WHO NEEDS DRY JANUARY?

Your skin does!

Yes, it is a good thing to stop, or severely reduce, the amount of alcohol for the month of January so that your liver can recover, but January in general is not a good month for your skin because a mince-pie overload, combined with central heating and falling temperatures can make skin dry, flaky and sensitive.

There’s a lot you can do though.

Most virtuous is to cut out, or cut back your alcohol intake as alcohol is a diuretic, so your already-dry skin is losing much needed moisture.

Then hydrate.  Drink water little and often to flush toxins, plump skin and brighten your eyes.  Talking of eyes, did you know that eye bags are much darker in winter, partly due to tiredness caused by a lack of vitamin D, but also because tiny capillaries can leak blood under the skin’s surface.  A professional treatment called Xela Plus Therapy can help fade these bags.  Blood is drawn from the arm, treated and mixed with hyaluronic acid which is injected around the eye to stimulate cell regeneration over three sessions.  Results last around 12 months.  From £750.  harleystreetskinclinic.com

Now more hydration.  A good mask is a great addition to the skincare toolbox and this new mask is a little wonder.  If you like the idea of intravenous vitamin infusions, then you will love Vitamin Drip Mask as it is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants to supercharge and rejuvenate tired, dull, dry skin.

Key vitamins A, C and E combine with many more wonderful anti-ageing ingredients to reduce super oxidative stress, neutralize damaging free radicals and allow the skin to stay healthy by repairing itself.  It also contains Glycolic Acid which gently dissolves the glue-like substance that holds dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, blocking pores and making the skin look dull and old. Your skin will look more luminous and glowing.    Use once or twice a week.  Cost £33.60 harleystreetskinclinic.com

Now add even more hydration.  Look for moisturing products containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and urea as these bind moisture to the skin.  Then add another layer like an oil…my favourite is Rosina’s Rose Perfecting Oil, £22 (rosinaslotionsandpotions.com)…. to give skin extra support.

Dry lips?  Drinking water helps a lot and use a lip balm throughout the day.  There are masses on the market so find one which suits you.  Alternatively good old Vaseline works wonders!

 And one last thought.  Winter is the perfect time to undergo skin-resurfacing procedures as it’s important to avoid sun exposure for at least three months afterwards.  A Fractora treatment can be used all over the face and neck, tightening saggy skin, improving pigmentation, filling out fine lines, zapping thread veins and boosting collagen.  Radio frequency energy is passed through a series of bipolar pins.  This heats the skin and cases tiny holes that the body repairs.  Downtime is seven to ten days , after which you’ll see tighter, firmer, clearer skin.  Costs from £700.  harleystreetskinclinic.com

So..layer your hydration, goodbye Dry January and roll on Fabulous February!

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#AskLesley

I always get red bumps after waxing and hair removal. What causes them and what’s the solution?
These little bumps are often ingrown hairs. To banish then without irritation use a solution like Skin Doctors Ingrow Go Lotion (£11.39 boots.com) nightly to help free and prevent the ingrown hairs. The solution contains salicylic acid; glycerin and glycolic acid to clean out and purify the affected pore, reducing red spots and exfoliating the dead skin making the ingrown hairs pop out easily. It’s perfect for legs, under arms and the bikini line. Best tip is to use for several days before waxing to lift ingrown hairs or wait at least 12 hours after waxing before applying.
STAY SAFE
New standards for doctors carrying out cosmetic procedures designed to help drive up standards in the cosmetic surgery come into force this month. The new guidelines cover all procedures from breast augmentation to Botox  and are there to protect patients Later this year the RCS will also launch a new certification scheme, allowing patients to more easily search for a surgeon who has the necessary skill and experience to perform the procedure they are considering. In the meantime, stay safe and know the rules- or for full details visit the GMC website.
*Do not have any cosmetic treatments which are on a special offer, like two for one  or  are discounted if you have multiple treatments. There should be no  inducements whatsoever.
*You must have a minimum two-week cooling off period before undergoing any surgery so you do not feel rushed or pressured.
*When you go for a consultation make sure you are well informed on all details of the procedure, including risks and downtime and are given written information about any procedures.
*Always  ask about  aftercare, continuity of care must be provided so patients know whom to contact if they experience any complications and full details of any medicines or implants being used must be made readily available.
* Details of all UK doctors, including any specialisms they have, are published on the GMC’s online List of Registered Medical Practitioners
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#AskLesley

