Halloween may be over, but scary-good skin care never stops. Forget vampire facials, let's get into mono-threads, the "torturous" beauty procedure that former actress Eva Mendes can't get enough of according to an Instagram post.
In the photo, Mendes is shown with seven large, pink-capped threads sticking out her neck, as she congratulates her friend, Mariana Vergara Hofstetter, on her spa opening. "This spa-home away from home is incredible," wrote Mendes. "No office with bad fluorescent lighting. No sterile office vibe. This is my go to for all things beauty. A home where you can relax while being tortured by the best of the best."
Mendes, 46, goes on to reveal the procedure she's undergoing in the photo. "Here I am getting some Mono-Threads," she wrote, adding that she'd update her fans with the results "if you care." But what is it—and is it as painful as it looks?
What are mono-threads, exactly?
"Mono-threads are little threads made of an absorbable material called polydioxanone," Mona Gohara, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at Yale, tells Health. "[The threads] are inserted into the subdermal layer of the skin in a mesh-like pattern with the intent of boosting collagen in the skin long-term, and defining the jawline pretty quickly."
In Mendes's photo, you can see lines on her neck, either from where the threads have already entered her skin, or where they're set to be placed. And while the procedure certainly looks a bit painful, Dr. Gohara says there are no worries about discomfort, since the procedure is usually performed with a numbing cream, leading to a pain-free and instantly sculpted appearance.
What do mono-threads do?
Less expensive and less invasive than a surgical face-lift, mono-threads give you the benefit of a long-term collagen boost, but the lifting and jaw-defining effects only last about a year as the threads eventually dissolve. "Your body slowly breaks [the threads] down, and leaves a trail of collagen in its place," Rachel Nazarian, MD, a New York-based dermatologist, tells Health. (Your body produces collagen in an effort to promote healing.) "The new fibers that your body makes in the location will give an anti-aging effect of localized [skin] tightening," she adds.
Who should try mono-threads?
According to Dr. Gohara, if you're looking for something beyond Botox or filler but aren't ready for a surgical face-lift mono-threads may be for you. "Anyone with aging skin, without history of poor healing or poor scarring, or those without history of autoimmune disease, or allergy to the fibers, would be acceptable candidates," says Dr. Nazarian. Given that the threads dissolve within a year, a surgical face-lift would be a better option for those long for long-term results.
If you're interested in trying mono-threads, only go to a board-certified professional, as you could risk scarring complications or the body rejecting the fibers if they are placed incorrectly, according to Dr. Nazarian. "Never let anyone who isn't a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon perform this," says Dr. Gohara. "It requires precision and a keen understanding of anatomy."
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter