As children we are taught that beauty is only skin deep, to never judge a book by it’s cover and to look further than what you can see. And while we go through life baring these pearls of wisdom in mind there is no denying that we work equally as hard (or maybe harder) to nourish our superficial layers so that our skin is as beautiful as the soul that’s underneath.
In the UK alone skincare is worth a staggering $17 billion, and even if you think you’re not caught up by the industry, if you own any kind of facial soap, you are! So why are we all so obsessed with having perfectly clear complexions when in reality there are so few people that do? We all get blemishes and blackheads from time to time but lets be real here…although we’ve been taught that beauty comes from within it’s also the facial preferences that affect our social exchanges, our romantic relationships, platonic relationships and possibly our career paths.
I don’t know who my skincare influencer was in my childhood. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my mother due to the fact she swore by cleansing her face with only olive oil from the kitchen and giving it a good rub in circular motions with the rough side of a towel to exfoliate. And while I can now understand the method behind her madness, this skincare routine would have been highly embarrassing to admit to your school friends, especially when they were using the ‘IT’ brands from their own mother cosmetic cupboard. Usually something like Clinque, Clarins or Dior. Although eventually when I got my first job and could afford luxury skincare I did subdue and invest in these lotion and potions, before hand one of my best friends and I used to use TREsemme shampoo to take off our make up – it did a great job of stripping our oh so greasy T-zones and drying out the teenage zits we used to inherit from late nights and binge drinking sugary cocktails, AKA vodka and 3 different types of tropical fruit juices. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is i’ve found skincare that is in-between drugstore debris and beauty products marketed for the emperor when out buying his new clothes.
The basic rules when I was growing up was to clean, tone and moisturise That was the information my generation got. I had teenage magazines with weekly top tips and agony aunts dishing out advice on skincare products which was mostly Clean and Clear products. I am so happy that today we have access to real information on key ingredients to help with inflammation and breakouts. One of my favourite portals of information is The Skincare Bible by Dr Anjali Mahto, Consultant Dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic in London. Her skincare suggestions have helped my skin stay clear and kept my bank balance clear from debt by confirming that more often than not the extra pennies spent on skincare are going towards the pretty packaging and clever marketing.
The products i’ve tried, tested and taken to my bedroom with me are La Roche Posay effaclar gel wash, moisturiser and sun protection, along with The Ordinary’s Ascorbic Acid 8% +Alpha Arbutin 2% and Reserveratrol 3% +Ferulic Acid 3%. All AM and PM. I’ll definitely be getting more of The Ordinary products but I wanted to introduce them gradually into my skincare regime.
These at home skincare products do a great job brightening and protecting the superficial layers of my skin but I am a skincare junkie and a few times a year I treat myself to a professional skin treatment such as a chemical peel- an appropriate place to shell out on skincare.
So this is where I introduce Juta, Medical Aesthetician at 23MD. Juta is one of the most intelligent and confident aestheticians I have met and luckily for me didn’t take any of my ‘more is more’ instructions when I lay back on the beauty bed. This month I had a mandelic acid peel, one of the milder professional strengths. The molecules in the mandelic peel are larger than others meaning that it is less penetrating and irritating to the skin, yet it is still highly effective on correcting imperfections, reducing the appearance of pores and manifestations of acne, and my personal favourite…. keeps you looking young. Really it gives your skin a much needed MOT (click here for more skincare topics).
I immediately looked fresh faced and my skin was radiating a bright and healthy glow after my peel with Juta. This beautiful glow generally lasts for 3 days before the treated area starts to peel. This is completey normal of course. Your skin is reacting to the acids and creating a new cell turn over, leaving your face with newer, fresher skin. It’s worth noting that if you’re a beginner to aesthetic treatments it’s a good idea to start with a gentle peel but book a course of 3 over 2-3 months so that your skin will become more tolerant and if needed, work your way up to stronger peels. Your therapist will advise you on the best course of action for your specific needs.
To make the most of my post-peel luminosity and a rejuvenating shine I try to have a chemical peel on Friday’s. Once I made a massive mistake of having a peel that was slightly stronger than anticipated and was peeling so badly that by the weekend I looked like a Cadbury’s chocolate Flake that had gone white and mouldy. It was seriously embarrassing and the worst part about it was I had to cancel a really hot date and he never asked me out again. I’m so thankful for Juta as she had taken in everything that I mentioned in my consultation. She was able to analyse and execute a bespoke chemical peel treatment to combine my specific skin concerns, my problematic as well as my sensitive areas and protected my face from peeling aggressively when I told her about my fear of flakey pastry skin.
Juta, a beautiful person, inside and out, acted as my fairy godmother, waived her aesthetic wand and gave me a complexion clearer than a glass slipper.