Growing older is inevitable. But actually looking your age has become more of a choice than an unalterable reality with increasing numbers of men seeking out professional help to keep themselves looking the right side of 50.
But is anyone buying what these blokes are putting down?
Earlier this year, Tom Cruise set tongues and Twitter wagging when he appeared on the red carpet at the BAFTAs. The Mission: Impossible star was looking decidedly puffy in the face.
While Cruise has not confirmed any nips or tucks, rumours abound that the 54-year-old-actor (who is arguably in better shape than myself and many of my peers) had undergone a round of 'fillers' – injectables that help reduce the sign of wrinkles by literally filling them in from underneath.
The fact that Cruise may have succumbed to cultural pressures to look younger than he is wasn't the issue. What was so shocking was the drastic difference in his appearance, with one commentator describing him as "a hamster in a tuxedo".
According to Dr Bryan Mendelson from the Centre for Facial Plastic Surgery in Melbourne, part of this is because men tend to wait until the damage is already done before they try to address it.
"It is generally said ... that male attractiveness peaks at a much later age than it does for women," Mendelson says.
"This may explain why men seem to worry less about the aging process until it is well established, which presumably explains why in general they have surgery performed at a later age."
Cathriona Flanagan, head dermal therapist at Sydney's Face of Man, says that Cruise's mistake is a common one made by many men opting for a tune up.
"Older men are looking for a fast fix rather than a slower, more subtle approach to getting that fresh faced look," she says.
The uncanny valley
Another reason that Cruise, and many other men trying to turn back the clock, fail to be praised for looking so surprisingly fresh and young is just that – it's a little too fresh, a little too young and a little too sudden.
There's a term in the world of technology and robotics called the uncanny valley. It's a term used to describe the point where a robot becomes so realistic it causes a sense of revulsion in humans.
It's a similar experience when we encounter someone who's gone from looking like a healthy bloke in his mid-50s to, well, a hamster in a tuxedo overnight.
Aged, like whiskey
Another reason is that we've been culturally hard-wired to prefer men who a look a little more weathered and tested by time. In comparison to women, who unfairly suffer from a ridiculous pressure to remain ever youthful, men are actually encouraged and celebrated as they look older.
A quick look at those men who consistently appear on "world's sexiest" lists would prove this theory, with most of the gents taking out top spot sporting more than just a smattering of silver in the hair.
Men like George Clooney, Matt Damon, Idris Elba and even Russell Crowe regularly position quite high in the hierarchy.
"We prefer our men to keep their masculine features, which is what some of these cosmetic procedures tend to alter," explains Flanagan.
"For example, an over use of filler in the cheekbone area. This is considered a beauty trait in females but something we are seeing more of in men."
So is there a happy medium?
Choosing to take the edge of the aging process isn't a bad thing - who doesn't want to look their best until the very end? But there are ways to do this that won't leave you looking like you're cosplaying Benjamin Button.
"The best advice I can offer someone would be to start doing skin rejuvenation treatments such as fractional laser or skin needling and good quality homecare (including sunscreen) as a means for preventive," says Flanagan.
"You don't develop permanent wrinkles until your mid to late 30s or even early 40s, so I wouldn't recommend Botox earlier than this."
"Most patients in Australia are just wanting to 'look good for their age'," explains Dr Mendelson. "This means looking healthy and vital. There is a phenomena we call the 'Melbourne look'. That is, natural and subtle, not obvious.
"Get good advice, which may require visiting a couple of recommended prospective surgeons to find the surgeon who specialises in surgery of the face and who you feel comfortable with; and prepare yourself for the surgery with good health, fitness, and especially weight control."
Think men should avoid getting work done? Tell us what you think below.
Up until very recently it was thought that tightening the skin was the best method for smoothing out those wrinkles and lines that come with ageing. However this is not necessarily the case. Dr Bryan Mendelson, Plastic Surgeon and internationally recognised authority on facial anatomy and ageing, uses a procedure he calls “Bright Eyes”, or Internal Fixation, being lauded as the most natural and lasting technique around today.
Blepharoplasty has helped thousands of patients restore and refresh the eye area to turn back the clock. The Internal Fixation technique is where the skin is brought back to where it was before it started to sag, creating a more distinct fold above the eye. Not stretching or removing any of your actual surface skin, the skin is gently pulled back to its original position due to the anchoring that occurs underneath the skin. Dr Mendelson says, “The longevity of the Internal Fixation procedure is due to it taking effect beneath the skin, and not on it. Any procedure that pulls or removes excess skin in this area (as all areas on the face), will lead to distortion and short term results, as the skin stretches over time, and is not recommended.”
Facial ageing occurs because of the loosening of muscles and tissues beneath the skin in the deeper layers. As Dr Mendelson says, tightening the skin will only be a temporary solution and is often noticeable and appears “forced”.
