Grow Your Own Face

With so many new advances in clinical skin care, the ones that excite me the most are products that encourage your own body to work hard for great skin.

What is great skin?

  • Skin that is clear with little to no blemishes

  • Acne-free

  • Skin that has normal thickness

  • Skin with a slight translucent ‘glowing’ quality to it

  • Clear of uneven pigmentation

  • Line free in the young and line appropriate in older people

  • good texture with minimal enlarged pores

So how would you achieve this?

A good way to think of skin care is to consider how you would target all the different layers of skin.

  • For the top layer (epidermis), peels are brilliants, microdermabrasion is okay and home care exfoliants are good as a top-up. This gets a big tick in getting your body to work for it!

  • Then the middle layer (dermis) and deeper layers, this is where a lot of wear and tear occurs and can give long lasting results. This is also where most of my excitement lies as one key component of good quality, thick skin is plenty of collagen. Top notch quality skin care products can deliver this, albeit to a lesser degree compared to other modalities. Our skin care of choice at the clinic is Intraceuticals (excellent for plumping and hydration), Neostrata (acid based, powerful and hugely effective skincare which complements our other skincare), organic non-allergenic Pinks Boutique and we will shortly be introducing Skinceuticals.

  • 3 different modalities come to mind- the first is causing ‘controlled injury’ to the skin eg microneedling and radiofrequency. In microneedling, minute pin prick wounds are made in the skin which forces the skin to send all their healing soldiers to repair. This results in plumper skin with better texture, smaller pores and more even colour. In radiofrequency (RF), a form of energy is transmitted which then gets converted to heat energy to around 60-62C in the deeper layers (with our machine in any case). This causes collagen bundling which appears as immediate tightening visible straight away. The body then repairs itself over the course of 3-4 months. Results are excellent here. Then some clever people decided to combine the two- so there is RF microneedling which I consider to be the star treatment for facial rejuvenation with results constantly improving up to 9 months later. Our machine is the Secret RF.

  • The second is drinking the stuff eg collagen in medi-grade products like Aneva Derma (also brilliant for joint health) and Skinade- quality differs a lot for oral collagen supplements but these two products have good science behind them and evidence that they make a difference.

  • The third is a not-so-new concept in fillers, but surprisingly, one that has been slow to catch on- I suspect due to lack of patient education. The more well-known product here is Sculptra- which works great but is more cumbersome. The newer product, Ellanse, which works just as well, if not better, has both the qualities of a filler (immediate results visible) and the longevity of Sculptra- where desired. It has different products that have different longevity. The best part for me is that while the filler part of Ellanse decreases (just like with any filler), your own body’s response to it, ie the collagen stimulation of your own tissue, continues along. By the end of the year- for the 1 year product- you will have a plumper appearance which is completely natural looking, as its your own collagen. The comments that you’ll likely get is that you look ‘refreshed and rested’ as opposed to ‘who’s your doctor?’

So, very exciting developments in the industry and its great to know that its possible to look natural and more age-appropriate- which is a trend that we're seeing more and more of; and one that is my personal preference and what I would encourage anyone to aspire to.

Intraceuticals -The Celebrity Facial- And Why It Works

I used to be very sceptical about skincare and always thought that one facial was mostly similar to another- baring the therapist's skills- until it was time to set my own practice up. I was the quintessential BOGOF girl!

During the course of my due diligence, and now my experience, I found out a few things:

  • Ingredients are extremely important in skincare. It makes a big difference when the right ingredients are used.
  • Delivery systems ie how the ingredients in a product reaches where it needs to go- is almost more important. You could pay a lot for a good ingredient but if it doesn't reach its target area, what's the point?
  • Research: some companies value research a lot and its worth the money paying for their expertise
  • Marketing: Sadly enough, this is one area that actually puts me off. Its so expensive to market in magazines etc that I'm certain that a heavily marketed products have no choice but to put a huge mark up on their prices. To me, this reads as " for a £100 serum, £50 is marketing, then research, packaging, profit margin etc". So I tend to look for smaller companies with excellent products but too small to afford paid celebrity endorsements.
  • The right product works. If people say nothing works, its because they haven't found the right product. Or they have hormonal/nutritional issues- which is another blog topic that I will address soon.
  • The right product should nurture and nourish as well. Some rather well known medical cosmeceuticals are well known for 'attacking'. So initially, they come across as having great results, but after a while, the skin can't handle the continuous assault.

