Written by: Dr Serena Cardoso – BHSc, MBChB (Wits), DipPEC (SA)
Medical internship is not for the faint of heart and the initial months were particularly taxing. One thing no one teaches young doctors is basic accounting principles or financial savvy and after a rigorous initiation, I thought it best at the time to spend a large portion of my first salary frivolously on La Mer. After all, I had just moved out of home, was off my parent’s welfare, didn’t own a mattress to sleep on and had rent, water and electricity to pay. It seemed like a great idea at the time! I bought the face wash, eye cream, serum, and the famous face cream*. I was quite heated and spent the rest of the month eating cheap canned soup and sleeping on the couch but at least my bathroom shelf looked pretty! That is, unfortunately, all the cosmetic benefit I got from the purchase.
If you are going to spend good money on skincare products, it’s important you winnow science from myth and use medical-grade products rather than mythical healing seaweed. Have your skin assessed by an aesthetic doctor or dermatologist so that you know exactly where your focus (and budget) should lie. Doctors are also bound by a Hippocratic Oath to keep our advice as ethical and scientific as possible, keeping our patient’s best interests in mind.
Today my skincare routine has evolved from kelp broth to daily SPF (above 30), retinol, home needling, peptides and vitamin serums (including vitamin C and retinol), emollients and home peels. After Carmen and I analyzed my skin using our VISIA photo technology we were able to assess pigmentation, texture and what sun damage years of beach holidays had done. This helped us select the best products for my specific skin needs. Good home skincare is also essential for maintenance for between medical facials such as dermapen, peels and laser treatments.
SPF protects from sun damage, vitamin C repairs damage and retinol treats hyperpigmentation, acne and reduced wrinkles. All the things we could do without!
It’s also not enough just buying any old vitamin C product you find. You need to ensure that the product is active, stable and has good absorption. We’ve done the research for you and will recommend good products to start with
I began a home care regime to get my skin glowy and pimple-free for my wedding so that I could wear as little makeup as possible on the day and look natural. As an experienced makeup artist will tell you, “natural”, takes a lot of work. I started my skincare regime 6 months in advance and these are the products I used to get that beautiful bridal glow
- Moisture: Environ C-Quence Creme
4. Sun Protection: Heliocare SPF 50 every morning and a second application in the afternoon in the summer months with evenings:
1. Cleanse: Bioderma Sensibio H2O micelle solution to remove makeup followed by Clinique Face bar to wash
3. Environ Roll Cit, home needling over the entire face including under the eyes, neck and décolletage
Environ C-Quence Serum followed by
Environ avance dfp312 collagen peptides
- Moisture: Environ C-Quence Cream (light and not oily)Weekly home treatments:
1. Once weekly NeoStrata Retinol NAG serum after my evening protocol
2. Once weekly Environ Revival Masque, which I leave overnight.
*Disclaimer: I also took my parents out for a fancy dinner to say thank you, so not completely feckless.