I have pretty much kicked my high street clothing habit.
Next on my list is to be more targeted in my approach to skincare products. However, I still have a long standing Space NK obsession which I have just about managed to curtail. I now research more before I buy (much easier now with Caroline Hirons and Trinny).
At 48, I know that a few well chosen medical grade products, topped up with micro-needling and lasering are what really makes the difference. I have gradually weened myself off Botox; there is nothing wrong with it but I have quite a narrow forehead and there is the danger that my eyebrows could droop. It hasn’t happened yet to me but I don’t want to take the risk!
At the same time, skincare is also about taking time out from your day to relax and unwind. Instead of wasting time on various high street online stores, I prefer to light a candle and have an at-home skin routine.
I was tempted to do a little botox under my eyes, however, again there is the risk that you could end up not being able to shut your eye properly. This seldom happens but I am not that bothered by my smile lines to take the risk.
I just want to be the best version of myself. Instagram is so dangerous as lots of botox/fillers actually look great in pictures but I have seen a lot of these ladies close up and it is sometimes a different story. Frozen and waxen expressions and an unnatural look is what you may see.
Having a great dermatologist is the key. They look at your skin properly and understand the science of what works for you, what gives you long term sustainable results and what doesn’t. They reign in those of us who are too exuberant and give confidence to those who are understandably concerned about starting more invasive treatments.
Beware of YouTube bloggers. Although some of the online bloggers really know their stuff and are very informative, they tend to turn skincare into a full time job and whilst it maybe for them, I only have 10 mins a day, as do most of us. They add loads of steps to our regular routines, think about the current obsession with acids and spritzers and layering of serums. I am toying with all of these and they do have their place but they are not game changers.
THAT IS THE KEY, sometimes it is easier to focus on new products that might improve your skin a tiny bit and. If you enjoy spritzing etc then that is fine, especially if you have a healthy budget and time on your hands.
It is a a minefield and laced with expensive products which can only be one part of the journey to great skin. Eating well, drinking water, exercise and treatments are all just as important.
When new brands come out, lets say Drunk Elephant, I always ask for a sample and try it first. Space NK are brilliant at giving samples (in their tiny little pots) and I will only ever invest if I have tried it first and also once I have finished what I am already using.
The reality is that they make us buy stuff we really don’t need (nothing new there!) and even if it is a great product, will it work with the rest of our routine?
So who to turn to? There are loads of Harley Street practitioners who are phenomenal, but almost certainly, they cost too much for most of us to be able to afford to see them regularly.
Dr. Surbhi Virmani is a top London insider tip. A qualified anaesthetist who re-qualified as a dermatologist and with three children to juggle she has a no nonsense yet safe approach to skincare. She still practises weekly at an NHS hospital and all this makes me feel safer.
I went to see Surbhi, this week and firstly we chatted general skincare first. These are are things that stuck in my mind about what she shared with me:
- Look at men and how simple their routines are. They are not as targeted by brands as women and just use what they think their skin needs
- Botox – be careful as it really can have side effects. Droopy eyelids, muscle spasm or twitching etc and you should take a break and not use it all the time. Like my existing dermatologist she spotted my short forehead and advised me against Botox
- Look at your skincare budget, be it from a monetary or time perspective. I admire that she talks about the big picture so that you can build a long term plan. It is so easy to spend all of our budget on products but they only work topically. They need to go hand in hand with other treatments
- We went through all my products and she pointed out that a lot of the products that i use don’t work well together (a real danger of shopping from Instagram). We examined the products I had already purchased and decided what to use and when. She didn’t push me to buy new products until I have used up everything I have already purchased and I left with a skincare routine made up of those products.
- We decided on Profhilo which has been specially formulated to contain a unique level of hyaluronic acid. This is a naturally occurring substance found in our bodies that is responsible for maintaining moisture within our skin. It helps to encourage the production of collagen and elastin across the skin. Due to the way Profhilo has been made, it acts as a hydrator, rather than a filler, and is therefore fantastic for those with tired, dull and ageing skin as it provides overall more plump and luminous skin. The substance is injected just below the skins surface (in just 2 sessions over a period of 4 weeks) and disperses quickly across the skin to instantly boost hydration, consequently smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and resulting in improved skin texture. You get an instantaneous improvement but it also kick starts your skin to produce collagen so it has a long term effect and also lasts for 6 months. Please note that you do have bumps on your face for a few hours after the treatment so best not to book anything straight after the treatment!!
- I have to say that I have never felt so carefully looked after and I now feel that I have someone to email if I have any skincare concerns. Next time I will be filming an Instagram TV episode of the treatment so you can see exactly what happens.
I was not sponsored or paid for this post and I am booked in to have my second session next month. I want to deal with the thread veins which have popped up on my legs. I just feel so blessed to have met Surbhi and to have found a clinic which offers cutting edge treatments for fair prices.
11 Upper Brook Street