Q. I’ve noticed that my skin is much drier and thinner than it used to be. I regularly exfoliate and do at home peels. Could these be thinning my skin?

No. The layers of skin get thin by sun damage and ageing. However over-cleansing the skin or using harsh exfoliators can harm the skin. Your skin naturally acts as a barrier, meaning it keeps out what it’s supposed to (dirt and free radicals like environmental pollution) while keeping in the good stuff (moisture and some oils). When you over-cleanse your skin, you can strip your skin of the oils that keep skin healthy and balance so it feels taut and tight. Use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (£7.19 boots.com) and only use a scrub once a week. To improve dry skin there is a new treatment called Profhilo, which is designed to hydrate your skin from the inside out, using moisture boosting hyaluronic acid. The treatment takes around ten –minutes and involves having five tiny injections at special points on each side of the face but instead of going deep into the tissue, the injections are placed underneath the surface of the skin .The hyaluronic acid then gradually spreads through the surrounding tissues over the following weeks when you will see a radiant glow, a much improved skin tone and texture and healthy plump skin. Two sessions are necessary for the best results. There is no downtime, and results last up to nine months Expect to pay around £500  – for more info 0207 436 4441
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Q. I have very bad spider veins on the front of my thighs and on the back my knees. Are they best treated with a laser or sclerotherapy injections and how long will it take before they fade?

In our experience sclerotherapy works better, requires fewer sessions than laser and is a very safe and effective treatment. As for timing, keep in mind any vein treatment is no quick fix. You will probably need at least two to four session of injections spaced around four to six weeks apart and although you’ll start seeing results from the first session, best result will be seen a month or two after the last session. Aftercare is important, too. You’ll need to wear support stocking after sclerotherapy, day and night for at least a week to ten days, as this helps the veins to seal off and prevents blood flowing back into them.Expect to pay around £200 a session. Start treatment now and you should have clear legs by summer.
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Miserable Mouth Syndrome

Quick Fix – Fat grafting

Known as Marionette lines or what I call  ‘miserable mouth’- these are the lines that run straight downward from the corners of the mouth to the chin. Fat grafting, using your own fat, can safely fill these deep folds and grooves. Results last up to three years and you will see immediate results from £2500. 

DIY FIX – To put on a happy face, use clever make up to disguise the creases. First apply foundation and then use a highlighting pencil  – try Benefit’s Highbrow Highlighter, £16.50 – to draw three short lines, like cat’s whiskers – either side of your nose then blend in.

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Quick Fix Sprinkles
Nothing works quicker and looks more natural than Botox. It smoothes fine lines, can give a gentle lift to the jawline, erase worry and frown lines and opens up the eyes making you look bright eyed and fresh faced.  Sprinkles is the latest take  – which uses just a fraction of the amount of the toxin- about 60 per cent of the usual dose – and which is injected all over the skin rather than targeting specific areas for a softer, more relaxed look which means you retain all facial movement, can show emotion and even raise brows effectively.  The treatment takes around ten minutes. You’ll notice a difference over night and results will get better and better over the following three days. Cost from £200

DIY FIX Use a line plumper before make up to instantly softer lines and wrinkles – try fill deep lines with a line filler like Filorga’s Deep Fill which not only fills lines and creases but contains Matrixyl so works on the skin to help lift up the wrinkle. Use after moisturiser and you can touch up during the day. £38 marksandspencer.com

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Dark shadows and eye bags happen to the best of us – even stars like Jennifer Saunders who suffered a major make up fail when she overdid the under eye concealer at a glitzy event. Although Jennifer may have used a light diffusing powder which reacted under flashlight, when it comes to the eye area there are far easier ways to fake brighter eyes without risking the white eyed look. Here are a few quick tricks to solve the panda problem next time Jennifer…
*Perk up your peepers and instantly camouflage those under eye dark shadows with a brightening serum. Pixi Eye Zone Brightening Serum (£14 marksandspencer.com) is a unique illuminating eye gel which reduces the appearance of fine lines, adds a youthful radiance, and reduces puffiness.
* Try a spot of Yo-Tox. Place the first two fingers of each hand on either side of your nose about an inch down from the center of your eyes. Keep a light pressure, close your eyes, and turn your eyes upwards in your head to gaze at the third-eye point – between your eyebrows. Stay for 5-10 seconds and repeat as needed to help reduce puffiness and stimulate the drainage of fluid from the eye area.
* To prevent any discolouration from the flash first apply an SPF blended with foundation all over the complexion. Then, use a liquid concealer to make the hollow area beneath the bags look less deep. Use a concealer that matches skin tone so you’ve got an even base. Then apply a second, slightly lighter shade of concealer over the top to brighten. For a flawless finish use an HD powder .Try Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Pressed Powder (£26.00 from Debenhams) which sets makeup and subtly mattifies the skin to leave a natural luminous finish without a trace of colour.
*For persistent dark circles caused by hollows and shadows a touch of filler under the eyes can work magic. From £250
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Quick Fix – Laser Facial 
Using Lumecca, the newest IPL rejuvenation system, instantly Improves skin tone and give skin a red carpet glow boosting collagen whilst also targeting broken capillaries and sun damage. The 40-minute procedure uses a hand held device which’ fires’ intense pulsed light hand at the complexion. You’ll see instant results after one treatment but for longer lasting results try a course of three to six treatments, spaced at least ten days apart. (It is vital that you use SPF 30 after the treatment to protect the new skin.)
Cost From £120

