For many women the way their hair looks first thing in the morning dictates, like the weather, what kind of day they will have.
Unfortunately, for most, this usually means a bad hair day…
It’s estimated that around six million women in the UK are affected by thinning, lifeless hair including half of all women over the age of 50.
Recent research also shows that 53 per cent of all women think that their hair is one of the most important features to their attractiveness and worry that thinning hair makes them look older and less desirable.
Hair loss is far from an exclusively male problem. Women have 40 per cent chance of developing thinning hair and hair loss in their lifetimes and, like men, genetics is the main culprit. But there are many other factors that affect hair health including stress, a poor diet and, and physical damage to the follicles from excessive styling or harsh chemical treatments. Throw menopause into the mix, and you are also looking at breakage, frizz, dryness and dull, lacklustre colour. 
Hardly anyone over the age of 35 doesn’t have a few strands of grey, and after 40, the hair shaft becomes finer in dimension so there’s a reduction in volume. In addition, the hair’s shape becomes more irregular, leading to changes in flexibility and manageability. Lastly, the scalp produces less sebum as we age, which can lead to dryness
But the good news is anti ageing hair care is now one of the fastest growing areas of the beauty and cosmetics industry   and in almost all cases you can now find a product or treatment to help turn back the clock on ageing hair.
From vitamin enhanced thickening products to follicle boosting supplements here’s how to stay on top– follicularly speaking, of course.
If you are concerned about hair loss do see your doctor first so that it can be assessed and to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
*There are various supplements that claim to boost thinning hair. We recommend Phyto Phytophanere Capsules, formulated with vitamins B2, B5, B6 and essential fatty acids to fight hair loss whilst restoring suppleness and elasticity. £35 (120 capsules) Also boost your Vitamin D levels as research shows that women suffering from hair loss have much lower levels of vitamin D.If you are worried, ask your doctor for a blood test.  
* Hair is a barometer of inner health so avoid crash diets which can rob the hair of essential nutrients and trigger hair thinning and hair loss.  Make sure you eat protein every day, vital for strong, healthy hair along with Biotin, one of the group of B vitamins. Deficiency in biotin has been linked to greying of the hair and thinning hair. Biotin rich foods include brown rice, soya beans and nuts and seeds. If you have dry, brittle hair boost your intake of essential fatty acids such as oily fish and avocados Reduced circulation to the scalp can also affect hair volume so eat more Vitamin C and bioflavonoids in fruit and vegetables which support healthy blood vessels. Regular exercise will help circulation, too.
*Address stress which can trigger excess hair loss called alopecia areta where hair falls out in patches. Try yoga, walking and getting plenty of sleep. Avoid stimulants like alcohol and coffee and try to deal with the main source of your stress.
At the Clinic
For general thinning hair there are now a number of treatments to help boost regrowth from topical medications like Minoxidil (on prescription and over the counter) to surgery.  
Angel PRP Hair Boosting Therapy
Using your own blood to stimulate dormant hair follicles and encourage them to grow again is becoming one of the hottest new developments in hair rejuvenation. First, around four syringes of blood are taken from your arm and then treated in a new super fast machine, called a centrifuge, which extracts more platelets from the blood than before.  These platelets are then injected into the scalp which release growth factors stimulating cells to regenerate The scalp is then stimulated with a dermaroller, a barrel-like hand roller with hundreds of very fine needles which activates a wound heal response to further boost hair follicles. Best results seen after three months when a top up treatment may be needed – from £1800 436 4441
Hair Surgery
Figures show that more and more women are having hair restoration surgery to address patchy hair loss.  Over the last few years, techniques have developed enormously and hair grafts have become increasingly smaller and refined, changing from 15 to 25 hair grafts to as small as one and two hair grafts. New technologies also mean it is virtually impossible to tell when someone has had treatment. Under local anaesthetic, hair is taken from the donor area at the back of the head and transferred into the areas of hair loss. Once repositioned the hair rests for up to 16 weeks and then starts its natural growth cycle – around nine months later there will be a great improvement in the density of hair. Cost from £2000. For more info call 01737 247246
Pump up the Volume at home
A raft of new anti-agers featuring skincare technology are finding their way in hair products – try
*Make up is an inexpensive way of disguising thinning hair,
Nanogen Thickening Hair Fibres (£29.99 attach to natural hair strands adding body and volume and will fill out thinning areas and disguise any scalp see thru – the fibres are available in several different colour shades
*Ojon Damage Reverse Thickening Styling Mist for Volume & Lift £20, rich in phospholipids (similar to the lipids found naturally on the scalp) and clinically proven to thicken hair this lightweight mist works on wet and dry hair and can also be used throughout the day to add volume and lift.
*Redken’s High Rise Volume Lifting Shampoo £14 with special softening polymers which penetrate hair fibres to temporarily plump and fatten each strand
*Goldwells Kerasilk Volume Foam Conditioner  £17 formulated with keratin and elastin to strengthen and thicken.
*Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Elixir £19.99– a leave in treatment formulated with Biotin Keratin and Zinc to help extend the hair growth phased and reduce hair fall so hair looks more voluptuous.
* Hair Advanced by RevitaLash  £149 This breakthrough volume-enhancing formula helps transform thin, fragile looking hair with essential nutrients and fortifying peptides to help increase texture, shine and body for the appearance of healthier fuller-looking hair. Also conditions hair to help protect from brittleness and breakage
*Clip in hairpieces are great at adding instant volume and can be cut to suit your hairstyle. They cost from around £20
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Her bombshell good looks helped make her one of the biggest pin-ups of the 60s and 70s but last week former Bond girl, Britt Ekland, 73, expressed regret about a botched procedure on her upper lips.
‘I did a terrible thing,’ they put a lot of stuff in my lips and it destroyed my face.”
“Now I’ve taken it away – they give you injections to melt it – I still have a bit, but I’ve had to live with newspapers printing horrible pictures of me saying, ‘Oh God, look at Britt Ekland. Why did she do this?'”
The Swedish actress, who had the procedure over twenty years ago, joins a growing list of celebrities, who have overdone the filler and ended up with – what is every cosmetic doctor’s nightmare – the dreaded duck lip or trout pout, a result from overfilling the lips.
Celeb  ‘victims ‘ of the daffy look are too numerous to mention –remember Melanie Griffith, Meg Ryan and Leslie Ash’s botched lip implants   – so it’s no wonder that lip augmentation gets a bad rap.  
Over inflated mouths usually happens for two reasons through inexperienced or unqualified injectors who do not know what they are doing and who are not using the correct dermal filler or, through choice as some women are prepared to try and spend anything in pursuit of the perfect pout.
During the past decade, the size and shape of our lips has become one of the defining markers of beauty. In fact, women from all ethnic and social backgrounds across the world have applied cosmetics to define or alter the appearance of their lips since the Stone Age. Back in the 1940s Marlene Dietrich started the trend for a full top lip which then was artfully created using lip pencil and lipstick. Fast-forward to 2016 and Kyle Jenner’s full upper and lower lip has spawned another craze for a full pouting lip look, a trend we’d like to reverse.
We recently saw a patient who wanted Kyle-style lips and had been over injected by an inexperienced beauty therapist leaving her with lumps all over her lips and inside the mouth. The correction was an expensive and a long and painful process using a special injectable called hyaluronidase which dissolves the filler. She was lucky. Over-inflation of the lips is often temporary if hyaluronic fillers are used, but the swelling can be a permanent problem if synthetic substances or permanent dermal fillers are used. Scar tissue can form around them, making the procedure impossible to reverse.
But the dreaded trout pout is not an inevitable consequence of having your lips done. A lip procedure carried out by a good cosmetic doctor can work wonders on the ageing face.
Here are our insider tips on what you should know before getting lip fillers and how to prevent any pitfalls.
* Lip augmentation will cost from £200 to £500 and last around four to six months so maintaining that full pout can be an expensive process
*As we age, lips tend to flatten out, lose their cupid’s-bow and become longer. The base of the nasal area between the end of the nose and the top of the lip can almost disappear so a lip procedure in an older woman should be about re-establishing shape and correcting problems like lipstick bleeding and lines above the lips. A good cosmetic doctor will work with what you’ve got to make you look better – not worse.
*The key to a great result is knowing where to place the filler and getting the proportions right is crucial. The perfect lips should be well defined with a nice curve and the lower lip about a third thicker than the upper lip. The lower lip should also be slightly longer than the top, and the outer corners should turn slightly upwards or at least be straight. In the aesthetic word we also look at lip height, the distance between the nose and the upper lip and the perfect measurement is between 18 and 20 millimeters while the distance from the lower lip border to the chin should be twice as large, from 36-40 mm. The upper lip should also be smooth and line free.
* A less is more philosophy should be used so that lips don’t look overstretched and overdone.  Most doctors will use 0.5 ml in the lips. Just a little dermal filler in the corners of the mouth for instance can give great results without over plumping Full lips on an older woman can look odd. The end result is dependent on the skill of the injector so do ensure you go to a reputable clinic who are experienced in lip augmentation.
