A NON-SURGICAL GUIDE TO THE STAGES OF AGEING-
WHAT TO DO WHEN…
Beauty in youth is a freak of nature. Beauty with age is a work of art.
Whether it’s maintaining a fresh and healthy complexion, or softening etched lines and shadows; we understand the ageing process and know how to counteract and slow the processes that result in negative emotional signs (sad/tired/angry) and dull our sparkle.
Once taboo, non-surgical interventions are now entirely acceptable and not an “all or nothing” scenario. Procedures are tailored to respect individual features and maintain character.
The passing of time sees lots of little details happening behind the scenes. Imperceptible day-to-day, suddenly, we look at our reflection and think, “Hang on! Why do I look tired/stressed or angry? I’ve been eating well and sleeping well. When did I stop bouncing back?”
There are three main elements to maintaining a youthful appearance:
1) Etched lines and downward pulling muscles – Botox
Alleviating etched lines that make us appear anxious/weathered or angry, whilst softening the downward pull of facial muscles, (the frown or mouth corners) lift and lighten the face. Botox
2) Maintaining appropriate volume and support – Filler
Like a deflating balloon, loss of volume creates sag, undulations and shadows. Loss of volume sees contours and definition change, with less lift and overhangs of soft tissue, leading to folds and jowls. Maintaining good definition and attractive contours with the use of appropriate, subtle and “background” filler
3) A fresh complexion – Peels, Profhilo, Microneedling, Skin resurfacing and medical grade skin systems.
An even complexion, with good tone and texture is vital in the package of youth and beauty. Alleviating the wear and tear of stress, scarring, sun exposure and hormonal shifts that can leave us with pitted, pigmented and lack lustre skin is a real win.
Below are the different stages of ageing and most effective interventions to consider. Please scan to your decade…
This is the time when we may take our youthful complexions and plump, line free faces for granted. It’s young but not too early to get on the prevention train. Active skin care will provide an excellent platform for maintaining youthful skin. The master products are antioxidants, retinols and the all-important cosmetic SPF 50, rain or shine.
For the very expressive amongst us, or those of us with naturally thin skin, you may see the beginnings of fine lines and wrinkles. If the indication (and sensible intention) is there, a sprinkle of Botox and light brush of filler may be indicated to maintain a youthful face. Around our mid 20s, the formation of our good collagen begins to tail off, so collagen stimulants, such as micro needling and peels can come into play.
Beautification is something that has gathered a lot of popularity over the last decade. Subtle enhancement of features may be achieved if you have struggled with something that has made you self-conscious, such as a bump in your nose or a major asymmetry.
Changing yourself dramatically at this age is not the best way forward in my opinion.
Lifestyle factors permitting, your skin should generally be in good shape. There may be the early stages of volume loss and greater signs of dynamic wrinkles from animation – a shadow in the tear trough or more pronounced nose-to-mouth lines from smiling, for example. For those women who have had children, the associated hormonal shifts may well have added pigmentation to the mix.
Rather than one layer of soft tissue over the bone, we have specific fat pads in the face that erode and separate with age in certain ways. The movement of these fat pads begin to cause the typical sings of age; the start of jowls, and overhangs, such as nose to mouth lines, and volume loss that can create shadows, such as under-eye hollows. Extrinsic lifestyle factors – UV exposure, smoking, nutrition, stress and partying will begin to speed the ageing process in this decade. It’s important to up your skincare routine too now, with prescription grade retinols, antioxidants and active cleaners.
I think we all notice the many, youthful looking 40+ year-olds around and about these days. Whilst good genes and lifestyle play a part, the fresh-faced career girls and mothers of many, will have been engaging with appropriate non-surgical interventions, for the last decade, in my experience.
Now is the time when our natural hydration (hyaluronic acid) begins to diminish more rapidly. We tend to notice some sag and shadows, beginning in our 30s, becoming more pronounced, with the increased shift in facial volume. We will also start noticing the effects of a poor or absent skincare regime.
Other areas that begin to draw the eye are thinner lips and “smokers’ lines”, a less luminous complexion, with crepey skin (very fine wrinkles) on the upper and lower eye lids. We may also notice that are our hands and necks change, beginning to show volume loss and tissue laxity. You may begin to see the formation of a double chin.
50s and beyond
Just as in your 40s, it’s important to maintain appropriate volume and, in particular, good skin quality. For most women, the fifth decade is when the menopause presents, with hormonal changes affecting the skin. One significant change is the thinning of skin, making collagen stimulation, hydrating and resurfacing treatments excellent options.
When asked about aging, people would take “lines” over “sag” and it’s important to look good for your years, rather than characterless with too much filler or no lines/expression. I have patients well into their 70’s who have as much presence and charm as ever, looking chic and beautiful.
When untreated, volume loss and the slide of the skin/soft tissue becomes increasingly pronounced, flattening contours and creating overhang and shadows. The temples hollow, creating a bony orbit, and we also see the formation of jowls and a squarer jawline.
The declining levels of oestrogen influence the thinning of the lips, with lines and shadows forming around the mouth. Added to this, the skull shrinks as bone reabsorption speeds up, meaning less structure to the face. With the loss of volume and structure, the surface tension is lessened, and soft tissue sags.
The central inverted triangle of youth (full mid face to a sculpted chin apex) begins its descent and flips to become a mid-face lacking in volume, sagging as a result and producing a square looking jaw.
If non-surgical interventions are first adopted in the fifth decade there is a more dedicated treatment programme initially, but with time and dedication, you’ll reach a place of maintenance tweaks of around 3 times a year.