Written By: Dr. Nerina Wilkinson


A few weeks ago my office doors were closed unexpectedly and I found myself in an empty office not knowing what to do next.

What I do best is to advise my patients on how to achieve the best aesthetic results and to achieve this I always start by preparing the canvas ie: improving the skin texture and tone.

Due to my own busy schedule over the past few years, I have not taken the time to truly understand my skin and the changing needs of my skin as I have transitioned into menopause.


I think I have been in denial…. still using the same creams that I have believed in for all the years and not making the necessary changes. Menopause was slowly wreaking havoc with my skin.

Enter lockdown! Suddenly I had no excuses. Time to practice what I preach.

Just like managing “the virus” I decided this was the time to take on “my aging skin” with military precision. My Home Skincare Plan strategy involved:



To successfully start my assault on menopausal skin changes I decided to become the “patient” before prescribing my Home Skincare Plan.

My  Home Skin journey started with an urgent call to my colleague Dr. Marisa Heyns who has a passion for beautiful skin and who has a vast knowledge of how to asses skin. We work side by side, always getting excited about new technologies and achieving amazing results with all our clients.


This was now my time to get the best skincare advice to successfully achieve results. The only problem was that she lives in Constantia and I live in Town. Crazy “new” rules:  “they,” said “don’t leave your house”.

As frustrating as we have all been due to the new norm of social distancing , a enormous positive for myself and my team at  Dr. Nerina Wilkinson & Associates  is that our virtual consultation tools were born and perfected. I had the time to complete a full skin assessment followed by a “face to face” Microsoft teams assessment with Dr Heyns. Together we were able to prescribe the correct Home Skincare Plan specifically for my skin needs.


Why do you require a personalized Home Skin Care Plan?

Beautiful skin is not a matter of DNA, your daily skin care routine can have a huge impact on what you see in the mirror and how comfortable you are in your own skin. Your skin is one of the largest organs your body and as the first line of health defense – it deserves to be protected.


What is important when deciding on a home skin care plan?

Planning the “perfect” home skin care routine starts with a complete skin assessment. Everybody’s skin is different and therefore a detailed assessment and understanding of your own skin are crucial if one wants to achieve the best results.  The products I use for my skin, may not be the skin actives that your skin requires.


Why did I need to change my skin homecare plan?
  1. During this lockdown, I have not been able to have all my lovely skin clinic treatments. A home-care plan is definitely a compliment to my medical treatments and will help prepare my skin for more intense in-clinic treatments.
  2. Loss of estrogen due to menopause has resulted in my skin changing … we all get so used to what we use that we don’t change our products as the needs of our skin changes. I have always had very oily skin, however, after my skin analysis with Dr. Heyns, I understand that my skin needs to be optimized due to areas of thinning skin, dryness, and redness.



After my skin consultation, I had a plan. I must admit, at the moment I am not 100 % sure the world powers took the time to asses the needs of the human race before prescribing our “lockdown treatment “

To achieve a successful outcome one needs to have the correct data and understand the needs before implementing a protocol/law.

When is comes to my Home Skin Care Plan I have more confidence in understanding my skin needs resulting in me being equipped with the correct “weapons” to fight the signs of menopause on my skin.

 My skin NEEDS were:
  1. Barrier repair and hydration
  2. Regulate the oil control
  3. Increase in Cellular turnover
  4. Stimulate Collagen building, viscoelasticity – elastin
  5. Protection of skin and preserve collagen and elastin


STEP 3: BE CORRECTLY EQUIPED: “choose your weapons correctly”

Once my products (“weapons”)  were delivered to my home , my next challenge was to actually work out how and when to use my products. Flash back to my “normal” routine : wake up, jump in shower, wash face with shampoo… (2 in 1 ) , grab closest cream to apply whilst blowdrying my hair, get dressed, run out of house , work, get home exhausted, shower, apply night cream and fall asleep. Does this sound familiar?

Home skincare has always been daunting to me and therefore I had to work out a few hacks on how to best approach a morning routine,  an evening routine, and a skin performance treatment routine.

As a surgeon , I work well when there is order. First step was to divide my products into 3 different containers:

  1. morning routine
  2.  evening routine
  3. skin performance ie medical devices eg medical needling and Df electro-sonic device.

This made the selection process so much easier. I then numbered the products according to their specific categories:

CLEANSE: gentle to optimize skin condition and prepares skin to absorb active products

TREATMENT: products that worker deeper in the dermis to create change

MOISTURIZER: encourage cells to make their own hydration

PROTECT: prevent damaging effects of the sun and environment


I have always been diligent with cleansing and moisturising, but adding a skin active is what complicates the whole process. However, this is possibly the most important step to “medically treating” your skin and achieving results by optimizing the functioning of the skin. By clearly numbering the treatment serum number 2, the process prevents me from skipping this crucial step.



Autumn is a great time to start incorporating your retinol back into your Home Skincare Plan.

Evenings are when your body goes into repair mode and therefore the perfect time to to regenerate your skin with medical-grade retinol.

There are 2 ways to incorporate Vit A: start with a lower dose and work your way up as you become tolerant or jump directly in with heavy-duty high dose retinol.  I decided to start with a  gradual entry program using the NeoStrata Retinol NAG to prevent severe redness and skin irritations associated with higher doses of retinol.



Lockdown has given us the perfect opportunity to decide what our skin goals are and to take the correct action to achieve them.

Starting with the correct Home Skincare Plan will prepare our skins for advanced winter in-clinic treatments.

There are no excuses for not taking this opportunity and giving my skin the care it deserves. At least my skin is going to look beautiful and glowing, sadly I cant say the same for my hair and nails….


What are you going to do to meet your SKIN GOALS?

Sit down and focus what you missing in your home skin care routine and if you don’t have a skincare routine that you absolutely love, then now is a time to contact our therapists to have a virtual consult to decide what your skin goals are. If you are also still using the same products for the past 10 years like me, then now is the time to take the correct action and optimize your skincare routine.


“Summer bodies are made in winter but perfect skin is made in autumn and lockdown.”