The Expert’s Guide to How You Can Really Take Years Off At Every Age
BY LISA WILLIAMS
The main factors that contribute to how old we look include the shape of our face, the number of lines or wrinkles, and the luminosity of our skin.
Skin is the most visible organ. So ageing skin has a big impact on a person’s self-esteem.
But according to Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of SW1 Clinic it’s no longer about ‘fighting’ ageing once the damage is already done.
‘We’re starting to embrace the French beauty ethos of ageing well by lavishing attention on your skin, rather than making radical changes to achieve an unrealistic ideal of youthful beauty.’
So here, based on science rather than hearsay, is what every woman needs to know about combating the signs of time . . .
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CRASH COURSE IN AGEING SKIN
As skin ages, the number and size of skin cells reduces, which means it functions less effectively as a protective barrier, temperature regulation is less efficient and there is a decline in the production of sweat, sebum (oil) and vitamin D.
The skin itself becomes increasingly thin over time owing to a steady reduction in collagen and elastin (the proteins that make skin bouncy and stretchy) and hyaluronic acid (which keeps skin plump and moist). The slow turnover of cells also means your skin heals less effectively.
The result? Dry skin, fine lines, deep furrows and wrinkles. Skin starts to sag as it loses its support and textural changes appear. Broken blood vessels, thread veins and uneven skin pigmentation become more prominent. Frighteningly, some of these changes can set in as early as your late 20s or early 30s.
This sort of ageing happens for a variety of reasons — some of which we cannot really control, such as DNA and cellular damage, and hormonal changes — and external factors, such as exposure to UV, pollutants, smoking and diet, which we can control.
Main issues: The most common issue at this age is acne, but the underlying danger is sun damage. Staying out of the sun and wearing sunscreen is vital to maintaining naturally plumper, smoother skin for longer. While serious skin issues may not have cropped up yet, your actions in this decade will determine if you look good in the next decade.
Focus on: To maintain the skin at this age, regular deep cleansing facials and light peels stimulate the skin’s natural healing response. Nifty tricks to keep skin clear and poreless include undergoing laser facial hair removal. To promote skin glow, instead of using a laser, opt for a medical grade BBL light treatment that multi-tasks to remove superficial sun spots and leaves skin with a luminous glow.
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Main issues: In your thirties, the effects of sun damage and intrinsic collagen breakdown culminates in the formation of expression lines and lackluster skin. Skin barrier function also starts to decline so hydration becomes vital as skin loses its supple feel.
Focus on: This is the age where prevention is better than cure. Light botox injections can help prevent expression lines from worsening over time. To maintain dermal water, boost skin with light skinbooster treatments such as Revitalift. Still hormonally active at this age, combat open pores with Laser Peels and medium chemical peels. Finally, keep your body trim looking by targeting upcoming flabby spots with Coolshape.
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Main issues: This is a time when you really begin to see the divergence in looks between women who have been taking care of their skin and those who do not. Dermal pigmentation such as melasma may start to show up, while poorer skin healing results in a roughened and more blemished complexion. The facial shape begins to lose its definition as there is a subtle southward shift.
Focus on: Maintain the integrity of your skin by promoting collagen proliferation and stopping the downward sag. This can be achieved with collagen stimulators such as Dream Sculpture and skin lifting maestros such as Infinity V-lift and filler hydrolift. Treat more recalcitrant complexion woes with skin resurfacing lasers such as Glass skin program that can reach dermal layers where the problems reside.
Main issues: Menopause makes your 50s the decade of collagen loss and saggy skin thanks to a steady decline in oestrogen. Thinner, drier skin means it is also more susceptible to sensitivity, so adequate hydration to strengthen the protective barrier is essential. Downward sag of the face becomes more global, and pockets of unwanted fat start to accumulate in areas such as eyebags or double chin, detracting one from the underlying beauty of the face.
Focus on: “This is the age where you want to combine graceful aging with youth enhancement strategies”, says Dr Low. Dermal fillers such as Volume HD Lift are an important part of protecting the skin you have lovingly maintained up to this point, as they help add youthful volume and lift brows. The effect is subtle, rather than totally changing how you look. Longer suspension facial threads such as Silhouette Soft can give skin maximal lift sans surgery, as can anti-aging strategies such as 24K uplift facials, Thermage and Ulthera. Dissolve unwanted double chin with lipodissolve to restore facial shape.
Main issues: Face looks older as foundational supports deteriorates. Skin breaks down, losing its resilience and strength. Downward pull due to aging neck and eye muscles adds to the skin sag. Spot issues such as patchy pigment and broken capillaries become more obvious. Off-face issues such as neck and hands are tell-tale signs of aging which should be addressed.
Focus on: This is the age where you need to pick your battles carefully. You are not going to be able to treat every single issue but of you choose the right areas to focus on, you will come out a winner. Upgrade your monthly facials to BBL-based fotofacials such as Illumi facial to visibly see the difference in your skin. Relax the downward pull of aging muscles using botox around the jawline to give a Nefertiti lift as well as around the eyes for a brow lift effect. Volumizing fillers for the face and hands will help restore the fullness of youth. Strengthen skin with vitamins in the form of vitamin therapy, this not only boosts healing but maintains dermal health; that rush of antioxidants puts the bounce back in your skin Troubleshoot problem areas with targeted lasers such as Pico Pigment for brown spots and Vbeam for broken veins and capillaries.
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