Amy Houlihan has the latest on powerful products and restorative treatments that help you to feel confident about the way you look as you get older.
For women, ageing can be a funny thing.
On one hand, we’re more often than not buoyed with new-found confidence and long-awaited self-assurance as we get older, and yet every time we look in the mirror, there’s a slightly more sagging, lined and crêpey version of ourselves staring back. Of course, it’s an inevitable and entirely natural process, but the power of positive ageing is that, should you choose to, you have the ability to incorporate hardworking, active skincare products into your routine or invest in targeted treatments to alleviate some of these effects. We’re not talking full facelifts here – no judgement if that’s your thing, though – just ingredients that nourish skin as well as work to regenerate, repair and restore, plus treatments that will rejuvenate and define your features again.
Vitamin C is an essential ingredient in a results- driven skincare regime. It’s a potent antioxidant that deals to dark spots and stimulates collagen production (which depletes drastically as we age), as well as works to fight and protect against environmental aggressors, such as UV exposure and pollution, that can damage the skin and cause lines and dullness over time. Used regularly, it helps to create healthier, brighter and plumper skin that glows.
The most effective way to work it into your routine and create visible change in your skin is to use a vitamin C serum, which should be applied in the morning after cleansing and before moisturiser and sunblock. When choosing a natural product, look for one containing Kakadu plum, an Australian superfruit that is an incredibly potent, rich source of vitamin C.
One thing to consider is that some vitamin C products can be unstable when not stored properly and may oxidise when exposed to light, heat or air. Make sure you keep yours tucked in the bathroom cupboard away from direct sunlight to be on the safe side. On that point, the jury is still out on whether it’s effective and safe to put products in glass jars,
as many of the best ingredients for skin break down and begin to deteriorate when exposed to air. Plus there’s also the issue of hygiene when it comes to dipping your fingers into the pot of cream every day. When purchasing the grunty members of your skincare collection, look for those that come in airless pumps, multi-layer tubes and opaque bottles.
Bakuchiol is another skincare superstar to consider. The powerful, potent antioxidant has been heralded as a natural equivalent to retinol, which is widely regarded as the holy grail of age-defying skincare. Research has shown that bakuchiol (pronounced ba-koo-chee-ol) shares many of the same benefits as retinol – it boosts collagen, increases firmness and evens out skin tone. Bakuchiol is gentler and presents none of the side effects associated with retinol, plus it’s safe to use morning and night and will work well with the other skincare products in your regime.
Microblading or “permanent make-up” has become an incredibly popular treatment for women to restore colour, shape and definition to their brows. Over-plucking, hormonal changes, sparseness and colour-fade due to ageing can mean you have to pencil or powder your arches on every day, which can be frustrating and unpredictable. Brows frame your face and balance your features, so they’re incredibly important. But what exactly is microblading and how does it work? Amber Sagar, permanent make-up master and founder of Brows Inc, explains: “Permanent make-up is a form of cosmetic tattoo. Similar to a body tattoo, specialised pigments are used to create a natural-looking enhancement of your existing brow.” It can be life-changing, she says. “Most people will say it’s the best thing they have ever done for themselves and wonder why they didn’t do it sooner. It helps balance the shape, fill in the gaps and give more definition.”
This is not a process to be taken lightly, with a lengthy consultation undertaken by the professionals to manage expectations and address any concerns. “We start with the consent,” Amber says. “Here we have the opportunity to discuss your habits and what you want to get out of the process. There are a couple of variations of brow tattoo,
so we can guide you as to which one would suit you the best, then we map out the perfect shape for you. We use measuring tools and our eye to work out the best, beauty-enhancing shape for your face, then a colour is chosen to suit your specific skin tone and brow hair. The actual process of tattooing is easy and relatively pain-free.” When looked after properly, your new brows should last around two years before they need a colour refresh.
The Right Touch
Another specialised treatment and beautifully natural way to address the signs of ageing is through facial massage. Qualified massage therapist and founder of Baask Massage Therapy, Tracy Davis, says: “The face is a reflection of everything we hold onto physically, mentally and emotionally. We can hold so much tension and adhesions in our faces alone – think clenched jaw, furrowed brows, pursed lips. Add to this our inclination to take on a head- forward, rounded-shoulder posture from modern technology use, and it can all prematurely age us.”
One of her signature treatments is the Lift – unlike regular facials, it’s based on anatomy rather than the top layer of skin and uses “myofascial” techniques. “Releasing tension in the chest and neck, for example, can have a chain reaction by lessening the strain pulling down on the face that can contribute to it looking taut and tired. Likewise, easing tension in the scalp area can allow the forehead to release and our jaw muscles relax.”
It can also help long-term, she says. “I believe that when performed regularly, myofascial massage can help to create sustainable and long-lasting change in the skin by having a positive influence on collagen fibre reorganisation, tissue hydration, mobility, elasticity and circulation. On the outside, this can be seen as a lifted, relaxed appearance, softened lines, plump skin and a rosy glow.” You can give it a whirl at home. “While myofascial techniques are best left to the experts, we can all incorporate massage into our daily routine just by taking time to work in our skincare products, encouraging supple muscles, supporting fluid flow and boosting overall skin health.”
1. Antipodes Glow Ritual Vitamin C Serum with Plant Hyaluronic Acid, $50. With a lightweight gel texture, this serum promises a luminous, dewy complexion – enhancing radiance and defending skin against the signs of early ageing.
2. Biologi BK Vitamin C Face & Eye Serum, $97. This serum harnesses Vitamin C from pure plant extracts. It can be used around the eyes and face and targets skin cells affected by ageing, sun damage and pigmentation.
3. Two Birds Beauty Replenish & Repair Bio-Retinol Serum, $79. Created by passionate Kiwi Jessie Gurunathan and designed to be used both morning and night, this serum works to generate luminous and even-toned skin. Bakuchiol reduces the appearance of pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, while co-enzyme Q10 offers cell protection and reduces the effects of environmental aggressors.
4. Trilogy Bakuchiol + Booster Treatment, $44.95. Perfect in the lead-up to a big event, this two-week treatment targets signs of ageing by helping to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, dryness and elasticity. With four percent bakuchiol, the silky super-oil complex also contains hydrating plant squalene, omega-rich hemp and rosehip oils, and softening meadowfoam oil to promote a more glowing complexion.
5. Pure Fiji Kakadu Super Vitamin C Brightening Serum With Hyaluronate & Bakuchiol, $105. A powerful blend that is formulated to improve radiance and luminosity, while delivering an instant moisture surge and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
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