Feeling the burn! The retinol burn that is…….

Feeling the burn! The ‘retinol burn’ that is……

This is the one blog I didn’t think I’d be writing – and is somewhat embarrassing for someone who works in an Aesthetic Clinic and uses medical grade skincare creams at home.

Today I am writing this having only just recovered from my flakey face. There’s still a bit of a ‘situation’ on my neck (of which I don’t even remember putting it on there!) but hey, the worst is over. It’s been emotional, and an impossible situation to run away from!

My journey into face dandruff started about 10 days ago – after I saw a big write up on a certain retinol product, that began trending online.  I hadn’t used it before and thought I’d give it a go. Everyone raves about retinol – and in all honesty I hadn’t used one since pre Covid. Dermatologists recommend we should all be on a retinol as soon as we hit 30. It’s a vitamin A cream that stimulates skin cell repair, boosting collagen. This means less fine lines, no more crepey skin, clearing of pigmentation, and also less acne. It also refines your pores and gives your skin a baby soft feel and wonderful glow. I mean what’s not to love! I was keen to get started again, as winter is the best time to use a retinol.

First night – I applied it somewhat sparingly and didn’t notice a thing. I just made it part of my overall skincare regime. The next 2 evenings – I repeated the process. Let’s just say the third time round things didn’t go quite to plan…… I noticed a little tingling – but thought nothing of it. The sinister side of me likes to feel that something is working, so this didn’t panic me.

Queue the next morning – to say that my skin was feeling a little tighter is an understatement. If you can imagine plastering your face in egg whites – and then letting it dry – you’ll get the understanding of what happened. I wasn’t quite sure what had happened to my skin overnight (as an experienced user!) but with the application of any product (excluding my SPF) – there was burning, stinging…. and then all overall tingling! It wasn’t pleasurable. My skin wasn’t red or visibly inflamed – it just felt tight and mildly on fire.

The next day the dryness kicked in. This is where I abandoned consulting google and ran back to the clinic team for some sound advice.  To my disbelief I was experiencing what is called retinol burn. Retinol burn occurs after you use skin care products that introduce your skin to high amounts of retinol. Retinol burn typically occurs within 24 hours. I knew I had been naughty as Melissa told me clearly when I first started, to go slow – twice a week at most and gradually build up my skin tolerance. However, in the world of instant gratification (as my skin had been fine in the past) I kicked off nightly.

So now with a diagnosis, my immediate thought was to how we treat this. I was prepared to invest in whatever product was going to help me. Do I ride it out? Lather it in products? Put on a face mask? Exfoliate like a nutter? The advice was to do nothing apart from splashing it with cold water. I just didn’t know what to do and felt a bit helpless. I had read that perhaps buffering it with moisturiser would have prevented it – but it was all a little too late! It was time to step away from the retinol, until my skin calmed down. Most sources claim it can take a week to normalise, and to do nothing but keep a very simple skin care routine. Retinol burn will usually clear up on its own and believe it or not, this can be a perfectly normal side effect.

So here we are 6 days later. After going back to basics, my skin has recovered (and looking better than ever) but the memory haunts me.  The lesson to be learnt here is if you begin using a retinol – start slow. Retinols are fabulous products, but you need to attend a skin clinic for a full skin assessment. Don’t be tempted to buy a cheap one online – you need a thorough skin assessment to work out which retinol strength and composition is best for you. Retinols vary in ingredients – some act as skin brighteners, some as skin tighteners. If you are investing in a retinol – purchase the right one for you. Secondly, be guided by your skin specialist about how to start the creams and continue to use them.

Always invest in a decent medical-grade retinol, as the method of delivery of the key ingredients into the skin, is so much more effective if clinically tested – rather than poor quality retinols that often only deliver about 15% of the good stuff to your skin.  Medical grade retinols deliver around 80% of the key ingredients to the skin. So you can start off with a lower percentage cream and still get very powerful results (as experienced with my burn).

**UPDATE: as this goes live – I am now back using retinol! Hooray! **

Want to start using retinol, and not sure where to start? Book a skin consultation online, or send us an email so we can arrange a call with one of our team to talk through the best treatment plan for you

My nose job on my lunch break

I’ve been self-conscious about the tip of my nose and the nasal bridge ever since my nose was broken by a fast-moving lacrosse ball at school.

