Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

The month of May is Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month, and as you can imagine this is always on our radar here at re/skin. Not only do we harp on about the effects of sun in regard to skin functioning and ageing but there is, as I am sure you are already aware a more serious risk to the skin from sun exposure.

85% of melanoma cases are caused by UV exposure.

If you have had a blistering sunburn or just five regular sunburns your risk more than doubles.

Our skin is a regenerating organ which means our skin cells continually reproduce, grow and divide, then shed to become house dust!

Sometimes our cell’s DNA become damaged, this is called a mutation. Because our cells reproduce by mitosis, where replica cells are formed, these mutations are passed onto the new cells that follow. This causes the mutations to spread and proliferate and can eventually lead to skin cancers.

UV rays are responsible for many of the mutations to skin cell DNA, so a good sun protection regime is vital to prevent this. Its important to protect your skin every single day throughout your life, and to avoid over exposure such as laying in the midday sun whilst on holiday or using sunbeds. In fact using a sunbed is 3 times more dangerous than sitting in the natural sun.

When using sun protection it Is important to look for a broad spectrum protection, meaning it filters both UVA and UVB rays. Some sunscreens will just contain UVB filters.

These days many sunscreens will also protect against blue light, this light is also detrimental to the skin and not just emitted by our devices, it comes from the sun too!

Here at re/skin clinic in Sheffield we know how hard it can be to find a sunscreen that you love, and yes, you need to love it or there will be days you just wont apply. That’s why we have over 20 options on our shelves! Do you need helping finding the perfect one??

Drop us an email and we can help you.

To squeeze or not to squeeze, what do we do about spots being squeezed?

To squeeze or not to squeeze, what do we do about spots being squeezed?

Spots being squeezed 

The subject on today’s agenda is acne and spots being squeezed. I get asked if they should be squeezed a lot, and since I’ve done several extractions this week I felt this is a perfect time to give you a little advice on this. 

What do we commonly do with spots? 

I realise the worst thing in the world is having to walk out the door with a great big whopping white head on your face. Not only does it look bad but it can affect your short term mental health, making it hard to enjoy your day. 

So, what’s the alternative. Often it’s spending 10 minutes in front the mirror squeezing the hell out of said white head, removing all the pus with the hope of making it disappear. In truth, all you do is replace the spot with a massive, inflamed weeping crater that is equally as hard to cover up with makeup. 

What causes a spot?

Spots are caused by several factors, including hormones, genetics and the environment. The most common cause is hormones and acne is often the result of too much sebum production in the skin. In simpler terms, acne is when the pores are clogged with oil and dead skin cells. These clogged pores are called blackheads or whiteheads. The bacteria in the skin then produce an inflammatory response which leads to redness, swelling and pus production.  

In regards to spots being squeezed there’s no real medical benefit, but it’s just so hard to not want to squeeze the hell out of them. 

What can we do? 

So, what sort of spots can we get away with squeezing and which ones do we need to leave well alone? 

  1. If the spot is inflamed, red, painful, has no whitehead leave well alone. All you will do is make that area of your face sore and painful to touch. When I’ve squeezed these in the past, I find myself touching and poking it for hours afterwards to see if it’s weeping or still painful.
  2. Small non-inflamed whiteheads are ok to have a quick squeeze. But make sure your going to go for it, get all the pus out. If it becomes inflamed leave it alone. 

The Method 

Ideally, we want to leave them all alone, but I realise this is near impossible for some, even me sometimes! So, here’s a few little tips to help you out if you’re an avid squeezer. 

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly before.
  2. Cleanse the area. 
  3. Wrap tissue around the end of each finger that will be doing the squeezing or use the ends of cotton buds. 
  4. Place fingers either side of the spot, but not too close together. Almost like you are going to squeeze from underneath the spot. 
  5. Gently squeeze, not for too long, don’t cause too much trauma for the skin, DO NOT draw blood. 
  6. If anything comes out remove from the skin immediately. 
  7. If nothing comes out, walk away, it’s not ready and you will cause more issues trying. 
  8. Wipe over or hold a pad on the area with a tonic or product containing salicylic. 
  9. Do not apply makeup to the area for at least 4 hours. 