I stumbled upon Intraceuticals while researching the best system for my clinic. There are very few facial systems I would consider 'medi-grade' and this was one of them. The good thing about trying things out is firstly- I get good skin : ). secondly- one can really compare and contrast.

Sonia of Intraceuticals did me a huge favour when I first met her for a demo. She was a little flustered, and had an A-lister waiting and so had to cut my session short by doing only one side... I was not impressed, to say the least. The treatment was nice enough, as I would have expected and there certainly were results- once again to be expected. I'd pretty much written it off at that point.

Then I started seeing results. Its easy to forget how your face is once you've had a treatment- we all assume its great! But having it on only one side really makes you examine the face. My skin plumped up after the treatment; then continued plumping for 2 whole days before it settled. On my skin, best results were achieved after 2 days. In others, its a day. The results then stayed on and on. I was convinced that it was all in my head and so I did what anyone would do- ask the other school mums to guess which side was done. I didn't tell them what I did, just that I fiddled with one side of my face. They all guessed correctly. This was on day 9. I kid you not.

At this point, I knew that I had to go back to see this system again. Thankfully, Sonia was in a much better place -I actually had my whole face done- and was given some take home products. I've never looked back.

What I like it best for is that it was the only product that 'normalised' my skin. What I mean by that is that I would wake up in the morning and not think about my skin- no tightness, dryness, excess oiliness. It just was. I stopped using foundation as my skin didn't need it anymore. Most people who have been on it say the same. When combined with other skin care that 'attack', results are wonderful.

Its a hyaluronic acid based system that has 3 different sized molecules that penetrate different depths of the skin. That's superficial to deep plumping to the layperson- one reason why the results last so long. It also has boosters of Vitamin A, C, anti-oxidants and collagen, which can be added for extra oomph! The treatment uses an oxygen delivery system to literally push the ingredients deep into the skin. Each vial of product is packaged in amber bottles (for sun protection) and sealed individually. So you get fresh products every time. There is a lot of thought put into it, which I appreciate because it makes our job easier- my only gripe being that the bottles are not see through so its hard to tell when its finishing.

Their products have one step more than others- how I like to explain it is that you feed the skin (serum), you give it a drink (hydration gel), you then seal it all in (moisture binding cream). I'm usually very lazy about skincare but its so ingrained in me now that I can't not do it. 

So all well and good for the likes of me- I get to use the machine anytime I want, right?.... In all honesty, there is hardly any time for facials and I'm lucky if I'm able to squeeze 1 in every 2 months. But I use the take home products religiously- and that makes all the difference in the world!

 

 

Am I too young/too old for botox? When’s the best time to start using toxins?

For those familiar with botulinum toxins (botox for ease), they are usually fans of it. For a lot of others, it feels really scary and has a sense of ‘once you start, you can never stop’. So, what is the real deal with botox? Is there a ‘perfect’ age to start? Should you even start it at all? Is there a point when you should stop? Can you ever stop once you start? The questions go on and I will try to answer some of them.

 

For transparency, I will let you in on a little admission: I use botox for myself and have been doing it for a few years now. I like things really natural so a lot of people find it hard to tell that I’ve had any (although if you’re really good, you might be able to tell). I started in my late 30s and now am in my 40s. So my opinions are real- based on my personal and my patient’s experiences- but I may be a bit biased as I do love botox!

 

The best age to start botox

Whilst its commendable to go around claiming that botox should not be done below or above a certain age, it simply is not as simple as that. When one takes into account genetic ageing, sun damage, environmental & toxin exposure, stress, it completely changes the way one ages. You could easily have a set of twins, one decides to stay in the countryside, marries her childhood sweetheart, has a relatively happy life. The other twin decided to find her fortune in the city, has the time of her life but with a lifestyle that involves heavy partying, holidays abroad etc. Let’s just say both are about 7/10 of the happiness scale. Who do you think will have more signs of ageing? My point is that age is relative. Its more about what it is doing to your confidence, if your lines concern you and if you have realistic expectations.

