Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Beauty Expert's Guide To Healthy Skin: Five Minutes With EstherFieldgrass

Esther Fieldgrass - Medium Res

Within minutes of meeting beauty expert and EF Medispa Owner Esther Fieldgrass, she knew what I had to do to transform my skin. And with 40 years of experience as an industry insider, I should think so too!

It all started at a chic restaurant in St John's Wood, where Skinceuticals was holding its launch event for the Balancing Micropeel. With a glass of orange juice in one hand and a notebook in the other, I spoke with Esther about her favourite treatments and what she loved most about the beauty industry. But then I was faced with the big, dreaded question: 'What do you with your skin?' If she had asked me 6-8 months ago, she would have looked at me in horror; however, luckily, I no longer use face wipes (sorry Esther!) and have been converted to the wonderful science-based skin care of Skinceuticals. I replied: 'I have quite oily skin, and I cleanse, tone and moisturise with the Retexturising Activator.' It was at that point that I knew there was something else on her mind - looking after my inner wellbeing (diet, hydration and stress management) should be a higher priority than it is right now. And that is the real key to having and maintaining healthy, glowing skin.

I just had to share Esther's advice with you as I found it so interesting and helpful, and I hadn't thought about the points she made in any great depth in the past. If you too have oily skin, I would love to know what you think of the top tips below and whether you would like to make any changes for not only your skin, but also your general health.

Top Tip 1. Go On An Alkaline Diet
'You need to go on an alkaline diet' were the first words of wisdom I heard from Esther, which was quite amusing at the time considering we were standing next to a table full of acidic foods and a glass full of fresh orange juice. To clear up any blemishes or oiliness, Esther told me it is best to avoid drinking coffee (weak tea, if desperate) and eating too many dairy-based products, and start drinking a lot more water to keep my skin hydrated. The acidic content of my food is definitely not something I had thought of before talking to Esther - I do drink a lot of tea during the day and do like cheese quite a lot, but I never considered how the acidic content of what I eat and drink could affect the health and appearance of my skin.

Top Tip 2. Don't Shy Away From Oil-Based Skin Care
One thing I was dying to speak to Esther about was skin hydration and what products I should use to keep my skin under control. I told her how apprehensive I was when it came to facial oils and oil-based skin care, as I was worried it was going to make my skin worse and increase the likelihood and severity of my breakouts. I was right to be concerned; according to Esther, your skin needs to be constantly hydrated, otherwise more oil will be produced, making the condition of the skin a lot worse. She also said that the use of some toners can strip the skin of its oils, making the skin feel dry and therefore producing even more oil, exacerbating the problem. So, the takeaway message here was to keep the skin very cleansed and clean, and use hydrating serums as opposed to moisturisers and oily creams. SkinCeuticals do a B5 serum for rehydrating that she particularly recommends, as well as the Retexturising Activator which is great for oily skin. But, most importantly, water intake needs to be steady and often.

Top Tip 3: Don't Overdo It With Topical Vitamin C
Vitamin C as a topical formulation is one of Esther's favourite skin care products. When looking at my skin, she advised me to just dab it on once a day (every morning) and not to use too much on every application, as the skin builds up a reservoir of vitamin c and so does not need to be topped up as much as you would think. I never knew this before and found it so interesting, especially as so many skin care products include vitamin c as a staple ingredient these days.

Top Tip 4: It's All About Maintenance
To achieve and maintain healthy skin, one treatment will never do the trick. Just as life goes on, skin care goes on. So, to look after your skin well, you need to attack all bases, including eliminating bodily toxins and using high-quality skin care to cleanse and hydrate the skin. Use a broad-spectrum SPF every day, no matter what the weather is like outside. Come rain or shine, every season is sun protection season, and Esther couldn't have stressed that point more.

Top Tip 5: Preparation Is Key
The skin is the largest organ, and so it must be treated well. Before having any chemical peels, the skin must be prepared for at least 2 weeks to take on the power of the formulation, and should also be hydrated. If the skin isn't prepared thoroughly, the peel won't work, will be uncomfortable and may dry out the skin. It's not about what you do at your appointments - it's about what you do between them that really counts. Never pay a lot of money for a treatment without knowing what state your skin should be in before it takes place. You want to see results to justify the cost.

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