Monday, 27 September 2010

Q&A: Invisalign & Anti-Ageing

Something a little different for you now, but well worth a read if you have the time. I was recently invited to a little Q&A session about anti-ageing and this fabulous product called Invisalign®. If you haven't heard of it, Invisalign is a virtually invisible orthodontic treatment that can straighten your teeth and improve your smile without the need for invasive dental procedures. Personally I'm not keen on the super white, same size moulded type teeth that the likes of Simon Cowell (and every other celeb) sport but without a lie, I'd absolutely love Invisalign. I hate my squint teeth (which I swear are getting worse the older I get) and this would straighten my 'real' teeth without the hassle and embarrassment of traditional braces. I've dreamed of a product like this and had no idea something so perfect existed, so I was really keen to hear more about it from celebrity make-up artist, Lina Cameron who is a spokesperson for Invisalign and Harley Street dentist Dr Mark Hughes who is an Invisalign practitioner. For more information or to find a practitioner near you, visit

I'm really interested in Invisalign, it appears to be an excellent product given that it is almost invisible. Can anyone of any age use this?
Dr Mark Hughes: I would recommend the treatment to anyone from the age of twelve upwards.
How does Invisalign differ from other teeth straightening treatments?
Invisalign is a series of comfortable, removable nearly invisible ‘aligners’ that help to move teeth step by step to achieve a great smile. It is perfect for enhancing your natural assets, ‘using what you’ve got’ rather, for example, than drilling away the teeth and adding porcelain. If you compare Invisalign to traditional braces, primary differences include there are no metal brackets or wires and unlike traditional ‘train tracks’ you can remove the aligners for special occasions, and indeed daily to eat and to keep up your oral hygiene. Aligners are more comfortable than and not as painful as traditional braces. With the latter you are required to have the wires changed and tightened, which can cause great discomfort. Aligners on the other hand, apply a constant gentle force on the teeth without causing much pain. Finally, you have a certain amount of flexibility as you will only need to see your doctor every 8 to 12 weeks. This means less maintenance - perfect for those with a busy schedule.
Is Invisalign widely available across the country?
Yes – visit the website even has a facility where you can enter your postcode to find out where you can go locally.
How long does a course of Invisalign usually last?
This is really dependent on the client – some courses take 3- 4 months, others may take 3 to 4 years. The longest case I have encountered is 3 years – it was a very severe case. However on average, treatment will last approximately 12 to 15 months.

We're constantly being told that the science behind anti-ageing skincare is progressing, can we believe the hype? Can non-invasive treatments really make a difference?
Lina Cameron: Yes, science is absolutely progressing and making a difference with some products even working at a cell level. As for non-invasive treatments, I always encourage my clients to make the best of what they have without resorting to drastic measures or procedures that cannot be reversed. It is essential to have good, clear and even complexion so a comprehensive skin care routine is a must. Regular exfoliation is key, as skin needs to be fresh and dewy to take a good make-up application, foundation can look caked on if you have a dry complexion. A course of microdermabrasion can work wonders but I always advise to do your research and seek out a reputable clinic.

I also encourage teeth whitening as a bright smile is a must and if teeth are white the lips can take any lip colour. If teeth are discoloured, yellow based pigments such as some pinks will exacerbate the yellowness of discoloured teeth and limit colour options.

A wonderful smile sets off a great face of make-up beautifully and gives the utmost confidence. There is nothing worse for me than seeing clients who are unhappy with their smile as it hinders their enjoyment in life.

Invisalign is the only orthodontic treatment I recommend. It works to enhance my client’s natural assets, boosting their confidence by delivering a great smile. It is virtually invisible which is perfect for my clients as they are not interested in traditional fixed brace techniques which only highlight that they have a problem in the first place.
What is the optimum age to begin using anti-ageing treatments? And how should it change as we get older?
We all age differently but looking after our skin is incredibly important so it is ideal to start as early as possible, definitely once you’re within your early twenties. Obviously some creams and products are targeted for an older market, but if you use something with lots of nutrients this will help plump up the skin and effectively acts as an anti-ageing product. Think about cleansing and protecting the skin as this is the best form of an anti-ageing routine you could possibly invest in.
The anti-ageing skincare market is so huge and it can be confusing knowing which product will work best for us-what ingredients should we be looking for?
Ingredients can be confusing, try to look for products that contain a high concentration of enzymes, nutrients, anti-oxidants or vitamins. I would always recommend buying anti-ageing products from dermatologist brands like Dr Murad rather than big cosmetic companies. Put a little bit of research into it and check the brand and its quality. Otherwise I use a very simple technique of deciding whether a product is good for me. Open the jar and smell the product, feel it and decide whether it will make you happy. If you feel like you would enjoy using the product then buy it.
Are there certain techniques we should use during application or are the products alone enough?
If you want to achieve clean and fresh skin, put a cleanser on your skin and leave for half an hour. Then put on a pair of rubber gloves and soak a cloth in hot water to steam your face. Once your face has been steamed, take off the gloves and using cotton wool or a muslin cloth gently rub upwards and towards the side of your face, instead of wiping downwards. Keep this as gentle as possible and try not to stretch the skin.

When it comes to this type of skincare do you really get what you pay for or can high-street brands deliver just as well?
Some up-market products don’t suit certain skin types while high-street brands will, and vice versa. I would recommend mixing and matching and experimenting to find out what is best for you, however I would always invest a little extra in buying the best serum available. Put this on after cleansing but before using a cream. The trick is to not overdo it, only use as much as is needed.
What adjustments should we make to the cosmetics we use as we get older and our colouring changes?
The number one problem women face is choosing the correct foundation. Your skin tone will change as you get older and it is so important to use the correct colouring. Always test out foundations, simply go to the counter and ask for some testers to take home. A good foundation will disappear into your skin and shouldn’t add any colour to your complexion. Aim to use the foundation in the centre of your face only.

Apricot coloured blushers work well with any skin tone and can be used at whatever age. During the winter season or even as you get older, skin becomes quite dry. I would recommend using a good tinted moisturising balm in a light tint colour to leave your skin glowing. Simply rub a small amount on your hands to warm through and pat lightly over your cheeks. Try to avoid applying the balm on to your t-zone area as this will create an oily look rather than glowing.

Young or old, applying a little definition to your eyes using a good eyeliner brush can make all the difference. Finally, add a peachy colour to your lips to finish off the look.

At any age, the cosmetics used are secondary to how you apply the make-up. Any woman can wear glitter on their eyes, but it is how they apply it that makes it look good.

Another top tip to is to keep your eyebrows in the best shape possible, an over plucked eyebrow can be very ageing. Shavata eyebrow studio (Harrods Urban Retreat) do the best eyebrow reshapes. If your eyebrows have stopped growing completely try Talika Eyebrow Lipocils ( £21.00 at Space NK) to help promote eyebrow growth. Perfectly shaped eyebrows make all the difference.

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