How a video chat sorted out my iso-skin woes

Like many of us stuck at home, Nina Young found herself struggling with isoskin. So, she decided to call in the professionals via a video skincare consultation. The results have to be seen to be believed. 

In the before-time, that is the time when we got out of bed early every day to hop on trains and rush into the office, I had my skincare routine pretty sorted.

After a lot of trial and error, I had my regimen – I would use nothing but Alpha-H Liquid Gold Toner (a BHA and AHA product with glycolic acid) every second evening, on the other evenings I would hit the moisturiser hard, first with Dr Jart Water Fuse Toner or a hyaluronic acid serum, followed by Tatcha Water Cream. I’d do a clay mask or a sheet mask once a week on top of that, according to my needs, and that basic process was enough to keep my skin clear, smooth and happy.

Then coronavirus hit, and isolation started – and my skin just lost the plot. I was breaking out like crazy and my usually oily skin turned into a desert, I had dry scaly patches everywhere.

I tried to push forward with my tried-and-tested routine to turn things around, but it just wasn’t making a difference. Iso skin was here and it wasn’t going to budge. I switched things up, did less chemical exfoliating, more moisturising – but the dryness just didn’t want to budge. It was time to call in the professionals.

I was offered the chance to try out The Clinic’s new video consultancy service and I jumped at it. Was this the answer to my iso skin woes?

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Here’s how it worked…

After the government closed most beauty therapy and cosmetic medical clinics, The Clinic responded by creating a free online video consult service with a registered nurse to help clients find the right products for their skin troubles.

What makes this tailored approach so attractive is that these aren’t your standard skincare products you can buy off the shelf at the chemist or department store. The nurse is able to prescribe you with clinical-grade products that can really make a difference.

The Clinic then gives you the option to purchase the recommended items and ships them directly to you. My consult with nurse Lisa Sullivan-Smith started by going over my current routine and discussing my skin concerns.

Right away, Lisa pointed out that my AM routine (washing my face and whacking on a bit of moisturiser and SPF if I remembered to) wasn’t really cutting it and overall, at the ripe old age of 35, I needed to get more actives into my routine for anti-aging. Namely, a retinoid for the evenings and a vitamin C product for the mornings, as well as a good quality creamy moisturiser to tackle my dryness – rather than the water-based cream I’d been relying on.

She recommended three products to me as well as The Clinic’s famous cleansing pads for proper makeup removal.

SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream ($142.50, at The Clinic)

For my PM, I was prescribed SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream, a one-step nightly retinoid treatment. Its active ingredients include retinol, glycolic, Lactic acid, antioxidants and Peptides to improve the appearance of lines, wrinkles and discolouration

The Moisturiser ($88 at The Clinic)

On top of that I was to use The Moisturiser, The Clinic’s own formulation.

The Moisturiser includes Sea Buckthorn, which reduces redness and is especially good for sensitive skin or those with rosacea; plant stem cells to strengthen collagen fibres, ideal for ageing skin; peptides to tighten, firm and improve overall skin tone; and aloe vera to soothe inflamed or irritated skin.

SkinBetter Science Alto Defense Serum ($195 at The Clinic)

For the AM I was given SkinBetter Science Alto Defense Serum, a combination of 19 powerful antioxidant ingredients. After the serum, I was to pop on The Moisturiser again.

I was excited to try these products, especially as they are only available through a medical consult, and not the over the counter stuff I was used to. Here’s how the products turned out…

Week one

I was initially a little afraid of the retinoid as I’d hear it could make your dry skin worse, but I didn’t find that to be the case. When combined with The Moisturiser, I immediately saw my dry skin begin to improve. Slowly the scaly-ness disappeared and my skin felt smoother and softer.

The Skin Better Science products have no noticeable scent and they sink into the skin really nicely without any greasiness or stickiness left over. The Moisturiser has a light scent that I found really pleasant, and it dissipates pretty quickly, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re someone who hates scented products.

Week two

Uh oh. My skin started to erupt like a damn volcano. Huge pimples sprung up overnight around my chin and cheeks. I started to worry that I’d swapped dry skin for acne, but before I panicked and stopped using the products I got back in touch with Lisa to ask her for her advice.

She told me that sometimes retinol can push the sebaceous activity from the dermis, meaning that it kind of forces out the gunk and blocked pores, sometimes known as purging. She told me to stick with it, and that retinol helps dry up the break outs.

Week three

Here’s where I am now! Dry skin… Gone!

My skin is visibly smoother and softer and looks really lovely and even. The majority of the breakouts cleared up after a few days, with a few stragglers remaining.

Overall I really enjoyed the products and feel like I’m much more where I should be for my skincare routine at my age. The products are on the pricey side, but they have so many strong active ingredients I can see how they’re worth it.

If you’re suffering with your iso skin in silence, don’t muck around slapping random products on in a panic. Turn to the professionals on this one!