Preventing the signs of ageing
We ask the pros what we can do to help prevent the signs of ageing, and the top treatments and products that make a difference
Ageing is a fact of life – at some stage or another, we find our fuller facial features aren’t as taught, and our once-youthful appearance inevitably begins to lose tightness with cheekbones and jaw lines less defined.
While ageing is unavoidable, we can learn instead to embrace our changing body and make the best of the inevitable natural process with effective treatments and powerful products. “Our skin cells have the ability to repair themselves but as we age this process slows,” explains Louise Stewart, director of Wimbledon clinic nakedhealth MEDISPA.
“Damage is caused by oxidative stressors such as sun, pollution, stress and smoking. Free radicals penetrate the skin cells, break down the collagen and impact the DNA structure. Damaged cells are more likely to replicate thus speeding up the ageing process.”
According to Dr. Helen St John, director at St John Clinic, the tell-tale signs are clear: “When we assess someone’s face, it’s the hollowing around the eyes, prominent skin folds, hollowed cheeks and sagging around the jawline that we really notice as being the most ageing of features. Of course, skin wrinkling and age spots are also signs of ageing but to my mind these features are not as important as the results of loss of volume in the ageing face.
The cause includes loss of collagen, elastin and fat, resulting in hollowing and skin sagging,” she explains. There are creams out there that can help tackle this, and Helen points to Tretinoin-based creams, which are of prescription strength, that thicken the skin and fade out age spots.
Consumers shopping on the high street can boost their youthful appearance with creams like Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, which increases hydration, and Clarins Double Serum, which is the UK number one anti-ageing serum. Louise suggests Dr Levy Booster Serum and Booster Cream: “It contains plant derived stem cells which are proven to vitalise the skin’s dermal stem cells. It’s a best seller for a reason.”
Helen also recommends salon treatments to fight ageing: “The solution includes strategic volumising with hyaluronic acid based fillers, and muscle relaxing injections carefully positioned to reduce wrinkles and to
“While ageing is unavoidable, we can learn instead to embrace our changing body and make the best of the inevitable natural process with effective treatments and powerful products.”
Injectables are a popular go-to treatment that relax muscles, and have long been the first choice for those keen to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles for years. Micro-needling is also gaining momentum as an anti-ageing treatment that provides fresher looking skin. It’s a minimally-invasive treatment whereby a device with small needles is rolled over the face and neck to create controlled punctures. Skin starts to repair and produce collagen and elastin creating plumper and firmer skin.
According to the experts at skin clinic, Skinsmiths, paying attention to your beauty routine can make a real difference. “One absolute must is to apply SPF factor 30 – 50 on a daily basis. This not only protects from sun damage, but also acts as a barrier to oxidants in the air.” Skinsmiths also cautions that relying on make-up for SPF protection is simply not enough. “This can be of unknown quality and often is only SPF factor 15 – 20. A good quality SPF cream is key to your age fighting arsenal.”
“Sun damage caused in the teenage years will only become evident many years later so it pays to adopt good habits at an early age,” reminds Louise. Another basic way to ensure your skin stands the best chance of withstanding the test of time is to wash the face regularly and thoroughly. Skinsmiths advises that you should wash your face with more than just water. “Wash daily with a good quality cleanser. It’s the very least you should do. Buff away dead skin cells and dirt a couple of times a week with an exfoliator depending on your skin type.”