SPOT TIPS

Last week in my blog post, I spoke all about adult acne. Now, whether you have adult acne or just spots in general… here are some spot tips for you!

SPOT TIPS

If you’re tempted to treat your acne with a few old tricks from your teen years, don’t. Adult skin is more sensitive and less resilient than adolescent complexions The most important thing you can do for your skin is have a good skin routine

*Avoid anything that contains lanolin, mineral oil, or petroleum.

*Don’t use pressed powders pancake or powder or liquid foundation, because most contain oil. Use a good mineral make up, it’s anti-inflammatory, acts as a concealer, foundation, powder and sunscreen all in one*Cleanse no more than twice a day And never cleanse with harsh soaps that will dry out your skin. Since your skin is likely drier than it once was, over-washing can remove the surface oils that keep it supple

*Drinking water is crucial.  Aim for 2 litres a day to flush out toxins and increase your intake of dietary fibre

* Focus on exfoliating, not degreasing. As we age, skin’s cell turnover slows, and pores can get clogged with dead cells. Slough them away with an at-home peel.

*Never squeeze spots. It’s tempting, but when you squeeze or pick at pimples, you may be pushing the inflammation deeper into your skin which could cause scarring.

*Wash make up brushes regularly, twice a week at least

*Use a clean pillowcase. The following night turn it over and on the third night change and use a clean pillowcase and repeat.

*Avoid shellfish According to new research; they may be making you break out. The reason: Shellfish contain iodine, which is the only dietary component proven to cause breakouts in people sensitive to it—plus, they are “high androgen foods,” meaning they could contain hormones that lead to acne.

* New  research has  identified an inability among sufferers to digest saturated fats, so eliminating dairy products and all animal fats, especially red meats, may help to manage the symptoms.  Sufferers should also avoid yeast and white sugars.

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ALL ABOUT ADULT ACNE

You may think acne as a condition that belongs to your youth but today, an influx of adult woman are experiencing acne – and some are having it worse than when they were teenagers.

Our modern lifestyles mean middle-aged women  (44 per cent of all UK women according to the latest figures) are increasingly suffering the misery of bad skin and the rate of women suffering from acne is   on the rise.

Cases of women and men developing acne for the first time in their thirties and forties are on the increase and it can even persist until their sixties. According to the latest statistics around 52 per cent of women over the age of 33 have some form of acne with about 15 per cent getting their first serious attack in their forties.

So what’s behind this epidemic of adult acne? Skin experts believe that an increase in the male hormone, testosterone, may be the main cause. It creates an excess of sebum — an oily/waxy substance produced by the sebaceous glands to lubricate the skin. Too much sebum causes a build-up of oil and dead skin cells in hair follicle pores. Bacteria make their way to the blockage, and the growth in bacteria causes acne.

But many facets of modern life are also thought to exacerbate it, including junk food, the excessive consumption of sugar, hormone imbalances, also due to hormone overload in processed foods, stress as well as growing school of thought that acne is genetic.  So f you’ve got it how do you deal with it?It is important to be treated by skin experts/ a dermatologist as early as possible to find out what’s causing your acne and also to prevent scarring. Growing concern over antibiotic resistance is changing how we are acne. We used to have a great deal of success treating acne with oral antibiotics but the bacteria responsible for causing acne has become so resistant to the drugs that the ability to treat modern acne has now become compromised so instead we are relying more on topical treatments with targeted skincare, laser and light treatments along with chemical peels and  prescribed hormone treatments.

Often, it is hard for acne sufferers to understand why, even with on-going treatment, they cannot get rid of their symptoms forever. But acne is similar to having any chronic disease, although there is no cure yet, we can control the symptoms and patients with acne need to find a treatment regime that works for them to maintain clear skin.  Remember, many acne treatments may take a while to work (anywhere from 2-6 months) so doesn’t stop using the treatment within this time period.  And if your acne does not improve talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Mention any side effects from, or irritations to, your acne treatment. Some acne treatments tend to dry out the skin during the initial stages but the skin usually adjusts.

