FaceWorkshops Approach to Skincare

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Beautiful skin comes from within and is a delicate balance of a daily skincare routine – skincare products, facial massage and exercise, as well as diet and lifestyle. Great results can be delivered in subtle, step-by-step changes, overtime.

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  • Personalised Skincare Routines. Taking care of our skin is a learnt and ongoing lifestyle choice. Like with exercise, our facial skin benefits from a regular routine that should be bespoke, pleasant and change with the seasons.
  • People come to me for a number of reasons from specific skincare problems to a desire to look younger or less stressed and feel more confident. 
  • My advice is impartial and I am not affiliated to any particular skincare brand. I don’t believe in a radical and quick fix that can go wrong and cannot be reversed. I advocate skincare products with proven efficacy combined with the natural methods of facial yoga and reflexology – to achieve definition and improve the tone of the facial muscles, as well as facial massage. These methods nurture both the mind and body, making people feel more relaxed and their skin look smooth and radiant. 

  • Skincare Products. Skincare routine that reflect age, skin type and concerns, seasonal and hormonal changes, health, lifestyle and budgets and efficient skincare application techniques. I highly respect the healing powers of plants and their benefits in skincare and recommend organic and natural skincare where appropriate. I feel the same about traditional therapies. In the modern fast paced life, return to traditional wisdom is the voice of calm, reason and quality.

“I see the benefits of regular skincare routines every day. Getting the subjective “feel of the product on the skin” right is very important for people to be diligent with their routines but personalised skincare products and traditional therapy can reduce concerns and dramatically improve the way people look and feel.” 

  • Professional Treatments. Professional treatments tailored to specific concerns include cleansing, facial massage, acupressure, exfoliation, comedone extractions, peel or mask application.  
  • Facial Yoga & Relaxation. Facial exercise for gentle facial mobility or intensive focus on specific concerns. 

Sun Protection Revisited

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One of the most frequent questions my clients ask is about SPF. Should they use SPF30? Is SPF 15 fine for a day in the office?

UVA ages, UVB burns. The use of sunscreen every day is essential. 

A little recap for you: Research studies show the importance of consistent, daily use of skincare products with both broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection to help protect skin form the sun ageing effects all year round and help maintain the skins elasticity and firmness. UVA penetrate not only glass but also clouds causing direct damage to collagen and elastin in the dermis. Look out for UVA in your daycare and make-up. 

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SPF protects skin against UVB that causes tanning and burning.

  • The SPF number indicates the ability of a sun protection product to filter out UVB rays.
  • An SPF 15 will filter out approximately 93 % of UVB rays and SPF 30 will filter out around 96 %, SPF 50 should provide a total block. 
  • SPF 30 is recommended for spring/summer period. SPF 50 for warm climates, skiing holidays and the beach. 

A few words about travelling to warm climates and staying safe in the sun.

People focus on the SPF number but probably the more important question is whether they are applying enough of their sun care product and how frequently ?

Last but not least, look after your friends & family and check their spots, moles and blemishes regularly. A new campaign from La Roche-Posay. 

Find out more at www.laroche-posay.co.uk/skinchecker and be sun aware with the British Association of Dermatologists. 

And afterwards..

My column in Hull Daily Mail referring to aftercare after sun exposure (August 2014) HDM aug 2014

Self-Image & The Beauty Industry: Pretty As A Picture?

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Having just finished a column for C&T on consumers’  attitude to image & facial beauty, I have reminded myself about the inspirational work done by Psychologies’ Positive Beauty Manifesto, the workshops run by the Look Good Feel Better Charity and the self-esteem project by CTPA recently. 

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I am also a devotee to TED talks and interested in what Meaghan Ramsey has to say about our society as a part of the Dove Self-Esteem Project.

In my view, skincare is a wonderful tool to help people to look after their bodies – hence my new research study. Dr Mason for CTPA concluded that skincare application and tactile processing aids longevity, recovery & integration back into the society in the elderly.