Is there is a non-invasive  treatment to tighten ‘down below? I’ve noticed bladder weakness recently and I’m sometimes too embarrassed to  go out. I don’t want surgery.
All women experience some degree of laxity in the skin or tissues and as we get older, the onset of the menopause, can also leave its mark on the vagina .In some case, the loss of tone can  lead to discomfort, and accidental bladder leaks making many women self conscious . ThermiVa is the latest   breakthrough treatment for vaginal rejuvenation and can help women regain and restore their confidence  The non-surgical procedure uses controlled radiofrequency energy to gently heat tissue via specially designed disposable wand applicator, restoring tightness to vaginal canal. It’s a quick painless treatment and many women notice a difference immediately after one treatment but you may need up to three treatments a month apart . Results last up one year -for more information  and to see if this is right for you  see thermiva.uk
STAY SAFE
New standards for doctors carrying out cosmetic procedures designed to help drive up standards in the cosmetic surgery come into force this month. The new guidelines cover all procedures from breast augmentation to Botox  and are there to protect patients Later this year the RCS will also launch a new certification scheme, allowing patients to more easily search for a surgeon who has the necessary skill and experience to perform the procedure they are considering. In the meantime, stay safe and know the rules- or for full details visit the GMC website.
*Do not have any cosmetic treatments which are on a special offer, like two for one  or  are discounted if you have multiple treatments. There should be no  inducements whatsoever.
*You must have a minimum two-week cooling off period before undergoing any surgery so you do not feel rushed or pressured.
*When you go for a consultation make sure you are well informed on all details of the procedure, including risks and downtime and are given written information about any procedures.
*Always  ask about  aftercare, continuity of care must be provided so patients know whom to contact if they experience any complications and full details of any medicines or implants being used must be made readily available.
* Details of all UK doctors, including any specialisms they have, are published on the GMC’s online List of Registered Medical Practitioners
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What no-one tells you about drastic weight loss

Sharon Osbourne revealed (in her autobiography) that she had her legs and arms lifted along with a tummy tuck after having a gastric band fitted and losing a considerable amount of weight.

 

Actress Lisa Riley is the latest celebrity to show off her dramatic weight loss.

The Emmerdale and Strictly Come Dancing star has undergone an incredible transformation losing an impressive six stone in less than a year.
Lisa, 39, has dropped seven dress sizes and now wears a size 16, simply by overhauling her entire life style,
Meanwhile, super slimmer Oliver Bates 24 has lost a whopping 25 stone with Slimming World and now weighs 13st 13lbs He has gone from wearing size 6XL clothes with a 64in waist to size Medium with a 34in waist.
Losing such a significant amount of weight is a life changing and tremendous achievement but people who experience such a massive weight loss are usually left with one unfortunate legacy: droopy, flabby excess skin.
Lisa revealed that she might now need to undergo surgery to remove excess skin after her dramatic loss. “My stomach looks like untossed pizza dough!” she joked.
“I’ll probably need surgery – as every fitness teacher warned me, no rowing machine in the world gets rid of excess skin!
People who lose a massive amount of weight are often surprised at how unhappy they still are with their bodies. The fat is gone, but all that skin that held it in place? It didn’t go anywhere.
It’s a less explored part of extreme weight loss. The body may be lighter, but it’s now weighed down with folds of sagging skin, causing emotional and physical pain. Severe cases of excess skin can also lead to irritation, rashes and discomfort.
Even though skin has the ability to expand and contract to a remarkable degree  -as it does during pregnancy – it can only stretch so far before it loses its elasticity, a bit like a balloon that once blown up then deflates.  How loose your skin gets depends on several factors – how much weight you’ve lost, how old you were when you lost the weight, how many times you’ve lost and gained the weight back, and how quickly you lost it (the faster you lose it, the less time your skin has to tighten naturally). Genetics play a part, too and the older you are and the bigger the weight loss often means skin will not snap back into place as it did in your twenties,
But for slimmers like Lisa it’s worth remembering, she now   has a healthier body even if she doesn’t like the look of all of it!  And there are many ways to tackle loose skin problems and boost body confidence