Point 9 is very important. Most people try to cover up the area immediately with make up. But your adding dirt and grease back into the wound where the spot was, giving it all the ingredients it needs to regrow. 


When it comes to blackheads, and I mean blackheads not sebaceous filaments (see the difference here) using the same methods, however, use your fingers to push down towards the skin rather than together. And again, if it doesn’t come out after a few attempts (a few not several) leave it to a professional.  


If in doubt see a professional, I can guarantee with most, its our favourite part of our job! So, we welcome extractions a plenty. Thank you for reading, and as ever me or anyone at the clinic are here for any advice, just reply with any questions. 

Treating Acne with Nutrition – Video

Treating Acne with Nutrition – Video

Acne is a common skin condotion I see in clinic with around 50% of my clientelle suffering from some degree of acne, be it a long term issue, hormonal breakouts around the ‘time of the month,’ or the more recent ‘Maskne’. Its a condition that can really affect confidence, and leave people feeling really down or stressed about their skin.

A lot of my ladies will say “I’m an adult and I cant beleive I have acne, it’s something that happens to teenagers.” But in fact statitics show that around 80% of adults will suffer with acne at some point in their adult life.

So, yseterday I was lucky enough to be joined live on Instagram by Emilia Papadopoullos. Emilia is a nutritionist specialising in treating acne through nutrition.

Myself and Emilia recently worked together with a client to help her achieve clear skin.

By taking a holistic approach, treating the condition from the inside (Emilia) and from the outside (me) it can really accelerate results.

Press play below to watch the live replay of us discussing the subject.


What Does a Compromised Barrier Look Like?

What Does a Compromised Barrier Look Like?

When we have a compromised barrier function our skin becomes more vulnerable to external attacks from things such as pollution, pathogens, microorganisms, the weather etc. It also loses the ability to hold onto the natural hydration in the skin. This hydration is vital to keeping our skin healthy, inflammation down, and its ability to fight attacks from those external forces. Our overall cellular functioning throughout the skin also requires moisture, and I always find a more hydrated skin is more tolerant to most things especially active skincare.

So what are the symptoms of a compromised barrier function? I have listed these below, this list is by no means exhaustive but these are the most common signs.

  • Skin tightness (constant/after cleansing)
  • Flaking, dehydrated skin
  • Oiliness combined with flaking/tightness
  • Redness or sensitivity
  • Dullness
  • Breakouts
  • Under the skin bumps/spots
  • Premature ageing
  • Dermatitis


I thought it was important to mention this as this process in the skin can be dramatically reduced due to our barrier being disrupted. The process of desquamation is the natural shedding of those old skin cells on the surface of the skin to allow for the cycle of the epidermal cells to keep going. Our epidermal cells start off at the base layer of the epidermis and move up, as they do this they become hardened and more resilient to allow for the protective ability needed at that top layer. Once they have reached the top, a chemical process dissolves the bonds between these cells to allow them to shed off and become house dust. This chemical reaction requires moisture to happen, and if our barrier is impaired we lose that all-important moisture and the desquamation process is affected. This results in our skin looking dull, flaky, and our whole epidermal skin cycle slowing down.

What can impair your barrier function?

You might have read the list above and thought that your skin is experiencing some of the signs of an impaired barrier, but what might be causing it?

Below I have listed a few factors that can cause the skin to become compromised, again this is not an exhaustive list but if you feel you are currently suffering from the symptoms it is always a good idea to get professional advice.

  • Over-exfoliation
  • Incorrect cleansing products
  • Sun damage
  • Pollution
  • Cold weather/wind
  • Hormones
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Diet
  • Dry atmosphere
  • Medication
  • Diet

As you can see there are many elements that can affect the resilience of our skin, and we probably encounter more than one of these on a daily basis. Our skin is designed to cope with a lot and sometimes all that is needed is to maybe just stop using a certain product and leave your skin to repair and rebuild on its own, other times it may need help. I have included a few products below that are my go-to remedies for compromised skin. But remember this is a general recommendation and without a skin assessment you won’t get individual advice.

