Is good skin care on your New Year's resolutions list? See our Drs top tips for the New Year

HSE Doctors

It’s New Year resolution time! See what our skincare gurus recommend.

It’s that time of year again when we starting thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight, quit smoking and look after yourself better are often high on the list, but have you considered adding a good skincare regime to the list? After all, your skin is your body’s largest organ and if it looks good – so do you.

We spoke to some of Harley Street Emporium’s skincare guru’s to see that they recommend as must do’s for the New Year.

Harley Street Dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting, says:

  • Demand more of your skin. Decide that 2018 is going to be a year for getting to the root of complexion issues and that you’re not just going to hide behind make-up. Seek out quality help – this will often make economic sense in the long run. And the improvement in self-esteem from the knowledge that going bare-faced is an option? Priceless.
  • Clean up after class: As more and more women switch from gym-going to attending barrecore and pilates classes, the traditional post work-out shower can get skipped. When sweat lingers on the skin it can trigger breakouts and folliculitis in awkward places like thighs and buttocks. So make sure to wear natural fibre work-out gear which wicks the sweat away from the skin, use an antiseptic wipe (like Murad Clarifying Wipes) to swipe face, chest and back and change into a clean t-shirt. Then shower as soon as the opportunity arises. A product like Dermol 500, which is both moisturising and antibacterial can be really helpful.
  • Pay attention to your hands. They get exposed to the elements, they are in and out of water and as a consequence can age more rapidly than any other site on the body. Get into the habit of wearing sunscreen on them daily (a moisturising formulation will double as handcream) and rub any residual anti-ageing products onto the backs of hands, rather than the palms.
  • Don’t neglect your neck (or décolletage, for that matter). Everything should match from the face down to the chest so the same rules apply here, in terms of sunscreen use, topical antioxidants and skin barrier support.
  • Get rational about your skincare: No-one needs 15 different products on the go at any one time. Invest wisely in high-quality leave-on products that have proven active ingredients and save on smart, economic buys that don’t have to cost the earth. Splurge on: a good-quality vitamin C serum will benefit the complexion of most.

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Like Dr Bunting,  Dr Ruhul Amin, co-founder and Medical Director of Rejuvence Clinic in East London say investing in products with effective, active ingredients is a must.

His practice focuses solely on cosmetic procedures and he laments that many products on the market for anti-aging “are useless and do not deliver. This is usually because their active ingredient is ineffective, too low in concentration or too large a molecule to penetrate the skin.”

But he says there are “a core group of essential components that have been scientifically shown in multiple studies to have beneficial effects.”

These include glycolic acid, retinols (vitamin A), and Vitamin C  and as such he swears by the following 3 things:


  • Go Glycolic and get that make up off: Use a good cleanser containing glycolic acid every night. You need to get all the makeup off, I mean every little bit of makeup off! Unfortunately, many people are not good at cleansing the skin. Bits of makeup clog the skin pores.   A good cleanser with glycolic acid exfoliates the dead skin cells and encourages skin renewal so your skin looks refresh and healthy.
  • Retinol every night: this helps stimulate the skin into producing collagen & speed cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth the skin, so less wrinkles Retinol benefits both the upper and deeper layers of the skin. It repairs damaged cells, improves natural hydration as well increase skin thickness. In the deeper layers retinol increases collagen and elastin as well as hyaluronic acid.

Tip: The higher the strength of retinol, the more impressive are its effects. However, if you aren’t used to it can cause tingling, dryness, peeling  in the initial stages and redness that requires a few weeks to get used. Starting on a lower strength and using it every second or third night until your skin can tolerate it are ways you can reduce these effects. And remember, always use a sunscreen if you are using retinol products.

  • Vitamin C serum for the daytime: Vitamin C is ultimate skin-brightening & anti-oxidant serum.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant that slows the rate of free-radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage collagen and cause skin dryness, fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C has been shown to counteract that and can help with collagen production and decreasing pigmentation as well.


Dr Christine Or is an award-winning aesthetic doctor and founder of Dr. Christine Medical Aesthetics based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Her top tips for 2018 are:


  • Never leave home without Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen (at least SPF 30) every day throughout the year, even on cloudy and rainy days as damaging UV rays can penetrate through cloud. They can also penetrate glass, so even if you work in an office or drive a car, you still need to protect your skin daily. Make it part of your daily morning skincare routine to add in a sunscreen to prevent potential skin cancers and slow the ageing process in the skin….and don’t forget to put some on your hands too!
  • Clean your screen: Avoid putting your mobile phone to your face. Not only do mobile phones release radiation and blue light which is said to cause premature wrinkles, bacteria from the phone can cause breakouts and the warmth from the phone can cause pigmentation spot to develop in the skin. Use antioxidants such as vitamin C serums, to combat the effects of blue light and radiation and use hands-free devices such as headsets.


Tip: A good tip is to give your mobile phone a clean with an antibacterial wipe every day too if you want to avoid breakouts!




Justine Hextall, consultant dermatologist and medical director of the Tarrant Street Clinic in Arundel in West Sussex suggests:

  • Sort out your sensitive skin. In my view it is not sensitive skin, but sensitised skin. It is cleansers that strip skin that start to damage the skin barrier, over- exfoliating and not keeping skin suitably hydrated that starts to cause skin barrier issue and dryness, redness sensitivity. Find a good skin care regime that keeps skin calm, hydrated and hopefully glowing
  • Eat anti-oxidant rich fruit and veggies: Anti-oxidants help protect against all that free radical damage from pollution, stress, UV exposure. In addition to starting with a good vitamin C that is stable and effective and applied daily, there is no substitute for a healthy diet with fruit and vegetables to boost the our anti-oxidants. Think berries such as blueberries, black grapes, pomegranates etc. If you are tempted by an oral anti-oxidant supplement look for resveretrol and anthocyanins amongst others.
  • Stop smoking: Not only will this be the most important health step you will ever make but it will save your skin. Smoking both wipes out important vitamins such as vitamin C  – our natural anti-oxidant –  it  also up regulates enzymes that breakdown collagen and elastin.
  • Think about gut health- pre and probiotics: If you have developed skin issues such as Rosacea,  or your acne has got worse, consider gut symptoms. Quite often when I see an individual with worsening skin I notice in the history it has followed a period of illness where high dose antibiotics have been used. I have seen others who have had bowel surgery and suddenly have terrible Rosacea. I always address this and talk about probiotic supplements and pre-biotic foods that can encourage the natural gut flora such as garlic, leeks, onions etc. I like the probiotic Symprove that has trials to support it. It is worth considering
  • Exercise: We know that this boosts the body’s natural anti-oxidants and is so important for cardiac health, and also boosts our mental health. Just start, get some trainers on and walk out of the house, a regular brisk walk has enormous benefits. I believe that exercising helps us to make healthier dietary choices. Sugar should be avoided if you want to protect your collagen, as we know that through a mechanism called glycation, collagen is damaged by spikes in sugar. So, make a resolution to go for that walk at lunchtime and avoid that quick fix chocolate bar!

That’s plenty of food for thought. May this year be your year to shine!


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