Sindy Kaur, ex-Boots global trends manager who runs Challenging Perceptions of Beauty, attempts to bridge the gap between real women and the beauty industry. At her recent talk, she confirmed that woman’s emotional connection to skincare is linked to the four stages of her life: Forming, Formed, Transforming, Transformed.

It is always interesting to understand what triggered a make-over..

Attitude to health messages, being self-conscious, desire to fit in, need of approval etc. are dictated by life changing events and how a woman responds to them.

More work needs to be done to help people feel good about themselves. This can be achieved only with the support of forward thinking leaders in academia & the industry, by gaining more understanding of “the face being our business card”, engaging people from young age to positively shape their future and last but not least, in the ever-so-competitive and visual world by being kind to ourselves.

 Published in the Little Summaries 2015 series. 

Can Skincare Application Affect Relaxation?

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A Small Preliminary Trial in Collaboration with Hull University 
I have designed a bespoke, short anti-ageing massage technique to help relaxation. Having recently applied for Yorkshire Innovation Fund supporting small businesses in developing new products, I have been successfully awarded the funding. 
Pre-trial Group, April 2015.
  • A small group of ladies will be helping me finalise the massage technique protocol in April.
  • After filling in a short questionnaire, they will receive a complimentary plain massage oil and a short massage technique instruction sheet.
  • They will be asked to perform the massage once a day at home for 7 days.
  • The purpose of this group is to help me to fine-tune the technique and these people cannot participate in the final trial.
Trial Group: May – June 2015.
  • The participants of the trial will have their brain scanned before and after a month of a daily massage application. Some of them will be used as controls (determined by a draw) without massaging their face.
  • The electroencephalography (EEG) determines brain wave activity in healthy participants, particularly relaxation states. EEG is an established technique, which enables the non-invasive recording of brain activity by measuring the differences in electrical potential on the surface of the scalp.

What to Expect at the Scan

  • Questionnaire (10 mins). To start with, the clinicians will fill in a questionnaire, asking about participant’s health. The team are lovely and will do everything to make feel people at ease – any anxiety can show on the scan.
  • Exclusion criteria. Age over 55. Epilepsy. Heart disease. Parkinson’s disease. 
  • Cap Orientation (15 mins). The head will be measured for cap orientation. There will be a few spots where ultrasound-like gel is applied on the scalp to facilitate the signals. Participants will be expected to have clean washed hair – no hair products e.g. oils or sprays – and remove make-up on the forehead. The tiny amounts of gel that will dry can be combed out easily. There is also a shower available on the premises.

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  • Scanning (20 – 30 mins). Participants will be asked to lie down, sit up, stand, stretch arms and walk – with their eyes opened and closed as well as press a button at specific times.
  • The researchers will record their relaxation patterns focusing on alpha-waves of the brain in particular and compare both hemispheres.
  • If there is anything people are uncomfortable with, the scanning will stop. The same protocol will be repeated at the end of the trial. 

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  • GP contact details. The researchers have an obligation to report to the participant’s GP if they see any abnormal patterns. This is a standard procedure – and hopefully helpful too. People cannot be included in the trial if they are unhappy with this condition.
  • Appointment time approx.  1.30 hrs (please allow 2 hrs)
  • I will be around to guide people into the research room and wait for them – with a cup of tea and cake – afterwards. Thank you for your interest in my research!

Skin Supplements

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Getting ready for my talk on Skincare From Within at the Future for Personal Care and Cosmetics at YCF next week and conducting a survey on skin supplements amongst my clients. Do they really work? Please share your comments below.. http://www.ycf.org.uk/events/whats-the-future-for-personal-care-and-cosmetics

According to the survey, 42 % of my clients use supplements. This is what they think..

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In summary, not too keen on supplements, perhaps not understanding what they can offer.

An opportunity for education and/or better marketing? 

The Transition from Winter to Spring 2015

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I am running the New Year, New You talk on 22 February 2015 @10.30am – 12noon at the Creation Arts Gallery, Beverley.

