To ensure you have the very best experience at DRVICTORIA Clinic™ and to guarantee the optimum results from your treatments, I am always prepared to go to great lengths. So great, in fact, I recently travelled to the other side of the world – to Seoul in South Korea, a place seen as the cosmetic capital of the world. My intention was to expand my knowledge and understanding of thread lifts. But what I learned and experienced there didn’t just inspire me professionally but, rather unexpectedly, philosophically too…
A trip that left a lasting impression
Whilst Hollywood is seen as the surgical treatment capital of the world, South Korea has earned a reputation for being leaders in the non-surgical field. So, I was delighted to accept an invitation to travel to Seoul as part of a team of thread lift experts to see the latest, most advanced techniques in action.
I have been performing thread lifts for six years and I am proud to be an official Scottish Trainer for MINT™ – an award-winning aesthetic solutions company that specialises in minimally invasive non-surgical thread.
But I wanted to take my knowledge and understanding to the next level. Therefore, at the top of my agenda was a visit to the MINT™ Centre of Training to speak to the experts responsible for developing these threads. But whilst in Seoul I was also keen to immerse myself in South Korean culture. I didn’t expect it to leave such a lasting impression on me…
The philosophy of beauty
Whilst in the West we often say your future lies within the palm of your hand, the Koreans say your destiny is in your face. And that is because of the importance they place on facial harmony.
During my time in Seoul, I visited a temple which illustrated just how deep-rooted this concept of the importance of harmony and symmetry is within South Korean culture. And that’s what I loved most about the trip – it was fascinating that everywhere I turned there was a genuine cultural appreciation of beauty. Not an exaggerated version of beauty like we see in Hollywood, but a natural one.
Throughout my career, I have always appreciated how aesthetic treatments have the power to transform the way an individual looks and feels, but it was amazing to see how this transformation is viewed by many in the East on a much deeper level.
A full-sensory beauty experience
I visited several beauty concept stores in Seoul and their whole shopping experience was way beyond our UK high street equivalent. Their stores are very zen – in one there was a beautiful courtyard garden and we were treated to cocktail tea. Their products were displayed and brought to life in imaginative and creative ways – the sights, the sounds, the smells – it was nothing short of a full-sensory experience.
In fact, the South Korean beauty industry as a whole was impressive. People are much more open to investing in great homecare products such as masks or hi-tech beauty gadgets. And men are just as equally interested as women, with the K-Pop scene proving to be a big influence in terms of men’s skincare and makeup routines.
The South Korean beauty scene may be lightyears ahead of the UK’s but I’m passionate about doing my bit for the UK medical aesthetics industry by bringing everything I learned on my travels back home.
The future of aesthetics comes to the UK
One area where South Korean aesthetics are already making an impact in the UK is thread lifts. A thread lift is a procedure whereby a dissolvable suture is used to lift sagging skin. It is much less invasive than a surgical facelift and the treatment is becoming more and more popular here in the UK.
One reason for this growing popularity is because of radical changes to the technology in recent years. Traditionally, PDO (Polydioxanone) threads were quite weak and didn’t lift too well. MINT™, however, has changed all this. Their threads are manufactured in a way that makes them four times stronger, giving them a much greater lifting capacity and leading to more predictable results.
Thread lifts – helping to recreate youthful facial symmetry
Thread lifts are ideal for those of you in your late 30s to mid 50s who are noticing mild sagging of the skin, drooping cheeks and jowls. The action of lifting your skin upwards and backwards can instantly help to recreate the youthful symmetry and harmony of the face that the ageing process has affected.
In addition to lifting the skin, a thread lift can help to combat ageing in another way, “By provoking the body's ‘healing response’ and causing the body to direct large surges of collagen to treated areas. This is important because of the vital role collagen plays in the aging process” (Ref 1).
What’s more, it can help with neovascularization, “Which helps to improve skin elasticity, texture, fine lines, and volume for a timeless rejuvenation” (Ref 2).
However, it is important to note that thread lifts cannot change the shape or structure of your face. That said, a thread lift can still give impressive results when used in conjunction with dermal fillers.
And this is why a personal consultation is so crucial – I am always completely honest and realistic about the results that can and cannot be achieved with thread lifts. If threads are not suitable, even with dermal fillers, I am happy to refer you to a recommended surgeon, should that be the route you choose.
What to expect
A thread lift is a minor surgical treatment, and as such, a safe and hygienic environment is absolutely paramount. DRVICTORIA Clinic™ is regularly assessed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland to ensure we meet highest possible standards for day surgery, we are one of only two clinics in Edinburgh.
The procedure starts with a thorough cleanse, then I mark up of the vectors on the face. I then use local anaesthetic to numb the face before using surgical drapes and sterile pack and gloves to strategically placing the sterile threads.
The healing process depends heavily on the individual – there will be swelling, redness and some initial asymmetry is to be expected, but this usually subsides in around 3-7 days.
I give all thread lift patients aftercare products to take away and use for the first 48 hours, but the most important thing to remember is to keep your face clean and dry, and avoid any dirty environments, and follow all aftercare to prevent infection.
Great looking results for longer
As soon as the swelling goes down you will see the results and they should last for up to 18 months. There is also evidence to suggest you may notice a rejuvenating effect further down the line. “A 2017 study of 100 people who’d undergone a thread lift suggested that the primary effect of a thread lift procedure is skin appearing tighter and more structured. After a year, this effect begins to decrease as the sutures dissolve. However, there was a secondary “rejuvenation” effect that stayed in place and was noticeable 3 years or more after the procedure” (Ref 3).
There are things you can do to ensure the results last as long as possible, such as using good quality skincare, avoiding exposure to the sun, and taking a vitamin A and vitamin C supplement to boost your collagen production.
An uplifting experience
I have always been passionate about the positive impact that cosmetic treatments can have on an individual, but my trip to Seoul has given me a newfound appreciation for facial symmetry and harmony on an even deeper level. It was an uplifting experience, and by bringing everything I learned back to the clinic, I am confident my patients can also have an uplifting experience at DRVICTORIA Clinic™ in more ways than one!
(Photo shows me trying on traditional South Korean dress)
Dr Victoria has been performing thread lifts for six years, earning recognition and respect as an official MINT™ Scottish Trainer. What’s more, DRVICTORIA Clinic™ is proud to be the Scottish Centre of Excellence for MINT™ training – leading the way in this safe and effective treatment.
- Ref 1: American Society of Plastic Surgeons, What You Need to Know About Thread Lifts, 2018
- Ref 2: MINT, How Does it Work?
- Ref 3: Healthline, Everything You Want to Know About a Thread Lift Procedure, 2021
- Healthcare Improvement Scotland
- Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, Advanced Thread Lifting in Medical Aesthetic Practice, 2022
Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2020 Apr; 8(4): e2775.Short-term Treatment Outcomes of Facial Rejuvenation Using the Mint Lift Fine