Dermaviduals DMS Cleansing Milk

I see so many compromised skins due to incorrect cleansing products used, so your cleanser is the foundation of your skincare regime and a big player in the integrity of your barrier. The Dermaviduals cleanser is gentle, effectively removes makeup and impurities without negatively affecting the skin. There is nothing in this cleanser that the skin doesn’t recognize or that can upset the protective element of the skin.

skin omegas skin clinic SheffieldSkin Omegas

Our skins natural lipids are made up of these essential fatty acids, so adding these supplements into your diet will help keep those lipid levels high and your lipid bilayer making up the skins barrier function nice and strong.



BUYONIK seal skin treatments SheffieldByonik Supreme Seal

This product is a must for repairing barrier disruption. Containing a high content of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol that make up our barrier lipids. It reduces that water loss and restructures the skin’s barrier. It’s also a great product for healing conditions such as eczema and dermatitis.



BYONIK concur cream - facial treatments SheffieldByonik Concur Cream

Another product full of those essential lipids, the Byonik anti-pollution Concur cream Contains repairing, healing, and hydrating actives as well as the powerful anti-ageing peptide Matrixyl Synthe 6 promoting the production of collagen, elastin and the all important Hyaluronic acid for hydration.


These are just a few of my recommendations for compromised skin, but my advice is to always see a professional that can give you individual recommendations for your skin and investigate why your skin is behaving the way it is.

To make an appointment to see myself please click here, I offer virtual consultations during lockdown or for anyone that cannot get into clinic to see me. If you are interested in purchasing any of the recommendations above please email me here.

Thank you for reading

Rebecca x

Are those black dots on your nose really blackheads???

Are those black dots on your nose really blackheads???

Are those black dots on your nose really blackheads???

The quick answer is probably not.

A couple of nights ago I posted a photo on my Instagram of a client’s sebaceous filaments on her nose before and after extractions and asked whether people knew that these weren’t blackheads. I got an astounding response asking to know why they weren’t blackheads. This is a familiar confusion I get on a regular basis with clients wanting to “get rid of the blackheads” on their nose.

So let me tell you a little something about those ‘blackheads’ on your nose…they are not blackheads, they are in fact sebaceous filaments.

And here’s the difference:

Sebaceous Filaments

The nose is one of the places on the face that usually produces the highest levels of oil (sebum). Over time these pores become more enlarged due to the constant production of the sebum and the slow degradation of the skin’s structure reducing the ability to keep them tight. For example, if you look at a child’s nose you won’t see a visible pore, this is because their adolescent hormones haven’t kicked in to start producing higher levels of oils and their collagen is probably the best its ever going to be keeping those pores so tight they are invisible!

Our pores produce sebum as part of the protective acid mantle and to help keep the microbiome healthy, this sebum flows out of the pore onto the skin’s surface. When the sebum reaches the opening of the pore it becomes oxidised and changes from creamy colour to dark grey-black. This is where the mistake in thinking they are blackheads happens.


The technical name for blackheads is open comedones. These can be found anywhere on the face but are usually spread out or maybe just a random one here or there. These are a blockage of the pore/follicle and are caused by a build-up of sebum and skin cells within it. The black colour of them again comes from the oxidisation. If you run your finger across a blackhead you can sometimes feel a slight lump under the skin and these are usually bigger than a sebaceous filament.

So that is the difference between the two, but I know what your next question will be…how do I get rid of them?

So blackheads we can extract and hope they don’t return, this will require actives within the skincare such as salicylic acid or mandelic (always seek advice). But sebaceous filaments, like I said are pores that have a constant flow of sebum from them, they are a natural part of a healthy skins functioning. Also, pores are not doors, so you cant open and close them. What can help improve their appearance is using actives to help control sebum production, such as Retinol, and trying to improve the structure of the skin to tighten them a little…but they will never disappear (this is a good thing).

