Ever since I was old enough to know better, I’ve hated my chin. We’re talking staring in a mirror, pulling back the skin along my jawline, and wondering just how much it would cost to fly to South Korea and get one of those transformative surgeries you always see memes about. (Spoiler: a lot.)
So essentially, as soon as I caught whiff of a chin sculpting treatment that didn’t cost the earth – in a Facebook group, as you do – I had to investigate. And when the chance came up to actually road test the treatment, I jumped through the freaking roof.
Belkyra officially came to Australia in late 2016. In the United States, where it’s known as Kybella, it’s quickly became the second most popular treatment since Botox, helped in part by the endorsement of one Khloé Kardashian.
It essentially melts down the fat underneath your chin, schlooping up the lil’ bit of pudge and vanishing it completely. If you want the technical description, the compound of synthesised deoxycholic acids breaks down fat cells which your body then absorbs and excretes.
“One of the most common things people ask is: we’re getting rid of the fat, but what happens to the skin?” Dr Jonathan Hopkirk, ambassador for Laser Clinics Australia, tells me. “The remarkable thing about this treatment – and this is something I was quite blown away by – is that when you look at someone who’s in their 60s, and the elasticity and tactile strength of the skin is really not fantastic, you think: how is this going to go? And the skin just bounces up.”
Most people need anywhere from two to four treatments to see results, with a maximum of six being allowed by Australia. Dr. Hopkirk tells me I’ll probably see good results with two, so with that in mind, I strap in.
The treatment takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes, but tbh with you, most of that is talking through the procedure and the needlepoints mapped out. The actual injecting-of-the-fat-dissolving-stuff takes less time than your average dump.
Dr. Hopkirk puts a numbing agent on me, then draws out a series of dots that he’s going to stick a tiny little needly in. The weird thing here is that you can’t actually feel that you’re numb. It’s not like going to the dentist. Something to do with pain receptors and nerves and IDK, I’m just here to get rid of my double chin, okay?
I can confirm that the treatment doesn’t hurt… much. It’s absolutely nothing compared to, say, getting your lips done, or hoo-hah lasered, or any of the other dumb crap women do to our bodies in the vain attempt at beauty. (Zero judgement here. This article is a judgement-free zone.)
But it does hurt a little bit. Perhaps the better description is “uncomfortable”. Dr. Hopkirk gave me a stress ball, and I can tell you that little sucker got the squeezing of its life. (The stress ball, not Dr. Hopkirk.)
The side effects of this treatment are swelling, tenderness, swelling, bruising, possible breakouts (if you’re prone to that sort of thing), and more swelling. You will swell the fuck up like a chicken goblet. The next day I felt like I had a golf ball tucked underneath my chin, and looking like a combination of both Jake Peralta and Captain Holt in that Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode where they get quarantined with mumps.
Everybody assured me that they didn’t notice my chin until I pointed it out, but they were lying.
It took about five days for the swelling to mostly go down, i.e. for me to be able to turn my head and for my chin to come with it. It still was a bit tender if I poked it, which I did quite a lot. Couldn’t tell you why.
By this point, I’d stopped thinking about my chin completely. Couldn’t see any dramatic difference but I’d been warned that you don’t really see it during the first few weeks, let alone the first treatment.
It was about this point that LSA started reaching out about my second treatment. Wow, I thought. Rude. I’d only just forgotten about my chin, I didn’t want to start being Swollen McChickenface again so soon.
But much like Regina George, I wanna lose three pounds… from the underside of my face. (I’m kidding, it’s really not that bad, I’m just being a vain little idiot.)
So back I go to Dr. Hopkirk and his magic melt-away-my-fat needles. Interestingly, every person I’ve told about my treatment so far has, without fail, and in the space of about 60 seconds, asked me if it can be replicated anywhere else. “No,” says Dr. Hopkirk. Not legally, anyway, and not in a way that would make it effective.
THE TREATMENT ROUND TWO
This time, it’s over even faster, because we’ve done the whole “talking about the risks” part. That stress ball still gets squeezed, I still get knocked for six, and my chin still swells up like it’s Violet Beauregarde in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.
My chin looks like a butt.
I met up with friends at the pub. I got a few beers into me then started telling everyone to “touch my chin”. They were horrified, then confused, then horrified, then curious, then wondering if they should get their own chins done. I feel a slight guilt at what I started, but mostly, fuck it. Live and let live. Chin and let chin.
The swelling actually went down quite quickly this time. My editor was making fun of me within days. She’s lovely, really, I swear.
The swelling has completely gone down, but if I poke at it – which I do – it’s still pretty tender. Eagerly awaiting results at this point, because I’ve been told I can expect them anytime between now and the next few weeks. Gimme that Ariana Grande jawline, dammit. (Please note: this is not, as I understand it, physically possible.)
If you want to give chin sculpting a go, head on over to Laser Clinics Australia for the full run down. Each treatment will set you back $1190, but it’s safe, permanent, and works a freakin’ charm. (At least for me. I’m not a chin wizard.)Image: Getty Images / John Shearer