Acne- The 411

Living with acne, whether severe or mild can significantly impact the way you feel about yourself in your day to day life. It is thought that 80% of all people between the age of 11 and 30 have suffered with acne at some point in their lives. Whilst there is no official ‘cure’ for acne, your skin care routine can help reduce its severity. Many consider makeup to be a cause of Acne and to some extent this is true however, with the right skincare routine followed by applying carefully selected makeup products, you can reap the benefits of calmer and concealed skin.

What is acne?

Acne is a condition of the hair follicles on the fast, chest and back which manifests its self in comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), pustules (puss filled spots), pimples (sensitive red bumps) and, cysts (deep pimples).

What causes acne?

Acne occurs when oil producing glands are particularly sensitive to normal levels of hormones in the blood and subsequently produce too much oil. The build up of oil in acne prone skin provides an ideal area for bacteria to multiply causing inflammation and puss-filled spots.  Furthermore, those who’s skin is prone to acne do not shed dead skin properly causing the follicles to clog up resulting in blackheads and whiteheads.

Active ingredients to look out for in both skin care and makeup. 

When caring for acne prone skin, there are 4 holy grail ingredients to look out for which are common in a huge variety of products from low to high price points. They are:

  1. Salicylic acid – Derived from bark and is a great exfoliate whilst also having anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Glycolic acid – A chemical exfoliate which prevents the dead skin cells from being held to the surface of the skin. Recent studies have also shown tha it promotes the production of collagen (key for repairing the skin).
  3. Benozl peroxide – Targets bacteria contributing to acne.
  4. Tea tree oil – Contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties whilst also contributing to clogging pores.

Daily skincare for acne prone skin

1) Cleanse: Cleansing the skin removes dirt, oil and other unwanted substances from the skin, it is important as throughout the day your face comes into contact with a plethora of unwanted pollutants, viruses, dirt and dead skin cells. Cleansing is especially important for acne prone skin through its unclogging of pores which would otherwise lead to spots. If you are looking for a new cleanser for your acne prone skin I recommend using:

  • La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel (£13) which is suitable for the most sensitive of skin containing only the bare essential ingredients. Great for oil control and proven to reduce the visibility of spots and blackheads.
  • Dermalogica MediBac Clearing Skin Wash (£44) contains salicylic acid and camphor to reduce inflammation alongside tea tree oil to help eliminate breakout causing bacteria.

2) Toner: Toner is important for re-balancing the PH of the skin and removes excess oil (vital for preventing Acne). I recommend using:

  • La Roche Posay Effaclar Clarifying solution (£12) is formulated with glycolic and salicylic acid which work in harmony to remove dirt and toxins from pores.
  • Dermalogica breakout clearing all over toner (£34). contains salicylic acid and argon to reduce redness and skin aggravation caused by break outs. This can be used all over the body too!

3) Moisturise: Applying moisturiser to a clean face creates the perfect canvas for makeup application and prevents dry patches that cause makeup to cake and look unnatural. Those with acne prone skin are often wary of using moisturiser daily as they fear that it will contribute to their oiliness and result in blemishes. In reality, many moisturisers are very beneficial for acne prone skin, I recommend using:

  • Avene Clearance expert (£11) which contains exfoliating properties to stop bacteria causing acne causing breakouts.
  • Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Crème (£12) which releases moisture and soothing properties to your skin throughout the day.
  • La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (£11) which contains salicylic acid.

Makeup tips and tricks for acne-prone skin

1) Prime: When covering acne with makeup, primer is your best friend if you use products with blurring and/or colour correcting properties (green primers are a great way to mask the redness of acne prone skin). Many primers even contain acne fighting ingredients such as tea tree oil and salicylic acid. Make sure to read the ingredients of the products you are using as those with oily skin should opt for oil-free formulas. Primers work best on prepped skin that has gone through the above skincare routine.

2) Foundation: This is by no means compulsory when applying makeup to acne prone skin but if you chose to apply foundation make sure you pick one that does not clog your pores or irritate your skin. Using a mineral based or oil free foundation is the best port of call and many on the market even contain active ingredients to help you fight off acne. When trying to cover acne, large quantities of foundation are not always needed and it is best to view foundation as giving you a base with the concealer doing the more heaving duty covering.

