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Beauty Style: Lunchtime FIXES.

Grabbing a sandwich, doing some window-shopping or going to the bank - for most of us that's all we try to get done at lunchtime. But how about getting rid of your wrinkles or knocking ten years off your age with a skin boost in the same 60 minutes?

As we try to look fantastic regardless of age and our hectic lifestyles, so-called lunchtime treatments are becoming more and more popular, for both men and women.

These cosmetic quick-fixes are certainly less invasive than surgery but what results can they really promise and, more importantly, what are their true dangers?

A new book has the answers. Beauty Fixes, by Josephine Fairley, a self-confessed scaredy-cat when it comes to treatments like cosmetic peels and line-filling injections, should be the first step for anyone who wants to know more about these techniques.

As well as information from experts and stories from people who have had the treatments, Fairley, a beauty editor for ten years, also suggests tips and tricks to achieve the same effect yourself.

While there are no definitive answers, Fairley suggests you start by making checks to ensure that you have chosen the right person.

Remember that you have to live with the results for a long time, so try visiting one or two places for a consultation before going ahead and make sure you trust the person who will be carrying out the procedure.

Word-of-mouth recommendations are best but be wary of visiting practitioners as you may not be able to contact them if something goes wrong.

Check the place is insured and is clean and reputable. Get details in writing, including information on recovery times and how many follow-up consultations you need.

Listen to the advice of the practitioner to make sure the treatment you ask for really is the best one for you. Then, Fairley advises, go home and sleep on the decision - and ask yourself why you really want to have it done.

Cosmetics and facial exercises can provide a cheaper alternative at home, while a new hairstyle such as getting a fringe can disguise wrinkles - and is easier to change.

Topping the treatment popularity charts at the moment is Botox, when a minute quantity of botulinum toxin is injected to paralyse the muscles, so you can no longer frown or squint. It needs to be injected in the right place, otherwise you could end up with drooping eyebrows for a couple of months.

While it has been used medically for 20 years, Fairley believes it's worth considering the possible long-term effects if you have regular injections.

To rub out laughter lines, injectable fillers will literally fill in your wrinkles. Used for deep furrows and creases, you can pick between permanent solutions, including soft facial implants, or more widely-used temporary solutions.

Check what your filler is made of as some are types of plastic or derived from animal products or dead bodies. And beware that if permanent fillers go hard, you need surgery to remove them.

You can blitz red veins and age spots with laser treatment. With lasers, it's vital to ensure the doctor has been properly trained, as in the wrong hands they can burn the skin.

Rejuvenate weather-beaten skin by abrading the surface layer or with chemical peels. A word of warning - Fairley worries that long-term this might leave you open to worse damage as it removes the skin's own protection.

Other popular treatments include pumping up the volume in your lips with fillers or collagen, or permanently changing the shape with lip implants. Millions swear by these treatments to boost their youthful appearance and in most cases the risk is a tiny percentage. But as the law of statistics says that has to be someone, make sure you're 100 per cent happy that it's not going to be you.

Beauty Fixes by Josephine Fairley is published by Vermillion at pounds 7.99

CAPTION(S):

Busy days working? But you're lunch hour could be used for some instant beauty fixes Painful and the painless: Lunchtime beauty cures Collagen injections could do wonders for lips, while Botox is number one on the treatment list - but facial exercises provide a cheaper alternative
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 6, 2002
Words:696
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