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SAVE or SPEND REVIEW: Aldi Cuvee 2016 Advent Calendar

By |2018-01-18T16:17:43+00:00October 10th, 2016|FaceWorkshops, FACEWORKSHOPS CLUB, Facial Ageing, Product Reviews, Skin Concerns|

We ran a small perception study on the 2016 Aldi Cuvee Royal Advent Calendar, which features 24 skincare treats for the month of December. The calendar contains a mix of 'mini-treatment ampules' for all skin types, including acne-prone and oily skin. Given the age and skin types of my participants, we tested 3 different ampules - hydrating, lifting and bi-phasic rejuvenating ampule with retinol - each for two consecutive nights.  This was an independent study and the participants were unaware of any clinical results or packaging; they were evaluating “skin feel” and ampule application only.  Age and skin type of participants below, all Caucasian and based in Yorkshire. In Summary Ampules are new to the British consumer. They work great when used seasonally, for a specific outcome. The measured-out dose is perceived as a benefit, yet it is clear the liquid formulas should be mixed with a night moisturiser [or an evening oil]. As the Aldi Calendar contains high-tech active ingredients, the actives in the night moisturiser have to be compatible with the ampules [the combination with the Aldi Cuvee moisturisers should work well]. The calendar offers a route to personalisation, however, it caters for too many different skin types at once, without detailed instructions. RRP 19.99 GBP SPEND. Ideal for combination skin types [with oily T-zone and dry U-zone] aged

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Effective Skincare [Without the Price Tag]

By |2017-01-07T17:03:18+00:00October 10th, 2016|FaceWorkshops, Facial Ageing, Facial Massage, Skin Concerns, Skincare Shopping|

There is more to an effective skincare routine than expensive products! I come across women who are devoted to expensive skincare brands, yet with little visible result to their skin, and others who do wonders on a shoe string. There are parallels with food - buying quality raw ingredients is only the start to creating a delicious meal. It is the tips and tricks of the application, smart combinations of the ingredients, understanding your skin, lifestyle and seasons - and regular therapy that can make a noticeable difference to your face. My clients who get the best results do the following:  Cherish their skincare products [like expensive perfume] Use skincare products to their best potential Have regular facial treatments  Adopt a holistic approach incorporating advice on relaxation, diet and facial exercise into their skincare routine. They ask me to recommend the best products [to a budget and across all brands] and edit their skincare routines regularly to achieve results. I like to talk to an engaged audience who are truly interested in 'properly' looking after their skin with efficacious products & treatments. This goes beyond the brand story; reading the ingredient list and looking at the scientific evidence is essential. "I feel I am worth it and don’t hesitate to spend on myself.  If women are very busy focusing on work & family, they don’t

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The Golden Touch: Evidence Base for Self-Massage [SPC, Oct 2016]

By |2016-12-06T21:22:15+00:00October 5th, 2016|FaceWorkshops, Facial Massage, Skin Concerns, Wellbeing|

Innovation in Skincare A review of evidence-based self-massage techniques and their physiological benefits - specific modes of massage deliver tailored effects.     Working with Brands to enhance their efficacy with scientifically substantiated claims. Link to the Publication: http://www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/technical/article_page/Can_massage_boost_skin_care_efficacy/122180      

SAVE or SPEND REVIEW: Aldi Cuvee Moisturisers

By |2016-12-06T21:14:19+00:00September 30th, 2016|FaceWorkshops, Product Reviews, Skincare Shopping|

Skin Feel Perception Study, summer 2016 We ran a small perception study on the 2016 Cuvee moisturisers. This was an independent study [not funded by Aldi or any other 3rd party]. Please note that Aldi have independent data on improvement of skin parameters. The participants were unaware of this as well as the packaging; they were only evaluating "skin feel".  The age and skin types of my participants are below - they are a group of skincare connoisseurs - enjoying a spectrum of brands - natural, professional, medical to prestige. All based in Yorkshire, Caucasian and like a bargain too! Connotations: The Neck Mousse KS: Good connotations [with the limitation of any mass-market offering]. The British are yet to learn to use neck creams. This product might be an introduction..  The product texture is right for hydration of the neck area. Different skin types respond differently - for some too rich, for others not enough but the product absorbs well and that is important. Recommended for all skin types aged 45 +. Great gift for your mother or aunt. SPEND [FOR YOURSELF AND THE FAMILY]. I loved the neck cream, it did make a difference.  "I felt I was using something nourishing. It felt good on my skin, silky, creamy, even like an "expensive" product." I am not sure without any packaging but feel

SAVE or SPEND REVIEW: Aldi Special Buys Skincare 2016

By |2016-12-06T21:09:22+00:00September 27th, 2016|FaceWorkshops, Product Reviews, Skincare Shopping|

In the clinic, I favour skincare product purchases that can be a) repeated and b) returned and refunded in case of sensitisation. I also appreciate a brand portfolio which allows for creating skin-type-specific skincare routines. However, the mass-market Aldi Special Buys can be a good one-off purchase or a gift; and some will make it back to the all-time portfolio.   Me-too brands copy an existing brand, either a luxury brand e.g. La Prairie or the multinationals e.g. Nivea, L'Oreal. Aldi Special Buys generate wonderful momentum and a surge of emotion that appeals to bargain hunters - as does having a pre-order waiting lists [see Olay, Aurelia etc.], a specific launch date and a limited number of products that can be bought on the day.  Hand-picked from the NEW Launches [October 2016]: Cuvee. I am not in favour of all Aldi products, however, I believe that the Cuvee 2016 range is good for the price you are paying. We have run a small trial on the perception of the two creams within the Cuvee range - day/night moisturiser and the neck cream. They also have independent clinical data to support their claims.  Caviar Mask. My clients like the new lifting mask. It is a great pre-party pick-me up [although not for very sensitive skin types]!  Last but not least, the Christmas Calendar

