The most common form of cleanser are composed of synthetic detergents. Cleansers remove dirt, microorganisms, oil and environmental debris. This helps to prevent spots (comedones) and large pores. Ideally cleansers should be neutral to slightly alkaline pH wise (5.5-7), to remove less of the protective skin barrier and be nearer to the skins natural pH level. Soaps usually have a pH of much higher alkalinity of 9-10, which is why it is not recommended to cleanse your face with soap as it has a very drying effect.
Cleansers are chosen based on the persons skin goals. Ones that emulsify sebum (oil) are best for oil prone skins such as those with acne. Some also contain ingredients such as salicylic acid which is again useful for acne prone skin. Other cleansers contain oil or glycerin to help with sensitivity or dry skin by not removing as much of the moisturising skin barrier.
One of the most important and fundamental ways of slowing down aging and avoiding skin cancer is to use sun protection i.e. SPFs. The advice is to use something over Factor 30, and for paler skins factor 50 is normally required.
One of the reasons people don’t want to use SPFs is that they feel it clogs their pores and feels greasy on the skin. This is normally because a non dermatological SPF is being used. Dermatologically formulated SPFs often feel much less oily on the skin and are specifically formulated to prevent causing spots. This prevention of spots is referred to as non comedogenic – comedones are the technical name for spots! So, if you are looking at sunscreens and you are prone to spots look on the container to see if it refers to being non-comedogenic.
It is hard to avoid advertisements for retinoids which are derivatives of Vitamin A. They are used in multiple skin products and for different skin conditions. For acne they help to reduce breakouts by preventing any dead skin cells from blocking the pores. They can also help to reduce the formation of scars too. They have been used to help prevent and treat wrinkles with the aim of producing new collagen, stimulating blood vessels and peel off any thickened skin. Those with psoriasis have also benefited because retinoids can slow the growth of skin cells.
There are many different types of retinoids which have variable strengths. Some can be prescribed in tablet form, for example in acne conditions. Other topical forms require a prescription. Essentially, they are a type of peel depending on the strength. So, there can be side effects from using them. For example, dryness, irritation, redness, crusting, blistering, swelling, skin colour changes, and sensitivity to the light. It is very important to avoid the sun if you are using these products and wear sunscreen (of course!), plus apply liberal amounts of moisturizer to avoid irritation and dryness. They are not recommended in pregnancy or those thinking of becoming pregnant. Commonly, people with sensitive skins cannot use them everyday and that is fine. There is no point in irritating the skin unnecessarily. This can all be discussed with you at your consultation.
Vitamin B’s are a class of vitamin with several different types within it. In our diet they are essential for nerve and brain function and energy. In the skin they act as antioxidants which treat various signs of ageing, as well as treating sensitive skin types. The types most commonly seen in skin care are niacinamide (B3) and pantothenic acid (B5). Niacinamide helps with fine lines, wrinkles, spots and improves skin barrier function as it is an anti-inflammatory, whereas pantothenic acid is a humectant because it is a component of co-enzyme A (part of the lipid skin barrier) and therefore keeps the skin moisturised. Some also think pantothenic acid helps to promote fibroblast production as well.
Moisturizers are an essential component of skin care. They act as an emollient, promoting skin hydration and creating a layer of protection which prevents water loss. Emollients soften and smooth the loose or shedding skin cells of the most superficial layer of skin (stratum corneum) and consequently help flaky, rough skin. Some moisturizers will also contain humectants – these work by drawing water up from the dermis, into the epidermis, and so increase hydration within the superficial layers of the skin. Humectants can therefore have a plumping effect on the skin. Dry skin can increase the appearance of fine lines and therefore a good moisturizer can keep the skin looking young by decreasing the appearance of fine lines, especially if they have a humectant in.
Moisturizers can have various additives put in them to improve skin barrier, lighten the skin and have anti-aging benefits. Vitamins, exfoliants, antioxidants, peptides, minerals, and plant extracts are routinely added to moisturizers. Some have evidence of effectiveness, whilst others do not. Some key ingredients include niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, centella asiatica and vitamin B.
Vitamin C has been used in skin care products for decades. It is a potent antioxidant, so it helps with skin regeneration and repair. Antioxidants help the body right off free radicals which damage the skin, and by doing this, there fore helps to protect skin from precancerous changes caused by sun exposure.
Vitamin C is an acid so when applied to the skin, it stimulates the skin to produce more collagen and elastin in order to heal itself. This then leads to firmer, plumper skin and prevents signs of aging. The other major use of Vitamin C is to slow down melanin production and by doing so, prevents pigmentation such as dark spots or freckles. When applied on an on-going basis therefore, Vitamin C can prevent pigmentation from forming, as well as treating what is already there.