 

My opinion on ‘preventive’ botox

Every so often, I get asked to do botox as a preventive measure. There are generally 3 kinds of requests that go along with this.

  1. Someone with existing wrinkles who don’t want things to get any worse.

  2. Someone with no obvious wrinkles but are very aware of what the future holds!

  3. Someone who doesn’t want lines when they speak.

1 is nice and simple and forms the majority of people wanting botox. Botox works well and they will find that after a year, their lines appear much softer, even if they don’t continue with botox.

2 is a bit on the fence. I personally don’t think its a good idea to start that early. The reason is because too many years of botox use, especially on normal sized muscles will cause atrophy (when muscles go very flat due to disuse) and that’s when you get that flat, shiny forehead. So I’d wait a bit here.

3 feels similar to 2 to me and frankly makes me a bit sad. Why wouldn’t someone want to show expression? Thankfully, this is quite rare especially now that having facial expressions is back in - I think Hollywood finally caught on!

 

How old is too old?

 

I personally think that there’s a place for botox at any age over 45. Just don’t make the mistake of doing too much as it can then look artificial i.e. parts of your face is smooth and other parts crepey and wrinkled. Your practitioner should advise you on a resulting look which will work with the rest of your face. In the right hands, if a more holistic approach is undertaken, a combination of different therapies like filler, mesotherapy, radiofrequency etc can shave years off, but in a very natural way. No need for facelifts!

Can you stop botox once you've started on this journey? Of course. You have to not mind a bit of expression though, which I find a lot of people tend to prefer with age anyways.


As an end note, look at lots of pictures, talk to lots of people, read blogs and forums and get an ethical practitioner.

Under Eye Circles and Bags

Under eye problems are some of the hardest to treat with no one single 'fix it all' solution. The reason for this is because the cause differs in different people and you'll find that usually, the best course of action is a combination of different treatment modules to treat different issues at the same time. There is also quite a bit of confusion regarding 'bags' and 'circles' and quite a lot of self mis-diagnoses. Just to add to all the confusion, many people have more than one 'under-eye' problem going on at the same time, complicating the situation even more.

Some common under eye problems:

  • dark circles due to pigmentation
  • dark circles due to hollowness of the under eye area- genetic or loss of fat
  • dark circles due to thinness of skin under the eye
  • dark immediately under followed by "puffiness" future down
  • eye bags-either fluid or fat
  • crepey, wrinkly skin

 

I'm personally trying a few things myself so here are some thoughts:

  • under eye filler or tear trough filler, especially Teosyal Redensity 2; this has light reflective properties so it can help with circles. However, if there is no hollowness, it may not be the right option. This needs to be assessed as not everyone is suitable for this procedure.
  • the right under eye cream which can diminish pigments.
  • the right sun care to prevent new pigmentation forming. Even in winter.
  • skin thickening products/treatments if the problem is due to very thin skin. Increase in skin thickness means that structures underneath (eg blood vessels) will be less obvious, hence less darkness.
  • filling the area beneath the problem area, hence decreasing the shadowing. This is a bit more complicated and occasionally a 2 step process.
  • for some, especially if its fatty deposits, surgery is the only option. I do believe that one can buy a few years before resorting to surgery with the right filler material and technique.
  • bagginess due to fluid is quite hard to treat as its almost always due to intolerances, most commonly to food. You'll probably find that there is fluid retention elsewhere. Do read my links for 'lifestyle management' to get a better idea of what it entails and also the nutrition links in my blog pages.

On the whole, quite a few things can be done but it may be a slightly prolonged process and may require more effort than other areas of the face. The rewards however, can really be worth it!

How to Avoid FROZEN.... (Face, I mean) or How To Get The Best Out Of Your Botox Consultation

When botulinum toxin (I’ll call it botox for ease) first came onto the aesthetic market, there was initially a lot of trial and error as to what constituted the best result. The most common ‘desired’ outcome was not to have any lines at all. This required a larger quantity of botox and/or for it to be done more frequently. This resulted in the ‘botox look’- a clear shiny forehead, slight Spock-ish eyebrows and a same-ish expression.

