A goal without a plan is just a wish: The importance of a skin plan to achieve results

A goal without a plan is just a wish: The importance of a skin plan to achieve results

A goal without a plan is just a wish: The importance of a skin plan to achieve results

Written By Dr Marisa Heyns MBChB (UCT), MSc Aesthetic Medicine and Therapeutics

Ladies and gents, we have come to the end of yet another crazy year, and it is time to take stock of the good, the bad and the ugly that was 2019: The year of the #10yearsago.

For some of our clients visiting Nerina Wilkinson and Associates ( yes that is our new name), it has been a year filled with amazing transformations at the hands of our Surgical, Medical, and Skin team. None of these beautiful results happened overnight, nor did they happen with the swish of a magic wand ( although it might look like that). No these results took place over a period of months. It took hard work, daily maintenance and dedication to keep on this journey to a more rejuvenated self.

And hence the thought behind the title of my story: A goal without a plan is just a wish. No one ever achieves anything great and lasting without a detailed plan. And when it comes to your aesthetic needs, it is no different. A skin plan is just as important

Here at Nerina and Associates, we make things a little easier for those of you who might feel completely lost in making decisions.

I introduce to you our expert panel of assessors that assist in determining your skin plan:

VISIA – Our fortune Magic 8 Ball

Look our Doctors and Skin therapists do sometimes appear as fairy godmothers in disguise, however, our plans and treatments are not based on guesswork nor magic. We always ensure that our decisions and treatments are backed up by evidence-based medicine and skin science. For that, we need the latest skin assessment technology to formulate a plan for you.

The VISIA machine is almost like a super high definition camera with x-ray eyes that can capture changes hiding deep within your skin. (no foundation can fool this machine).

So what can we see through this magic magnifying glass?

Wrinkle and Hydration status

We are able to give you an idea of the depth, and potential cause of your wrinkles (usually a combination of loss of collagen support, expression lines and the hydration status of your epidermis.

Pores and Texture

This part of the assessment looks at the thickness and irregularity in the skin. If you have a lot of pores and uneven textured skin  – it usually means you have an extra thick layer of dead keratinocytes sitting on top of your skin. We see this in a lot of clients with oily and acne-prone skin, or in the skin that is not good at renewing itself or getting rid of old skin cells.

UV scores and Brown Spots

This where most of our sun bunnies fail. You only have look at these pictures once to realise the damaging effects of sunlight, UV exposure, and radiation. The UV exposure score gives us a sneaky update on what you have been up to in the last two to four weeks. If you have been applying your sunscreen as diligently as you say and kept your promise to behave responsibly during daylight hours.

The dreadful brown spot score takes a deeper look into your skeleton closet of sun damage. Those of us who thought baby oil was the most ingenious way to a  roast chicken brown tan. (I know many of you are wincing right now). South Africans have a terrible track record of wanting to be bronzed ( by a process of scorching) and the rest of us who are already naturally tanned ( oh, you lucky ones) think we are immune to sun damage, and that sunscreens are for suckers.

Sensitivity scores

Now, this is an interesting one. For those of us with sensitive skin that flush, blush or turn crimson for no apparent reason whatsoever. This is due to the dilatation of the tiny blood vessels in the superficial layers of the skin. The reason usually is due to chronic sun damage. (The UV rays not only makes you tan and burn but it also destroys the deeper layer of the skin  – including the walls of the blood vessels). Another reason, and sometimes your ancestors and family are to blame for this condition called Rosacea ( red flushing and expanded blood vessels) that flares up with stress, certain foods, and wine.


Porphyrins are the byproducts of some of the bacteria that happily live on our skins. Sometimes when there are too many of them, it can cause blocking of pores and may contribute to the development of acne. So it tells us that you have or had oily and acne-prone skin.

So after this fortune-telling assessment, we take all of these scores to start the formulating process in devising a clever plan that will make your skin sing with joy. For those daring and obsessives ones of you, VISIA can even tell you how old you look! ( hard pill to swallow if you are only 37 but you look 65!).

Next Motion – true feature detection

After this eye-opening experience through the journey into your skin. We subject you to some honest profile photos ( no selfies allowed to disguise that double chin) These photos allow us with a visual tool, to look at what has happened underneath your skin during the ageing process. Loss of volume due to fat loss, muscle drooping and skull shrinking ( yikes – ageing is not for sissies)

A consultation session with our highly qualified aesthetic doctors

During this process, we gather all the other vital information that could not be captured by our fortune-telling VISIA or honest Next Motion detector. This includes information on the rest of ‘you’: your medical, surgical and aesthetic history, the medications you take, the allergies you have, your social and travel engagements that might interfere with some treatments.

And then the skin PLAN  is put together.

With all of this information (usually a very informative process for us and our clients) we sit down with you, and together we formulate ‘your’ treatment plan. You are after all the centre of this process, and therefore it is so important that your thoughts, wishes, and expectations are included. At the end of the day, it is what matters most: that you are happy with the results!

So what is in the skin plan.

We really try to focus on a holistic approach to aesthetic well being, and therefore your plan will include input from our surgical and medical team ( Doctors Nerina, Serena and myself, Marisa), as well as our skin therapists ( Bernice and Kim). So you really get a wholesome approach that includes medical and, or surgical treatments ( Botulinum toxindermal fillerslasersurgery etc) along with skin treatments.

Depending on the treatment goal and choice of treatments we will look at a 6 -12-month skin plan.

For skin treatments, we usually recommend 3-5 treatments 2-4 weeks apart as part of a treatment cycle. Treatment cycles are an important concept to consider: one little chemical peel every 6 months is not going to be stimulating enough to bring about radical skin change, and therefore the number and frequency of treatments are crucial.

Finally, we include recommendations on home care products ( read my previous blog for more detailed information on this vital part of your skin plan).

And there you have it.  As you can see, a lot of effort and brains go into the formulation of skin plans at Nerina Wilkinson and Associates.  We invite you to come for a visit in the new year. It is probably the best new year’s resolution you can make for yourself in 2020.