When it comes to skin, nothing is set in stone. Just because your skin is starting to show visible signs of aging doesn’t mean you can’t turn the clock back in time and reverse some signs of damage.
“In your 40s, it is time to wage war on aging skin, because you have a very finite number of years to undo damage with non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures, before the skin aging really escalates”, says Dr Low Chai Ling, Medical Director of the SW1 Clinic, and also former founder of The Sloane Clinic.
In this article, we tap into Dr Low’s wealth of knowledge and experience to assemble 5 secrets on how you can waltz into your 40s gracefully, looking ageless instead of looking your actual age.
Rule 1 – Fight Against Gravity
In some women such as ex-supermodel Heidi Klum, genetics and healthy lifestyle play a role in keeping their skin beautiful and in all the right places. But for most of us in the cold, harsh world, looking good requires reparative work from time to time.
“One of the biggest complaint I hear on an almost daily basis is how aging women don’t like to see how their skin have sagged by the time they reach their 40s” says Dr Low.
For starters, she recommends a non-invasive facelift procedure such as the Trinity Facelift Program, which aims at a “3D facelift” effect using two of the industry’s best skin lifting and skin tightening devices, Ulthera and Thermage. Not to be confused with lesser versions claiming similar technology, Ulthera and Thermage are high powered, and this is actually a very tidy once a year treatment with absolutely no downtime.
For those of us whose skin have unfortunately travelled a little further south, a minimally invasive procedure that Dr Low and her group of doctors in the SW1 Clinic specialize in, the Infinity Instalift is a nifty threadlift procedure that allows the doctor to creatively sculpt and lift saggy skin in desired places. So cheek, jawline, neck and brow lift effects are all achievable. The only catch is Dr Low will make you wear a faceband for several nights to keep your downtime to a minimum (not that any of her patients minded it, neither would I, in exchange for faster recovery). Threads last an average of 6 months once inserted and effects last for approximately 12 to 18 months.
Rule 2 – Dream of Flawless Creamy Skin
This is the decade where the lack of collagen really shows. People in their 40s will often develop fine lines and textural irregularities, robbing their skin of youthful suppleness and glow.
The SmartX Lite laser treatment gives way to luminous skin by stimulating new collagen growth. This is a fractional ablative laser treatment but putting this laser broadly in this class really does not do it the service it deserves. The SmartXide CO2 laser has a patented technology which creates microscopic perforations in the skin with minimal heat, allowing treatment of “difficult” areas such as the delicated skin around the eyes and the neck. It also has much more acceptable recovery time compared to most other CO2 lasers in the market. Dr Low says that she can get creative with this laser by playing around with this “dot therapy”, which can also induce a minimal skin tightening effect.
Rule 3 – Iron Lines Out
Botox sounds intuitively like poison to those who have no idea. Either that or frozen celebrity faces comes to mind. However, Dr Low prizes this as one of the most important in her anti-aging arsenal.
“After starting lasers which effectively iron out fine lines, in your early 40s, the key to wrinkle treatment is to prevent new ones from forming” says Dr Low. The best places to start with would usually be the crow’s feet, the frown lines between the brows, and the forehead.
“Less is more in this respect, to avoid the artificially frozen expression or overly shiny forehead”.
Rule 4 – Fix Deflation
Apparently, one of the ways age can reveal itself in the face during the 40s is deflation, with the midface area usually becoming the first victim. This means that the cheeks deflate, losing the sexy curve, and sunken undereye hollows, strong nasolabial lines may also follow.
Dr Low recommends the Filler Hydrolift, designed to restore volume in sunken cheeks and immediately alleviating annoying nasolabial lines at the same time.
“Most people come to me and ask for nasolabial fillers immediately. What I prefer is to look at the face in entirety first. In most cases, fixing deflation in problem areas such as the cheeks is the more natural-looking approach, rather than chasing lines.”
Rule 5 – Take Care Of Your Crowning Glory
In our 40s, we can no longer take good health for granted.
“Our hair is definitely not immune to the aging process, and just like our skin, the quality of hair can change as we get older. Just like skin at the neck or at the back of our hands, aging hair can also give away our age” says Dr Low. As she gave this part of the interview, I couldn’t help but notice her head of lush, long, black and shiny hair, as well as her smooth complexion.
Dr Low further explained that vitamin and mineral imbalances such as iron deficiency is a common issue for women in this age group. This can cause more daily hair shedding than usual, as well as finer hair strands, resulting in volume reduction of your treasured mane.
Before she gave out treatment advice for the scalp, I recalled (and cringed at) a scalp “facial” I encountered, which required what seemed like thousands of tiny needles pokes into the scalp at a particular hair salon. Luckily, Dr Low recommended the Keramax Scalp Program, which consists of 12 sessions of the Revitascalp and Revage 670 hair laser treatment.
I beg your pardon. A hair laser? I couldn’t help but think this out aloud, to which Dr Low kindly laughed. She explained that the Revage 670 uses photobiostimulation to stimulate your “sleeping” hair follicles into the growing phase. 30 laser diodes rotate 180 degrees around the scalp, emitting painless laser energy in the 670nm wavelength, stimulating blood flow to nourish poor thinning hair follicles, pushing them into the active growing anagen phase and encourages growth of thicker, healthier hair shafts.
Seriously? I can’t wait to try this out.
The 40s is definitely not for holding back. And if it was really true that today’s technology and medicine have evolved this far in anti-aging treatments, one can really have fun getting creative in trying to age well.