Alter image – HELLO! Canada - August 23, 2010
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Alter image – HELLO! Canada - August 23, 2010

Alter image

An inside peek at the makeover techniques favoured by Hollywood’s lean and lovely stars

By Malena Harbers

It may sound too good to be true, but there are several new body shaping machines designed to remove unsightly lumps and bumps without the pain and recovery time that comes with surgery.

The UltraShape can trim as much as 10cm from your frame after three 45 – to 60-minute treatments, says Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, medical director of Toronto’s Bay Dermatology Centre. Using a combination of a vacuum-like device (to gently stimulate blood flow to the targeted area) and focused ultrasound, the UltraShape Contour/Ver3 works to permanently destroy fat cells and tighten lax skin at the same time. There is a little maintenance work. “Patients are encouraged to follow a low fat, low carbohydrate diet during the treatment to maximize the results,” says Dr. Skotnicki. “Just as with liposuction, the procedure does not give patients the license to eat more, as the remaining fat cells can get larger.”

While UltraShape works on a concentrated area, the Zerona used laser technology for an all-over slimming effect. The low-level light laser (or cold laser) covers about 70 per cent of your body as you lie on a surgical bed. Instead of destroying fat cells, “[the laser] causes a temporary pore in the fat cell allowing its contents to leak out, ultimately shrinking the cell,” says Dr. Stephen Mulholland, plastic surgeon and medical director of SpaMedica. It’s so painless, you can even spend the 20 minutes on each side of your body (done in six sessions, every 48 hours for two weeks) tuned in to your iPod. In both cases, the flushed-out fat is processed in your liver and kidneys the same way as fat from food.

It’s no secret that as we age our skin elasticity and thickness, which leads to wrinkles, sagging and discolouration. To stave off these signs of aging and to create and enviably youthful complexion – likeHalle Berry’s or Cate Blanchett’s – a series of in-office light and laser treatments can regenerate the skin and pave the way for a smoothed-out, spot-free appearance.

“Intense pulsed light (IPL) or Lumenis One treatments use multiple wavelengths of light to stimulate collagen, reduce pore size, treat redness and blood vessels, and remove brown spots – all at the same time,” says Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of Toronto’s DLK on Avenue. “The skin reflects light more uniformly, resulting in a homogeneous, more even complexion that appears to glow.”

Fraxel, another favourite of the stars, uses laser energy to remove the top layer of the skin. “The targeted areas are stimulated to produce new collagen, plumping up the skin and smoothing our wrinkles, fine lines, scars and photo-damaged skin,” says Dr. Kellett.

For the ultimate instant skin-brightening effect, try an Intraceuticals Oxygen treatment. The thin tubular device pumps therapeutic-grade oxygen and an ultra-plumping Hyaluronic Acid serum into the skin, generating an instant glow. The treatment – which feels like a cool breeze – has a hefty Hollywood fan base that includes Madonna, Eva Langoria Parker and Katy Perry.

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