Feeling Your Way Through Skincare

By |2020-04-17T14:34:08+01:00April 16th, 2020|Facial Massage, Skincare Tips, Uncategorised, Wellbeing|

I have been quiet of late – with social media overwhelmed with the virus emergency and beauty experts offering elaborate skincare facial tutorials and workouts as self-care, these can feel like an additional chore – I feel I have a different contribution to make to help you look after your facial complexion. In 10 years of my scientific writing, some things never change: that is the daily routines ‘evoking the right emotion’. The French have skincare rituals to feel alluring, dignified and alive; these are also physiologically right for the fragile self-renewing top layer of our body. In the current difficult times when emotions such as fear, grief, loneliness, lack of joy and a great deal of uncertainty are running high, we often guard ourselves ‘against people’ and retreat in defence. These stressful internal battles show up as aggravated skin conditions; my clients have reported flares in eczema and acne, making them aware of and obsessing over the visibility of blemishes. As we are instructed not to touch our faces and to repetitively over-wash our hands, we have also learnt to obsessively monitor our environment to avoid viral infection. No caring contact, we are keeping our distance – just the opposite to what we, as humans, physiologically crave (need) and what sustains

The Science of Massage for Different Skin Types

By |2019-03-18T19:58:54+00:00March 18th, 2019|Facial Ageing, Uncategorised, Wellbeing|

Merck, as a large personal care ingredients manufacturer, aim to be at the forefront of innovation, debating scientific topics that are relevant and on trend. Their annual forum brings together primarily scientists from the German-speaking world carrying out research in microbiome, pollution and, in my case, touch. It is a privilege to be invited to Darmstadt, Germany, this Wednesday, to share my clinical expertise in a talk about “The Science of Massage for Different Skin Types”. We understand that sensory properties of skincare products – the texture, scent and skin feel – enhance the perceived wellbeing that results from their use. When developing new products, it is therefore important to understand how an individual’s skin type, age and ethnicity can affect their experience. Different application touch techniques can impact skin biology in different ways and this is where the science of massage is relevant. For example, the slow and deep techniques relax the brain, bring in more blood flow and stretch the collagen, producing dermal fibroblasts, collagen-making cells that get less active with ageing which leads to skin thinning, more wrinkles and sagging. By contrast, the light touch techniques refresh and drain the superficial lymphatic system, something which our bodies do less effectively as we get older, causing puffiness and sagging. Evidence-based

Conversation About Facial Oils with India Knight

By |2017-04-14T09:52:35+01:00January 4th, 2017|FaceWorkshops, Facial Ageing, Facial Massage, Skincare Tips, Wellbeing|

I read India Knight's Sunday Times Style column with interest and, secretly, have a conversation with her every time she publishes a piece on facial skincare. The Strike Oil article on 1st January caught my eye.  Introducing the world of facials that can make an actual, immediate and noticeable difference to your appearance and improve your complexion overtime to the general public is a great message. Only one in four women in Britain has a regular facial, and usually not by a highly trained facialist. Also highlighting the expertise of London-based celebrity facialists, with magic hands and a range of tools from massage, peels to resurfacing and stimulating devices is fabulous. As India notes, super-facialists aren't cheap and have waiting lists. But not every super-facialist lives in London, there are a handfull living outside of the capital who also bring "power facials" and "face gym" hands-on skills and expertise; East Yorkshire, in my case.  Glowing, healthy skin requires more than a monthly facial, it is an at-home routine. Super-facialists have their own range of products that you can buy to use at home; they may not be cheap, but they work. India has faith in their expertise and likes the pared-down simplicity of Amanda Lacey's range. Praising her Oils of Provence luxurious face oil [lavender, sage, ramose, eucalyptus, bois de rose] for oily skin, India

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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      

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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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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Beauty Sleep: Beneficial or Damaging?

By |2016-12-07T09:56:06+00:00March 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

FaceWorkshops Case Study: Body Shop Facial Workout

By |2016-12-07T11:39:16+00:00February 28th, 2016|FACEWORKSHOPS CLUB, Facial Massage, Wellbeing|

In our February FaceWorkshops MiniCase Study, we tried the new Body Shop facial massage. I did not have many volunteers for this routine, therefore only two - however, very comprehensive views - below. REVITALISING DANCE FACIAL WORKOUT  The participants cleansed with their own cleansers, then used a few drops of their plant oil and worked with the video routine from Step 3. They applied their own moisturiser as the last step. Participant A's Comments: The Positives NEW STROKE TYPES. I really like the stroke across the for head using two fingers from each hand. I also like the first stroke using the fingers across the chin - it's very similar to the motion used by Su Mann in her massage which I really enjoy. After that it's hard to add anything else.. SHORT. It's a very short program designed for someone who had little time or inclination to put a lot of effort into their massage. EFFICACY? Indeed I felt as if I might as well have just massaged the oil into my skin (dry to mature skin type) using a circular motion it seemed so short. Participant B's Comments: YOUNGER AUDIENCE. I think this video is probably aimed at a younger audience. It reminded me of a teenage  girl singing into her hairbrush in front of the

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Consumer Attitudes & Beauty Trends [SCS RGNorth]

By |2016-12-07T09:57:00+00:00February 25th, 2016|Skincare Shopping, Society of Cosmetic Scientists, Wellbeing|

Canadean are a market research company looking at beauty market value and trends.  The Western European market is worth 69.2 bn, with 0.3 % forecast growth (2014 - 2019). The growth is slow, almost stagnating due to brands being established; it is a saturated market.  Emerging markets, in particular Asia and Middle East, differ in their attitudes to beauty.  LOOKS MATTER. 3/4 of people in the world believe their looks are important, being a part of a visual culture. This belief is higher in the emerging compared to the mature markets. Culturally, they connect personal appearance with professional and personal success. IN FOCUS. Digital culture is exacerbating the pressure on people to "look good" - digitising the society means we no longer have to be in the same room to make a judgement. There is a pressure to "look your best all the time". Smart phones, apps, tablets - technology facilitates digital engagement and supports this trend. ASPIRATIONS & SELF-IMAGE. Emerging consumers are highly aspirational and 41 % believe their disposable income is increasing. They are likely to be spending more money on buying better quality beauty products within the next 12 months. WEALTH & STATUS. The quest for status is growing, 73 % agree that enhancing social recognition and status is important in creating a feeling

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