Natural Looking Results
The Internal Fixation technique is said to give completely natural looking results as the skin does not appear pulled or overstretched. Dr Mendelson clarifies why, “The natural shape of the eye forms the basis for the internal fixation with the result being that the eyes look bright and full of life. There is only one small incision, carefully concealed in the eyelid crease, which is undetectable within four months, even when the eyes are closed.”
Blepharoplasty, or eye surgery, is one of the best procedures for turning back the clock a few years. Eyes are one of the first areas of the face to show ageing. The procedure can offer other benefits such as:
The International Society of Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) will hold one of their coveted symposiums next week, and a massive drawcard for this one on the Gold Coast is keynote speaker Dr Bryan Mendelson, Facial Plastic Surgeon based in Melbourne, who will be presenting a comprehensive insight into his work in facial augmentation and rejuvenation of the face.
Highly sought after on the presentation circuit, Dr Mendelson is known for his contributions to the medical industry on the surgical anatomy of the face. With decades of knowledge that he will share with attendees, this is one symposium you won’t want to miss.
Dr Mendelson will be imparting his knowledge on the following topics:
Other subjects to be discussed at the ISAPS Symposium will be facial anatomy, facial ageing, assessment and selection of facial implants, contemporary surgical techniques, the role of pre-formed and custom designed facial implants.
For more info on Dr Mendelson visit his website: https://bmendelson.com.au/.
The downside to being a winter bride is the high chance of suffering from dry, flaky, chapped skin and, as a bride-to-be, I was especially conscious of the impact the changing season would have on my face this year.
After doing some research, I went to visit Natasha Laouta at the Skin & Injecting Clinic (Melbourne) on behalf of Dr Bryan Mendelson for a consultation on the best type of facial treatment to ensure my skin was healthy and glowing for the big day and throughout the winter months.
After an in-depth chat about and examination of my skin concerns Natasha suggested Hydrodermabrasion, explaining that it would effortlessly eliminate dead skin cells while simultaneously using water and oxygen to hydrate.
As someone with moderately sensitive skin, I wasn’t sure how it would react to stronger exfoliation but Natasha assured me she would be using products tailored specifically to my needs.
With over a dozen years of industry experience, I knew I was in the most expert of hands with Natasha.
Lying back in the treatment chair, Natasha talked me through exactly what she was about to do and why. It was a mini-education in dermal therapy, which I found very informative and interesting.
The Hydrodermabrasion treatment itself was painless and quick. I experienced absolutely no redness, irritation or sensitivity following it, only immediate results; my skin was smooth, glowing and fresh, something that has continued three weeks on!
I had my makeup professional done the following day for an event and the makeup artist couldn’t believe how immaculate my skin was and how flawlessly the foundation set.
With zero downtime and no adverse reactions, I’m so pleased I have found this treatment and I’ve booked another appointment with Natasha just two weeks before the wedding.
Here’s to the bridal glow I always hoped to achieve!
For more information about Hydrodermabrasion, contact Dr Bryan Mendelson at the Skin & Injecting Clinic on 03 9826 0977.
Dr Bryan Mendelson is widely regarded as one of Australia’s pre-eminent facial plastic surgeons and was recently the only aesthetic Plastic Surgeon from Australia chosen to contribute to the hugely anticipated surgical book, Dissecting the Facelift.
Dissecting the Facelift
UK publisher BB Publications have released this first of its kind book bringing together the different facelift techniques and approaches gathered from the most respected and highly skilled surgeons around the world. Featuring 260 pages of images, essays and drawings, Dr Mendelson’s contribution focusses on his methodology and approach to the Limited Dissection Composite Facelift, for which he is renowned.
Dr Mendelson’s unique narrative has the ability to take the reader on a journey, and in Dissecting the Facelift, he takes us into the operating theatre and highlights the importance of precise anaesthesia to minimise bleeding and post-operative bruising. Dr Mendelson’s expert understanding of facial anatomy, especially facial spaces and the deeper layers of the face, gives him a highly sought after knowledge of successful facelift techniques.
Previous Publications and Presentations
Not being new to publishing his findings and work, Dr Mendelson has written over 50 scientific papers and delivered over 100 presentations to industry professionals in cities all over the world. His original research into facial ageing was recognised by the premier anatomy book, Gray’s Anatomy. He also authored a book, In Your Face, about why looks are important and which is on bookshelves of surgeons all around Australia and indeed the world.
First to Introduce the Latest Non-Surgical Treatments
Released this month, Dissecting the Facelift is already a book considered essential to any plastic surgeon who wants to be at the forefront of the industry. You can find Dr Mendelson based at The Centre for Facial Plastic Surgery in Melbourne where he is often the first to introduce the latest non-surgical skin therapies and products from around the world to complement or as stand-alone treatments.