Author Archive

Sweaty guys are using Driclor antiperspirant everyday. But does it actually work? – GQ Magazine

Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, is a big problem. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society (or IHS, for short), it affects around 5 per cent of the world’s population, which is about 385 million people. It’s annoying, it’s uncomfortable, and at times, it’s embarrassing, especially if it’s the middle of summer and you’re wearing lighter colours. That’s where Driclor antiperspirant comes in.

The #Driclor tag currently has almost 16 million view on TikTok, and most of the videos are by people who are desperately wondering if Driclor antiperspirant actually works or not. One TikToker even called it their “last resort” after suffering from hyperhidrosis for almost their entire life. However, like other health and wellness trends such as dry brushing and face icing, there are plenty of pros and plenty of cons to speak of. So, we caught up with some of London’s leading dermatologists to find out if Driclor antiperspirant is actually as beneficial as some say it is – or if it’s just another thing that’ll make you sweat.

What is Driclor antiperspirant?

Driclor antiperspirant is manufactured by Stiefel Laboratories and was specifically designed to treat heavy sweating or hyperhidrosis. It works by forming a gel matrix in the effected sweat glands, and is meant to reduce and eventually stop the flow of sweat on your body. While most people tend to use it for their armpits, you can apply it on other areas such as your back, hands, and your feet too.

According to research by the brand itself, the product can apparently reduce sweating by up to 65 per cent. But it’s worth noting that it doesn’t work for absolutely everyone. It’s also not a long-term solution, and can cause some potential side effects that you should be aware of.

What are the benefits?

“Driclor antiperspirant contains aluminium chloride that reacts with molecules within the skin and sweat ducts to reduce sweat secretion,” says consultant dermatologist Dr Mia Jing Gao. “It’s used to treat hyperhidrosis, which can affect any part of the body, but commonly affects the axilla, palms, and soles.”

“As well as hyperhidrosis, hormonal changes such as the menopause can also affect how much we sweat,” says Dr Leah Totton, cosmetic doctor and medical director at Dr Leah Clinic. “Driclor antiperspirant may help with this as it contains active ingredients that can block sweat glands.”

“There is a myth that using Driclor excessively can completely stop sweating, but this is not true.”
However, while it has been scientifically proven, it doesn’t always work as advertised. “There is a myth that using Driclor excessively can completely stop sweating, but this is not true,” says Alexandra Mills, skincare expert and founder of AM Aesthetics. “It’s important to follow the usage instructions to achieve the best results and avoid potential any side effects.”

“If you have body odour, Driclor antiperspirant is not a cure,” says Dr Magnus Lynch, consultant dermatologist and laser surgeon. “Furthermore, it may not work for everyone, and it’s not always sufficient to control sweating.”

What’s the best way to use Driclor antiperspirant?

“The best way to use Driclor antiperspirant is to apply it to clean, dry skin before bedtime,” says Mills. “This allows the product to work effectively overnight. Before application, make sure the skin is completely dry, and avoid applying it right after shaving as it may cause irritation. Using a small amount of Driclor on the affected areas and allowing it to dry completely before putting on clothing is important.”

How often should you use it?

“Driclor should be applied nightly every one to two days,” says Lynch. “If it is effective, then you can reduce the frequency of usage to a couple of times a week.”

“Before trying it, it’s essential that you consult your GP or a healthcare professional first to examine your causes of excess sweating.”

“Some may notice a slight improvement straight away, however, the significant changes won’t be noticed until the two week mark,” says Totton. “Before trying it, it’s essential that you consult your GP or a healthcare professional first to examine your causes of excess sweating.”

Who should avoid using Driclor antiperspirant?

“There are a few groups of people who should avoid using Driclor antiperspirant,” says Gao. “If you have an open cut or an active infection in the skin, I would stay away from it. People with the skin conditions like eczema and hidradenitis suppurativa should use it with caution.”

“Individuals with sensitive skin or a history of allergic reactions to similar products should avoid using Driclor too,” says Mills. “Furthermore, it is not recommended for use on children under the age of 12 unless prescribed by a healthcare professional. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with their healthcare provider before using it to ensure it is safe for them and their baby.”

Are there any side effects?

“Some people may experience a rash, swelling, irritation, burning sensation, stinging, and redness on the areas where Driclor antiperspirant has been applied,” says Totton. “If this happens, do not continue using it. Initial itching or a warm stinging sensation is often present when the deodorant is first applied, however, this should only be short-term.”

“Some people may experience a rash, swelling, irritation, burning sensation, stinging, and redness on the areas where Driclor antiperspirant has been applied. If this happens, do not continue using it.”
“It is always worth speaking to your GP before trying treatments for excessive sweating. If Driclor doesn’t work for you, alternatives such as botox can also be considered. At Dr Leah Clinic, our hyperhidrosis treatment involves injecting Botulinum Toxin to target heavy sweating. This method blocks the signals for perspiration at the sweat glands, and can be used to treat underarms and other areas.”

