Your Most Frequently Asked Skin Questions:



Women will do almost anything to stave off wrinkles but the latest buzz for fighting the signs of ageing has nothing to do with smoothing on lotions and potions, or having the latest laser treatment but about stocking up your kitchen cupboard and sipping your way to a more youthful you.
With many consumers fed up of taking pills, beauty beverages packed with vitamins, minerals and other potent ingredients that work from the inside out are the latest beauty and anti ageing explosion.
From their oriental origin of herbal teas, the choice today has become even more advanced and rapidly expanded into youth boosting super elixirs which are forging even closer links to skin products.
Walk down any beauty aisle and you¹ll see collagen drinks to banish wrinkles, antioxidant juices to erase age spots and the latest to join in, a hyaluronic based drink promising an increased moisture boost from the inside out as well as other age fighting benefits.
Fountain, The Hyaluronic molecule (Boots ?27.99) is the first ever water soluble hyaluronic acid (HA), an ingredient normally found in skin creams, supplements and injectables.
Famed for its ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water, almost half of the body¹s HA is located in the collagen of the skin, making it an excellent moisturiser as well as helping lubricate and cushion joints. Other additional benefits of hyaluronic acid include faster wound healing, increased energy, dry skin relief as well as increased mental alertness.
Unfortunately, ageing along with constant UV exposure, rapidly decreases our body¹s supply of HA and it is estimated that by the time we reach our mid 40-s the synthesis of HA is roughly half that required by the body, leading to joint stiffness and wrinkled dehydrated skin. But Fountain claim that a liquid form of HA is absorbed more readily and two teaspoons daily can boost the body¹s HA supply and act as an internal tissue hydrator to help slow down the ageing process.
Another super elixir to look due to hit the shelves soon is a new Protein water aimed to aid weight loss and help restore muscle tone and strength. Once the domain of hardcore sports and workout enthusiasts, dairy protein is now seen as a wholesome and nutritious ingredient.
Taking a cue from the world of bodybuilder supplements each 500 ml bottle of Protein Water will contain 25 per cent of the RDA of protein and has been specially designed to appeal to women looking to maintain a healthy weigh, improve muscle strength and to tone up the body.
So it seems drinking yourself younger and fitter is here to stay but can a beauty drink really make a difference and boost your looks?
I believe a healthy diet and lifestyle and protecting yourself from the sun are the main ingredients for looking good and staying younger for longer. Most of the drinks with beauty and skin benefits contain ingredients you should be getting through a healthy balanced diet, i.e. one that is packed with fruit sand vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and good fat.
Still, many makers of beauty drinks argue that sometimes eating well isn’t enough saying that even people who eat a healthy diet have problems with their skin, hair, and nails and that a drinkable supplement tends to be more bio-available to the body and easier for the body to absorb.
True but for me, the jury¹s still out on how effective a beauty drink can be. When it comes to directing nutrition straight to your skin or other parts of the body there¹s no guarantee it will end up there as most ingredients are broken down in the stomach. Good nutrition, genes, controlling stress exercise and sun protection will do more to keep you looking youthful and unfortunately you can¹t bottle that. But, if you do skip meals, diet or lead a very busy lifestyle, then a beauty drink is a good back up plan. And if drinking a supplement makes you feel good about yourself and kick starts a healthier regime, then why not. Here here¹s how to get the most out of them:

*A bottled beauty drink should be in addition to and not replace a good balanced meal.

* Making sure your drink contains less than 10 grams of sugar.

*Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is key to your overall health, including your skin. You can also hydrate your skin and get nutrients by eating more fruits and vegetables.

*If you’re looking for a simple homemade beauty beverage, try a cup of tea. In a recent study those who drank a minimum of two daily cups of green or black tea were 20% to 30% less likely to get nonmelanoma skin cancer, the most common type of skin cancer. Tea contains polyphenols, plant chemicals that help fight sun damage -the No. 1 skin ager and also ease inflammation, another skin enemy.

*Don¹t sacrifice your skin routine for a beauty drink. It¹s still important to work on the skin’s surface, too. Products you put on your skin, especially ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin A, and peptides s have a much better chance of making a difference because they are getting where you need.

