I was feeling blah, achy, and all dried up like a raisin in the sun when I walked into Dermaster Wellness & Aesthetic Institution Bangkok. I was hoping that an anti-ageing treatment at this aesthetic clinic slash medical spa would rejuvenate my complexion and help me look fresher, and, please oh please, maybe even younger. Not that I look that old, but I was feeling stressed and run down, and you know, looking better is the first step to feeling better.
Dermaster is best described as a boutique aesthetic clinic / medical spa that offers five categories of treatment – cosmetic surgery, dermatology, slimming & body, hair transplantation, and anti-ageing. Located on Ekamai Road, one neighbourhood over from trendy Thonglor Road, the clinic occupies its own three-storey building that looks like a big beige box from the outside.
Inside though, the spacious lobby is an eclectic mish mash of puffy blond boudoir furniture juxtaposed with black leather sofas, candelabras, oversized Hellenic busts, Renaissance cherubs, floral bouquets, potted ferns, anchored with a big coffee and juice bar in one corner. There are several smiling receptionists at the front desk ready to welcome clients.
Open only two years ago, Dermaster has already developed a clientele of local Bangkok celebrities, movie stars, and some visiting Middle Easter royals. There are even luxurious VIP treatment rooms with a separate entrance for special clients who want privacy (like celebrities) and who travel with entourages (like royalty). For overseas clients, there are staff who speak English, Chinese and Arabic.
There are numerous aesthetic clinics and dermatology clinics around Bangkok, but one that offers both dermatology and cosmetic surgery in one place is unique as well as convenient. Ms. Aporn, the communications director, told me the most popular treatments are cosmetic surgery, hair transplants and anti-ageing, followed by body shaping, and traditional skin treatments like cosmetic surgeries, body and skin tightening, and face lifts.
How do they manage to offer such a wide range services in one place? Dermaster has four dermatologists, four additional physicians, six nurses, and 10 beauty therapists; and even a huge conference room that is used for seminars and trainings.
The most popular plastic surgery procedures are breast implants, nose jobs and fat reduction. And it’s not just women either. About 30 percent of the clients are men. I was curious to know what sort of services the men did. Ms. Aporn informed me that some of the male clients are overweight men who come in to remove fat from their man boobs, and even some who get six-pack implants. She also says that people aren’t embarrassed to get plastic surgery nowadays either, and even boast about getting nose jobs and breast implants and whatever else they do in pursuit of beauty. There’s no shame in artifice any more.
Dermaster even offers the latest trendy Hollywood treatment, the Vampire Facelift, (called the Self-Re-Boost Lift on the Dermaster treatment menu), in which blood is drawn from the patient’s arm, spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, and then injected back under the patient’s facial skin.
This treatment was made popular by Kim Kardashian and Bar Refaeli ( that’s Leonardo di Caprio’s supermodel ex-girlfriend, if you aren’t up on your celebrity gossip), who by the way are still young and gorgeous don’t look like they actually need extra help at all to begin with. Well never mind. You won’t find me doing this treatment any time soon, so I can’t tell you about it.
I was there to try Dermaster’s new treatment, the Zell Lift, which incorporates the technology of an aesthetic dermatology treatment with some relaxing spa pampering. The Zell Lift treatment consists of a vitamin Cream Meso Lift facial, a 30-minute Tripolar radiofrequency treatment to tighten the face, a detox facial massage followed by a Hydrogel Lifting mask, finished with a soothing shoulder and hand massage while the mask sets.
The results are said to tighten the face, smoothen and freshen the complexion, and stimulate the circulation. The whole thing lasts three hours and is very relaxing. It also gives you a rush of anticipation, knowing that you’re undergoing a treatment that is meant to tighten and lift your face and brighten the complexion.
To get the Zell Lift, I didn’t need to get a consultation with a dermatologist and was able to go straight into the treatment room, which was upstairs on the second floor. After removing my top and all my jewelry and placing it in the conveniently supplied jewelry box, I settled onto the treatment bed under a nice fluffy towel, ready to relax.
The RF or radio frequency treatment uses a device that delivers heat deep into the facial tissues to stimulate cell growth. I didn’t really notice time pass, as I dozed off during the face mask and neck, shoulder and hand massage, and was disappointed when I had to wake up and get up when the treatment was over. I could have easily stayed for a few more minutes and continued napping. It was so relaxing.
When I got up and looked in the mirror though, my face looked pretty ghastly. It was all puffed up and swollen, as well as drained of colour, like I’d just seen a ghost, then been slapped and punched in the face by the same ghost.
But I wasn’t too bothered, as I knew that once the swelling subsided I’d look better the next day and increasingly better as time passed and the cell-renewal process kicked into gear. It did start looking better, as in less puffy, the next day after a good night’s sleep.
The following week I had a meeting with a friend I hadn’t seen in several months.
“Wow, you look really fresh,” she exclaimed, “did you lose weight?”
“No. I’m the same weight, or maybe even heavier,” I replied, a bit surprised, while silently wondering if my face looked thinner because it had gotten tighter. Ooh!
I think it was the Zell Lift. But I didn’t tell her that. Mwaaahahaha!
Have you done aesthetic treatments in Bangkok? How was your experie