 

SKIN CLEARING SOLUTIONS

 

AT THE CLINIC

No single medical therapy fits every case but the single most important thing you can do to keep acne under control is to have a good skin care routine and this means using the right products for you along with a range of topical treatments including IPL, microdermabrasion and chemical peels

 

*For milder breakouts, topical medications like retinoid – derived from vitamin A –can significantly improve the skin. You’ll need a prescription from your doctor to get it.

* Smartxide Laser 3- 5 treatments, six weeks apart will improve skin tone boost collagen and fade acne scars. From £250 per treatment 0207 436 4441

*Glycolic Peels- a monthly peel will help improve acne scarring and keep pores unblocked. From £60

* PRP therapy also known as Dracula Therapy which uses your own blood can help stimulate the regeneration of skin cells and new collagen. The results are natural with no downtime. From £400 a treatment

*If you’ve been left with acne scars, fat transfer or filler can fill out the dents leaving a smoother complexion from £200

 

BEST HIGH STREET BUYS

Look out for these spot-busting ingredients

*Glycolic Acid-derived from sugar cane, can penetrate pores and dissolve the plug of dead skin cells and oil that block pores and allow bacteria to grow that leads to spots.

*Salicylic Acid-derived from the willow tree, breaks up pore clogging sebum and encourages the shedding of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin

*Benzoyl Peroxide- Benzoyl peroxide has an antibacterial effect and helps kill bacteria that occurs in acne but be careful with clothes and towels it will bleach them white! Also avoid getting too much sun while you’re using it.

*Sulfur acts as an anti-bacterial agent, a pore cleanser and inflammation reducer. four and 12 weeks.

 

 

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Fill’er Up!

 

I have written about fillers many times in the past, mainly because advances in this area of cosmetic surgery have been huge…and a touch of one of the new fillers really can make a difference, with very little downtime.  Honestly, they can really help to restore youthful contours by plumping the cheeks and filling in hollows under the eyes for instance, so when a girlfriend of mine said she wanted some help but didn’t want to go down the full facelift route…yet….I said she needed fillers.  She gulped, because she is a true needle phobic and despite the fact that I said that in the hands of a good doctor she was unlikely to feel any pain, she said no.
So.. fast-forward a couple of months and she came back to say she would do it!  Reader, I booked her in and it all went well but I am going to let her tell you the story!
Lesley has been a friend for a long time and because she is so on the ball with the latest cosmetic techniques it has been fascinating listening to all the different procedures she works with.  I had been considering a face lift, but because I am such a coward when it comes to needles, I have been putting it off, and putting it off…so when the subject of fillers came up I was curious to know if it could work for me.  Like most women, as I age I have found the hollows under my eyes have become more pronounced and my cheeks have less volume…could fillers help?  Lesley said yes and said that the topical anaesthetics used were so good that after 15-20 minutes I would not feel a thing.  And the whole procedure would take about 40 minutes.  
 
I was terrified.  On one hand I wanted to try it out….but did I mention that I was needle phobic?  I said no, but after a couple of months I thought I was being a complete idiot and if other people could do it, why couldn’t I.  And if it hurt…I would scream.
 
So earlier this year, and completely unbeknownst to my husband, who hated the whole idea of fillers and botox,  I booked myself in. 
 
On the day itself, I arrived at the Clinic, had a ton of anaesthetic cream applied to my face and sat down with a cup of coffee and a magazine and allowed the cream to do its job.  And Dr. Khan was a delight.  He had clearly been prepped that I was a very, very nervous patient, and he took time to explain what would happen.  We chatted away for a while about all sorts of subjects before I realised that he had actually begun work and was quietly and efficiently injecting my face.  And I can honestly say that it did not hurt.  Yes, I winced a couple of times and gave a tiny gasp every now and again, but that was more due to pressure than actual pain….and therefore no screaming.  He decided to add in a touch of botox too and again, that didn’t hurt…he was so quick that I didn’t have time to register that this might be painful and to object.  
 
