Can’t remember when you’ve ever looked this tired or felt this feral? The phenomenon of Zoom Gloom, the feeling of despair at the state of one’s appearance on camera, has resonated with thousands of us.
In fact, an extraordinary 70 per cent are considering an anti-ageing treatment thanks to the horror of Zoom, a survey of 1,000 women revealed last week. And none more so than midlife women.
The lockdowns may have got us off the hamster wheel of high-heeled hobnobbing, but a year’s hiatus from professional beauty services has left our jawlines wobbling, brows permanently furrowed and don’t mention the maskne. Many of us feel we’ve aged a good ten years in the past 12 months, and we don’t like it one bit.
That same survey, by clinic booker service Glowday, listed the midlife celebrities we most envy for their age-defying looks, with J-Lo, 51, and Jennifer Aniston, 52, topping the poll. Honourable mentions also went to Nigella Lawson, 61, and Victoria Beckham, 46. These are the women whose beauty regimes — and, often, tweakments — we most admire and want for ourselves, now more than ever.
An extraordinary 70 per cent of women are considering anti-ageing treatment and most of us feel we’ve aged a good ten years in the past 12 months of lockdown. Olivia Falcon reveals spring’s most effective, non-invasive treatments
So with the arrival of face-to-face socialising and salons taking bookings for their planned April 12 opening, where does one go to reclaim some semblance of your pre-pandemic self, or even a touch of that A-List glow? Olivia Falcon is the founder of the Editorslist.co.uk, the country’s top concierge service that match-makes and fast tracks people to the world’s top cosmetic practitioners.
Here, she reveals spring’s most effective, non-invasive treatments to help you roll back the year that aged us all.
HOW TO LOOK SIX MONTHS YOUNGER
Starting with the smallest investment for the biggest gain, I’m first in the queue for professional brow services. The right eyebrow shape is a cornerstone in a youthful-looking appearance. It can give a lift that takes months, even years, off your face. The perfect placement of the angular arch not only lifts cheekbones, but also opens up tired eyes.
Of all the methods of eyebrow shaping, threading is my favourite: I love its smooth finish and precise technique.
Who to see: Jaimineey Patel is queen bee of threading at Blink Brow Bars and rotates through the 25 salons nationwide (bbb-london.com).
Cost: From £25.
All the takeaway curry and red wine over the long winter lockdown, paired with anxious nights of jaw clenching and teeth grinding, have worn down enamel, causing many a smile to discolour and dim.
Luckily, there is a new, super-quick fix for stained teeth that can be done at the dentist during your return-to-work lunch break.
The Philips Zoom! tooth whitening procedure takes just one hour rather than the usual four, and promises a smile up to seven shades whiter.
There is a new, super-quick fix for stained teeth that can be done at the dentist during your return-to-work lunch break which is far more potent, fast and less fiddly than at-home treatments (stock photo)
Far more potent, fast and less fiddly than at-home treatments, the dentist preps the mouth with a layer of advanced whitening gel and shines a WhiteSpeed blue LED lamp on to teeth to activate and accelerate the whitening process.
Who to see: Dr Rhona Eskander in London (chelseadentalclinic.co.uk). Zoom! teeth whitening is also at clinics nationwide
One of the most popular machine-based facials, the Hydrafacial offers a deep cleanse, using a vacuum to suck out impurities and a spiral style engine to force rejuvenating serums into the skin.
Now it’s getting an update. From April 15, clinics nationwide will be offering new turbo-powered booster serums that personalise treatments like never before.
You choose from a menu depending on your need. For weary mothers, for example, the Murad Retinol Booster delivers vitamin A into skin to plump lines and wrinkles.
Who to see: No one does Hydra-facial more thoroughly than Sherina Balaratnam and her team at S-thetics Clinic in Buckinghamshire (s-thetics.co.uk), but it is also available at clinics nationwide. See hydrafacial.co.uk.
COST: From £150 per treatment. A course of six weekly treatments followed by monthly top-up treatments is recommended.
ONE YEAR YOUNGER
If YOUR brows went rogue over lockdown, with stray grey hairs or sparse patches — or if you went the other way with a Castaway-style wild-eyed bushiness — you can reclaim a more flattering look with the queen of microblading Karen Betts, and her new range of needles for a customised experience.
