We ask Dr Helen Marsden what springtime weather means for our skin – and how we can protect ourselves as we head out into the beer garden
What condition is our skin in following the winter months?
Winter can be harsh and incredibly drying on the skin. The air outside is cold, so we increase the heating inside. The impact of both on our skin is that many of us are suffering with dryness, flaking and redness. And that’s before we add a bit of maskne into the mix!
The most common thing I hear at the moment is that people are tired of looking tired and are fed up with a dull, lacklustre and dehydrated complexion. Healthy, radiant skin is on everyone’s wish list right now.
How would you say the added pressures of lockdown has impacted that?
We know that the repeated release of the stress hormone, cortisol, can accelerate the ageing process. Over the last year, most people have had increased stress levels. According to a recent survey, almost 4 million women feel that the pandemic has aged them by at least 5 years, resulting in more people than ever before now considering aesthetic treatments for the first time.
You specialise in the art of rejuvenation. How can at-home skincare regimes help in-clinic treatments?
Optimal results will be achieved if you combine a great skincare regime at home with our in-clinic treatments. Here are some things to think about when heading into the warmer months:
Cleansers – reconsider your choice of cleanser. Oils are less tolerated as the weather warms up. Think about using a gentle exfoliating cleanser. Avoid scrubs and anything abrasive on the skin that causes repeated micro-trauma.
Brightening – Vitamin C has superior anti-ageing and anti-oxidant benefits to protect the skin. It stimulates your collagen production and evens out skin tone. It’s also photo-protective and will work alongside your SPF to protect your skin from UV damage.
Blemishes – Vitamin A is often applied to the skin in the form of retinol. Retinol stimulates skin cell turnover and regeneration As a result, it’s great for correcting blemishes and blotchiness associated with problematic skin.
Moisturiser – as the weather warms up, our skin will require less moisture and so there’ll be less need for oil-based products. So reassess which moisturiser you’re using too.
Sun Protection – Probably the most vital step – and the most overlooked – is the use of SPF to protect the skin. Adequate SPF is needed to prevent pigmentation and reduce the signs of ageing caused by UV exposure. SPF 30 is enough over the winter months, but spring and summer require an SPF of 50 to properly protect the skin. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that SPF isn’t required if the weather is cloudy or if the temperature isn’t warm. It is most definitely required.
With garden gatherings now permitted and pubs and restaurants able to serve outdoors from Monday, we can expect to be spending more time outside than we usually would in April. How can we protect our skin?
The skin on the face is regularly exposed to UV, humidity, air conditioning, smoking and other air pollutants. As we spend more time outdoors – even if the weather is cloudy or the temperatures cooler – it’s vital that we protect our skin.
Synergy 6 moisturiser provides a combination of filters to protect the skin from a range of potential irritants and pollutants. Most importantly, it has SPF 50. Remember to apply enough and to apply above the top lip and eyelids – areas that are often missed and common to show signs of ageing.
What are your most popular treatments around this time of year?
Profhilo bookings are currently very popular. Profhilo is an injectable treatment that stimulates the body’s own collagen and elastin.
I’ve been providing profhilo treatment for years now but it seems to have taken the country by storm recently. I’ve noticed it on chat shows and in beauty magazines, with a lot of celebrity endorsement. And rightly so – it’s a fabulous product for tightening, brightening and rejuvenating the face and neck, as well as other areas of the body.
Another popular treatment is WOW fusion, which is a combination of micro needling and mesotherapy with a hyper-personalised skincare cocktail tailored to suit the individual’s skin care issues or concerns. This is great for brightening the skin and can be used to help dullness, redness, acne and signs of ageing. It can also be combined with prescription-only products for further treatment options. The post-WOW glow looks and feels great!
We’ve heard lots of people talking about chemical peels at the moment, too?
Chemical peels are a wonderful way to brighten dull, post-winter (and post-lockdown) skin. I offer a medical-grade Perfect Peel with dramatic peeling. This is great for pigmentation and acne scarring.
I also provide re-surfacing skincare solutions, including homecare kits and skincare from pHformula, including kits for ageing, pigmentation, acne and redness. They not only treat the problem but also improve and protect the skin barrier.
What are your top products for achieving glowing Spring skin?
pHformula’s EXFO cleanse – a gentle exfoliating cleanser removing the need for exfoliators and toners. It contains active products to loosen and remove impurities any dead skin cells, and is suitable for all skin types. A real hero product.
Synergy-6 – a lightly tinted moisturiser, suitable for all skin types and colours, and with SPF 50. This provides super moisturisation, a lovely glow and optimal skin protection. It feels amazing on the skin and can be used on its own or under makeup.
Teoxane’s Perfect Skin Refiner – this is a rich, overnight renewal cream containing glycolic acid for exfoliation, resurfacing and skin renewal whilst you sleep.
Skinade is a wonderful skincare drink, with high doses of marine collagen and packed with vitamins to treat your skin from within. It gives amazing results and almost everyone continues to use it after trying it.
How should we be preparing for Summer with our Spring skincare routines?
Everyone loves a tan, but tanned skin is damaged skin. If you’re concerned about pigmentation and/or ageing skin, then you must use SPF 50. UV damage causes 80% of visible skin ageing. It’s also pointless having treatments for pigmentation if you then expose your skin to further UV damage, as it will re-pigment again.
A daily regime of a good cleanser, a nourishing moisturiser and an SPF 50 is key. Other active products can be added in to help sort specific problems.
If you’d like to book a consultation with Helen to discuss any skincare concerns or wishlists you may have, appointments can be booked either in clinic or virtually through her website