This blog post was originally written by Dr Kate for Retreat Magazine.
As a cosmetic doctor I am in a very special position and privileged to share in some of the monumental moments in my patients lives. From the birth of children, to new jobs and workplace struggles, to weddings (and divorces) and all the little moments in between. I see my relationships with my patients as similar to when I was practicing as a GP, not only am I performing treatments but I am also acting as an advocate and support person.
A cosmetic physician treats not just the external manifestations of ageing, signs of stress and desire for beautification but also treats the psychological and emotional drive for that patient seeking treatment. It really is the best of both worlds for me.
Women will always strive to look their best and feel confident within their own skin. A focus on skin health and beauty is often a mark of confidence in a woman and can help many feel more attractive and youthful. A strong focus on positive ageing in our community and more women than ever open to non-invasive cosmetic procedures (nearly 70% of responders in a 2018 survey for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery) means many are seeking out treatments as part of their regular beauty routine. However there are still certain life events that may prompt a certain treatment or visit to a cosmetic clinic.
Women especially come to see their cosmetic doctor or clinic prior to significant life events and it is these important occasions that often act as a catalyst for wanting a treatment performed.
Every woman is different and their concerns will vary accordingly but we generally see a pattern emerge for the most popular treatments for those “milestone moments”.
So enjoy reading about some of the Milestone moments we encounter at Youth Lab.
Women in their 20s often have not had contact with a cosmetic clinic before they turn 21, but with the surging popularity of social media we are seeing many young women who are knowledgeable and willing to have treatments performed. In this age group the most significant life event is often the 21st birthday, the true beginning of adulthood and responsibility.
The possibility of graduation from university, new entry into the workplace and forging an identify away from their teenage years is also a catalyst for wanting to enhance their appearance.
The most popular milestone treatment at this age is aimed at beautification and we see a high volume of lip enhancement and cheek bone sculpting in these patients. Dermal fillers are also popular and can be used to sculpt, volumise and enhance certain features to make an already beautiful face appear even more so.
Many young women seek out the “contoured look” with defined cheeks and plump lips. Ensuring results are subtle, natural and in keeping with the patient's existing beauty is important as too much can result in a “fake” appearance. In the right hands, dermal filler can be undetectable but result in a result that improves confidence while facing new life challenges.
The 30th birthday often comes with some associated anxiety, concerns about beginning to age and also keep up with friends who may be going in different directions. We often see women in their 30s who may be getting married and are therefore focused on looking perfect on their big day, they may feel fatigued and want to look ‘fresh’ after the birth of their children or they feel the need to look their best while climbing the career ladder.
Regardless of their personal circumstances the 30s also brings the early signs of ageing from volume and fat loss in the face, early wrinkle formation and signs of sun damage for the majority of women. Treatments for this milestone are focused on prevention and rejuvenation.
Women in their 30s need to establish an active skin care regime and we often advise this group of patients to have regular photorejuvenation treatments with BBL (broad band light) to keep sun damage at bay. However, the most popular milestone treatment for the big 30th birthday is often the first treatment of anti-wrinkle injections, to soften early fine lines and prevent the formation of new wrinkles.
Anti-wrinkle treatments can soften expressions, smooth the skin and give an airbrushed appearance. Women feel more refreshed and results can be almost undetectable rather than “frozen”. By starting these treatments early, longer term outcomes are improved.
The 40th birthday, or the festival of 40, is often a time of renewed confidence and more of an interest in non-surgical procedures. Many women may be changing directions at this time, from establishing a family and career to slowing down the pace a little and enjoying the finer things in life. This time often brings with is school and university reunions and sometimes stressful life events such as divorce.
Milestone moments at this age generally centre around the 40th birthday itself with many women expressing concerns about ageing, wanting to delay the process and preserve their looks. By this age facial ageing is in full effect with fat pad atrophy, skin laxity, fine line formation and changes to bony support. As a result many feel deflated with the formation of jowls and heaviness as well as texture changes to the skin and wrinkles.
In addition to preventative dermal fillers to restore volume loss and lift the skin, and anti-wrinkle injections as an ongoing wrinkle preventer, the power house milestone treatment at this age is laser resurfacing.
Laser resurfacing, using a combined ablative/non ablative laser like the Sciton HALO can deliver phenomenal results with minimal down time. Laser works to remove damaged skin cells, remove pigmentation and sun damage, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and pores, and deeply stimulate collagen and elastin to drastically delay the signs of ageing. A laser such as the Halo performed before a big event such as a 40th birthday will deliver a glowing and radiant complexion. It is truly the ultimate treatment.
As the 50s approach many start to feel panicked about reaching “middle age” but we are seeing more and more women who feel empowered about turning 50 and in turn celebrate in true style. Celebrating beauty and ageing with dignity and positivity. Unfortunately half a century of sun exposure, life stressors and environmental factors such as pollution can impair the skin and accelerate ageing as well as the genetic factors out of our control that contribute to the face and skin changing quite rapidly in this decade.
As the milestone of 50 approaches many women focus a bit more on the “sagging” of their skin and it is around this time that many start to look at surgery such as facelifts and eyelid lifts.
Those in this age group who are more interested in non-surgical aesthetic options start to focus more on boosting collagen in the skin (which we lose at a rate of over 1% per year) so some of the most popular treatments are injectable collagen stimulators. These injectables work to replace volume which may not be enough with normal dermal fillers but also work to boost natural collagen production which increases skin health, texture and tone.
Other collagen stimulator treatments such as Radiofrequency also work to tighten and lift the skin in a non-invasive way. The result of these treatments to the face and neck is tighter, firmer and plumper skin. Maintaining a youthful appearance in a natural way.
60s and Beyond
Many of the women in their 60s that we see are no stranger to non surgical facial aesthetics and many have been committing to long term skin health and preventative treatments. However some women see turning 60 as the incentive to do something for themselves and seek out a treatment to help them look as good as they feel.
The majority of women in their 60s and 70s are primarily concerned about sagging skin of the lower face and neck. By this age the intrinsic signs of ageing are apparent and when it comes to a non-surgical milestone treatment options may be limited to those few treatments that deliver wow results. In women with healthy skin, minimal sun damage, non-smokers who may be considering a surgical face lift down the line, the perfect non-surgical treatment is a thread lift.
Designed to gently lift the skin of the face, add contour and decrease the heaviness of jowls and neck sagging, a thread lift delivers an immediate lift plus works to stimulate the body's own collagen production over the next 18-24 months, improving skin tone and thickness. It is also perfect when combined with volumising dermal fillers and can be a good option for those wanting to delay surgery.
Regardless of what your significant life moment may be, every patient that walks through the door of a cosmetic clinic for the first time is excited about future possibilities and beginning their skin and aesthetic journey, All women (and men) should be encouraged to celebrate those big life milestone moments, and to feel empowered to look their best as they do so.
Dr Kate x