I turned my face into a pin cushion to suss the hype around threads

Is the trendy alternative to Botox and fillers really worth it?

BEAUTYcrew Content Producer / March 04 2022

I’ve never jumped at the opportunity to try injectables. 

As a beauty writer that might seem strange considering I get offered rounds of baby Botox like free cold meat samples at a supermarket – but I am somewhat needle-averse. 

Unless I am completely convinced about the treatment in question, I’m not putting my face in the proverbial firing line. 

But that all changed when I was invited to a press event for Matrix PDO Threads

In all honesty, I had no idea what they were.

However, after the initial shock of seeing needle after needle slide into the jawline of a complete stranger (creating a fanned effect comparable to that of a frill-necked lizard) quickly subsided, I was left intrigued.

An old colleague and friend had dabbled in threads as a pep-me-up before her 30th birthday. In the photos she’d shown me of the subsequent celebration, the results were evident. Subtle but evident. Her jawline appeared tighter, and her skin was luminous, plump and rejuvenated.

The idea that I could subtly enhance, tighten and thicken skin where needed was enticing – even if it did require several dozen needles to get there. 

So I sucked it up and booked an appointment with Stacey Sengos. 

A registered nurse, and the Clinical Training Manager at EnVogue clinic in Sydney, she gave me the rundown on the treatment, and stuck a few needles in my face for good measure.

What are Matrix PDO Threads?

To say that I experienced a wealth of confusion when the term ‘Matrix PDO Threads’ entered my lexicon would be an understatement. 

I had no real clue what to expect but according to Sengos, the threads in question are “a colourless, biodegradable synthetic polymer material called polydioxanone (PDO), which has been widely used as an internal suture material for over 50 years.” 

However, its use for aesthetic purposes can be documented back to 2011 in the beauty hotspot that is South Korea.  

These days, Matrix PDO Threads are growing in popularity among those looking for subtle, preventative anti-ageing cosmetic treatments because they “are a minimally invasive method of tightening and thickening your skin,” she explains. 

The cosmetic procedure involves the insertion of threads “into the skin in a mesh-like pattern to achieve maximum tightening effects.” 

“After entering the skin, the threads activate collagen synthesis for a gradual skin tightening and skin rejuvenation effect. [They] can be used to rejuvenate collagen, treating neck sagginess, forehead lines, and facial wrinkles.” And they “can also add volume to the cheeks.”

“An average of 10 to 30 Matrix Mono Threads are typically used for each individual treatment area,” Sengos estimates.  But “a full face or neck and jawline treatment will often use as many as 100 threads.”

How long do they last?

“You will begin to see some results approximately six weeks post-treatment,” Sengos assured me. “These results will continue to improve over the next 2–6 months as new collagen is produced.”

And that lush tightening effect that we’re all after can last “6–12 months after your treatment.” 

However, it’s important to remember that the staying power of your treatment is dependent on lifestyle factors, how many threads were used, and the area that was treated. 

Sengos also recommends booking in for “another Matrix Mono Thread treatment six months after the initial treatment to maintain the tightening effects.”

How are threads different from Botox and fillers?

While Botox prevents muscle contractions and fillers help to replace volume loss or even contour the face, Sengos says Mono Threads are different because they are treating a different layer. “[They] treat the skin which is the top layer,” she explains.

Sengos also rates threads as they can enhance “all other injectable treatments and create even better results.” 

“They can be used alone or in conjunction with other injectables for optimal results, depending on what you need.”

The expert review

I decided to try threads as a preventative measure. Specifically after having one too many conversations with my mother about her jowls. 

An odd topic of conversation admittedly, but it was something that bothered her immensely and it seemed obvious to me that my jowls would also start to irk me as I got older. 

I also have thin skin under my eyes which has resulted in lifelong dark circles, and throughout my twenties the worry lines on my forrid had started to deepen.

My threads treatment plan intended to address all of these areas; tightening the jawline, thickening the skin under my eyes, and minimising the depth of the worry lines on my forehead.

Before:

The treatment:

With all my treatment specifics in mind, Sengos applied a topical numbing cream to my entire face, and prepped the few dozen needles that were about to find a home under my skin. 

The needles in question are interesting. Why? Well, when it comes to a Matrix PDO Threads appointment you’re unlikely to see any syringes. 

The needles here look more closely related to those administered during acupuncture. 

However, if you look closely, you’ll see a fine thread filament running the length of the plastic pink-capped needle. 

Sengos inserted a neat row of them along my jawline before pulling them out, leaving the thread – now buried under my skin – behind. 

She then continued the process under my eyes and on my forehead.

Bruising post-treatment:

Surprisingly, the pain level was not immense; as each needle went into my skin I felt a familiar sting and pinch. 

That’s not to say that once the last few needles were removed from my forrid I didn’t feel some sense of elation at the treatment being over though. 

However, when it came to the treatment of my under eyes I did experience some severe bruising. 

Sengos had warned me that this would be likely, considering the thin texture of my under-eye skin, and recommended I buy a topical anti-bruising cream to help with the healing process. 

And lo and behold, a few days later, the slight reddish tinge that I’d left the clinic with had deepened to an alarming shade of purple. 

For the next two weeks I applied anti-bruising cream and a substantial amount of colour corrector to my now black eyes. 

To be quite honest, I don’t think I’d ever seen my friends so concerned for my welfare.

3 months post treatment:

Now, three months after my treatment with Sengos, the results of my appointment are very visible. 

My jawline is snatched, my dark circles are less pronounced, the lines that were once on my forehead are barely visible, and I’m also sporting a deliciously vibrant and glowy complexion. 

 

But the thing I love the most about this preventative treatment is how subtle the results are – no one has asked me if I’ve had work done, or if I’ve had fillers or Botox. 

Instead, I get asked routinely for my skin care regimen and for the details of my facialist. 

I continually look at photos of myself and register a youthful ‘aliveness’ that my dull skin was missing before.

So if you too are scared of traditional injectables like I am, and you’re after the kind of preventative anti-aging treatment that looks natural, I would recommend Matrix PDO Threads. 

However, if you’re looking for some additional volume there’s always options like natural-looking filler 

Getting a face full of needles isn’t the only drastic thing that’s happened to me recently. EdwardsAndCo and Redken treated be to a bleached hair transformation

Main image credit: BEAUTYcrew

Briar is a Content Producer at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Girlfriend and Beauty Heaven.