*Always ask your practitioner exactly what is inside the syringe and why it was chosen. There are many different injectable fillers but the safest and most natural ones are non-permanent and made of   hyaluronic acid, (HA) a sugar that’s naturally occurring in the body and can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, such as Restylane Lipp, Juvederm and Teosyal Kiss. Most HA fillers last about four to six months and will dissolve naturally. Never use permanent filler in your lips – you could end up with a permanent problem.
* You can completely erase HA fillers if you don’t like how your lips turn out for whatever reason. Because HA is not permanent, your doctor can inject an eraser enzyme called hyaluronidase. The enzyme will dissolve the filler in five minutes if you’re unhappy with the initial results.
. *Ten days prior to an injectable lip procedure, avoid painkillers such as aspirin, fish oil, and Vitamin E, which tend to thin the blood. Thinner blood will make the area more prone to bruising and bleeding. If you are prone to cold sores, tell your doctor as injections may trigger an outbreak  – he will prescribe medication to take prior to the procedure
* After the procedure lips will be a little swollen at first, but you’ll see the effects of the fillers immediately. Lips should settle within 24 hours though there may be some bruising which can take up to a week to disappear. If done correctly, the lips shouldn’t feel any different than real lips – even when kissing or eating!
*The actual procedure takes around 15 minutes and is not painful, as most doctors will use a dental block or topical anaesthetic to numb the lips.  Afterward, the doctor should gently massage the lips to make sure the filler is evenly dispersed and then use ice to reduce swelling or bruising. ,
*Avoid exercising on the day of the procedure and any activities that increase blood flow to your face, like getting a massage or a facial.
*After the filler has dissolved your lips will return to their original state.  However, HA has been proven to jump-start more HA production at the site of the injection, so your lips may be a little plumper thanks to the previous injections.
There are an amazing variety of topical lip plumpers and glosses on the market all claiming to boost volume and give an instant beestung look. The secret ingredient in nearly all these products is capsicum, the active ingredient in peppers which when applied to the lips causes the blood vessels to dilate, causing temporary redness and swelling. Other ingredients which have the same effect include peppermint, ginger, chili pepper, Cinnamon leaf oil menthol and campor. They need to be applied several times a day as the swelling will only last for around two hours But be careful if using undiluted essential oils on bare skin – always spot test for a reaction before applying to lips.
Try Lip Fusion XXL a lip volumiser containing Caffeine and Niacin which offers fuller smoother lips for up to four hours  £39.50 from Space NK. Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips is designed specifically to help plump lips and keep them soft £22.
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When it comes to holding back the years, Madonna is a true pro.  A macrobiotic diet, combined with yoga, barre work and resistance training has kept the Material Girl youthful and super fit. At 57 she has the body and face of a woman twenty years younger.
But there was always one giveaway of her real age – her hands. Until now. …
According to reports, to turn back the hands of time, the singer has undergone a procedure called redermilization mesotherapy. 
Originating from the Greek word ‘meso’ (which means middle), the treatment is widely used by aesthetic doctors and dermatologists around the world to help keep the skin youthful and beautiful.
The basis of the therapy involves microinjections, sometimes up to 80, using a cocktail of skin rejuvenating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, collagen and vitamins, into the mesoderm – the middle layer of the skin.
The painless treatment takes around 30 minutes, needs no downtime and boosts the skin with a powerful dose of nutrients to aid skin rejuvenation, tightening and plumping.  
Depending on skin condition, a course of around 3 treatments, a couple of weeks apart are needed to achieve optimal results at a cost of around £200 per treatment, with a top up then every six to eight months to maintain results.
Showing off plump toned hands, the treatment has certainly done the trick for Madonna who in the past has frequently been snapped wearing gloves to hide her ageing mitts.
But, she’s not alone in being self-conscious especially when scrawny hands don’t match a youthful, well cared for complexion.
A recent survey discovered that 75 per cent of women fret about ageing hands while three quarters of women believe their hands betray their true age.
The good news is that prompted by this demand there have been some remarkable developments in turning back the clock on hand ageing. From hi tech beauty mitts to innovative laser zappers and hand lifts, here’s our pick of the best solutions and some preventive measures you can take. 
Top Tips for Youthful Hands
Our hands actually start to age as early 34 and the older we get, the more muscle we lose which contributes to lost volume from our hands. Changes in our hormone levels can also cause skin to become thinner, making veins more visible. Preventing damage now will mean will mean better skin condition
*Always wear sun protection on the back of the hands to prevent liver spots and wrinkles even when driving in the as those ageing UVA rays can penetrate glass. Try Nivea Age Defying Q10 Hand cream, £4.10
*Don’t wash your hands in very hot or cold water, as you will damage the skin. Try and ensure water is lukewarm and use a milder soap that contains nourishing and moisturising oils to cleanse the skin. Always rub in hand cream for at least a few minutes after washing, try Hand Chemistry £19.99 which contains more active ingredients than your average premium face cream.
*Wear protective gloves when doing housework or in the garden and give yourself a hand facial once a week. Products that you use on your face are just as good for you hands, so exfoliate and then use a plumping mask. For an overnight booster, Illuminage Skin Rejuvenating Gloves are silky soft so and infused with contain copper fibres to improve skin tone over four weeks. £30.00
*The quality of skin and pigmentation marks can also be improved by the regular use of a retinoid (vitamin A) cream which – use in the evening before bed as daylight can destroy the active retinoid molecules in the cream and gel. Try Jan Marini Luminate Hand Cream £82.95
The Professional Touch
*Soften age spots  – brown spots, liver spots are all technically hyperpigmentation caused after exposure to ultraviolet light which builds up over time.  A course of IPL with  Lumecca can zap and lighten the marks as well as improve skin tone. An intense pulsed light is aimed at the skin on the backs of the hands,  which releases energy into the skin which then stimulates regeneration of the cells, and boosts  collagen, You’ll see instant results after one treatment but for longer lasting results try a course of three to six treatments, spaced at least ten days apart (It is vital that you use SPF 30 after the treatment to protect the new skin.)From £120  a session 0207 436 4441
*Improve skin tone and sagging – if hand skin is becoming thin and wrinkly, then a laser system will go deeper than IPL This will stimulate tissue below the skin surface to produce more collagen and elastin – tightening the fine wrinkles in skin and leaving hands that look much smoother and more youthful. Depending on the depth of the treatment, it can take up to week to recover but results can last up to three years if you exfoliate regularly and wear sunscreen. From £1200  –
*Boost radiance – a course of six glycolic peels, one every three weeks will freshen up dull, weathered skin, stimulate cell turnover and reveal newer, plumper skin. It’s not a miracle cure but you will definitely see an improvement  – from £60 a peel – though a course usually works out cheaper. Most salons and clinics will perform peels and adjust the strength to your skin tone.
*Boost volume – If your hands are thin and have lost their youthful plumpness, volumising is possible by using your own fat taken from your tummy hips or even knees which is treated in a special machine and then injected into the backs of the hands. This will instantly camouflage veins and can make hands look ten years younger, Performed using a local anaesthetic, results can last up to three years but a top up may be needed after three to four months once the fat has settled. Expect downtime of up to two weeks. From  £3500 0207 436 4441. Alternatively, dermal fillers Restylane®, Perlane®, Radiesse®, Sculptra® Aesthetic are commonly used for hand rejuvenation – the outcome depends very much on the surgeon’s experience and skill so do go to an experienced doctor. From £350 and available from most clinics.
*A Hand Lift without scalpels – We often combine hand treatments with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, known as the Vampire Hand Lift, where a vial of your blood is taken, then put in a centrifuge to separate off the plasma which is full of platelets and growth factors which is then injected all over the hands to stimulate the regeneration of collagen and to improve skin quality. The procedure can all be carried out with minimum downtime and results last up to 18 months From £500 a treatment 0207 434 4441
*Rejuvenate Dried Out Skin – Another injectable treatment but this one puts moisture back into the skin using Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance which absorbs moisture and keeps the skin hydrated. It also helps draw water into the surface of the skin but injecting it into the skin using a HA filler, such as Resytlane Light, will act like a super moisturiser to make skin smoother and firmer.  You may need a course of three treatments, around three weeks apart but there is no downtime and depending on lifestyle, results should last up to year. From £350 available from most clinics.
*Hi Tech Rejuvenation without needles – if you hate needles the Triniti Plus Trio Tech Heavenly Hand procedure is a non invasive option which combines three of today’s most effective technologies, bi polar radio frequency and light energies for colour correction, skin tightening and texture improvement. Three different devices are passed over the backs of the hands, which firing the RF frequency or light energies onto the skin until the whole area is covered.  Only one 30-minute treatment required and best results develop over two months with results lasting up to a year/18 months – from £300
Posted in Anti-Ageing, Ask the expert, best, Body Beautiful, celebrity, Harley Street Skin Clinic, Lesley Reynolds | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Q & A’s

