You’ve probably seen those before-and-after quarantine memes, the ones featuring faces – or more specifically, lips – that have undergone a drastic change in shape in the absence of access to an aesthetician. Exaggerated they might be, but it is true that lockdown has left an injectable-shaped hole in some of our lives, and whether you’re into them or not, our newly facial-free (and less-than-active) lifestyles are wreaking a certain amount of havoc on our skin anyway. “For those who have regular in-clinic treatments, lockdown can mean that lines start to show, full lips diminish, cheeks depress and sunken eye sockets and dark circles re-appear,” says aesthetic doctor Dr Sophie Shotter, who has temporarily shuttered her clinic and returned to the NHS frontline to join the fight against Covid-19. And, while the issue might seem trivial in light of everything else going on in the world, it is possible to harness the power of intelligent skincare to help mimic the effects of filler and Botox in lieu of the real thing. Dr Shotter shares her tips here.
How to plump skin without filler
“Filler is routinely administered to add volume to the skin, usually in the face,” says Shotter, who explains that it’s made from hyaluronic acid, a molecule we should all be utilising in our skincare routines to help soften fine lines. One of the best serums for the job is SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier, which boosts hyaluronic acid levels in the skin, making it look and feel firm, plump and hydrated. Alternatively, try L’Oréal’s Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid for a more affordable option.
To smooth skin, Shotter also recommends BioEffect EGF Serum, which “boosts skin thickness and collagen levels in the skin”, meaning fewer wrinkles and a healthy glow. And finally, look to SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream to reap the benefits of prescription strength vitamin A (otherwise known as retinol): “Retinol is the ultimate age management molecule that increases collagen levels,” she says.
How to relax lines without Botox
If you’ve had Botox before, you will know that it’s a toxin “injected where there are dynamic lines to relax them and remove ‘creases’ within the skin,” says Shotter. There are products that mimic its effects: Meder Skincare Myo-Fix Concentrate, is full of muscle-relaxing peptides that work to block the nerve communicating with the muscle. Although it might sound daunting, it’s totally safe to use, and Shotter recommends regular and sustained use for the best results. “Another great product to use if you usually have Botox administered superficially to regulate oil production is Institut Esthederm’s Pure System Pore Refiner Concentrate – it is silicone based so refines their appearance beautifully.”
How to plump lips without lip filler
Used religiously, there are products that can help to lift and plump the lips, although, like all of the products listed here, they won’t have effects on a par with the treatment itself. One of the best to try is Fillerina’s Lip Volume Grade 3, which contains six different hyaluronic acid molecules of varying weights and sizes, to deeply hydrate lips and give a fuller effect with continual use. Shotter also recommends a brilliant lip balm. “Medik8’s Mutiny Squalane Lip Balm helps to nourish and heal the lips, drawing moisture to the area to give them a plumper, more hydrated look,” she says, adding that it’s important to use SPF to protect them from collagen-depleting UV rays. “Protecting the health of the lips will help them stay plump and full.”
How to rejuvenate eyes without under-eye filler
“Filler is often strategically placed to ‘fill’ the hollows under the eyes, to refresh and hydrate and to lift dark circles,” says Shotter. A (plant-based) stem cell serum, like Dr Levy Intense Stem Cell Eye Booster Concentrate, “will boost the thickness of the delicate under eye skin,” plus it also contains retinol and antioxidants to smooth fine lines and brighten the area. MGC Derma’s CBD Stem Cells and Peptides eye cream is a brilliant option too, thanks to firming peptides, hyaluronic acid and calming CBD.
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