I’m swapping facials for mesotherapy like Gwyneth Paltrow


I often feel deflated the morning after a facial. It’s a bit like losing your virginity – you wake up expecting to look different but you don’t. I want long-term results for my skin, not just a post-facial glow that wanes after a few hours. Seeing Gwyneth Paltrow’s instagram shot post mesotherapy was enough for me to get my head out of the gutter.

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With an image of her bright, glossy skin etched on my mind, I book in for the same Mesolift at Dr Maurice Dray’s London Clinic. Dray pioneered mesotherapy and brought it to the UK in the Nineties, which makes him the best man for the job in my books.

After three treatments, each two weeks apart, my skin looks like it’s won the lottery.

What Is Mesotherapy

For the uninitiated, mesotherapy involves injecting a cocktail of vitamins (A, B,C and E), minerals (especially zinc), amino acids, coenzymes and hyaluronic acid via a meso gun, which looks like a giant stapler.

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It basically moisturises your skin from the inside out. According to Dr Dray, 'the treatment restores skin elasticity and reduces signs of ageing, leaving you with immediate results. These improve over the course of the following week and last for eight to twelve months.'

What's more, mesotherapy improves cell turnover and radiance. It strengthens the skin’s protective barrier and plumps up scrawny areas. The list goes on.

You may be thinking, ‘but I can find those ingredients in my face cream’. Well you can, but a moisturiser will never deep dive beyond the skin’s top layer. If it did, it would be labelled a medicine and prescribed by your doctor.

Mesotherapy, on the other hand, goes as far as the dermis, the thick layer of tissue made up of collagen and elastin, where it really counts in the anti-ageing stakes.

What Happens

A numbing cream is first applied, which makes this a relatively painless procedure.

Then an air pressure gun pummels the meso cocktail into your skin. This is a much more efficient way of doing things than the old-school single injections, which some doctors still favour.


Our senior beauty editor Fiona during mesotherapy.

In fact, the treatment takes just under 15 minutes. It feels a little scratchy in places – a bit like a cat licking your face. But the only time my eyes water is when the gun runs backwards and forwards over the cushiony skin either side of my nose.

The other dominant sensation is the cool mesotherapy liquid trickling over your skin.

A hyaluronic acid sheet mask is then applied for 10 minutes to take down any redness around the injection points.

After an hour at the clinic I’m on the bus heading back to work.


Immediately afterwards your face is covered in tiny bumps. It may also sting the first time you cleanse but that is short lived.

I recommend using La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser as it is designed for the most sensitive of skin types. Then slather on a generous layer of Dermol 500 Lotion in place of moisturiser for the first night. It is antibacterial, antimicrobial and immediately cooling.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, £12.50, Lookfantastic


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The next morning my skin has pretty much returned to normal. A light dusting of mineral make-up ensures any residual bumps look virtually invisible.

Bareminerals Original Loose Mineral Foundation SPF15, £28, Lookfantastic


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I love the results and am astonished at how fast I reaped the rewards. As soon as the bumps and redness faded, my face took on the ‘glass skin’ effect that we try, but are never quite able, to successfully replicate with highlighter.

I’m told that two further treatments will dial up this glow so a fortnight later I do it all again.

This time a whole load of skin sins are rectified, including a noticeable improvement to the pigmentation on the tops of my cheeks and a patch of dermatitis in the corner of my mouth.

My skin feels baby soft for weeks. It somehow manages to look dewy and hydrated even before I've applied any skincare. Friends ask me if I’ve been on holiday, telling me I look so healthy and rested.


Fiona a week after her second mesotherapy treatment.

It’s like my face has been subtly Facetuned in real life.

Most non-surgical treatments only deliver on one promise. Botox: ironed-out wrinkles. Fillers: plumpness. Peels: radiance. Mesotherapy gives you all of those things.

For someone like me who isn’t ready to fully immerse myself in the world of injectibles, it's a nice entry point.

I like polish and mesotherapy whispers, ‘I look after myself’ in a way that a facial doesn’t and Botox never will.

From £200 per session. To book in for a consultation go to the website.

Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton has been a beauty editor for over 10 years, writing and editing beauty copy and testing over 10,000 products. She has previously worked for magazines like Marie Claire, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography and catwalk trends.