How You Age is Your Choice

Victoria Dobbie's picture
Anti ageing, collagen, and treatments you can trust. Dr Victoria explains how you age is your choice.1

Ageing is something that happens to us all, so it’s a topic on which everyone has an opinion. Whether you’re looking to maintain your youthful appearance, rejuvenate your skin, or simply look your best – it's impossible to stay neutral on the subject.

Recently I had the pleasure of discussing the topic with Alice Hart-Davis and 60 guests at an event we held in Edinburgh and I wanted to share with you some of the insights and opinions expressed from that night.

How do you feel about ageing?

Christie Blinkley

I’m seeing more and more of the younger generation visiting my clinic with the goal to maintain their youthful freshness. A stunning inspiration of someone who has achieved this without ever having surgery is Christie Brinkley – she’s not visibly aged in 30 years because she has proactively looked after herself. Christie Brinkley is also the Ultherapy ambassador for the US (and it shows!). Just compare the image Christie in her 30's and in her 60's...

“I called my book “Fresher Face” because that’s the common denominator of what most of us want… We now want something more subtle, we want to look rested refreshed, like we’ve been on holiday. We don’t want a dramatic change. We want to avoid looking angry or sad, we want our skin to be clear, no spots or age marks. We want out skin to be smooth rather than rough and with wrinkles, we want it to be hydrated to maintain the plumpness that youthful skin automatically has. Having that extra plumpness in the skin will help it reflect the light more evenly to get that radiant glow. You want your collagen to be stimulated so you’ve got that supportive scaffolding in your skin.”  expressed Alice.
It seemed that those taking part in the event agreed that their most important aspect on ageing was to look “fresh and rested”. 

Getting the basics right

To look, and more importantly, to feel your best, you must get the basics right. I find it incredibly liberating to know that it’s within your control to reduce 80% of the visible signs of ageing through simply lifestyle choices. The top 6 lifestyle factors that will have the biggest impact are:
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid sun damage
  • Avoid tooth loss
  • Reduce sugar consumption
  • Follow a healthy nutritious diet
  • Reduce prolonged stress
The remaining 20% of ageing is related to DNA and hormonal changes which sadly you can’t avoid. 
So, focus on the 80%, and I would encourage you to:
  • Eat well with lots of fresh fruit and veg, a balance of protein and less added sugar to ensure healthy skin, bones and teeth.
  • Exercise 3 times a week to help reduce stress levels, promote health and ensure good vascular circulation to your skin.
  • Use a cosmeceutical skincare range with sun protection to actively protect an nourish your skin. My DRVICTORIA skincare is the perfect range for healthy skin. 

Getting more advanced

Both Alice and I agreed that the holy grail of keeping your skin youthful is maintaining your collagen. Collagen is a protein in your skin which keeps it supple, firm and elastic. 
Imagine your skin is like a mattress with its’ springs representing the collagen and the fitted sheet the outer layer of your skin. With age, the springs start to break. This results in the mattress sagging, causing the sheet to wrinkle. 
Getting the basics right when you are young helps prevent collagen loss, but this changes when you reach menopause. During menopause, you will lose 30% of your collagen over the 5 years of hormonal change which typically happens between age 49-54. This has a big impact on the visible signs of ageing on your skin and face. Luckily, there is a solution to help with this too, which I will explain later on.
Thankfully, there are many modern aesthetic medicine treatments that can help stimulate collagen production in your skin to restore it's health and prevent sagging and wrinkling.

How can you maintain and rejuvenate your collagen?

If you are a “youth maintainer” (you are yet to see any signs of ageing on your face) then I would recommend collagen stimulating facials every 4-6 weeks to bring the best out in your skin and keep it looking fresh.
As you continue to age, you would progress to radiofrequency and then Ultherapy treatments for greater collagen stimulation.
If you are a “youth restorer” (you can already visibly see the signs of ageing) then I would recommend bio-stimulating injections such as Ellanse which provide a degree of immediate correction, similar to dermal fillers, but improve with time as your natural collagen is stimulated. These treatments can be combined with Ultherapy to restore your skin to how it was 3-5 years earlier.
As a youth restorer, you may be approaching 50 and starting to experience hormonal changes as you enter perimenopause. If you are, then I would recommend Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) to reduce the impact of these changes. A drop-in your estrogen levels will affect your collagen and the thickness of your skin. In addition, it also affects the density of your bone. Loss of density of bone in the jaw has a big impact on your facial appearance and makes you more prone to loosing teeth which has a huge impact. Both Alice and I are using BHRT and readily agreed that it as had a huge beneficial impact for us.
Now, if you’ve left things a little bit longer, and the signs of ageing are obvious, then you are in the realm of “facelift avoider”. Here I would recommend a Silhouette Soft thread lift. In this treatment, collagen stimulating threads are used to physically lift your sagging skin to produce an instant lift. As the threads slowly dissolve over 16 weeks, they stimulate your natural collagen to maintain the result. The results can be enhanced with Ellanse injections.

Next steps

Starting as a “youth maintainer” is best, but it’s never too late and if you’ve waited quite a while, that doesn’t mean that you’ll need surgery.
The important thing is for you to take the next step and seek a professional consultation. To help communicate what you’d like to resolve and the results you’d like to achieve, take photographs of yourself along to your consultation which are less than 5 years old and please you.
If your focus is a big celebration that’s coming up, give yourself plenty of time. Ideally 4 months, remember it takes time for your body to produce collagen. I know we’re all so busy, but it’s important to make time for yourself.
My team and I are always here to listen. As a professional clinic registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, we can provide accurate advice for you to make an informed decision. Whether you’re a “youth maintainer”, “youth restorer” of “facelift avoider”, we’ve got options to help you going forward. 
Book your consultation and let’s work together.
Dr Victoria
Facial Aesthetic Expert and Dental Surgeon
Alice Hart -Davis is a journalist and author of the book “The Tweakments Guide: Fresher Face”. For nearly 20 years Alice has been reporting on aesthetic cosmetic procedures and has tried out scores of treatments in order to review them – you can find out more at


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