So, since the age of 17 I noticed a bit of collapsing cartilage at the tip of the nose and a bump in the mid nose area where the bone healed, but sadly it resulted in a slightly hooked nose.

Now I’m 41 and have children, and although I’ve toyed with the idea of having plastic surgery to repair my nose, I don’t want to take the risk of having a general aesthetic. That plus parting with thousands of pounds when I have kids school fees to pay – and the thought of 2 black eyes plus swelling for months on end – I had to look at other options.

I just wanted my nose to look a little straighter and for the collapsed cartilage area to lift at the tip as it looked like a little bum at the end of my nose, which made me feel unattractive.

So I decided to try the non-surgical ‘liquid’ rhinoplasty which involves putting a soft gel-like solution (called a dermal filler) into the collapsed areas. It would also fill the grooved nasal bridge  to soften the bump. It’s not permanent as the filler will gently break down over time but the results can last for more than 18 months.

I did my research, and went for several consultations.  I chose Look Lovely London for the treatment as Dr Davina has been injecting for over 12 years and currently has had no complications with over 40,000 procedures. I also quite liked her videos on instagram – she knows what she’s talking about!

She told me she has been trained in non-surgical rhinoplasty by a head ENT surgeon in London and uses a special technique to avoid swelling, complications and bruising. I felt like I was in safe hands. I was told about the most serious adverse effect which was vessel blockage but as she uses a microfine syringe and injects in a gentle way, the risk is very minimal. As with all fillers I wanted to go to a fully trained doctor who understands facial anatomy and knows how to deal with complications if they were to occur.

I was nervous on the day but was given a full assessment of my nose to make sure I was suitable for the treatment. I had sent through some pictures before going in for my consultation, which I found reassuring – as it helped me manage my expectations. It also filled me with confidence to go ahead with treatment the same day as my consultation. My nose was numbed with special cream and Dr Davina used a microfine needle to inject the product. The procedure was almost painless, much to my relief, and took around 15 minutes. Dr Davina gave me 7 small injections in the nose and then gently moulded the filler to smooth the side profile.

And then for the reveal- wow! My nose looked straight and more petite and the grove at the tip had completely gone. As the results where instant and I was delighted. I looked like I have gone through surgery as the outcome was so good but without the risks and at a fraction of the price. I left feeling confident and so much happier as I had my old nose back from my foot-loose-and fancy-free teenage years!

Lots of people at the school gates are commenting on how well I look but without pinpointing what I’ve done. Even my husband noticed my new found confidence – and he doesn’t notice anything!

Deciding to try the non-surgical rhinoplasty is one of the best decisions I’ve made, I only wish I had done it sooner.

If you feel your nose is deviated, has a bump, or has collagen collapse then please contact our amazing team.

For your complimentary review, please email across some photo’s (Front facing & both side profiles. Think passport style and no filters!) We can then advise the best treatment plan for you, and assess your suitability. You can reach our Patient Coordinator on [email protected]

My Sculptra® Experience at Look Lovely London

Sculptra® is growing in popularity here at the clinic. How are our clients finding the experience? One of our long-standing clients gave us her account of her experience

“I’ve been going to LLL for over 10 years now so when I heard about a collagen-stimulating treatment that would revitalise my skin, volumise hollow areas and improve my skin texture I had to try it out.

Typically I love anti wrinkle injections and Profhilo but in my early 60’s I’ve noticed my skin has become more crepey and loose, there’s more sagging, slight jowls and overall, I can see that my face dropping south! My jawline has also lost contour so I was pleased to hear that Sculptra® could be added to this area to improve skin thickness and help give more definition to my jawline.

I wanted to go for an option that would give me gradual results where my family and my daughters wouldn’t immediately guess. I didn’t want to be blown up with fillers and be transformed overnight. I just wanted friends to comment that I was looking fresher and to feel more confident about my slightly ageing skin. Sculptra® has been safely used in the UK since 2004 and Davina told me the product she was injecting was an improved formula that has recently been brought back to the UK. For all these reasons I decided that it sounded like a good option for me.

