Christa D'Souza on taking anti-ageing action without looking 'done'

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What is worse than looking like you have been ‘done’? Not a lot in my book. Honestly, some of those women you see on the red carpet… what on earth do they think they look like?  Better, almost, to have people think you are older than you are, than to have no lines whatsoever. That foetal look, it's such a giveaway.

Or at least that’s always been my line, until I accidentally photo-boothed myself one morning after a big night out. Oh my god. Is that human walnut on the computer screen really ME? How have I been so happily going about my ways with a jaw as ripply as that? Action, obviously, needs to be taken, and fast - but it has to be done oh-so-discreetly. Like I said, there’s really not a lot worse than looking like one has been “done.” My female friends are so eagle-eyed and so disapproving. Less is more, and so forth.

Someone who fervently holds by the ‘less is more’ approach is Dr Vicky Dondos, co-founder along with her husband Dr Geoffrey Mullan of Medicetics, a medically-based clinic that specialises in non-surgical cosmetic treatments and skin surgery. Clear skinned, collegiate-looking almost, and hardly wearing a scrap of make-up, Dondos is a very good advertisement for what she preaches.

That windblown, trout-pouty look, she agrees, is not a good one; not for anyone, and judging by her staff and the clientele in the gleaming white reception area (reception areas are always a good place to be judgemental, I find) that is not Medicetics’ schtick at ALL.

The treatments on offer here include Botox, skin peels, microdermabrasion, laser skin rejuvenation, and even laser liposuction. The difference between here and a lot of other places which offer the same thing is a) both Dondos and Mullan are medically trained (Mullan at Guy’s and St Thomas) and b) it is in their interests not to have you come out looking like an extra from that bar scene in Star Wars.

Dondos often gets clients d'un certain age coming in clutching pictures of Jennifer Lawrence or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley or whoever,  which always slightly concerns her. “Surely the aim,” she says, “is for you to walk out of here looking exactly like you... just better.” Hurrah! EXACTLY my sentiment; I feel I’ve come home.  

Under the magnifying glass I get, then, for her microscopic appraisal. Yes there is pigmentation, yes there are furrowed lines - sun, red wine, and wretched old age, they’ve all taken their inevitable toll - and yes the jaw-line isn’t as tight as it could be, but no, all is not lost, not at all.

Thankfully she gets my aversion to fillers. In my opinion, those ones they put in the lines between the edges of the nostril to the sides of the mouth make one look like a cat when it’s just seen a pigeon, all puffy round the whisker area. She gets too, that I do not want anything done to my rather thin, mean little mouth either. Lip filler, however conservative, ALWAYS looks ‘done’.  

What she suggests instead is a course of Obagi Nu-Derm, a prescription strength anti-ageing skin care  system (more of which later), a bit of IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) for my brown spots, and something called Pelleve, a skin tightening  system based on radio frequency which is particularly good for a saggy jaw. And possibly a tiny bit of ‘Baby Botox’, but maybe not - we’ll see how it goes.

It’d be Pollyanna-ish to say this is all totally new to me. I write about beauty, for goodness sake; of course I’ve had Botox. But thus far, whenever I’ve had it done it always makes me feel so prehensile, the way it weighs down so heavy on one’s brow. It'll be interesting to see if she can do it without making me feel like that.  

So anyway, watch this space. By the way, this is between you and me okay? Don't tell a SOUL.

To be continued...