The Anti-Ageing ‘Tweakments’ I Swear By – Ingeborg Van Lotringen
Part of my job as a beauty journalist and ‘tweakments’ columnist is to review non-surgical treatments. So, you might think I would take full advantage and be the first to try whatever the latest celebs are trumpeting – but you’d be wrong!
When I started my career, I soon learned that regular facials come in many guises and employ many different products, and that my sensitive skin does not fare well with many of them. No facial is suitable for every skin, so it’s important to know your skin type and choose treatments accordingly and carefully. Multiple rashes and welts have taught me that.
This is even more true for non-surgical treatments. It baffles – and angers – me to see how many of these often very intensive procedures are marketed as being safe and effective for everyone when they blatantly are not. The right tweakment depends on your skin type, the resilience of your skin and the way the fat under your skin is distributed. Choose the wrong one and you’ll end up with damage (which can be permanent) and disappointing or even ageing results.
It’s taken me many years to figure this out properly and settle on the treatments that work for me. Largely, I avoid ‘energy-based treatments’ which rely on wounding the skin with high heat in a controlled manner to provoke a healing response that results in plump, unblemished skin; with my skin, they can do more harm than good in the long run. I much prefer injectable treatments that, increasingly, can be used not only to optically replace lost fat and bone tissue, but also to hydrate and boost collagen, tackling wrinkles and laxity.
So here’s what I have and would recommend to others…
There’s a reason so many people recommend it – it’s still one of the best anti-ageing options that isn’t too invasive. The only place I can have Botox is in my frown lines – anything in my forehead makes my brows drop. Just a minuscule bit between my eyebrows makes a big difference, though. It’s also quite good in your neck area to stop the muscles there pulling your face down, especially if you grind your teeth or do a lot of exercise. I guess I should have it regularly, but I tend to go when the frown starts to make me feel depressed. Vicky Dondos, Sarah Tonks, Sophie Shotter, Wassim Taktouk are the specialists I’d recommend for the most natural results.
Profhilo is an injectable moisturiser combining two types of hyaluronic acid. It’s said to boost collagen and give skin a lift but, if that is so, then it’s exceedingly subtle. Still, efficient hydration is essential for healthy skin and a good glow, and this is the best way to get it. There are good alternatives such as Teoxane Redensity-1 and Juvenus, but Profhilo has really cornered the market, despite the eight or so injections smarting like bee stings. The treatment is so popular that I think the price should come down, because this is the one injectable that, while requiring a doctor for sure, doesn’t warrant a highly experienced one in my opinion; someone that’s been trained in administering it is all you need. There’s no doubt about it that, long-term, the results are really worthwhile especially if you’re after more of a ‘refresh’.
This treatment is brand new and is a super-thin filler spiked with calcium hydroxyapatite which works to rev up collagen production for up to 18 months. Used for the lateral cheek and jaw areas, it subtly thickens skin and is perfect for those with slackening cheek skin and deepening cheek wrinkles, especially if you have a gaunt face like mine that can do with a tiny bit of added width. I had this treatment with Dr Apul Parikh who did a brilliant job of it and carefully considers everything.
Like I said, I don’t want my face to change and I certainly don’t want it to balloon, but where hollows are appearing and skin starts to hang slackly over it, that’s where I’ll have filler to put the collapsed scaffolding back! Think temples, bits of the brow and certain areas under the eyes. This requires a really good and experienced doctor. Twice in ten years, I’ve had a sort of ‘8-point lift’, where bits of filler are applied all over the face. These were with Tapan Patel and Wassim Taktouk, and loved it. Sophie Shotter and Sarah Tonks are also great for fillers. For under-eye fillers, I would only trust an eye surgeon like Sabrina Shah-Desai. They can leave permanent puffiness, especially if your lymph drainage is not up to scratch. They require proper assessment by a specialist, so it pays to be very careful here.
Lastly, lasers are the only energy-based devices I don’t avoid, but only when the treatment is entirely bespoke and in the hands of someone super cautious. For me, that person is Debbie Thomas, who flatly refuses to push any hyped-up, new machines and will only use the ones she deems right for each individual skin – this is exactly how a good specialist should behave. Her ‘soft layering’ method of strengthening and calming your skin with laser before she gets to tackling pigment, veins, acne or wrinkles (it’s all possible with laser, but you need loads of different ones and Debbie’s got ten) is what I think the standard should be in the business. I would have a course of six at her clinic every year if I’d only remember to book in – yes, it’s that worth it!
For more of Inge’s favourites, read this. Follow Inge at @TheOgBeautyBoss.
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