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Smart Ageing

10 things this top facialist wants you to know about smart ageing

abigail james MAIN

Celebrity facialist and Healthista Collective expert Abigail James explains what really works for the new smart ageing 

Ageing is the one sure thing we all have in common.

How we age is individual, from our genetic makeup to the lifestyles we lead and the environment we live in.

I have had my hands on many faces over the past 15 years in clinic, so I have been able to make some learned conclusions about what works. Here are some of my anti-aging thoughts to help you age well.

#1 Turning back the clock isn’t possible

‘Anti-ageing’ is not possible, it’s not about stopping the ageing process or turning back the clock, it’s about ageing well, the best we can, slowing the clock rather than reversing time.


#2 There is no quick fix

There is not one quick fix treatment. Our cells are ageing daily and facial treatments are there to boost collagen and cell turnover – this isn’t going to be job complete in one facial.

For longer lasting results you will need to have treatments on a more regular basis. Low level peels give a good result on the skin, for smoothing and brightness in a very quick treatment.

#3 The best age prevention product doesn’t exist

What’s the best product for age prevention? If I knew this I would be a wealthy lady! Unfortunately, there isn’t just one.

The skin needs a menu of nutrients to function effectively. Vitamins A, B, C, & E, peptides for collagen production, oils, minerals such as zinc, cleansers to clear the surface, hydrators and hyaluronic acids as well as antioxidants in their many forms.

There are so many different aspects of the ageing process from loss of firmness to changes in pigment, dullness, lines the list does go on.

For the best results you will need a routine of skincare products from your cleanser through to serums, creams and SPF.


#4 Invest in a good home care routine

Committing to a good home care routine is one of the best things you can do for your skin.

A facial might be 75 minutes of one month but there are 43,800 other minutes in that month, which is a lot of other time where you are responsible for your own skin.

In five to ten minutes you could do a whole cleanse, tone, serum, moisturise, SPF and oil routine! It takes a maximum two minutes to cleanse your face and this is the bare minimum your skin needs.

In the morning throw on a serum and SPF, in the evening jump straight to a serum after cleansing.

#5 It’s all in the application

The way you apply your skincare can make a difference to how effective it is. Your cleansers can be massaged in, quite fast and vigorous, but your serums should be patted and smoothed gently onto skin.

Moisturisers can also be smoothed over the face.  But don’t over rub sun creams as they can bobble and streak. With oils, use little, then pat, smooth and massage in. If it’s a toner, spritz and then press in.

#6 Serums are your friends

If you’re not using serums, you’re missing out. They’re the most active of your homecare, with ingredients that are physically going to be doing something.

Each serum will have a different target.  For example, Vitamin C or antioxidant serum will be different from a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid.  Your skin would benefit from both, so layer your serums to get the most out of them.

Vitamin C first as it’s the most active one then follow with the hyaluronic acid.


#7 Cleanse well and you’ll age well

Ageing well starts with cleansing well.  Get your cleansing right and your choices of skincare routine will be better suited to your actual skin’s needs. It will also help your other skincare products absorb better if you are cleansing morning and night.

My top cleansing tip is, no matter what type of cleanser you use wash it off with a cloth. If I want to use an oil cleanser, I’ll use Triology, but if I want a wash cleanser then it’s Cosmedix.

#8 Facials are key

A facial is the answer, especially if it uses combined technology, professional products and the skilled hands of a therapist.

Often good isn’t cheap and also, some people like to keep their facialist a secret! I would suggest you do your research – each therapist has their own ethos and methods and find someone you feel you can trust.

As much as google reviews can be helpful it’s rarely the thousands of happy clients that leave reviews, they are too busy enjoying their glowing skin so always bear that in mind.


#9 Diet affects skin

Yes, you can still be getting acne and ageing at the same time. The growth of adult acne over the past decade is huge, our increased stress levels, nutrient-poor diets, pollution and hormone imbalances are at an all-time high.

Supporting the gut is essential, coffee and sugars are not great for our stress levels and our skin. Along with dairy, these are the first things I advise cutting out.

If you do have acne, don’t be tricked into having to over strip the skin across your whole routine. Salycilic acid and B vitamins are a good starting point for acne-targeted products.

#10 Don’t reach for Botox right away

Botox is not a replacement for good skincare and facials. It doesn’t stimulate collagen or cell turnover nor does it in any way support how the skin and tissues function. It simply stops the ability for muscles to move so is effective in giving the appearance of a smooth forehead and amending other facial features.

However, from an anti-ageing point of view Botox has no other benefits. In fact, your facials and good skincare become even more essential if you are having injectables.

Abigail James

Abigail James is one of the most well respected skincare and wellbeing experts within the UK. She is also the author of Love Your Skin.

Globally recognised and called upon by brands for her extensive knowledge, respected skills, legendary facial massages and her results-driven bespoke treatments, delivering the best facials in London.

A firm favourite amongst celebrities and those who simply want the best for their skin.

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