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You’re an adult now, so it’s time to solve your adult acne – GQ Magazine

Believe it or not, adult acne is a very real problem. In fact, according to a 2022 study, 34 per cent of British adults have suffered from acne at some point in their life. And while it tends to go away as you age, around 12 per cent of people still have to deal with it every single day. It can be annoying, frustrating, and at times, kind’ve embarrassing.

But, unlike in your youth when it was all sorts of unpredictable, some techniques can reduce adult acne once and for all. So, we caught up with Alexandra Mills, award-winning skincare expert and founder of AM Aesthetics, to impart some of her knowledge on what to do and what not to do.

What causes adult acne?

“Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide,” says Mills. “It occurs when the hair follicles in your skin become clogged with dead skin cells, excess oil, and dirt. This blockage leads to the formation of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and sometimes even cysts or nodules. Acne typically appears on areas of the body that have a higher concentration of oil glands, such as the face, neck, chest, shoulders, and back. It’s most common during adolescence, but can affect people of all ages, including adults.”

Stress is one of the main contributors to it, as it can cause a rise in hormones which stimulate the glands in your skin that secrete oily matter (known as sebum). However, while greasiness can trigger acne, you also have to be careful that you don’t remove too much oil to the point that your skin gets way too dry. It’s a vicious cycle, but stripping it of essential oils will send your glands into overdrive just to bring your skin’s oil levels back into balance.

External elements can also cause adult acne. Chemical-based ingredients found in some grooming products can irritate the skin, and if you’re one of those people who just refuse to apply any sort of sunscreen and you get burnt (which is bound to happen), your body can react with acne in the two weeks following exposure, so stop being silly and slather on that SPF ASAP.

Late nights full of wine and takeaways can also negatively affect your skin, and even if you decide to finally hit the gym, you need to make sure that you stay nice and clean, as sweat can clog your pores and provoke breakouts. And, for those of you out there using steroids to get swole, the unnatural levels of hormones entering your body can have a long-lasting effect, and can increase the difficulty of clearing up your adult acne.

How to get rid of your adult acne

#1: Stop touching your face

In a 2015 paper by the University of New South Wales, it found that, on average, people touch their face around 23 times per hour. It’s something that we all do without even realising (you’re probably doing it right now), and if you suffer from adult acne, it’s a habit that you should probably try and avoid as much as possible.

“Touching your face transfers dirt, oil, and bacteria onto your skin, which can worsen acne,” says Mills. “It can be difficult, but it’s definitely something to bear in mind especially if you want to get rid of it. While we’re on this topic, you should also try to resist the temptation to pick at or pop your pimples, as this can lead to inflammation and scarring, which, in some cases, can be permanent.”

#2: Stick to a routine

We all know how important it is to come up with a solid skincare routine. However, even if you’ve got all of the best cleansers and all the best moisturisers, you need to make sure that you’re actually using them every day. Inconsistencies in your daily regime can make your skin a little confused, which can result in acne.

“Start by cleaning your face twice a day using a gentle cleanser that is suitable for your skin type,” says Mills. “Avoid harsh products that can strip away natural oils and irritate your skin. Follow up with a non-comedogenic moisturiser to keep your skin nice and hydrated.”

#3: Use acne-fighting ingredients

If your skin is prone to adult acne, you probably shouldn’t be using the same skincare products that everyone else is using. Instead, check out some that are infused with acne-fighting ingredients. They may be a little more expensive, but they’re definitely worth it in the long run.

“Look for skincare products that contain effective acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or retinoids,” says Mills. “Salicylic acid helps unclog pores, benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria, and retinoids promote skin cell turnover. However, it’s important that you introduce these products gradually and monitor your skin for any signs of irritation.”

#4: Manage your stress levels

According to a 2018 report by the Mental Health Foundation, of the 4,619 people who were surveyed, 74 per cent have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. Whether it’s your demanding job or something personal, we’ve all been under pressure at some point or another, and this can have detrimental effects on your adult acne.

“As mentioned previously, stress can contribute to hormonal imbalances that exacerbate acne,” says Mills. “Finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or engaging in hobbies, can help minimise its impact on your skin.”

#5: Be mindful of your diet

While the direct relationship between diet and acne is still being researched, some individuals find that certain foods can actually trigger breakouts. If you’re someone who suffers from adult acne, it’s worth paying attention to your own skin and seeing if there is any correlation between what’s on your plate and what’s on your face.

“Consider reducing your intake of processed foods, sugary treats, and excessive dairy, and incorporate more whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, into your diet,” says Mills. “As this 2021 analysis from Harvard Medical School suggests, you should get a total of five servings per day, at least.”

#6: Get professional help

If your acne persists despite your best efforts, consider consulting your GP or a dermatologist. They can assess your specific situation and recommend appropriate prescription medications or treatments tailored to your needs.

“All of this takes a lot of time and a lot patience,” says Mills. “It may take a few weeks or even months to see significant improvements. Be consistent with your routine and give your skin time to adjust to new products or treatments. With the right approach and professional guidance, it’s possible to manage and improve adult acne.”