The treatment

I was told I would need 2 treatments 4 weeks apart and only around the 2/3 month mark would I notice a change and a lift to my skin. If I loved the results, I could even go for a 3rd treatment, but I was initially told to try the two sessions and to see how my skin responded.

I popped on her couch after the team applied some numbing cream on my face. The procedure was comfortable and involved around 4 injections on either side of my face. The clear liquid product which is like water was gently spread underneath my skin using a bendy blunt tube called a cannula, which I was told keeps the procedure safe.

It took about 20 minutes to place the product under the skin in the sagging areas.  My face was numb from the cream and the product also has a local anaesthetic in it, which meant I was so comfortable I found myself chatting away. I barely felt a thing!

Davina then gave my face a lovely massage to disperse the product further.

I was told to carry out this massage myself for the next 5 days, 5 times a day for 5 minutes.  I thought I would forget to do it but actually, I enjoyed giving myself that gentle massage over the week as I felt it was revitalising my skin even more. There’s no downtime with the treatment and all I had after the first session was a small bruise on my jawline that cleared within 4 days.

When I left the treatment room my face was glowing and already felt plumped up with my skin feeling smoother and slightly tighter. Davina told me over the next few days the volume may reduce a little as the liquid spread into the tissue further, but to give it time as then the product starts to stimulate my skin’s own production of collagen. I was told to be patient as the magic starts to happen after my second treatment 4 weeks later.

My second treatment was as easy as the first and I noticed a difference around 10 days later with my skin feeling smoother, healthier and volume appearing in my hollowed-out areas in the mid-cheek.

I am now patiently waiting for the 2 months to go by so I can see the fuller effects. It was a great experience at Look Lovely London and I’m telling all my friends in their 50-60’s to try it out. If you’re looking for a way to gradually lift your skin and give it more glow, I highly recommend you try this.  So far, the results have been worth the wait and I’m going to continue to see improvements!

Interested in this amazing treatment?  Here are all the details.

Profhilo – Does it actually work?

I have to admit that as someone who loves the general maintenance anti wrinkle injections (and maybe a touch of filler here and there) I wasn’t sold on the idea of Profhilo. I love the instant results a treatment can provide, so the thought of waiting some 6 weeks for the final results to take effect… Well, I’d rather just get some filler!

Sadly, filler doesn’t fix everything.

It wasn’t until I had a conversation with our Aesthetic Practitioner Melissa, that I became aware that the lower part of my face was starting to get ‘crepey’ – that so-called nice word practitioners use to describe skin that lacks firmness, and is wrinkled in texture. Literally like crepe paper… I mean honestly, it’s a tough pill to swallow!

I use high end skincare at home and cover my skin in layers of makeup every day, so I wasn’t really looking at my skin too closely. I guess the general perception as you get older is to focus more on anti wrinkle and filler – and not so much on the actual rejuvenation of your skin. Enter Profhilo – A product that promises to improve skin texture – as long as you’re willing to wait. But does it actually work and does it take that long?

Let’s keep this very real. Modifying my skin texture wasn’t really on my treatment to-do list and it wasn’t until my 4th week in clinic that I noticed Profhilo had developed a bit of a cult following. Traditionally used on the face, it’s becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for the neck and even hands. A couple of patients (you know who you are!) reported back on almost ‘instant’ results and were booking in for other areas of their bodies to be treated. One patient in particular looked more refreshed less than 48 hours after her treatment! It made me curious.

Getting Advice

If you’ve had an appointment with Dr Davina, you’ll know that she isn’t one to agree to a treatment just because you want it – there needs to be a reason and a good one at that. In fact, the whole culture at Look Lovely London is built on this principle. So when Davina herself said she was willing to take me on my journey into rejuvenation, I knew it was something I wanted to try (I suspect my ‘crepey’ situation might’ve been the topic of discussion on the group chat! 😆)

I won’t bore you with the technicalities of how this particular magic is performed. I just want to share the results.

