How many times have you heard the expression, ‘New Year, new you’? It’s a term usually bandied around after Hogmanay and implies we need to reinvent ourselves at the start of each coming year. I, on the other hand, take a different view. For me, life is for living now! Especially given the pandemic restrictions we’ve all endured, life has been on hold for far too long.
So, for anyone wanting to make positive changes – don’t wait until the New Year, jumpstart your journey now. There are healthy habits and lifestyle changes you can adopt today that will have an impact on your physical and mental health, as well as simple tweaks that could transform the way you look and feel about yourself. So you can start the New Year already well on the way to being the best possible version of yourself.
The stresses of modern life
Modern life is hectic. Juggling work, relationships, family life and socialising can often mean your health and wellbeing slide to the bottom of the priority list. Lack of quality sleep, poor diet, and stress can have a damaging impact on your health, which is often reflected in the condition of your skin.
The tell-tale sign that things need to change
Premature ageing is one indication that lifestyle changes are urgently needed. From your 20s, you start to lose 1% of collagen per year – this is the protein that provides the skin with structure and plumpness. The fat pads on your cheeks start atrophying so they appear to deflate and droop, you lose jawline definition, and fine lines and wrinkles start to appear.
Whilst this ageing process is perfectly normal, there are various factors known to accelerate it, including nutritional deficiencies, sun exposure, air pollution in the environment, and raised cortisol levels caused by stress.
The pandemic that took stress to the next level
The pandemic has affected us all in different ways. Some of you may have been furloughed and put your new-found spare time to good use – analysing your self-care habits, taking up hobbies and exercising daily. Many, however, found the restrictions and worries about health and job security to be a significant strain and, as a result, have slipped into unhealthy habits that are hard to break.
Plus, throw ‘ZOOM face’ into the mix, (the idea that the increased time spent on video calls over the past two years has made us hyper aware of insecurities about appearance) and the result is a hugely detrimental impact on both physical and mental health.
Change the record
There are simple changes you can make today that will help to slow down the ageing process, preserve your youthful look that bit longer, and boost the way you feel.
First up, eat a balanced nutritious diet that includes plenty of fatty fish such as salmon and tuna which are high in omega 3 acids, vitamin D, vitamin E and zinc – they plump the skin and also work as an anti-inflammatory. Avocados are also a great source of vitamin E which can potentially reduce UV damage to your skin (Ref 1). Finally, cocoa (yes, really!) is high in antioxidants, particularly flavanols which can affect lines and wrinkles (Ref 2).
In addition, stay hydrated, don’t smoke, get a good night’s sleep every night, and start a daily routine that includes medical-grade skincare products and that all-essential SPF30+ sunscreen.
A little extra help
Whilst these lifestyle changes can go a long way to improving the way you look and feel about yourself, sometimes combining them with a little cosmetic tweak here and there can give you that much-needed extra boost.
My personal journey
If you had asked me in my early 20s about having aesthetic injection treatments, I would have said it’ll never happen! But for me personally, the signs of ageing took me by surprise. Staring in the mirror, my reflection became unfamiliar. So I can completely relate to those whose confidence is knocked by the onset of lines and wrinkles. After all, your face plays such a crucial role in how you present yourself to the world.
And so, in my late 20s I started anti-wrinkle injections and I now have them twice a year. As explained by Harvard Health Publishing (Ref 3), this purified protein temporarily blocks the signal from the muscle to the nerve, ‘Partially immobilizing the muscles that form expression lines so the skin smoothes out’. The key thing to note here is just how far treatments have come – it’s not about ‘freezing’ the face, instead I carefully consider the placement of the product to allow for facial expressions, so you can keep the laughter wrinkles you want and remove the ageing lines you hate to achieve a fresher you.
Fillers can also work wonders in helping to put back what time has taken away. Consisting of hyaluronic acid, this sugar gel restores structure, volume and hydration lost with age. As Save Face, the national register of accredited non-surgical cosmetic treatment practitioners, (Ref 4) explains, ‘Dermal fillers are a multi-functioning treatment and can be used to reduce deep lines and wrinkles, fill hollows and smooth the contours, as well as adding or restoring volume to areas of the face such as lips or cheeks’. One of its major plus-points is that it is naturally found in tissue, so it integrates well with your body.
It starts with a chat
If you’re considering jumpstarting your journey to the new you, book a consultation we me. I will guide you through the whole process, starting with a discussion about your areas of concern, questions, and results to be expected. Then together we can come up with your treatment plan.
Whilst I’m all for taking positive action without delay (after all, that’s what this blog is all about!), there is absolutely no pressure to have a treatment then and there. You’re welcome to go away and think about it. However, if you want to go ahead, you can.
I use a numbing cream before introducing the product under the skin and it is not painful. Most importantly, I focus on achieving natural looking results. As a medically trained doctor, I have a deep understanding of facial anatomy, and my work is always guided by knowledge of the face, not by fads.
Are you ready to make positive changes? What are you waiting for?!
We asked Emmaline to answer a few questions as a way to introduce her to you.
Dr Emmaline recently joined the DRTVICTORIA™ team after moving up from Harley Street. Her extensive post-graduate training – including a Master of Surgery (Hons) with a research dissertation in plastic surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland and a Professional Certificate in Clinical Dermatology from University College Dublin – gives her deep understanding in facial aesthetics.
References and resource links
- Ref 1: ResearchGate, Archives of Dermatological Research, Rosenblat, Meretski, Segal, Tarshis, Schroeder, Zanin-Zhorov, Lion, Ingber, Hochber, Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells
- Ref 2: PubMed National Library of Medicine, Hyun-Sun Yoon, Jong Rhan Kim, Gyeong Yul Park, Jong-Eun Kim, Dong Hun Lee, Ki Won Lee, Jin Ho Chung, Cocoa Flavanol Supplementation Influences Skin Conditions of Photo-Aged Women: A 24-Week Double-Blind, Randomized, Co
- Ref 3: Harvard Health Publishing, Why your face ages and what you can do
- Ref 4: Save Face, Dermal fillers