An invitation to review the new CACI Synergy facial treatment seemed too good to pass up. Synergy is an even-more-high-tech update of the popular CACI system, which uses micro-electrical currents, applied through special wands (see above, and no that's not me, that's a model), to stimulate the muscles in the face. Doing this tightens up the muscles and 're-educates' them to hold themselves up that bit better. It is widely available and very popular with celebs - Jennifer Lopez has even invested in her own salon-style machine for home use.
How it works
Those special wands are moved around the face, positioned at the ends of particular muscles, to wake them up (not painful, just tingly) and persuade them into shape. The microcurrents also improve the circulation of blood and lymph in the face (always good for brightening the complexion and draining puffiness). Other benefits claimed are that treatment makes the skin produce more of its own collagen and elastin (the proteins in the skin that give it firmness and spring) and it helps the active ingredients in skincare products sink in better.
The new CACI Synergy treatment adds something called SPED, which stands for simultaneous photo electrical delivery -- in other words, as you can see in the picture above, the special wands that deliver the microcurrents can now deliver LED light at the same time. LED light is one of the big new buzz things in facial treatments just now -- it's completely non-invasive and painless, and, with repeated treatment, can stimulate collagen growth in the skin and calm down inflammation.
What's the treatment like?
I tried the treatment at the pocket-sized retreat of the Seduire Beauty clinic in Soho. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting (I must have tried CACI somewhere in the past 20 years but can't remember what it felt like) but this was certainly a high-tech treatment rather than a pampering experience. Not that I was expecting pampering, but there was a lot of gadgetry going on all the time - though to be fair, there's has a lot of work to do and it takes the best part of 90 minutes. The whole process involves cleansing, gentle peeling, skin toning, and working on the wrinkles to smooth them out, first with the micro-current probes and then with the 'wrinkle comb', a kind of high-tech wand that is used to help plump out deeper wrinkles. It's not uncomfortable, but it's on the challenging side of tingly at times.
And the results?
Great results, with a real red-carpet-ready finish. I was impressed by how fresh my face looked afterwards, with the skin plumped up and glowy, the contours of my cheeks lifted. It went on looking great for a few days, too. I can see why Jennifer Lopez, who is no slouch when it comes to beauty treatments, was moved to buy a whole salon-issue machine for home use.
You will get a good, visible result with one CACI treatment but to see the best results, the company recommends a course of treatment which gets quite expensive. Cosmetic doctors and surgeons will tell you that CACI does nothing long-term for the face in terms of muscle tightening (look up the reviews on RealSelf.com) but I feel that rather misses the point, which is that CACI is very much a treatment for people who will go a long way to avoid surgery or the sort of non-surgical treatments that involve lasers and needles. And for the many people, male and female, who fall into that category, CACI can provide a real boost.
CACI Synergy costs from £120; for salons nationwide, see their website here