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So you’ve started using natural deodorant. Is it actually better though? – GQ Magazine

What makes natural deodorant different?

“The main differences between natural and normal deodorant lies in their composition,” says Alexandra Mills, skincare expert at AM Aesthetics. “Natural deodorants are typically made from plant-based ingredients such as essential oils, baking soda, and mineral salts, and they do not contain artificial additives like parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances.”

“Some natural deodorant brands have also started distinguishing themselves by utilising skin-friendly ingredients such as coconut oil and shea butter,” says Charlie Bowes-Lyon, co-founder of Wild. “Not only can these ingredients make your skin softer, they also have natural antibacterial properties to counteract odour-causing bacteria.”

What are the benefits?

“In most cases, natural deodorant means fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients,” says Dr Dev Patel, doctor in aesthetic and regenerative medicine and founder of CellDerma. “This is believed to create a happier and healthier underarm microbiome.”

“Most normal deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminium salts that work to stop sweat by completely blocking skin pores,” says Melissa Christenson, chemist at Hume Supernatural. “Alternatively, modern, clean natural deodorants use alternate renewable, non-petrochemical ingredients to reduce odour.”

However, it’s worth noting that the word “natural” is primarily a marketing claim and the term is not regulated. “Compared to conventional deodorants, those that claim to be natural tend to contain fragrances, baking soda, and essential oils,” says consultant dermatologist Dr Mia Jing Gao. “Conventional deodorants contain ingredients that reduce sweating and are more effective at it. Natural deodorants, on the other hand, tend to soak up sweat and mask the odour.”

Who should avoid using natural deodorant?

“Individuals with sensitive skin or allergies to certain natural ingredients should avoid using natural deodorants,” says Mills. “As mentioned previously, those who require stronger odour control may find that they’re not as effective for their needs.”

“Those who suffer with excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis for instance, are better to select a regular deodorant to control their symptoms as they will achieve a better and longer lasting result,” says Emma Coleman, aesthetic and dermatology RGN. “Natural products may also require repeat application throughout the day, which is something to bear in mind.”

Are there any side effects?

“Individuals with certain skin conditions or allergies should exercise caution and should consult their GP or a dermatologist before using natural deodorants,” says Gao. “Some users may experience skin irritation, especially if they have sensitive skin or are allergic to specific natural ingredients like baking soda or essential oils.”

“Your pores can be blocked by regular deodorant, so your body may sweat more for the first few weeks before adjusting to natural deodorant says,” Patel. “It takes time to adjust because our bodies are used to the harsher chemicals on our underarms. After around seven days, your body should have adjusted to the change, but it could take a little more time for some. In reality, no natural product is likely to keep you as sweat free as a regular antiperspirant, but you may smell as good with natural ingredients.”

What should you look for when buying natural deodorant?

“When you’re buying your first natural deodorant, be sure to check out the back of the pack,” says Coleman. “Try and look out for antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree and grapefruit and high concentration of baking soda and natural alcohols to preserve the product.”

“You should also consider the effectiveness of the product for your specific needs, whether it’s controlling odour or providing long-lasting protection,” says Bowes-Lyon. “Additionally, factor in your skin type and potential sensitivity, opting for formulations that align with your preferences. Finally, prioritise brands that focus on eco-friendly packaging if sustainability is a concern.”

Some brands are now developing products that have been especially formulated for other parts of your body. “These are unlike anything even in the clean deodorant category,” says Christenson. “The microbiome-approved formula is powered by antioxidant-rich plant oils plus anti-inflammatory plant extracts and prebiotics to nourish and sustain the skin barrier, while castor-oil derived zinc ricinoleate neutralises odours, not just under your arms, but also on your feet, down there, and everywhere.”


The bulletproof skincare routine to follow in your 30s – GQ Magazine

So, you’re in your 30s. You know what clothes look good on you, and what clothes don’t. That’s great! Now, it’s time to give your skincare routine a bit of an upgrade, too. In your fourth decade on Planet Earth, your face is going to go through a lot of changes. You might start getting some fine lines across your forehead, a duller complexion, and maybe even dark circles around your eyes.

And unlike in your 20s, it’s going to take a lot more than just a splash of H2O and a dab of moisturiser every now and again to keep looking your best. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated, either. We sat down with some of London’s leading dermatologists and skincare experts to work out the best skincare routine to follow in your 30s.

How does your skin change as you age?

“As the body ages, your skin also undergoes various changes at both visible and cellular levels,” says Alexandra Mills, skincare expert at AM Aesthetics. “The epidermis and dermis, the outermost and middle layers of the skin, respectively, become thinner over time. This is due to a decrease in cell production and a slower turnover rate, making the skin more fragile. Older skin tends to be drier too due to a decrease in sebaceous gland activity, so you’ll need to begin moisturising more.”

