“So, I decided to burn my face off in the name of beauty.”

I decided to get Thermage and Fraxel. It’s like an upper cut followed by a right cross to the face – a quick one, two – that is supposed to knock years off.

Plus celebs like Demi Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow are converts. They both have a touch of the Benjamin Button’s about them. So sign me up!

I turn up at The Clinic in Bondi Junction, I seriously love the owners Kaye and Lisa, both are very funny and extremely talented. All the TV chicks who say they don’t get anything done, well they don’t get it done here*. (*Duh, they totally do.)

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I’ve been warned about the pain so I’ve had a Nurofen Plus (and a banana smoothie to line my tummy).

The gorgeous Holly takes care of me. Seriously this poor woman had to laser my bikini line years ago, so we have no secrets. It’s almost pay back that she gets to hurt me now.

Getting prepped for Thermage (Image supplied)



So here’s the deal with Thermage – it’s a single treatment that smoothes, tightens and contours the skin, and can be used for both face and body. It works really well on parts of the face where you’ve lost collagen – so jowls, turkey waddle, marionette mouth (you know those lines from the nose to the side of the mouth that makes you look like a puppet), under the eyes and even plumps up cheeks.

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They way it works is via radiofrequency energy. It helps tighten existing collagen and stimulate new collagen growth in the deeper facial layers of the skin.

It works a bit straightaway but then the real results kick in about four to six months later as the new collagen comes to the surface.

I was lucky enough to review it for free because it’s not cheap. Prices range from $1,500 to $3000 depending on the area to be treated.

(You can watch the video at the bottom of this article to see it being done). I basically didn’t hurt on my face but when Holly did my jawline it was like electric shocks followed the nerves up like reverse lightening. It killed.

But it was over quickly. Be thankful for small mercies.

It was over quickly. Be thankful for small mercies. (Image supplied)



Next up I had Fraxel. I’ve had Fraxel before and it is ah-mazing! It’s a resurfacing laser that enhances the natural healing response of the skin and cellular turnover, resulting in plump dewy skin.

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It’s a bit hard to describe but I kind of think of it like a superhero with laser eye beams who stares at your face and lasers bores deeply into your skin. The skin goes, ‘oh shit I better heal’ and sends super healing cells to the rescue. So you’re getting younger from the inside out. On the surface Fraxel removes pigmentation and sun damage.

Fraxel results in plump, dewy skin. (Image supplied)


The pain's okay at first but then it accumulates and it really hurts. Like fingernails scratching over sunburn. Am I selling it well enough to you? After a few days you peel. When I had it a few years ago I was babysitting my five year old nephew and he looked at my peeling face and said, “Aunty Shelly you’ve got face dandruff.”

Yeah kid, but once this peels off, my skin will look younger than yours.

Again not cheap, the price is between $1200 – $1500.

Straight after the double treatment I felt like I’d spent some time on the surface of the sun. My skin was boiling hot and red. It kinda felt I’d been skiing in Aspen and I got really bad wind burn. Not that I’ve even been to Aspen but you get the picture.

Straight after the double treatment. (Image supplied)


I sat on the couch with a fan on my face. But that only lasted a couple of hours.

I had a TV appearance the next day but the make-up artists at Channel Seven are used to me doing weird shit to my face and besides laughing at me and rolling their eyes they easily covered the redness with make-up.

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Day three and I started peeling. Right on schedule.

My chest is always the worst – probably because it has the most sun damage (that’ll teach me for always having the puppies out). I always get bad breakouts after Fraxel. But they go away once the skin calms down.

The Verdict

One month on and I think the Thermage has really contoured my face. Even though I’ve lost weight and my face shape has changed I feel it gave me cheekbones for the first time in years. I was hoping for more tightening around the jawline (to make the pain worth it) but didn’t see a huge difference. Maybe I need to lose more of the double chin for it to be effective?


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I’m a huge Fraxel fan. Besides my three-monthly Botox jabs, this is the only other treatment I’ve repeated religiously. I get it done about once every 18 months. You never get the incredible results of the very first treatment but I know I’m helping reverse sun damage and brightening my skin tone. I’d go through it all again. I’m looking forward to seeing the full results in another five months.

Here’s my video of the treatments – there’s a whole lot of whinging but you’ll get the idea.

Immediately before and after the treatments

Immediately before and after the treatments. (Image supplied)
Immediately before and after the treatments. (Image supplied)
Immediately before and after the treatments. (Image supplied)

And a month on and makeup free…

Glowey, dewy skin one month on. (Image supplied)


If you want to try either of these treatments contact The Clinic, Sydney on 02 9386 1533 or google for other salons in other states.

If you're looking for an easier face fix, we recommend trying some of these incredible face oils.

This piece was originally published on ShellyHorton.com.


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