Whilst some people still like this look, most have started shying away from this and prefer a balance where there still is some expression, but the lines appear softer. Unfortunately, most current day training for practitioners in the UK (in my experience at least) is still old school. Its then up to the practitioners to figure it out and help their patients to find the right balance.

This is reflected in my practical experience as well, where quite a few of my patients come to me after being ‘frozen’ and asking for their results to not be too obvious.

 

So how can you get the best out a consultation with your practitioner?

 

  • Before even going to your doctor, ask yourself what it is you want to achieve. The number of times I’ve had patients confuse botox and fillers is quite high. I also get people who don’t really know what they want.
  • Look at magazines and other people’s expressions when they talk. See if you can get someone to record you when you’re having a conversation and study your face in motion. Botox is best used for lines in motion or dynamic lines. It doesn’t work as well for lines that are present when the face is at rest, although this could improve over time
  • If you prefer a natural look with some movement, accept that you’ll have to get botox done more frequently but with a lesser amount each time. Some places also offer ‘baby botox’ which is basically a smaller amount of botox used in a few areas- great as a taster but works equally well if that’s your preferred look.
  • Its generally better to undertreat for your first session with a new practitioner. Most reputable places will offer free top ups.
  • If your treatment doesn’t go to plan ie you still have a lot of movement, do go back to see your doctor. Most things can be corrected and your doctor should adjust the treatment and fine tune things. This will be especially helpful for your next session as your treatment notes will remind your doctor of what your personal preferences are and how you personally react to botox.
  • Most practitioners will use a standard quantity in each area. Depending on the individual, this could be too strong or too weak. Do remember that one size does not fit all. Accept that occasionally it will take a bit of tweaking to get exactly what you want with the same practitioner.
  • As time goes on, your muscles get weaker. This changes how much botox you need or want. Your practitioner should change management accordingly.
  • Do take note of facial asymmetry. Most people have uneven faces and botox can frequently balance things out. However, you may feel like you notice the assymetry more after treatment, despite the fact that it may have improved. This is usually due to people paying to attention to their faces post procedure. With good ‘before’ pictures, this won’t be a problem.


I hope this gives you an idea of what to expect and ask when you go for your appointment. Do remember, its a two way street and it helps if you have done some homework. Do feel free to post questions. I will be posting more blogs on botox soon.

The Problem with Peels….

Chemical Peels are funny things. Done properly, they are absolutely wonderful. When things are not done quite right or instructions not adhered to, it can cause problems. Not pretty ones too…


So what are peels and how scary is it?


  • Chemical peels are acids that can be applied to the skin in a controlled manner.

  • Peels strip the top layer of the skin

  • Most peels do not result in a ‘Lobster’ face unless you choose a strong peel; in which case, you’d expect a ‘lobster’ face and longer recovery time.

  • For first timers, the recommendation is to always start with a mild peel.

  • This advice should also follow someone trying a new brand of peel.

  • Prep before a peel is extremely important. Ignore at your peril.

  • Care after a peel is extremely important. Ignore at your peril.

  • There is a rather big difference in types of peel and results that can be achieved. Make sure your peel provider understands their product well.

  • Milder peels give instant brightening and results change over the course of a few days, occasionally with very mild peeling but mostly just continuous brightening and clarity.

  • Stronger peels results in redness with optimum results days or weeks later depending on strength of the peel.

  • They should be used in conjunction with a good skin care regime.


How to optimise your peel:


  • Prioritise prep.

This is why: If you think of your skin as a surface that’s continuously growing and shedding, there will be areas that are shedding more than others, areas where skin is thinner or thicker and areas where there are blemishes etc. They don’t all contain the exact same number of cells at any given point in time. The right prep (usually 2 weeks or longer) will usually start the stripping process. This means that after a few weeks of stripping dead skin, when its time to peel, the skin would be able to achieve a much more even result. It really is worth it.


  • Prioritise post peel aftercare.

