Red: Plasma IQ – May 2019

Easy on the Eye: Would you go under the knife for a wider-eyed look? Not yet, says Sharon Walker, who tried a non-surgical lid lift.

Torches in restaurants, that’s where it starts, it’s the only way to read the menu. Then you have to switch the font size on your phone so your texts resemble the top row of the eye-test chart. Eventually, you give in, everyone must. In my case, my boyfriend gave in for me – I guess he was fed up with reading out menus – by popping a pair of reading glasses into my Christmas stocking. I forgave him, as he paired this insult with sexy leather driving gloves. Sadly, that relationship didn’t last, but my current beau flipped when he caught me in a pair of glasses. His reaction: ‘PHWOAR.’ So the verdict on old-lady reading glasses: totally sexy. But that other thing that’s been going on with my eyes recently, not so much. The way my eyelids are gradually disappearing under a fold of flesh is less saucy secretary, more owlish professor.

As women, we hear a lot about ageing gracefully, but I for one am happy to consider modern science’s alternatives. In this case, the alternative is Plasma IQ, a non-surgical procedure designed to tighten saggy eyelids. ‘It’s a more controlled way to get rid of excess skin than having it removed surgically, otherwise known as blepharoplasty,’ says Dr Aggie Zatonska
of London skin clinic Medicetics. ‘With surgery, there are many unknowns and you can end up looking “done”, but this delivers a very natural look that should last three to five years.’ So how does it work? ‘The treatment uses plasma to create a mini “lightning bolt” of energy that delivers tiny dots of trauma to the superficial layer of skin, causing it to tighten up,’ explains Dr Zatonska. Then she shows me the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures from a recent client and my mind’s made up. Two weeks later, I’m back, my eyelids slathered in numbing cream. At first, I feel nothing but a cooling puff of air with every zap.

The next few zaps are like the ping of an elastic band, but so quick that just when I’m thinking, ‘I can’t take this,’ we’ve moved on. After 20 minutes my eyes already look lifted, though covered in burnt black dots – these can
be largely covered with mineral make-up, so I don’t look too odd. Next morning, I have swollen eyes, but soon the steroids I’ve been given to control the swelling kick in and the fluid drains. On day three I wake up to find the fluid is pooling under my eyes, just as Dr Zatonska warned. It disappears again with the steroids, though the dots are darker. By day four the dots are scabs, so I slather on antibiotic gel to soften the skin. By day six most of the scabs have fallen off to reveal pink dots underneath. I continue going to work through all of this, and after 10 days I could have gone without the cover-up, had I not needed it to protect the skin from sunlight. Four weeks later, I can see a subtle but distinct difference, as if an odd millimetre or two of skin has been shaved off to reveal more lid. To anyone
else it’s a blink-and-you’d-miss-it change, but that’s just the way I like it.