Even those of us who usually aren’t interested in such things might find ourselves idly flipping through a tabloid while waiting in the queue at the supermarket. How else would we know which celebrity was sleeping with which other celebrity? Or which celebrity “bravely stepped out make-up free “ (which one often does when walking the dog)? Or which celebrity “cut a lonely figure” as they were out and about (because picking up groceries necessitates having an entourage accompany you)? Another tabloid obsession is the “has she or hasn’t she” question when it comes to plastic surgery. This is an oft repeated query that’s applied to a variety of actresses and singers of a certain age, and granted, sometimes the accusation is true, because the human face doesn’t naturally contort in the way that is evident with some of the women in question.
Of course some of them are up front and admit to surgery, thus endearing them in the eyes of their fans, which presumably makes the celebrity happy (although we can’t be sure, since they often cannot move their faces). Others flatly deny the suggestion, and claim that their puffy face is due to “stress” and “antibiotics” which might be true… but also, might not. And then there are the female celebrities of a certain age (it’s a gender bias, but it’s always a female- cosmetic enhancement amongst male celebrities gets little to no coverage) who simply look stunning, not simply for their age, but stunning in general. Julianne Moore, Tilda Swinton, Sharon Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer- have they had actual surgery? If they have, it’s amazingly subtle, which leads to the suggestion that more than likely, they’ve simply indulged in some rather advanced, non-invasive skin therapy to keep that youthful shine.
In The Beginning…
The fundamentals of skincare evolve as we age, but most of us become acquainted with the concept when we first notice the need for it; when puberty hits. As we move from childhood to adulthood, a mass of hormones begin to flow through our body and one of the most visible signifiers of this is those big red pimples that are the curse of many of our teenage years. Some of them are unavoidable, but they can be reduced or sometimes even banished with correct, basic skincare: cleanse, tone, moisturise. Generic products obtained from the chemist or even the supermarket are adequate for this, and it instils the importance of skincare at a young age; after all, the skin is the largest organ we have, and obviously, the only organ that we share with the world.
As We Get Older…
Skincare becomes slightly more complex as we get older, and this comes from both a necessity, and also the fact that we have more income, and as such, can afford a better standard of product. But this can be a difficult field to navigate- some of the products seem to be too good to be true, and the authorities sometimes feel this way too. In 2012, the UK Advertising Standards Authority banned an advertisement from L’Oréal for an anti-aging product called “The Eraser” featuring model Christy Turlington, due to excessive photoshopping, which created unrealistic expectations amongst consumers. So how do we decide which product is best for us?
What To Do?
Everyone’s skin is different, which is why a fairly all-encompassing treatment purchased from the chemist or a department store might not be the best option for your particular skin type. The best way to determine the most effective course of action can be to consult a professional, although this is something you need to be slightly wary about. The term “skincare professional” is somewhat arbitrary, and can be applied to dermatologists as well as persons who attended a short online beauty course. A bit of research is a good idea, since it can point you in the direction of a suitably qualified professional who can assess your skin, discuss your needs and suggest which products you should use.
General Skin Maintenance
No matter our age, some of the skincare essentials remain unchanged. Exfoliating the skin removes dead skin cells; excessive sunlight will of course damage the skin, as will smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Too much sun, cigarettes and alcohol can also damage us internally, although the damage is clearly demonstrated on the face. Appropriate maintenance of the skin will negate the need for drastic anti aging procedures at a later stage, and we all want to look our best. An under utilised skin care tip is the power of steam, and while you can do this by holding your face over a steaming bowl of water, it can also be wonderful to treat your entire body and enjoy a Helo sauna. A skincare professional might recommend a variety of options, usually with regular usage of a particular product coupled with semi annual non-surgical procedures.
A face scrub containing glycolic acid in varying levels is an effective option for many different skin types, and it can be used in conjunction with something like an enzyme peel that will gently strip the dead skin cells from your face in a more effective manner than at home exfoliates. Radio frequencies are being increasingly used in skincare, and electronic paddles that deliver these frequencies directly to the skin have been proven effective in reducing the signs of aging. Botox is of course also an option, however many women (and men) dislike the frozen face that often results from the treatment. A less extreme way to achieve anti aging results is multiple small injections of Azzalure, which is a similar compound to Botox, although far less severe.