Anti-Ageing Expert Interview

August 9, 2010

Image: Getty

Anti-Ageing Expert Interview

We all have anti-ageing skincare concerns but most of us don’t know where to go for information. We’re inundated with anti-ageing product advertising, hear about celebrities having Botox, even the supermarkets are filled with affordable skincare aimed at turning back the clock – so where do we start? We asked anti-ageing expert, Aesthetic Nurse Specialist Marilyn Cassetta from Sydney’s Silkwood Medical, about the best approach to looking and staying younger.

At what age should we start to be concerned about our skin?

The age at which most people would start to be concerned about their
skin is somewhat relative. For example, hormones often wreak havoc on
the condition of a teenager’s skin and that may be a concern for some
for more than a decade, or even two. Those in their thirties and forties
may start to notice fine wrinkling and blotching due to sun exposure,
as the first signs of aging; but those in their fifties and upwards will see additional changes due to the loss of elasticity, resulting in a deepening of folds and wrinkles and, more than likely, increases in broken
capillaries and brown blotches.

There are so many different approaches to anti-ageing – skincare,
surgery and temporary treatments like Botox. What should the first
step be for someone worried about their appearance and wanting to
make a change?

For many, one of the first lines of defense may be to employ the daily
use of creams or moisturisers that include active ingredients such as
vitamin A derivatives (retinoids), vitamin C (anti-oxidants), and glycolic
or lactic acids that assist in increasing the cellular turnover rate, as well as the exfoliation of dead cells. For those already on the path, one might consider one, or more, of the many non-surgical approaches to anti-
ageing available: the use of neurotoxins to diminish dynamic wrinkling,
dermal fillers to restore volume and to lift and soften lines and folds, or
the use of non-ablative lasers/lights to lighten blotches, splotches, and
capillaries, as well as increase the production of collagen or firm the

Surgery may be the first choice of some for reasons such as loose skin
to the neck or jowling of the jawline or heavy eyelids and the like.
However, these days more people are aware of the many ways they may
postpone the need for surgery by using the above mentioned alternatives
as a first line of defense.

What is the best way to find an Aesthetic nurse or plastic surgeon
that’s suited to your needs?

I am of the firm belief that “word of mouth” referrals are the very best
way to find an Aesthetic Nurse or Plastic Surgeon. Those patients who
are very happy with the way they are treated and the results they receive
are usually very happy to share the “good news” with a friend. Using a
product’s website usually allows one to type in a post-code and find “a
clinic near you”, but that does not insure experience or expertise in the
field. Cruising websites of specific clinics may assist you by reading the
practitioner’s biographies, training, and years in the business, but, again, I feel that the “cream rises to the top” and the word gets out.

What lifestyle changes really make a difference to our
skin, for example, eating healthier, staying out of the sun…?

There are many lifestyle changes to be considered if someone is worried
about the appearance of their skin. We all should know by now that we
should be applying sunblock to avoid sun damage and, hopefully, we
will be teaching our children from the earliest age to ‘slip, slap, and
slop”, to minimise direct exposure to the sun during the peak hours of
10a.m. to 4p.m., and to wear protective clothing outdoors, when possible.
If children are taught at a young age, they may have a better chance of
making the right choices regarding their skin later in life.

Let’s not forget basic hygiene; for many, is it highly under valued.
Washing your face, with a face cloth, and whatever cleanser of choice, in
the morning seems an obvious thing to do, but many young adults may
be “too tired” to wash off their makeup, sunblock, and/or the dirt and oils
that accumulate throughout the day.

A balanced diet, including drinking plenty of water, is also critical to
maintaining good texture and tone. If you become dehydrated, your
skin- your body’s reservoir of water- will offer up its fluids to maintain
the function of your body’s vital organs. You can check this by making
sure that when you urinate, that it is a light yellow color (unless you’re
taking vitamin B- it may be dark yellow), not dark and concentrated and
that when you defecate, that things come out soft and smoothly. These
are your body’s dipsticks- so to speak- like checking the oil in your car.
Adequate hydration is necessary to flush toxins from the body and is a critical component to good health.

If your diet is not a balanced one, it may be difficult for your body to heal and repair wounds, as you require an adequate protein intake to promote the growth of collagen in your skin. Anti-oxidants, both in supplemental form and in your diet are important to capture “free-radicals”, damaging components produced in the body that result from cellular activity, the oxidation of tissues, and exposure to the sun.

Is it ever too late to do something about your appearance?

It is never too late to do something about your appearance. If you are
young and reading this there is much, as you have read that you can do to prevent or, at least, postpone the signs of ageing. If you have not heeded this advice, there is always something that can be done, it may be more involved, more expensive, more invasive, but there are many non-surgical and surgical options available. There truly is something for everyone’s lifestyle and budget.

Marilyn Cassetta, RN, BScN, CPSN (USA) is an Aesthetic Nurse Specialist at Silkwood Medical. Silkwood Medical is located at Level 4, 75 Grafton St, Bondi Junction NSW. Phone (02) 9387 3900.

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