Founder of Quinn Clinics and with thousands of cosmetic procedures performed to date, Dr John Quinn shares important advice on skincare, which will complement and make the most of your cosmetic treatment regime.
What is “skincare”?
This is a really good question. Many of us spend large amounts of money on so called “moisturisers”, hoping to delay or reverse the signs of ageing. In fact there is little or no evidence for most of the products commercially available. Spending large amounts of money on cosmetic skin creams is pretty much a waste of time; at least in terms of making you look younger.
What do I need to think about?
Prevention of Damage
The most important thing that skincare can do for you is block the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation from daily exposure to sunlight. These uv rays are present even if the sun is obscured by cloud. Your morning skincare MUST contain a sun protection factor, ideally SPF 20+.
Vitamin C is well known as for it’s antioxidant properties. In stable formulation it has been shown to prevent photo damage to the skin.
In terms of evidence based topical agents ie skin creams shown by medical research to help fight the signs of skin ageing, the most widely studied are vitamin A based retinoids.
Tretinoin is an acne cream available on prescription at a number of different strengths that has proven effects on sun damaged skin. There is also evidence to suggest that a less irritating vitamin A derivative, adapalene can be effective.
Melasma is a common disorder of pigmentation which usually affects women of child bearing age. It leads to irregular brown patches on the face. It tends to be driven by oestrogen and precipitated by starting on the contraceptive pill or pregnancy.
A number of topical agents can be helpful in treatment. These include kojic acid and prescription only agents such as hydroquinone and azelaic acid.
What are the possible side effects?
Apart from a rare risk of allergy there are no side effects to over the counter creams. Prescription based creams carry a risk of skin irritation and most should not be used during pregnancy.
What is right for me?
Everybody has different issues with their skin. At Quinn Clinics in Bristol we stock a number of different skincare brands and can advise you on the best approach for you. These brands include Agera, Obagi and Skinceuticals.
We often combine a prescribed skin care regime with medical microdermabrasion and/or superficial skin peels.