The Holistic Approach to Skin Aging

20 January 2021

Anne Gormley explains how a good skincare regime can help ensure your facial aesthetics will give you the best results and longevity

Eternal youth is something we all strive for. Social media now has apps which show us how we will look in our old age. We have an idea of how we might look as we age but it is quite a shock to see these before and after photos. It is no longer acceptable to be ‘frumpy at fifty’. Society demands that we work out at the gym, dye our hair to remove the evidence of grey hair, straighten and whiten our teeth. It would seem that removing wrinkles and saggy skin has become part of our rejuvenating regime.

Over the last fifteen years the science of facial aesthetics has changed dramatically. We no longer simply treat the wrinkles. There has been a move towards understanding more fully the process of aging and, in turn, treating the skin in a more holistic fashion. Facial aesthetics is predominantly concerned with slowing down the stages of aging and allowing all of us ‘to be the best that we can be.’ In general, the youthful face has an appearance of fullness and the aging face is characterised by sagging and volume loss. As the skin ages it starts to become thin and flattened, with a gradual loss of elasticity. In addition, certain areas of the facial skeleton undergo dramatic resorption while other areas continue to expand. The underlying bone and fat pads support the overlying skin. In time, the face appears to cave in leading to the production of wrinkles which develop into creases and finally form pouches. We notice that the cheeks become hollow, the lips are thinner, we develop a downturned smile and sagging jowls. The process of aging is influenced by genetics, hormones, metabolic changes and environmental exposure. The chronological factors are predetermined and there is very little we can do to limit their effects on the skin

On the other hand, we can try to reduce the impact of the extrinsic factors on our skin. These factors include exposure to UV radiation and pollution and lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol intake. Of these, exposure to sunlight, known as photo aging, is the most significant factor. To counteract the possible damage from this radiation, it is suggested that we always use a good quality, broad spectrum SPF. We need to think about this, in terms of ‘daylight’ not just ‘sunlight’ hence the need for sunscreen every day of the year. Promotion of a balanced diet rich in vitamins A,C,D,E, omega-3-fatty acids, carotenoids, flavonoids and tocopherols can reduce the signs of aging. We should reduce our sugar intake, select wholemeal alternatives and eat more fish, fresh fruit and vegetables. We should substitute animal fat for fats found in nuts and olive oil.

Rehydration of the skin is of paramount importance and can be achieved by drinking approximately two litres of water per day and avoiding coffee, salt and alcohol. In order to complement any type of facial aesthetics, it is vital to feed our skin both externally and internally. Use of a Vitamin C serum daily before your moisturiser gives added protection. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production and the cross linking of collagen fibres into stronger collagen. This super vitamin decreases pigmentation, brightens skin, reduces inflammation, supports the skin’s immune system and works even better with vitamin E to protect the water and oil compartments of our skin cells. Vitamin A/Retinol is helpful in treating skin aging by increasing firmness, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin tone and texture. It also helps to regulate oil so great for acne skins too. We like to think of retinol like strength-training for the skin. Skin supplements can have amazing results on the skin and now form an integral part of our skin rejuvenation package. By following a good skincare routine, getting regular treatments and feeding the skin with essential fatty acids and vitamins you can ensure your facial aesthetics will give you the best results and longevity.

Your skin is the one pretty dress you will wear for life – make sure you take care of it. Spires Dermal Care and Escape Beauty Retreat in Magherafelt have teamed up to provide a holistic approach to your skincare. Anne Gormley and Frances Bradley will carry out joint aesthetics consultations to decide the best way to treat your skin producing natural results which enhance your features giving a fresh complexion. Treatments include: Chemical peels, micro-needling, anti-wrinkle treatments and anti-aging dermal fillers.

Do you have a question for Dr Anne?
If you have a question about any aspect of facial aesthetics, contact Dr Anne Gormley via email