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.
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
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.
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.
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 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. 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.
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 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.
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
Posted in Anti-Ageing, Ask the expert, best, Body Beautiful, celebrity, christmas, cosmetic surgery, Daily Express, festive, Festive Fixes, Glowing Skin, hair, Harley Street Skin Clinic, Lesley Reynolds | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


When it comes to male grooming habits, there’s been a huge shift in attitude over the years.

Ten years ago it was unheard of but today no one blinks an eyelid at the sight of a man spending time and money on his appearance.

And gone are the days when a man will borrow his partner’s moisturiser – nowadays he has own  – along with an eye cream and an exfoliator.

With modern society’s emphasis on youth and physical attraction, women aren’t the only ones who want to accentuate their best facial features and most males now follow a grooming routine that would probably give the average female a run for her money.

With an estimated 52 per cent of male consumers considering their appearance to be very important, the male grooming market has taken off big time.

A recent survey showed that 75 per cent of men now buy their own grooming products with 41% saying they “thoroughly enjoy” shopping for men’s grooming products.

 Surprisingly,  the star performer in the male grooming market, men’s skincare, reported sales of £29.5m in 2015, outperforming women’s skincare.

From the gym to the bathroom, male grooming products are part of the essential package of men wanting to look and feel good and this month sees the launch of Monroe with its debut range of skincare products for the discerning male. 

Developed by two high profile photographers, Luke Reynolds and Gareth Boden, what makes this men’s line different is that in addition to making it easy to use, it has been designed for the specific structure and composition of men’s skin.

“Men are increasingly more motivated by the same things that motivate women, especially when it comes to their physical appearances” says Luke Reynolds who together with his business partner Gareth Boden spotted a gap in the market.

The pair have been friends since the mid-nineties, when they met working together in the photography industry. They both went on to build successful businesses but have now reunited to create a range of skin care for men. Monroe of London was born out of their friendship and passion for quality products that are beautifully and faultlessly designed.

Says Luke “”We wanted a brand all men can use, not just a niche part of the market. Our goal was to not only design an aesthetically pleasing product, but also create a range that promotes skin health. Our products have been designed to take the stress out of grooming, and our dual-purpose approach makes them something that men can fit into their daily routine saving time and confusion.”

While more and more men’s lines are appearing on cosmetic shelves, many contain dyes and scents that can aggravate men’s skin but Monroe’s products are all paraben free. 

Enlisting the support of Harley Street Skin Clinic, Monroe collaborated with their specialists to develop superior skin care ingredients.

??Formulated using superior ingredients including Hyaluronic Acid, Glycolic Acid and Vitamin A that are effective but gentle and with a bespoke signature fragrance, the Monroe range aims to feed and hydrate the skin while cleansing, moisturising and protecting it before, during and after shaving. The range also includes a clay hair style and a hand cream.

Each bespoke formulation makes use of advanced science and skin care ingredients that are safe, effective and proven to work and all the products are made in Britain and suitable for all skin types.

Says Reynolds  “ A man’s skin is around 20% thicker than a woman’s, is rich in collagen and elastin, making it firmer and giving it an advantage in the aging process. However, it is oilier, has a tendency to sweat more, and is prone to dehydration due to daily shaving which is why cleansing is so important Our daily cleanser, for instance doubles as a shaving gel, and contains antioxidants to combat signs of ageing. Our hero product, No 2 Moisturiser & Shave Balm doubles up as a shave balm with SPF20 and contains hyaluronic acid to increase skin’s elasticity.

Adds Reynolds “Given our fast-paced lives, the pressures of modern living, and not to mention the stresses of today’s life there really isn’t any reason why men shouldn’t crave much needed ‘me time’ like women.

*The collection includes: No 1 Cleanse & Shave Solution, No 2 Moisturiser & Shave Balm SPF20, No 3 Exfoliator, No 4 Cologne, Hair & Body Wash, Total Eye Maintenance,Anti-Oxidant Face Mist,Night Recovery Serum, Gentle Hand Care, Matte Clay (Hair), Candle, Kit Bag

For more information

Posted in Ask the expert, Body Beautiful, celebrity, cosmetic surgery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A man’s story of what it’s like to have a facelift


Kit Miller was happily married – or so he thought. But then six months ago his wife suddenly walked out after 22 years of marriage, saying he was ‘too old, too broke and too ill’.  The 64 year old writer/ filmmaker and father of four from Hadleigh, Essex decided to get over the pain of the break up with an £8,000 cosmetic surgery makeover undergoing a  lower face and neck lift, Botox and a new suit and haircut. . He is one of the growing number of men who are having a  ‘mid knife crisis  to stave off the ageing process. Here, he tells us what it’s really like for a man having cosmetic surgery and how his facial boost and makeover has given him his confidence back and spurred him on for a new start in life…

“For the past 20 years I have been waking up each morning with a merry mantra:  How lucky am I to have beautiful healthy children and a pretty young wife.

This was my icing on the cake. The cake itself was a career – no make that a merry romp in Fleet Street as a showbiz writer and gossip columnist for a best-selling daily newspaper. As a journalist I came into contact with some beautiful people. Sometimes quite intimate contact.

I dated several gorgeous glamour models. Dating was what we did in the 80’s before Facebook put everybody ‘ in a relationship’.