AT THE CLINIC
The most effective way to remove excess skin after dramatic weight loss is through a surgical body lift. But, be warned it’s a major operation and involves a long and painful journey. and involves cutting away the unwanted tissue and tighten the underlying muscles before stitching it back together until the skin is taut and fits the body – rather like going to the dressmaker and having a too-big pair of trousers or dress taken in to fit.

Surprisingly, as barbaric as it may sound, rather than being seen as a last resort, increasing numbers of weight-loss patients –around 15,000 of these operations were carried out last year – are now demanding this procedure directly linked to the numbers of patients having weight loss surgery (such as gastric banding and by pass.)

The procedure is custom-designed for each patient and there are many methods the surgeon can choose from. Surgery can also be limited to specific areas of the body and carried out in stages (breasts, arms, stomach, thighs, buttocks, etc.), or it can address multiple regions .The 3– 6 operation is carried out under a general anaesthetic and may require up to three nights in hospital with drains left in place for up to two weeks. . Incisions are made along natural crease lines so that the scars are hidden but there will be still significant scarring after the operation. There will be several layers of stitches and full recovery can take up to six to eight weeks. Before you consider body-contouring surgery after massive weight loss, you should be at a stable weight for about six months, be in good health and be a non-smoker. The risks associated with this type of surgery are much greater than with most procedures and include bleeding infection, delayed skin healing, poor scarring, blood clots and numbness of the skin.  Expect pain and discomfort for up to ten days and expect to pay anything from £8.5 to £20k .At present body contouring is only available privately, unless there is disability as a result of the excess skin, or a life-threatening infection.
TUMMY TUCK
A  tummy tuck  , abdominoplasty, is best suited for those with excess skin on top of or below the bellow button. However, if you’ve experienced massive weight, an extended tummy tuck or “belt lipectomy” may be more suitable. Like a standard tummy tuck, this extended version removes all the excess skin, but instead of making an incision that runs from hip to hip, the incision must be made all the way around the stomach, hips and back in order to properly tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall and get rid of all the extra skin. Full results won’t be noticeable for several months, or maybe even a year or longer and again there will be significant scarring. Allow at least two months for recovery, and again scarring is significant. Cost from £5k

Contact 0207436 4441 for more details

LIFESTYLE CHANGES
There are plenty of other ways to improve muscle tone that don’t involve going under the knife, such as regular exercise and weight training but remember, no amount of exercise will make the loose skin that sits on top of muscles go away.  Eating more protein can help and some studies show that taking daily Vitamin C and fish oil supplements can increase the skin’s elasticity by about 14 per cent.

If you are still following a weight loss plan and want to save your skin’s elasticity, it is important to lose fat slowly, ideally around   1 – 2 lbs. per week. Given time skin can tighten up especially when weight loss is only a few stone and lost gradually. Radio-frequency (RF) treatments are good non-invasive alternatives for slightly sagging skin and can also be used to improve the tone and elasticity on the face and body but won’t cope with large amounts of excess skin.


