Is Beauty More Than Skin Deep?

Is Beauty More Than Skin Deep?

I’m often asked what I think about cosmetic enhancements and how I feel about the huge range of procedures available to us these days. I recently wrote about ‘Notox’ and the benefits of such treatments, so today’s blog is looking at the growing market in ‘tweakments’ and ‘prejuvination’ with a focus on non-invasive ways to enhance what Mother Nature gave us, and to slow down what Father Time is trying to take away.

Coco Chanel once said “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”  And it’s true, for women in particular, that there’s a certain glow that comes with inner confidence and contentment. But what if there was a way of enhancing what you were born with just a little, or reversing some milder signs of aging, to give that confidence and beauty a boost now and again, and help you look your best - yet still look like yourself?

These tweakments are easily accessible and the growth in popularity among celebrities has had a huge effect on the market. Less invasive than plastic surgery, they won’t break the bank, and can make you look great without people wondering if you’ve ‘had work’ done. 

What the Experts are Saying

Vogue Business recently reported that short-form video platforms like TikTok and Reels have also created a huge increase in demand for non-surgical aesthetic treatments. And I’ve found it quite interesting to observe a shift recently, with people now seeing these as part of a holistic skincare routine and an affordable luxury lifestyle. In fact, Suzanne Scott, Associate Beauty Director at SEEN Group has stated “It’s no longer just about luxury skincare for anti-aging, but a combination of topicals and tweakments to achieve the desired result.”

They also noted that ‘prejuvination’ - predicted at the start of 2023 as a growing trend - has also taken off, particularly amongst younger customers who are choosing early prevention and maintenance, using a combination of aesthetics and skincare. With so many Gen-Zs living their lives online, it’s no wonder this ‘zoom boom’ has resulted in a surge in popularity for baby Botox and products to preserve their youthful skin’s appearance. 

What’s making a buzz right now?

Morpheus8: This is definitely one to watch. With over 280 million views on TikTok, face treatment Morpheus8 and body treatment Morpheus8 3D use radiofrequency and needles that go just 7mm into the skin to stimulate collagen production to tighten skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and reduce scarring. Typically targeting the 30-50 year old market, it’s a popular alternative to Botox, and an excellent option for people who want to make their skin look younger but would like to avoid surgery or other invasive procedures. The procedure can be done at different levels and is able to penetrate deeper layers of  skin to kick start a reordering of connective tissues and fat which helps tighten and smooth the skin on the surface. A bonus is that you just need an application of numbing cream, and you’re able to return to work on the same day.

Mesotherapy: This alternative to Botox and fillers is a French rejuvenation technique that involves a bespoke cocktail of vitamins, minerals, hydration and pharmaceuticals such as hyaluronic acid, peptides and antioxidants being injected into the skin or scalp, to help it rejuvenate and repair itself. It can instantly work on superficial wrinkles and improve your skin if it’s looking dull or tired and can help improve sluggish blood circulation, while flushing out any aging toxins too. Often used to treat acne and hyperpigmentation, it’s marketed as a way of achieving a ‘lit-from-within’ glow. The treatment takes only 20 minutes and a course of four treatments (one every three weeks) is recommended. 

Preventative Botox: In the last 10 years or so, preventative Botox has grown in popularity with 20-29 year olds. These treatments almost start before the fine lines do! And although baby Botox has been popular with older clients for many years now, it’s interesting to see how this demographic has adopted it as part of their regular maintenance and wellbeing routine.

Forehead Fillers: an alternative to Botox, fillers injected directly into the skull on the forehead are a popular way of soothing lines and wrinkles, creating a soft plumpness to help emphasise the eyes. There are several dermal filler choices available - such as Juvéderm, Restylane, Radiesse, and Bellafill. They are all priced differently, and it is really worth getting a proper consultation to help you work out which of these is best for your needs. Botox treatments can also result in the muscles around the eyebrows being pulled upwards, raising the eyebrows and making the eyes appear more open.

Profhilo: This is an anti-aging treatment, comprising two types of hyaluronic acid in very high concentrations, where little drops are injected into the skin, and left to dissolve over about 12 hours, filling up fine lines and wrinkles and improving the overall skin texture. Designed to help where skin is losing its natural elasticity and firmness, it is said to naturally stimulate the production of four different types of collagen and elastin, so it improves skin quality significantly whilst reducing lines and wrinkles as it contours the face. Two sessions are recommended, a month apart, and results are likely to last for 6-9 months following the second treatment.

The Liquid Nose Job: Non-surgical rhinoplasty is a 30 minute treatment that can last up to 18 months.  It uses dermal fillers to smooth out any lumps or bumps (improving the patient’s profile) and helps lift the tip of the nose to create greater facial harmony in terms of proportions. This procedure can be a great alternative to a traditional nose job - it’s less invasive, it’s affordable and less painful. But you will need to have top ups. Some people choose to have work done on their chin too, to help ‘harmonize’ their profile. This is also done using a filler, which can reduce jowls and sculpt the mandible and chin, adding structure to the lower half of your face to make your neck and jawline look more defined, and giving you more of a distinction between your face and your neck. 

