In your twenties, conundrums are plentiful. Trying to move out of your parents’ house, for example. Attempting to forge a career. Calculating if you can budget in rent, and also go to Glastonbury – you know, the big questions. In fact, we’ll worry about pretty much anything; a plethora of subjects most wouldn’t even consider. But there is something that we’re certainly not concerned about: ageing.
Talk to a girl in her twenties about ageing, and many might initially light up. We actually like to talk about the future, you see. It often feels like a place where everything’s worked out. We’ll have a house, we say, and a job we like. There’ll be an other half, the other half, and potentially a pug. We will frolic and holiday freely. All will be well. Note: we had no idea you were trying to talk to us about our looks. They last forever, don’t they?
Naivety, it seems, remains our enemy – though I’m inclined not to blame us. Maybe we are all a little wrapped up in the trauma of adult-ing, but our list of fundamental life lessons to learn does feel particularly long – and, P.S., we only just grew out of our teenage skin. Crows feet feel an awful way off.
Of course, they are. And we’re well aware that our behaviour will at some point have a cost. Consecutive nights spent on dance floors, for example, will not plump, glowing skin make. Wine is not a nutritious food group. Exposing our skin to any and all the vitamin D we can get, equally, is not the recommended dosage, albeit, it’s difficult to resist when that girl’s trip to Ibiza is the only sun you’ll see all year. The problem though, with the fall out of all of these habits, is that they just don’t seem within touching distance. Newsflash, though – one day we’ll wake up and they will be.
Let’s be clear: ageing is no bad thing. This is not some monster we have to try and fight; it’s a natural process. But getting a handle on the anti-ageing market, in all it’s gimmicky, promise-bearing glory, is certainly of use. Let’s begin.
The first thing to know, is that there is one simple, full-proof rule the world over when it comes to anti-ageing: wear sunscreen – all the time. Whether it’s cloudy, stormy or the depths of winter, SPF remains the certainty that all dermatologists agree on. Lather it on, and thank me when you’re forty. The second thing to know, is that there isn’t really anything much else that is agreed on. Anti-ageing products are packed full of big words, and big promises. No one ingredient – regardless of how much of a breakthrough it’s sold as – has been shown to be 100% effective. In fact, most women simply get caught up in the cycle of buying these products without recalling that they didn’t have an effect that last time they did so. The third thing then to consider then, how best to look after the goods we have now, so that they can still serve us for later. Keep in mind that this needn’t be an overhaul in routine, but an incorporation of now-and-then treatments with long-term effects. I posed this to two establishments: The Chelsea Day Spa for my skin, and Daniel Galvin’s new salon in Kensington for my hair.
“We have a wide range of clients from 20s to late 60s and they all love HydroPeptide,” Faye Fassan from the Chelsea Day Spa told me when I quizzed her on the subject. “It caters for all age ranges and skin types. Our clients in their 20s love HydroPeptide facials for the same reason our other clients love it too, because it gives immediate visible results. They leave the spa feeling and looking like they’ve had a facial. With the hectic lifestyles they lead and living in a city like London, they understand that they need to take even better care of their skin than others.”
I visited the outpost to see just whether this facial was something I’d consider working into my treat-yo’self routine. An hour with the therapist involved a skin diagnosis, followed by cleanse, exfoliation and various masks that promised dewy, glowing skin in the weeks to come. It delivered on just that. “HydroPeptide is an amazing anti aging skin care brand that increases hydration, visibly reduces lines and wrinkles and brightens the skin,” Faye explained once I had roused from my blissful post-treatment state. “Our clients in their 20s are well educated on how they need to start looking after their skin at an early age – so as not to make the same mistakes their mothers made – so this skincare line and the facials is the perfect answer. The products our easy to use, amazing value for money and they can choose between a 30 minute express facial or a 60 minute full facial depending on the time they have.”
Anti-ageing though, isn’t just to do with our skin. Hair is equally as vital, with a glossy mane being the biggest indicator over time of health. Many of us can forget this though, despite the fact that we’ll spend numerous hours getting our colour and style just right. As the owner of a heavily highlighted head myself, I see this more than anyone – damage is done very swiftly, without thinking. There’s an answer to that too though.
“A lot of customers come to us for Olaplex because they have heard about it from word of mouth and magazines etc,” Daniel Galvin’s Lily tells me, as she paints the treatment into my hair at their Kensington salon. “The treatment is for everyone. Olaplex it not a masque or a conditioner. The hair is made up of Disulphide bonds linked together with bridges. Over time these bridges get broken, bonds float around in the hair and hair becomes weak and brittle. Olaplex permanently builds bridges to strengthen bonds.”
Olaplex, for those in need of a catch up, is the best thing you can do for your hair right now. Applied mixed into hair colour, it brings out natural blondes and protects your hair whilst the colour sinks in. Applied just as a wash-in treatment, it sits like a masque. In either case, you’re left with bouncy, beautiful locks with real shine, and the post-treatment conditioner to use at home locks that in. I can vouch for it – two months later, I’m still noticing the results.
So what’s the verdict? In truth, it’s up to you. But if you can find time to work treatments like these into your routine, you might just notice the difference later on – if not, I’ll buy you a drink.