DR. SHEREEN RAHMAN (MEDICAL DIRECTOR) BSc, MBBS, FRCGP, DRCOG, DFFP, DCH, DGM
Diploma in Clinical Dermatology
I have extensively researched the skin care products that are available at ESS Clinic to provide you with skin care solutions that have been scientifically proven to be effective. Our ranges are all medical grade products, known as cosmeceuticals, which have ingredients that will work so that you visibly notice and feel the difference in your skin.
We all strive to have healthy looking skin and I feel it is important that you understand what affects the skin ageing process.
The Science behind Ageing
The two main processes involved in skin ageing are:
- Intrinsic ageing – your individual genetic programming, which is beyond your control.
- Extrinsic ageing – the result of external factors such as smoking, pollution, poor nutrition and sun exposure. These are things that can be changed.
There are three easy steps that you can follow to help prevent the signs of ageing:
- sun protection
- the use of antioxidants
- the use of retinoid skin products
Photodamage is caused by ultraviolet radiation in the forms of UVA and UVB. It can occur during direct sunlight or as a result of year round daylight.
UVA penetrates deep into the dermis and damages the skin, even on cloudy days and in the winter. UVA accelerates ageing, causes pigmentation problems and can damage cells leading to skin cancer.
UVB only penetrates the upper epidermal layer, and is more prevalent on sunny days and in the summer. It tans the skin and causes sunburn. UVB is more likely to cause damage to cells leading to skin cancer. It is therefore important to use a sunblock that protects against UVA and UVB and has a SPF of at least 30.
I feel that the most important skin care product to use is a sunblock that has numerous long-term benefits. Not only is it proven to slow down the ageing process so you have less lines and wrinkles, but it also helps prevent pigmentation and most importantly reduces the risk of skin cancers in later life.
Free Radicals are produced in the skin by sunlight, smoking, poor diet, alcohol and pollution. Free radicals attack the skin causing collagen breakdown, loss of elasticity and uneven pigmentation. This all leads to premature ageing and risk of cancerous mutations. Antioxidants make the free radicals harmless.
Antioxidants help prevent the breakdown of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. These are three important structural components that naturally decrease with age and inflammation of the skin.
Antioxidants are available in certain food sources and some anti-ageing topical skin care products. Most vegetables and many fruits contain antioxidants. Green tea is a particularly powerful antioxidant.
Your skin is affected by your diet, and a healthy diet rich in antioxidants will help improve the health of your skin. Often diet is not enough and I recommend that you use an anti-oxidant skincare product at least once daily. When used consistently, they are likely prevent a degree of the extrinsic ageing that occurs as well as improving your skin tone and texture.
The use of antioxidants are essential before certain procedures such as medical skin peels and medical skin needling, as they will enhance the effects of the treatment and reduce complications.
Recommended Skincare Regime
For dry skin types, a moisturiser cream can be added in the morning or a balm at night.
For pigmentation skin problems an Advanced Pigment Corrector can be added to the regime.
Toners and exfoliation products are not needed for most skin types
There are several causes of pigmentation within the skin. At ESS Clinic, we focus our attention on the two main causes – melasma and sun spots. These two conditions can be prevented and treated with skin care products and procedures.
Uneven pigmentation is an extremely common skin complaint and many patients are often distressed because they have tried many products that claim to work but have been ineffective. Pigmentation is always worsened by sunlight, so any pigmentation products should always be used in combination with a sunblock.
Retinoids accelerate the skin’s natural exfoliation process in two ways:
- It increases collagen production, which slows the formation of wrinkles. More collagen means more firmness and structure to the skin.
- It prevents the formation of brown spots as the cells that form the colour cannot keep up with the accelerated cell turnover.
Derived from vitamin A, retinoids may limit oil production, reduce skin oiliness, and prevent acne and pigmentation.
Enlarged pores are formed by blackheads. Blackheads are actually pores clogged with dead skin cells that expand the pore size. Retinoids increase cell renewal, reducing the dead skin cell build up, thereby reducing blackhead formation.
Retinoids can cause redness and flaking. The redness is due to increased blood flow to the skin and the flaking isn’t harmful; it is actually a sign of cell regeneration, which is needed for you to see results. Retinoids actually thicken the skin. Using a moisturiser with an antioxidant can help prevent some of the redness and flaking.
I suggest you start retinoid use slowly. It may take weeks of use before you can tolerate them without experiencing some redness and flaking; however, the long-term benefits are worth it. Retinoids need to be used with care, and I suggest that before starting this treatment you discuss this with one of our team at ESS Clinic, who can provide you with instructions on the best way to use these products.
Dr Rahman has devised a skin care questionnaire to determine skin type and the products required for an effective skin care regime. If you would like a copy of the questionnaire, pop into the clinic or alternatively we can email this to you. Your results will help us to determine the products best suited to your skin. If you would like a questionnaire, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about skin care products please contact the clinic on 0208 989 2004 or email the above email address.