Once it was over, I looked in the mirror, expecting to see blood everywhere, but there was none.  A couple of pin pricks which soon cleaned up and a dash of mineral makeup covered those so they were unnoticeable.  And my face was fuller…not hugely so, but I looked subtly younger.
 
My girlfriends commented that I was looking particularly well…but of course, my husband didn’t notice a thing…which is irritating actually because I would have liked to point out that the new, improved me was down to the two things he hated…botox and fillers.  But on reflection I decided to say nothing …particularly because Dr. Khan mentioned that I could probably do with a couple of ‘threads’ to lift the cheeks a tad.  He explained that this would partly erase the dreaded corner of the mouth lines..marionette lines I think they are called because they look like the mouth on a puppet…and again it is not painful, but I might feel a little pressure.
 
I liked that idea and have booked myself in.  I am getting so brave in my old age!
So, one happy patient!  And I can report that she DID come back and have the threads inserted….and I heard no screaming!  Mind you, she was smiling a lot when she left and continues to smile every time I see her.  With reference to threads, my advice is to have a couple inserted and then let them ’settle’ in.  Assess the situation every few months and top up with another one or two as needed.
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ASK LESLEY – TIPS FOR SPIDER VEINS IN THE SUMMER

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?

I know Summer is a while away… but for those thinking of catching some Winter sun… 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.

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ASK LESLEY – WHAT IS MARGARITA SUNBURN?

My friend has just returned from the USA and said she developed Margarita sunburn? What is this?

This is a skin condition called phytophotodermatitis, which happens when oil from some plants or citrus fruits, commonly lime (hence the Margarita tag), grapefruit and some oranges, gets on the skin and is then exposed to UV light. This can cause a chemical burn reaction, resulting in stinging blisters and hyperpigmentation which can take weeks to fade. All skin types can be affected. To avoid, always wash hands and skin if you are eating or handling citrus fruits, especially limes, in the sun and wear sun protection at all times.

 

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ASK LESLEY – A ONE OFF FACIAL WITH AMAZING RESULTS

I’ve got a wedding soon and I’m looking a little jaded. Is there a  one-off  facial that really delivers results? I don’t want injectables or a treatment  that has too much downtime.

There are  many new hi-tech facials  which can deliver healthy radiant skin, boost collagen production and soften lines and wrinkles all without surgery or using needles. Most , however, like a laser facial or Hydrafacial  need a course of  at least three treatments every  three to four weeks to really see an improvement in skin tone.  But for a  speedy one treatment  which delivers great results try The LA facial.

Actress Sarah Parish is a huge fan of this new cutting edge treatment which uses  the very latest technology – dual modality  Fractional and Thermal radio frequency to product visible results – improved skin tone, lifted  features, softer lines and wrinkles in one 90 minute session . It’s totally painless and feels like a warm massage and the therapist will concentrate on problems areas.   You’ll have two to three days of redness which can be easily covered up  so have the treatment around a week to two weeks before your event to look perfect on the big day. Expect to pay around £150 and the facial is available from selected clinics around the UK. Call 0333 577 5570 for more details.

 

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Kissable lips – ready for the mistletoe this Christmas

The countdown to party season has begun so time to get your lips mistletoe ready.
Most women want a sexy pout but sadly as we get older our lips lose their pillowy plumpness and the tissue around them loses their volume, too. Then there is the problem we hear most at the clinic – barcode lips – the 21st century expression for smoker’s lines, the wiggly grooves which run from the top lip right up to the nose. The good news is that there is loads you can do to turn back the clock on your smile in time for kissmas. Here’s how to get luscious looking lips – fast. Now where’s that mistletoe…

Problem Dry, Chapped Lips
Your lips are like a sponge. When exposed to moisture, they absorb water and plump up, but when dehydrated they dry out and shrink, especially during cold, windy winter month. The lips have no oil glands (oil is like a barrier for skin, helping to protect it) so they can easily become cracked and chapped – here’s how to soften them up.