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#AskLesley

I’m thinking of having sclerotherapy to treat the spider veins on my thighs and legs but do I have to stay out of the sun after treatment? Also I always seem to get swollen legs in the summer or after flying – any tips?
You normally have to wear c,ompression tights for up to three weeks after treatment ,every day,  so yes you can go out in the sun as long as you have your compression garments on – and that can be very  uncomfortable.  Our advice is to wait until the Autumn to have this procedure and in the meantime use a good cover up cream or a fake tan  such as Calze Spray On Tights  (£16 marksandspencer.com)to disguise leg veins. As for swollen legs, try and eat a clean diet that is low or free from inflammatory foods such as salt and alcohol which can lead to water retention. Foods rich in omega 3 oils such as salmon are a natural anti –inflammatory and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Keep legs elevated when sitting, don’t sit with crossed legs   and soak feet in cool water to depuff ankles. Legology Exfo-Lite Stimulating Salts for Legs (£43 for five sachets. Liberty.co.uk) is a two salt scrub combining sea salt with detoxifying Himalayan pink salts  which help stimulate the lymph for deep draining to  help contour, lighten and energise legs. Apply to dry skin before a shower or bath.
STAY SAFE
New standards for doctors carrying out cosmetic procedures designed to help drive up standards in the cosmetic surgery come into force this month. The new guidelines cover all procedures from breast augmentation to Botox  and are there to protect patients Later this year the RCS will also launch a new certification scheme, allowing patients to more easily search for a surgeon who has the necessary skill and experience to perform the procedure they are considering. In the meantime, stay safe and know the rules- or for full details visit the GMC website.
*Do not have any cosmetic treatments which are on a special offer, like two for one  or  are discounted if you have multiple treatments. There should be no  inducements whatsoever.
*You must have a minimum two-week cooling off period before undergoing any surgery so you do not feel rushed or pressured.
*When you go for a consultation make sure you are well informed on all details of the procedure, including risks and downtime and are given written information about any procedures.
*Always  ask about  aftercare, continuity of care must be provided so patients know whom to contact if they experience any complications and full details of any medicines or implants being used must be made readily available.
* Details of all UK doctors, including any specialisms they have, are published on the GMC’s online List of Registered Medical Practitioners
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#AskLesley

I’ve read about natural hormone therapy using bio-identical hormones and I’m interested in  going  down this route rather than taking  HRT for my menopausal symptoms  which make me feel old and lethargic– can you tell me more?
After the age of 40, our endocrine system, and its various glands, start slowing down their production of hormones, the chemical messengers that tell our various body parts and organs what to do .This means less testosterone,   progesterone  and oestrogen  so balancing and augmenting these with  natural hormone therapy or bio-identical  hormones, as they are known  can often  help the body  return to a more youthful state, improving health and energy and treating other distressing  menopausal symptoms. Bio-identical hormones are plant derived  and are identical in structure to those found in the human body . Bu you  will  need a well managed  supervised programme and blood and urine tests to check your personal hormone levels before they can be prescribed.   Unfortunately, this service is not available on the  NHS, but there are many private clinics specialising in hormone therapy The prescriptions are only available privately so  you will have to pay for an initial  consultation and tests and then for monthly prescriptions. First , do check with your doctor to see if this route is suitable for you as there are many other   HRT therapies  now available. If you are still keen to go this route do contact us  as we can give you further information on doctors specialising in this area.
STAY SAFE
New standards for doctors carrying out cosmetic procedures designed to help drive up standards in the cosmetic surgery come into force this month. The new guidelines cover all procedures from breast augmentation to Botox  and are there to protect patients Later this year the RCS will also launch a new certification scheme, allowing patients to more easily search for a surgeon who has the necessary skill and experience to perform the procedure they are considering. In the meantime, stay safe and know the rules- or for full details visit the GMC website.
*Do not have any cosmetic treatments which are on a special offer, like two for one  or  are discounted if you have multiple treatments. There should be no  inducements whatsoever.
*You must have a minimum two-week cooling off period before undergoing any surgery so you do not feel rushed or pressured.
*When you go for a consultation make sure you are well informed on all details of the procedure, including risks and downtime and are given written information about any procedures.
*Always  ask about  aftercare, continuity of care must be provided so patients know whom to contact if they experience any complications and full details of any medicines or implants being used must be made readily available.
* Details of all UK doctors, including any specialisms they have, are published on the GMC’s online List of Registered Medical Practitioners
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Lovely Lips!