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Skin Supplements: Acne/Rosacea, Anti-ageing

By |2016-11-17T14:47:17+00:00September 19th, 2016|Aesthetic Rules & Beauty, Cosmetic Procedures, Facial Ageing, Skin Concerns, Wellbeing|

My clinical experience with supplements to improve skin health is empirical. I work in an affluent area of East Yorkshire, yet the number of my clients that are: a) dedicated enough to adjust their lifestyle and food choices and  b) able to invest in a skin supplement are limited. They get results when compliant. Having reviewed the impact of diet on acne (link to the publication), I strongly believe diet has an impact on inflammatory skin conditions - and clinically I see an improvement when my clients stick to these dietary recommendations every day. In terms of supplements, I used to recommend Oenobiol  Pure Skin (no longer available) and any probiotics with diverse bacterial species, however, Symprove has proven to work best for my clients. Symprove is a water-based multi-strain supplement that contains 4 unique strains of live activated bacteria, they have trialled the supplement at UCL. The strains include:  L. rhamnosus, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, and L. plantarum. Normally a healthy gut would already contain all four of these, however when it doesn’t, it can soon become unbalanced.  In my view, the gut in inflammatory skin conditions is unbalanced. My hypothesis agrees with Whitney P Bowe, et al. Gut Pathog. 2011;3:1-1. Psychological stress alone [or in combination with high fat diet and/or processed comfort foods devoid of fiber] cause alterations to

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Skin Sensation & Sebum Profiling

By |2016-11-30T08:57:13+00:00August 19th, 2016|FaceWorkshops|

Market research experts ask frequently "What sensations do consumers look for in a moisturiser and why?".. What "feels good" to a consumer is driven by biology. Skin feel of a moisturiser depends on skin type - yet skin type is subjective to a consumer. Oily skin types find most moisturisers to "feel heavy or sticky", whilst mature and dry skin types cannot "find rich enough" moisturiser on the market. Sebum production seems to define the dry to oily spectrum at large - yet point-of-care sebum quantification & profiling have not been given enough of attention to date.  Sebum, hydration and skin barrier function differ, depending on ethnic group and age. It is both the amount of sebum as well as its content that affect skin condition [and facilitate skin feel]. US AFRICAN AMERICANS. African American women produce more sebum than Caucasian women. When looking at the sebum profile, wax esters are the class of lipids significantly higher in African American women [non polar, long, highly hydrophobic molecules that act as a barrier against excessive hydration or dehydration]. This correlates with better skin hydration, barrier function and probably also "oilier skin feel" in this ethnic group. BRITISH CAUCASIANS. Sebum has a moisturizing or conditioning effect on any skin type. In general, oilier skin types seem to have better skin barrier

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French Women’s Attitudes to Ageing

By |2016-12-07T10:22:34+00:00July 29th, 2016|Aesthetic Rules & Beauty, FaceWorkshops, Facial Ageing, Skin Concerns|

  One thousand French women took part in the beauty survey - let's look at their views on attitudes toward beauty and ageing (perceptions of internal and external age) and concerns about skin ageing and “preventative” measures employed (lifestyle choices and skin care). The research shows that the majority of women become aware of facial ageing in their mid-30s, when fine lines appear and they feel looking tired. This survey captures the views of French women - it would be interesting to identify cultural variations in Britain. Attitudes towards beauty. Younger faces are considered to be more attractive than older faces - with older female faces being the least appealing. Skin condition - in particular colour and texture - is an important indicator of youth, health, and physical attractiveness. The peak of beauty was judged at an average age of 36 years. Nevertheless, 92% also thought it was possible to grow old “beautifully” - the main factors for facial beauty were a natural look, self-confidence, and attractive skin. Nearly 80% of women feel younger, and believe themselves to look younger, than their true age. As women reach their mid-30s, a gap starts to develop between the age they feel inside [internal age] and the age reflected by their faces [external age] - even though they

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The Proof IS In The Mirror

By |2016-12-09T09:28:04+00:00July 13th, 2016|Aesthetic Rules & Beauty, Facial Ageing, Skin Concerns, Skincare Research|

My recent column in Cosmetics & Toiletries looks into skin diagnostics and the way we judge the efficacy of our skincare products at home. Living in the digital world of self-scrutiny - and “on-display” - through social media further fuels consumers’ expectations. Smart beauty devices are becoming reality as the “quantified-self trend” grows with the number of sensors available to monitor our body vital signs. Are you using any of the at-home diagnostic devices or online apps that can assess your skin status and/or track the progression of your skin concerns over time?  

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SAVE OR SPEND REVIEW: Sophisticated Skincare [without the price tag]

By |2017-01-07T17:12:37+00:00May 17th, 2016|Facial Ageing, Product Reviews, Skin Concerns, Skincare Shopping, Skincare Tips, Wellbeing|

I encourage my clients to aim high in terms of their skincare products. To treat themselves to NICE skin feel & scent as well as interesting & effective active ingredients, good for their skin type.. It is important to establish a pleasant skincare routine that changes with seasons; a sophisticated skincare routine – ideally without the price tag. I advise my clients to be savvy and scrutinise the commercial sites for discounts & bargains (FeelUnique, SpaceNK, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, Time to Spa, even Amazon) and also visit TkMaxx, Boots, Holland&Barrett for skincare and “skin health” supplements or shop with the organic MyShowcase. Good skincare can be found in unexpected places – last year’s Aldi Caviar Peel was a great product for a fraction of the high-street price.

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