take effect I am more than happy. Would I have this treatment again? Damn sure I would and I’ll be booking myself in with Dr Kubicka for it in a year or two. So far, Ellansé and Clinicbe are top of my anti-ageing list! May the youthfulness continue! Now for some sleep!
After and Before!