May is Mothers’ Month and we celebrate all those who play a nurturing, maternal role within their respective families and local communities.

We, however, don’t have to be mothers to notice the lines that the hand of time draws on our faces so, today, I’ll take you through the story of changes to skin, fat and bone as we age.

Skin changes with ageing:
The main components of the skin are collagen, haemagglutinin (HA) protein, and elastin. Sun damage and exposure to pollutants, stress and genetic ageing cause these components to diminish in quantity, as well as decrease in quality.

In skin therapy, we address each of these components and determine whether to stimulate collagen with laser or peels, replace proteins with Dermapen and serum, or simply balance all three of the major components of skin with a combination treatment.

During winter, we take the opportunity to use more aggressive treatments because the gentle sunlight offers the chance for the skin to heal and strengthen before the onset of summer’s harsh conditions.

The Pixel Peel has become an international sensation. This therapy combines Dermapen needling treatment with a Trichloroacetic (TCA) peel that is a light chemical treatment, useful for pigmentation irregularities, such as sun-damaged skin and discoloration from pregnancy. The results are phenomenal. Using the Dermapen needling before the TCA peel allows a deeper penetration of the TCA into the skin through the little micro-channels that are created by the puncturing of the skin through which the TCA is carried down.

Four sessions with the skin therapist, over a period of eight weeks, deliver the best results. To start now gives you the time required to complete the programme – and for the skin to heal and strengthen well before summer. We always say, “Get that summer glow during the winter months.”

Remember the oral supplementation of collagen and vitamins are also valuable for good skin health. An elixir, with skin-protein components comprising collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA) will be available at Refine, shortly.

Loss of facial fat with age:
Have you ever wondered why an overweight woman usually has beautiful skin and a good shape to her face? A fatter woman can look younger and less wrinkled than a slim woman, both in their golden years. I tell my patients that fat is not so good for health and longevity, but for facial beauty and youth it’s the best.

As our faces age we lose fat, particularly in our cheeks, temples and foreheads. This gives a ragged, haggard, harsh appearance which shows our age. If you were to paint the picture, an older face would have sharper geometric lines, as opposed to the flow and curves of a more youthful appearance. We use dermal fillers – a clear gel found naturally in our skin – to mimic fat and soften one’s features. With dermal filler I prefer to get the contouring of the facial canvas correct before looking at other aesthetic treatments.

Bone changes with ageing:
Moving to the deepest level of the face – the bony skeletal structure – we note many changes which lead to a typically, aged face. Starting at the top, note deficits on the forehead. A concavity with a resultant protuberance of the brow area – the face looks angry. Hollowing of the temples –the face looks wasted. Enlarging of the eye sockets – the eyes look smaller. Diminishing of the cheek bones and lower jaw – the face looks smaller and more fragile.

The skin envelope, having lost collagen’s firmness, droops forward towards the mouth, leading to folds. This, in turn, makes the lips look as though they have shrunken into the mouth. Have you ever wondered why your lower teeth start going crooked as you age? It’s because the jaw is shrinking, so there is no space for them.

But fear not, there are recognised treatments to reverse these ‘whoops’ and ‘droops’. Non-surgical, aesthetic medicine has developed far enough to enable lifting and pushing skin folds up, up, up and away from the jawline, chin and mouth – back to where they belong in the outer upper face.

Thread-lifting technology has advanced at a rapid rate. The Koreans offer ‘baby’ threads (up to 50 per side) to tighten skin and the Russian threads are becoming popular for their deep-anchoring and lifting capacity and, of course, my favourite – the European Silhouette Soft thread lift for ultimate sophistication in a ‘one-stitch-mini-lift’. It is a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment to lift the skin. The suture acts as scaffolding under the surface of the skin to lift sagging soft tissues. A dot of local anaesthetic under the skin in the doctor’s rooms keep wrinkles at bay.

So, you can rest assured that with our complimentary consultation, doctor and therapist can professionally assess your status in the facial-ageing process, and best advise you as to how to remedy the situation.

All I ask in the pursuit of aesthetic medicine and beauty is, keep it real, keep it balanced…

Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful women out there.

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