MAXINE GORDON tries a new hi-tech beauty treatment billed as the closest thing to cosmetic surgery without going under the knife
IS there any combination of words quite so unappealing as "bingo" and "wings"?
Ladies of a certain age will know all about bws (as we shall call them from now) - after all, why were cardigans invented, if not to cover up the loose flesh at the top of women's arms?
For those who want to go cardi free, there is always the option of pumping iron at the gym to tone those wobbly triceps.
If that sounds as unappealing as going under the knife for an "arm lift", the prospect of having a beauty treatment to tame our upper limbs might be just what the doctor ordered.
Take a bow the Efficy machine - newly arrived in Yorkshire, and promising to break the boundaries of the salon experience.
Sophie Gee, at The Beauty Room, at Skelton, near York, is the first practitioner in the region to install the equipment.
Efficy, says Sophie, is at the forefront of today’s skincare solutions, offering results in facial anti-ageing and body sculpting that can be surpassed only by surgery.
Now for the clever stuff: it combines three cutting-edge technologies – digital mono-polar radio frequency; digital transdermal induction and advanced push-pull vacuum suction, to target specific trouble spots on the face and body.
Sophie explains: "Digital mono-polar radio frequency uses a current to penetrate the skin and target specific areas. We want it to stimulate lipolysis, to break down stored fat. It works by warming the fat, loosening it and helping the body expel it, mimicking the body's lymphatic system."
The push-pull suction helps the body get rid of toxins, adds Sophie. And the entire system is suitable for clients with problem skin. "It is really good for people with delicate skin or skin conditions such as rosacea," says Sophie.
Digital transdermal induction targets specific layers of the skin. "We can work on dehydrated skin on the epidermis, the superficial layer, or stimulate collagen in the dermis and even treat fat and cellulite deeper in the hypodermis," says Sophie.
As such, says Sophie, Efficy is a versatile piece of kit, able to treat the face and body through a range of procedures ranging from facials to body contouring, using high-performance products from Germaine de Capuccini’s Synergyage range. The machine can work on any part of the body, including the bum, tum, thighs, back as well as the arms and face.
Intrigued, I tried the arm treatment. A loud whirring signalled the Efficy had been switched on. The probe in Sophie's hand glowed bright red - like a poker pulled from the fire. But don't worry, while the probe transmits heat, it is of a pleasing level, that warms up the muscles and ultimately relaxes them.
The probe is concave and creates a suction motion as it goes up and down the skin. Imagine a giant giving you a warm, intense, open-mouthed kiss, and you sort of get the idea!
But don't be put off. As the skin warms up, the intensity eases and the treatment is very relaxing.
Sophie says she has had people fall asleep while she has treated them, and I can see how. After 20 minutes on each arm, I am almost dosing off.
The treatment finishes with a second "massage" using a smaller probe that uses DTI or digital transdermal induction to help my skin absorb the Germaine de Capuccini’s product that Sophie has lathered over my skin.
By the end, my skin feels warm and smooth and smells fantastic; clean and botanical.
My arm muscles feel warm and toned, as if I have had a work out at the gym.
While the treatment can give an instant lift for clients (one women reported the loss of 1/2inch off her thigh and 1 inch off her hip after just one session), best results are experienced after a course.
Sophie said: "You don't go to the gym once for a work out and expect to be thin and toned; it's a gradual, progressive process."
* Prices start at £80 for a 75-minute session, with discounts on a course of treatments available. Find out more at sophieatthebeautyroom.co.uk