A recent study published in Nature, found that the mitochondral DNA passed down to us from our mothers influences our own rate of ageing. That is to say, if your mother had wrinkles or developed other signs of ageing at a young age, you will too. While the study admits other factors also play a role in the formation of wrinkles, namely smoking and sun damage, it is interesting to read that for all the sunscreen and moisturisers an individual uses, they may never be able to keep those pesky fine lines and wrinkles at bay.

While the science behind anti-ageing products has come along in leaps and bounds in the last two decades, if an individual has not been fortunate enough to be a long-term prescriber of the cutting-edge cosmeceuticals on the market, then the visible signs of ageing are still going to be a fact of life; crow’s feet will form around the eyes, cheeks will sag, and brows wrinkle.

While it is certainly no longer taboo for patients to seek treatments for these problems, it seems it is still viewed to be more dignified for people to stand idly by while they lose their youthful appearance. The term ‘growing old gracefully’ is still reserved for those that choose not to seek aesthetic treatments, but accept what nature has in store for them. I feel the term, and the thinking behind it, need updating for the 21st Century. Surely the graceful option is to continue to look young and vibrant while those around you slide into old age? The benefits of having treatment are not simply confined to the patient’s appearance, but as we all know, if a patient looks better, they will feel better too.

So what is the ultimate aim of an aesthetic practitioner when confronted with the signs of ageing? Is it to continually turn back the clock, or to assist the patient in looking good for their age rather than constantly striving to look younger?

Much of this depends on the patient themselves, and their own perception of their ageing process. However, it is the aesthetic practitioner who is best placed to decide on how to go about achieving the ideal results for the patient.

Fortunately, aesthetic practitioners have a range of devices and treatments they can call upon to tackle the signs of ageing. A new wave of procedures, known as ‘liquid facelifts’, can offer results usually achieved through more invasive surgical procedures, without the significant downtime and cost. While traditional facelifts can leave the skin on a patient’s face looking stretched, these injectabe treatments fill out lines and add volume. Wendy Lewis looks more closely at the role of injectables and the range of results that can be achieved in this issue.

Other treatments, including fractional CO2 laser therapy, chemical peels, eyelid surgery, and brow lifts all play a part and offer the practitioner the ability to reach and surpass patient expectations. And treatments are not only confined to the face, but filler treatments to remove the wrinkles in the hands, neck tightening, and upper arm surgery all do their part.

Through these procedures, practitioners can achieve great results in all regions of a patient’s anatomy burdened by the signs of ageing and allow their patients to redefine what it means to grow old gracefully in the 21st Century.