The last time I sat in a dermatologist's office, I must have been 13. I suffered teenage acne - bumpy forehead and an oily t-zone that was prone to breakouts - and my mother kindly capitulated to my whining and brought me to get a prescription of something topical that essentially just dried up the zits away. Not the most sophisticated process, but it helped and as I got older, my combination skin regularly spits out doozies of a pimple, gargantuan and isolated on a clear patch just so that they are that much more obvious. 

But that's the least of my skin worries. As I get older, hitting 43 next month, I've noticed my face developing little brown patches across the cheeks and eye area, starting with a little red amalgation of blood vessels and then one day, they just turn into a brown landmark. I never planned for age spots, as I think we colloquially call them, and while I can't stop the aging process, I am interested to hear how I can slow them down, if not stop them at all, and avoiding them multiplying over my face?

So for the first time in 30 years, I asked our contributing Beauty Editor, Rachel Singer-Clark if she could recommend a dermatologist I could see to ask them about what was going on and what I could do about them. She immediately recommended Dr. Stefanie Williams, founder of the South London skin clinic, Eudelo. 

And so I found myself sitting in the waiting room of a clinic just by Vauxhall tube station, an oasis of calm, with lemon and mint infused water as I waited to get scanned for my facial assessment report, so that I could be benchmarked for texture, pores, UV spots, brown spots and red areas and ranked amongst an average percentile. Across the board, my percentiles were pretty good except for "Brown Spots" - well, there you go! Good timing to get professional advice (Dr. Stefanie's clinic brochure encourages us all to go to the Dermatologist as if a dentist - much more often than we normally do, essentially!)

Dr. Stefanie's recommendation was a new skin regime, replacing my routine of Tata Harper, LaMer and Chanel cleanser and moisturizers for a while and introducing Retinol, an ingredient I have long read about but never thought it was something I needed. Seems my age spots need some breaking down and repair and rejuvination, though not to use daily but more topically a few times a week.

A programme of over the counter cosmoceuticals from brands I'd never heard of - Medik8, Tebiskin, and Heliocare gel in SPF50 (a little late for me to realize that even the London clouds don't protect us from UVA rays) - and some that were (Avene, Skinceuticals, NeoStrata) along with a morning routine that slightly differed from an evening routine. What I once thought was an easy ritualistic cleanse, tone and moisturize set is getting complicated and time intensive, but I guess that's the price of prevention, right?

Apparently pigmentmentation responds extremely slowly to treatment (best results can take as long as 6 months) and sun protection is of the upmost importance (obvs). I'll invest the time and money into using these products (the Medik8 cream alone is £210 from what I can google) as I'm hoping prevention is the optimizing key to aging clearly, naturally and healthily.

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