3) Concealer: When covering specific blemishes, the right concealer can make your skin look flawless. In terms of actual application, I recommend warming the concealer in your hands before application and placing a tiny amount on the head of the blemish. Concealer is best able to cover blemishes when patted in with a clean dry finger as it allows precision and the product to fuse with your base.

4)Powder: If you have applied foundation and/or concealer powder will make it last all day. Furthermore, mattifying powders are a powerful tool to control your oil.

The most important aspect of covering acne prone skin with makeup is TAKING IT OFF, you should never sleep in your makeup especially with acne prone skin as your pores will become clogged and more symptoms of acne will appear.

The uses of Botox that you did (and didn’t) know about.

1)Excessive Sweating

Injections into sweat glands block chemical signals and neurotransmitters from stimulating nerves, keeping them dry. Treatments have been proven to be very effective and results can last up to 8 months.

2)Writer’s Cramp and/or Musicians Cramp

Injections into specific muscles in the hand relaxes the muscles and stops them from cramping.


Botox injections help with the over production of oil in the skin. An amount of botox so small is required that having this procedure for acne would still allow full facial movement.

4)Weight Loss

Gastric Botox is an outpatient, endoscopic procedure that uses an injection into the stomach muscles that cause patients to feel full quickly.

5)Overactive Bladder

Studies have shown that injecting a wrinkle relaxing injection into the wall of the bladder will stop the overwhelming urge to go to the toilet.


Botox injections helps control excess salivation and is particularly effective for people with Parkinson’s disease and ALS.





Further studies have shown that injections into the face can block signals of pain that the brain send out by relaxing muscles in the head and making them less sensitive to migraines.

8)Neck Pain

Injections into specific muscles can block the signals that cause stiffening and muscle tightening, easing pain.

9)Cosmetic Uses

Botox is used for cosmetic purposes in predominantly the following areas: 

  • Crows Feet
  • Horizontal Forehead Lines
  • Wrinkles around the nose
  • Flaring nostrils
  • Lip lines
  • Jowl grooves
  • Chin dimpling
  • Eyebrow elevation

Exilis Elite Vs Vanquish




BTL Vanquish (ME) is a non-invasive fat-removal treatment which uses a form of energy called radiofrequency. This treatment is ideal in targeting areas such as the:

  • abdomen
  • love handles
  • saddlebags
  • inner/outer thighs.

BTL Vanquish treatment has the largest treatment spot size in the industry and calculates the settings required automatically, based on the patient’s fat.


The BTL device’s multipolar radiofrequency travels through hydrated tissue easily; however, the energy cannot travel through a poorly conducted layer (such as fat cells) which causes the tissue to heat up. As only the fat cells are targeted, there is no damage to surrounding tissue, blood vessels or nerve endings, therefore there is no downtime, no swelling, no pain or bruising. Simplified operator protocols ensure that results are consistent and deliverable. This is a walk in, walk out treatment that is pleasant to have.

We usually recommend a course of 4 treatments; however, everyone is different and some people may need an extra one or two treatments to get optimal results. During your consultation, your doctor will assess your and body concerns and discuss realistic results. From this you will have a recommended course length.

Results start to show 7-10 days after the first treatment, however generally people start to notice after their second treatment. Even after your final treatment, you may find your body is still changing up to a month after that last treatment.

Following a course of Vanquish you will find that your results are permanent as once we kill the fat cells, they cannot return. However, whether you see an increase in the remaining fat cells in your body is dependent on your lifestyle and other factors such as diet, how much you drink and whether you exercise or not. You may have removed the fat cells from your problem area, however you still have millions of fat cells remaining which are still susceptible to expansion.


Anyone aged 18 upwards can have this treatment. It is suitable for anyone who wants permanent fat destruction without surgery. This treatment is also very appealing as it is fit for all skin types and colours; even tanned skin (fake or natural) can safely have this treatment. The ideal patient has mild to moderate adipose tissue to treat and is around 20 pounds of their ideal weight. There are some people who aren’t suitable for Vanquish due to certain health reasons. Your doctor will be able to discuss this with you in more detail.