Q: How Can I Tone Up My Skin?

The quality of your skin is more important that how many wrinkles you’ve got, think clear, even skin tone, soft as silk texture, a plump, glowing complexion and no more pores. Sorted!


Stress, fatigue aging and a hectic lifestyle can all affect skin quality. Get your glow back by stimulating your skin and getting rid of dead skin cells that can clog pores making your complexion look dull and muddy


Look for a cleanser and treatment serum containing Glycolic, a skin transforming ingredient which helps dissolve dead skin cells and unblock pores, making them look smaller. Glycolic will also fend off flaky patches and restore a glow. Try Spot.Less Exfoliating Cleanser and Skin Renewal to refine and detoxify your complexion.

At the Clinic

Face-Up is a great new lunchtime skin treatment, which combines abrasion and micro massage to improve skin texture, reduce pore size and rejuvenate skin with minimal downtime. You’ll see a difference from a one off treatment or a course of four weekly treatments will target all concerns From £150 0207 436 4441


Brown spots and areas of pigmentation are tell tale signs of aging and damaged skin caused through over exposure to the sun, hormonal imbalance and oxidative stress resulting in over production of melanin in the skin. Prevent by using sunscreen with a minimum SPF30 every day and treat existing marks with a skin evening product. VI or Obagi.

At the clinic

Zap away those brown spots with Lumecca IPL Skin Rejuvenation to eliminate discolouration. Using short bursts of light energy, one treatment will help reduce skin irregularities and refine texture, targeting age spots, as well as boosting collagen levels. Downtime around three days with redness and minimum swelling. From £ 200


AbiO Soft Sun Self Tan for English Roses

This medium tanning product contains BIO Active Aloe and 4.5% Ecocert DHA. This product is best suited for fair skin and has the essence of wild rose.

Apply in circular movements evenly over the body. Either using our velvety soft tanning mitts or with your hands, after showering, bathing or using our pre tan hydrating spray- Exfoliese. Wait a few minutes before dressing. To avoid discolouring of palms was hands with soap and water immediately after use. To maintain your medium golden tan use our gradual tanner every day.

Q: How do I know my skin type?

Cleanse your face thoroughly, and then wait for around 30-60minutes before putting anything else on your skin.
How does it feel?
If it feels tight or flaky, your skin is dry.
If you’re oily only across the forehead, down the nose, and on the chin, you’ve got combination skin.
If you need to blot your whole face with a tissue, you’re oily.
If your face feels irritated or slightly itchy, you most probably have sensitive skin.
Repeat the test four times a year, because your skin often changes seasonally. Once you know your skin type it is important to use the right products including cleanser, moisturiser and night cream.


Q: Which do I put on my face first, sunscreen of moisturiser?

Sunscreen should go on as the last thing before make up. Block It! is light and oil free.


Q: Do I really need to use a sunscreen if my makeup has an SPF and if so which should I put on first?

Yes, because if you are applying your make up correctly, you’re not applying it as a sunscreen. A foundation or make up with an SPF is better than nothing but does not substitute for a good sun protection.
If you hate wearing foundation on top of sun cream try using our mineral make up which gives amazing coverage and comes in various shades to suit all skin types,


Q: Every morning I wake up with eye puffiness. Help!

We’ve all been there – lack of sleep, alcohol, stress and allergies are all contributory factors. Sometimes, it is down to water retention, too much salt in your diet or just from tossing and turning during the night. A quick fix for puffiness is a cold compress – slices of chilled cucumber or soak two teabags in cold water and chill in the fridge while you are getting ready then place over the eyes for about five to ten minutes. Or take a flannel, soak in cold water and put into the freezer for a couple of minutes, then place over the eyes for 5 minutes. Finish with a soothing eye cream, such as Eye Refining Serum.


Q: I have little rough red bumps on my upper arms, what is it and what can I do about it?

It is called Keratosis Pillaris and is a build up of dead skin in the pores. It will not go away, but you can improve the look of the skin dramatically by dissolving the rough dead skin and keeping it smooth. Use Revitalising Cleanser twice a day followed by Body Buffer, within a week you will start to see great results.


Q: Is it okay to mix and match products from different skincare ranges?