These changes will be most noticeable around your neck, on your hands, and of course, your face. It’s not all doom and gloom though, because there are some things that you can start doing (or continue to do) that can effectively tone down these effects, maintain your skin’s health and appearance, and minimise signs of ageing.

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Stretch marks and everything you need to know, whether you like or loathe your stripes – Glamour Magazine

What are stretch marks?

“Stretch marks, or striae, occur when the skin is stretched beyond its natural elasticity,” says Alexandra Mills, cosmetic nurse and owner of AM Aesthetics. “When this happens, the collagen and elastin fibres in the dermis can break, leading to visible marks.”

Stretch marks are essentially a form of skin scarring, which can occur anywhere on the body, although they tend to affect areas that have endured a growth spurt. These include the stomach during pregnancy, breasts during puberty, upper arms, thighs and buttocks.

They can be identified by their distinct stripe-like appearance, which some liken to claw marks. “When stretch marks first appear, they tend to be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, depending on your skin colour,” says Dr Anastasia Therianou, consultant dermatologist. “With time, the colour fades and the narrow bands sink beneath your skin.”

Why causes stretch marks?

“When the skin is stretched during periods of rapid growth, such as puberty or pregnancy, or due to rapid weight gain or loss, you can be left with stretch marks,” says Alexandra.

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How to detox your skin, according to the experts – GQ Magazine

From stress and breakouts, to pollution and second-hand Lost Mary smoke, a skin detox is necessary from time to time. Listen, it puts up with a lot of shit every single day. But considering the fact that it’s the largest organ of the human body, it makes sense to keep it nice and healthy.

While the term “skin detox” isn’t entirely accurate because it’s physically impossible to remove toxins through the skin (science, baby!), there are a few things that you can do to look better and brighter. Which is why Alexandra Haq, skincare expert and founder of AM Aesthetics, and Dr Theodora Mantzourani, senior GP and founder of Precision Skin, are here to share six simple steps on how to give your skin the detox that it deserves.


These are best serums for under £30, according to the experts – Women’s Health

Brilliant beauty (but on a budget).

Cerave CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

‘CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a favourite of mine. It is formulated to provide long-lasting hydration and help improve the skin’s moisture barrier. It contains three essential ceramides to help restore and maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier which is perfect for this time of year.’

Alexandra Mills Haq, medical aesthetician and skincare expert at AM Aesthetics

So you’ve started taking probiotics. But are they really the key to better skin? – GQ Magazine

“Probiotics can help to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier function,” says Alexandra Mills, skincare expert at AM Aesthetics. “This helps to protect the skin against harmful pathogens, pollutants, and environmental damage. Some probiotics can increase the skin’s production of ceramides too, which are basically lipids that help keep the skin hydrated and plump.”

“The 13 best lip scrubs for your smoothest lips yet” – GLAMOUR Magazine

Recently featured in GLAMOUR Magazine

Alexandra Haq Mills, medical aesthetician & skincare expert also recommends products rich in moisturising ingredients “such as honey, shea butter, or coconut oil” as well as “vitamin E, which is known for its skin-healing properties”.

Professor Syed Haq’s Expert Insights

Consultant physician Professor Syed Haq is internationally renowned for his research into both aesthetics and ageing science. Alongside groundbreaking Alzheimer’s research, he is an advocate of regenerative medicine. Here, Aesthetics shares his insights into the speciality during a climate of innovation…

What’s your ethos for recommending treatments?

My top tip is to have a cooling-off period after an initial consultation so patients aren’t too hasty when accepting treatments, but also have time to realise their benefits. Make sure to be open about downtime, expected results and cost.

How should practitioners learn about new treatments on the market?

My first port of call is talking to colleagues about their experiences or what they’ve heard. If you’re looking to find new innovations, industry conferences like ACE, CCR or IMCAS are a great way to learn more. Make sure to read the evidence and consider your clinic demographic before committing to anything new.

How do you recommend practitioners further their medical education?

Master’s degrees in Aesthetic Medicine are a great way to develop knowledge, and I’ve seen a number of colleagues complete doctorates to hone in on specific areas of expertise. Other options like training courses or dermatology diplomas are also great. Education is essential to avoid complications.

You feel threads are becoming more popular, what are your top tips for successful treatment?

Administering threads isn’t for the faint-hearted so ensure you’re confident. It’s essential to conduct thorough training and perform supervised treatments with CE-marked products to avoid danger points. It’s crucial for patient safety to use a cannula, and barbed threads give the best lift.

The future of toxin is bright – what recent innovations are you seeing?

Multiple brands including Croma-Pharma, Evolus and Galderma have brought out new toxins recently, reflecting innovations in the field. Toxins are becoming longer lasting, but there are emerging topical and liquid forms as well.

What three treatments are the cornerstone of your practice?

  1. Botulinum toxin is the classic
  2. Dermal fillers which offer natural volumising and profile balancing
  3. Rejuvenating products are a growing market for me: think HArmonyCa from Allergan, PhilArt from Croma Pharma or Plenhyage XL from DermaFocus.