Vanquish involves little to no risk and is very safe. The treatment should not hurt at all with no anaesthetic being required. It is FDA cleared for deep tissue heating, circumference reduction & adipose tissue and has many clinical studies carried out by scientists and doctors to prove its safety and efficacy. There are also many clinics across the Globe who successfully use Vanquish on their patients and get fantastic results. Your doctor will have a certificate for practice, showing they have completed full training and are able to treat patients safely.

Exilis Elite


Exilis elite is a new technology that uses radio frequency energy to tighten skin while reducing fat and signs of fine lines and wrinkles. It is a non-surgical procedure that stimulates the breakdown of fat cells and collagen remodeling (for skin tightening).

Exilis Elite is commonly used on the following areas:

  • Stomach (including muffin tops and love handles).
  • Outer and inner thighs.
  • Buttoks
  • Jaw line and jowls.
  • Neck
  • Around the eyes.
  • Inner and outer arms (including bingo wings).


The Exilis Elite uses a combination of radio frequency energy, ultrasound and skin cooling in order to deliver controlled heating to target deep tissue.

The applicator uses focused thermal (heat energy) to disrupt the collagen fibres deep within the skin. The aim is to raise the temperature at the skin surface to 40-42 degrees for five minutes in each area to achieve collagen tightening. This is because collagen has a tripe helix structure which begins to unravel when heated. Over time, the healing process encourages the production of new collagen fibres, smoothing the skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. The new collagen helps to tighten loose of slightly sagging skin, giving an overall more youthful appearance, and the collagen network is strengthened and stimulated improving skin texture.


As long as you are generally healthy and don’t have any serious health concerns (e.g., liver, kidney or heart disease, cancer etc.), skin diseases or active infections in the area proposed for treatment, there are few medical reasons why you should not undergo this treatment. If you have a history of cold sores, you may need to take medication before treatment can be done.

If you have a pacemaker or any other implanted metal (e.g., hip joints) or electronic device (e.g., internal defibrillator) then you will not be suitable for the Exilis treatment due to the delivery of radiofrequency energy to the body which could heat up these items. If you are planning a treatment to the facial area then metal dental braces may be a contra-indication for treatment due to the path of the radiofrequency from the treatment site to the grounding pad.

This treatment is not advised for pregnant or breast-feeding women.

If you have had ablative laser skin resurfacing or a deep chemical peel in the area to be treated in the last 3 months then you will be advised to wait before commencing an Exilis Elite treatment. If you have been treated with Accutane in the last 12 months you will also be advised on a delay before you start your Exilis programme.


Risks and side effects are generally minimal.

The applicator has a built in thermometer so there is no risk of overheating. The function called ‘layered advanced cooling’ allows the practitioner to precisely control the heat and level at which the energy is delivered determining whether the superficial skin layer or deeper tissue is targeted. As the settings on the device must be attuned to the area of the skin that is being treated. you it is vital that you get the procedure done with a qualified medical practitioner to avoid any mistakes. For example, if you are treating areas around the eyes and your doctor uses Exilis settings meant for the abdomen, this could potentially cause skin damage because too much energy will be delivered to the treatment site.

You may notice some pinkness or redness to the skin immediately following the treatment but this typically subsides within 15-30 minutes. Skin may be slightly tender to the touch for a little time afterwards, but this is not always the case. If you are experiencing any sensitivity it can be treated with over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain-killer medication.

Very rare risks reported include numbness, swelling (oedema), blistering, scarring, allergic reactions and nausea.


Exilis EliteVanquish
CostDepends on the area being treated however treatments can start from approximately £300 per session. Depends on the area being treated however treatments can start from approximately £250 per session.
ResultsVisable results can generally be seen after one treatment, with more prominent results seen 2-3 months following treatment.
The longevity of the results will depend on your genetic predisposition to ageing and your lifestyle; you may need top-up treatments to maintain the results.

