And we're not talking about threading your eyebrows, either. In what just might be the actual "non-surgical facelift" many have claimed, but few have delivered on, face threading involves using tiny threads underneath the surface of your skin to lift and tighten specific areas, with results that last up to a year and a half or more. "It's been around in Europe for a long time now, and I first started to learn it when I would go back and forth to Paris," says Lisa Goodman, PA, of GoodSkin LA, who is one of the pioneers of the treatment stateside. "It's natural, you can basically get an instant lift, there's no risk, and barely any downtime." The process involves inserting a clear thread with barbed hooks beneath your dermis layer, but above the subcutaneous tissue. When performing the treatment on her clients, Goodman uses a device that looks like a sewing needle with the thread attached, and after numbing the area she plans to insert the needle, she'll push it forward, then pull the skin up and back over the hook to its desired position. Because the thread is made from the same material as surgical sutures (polydioxanone, to get specific), it dissolves within 6 months, and actually helps to stimulate collagen production in the skin.
"It's biostimulatory, meaning, it creates more natural collagen and helps to thicken the skin," Goodman explains. "They're amazing for people who are concerned about early signs of aging, because in that way, it's completely preventative." Of course, that doesn't mean it should only be done for preventative measures—those with more advanced signs of aging will also see very dramatic results, though if your skin is a bit loose, keep in mind that a very slight wave in the skin, which disappears within a week or two max, could be a side effect. "It's really not a negative, it's a side-effect in maybe 20% of people, but you should plan for it if your skin is on the loose side," she adds. If you tend to get keloid scars or have thin skin, you're probably not a good candidate for face threading, and before you decide to go for the treatment, make sure to ask your doctor where they were trained, where they continue to train, how long they've been practicing face threading, and for some before and afters. The process is still very new, so you'll want to be well-informed before making the commitment. Most importantly—how bad does it hurt? "I mean, it sounds so scary, and it hurts a little bit, but there aren't a lot of nerves at the level we inject it at, so it isn't very painful," Goodman reassures us. "I think a lot of that comes from doing something that's new, but we help our clients get really calm beforehand so that their anxiety levels don't drive the pain."