After your 40s, the loss of collagen and lack of elasticity can leave the top lip without any border. Lips also become deflated and wrinkled, while collagen and elastin which gives lips their fullness breaks down. But you can easily and quickly restore their shape and boost volume.
* Restylane Silk is one of the latest fillers especially designed for lips as it has smaller particles than other fillers and integrates without forming any bumps. By injecting the filler along the border of the lip it can restore lip shape and borders without enlarging the lips and bonus lipstick will no longer bleed. From £350 0207436 4441

*For temporary plumpness try the Cinderella lip treatment at the clinic. A dental block is given and then Saline – water containing salt – is injected into the lip line giving the lips a natural outline and a fuller pout – no danger of a trout pout as the effect will only last up to four days – expect to pay around £100 contact as above.

*You don’t have to have injections to boost volume- Lip plumpers and glosses can help create temporary bee-stung fullness. Hot from the USA is cult Luscious Lips Lip Plumper available in all colours (£45 lusciouslips.com) which stimulates new collagen and instantly improves lip fullness. A dab of cinnamon, clove or peppermint oils will also swell lips temporarily. Dab on every couple of hours to keep up the results.

*Fake a better shape with make up. A lip primer is the best way to stop lips bleeding and will also make lips look fuller and lipstick last longer. Try NYX Cosmetics Lip Primer (£6 boots.com) and then outline lips with a browny-nude lip pencil just outside the lip line, smudge your lip liner gently in with your fingertip so there are no harsh lines and fill your lips with a colour.

*Semi permanent makeup adds more definition, making the lips look plumper without the use of injections. The one-hour treatment begins by numbing the lips with lidocaine before the lip line and area directly above it are injected with pigment that’s customized for your lip and skin tone. Post-treatment, your lips may be red and swollen, and it will probably scab for a few days. However, the results can last from one to three years, depending on how fast the injected pigment is absorbed. Results should last up to two years – from £800. Contact 0207 436 4441 for more details

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YOUR PERFECT WINTER ROUTINE

Skin is very sensitive to cold weather  and the winter months can bring problems such as chapping and dehydration as well as causing conditions such as rosacea to flare up.  So here’s my suggestions for a perfect winter routine.

Take time to cleanse properly.  Pixi Double Cleanse, £24 (marksandspencer.com) comes in a double sided pot containing a solid oil and nourishing cream cleanser which will infuse the complexion with a cocktail of hydrating ingredients.

Next, try a moisturising essence which will give skin an immediate hydration boost without clogging pores.  Melvita Eaux Extraordinaires Rose, £16.30 (notino.co.uk) is a blend of damask rose floral water and hyaluronic acid.  Simply sweep over your face to leave skin plump and hydrated.

Follow this with a generous layer of antioxidant serum.  Goldfaden MD Radical Difference, £84.13 (skinstore.com) is a highly concentrated and firming serum that is suitable for all skin types.  It contains organic red tea and cherry extracts and helps to form a protective barrier over the skin.

Finally, finish with a nourishing moisturiser to seal in all the goodness you have already applied.  Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, £24.50 (Debenhams.com) will keep skin hydrated for up to 24 hours.

In the evening, after you have removed your make-up, treat your skin to an overnight mask.  Your skin’s natural repair mechanisms kick in overnight and a good night cream will encourage this process.  Try Cloud 9 Skin Solutions Good Night Deep Nourishing Sleep Mask, £38. (feelunique.com) which contains vitamins A, D and E and helps to stimulate cell renewal.

You can give your skin an extra boost with Profhilo.  This innovative new treatment, which is available from cosmetic clinics, is designed to hydrate skin from the inside out.  The treatment takes 10 minutes and involves having five tiny injections of hyaluronic acid on each side of the face, just under the skin.  The hyaluronic acid then gradually diffuses under the skin, plumping it up.  From £500.   www.harleystreetskinclinic.com

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A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS

Firstly, I love a facial and book myself in for one if I notice that my skin is looking a tad under par because there is nothing nicer than having someone deep clean, massage and moisturize whilst you lie back and relax.