Most women do this as we do with make up and fashion but the best advice is to stick a whole regime from one skin care house as each product will be produced to compliment the other. Sometimes you may find using a night cream as day cream or vice verse is appropriate for your skin and that’s fine.
However, if you are using prescription or cosmeceutical brands for exfoliating or resurfacing skin which contain ingredients like Retinol or glycolic acid, try to avoid using anything on top as it could neutralise the effect. Also doubling up on potent ingredients like these is a definite no no so always check ingredient labels as it could cause irritation.


Q: Are high street skin products just as good as the ones you get from a clinic or skincare

Brands that you buy from the pharmacy or supermarket have huge development and research teams behind them that do extensive testing so they make sure they live up to the promise. However, the skin products you get from a dermatologist or an aesthetic clinic pack a stronger dose of active ingredients which are prescribed for your skin type. They work a lot faster too and cannot generally be brought over the counter


Q: How can I get rid of the deep vertical lines on my upper lip?

Exfoliation at home will help to make the wrinkles look less deep. Try Microdermabrasion with Crushed Diamonds three times a week. Then use StemCellution Serum, it will help to build the skin, but also works as an instant filler.
At the clinic a three-step approach works well to eliminate the lines; Injections of a filler like Juvéderm or Restylane can fill them in. A very small amount of Muscle Relaxing Injections, injected into the sides of the mouth, can prevent the kind of puckering that helps to cause them. Finally, one treatment with a fractional CO2 laser can get rid of them for more than ten years but expect downtime of around three days to a week of redness and swelling.


Q: I’m in my twenties. Am I too young to use anti-ageing products?

When it comes to wrinkles, prevention is key, so it’s important to conserve collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin, all of which keep skin looking plump and firm. Retinoids and antioxidants as well as a good skincare regime will help preserve all three. But the best anti-ageing product is sunscreen, used every day, even indoors Your beauty bag must haves should include *a non-greasy oil free moisturiser to ensure skin stays soft with out exacerbating oiliness, causing spots. Oil free also means it won’t block pores but it will still hydrate your skin where its needed. Try Silk Skin Moisturiser with honey and melon. Follow with Block It! for all day sun protection, always use sunscreen every day of the year to prevent ageing.

*Use mineral make up for coverage as this is also good for the skin. The molecules in the make up are too large to be absorbed so it won’t clog pores even if you forget to wash it off after a late night. It also has a natural sunscreen of around SPF20 – look for BPC and Mineral Earth which you can order online here.


Q: Does pore-minimising makeup shrink your pores?

No, but it makes them appear smaller. Some formulas incorporate optical diffusers, which are very good at blurring the look of the pore, making it appear less noticeable. Pore minimisers containing silicone can make your skin look flawless, but their residue is resistant to soap and water, so always cleanse with makeup remover. StemCellution Serum will do the same job, but is also good for your skin, it’s packed full of peptides to stimulate collagen and elastin too!


Q: Do creams and lotions containing collagen deliver it into the skin?

In short, no. There has been no scientific evidence to suggest that there is enough penetration of collagen to get into the skin, it is generally considered that the molecule in collagen is too large to penetrate the skin. You would get more benefit from collagen boosting foods such as fruits full of antioxidants.


Q: How can I keep my hands looking youthful?

Age or brown spots can be eradicated with Brown Spot Remover twice a day, follow with Block It! during daylight hours.


Q: I’m in my 30s, and I’ve suddenly developed acne. Nothing seems to help.

Acne is always hormonal, i.e. pregnancy, the pill, menopause, or even PCOS. The first thing to do is switch to oil-free or noncomedogenic products. Avoid anything that contains lanolin, mineral oil, or petrolatum. Don’t use pressed powders or pancake or powder foundation, because they contain oil. And never cleanse with harsh soaps that will dry out your skin, because they don’t help clear up the acne, and you wind up using too much moisturiser to counteract the dryness.
Try products that remove blocked pores and excess oil production. We have developed a Clear Skin program especially for this concern. They contain glycolic and salicylic acid, all of which can help; but again, don’t overuse them, because they’ll dry you out. If your face doesn’t clear up in two to three months, see a specialist for expert advice and skin treatments. (Harley Street Skin Clinic- see our section…).