This is why: A good product/company would have thought about how to optimise your results. They would have runs tests, done studies and the more medically based ones, would have conducted proper trials. Think about what a peel does; it strips the top layer of your skin. The layer underneath is now exposed and sensitive, especially the first few days after the peel. Whatever you put on it makes a difference. Even if the product you put on it claims to be for ‘sensitive’ skins. It doesn’t make sense to use anything but what is recommended. Its simply not worth the risk.


  • Prioritise suncare.

Use at least an SPF 30 and preferably more. Don’t forget that the sun does not have to be out and shining for its effects to be there. As long as there’s daylight, there’s the effects of the sun. Especially in the city where the rays are reflected off light grey surfaces (concrete pavements). The skin will try to protect itself if it thinks it needs to by producing melanin, causing pigmentation, if you don’t protect it.


An interesting case history of how things can go wrong:

The famous Samantha  (Sex and the City) scene....

The famous Samantha  (Sex and the City) scene....

We recently had a client who wanted a peel. On consultation, I felt that her pre peel preparation seemed sound. She used products from a different company so although not ideal, when I looked into the acid content of the products, I believed it would be alright. Peel was done without a hitch, although I reduced the time just to be safe. Results were absolutely beautiful. Two days later, she called to complain about a rash on her face. I invited her to come back in for a follow up to assess the situation. She had very mild raised nodules all around her cheek area. On asking her what products she used (she did not want to get any take home products from the same company as the peel), she told us about the product she used for sensitive skin and a very good make (read...expensive!). I researched a bit and copied what the product contained:

 

Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate (thickener/skin-conditioning agent), Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer (silicone texture enhancer), Glycerin (Skin-identical/repairing ingredient), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (stabilized vitamin C), Cetyl Alcohol (thickener), Niacinamide (cell-communicating ingredient), Dimethicone (silicone slip agent), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Cetearyl Alcohol (thickener), Glyceryl Stearate (thickener), PEG-100 Stearate (thickener), Polysilicone-11 (film-forming agent), Adenosine (cell-communicating ingredient), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidant), Glucose Oxidase (skin-clearing agent), Lactoperoxidase (vitamin B3/cell-communicating ingredient), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (plant extract/antioxidant), Xanthan Gum (binding agent/emulsifier), Glucose (skin-identical/repairing agent), Ceteareth-20 (solubilizing agent), Decyl Glucoside (emulsifier), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

 

Thankfully for her, it wasn’t a hard problem to solve. But it does go to show that even a product that’s formulated right, may not be so ‘right’ as a post peel product, where the skin is much more sensitive. 

 

Insider’s tip

 

This is purely my opinion based on my experience and may not be shared by others. I prefer mixing products and am not a fan of using the same product all the time. Its like getting too much of a good thing. At some point your body can’t use the good thing anymore. That’s when you find that a product that used to work wonders on you has now stopped doing so. With pre and post peel care products, there’s even more of an argument here. I would only use these products 2 weeks before and after a peel; then perhaps once a week. This is especially important for the pre-peel products, as they are acidic. So these products should last you at least 6 months, if not longer.

 

Clinic Offer

 

Leading up to Christmas, we have decided to put together a peel package with our brand of choice, Neostrata. Its well researched and well trialled. A very comprehensive range that has been around very long.

 

  • 3 Neostrata chemical peels (minimum 4 weeks apart)

  • 1 Neostrata pre-peel product for your skin type from a selection

  • 1 Neostrata post-peel product for your skin type from a selection

 

Complete package at £280 with Alison (worth close to £400) or £380 with Dr Bains (worth close to £550). Please call Ellie at 0208 616 9130 to find out more.

 

Viral You Tube Video "How the Sun Sees You" on the Effect the Sun has on one's Skin

Just thought I'd share an interesting video I came across in one of our medical aesthetic journals "Aesthetics". It has over 13 million views, an amazing soundtrack but most importantly, is very interesting in what it shows ie. the changes that occurs with sun exposure.

