Original Article By Charlotte's BookWhen natural beauty Gwyneth Paltrow confessed that one of the secrets to her luminescence was Thermage, she had beauty bloggers and skincare worshipers alike considering this celeb-endorsed skin tightening treatment. Though Gwyneth likened the treatment to getting smacked in the face with an electrified rubber band, she found the gain well worth the amount of pain, telling Harper’s Baazar in 2013, “I would do it again, because I feel like it took five years off my face.” As if there isn’t enough to envy about the effortless beauty and yoga-perfected body of the blonde actress, it appears she’s found a way to age in reverse: Thermage. Luckily, unlike some of Gwyneth’s more eccentric beauty routines (i.e. vaginal steaming), finding a practitioner to administer this hi-tech cosmetic treatment is becoming increasingly easier. Gwyneth’s treatment was performed by Dr. Karyn Grossman. Here’s the lowdown on what exactly to expect if you decide to follow in Gwyneth’s glowing footsteps and book an appointment to get Thermage, plus our #charlottesays quick tips:

#CharlotteSays
One of the key things with Thermage is expectation management…this is not an alternative to surgery. For those ideal candidates just first starting to notice the effects of gravity, this is one of the very few treatments where one may be enough to get the results you need. Smokers be warned: cigarette smoke will break down the collagen that is trying to rebuild from the Thermage treatment… Also - Thermal is known to be painful. Talk to you doctor about this. Just read this patient’s full account of her experience. Or read Tatiana Boncompagni’s account in her story “I Lost Ten Pounds But Gained Five Years.”

What is it?
Thermage is a noninvasive skin tightening treatment that uses radiofrequency technology to smooth fines lines and wrinkles and to tighten and lift the skin of the face and body. Thermage treatments can be divided into 2 categories: more superficial treatments for skin tightening of the face, neck, and eyelid and deeper treatments for body contouring on the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and arms. During the procedure radiofrequency energy penetrates deep into the skin to heat the underlying connective tissue that supports the skin. This causes immediate tightening of the skin and stimulates the formation of new collagen, which promotes further tightening and lifting over time.

#CharlotteSays
Expectation management is key when it comes to Thermage…this is not an alternative to surgery, but a wonderful way to postpone it just a little bit longer. For those ideal candidates just first starting to notice the effects of gravity, this is one of the very few treatments where one may be enough to get the results you need. Smokers be warned: cigarette smoke will break down the collagen that is trying to rebuild from the Thermage treatment…talk about null and void!

Who is it for?
Thermage is safe and effective on all skin types. However, the best candidates for Thermage treatment are those with mild to moderate skin laxity, minimal sun damage, and do not regularly smoke cigarettes. The effects of Thermage treatment are less dramatic than surgery but there are no associated risks, down time, or recovery period.

What does the treatment feel like?
The treatment involves heat energy being applied to the skin that is alternated with a cooling device. Any minor discomfort during treatment is tolerable without anesthetic or pain medication; however, your doctor may recommend local anesthetic if your pain threshold is extremely low.

How long does it take?
Thermage treatment takes 30 minutes to 1 hour.