  • Is my skin firmer? Yes
  • Is it a better texture than before? Yes
  • Does my skin glow? Yes
  • Have I knocked 5 years off the age of my skin? Without a doubt
  • Do I still want my routine anti wrinkle and filler? Of course! 😊

More importantly my skin feels…plumper! I’ve been tutted at for using this word in clinic, but there’s no better word to describe it! It’s 100% more plump and cushiony. Not exactly a technical description but that’s the reality. My make up goes on better and I feel like I have a more youthful appearance. Want to see the process? Check it out here

The bottom line?

For me, this treatment works – and I’m saying this through gritted teeth. I really didn’t want to buy into the clinic hype – but it’s it not hype, it’s the real deal. Would I have it again? Without a shadow of a doubt.

Is Profhilo right for you? Why not book a consultation with us and see!

Please note: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional to discuss your health and cosmetic concerns

Introducing Sculptra – a revolutionary new treatment!

If you want a gentle treatment to smooth out fine lines, lift and revitalise loose sagging skin while restoring facial volume we have an exciting new treatment for you!
We’re launching a new and improved non-invasive collagen stimulating injectable treatment that will contour the face helping you looked years younger, in a natural and subtle way. It’s called Sculptra.

 

Why Sculptra?
If you want to avoid dermal fillers and are looking for a more natural alternative, Sculptra will help you look amazing without anyone guessing you’ve had a treatment. It lifts, plumps, and rejuvenates your skin by stimulating your facial tissues to produce collagen giving you natural and long-lasting results.

 

How does it work?
The procedure involves tiny injections into the soft tissue of the face that are almost painless with the addition of a local anaesthetic. Sculptra is a solution containing poly-L-Lactic acid which is found naturally in the body and produced by muscles. The product has been safely used in the aesthetic world for over 50 years with no risk of allergies.

how-sculptra-works

It’s a low maintenance treatment – where we recommended 2 treatments 4 weeks apart. Each treatment takes 30 minutes, with no downtime other than the risk of a small bruise. You’ll notice results within 4-6 weeks and your skin will feel younger and fresher. Once you’ve had your sessions, you’re good to go for 2 years – no need to worry about maintenance treatments or top-up visits!

Who is Sculptra best for?
This treatment is perfect for those with fine or deeper lines on the face or who may have lost facial fat over the years with crepey skin or hollowness. The results can take a few months to gradually take effect, so the treatment is best if you want natural, subtle enhancement and are happy to wait- but trust us, the results are well worth the wait!

Sculptra works in conjunction with your other treatments like botulinum toxin, microneedling and Profhilo and in fact, because it improves skin quality it will actually enhance the results of these other treatments.

Booking your treatment
We are taking bookings for Sculptra from 28th June and have a waiting list. If you’d like more information about this treatment, or to make an advance booking please get in touch.

Staying on top of training to deliver the best service for our patients

Staying on top of training to deliver the best service for our patients

Giving you the best service and offering the latest treatments is our top priority, and that means we work hard to stay on top of our training. Our industry is unfortunately very poorly regulated, which leads to many non-healthcare professionals offering potentially dangerous injections and treatments. As an experienced doctor, I feel excellent training is paramount.

It’s important to ensure that people who are injecting and caring for patients have high-quality teaching and hands-on skills before offering treatments to patients. Therefore, I’m actively involved in training health care professionals at a dedicated training organisation Interface Aesthetics – one of only a handful of approved training providers offering education in all aspects of advanced injectables. We cover extensive anatomy training to ensure all injections are safe and then provide hands-on injecting experience mentoring trainees in safe techniques to offer the best results.

Being a clinic owner and a practitioner myself, my values are fully aligned with Interface Aesthetics’. We believe in providing high-quality injectable training, whilst campaigning for higher standards, better regulation in the industry and improving public awareness on how to select safe practitioners and clinics. Here’s a quick video showing what a typical training day looks like.

I love teaching and I’m so proud to have the opportunity to teach young professionals going into the industry. With 11 years (and counting!) of experience in injectables, I can offer guidance and support to help shape their careers in this exciting industry and make sure their foundation training is the best it can be. And the hard work that the team have put in is already being recognised. We’ve been nominated as a finalist for the ‘Best Independent training provider’ in 2021 after just 18 months of us offering formal training programmes. Something else that I’m exceptionally proud of!

