Drawing inspiration from the flawless faces of the fashion models that graced the catwalks this weekend at London Fashion Week, our resident Medical Specialist, Dr Natasha Berridge chats to London-based Aesthetician Dija Ayodele about achieving amazing skin.

With over a decade in the beauty and aesthetic industry, Dija Ayodele is the founder of the award-winning Black Skin Directory, a pioneering digital platform that enables people of colour to access dermatologists, aestheticians and other skin care professionals who are specifically qualified and experienced in treating and working with the unique physiology of darker skin tones.

Dija Ayodele is also a representative on the advisory board of the British Beauty Council. Are you ready to learn some top tips on how to look effortlessly camera ready? Dr Natasha Berridge asks Dija;

What do you consider to be essential skin care basics?

I prefer a small and powerful collection that repairs, protects and treats the skin. An exfoliating cleanser is a must, a serum that tackles your individual skin concern, for example, discolouration, dryness, oil- an antioxidant, Vitamin A and sunscreen is a must.

Does one need to wear SPF in the autumn and winter months?

Absolutely, SPF is a key all-year product. UVA rays can penetrate through cloud and glass even on grey days and they are the chief instigators of premature ageing.

What skincare products are effective to avoid wrinkles and ageing?

I think it’s more about ingredients that products – so Vitamin C is great as that encourages the remodelling of collagen – key to keeping the skin plump. It’s also a vital antioxidant defending against pollution and free radical damage. Vitamin A also fantastic for stimulating collagen and hyaluronic acid deep within the skin. It also hastens exfoliation of the skin which encourages excessively pigmented cells to naturally slough, preventing the aged appearance that discolouration can give the skin. Sunscreen is the ultimate protect to guard against wrinkles and ageing. Both UVA and UVB rays prematurely age the skin and a daily minimum SPF30 is vital to stave of wrinkles.

Retinoids are the current buzz word. What does this mean to you as an aesthetician?

For me, Retinoids are one of the cornerstones of skin health and are vital to the long- term health of skin and encouraging the ongoing remodelling of collagen, the maintenance of elastin and stimulating bioavailable hyaluronic acid. It’s an ingredient I recommend to every patient and it’s great that there are so many options available as it means there’s something for everyone. Black Skin Directory is currently running an education series on Vitamin A and that’s well worth checking out.

What over the counter products are available to deal with uneven skin tones?

My preference is to look for powerful ingredients such as niacinamide, liquorice extract, vitamin C, Kojic Acid, Arbutin, Vitamin A, Bakuchiol, Alpine Brighteners, Cysteamine, Hydroxy Acids – Lactic, Glycolic, Malto/Lactobionic, N-acetyl glucosamine – all act as tyrosine inhibitors to quell excessive melanin that contributes to uneven skin tones and discolouration.

Are chemical peels suitable for all skin types? How do they work? 

Yes, peels are suited for most skin types, including Rosacea skin types. The key is in how the skin is prepared and primed beforehand. Gentle prep using key ingredients that are also part of the peel formulation will help the skin adjust and be tolerant to the peel. But there are also other treatments such as Vitamin A infusions, which mimic the effects of a peel, so options are varied.

A peel in several ways – predominantly works by speeding up the rate of exfoliation in the skin to reveal smoother and clearer skin, but it also stimulates and boosts collagen and hyaluronic acid for firmer and stronger skin over time. Essentially a peel can also be viewed as a controlled wound to the skin and it’s through the healing process the skin becomes more resilient. Peels come in varying strengths and will deliver different results depending on which layer of the skin is being treated.

Are there any differences in the skincare regime for skin of colour?

Not particularly, though with skin of colour I am mainly looking at preventing any issues with hyperpigmentation even post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring so a gentler approach is needed especially to ingredients and treatments that have the potential to inflame. It is much more preferable to be cautious than aggressive when treating this demographic. In a ‘Skin of Colour’ regime, tyrosinase inhibitors play a big role as does the use of sunscreen.

Dr Natasha Berridge

Dr Natasha Berridge FRCS (OMFS) is the resident Medical Facial Specialist at Salon Prive Magazine. Dr Berridge is a highly trained NHS maxillofacial surgeon, dually qualified in Medicine and Dentistry, specialising in facial aesthetics, reconstructive trauma and skin surgery. She has worked alongside some of the UK’s top Cosmetic Surgeons and is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and member of the British Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS). Dr Berridge has a wealth of knowledge of facial aesthetics and is concluding her MSc in Skin Ageing & Aesthetic Medicine at the University of Manchester. She continues to present at International Conferences and is widely published in peer-reviewed surgical journals. Additionally, Dr Berridge is the co-author of a leading Head & Neck anatomy DVD and is a clinical contributor to the popular published monthly journal, Aesthetics. Dr Berridge is one of few highly skilled, dually qualified female facial surgeons in the UK who also performs a comprehensive range of advanced non-surgical aesthetic treatments.

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