At Studio10 my ethos has always been one of empowerment – liberating ourselves from the conventional stereotype that seems to accompany the concept of ageing for women. With this in mind, I’m frequently asked for my views on the value of anti-ageing cosmetic procedures.
For me, it’s all about personal choice – ageing on our own terms, free from judgement and comment – and if you want to go down the route of fillers and Botox, or even surgery, as far as I’m concerned that’s entirely YOUR business, and nobody's else's. Do you!
That said, I do think that education around the choices we have is crucial for us to make informed and safe decisions. That’s why this month I sat down with renowned Cosmetic Surgeon, Doctor Benji Dhillon, to find out more.
Hi Benji, it’s lovely to chat with you! Firstly, can you explain a little about what it is you do?
Great to meet you too! I’m a Cosmetic Surgeon and I specialise in minimally invasive treatments to refresh and restore an individual’s face – and their confidence – in the most subtle ways possible.
What made you specialise in facial aesthetics?
During my training in cosmetic plastic surgery, I developed an interest in facial proportions, and also how treatments such as Botox can be used to restore confidence in individuals with facial medical disorders, such as nerve damage.
As a result, I began to appreciate that small changes can be made, not to make someone look ‘different’, but to re-establish their confidence and help them to look the best version of themselves.
What is the most common treatment that women ask for?
I find that many women don’t necessarily know what they need, but they come to me with concern. They may just want to look less tired, have fewer frown lines or even simply for their skin to look better, and it’s my job to decide what treatments will best achieve these results for the client.
More often than not it’s a combination of a small amount of Botox and dermal filler, and also medical grade skincare or lasers.
What are the main reasons that women approach you for injectable treatments?
Mostly it’s to remove the features of ageing that concern them – particularly the nasolabial folds (nose to mouth lines) – and I’m not a big fan of treating these as they can make people look unnatural.
Instead, I help my clients to understand how and why these occur and we can treat the cause, which is often down to a small loss of volume in the cheeks.
Is there a ‘perfect age’ to start the process of treatments?
There is no perfect age – it all comes down to individual choice – and when they do decide to have treatment, they should be 100% comfortable with their decision.
What’s the most requested treatment that women ask for – and has this changed at all in recent years?
Historically, it has been nasolabial folds, but there is a trend now where people want a more proportional side profile for their chin, lips and nose.
How long do injectables last - and how often should they be redone?
It depends on what product is being used. If it’s Botox to relax lines and wrinkles, the average is three to four months. However, if it’s dermal fillers, it will depend on where they are being used and the type of product. On average, for the cheeks, jawline and chin, it can be 12 to18 months. For areas such as the lips, it can be six to nine months.
If a woman is contemplating age-interventions, what should she be considering?
The first point to address is skincare and skin treatments. Looking after our skin is like looking after our teeth. We brush our teeth every day, so we should look after our skin equally as well – if not better – every day.
Secondly, there are treatments such as lasers to boost collagen in the skin, and then there are injectable treatments, such as Botox, to prevent lines and wrinkles from forming or worsening. Lastly, we have dermal fillers to re-establish volume where it has been lost.
Is there a specific treatment that you think works better than any other?
No – but the same as yours, there's one piece of advice that I would recommend to everyone – use Sun Protection!
Are there any key points to consider when it comes to choosing a practitioner?
Firstly, look at their credentials – establish if they are a qualified doctor or nurse and how much experience they have. Secondly, check to see if they have any online reviews. Lastly, if you do have a consultation with them, make sure that they can show you photographs and examples of the treatments that they have carried out.
Have you ever declined to carry out certain treatments for a client?
Absolutely! I believe in a natural result where it’s not apparent that the client has had any treatment. If I feel that a particular treatment is inappropriate or that they are not going to look natural, I will definitely say ‘no’.
Many women worry about going too far with treatments – how can they know when to stop?
This is a two-way process. Firstly, and most importantly, your doctor should know what looks right and what doesn’t. Ask to see their ‘before and after’ images to check this. The next step is a sanity check as to exactly what it is you want to achieve. Make a list of what primarily bothers you, and then revisit this list once the procedures have been carried out to ensure that the issues you initially identified have been addressed and that more won’t necessarily mean better.
What can women do to support their skin before and during treatments?
Good home-based skincare starts with daily cleansing and toning, followed by the basic skin trinity of Vitamin C serum, sun protection and nightly retinol use.
There’s a lot of talk now about skincare ingredients, such as retinol and nutri-ceramides. How effective do you think these are and what would you recommend?
These are highly effective, particularly retinol. They are clinically proven to improve skin quality and remove lines and wrinkles.
As a qualified surgeon, what’s your opinion with more advanced procedures?
Advanced procedures definitely have a place, but it really depends on what the individual wants. If a person is completely against surgery, it is up to the doctor to recommend the right treatments to help improve what it is they want to change.
What’s your personal approach to getting older? How do you take care of your own skin?
I haven’t actually had any injectable treatments, but purely because the only people I trust are so busy! However, what I do every day is good skin care – I use a daily Vitamin C antioxidant, SPF and nightly retinol!
Do you have a favourite ageing quote?
Yes – my own which I love is almost the same as yours! ‘AGE THE WAY YOU WANT!'
Benji operates from Harley Street and his new AMAZING clinic in Beaconsfield
Grace Fodor – PRO AGE warrior, Beauty Expert & Founder of Studio10 . Passionate about challenging outdated stereotypes, anti-ageing and ageism to celebrate age. Providing education on how to apply makeup for older women.