Tanning the safe way

 pic @lucybrownless

pic @lucybrownless

Being winter, we haven’t seen the sun for a while and we are starting to notice those pale limbs. You may have an upcoming event or are going away and want to make sure you have that ‘healthy’ glow. Many of us use fake tan, and although it means avoiding sun exposure, there are some other things to consider when getting our tan from a bottle.

1.    Fake tan is safer than a real tan, but be mindful

Fake tan is essentially a lot safer than getting a tan from the sun. Exposure to UV light through tanning the old fashioned way can increase risks of skin cancer, melanoma as well as sun spots, pigmentation and premature ageing.  However, when using fake tan please be mindful of how you apply it. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is found in fake tan and is the chemical responsible for darkening the skin. Although the levels found in fake tan are very low, it is recommended to avoid inhaling, ingesting or making contact with the eyes.  To minimise risks, you may want to consider applying fake tan with a mitt rather than spraying it. If you get regular spray tans in a salon, choose somewhere that has suitable ventilation.

2.    A fake tan does not protect you from the sun

Although you may look like you have a tan, your ‘tanned’ skin will not protect you from the sun. It is important to still apply sunscreen (SPF 50+) on all areas of the skin that will be exposed to the sun.  Even if your fake tan claims to contain SPF coverage, this may only be for a few hours after the initial application. Ongoing sunscreen application is imperative throughout the day.

3.    Don’t assume organic fake tans are safer than regular fake tans

Although organic fake tan will include more naturally derived ingredients, it is important to remember that organic fake tan still contains DHA. Therefore although organic ingredients may be more beneficial, still be mindful of how you apply the tan. Remember to avoid inhaling, ingesting or making contact with the eyes. 

4.    Moisturise and moisturise

It is commonly known that fake tan tends to dry out the skin so it is important to keep the skin moisturised. To ensure the longevity of your tan, avoid oil based lotions as they will tend to make it fade quicker.

5.    Avoid fake tan if you are booked in for laser

If you are coming in for laser, it is important to avoid fake tan for a minimum of 4 weeks prior. This is recommended because the laser can be attracted to the pigment colour in the tan product rather than the actual pigmentation we aim to treat. There are also more complications that can occur when fake tan is present on the skin. For example, blistering, burning, hyper-pigmentation and hypo-pigmentation.

Holiday skin – The Essentials!

 pic @annaheinrich1

pic @annaheinrich1

About to go on a holiday? Do you have limited room in your luggage? Follow our holiday packing essentials list and maintain that beautiful healthy glow. It doesn’t matter if you’re going on a summer holiday or a winter getaway; rain or shine, these are your must have items.

Sunscreen UVA and UVB protection 50+
You should wear a sunscreen daily. Dermaceutic Laboratorie and La Roche Posay have wonderful face and body sunscreens for different skin types (oily or dry) and are also suitable for even the most sensitive skin types. They have sunscreens for kids, primers with SPF and BB creams for a little more coverage.

Wide brimmed hat and sunglasses
If you’re doing outdoor activities you will need a hat that’s going to cover not just your forehead but around the sides of the face. Direct sun exposure is to be avoided and preventing damage is better than trying to treat it once the damage is done. Sun exposure leads to prematurely ageing, pigmentation and sun spots.

Antioxidant serum for the face, neck and chest
A good rich antioxidant serum will help to brighten, repair, and protect the skin whilst you’re away. Tri Vita C30 from Dermaceutic Laboratorie contains Vitamin C, vitamin E and Ferulic acid. All these ingredients help protect your skin from harmful rays.

Body moisturiser
Your skin is going to become dehydrated very quickly if you’re flying to your destination, so please ensure you keep it hydrated not only on the flight but every day whilst you’re away. Aveeno daily moisturising lotion is fragrance free for the body and we love it at Skindepth Dermatology.

