Positive aging: a new trend in aesthetic medicine — how to improve beauty to maintain a natural look?

Two forces collide in offices: the expectations of women, who come for more, and the experience of doctors, who offer less. Modern aesthetic medicine today is on the side of subtle changes and natural effect. This is the new chapter that starts the positive aging trend.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-woman-looking-at-the-mirror-774866/

A professional colleague of mine once confessed that she was ambivalent about arranging interviews with a famous plastic surgeon, because every time he pointed out to her something to improve. This was almost a decade ago, at that time aesthetic medicine was the subject of television programs and specialists in this field had the status of celebrities, so as a novice beauty journalist I explained it with a professional ailment. Today, I know that a doctor’s approach to his patients is the main determinant of his professionalism.

Less is more

A good specialist will never encourage excessive interference; on the contrary, he will encourage subtle changes that are barely visible at the first glance (which is not exactly what patients think, but more on that in a moment), but such that definitely improve the condition of the skin (its density, tone, color), stimulate self-renewal (biostimulating and biorevitalizing treatments) and also take care of the health aspect (closing blood vessels, removing birthmarks).

Women, come to the surgeries for a very specific purpose, most often to enlarge their lips or eliminate wrinkles, often leave the salon with a comprehensive plan of action to make them look better. It should be remembered, however, that, for example, lion’s wrinkle can be the icing on the cake once we improve the oval of the face, moisturize the skin with mesotherapy, fill in the nasolabial furrow, which is responsible for the impression of sad features, etc.

Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-dermatologist-serving-a-customer-5178021/

If you don’t know how to navigate a salon menu full of obscure names of devices and treatments, a valuable tip: look for those with the word “fresh” in the name. For example, “Fresh Look” is a proprietary facial injection of botulinum toxin that, instead of being administered in the traditional way in one place in a larger dose, is a series of smaller injections in different areas of the face. Instead of the famous “frozen” facial expression effect, the result is a relaxed look, as if you just returned from vacation. Another example is the “Fresh Lift.” Two preparations are used in this treatment. By mixing them in the right way, you get moisturized, refreshed, firmed and toned skin, plus better facial contour and a beautifully lifted oval. The skin looks rested and the whole treatment delays the aging process.

The positive aging trend

A new approach to aesthetic treatments is part of the current trend toward positive aging. The term has gained popularity in recent months thanks to the book “The Positive Ageing Plan” , authored by Victoria Dondos, one of the UK’s most prominent aesthetic medicine practitioners. In her publication, she focuses on answering the question of the golden mean between the natural aging process (slow aging) and the use of aesthetic medicine (anti-aging). An important part of the work that allowed the doctor to write this book was conducting hundreds of interviews with women about what beauty means to them. They were all fairly unanimous in saying that it is not at all about looking younger, but fresher, like a well-rested person. That’s why the effect of her work on her patients’ faces is often unnoticeable, though stunning (in a very French way, you might say!). Dondos writes about one more important thing: subjective self-perception. She stresses that what we see in the mirror in the morning isn’t just affected by the amount of fillers in our face, but also by our stress levels, how long we sleep, or even how often we have sex.

“One of the things I’ve learned working in this profession is that it’s never about how we look, but how we feel,” — she says in an interview with Helena Gurowitsch that appeared in the British issue of ELLE (09/2021).

What we see in the mirror in the morning is not only influenced by the amount of fillers in our face, but also by our stress levels, length or even frequency of sex.

Photo by W R: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-and-woman-lying-on-bed-1450155/

A careful doctor will want to learn as much as possible not only about your beauty expectations, but also about the kind of lifestyle you lead (if you want to wear a helmet and ride your bike after your procedure, your doctor certainly won’t suggest fillers). When at a medical consultation you are handed a mirror and asked “What do you see?” after which the doctor lets you speak, it’s a sign that you’ve come into good hands.

Victoria Dondos in the pages of British ELLE reveals: “I’m thinking of creating a Big Brother-inspired confession room, allowing clients to think through potential treatments.”

Photo by Gustavo Fring: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-specialist-doing-skin-care-program-on-a-client-7446680/

Filtered

We demand that doctors listen to us, but it’s worth remembering that the final result is a two-party effort. Just a decade ago, it was the specialist who did the professional visualization and, using a graphics program not available to the average person, showed how the face would look after the treatments. Today, more and more women come to the doctor of aesthetic medicine with a ready-made: their photo with applied to the face filters that rejuvenate like nothing else, expecting that the final result will be identical or at least very close to that which they see on the screen of a smartphone. Such expectations are hard to live up to, and it’s even harder to explain that what seems perfect in the virtual world will not be perfect in reality. Instead of mirrors, we look at ourselves in our phones, where we see ourselves all the time en face. What looks good from the front, such as big lips, will not necessarily look good in profile.

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