I spent two very enjoyable, champagne-soaked years with Sam Fox who at the time was third behind The Queen and Margaret Thatcher in the list of Britain’s most famous females.

Then it was settle down time with a Pirelli Calendar model called Angie Layne.

Quite simply she was the most beautiful person, inside and out, that I have ever met. Angie moved in with me. We were in harmony and in heaven.

Then tragedy, as a recurrence of an earlier cancer scare turned into cruel, deathly reality. She was 32.  Six vodka-fuelled, grief-stricken months later I found myself with an Essex girl. She was 22. I was 42.

I had been having a drink or several with a woman who specialised in touting kiss-and-tell stories to the tabloids. She kept going on about her latest buxom blabber and how I would “love” her – even though she was dumping on the errant husband of an Eastenders actress. Eventually she bet me £10 that I would “love” her. I couldn’t resist easy money but thirty minutes, four drinks and a meeting with a vivacious brunette later I was hooked.

We managed to squeeze in two years of globetrotting around Australia, America and Europe before an August wedding in an Essex suburb. The sun shone as brightly as the attendant family smiles even though the impending arrival of our first beautiful child was all too evident

Fast-forward 22 years. I am still surrounded by beautiful chicks but these are courtesy of a garden full of hens and a prize turkey . I have four children ranging from 20 years old down to 5 years old.

The talk was no longer about Stringfellow’s and celebs. Topic of the day was buying a small farm to accommodate some pigs and a rescued donkey. The Essex semi just couldn’t take any more occupants. Two dogs, two cats, rabbits, doves and 15 hens fighting for elbowroom with six humans.

I felt like Pa Larkin in The Darling Buds of May.  All was fine on the home front, except for a niggling health problem Five years ago after our last child was born I was struck down with kidney failure. Not long before I had been in Cambodia hacking my way through steamy jungles with an army General on a mission to rescue some hostages for a special feature. Unfortunately these hostages were much more like wild geese. Our chase was a waste of time.

My only souvenir was The Lesser Spotted Cambodian Kidney Cruncher Virus. I personally named it because all the Queen’s doctors and her hospital men couldn’t put Kit back together again. They simply couldn’t identify or treat the thing so since then it has been slowly munching away inside me. And no, it isn’t contagious. Nor likely to chew its way out and escape. So three times a week I am hooked up to a machine that sucks out, cleans up and then pumps back in all my blood about 22 times in four hours. This replicates the work of the kidneys. The wife was pestering me to take one of her kidneys in a transplant to end four years of dialysis. What a girl, eh?

Despite my treatment and losing Angie I did feel lucky. I was still able to write and do some PR. I figured that four hours was how long I spent at lunch when I was on the paper. The only difference now was that I came home sober.

I was writing a film script which was in its exciting embryonic stage. The children were all picking out their parts and my wife was planning a six-month trip for us all when shooting started in Australia.

I will admit that I am the world’s second greatest optimist. Little did I know, my ‘splat’ moment wasn’t too far away but my children and I really didn’t have a clue?

In July this year the two teenage girls discovered their mother on a website describing herself as “separated and available.” When confronted my wife told me, in front of the children – that I was  “ Too old, too ill and too broke.”

We looked at each other in sunned silence. Then more breaking news from the wife: ” I want to have sex with younger men.”

My five year old looked at me and said: ” Dad, are we allowed to say ‘sex’?” If that came as a surprise to you imagine how the kids and I felt? Our mouths couldn’t have been more smacked.

Within 48 hours my wife and their mum announced that she was in love.   She hadn’t met him yet.

Within three days she was engaged to him. She still hadn’t met him.

Day five and all four children said that if there was a divorce they wanted to live with me.

The end of Day Five my wife attempted suicide, complete with farewell message on Facebook.

Day six and a rapidly recovered wife moved in with her sister all of 25 yards over the road.

Day seven and the ‘love of her life’ from website, moved in with her. He’s homeless, broke, and bald as a badger’s bum and I am told looks like one too.

I confess I have had quieter weeks in my life. They don’t hang about on that internet, do they?

So now I’m a single parent writer with yet another new chapter to negotiate. The title of the chapter has to be: “ Too old, too ill and too broke.”

Luck clicked in pretty quickly though. Told you I was lucky. I had a call from a producer in New York who wants to film a screenplay I wrote.

That takes care of ‘too broke’.

Then my Renal Consultant told me I could go back on the transplant list. That – hopefully – will take care of ‘too ill’. (Please don’t send any kidneys through the post).

That just left ‘Too old.’

For the past few years I have had to put up with being described as my young son’s granddad and quite often my wife’s father. That didn’t bother me but I was conscious of how it might be affecting the developing young boy.  I had started studying my reflection and pulling up the loose, wrinkly skin from my neck and pinning it back to my ears  to get an idea of how I would look if I went under the knife.

Would it transform me from granddad to father? Certainly it had to be an improvement. Every morning I looked at my face in the bathroom mirror and couldn’t decide whether to shave it or iron it. As for my  neck, it had more wattle than the prize turkey I kept  in my garden . I’d read about cosmetic surgery and seen the reality shows so knew a bit about what could be done. What the Hell. New life, new start. Taxi to Harley Street!

I was nervous as I sat in the exquisite Georgian waiting room of The Harley Street Skin Clinic. I am very squeamish with a needle phobia (great if you are a dialysis patient) and equally terrified of scalpels (great if you are lining up a plastic surgeon).

Even though I was the only male in the room my research had also told me that almost as many men as women are now re-arranging their faces.  But for me it was just a case of trying to roll back the years for my little boy.

I had never worried about going from blonde to grey. Or from full on sportsman to part time dog walker but as the ‘granddad’ comments mounted up I realised he was getting the rough end of things. Looks were going and the health requirements were eating into my home life.

I was still nervous when my name was called and I made my way and up stairs to a consulting room where Dr. Aamer Khan awaited.

Within moments he was holding my face in his well-manicured hands. Our noses were almost touching as his expert eyes ran over my problem area.

I felt incredibly relaxed about the whole thing now. Maybe he hypnotised me. Then he pronounced that I could get away with non-invasive treatment. That’s no scalpel. Whoopee!

Dr Khan has developed a state-of-the-art way of lifting faces with a combo of creams, lotions and potions. There are muscle-relaxing injections that smooth out lines. Dermal fillers to enhance the cheeks. Laser re-surfacing improves the complexion. Yes, I’ll have it all, I said.

There was another inspection of my face, some humming and hawing and then he was off to consult with his colleague  ‘Peter.’

Peter Cumbo turned out to be one of the top plastic surgeons in Europe, known for his natural looking results.  He lives in France and jets over when needed.  He examined my face using the same nose-to-nose technique as Dr Khan.

He explained that the neck ages similarly to the face – first fine lines appear and the skin texture becomes uneven and then in the 40s and 50s gravity kicks in resulting in saggy skin – apparently they call it turkey wattle.

“ You know what, Kit, “ Peter said. “I think there’s too much skin here for a non-invasive procedure. We should go for the full monty to get rid of all the loose skin and do the fully monty – alower face and  a neck lift.”

We had discussed the kidney problem but since I was having  Botox  to tackle the wrinkles which is w non invasive and didn’t involved being knocked out there would no problem. And  then a bigger surprise because even with the Lower Face and  Neck Lift, it could be  carried out under a local anesthetic.  Peter explained that he has pioneered a very new technique for neck lifts using just a local anesthetic injected into the sides of the head. Apparently, I would need incisions around the ears which would be hidden in the creases behind the ears, the excess skin would be nipped away and then the remained pulled back into an elevated position.  While the basic neck lift procedure hasn’t changed, what’s new is the technique Peter uses which greatly reduces scarring and recovery time.

An appointment was made for me to attend the nearby Wimpole Clinic ten days later where we would all get on with it.

