The quest for a younger you isn't just for women it seems
PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 November 2019
Regeneration is a word usually associated with TV's Time Lord, but technological breakthroughs are actually making it much easier to roll back the signs of aging, even if only temporarily or superficially.
Aside from your standard Botox injections and facelifts, there are plenty of other cosmetic innovations which can subtly revitalise your appearance, sometimes only for a matter of weeks, but also permanently.
Admittedly completely out of my comfort zone when it comes to any sort of facial treatment, I wasn't sure what to expect when I initially volunteered for two different procedures at a St Albans skin clinic, both with the aim of making me look younger.
Going grey gracefully might not have been something I accepted easily, but at the same time I've never made any real effort to appear less than my age, with the odd dollop of moisturiser after shaving the total extent of my skin routine.
So I wondered whether it was worth my time, as I doubted anything short of a facelift would have any lasting effect, and was setting myself up for disappointment. But then I was told that 30 per cent of the clinic's clients were men, which made me question my initial reluctance.
We started off with an overall analysis of my face, which compared it to 5,000 men of the same age and skin type.
Because my skin is quite oily, I've avoided picking up too many wrinkles, but one of the unfortunate consequences of growing up in the 1970s was the lack of awareness of sun damage, with many summers spent on the beach without even a splattering of protection.
This has left my face with darker patches of pigmentation which certainly contribute towards me looking older, where the skin has been damaged by exposure to ultra-violet rays.
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However, one solution to these blights was Fraxel treatment, which uses a dual wavelength laser to target dark patches of skin, drying it out and allowing the microscopic epidermal necrotic debris to come to the surface and flake off.
A local anaesthetic cream was applied about 45 minutes before the treatment, as it does feel quite unpleasant, almost as if your skin is being gently scraped off, but it's all over very quickly and I was given some soothing gels to apply afterwards.
The process of the skin changing took a couple of days, at first feeling tight and leathery, and then gradually flaking off until what was left was a much more uniformed visage, with little sign of the dark patches which had previously existed.
Without being overtly obvious, the final effect was to take years off, leaving my face fresher and clearer than it had in about a decade.
I was advised to use a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF as a moisturiser daily, because we are exposed to aging rays 365 days a year and the treated areas of skin are more vulnerable to damage, certainly in the short-term. According to statistics, skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer for men in the UK, so it's good to be aware of the need for protection.
For a less intense, non-invasive treatment, which will give you a short-term "party face" for the festive season, there's an instant facelift option using a technique called Byonik.
This relaxing procedure uses two cold lasers to deliver anti-oxidants and dehydrated hyaluronic acid directly into the skin. The result left my skin firmer and brighter, with fine lines and wrinkles visually improved and laughter lines less pronounced. This rejuvenated appearance will last for around a month, at which time it's recommended that you have another session.
Byonik also has medical benefits, and has seen very positive results when it comes to treating dermatitis, sores and other skin conditions.
So if you're stuck looking for the perfect Christmas present for the man in your life, why not give him the gift of youth? Now if only something could be done about my teeth…
Matt underwent Fraxel and Byonik treatments at The Skin To Love Clinic in Chequer Street, St Albans. https://www.theskintoloveclinic.co.uk/