*Stop licking lips as this damages the protective barrier, which can dry out the lips, (saliva contains digestive enzymes that can break down this barrier). Keep a tube of lip balm handy at all times – try Lanolips 101 which contains pure lanolin (£10.99 from Waitrose). Need an emergency treatment then try a slick of honey or olive oil, great for lip hydration. For special night out try one of the new lip treatments like Bardou Booster Lip (£15 www.thebardou.com) packed with hyaluronic acid and honey to deliver an instant shot of nourishment and increase moisture levels. Slick it on, leave for two minutes before applying lipstick and lips will look glossy, hydrated and fuller.

*Exfoliate lips at least once or twice a week which will boost blood circulation, remove dead skin and aid cell renewal. If lips are very sensitive and flaky, smooth on some Vaseline first and use a dry toothbrush to gently brush back and forth Matte lipsticks can be extremely drying so use them sparingly when your lips are extremely chapped. Use a lipstick which doubles as a balm instead– try Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm which delivers a hint of colour and 8 hours of moisture (£5.99 burtsbees.co.uk)

* The lack of iron, Vitamin B and fatty acids in your body can play a role in lip cracking and scaling. Vitamin A is also necessary for skin repair and is specially recommended to protect against chapped lips. Be sure to take a multivitamin/mineral supplement every day to protect against deficiencies that may be causing your chapped lips.

Also, drink more water to keep the body, skin and lips hydrated.
*Peeling lips could be a sign of an allergic reaction to a lipstick, toothpaste, food, beverage, or medication. Related symptoms include itching and a persistent rash. A mild over the counter topical hydrocortisone cream can help decrease the irritation and can also help very chapped lips.

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ASK LESLEY – HOW TO HELP BLADDER WEAKNESS

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

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ASK LESLEY – HORMONE THERAPY

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.

 

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TURN HEADS THIS CHRISTMAS

If you want to turn heads this Christmas then now’s the time to start your beauty routine so that you are flawless and glowing.

Planning on wearing a low-cut back to your dress but suffer from spotty, uneven skin and bra-bulge?  Then you need a ‘bacial’…a back facial… The HydraFacial Detox Treatment which uses lymphatic drainage to detoxify; then a cleanse, peel and debris extraction, followed by a moisture infusion.  It costs £45

Combine this with the skin-tightening treatment Reaction which utilises radio frequency and vacuum therapy to contour and tighten skin and help shrink fat cell volume.  One treatment will minimise the look of lumpy skin, but four to six weekly sessions will achieve the best results.  Costs from £250.

And don’t forget your cleavage because the skin here is thinner and as it is often exposed to the sun it can age faster than facial skin.  Mesotherapy is terrific for helping to rejuvenate a crinkly cleavage.   Micro-injections of a cocktail of vitamins and peptides around the cleavage increase skin moisture naturally, helping to fade fine lines and age spots as well as boosting collagen and elastin production.  You’ll see smoother skin within a week, but for best results a course of three weekly sessions may be required.  From £250.

And to banish thigh anxiety a Leg Makeover will soon whip your legs into shape.  First, IPL – which uses intense pulsed light treatment – targets thread veins and dark patches.  Then a glycolic peel will tranform scaly skin and fade age spots.  Finally SmartXide Dot heats up the outer skin which flakes away, revealing smoother, firmer skin.  Cost £250.

My top tips:

  • Mix a couple of drops of lemon essential oil with E45 Cream and massage this into tired calves and ankles.
  • Try an IV Vitamin Drip.  It gives an instant glow.  Cost is around £200 but make sure that you choose a clinic which has medical facilities.
  • Add Epsom Salts to a bath to help with bloating as it can regulate over 300 enzymes in the body and help flush out toxins.
  • A dab of Vaseline on your heels can help avoid blisters.
  • If you have blisters already then Listerine mouthwash works as an antiseptic.   Follow up with Compeed Blister Plasters £4.39.
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