Exfoliator
To revitalise the skin and even the complexion after a change in climate, an exfoliator is a great option. Invest in either a chemical exfoliator or mechanical scrub. A mechanical scrub is great for thickened and oily skin type and a chemical exfoliator is therefore better for a more delicate skin type. We recommend BiRetix Micropeel for a purifying mechanical scrub, and Catalyst Gelcreme from Rationale as a gentle chemical exfoliator.

Hand gel sanitiser
Who knows what germs can be around so always have a gel hand sanitiser handy in your bag.

Beating Acne Only Begins With The Right Treatment

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Acne affects people of all ages and it can really encumber confidence and self-esteem. There are many severities of acne and it often presents in different ways. In order to treat the acne properly, we need to first asses and diagnose it. When addressing acne we need to classify whether it is comedonal, pustular, cystic or a combination of these. We also need to consider any medical conditions, diet and home skincare regimes. Only after we have diagnosed the acne type and received all information can we develop a complete and effective treatment that will truly combat the condition.

After extensive research, Skindepth use the following treatment options:

Chemical peels and LED Therapy

This treatment works by clearing out the dead skin cells and oils that may be blocking the pores or follicles. There are a range of different strength/types of peels that are customised and chosen for each individual. Regular peels and LED will continue to remove dead skin cells and encourage cell renewal.

 Extractions

Extractions are fantastic for anyone that has underlying congestion that need to come up and out of the skin. If the congestion is left in the skin then they can only get bigger and more infected with time. It is always best to come in and make an appointment to see a trained clinician who will extract correctly preventing scarring or transfer of bacteria. Please never pick your own skin!

 Kleresca

This is a full course of 12 light based therapy treatments for patients suffering from pustular, cystic and inflammatory acne. Kleresca is an advanced light based and painless technology that is a great option for anyone that prefers to avoid prescription medication. It kills bacteria and also encourages skin repair on a cellular level. Kleresca is also known to help reduce acne scarring.

Prescription medication

Depending on the type of acne, medical and acne history, prescription medication may be the most suitable option. Prescription medication is administered under the experienced and watchful eye of Dr Alice Rudd and monitored on regular intervals.  Medications are carefully prescribed in line with the individual and require a referral from a GP.

Skincare

At Skindepth Dermatology we truly believe that beating acne and maintaining clear skin comes down to what you put on your skin daily. Therefore a tailored skincare plan is part of how we treat acne. Come in for a one-on-one chat with one of the Dermal Clinicians who can develop a targeted skincare plan.

 Skindepth’s Acne Clinic is now available. No GP referral is required and there are minimum wait times. Book an appointment with our Acne experts, Amelia and Lily.

Facial Rejuvenation - From Thailand (part 2)

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Following Dr Alice Rudd’s earlier post about her experiences with Facial Acupuncture in Thailand, join Dr Rudd as she takes you through Dien Chan Reflexology. 

I was intrigued to meet Alex Scrimgeour, a London based acupuncturist who specialises in Dien Chan reflexology. You’ve heard of reflexology for the feet, but what about for the face? Reflexology generally recognises that certain pressure points are deeply connected to our inner health and well-being. Dien Chan Reflexology hails from Vietnam, and bases its treatments on a map of 300 points on the face that that correspond to various areas of the body and internal organs. The belief is that much of our physical, mental and emotional anguish is held in the face (just look at people who clench their teeth and get huge masseter muscles that needs botulinum toxin injections). Massage of the face using a variety of tools in the Dien Chan repertoire seeks to release these inner tensions, allowing greater relaxation and sense of calm.

