Can you apply moisturiser after retinol? When should you start using anti-ageing products? Can jowls really be lifted non-surgically? I receive dozens of messages every day from men and women confused about how they should be using their skincare, what products they should be focusing on or the right treatments for their concerns. Here, I’ve answered some of the most common skincare and anti-ageing questions that I’m often asked and included some of the best product recommendations for various concerns.

Can I use retinol in the summer?

You can absolutely use retinoids all year round, including during the summer months. While it’s true that they can make your skin mildly sensitive to the sun, it doesn’t mean you have to eliminate them. Providing that you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen at the end of your morning skincare routine and regularly reapply it throughout the day, your risk of burning from a retinoid is small.

If you have sensitive skin or you’re going somewhere very hot and sunny and are worried about using retinol, a suitable retinol replacement would be Bakuchiol, a clinically proven botanical alternative ideal for those who can’t use traditional Vitamin A.

What is the most effective way to reduce redness/inflammation?

Avoiding direct sunlight, heat, spicy foods, and irritant ingredients like fragrances will help prevent inflammation. If your complexion needs some support, use products aimed at barrier repair, which contain gentle ingredients such as polyhydroxy acids and ceramides. I’m a big fan of Meder Beauty Red Apax Concentrate for reducing redness or rosacea – it’s genuinely ground-breaking. It uses completely different technology from anything else on the market, combining ingredients like prebiotics, probiotics, yacon extract and northern truffle extract to reduce redness and calm the skin. My patients who have tried it have never seen results like it or experienced skin as calm as they have now.

Can I apply a moisturiser after retinol?

Retinoids work by revving up the cellular turnover in the superficial epidermis (the top layer of the skin). This makes them efficient at preventing fine lines, reducing acne, and improving the appearance of scars and pigmentation. However, this turnover is also responsible for the dry, flaky skin that you may experience when introducing retinol to your regime for the first time. One way to mitigate this is to apply a ceramide-rich moisturiser about twenty minutes after your retinol. I love the SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, which contains fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides in the ratio closest to that naturally found in your skin. It helps to lock in moisture while you’re asleep, minimising trans-epidermal water loss and eliminating any irritation caused by retinol use.

When should I start using anti-ageing products?

This can vary from person to person, depending on skin type, lifestyle, and genetics. Generally, though, you should start to think about introducing good-quality anti-ageing products like retinol, vitamin C and peptides into your skincare regime from your mid- to late- twenties onwards. Collagen production stops at the age of 25, so it’s good to get ahead of this and implement the right ingredients to support skin health and prevent signs of ageing before they occur.

Do eye creams actually work?

The right eye cream can effectively combat concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles, and eyebags. If you don’t have any particular concerns, simply bring your antioxidants, hydrating serums, and moisturisers straight up to the bone around your eyes and pat gently. And always include your eyelid and under-eye in your sunscreen application.

If you’d like to brighten dark circles or soften eye bags, take a look at SkinBetter Science Interfuse Eye Cream, which improves the look of under-eye puffiness and darkness through a blend of caffeine and a highly specialised yeast derivative.

Or if, like me, your eye area isn’t plagued by dark circles, but instead, you want to prevent or improve fine lines and wrinkles, Revision Skincare D E J Eye Cream is the one for you. It fades the look of crow’s feet lines, crepiness and wrinkles by focusing on the skin’s dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ).

What ingredients are best for reducing wrinkles?

Whilst retinol is an excellent all-rounder, other top ingredients for minimising lines and wrinkles include vitamin C and niacinamide. Both offer excellent antioxidant protection, which means they protect against daily aggressors (such as UV and pollution), minimising pigmentation, sun damage and inflammation in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is key – it locks in vital moisture, plumping the skin and boosting radiance from within.

Whilst injectables are more popular than ever, they’re not for everyone. Over the last few years, I’ve seen a huge increase in clinically effective topical products which will deliver micro-doses of wrinkle relaxing peptides to help decrease expression lines around the eyes and on the forehead. Top of my list are the Meder Myo-Fix Complex and the Revision Skincare Revox Line Relaxer.

Can you really lift jowls non-surgically?

Thankfully, gone are the days when surgery was our only option to repair the damage caused by the ageing process. Now, we have a myriad of advanced, non-surgical treatments and modalities at our fingertips to lift sagging jowls and restructure an ageing face subtly yet effectively – and I offer two of the very best skin tightening devices in my clinics.

Profound RF is a radiofrequency-based microneedling device that is proven to stimulate collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid by bolstering these natural building blocks to tighten, lift and restore lost spring to the lower face, jowls and neck. Sofwave is an FDA-cleared device that utilises unique Synchronous Ultrasound Parallel Beam Technology to lift, sculpt and tighten skin on the face and neck, working from the inside out for long-lasting results with minimal downtime.

What are the best ways to boost collagen?

In my opinion, the best results always come from a multimodal approach, using a combination of products and treatments. Skincare ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid and vitamin C act on the upper layers of the skin, whilst professional treatments like RF microneedling and Profhilo work at a deeper level by stimulating healing responses. You can also try collagen supplementing but choose a product containing hydrolysed collagen, a form easier to digest and absorb into the bloodstream. I love Dose & Co and ZENii Skin Fusion.

If you’d like to find out more about any of the treatments I’ve mentioned, click here to enquire or to book a consultation with me or my expert team.