DIY FIX Massage can work wonders on dull skin so spend more time really working in serum and moisturiser. Use a primer to hide imperfections – then add a glow with Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation £11.99 boots.com which instantly creates a healthy looking glow.

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Gone are the days when liposuction and lip fillers were considered over the top.  Nowadays, women and men will stop at nothing to get the body of their dreams – whatever it takes.
Welcome to the new world of cosmetic surgery where shoulder shaping and designer dimples are regularly replacing boob jobs and tummy tucks. We’re all for innovation in the world of aesthetics but along with this pioneering spirit, we’re also seeing  some procedures that are just plain daft.
The most dangerous word in cosmetic surgery can sometimes be “new “. And unlike making a mistake by, say, having a new haircut which isn’t entirely flattering, some cosmetic procedures can be irreversible or even do harm. Here we look at the ‘ next big thing’ happening on our shores and oversees – along with a cautionary word …
Fake Freckles
Although freckles are a sign of sun damage, the latest trend Stateside is to fake them using semi permanent make up. The procedure involves tattooing ink across the cheeks and around the nose to resemble the smattering of freckles you can sometimes get when you’ve been in the sun.  Women who want the summer look of freckles all year round have sparked the trend. The treatment costs from £250, takes around an hour to do and the semi permanent ink used during the process can take up to three years to fade.
Verdict: When carried out by an experienced therapist, semi permanent make up is a great treatment for disguising scars, thinning brows and restoring a lip line. But freckles? Never – especially after the ages of 30 when they just look like what they are – skin damage and pigmentation.
Designer Dimples
Thanks to Kendall Jenner and Miranda Kerr, lower back dimples are the latest celebrity inspired body trend.  Dubbed Venus Dimples, because they are said to a sign of good health and a great sex life, women who aren’t naturally blessed with these natural dents are seeking a cosmetic solution. The procedure involves liposuction to sculpt the lower back area to give the illusion of dimples. The  £4,000 procedure takes a couple of hours and recovery can take up to ten days. Face dimples are also on the rise thanks to Cheryl Cole’s winning grin. This involves making a connection between the skin and the cheek muscle, so that when the muscle contracts, it pulls the skin inwards to form a dimple. Facial Dimpleplasty costs around £2,000 and takes around an hour to perform. ,
Verdict: In the hands of a good surgeon, back sculpting can help reshape the bottom area especially if dieting and exercise have left pockets of fat, but undergoing a major procedure simply to sculpting dimples is daft. As for facial dimples, these can also add character in a youthful face but will they look as good in your forties and fifties. This type of surgery will just cause major dents in your bank balance
Belly Button Lasering
Thanks to Kim Kardashian another rising celebrity trend over the pond, is a belly button makeover. “Anyone that’s had babies understands what it does to your belly button afterwards and how much your belly button changes,” the reality star recently posted on social media.  Pregnancy, hormonal shifts, ageing and weight loss can all affect the shape of the belly button causing the tissue to wrinkle and sag so Kim underwent a resurfacing laser procedure to smooth and tighten the skin. The procedure normally takes around half an hour and can cost up to £1000.
Verdict: Performed by an experienced doctor, laser can tighten and rejuvenate the skin but in our opinion won’t deliver significant results to the belly button area especially when the skin is loose.  A mini tuck will help reshape the belly button if it has been stretched out of shape or a course of radio frequency treatments can tone and tighten the tummy all over.
Shoulder Shrinking
Gaining popularity in Korea, the world capital of plastic surgery, is ‘botox-ing’ the shoulders in order to slim down and reduce the look of bulky shoulders in women. The treatment costs from £400 and involves injecting Botox into the shoulder muscles.
Verdict: Over the years, Botox has taken on many new uses that are sometimes quite controversial. However, using a neurotoxin such as Botox simply to weaken or reduce muscle mass necessary for everyday use is not something we recommend and not advisable.
Space age Breast Implants
Breast implants have pretty much stayed the same weight for years, so the introduction of new ultra light breast implants which offer women larger breasts without the weight is something of a break through. Standard implants are usually made from a tough silicone shell with silicone gel but the latest B-lite implants are made from a gel containing tiny hollow microspheres made from borosilicate – an ultra-light but super-strong material used in Nasa’s space shuttle. However, surgery using these new implants will set you back around £6,500 but results are said to last significantly longer than the standard eight to ten years. 
Verdict :Some uplifting news for women who need larger implants but don’t want the extra weight and, even better, this means the lighter they are, the slower the sagging process. 
The Foot Lift
From toe shortening to toe lipo, foot lifts are gaining popularity as women seek to make pointy shoes fit better or to give ugly feet a makeover. Toe-shortening surgery, which trims overly long toes, is extremely painful takes at least three hours and surgeons will saw through bone to shorten the toe while toe lipo involves sucking fat out to reduce the width of the little toe so that it doesn’t hang over the edge of sandal. The procedures cost from £3,000
Verdict: Be warned, the risks associated with cosmetic foot surgery far outweigh the benefits and complications can be brutal. Recovery from foot surgery will take months, not to mention the risks of nerve injury and prolonged swelling as it is very hard for feet to drain fluid. Our advice is to avoid all cosmetic foot surgery unless deemed absolutely necessary.
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Sagging Face and Jowls

