Home/Skincare Research

M&S Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream Review

By | 2018-07-12T21:28:38+00:00 January 19th, 2017|Product Reviews, Skincare Research, Skincare Shopping|

The UK skincare market is price conscious and focused on feel-good textures. At times, the 'feel' can only be achieved by adding non-natural, texture forming ingredients within the manufacturing process. There is nothing wrong with that but the feel of the product does not ensure that it contains only ingredients that benefit the skin. What the skin needs is products made by companies that prioritise the quality of ingredients above other factors [e.g. Neal's Yard Remedies], yet we must recognise that focus may lead to a compromise on the 'feel' of the product.  The secret is to blend the best quality ingredients to both optimise your skin condition and achieve great "skin feel". I would always encourage you to read the ingredient list. I want to refer back to India Knights column on Sunday [15.1.2017] musing about the M&S Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream, £22 [50 ml]. So let's have a look together: M&S use comforting words like intuitive, luxurious, created with expertise, very best of formula.. "Part of the luxurious formula absolute skin care solutions range which features proven active ingredients to fight 10 signs of ageing. Formula skincare is created with more than 20 years of expertise with results proven by real women. Proven to tackle 10 signs of ageing, absolute offers. The very best of formula skincare. Luxurious textures designed to be layered into

Visible Results, Relevant to Consumers

By | 2017-01-07T17:05:51+00:00 November 28th, 2016|Facial Ageing, Facial Yoga, Skincare Research|

In their recent paper on Evolutionary Psychology of Physical Attraction and the Role of Skin Condition in Perception of Beauty published by the IFSCC magazine, the authors have quantified the visible difference in perception of skin colour and surface topography: In the forehead and the peri-orbital area, the study participants were able to detect as low as a 20% change in skin surface topography.  In terms of skin colour distribution, a smoothing of inhomogeneity as low as 25% has a significant effect on facial heath perception. Visible signs of facial ageing impact on how attractive we appear to others. Since 2007, Procter & Gamble have invested into facial attractiveness research that demonstrates that uneven skin coloration - as well as lines and wrinkles - matter in our perception of our facial age and attractiveness! Whilst lines & wrinkles code for age, colour relates to perceived health of the individual. Whilst uneven coloration matters, forehead lines and wrinkles are the top concern of my clients. Managing their expectations in terms of discernible results deliverable by their skincare routine is essential. The research paper by Samson et al [2010] relates to their age group, ethnicity [and severity scale of the concerns] : Perception and noticeability of skin surface topography was studied by computer manipulation of six facial images of British women, aged 45–65 years. All

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The Proof IS In The Mirror

By | 2016-12-09T09:28:04+00:00 July 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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Beauty Sleep: Beneficial or Damaging?

By | 2016-12-07T09:56:06+00:00 March 9th, 2016|Facial Ageing, Skin Concerns, Skincare Research, Society of Cosmetic Scientists, Wellbeing|

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

Facial Therapy: Zone & Season Specific

By | 2016-12-07T15:05:11+00:00 March 7th, 2016|FaceWorkshops, Facial Ageing, Facial Massage, Facial Yoga, Skin Concerns, Skincare Research|

  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,

Your Face: My Personal and Professional Journey

By | 2016-12-06T21:33:11+00:00 October 10th, 2015|FaceWorkshops, Facial Ageing, Facial Massage, Facial Yoga, Skincare Research|

People’s faces interest me – they convey so much about our nature, feelings and life experiences! The nostalgic weather in mid November always reminds me of the days, when the Berlin Wall came down and the Velvet Revolution took place. I was at my first year at University studying biochemistry. Born in a small town in southern Bohemia, biology and plants in skincare always fascinated me and, like any girl at that age, I wanted to have a clear, glowing skin. The Czechs have a strong tradition of herbal remedies and spa therapy – not many people know that the London facialist, Eve Lom, as well as the “10 Years Younger” Channel 4 celebrity surgeon, Jan Stanek, are also Czech. In my second year of University, the government opened a new route to professional qualification for people who had A-levels, so I qualified as a Beauty Therapist. I loved it and had about 20 clients till I graduated in 1994. My MSc was in self-tanning of the skin and had fun experimenting with facial self-tan. During my studies, I was fortunate enough to work for Shiseido in Japan and later for La Prairie in Switzerland. I found travelling the world amazing! The Asian cultures place a great emphasis on skincare and youth – my stay in Japan in particular was