Many patients have reported seeing improvements in as little as 3 weeks. However, this of course varies from patient to patient

Providing that you do not put on any weight, the fat reduction achieved through Vanquish can be long term.
PainThe Layered advanced cooling function means that the treatment is comfortable at the surface of the skin.
During the treatment your skin may feel slightly warm however there will be no pain or bruising.
As the heat is only targeting the fat cells, it does not damage any surrounding tissue. This makes it a pain-free experience for most patients. Many people liken the sensation to being under an electric blanket. However, some people have noted a little bit of tenderness the next day.
DowntimeThere is no downtime with this procedure. There may be temporary pinkness or redness in the skin for about 20-30 minutes that quickly subsides. Since there is no downtime or special care required once you leave the office, you can carry on with the rest of your day’s activities immediately following treatment.
It is recommended that you partake is some sort of light exercise for 30-40 minutes following treatment in order to maximize results if the body is being treated for fat removal.
After a Vanquish treatment you may see some reddening of the skin, which should
dissipate rapidly and your treatment area will feel warm. Some people find some heat remains for up to a couple of hours after treatment but it is barely noticeable. This is a walk in, walk out
Pre-treatment careIt is important that you are very well hydrated before, during and after your Exilis treatment to achieve maximum results.It is important that you are very well hydrated before, during and after your Vanquish treatment to achieve maximum results.

Both Vanquish ME and Exilis are terrific devices made by BTL. There is some overlap between them; they both use a form of energy called radiofrequency and both require multiple treatments for optimal results. To achieve the best results for burning fat and tightening areas of the skin, we would recommend using Vanquish ME and Exilis Elite as a combined treatment.

The ultimate cleanser for your skin type (and budget)

Cleanser is the most vital part of your daily skincare routine and should be carried out twice a day. In the morning, cleansing will help to wake you up and in the evening it will remove your makeup and any dirt/bacteria that your face may have picked up throughout the day.  According to a recent survey carried out by Boots, nine out of ten women are confused as to what skincare products they should be using which is not helped by the huge variety of products on the market all claiming to perform miracle results. In order to simplify things, we have suggested our favorite cleansers for each different skin type and budget, all of which are available in store here at IPSA.

What is my skin type?

1. Normal Skin

Normal skin is soft with a smooth even tone. This is because there is good circulation and there will not be any traces of excess oil.

2. Oily Skin

Oily skin will leave blots of facial oil on tissues, especially from cheeks, the nose and forehead. This is due to overacting glands producing more oil than necessary.

3. Dy Skin

Dry skin is often flaky and feels tight after being wiped. This is due to a low level of sebum and the inability to maintain oil easily.

4. Combination skin.

With combination skin, oil is produced around the nose, and forehead ( T Zone) but not on the cheeks, mouth or eyes.

5. Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin can be inflamed or irritated easily, this  can be caused by skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema or allergies.



Picking your cleanserOur High End ReccomendationOur Budget Reccomendation
Normal SkinLook for lightweight cleansers with hydrating properties. DECLÉOR Aroma Cleanse 3-in-1 Hydra Radiance Smoothing & Cleansing Mousse (£30, 200ml).

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Foaming Gel Cleanser (£12.50, 150ml).
Dry SkinLook for a cleanser with special hydrating care, packed full of moisturising ingredients. NUXE Reve de Miel Gel Nettoyant et Demaquillant Visage Face Cleansing and Make-Up Removing Gel (£14.50, 200ml).
La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Hydrating Cleansing Cream (£12, 200 ml).
Oily SkinLook for a cleanser that does not strip moisture from your skin as thorough cleansing is imperative to remove impurities that come along with this skin type. Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser (£32, 250ml). La Roche-Posay Effaclar purifying cleanser gel (£12, 200ml).
Combination SkinLook for a cleanser that will moisturise the dry areas on your face without making them oily. Nuxe Micellar Foam Cleanser with Rose Petals (£14, 150ml).

Avene Cleansing Foam (£12.50, 150ml).
Sensitive SkinLook for a cleanser that is mild and gentle containing soothing ingredients as sensitive skin can be easily irritated and must be treated with care. Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel (£32, 250ml). Avene Tolerance Extreme Cleansing Lotion 200ml (£15, 200 ml).