Can ordinary skincare products, non-surgical machines or other spa treatments iron out wrinkles and give a mini face-lift without having to go under the knife?
Let’s be honest; there is no magic remedy to stop the ageing process. Unless you are prepared to go under the knife or needle, no cream is going to miraculously knock ten years off you.
However, a good anti-aging facial or treatment could give you an instant lift and glow that can last 24 hours or even several days. If you want to dip your toes in positive ageing treatments these are the ones to try.
You don’t have to resort to injectable dermal fillers and muscle relaxants, fat melting acid, chemical peels, micro-needling, surgery and laser treatments – all effective, if risky, treatments.
Regular facials at a spa can give impressive results. After a good hydrating and lifting facial, you should notice a difference immediately: a more glowing, plump and even complexion, less fine lines and even, with some facials, a slight lift around the jawline. You may notice your skin looks even better a few hours after the facial as the products continue to work.
A normal, non-surgical facial with include a thorough exfoliating cleanse to remove dead skin cells, making your skin brighter and more able to retain plumping moisturisers. It will also prime your skin to absorb the ingredients in a face mask. A facial massage can improve circulation, relax muscles and get blood and lymph moving in the face to create a glowing, even skin tone.
Some facials use devices or machines that claim to enhance the effects of a lifting and plumping facial. Most work more effectively when used regularly or as a course of treatments. Machine-led facials can include:
LED: Light Emitting Diode therapy is applied using a creepy Hannibal Lecter-style light-up mask, a lamp over your treatment bed, or a hand-held device which your therapist may apply… or you can use at home. The idea is that different light frequencies produce different colours. LED lights are thought to penetrate your skin at different depths, creating various results, from reducing fine lines and wrinkles to clearing up acne.
Galvanic facial: Round metal prongs emit medium amp currents to stimulate, soften and brighten your skin. Electric currents being pumped onto your skin may sound a little horror movie, but it feels like high-speed vibration rather than painful. Treatment blurb often claims it drives products deep into your skin, although this has no scientific basis.
Oxygen facial: Most usually applied via a machine that sprays highly concentrated molecules of oxygen onto the epidermis (they say ‘into’, but the skin is by its very nature impermeable). It is said to boost collagen, increase the rate at which new cells grow, and restore pH balance.
The skin on our body suffers the same as the skin on our face as we age, losing elasticity, tone and moisture. Anything that helps improve circulation in our bodies or our faces is a win/win. Weekly exfoliation, daily body brushing to stimulate circulation and moisturising – as well as regular weight bearing and aerobic exercise, of course – can make the skin on your body look and feel more vibrant.
A good body scrub at a spa will slough off any dead skin, invigorate the circulation of blood and lymph, and open the pores ready to absorb the nutrients found in mud or wraps. Besides containing lots of nutrients and minerals, mud is a natural exfoliator and is said to help smooth wrinkles. Wraps, which combine mud or algae masks with thermal coverings, are said to encourage temporary inch loss, softer, firmer and more hydrated skin and relaxed muscles.
Letting go of stress
Stress goes a long way towards creating lines and wrinkles. Studies have shown that stress can speed up the aging process by shortening the length of each DNA strand. Stress also exacerbates menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.
Spas are hugely clued-up these days on ways to de-stress, with Mindfulness massages and facials, as well as meditation classes and walks. You can also book in treatments that help you sleep or book a de-stress retreat. Many cultures use regular spa-ing as part of a self-care regime, so why shouldn’t we?
For a comprehensive list of spa’s check The Good Spa Guide