LED Treatments: LED therapy is a gentle yet effective approach using specific wavelengths of light to stimulate collagen production, reduce inflammation, and improve skin texture. The most popular of these ‘Notox’ devices at the moment is the Celluma PRO which offers a natural and gentle approach to skincare. Based on NASA research, it delivers blue, red and near-infrared light energy simultaneously and boasts three settings, each tailored to address specific skincare concerns. It can help slow down aging as it stimulates collagen and elastin production, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and helping your complexion regain its firmness and elasticity. It’s also used to help eliminate acne with its antibacterial setting, and helps wounds heal more quickly, leaving minimal scarring. Plus there’s no downtime, so you can resume your daily activities immediately.

LED therapy is a game-changer in the pursuit of radiant and youthful skin, and is used in various other forms too, such as the TITAN laser, Forma RF, and EmFace, to address different concerns like skin tightening, rejuvenation, and even fat reduction.

Have They or Haven’t They?

It’s all too easy these days to see an image online of a celebrity that never seems to age. Many social media accounts are dedicated to discussions around ‘have they or haven’t they had work done?’.  In British Vogue (May 2023) an aesthetic doctor talked about some of the tweakments that celebrities really get. We’re aware they may have an entourage of stylists, facialists, personal shoppers, personal trainers and hairdressers, as they often credit these individuals publicly. But they rarely go public about the ‘other’ work that contributes to their appearance. They may sign up for minor tweaks and enhancements, but these are almost impossible to detect. It’s only when something’s not gone so well that we do notice.

In fact, some celebrities are now putting on the handbrake and reversing some of the treatments - having breast implants removed, getting their lip filler dissolved or stopping the Botox. It feels like there’s a new wave of positivity around the more natural look and using more advanced techniques to achieve this and enhance what’s already there, rather than having a more obvious change.

Dr Wassim Taktouk, has worked with some very well-known faces. He commented, “If anyone asks if my clients have had things done then I know I’ve gone too far. The trick is that they should always look well and be told so – that’s all that anyone wants to hear.”

My take

I am a huge believer in living well - working out, eating a nourishing diet and looking after my appearance and health, supported by my skincare, haircare and oral supplements.  You all know this already!  A specialized skincare regimen plays a pivotal role in helping maintain a youthful appearance. And a great skincare regime combined with a healthy lifestyle can help you look good and feel good too. Of course this is why I created Agent Nateur - because I knew what I needed to achieve great skin health, but the products just didn’t exist. And now we've curated a range of products with potent ingredients to combat the signs of aging. 

But I also know that there are some things that products alone can’t do for your skin. And there are also many wonderful solutions available in salons or clinics, or to do at home that work hand in hand with Agent Nateur products to give you the best results, and help you maintain that youthful glow.  

So, here are a few that can really make a difference, in between your tweakments, or just on their own:

holi (radiance): Skincare from within is the new way to take care of your skin. As we age, we start losing ceramides, resulting in tight, dry skin, pulling sensations and wrinkles. I created our holi (radiance) with its magic ingredient OptiMSM®, a high-grade antioxidant that helps build keratin and collagen - two proteins key for healthy hair, skin and nails. We combined it with a highly concentrated source of phytoceramides, digalactosyl diglycerides (DGDG) to create the ultimate hydrator for smooth and youthful skin. That’s why taking holi (radiance) orally helps restore the skin’s ceramides, giving you a healthy glow and skin that’s more hydrated and plumped. 

holi (bright): Then there’s our hugely popular resurface glass face mask. Loaded with antioxidants and formulated with powerful ingredients, including aloe vera, french silk peptides, pitaya, hyaluronic acid, and cucumber, this brightening beauty-boosting, resurfacing treatment is deeply hydrating, calming and soothing and helps resurface and refine the texture of your skin while and minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores. And because it contains high-molecular weight hyaluronic acid it actually helps to pull moisture to the surface of the skin! So you get an instant appearance of radiance, volume, and luminosity as it stimulates collagen production for a plumper, smoother finish. 

holi (glow): I can’t write this without mentioning holi (glow) ageless eye and lip serum here too. It really does target the most delicate areas of the skin - such as the under-eye area and you only need the smallest amount for fabulous results. The gentle, cooling formula feels like a gel, but dries like a balm and smells like fresh cucumber and lavender. It’s enriched with natural stimulants and illuminating plant extracts that reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles while firming, lifting, and hydrating around the eyes and hydrating the lips. One of the key ingredients is sodium hyaluronate, a natural compound that is easily absorbed as you apply it and due to its high molecular weight, this bioavailable substance binds water to hydrate and visibly plump your skin.

I hope this has helped you learn a little more about some of the procedures which are available.  Do bear in mind that in some countries this industry is largely unregulated so you need to do your research to find a good, experienced practitioner. If possible get a personal recommendation from someone you know, and check out any appropriate training and qualifications to make sure your face ends up in the right hands.