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FaceWorkshops Autumn & Winter Skincare Events 2015/2016

By | 2016-12-01T11:00:38+00:00 June 8th, 2015|In the Media, Skincare Research|

Days for your diary if interested to learn more about new facial skincare products and techniques. I am giving a talk at these local & national events. 2015  September 16 Sep 2015 - Speaking at The BEAUTY SYMPOSIUM, London Olympia 21 Sep 2015 - Speaking at Professional Beauty, Manchester October 21 October 2015 - Beverley Christmas Lights - Charity Event "An evening of beauty tips for winter including skincare routines across brands with best anti-ageing ingredients, facial yoga and relaxation, make-up and hair styling for the festive season" Facial Yoga with Candle Light - Monday night on 2nd November. 2016 27 January 2016 - Speaking at Cafe Scientifique, Beverley 12 - 14 March 2016 - Speaking at Face & Body Show Midwest, Chicago, USA Please follow this blog for updates. 

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Ageing in Figures

By | 2016-12-07T09:31:36+00:00 May 19th, 2012|Facial Ageing, Skin Concerns, Skincare Research|

According to Unilever research, these are the factors that bring about good ageing in 40 - 70 years old women. In China Less sun exposure - 2.9 years younger Working indoors - 6.5 years younger Pre-menopause - 3.5 years younger Frequent use of moisturiser - 2.4 years younger Frequent use of night cream - 2.4 years younger In Spain Eating fruit and veg every day - 2.1 years younger Healthy diet - 1.8 years younger Never using a sunbed - 5.7 years younger Ever used HRT - 2.5 years younger Frequent use of moisturiser - 2.8 years younger Non smoker - 1.8 years younger Falling asleep quickly - 2.5 years younger Also in my practice - healthy lifestyle, lots of sleep and a good skincare routine accounts for 80 % of success in delaying skin ageing.

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Aqueous Cream Bad For Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis

By | 2016-12-07T09:22:33+00:00 November 9th, 2011|Skincare Research|

Research carried out by Procter&Gamble and London School of Pharmacy shows that Aqueous Cream prescribed by many GPs is bad for eczema and atopic dermatitis. Aqueous cream BP contains sodium layrul sulphate, a known irritant, that should not to be used on damaged skin! Aqueous Cream BP is frequently prescribed for patients with eczema and is known to induce sensitivity in certain patients and also to decrease the thickness of the stratum corneum (SC).  The aim of the present study was to investigate changes in corneocyte size, corneocyte maturity, selected protease activities, protein content and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in normal forearm skin after a 28-day twice daily application of Aqueous Cream BP. Results indicate that corneocyte maturity and size decreased with increasing number of tape strips, and were significantly lower in treated sites compared with untreated sites. Protease activity and TEWL values were higher (P < 0·05) for the treated sites compared with untreated sites. The amount of protein removed from deeper layers of treated sites was significantly lower than from untreated sites. Treatment with Aqueous Cream BP is associated with increased desquamatory and inflammatory protease activity. in corneocyte maturity and size are also indicative of accelerated skin turnover induced by chronic application of this emollient. These findings question firmly the

The Facts Behind Skin Absorption

By | 2016-12-07T09:26:19+00:00 November 9th, 2011|Skincare Research|

@ Skin Forum Professor Hadgraft, an expert in transdermal absorption at the London School of Pharmacy,  is getting increasingly frustrated with false statements in womens' and life style magazines and web sites. NOT TRUE. "The skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs 70% of the topically applied products!" These statements are often substantiated by references to experiments on rodent or rabbit skin which are totally inappropriate. Other discussion members add that: These articles are written in response to new product launches and become no more that an advertising opportunity. The journalists are bedazzled by the hype presented by marketing. If scientists were to contribute to the information packs then these false statements would never have seen the light of day. The Facts Behind Skin Absorption The skin possesses an outer layer, stratum corneum, which is a very impressive barrier. Stratum corneum is about one sixth the thickness of a piece of paper but stops us losing excessive water because of its unique structure. The stratum corneum has a structure of a brick wall, the skin cells - keratinocytes - are the bricks. If the bricks are bigger, the path any active ingredient has to go through when penetrating into the skin is longer, if smaller, the path is shorter.

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