“Lip Fillers with Alexandra Mills at AM Aesthetics” – West London Living

Recently featured in West London Living:


“The best Botox doctors in the UK” – The Times

We were recently featured by The Times “The best Botox doctors in the UK”

"The best Botox doctors in the UK" - The Times

Haq, who has clinics in London and Northern Ireland, offers Letybo (from £300), otherwise known as letibotulinum toxin type A. This is a newly registered toxin in Europe and the first brand to be specifically tested in clinical trials on older patients (up to 75 years) as well as in a large male cohort. In the three studies, 1,200 patients were treated with Letybo repeatedly every 19 weeks for up to two years, in 27 centres in the US and Europe. “As we live longer, it’s very important that we are able to provide treatments that have been tested in the older patient population and show clear efficacy and safety. Older patients have weaker, thinner muscles, so one has to adjust the dose of toxin to account for this. Similarly with male patients a higher dose may be needed as the male face has more muscle bulk. With Letybo the clinicians have found the same dose works well on people of all ages and sexes, and this universal dosing will make it easier for practitioners to provide consistently good results with greater certainty.”

You can read the article below:


What are polynucleotides?

What are polynucleotides?

They’re bio stimulators, which means they kick-start regeneration in the skin. Isn’t that what all the HA-based skin boosters do? ‘Yes, but rather than just providing hydration, polynucleotides are more like food or medicine for the cells, to make them produce collagen and elastin in a more meaningful way, and they also improve the extracellular matrix [the layer of the skin in which the fibroblasts live] and they’re anti-inflammatory, too.

How do polynucleotides work in the skin?

‘They target the fibroblasts and promote hydration of the skin, and collagen synthesis,’ says Professor Syed Haq, lecturing on a new polynucleotide product at a recent aesthetic conference, ‘and they also increase the number of fibroblasts.’ At the same time, they scavenge up free radicals [unstable molecules which accelerate ageing processes in the skin] and help build up the extra-cellular matrix.

What are polynucleotides good for?

All that collagen-boosting, extra hydration and elasticity means you can think of polynucleotides as a super-charged injectable moisture treatment. ‘They can be a preventative treatment for younger skin, or a recovery treatment for ageing skin,’ advises Professor Haq.

Polynucleotides can be used to counteract dark circles under the eyes and to strengthen the thin delicate skin around the mouth. ‘The products are injected very superficially, and the procedures are incredibly quick and painless.

It is particularly useful for patients who aren’t suitable for tear trough filler, or who might have a tendency to go puffy if treated with hyaluronic-acid-based products.

marked improvement in the appearance of tear troughs (the hollow groove between the under eye and cheek), dark circles, sagging skin, acne scars, pigmentation, rosacea, dullness and hair density.

What can you expect to see after polynucleotide injections?

In a nutshell, reduced wrinkling and crepiness and an improvement in skin tone and hydration. PhilArt, the product that Professor Haq is working with, is good for bringing down inflammation in the skin, which can reduce the redness of rosacea for months at a time. They’re also useful for improving skin condition ahead of energy-based treatments like laser or ultrasound.

In addition,

marked improvement in the appearance of tear troughs (the hollow groove between the under eye and cheek), dark circles, sagging skin, acne scars, pigmentation, dullness and hair density.

( Info taken from Tweakment Guide by Alice Hart-Davis )

For more information and to book a consultation please use the link below.

The Best Lip Fillers In London: Dermal Fillers You Can Trust

If Love Island has taught us anything, it’s that dermal fillers are utterly ubiquitous in modern society – you can even get fillers in Superdrug now.

The popular cosmetic treatment involves the injection of a dermal filler to plump and alter the shape of the face. While permanent silicone fillers have been used in the past, most people prefer to opt for hyaluronic acid-based fillers like Juvederm, for more temporary results.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule that is found in your body, and any injected amounts will be absorbed into the body after a few months.

As popular as the treatment is, it is not without complications. The non-surgical side of the cosmetics industry is almost entirely unregulated, with any regulations being introduced relatively recently.

In fact, there is nothing in the law to prevent someone with no qualifications whatsoever from supplying, buying and administrating dermal fillers. Yeah, scary.

If you decide that you want to have the treatment, it’s pretty much up to you to make sure you’re in safe hands. So, do your research. What qualifications do they have? Where is the clinic? What do past patients say? Before you even set eyes on a syringe, you should know the brand name, ingredients and the strength of what is being injected into you.

While there are thousands of destinations offering fillers and other non-surgical cosmetic treatments, here’s a few of the best places for fillers in London that the GLAMOUR team can vouch for with total confidence.

Alexandra Haq

Alexandra Mills

Alex Haq is known for offering natural-looking lips, using VIVACY which is dubbed as the ‘Chic Filler’. Based at 10 Harley Street, she’s one of London’s most loved, and safe, practitioners.


I got France’s no.1 lip fillers and they actually looked natural


VIVACY dermal lip filler.