Despite the no-scalpel scenario I managed to fit in a couple of bad dreams before the big day. In one Dr Khan held up a mirror at the end of an operation and I was Anne Robinson.

The other dream was post-op also, only in this one I had tried successfully to grow a moustache but it was on my forehead.

For the real thing I was early for the first time in my life so I knew it was a momentous occasion.  Dr Khan greeted me in his surgical blues.

He then casually added that the procedure would take about four hours. Maybe longer given that I had agreed that the new procedure could be filmed for their medical website.  Oh, did I have special music requests while I was on the table?

Being such a wuss I would normally have been halfway down Oxford Street by now but it was all a bit surreal. Nothing was unpleasant. Far from it. Here I was smiling at the prospect of a procedure involving razor sharp blades and my face.

Within three minutes I found myself lying on an operating table in a cosy theatre. Three friendly nurses, a director with a movie camera and Pete all gowned up started chatting away as if they were taking tea together.

Then for the first time in cinematic history a movie began with the director yelling, “ Cut.”

This is where it all became a blur. I had been given the shot in the head. I only knew it was working when I heard the initial slices but felt absolutely nothing. A glance sideways and I saw the female director turn a peculiar colour.

Peter chatted merrily away as he went about his work.  Luckily they had given me a tranquiliser beforehand. Hence the blur.

I do remember thinking, as Peter cut away, that I could get this part of the op done for nothing in Southend High Street on a Friday night.

I remember not feeling as if I had been there for four and half hours. I remember feeling parts of my face being tugged. I remember smelling burning flesh as the wounds were sealed with a mini surgical flamethrower.

I remember the director’s face stayed the same odd shade of green throughout.

Then it was all over. Tuck me! Even with the swelling I looked younger. And where were the stitches, the cuts? I couldn’t see a thing. A hundred years ago this would have been called sorcery. Today I can only describe Peter as an artist. His canvas is the skin.

What an experience. A facial support garment was slipped on to my head. Later my little boy would describe it as “ a pair of ladies knickers upside down “.  The purpose of the stretchy arrangement is to firmly but gently press the loosened and relocated skin so that no air pockets form while the rearranged skin and muscle heals. I wore it, as instructed, for two weeks. I didn’t feel uncomfortable but what a relief when it came off. You try wearing a pair of ladies’ knickers upside down on your head for a fortnight. However my children appreciated it more than me. The school run had never been so embarrassing for them.

I was also given a course of antibiotics and instructions not to lift, carry, and to rest for the first few days after the op.

During this period my wife made a rare visit to the house and spotted me in what I thought of as my cross-dressing Elephant Man outfit.

” You look like The Joker, ” she chirped.

I pointed out that she had always advocated cosmetic surgery as a legitimate beauty device.

“Well well not now. I’m going to grow old gracefully” was her riposte.

Quite so.

The neighbours on the other hand were genuinely fascinated and openly jealous. And wanted to know the ins and outs of the ducks posterior.

When the knicker turban finally came off, underneath was a still swollen and reddened football of a face. I had been told that it would probably take two months to settle down properly. That was about spot on.

There were three checks along the way with the reassurance from Dr Khan all was going well.  Now I look in the mirror and see a man I knew around 15 or 20 years ago.

The rejuvenation has started to spread to the remainder of me and my body. I am walking more, using weights to pump up the saggy biceps and contemplating some teeth whitening.


When you are on a new image kick you can’t jump into those old clothes. Just doesn’t work. The trouble is I always like designer clothes and they cost a fortune . So imagine my pleasant surprise when I read that Julien Macdonald , the fabbo frock designer , had signed up to do a range of men’s gear at Matalanthe problem was solved. Designer chic but no designer cheek when it comes to price.




Then to finish it off, my hair needed either the neighbour’s hedge trimmer or a proper professional going over. I have never been a habitué of hair salons as my hair has always been so curly it has gone where it likes. No combs and no hairdryers. So I decided to go for the professional touch and go to the celebrity favourite  Daniel Galvin in London’s George Street.


Top colourist Louise London’s George Street was not impressed. I was her greatest challenge. A cut to enhance my new neck and some colour to roll back the years. .


I’ve never been over supplied with self esteem so it’s difficult for me to say that I am now ready to twerk with Miley Cyrus but I do feel ready to rock and roll again. Maybe not so hard this time round though. And although I’ve never been impressed with my looks, my new image  has definitely transported me back to a time when I was younger and fitter The crazy thing is that my body has believed my eyes and actually feels younger, too . The thought of walking rather than grabbing a cab appeals more now. I am using moisturiser on my face, shaving regularly and checking in the mirror that I am not having a bad hair day.  I can’t tell you how relieved my children are. Your children never leave you. Nothing is truer. Ask my mum. She has just turned 90 and was going to throw a glitzy party to celebrate. Champagne ,dancing and she would have been the most involved in both believe me . A wonderful and remarkable woman. Instead of the party she parted with her savings to help pay for my makeover.. She said that seeing me with a smile on my face would be a better birthday present for her.

And that’s all I need to hear to know it was all worth it though she’ll get it all back when the film is released.

What’s more , I might go on one of those websites tomorrow. I could be ‘ in a relationship’, inform all my friends on Facebook, then split up and still be down the pub in time for lunch.

Or I could just take my little boy for a walk and wait for somebody to compliment me on having a lovely son, rather than a grandson. You can wave my birth certificate all you like and tell me to act my age but I bet you wouldn’t say that to my face.

The Rise of the Male Makeover

For decades men have traditionally shown a stubborn indifference to how they look. It was perfectly acceptable for them to age, go bald and develop wrinkles. Not any more. Today, men are the biggest growth area in the male cosmetics industry and the fastest growing demographic for cosmetic surgery with men now accounting for one in ten of all cosmetic surgery procedures. No doubt male celebrities like media mogul Simon Cowell, cricket star Shane Warne and chef Gordon Ramey who have all admitted to be fans of’ male grooming’ have helped pave the way for this rapidly growing trend and experts expect continued growth over the next decade. Lesley Khan from The Harley Street Skin Clinic says. “Spending time and money to look good is no longer seen as unmanly. We are constantly seeing an increasing number of high profile men reinvent their appearances so today there’s less of a stigma associated with men opting for cosmetic surgery and some male grooming. Men are also much more aware of the treatments available to them and what to do about their problem areas. Neck lifts, for instant are now one of our clinic’s most requested procedures, along with Botox, body contouring and breast reduction surgery to get rid of ‘moobs’ (male boobs). Most men  though   want treatments with maximum results with the minimum recovery time Treatments today are so much cleverer. Surgery can be incredibly hard to recover from and often people have to take a good few weeks off work. In the current economic climate, when many people are battling to keep hold of their jobs, this just isn’t an option. But, there is not always the need to go under the knife.  For almost every surgical procedure, there is a non-invasive option which means, no downtime, minimal discomfort and a fraction of the cost of cosmetic surgery, most importantly, it also means no general anaesthetic and a much speedier recovery as most of these procedures, are carried out in the doctor’s clinic The results we are seeing from these treatments are revolutionary.”

