A guide to skin care Dr Justine Hextall FRCP Consultant Dermatologist
Tackling skin textural changes
One of the most common complaints we have from individuals from their 30’s onwards is that they feel their skin looks dull, pores are more prominent and their skin has an uneven tone, often with areas of pigmentation.
There is much that can be done to help this. Firstly we start with diet and skin care regime . If you are dehydrated, not having a healthy diet with sufficient fruit and vegetables you will notice this reflected in skin.
Skin care regime is so important and technology has moved on significantly in this area. Topical vitamins and antioxidants will protect skin from everyday stresses that are difficult to avoid such as UV exposure, pollution amongst others can be mitigated against with topical active treatments, particularly at night when our skin regenerates. During the day I advocate a high factor sun cream preferably with antioxidants that can mitigate against damage caused by UVB and UVA and also longer wavelengths that we now know affect our collagen and elastin.
Once I am happy that we have a healthy skin care regime, I may suggest corrective treatments such as microneedling. This is a type of treatment that uses small needles to cause tiny punctures in the skin. These small contact points encourage the body to create a wound healing response and renew the skin cells. As your skin repairs, the production of collagen and elastin is triggered to give an almost immediate plumping effect. It can also help tackle other skin damage such as scarring, dark marks, sun damage and ageing. We use a Dermapen device that can penetrate at different levels in the skin. By using different depth needles we can ensure that the collagen is reached at different depths of your skin from the delicate skin around the eyes to the firmer skin of your mid-face. We combine this treatment with hyaluronic acid and anti-oxidants to give you that glow. We recommend a course of 3 treatments.
How do you define combination skin?
Combination skin is in my view skin that has areas that could be described as oily in combination with drier areas. In fact due to the distribution of the oil secreting (sebaceous) glands of our face we all have combination skin to some degree. In some individuals I feel that skin care regime causes areas of dryness and sensitivity, hence the term combination. It is very tempting to use heavy, often alcohol based cleansers when oiliness is a concern. The issue with this is that the skin barrier can become unbalanced and become inflamed, dry and in fact often produce more oil in areas to compensate . This may be referred to as ‘combination skin‘ when in fact it is unbalanced skin as a result of the wrong skin care regime.