Fillers proper can become tricky in midlife. Nobody wants a trout pout. However, it’s true that most of the changes in facial structure come from loss of volume. Fat, collagen and even our skull bones start to disappear as we age.
Trying to restore girlishly plump cheeks only leads to tragic results. Instead, doctors are increasingly using filler around the ‘frame’ of the face to subtly lift loose skin and firm up jawlines for a face that looks better without compromising your dignity. One of the most effective uses of fillers I’ve personally experienced was when Dr Sarah Tonks of The Lovely Clinic announced, to my surprise, that I could benefit from filler in the hollows at my temples, above the ear. By painlessly popping a small amount of HA based filler here, as well as at my jawline and sides of my cheeks, she lifted the tail of my brows, smoothed crow’s feet and framed my eyes better.
For a more drastic improvement, Patterson is also an advocate of PDO threads – which are tiny dissolvable threads which, sewn under the skin, help support sagging skin and build collagen, with results lasting about a year. The procedure looks terrifying – actress Eva Mendes, 47, posted a picture of herself having threads to tighten her enviable jawline – but is less painful than it looks.
Whatever treatment you opt for, the key to looking great as you age – and by that I don’t necessarily mean looking younger – is to have great skin. This can be achieved via devotion to a good skincare routine and daily sunscreen. Patterson recommends Epionce medical skincare, which is particularly suitable for sensitive skin.
A few years ago, I underwent a radical skin overhaul using the Obagi Nu Derm system myself, under the supervision of Dr Mayoni Goonerate of The Clinic. The products contain glycolic acid, vitamin C and prescription vitamin A to peel away old skin and generate fresher, brighter skin over around three months. It’s drastic – expect some redness and peeling – and pricey, but I was astonished by the results. Not only was my skin clearer and glowier, it looked firmer and tighter too.
I’d always advise anyone dipping a cautious midlife toe into the world of tweakments to stick with minimally invasive ones that have been around a long time so you know they are safe, and to start small. As for me, I’ve not had a single treatment for well over a year. This has given me a chance to think about what really works for me. Having the time to spend on my skin means that I’m pretty happy with that, but like Gwyneth, I will be booking in for the tiniest sprinkle of Botox between my brows. After all, come the end of lockdown, when we are finally able to have some fun, I want to look as cheerful as I’m going to feel.