Over the past couple of years, I’ve often asked myself whether it’s time to have a little Botox. But even though my crow’s feet are multiplying faster than Danny Zuko’s chills in Greece and the crinkles on my forehead can no longer be convincingly veiled by light reflecting makeup, I’ve yet to succumb to a syringe of the smoothing stuff.
Just before Christmas when my skin was at its most wintery (read: pale, dry and lacklustre) it got to the point where I spent my spare time looking at before and after pictures of Botox treatments . Those unlined foreheads and youthful, perky eyes had me at breaking point when comparing them against my folds and deepening wrinkles, so it was perfect timing when I got a call from Miss Sherina Balaratnam asking me to trial Radara – a much hailed breakthrough in targeted skincare. Exciting!
S-Thetics in Beaconsfield is one of the first UK clinics trialling Radara, so Sherina was as excited as me. The fact that I’d never had Botox but was at that ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ stage, apparently made me a perfect candidate to trial this new, at home treatment, as I could decide whether Radara delivered good enough results to keep me away from the needle for even longer. Here’s how I got on…
THE RADARA BOX
The stylish looking box that contains the Radara skincare system was a treat in itself – ‘totally Instagrammable’ – so my girls told me! After my initial consultation with Sherina to check on the current depth of my crow’s feet and to be shown how to use the system correctly, I left S-Thetics clutching my ‘special box’ and took lots of pictures of it while smiling inanely and hoping the contents of said box would work magic on my crinkles.
THE RADARA SKINCARE SYSTEM
The skincare system consists of flexible patches coated with tiny microscopic plastic ‘needles’ less than half a millimetre long and a pump bottle of high-grade pure hyaluronic acid (HA). If you haven’t heard of HA, let me tell you, it is a big buzz in the skincare industry and you’re most likely to find it in products aimed at the over 40 age group. HA is a naturally occurring sugar found in the body, which, like anything that’s holding us firm and tight, sadly reduces as we age. Depletion of HA is one of the main reasons we lose that youthful glow, natural elasticity, hydration and support. So, Radara figures that by replenishing HA levels using this targeted method, skin health can be restored and wrinkles softened.
HOW TO USE IT
The Radara trial lasts for four weeks and patches are designed to be used around the eye area once a day – I used it in the evening before bed after cleansing and moisturising. Patches are placed on the skin and gently pressed so that the ‘needles’ create hundreds of tiny micro-channels. Although this sounds a bit painful, it isn’t at all – it’s just feels slightly prickly. Then, after smoothing on a pump of hyaluronic acid, the patches are placed back on the skin for five minutes to allow the serum to penetrate.
As a self-confessed sloven, I wondered whether this extra skincare step would become a hassle and wind up going by the way side, but actually, I came to look forward to my five minutes of Radara time! It was time for me to be still and quiet (it’s best not to move the face while the patches are doing their thing) and I found it an enjoyable part of my day, marking the start of a wind down routine.
Even though my trial took part over the festive season, I’m pleased to report that any excess of alcoholic bubbles and partying didn’t cause my nightly routine to slip and my patches went on every night for five minutes, without fail… Though I do admit to waking up and finding used patches stuck to my foot on a couple of occasions!
The results on my eyes over the first two weeks were unremarkable – my skin felt slightly more hydrated but that was all. Just when I started wondering that perhaps I wasn’t ‘doing it right’ I noticed a change! There was a definite softening of wrinkles in the third and fourth week alongside a brightening of the area. When my face was static, the crow’s feet were almost non-existent.
On my final visit to check on wrinkle depth, Sherina was impressed to note that there was a definite plumping up of lines around the eyes from my initial skin analysis and I was pleased with glowing compliments from friends and family about how refreshed I was looking. I felt that I looked ‘well’ and my crow’s feet were minimal and definitely improved.
Discussing my results with Sherina, we both felt that the Radara system would be ideal for somebody who is opposed to Botox or, like me, isn’t sure they’re ready to go that route yet, but is after a way to reduce lines in a natural, subtle way.
Although the wrinkle reducing effects of Radara may not be as dramatic as they would be with Botox, my wrinkles still improved considerably more than with any eye-cream that I’ve used over the same amount of time. The effects of Radara are said to last for up to three months and, a month on, I’m still less crinkly than before the trial.
I’ve decided to hold off from Botox for now and just hope that Radara decide to bring out patches that can be used for other areas such as the forehead, chest and lip area. Watch this space!
A month supply of Radara Targeted Skincare costs £199 and there is lots of information here on their website.
For more information on S-Thetics in Beaconsfield, visit their website here.
Can you believe Jerry Hall is 58? She looks incredible doesn’t she? I’m not sure if she’s one of those who say ‘oh, yes I’ve tried Botox once, but didn’t like it so haven’t done it since’. How many times have we heard that line in interviews with oddly Benjamin Button-esque, age reversing celebs? It’s as if celebrities of a certain age know that we know they’ve done something and so by letting us know they’ve done it ‘just the once’ then, despite their frozen in time shiny forehead, rabbit nose lines and the fact they’ve only aged a month in 10 years, we will put it down to their incredible fountain of youth genes. They’re all natural…only did Botox the once you see? Hmmm, of course they did.
Anyway, Jerry looks fab. Whether she’s in the Botox brigade or not…she’s very natural looking. I kind of agree with her feature in the Daily Mail on Monday about not wearing beige if you want to look good in your 50s. Although I confess to loving a bit of beige – I think it suits me because of my fairly olive skin –Jez is right in that it can be an unforgiving shade and, as we age, our complexion needs something a little more vibrant to stop it looking like a bag o’ dough. The same goes for black which can also start to look unflattering and a little too harsh against certain skin tones. I think once we reach 45, it’s a good idea to take stock of the changes in our skin and hair and it’s probably the ideal time to invest in a colour analysis session which is something I’ve been thinking of doing with some friends. Once I get my act together and actually do this, i’ll let you know how I get on.
I also love the beauty tips Jerry’s mum passed down to her, such as slathering olive oil onto hair and body once a week to keep it supple. I have an arsenal of oils (see picture for proof) which I switch and use day or night, when I feel my skin needs extra hydration. I would like to think of adding Jerry’s full body oil treatment to my beauty routine but I can bet, just as I’ve basted myself, I’ll pick up my iphone to check texts and it’ll slip out of my oily hands and smash on the floor. Plus, my bonkers dog sheds black hairs all over the house and I can’t imagine it being pleasant having to pick them off oily limbs. It will need to be a bathroom only affair. But the new oil of de jour has to be coconut oil doesn’t it? Its beauty and wellbeing benefits are everywhere at the moment and one of my favourite bloggers, Vicki, over at Honestmum swears by it as her miracle go-to product for everything from healing scars to replenishing the hair and skin with goodness. And let me tell you, if it can help get me hair and skin like hers, then I’m all for it!
As for fashion, I think I’m into growing old semi-disgracefully. I don’t want to go the whole hog ‘look at me, my tits are at my knees and my gut is on my ankles and I’m still rocking a leopard print cropped top because I’M MEEEEE!’ No, I’m not that much of a nutjob, but I do still like to shake it up a little with my vintage snakeskin boots and a pleather trouser now and then. Regardless of what my kids think, I am 47 – not 107!
What’s your take on looking good as we age then? I’d love to know!