The Future of Men’s Wellness & Grooming
It’s odd that, in 2022, we still haven’t really come up with a collective name for men’s beauty treatments. The word ‘beauty’ – although this may change – still seems more appropriate for women than for men; ‘grooming’ has all sorts of connotations and, at the very least, conjures up little more than eyebrow trims and wet shaves; ‘self-care’, a popular one at the moment, sounds a little too Love Island to me, and ‘aesthetics’, while accurate, is perhaps more of an industry term than a word you’d drop into conversation with friends in a bar.
And yet more and more men have discovered the subtle and sophisticated rejuvenation techniques – often non-invasive, with no or little down-time – that can be administered on a lunch break and have you looking fresh-faced and well-rested in only a matter of minutes, hours or days, depending on the treatment. Several clinics have told me that around 30% of their clients are now men, who come in and ask not to look younger, but to look as if they’ve had a good night’s sleep or a relaxing holiday. It’s not about looking a different age, it’s about looking the best you can for the age you are. Think of it as hopping aboard a Belmond Express for a gentle journey rather than taking a quick easyJet flight into your physical future.
The list of what are sometimes referred to as ‘tweakments’ grows more sophisticated and less daunting all the time: think wrinkle-smoothing injections to help you appear less furious, fillers to contour your jawline, ultrasound laser to tighten your skin, dermaplaning to exfoliate your face and leave it glowing. All you need is an expert eye to help you discover what will best leave you feeling content and comfortable with how you look, without appearing as if you’ve had anything ‘done’.
Dr Costas Papageorgiou, the award-winning aesthetic surgeon who heads up the New York Dermatology Group at The Wellness Clinic, sees it as “helping people be happy with what they see in the mirror when they get up each morning”. He says, “Self-perception can boost your confidence, and when you feel confident within yourself it enables you to roll with the challenges that each day throws at you.” And he’s right. Beauty may be skin deep, but how we feel about the way we look is often so much deeper.
If you’re a little unsure, technology can be your friend. Book a facial-aesthetic consultation with Dr Costas, for example, and he will use 3D imaging to enable you to objectively look at your own face. It’s an odd but enlightening experience. You stand in front of a piece of equipment that takes multiple images of your face from various angles, and in mere minutes recreates it on a screen in 3D. It shows your face as it actually is – as others see it – rather than the distorted version you see in a mirror. Dr Costas will then explain how your face has changed with age and what treatment options, if you desire, are available. These may include the addition of volume to the under-eyes (these get hollower as we lose bone density and tissue volume over time, and thus appear darker), or an ultrasound wave lift – a non-surgical treatment in which powerful ultrasound waves are used to stimulate collagen production and lift the areas of your face where gravity has taken its toll.
If you prefer a more traditional approach, a new generation of acupuncturists have discovered ways to harness the centuries-old Chinese medicine to improve the look and feel of your skin. One of the most remarkable treatments I’ve tried recently is needle shaping. The practice uses tiny acupuncture needles to create natural collagen threads in the skin where volume has diminished or fine lines have appeared. Once the needles are placed in the skin, gentle traction is applied to them, and the process painlessly and naturally firms and lifts up your face. Don’t worry that for the best part of the session you’ll resemble Pinhead from Hellraiser; as soon as it’s over you’ll see your skin looking fresher and firmer. My cheekbones were higher than they have been for years. As a result, my mood was lifted, too.
In this great big, bonkers world we find ourselves living in, with so much more beyond our control than ever before, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about wanting to look good. If you can use an ibuprofen to ease a headache and an Instagram filter to lighten a picture, then what’s wrong with a treatment to erase a wrinkle? Research has shown that looking good can make you feel good. A holistic approach to skin health and aesthetic treatments – nurturing both the inside and out – is the future. ‘Wellness’ is perhaps the word I was looking for.
Wellness at Harrods
If you’re ready to ramp up your rejuvenation practices, this is your bitesize guide to the latest sculpting, lifting, refining and volumizing treatments at the expert hands of our practitioners – let’s call it wellness 3.0.
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The latest in laser face-lift technology, ClearLift is a pain-free, non-ablative resurfacing treatment that improves texture and tone, boosts collagen production and tackles wrinkles and pigmentation, for a brighter, more refined complexion. £135 for half face; £180 for full face.