By focusing on certain facial areas, it is also reported to assist with reduction in inflammation, boosting immunity and regulating hormones. What does it feel like? Minimal discomfort (unlike other methods such as facial acupuncture) and far more relaxing! The best part? Rejuvenation! Some of the tools are much like take home needling devices or rollers, tiny blunt mental spikes rubbed over the skin stimulate blood flow, which causes a plumpness that is seen with a lot of non-invasive cosmetic tools on the market. But this is more targeted, and gives the extra added benefit of not only improving the surface, but addressing some of what lies beneath. Specifically, Alex mentioned that points mapped out around the eyebrow have implications in female reproductive health… so if you experience hormonal skin break outs, Amelia might just press on your eyebrows to assist in releasing some of those!!

The next treatment on my rejuvenation journey was facial acupressure. I can relate this to ‘myotherapy for the face’. This treatment involves firm (painful!) pressure to the some of the biggest muscles of the face, masseters, temples and around the jaw. By pressing and sustaining pressure, followed by facial massage, deep muscle fibres release and relax, reducing facial tension and tightening. I once had a myofascial release treatment to my masseters by a trained Myotherapist, and it felt much like this, painful, but an incredible sense of release. I didn’t appear to have an immediate rejuvenated appearance, but certainly felt relaxation.

So am I a convert? Well if you think about it…..wrinkles as we know them are the result of facial muscle contraction at times of increased emotion: “worry” lines “frown” lines, “smile” lines. So I can treat the end result with my anti-wrinkle injections, but we work of the basis that prevention is better than cure, surely addressing the cause of our ‘worry’ and frowns’ makes sense? Well at least on the face of it!

NB: Cosmetic Acupuncture and reflexology have very little evidence supporting its efficacy in clinical trials, but has been adopted by many, so at this stage it is difficult to recommend it on scientific grounds, more trials are needed.

5 minutes with Lucy Brownless

 Photo @lucybrowless

Photo @lucybrowless

Lucy Brownless is a model, social media influencer and brand ambassador. Lucy started her skincare journey with Skindepth 6 months ago. Like most people, Lucy has a skin story. Find out more about her journey.   

Lucy, how long have you suffered from Acne?

I first noticed a few pimples around Year 7 and Year 8, but they got progressively worse over the years. I have always had issues with my skin and wondered initially if it was hormonal. It was only after my treatments at Skindepth that I started to notice a difference. Currently I see Amelia who is one of their lovely Dermal Clinicians.  

Had you ever previously been treated for acne? 

Prior to my recent treatment, I’ve had very sporadic treatments such as micro-dermabrasion, but I never had a set routine. I saw different people who said they could help me, but my skin didn’t change. I was always moving onto the next thing trying desperately to fix my skin. It was very disheartening. It wasn’t until I went to Skindepth that I got the guidance I was looking for.  

How did you feel when your acne was at its worst?

Awful. It made me feel very insecure, especially at the end of high school. It was always in the back of my mind. It was difficult to cope at times. I was always trying to hide my skin with makeup. 

What treatments have you done with Skindepth to combat your acne concerns? 

I was prescribed a course of Vitamin A medication which had a huge effect on my skin. It really cleared up my acne but also reduced my scarring which always bothered me. I had heard a few things about Vitamin A medication so was a little apprehensive at first. But I am so happy with the results. It has completely transformed my skin and I feel so much better.

In terms of ongoing skin treatments, I regularly have extractions, LED Therapy and hydrating treatments such as chemical peels.

(Extractions help to remove any underlying congestion ensuring that the plug comes out and prevents further infection of the skin. LED helps with the inflammation, scarring and blood flow circulation for healing. Chemical peels remove dead skin and clears out pores for clearer skin - Skindepth).

How have the treatments worked for your skin? 

Amazing! Every time I walk out of the clinic my skin is always glowing and I always get lots of comments. After the first treatment I knew I was finally going to get on top of my skin. Having a clear plan made me feel very confident. Being consistent with both treatments and my skincare products has made all the difference.  

Was there any pain associated or discomfort? 

At the start extractions are not the most relaxing, especially due to the amount of congestion in the beginning. But now it is no longer an issue. There is no other discomfort involved with treatments, it’s actually very relaxing and I have the added bonus of knowing my skin is getting better and better. 