I also liked:

  • that he (the cameraman) decided to show what a baby's skin looked like as well, in contrast to adults.
  • what sunscreen looks like in that light
  • the people's reactions to seeing themselves

Some questions I get asked a lot:

  • I want to tan and so prefer not to wear a high SPF- this is not true. If it were, Asia would be a hotbed for sunscreens as lighter skin is preferred there. Sunblock (as opposed to sun screen) however, may block some of the tanning capacity of the skin.
  • SPF 30 is sufficient. Why do I need more?- this is true but considering that the average person usually puts too little on and tend not to replenish often enough, a higher SPF would provide better protection. If however, you are really on the ball about sunscreen application, then SPF 30 is sufficient.
  • High SPF is very thick and looks awful on- mostly true in the past and many products today still have this problem. This is one of the areas where you get what you pay for. Newer formulations are simply wonderful and most can never tell that it has a higher SPF. We stock Heliocare which is what I use personally. I like them because of the protection offered, consistency and the range they have, including their latest product range for 'more damaged/mature' skin type which offers close to SPF 90 (written as 50+) and cover not only UVA and UVB but also invisible and infra red spectrums. There's also internal protection in the form of capsules for those who burn very fast. Our bestsellers are the tinted ones and the 'shimmer'.
  • What about Vitamin D?- this is an area I have concerns about, especially when it comes to little children. Whilst protection is required, I don't think we should be over zealous about applying it as it can hinder vitamin D formation in the skin. What I personally tend to do is to protect my face but less so on my body. Also, I tend to protect more during the hours when the rays are the strongest and ease off when its not. I believe a balance is required as there is simply not enough research done in this area.

Here's the link for the video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9BqrSAHbTc

and here's the link to our products page

http://www.harpalclinic.co.uk/new-products-testxxx/

Enjoy!

 

We have been selected as finalists for the Aesthetics Awards 2014!

Great news today.....we just received news that we have been selected as finalists for the 2014 Aesthetics Awards for the category of The Oxygenetix Award for Best Clinic London!

This a very big deal for us and we are so, so happy to be selected. We do strive to do our best and hope that our continued attention to detail in service, products and procedures plus excellent client care will contribute to the possibility of us winning this prestigious industry award.

Here's to keeping our fingers crossed : )

 

Interesting facts and observations post 60 odd Non-surgical Facelifts

facelift_1172345-300x283.jpg

We had a rather robust response to our recent marketing effort for our wonderful medical machine for non-surgical face and jawline lift using radio frequency.

To date, we have probably done close to 60 procedures with more booked in for the next few weeks. It has been a fascinating time and if anything else, has made me even more observant  about the not-so-obvious or talked about signs of ageing.

Here are some interesting facts:

  • Our youngest client was 26 and our oldest was 74
  • Majority of clients were between 35-50 years old (around 60%)
  • Men made up only around 8%
  • Results were the best in those with obvious loose skin and generally above 40 years old
  • Results were best around the eyes and fine lines on the face
  • There was consistently an obvious change in the shape of the face - I only started noticing this later on and upon looking back at clients I had already treated, I've noticed that there was a change consistent with tightening of the lower face and jowls.
Notice the vertical lines running from tragus to the jawline. 

Notice the vertical lines running from tragus to the jawline. 

Areas of ageing that I've never noticed before:

  • This one is fascinating: skin flopping over tragus of the ears when one lies down. I started noticing this when I started finding a tightening in the before and after side-profile pictures. I was getting 1-2mm obvious tightening here. 
  • Floppy, wrinkly ear lobes. Not something I ever thought about but most women wear earrings and it must bother some of them. So I'm thinking about an 'ear lift' and will be looking for volunteers soon with very floppy lobes to see if this will work well. If you are reading this and have or know someone who has wrinkly, floppy ear lobes and don't mind being a volunteer (in exchange for before/after pictures on our website-face won't be seen), please write in to info@harpalclinic.co.uk with a picture of your ears when you lie down and sit up.
  • This was pointed out by a client: upper, inner arm- the bit that is visible from the front when wearing sleeveless clothes.