I run training days alongside my regular clinics. This means I can constantly refresh our team’s training and make sure they’re following the most up-to-date procedures in injectables and are equipped with the right knowledge and skills to offer safe treatments and the best results for you. We learn how to act quickly and what to do if, in the unlikely event that something does go wrong.

Complications rates are very low if you visit a reputable clinic, but they can still occur. If something happened to you, you’d want to know you are in safe and calming hands to rectify the issue quickly and ensure no long-lasting changes remain. It’s always important to ask what type of training your injector has, to ensure they look after your precious face.

If you’d like to know more about our training, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’d be delighted to provide more information.

Welcome To The Team Christal! Discover Our Huge New Range Of Treatments Arriving Exclusively This Autumn

Skin care treatments from CrystalLook Lovely London is excited to announce that we will soon be welcoming Christal Walstead, LE, CLT to the clinic.  Christal is trained in advanced aesthetics, with a particular interest in rosacea, hyperpigmentation, anti-ageing and acne.

Currently based in Chicago, Christal will be joining us at the clinic in October, and we can’t wait to welcome her! With  extensive training in microdermabrasion and medical grade chemical peels, having Christal as part of the Look Lovely  team means we will be widening our range of treatments to include the following:

Chemical Peel

A chemical peel is a popular treatment used to improve the skins overall appearance. A chemical solution is applied to the skin which encourages exfoliation and the top layer of skin to peel. Once the skin has peeled, a new, rejuvenated layer is visible which typically appears smoother and less wrinkled than the old layer.

Chemical peels can also be used to improve the appearance of acne, hyper-pigmentation and ageing. Dermaplaning can be used in addition to the chemical peel to further the results and stimulate new skin development.  Microdermabrasion treatments can also be used in conjunction with peels to reveal younger, healthier looking skin.

Micro-needling

Micro-needling reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimises pores and improves the appearance of scars, as well as the overall quality of skin. Micro-needling works by creating controlled punctures in the skin using very fine needles. The body then responds by creating new skin cells, so you are left with skin that looks younger and healthier.

There is very little downtime involved with this treatment, so you can achieve great results in no time!

Hydrafacial

Tailored to suit your skin, this rejuvenating treatment immediately reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The HydraFacial also targets acne, hyper-pigmentation, blocked pores and uneven skin tone, so your skin will appear smoother and more even. The treatment includes hydradermabrasion, light chemical peel, and LED light therapy.

If you are short of time, why not try our Express HydraFacial? Complete with LED light therapy this treatment cleanses, exfoliates and hydrates your skin in half the time. Perfect for a lunch break skin treat!

PRP (Vampire Facial)

Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment, also known as the Vampire Facial, can be added on to the end of your rejuvenation treatment to enhance the effects. By using additional plasma topically, the effective concentration of natural healing substances and growth factors is increased, boosting results!  Make sure you allow for an extra 15 minutes on top of your treatment time for this procedure.

If you would like further information on any of the new treatments that are coming soon, give us a call on 0203 199 8245 and we will be happy answer your questions and provide any advice you need.

close CLOSE

Book Online

close
Look Lovely London

COVID safety policy

At the clinic, we take infection control and cleanliness very seriously. We are aware our clients may still worry about the spread of COVID-19. We want to reassure you that your health, safety and comfort is our priority.

We have a strict infection control policy at the clinic. On arrival, we recommend hand washing and offer gloves and masks for those patients who wish to wear them. We deep clean all surfaces, doors, handle, bannisters and card machines after every patient. We can also offer protected time slots for our more vulnerable clients so they have little or no contact with other people during their visit.

Our staff are rigorous about cleaning and handwashing. We disinfect treatment rooms and couches after every client, wearing gloves and masks if needed. We also use Cleanisept to prepare your skin before treatment – this is one of the best antimicrobial agents available to reduce the risk of infection.

We want to put your mind at ease that we have taken all the precautions to offer you a lovely and safe experience at the clinic.

We understand you may want to bring a friend or family member along to your appointment for moral support. However, in these unprecedented times, we ask you to attend alone to reduce the risk of transmission.

Disclaimer  – Please note a lot of the visual on this website were manly for illustrative purpose and taken prior to the COVID outbreak. Rigorous usage of gloves and face masks are now in practice.