How long did the treatment take for you to notice the effects? 

After visiting the clinic, I noticed a big difference in my skin within the first few weeks. I have been coming to Skindepth almost 6 months now and over the last few months things just keep getting better. Anything takes time and the difference in my skin is quite significant. Looking back on my skin and where I have come from, it has definitely come a long way! 

How do you feel now?  

A million times better! I am so much more confident in my skin. Before my skin used to be my biggest insecurity. Now I have the confidence to go without makeup where as I used to go nowhere without it. For my job I am often in hair and makeup and I am always getting comments about how much better my skin is. Make up is also easier to apply and often I don’t need as much either. I was always worried about my skin, but it’s nice not to have that awful feeling at the back of my mind.  

What have you learnt about your skin?  

The biggest thing I have learnt from Skindepth is the importance of skincare and what it does for my skin. Before I used to buy things that sounded or looked great but I didn’t know what they were doing or what my skin needed. It was great when I first started coming to Skindepth, Amelia (Dermal Clinician) really took the time to explain what the various skincare items do, what moisturiser was best for dryness which all really helped. I also learnt that great skin comes with consistency. Regular treatments are so important. I am very happy with my skin journey with Skindepth so far and can’t thank Amelia enough. I am excited about continuing my skin journey.

The Best Post Laser Care

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Thinking about laser or coming in for a treatment soon? Although we always recommend talking to your Dermal Clinician about your specific treatment we want to share some information on the best post laser skin care so you can not only recover quickly, but get the most out of your treatment.

1. Before coming in for laser please avoid (3 days prior): taking any fish oil, vitamin E, ibuprofen as these can make you more susceptible to bruising during the laser treatment. Please also make sure that you do not apply any cosmeceutical or prescription grade vitamin A to your skin the night before. Direct sun exposure is to be avoided for a minimum of two weeks prior to your laser treatment.

2. Having a laser treatment means that your skin is going to feel warm (there are many various intensities of this heat depending on the settings used for your skin type and concern). So remember to treat it like you would sunburn. Things like ice-packs and compressions can be used to cool the skin and reduce inflammation; avoid hot showers and direct contact with hot water; and shun heated environments or activities such as exercise that will cause increased heating to the face for at least 24hrs.   

3. Depending on the intensity of your laser treatment you can experience a warm sunburn like sensation that lasts anywhere between 1-5 days. This can greatly vary because of many variables that exist such as skin type, type of laser, energy used, depth of the laser. 

4.  Make sure you’re not applying any highly active skincare products to your skin until your clinician or practitioner has advised its fine to do so. Straight after laser it is best to use a basic hydrating cleanser and moisturiser until your skin is no longer sensitive.

5. Sunscreen is imperative. It is your number one friend. Use a good quality sunscreen daily. We recommend La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light SPF 50+.

6. Try to avoid the application of make up after laser. Try to hold off until the next day, or even better wait a minimum of 24 hours. For light coverage you may like to use a BB cream.

7. Although all laser treatments differ, most people find that down-time after laser is approximately 4-7 days. For stronger treatments this can be a little longer. However most post laser effects can be masked with light make up application.

8. Do not pick or scratch your skin. Please do not exfoliate or scrub your skin until your clinician or practitioner has advised its fine to. You generally want to wait at least 7-10 days.

Facial Acupuncture - from Thailand

 Dr Alice Rudd - Acupuncture Facial

Dr Alice Rudd - Acupuncture Facial

My patients often ask me if acupuncture is as good as anti-wrinkle injections for reducing lines and wrinkles. Although I have done a lot of reading I wanted to find the answer regarding the effects of acupuncture and other facial rejuvenation modalities from an eastern point of view. So I tried them out myself through a series of treatments at the Kamalaya Wellbeing Sanctuary in Koh Samui, Thailand. 

