Bridal skincare, create your 6 month plan

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It seems we can’t turn anywhere without seeing the gorgeous, glowing, happy face of Ms Megan Markle. With her wedding date set, plans are well and truly in full swing to make sure the big day runs smoothly for the Worlds eyes to see and we’re pretty sure that Megan’s skin is at the top of the list.

Brides all over the nation waited with baited breath for someone to leak news on Megan’s skincare routine before the big day and when her facialist revealed tips on what to do we suddenly saw a surge in client questions about acid peels, microdermabrasion and facial yoga. So here we incorporate frequently asked questions and advice you on when to pencil it into your diary.

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6 months to go

start with correctional treatments

This is the time to get any invasive treatments out of the way giving enough time for your skin to heal and allowing long term results to show, this means fillers, botox, chemical peels etc. Don’t forget, some treatments don’t show optimal results immediately, rather it takes up to 3-9 months to see the best results. A perfect example of this is RF, although you do see some immediate results such as brighter and smoother skin, radio frequency is a treatment which constantly works over time, boosting collagen growth and in turn tightening and lifting the face or body.

If you suffer from acne, you’ll know this is something that can flare-up at the worst of times. Acne can be caused by many things, from congestion, pollution or excessive oil secretion to stress and raging hormones. For those who have tried everything and hit a wall, you should consider a hormonal skin consultation with a doctor to get to the bottom of the flare-ups, sometimes a cream or facial just won't do it, you may need a prescription.

You should also start to consider taking supplements such as Biotin B7 and food rich in vitamin A, not only do they play a role in giving you energy for physical activity but it also helps to give healthy hair, skin and nails. At the clinic, we call B7 the “H” vitamin, stemming from the German term “haar and haut”, which means “hair and skin” and is a staple addition in our IV cocktails. Consider your supplements well in advance of your wedding, at least 6-8 months early or as soon as you can - something is better than nothing.

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5 months to go

fitness & body treatments

You are what you eat, so try to stay away from processed foods or takeaways. You’ve probably heard this a million times but eating the right food before and after a workout can make a massive difference to how your body uses and stores energy. At the clinic, we don’t believe in low fat, calorie constricting or fad diets. We should all be eating like our ancestors, a paleo lifestyle which is balanced and sustainable. With will power and consistency, 5 months is enough time for anyone to get their body into a much better condition. Do not crash diet or workout excessively at the gym it can have the opposite effect, keep your mind and body healthy by eating good fats, doing low intensity, endurance and strength training to tone and sculpt.

Now is the time to banish chicken skin (keratosis pilaris), stretch marks and cellulite. There are so many treatments out there to help with all your body woes. Two of our favourites are the Body Buff and Peel and Secret RF needling with radio frequency. The body buff and peel is exactly what it says on the tin, your body is dry brushed and then using glycolic peel all the dead skin is removed. This is especially wonderful for brides who’ll be applying henna on hands, legs and feel. The peel does not requires prep and ideally it should be done once a month before your wedding, 5 treatments later the skin on your body will be in a much better place.  Secret RF is the creme-de-la-creme of treatments, it works with monopolar radio frequency + two dozen needles to treat everything from sagging skin to stretch marks and can be used anywhere on the face or body. Results for Secret RF, much like the RF only improves over time and had a week of downtime so best to do it in advance.

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4 months to go

hair removal

Please do not shave! Whatever your option (waxing, IPL etc) make sure you look after the skin pre and post treatment with healing products and following all of your practitioners home care rules. Hair removal has a knack of causing ingrown hairs, pigmentation and scars so we recommend always keeping a Healgel Intensive at hand. Removing hair is a necessary evil, so make sure you’ve pre-booked all your appointments to ensure a hair-free-honeymoon. 

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3 months to go

calming facials & home care products

Now that you’re well underway with correctional treatments, some of which should already be making a huge difference to your skin. Speak to your therapist about creating a protocol of calming and hydrating facials for the next 3 months. Hydration is the key to beautiful skin, with or without makeup it’ll show. Not only do you want to look great on your big day, you also want to look great during your honeymoon and limit time wasted applying makeup. Your therapist should look at your bare skin under a magnifying glass before they recommend a protocol and it should be tailored to your skin needs. The best way to make your facials last longer is to follow up with good products at home, our therapists always recommend using the very best quality serum you can afford, it is the most powerful product and the one thing you should spend good money on.

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2 months to go

get your cosmetic products right

It is highly likely that you would have already booked your makeup artist, but if you intend to do your own makeup as Kate Middleton famously did on her wedding day, make sure you have the right stash of products. Thanks to all the beautifying procedures you've carried out your skin will probably not require any super heavy concealers or foundations on the day. 

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1 month to go

pedicure-plus, mani's and brows

Now you genuinely need to start unwinding, let your bridesmaids do all the running around whilst you figure our the best brow shape, kick back and enjoy a Pedicure Plus that'll remove everything and keep it off for a month. This is an upgrade on the usual pedicure, it doesn't compete with nail bars or chiropodists but it's an in-between option.

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.

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!