The Hype

The Paris-based company has recently set up camp in Mayfair, London, after becoming the no.1 company for fillers in France, famous for achieving the ‘French Look’ – soft, chic and natural. Dubbed as the ‘Chic Filler’, VIVACY focus on “enhancing natural beauty with subtle changes”.


Chloe Laws, GLAMOUR UK Social Media Editor

Beauty Bio

I’ve never had any type of cosmetic work done before, so getting lip filler was daunting. The idea of a natural-looking lip enhancement has always appealed to me, but the possibility of coming out with overfilled and lumpy lips put me off. We’ve all seen the horror stories. I’ve never disliked my lips, but do vividly remember at age 16 getting hit in the face with a football and actually loving the puffed-up result I accidentally achieved. Lip filler was something I’d thought about, but not given any proper consideration.

The Review

I met with Alex Haq at 10 Harley Street one week ahead of my appointment, for a consultation; I went in with the mindset that I wouldn’t agree to anything unless I 100% trusted and felt safe in the practitioner’s hands. Alex is a Facial Aesthetics & Cosmetic Dermatologist at Invictus Humanus, which has clinics in London and Northern Ireland. I viewed this in the same way I do when picking a hairdresser – I want them to have great locks so I know their taste is good, and Alex had a great face – natural with a few tweakments.

Within 5 minutes I had already decided I absolutely wanted the fillers; she got my vision of bee-stung lips with no lumps, and understood how much I wanted my natural shape to stay intact. We also spoke about the fact I suffer from psoriasis and therefore would need to be extra careful with aftercare due to the fact I’m more susceptible to infection. I left feeling excited and prepped with aftercare tips.

For the actual procedure, I was in and out of the clinic within the hour. I ended up getting just 0.8ml, originally we agreed 0.5ml but because my lips aren’t symmetrical, the right side needed more of a helping hand.

People always want to know “was it painful?”, and to be honest, it’s all subjective. The numbing cream is the weirdest part, but it’s not painful, just an ‘odd’ sensation. The actual injections (I didn’t go for a canular), for me, didn’t hurt at all – you can feel it, sure, but it’s just like a pinprick.

I loved them as soon as I looked in the mirror – due to Alex’s incredible handiwork I didn’t get any bruising (pro tip, take arnica tablets for a few days before). They felt hard and swollen for about two days, and then they settled – a much speedier healing process than I’d imagined.

The Verdict

A fortnight after getting lip fillers, I have zero regrets. A lot of people haven’t even noticed I’ve had them done owing to how natural we went, and everyone I’ve told has been super positive. After posting about it on my Instagram Stories, I’ve had around 40 DMs from people telling me they’d now consider lip fillers after seeing how subtle mine look.

As with any beauty or cosmetic treatments, only put your looks in the hands of someone you trust. Go with your gut feeling and good vibes, because being on the same page as Alex with what I wanted to achieve made all the difference.


How can I avoid wrinkles

As the saying goes, every wrinkle tells a story, but you may want to keep all those stories to yourself…

We don’t blame you!

The best way to avoid wrinkles is to get ahead of what causes them – much of which is in your control, including:

Your Age

OK, we can’t really change our age, but wrinkles are another thing we can blame on our depleting supply of collagen. The building block of elastic youthful skin, our collagen supply dwindles with advancing age. The good news: There are a bonafide ways to prevent the break down of collagen and boost its production. The growing list includes PDO threads. The PDO thread lift is a procedure in which specialised CE approved surgical threads made from polydioxanone are injected into the skin using a fine needle/ cannula. The threads are interlaced causing a tension in the skin which delivers an instant

The threads dissolve after 6-8 months. During this time they stimulate the production of “new” collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, thickening and strengthening the skin from within and improving elasticity so it retains a lifted appearance for up to 2 years post treatment.

Some injectables also volumize by enhancing collagen production.

Your Genes

OK, we can’t change our genes…yet. If your mum had furrows, chances are you will too unless you take steps to protect your skin from the sun’s rays and other known causes of wrinkles.

Exposure to UV light breaks down your skin’s connective tissue including collagen and elastin in the deeper layer of skin. When this occurs, your skin begins to sag and wrinkle. Stop this process in its tracks by using Daily Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 all year round. See the our shop for the list of SPF we stock in clinic.


Those vertical lip lines are called smoker’s lines for a reason. Smoking produces free radicals in the body, which contribute to premature aging. Antioxidants like vitamin C sop
up damaging free radicals, and C-Bright Serum 10% Vitamin C is chock full of vitamin C. This serum helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles when used as directed. The repetitive pursing of lips that occurs when you smoke also causes wrinkles. If you smoke, the best thing you can do is quit, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start. Wrinkling is but one of a laundry list of problems and diseases that are caused and worsened by smoking.


Oxidative stress from pollution ages the skin and damages its ability to repair itself from damage. If moving or switching occupations isn’t an option, an antioxidant serum such as C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum will provide a high dose of stabilized pure vitamin C to reduce the effects of pollution on the skin. The addition of coenzyme Q10, another powerful antioxidant, helps to defend against other environmental triggers that cause inflammation.