First of all, lets understand how traditional (western) anti-wrinkle injections work. Botulinum toxin in small diluted doses, when injected into the belly of a contracting muscle will reduce the signal for the muscle to act, therefore easing its muscular pull (this pull of the skin being what eventuates into wrinkles). We use tiny caliber needles of about 0.1 to inject up to 15-20 points, on the face. We inject into the superficial fibres of some of the large muscles of the face, frontalis (forehead) and corrugator (frown muscle). Treatment is repeated at 3-4 months for longevity. 

Acupuncture involves the insertion of hundreds of tiny needles of a caliber about 0.2-0.25 again in muscle bellies with the aim of unblocking stagnant energy build ups, and allowing the flow of energy described as ‘qi’. This allows increased blood flow to the area of the needle insertion, and increases muscle tone.  Many treatments are required, and the people I spoke to mentioned a certain ‘glow’ post treatment.  

So what does it feel like? Well during my treatment I found it was slightly painful much like anti-wrinkle injections, and then a tingle, which I almost sensed was a release of the blocked energy and an increase of blood flow. After about 20 mins the needles are removed. I had small pin point bleeding in areas, but no real pain, I did however feel a sense of calm, and I felt like my whole body had a treatment, as opposed to just a facial treatment. I did experience a headache afterwards, which is also very common post toxin injections, and a small bruise that lasted for a few days. After a few days I haven’t yet noticed a reduction in my wrinkles, but I suspect more treatments are needed. Rather than anti-wrinkle injections, I would compare it more to the micro-needling devices that we use that cause tiny dermal injuries via insertion of hundreds of small needles, ultimately causing regeneration of collagen and therefore smoothing wrinkles. 

I recommend this treatment as a way to promote energy flow and overall wellness. Compared to anti-wrinkle injections, more than one treatment would be required to derive noticeable results. Overall, anti-wrinkle injections will provide faster (and perhaps more effective) results in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.  

Stayed tuned for my next blog which focuses on Dien Chan Reflexology for the face (administered by a London based Acupuncturist, Alex Scrimgeor). This treatment originates from Vietnam and is known to stimulates inner health and well being.

From the Kitchen - Pomegranates

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Let’s talk about Pomegranates. They are a wonderful fruit that provide amazing benefits and are certainly something we should eat a lot more of. Now is the perfect time to buy them because they are officially in season. Pomegranates contain Vitamin C, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E which provide anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants which greatly benefit our body and skin.

And did you know that pomegranate oil is a common ingredient used in skincare to help the skin with new cell regeneration? High in essential fatty acids, it helps to increase circulation as well as deeply nourish dry and dehydrated skin types. Pomegranate seed oil can also help to sooth skin that is irritated or burnt from the sun as well as reduce collagen destruction.

Surprisingly pomegranates have three times more antioxidants than green tea (which protects our skin against free radicals). This is particularly important as free radicals can damage the skin and speed along the aging process.

The best part is that pomegranates are delicious and easy to include in our cooking, particularly salads. Check out this delicious pomegranate salad recipe below.

Recipe – Autumn Salad (Serves 4)

Ingredients

½ x large cucumber
12 x ripe cherry tomatoes (quartered
½ medium cauliflower broken into florets same size as tomatoes
1 x spring onion
6 x radishes
1 x celery stick
1 small bunch of mint, coriander and flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
1 x pomegranate

 Dressing

1 garlic clove (crushed to paste with salt)
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon za’tar
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil|
Sea salt and black pepper

For dressing, combine all of the ingredients and taste for seasoning. To serve the salad, combine vegetables, pomegranates and herbs in a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss until everything is well covered. Taste for seasoning.  

Enjoy!

Yes, beauty sleep is an actual thing!

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Having a good night’s rest is imperative, however many of us aren’t getting enough sleep. A good night’s sleep enhances our overall well being including skin health, assistance with inflammation (associated with heart disease), muscle growth and weight management.