Other areas requested besides face and jawline:

  • Décolletage is a popular area with very good results
  • Knees post my saggy knee video which is now on the first page on youtube. 
  • tummy- either mummy tummy or post weight loss loose skin
  • Breast- especially below the nipple
  • I haven't done this yet but have been asked: the area below biceps in a guy who works out a lot. He says that the tightening would give more definition to the biceps. This is fascinating and I will see if I can provide before and after pictures.
  • This may freak some people out: labia majora. I have tons of experience in women's 'areas', having worked with Marie Stopes as a surgeon so this is something I understand and actually think that it would go a great way to increasing some women's confidence in how they feel they look 'down there'.

I'm not sure how some of you would perceive my observations. I'd like to understand that that's all it is. I'm simply relating and sharing my experience as I think its incredibly fascinating. 

So- does it really work?

The answer is a resounding YES! And I know this for a fact because my half face experiment is coming to an end (thankfully). For those of you who missed it, I wrote a blog piece around 2 months ago with an image of my lower face, one week after doing this same procedure on the right half of my face. I decide on the right side as its a little lower than the left as my face is not very symmetrical. Results were obvious to me in that picture but not to most people who aren't used to assessing faces. Today, people notice it as the asymmetry is very obvious. And I still have a few more weeks before my 3 months are up. 3 months because that's about the time required for the collagen regeneration to complete, hence maximum results. Watch out for that blog in a few weeks with pictures. In the meantime, have a great bank holiday weekend!

Saggy Knees 7 Days Later (Post Tightening)

We treated about 5cm above, and extending to 10cm below her knee bone. Note the change in skin texture.

Close up of Alison's knees showing some tightening and as an added benefit,  a more even texture and decreased blotchiness.

Close up of Alison's knees showing some tightening and as an added benefit,  a more even texture and decreased blotchiness.

Mid-calf to lower leg. No treatment was done here. Note the skin texture and uneven skin tone compared to the upper part of her calf.

Mid-calf to lower leg. No treatment was done here. Note the skin texture and uneven skin tone compared to the upper part of her calf.

The tightening was immediate on Alison's knees on the day we did it as in the video. There was also an immediate difference in texture and blotchiness. This has been maintained after 7 days.

Alison says: " I feel that its tighter, I love the colour and texture. They don't feel as wrinkly. They definitely feel a bit firmer. I notice the colour more than anything." 

Do leave a comment or your thoughts on this.

Saggy, Wrinkly Knees- a Secret solution that Works!

I hope you've enjoyed the video above. It was very hard to capture the sagginess and crepeyness that Alison was concerned about due to picture quality but I suspect most people who have this problem know exactly what I'm talking about. Its the start of the dreaded "hooding" even on very slim people. A summary of the video/procedure is as written below:

Technology- we used our "SECRET RF" machine. This is a radiofrequency machine, similar to Pelleve and Thermage in technology. The RF waves gets converted to heat waves deep within the skin to cause contraction and regeneration of the collagen bundles. New collagen is also formed over the course of many months upto 6 months. The contraction causes immediate tightening and the new collagen results in increased plumpness of the skin.

Results- we can usually see an immediate result but it will keep improving over the course of 3-6 months. Personally, Alison's knees looked different to the rest of her legs (at least 10 years younger). On my face, there was an immediate lift which has increased (I'm on week 3 of my half face challenge).

Pain- One client slept during treatment. Seriously. Its warm and comfortable. Very relaxing.

How often do I need it- I'd say for most people, repeat the second treatment at 3-4 months to get cumulative effect of the collagen regeneration. Then yearly. Some people are happy with one per year. Even if you never do it again, the effect lasts so its never 'wasted'.

Where else does it work- Face, neck, saggy jawline, décolletage, elbows, saggy bum, mummy tummy, loose skin after sudden weight loss. If you're on a massive weight loss mission, this will really help in ensuring that you decrease the chance of an overhang of excess skin which is not able to contract.

Some surprises- I knew about the tightening but what really excites me is that it seems to do so much more. I've seen evening of skin tone and pigmentation, decreased redness (rosacea), decreased blotchiness of the skin. I will post photographs of Alison's legs and knees. The difference is very obvious (we are now 5 days post treatment). Alison is our aesthetician so come in and ask her nicely- I'm sure she'll love showing them off to you.

