Tick, tock…tweak? There is an anti-ageing antidote for every beauty niggle but success is all down to timing, says tweakment connoisseur Rosie Green
- Beauty expert Rosie Green shares how you can get the best ‘tweak’ for your age
- READ MORE: An anti-ageing revolution: What does it take to launch the next generation of skincare?
As a beauty editor who has been in the business for decades, it’s not an exaggeration to say that I have tested more products than Kate Moss has smoked Marlboros. I’ve had hundreds if not thousands of facials and trialled tools from innocuous jade massage stones to needle-spiked rollers that look like medieval torture devices. What’s made the most difference to my face? Tweakments. You know, Botox, filler, peels. Machines that zap, injections that lift, acid peels that smooth.
But let’s not beat around the bush (mine has long gone thanks to laser sessions) – they are expensive. They can sometimes be painful. They require time and planning. Some necessitate downtime which needs to be factored in too. (Don’t do as I did and get a full face of injectables the day before you go on live TV.) They can also be ineffective or, worse, dangerous in the wrong hands. And, if done badly, they will make you look, well, weird.
So, if you are going to invest, you need to make sure you’re getting the most for your money and part of that is ensuring that the tweakment you’re going for is right for your age.
‘There’s a window of opportunity with most treatments,’ says Dr Vicky Dondos, co-founder of Medicetics, and my go-to aesthetics practitioner.
Take Botox. ‘While it delivers a big ‘wow’ in your 30s it generally needs to be dialled down in your late 40s.’ Why? ‘Because as the face ages, a line-free, smooth brow creates too much of a ‘mismatch’ with the lower face. By mid-40s I tend to use Botox mainly in the lower face and then slowly reduce its role in a client’s treatment plan as they age.’
Of course you can let nature take its natural course, but if you are curious to know the winners and losers in the tweakment stakes, read on…
So, if you are going to invest, you need to make sure you’re getting the most for your money and part of that is ensuring that the tweakment you’re going for is right for your age. Stock image used
‘Most people notice their first fine lines some time in their 30s,’ says Dr Sophie Shotter (drsophieshotter.com), an award-winning aesthetics doctor known for her natural approach.
‘And Botox is really great at addressing these ‒ at this age you can often smooth them away completely and get a fresher look.’
I have mine with Dr Dondos, from £270, medicetics.com.
How long does it last? Around four months.
Win: LIGHT SKIN PEEL
This may sound scary but a superficial peel has minimal or no downtime and ‘can help you achieve that glowy, standout skin’, says Dr Dondos. It helps ease congestion on acne-prone skin as well as refining pores and revealing a brighter, fresher, more even complexion. From £142.50, sknclinics.co.uk.
How long does it last? Varies on peel intensity but about two months.
Lose: ENERGY-BASED TREATMENTS
At this age skin laxity is not a problem, so expensive (often ouch-y) energy-based treatments (for more details, see 50s category) that use heat to stimulate collagen are not necessary. ‘I’m a big believer in doing the least you can,’ says Dr Dondos. ‘Why would you traumatise the skin if you don’t have to?’
Medical-grade ingredients mean supercharged results during your forties, the expert says. Stock image used
STHE BEST OF THE REST
Hybrid dermal filler
Dr Shotter says: ‘HarmonyCA is the first product which combines two clinically proven ingredients in one syringe. Hyaluronic acid gives lift and volume similar to a filler. Calcium hydroxyapatite stimulates collagen and elastin to firm and smooth the skin.’ From £850, drsophieshotter.com. Results last up to three years.
This uses barbed sutures that are injected into the face and pulled back and up to create a facelift effect. ‘It’s semi surgical,’ says Dr Shotter, ‘so it’s invasive and the risks of complication are high, even in a doctor’s hands. The right practitioner is essential.’ From £1,200, riveraesthetics.com. Results last 18 months.
Want a smoother jawline? Dr Joney De Souza’s new treatment sees a fine micro-optical fibre inserted along your jawline. Laser energy is then delivered along it to lift and tighten the area. From £2,000, drjoneydesouza.com. Results last from two to five years.
Win: DERMAL FILLER
‘This is the decade where fillers come into their own,’ says Dr Shotter. There’s a misconception that they plump out lines (because that’s what practitioners used to do) but now they are used to lift, sculpt and subtly restore volume in areas such as undereye, cheeks and mouth, so you emerge looking like a well-rested version of you. ‘It’s my favourite treatment to do,’ says Dr Shotter. ‘I can show you a mirror with half of your face done and it’s a satisfying difference.’
Filler, from £650, drsophieshotter.com.
How long does it last? From 12 to 24 months.
Win: PRESCRIPTION SKINCARE
‘This is a great age to begin prescription products,’ says Dr Dondos. Medical-grade ingredients mean supercharged results.
Think active levels of proven skin rejuvenators such as retinoic acid (counters pigmentation, stimulates collagen), azelaic acid (calms redness, improves texture) and niacinamide (evens skin tone, smooths fine lines).
Visit an aesthetic doctor for a personalised regime. Try Dr Stefanie Williams (from £395, eudelo.com) or, for a more accessible and affordable service, opt for an online consultation, from £24.99, skinandme.com; from £40, getharley.com.
Yes, you read that right. ‘I have seen clients in this age bracket have facelifts but I think it’s too early,’ says Dr Shotter.