Quick Fix  – The Five Point Instant Face Lift 

This new treatment gives a relaxed and lifted look with no downtime in less than an hour using local anaesthetic.

Ultra fine threads are injected into sagging areas of the face which form a trellis effect to lift the skin up and hold it in place. The threads leave no scars and there are immediate results but there may be some bruising or swelling for around five days which can be covered with make up.

Price £3k

DIY FIX Fillerina is a no needle, cosmetic filler skin plumper to use at home. The cream contains six hyaluronic acids to instantly plump tissues and will soften fine lines and increase volume in cheeks by up to 30 per cent – from £79 beautyisskindeep.com
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Problem – Scrawny hands

Quick Fix The Hand Plumper 
Hands are the biggest age-giveaway because as we get older we lose the fat on the back of the hands so veins and wrinkles become more prominent.  Restylane filler will instantly plump up the skin and make the hands look younger. Local anesthetic cream is applied, and then the filler is injected into the back of the hands.  Hands could be red for a couple of hours afterwards. Effects should last up to six months Cost from £350.
DIY FIX Use a facial scrub on the back of the hands to get rid of any dead skin cells and then apply a plumping face mask – slip on some cotton gloves and leave overnight.
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Problem – Tired baggy eyes
Quick Fix – Pelleve
 Patsy Kensit and Gillian Taylforth are big fans of Pelleve, a fantastic rescue treatment which refreshes baggy and saggy eyes without needles or surgery. It’s painless and there’s no downtime. Radio frequency energy is delivered to the skin via a special hand-held device. This stimulates collagen production and gives an instant lift to the skin as well as softening lines and is particularly good for the eye area. One a week will give you an eyelift. Results last up to six months – (Pelleve from £250 a treatment but a course is cheaper)
DIY FIX – A good eye concealer can instantly knock off five years. Choose one that is a shade lighter than your skin tone -try Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer, £5.49 from most chemists. Shrink bags in a few minutes by wrapping an ice cube in cling film and gently rubbing over puffy skin.
Problem – Crinkly Cleavage 
Quick Fix – The Cleavage Booster 
A well-nourished smooth and polished décolleté is a must if you’re planning to wear a plunging neckline and this treatment will give your cleavage a big boost. First Mesotherapy is used. A series of injections containing active ingredients and peptides are place around the cleavage area – you’ll see smoother skin within a few days but for best results a course of three weekly sessions may be needed. This is followed by an intense cleavage facial treatment beginning with a fruit acid exfoliating treatment to remove dead skin cells followed by a nourishing mask to stimulate skin cells and increase the blood flow leaving you with a divine décolletage.

DIY FIX – A handful of sugar mixed with some olive oil or honey will make a good gentle homemade scrub. Don’t overdo it though as the skin here is very delicate.  After use a facemask to plump and smooth A light tan on the décolletage will also l help disguise deeper creases and lines. But do fake it – try Olay Complete Everyday Sunshine moisture Cream with sunless tanner £9.99 superdrug.co.uk

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