Lower face and Neck Lift  including  Botox    £7,950 By Mr. Peter Cumbo,  Harley Street Skin Clinic, contact, 0207 436 4441

Hair Makeover including colour and new style    £350 Hair by Daniel Galvin contact 0207 486 9661

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Most people know that smoking, too much stress and alcohol are terribly ageing and can make you look years older. But what about the other causes of ageing, the little things that you do most days without thinking that can accelerate the ageing process causing spots, dilated blood vessels, wrinkles and sagging.  There’s no stopping the hands of time but being age smart is the secret to ageing well and often it’s not what you are doing but what you are not. Here, we’ve rounded up some common habits which may be racing you towards looking and feeling older and what you can do to put the brakes on…


A new report suggests that many of us are addicted to caffeine without realising it.  It’s well established that caffeine increases blood pressure but did you know that too much caffeine  – and that includes cola and energy drinks, also stimulates the stress hormones (catecholaines) which make the body over-produce insulin leading to spots and breakouts. Too much caffeine can also dehydrate the skin which leads to inflammation and collagen loss causing sagging and wrinkles. Research has also shown that a cup of coffee or tea, even six hours before bedtime, can disrupt sleep and your body clock by preventing melatonin from being produced

Solution: Before you make yet another cuppa, it’s recommended that you don’t exceed 400mg per day – a cup of tea contains around 75mg, an espresso 70mg a large Americano 300mg and an average latte 150mg. Sip more water and swap tea for green tea


Beauty Overload

There ‘s no limit to the number of products we can layer on our face every morning and night    but using too many products containing different ingredients at the same time can affect the pH level of the skin, the absorption, as well as lead to side effects like redness, irritation and flaking. Retinol (Vitamin A) for instance is fragile and best applied without mixing with any other active ingredient before bedtime, rather than layering with other ingredients like AHAs or salicylic acid. Vitamin C is also best applied without mixing with other active ingredients and works best if applied in the morning. And just because you love a new cream, you don’t have to overdo it. Applying more doesn’t mean you’ll get better result as using too much can also overload and irritate the skin ’s. Likewise, overdoing using muscle-relaxing injections and fillers will not make you look younger. – too much too much can in fact perversely make you look older. Other beauty habit which can cause premature ageing include over cleansing and over exfoliating  – i.e. more than two or three times a week which can buff away too much of the top skin layer, causing wrinkles and skin sensitivities.

Solution: Always follow instructions on skincare packs or if you are unsure about ingredients seek professional advice. Take time when you apply products letting in each cream or serum sink in before layering the next one.  Exfoliate once or twice a week, preferably at night. The basic formula everyone needs is cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen and then add in extras according to skin issue or professional advice.

…And Not Enough

With the trend for timesaving multitasking products which contain everything in one tube or pot, including SPF, it’s easy to think that these alone will provide adequate sun protection from damaging sun’s rays.  Remember there’s only limited space in a pot or jar to pack in ingredients meaning there’s less of each ingredient to make a difference.

Solution: Some ingredients are best left combined, especially SPF which should be applied as a separate product generously all over the face, neck and hands


The blue light emitted from smartphones and computers is known as high-energy visible light, (HEV) and scientists report that this form of light can actually penetrate the skin more deeply than UV rays emitted by the sun This damage can manifest itself as hyper pigmentation, enlarged pores, and inflammation. But worryingly, research suggests that HEV is a bit of a silent killer as most of the damage is not visible to the human eye but is under the skin’s surface.

Studies also suggest HEV light can prevent skin from healing as well as accelerate the ageing process. It can also affect circadian rhythms by suppressing the evening rise of melatonin, disrupting sleep; the constant neck bending to look at the screen on your digital device also leads to sagging skin, drooping jowls and a distinct ‘tech-neck’ crease. It can also accelerate the impact of gravity and natural loss of the skin’s elasticity


Take regular screen breaks, even if just for a few minutes, to make sure you get out of the office. Being outside will also top up your vitamin D levels which stimulates the

production of elastin and collagen. Always make sure to keep a large bottle of water to hand to stay hydrated from within through the day. When it comes to skincare, remember the Y-zone – the area from beneath the chin to the bottom of the neck and apply serums and creams in an upward motion


A high sodium diet can trigger high blood pressure. Too much salt also leads water retention which will leave its mark as a bloated, puffy face, dull and grey-looking skin and even worse makes cellulite worse. The eyes, especially, are affected as the skin is so thin here, making them puffy and the lids swollen

Solution: On average adults should not be eating more than 6g of salt (2.4g sodium) daily. Around 75 per cent of our salt is hidden in foods such as bread, processed foods and even biscuits. Read food labels – as a quick guide a high amount of salt is more than 1.5g per 100g


Eating too much sugar is surprisingly one of the major causes of wrinkles and sagging. When blood sugar levels are high, a process called glycation occurs which damages the collagen in skin. It can also cause dark circles under the eyes, spots open pores and a loss of radiance.

Solution: Be aware of hidden ‘sugars’ in foods likes bread, tropical fruit and yogurts. Check food labels – a quick guide is divide the total grams by four and that equals the number of teaspoons in that food item. For example a yogurt containing 28gms of sugar equals seven teaspoons of sugar!

Posted in Anti-Ageing, Ask the expert, best, Body Beautiful, celebrity, Daily Express, Harley Street Skin Clinic, Lesley Reynolds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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

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.
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

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.


Come and see Dr. Khan demonstrate the Cinderella Lift at The Anti Ageing Show, being held at Olympia 14Th May to 15th May – lots of new treatments and products being showcased  – to book tickets go to. 

Posted in Anti-Ageing, Ask the expert, best, Body Beautiful, celebrity, cheekbones, christmas, cosmetic surgery, Daily Express, Glowing Skin, hair, Harley Street Skin Clinic, health, Lesley Reynolds | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment



Have you joined the oil rush yet? Or, like many women, do you think oil is just for your body or hair and far too greasy for your face. Well, forget everything you thought you knew about oil because the latest formulations are actually the hidden jewel in the skin care crown. Though not a new idea — the ancient Romans used to rub themselves down with oil after exercise to get clean —the new generation of oils are real multi taskers and can be used as a miracle treatment for everything from your face to your feet.

 And no, they don’t bring you out in spots or make your hair limp and greasy because these e bottles of precious oils are far too sophisticated for that. Although they can be pricey, a little goes a long way and another big bonus  they contain countless vitamins and minerals, can be used by all skin types and the benefits are endless. No wonder. oils have become the must have ingredient in skin products and even the A listers, including Kate Moss and   Cate Blanchett swear by them.

Far richer than your average day cream, a couple of drops of facial oil a day will instantly revitalise, balance and calm skin without leaving greasy side effects, and are a valuable weapon in the wrinkle war. They will also add a glossy sheen to the skin as well as create a natural protective barrier. And, yes, even oily skin can benefit from the right oil as it can help counteract imbalance – the key is to pick the right oil for your skin concern and when it comes to that, there’s no shortage of choice

Once produced only by small specialist aromatherapy brands, facial oils are now on most beauty shelves at a price for every budget and covering the needs of every skin type.  Because oils are lipophilic, or fat loving, they pass though the lipid layer of the skin faster, preventing water loss and plumping skin with moisture. In the morning massage in a couple of drops of oil on clean, damp skin before you use your usual anti-aging cream or serum or use on its own, You can also mix a drop of oil with your favourite moisturiser or foundation when you want sheer coverage, smooth any residue on hands over your hairline to prevent flyaways and leave a glossy halo around your face.   Use again at night, before a night cream. If you use a retinoid cream smooth a drop gently after applying help prevent any dryness and flaking.

Myth: Oils cause breakouts
Truth:  The skin needs its natural oils for protection. If we strip the oil away, the skin will produce more oil to compensate. Then the imbalances will cause breakouts.
Myth: Oil is oily and will make face shiny;
Truth: Facial oil is not oily. A good facial oil should be absorbed by skin and should give dewy look. Look out for base oils like such as jojoba, apricot or almond.
3. Myth: Oils are not for anti ageing.
Truth: Facial oils are chemical free anti-oxidant powerhouses Since oils are not water-based, they don’t need synthetic preservatives. They are pure unadulterated botanical oils and superb for anti ageing benefits.



*Argan, yangu, and borage-seed oils all decrease inflammation.

