Today's announcement of a 40% drop in cosmetic surgery procedures ushers in a new era of anti-ageing solutions. Good news for women, says Get The Gloss' co-founder Sarah Vine

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The fact that today the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons are reporting a 40 per cent drop  in the number of cosmetic surgery procedures is telling in more ways than one.

Firstly, it points to a backlash against the ridiculous pursuit of ageless perfection among women: the days of ‘stretch and staple’ are well and truly over; secondly, it shows a vast improvement in the quality and choice of non-surgical alternatives.

On the one hand a cultural shift; on the other, a practical one - resulting in more choice for women and fewer risks overall.

Tellingly, the biggest fall was in surgical brow lifts (down 71 per cent), something that can now be achieved easily - and far more subtly - through the use of injectables.

Fact is, the new wave of cosmetic doctors specialising in subtle, non-invasive treatments designed to give women more of a refreshed look than a total reversal, is ushering in a new age of anti-ageing solutions.

These experts - such as Dr Tapan Patel, for example, at the Phi Clinic in London - use a combination of Botox, hyaluronic filler, cosmetic peels, prescription skincare, plus, of course, an expert eye and oodles of experience to alter the geometry of an ageing face and create a more youthful appearance.

Thus, you can have lost tissue replaced underneath the eyes to banish bags, lift a sagging jawline or a drooping nose with a dot of Botox, sharpen a pair of cheekbones without going anywhere near a scalpel or an anaesthetic, banish a double chin with cryotherapy.

No scars, no risk to your general health, no drinking through a straw for six weeks.

The success of all this, of course, depends on finding a skilled and reliable practitioner which, since non-surgical treatments are still not as strictly regulated as conventional ones, can prove difficult.

Check your doctor’s credentials thoroughly before handing over your cash and any part of your body, and distrust anyone offering discounts or freebies: bottom line, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

My top three? Dr Vicky Dondos at the Medicetics Clinic  (London and Cirencester), Dr Frances Prenna Jones  (Mayfair) - and the aforementioned Dr Tapan Patel  (Harley Street). All have slightly different styles, all brilliant in their own way.

Do you have a go-to nonsurgical treatment? Let us know in the comments below.

Here are the figures from  BAAPS  in full.

The top surgical procedures for women in 2016 (28,341 total. A fall of 39.1% from 2015) in order of popularity:

Breast augmentation: 7,732 – down 20% from last year
Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): 3,584 – down 55%
Breast Reduction: 3,566 – down 38%
Face/Neck Lift: 3,328 – down 53%
Liposuction: 2,879 – down 42%
Abdominoplasty: 2,591 – down 6%
Rhinoplasty: 2,174 – down 14%
Fat Transfer: 1,359 – down 56%
Otoplasty (ear correction): 566 – down 9%
Browlift: 562 – down 71%

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