Despite all the advertising implying the contrary, the type of skin you have is largely inherited. If you are genetically lucky and have inherited good skin, there is very little you can do to ruin it—apart from basking in the sun, of course! If you are not so lucky, there are no creams, poultices, potions, ampoules or unguents which will change the basic quality of your skin. Advertised elixirs of youth and beauty are misleading and the benefits illusory. All is not lost, however! You may be stuck with the type of skin you have inherited but if you are not satisfied with it there are ways to improve on nature.
Take home renovation as an analogy. A house with building faults or suffering bad structural damage as a result of collapsed foundations needs restumping or reblocking. In other words, it needs major repair work. Likewise, if your face has structural defects either from birth or due to injury, or if the facial muscles and tissues are sagging as a result of aging and photoaging (sun damage) you may choose to consult a plastic surgeon. Plastic surgery can now offer face and brow lifts, and contouring and resurfacing techniques of various kinds. It is possible to have noses remodelled so that the shape is entirely changed, eyes can be altered in shape, eyebrows elevated, bags under the eyes removed, lips made fuller, and even cheekbones made more prominent. Fat deposits can be removed by liposuction and hair can be transplanted. Most of these procedures are relatively major and certainly carry risks—as with any surgical procedure. Make sure the person who treats you has the appropriate specialist qualifications. Any doctor can call herself or himself a cosmetic surgeon but only those with extensive training can call themselves plastic surgeons.
If the problem is with the quality of the skin itself, whether its color, texture or the presence of various blotches and blemishes, a dermatologist can help using a variety of techniques which really can improve on nature. This particularly applies to aged and photoaged skin.
Cosmetic camouflage is one option. A good cosmetic artist can teach the skills necessary to apply cosmetics correctly. Many blemishes can be hidden with ‘paint and paper’. This particularly applies to major blemishes due to malformations or birthmarks. Removal of the offending blemishes is another option. There are various techniques available for removing excrescences and irregular pigmentation and for eliminating so-called broken blood vessels. Contour can be improved with filling agents such as hyaluronic acid or collagen. Texture can be improved by various peeling or resurfacing techniques.
Few of the above renovations would be necessary if we all adopted strict sun-protective measures from infancy. Alas, it is too late for some of us, but our children and future generations should benefit from what we now know about sun exposure and its effect on the skin.