Over the past six weeks, something incredible has been happening. Rather than waking up looking exhausted and searching for new lines in my unforgiving magnifying mirror, I look refreshed, and — whisper it — younger.

Day by day, I’ve been noticing the difference. My skin is tauter, there are fewer lines around my eyes, my neck is firmer and I’ve got my jawline back.

In fact, week by week, the years have been disappearing from my face — which is a miracle considering I’m staring down the barrel of my 58th birthday.


Amanda before the treatment (left), and afterwards with a firmed jawline thanks to the non-invasive treatment Ultherapy and finally, the finished article with her usual make-up (right)


Am I confessing to going under the knife? Not a bit of it. My new look is all down to the new non-invasive, ultra-sound facelift I had six weeks ago.

As something of an expert on these procedures — I’ve been having non-invasive treatments of one type or another for a decade — I can honestly say this is the best I’ve had.

Called Ultherapy (pronounced ‘oohl-therapy’ as in ooh-la-la), the beauty of the treatment is that after the initial lifting and firming, which I swear you can see immediately, it gets better and you start to look younger and younger every day!

The bonus of the treatment is that it carries on working and improving your skin and muscle tone for up to three months, then lasts for two years.

There is no down time, no bruising or swelling, no redness, no needles — you can get it done in your lunchtime, return to work and no one would know.

Little wonder it’s been dubbed the Dorian Gray facelift. And little wonder I was keen to try it. But at a cost of £3,500 to £5,600 — depending on whether you have just your face, or your face, neck and decolletage treated — it doesn’t come cheap.

The reality is that looking younger is an expensive business, but one that many of us think is worth the price.

Ultherapy costs a fraction of what plastic surgery does. A conventional facelift costs £16,000, lasts five years and sags quicker than a good pair of leather loafers.


I’m certainly not prepared to go under the knife for that. But a non-invasive treatment? Hell, yes!

Over the years I’ve had many such treatments — the Obagi blue peel (in which your skin turns the colour of a Smurf), Angelina Jolie’s DermaRoller (a mini paint-roller with spikes), IPL (to reduce red veins) and other laser procedures.


But I’d heard that this was a game-changer.

I headed to Harley Street to put myself in the trusted hands of Lee Garrett, who has worked wonders on my skin in the past.

After dividing my face into sections, Lee passed a hand-held scanner over my face, zapping it with ultrasound rays. The scanner is linked to a computer which gives a screen reading of the layers of my skin, detecting the most damaged areas and allowing them to be targeted by the ultrasound rays.

The ultrasound lifts, firms and also stimulates collagen production (which plumps up your skin, reducing lines) and elastin (to lift the skin and underlying muscles). All without damaging the surface layer.

When friends notice you’ve ‘had something done’, the two questions most asked are: ‘Does it work’ and ‘does it hurt?’. With Ultherapy, the answer to both is ‘Yes’.

It is uncomfortable, I’ll admit. It’s a series of sharp stings, about a four on a scale of one-to-ten, but it stops the moment the laser does.

And it takes only 30 minutes, which isn’t too long to grin and bear it.

I can honestly say this was worth it. Once Lee had finished, I put a little bit of make-up on and went out to meet a friend for lunch and she didn’t notice anything astray. No bruising, no swelling.

She just thought I looked well. But that was only the beginning. On the recent bank holiday break, staying with friends in Dorset, I did something I haven’t done for decades — I spent the entire weekend without make-up.

OK, the Platell version of no make-up means what you see in the pictures here — mascara, a little help for my eyebrows and lipgloss. But no foundation, no concealer or blusher. Completely naked skin.

I had the confidence to do that only because I knew how good my skin was looking, a month after having the treatment.

My friend, Kathy, a glamorous career woman of a similar age to me, was first to spot the difference.

We were sitting in her glorious garden during a fleeting moment of sunshine when she started scrutinizing my face, in the way only an old friend can.


‘Your skin looks amazing and you haven’t got any make-up on,’ she said incredulously. ‘And your jawline is so firm.’

She was right. We all know how your chin and jowls droop as you get older and your cheeks sag, with those two little jawline giblets appearing just in time to perfectly match the turkey neck.

So anything that can improve those areas without surgery is a modern-day miracle. Two of my other girlfriends — also in their middle-youth — have now had the procedure, having seen the results it had on me.

One called me afterwards and said: ‘I’ve ditched my polo necks, it worked so well.’

As we all know, polos are the first refuge of the baggy-necked middle-aged woman.

I won’t name them as they haven’t even told their husbands, such is the pressure on so many women to hold back the years ‘naturally’, which is, of course, impossible.

Just look at Jerry Hall, recently on BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? One of the most gorgeous women ever, proudly boasting she’d never had a thing done to her face and looking every one of her 58 years.

For some, having anything ‘done’ is an insult to the feminist cause.

Others think it’s shameful that a woman wants to look as good as she can for as long as she can. But women have wanted to look good for centuries — Cleopatra was more made-up than Nigella Lawson. It’s just the case that we have more in our armory now than a nub of black kohl.

I do wish the hundreds of thousands of women who have cosmetic surgery, fillers and Botox and then lie about it would stop treating it like their guilty secret.

And an end please to all the Botox/facelift/filler-denying actresses — such as Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman — who say they’ve just aged gracefully. It’s as dishonest as it is disgraceful.

The beauty industry in this country is worth £17 billion and showed little sign of slowing even during the recession.

Underpinning that is the realization that it doesn’t matter how much you spend on clothes or your hair, if your face looks like a crumpled paper bag, the rest is pointless.

So I make no apologies for being delighted with my new face. It’s smoother and firmer, has fewer lines and, well, has simply lifted.

But unlike Dorian Gray, who wanted to remain forever young, I’m not that stupid. I know the clock is ticking, the birthdays arriving faster each year. My only sin is wanting to hold back the years for as long as I can.

Article By Amanda Platell

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