Last week I had the absolute pleasure of attending the High50 Anti-Ageing Beauty event at the fascinating Royal College of Surgeons.
Following the principles of the great Oxford traditions of debate there were two sides to the argument, moderated by the very lovely Mariella Frostrup. On the side of beauty products and no surgery was Beauty Journalist and Entrepreneur Jo Fairley of Beauty Bible and Green & Blacks chocolate fame. Arguing for surgery and botox was leading Aesthetic Surgeon and founder of YOUTH supplements, Dr. Daniel Sister.
The argument began robustly from Jo, who believes strongly after years of testing just about every beauty product on the market, that before any woman undertakes irreversible anti-ageing surgery she should invest in a fantastic skin-care regime, get some exercise and have a make-over. She also felt strongly that the media’s focus on looking younger and younger at all costs was not good for women’s mental health or self-esteem and needed urgent attention.
Countering, Dr. Sister argued that big brands like L’Oreal spend £6.7 million a year on research and £4 BILLION on marketing. He added: “If products are tested properly and are proven to work, then they have to be considered medicine and not sold without a prescription*. The majority of injectibles and surgical techniques however, have been practised for at least 15 years and there has never been a case of reaction to Botox.”
Summing up Jo emphasised how highly she rates Organic Beauty products for kinder anti-ageing. She illustrated how her testing panel have regularly given organic beauty products top marks when compared to more conventional cosmetics. Dr. Sister mentioned L’Oreal’s 600 patents and 0 research studies on effectiveness.
In the end the audience were evenly split between both sides.
Our view? Unsurprisingly we agree with Jo that organic beauty has a huge amount to offer in terms of performance and we also wouldn’t advise anyone to reach for the scalpel. Moreover, the question of whether beauty products or surgery works better is perhaps not so important. Has our view of natural beauty become so skewed that unnaturally smooth skin, plump cheekbones and lips be considered more attractive than a healthy glow and laughter lines arising from years of life experience? We all want to look great, but for us that doesn’t mean faking - anything.
*Dr Sister is not entirely correct. Skincare that is proven to be anti-ageing is not considered a medicine and does not need a prescription. Only those products claim to work against a recognised medical condition (anti-ageing is not included in this) need to have a medical licence.