If you need help with any issues regarding large pores, blackheads or any other concern please get in touch. Even if you are not local to me I can still help virtually. To contact me please either email me here or my book online to see me in clinic or a virtual consultation here.

Thanks for reading.

Rebecca x

Are you suffering from ‘Maskne’?

Are you suffering from ‘Maskne’?

So over the past couple of months under lockdown, I have had a few people get in touch that are working either on the front line or in a place of work where they need to wear a face mask. The issue a lot of these people are getting is their skin is breaking out. Even if they aren’t prone to spots, some have never had a spot in their life but the constant wearing of these face masks are causing them to get consistent breakouts.

The condition that is being caused by these masks is what we call acne mechanica. This type of acne is caused by the friction and heat from wearing the mask for long periods of time, even if you are not prone to acne or have an existing condition. If you are wearing make-up under the mask this can exacerbate the condition causing the pores to clog up even further. If your skins natural barrier function is compromised this may cause you to be more prone to having this condition. The condition presents as papules or pustules and may even progress to the more severe cysts that are a characteristic of grade 5 acne.

To treat acne mechanica, our first approach would obviously be removing the trigger, which in this case would be the face mask. This is not possible in most cases at the minute and may not be for many months or even years to come if you are working within the NHS. Many people may reach for the harsh acne fighting products, but this is likely to cause more irritation and impair the barrier function further.

My approach here will be initially to repair and support the barrier function and work on reducing the infection. I would start slow and gently to not cause any further irritation from skincare that is too active if you have a busy skincare regime you may need to step it back a little. A gentle cleanser that is going to cleanse the skin effectively yet support the barrier function, remember we don’t want a squeaky clean feeling from our cleanser, this is an indication of dehydration and a compromised skin.  A hydrating non-comedogenic moisturiser, I always recommend Dermaviduals, their approach in treating the skin via the principle of corneotherapy is perfect for this skin condition. My go-to acid would be a low % salicylic acid initially; this is an oil-soluble acid that will gently clear out the pores and help to reduce any inflammation.

Avoid wearing make-up at times when wearing the face mask, this will just add to the clogged pores and make the ‘Maskne’ worse. Changing your mask frequently will also benefit the skin, once the mask gets damp this is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Once you have finished your shift or period of wearing a mask, give your skin a good cleanse to remove any bacteria or excess skin cells hanging around.

I hope if you are reading this and suffering from ‘Maskne’ you found it useful, if you feel you need a little more support and advice on your skin please don’t hesitate to get in touch. My online consultations are free until the 4thJuly and you can book one here, we can discuss your skin concerns and get you on the road to beautiful skin!

Treating Dehydration

Treating Dehydration

In my previous post, I discussed that the most common reason for dehydration was a compromised barrier function. So initially this is what we want to focus on and restore. Once the barrier has been restored the skin will be able to hold the moisture within the skin and prevent trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).

Most people will go straight to products containing Hyaluronic acid to solve dehydration but this alone will not be enough.

The first thing to look at is your cleanser. These can be the main culprits, especially in clients with oily or acne skins. I find these clients tend to be after that squeaky clean feeling, but this tight, clean feeling we get after cleansing can be a sign of dehydration. Our cleansers need to be gentle but effective, not stripping, and maintain the skins natural PH. If your cleanser is giving you the tight feeling then its time to change!

Exfoliation is also a biggy. How often, what type, and the strength of your exfoliant is important to get right. Exfoliation and acids are a big thing at the minute with some skincare brands focusing on just that. However, if we go back to the barrier function we don’t want to overdo it and take off those layers that are part of that lipid bilayer within the stratum corneum. Exfoliation advice is as individual as you are so speak to your skincare professional who will advise you on how much your skin needs.

