Ever wanted to sit down and have a conversation with woman who works in the cosmetic industry about her thoughts about what women of our age might want to think about for our skin…I did just that with Sally a few weeks ago…….
Sally Lomax is a registered nurse who has worked in the cosmetic surgical/medical industry for almost 30 years. Sally is one of the cosmetic nurse practitioners at the Cosmedical Clinic whose treatments include – Hyaluronic acid fillers, muscle relaxants, chemical peels, skincare, micro-needling (including radio-frequency) and laser.
My main concern is preparing the skin for anything further a patient may be considering. This could include skin needling, laser or surgical intervention such as a facelift.
Having been in the industry as long as I have you learn about all the pitfalls involved and how to approach treatments more conservatively.
ME; If you were in our demographic and you were doing something to your skin for the first time what would you suggest.
Sally: In our age group- anything from mid fifties onwards –I like to introduce women to what I call active skin products if they are not already using them. My go to vitamins in the active range are A,B and C – these are my big loves. I always suggest someone starts on some sort of Retinol or Retinoid product. This is Vitamin A which is a chemical exfoliant and converts to retinoic acid when applied to the skin which encourages new collagen formation. So generally I encourage woman to start off with a relatively gentle product, and we love Exfol A from the Aspect Doctor range or if I feel they need something a little stronger, after consultation with one of our doctors, I will suggest a compounding chemist formula (RetinA} that is prescription only. This is used only at night and could possibly cause some redness and peeling initially. This product causes sensitivity to the sun so I always emphasise using a good sunscreen 30-50+ SPF.
ME : What would that do to your skin?
Sally : It gradually peels of the superficial keratotic layer of the skin known as the stratum corneum. Anyone who has not used an active skin product in the past will probably have a relatively thick layer of stratum corneum. The idea is to start peeling it off the superficial layers to get the collagen fibres firing and the epidermis constantly turning over. Your skin will look pinker and healthier almost within days.
ME: If they only did that….then?
Sally: I always prefer to commence anyone in their 50s or more who has not been using “active” products on a skincare regime. I really feel strongly about preparing your skin before starting anything more invasive such as fillers and muscle relaxants as the skin will then respond better once that “horny” layer of skin has been softened.
ME. So for people who don’t mind their wrinkles their skin is going to look better.
Sally : Yes the skin is going to look much improved, even after 3 weeks. It does takes about 3 months for any product to make a real difference. Many women will start a product and after 3 weeks say it hasn’t made a difference. They need to be encouraged to continue using their products for at least three months and those who are compliant will get the best results.
If there are other issues such as heavy eyelids or deep frown lines(looking constantly tired or angry), they can choose to have muscle relaxants. With other facial lines such as the “sucked lemon” look or vertical lines on the cheeks, they may decide to try temporary fillers (hyaluronic acid) The fear that many woman have is that they will end up with a “trout pout” or big “chipmunk” cheeks but if treated conservatively this will not happen.
As you get older you need to be a little more subtle when you are dealing with that age group so that when someone looks at you they cant tell you’ve had something done. You’ve just got to do it very gradually and not scare people.
People don’t want to look different I think that’s the thing they fear most. My idea is to keep it natural, minimal.
ME: By a skincare range what do you mean by that?
Sally: All patients skin types and lifestyles need to be carefully considered before starting a skincare regimen and this I covered previously with retinoic acid and the Aspect Dr range.
I am a great believer in some form of Retinol in every womans skincare. As well I have found a relatively new range which I’ve been using for a year now called Hydroskin which I find is ideal for my age group – the late 50s. It has active products in it such as Vitamin B3 and B5 as well as a pure form of Hyaluronic acid with mini HA particles to allow for better penetration. The range also has a product called Kakadu Plum serum which has the highest source of Vitamin C available. So good you could pop some under your tongue as a Vit C supplement! I love the Hydroskin range as it seems to provide the nourishment and moisture that the ageing skin requires.
My clients are generally word of mouth as we don’t do a lot of advertising at Cosmedical Clinic. We have a website and we do some social media but generally I have a long term, loyal client base who have been coming to me for years and are happy to refer friends and colleagues. These clients know that I wont do any aggressive treatments that may scare them off. They more often that not will trust me to just give them a treatment plan to follow.
I guess I have been in the industry for long enough to know how to approach clients and to guage whether they are going to follow a slightly more complicated regimen or to just keep it simple. You’ve just got to get it right and that’s really what I’ve become good at and with my past experience working as an operating theatre nurse with a reasonably good knowledge of facial anatomy, I tend to be fairly cautious about indiscriminately poking needles into faces!
Word of mouth is really the best form of referral in my opinion. We have a professional but warm and friendly atmosphere here. Patients don’t walk in thinking they are going to be paying for the expensive fit out. They find they will be given good honest advice, professional treatment and I feel my conservative approach is another attraction.
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