New Zealand now has an average life expectancy of over 80. With those of us lucky enough to make it past the mid-century milestone of 50, we naturally want to continue looking our glowing best towards the golden years. The aesthetic approach is different at this stage to earlier adult years, and for most the focus is on ageing gracefully.
There are a number of ways to approach this, from topical applications to the skin, to deeper scaffold building and soft tissue support treatments.
First and foremost, a sensible approach to sunscreen and skin protection from environmental exposures should be normal practice. If not yet, it is never too late. Skin cancer develops as a result of cumulative exposure to the sun, so it is worth tweaking this, if your products don’t yet include a sun protection factor (SPF). In New Zealand, during summer, the recommendation is a minimum of SPF 50+ on your face, neck, upper chest, and other sun exposed areas every day. In the winter months, SPF 30+ should be adequate. Annual full body skin examinations to check for pre-cancerous and skin cancer lesions is also recommended. Unlike in Australia where this is funded annually, we need to be more proactive as individuals in this respect in New Zealand. Tender loving care for your skin in other ways, such as using medical-grade skin care with vitamins A, B and C can help protect your skin from further damage, and in many instances, restore a more youthful glow.
Where the ravages of time, and too much sun exposure as a baby boomer has already left its mark on your complexion, intense pulse light (IPL) can be a rejuvenating option. This is especially useful in the minimisation of pigment or uneven skin discolouration such as sunspots and freckling. Likewise, where small blood vessels have become prominent, especially over the nose and cheeks, and in those who suffer from rosacea, it can reduce the appearance of the vessels and redness.
Derma pen is another device, of which the latest version is available at Clinic 42, which is where very shallow needling is applied to the skin of the face and neck. It has quickly established itself as a clinic favourite, due to the glowing, hydrated appearance it gives an individual, whilst minimising fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment is completed in approximately half-an-hour, and is most effective with a course of three sessions. With this approach, improvement in pigment will be maximal, as will the deposition of collagen in the deeper layers of the dermis, resulting in increased structural support for looser skin.
Injectable options are one of the mainstays in this age, where treatment is largely dictated by the anatomical changes seen in an individual. The aesthetic approach to a face of someone in their 30s is different to someone over 50, so a thorough knowledge of the ageing process and anatomy, as well as assessing each face individually to develop a customised treatment plan, will result in the most desirable endpoint.
When evaluating a patient around 50, the ageing process is well established, and the changes in the layers of the skin are most significant. Treatment includes botulinum toxin, often in lower doses, to the upper and lower thirds of the face, and also the neck. People become more prone to puffiness around the eyes, especially those of Asian origin, so this needs to be considered with treatment dose.
Bony changes around the eye are becoming evident, with bone resorption. In addition, the soft tissue laxity that occurs with ageing can result in lengthening and flattening of the upper cheek and its junction with the lower eyelid, often invoking a sad appearance. Fat is lost in the body of the cheek and temples, which makes the cheek appear flatter, and some lines in this area more prominent. The jaw bone also starts to resorb and change shape, which offers less structural support to the lower face, and can make the lines below the corners of the mouth (Marionette lines) heavier.
An excellent way to approach these deeper structural changes, is with hyaluronic acid based filler products. These gel substances are placed in specific layers in the face, to address the age-related changes outlined above, as well as other concerns. The True Lift technique specifically places small boluses of filler in five discrete locations on each side of the face, to act as a strut to the adjacent ligaments, which connect directly with the overlying skin.
Whilst ageing is inevitable, with modern medicine, people are consistently feeling their appearance is not in line with how they feel. It can be a challenge to know where and how to start addressing this disharmony. A cosmetic consultation at Clinic 42 can be a great way to discuss your concerns and learn more about your options in a discrete, boutique environment, led by practicing doctors, who have been specialising in this area for years. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, or would like to arrange a consultation.