Trying to figure out what products to use on your skin can be a complete minefield. Trying to figure out why your skin behaves the way it does is even more difficult. We're bombarded with conflicting opinions, advice, and advertising campaigns which tell us all manner of different things; so to say that we often end up confused is an understatement. I decided to put an end to this madness, and book in to see Lauren Harding from The Face Place- she's their Skin Team Leader, and a qualified medical skin therapist. I knew that she'd be able to tell me EXACTLY what was happening with my skin.
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone with such extensive knowledge of skincare before- how long have you been a skin therapist for, and where did you receive your training?
The industry has had a massive transition from my original training 25 years ago; even back then, before such advances in skin science and research, it was always the anatomy and physiology that enthused and inspired me. I trained in the UK with a 2 year full time Diploma, with a focus on Health Science. With rapidly increasing discoveries in skin physiology I have made it my priority to access any available training to further my knowledge; research is endless and I love the results we attain with that knowledge – we have some very happy customers! ☺
Do you have a preferred range of products you love to use on your own skin- please share!
I have worked with many well-known cosmeceutical ranges, but there are a few I’ve had exceptional results with; Aspect Dr, Cosmedix and Skin Medica. They really have shown time and time again consistently tangible changes in skin health. I tend to use a combination of these myself, depending on what particular ingredients or dosage I’m looking for. I use a Vitamin C product from the Aspect Dr range, a Vitamin B product, again from Aspect Dr, a Vitamin A from Cosmedix or Skin Medica and Environ sunscreen: All have amazing levels of active ingredients, and really affective delivery systems.
In your opinion, what are the three single most important products/ingredients to use on the skin daily?
The three fundamentals are Vitamin A; one of the few tools we have to help normalise damaged skin cell DNA, antioxidants to protect the skin from free radical damage, caused by UV, pollutants and cell respiration and a mineral SPF sunscreen.
I sunbathed often when I was younger and have major sun damage- is this able to be treated and reversed?
Yes, it is possible to reverse this to some extent, again mainly with the use of good topical nutrition: the application of relative doses of Vitamin A and C antioxidants.
Is drinking water REALLY that important for your skin? If so, how much would you recommend we be drinking?
Drinking water is important, but should go hand in hand with Essential Fatty Acids, particularly from fish oils; this aids the body in retaining hydration much more efficiently and plays an important role in all cell health. Having said that if you are not replacing nutrition in the skin via skin care with effective products, then this still will have little impact. We are all chronically depleted in nutrients such as A and C in UV exposed areas, such as face, neck and hands.
I STILL get pimples at the ripe age of 35- should I be putting products with salicylic acid on them? Or am I doing the wrong thing?
Usually pimples at this age and older are often a result of poor skin condition; we produce less nutrients in the skin and are constantly bombarded with UV damage leading to dry, hardened skin which creates blockages at the surface, or pimples. Even hormonally driven breakouts will clear quickly when the skin is in good condition. Salicylic long term often worsens the condition if the skin is dry or dehydrated.
Skin peels sound terrifying- are they as scary as they sound, and what are the benefits?
There are very different peel mediums on the market that achieve different results. At The Face Place we administer ‘metabolic’ peels which are more about feeding the skin than exfoliating for the sake of it; these will often contain similar ingredients to that that we prescribe for home care use, but at much higher doses. Often ‘Peels’ don’t actually make the skin ‘peel’ or flake; the idea is to make progressive positive change through nutrition, without causing inflammation.
I love that The Face Place does Skin Warrant of Fitness consultations; can you tell us what they entail?
The Warrant of Fitness is a comprehensive, one hour consultation: We discuss contributing factors such as life style and medical history; we use the VISIA skin scanner which photographs, in detail the surface of the skin, and sun damage not yet visible. This is a fantastic tool to not only allow the patient to see what’s really going on, but also gives us clear indicators to help with our diagnosis and treatment plan. From there we discuss all aspects of treatment from home care, nutritional considerations, lifestyle habits and treatment plan. We consider this initial experience fundamental to our patients ‘skin care journey’: we give thorough information about ingredients and how they work on the skin, and a clear time frame of expected results.