Skincare Q&A With Consultant Dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk
Dr Justine Kluk shares her thoughts on all things skincare and personalisation
What do you think are the building blocks of a great skincare routine?
People often get really confused about this, but it only needs to be very simple.
When I'm building a skin care plan for patients who come to see me in the clinic, the starting point is to look at what their goals are for their skin and I tend to build a routine around that.
However, the basic building blocks, I would say, are:
I recommend cleansing the skin, morning and evening.
This helps maintain the integrity of our skin barrier. This itself is helpful for a number of different skin conditions, such as eczema or rosacea. Moisturising regularly also helps us to tolerate active skincare ingredients better, meaning that the routine fits together more harmoniously.
I use a broad spectrum SPF 30 or 50 sunscreen all year round to reduce my risk of skin cancer and to prevent premature skin ageing.
If I'm thinking about good long term skin health, then two of the other things I might want to include in a skincare routine are:
An antioxidant serum in the morning
This is to protect the skin from the effects of UV radiation and pollution. I like using vitamin C as a key ingredient here. Resveratrol is another good option. Normally I would recommend applying this in the morning after cleansing and before moisturiser and sunscreen.
Then a retinoid (AKA vitamin A)
Retinoids are come in cream, gel, lotion or serum form and are the gold standard agent for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, alongside sunscreen. They are usually applied in the evening because they can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, although there are some newer ones that can be used in the morning too. Always check the label carefully.
Why is personalisation so important when building a skincare routine for somebody?
It is absolutely clear that no two of us are built exactly alike. We are all unique and so assuming that every single person requires the exact same things when it comes to skincare is madness. Our skin has different needs, our goals are going to be different to those of our friends, and our skin is going to respond differently to various products. This is why personalisation is really important.
We have to respond to our skin's unique needs. We need to be really clear about what our goals are, and to then tailor our skin care regimen around that if we're going to be happy and satisfied with the results in the end.
Often, a good place to start first is to think about the concerns you have with your skin. What are the key things that are bothering you? The second step is then to have a think about what your end goals are? This then provides a focus for trying to work out the best products to use.
Sometimes these are things that we can work out pretty quickly on our own. For example, if our concerns are dryness and we’d like smoother, plumper, more bouncy looking skin, then optimising use of moisturiser, and moisture-enhancing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or niacinamide, makes good sense. Sometimes, it’s a bit more complex and we need professional help to navigate. Some people will be able to come and see a Dermatologist to get this advice. For others, this might not be practical or easily accessible, and I think that's where Renude offers a really exciting opportunity.
It’s why I'm super happy to be part of team Renude, combining expert recommendations on skincare with guidance about product choice.
Do you think people are less patient to see results now than they were when you first started working as a Dermatologist?
I think the answer is that we have always wanted quick results. That hasn't changed, but I do think we are more impatient than ever before because we're now so used to “instant everything”. Everything happens at the touch of a button. We expect things to happen now and we don’t want to wait.
Unfortunately, our skin doesn’t just change overnight. This doesn't necessarily mean you've got a crummy Dermatologist or aesthetician, or that you're using a useless product. Our skin is a living organ and physiological processes will take time to happen. New cells have to be generated, older ones have to turn over. Patience and perseverance are key.
As a rule of thumb, three months is a decent period of time to try something new and see whether it's going to work for you or not. Sometimes it might even need to be longer than that. If you haven’t seen a result one or two weeks after implementing a new product or routine, it doesn’t mean that things aren't going to work out in the end. Trusting the process is important, as well as having confidence that the person or the team advising you have experience and all the tools needed to help you get a great outcome in the end.
What is the biggest skincare myth that you would like to bust?
One that's very close to my heart is around acne and the idea that everyone grows out of it in their teens. That's something that I was told as a teenager and I'm still waiting to grow out of it! Breakouts are something that I still have active treatment for in my late thirties, and plan my skincare around.
We know that 90% of people will have acne in their teens and early 20s. Obviously not everyone is affected to the same extent. Some have it very mildly. For others, it’s very severe. A lot of people do get better by their mid 20s, but for women particularly, rates of adult acne (age 25+) are somewhere between 10-20%. This is actually a fairly significant number of people and the notion that they’re going to grow out of it can feel very far away.
It is therefore a myth that I'd like to bust because I think the expectation delays people at the more severe end of the spectrum seeking professional help. I think it also sets up a mindset that we must be outliers or doing something wrong if we're still getting spots in our late twenties, thirties or beyond. But really, it can and does happen fairly frequently and it's okay to get support. You don't have to sit around waiting for things to miraculously disappear. And you are not alone. Please speak to someone for advice if spots are getting you down. There’s loads that can be done.
To connect with one of our licensed skincare pros to build a custom routine, start your journey here.