Words by Sara Darling
Even though beauty salons have started to reopen, finding an available time slot is still proving tricky for some. With lockdowns and mask-wearing having played havoc on our faces, a professional fix is just what’s needed, and you will be reassured to find out that you can keep your skin in check from the comfort of your own home.
With the whole world and his wife communicating on Zoom and Whatsapp, why not get a facial consultation too? I jumped on the bandwagon and arranged an appointment with one of my favourite cosmetic and NHS doctors, Dr Ahmed El Muntasar.
Bearing in mind you are speaking across the miles, a facial on the phone needs to be frank, and honest. Expect to share your products, routine, and concerns throughout the call, and no topic is too taboo. To be honest, it was kind of like therapy as Dr Ahmed is so approachable. Whether you’re experiencing menopausal hormone changes to flaky or dimpled skin or like me, dehydrated pores, he was there to help. Building a rapport with your aesthetician is imperative, as having trust and not holding back will benefit you both and lead you to finding the right products and solutions to any issues.
My beauty routine is pretty low key: I moisturise twice a day, add a dab of eye cream at night, and treat myself to the occasional face pack, and all in all, I think my skin is pretty okay. I do however have wrinkles and crinkles, and had no idea what I could do to eliminate them without going under the needle, or with self care at home.
The first note that I received was my lack of cleansing. I was advised that a cleanser was essential to wash away daily impurities and refresh my skin, whether I was wearing makeup or not, followed by a serum to lock in the clean skin, completed with a daily moisturising sunscreen.
I was quite embarrassed to admit that my skincare regime didn’t include an SPF at this time of year, and I was recommended a light (factor 15) day cream which I should be wearing all year round. Then my dehydrated skin could soak up some rays without doing so much damage. I was also recommended a cooling serum eye roller for the delicate area around my peepers, the roller means that the pressure is perfect and it gets penetrated evenly and deeply into the skin, to enhance collagen production, which in turn will reduce the eyes fine lines and wrinkles.
Intrigued as how I would cope with this extra routine as I’m pretty low maintenance, I was also eager to see if there were any results, especially if anything could address my eye and smile crinkles. I was recommended the superstar ingredient Retinol, which is the go-to anti-injectable for wrinkles as you only need a teeny amount to address fine lines, and every application exfoliates the skin and penetrates deep within to help produce more collagen, but being a newbie user I was advised not to use this every day.
When my beautifully packaged goodies arrived the next day, it felt like Christmas. The array of clinically approved lotions and potions from Obagi Medical were set to really jig up my routine and included exfoliating face wash, deep serum and SPF day cream to enable my natural glow throughout the day, along with a delightfully soothing roller eye massager, retinol and a thicker night cream to treat myself before bed. Although this seemed like a whole new world to me, I embraced the new ritual and soon got into the routine of my daily ablutions.
I have found that the gentle products are ideal for my dry skin, and Dr Ahmed is available for questions at any time, which is like having your personal facialist on call! I’m embracing the routine, and I am loving the results. I’m not sure whether it’s the face scrub, eye roller or retinol which is making my skin look fresher and feel brighter, but whatever it is, I am hooked.
For more information on Dr Ahmed and the services he provides through his clinics in London, Leeds and Manchester, visit theaestheticsdoctor.com.