Hyaluronic acid is usually the go-to for dehydrated skin. However, don’t rely solely on this products to solve all your problems. In fact, in some cases, it can make those problems worse. Don’t get me wrong I love HA but under some circumstances, it’s not my immediate go-to active. HA is a humectant, which means it draws moisture in from where it can. This is great if you’re living in a humid environment, but if you’re sat at home or in an office with central heating or air-con, these create a dry environment. In these conditions what HA will do is draw up the moisture from the dermis into the epidermis, and that then maybe evaporated out of the surface with the rest of the moisture.

If we get our barrier function nice and strong and our environment isn’t too dry (turn down that thermostat) Then this active will definitely be on the list as a hydrator. HA can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water,  so get the above right and your skin will not only thank you but look dewy, fresh and plump all at the same time.

Avoiding occlusive products. Our skin needs a certain level of trans epidermal water loss (but not too much) to allow for more to be produced in the lower layers. If we use creams that are too occlusive this creates a barrier for that TEWL and our skin stop producing its own levels of moisture.

Diet. We can get extra moisture within our diet but this may not necessarily reach your skin. So up your water intake, it’s not the most effective way to hydrate your skin but what it will do is help drain out those toxins from the body and create healthier skin. It is also important to include the essential fatty acids within the diet, oily fish, avocado, nuts etc. all contain these or get extra through supplements. These EFA are components of our lipid bilayer, which makes up our barrier function.

Avoid any foods that will cause inflammation, and this may vary from person to person. But higher levels of inflammation can have an impact on how our body and skin functions. It can impact on barrier function, the natural production of hyaluronic acid, and how each and every cell in the skin functions.

So as you can see automatically reaching for the Hyaluronic acid will not solve all your problems when it comes to dehydration, it’s a case of combining all of the above to get you results.

Are you feeling dehydrated? or not sure what’s happening with your skin, and need help? I am offering FREE online consultations during lockdown so click here to book and we can get you on the track to hydrated, healthy, happy skin

Are you Dehydrated?

Are you Dehydrated?

Dehydration is one of the most common conditions I see in my clinic. I would say 95% of new clients that come in to see me display varying degrees of dehydrated skin.

This condition can sometimes be confused with dry skin, but it is very different. Dry skin, I normally refer to as Lipid Dry skin, is a skin ‘type’ rather than a condition. So you would have been born with dry skin and it is usually genetic. A lipid dry skin is a skin lacking in the right levels of lipids and secretions (sebum). Dehydrated skin is a skin lacking in moisture. You can be both lipid dry and dehydrated or in fact any skin type, for example, oily skin can be dehydrated. Dehydration is a condition, which, the good news is it can be resolved

How does a dehydrated skin look?

The appearance of dehydrated skin is normally a dull, lacklustre complexion that can feel rough to touch. It is also common to get a tight feeling once you have cleansed like you need to apply your moisturiser to relieve it. So dehydrated skins can have an issue with closed comedones, small spots that lie under the skin. This can be due to the fact that the skins natural desquamation (shedding) process has become sluggish due to the low levels of moisture. The chemical reaction that happens within the skin to allow those top layers of skin cells to shed and become house dust needs moisture to happen.

The most common reason our skin can get dehydrated is due to a compromised barrier function. When our barrier is compromised it is incapable of doing one of its main functions; keeping the moisture within our skin. This moisture loss is referred to as trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) and even though we need a certain amount of TEWL to keep the cycle of the skin producing moisture going when we lose too much the skin can’t keep up in making enough to replace what is lost.

Reasons we may get a compromised barrier function

  • Harsh/unsuitable cleanser
  • Over exfoliation
  • Environment e.g. central heating
  • Inflammation
  • Medication/illness
  • Menopause
  • Using occlusive products

It is important to correct dehydration as left to prolong can go on to cause further issues, such as sensitive, reactive skin, further inflammation, congestion and even premature ageing. In my next blog, I am going to discuss how we can treat dehydration, but in the meantime, if you are reading this and it sounds familiar you may be suffering from dehydrated skin, a consultation with myself would confirm this. My online consultations are free of charge whilst on lockdown so click here to book yours today!

