Is pro-ageing the new anti-ageing? We look at the treatments that boost your natural attributes to offer that youthful shine
When it comes to growing old, factors such as sun exposure, smoking and stress may affect the rate at which our skin ages. Still, no one’s immune to generalised cellular ageing, which results in changes to the texture and volume of the skin.
The beauty industry has long been geared towards ‘anti-ageing’ to combat this decline. “Anti-ageing is a commonly used term in the beauty industry, but it has the implication that normal ageing is somehow negative,” says Dr Mia Jing Gao, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic.
This narrative is now beginning to change. “Pro-ageing is becoming increasingly popular — the term promotes ageing positively, with the emphasis on looking and feeling your best whatever age you are, rather than looking younger.”
Tunc Tiryaki, consultant plastic surgeon and founder of the London Regenerative Institute, adds that pro-ageing is not about entirely surrendering to ageing: “It’s about working with the body to enhance its natural attributes.”
Next-gen pro-ageing treatments
So, what do advance pro-ageing treatments look like?
“We usually start with epigenetic tests to diagnose how your body is functioning at cellular level,” says Tunc. “Then we incorporate basic life quality improvements, such as a palaeolithic diet and cutting-edge treatments.”
These also include personalised IV drips and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
“All these methods reduce the noise in your intercellular communication and prevent the extremely necessary information loss, thus slowing down and even reversing ageing,” explains Tunc.
The science behind the treatments
PRP is gaining popularity for its ability to improve luminosity and rejuvenate the skin.
“A very small amount of blood is drawn and spun in a special centrifuge — separating the red blood cells, platelet-rich plasma, platelet-poor plasma and buffy coat — and the platelet-rich plasma is then reinjected into the face,” Tunc says.
“This starts the cascade of healing and is good for people wanting to improve skin texture and achieve more volume through the increased production of collagen and elastin.”
Meanwhile, Tunc calls exosomes the next generation of skin rejuvenation. “Exosomes are extracellular vesicles, which are tiny bubbles released from stem cells,” he explains.
“Stem cells are extracted from the patient’s fat through liposuction and separated to isolate the stem cells from the fat. The concentrated stem cells are then injected into the desired area of the face to start the rejuvenation process.”
DIY pro-ageing tips
Dr Mia says pro-ageing skincare routines take a balanced approach with products to hydrate and brighten the skin: “A good daily sunscreen prevents damage from ultraviolet exposure. To boost the skin barrier, I recommend a moisturiser with ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
“Vitamin C also has antioxidant qualities and brightens the skin, while retinoids increase skin cell turnover, promoting an even and smooth complexion.”
You may notice that, sometimes, anti- and pro-ageing treatments overlap — it’s all a matter of framing.
“Pro-ageing treatments encompass those which previously would have been marketed as anti-ageing,” explains Dr Mia. But ultimately, she says, it’s about people choosing what’s right for them, and not feeling constrained by societal standards.