Betts says, post-lockdown, women are wearing less make up and want a softer looking brow with a natural fluffiness. A tiny pen-like blade is used to create hair-like channels under the surface of the skin, mimicking your brows. Pigments are then implanted into the channels.
Who to see: Karen Betts and her elite team rotate through clinics in London, Cheshire and West Yorkshire (karenbetts.com).
Cost: Mircoblading with Karen Betts, £895, or her elite team, £495.
No matter how hard we scrubbed our faces at home, for many the hangover of excess alcohol, binge watching Netflix, comfort eating and not enough sleep left our skin with a sallow, bumpy texture.
Step forward Medik8, who have launched 12 Weeks to WOW, an in-clinic peel programme that’s akin to personal training for your skin.
One of the most popular machine-based facials, the Hydrafacial offers a deep cleanse, using a vacuum to suck out impurities and a spiral style engine to force rejuvenating serums into the skin (stock image)
The 12-week course includes an initial consultation, six professional peels each two weeks apart, a follow up appraisal appointment, plus a take-home personalised skincare regime. All peels use time-release technology, meaning the ingredients slowly penetrate the skin, causing less trauma and sting.
Who to see: Nurse practitioners Carly Argent in London (carly argent.com) or Sarah Dale (sarahdaleaesthetics.com) in Dorchester, Dorset.
Cost: £490 for a course of six peels.
THE FACE FILTER
With more screen time, the challenges of home schooling, isolation and anxiety, stressed skin surged in lockdown. Riding to the rescue is Rejuv Skin, the newest IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment that tackles redness, blotchiness, wrinkles and broken capillaries.
The super targeted light is fired at optimum depth into skin, banishing blotchy pigmentation from last summer’s garden sunbathing.
There is also a setting for hair removal, handy for nuking hirsute upper lips and chins.
Who to see: Aesthetician Lynn Hawkins at the Aesthetica & Wellness centre, Leicester (aesthetica andwellnesscentre.co.uk).
Cost: From £120 per treatment. For best results a course of three-to-four treatments one month apart is recommended.
A professional glow-getting procedure, the Meso-Lift Facial starts with Dermaplaning, a technique where the top layer of skin is scraped off with a fine blade to give tired, grey skin an amazing radiance.
Next, skin is tightened with Forma Radiofrequency current that is waved in uplifting strokes to firm and contour the first signs of sag before lots of tiny Mesotherapy injections of vitamins and minerals are rapidly fired under the skin for optimal dewiness.
Ideal for 40-year-old plus skin that’s starting to show signs of laxity and dullness.
Who to see: Aesthetician Izabela Pawlitka at the David Jack Clinic in London (drdavidjack.com).
Cost: £370 per treatment, recommended every four to six weeks.
Medik8 have launched 12 Weeks to WOW, an in-clinic peel programme that’s akin to personal training for your skin after a year of many thangovers, binge watching Netflix, comfort eating and not enough sleep left our skin with a sallow, bumpy texture (stock photo of woman using at home face mask)
THREE YEARS YOUNGER
THE MASKNE ZAPPER
At last maskne can be given its marching orders. Meet ProDeep, a laser that improves acne scars by stimulating collagen at depths of up to nine times greater than other technologies, effectively reducing mild to moderate wrinkles.
In addition ProDeep can directly heat and shrink sebaceous glands to treat active acne. Most people need two treatments over four weeks, but more severe conditions may need an extra two sessions.
Who to see: Dr Rita Rakus (drritarakus.com) is the first to have this laser. For clinics nationwide visit vydence.com.
ULTRASONIC FACE FIRMER
Even a divorce has failed to sink Kim Kardashian’s cheekbones. Her secret? The Exilis Elite HA Face Treatment. This uses a probe that emits a combination of radiofrequency, which tightens and smooths fine lines (particularly good for ironing crepey skin under the eyes), and ultrasound, which penetrates at deeper layers of the skin to stimulate the breakdown of fat to help contour cheekbones and tighten jowls.
This is ideal for anyone who gained weight in lockdown and is looking for a sharper look.