April is Rosacea Awareness Month

April is Rosacea Awareness Month

What happens in a Rosacea skin?

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition and is defined as facial erythema. This normally presents on the central face area and can display as diffused redness, telangiectasia (visible capillaries) with a blue undertone, small bumps and pustules and in extreme cases Rhinophyma (bulbous nose).

Our bodies have an innate immune system that kicks in the defence mechanisms when needed. In rosacea skins this immune system can be in a constant state of high alert, so the slightest thing can trigger the inflammatory response. Imagine an overly sensitive car alarm that goes off when someone walks past it.

Rosacea skins also have problems turning off the inflammatory response. The specialised enzyme responsible for turning off this response in normal skins doesn’t always happen in the skin with this condition. Therefore the skin is in a constant state of inflammation. Over time this can affect our barrier function making it compromised and the skin even more reactive and sensitive, so exasperating the condition.


Symptoms of Rosacea:

  • Persistent redness
  • Telangiectasia (visible capillaries)
  • Skin feeling hot to touch * Red, bumpy appearance, sometimes shiny
  • Sore and sensitive skin

Rosacea Triggers

So with Rosacea being an inflammatory skin condition, anything that causes inflammation or vasodilation within the body, or further compromises our barrier function can increase the skin’s reactivity or cause a flare-up of the condition.

Here are a few of the common aggravating factors that can cause the skin to worsen. Note: all skins are different and what aggravates one rosacea skin may not aggravate another so below ore just examples of common factors.

  • Hot foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Exercise
  • Sun exposure
  • Changes in temperature (hot-cold)
  • Saunas
  • Incorrect skincare
  • Stress

A lot of these factors are stimulants that either causes inflammation or vasodilation of the blood vessels. Add a few of these factors into a skin that is already super sensitive can cause it to flare up.

I always recommend keeping a skin diary to record everything you have eaten that day, what environment you have been in, what your mood/stress levels are, and how your skin has been that day. This way we can pinpoint anything that stands out as causing a ‘bad skin day’ and remove from your diet or lifestyle if possible. There’s is no point in trying to treat the skin from the outside if there are still many aggravating factors happening from the inside.

Rosacea Treatments

There is no definite cure for Rosacea but it can be managed. Most of the management of the symptoms will be down to you at home, but of course under my guidance and I am always here for my clients to be able to get in touch if they need me.

The following points will help you manage the condition

  1. Know your triggers- this will usually involve a skin diary to record your eating, lifestyle, mood, and environment, and to make a note of how your skin has behaved the day. This allows us to work out any triggers and aggravating factors.
  2. Skincare – With this, we will work on a seal before we heal principle. The barrier function will be the focus initially and working on restoring this with your home care, this will reduce any unnecessary sensitivity that may be making the condition worse.
  3. Take it slow- this applies to the skincare regime. So I will not be prescribing you a full regime to start with it will just consist of a couple of products that we can then add to as the skin shows us it can tolerate those. This way it makes it easier to identify what active your skin doesn’t like.
  4. Sunscreen???? so in normal cases, sunscreen will be a staple product in your skincare regime. However, I have seen in some Rosacea clients that the sunscreens can sometimes irritate the skin exasperating the condition. I might not always start you on sunscreen until your skin is showing signs of improvement and this might then just be a trial to see if it can tolerate it.
  5. Try to act early- don’t leave the condition to get severe before seeking out help.
  6. Treatments- LED is one of the most effective treatments on the market for this condition. It helps to strengthen, calm, reduce inflammation and increase hydration.
  7. IMPORTANT – Be patient. This is a condition that is constantly unpredictable. It can be a case of trial and error as every skin and every rosacea skin is different. Listen to your skin, treat it with care, be consistent but patient. Results don’t come overnight, and it is more important in rosacea skins than any other that we work progressively to try and make a change.