I have tried many, many facials over the years, but one of my favourites is the HydraFacial.  This award-winning facial uses every trick in the book to deliver an immediate radiance boost.  It combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration, light therapy and antioxidant protection all in one session.  After the treatment you notice a dramatic improvement in hydration whilst any oily or congested areas will look clear and radiant.  It costs from £120.   For your nearest clinic visit hydrafacial.co.uk

A lot of my clients have had very good resuls with Caci Synergy Purifying Facial, which lifts skin and tightens contours.  Caci has been around for more than 20 years and this new facial from the tried-and-trusted beauty brand targets blemishes, age spots and pigmentation marks.  It combines antibacterial and anti-inflammatory red and blue LED light therapy to help heal the skin, encourage cellular repair and increase collagen production.  During the treatment facial muscles are zapped with tiny electrical impulses to strengthen and tighten the skin.  Cost is from £75.  Visit caci-international.co.uk.

Another quick fix is to get a Manicure.  It is incredibly de-stressing to sit quietly whilst someone else nips and tucks your nails into shape.  I know most of us can do this for ourselves, but it is such a treat to take time out and relax.  Choose a new colour each time too.  I am currently in love with a US brand called Dr.’s Remedy which is toluene- and formaldehyde-free.  It helps to heal nail problems plus the colours are lovely and have great staying power.  Lots to choose from but my favourite is Rescue Red.    www.amazon.co.uk

Finally I do try to eat properly, and succeed most of the time…however, there are times when I am so busy that I just eat on the run.  That’s all well and good but it can mean that nutrient stores get depleted so I always take an Omega 3,6 & 9 supplement as these little gems are packed with skin, hair and nail-boosting qualities.  They improve skin from the inside and can also help balance hormone levels.

I always take other vitamins too, but always under the guidance of a doctor because self-medicating is never a good idea.  I suggest you do the same too.

Vitamin C is good to take to help ward off colds but this wonderful antioxidant also works beautifully for your skin too.  I have been using a brilliant Vitamin C Paste by Lixirskin each morning.  You only need a small, pea-sized amount which is massaged in with damp fingers.  Leave for a few minutes if you are rushed for time…but if not let it sit there for up to 15 minutes ….then rinse off with a clean cloth.  Result is a bright, smooth complexion.  It is available from Victoriahealth.com

But my favorite Vitamin C of all time is Jan Marini’s C’Esta Serum…I always go back to it. jmsreurope.co.uk

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Fatigued Skin

A lack of sleep can make the skin look tired and grey. Everyone knows that 8 hours a night would be ideal, but over the festive period this might not be possible.  Sleep studies have shown that for every hour of sleep you miss in one night you should try and make up for it by sleeping for an extra half of what you missed on the following night.  For example, if you only managed 4 hours one night, the next night you should aim for the recommended eight hours plus the 2 hours extra to make up for the night before. 

 

You’ve heard it before, but it is important to always take your make up off before bed, however much you have had to drink as your skin will pay for it a day or two later if you don’t.  Even if you don’t manage your usual cleanse, tone and moisturise regime, leave a packet of cleansing wipes beside your bed to quickly sweep away your make up as you pull on your pj’s and fall into bed. Skin tone and luminosity are a key factor in a woman’s attractiveness and restoring a glow can make an incredible difference.

 

Fractora is an advanced Radio Frequency treatment that targets uneven skin tone to restore a tighter firmer younger looking complexion. During the 60-minute procedure a small hand piece is placed against the skin which emits radiofrequency energy. This heats the skin and stimulates fibroblasts to produce collagen. Depending on skin condition, one to four treatments may be necessary.

Visible results can be seen immediately and will continue up to six months after treatment as new collagen is formed.

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