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Caroline Hirons told us the treatments she's had, will have and absolutely won't have.

If you're a person who uses skincare, chances are you've asked yourself this question at least once: Does this stuff actually do anything? 

Well, we finally have an answer for you. Because that's exactly what Mia Freedman asked skincare expert Caroline Hirons when she sat down with her for a chat as part of Mamamia's Skin Summit

Image: Mia Freedman and Caroline Hirons.

And if there's one person in this confusing world of beauty who'll give you an honest, no-BS response - it's going to be Hirons. 

The 53-year-old is one of the most authoritative voices in the industry - she's a qualified aesthetician, skin expert, blogger, author, and founder of the skincare app 'Skin Rocks'.

So, when asked about what skincare cannot do for your skin - Hirons gave it to Mia straight:

"It can't change the structure of your skin. Everything else can be managed."

Meaning? While skincare can help change the appearance of your skin, it can't change your genetics. 

As Hirons told Mia, skincare can't add volume - no matter what the claims on the packaging say. 

"So when products say they "add volume", I'm like, "I'm out", she said.

"If you want to be pedantic about it, skincare can add volume to the very, very top - which is going to come off, anyway."

While serums and creams can give your skin a temporary boost, they can't actually address facial volume loss.

"When you're looking at the epidermis - you're not going to penetrate it and plump it up without a needle. So, changing the structure of your skin is just not going to happen with a topical [product]."

Enter: Cosmetic treatments.

"You need a machine; you need an injector or doctor. You need to be lying down on a bed in a sterile environment," said Hirons.

What's the best treatment Caroline Hirons has had?

When it comes to cosmetic treatments, you can expect Caroline Hirons has tried quite a few thingsBecause when you think about it, she's literally one of the most influential people in the beauty industry - so you can only imagine the kind of stuff she gets offered.

But when asked about the best treatment she's ever had, we were... confused. 

And trust us, this one will surprise you, too - because no, it doesn't have anything to do with her skin.

"The best thing I ever did for myself was fix my teeth," she told Mia Freedman.

That's not what you expected, was it? Told you!

"I had always said I wanted the American teeth I was promised at birth - because my mum's American. And your teeth age quicker than anything in your 50s - you get scaling; they might never have been straightened properly," she said. 

"I think fixing my smile has made me more confident than anything I can do with a needle or a laser."

"So, I now have veneers on the front eight [teeth]. I had a really crappy dentist when I was a teenager and [my teeth] always looked dark at the front - so, it was always my thing."

What other treatments has Caroline Hirons had?

When it comes to the cosmetic treatments Hirons has had on her face, she candidly told Mia about the procedures she's already had, the procedures she's planning on having and the ones she absolutely won't have.

As she goes on to share, her very first cosmetic treatment was in her late 40s, when she noticed sagging and a loss of volume in her face (which is obviously a very normal and natural part of ageing).

"When I was around 49, I lost quite a bit of weight because I got my perimenopause/menopause under control with HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and then I lost weight and my mother-in-law passed away. I was looking after family, and you could tell I was tired and I'd been through grief," she shared.

"I looked, and I thought - 'oh, I need a tweak'! And I'd never thought [about] it before that. I'd got to 49 and thought I need a little bit of help."

"I went and said, 'I don't really mind about the lines but I'm drooping - I'm like droopy drawers'. My dad has got really full, fat cheeks and my mum has really high cheekbones, which makes the perfect storm when you're younger, but as you get older, you look like droopy the dog."

"So, I had a little bit of filler to help pull the [droopiness] back a bit and then they can put filler into your cheeks - to fill it out a bit and look like you used to look."

"I'm very real about myself. I look in the mirror and go - oh, you look like a nan. And then I think, what can we do?"

Along with filler around her cheeks and jawline, Hirons said she's also had anti-wrinkle injections to tackle lines - but stresses how she wanted them to look as natural as possible.

"I had anti-wrinkle injections in my forehead - it droops a bit because I've got such a big brow - that's what it's kind of prone to."

Image: Caroline Hirons

"I said [to the injector], 'I have to move, I don't want my face to be frozen'. I'm so expressive with my face, if I couldn't do the [lifted] eyebrow, people would be like, 'oh god what has she done?'"

Phew! We need that trademark brow raise!

When it comes to non-invasive treatments, Hirons said she's tried Ultherapy - a procedure that uses ultrasound energy to regenerate collagen deep within the skin. However, she said wasn't a big fan. 

"I didn't get on with it - it didn't do much for me," she shared with Mia.

"I tried another Ultherapy-type device on my neck - not a laser, just a machine. It's a pulsing type thing. And I thought - this is two hours I could spend watching telly or hanging out with my granddaughter - I'm done."

As for what treatments she would like to try, apparently Morpheus (note: not the guy from the Matrix) is next on the cards.

She said, "It's like a hardcore micro-needling laser machine" that stimulates collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin. 

Similar to micro-needling, the procedure uses tiny needles to inflict micro 'wounds' in the skin which trigger your body’s natural healing response, resulting in the production of new collagen and elastin. 

The result? Firmer and plumper skin, and an improvement in fine lines and wrinkles.

The only drawback: "It's painful," shares Hirons. "It's quite intense, but it works."

"It works in terms of rejuvenation, I would say it's like shaking up the quilt - you flip it to get everything back up to the top. It kind of gives you a bit of a 'zhoosh' and tightens things up. That might be the next step."

"I think you start with a few treatments then go down to one a year. I've not used it before - because every time I see someone who's had it, it looks like they're in pain. But that might be the next step. 

The one surgical treatment Hirons has had? An upper blepharoplasty. That is, a procedure to remove excess skin, muscle and fat from around the eyes.

Image: Caroline Hirons

"I've had hooded eyes for decades - almost since I hit my early 20s," Hirons shared. "It runs in my family - my grandad actually had to have surgery so he could drive, legally. It was obscuring his vision. So, I've always been aware of that." 

Hirons then decided to have the same surgery on hooded lids, telling Mia it "felt like I was wearing a baseball cap", as her lids were pushing down over her eyes. 

"When I came out of surgery they said, 'It's not just a hooded eye, there weren't a lot of fat deposits to come out. Your lacrimal gland (which is your tear ducts) had prolapsed through the muscle'," she shared.

Image: Caroline Hirons

"And it's happened again - so I'd get them done again. But more because when I occasionally touch it, it's painful. And obviously while he's there, I'll go, 'If you can just do a little nippity tuck around there while I'm out anyway, go for it."

The one treatment Caroline Hirons WON'T have.

However, when it comes to surgical cosmetic treatments, Hirons said that's as far as she would go.

"I know for a fact I won't be a facelift person," she shares. "That's not for me. I'm not going to go under the knife to have everything [pulled back]."

It goes without saying, but whether you're pro cosmetic treatments or against them, it's everyone's personal choice what they wish to do to their bodies and face. But it's important to note just how much of a slippery slope it can be. 

And as Mia asked Hirons, how do you actually know when to stop?

"If you've got a good practitioner, they'll say - okay that's enough," Hirons told Mia.

"Because when you have your first treatment, you're like oh! I look a bit perkier! Should I add a bit more? And they're like, no - because you won't look perky, you'll just look scared."

Want to find out Hirons' full skincare routine? Head here.

Did you miss The Skin Summit presented by Mamamia? Get on-demand access to the best skin experts in the world. Whether you love nerding out over a 12-step skincare routine or still use a bar of soap, the summit is the secret to the best skin of your life. Streaming directly to your couch. Catch up on-demand here.

You can find Caroline Hirons on Instagram, Twitter or on YouTube.

Feature image: Mamamia.

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