Who to See: Dr Nyla Raja at The Medispa Cheshire or 1 Harley Street, London (doctornyla.com). Many clinics nationwide offer radiofrequency treatments, but always research your practitioner as this treatment done badly can burn skin.
Cost: £1,500 for three sessions, given once every two weeks.
NON-SURGICAL LIP LIFT
If YOU’VE always been wary of lip fillers due to the trout pout, but are tired of thin lips, a new natural lip filler may be the answer.
London-based lip expert Dr Steven Harris has a new injectable lip technique he’s named the Non Surgical Lip Lift, which is ideal for prettifying deflated pouts.
Harris focuses on natural results and injects the tubercles (the little pillows of the lip) for subtle enhancement. This doesn’t distort the mouth as it respects the vermillion border (the pink part of the lip), so there’s no filler migration to cause that duckbill look.
Who to see: Dr Steven Harris in London (harrisclinic.co.uk).
Cost: From £350.
THE FOX EYE LIFT
With facemasks still required, the focus is on our eyes, and the Fox Eye Thread Lift is inspired by the sultry eyes of models Kendall Jenner and the Hadid sisters.
Soluble suture threads are placed at outer corners of eyes to lift and stretch the upper eyelids back towards the temples, which reduces sagging and heaviness, lifts the tail of the eyebrow and gives eyes a sexy, feline shape.
It’s important to see a medically-trained professional who has experience, as botched treatments can be catastrophic. Done well, the results are instant and last between six months and a year.
Consultant dermatologist Dr Penelope Tympanidis, one of the most trustworthy threaders in the UK, favours PLLA Poly-L lactic threads as they give better definition and are long-lasting.
Who to see: Dr Tympanidis at The Dermaperfect Clinic in London (dermaperfect.co.uk).
Cost: From £250.
The Exilis Elite HA Face Treatment uses a probe that emits a combination of radiofrequency and ultrasound (stock photo of woman using at home face mask)
FIVE YEARS YOUNGER
THE NECK CORRECTOR
Tech Neck, the term coined to describe skin laxity specifically caused by constantly looking down at computer screens, has become an embarrassment for many.
Luckily, there is a new injection protocol using Sculptra, a form of polylactic acid (used in dissolvable stitches and threads) that’s injected in micro-doses under the ears and chin to restore a youthful tightness across the neck.
Sculptra is a bio-stimulator, meaning it gradually promotes collagen synthesis for firmer, fuller skin, and continues to smooth wrinkles for two years.
Who to see: Dr Munir Somji at the DrMedispa clinics in Essex and London (drmedispa.com).
Cost: From £500 per session. For best results, two or three treatments spaced four to six weeks apart are recommended.
NO KNIVES FACELIFT
Pre-Covid, radiofrequency facials designed to subtly lift and tighten skin had a pretty solid celebrity fan base with the likes of Amanda Holden and Kylie Minogue extolling their benefits.
Profound RF is the gold standard machine, clinically proven to stimulate the three fundamentals for youthful skin by activating your own production of elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid.
The treatment is intense, so requires anaesthetic, and patients can expect to look fairly bruised for at least a week after. The pay-off, however, is palpable; U.S. Food and Drug Administration tests show Profound RF delivers a third of the results of a surgical facelift and lasts up to three years.
Who to see: Dr. Sophie Shotter at Illuminate Skin clinic in Kent (drsophieshotter.com).
THE DOUBLE-CHIN TRIM
Dubbed ‘the Zoom lift’ in the U.S., Ellevate is designed to lift and support the jawline and neck, bringing cheer to thousands of slack-jawed Zoomers.
Using a single thread looped from ear to ear under the chin like a hammock, the doctor is guided by a small LED light that helps them place it above the muscle but below the fat layer, to seamlessly shrink-wrap wobbly skin.
Best for people in their 30s and 40s who want to get rid of a double chin or first signs of jowling. The results last at least five years.
Who to see: Dr Judy Todd at the Synergy Clinic in Glasgow (synergygiffnock.co.uk) or the Taktouk Clinic, London (drwassimtaktouk.com).
To book a consultation with Olivia and fast-track yourself to the top cosmetic practitioners and procedures from £100, visit editorslist.co.uk.