Forty. It’s a milestone age that fills many with dread. And this isn’t helped by the changes we start to see when we look in the mirror - especially our skin. But, haven’t you heard? Forty is the new 30! And if your skin, frown lines, eye bags, or volume loss in your cheeks is getting you down, there are plenty of options without looking ‘overdone’ or ‘fake’. Just fresh and like the best possible version of you. So, what happens to our skin as we approach our 40s? What treatments are available for those wanting to do something about it? And what’s the secret to making sure any cosmetic work we do get done looks natural and just makes us look fabulous? I spoke to Jo Weekes, owner of Revitalise You Aesthetics, to find out more.
Filler in Your 40s: How to Look Natural and Fabulous
Forty means fabulous
In years gone by, 40 was seen as sort of…’old’…’past it’…’frumpy’. You didn’t see many cool women in their 40s about. It certainly wasn’t the norm to see them on TV. Although, let’s face it, it was definitely more of a man’s world back then, with only pretty, slim 20-somethings allowed to wear anything vaguely trendy or sexy.
Fast forward to today and it’s a different story. Many of our TV faves and fashion icons are females aged 40 and above. I mean, just look at Holly Willoughby (41), Shakira (45), Charlize Theron (46), Beyonce (40) and Emma Willis (46). All gorgeous. All fresh-faced. And that’s just a few examples. Forty is no longer frumpy - it’s fabulous!
TV fave Holly Willoughy is looking incredible in her 40s
What happens to our skin as we age?
I feel that getting older is a privilege, but the one downside, for me and for many others, is how the ageing process affects our skin. But why does our skin age? Well, ageing is a totally natural process that happens when our cells become less effective at replenishing themselves. Hormones and environmental damage, like UV exposure, pollution, stress and poor diet also play a major part in the ageing process.
Jo Weekes, aesthetic nurse and owner of Revitalise You Aesthetics, explains, “We experience a whole host of changes in the skin. It can become more dry, less firm, and duller, and we see a decrease in skin's elasticity, particularly around the eyes and jaw.
We also have to deal with the loss of fat, collagen, and elastin that causes volume in the face to change and causes skin to sag. And on top of that, we see more pronounced wrinkles and sun damage. Even the most minor unprotected sun exposure can create dark spots (AKA sun spots or age spots) on the skin.”
Popular aesthetic treatments for women in their 40s
With all the changes we face, injectable treatments and skin treatments are popular with many women. But which ones are the most commonly sought after?
In Jo's experience as an aesthetic pro, the main one is botulinum toxin (commonly called Botox).”. She says, “Anti-wrinkle treatment is definitely the most common treatment I do for the over 40s. The fine lines and wrinkles that didn’t really bother them before are starting to turn into static lines that are there all the time. I get a lot of clients say “I look in the mirror and I suddenly look old”. They want to prevent the static lines from forming and improve the ones that have already developed. They want to look refreshed but in a subtle way.
Since the beginning of Covid I have found that injectable skin boosters are increasingly popular with this age group too. With the massive increase in Zoom and Teams meetings and talking with friends and family via FaceTime over the last two years, people have become more aware of their skin looking dull and dehydrated. I use a range of skin boosters such as Profhilo, Neofound, Redensity 1 and Sunekos. After a skin consultation and discussion, the best product for that individual is selected and normally involves a course of treatments to bring the glow back and hydrate the skin. This, combined with regular anti-wrinkle treatments, produces great results.
Chemical peels have also become more popular, post Covid. Many clients have complained of dull skin after having Covid, or have experienced maskne as a result of wearing daily masks. Many in their 40s have not dealt with these sorts of issues since their teenage years. Most prefer a peel that has little to no downtime, allowing them to get back to their busy day to day lives as quickly as possible. This makes BioRePeelCl3 a great option, as it offers superficial and deep tissue rejuvenation with an illuminating, plumping and antioxidant effect and the relaxation of fine lines and wrinkles.
If clients are looking to improve skin quality, texture, melasma, tone and acne and congested skin, PCA Skin’s No Peel Peel is a gentle and calming superficial peel which removes impurities, detoxifies pores and promotes skin resurfacing and renewal for a smoother, brighter-looking complexion. Their Perfecting Peel is a gentle alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) formulated as a unique peeling option for all clients, including those with ageing, discoloured, breakout-prone and sensitive skin."
Do injectables make you look fake?
Injectable treatments like fillers and botulinum toxin have been around for some time now, but there still seems to be a whole host of misconceptions surrounding them. The main one being that everyone who gets them comes away looking weird or fake. So, is this really the case? How do you avoid looking strange after injectables? And how do you just look natural and gorgeous instead?
Jo explains, “Looking natural is a real concern for many of my clients and something that may have worried them and held them back from having treatments in the past. During the consultation I am open and honest about treatment downtime, as well as what the risks are and how we can keep it natural. When you have new clients that have taken two years to get the courage up to come and get an aesthetic treatment, this has to be the focus.
Although aesthetics treatments are definitely more “socially accepted” now, many clients don’t want anyone to know they have treatments done - even their partners. So keeping things natural is paramount. I find less is more sometimes! With anti-wrinkle treatments, I aim for some movement in the eyebrows and around the eyes, resulting in a more natural, refreshed look, and a genuine smile from the eyes, rather than the frozen look.
With dermal filler treatments, it tends to be a journey, and most of my clients prefer to start slowly. This is a good way to keep it looking natural, as we are able to reassess the look and results as we go. Starting with some cheek filler is often a great way to help with the volume loss in that area, but it also has an effect on the lower part of the face, such as marionette lines and jowls. It’s then possible to add more if needed. I’m happy to say “no” to a client if I feel it’s the wrong treatment or it will result in an unnatural look. Working from a medical model means I have an obligation to do no harm and also always have the client’s best interest at heart, even though it is a business.”
Are aesthetic treatments right for me?
Aesthetic treatments, like wrinkle relaxing and fillers, are not for everyone. And that’s cool. Each to their own! But they are a great medical tool for anyone looking to feel fresher and like the best version of themselves again. It’s not all about vanity; it’s not about pleasing others. And it’s not about not wanting to age. It’s about feeling good. Feeling like yourself again. If they aren't for you, that’s totally ok. What irks me is when people who don’t like it for themselves berate or attack others, who feel like it is right for them, for getting it. We all have our own reasons for wanting or not wanting to get aesthetic treatments, and part of the argument for feminism is that women are free to choose what’s right for us and our own bodies. So, the answer to the question ‘are injectables right for me?’ is a totally personal one.
If you want to look fresher and feel like the best version of yourself, wrinkle relaxing and/or fillers might be for you. However, the best advice we can give you is to see a medically qualified aesthetic practitioner who will give you a thorough consultation prior to the treatment, explaining it in detail and running through the risks and side effects. You should never feel rushed into making a decision and you always have the right to say no to a treatment if you don’t feel it’s right for you. It’s your face and you are free to do with it as you please. Just make sure you completely trust the person treating you. As we always say, your face is too important to eff up.
In your 40s and fancy feeling a bit fresher while still looking gorgeous? Check out healthcare professionals in your area offering anti-wrinkle treatments, fillers and chemical peels.