PICK OF THE POSTBAG

EXPRESS YOURSELF September 17th

 PICK OF THE POSTBAG

Five years ago I had semi permanent make on my brows which were very sparse and thin. The ink has now faded and looks mauve.  I now have to use a thick concealer to disguise the colour. Is there anything I can do? I don’t want to have them tattooed again.

Laser is the most effective treatment to permanently remove any form of tattoo – including semi permanent brows. Picoway is the latest advance in tattoo removal and is two to three times faster than any other device and also more comfortable. A visible treatment can be seen after just one treatment but you may need three to four sessions a month apart depending on the colour depth and the amount of pigment. But, be warned it’s a painful treatment especially around the brows as the skin here is very thin. Ice packs can be applied to the skin for five minutes or so before treatment to help numb the area. Post treatment, there will be some redness followed by a little ‘frosting’ for a few days as the pigment is broken down. In the future fill in sparse brows with a powder shadow and a eyebrow brush – Mac offer a great range and will also colour match and show you how to apply so your brows look completely natural. Picoway Expect to pay around £99 per treatment .For more information call 0207 034 5999)

I know it sounds ridiculous but I have really saggy elbows. Even when they are bent the skin hangs from them, which prevents me from going sleeveless. The rest of my arms are fineIs there any treatment you recommend?

It sounds like you need a small elbow lift – where the loose skin is snipped away and the skin tightened. It’s a relatively minor procedure and the scar will be hidden. Expect to pay around £1500 – but do see a reputable surgeon, as it’s important that not too much skin is removed

There are so many anti ageing ingredients I get confused  – which ones work best. 

When is comes to keeping the skin youthful there are three must have ingredients. Tretinoin (Retin-A is the gold standard for anti-aging as it has the ability to stimulate and increase collagen production, thicken the skin, soften wrinkles and will keep skin looking plump and youthful – use a prescription cream available from a dermatologist or phone 0207 436 4441

Hyaluronic Acid is ideal for those with dry skin as it draws moisture into skin and prevents it from leaving. Try Filorga Hydra-Hyal (£45 marksandspencer.com) contains four hyaluronic acids at different weights to penetrate the skin’s layers at different layers to boost hydration after 30 minutes.

Finally, vitamin C is a great antioxidant that can lighten dark spots, smooth and even out the skin tone. Use it as a serum and apply under your moisturiser every morning. Try Super Facialist VitaminC+ Brighten Glow Boost Skin Serum £15.99 boots.com)

A friend mentioned facercise and says it gives a natural facelift? Is this true?  

We’re huge fans of facercise, also called facial training and facial exercises and genuinely think they are an amazing way to keep muscles strong and toned, boost blood supply to nourish the skin and flush toxins away. Most of us try to exercise our bodies but very few of us think of exercising the one part that is on show all the time – the face. Although there are over 650 muscles in the body, around 57 are concentrated in the face, it takes approximately 43 of them to frown, 17 to smile, and like our bodies without proper stimulation, face muscles are prone to sagging.

Just like a body workout, and performed regularly, they will keep the face fit, tone jawlines and give skin a radiant glow. What regular facial exercises do is work the lower /middle layer of the skin, the dermis as well as the upper layer, the epidermis. This will help boost circulation to improve skin tone and boost radiance and improve tension lines as you will feel and look more relaxed. But you have to be realistic as the quality of skin and how much facial sagging also has to be taken into account. Also everybody’s muscles are different and the older you are the longer it will take to get them back into shape. If there is a lot of loose skin, you cannot expect the same results, as you would get from a surgical face-lift. For more information check out faceyogaexpert.com

My hands look thin, dry and old, especially after summer. They are also covered in liver spots.  What treatments do your recommend?

Most of us are so concerned about our facial wrinkles we forget about other parts of our body and it’s usually our hands which show signs of ageing first. Always protect your hands from the sun. Use a hand cream with a minimum SPF20 every day of the year and don’t waste it on the palms but concentrate using it on the backs of your hands. Also give your hands a weekly facial. Use an exfoliating scrub and apply your facemask to the backs of your hands. Pop on a pair of cotton gloves and leave on overnight for an extra moisture boost.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is a gold-standard treatment for erasing age spots.  A light beam zaps the pigment and the age spots, which will then dry up and peel off within a couple of weeks.  You may need three treatments, one a month Expect to pay around £90 per treatment.

My hair has lost all its bounce and is thin and dry. I’ve tried some root boosting products but they’ve not done much to improve things. I’m 55. Is there a treatment which may give me some volume?

A woman’s hair goes through a number of changes especially during and after the menopause and it’s estimated thinning hair affects more than half of women over 50.  Older hair is naturally thinner and a lack of oestrogen along with diet, stress and low vitamin D levels can affect hair growth and texture. First get a check up with your doctor to make sure you are in good, general health. You could also consider taking a supplement but you’ll need to take them for at least three months before you start to see a difference – try Hairburst which helps hair grow longer and stronger and will improve l hair elasticity and overall health (£24.99 hairbrust.com). You could also try boosting hair density with PRP Mesotherapy  – growth factors from your own blood are injected into the hair follicles, stimulating them and improving the number of hairs per follicle.  You may need a course of 4 monthly treatments (Treatment takes around 30 minutes and costs from £300 – 0207 436 4441)

I don’t want to have Botox so will a chemical peel help reduce my wrinkles?

Yes, chemical peels are an effective tool for resurfacing skin, smoothing wrinkles and improving skin’s texture. Glycolic acid peel is our favourite peel. This acid occurs naturally in sugar cane and gently dissolves the glue-like substance that holds dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. It comes in a variety of strengths – from salon strength of 20-40% to a medical version of 70-90%, which must only be performed by a cosmetic doctor. You’ll need a course of six to get good results, then a top-up once a month. Expect to pay around £60 a peel.

 

I’m tempted to try vitamin drip – are they safe?

The jury’s still out on intravenous injections. Some experts say there are several advantages of giving the body nutrients by the intra-venous method. First, by injecting substances directly into the bloodstream you eliminate any alteration in the nutrients which may occur from the actions of digestive enzymes. Second, the amount of nutrients in the blood can reach much higher, more therapeutic levels faster than is possible by absorbing nutrients through the Gastro-Intestinal system. This may be particularly important if a patient is suffering from a GI system disorder where absorption of nutrients is impaired. In some cases the IV use of micronutrients permits much higher levels than are possible even with a healthy GI system. For example, with Vitamin C, by infusing it directly into the veins, it is immediately available for cellular use but the same amount would cause GI upset if you tried to take it by mouth. As for safety, it is essential you have a consultation before having a vitamin drip and they are administered in reputable medical facilities in the hands of a skilled practitioner. But the crunch question you should ask yourself is why do you want IV therapy. A poor diet, too much stress, a lack of sleep or burning the candle at both ends, for instance, need to be addressed – and not just fixed with an IV boost.

 

Can I prevent varicose veins?

Varicose veins are swollen veins that usually affect the leg area. They’re not dangerous or unhealthy yet they cause many women distress Unfortunately varicose veins cannot be prevented but you can stop them from getting worse.

  • Do not stand or sit for long periods without interruption.
  • Don’t cross your legs while seated.
  • Elevate your legs when sitting or lying down, keeping them raised above your heart.
  • Get plenty of regular physical activity, strengthening the muscles in your legs.
  • Lose any extra weight to help improve blood flow.
  • Do not wear tight clothes, especially those that are constricting around the waist, groin or thighs.
  • If your doctor says it’s a good idea, wear compression/support hosiery e to help keep blood from pooling.
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