What's trending in non-invasive cosmetic procedures this year?

Heather Stephen

What’s new and what’s coming up in non-invasive cosmetic treatments in 2017? We asked two of the UK’s top doctors to give us their predictions. 

It’s all about ‘tweakments’ this year according to aesthetic doctor Shirin Lakhani, from Elite Aesthetics in Kent. She says the trend is for non-surgical walk-in, walk-out treatments which offer subtle, natural looking results.

“Patients do not want the risks and down time associated with surgery when there are safe, effective alternatives which, in most cases, are more cost effective.”

Top on her ‘trending’ list are:

1. Surgery free eyelifts 

Dr Lakhani thinks patients will be queuing up for Plexr – the first non-surgical treatment for sagging eyelids and loose under eye skin to give long lasting correction without the need to go under the knife.

“This is now the most popular treatment we offer,” says Dr Lakhani who is an official Plexr trainer. “Prior to Plexr you could only correct hooded eyes with surgery but with this brilliant procedure we can now lift the skin without operating. It usually takes 1-3 treatments to achieve correction but the results last as long as a surgical correction.”

During the process gases are ionised in the air. This heats the affected skin and causes elastin fibres to contract, giving a lifting effect to the skin and stimulating collagen production.

“Prior to Plexr there were no effective non-surgical solutions for sagging eyelids,” says Dr Lakhani. “CO2 laser and radiofrequency were tried but results were not comparable to surgery and could not be used on all skin types so this is an exciting development.”

Dr Lakhani says the procedure has also had good results in the treatment of acne, stretch marks, skin damage, pigmentation and sun spots and can be used to remove tattoos and warts.


2. Radara for beautiful eyes

Radara is one of the latest treatments for eye wrinkles which Dr Lakhani predicts will be big news this year.

The treatment designed for use at home consists of disposable eye patches with tiny plastic needles which make painless microscopic channels in the skin.

The process is said to prompt the body to create more collagen to repair the ‘injury’ and helps deliver hyaluronic acid serum deeper into the skin for a moisturising, wrinkle reducing effect. And Dr Lakhani says she has seen quite incredible results for her patients.

“Botox is great for dynamic lines, those lines that appear with movement. But it’s not as good at tackling static lines, those lines that remain on our skin even when we are not moving our face. And it doesn’t hydrate or do anything for the quality of skin,” she says.

“Radara is revolutionary in that the effect continues even after you have stopped using it and I have seen results in patients lasting for up to four months after the end of treatment.

“It is ideal for people who don’t like the idea of Botox, there is no bruising and in studies people have seen reductions in lines and wrinkles around the eyes of up to 30 per cent.”


3. Peels

“Aesthetics used to be all about smoothing out wrinkles or hiding imperfections but people are now showing more interest in real improvements in their skin,” says Dr Lakhani.

“We are getting far more enquiries these days for chemical peels which involve application of a solution to the skin to produce controlled exfoliation.


‘”People are looking for effective skin care ranges that produce results rather than the smell nice, feel nice do nothing ranges that are out there.

“And in 2017 I think we will continue to see this interest in improving skin quality, along with the growing number of younger people taking steps to prevent lines and wrinkles to avoid having lots of corrective treatment later.”


4. Combining treatments – botox and fillers

Consultant dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe from the Cranley Clinic on Harley Street believes patient’s will continue to look for a ‘treatment cocktail’ to target different problems of ageing.

“Loss of volume in the lower and mid parts of the face is the reason we start to get jowls and develop a drawn appearance,” he says.

“But a combination of treatments is the way forward to deal with problems like a sagging jawline or ‘turkey neck’.

“Fillers can refine and voluminise the face and minimise the appearance of acne scars, Botox can restore the neck area and I sometimes combine these treatments with a thread lift for the best all round results.”


5. Improved CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting fat freezing launched in the UK in 2010 and this year Dr Lowe says clinics will be trying out new machines to make the treatment even better.

“The Cranley Clinic was one of the first UK clinics to try the CoolAdvantage machine which reduces treatment times from 1 hour to 35 minutes,” he says. “And we think more people will follow our lead by using the CoolSculpting Mini apparatus which allows treatment of smaller areas like under the chin and under arms.”

CoolSculpting works by freezing fat cells with patients seeing permanent results from within three to eight weeks.

And, coming soon, is BelkyraDr Lowe is excited about the UK launch of this injectable treatment designed to target the hated double chin.


He was involved in the original research into Botox 26 years ago and led a five year study into the deoxycholic acid product – based on a bile acid produced by your liver to help break down fats we’ve eaten. When injected into fat cells below the skin’s surface it breaks those cells down too.

Available as Kybella in the US since 2015, the manufacturer Allergan is currently talking to European regulatory agencies and Belkrya is expected to be licensed for use here later this year.

“Although it is early days, research studies have shown excellent results for this treatment,” he says.

“Patients see a long lasting result and we think it will be a useful addition to other treatments we already have for the double chin such as Thermage, which uses radio frequency energy to strengthen collagen, and CoolSculpting, which kills fat cells through controlled cooling.