*Lavendar, Passion fruit, and African marula oils, are potent antioxidants helping protect skin from oxidative stress and free radicals

*Rose – great for anti ageing, improving smoothing scars/wrinkles

*Lava din, orange peel –, helps protect collagen

*Chamomile helps calm skin after irritation

*Rosemary, marjoram and Geranium are all good skin soothers and ideal for oily and combination skin


A round up of some of the best oils offering a targeted approach to skincare.

*Rosina Lotions& Potions Rose Perfecting Oil £22 rosinaslotionspotions.comc

A lightweight super nourishing oil delicately scented with the finest Rose oil. Rose is an ancient anti ageing remedy that is high in vitamin C, a powerful anti oxidant. Vitamin C can help protect skin cells from damage, locks in moisture and helps to keep skin smooth. Rose is perfect for all skin types including sensitive skin.

After cleansing and toning, apply Rose Perfecting Oil in upwards strokes, avoid delicate eye area. You can use this under a serum.


*L’Oreal Age Perfect Extraordinary Facial Oil £24.99

Ideal for oily skin, it contains a blend of eight essential oils including antioxidant Lavender, soothing Chamomile and anti ageing Orange Peel, Designed to boost skin’s natural radiance and provide all-day hydration, Use two or three drops every day and you’ll soon notice a difference in texture and appearance of your skin

*Jan Marini C-ESTA Serum £76

With the extraordinary anti-ageing benefits of Jan Marini’s regular C-ESTA Serum but with remarkable oil-control properties. Jan Marini C-ESTA Serum Oil Control achieves glowing refined luminosity while significantly inhibiting oil breakthrough. It also creates conditions in the skin that enable dramatic rejuvenation benefits.Skin’s texture will quickly begin to appear smoother and suppler.


*Weleda’s Almond Soothing Facial Oil  £14.95

A firm favourite of celebrities, Jessica Alba and Erin O’Connor, this  award-winning Almond Facial Oil offers incredible versatility, from eye makeup remover to a hand, face, neck and décolletage oil. It reduces irritations, soothes and moisturises skin ,calms sensitive skin reducing irritation and redness and replenishing skin’s protective barrier.

*StriVectin Labs High Performance Booster £40 

A nourishing professional strength facial oil with patented skin strengthening NI-114 technology, proven to accelerate the performance of your skincare routine for superior results. Rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins has great anti ageing benefits. After four weeks a panel of users agreed an improvement in skin firmness, tone with fewer age spots and a reduction if fine lines and wrinkle s



A few years ago no one used serums but now they are everywhere, in fact, you probably have quite a few on your dressing table.  If you haven’t then, regardless of your age, it’s about time you started incorporating one into your skincare routine. So what exactly is a serum and how does it differ from other skin-care products.

Lightweight and thinner and runnier than creams or lotions, allowing them to sink in more quickly, serums can tackle just about any beauty concern and are the skin’s equivalent of strength training.  Unlike moisturisers which act as a form of protection, serums are designed to actually do something and keep your skin on its toes.  They tend to have a higher concentration of potent and powerful ingredients, including vitamins, peptides and antioxidants and because they are made up much small molecules can get to work on a whole range of deep set problems.  A good serum will help protect the delicate skin from all the assaults we are exposed to on a daily basis like the sun, pollution, smoke and stress while working overtime to boost collagen, smooth wrinkles and fight signs of ageing. If you’re new to serums choose a hydrating serum or an anti ageing serum which will benefit all skin types.  A hydrating serum is perfect for this time of the year when skin is  often dehydrated  and will quickly deliver water boosting ingredients, like hyaluronic acid , deep into the skin. Anti ageing serums   generally focus on free radical damage to the skin’s collagen and usually contain my hero ingredient Vitamin C, which will help boost collagen synthesis and increase the skin’s elasticity.

Most serums, however,  don’t hydrate so it is essential to use a moisturiser with a serum.  How do  you get the best results? After thorough cleansing, apply a couple of drops of serum, massage into your skin and   let it sink in so the key ingredients can penetrate deeper (putting on moisturiser too soon could potentially affect the penetration of the ingredients.) Leave for at least five minutes, up to fifteen minutes if you can before following with a moisturise which will act like a seal and keep all those fabulous ingredients working overtime to correct and rejuvenate.

Here are some of the more potent ingredients you should look for in serum formulations.

* Coenzyme Q10- an antioxidant to boost skin repair and rejuvenation

* Vitamins A, C and E show up in many serums – look for them in formulas targeting aging.
* Willow bark and rose extracts are key skin brightening ingredients to target dull-looking skin.
*Hyaluronic Acid In addition to hydrating, hyaluronic acid allows serums to penetrate deeper and stimulate new cell growth 
*Peptides and growth factors  – both are water-soluble and will ward off signs of aging

*Exfoliators – AHAs like lactic and glycolic acid remove dead skin.

*Niacinamide is a great ingredient for sensitive, reactive skin. It boosts barrier function by enhancing production of ceramides and delivers a real hydration boost


*OriginalPlantscription Anti-Ageing Power Serum £40

If your skin is looking a bit dull of late, this serum can work wonders. It’ll brighten your skin and give it back its glow as it also targets the skin’s surface too boosting the protective barrier. Best to apply in the morning after cleansing and before your moisturiser.

*BeautyLab Relax Neuropeptide Serum £45

This quick absorbing high performance serum is a fab alternative to wrinkle relaxant injections and is designed to work at the epidermis level by relaxing the skin thus reducing facial expressions to soften lines and wrinkles. Formulated with hexapeptide 8 and tripeptide 1 it will also stimulate collagen and is perfect for all skin types



Super Facialist by Una Brenna Intense Facial Serum £14.99

Containing a stem cell component derived from apples and collagen boosting tripeptides this gives a juicy, plumping glow to skin and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Indeed Lab Fillume Volumising Serum £29.99

This clever serum targets specific areas plumping skin and making crow’s feet and lines fuller and brighter as well as improving elasticity and tone.

Caudalie Premiere Cru The Elixir  £49

Elixirs are hot news this year. Not quite serum not quite oil, this new breed of essences delivers powerful anti ageing benefits… This one boasts whopping 99.5 per cent natural ingredients and packed with moisturising jojoba and prickly pear seed oil Ideal for dry skins to boost radiance and soften fine lines

*Nuriss Illuminis Alpha Arbutin Lightening Serum  £100

Using innovative technology and a blend of natural ingredients to target uneven skin tone and sun damage. The unique formula uses the natural whitening agents of Arbutin from the bearberry plant to fade those annoying age spots restoring skin’s health and radiance

*Sisley Sisleya Global Firming Serum £304

 Designed to combat all aspects of skin slackening, helping to restore the plumpness, curves and contours for a more youthful face. Suitable for all skin types, even sensitive, this fluid contouring serum which contains an exclusive combination of plant extracts redensifies the skin and improves its tone and firmness. After 8 weeks, the oval of the face is redesigned, the neck is firmer boosting the volume of the face

SwissCell CellEctive Ultra Smoothing Plumping Serum £ 300

A Swiss cosmeceutical brand which integrates Stabilised Bio Integral cells into their highly concentrated products including this ultra powerful serum. The active ingredient cells in the formula are not freeze dried as in many other products, meaning up to 98 per cent of the cells can be utilised to rejuvenate the skin much faster. Suitable for all skin types



