“Shall I have a face lift?” is what someone close to me said recently as she pointed to her loosening jowls. She pulled her face back with her hands to reveal a tight, if not strange looking face – not dissimilar to many celebrities I’ve seen.
Face lifts (rhytidectomies, to give them their proper name) have become more and more popular over the last few decades as surgeon’s techniques have changed but my feelings about them have not. Never having understood the science, it’s always seemed a dramatic way of achieving something that maybe we should just learn to live with? I’d always planned to grow older “gracefully” (I’m 39 and 3/4, for the record) and hadn’t been able to work out why others wouldn’t do the same.
Talking to my friend, it became clear that her ageing was causing her a lot of unhappiness and distress and that she was very seriously considering taking action. In fact, she’d made a couple of appointments to speak to surgeons. Despite knowing her unhappiness, I still felt sceptical.
Since coming to know the Laser Docs I learnt that having a face lift was almost certainly not what my friend needed to fix her jowls or her lines. The problem is that we are all about self-diagnosis these days; we all know what we need to treat our symptoms so we make a call and can end up choosing the wrong thing. Take my friend’s jowls – it turns out that drawing the skin back and tightening it may well get rid of the loose skin (they cut it off and pin it back) but that’s not what the problem is. The problem is the skin sagging and loosening – which can be resolved by stimulating the collagen (the great news is that collagen doesn’t die, it just kicks back lazily and does less as we get older) via their fancy lasers which helps to plump up the skin. They have another technique which smooths out the complexion and helps to remove fine lines, they can add a little filler to the top of the cheek and presto! the jowls have gone, the skin looks fresher and all without invasive surgery or looking like somebody has stretched your skin. Who knew.
So it got me to thinking about my own skin. At 40 (lets face it, I’m 3 months off, no point beating around the bush) I’ve started to wrinkle pretty badly, the sleepless nights from the 18 month old baby and 6 month old puppy have wreaked havoc on what was previously an ageing perfectly ok, thank you very much, visage. I’ve had a couple of Clear Lift skin rejuvenation treatments, bought some amazing Medik8 cream for the dark shadows under my eyes and although the doctors haven’t managed to make me feel any less tired – I look so much better. I’m not plastering makeup on like I was, my friends and family have noticed how much better I look (the wrinkles are beating a hasty retreat) and I feel like a new person. The other advantage is that by taking action now, I’m helping my skin in the long term, too.
Thankfully, my friend chose not to go the route of the face lift and instead chose laser treatments. She looks amazing and is really, really happy. So it seems there is an alternative to the face lift after all.