Teen Acne vs Adult Acne

You survived high school. You sailed through college. Your breakouts were still showing up in your twenties. But you hit your thirties and your acne is still flaring up, and you thought you would be done by now…

You’re not alone. Adult acne is more common than you think. But it is different than the acne you had during your teens in several ways.

The key difference is that teenage age is caused by active oil glands and excess oil production, whereas adult acne is caused by hormonal activity. As we age, cell turnover slows down, so in adults, the oil builds up and causes inflammation, cystic acne and pimples.

Teenage acne tends to show up all over the face, and back, chest and shoulders. Adult acne is more commonly found on the lower face, chin and jawline.

The way to treat teen acne is also different than the best treatments for adults. For starters, young skin that produces too much oil needs more aggressive treatments to reduce the presence of p.acnes bacteria and dry up all that oil that causes the areas around nose and cheeks to shine. Adult skin is more fragile, delicate and sensitive, so it tends to dry out more quickly. The best treatments are more gentle and easier to
tolerate. In addition, adult women want to be able to wear foundation, so acne therapy needs to allow them to have a smooth surface to apply daily makeup without flaking and peeling.

Fortunately, the ZO® Skin Health and ZO® Medical ranges offer formulations that are suited to treat all types of acne for women and men of all ages.

The Importance of Antioxidants

There are certain ingredients that are proclaimed as powerhouses in skincare. Ingredients that contain antioxidants have become so immensely popular in the skincare industry that they have become a buzzword to consumers. However, antioxidants are more than just a buzzword or trending ingredient. There is a reason why skincare professionals continue to utilize antioxidants in treatments and maintenance protocols to give patients the best skin health solutions available. Antioxidants are more than deserving of all the hype because of their versatility, potency, and ability to deliver desirable results.

Yet the question for many remains: what exactly is an antioxidant? How many types of antioxidants are there? And how can you tell which is best suited for your own skin’s benefit?

An antioxidant can help prevent skin damage by protecting the skin from oxidation and free radicals. Free radicals from the environment, such as light and UV rays, pollutants, and other aggressors, are one of the largest culprits behind the reason that skin ages. By introducing an antioxidant to the skin, it can inhibit the oxidation process, thus slowing down damage to the skin as well as encouraging its repair.

The oxidation of skin can increase the appearance of fine lines + wrinkles. It can also show as sun damage, age spots, hyperpigmentation and the loosening and sagging of skin. By including antioxidants into your skincare regimen, they can work to improve the signs of aging, brighten the complexion and even skin tone. It is important to know your skin and to consult with an expert to determine the best ways to achieve your desired skin results. With that knowledge, figuring out the best antioxidant product to include is far more feasible. With this month being Skin Cancer Awareness Month, it is also important to highlight the anti-carcinogenic properties some antioxidants possess, which can help in the prevention against developing skin cancer.

Some of the most popular antioxidants found in skin health products most likely sound familiar to skincare enthusiasts. ZO® Skin Health includes cutting-edge ingredients and exclusive technologies in all products to offer skin health solutions to anyone, regardless of skin type. Below are some of the most well-known and most-recommended antioxidants to use from dermatologists, aestheticians, and other skin health professionals.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is one of the most studied and readily available antioxidants in the market. It helps lighten dark spots, even out the skin tone + work to reduce fine lines + wrinkles. 10% Vitamin C Self-Activating by ZO® Skin Health helps remove surface discoloration and renew brightness.

Vitamin A, or retinols/retinoids, is a powerful antioxidant most well-known for its ability to rejuvenate aging skin. By encouraging the production of collagen and stimulating cell turnover, Vitamin A is one of the best treatments to reduce moderate to severe signs of aging. Wrinkle + Texture Repair contains 0.5% retinol which allows the product to even skin texture, support the skin’s ability to retain hydration and to minimize the appearance of fine lines + wrinkles.

Vitamin E, or tocopherol, contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties and has been linked to encouraging skin cell turnover. Daily Power Defense by ZO® Skin Health is an effective antioxidant serum that works to lessen free-radical damage and promotes all-around skin health. It’s exclusive formula accelerates the skin’s natural ability to heal itself and to address environmental damage, especially from UV rays.

There is no such thing as a safe tan

You can’t dispute the science. The UVA and UVB rays from the sun as well as tanning beds and lamps lead to premature photo-aging at best, and skin cancer, including deadly melanoma, at worst. As beauty magazines and dermatologists advise, “The only safe tan is a fake tan.”

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “A tan, whether you get it on the beach, in a bed, or through incidental exposure, is bad news, any way you acquire it.” And tanning salons may pose the biggest risk. People who use indoor tanning devices are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than someone who has never visited a tanning salon or sat under a UV lamp. In the US alone, 419,254 cases of skin cancer can be attributed to indoor tanning. Out of this number, 6,199 are melanoma cases, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Avoiding indoor tanning is a no brainer, but what about natural sunlight? What is the best way to protect yourself yet enjoy outdoor activities, especially in the summer? “The new FDA guidelines explicitly state that you should wear a sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) protection. It also says you should reapply sunscreen frequently to maintain high levels of protection—a critical point,” says Dr. Obagi.