If you are dealing with any of the symptoms above and would like some help in managing the condition, get in touch. My online consultations will help me understand your skin in order to create you a skin regime to manage your symptoms, Click here to book yours.

And once we can all get back to work it would be lovely to see you in clinic for a full skin analysis.

Rebecca x

Frequently Asked Questions…

Frequently Asked Questions…

Frequently Asked Questions…

So we are in self Isolation due to Covid-19 and I thought I’d asked on my Instagram Stories for any questions relating to skin and skincare. If clients can’t come to me then I can still help virtually. Here are some of the questions I got asked:

  1. My skin feels really tight once I have cleansed, why is this?

This is a sign that your skin may be suffering from dehydration. I would normally have a look at the cleanser you are using, as this can be the culprit. Many cleansers can be too harsh for the skin and disrupt the delicate barrier function and acid mantle so resulting in the skin becoming compromised. Once the barrier function is compromised we get something called Trans Epidermal Water Loss, where we lose the natural moisture levels within our skin as they escape through the compromised barrier.

If our skin is dehydrated this has a knock-on effect to all the skins functioning. All cellular functions within the skin need moisture to happen, so if we are lacking then our skin is not functioning to the best of its ability. This can eventually result in issues such as sensitivity, reactive, inflammation, problematic skin and premature ageing.

To remedy this see a skincare professional that can advise on how you can restore your barrier function and hydration levels.

2. I have always thought I am an oily skin type but I get flakey patches too, does this mean I’m dry?

It is really important to know your real skin type to be able to treat and use products correctly, so a skin care professional can help with this. However, if you are an oily skin type but are getting dry, flakey patches on the skin this again can be a result of dehydration. Our skins natural desquamation process (shedding) needs moisture to happen. If our skin is lacking in moisture the chemical reaction that takes place when those top layers of the Stratum Corneum (top layer of the epidermis)are ready to shed will not be able to effectively break those bonds between the skin cells allowing them to come off. A result of this would be old tired skin cells still hanging on to the surface of the stratum corneum causing flakey patches and a dull appearance to the skin.

3. I have always had problematic skin (acne), I have tried everything, will my skin ever get any better?

The majority of acne is caused by hormones, it can usually be managed and improved but it may never completely go. I see many clients with this problem and there are usually underlying issues. A common one is stress, this can increase the level of hormones that are connected to our sebaceous activity. I recently wrote a blog on psychology and the skin which talks about this issue click here to read.

What I do see with clients that have problematic skin is their skincare regime is usually all wrong for their skin type which is exacerbating the acne condition, so once we get them on the right products they start seeing improvements pretty quickly.

4. I get little bumps/spots under my skin what can I do for these?

Without analysing the skin it’s a difficult one but it does sound like the skin is crying out for a little exfoliation. Sometimes when our skin doesn’t desquamate itself very well it needs a little help. There may be a blockage of skin cells within the pores that are causing this bumpy rough texture. Feeding our skin with extra hydrating products also will help keep the skin working and functioning well, including that natural shedding process that has probably become sluggish.

5. Should I exfoliate my skin at home, if so what should I use?

This is a great question at a time when I am seeing so many skins over exfoliated. The frequency that you should exfoliate is individual to your skin type and condition, but there are not many clients that I tell to exfoliate daily, however, I see this happening a lot.

The best types of exfoliators are AHA or BHA exfoliators, my favourite being Lactic Acid or Salicylic for more oily skin types. The way these acids work is by mimicking the chemical reaction that happens in our skin to desquamate our skin cells, this encourages that process and gently removes those old skin cells to reveal younger fresher cells of the Stratum Corneum.

If you are a lipid dry skin then I would recommend Enzyme exfoliators. Unlike AHA’s these do not break those bonds to release the cells, instead, they act like a Pac Man across the skin’s surface munching on any excess skin cells that are past their desquamation date. Lipid dry skins have a tendency to have a compromised barrier function and be quite fine and delicate. So we want to keep that Stratum Corneum intact and with a good thickness to maximise its ability to protect.