February is the time of the year when our skin looks tired, dehydrated and lacklustre and feels tight. People with dry and mature skin types suffer most. If having an oily/combination skin type you might experience both oily patches and dryness in specific zones of your face. 

I believe that the weather is the best indicator of how to treat your skin on the day. This is a little Winter Skin Summary of what matters most when the days are still cold:

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With warmer weather and more sunny spells – it was 8 degrees C today – we will embark on a season of intensive peels and exfoliation – be it with beads or alpha-hydroxy acids, manual or electronic brush. In Spring, we will focus on tackling pigmentation, dehydration lines and rough, dry texture. These activities are recommended by Traditional Chinese Medicine in Spring. As the nature awakens, we are encouraged to go outside, dream, eat greens, stretch & be gentle. 

Published in the Little Summaries 2015 series. 

Making Cosmetics 2015

I have been invited to talk at a Cosmetics Exhibition and Conference next month (24-25 March) and will address the delegates at the ‘Concept to Consumer’ themed Making Cosmetics conference at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The conference is designed to encourage suppliers, organisations, experts and brand owners to share best practice for developing cosmetics and for taking them from concept to consumer. I will be sharing the podium with representatives from pharmaceutical giant, GSK, Harley Street Cosmetics and The University of Leeds.

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My seminar is entitled Skincare for Difficult to Treat Skin Types and draws on the work that I do in my Beverley clinic and the scientific papers that I have written on the subject. Running an independent skincare clinic and discussing consumers’ skin concerns daily gives me a unique insight into their needs, values and behaviours.

The overwhelming choice of skincare products on the market is often a source of confusion for consumers with difficult-to-treat skin types. These consumers represent a loyal segment of clientele that – if guided with personalised routines – have finally found the right products that work to alleviate their concerns.

The challenge that I will address is how to diagnose these skin types and address their complex needs and how to develop new products to provide gentle yet efficacious solutions. My work is quite unique, I use my research to inform my clinical practice and in turn my practical experience in the salon shapes my scientific work.

Acne, spots and blemishes are one the top concerns of my adult clients. Their skin types often defy the typical robust “oily skin” as these people report recurring sensitivity in line with their menstrual cycle, stress and travel. 

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The FaceWorkshops Club 2012 – 2014

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Early in 2012, I started the FaceWorkshops Club with a group of ladies who were enthusiastic about skincare. As they were my clients, I understood their skincare needs (ie. knew everything there is to know about their skin, health and lifestyle). The purpose of the club was to define objectively the “skin feel” – and potentially also product efficacy (if given large enough samples). Although the group was small, I was able to discuss and qualify the view of my client. “Beg, Steal or Borrow” became my way of getting the samples – at beauty counters, exhibitions and writing to the manufacturers.

There is an overwhelming choice of skincare on the market. It is true that samples are expensive to manufacture – and therefore often unavailable in the shops. Yet, how do you make informed decisions about buying a more expensive product?

  • Testing it on your hand in the shop is not enough, you need to apply the product on your face.
  • A recommendation from a friend can fail you too – she has a different skin type.
  • A magazine editorial is often written when the company advertise in said magazine. The editor does not know anything about your skin concerns or lifestyle and usually has a little knowledge of skin biology.
  • Further, London based high-flying beauty editors often have very different skincare routines and budgets.
  • Large online databases of 20.000 customers (as well as published Beauty Bible books and online reviews) fail to address stratification – they represent too different groups in terms of skin type (self-assessed) to arrive to a single opinion!
  • Also, online retailers do not publish critique – essential for both the manufacturer and consumers!

FaceWorkshops Club Timeline: Started in January 2012.

In 2014 completed a larger feedback panel for a private niche skincare London based company (a larger group of 20 participants).

Many thanks to the FaceWorkshops Club ladies for their contribution. I hope they had fun discovering new products designed for their skin!

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