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Considering an anti-ageing treatment?

One day I looked in the mirror and thought it supremely unfair that I had such distinct frown lines between my brows. I mean, it simply did not represent who I was. I am a happy person, and these frown lines, which had become more or less permanent as my thirties progressed, seemed to suggest that I wasn’t. They told people, before I even opened my mouth, that I was grumpy or angry. It began to bother me more and more. I tried anti-ageing creams and facial treatments, but nothing did much to help my perma frown. 

Now I am not someone who easily jumps to the more drastic solutions to deal with wrinkles. I advocate for graceful ageing, and want to accept myself and how I look as much as possible before trying to change anything. But, after much consideration, I felt I needed something stronger than an expensive night cream to help my face align with who I was inside. I had no idea where to start. 

It turns out that who I was looking for was an aesthetic doctor. This is a qualified medical doctor who focuses on the rejuvenation of ageing or damaged skin using a variety of products and techniques. toast&co proudly hosts renowned aesthetic doctor, Dr Ra’essah Essop, every so often. I caught up with her to ask some key questions before going ahead with my treatment. 

First, what is important to consider when choosing to undergo these types of treatments? “You must ensure you go to a qualified doctor with the relevant experience,” she began. This makes sense. You don’t want someone under-qualified to work with your skin, especially the skin on your face. She went on to talk about having realistic expectations. “There needs to be an agreement between you and the doctor on the expected outcomes.” I can imagine it would be supremely disappointing to expect to wind the clock back 15 years only to emerge looking a mere five years younger. Or, in my case, to expect a totally smooth brow. Sure, maybe I won’t look 20 again, but perhaps I could look only slightly miffed as opposed to having the thunder scowl I currently tote around like an unloved handbag.   

“Don’t rush in till you’re certain,” Dr Essop goes on. “At the same time, many patients are afraid to start getting work done because they think it’s permanent. Anti-ageing treatments are not permanent and require re-treatments at various intervals. Your doctor will discuss the longevity of the product and a timeline for subsequent sessions.” Far from putting me off, this inspired confidence in me. I like the idea that slowly the frown would re-emerge and that at that point I could decide again what I wanted for my face and my overall look. I need not make any life-long decisions. I only need to decide what I want for the short or medium term and then see. 

I was beginning to feel better about my decision to get work done on my face, but something still niggled. Was I simply prey to the beauty or media industry who holds women to a common and often impossible-to-reach standard of beauty? Dr Essop is quick to reply. “Pressure is not only placed on women. Women and men alike are subject to beauty standards set out by the media. But first impressions affect people’s behaviour and attitude to each other.” I can attest to that! Though I might have been sensitive to this, I felt people’s attitudes changed towards me as my face aged. I felt that those I dealt with automatically took a defensive stance because my face gave the impression that I was unimpressed from the get-go. The doctor agrees, saying many people experience different types of treatment based on how they look. 

“The medical aesthetics industry is not the enemy,” she goes on. “We are constantly helping our patients show off the best versions of themselves, instilling confidence and self-esteem.” That is precisely what I was looking for, a way for this treatment to show the world the best or real version of myself, which I felt my older-looking face was now obscuring. 

And Dr Essop had plenty more to say about the different types of treatments available, each of which credits a post on its own. For now, I felt assured and well on my way in my aesthetics journey.  
Dr Essop periodically consults at toast&co. Contact them for information about when she is next available.

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