While we may appreciate the wisdom and knowledge that comes with age, none of us welcome ageing physically.
Personally I am not too keen on everything beginning to sag but I do want to look my age. I don’t think ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ is attractive nor do I think having a perfectly unlined face, while the rest of the body (especially the neck) is obviously old, is attractive or appropriate.
Luckily going on my mother’s skin and my paternal grandmother’s complexion I am pretty blessed. However I do want to do all I can to keep my skin looking healthy and as unblemished as possible. The less foundation I need to wear the better.
I have been fortunate in my role to have tried out a few treatments and here are my opinions on what works.
While I am not a believer in regular or extensive treatments, in certain areas – crows feet and frown lines, for example – I think a little goes a long way in preventing wrinkles from getting deeper.
I remember the first time I had my frown lines (and a scar that made me look like I was frowning) done, everyone commented on how happy and relaxed I looked. I’ve had it done a couple of times and I think it ‘kills the habit’ as now, years later, I still don’t have such deep lines. I also had the scar filled at the same time and it’s fairly unnoticeable now.
Botox on the forehead can be a bit hit and miss; I look at some people who have had it done and it can look weird. The facial skin pulls in an unnatural way and can cause new lines to form. It does depend on the technician too and if he is not experienced, eyebrows can become like Madame Medusa’s in The Rescuers or, on the other hand, eyelids can droop.
Wonders can be done to the harsh lines around the mouth that make you look miserable. I have seen some great results. You can also get filler to plump up lips and cheeks and, although I haven’t done this, I know people who have been very happy with their new lips even though I thought they looked like they were sucking on lemons. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! With cheek fillers, again, a lot depends on the technician.
IPL & RADIO FREQUENCY
A clear complexion is in my opinion is the ultimate in looking good. With age and sun damage come broken veins and pigmentation marks. The best thing I have done for myself is to get rid of a lot of both through a couple of laser and RF treatments.
I am undecided about the effectiveness of microdermabrasion. Facial peels and laser peels are worth their weight in gold at getting rid of dull dead skin and seem to help with pigmentation too. I had my first peel recently and really saw a difference, and by following up with an AHA cream it lasted for ages. Home products for exfoliation can be too aggressive so do check if your aesthetic doctor has better products.
Making sure we drink enough water is a good way to clear all of our systems and age gracefully, although my grandmother with the good skin lived and kept her own home till she was 103 and never touched the stuff! She did however have about 10 cups of weak tea a day and never went in the sun. So if you’re not keen on water, you could try that! She was fairly plump but that versus a bad complexion and I know which one I would go for.
An aesthetic doctor you can relate to is important and we all have different ideas of what constitutes a good bedside manner – so it does have to suit you personally. All we can do is recommend and leave the rest to you.
Dr Valentine Low has offered IPL at Paragon Medical Suites for the past 10 years. He covers nearly every aspect of ageing and looking good.
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