When we consider skin health, we need at least 7 hours of sleep for optimal skin repair and rejuvenation. During this time when we sleep, our body boosts blood flow to our skin providing all the essential nutrients it needs (creating that healthy morning glow). It also encourages the production of collagen (part of the repair process) which means plumper skin and less lines. As many of us may have experienced, a lack of sleep can cause puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. If you’re concerned with puffiness, elevate your head slightly with an extra pillow before you sleep to help with lymphatic drainage.

If you’re struggling to get a good night sleep, here are a few tips to help you out.

· Make sure you’re associating your bedroom as a sleeping zone and not an activity zone.

· Try to maintain the same bed time - a consistent sleep routine can help us to drift off more easily.

·  Avoid sugary foods or caffeine in the late afternoon/evening. Excessive alcohol intake should also be avoided as it prevents us falling into a deeper sleep stage.

·  Exercise regularly during the week. Small things like moving around in the office and getting up from your desk will help. Go for a walk on your lunch break or ditch the car in the morning and take your bike.

·  Do something relaxing before going to sleep. Making sure you don’t watch TV right before bed because bright lights can interfere with sleep and is best to shut off devices an hour before bedtime including (mobile phones and tablets). Ensure you don’t do any work before bed so you can go to bed feeling calm

·  Lie down and spend 5 minutes breathing. Focus on lengthening your inhalations and more importantly your exhalations. Conscious breathing links to the side of nervous system that promotes relaxation.

·  Use a couple of drops of lavender oil on your pillow before you sleep.

· Invest is an eye pillow... it works wonders in stimulating relaxation and helping us to drift off.

A few simple things that can have huge effects. Try it for a week and soon enough you should see an improvement!

Dry Brushing

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Dry brushing is something that is becoming more and more popular.... in fact recently I saw an article in Vogue talking about its benefits. But did you know Dry Brushing is a traditional Ayurvedic practice and has been around for aeons. The benefits of dry brushing are widely known and in fact, many people include it as part of their daily routine. And you should too! It only takes a few minutes a day and is best performed at the start of the day (prior to showering).

So what is dry brushing and why do it?

Dry brushing is a practice that is done with a dry brush (natural bristles) or linen/silk gloves. It stimulates the skin and promotes the removal of cellular waste.  It is a technique that assists us on many levels. When we consider the skin, (the body’s largest organ), it contains nerves, cells and glands that act as a barrier to protect the body.  If your skin is overrun with dead cells, its ability to eliminate waste is compromised, so removing these cells will improve the way your skin functions. And ladies, regular dry brushing can help reduce cellulite, evening out fat deposits and improving appearance. As dry brushing creates friction the brisk strokes invigorates the skin and stimulates both blood and lymphatic flow (improving immunity). In a broader sense it can assist with sluggishness, fatigue and vitality.  

How does it work?

Using a dry brush or gloves, work with brisk strokes along the skin, always working from our extremities toward the heart. Dry brushing can be done on all parts of the body including the face (unless you suffer from Rosacea).

1.    Stand in a bath or shower naked (to catch any waste) 

2.    Start at your feet and using long strokes, work your way up to the heart

3.    Next begin strokes starting at your hands and work your way up toward your heart.  Allow the strokes to overlap brushing over the same area more than once

4.    On the stomach, breasts and joints use small circular motions, whilst on the arms, legs and back work with longer strokes

5.     Apply light pressure on sensitive skin and avoid areas with skin vulnerabilities such as eczema. 

It is a practice that is recommended in the morning before your shower when the skin is dry and lotion free. If your skin is a little pink after dry brushing don’t panic.... however don’t apply so much pressure that it is painful.

Try it and you will love it. For those of your looking for even more nourishment, add on a self oil massage post dry brushing. Almond oil is a wonderful choice and appropriate for all skin types. In these warmer months coconut and peppermint oil is also lovely.

Happy brushing!