I did an Insta live the other day with Dr Anita Sturnham who runs the skincare brand Decree and I thought I would write up some notes here on what we discussed, a little bit like I’m class rep distributing notes from a PTA meeting, only more chat about retinoids and less chat about thread worms.
Two things of note about skin generally: Anita says she quite often sees clients with problem skin who are a) using too many products and b) over-using exfoliant, whether it’s physical or chemical. Eliminating the skin-scouring and streamlining a skincare routine is the first place to start if you’re having problems.
The too-many-products thing is endemic – the targeted and clever marketing wings of major cosmetic companies get us right where we live and, dazzled by phrases such as Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid we buy too much shit, from a range of brands and then wonder why we’re breaking out. Then we buy a bottle of something else in the hope that this will CURE IT.
Decree solves all this by having a very small range of products, which deliver measured doses of all the things your skin needs. If you are having problems with your skin or if you feel like as you head out of your thirties and in your forties and beyond you want to do a bit of future-proofing, Decree is the range for you.
(I have been gifted Decree in the past and have also bought it at full price. This is not a sponsored post!)
I have been using Decree for about two years now and, bar the odd hormonal cystic outbreak, which I think is beyond anyone to prevent, it has looked after my skin incredibly well. The downside is the cost, but to me and I suspect to others, not having to constantly fret about outbreaks is worth it. One full set of cleansers, serums and moisturisers lasts about four months. I would say you would see a benefit to your skin by only using the AM Cleanser, PM Cleanser and the Emollient Peptide Veil (that’s moisturiser to you and me). Mostly because it will streamline your routine and also stop you from scrubbing your upper epidermis off with a St Ives facial scrub (put it down!)
Decree are very generously offering Spike readers 20% off individual products until the end of the April with the code ESTHER20.
I also had a chat with Anita about teenage skin. Anita suffered from rosacea in her teens and so is pretty alive to the concerns of teenage skin. She even runs a London skin clinic for teenagers at Nuriss Skincare and Wellness Centre. Anyone up to 21 years old can redeem the £200 consultation fee against products. For an appointment email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this is out of the question, Anita really generously gave me a regime for breaking out teenage skin on a budget.
In the morning use a hydrating cleanser like CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. (I would add here to encourage your teen to pat their skin dry gently – no rubbing at it with a flannel or towel.) You can then topically treat breakouts with an over the counter treatment called Acnecide (seriously) or ask your GP for a prescription for DUAC (I have used this, it’s very good). Use a hydrating moisturiser like CeraVe Oil Free moisturiser or Avene Recovery Cream. At night, Anita recommends a wash containing salicylic acid such as The Inkey List Salicylic acid cleanser and then moisturiser afterwards.
A once-a-week deep cleanse mask is a good idea – they’re all similar. Something like La Roche Posay’s Clay mask will be good. If you have a Beauty Pie membership, they do a very good one called Deep Pore cleanse or something.
I would pipe up here and add to this that there is an aftercare product for surgical scars called Clinisept, which is brilliant for breakout patches. Spray it lightly on any affected area and lightly dab off excess with a tissue. Pillowcases ought to be washed at 90C once a week and phones regularly disinfected.
If your teen will allow you to discuss their skin, there is something I would very much like them to know, which is that they have regular breakouts, even if their skin is very oily and seems or feels “tough” they qualify as having sensitive skin. And to that end, they ought to treat their face as such. Would you scrub a £500 silk shirt or a pair of awesome leather jeans with a £4.99 bright blue bottle of shite from a pharmacy? No. Get them to thinking that their face is a priceless, beautiful material to be treated like silk, washed gently at tepid temperatures with the correct products, never really hot, no scrubbing.