The Skin Cancer Foundation adds that you should seek shade when the sun is highest and wear protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses. Also, apply one full ounce of sunscreen to your body and face every two hours when you are outdoors. In fact, Dr. Ogagi believes you should never leave the house without sunscreen on exposed parts of the body and recommends ZO® Skin Health Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, which contains natural melanin that acts as a shield to fight the assault of ultra violet light on skin cells.

If you are still tempted by the illusionary enhancement of a tan remember this, skin ages 10 times faster when exposed to UV light from any source. You may not see the changes in your 20s, but textural and tone changes will appear in your early 30s, sun induced melanoma can occur in teens, and premature photo aging—lines, wrinkles, discoloration— is never a pretty sight.

View all our protect range

Eye Makeover

The skin around your eyelids is the thinnest on your body, and as such is most subject to daily and relentless damage from ultraviolet exposure. Choosing and using the right protective eye cream can delay the visible signs of aging around your eyes and keep this delicate skin supple and hydrated

Michigan plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, MD, recommends ZO® Medical Hydra firm Eye Brightening Repair Crème. Designed specifically for the under-eye area, the dream cream helps minimize the multiple signs of aging around the eyes, including puffiness, dark circles and fine lines.

“Puffiness under the eyes can be caused by several issues, including fatigue, fluid retention, seasonal allergies, excess salt intake, and of course, heredity,” Youn says. “The cause of dark circles can include darkening of the skin from chronic rubbing or a genetic predisposition. Additionally, some people with thin under eye skin can have darkening from underlying blood vessels that are visible,” he says. “Volume loss or hollowing under the eyes can cause shadowing that can create a dark appearance.”

Hydrafirm contains caffeine, enzymatic vasodilators and coenzyme A, which rapidly reduce the appearance of puffiness around your eyes. Active Vitamin A and biomimetic proteins encourage natural collagen production to help restore skin’s elasticity. Collagen is the skin’s main structural protein.

All you need is a pea-sized amount for the entire under-eye area. Apply it in the morning and before bed starting as early as your 20s. Blend the cream gently with your fingertips, and be careful to ever pull or tug on the skin around the eyes. With continued use, your delicate eyelid skin will become firmer for a more youthful look.

Rosacea Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

April is here and it is Rosacea Awareness Month!

According to The National Rosacea Society (NRS), April has been designated as Rosacea Awareness Month to educate the public on the real effects of rosacea and to dismantle the misconceptions that surround this chronic skin condition. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that usually affects the face; often the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin are involved. The cause of rosacea is still unknown and can be developed in many ways and at any age. Even the symptoms of rosacea can vary, but it is often categorized by facial redness, skin thickening, plus facial swelling and visible blood vessels in more advanced cases.

While there is no cure for rosacea, it is still a treatable skin condition. Most patients are prescribed antibiotics due to their anti-inflammatory properties, while others are advised light-therapy, in which light at a specific wavelength is absorbed by the blood vessels in the skin, allowing them to shrink down and improve the skin’s appearance. It is an effective procedure; however, long-term therapy is required.

Patients with rosacea are also urged to identify lifestyle and environmental factors that can be exacerbating flare-ups and redness. This can be anything from diet, stress, or exposure to certain environmental triggers. Alcohol, spicy foods, hot drinks and even dairy can trigger rosacea to flare up, while environmental factors, like sun exposure, can aggravate the condition. Removing or minimizing these triggers from your lifestyle, and managing your exposure to certain elements can help you avoid future discomfort and further irritation.

Rosacea Skincare

The first step to using skincare to treat rosacea is to make an appointment with a physician or skincare specialist. Everyone’s skin is different, even those suffering from rosacea. It’s important to understand what could be the underlying factors and triggers that can cause a flare-up or other discomfort. A skincare specialist will help you better understand the best way to treat your skin.

Skincare can either aggravate or soothe red, sensitive skin. It’s important to use products that are soothing, anti-inflammatory and chockful of antioxidants in order to combat free radical damage, which could be damaging the skin’s barrier allowing further irritation. For example, Rozatrol®—a multi-modal treatment from ZO® Skin Health—helps normalize the skin by relieving the signs of red, sensitized skin. This product contains an advanced amino acid complex to help restore and soothe the skin through hydration. Gentle, exfoliating properties help reduce oil, which can cause inflammation, while an exclusive plant stem cell complex provides powerful antioxidant protection against free radical damage.

If you are looking for a full protocol to treat red, sensitized skin, ZO® Skin Health also offers the Skin Normalizing System—a selection of therapeutic products designed to soothe with hydration and support a healthy skin barrier.

To learn more about rosacea and how you could help spread awareness of this skin condition, visit The National Rosacea Society.

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