STRIP: Ministry of Waxing may be known worldwide for its hair removal services, but this summer you’ll be stepping out of its day spa with more than just a fresh wax. Just launched in time for swimsuit season (which, let’s face it, ends in about November and starts again in March in Hong Kong), the newest Skin Lift range of services incorporates the use of Near Infrared (NIR) technology, giving squishy inner thighs, loose upper arms and flabby belly skin an instant lift for those looking to get their bikini bod in shape.
Not to be misconstrued with so-called fat melting treatments that some spa outlets tout in Hong Kong, Skin Lift is reserved for areas plagued by stubborn loose skin, areas that regular exercise and diet just can’t seem to remedy. We’re talking about uneven texture — which can be due to uneven fat deposits, cellulite or wrinkles. As it so happens, NIR technology is regularly used to treat the chin and jowls, crow’s feet, forehead, neck and decolletage, as well as upper arms, abdomen and thighs.
For the treatment, near-infrared light penetrates into the dermis layer of the skin, heating it up to between 40-44°C, which stimulates your body to build more collagen. This process carries on for up to two weeks after the treatment, continuing to tighten and lift ageing loose skin. Bi-annual treatments are recommended, but you can do them as frequent as every two weeks, if you wished. At STRIP, only three types of body parts can be treated with the Skin Lift as of now — belly, arms and inner thighs.
In the quest for a tighter bod without having to step in the gym — what many consider to be The Ultimate Dream, I believe — I went to go check out two sessions of Skin Lift for my thighs and belly.
For those who have never visited STRIP and its sister store Browhaus downstairs, its décor is decidedly quirky. While downstairs you’ll get your brows done in a tent, with the fake grass lawn carpet alluding to an appropriate bushwhacking theme (we assume), the upstairs treatment room is adorned in a raggedy button motif instead (think “Coralie” or “Little Big Planet”).
Service is professional, and the staff’s warm attitude is sincere and trustworthy. The procedure is rather straightforward: As you lie down comfortably on the treatment bed, the esthetician oils up the targeted body part, and passes the NIR handpiece over the target area repeatedly, like a light massage. It gives off a pleasant level of heat, almost like a hot stone massage or lying on a sunbed, and if you’re not playing on your phone for the entire duration, you might even drift off to sleep. All the while, the esthetician is also checking the temperature of your skin — whenever it reaches 44°C she pauses to let your body cool down a notch. The session is over once the right amount of kilojoules has been passed over the treated body part, which usually takes about 30-40 minutes.
I did experience slight discomfort though, but largely due to the friction from the NIR handpiece rubbing across my skin. I was also warned that I might experience sporadic zaps of high heat, which I did — though they were just a few milliseconds’ worth of unpleasantness each time.
Immediately after the treatment, the skin on my middle got very red, but also very, very smooth, and I did notice when comparing both sides of my lower belly pooch halfway through the treatment, the side that was just completed was more taut to the touch. The same can be said for the thighs, and especially where skin had ‘creped’ up due to cellulite, this was finally smooth to the touch.
You don’t emerge from the Skin Lift treatment with thighs like Beyonce or arms like Michelle Obama, but for those with uneven and loose skin texture, this can really be a big confidence boost. There is no cure-all remedy without toning exercises after all, and I suspect those who will get the biggest kick out of the Skin Lift will be those who have recently given birth or have just lost a lot of weight and need to tighten loose skin. For those of us who want a flawless silhouette, Skin Lift delivers the final touches.
HK$1,200 for arms; HK$1,500 for belly; HK$1,800 for inner thighs. See what else is on offer at STRIP: Ministry of Waxing here.
STRIP, 7/F and 9/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3950 3950