There are so many options now to help us look younger, feel younger and give us a confidence boost - and it isn't just about vanity, sometimes the anti-ageing procedures available whilst not considered essential maybe, can make a huge difference to our quality of life.
Anti-ageing options available to us include - creams and serums, advanced facials and treatments, supplements (tablets and drinks), exercise (face and body) and medical aesthetic procedures. As a blogger in the 50+ niche I have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to try out a few of these and report back on my blog. But so far I have not considered any 'botox' type procedure, which to me represents 'medical aesthetics' and is about the extent of my knowledge!
So when I was invited to visit Bodyvie in Richmond - an advanced medical aesthetic clinic and a leader in its field - I saw it as an opportunity to find out more - what exactly is it all about and should I not rule it out?
The Bodyvie clinic was easy to find and is a large, bright and welcoming space. I was greeted by the receptionist and introduced to Dr Andrew Weber. We had a really interesting chat and I was keen to find out about the clinic's 'holistic' approach to ageing and menopause and the range of options they offer.
Bodyvie was one of the first medical aesthetic clinics to be established in the UK. They offer a fully bespoke service from their modern premises in Richmond.
They have recently introduced HRT / Menopause consultations to their clinic which means that you can go along for a full consultation and discuss everything about your health and ageing concerns and Dr Weber or a member of his medical team will advise on the best solutions from HRT to anti-ageing treatments and procedures.
I spent quite some time talking to Dr Weber about HRT, because as you know I am on HRT but my journey to get to where I am now, with it being successful, has taken a lot of research and money and failed attempts! I was also interested to find out Dr Weber's opinion on the options available. We discussed the term bio or body identical HRT and the difference between regulated (rBHRT) from your GP, NHS specialist or private specialist and unregulated (cBHRT) from clinics that use compounding pharmacies as well as the importance of moving towards full regulation for an industry that is confusing and misleading. This results in too many women either giving up and thinking HRT doesn't work or spending too much money on treatments that will never work. The misleading press reports about the dangers of HRT have only confused the issue further. And it is often forgotten just how HRT can protect our bone and heart health and offer long term protection from some cancers and possibly dementia.
In the FaceBook group The Menopause Support Network there are daily questions about 'what herbal solution might help my libido' or 'my GP doesn't understand HRT' or 'where can I go privately to get the best advice' - (a very small selection of the worries discussed) - it is very sad to see so much confusing and conflicting information and women still being palmed off with anti-depressants when in fact they need to balance their hormones first. Anyway, I am digressing!
Our discussion led on to the fact that so many 'clinics' are able to offer medical beauty procedures but are unregulated and the importance of making sure, if you do decide to have a medical aesthetic treatment, that you go to a registered medical clinic and not your local beauty salon.
Meno-tweaks and anti-ageing treatments
As well as a vast range of anti-ageing, laser and skin rejuvenation treatments Bodyvie also offer their own range of skin creams, Dr Weber Skincare, which are prescribed as part of the consultation process. They also stock Skinade which is a daily skincare drink that works from the inside out to rebuild and strengthen collagen and boost natural levels of hydration to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Tip - collagen will only work if you drink it, it will not be effective if it is in a topical cream.
I came away armed with a lot of information and having learnt so much from my chat with Dr Weber - primarily the importance of choosing the right clinic but also just how much is available to us!
There are the obvious aesthetic, dare I say vanity, treatments - the treatments that are designed to give us confidence and slow down or make the ageing process less visible. But for many these treatments can provide a much needed boost especially if you are struggling with the effects of menopause symptoms.
But then there are the 'essential' medical procedures, okay not essential enough to be available on the NHS or life threatening but things that can have a huge effect on our quality of life. Help for things like rosacea, pigmentation, scarring and stretch marks. And the often hidden and not discussed but very serious and debilitating issues that come with ageing - vaginal atrophy and urinary incontinence for example - both come as a result of declining hormones. These things are far more common than we know - but are considered 'embarrassing' and so we often don't seek the help we need. But handled sensitivity and if you can take a brave pill - the help is available and there are simple solutions that work. Don't be afraid to talk about it and go and ask for help. I've already discussed this on my blog, see my post here for bladder health awareness month.
So now I know more about the botox type procedures and I understand the role of collagen. I also asked about the fat reduction treatments - and declined to try them out, for me they just sounded too uncomfortable and too expensive!
A full holistic approach to ageing and menopause
But overall I found my chat with Dr Weber enlightening and interesting. I like the idea of a full holistic approach to ageing and menopause - the tweaks or 'meno-tweaks' as Bodyvie are calling them, that can all come together to offer us a better quality of life and some added confidence. I do believe it should start with HRT so I was pleased to see them adding private consultations to what the clinic offers. If your hormones are balanced then you can move onto these medical aesthetic procedures with confidence that you are doing your best to stay healthy.
I am not sure what my opinion is on the more involved procedures - should we not just be ageing gracefully as nature intended - or if we can afford some help and it is available to us, then why not? I admit I do have the benefit of good genes so I have always looked younger than my real age. And being on HRT helps! But if I can stay looking and feeling younger for as long as possible then that has to be positive for my mental health as well as my physical health surely! And if I can get a bit of help dong that then it is no different to any of our daily beauty rituals - I like to take care of myself, I like the confidence that comes with that and I want to be around for as long as possible to make memories with my family.
So do explore the Bodyvie Instagram page and their website to get an idea of the extensive range of treatments they offer. It took me just over 30 minutes to drive into Richmond from Buckinghamshire and I parked on someone's drive about a 2 minute walk away - I used JustPark to book the space before you wonder what on earth I was doing on someones drive?
I did have a treatment as part of my consultation and I will report back on the results from that in a few weeks!
What do you think, have you tried any medical aesthetic treatments, would you consider it?
Other blogs you may have missed and find useful:
Skincare and makeup masterclass with Imedeen and Mary Greenwell
My experience of getting permanent eyeliner
Review | Anti-ageing skincare from Lumity
Anti-ageing facials | final results
Disclaimer: I was invited along to Bodyvie for a free consultation and to try a treatment, I was under no obligation to blog about my experience. All opinions are my own.
I link up with:
Is This Mutton
Not Dressed as Lamb
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
Subscribe below to receive regular updates by email:
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
Join my mailing list (above) for regular updates and don’t forget to look at my social media pages too..