Looking for a new moisturiser? Meet the new kids on the block – moisturising gels. Well not exactly new as they have been quietly around for a few years, but they are currently gaining popularity and, as they say having a moment! It’s easy to see why. Those of us with oily skin often dread the heat because our skin often gets oilier. Foregoing moisturiser isn’t an option as skin often produces excess oil to compensate for being dry and thirsty. So what’s the best way to boost hydration without overwhelming your pores? A gel moisturiser. These water-based hydrations have super-light formulas that absorb almost instantly, won’t clog pores and won’t translate to grease. They are as light as air, deliver instant moisture to the skin and most contain hyaluronic acid, which instantly improves the elasticity in the skin. Top make up artists love them, as they also create the perfect base for makeup application. Most foundations and primers contain oil and when mixed with an oily moisturiser will make make up slide or fade much faster. With a high water content a gel moisturiser will keep make up in place, even in high humidity and another bonus will give a dewy finish. And they’re not just for oily skin  – some women don’ t like the heavy feel of some moisturisers so a gel hydration is a perfect alternative as they are usually free of the fatty, waxy ingredients that make creams, cream. And if you have super dry skin, gels can still play a part in your skin care routine, just layer a richer cream over the gel to trap water into the skin


Lancôme Hydra Zen Neurocalm Moisturising Cream Gel 339.50

Ideal for warmer climates, and suits all skin types this gel cream is packed full with botanical extracts to provide 12 hour hydration

SQOOMx Cential H+Gel £84 boots

This new innovative anti-ageing gel contains 100% skin friendly, natural, active ingredients. Small hyaluronic acid particles are transported into the deeper layers of the skin where they fill the hollow spaces caused by the ageing process. It protects against free radicals and provides intensive moisturisation.

L’Oreal Paris Triple Active Fresh Ultra-Hydrating Gel-Cream £6.99

Designed for 24-hour hydration. The melting formula contains essential minerals – calcium and magnesium- and Vitamins C, E and B5. It provides an ideal dose of moisture to leave skin feeling perfectly hydrated, fresh and comfortable throughout the day.

Shiseido Moisturising Gel-Cream  £31

Ideal for normal and combination skins, and formulated with Shiseido exclusive ingredient Hydro-Balancing Complex, this light yet rich-feeling cream delivers intensive moisture and helps skin retain moisture and gives skin a healthy radiance

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream £43.50

 A new oil–free version of Kiehl’s iconic Ultra Facial cream a non–greasy formula that is specifically developed for normal to oily skin which gives instant hydration.

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Stuck with stubborn lumps and bumps which won’t disappear, despite diet and exercise?  Nowadays, it really is possible to shape and sculpt your body without spending months in the gym or invasive surgery thanks to the many new   high tech body firming and contouring treatments that will reduce fat, tighten skin and smooth cellulite

The good thing about these new fat blasters is that most are minimally invasive so have little downtime and discomfort and can target all areas of the body, including the  face and the dreaded chicken skin

There are several different types of treatments, but they all generally work the same way.

A concentrated energy source  – laser, ultrasound radio waves, radio frequency or extreme cold – gets aimed at fat cells, which causes the fat’s cell membranes to be punctured or destroyed   killing the fat cells which are eliminated naturally by the body and, in the process, boosting collagen to tighten skin.  The very latest device, Venus Legacy, combines several technologies so can tackle fat pockets, cellulite and improve skin texture and tone at the same time.

The procedures all differ in method of delivery, cost, and results, but remember they are not a miracle cure for the obese. If you are fat all over you need to shift the extra weight first as these treatments are best for body contouring, tightening lax skin which you may have after losing a little weight and troublesome pockets of flab or bulges which simply won’t shift

A course of treatments with best results seen up to six months after when new collagen has formed along   with a healthy, low fat diet, plenty of water and regular exercise. will often achieve the best results .   Just as important is a stable weight after treatment if you want to maintain the benefits and you can also boost results by making a few  lifestyle changes

*Strength training – along with regular cardiovascular exercise, a couple of sessions of lifting weights per week can help fat melting. The extra muscle you build helps burn more calories,

*Eat more fruit /salads – rich in vitamin C and flavonoids which will help break down fatty compounds while lettuce is rich in iron and magnesium, which are believed to dissolve fat

*Drink green tea contains antioxidants and is known to increase the body’s metabolic rate, the speed at which fat is burned.

Here’s the low down on the latest high tech body contouring methods to give your body a helping hand…



Treatment Venus Legacy

What’s involved a small versatile hand piece that uses radio frequency and pulsed electro magnetic field therapy, but this device then  goes a step further as it can also heat the deeper layers of the skin using varipulse technology which is important to break down stubborn fat deposits and stimulate collagen. The hand piece gently suctions the skin upwards, which expands the tissue making it easier for heat to penetrate. This helps lymphatic draining, boosts blood circulation to help tighten the skin. It feels like a hot stone massage and depending on areas to be treated up to eight fortnightly 40 minutes sessions may be needed with best results seen three to  six months after the course

Cost xxxxx per session contact 0207 436 4441



Treatment CoolSculpting

What’s involved a cooling treatment using cryolipolysis which chills targeted areas of fat on the body including bra bulges, back fat and under-bottom fat. A

small plate like device is placed directed onto the skin over the areas to be treated and then rapidly cooled. This process crystallises the lipoids in the fat cells so they dissolve, and are then eliminated from the body naturally over the following weeks.  No downtime though there may be some temporary redness and numbness but with no lasting effect.  Depending on the areas to be treated up to three sessions, a couple of weeks apart, may be required with best results seen three months after treatment

Cost From £800 per one session



Treatment Bodyjet

What’s Involved A minimally invasive procedure using a water jet assisted procedure which uses radio frequency energy and is ideal for stubborn fat bulges on the outer thighs. and for removing fat where there is loose skin. Results show that it tightens skin by up to 60 per cent more than traditional liposuction. A local anaesthetic is injected and a thin fan shaped water jet is channelled into the fat tissue to dislodge which is then removed through a cannula. Recovery one to two days, support garments to be worn for two weeks. Final results seen in 3 to 6 months

Cost from £2,000 per area contact 0207 436 4441



Treatment LipoSonix

What’s Involved During the one-off sixty minute procedure, which can remove up to an inch of fat, advanced ultrasound technology is used to permanently destroy stubborn fat cells particularly around the waist, which are then naturally removed by the body over the following months. The treatment can be a little uncomfortable with feelings of prickling and heat, and you may have a little redness or bruising after but this will subside within a week or two. Best results seen up to three months after treatment

Cost From £1990 for one session contact Dr Rita Rakus 0207 460 7324



Treatment Forma

What’s involved a pain free resurfacing and skin rejuvenation alternative to laser which uses radio frequency technology to help promote collagen/elastin and skin tightening without any downtime.  The hand piece looks a bit like a hairbrush with fine needles which is placed on the skin and RF energy is passed through the needles to heat up the skin.

A course of 6-8 treatments a week apart will achieve best results

Downtime Skin may be slightly red for a day or so but easily covered with mineral make up

Cost £300 per treatment contact 0207 434 4441




*Inspired by the machines you find in top clinics, and a great way to kick-start a getting into shape, Slendertone’s Abs Belt( £149.99 slendertone.comBoots, Argos) uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) technology to create strong deep muscle contractions via small electrical pulses which are attached to the body by pads Generally, your brain sends pulses to your muscles telling them to contract or relax.  EMS sends electrical signals to directly stimulate and exercise your muscles.  Even those muscles that are extremely hard to reach via conventional exercise.  EMS is a proven efficient way to exercise your muscles, rooted in sports science research.  Best results are achieved when used in conjunction with 20 minutes of exercise 5 days a week for the first six weeks combined with healthy eating .

Posted in Anti-Ageing, Ask the expert, best, Body Beautiful, celebrity, cheekbones, cosmetic surgery, Daily Express, Glowing Skin, hair, Harley Street Skin Clinic, health, highlighter, Kissable Lips, Lesley Loves, Lesley Reynolds, Make-up, Maxi Lip Plump, party make up, party season, summer, sun protection, what to wear, Winter Skin | Tagged , | Leave a comment