However, the form of Vitamin C you are using in skin care is critical for absorption. L-ascorbic acid is the most studied and effective form in comparison to others. However it is the most unstable and has to be stored in a airless pump to prevent degradation. Derivatives are therefore more commonly used because they are more stable. Vitamin C can be put under your moisturizer and, if it is in the correct form, is potent, so a little goes a long way.
The golden child of everything skin at the moment is hyaluronic acid! Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the skin, joints, and other tissues. It helps to give structure, repair and lubricate the skin. It is a major component of the gel-like substance that surrounds your skin cells called the extracellular matrix. Elastin and collagen proteins are also part of the extracellular matrix. Hyaluronic acid attracts water from deeper in the skin (dermis) and moves it to the skin surface. Therefore, along with elastin and collagen, it helps to improve skin elasticity, tightness, regeneration and healing.
As we age our natural levels of hyaluronic acid start to decrease and this results in the skin becoming thinner and drier. The steepest decline is seen after aged 40. By the age of 50, we have lost 50% of our hyaluronic acid when compared to age 25. Almost every skin care brand is now jumping on the band wagon to put hyaluronic acid in everything. Moisturizers, SPFs, shampoos have all been adding it. However hyaluronic acid is a very large molecule unless it is modified, and therefore too large to absorb into the skin via a cream (topical) form. It will therefore not have a massive impact on aging. However, the Clinicare hyaluronic acid has been formulated to be 5 nanometres which will easily pass through the superficial skin to penetrate more deeply and nourish effectively. Many other products will sit on top of the skin, because the molecules will be too large to pass through, and because hyaluronic acid attracts water, it draws water from the skin. So, the skin will look glowing with these larger molecule-based hyaluronic acids, but they actually have the potential to dry out the skin underneath.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
Both AHA and BHAs are acids which are derived from naturally occurring fruits, mild and sugars. Generally, AHAs aim to exfoliate the skin and repair any damaged or dry skin. They are useful to remove the stratum corneum and allow your skin care products to penetrate more deeply. Removing the top-most layer of skin also reveals newer and healthier skin below, treats pigmentation and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. For this reason, they are often found in skin peels, but weaker concentrations are also found in cleansers. It is important to ensure you wear your SPF to protect the skin if you are using these treatments.
BHAs tend to deal more with the oil on skin and prevention of oil clogging pores. They have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties so really useful in treating blackheads and acne prone skin. Again, BHAs can make your skin more prone to UV damage, so wearing SPF is very important.
It is important not to overuse these products as they can be very harsh on the skin. So once to twice a week should be the most required for the majority of people. Lots of cases of dermatitis have been caused by overuse of these products. They should not be used at the same time as retinols.
Obagi skin care
Obagi is a very well-known dermatological skin care brand. It has been around for 40 years, and the products are therefore tried and tested all over the world. They have won numerous awards for their transformative results and of course their products can be used at home.
Why choose Obagi?
- Products are suitable for all skin colours
- Award winning products
- Medical strength skin care (i.e. prescription where required)
- Tried and tested throughout the world
- Dramatic skin transformation
- Excellent effects seen for pigmentation and acne.
- Wide range of products to treat all types of skin condition
Any prescription skin care requires a consultation with a prescriber and cannot be ordered online. A full consultation is needed.
Clinicare is a leading Swedish skincare company which delivers scientifically researched cosmeceuticals that are formulated with optimal concentrations of each molecule. For example, the hyaluronic acid within their products are extremely small molecules so that they can pass through the skin and nourish deeply. All products are 100% vegan and have high percentages of active ingredients designed to absorb optimally. Consequently, patients experience fantastic changes in skin health and appearance.
The products in the Clinicare range deal with three main skin problem categories:
- Hyperpigmentation, age spots, sun damage or dull tired skin = Glow range
- Inflamed skin, such as sensitivity, rosacea and acne/spot prone skin = Pure range
- Fine lines, winkles, dry, or general rejuvenation = Refresh range
In addition to these specific products, there are a wide range of other products designed to enhance the skin such as, cleansers, lip and eye cream, SPFs, peels, masks, mesotherapy serums, and make up remover.
The radiofrequency and electroporation treatment involves using their deeply nourishing 2 in 1 Moisturizing Cream and Moisturizing Essence along with the appropriate serum as required, to produce the amazing results seen with this treatment. Ceremide or vitamin C products can be used instead of the moisturizing essence for the electroporation, depending on the skin type.
Genosys skin care
Genosys is a Korean brand of skin care which has taken the market by storm. The products contain many different cosmeceuticals and are a natural non-prescription skin care. Most of the ingredients are sourced from fruits and plants.
They have a range of cleansing, and moisturizing products, serums and masks, to aid in skin rejuvenation. They also have specialist hair and skin serums for use with microneedling.
Get In Touch
Here at London & Surrey Aesthetics we aim to help you through a journey of discovery about your skin, by discussing what your concerns and expectations are and coming up with a treatment plan designed for you.
We also aim to increase your knowledge about how to look after your skin at home and give you information.