HB LASER Skin Clinics owner Tracey Price is excited about the latest treatment she is able to offer new and existing clients.

The treatment, previously unavailable in Hawke's Bay, is ULTRAFORMER lll, a non-surgical treatment that promotes face and body lifting and tightening.

Tracey, who has been in the beauty industry for more than 25 years, says the machine uses ultrasound to stimulate the growth of new collagen over time, so it strengthens and tones the skin from within to make it look smoother and brighter on the outside. This includes under the chin, neck and eye areas. It can also be used for tightening small problem areas of the body.

"This is a non-invasive treatment which is said to be fast becoming more popular than surgery because there is no down-time. Face and body contouring is huge in Australia, and has grown rapidly in other parts of the world, and is also being endorsed by doctors," Tracey says.

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"The cost of the treatment varies depending on the area treated and generally only one or two treatments a year are needed."

I decided the best way to describe this treatment was to experience it, so I went along to the recently opened HB Laser Clinic in Munroe Street, Napier.

Tracey had me fill in some forms and sign consent for the treatment. The refurbished villa which houses four businesses is beautiful. Tracey's treatment room is spacious, light and comfortable. After a short discussion we decided that she would work on my forehead, and under and around my eyes.

Tracey said it would feel like a vibration moving across my skin. First gel was applied and then Tracey put the machine to work.

One of the things I loved about this treatment was that there was no need to protect my eyes.There was no harsh light beaming down on my face. In fact for much of it my eyes were open.

Tracey constantly asked me if I was okay and counted down from three each time she used the machine. She asked me to describe the pain from one to 10, 10 being the most painful. For under and around my eyes I said a 4. The sensation of someone working close to your eyes is a little strange but I had complete faith in Tracey's experience and ability so was not at all worried about it.

It felt as if some tiny needles were being moved across my face but nothing at all penetrates the skin. When she moved onto my forehead Tracey told me she was going to go a little deeper as the lines were deeper but also the skin a lot tougher in this area.
This time I described the pain as a 6. Still perfectly bearable. Tracey moved the machine across my forehead a little like she was ironing.

The entire procedure took around 40 minutes and the results were instant.

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I was so impressed. Someone close to me was convinced I had had botox.

Tracey says the treatment is perfect for people who live busy lifes.

"It's quick - the results are instant and there's no downtime. There's been a huge shift toward a more natural approach when it comes to beauty treatments and ULTRAFORMER lll is perfect for those that don't want invasive injection treatment."

She says in today's market there are many makes and models of machines but warns that 'you get what you pay for' because the industry is still not regulated so it makes it very easy for businesses to start up without experience, proper training or guidance from senior technicians.

"We are also very fortunate that our overseas supplier is able to keep us updated and offer us the latest advancements in an ever changing industry."

The other popular treatment HB Laser Skin Clinics offers is the China Doll or Hollywood facial, listed as one of LA's top 10 treatments with celebrities.

"This treatment is non invasive and is suitable for men and women of all ages to give a bright dewy complexion and even out skin tone.

"Tattoo removal has had rapid growth and with the demand it's now trading as HB Laser Tattoo Removal which we are very proud of. This service is not only offered here in Hawke's Bay but other locations throughout the North Island. Brendan [Tracey's husband] is passionate about providing a high-quality service and enjoys seeing the change it can make in peoples lives."

¦HB Laser Skin Clinics are in Napier, Havelock North and Central Hawke's Bay. For information, phone 0800425277 or go to www.laserskin.co.nz