10 Tips on How to Look Younger
I take great pride in my work of making people feel more confident by slowing down the ageing process. Sometimes I can take years off a patient with treatments that can reverse the hands of time. That being said, prevention is always key when it comes to looking younger. Even though my entire career is centered around making people look younger through facial aesthetics, I truly believe it's my duty to educate people on how to delay the ageing process in the first place.
To begin, it's best to understand how wrinkles and static lines form. Younger people naturally have tighter skin, as the fat pads under the dermis are full. Younger skin also turns over elastin and produces collagen quickly and effectively. However, as we get older, elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid production slows down dramatically and the fat beneath the skin diminishes, leaving gaps between the pads.
As the skin condition progressively gets more slack due to reduced elastin and collagen, the muscles still continue to work effectively. This causes the skin to crease without the ability to bounce back as readily. Over time, this causes the lines to become ‘etched in’ and visible even when the muscles are stationary.
Unfortunately, these are some of the inevitable signs of ageing that happen to everyone. But the good news is, there are ways to prevent, slow down, and in some cases, even reverse the ageing process.
Here are my 10 tips on how to prevent the signs of ageing.
1. Wear sunglasses Squinting uses the eye muscles, which cause creases around the corner of the eye, commonly known as crows feet. Over time this continuous action causes the lines to become deeper. This occurs because as the skin loses elasticity, it loses the ability to snap back as easily, thus causing the lines to eventually become ‘etched’ in. Wearing sunglasses prevents squinting in the sun and thus reduces the continuous activity of the eye muscles that cause wrinkles around the eye.
2. Wear glasses when they are needed Similarly, straining your eyes to read things in the far distance causes the muscles around the eye to contract. If glasses have been prescribed to you, using them when needed prevents the contraction of certain eye muscles associated with crows feet. You can also avoid this by wearing contact lenses. The straining associated with poor eyesight can also contribute to dark bags around the eyes. Keeping this area strain-free may also help to keep the eye area looking fresh.
3. Wear sunscreen face creams daily It's well-documented that too much sun can contribute to skin cancer, but using sunscreen can also prevent the damage that causes sun spots and pigmentation issues. I use L’Oreal Paris C’est Magic CC cream, which has SPF 20. However there are others out there such as IT cCsmetics CC cream with SPF 50. You should ideally wear a higher-level SPF on your face.
4. Avoid sun beds It should go without saying, but sun beds are extremely unhealthy. Not only can they contribute to skin cancer, but they also cause the skin to lose elasticity and collagen, which contributes to wrinkle formation.
While you may get away with using sun beds for a number of years, avid users report that they suddenly feel their skin goes downhill. The area affected the most is around the eyes. This is usually the first place that displays the signs of ageing. Don’t regret using sun beds later on for the sake of a nice tan.
Additionally, if you're already getting dermal fillers, sun beds reduce their longevity. So if you want your lips to last, avoid the sun bed.
5. Use Retinols If you're able to use retinols, they are reported as the best thing in the fight against ageing skin. Retinols usually come in a serum-based product, but can also be found in a cream. Ideally they are used every other night to increase cell turnover and strengthen the skin, thus improving skin texture and firmness, both qualities seen in younger looking skin. In combination with other treatments and products, retinol is an anti-ageing must-have.
Retinol serum comes in increasing percentages. In prescription strength, Tretinoin can fight acne, large pores and severe hyperpigmentation. Over the counter versions are retinoids and come in low but increasing percentages. Be sure to start low and build up gradually. Avoid the delicate eye area with the stronger solutions as it can be very tender. Personally I use 1% on my skin and 0.5% around the eyes because I find this works very well for me and my skin is still quite supple and in good condition. However, you can get higher-percentage retinols for the face. The one I use is from The Ordinary Company. Use this every other night to avoid irritation and don’t use this while you’re exposed to sun (i.e. on holiday). Be sure to use a high factor face cream if this is in your regime.
6. Vitamin C serums Vitamin C is also a good product to use alongside your retinol regime. I use this on the days I don’t use retinol. Again, it helps to strengthen the skin by increasing collagen production. The anti-oxidant qualities of Vitamin C also help fight free radicals and damage caused by UV rays. It's normal for it to sting a little when applied to the skin in higher percentages, so it can be mixed with an SPF face cream to keep it light. I personally use it at night as I don’t like to use serums on my skin during the day.
7. At-home weekly face peel A low-percentage once-weekly face peel exfoliates the skin on a surface level, keeping it looking in great condition. I use The Ordinary Company's AHA 30% with BHA 2% formulation once weekly. It’s a great entry-level at home face peel. Do not use retinols on the night you use this, though I usually follow it up with a Vitamin C serum as this helps it to be absorbed.
8. A monthly face peel I use the Biorepeel 35% TCA face peel on my patients. It gives a great result after one session, however a four-week course followed by a monthly peel gives better long term results. You have to be super careful with your skin afterwards, as the peel removes the UV protective surface. I only like to treat people when they have committed to a daily SPF cream so that I am assured they will further protect skin after seeing me.
Alongside the peel I use amino acid serums that penetrate the skin after the treatment. The idea behind face peels is that the chemical damage from the peel stimulates the skin cells to produce surface collagen in response to ‘fix’ the skin, making it firmer and tighter. It is an absolute MUST to slow down and reduce the effects of ageing. The good thing about the peel I do compared to others is there is no down time. The lipid layer on the top of the peel prevents skin sloughing, so you are assured you won’t have the flaking and dryness associated with other peels.
9. Keep up with appointments Most people love the effects of toxin injections but leave too long between visits. This means the treatment wears off and the muscle action causes wrinkles again. For long term effects the treatments need to be carried out every 3-4 months to stop the muscles from contracting and to keep that young and fresh look. This also prevents the lines from eventually becoming ‘etched’ in. As long as the muscle contracts and the skin continues to lose elasticity, the wrinkles and static lines will continue to get worse. Combine this treatment with all of the above for best effects.
10. Sunekos injectible treatment The absolute gold standard in preventing the ageing process is the sunekos injectible treatment. This injectible has hyaluronic acid (the skin and cell plumping ingredient) with an amino acid complex that stimulates the skin cells to not just produce the deeper collagen proven to firm skin marvelously well, but also to stimulate cells to produce elastin and hyaluronic acid. This complex plumps, hydrates, firms and strengthens the skin to leave it looking remarkably younger.
Sunekos is becoming the go-to treatment for everyone looking at slowing the ageing process. In fact, the results have even astonished myself. It can also be used around the eyes to prevent the loss of elasticity and flush away toxins, removing dark circles and bags with great effect. It can be used on the face, neck, décolletage and hands too.
In combination with a skin peel, this treatment is even better still, with results lasting around six months. It is injected into the skin in a course of 3-4 treatments with a week between appointments. Prices start at £450 and people have even started turning to this treatment over toxin injections since the skin firming effects have been so good.