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
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
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?
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.
Long, sound and refreshing sleep for facial beauty Much of beauty is based on scientific advances, particularly in skincare. The Sleep Report (2014) compiled by This Works (and brought to my attention by Sunday Times) quotes research from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reporting that "an adequate nights sleep helps make a person look more attractive". The report makes for an interesting read. I experience first hand how lack of sleep (or even interrupted sleep) affects the skin - anxiety and fatigue can make even the face of a young woman look drawn and prematurely aged. Sleeping on one side promoting sleep lines? The quality of sleep matters but also which side of the face people sleep on makes a difference - leading to sagging and "sleep lines" discussed in previous blog. Or does it? My SCS colleague, Daniel Whitby from Cornelius highlighted a recent US study (2013) stating that "sleep side preference was not significantly correlated with the appearance of wrinkles or sagging". The participant cohort included 41 right-sided and 23 left-sided female sleepers in Michigan. My clinical experience concurs with previous study (1999; carried out in Miami and confirming the initial work by Dr. Samuel J. Stegman on sleep creases) that lines are truly more pronounced on the sleeping side. Searching for solutions, recent research (2015) offers a review of this area and promotes sleeping
Specific anti-ageing technologies should be targeting different facial zones and ageing features. Technologies on my wish list are new, clinically relevant and evidence-based yet accessible (distribution channel and price) for my clients. The appearance of facial skin depends on the quality of many different tissues - bone structure, muscles, sub-dermal deposits of fat, dermal and epidermal layers as well as perfusion and lymphatic drainage - that differ in distinct facial zones. In Caucasians, research into which ageing signs matter most has confirmed that nine features correlate the most with perceived age (Oriflame research in Russian women aged 40 +): wrinkles in the upper part of the face (crow's feet, glabellar (frown), under-eye and forehead wrinkles) wrinkles in the lower half of the face (upper lip, nasolabial fold) sagging of the jawline (in the aged 41 to 65 years) severity of hyper pigmented spots - red and brown (although to a lesser extent) Anti-ageing solutions specifically targeting these features have to entail: lifestyle changes (bad mimic habits - impacting on frown and lip lines, smoking - lip lines & skin quality e.g. acne, inadequate sleep and nutrition - sleep lines & skin quality e.g. tired, dull complexion ) daily facial yoga, self-massage and regular professional face massage with or without rollers (for increased perfusion and lymphatic drainage, alignment,
Medical students are taught that half of the facts they learn are not true - we just don't know which half. Some of our most widely believed medical facts are based on almost no evidence at all. Is being slightly overweight (with BMI 25 - 30) healthier? Health weight range is not based on solid evidence (e.g. a significant study undertaken on many thousands of people or several such studies) with clearly defined basic categories i.e. BMI greater than 30 [Body mass Index; the ratio of body weight to the square of body height (kg/m2)]. Meta-analysis, is usually the holy grain of medical research, to provide the definitive answer to a scientific question. When the WHO (World Health Organisation) experts gathered to define obesity, BMI 30 has been chosen arbitrarily. Yet, obesity in middle age can reduce the risk of a person developing dementia later in life; to be overweight may well be healthier than to have normal weight. People who are considered overweight, with BMI 25 - 30, live longer. If methods of defining cut-off points in healthcare are largely arbitrary, it come as no surprise when the health definitions do not stand up to scrutiny.* In the ageing face, intuitively extra weight seems to add plumpness to the facial structures temporarily but research shows that thicker subcutaneous fat layer is
To understand if you are doing the best for your facial skin, answer YES/NO to the following questions: Skin Type Do you understand your skin type, concerns and prognosis (ie. how your ageing will progress)? Skincare & Facial Massage @ Home You are happy with your skincare routine? Do you like your skincare product formulations (textures/ fragrance)? Do you know specific techniques to apply your skincare in different facial zones? Do you massage your face at home? Do you practice personalised Rolling & Acupressure? Do you practice Facial Yoga? Do you look forward to using your skincare products twice a day ? Do you have realistic expectations regarding the efficacy of your skincare? Seasonal and Hormonal Changes Do you have a personalised winter and summer routine? Do you understand how to prevent concerns arising from travelling and hormonal cycles? Health & Lifestyle Do you understand the impact of your specific health issues (e.g. quality of sleep, allergies, medication) on your skin? Do you understand how your lifestyle (e.g. suntanning, smoking, alcohol, diet, water intake, exercise, relaxation, family support) affects your skin? Professional Treatments Do you have regular professional treatments that complement your care @home - be that every 2, 4 or 6 weeks? Wrinkles, Emotions and Facial Expressions Draw your concerns e.g. frown lines, laughter lines, pigmentation
The American Beauty - Attitude to Skincare Seeking perfection or looking after their appearance as best they can. It is about society pressure and money. Or is it? Funding - Private insurance in the US usually includes dermatology. And that certainly helps in finding time and motivation for your monthly facial massage and peel, even if a small co-payment is required. Looking good = Being successful - Everybody around you looks after their skin (and teeth). American skincare staples, like Neutrogena and Origins, are popular, as is the daily exfoliating facial wash. Diligence counts. Looking good is important - it is a part of the self-made American dream. Ingrained since childhood American good skincare habits start early - teenagers with acne often feel self-conscious. Media, eg. the Dash magazine, target girls in their early teens and make them think seriously about their skin and skincare. Many thanks to CMR for an interesting discussion about the importance of skincare across the Atlantic.
My research at Hull University looks at emotional impact of skin disease, in particular, acne. In my clinical practice I see all spectrum of acne - from a few spots on the chin to scarring and pigmentation after being treated for a year or so and discharged by a dermatologist. I understand the impact acne/spots/blemishes have on my clients' private lives. Skin - Stress - Emotions. Already 20 years ago, it was suggested that skin could form a channel of communication for unexpressed feelings (Koblenzer, 1983) and nowadays research shows that skin disease and emotional lability may be connected. Arnetz, et al. (1991) lists the psychosocial stressors that are related to onset/relapse of acne - these include marriage, divorce, bereavement, excess of minor life-events and multiple daily hassles. New line of dermatology research seeks to reduce stress in skin diseases. Already Hughes, et al. (1983) found that relaxation with cognitive imagery and physical treatment produced significantly greater reduction in facial acne (compared to a matched physical treatment alone). Furthermore, patients who failed to continue with the psychological therapies experienced a relapse. Acceptance in the Society. The desire to appear attractive goes beyond the sexual domain - attractive people have advantages in the society (Etcoff, 1999). Attractiveness is related to social approval and