Q: Why does stress affect my skin?

Skin is the body’s barrier to the outside world, the simple fact is that stress interferes with the body’s systems that repair and regulate the skin, it can also make your body produce chemicals that stimulates oil production.
Another problem is a loss in the skin’s natural antioxidant defences due to stress and can lead to accelerated ageing. Also, hormones associated with stress can trigger a histamine release within the skin, causing it to erupt in tiny red bumps or, in some cases, hives. We suggest Firma Serum with hyaluronic acid to replenish tired skin, followed with StemCellution Anti Ageing Serum to boost collagen production.


Q: Is there a magic product that will improve my skin or help me look younger?

No, unfortunately. Not only do products affect individuals differently, but also no product can provide the reversible effects of age and sun exposure. Generally, the right products for your skin type, and the more you stay out of the sun and use sun protection the better your skin will look later. Skin care products such as sunscreen, moisturisers and those with antioxidant properties can be beneficial for rehydrating and helping minimise the effect of ageing.
We have devised an Anti-Ageing program that contains all the ingredients you need with peptides and EGF’s to stimulate collagen, hyaluronic acid (it occurs naturally in the body, but depletes with age) to hydrate and AHA’s to exfoliate dead skin cell build up and antioxidants to help repair skin tissue.


Q: Is cleansing good or bad for my skin?

Cleansing is essential for your skin’s long-term health. It clears away dirt and bacteria, keeps pore ducts open and exfoliates surface skin cells. However, cleansing does change your skin’s balance with the environment by stripping its protective oils that act as natural barriers to the elements. Be gentle with your skin. Try Gentle Cleanser that leaves skin hydrated.
Additionally, overuse of skin care products may bring about ‘sensitive skin’ or cause skin to break out from time to time. To avoid this, use Gentle Cleanser twice a day. Once a week use a scrub or exfoliator to remove dead skin cells which can clog pores. Microdermabrasion with Crushed Diamonds is a luxurious facial scrub that uses crushed diamonds to delicately remove dead skin and unblock pores.
For oily or acne skin types use Revitalising Cleanser to remove dead skin that can build up and become stuck to the skin surface by extra sebum production. It will leave your skin fresh, glowing and squeaky clean.


Q: What lifestyle changes can I make to keep my skin looking as young as possible?

Prevention actually is the best treatment for a good-appearing skin. First of all, avoid sun exposure. This means if your outdoors to wear sunscreen and reapply it as directed. If not you can use photo-protective clothing, hats and sunglasses. Use Block It! daily. Also avoid smoking as well as second- and third-hand smoke when possible. If you are a smoker you need extra Vitamin C to help counteract the damage you are doing to your skin, add Firma Serum under your moisturiser.
Eat healthily and include plenty of fruit and vegetable and healthy fats in your diet. Finally, regular exercise will boost circulation which will also aid skin health.


Q: What can I do to prevent my skin from getting too dry?

Use a moisturiser twice every day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Avoid really hot showers as the hotter the water the more the lipid barrier in your skin breaks down – a lukewarm shower if you’re prone to dry skin is something that can be beneficial. Body Buffer with Alpha Hydroxy Acids to keep body skin smooth and hydrated.


Q: What are best ingredients to look for in an eye cream?

Look for Hyaluronic Acid. For plump skin cells nothing beats hyaluronic acid, which draws moisture from the air and holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. A powerful new formula is Eye Refining Serum. Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, retinol stimulates cell turnover and collagen production, helping to strengthen skin and reduce complexion imperfections like sun spots and fine lines. Just remember that a little goes a long way; retinol creams make skin more sun-sensitive and can be overly drying, so apply sparingly before bedtime only.
Peptides . Sensitive skin types might opt for a peptide-packed eye cream instead of a retinoic acid one which will also stimulate collagen and elastin production, but are gentler on the dermis. Vitamins C and E . Besides vitamin A (in the form of topical retinol), vitamins C and E are also potent anti ageing ingredients. While vitamin C aids in collagen production and skin elasticity, vitamin E soothes and protects. Try StemCellution Eye Miracle.


Q: Since I turned 40, I’ve noticed that though my skin is dry, my eyelids have gotten oily. What’s up ?

