14 Mar Just had to share this amazing piece from the Daily Mail this week….
Exploring the treatments that can take years off you, expert ALICE HART-DAVIS reveals everything you need to know about the latest cutting-edge ways to restore that youthful plumpness . . .
You don’t start looking hollow-cheeked and gaunt overnight. Like many aspects of ageing, this creeps up on you as the fat pads filling out your face start shrinking, usually in your early 40s.
Even if you don’t have a particularly plump face, you have about 20 of these useful fat pads in the cheeks, under the eyes, around the temples and down to the chin and jaw. The ones under the eyes are the first to go, which makes the eyes a bit sunken, and then the cheeks begin to look less full, which is often the point when you start to notice the change.
To add insult to injury, some of these pads may drift south from their original moorings, leading to pouchy bags under the eyes or a jowly jaw.
What makes the process more noticeable is that these shrinking fat pads lead to less volume in the face. Imagine the fat pads as tiny balloons holding up your skin, but from which air is slowly escaping. This makes the skin sag and crease.
If your younger face was on the solid side, as mine was, the reduction in volume is not always a bad thing.
I was amazed to discover some cheekbone definition in my 40s, though now I’m half way through my 50s, I do have a tendency to look gaunt.
Why Bone Loss Is a REAL Bother
Another less desirable aspect of ageing is that we also lose bone mass in the face — from the temples, the eye sockets, along the jaw and chin and around the mouth.
The result is that everything in the face gradually starts to collapse inwards.
This is all very natural, but it’s not great, is it? And this loss of volume and support is made worse by midlife dieting or strenuous exercise regimens. Cutting back your fat percentage may be great for your waistline, but it isn’t so kind to your face. This is what lies behind the old maxim that once a woman reaches 40, she has to choose between her face and her figure.
Hang on to a few extra pounds and your face should look softer; diet them away and it will swiftly look older.
Fillers could be the answer
Re-volumising the face can work wonders to restore a bit of youthful softness. This is where facial fillers come in.
If you hear talk of people having ‘liquid facelifts’, it will be facial fillers (which are technically gels, rather than liquids) that are doing the lifting. I’m a big fan of what can be done with fillers.
‘Patients tend to be scared of fillers as they are frightened of looking too puffy or overfilled,’ says Dr Tracy Mountford of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic, who has been injecting faces for some 28 years.
‘Also, they don’t understand the new concept of strategic multiple syringe filling, which helps to generate lift, not “puff”, in the face.
‘People still see celebrities who look weird and overdone and, therefore, they just don’t believe treatments can look natural.
However, once they see our before and after case study pictures, they understand what we are doing and how we achieve natural results.’
There’s no need to feel scared about treatments as long as you choose the right kind of products and have the work done by an experienced, super-competent practitioner.
Not just someone who knows technically how to use the stuff, but someone who can work with it like an artist.
This means re-sculpting your face to add the softness, volume and structure it needs, so that afterwards you just look like yourself — only fresher.
Botox vs filler – what is the difference?
Aren’t fillers much the same as Botox, you might ask? No. They’re utterly different substances, injected into different parts of the face to do different things.
Botox is a nerve toxin that is injected into the muscles to reduce their ability to contract. A filler is a gel made (usually) from hyaluronic acid, which is injected to add volume or structure to the face.
The confusion comes about as people often use the phrase ‘Botox and fillers’ as a kind of shorthand to describe non-surgical cosmetic treatments and perhaps also because patients can receive both Botox and fillers in the same session.
Botox is frequently used on the forehead to soften frown lines. Fillers are often injected into cheeks and lips to stop them looking deflated.
If you wonder why I’m spelling out something as basic as this, it’s because people still confuse the two — even those who know quite a bit about aesthetics.
One friend told me she had been for treatment and had had Botox in her lips.
When I said that I thought it was filler she’d had, not Botox, she got quite cross. I hadn’t been there, she said.
But she was wrong. I checked with the doctor, and she’d had fillers — but the point is that she had got as far as having the treatment without fully understanding what went where or did what.
How fillers can refresh your face
Under the eyes
Eyes bags and the hollows under the eyes, known as the ‘tear trough’ can often be helped by filler, but only if they are the right sort of tear troughs and eye bags — and that takes an expert to assess.
Nose to mouth lines (Marionette lines)
Injecting filler into the vertical lines that run down from the sides of the mouth towards the chin softens their appearance and takes away the grumpy look they can give to a face.
You can have these lines injected to soften their appearance, but most nurses and doctors prefer to soften the look of your face by adding filler to the upper parts of your cheeks. This will lift the skin up your face a little and reduce these lines as if by magic.
The nose is the area where fillers can have the quickest and most rewarding effects. Why? Because they can disguise a bump on the bridge of the nose or lift the tip of a droopy or hooked nose. You’d think it couldn’t be done — but if you look at the before and after photos on the social media.
Filler can have several uses when it comes to lips. You could have their shape defined, increase volume, or simply add below-the-skin hydration without making them any larger. More so than with other areas of the face, discuss this carefully with your practitioner, to ensure you understand and agree with what they are planning.
Careful placement of filler can strengthen a weak chin and reduce the puckering of slackening skin that starts in middle age.
Defining the corner of the jaw with a touch of filler adds an instant youthful look. For men, using filler to make the jaw look stronger and more masculine is particularly popular.
The fat pads in your cheeks shrink as you get older, and adding filler to restore this lost volume is one of the first and most obvious things to do to soften an ageing face. A skilful practitioner will carefully assess just where to inject filler to enhance your looks. You might need it in the mid-face, under the apples of your cheeks (or where they used to be) or a little higher up and further out towards the edges of your face, to restore the shape of your cheekbones.
You scarcely notice — until it is pointed out to you — but your temples, at the sides of your head just above the level of your eyebrows, begin to hollow with age. Adding filler here softens this and has a happy knock-on side-effect of lifting the tail of the eyebrow, which helps to open up the eye area nicely.
Which fillers are the safest?
Most people who have fillers don’t seem to ask — or remember being told — what brand was used. But it is always worth knowing. The most common are temporary hyaluronic acid (HA) gels, the best-known being Juvederm and Restylane. Teosyal, Hylaform and Belotero are also widely used.
These last for six to 18 months before the body breaks them down. Exactly how long they last depends on how much was injected and the metabolism of the patient — some people’s bodies appear to break down fillers much faster.
Hyaluronic acid fillers come in different densities for different tasks — and that affects how long they last, too. A runny gel that works well in the lips doesn’t have the staying power of a thicker gel that builds volume mid-face or strengthens the jawline.
Finally, if you are offered permanent fillers, say ‘no’. You don’t want anything injected into your face that will stay for good.
Permanent fillers might appear a great idea — no need to go back each year for a top-up! So much cheaper! But the potential problems are huge. With anything that is injected into your face, there is always a risk the body will, at some point, decide it doesn’t like this foreign material and ‘encapsulate’ it, growing collagen around it in a hard lump to shut it off from the rest of your skin tissue. If that happens, the only way to remove the growth and the original filler is to have it surgically removed.
Encapsulation isn’t the only problem. As your face changes over the years, and some parts of it sag and descend, the blob of permanent filler may no longer be exactly where you want it to be. So avoid permanent fillers — particularly in your lips.
Our Practitioner Jane Kelly has years of experience and will be able to advice you on all the above treatments and the right products for you.
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All the best