Aesthetic doctor Anne Grand-Vincent, specialist in treating the neck and décolleté areas, recommends the least invasive and most targeted treatments to erase signs of ageing as naturally as possible. She also reveals the best ‘skin quality’ solutions.
What are the characteristics of a beautiful skin?
Nowadays, during consultations I find more and more patients inquiring about the quality of their skin. This is not surprising: the skin is what you see first, it gives the face a youthful, fresh and healthy appearance. We notice beautiful skin thanks to its radiance and the way it captures the light. Healthy, dense and firm, it has a youthful transparency and elasticity. In contrast, the loss of such attributes creates dull and tired looking complexions, even on young faces that still have harmonious volumes.
How can we maintain or restore such skin quality?
The only effective solution is to combine cosmetic and aesthetic treatments in order to act on all cutaneous levels, primarily the most superficial, the epidermis. It is essential to treat it daily with cosmetics, as early as puberty. The daily routine consists of two actions: cleanse and nourish. It’s exactly the same as watering flowers to keep them beautiful. Obviously, the care should be adapted to your age. At 15 years we choose an anti‑blemish cream. At 20, a simple moisturiser is sufficient to maintain skin flexibility. And after 35 years of age, we choose richer anti-ageing formulas to act on loss of firmness, elasticity and dullness. That’s fundamental.
Is a cosmetic treatment sufficient to embellish the skin surface?
It is a good way, but if you stop using cosmetics the skin will return to its original state. A topical treatment can improve its appearance and health, but will not change its intrinsic quality. It is determined genetically and differs from one person to another. Apart from small changes that occur during menopause, you won’t go from a thick skin to a thin skin and vice‑versa. Most importantly, our skin type determines our ageing process.
Don’t we age equally?
No. Depending on their skin quality some women’s skin will become hollow, while others will sag. Round faces with thick oily skins will wrinkle more slowly, but will suffer from a loss of volume greater than thin faces with dry, thin skin on which fine lines will appear. As we are programmed to age differently, it is important to adapt your strategy to the nature of your skin. Targeted treatments will reduce surface imperfections, improve the appearance of the skin, and help it stay beautiful for longer by protecting it from the environment and catastrophic risk factors such as the sun or tobacco.
What is the next level of action to take care of your skin and modify its quality?
Only cosmetic medicine treatments can provide a real, visible improvement to skin quality. It is therefore at the dermis level that cosmetic medicine will act to preserve the cutaneous structures (fibroblasts, hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin) essential for the skin’s youthfulness. Anti‑ageing mesotherapy, which comprises the injection of a polyrevitalising solution into the epidermis and superficial dermis — NCTF 135 HA from Laboratoires Filorga remains the reference product in the field — can therefore provide the skin with what it lacks to fight ageing: vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, the role of which to maintain the quality of the skin has been widely demonstrated.
On the neck area, however, I would opt for meso-needling with NCTF. This new revitalisation technique, carried out using a medical roller, has the advantage of multiplying impact points on the skin, thus stimulating more widely. At this stage you are effectively feeding the skin. Deeply nourished, it is healthier and repairs more effectively. Refreshed, the skin regains its youthful attributes, it is toned, supple, wrinkles are reduced and the complexion is radiant.
Would combining treatments improve the skin’s beautiful appearance further?
Of course. That is why I always prepare the skin with a superficial peel with fruit acids, the Glykopeel, to eliminate dead cells. For me, it would be incongruous to apply a mesotherapy treatment on a non‑exfoliated skin; it is part of the tool box required for skin quality. I usually combine the mesotherapy protocol with a session with LEDs to stimulate ATP, the key cellular energy molecule, and boost the production of collagen. And on devitalised, wrinkled skin, I will smooth wrinkles with an injection of M-HA 18 by Filorga to target the mid-dermis. This micro-filling solution containing non‑cross-linked hyaluronic acid mimics the effects of the hyaluronic acid naturally produced by the skin and replenishes the skin mattress without creating volume. The duller and more wrinkled the skin is, the more we see a difference. On smokers suffering from elastosis, the result is spectacular in terms of elasticity, tone and radiance.
How can we reconcile good skin quality with deep-set wrinkles and sagging?
With time, wrinkles deepen, the skin loses volume and if we don’t repair it, the face sags in unsightly vertical lines (i.e. tear trough, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, cheekbones). This is when we need to act on the third level of the skin, on the deep dermis and hypodermis, with filler injections to offset the loss of volume and correct wrinkles. Depending on the requirements and areas to be treated, I combine different cross‑linked hyaluronic acids by Filorga (X-HA3 and X-HA Volume), the very low protein and endotoxin content of which makes them very pure and very safe products to use.
What is the right timing to act on these three action levels?
This comprehensive care programme comprises three stages. I recommend a daily cosmetic skincare treatment, a quarterly mesotherapy treatment, and a deeper filling action once every year to restore the youthfulness of the face. But it goes without saying that the effectiveness of these ‘skin quality’ solutions depends on their regularity. The earlier you start looking after your cutaneous youthfulness, the more you delay the need for filler injections, and the more you can hope to stay looking younger for longer. A virtuous circle.