First, if you have blurry vision, you should consult a doctor to rule out a couple of conditions that might cause oil on the lids,. Though oil glands usually become less active during perimenopause and menopause, in some women hormonal fluctuations can cause overactivity of those glands, which can lead to oily skin around the eyes and nose. Also you may be using too much eye cream. If you’re finding it hard to wear eyeshadow or liner because it slides off your lids, try an eyeshadow primer, which lays down a base that keeps your eye makeup in place. Eye cream should always be used sparingly on the delicate skin around the eye area.


Q: I am an African-American woman who has never worn sunscreen. I am told that everyone should use some form of protection for the skin. Does that include those of us that have a lot more melanin?

African-American skin has larger cells in the epidermis than Caucasian skin. The eye may not see the damage as quickly on darker skin, but the damage is still there. The difference in dark skin and light skin is that it responds differently, but both suffer the same risk of skin cancer. You should still use a sunblock of at least 25 to 50 SPF daily. Block It!


Q: I have big dark circles around my eyes, mostly underneath, and hollows under my eyes.
I look permanently tired. What can I do?

To banish under eye circles, it’s important to know the cause of them. Poor circulation from lack of sleep, stress, caffeine, and/or alcohol is typically to blame, but this isn’t the only culprit. In some cases, hyper-pigmentation around the eye area is hereditary, a condition that’s especially common with darker skin tones. And if puffiness is present, circles could be due to water retention or allergies. Try this test- press a finger lightly under the eye. If the darkened skin momentarily brightens poor circulation, water retention, or allergies are to blame; if skin tone remains the same, it’s hyper-pigmented. For hyper-pigmentation, there are a variety of laser treatments available. Before you go this route, however, you could try an eye cream with sunscreen such as Eye Refining Cream.
For puffy peepers, Try sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated to aid in lymphatic drainage of water and toxins. Or use Eye Refining Serum.

Or if you notice that your eyes only flare up during allergy try taking an antihistamine to reduce inflammation. Under eye bags that are simply the result of your lifestyle and poor circulation can generally be reduced with the application of a cold compress-think refrigerated spoons. Eye creams are, of course, also welcome.


Q: After years of sunbathing, I’ve got severe sun damage on my lower legs- large blotches,
pigmentation marks and the skin looks so thin and papery,my legs look more like a lizard’s. I’ve spent a fortune on intensive moisturisers but they’ve made no difference. I’m now too embarrassed to wear skirts or shorts. Can I do anything?

Try Body Buffer twice a day, if that does not do the trick, try adding a course of glycolic peels to the treatment plan, will do wonders for dry, thin skin – six peels, once a week , cost from £60 a peel. Alternatively, a course of Naturepeel, which uses salt to remove dead skin followed by an ultrasound treatment to force youth-giving serums into the dermis. You’ll need up to 6 treatments at £120 per treatment,


Q: A friend uses Retin-A gel on her skin which she gets from the doctor. Can you tell me more about it?

Retin-A, which contains Vitamin A – is prescribed by doctors or dermatologists, to treat either acne or damaged skin and wrinkles, as well as help renew and exfoliate skin. Retin A should not be used for a long period of time, as skin will become red and flakey. I would suggest using it for a maximum of three months, only once a day (before bed is best) with a doctor’s supervision, then have a little boost for a week or so every few months. It is essential to use a high SPF – at least 30 -when using Retin A as well as a good rich moisturiser, such as Intensive Moisture


Q: I haven’t got lines above my mouth, but my lips are really wrinkled and covered in tiny broken lines.
Every time I use a lipstick it settles into them. Is there anything I can do?

You should try Mineral Earth lip spa containing a lip pumice and vitamin E stick, you will be amazed at the difference in your lips within days. Try Lip-Jection for a little fullness too!


Q: I want a chemical peel but a friend suggested laser instead as there is less downtime?

Both treatments deliver similar results – rejuvenating and resurfacing the skin to improve texture and tone, removing pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles and boosting collagen levels. With the new laser treatments Fraxel Repair, you need at least a week at home to heal and then you can cover up any redness with make up. Depending on the percentage strength of the chemical peel, downtime can be anything from one week to a month – the higher the percentage, the deeper the peel and therefore the longer recovery time.


