Vanity vs. Sanity. Obsessing about 'anti-ageing' might mean you are missing out on Living!
I won a consultation with a high profile dermatologist and it was valued at £500. My experience with dermatologists is a bit patchy to be honest, but I was quite excited to see this one. A bit of background first...
Over the decades I've seen a few dermatologists, both privately and on the NHS, for acne. The best I've ever seen was Professor Anthony Chu. On the NHS, he has a clinic at Hammersmith Hospital and a private practise in Chiswick, London W4. The private derms just went straight for Roaccutane and honestly, being of child bearing age I was just too scared of that.
That was before botox was even a thing. It took me about 10 years of thinking about it before I had my first encounter with Botox - I was concerned about injecting a poison near my brain. If I had to chose between my brain and looks, it was definitely brain that won the toss. I went to see a very famous (very expensive) dermatologist. It seemed like every beauty editor from the magazines raved about him, not that any of them were paying for their sessions with him. As a result he was touted as the premier 'botox man' in London. I was in and out in 15 minutes and my bank balance was £550 lighter.
Over the next week or so, one of my eyebrows collapsed. I tried to dismiss it in my mind, almost blaming myself (weird!) until my sister said in mid conversation 'why is your eye drooping'? That she looked aghast and slightly recoiled, shocked me into reality. I called Mr Botox and he was a bit dismissive, saying I had to wait 3 weeks. I felt a bit like a fly that had been swatted away. A week later it had gotten worse so I called back and he called me in. I was an inconvenience and I felt intimidated, like I had to justify myself to him (weirder!). He looked at my face, left the consulting room without a word and came back with a cheque for what i had paid him. I'd been dismissed. It was that incredibly poor after care that I was offended by and that he made no attempt to correct the issue whatsoever, much less apologise.
Back to last week. I entered the consulting rooms in Harley Street and we began with a bit of chit chat. The Derm vaguely recalled me and I had to say that I have a skincare brand. I explained the medical issues I am having, medication I am on and that I have am now peri menopausal and skin is changing/acting up. I was really keen to hear what advise I would be given from a doctor and dermatologist and I was eager to learn, so that I could pass any good advice on, to my customers. This is what the Derm recommended .
- I could have some botox between the brows, to soften my expression
- The Derm prescribed some cream for the spots I've been having since becoming peri menopausal. No explanation of what it is, how it works, how to use or for what length of time. Just the 3 month private prescription and the vague statement, that it could make me more sensitive to UV light.
- A bag of products were included in the prize. Not selected for their relevance to my skin type, as they were pre-packed. There was no explanation what they were, how to use or why they were suitable for me
Retinol was highly recommended at a minimum 1% concentration but, I was told I absolutely must commit to staying out of the sun. I said I could not commit to staying out of the sun when on holiday. I love the therapeutic value of being in the sun. I like the Vitamin D top up. I like looking tanned and glowing and not needing as much concealer/foundation. I like that the combination of sun and sea salt clears up any spots. I like being a bit carefree when on holiday. Finally, I am not inclined to give it up because my life is about more than just my face and how young it looks.
That does not mean that I don't want to look and be as youthful as possible, just that I don't want to be obsessed, with that 36 inches of face and in so doing, forget to live. Have you noticed that people who are obsessed with their looks tend to be a tad boring? I don't want fear of ageing, to prevent me from engaging with the now, laughing, playing in the pool with my daughter without a hat shielding me, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, the soothing warmth that melts troubles away and the sheer joy. I don't love, that the dark spot on my cheek becomes more pronounced when I've been sunbathing. However, I am not prepared to sacrifice the pleasure I get, in order to avoid what some brands will tell you is a flaw.
That said, I use really good skincare (mine!), wear SPF 50 when sunbathing and SPF20 for daily use at home. I also wear Iconic Youth Serum under the sun cream. My position is that youthful ageing is about engaging in life and using effective, time efficient skincare, so that you spend less time in front of a mirror, trying to reclaim 'young' and more time living every minute you can.
Whether you are like-minded or prepared to go to greater lengths to preserve your youthful looks, is absolutely your choice. No judgement from me. Similarly, if my skin is not quite as tight or elastic, as someone who never goes out in the sun, don't judge me please.
Tell us in the comments what you think about Vanity vs. Sanity. About any experiences, you've had with dermatologists and any recommendations.
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