Last month, Helena (Brooklyn Blonde) and I went to Russak Dermatology Clinic for the Sonic Lift, an anti-aging skin care procedure that was new to both of us skin-obsessed gals. I don’t do designer shoes and handbags, but I never hesitate when it comes to investing in my skin. Great skin is my favorite accessory. That sounds a lot creepier and Buffalo Bill-ish than I intended. My point is, I don’t skimp on skin care, I get regular facials (more on that, later), peels (more on that, too) and I love learning about and experimenting with non-invasive anti-aging, skin-perfecting procedures. And I’m not talking about Botox and fillers — though I have been researching the former for TMJ and migraine relief, so please let me know if you have experience! — but the countless other options that are more about prevention, collagen production, texture, pigmentation. The list is never ending (IPL, PRP, chemical peels, Clear + Brilliant, radio frequency, Fraxel, etc.), and I want to know about them all. Which leads me to Dr. Russak’s Sonic Lift.
The Sonic Lift treatment combines NeoCell collagen supplementation and a light version of Ultherapy, which is a non-invasive treatment that lifts skin through the use of UltraSound technology. If you’ve ever seen before and after photos of Ultherapy, you know that the results can be pretty dramatic. This is a lighter version of that, focusing on the superficial layers, whereas regular Ultherapy goes deeper. That’s why it is best suited for younger patients (20s-30s) who are just starting to notice changes in their skin and want to take preventative anti-aging measures. Hi, that’s us!
The Sonic Lift tightens any targeted areas of concern — we went with the jaw / under the chin area, in hopes of more definition — and increases collagen production over time, which gives our skin its elasticity, firmness, and youthful magic (okay, maybe not magic). As we age, our collagen production decreases* by 1% every year after 20, which is why collagen stimulation was a particular intrigue for me. Please make sure to watch the video to get a behind the scenes look at the procedure, but here’s the breakdown:
- “Before” photos are taken and numbing cream is applied
- lines are drawn in the treatment area (see the white lines on our faces?)
- Meredith, our medical esthetician, followed the lines she marked (as seen in the video, above). Each pulse felt like a quick little zap — I described it as a hot rubber band.
- From start to the very finish, it was about an hour total, and the pain will vary from person to person. I didn’t find it to be too bad, but Helena had a different experience — I truly think it is because I have a fuller face!
- The procedure is followed by antioxidant infused oxygen, which has a cooling, soothing effect, and NeoCell’s Blueberry Hyaluronic Acid cocktail.
- There is technically no downtime, but I did have quite a bit of swelling on the second day — almost like I had my wisdom teeth removed. I had faint marks where the lines were placed, which weren’t very noticeable, but Helena had scratches (but didn’t seem to have the swelling I had). Most of the swelling went down the next day, though I still felt a little puffy for about a week. To give you an idea, these photos were taken a few days after. I didn’t experience any irritation or redness.
- Results take 3 months (it’s about collagen production and skin tightening, after all), so anyone wanting instant gratification should look elsewhere. Helena said she already feels like her jawline has more definition, but I’m going to wait the full 3 months before I make any judgments for myself. I’ll update once the three months is up — I’ve been taking photos along the way!
Thank you to the wonderful ladies at Russak Dermatology Clinic for the excellent care and for checking up on us along the way. If you’re in NYC, I highly recommend paying them a visit. They’re incredibly knowledgeable and will give you advice that’s tailored to your needs and concerns.
*P.S. You know what else helps to prevent collagen loss? Protecting your skin from sun damage. This is your regular reminder to wear and reapply SPF.