Q: I get confused about all the different SPF numbers on a sunscreen?

As a general rule, the higher the number the more protection a cream offers. The number actually relate to the length of time you can stay in the sun without burning and how much protection the product will give you. For instance an SPF25 will reduce the burning effect of the sun on your skin by 25 times – so if you spend 25 minutes in the sun, it would be equivalent to just one minute without sun protection


Q: What vitamins should I eat to ensure healthy skin?

We developed Age Defenders purely to protect the skin and help with skin and body ageing.
Here are some of the best minerals and vitamins for healthy skin. Include these skin rejuvenating vitamins in your diet to help keep your skin looking healthy.

VITAMIN A is a very good vitamin for healthy skin. It helps strengthen the skin and repair tissues. It can be taken in foods, as a supplement or as a topical cream. Vitamin A can help prevent dry skin and acne, lines & wrinkles. It helps cells turnover quicker. Find it in: Sweet potato, carrots, mango, and almonds

VITAMIN E is an antioxidant that can help prevent free radical damage to the skin. Vitamin E is a good vitamin to take when you have sun damage. Find it in: Sunflower seeds, wheat germ oil, blackberries, applies

VITAMIN C helps with healing wounds and other damage to the skin. There is some evidence that it rejuvenates the skin. Find it in: Papaya, freshly squeezed orange juice, and strawberries

VITAMIN D is an antioxidant that may play a role in helping skin control pigmentation. Find it in Mushrooms

VITAMIN B helps keep your skin tone healthy. It is also a good vitamin for relieving stress, and so it may prevent some of the skin problems (like eczema) that can be caused by stress. There are a number of different vitamins in the vitamin B group.

Vitamin B1 is an antioxidant that helps rid the body of toxins. It can also assist circulation. Find it in: Long grain brown rice, dried sunflower seeds

Vitamin B2 helps keep the skin healthy. It can also help prevent acne. Find it in. Dried apricots, soybeans, avocado
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) improves circulation. Find it in: Avocados, dry roasted peanuts

Vitamin B5 helps reduce stress, preventing the over-production of sebum, which will also help clear up acne. Find it in :Oranges, bananas, mushrooms, and cauliflower

ZINC helps the skin’s natural healing process. Find it in: Blackberries, Kiwi, Peas, and Almonds.



Thread Veins FAQs:


Where can you get thread veins?

Thread veins are extremely common, they can effect the face, body and legs.

What causes thread veins?

The causes of thread veins are unknown, however, genetics, changes in temperature, smoking, alcohol and hormones can contribute to the condition.

Whats the best treatment?

Depends on the area, on the face and for some veins on the legs, IPL is best. IPL treatments will erase fine and medium thread veins quickly and effectively after about four sessions.

For larger viens on the legs Sclerotherapy is very effective. A simple non surgical treatment that takes about 30 minutes. A very fine needle is used to inject a solution into the vein, which causes the vein to perish ,over a course of treatments, the veins disappear completely.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatment sessions depends on the size of the veins how many areas need to be treated, we generally recommend on average 4 to 6 treatments per area.

Will the treatment be painful?

It will sting, with either IPL, which feels like an elastic band pining on the skin, or either Sclerotherapy, that stings as its injected,

Will I be red and have to take time off work after the treatment?

You may have some redness after IPL, this generally goes after a few hours. Some redness can occur with Sclerotherapy, and occasionally a small bruise that may last a week or so. Most people go straight back to their daily routine.

What are the risks?

Fortunately there are very few risks, however, there is a theoretical risk of a deep vein thrombosis but we have personally never seen this. Rarely, a patient may be allergic to the chemical in the solution, but this would be 1 in 10,000 patients. Bruising afterwards is the worst thing that happens and it can last for several months, 2 or 3 months on average but could be longer.

Due to the risk of bruising, we suggest you have your treatment in the Autumn/Winter months so the bruising is gone by Summer.Arnica cream applied to the bruises can help them to fade faster.

Can my thread veins come back again?

Yes they can, we cannot control your body and it’s likely that if you are prone to thread veins you will develop mores as you age.