Aside from whether they should ever be necessary, facelifts mostly have a limited lifespan (this varies from patient to patient but can be as short as ten years), so if you undergo one this young you’ll need to have multiple operations in the future to maintain the youthful effect.
Micro needles puncture the dermis and radio frequency energy heats up the deeper layers of the skin to boost collagen and elastin. Stock image used
Win: ENERGY-BASED TREATMENTS
These are touted as non-surgical facelifts for good reason. According to
Dr Judy Todd (the pro behind Shirley Ballas’s NeoGen Plasma makeover, thehogarthmedispa.co.uk), ‘We get incredible, natural-looking transformations with just a few treatments.’
How do they work? Micro needles puncture the dermis and radio frequency energy heats up the deeper layers of the skin to boost collagen and elastin. Expect visible tightening, improvement of crepey skin, fine lines and pigmentation. Also good on jawlines and necks. Look out for Morpheus8 and Ultherapy. I have Ultherapy, from £1,200, cosmeticskinclinic.com.
How long does it last? Approximately 18 months.
Win: SKIN BOOSTERS
Also known as injectable moisturisers. Expect multiple injections of a hyaluronic-based liquid to give the complexion an all-over, I’ve-just-had-a-facial type juiciness that lasts for up to six months. Long term, the treatment boosts collagen and reduces pigmentation.
It’s a good option if you are nervous about fillers as this fluid formulation doesn’t change the planes of your face but disperses evenly. There are various different brands on the market (such as Profhilo, Juvederm Volite) but I have Belotero Revive with Dr Alexis Granite, £1,000, sarahchapman.com.
How long does it last? Around nine months.
Lose: FULL LASH EXTENSION
Although it can deliver a big beauty boost, a complete set of lashes often looks too much on an older face. Instead, dial down to a half set or just enhance the outer corners ‒ ask for individuals rather than fans (when multiple lashes are clumped together). Or, for a more natural result, try combining a lash-growing serum (Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner, £129, revitalash.co.uk) with a lash lift (Dream Lash Lift, £70, bbb-London.com).
How long does it last? Approximately four weeks.
Make no bones about it – this is an aggressive treatment, requiring downtime, but it can work brilliantly at this age to soften lines, reduce sun damage and stimulate collagen to improve skin texture. Stock image used
ACE YOUR FACE, GRACEFULLY
Cindy Crawford said, ‘The face you have at 25 is the face God gave you, but the face you have after 50 is the face you earned.’ How to get your best complexion? Dr Dondas says, ‘Skincare, a healthy diet and sleep will pay off. And use sunscreen. Every day!’ Try SkinCeuticals Brightening UV Defense SPF30, £45, skinceuticals.co.uk. Ambre Solaire Super UV Anti Dark Spots & Anti Pollution Face Fluid SPF50, £12, boots.com.
Win: PHENOL PEEL
Make no bones about it – this is an aggressive treatment, requiring downtime, but it can work brilliantly at this age to soften lines, reduce sun damage and stimulate collagen to improve skin texture. ‘It’s especially effective around the eye area,’ says Dr Shotter. It’s vital you go to a trusted practitioner.
She recommends Dr Xavier Goodarzian, from £1,250, xavier-g.com.
How long does it last? In principle results are permanent, but the skin will continue to age naturally.
WIN: MUSCLE-STIMULATING TREATMENT
This is a new and stealthy way to lift and sculpt the face without needles or knives and there have been encouraging results on more mature subjects. Emface works by stimulating the muscles to rapidly contract and thus improve strength and tone.
It also uses heat energy to create new collagen within the skin. From £3,000. For a practitioner near you, search btlaesthetics.com/uk/find-a-physician.
How long does it last? Around a year.
Lose: CERTAIN FACIAL FILLERS
Dr Shotter explains that she ‘avoids the stiffer formulations because now the skin is thinner, they can be visible.’
We might think of pout filler as Love Island territory, but subtle (and let’s emphasise subtle) enhancement can be transformative in your 70s. Stock image used
Win: LIP ENHANCEMENT
We might think of pout filler as Love Island territory, but subtle (and let’s emphasise subtle) enhancement can be transformative in your 70s. ‘This is the decade when lips deflate and can look pinched,’ says Dr Dondos. ‘Restoring a little volume is incredibly rejuvenating, plus it softens fine lines and wrinkles.’ Lip filler, from £500, medicetics.com.
How long does it last? Eight to 12 months.
Win: INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL) treatment tackles pigmentation and redness at any age and right now the sun damage incurred over the years is showing up.
‘IPL successfully tackles brown spots and broken capillaries and delivers beautiful, luminous, even-toned skin with really pleasing results for my clients,’ says Dr Shotter.
From £119, sknclinics.co.uk. I like the Forever Young BBL treatment which addresses both redness and pigmentation and also ups skin quality by triggering rejuvenation deep within the dermis. Try Lee Garrett, £450, cosmeticskinclinic.com.
How long does it last? Pigmentation and redness are permanently removed or faded but new blemishes can occur naturally over time.
‘By this age lines are more ingrained, and Botox loses its efficacy,’ says Dr Shotter, who adds that it isn’t licensed for the over-65s. While she and her peers still deploy it in micro doses, other tweakments should now take more prominence.
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