They say that age is just a number. That you are only as old as you feel. That ageing is just another word for living. And while we agree wholeheartedly with remaining young at heart, digital aesthetics enthusiast, Dr Sheryl Smithies is here to tell us that we don’t have to choose one side of ageing extremism. She believes that we have the power to enhance our natural beauty and soften the ageing process so that our external image reflects our inner beauty.
While the gradual changes in our physiology that begin at age 25 are inevitable, the preventative steps we can take to slow the ageing progress are optional. Taking good care of your skin from the beginning is essential to ageing gracefully but may not be enough on its own. Luckily, there are therapies to boost collagen in response to the natural loss of elasticity. And procedures that can hydrate skin to elevate vibrancy and moisture levels offsetting dullness and dryness.
Here are her top insights on treatments to soften the ageing process:
Throughout our lives, our cells divide and multiply continuously to perform basic biological functions. The more cells divide, the older and less effective they are at carrying out their primary function. Skin cells, for example, lose elasticity and when combined with the ongoing cellular damage they are exposed to daily results in aged-looking skin.
Juvéderm fillers use the same kind of natural hyaluronic acid generated at a better rate when your skin cells were younger to add fullness to certain areas of your face where the skin has begun to sag. This allows you to age gracefully by keeping the shape of your face longer whilst your bone is changing shape and getting smaller over the ageing process.
Each procedure begins with the application of numbing cream to alleviate any discomfort associated with the injection. These fillers sculpt and support your facial tissues and skin to create a youthful and smooth look and can be used on the face, neck and just about anywhere on the body to rejuvenate and hydrate the skin.
Lip sculpting, smoothing lines on the nose and around the mouth, adding definition to the lips and jaw are some of the most popular treatment areas. Each treatment takes about 45 minutes but the duration is dependent on the amount of filler being injected and the treatment area. Each treatment lasts 9-18 months and can be refreshed according to a treatment plan worked out with your doctor.
A huge bonus is that the results from fillers are instant – with minor bruising and swelling occurring directly after the injection and dissipating a week to ten days later. It is important that you have an experienced medical professional administering the procedure to avoid side effects such as overfilling, excessive bruising and swelling and uneven results. All care is taken to ensure a safe injection technique when doing filler.
Neurotoxin ( Botox® and Dysport ® )
We do not live our life in sheltered bubbles and with decades of exposure to elements like severe stress, tobacco and alcohol consumption, fluctuating weight and nutrition and UV exposure we age in response to these stimuli. A common complaint is more visible wrinkles and laxity of the skin.
Among the most effective preventative treatments out there this injection uses botulinum toxin which causes facial muscles to relax. During each procedure, target muscles are injected with the toxin in a relatively painless manner and each procedure takes about 20-30 minutes. Results can be seen as early as three days post-treatment with the final result settling in at ten days. The most common treatment areas are frowns in the forehead, crow’s feet, lips to soften a gummy smile. Results will be noticeable after 3-5 days after completing the treatment, and final results will be visible after day 10 post-injection and lasts approximately 4 months.
These injections are most effective as a preventative measure in your late 20’s but can be used later in life to treat wrinkles. Side effects are rare but can include short-term paralysis of incorrect target muscles. These potential issues are best prevented through using a doctor you trust, the correct procedure for your desired results and careful selection of injection spots.
Wrinkled, spotted skin is made worse with exposure to the sun and loss of subcutaneous support is exacerbated by gravity, daily facial movement, obesity, and even sleep position. Following a healthy lifestyle by eating a nutritious diet, staying active, avoiding tobacco and wearing sunscreen will all help signs of ageing – but they cannot reverse or prevent it from happening.
Some of the Aptos threads contain Hyaluronic Acid. These are carefully inserted under the skin and attached to soft tissue in your face to stimulate collagen growth, condition the skin and lift sagging skin. These lift the skin and mitigate the effects of gravity on your ageing process. These can help a wide variety of facial asymmetries from Bell’s Palsy, to drooping cheeks, jowls and necks. They have been used successfully to smooth out forehead lines, reduce bags under the eyes and thin out your lips.
The thread treatment times vary depending on the type of treatment necessary, which is determined after an assessment of skin laxity. Not only does this treatment provide instant results but thanks to the collagen growth it stimulates results are ongoing. The natural healing process may result in some swelling, puffiness with some discomfort for the first two to three weeks post-treatment.
Some patients experience minor side effects such as puckering where the thread is pulling the skin up. However, uneven results are normal initially and will even out over the healing period. Despite it being far less invasive than a facelift, the results are similar if you follow post-procedure protocol like avoiding exercise and sleeping on your back during your healing.
Ageing is a complex process of life caused by a myriad of differentiating and utterly unavoidable factors. From our genetics and predispositions to how our cells will age, to sun exposure, to the food we have consumed over our lifetimes we cannot stop living simply to remain young. In fact, science has proven time and time again that older people are on average happier.
If the goal is to be happy instead of simply to remain young, non-invasive treatments such as fillers, botox® and threads are excellent ways to soften the ageing process. Also, they help us slow the visible ageing so that we may have extra time to emotionally adapt to our changing appearance and ultimately bring into harmony our inner and exterior image.