The salient points from Ageing Gracefully (part 1) are that aging is dependent on:
- Biological factors – controlled by age, genes & hormones
- Premature – external influences such as sun exposure, diet, alcohol, smoking, sleep etc
The full face approach needs to consider:
- Skin quality & Health
- Facial volume, contour & proportion
- Static & dynamic lines & wrinkles
The skin is the largest organ of our body. Scientific evidence confirms the connection between inner heath and outer youthful looks. Studies prove that our perceived age is a good estimate of our general heath. (Noordam et al. 2013). The nasties that degrade skin quality have been discussed in Part 1 but there are many practices that we can employ to support skin health:
- Diet-keep it unprocessed, good fats, low sugar, colourful and fresh
- Hydration – our bodies are 70% water, 20% of which is in the skin.
- SPF daily use – A broad spectrum sunscreen and avoiding excessive exposure, including sunbeds, can help combat one of the biggest and fastest ways to premature skin aging.
- Daily high grade antioxidant – used every morning after cleansing, under the SPF to boost your SPF and combat oxidative stress from pollution.
- Reduce stress – chronic low level stress will age our skin prematurely (Epel et al. 2014) this is caused by elevated levels of our stress hormone cortisol, often referred to as the death hormone!!
- Sleep – good quality, restorative sleep is crucial for cell repair and skin regeneration.
Simple skin care regimes are hard to find and need to be tailored to the individual. Its a product jungle out there with fantastic promises and claims. The FDA defines a cosmetic as a product intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance. They cannot contain ingredients that change the skins structure, function or biology.
Cosmeceuticals are non prescription formulas that contain biologically active ingredients that go beyond traditional department store offerings. They are still supposed to act in the epidermis layer of the skin but some go deeper and evidence has shown that some retinol products have a positive effect on collagen stimulation in the deeper dermis.
A good skincare regime will often involve a combination of cosmeceutical and prescription products. It should involve a cleanse morning and evening followed by a high grade antioxident serum with a combination of vitamin C & E finished off with a broad spectrum SPF 30-50. A product such as prescription vitamin A or retinol should be used at night to repair the skin matrix.
Non Surgical Treatments such as Botox and fillers are game changers in the field of anti ageing as long as the overall aim is a harmonious, natural balanced result. The time to start is when your skin is showing early signs of etched lines and volume loss. Prevention is definitely better than cure with repeated conservative treatments slowing the aging process and keeping the results natural.
Botulinum Toxin – Botox is a prescription only treatment that has medical and cosmetic uses since the 1980’s. Its great safety profile and effectiveness as an anti wrinkle treatments in the hands of an experienced medical professional, have made this a very popular treatment. Botox acts on the nerve to stop it communicating with the muscle, this stops the repeated contraction of the muscle and the repeated crinkling of the overlying skin. By giving the skin a rest the collagen levels in the area improve. It takes on avarage 5 days to take effect and lasts 3-4 months.
Dermal Fillers are great for restoring lost volume and adding contours to balance features and correct proportion, long gone are the days of just filling lines. The most common filler used is hyaluronic acid (HA) which have an excellent safety profile and are bio-compatible rarely causing allergic reactions. The skin has naturally occurring HA within the matrix which gradually declines as we age. Dermal fillers come in various thicknesses and are used for treating different facial zones, a thinner product is used for lips whereas a thicker product may be used in the cheek area to replace volume. HA fillers are temporary implants which are broken down by our own enzymes but they are also reversible by administering a prescription drug. Although fillers have low rate of complication such as infection, nodules, blockage of a blood vessel, they should be carried out by a medical professional that can diagnose, prescribe and treat such conditions.
Skin Boosters offer Bio revitalisation with HA skin boosters, its a great way to improve skin texture and skin plumpness. The Hyaluronic acid used is a very soft filler injected over a large area such as face, hands, decollete etc to improve very fine lines, improve elasticity, improve plumpness in crepey skin. Studies have shown that they improve the skin’s appearance, elasticity, firmness and roughness.
This is not an exhaustive list of available options but it does cover the most widely used when trying to achieve balance, harmony and an ultimately natural result.