Latest experiment- I now wonder if keratosis pilaris or chicken skin can be improved. If not the bumps, maybe just the redness on the upper arm. So we had a volunteer today to do half an arm. We took before pictures and did half her upper arm. I'm curious about the results and will have an idea tomorrow. Watch this space!

My First Impressions of Heliocare XF Gel SPF50

I love it. Apart from the obvious wants from sun protection I look for something that works well with my skin and make-up.

The gel (along with all the others) has the most delicious scent - you could almost eat it (don't!). It glides onto the skin and leaves no residue. This was the big thing for me, I hate sunscreen that leaves your skin sticky, shiny and greasy.

Applying my foundation was normal as the gel absorbs so quickly onto the skin that it was undetectable. In fact, I think it helped smooth my foundation out.

Throughout the day my make-up remained flawless and no residue was given from Heliocare! I'm very happy with my new sun protection! 

 

Just Arrived Heliocare SPF 50+ with Fernblock

In time for summer, Heliocare has arrived at Harpal clinic. A medigrade product which contains fernblock (FernBlock® is a natural extract derived from the fern plant Polypodium leucotomos. Used as a sunburn remedy by native Indians for centuries).

The latest in this range is Heliocare 360 which protects against all four spectrums of light ( UVA, UVB, Infrared-A and Invisible Light). 

For very sensitive individuals you even get sun-care in a bottle which is the Heliocare Ultra-D oral capsules, these contain vitamins C, D and E amongst other sun protective ingredients. You take these in conjunction with your usual sunscreen. 

Here at Harpal clinic we like to use Brush on Block, a wonderful handbag essential. This product is zinc and titanium based and contains SPF 30. It comes in powder which once applied is invisible to the naked eye, hence can be applied over makeup and replenished throughout the day. 

Product Price range from £20.00 to £31.00

Come in and trial test this range which covers basic invisible block, tinted sunscreen and shimmer sunscreen.

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My Half Face Trial of RadioFrequency- Day 8

In a previous post, I wrote about my initial half face attempt at seeing what RF (radiofrequency- we use the Secret RF) actually does. In summary, I was pretty impressed with increase in plumpness and an obvious lift. Its supposed to get better with time so I'm going to wait this one out before I do the other side (unless I start looking really ridiculous).

8 Days later, I've taken a picture to show you the difference. If you look at the picture at my naso-labial lines (nose to mouth line), the left side extends all the way to the corner of the mouth. The right side stops short. Alison, our aesthetician even thinks that my jawline looks sharper, but I can't really tell. By the way, I have no make up (foundation) and remnants of lipstick on.

For a 10 min trial, I'm pretty impressed and now I really want to get the other side done. But I'll wait....

The Half Face Test

One of my favourite things to do is to perform the 'half face/body test' for products or procedures. It's incredible what it can tell you. It's so easy to forget what one's face looks like prior to a procedure. I've applied it to Intraceuticals (which led me to buying the machine-more on this on my soon-to-come blog), Neostrata acid-based skin care, Healgel, prescription hormone creams (not so useful on me as I'm not the right age group), microneedling and the latest was radio frequency tightening.
I'm only a few days into the tightening and in all fairness, only did a 10 minute session on half my face. Results have been rather interesting. Its all well and good seeing before and afters but there's nothing like actually seeing things for yourself. Immediately after treatment, we noticed an immediate plumpness with softening of the naso-labial lines and more importantly, a lift around the cheek and eyebrows. I have an asymmetrical face (as do most people) and decided to test it on the 'lower' side. My face looks a bit more symmetrical now. The skin looked a little red initially which gave way to radiance after a while. The next day, most of the immediate lift seemed to settle but skin felt good. This morning, I've noticed a significant improvement in 'bounce'. Though significant, I'm sure I would not have noticed it had I not done the half test. Overall.... I'm pretty impressed, I'm not doing the other side yet so watch this space....
ps- results take a fairly long time to develop and will keep improving over the course of 6-9 months. By 3 months, you'd be able to see a difference. The energy stimulates collagen synthesis, which keeps repairing and rebuilding over time. Please see the website for more information. Oh yes, it was very pleasant; no pain, just a nice warm probe going over the skin.