Let’s face it (pun intended), lockdown this year really did not make any of us prettier. Excessive alcohol consumption, weight fluctuation and constant friction caused by mask wearing can all cause our jawline to soften and skin to breakout. With Christmas just around the corner and you wanting to look your best in front of family/relatives/childhood sweethearts, Dr Sophie Shotter (founder of the Illuminate Skin Clinic and acclaimed “Top Injector” according to Tatler Magazine) is here to give us some much needed pointers on how to decide on the precise type of “help” for that little boost you might need in time for the holiday season, and how to choose the best practitioner that is suitable for you.
Dr Sophie Shotter Of Illuminate Skin Clinic
I first heard Dr Sophie’s name when a friend (a seriously popular fashion designer and blogger with the perfect bone structure that, together with her talent, brought her great review and social media following) urged me to see her as I wanted to have a little help on my overly arched eyebrows. Upon meeting her for the first time at her London base at The Cosmetic Skin Clinic, Dr Sophie immediately struck me as someone who is very quick to understand what her client hopes to achieve and pinpoint the cosmetic procedure that will best achieve such – often surprisingly different from what one went into her clinic having in mind.
I thought aside of my eyebrows, my jawlines also needed a bit of lifting and perhaps cheek fillers are the answer. But Dr Sophie wasted no time to tell me that a session of Ultherapy may be more beneficial before I consider fillers, and that even a teeny amount of fillers in the area under each ear may help achieve my desired outcome following the Ultherapy, instead of pumping in a greater amount in my cheeks, which are already quite plump. Her precision and efficiency was hard not to notice, as I was out of her office in 10 minutes and instantly looked fresher with my more adjusted brows. No wonder her clients (that she’s allowed to tell us) include influencers such as Roxy Horner, Nicole Meyer, Ianthe Rose (click here for a video of Ianthe being candid about cosmetic procedures and injectables), and great public figure Dame Kelly Holmes.
Botox And Fillers, Friend Or Foe?
It is greatly known that Botox can be used to soften lines on the face and therefore gives you a fresher, more awake look which could remove years off one’s face. Botox, sometimes in combination with other treatments, can be used to achieve the foxy cat-eye look as seen on and made popular by Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. There is usually very little downtime associated with Botox treatment and you can even sneak in a session during your lunch break. However there are still risks involved, just like any cosmetic or medical procedure. It’s important to ask which brand you’re being injected with – Botox, Azzalure and BoCouture/Xeomin are all reputable, tested and safe.
Dr Sophie states that it is crucial that you research the practitioner thoroughly. It is very possible for someone to go on a one day training course and then set themselves up doing Botox treatments. Make sure that the person you have chosen as your practitioner is medically trained, experienced and understands the aesthetic you’re wanting to achieve. Personally I believe when choosing the right practitioner, their aesthetic viewpoint is the most important factor you may wish to consider following the qualification part, as your idea of beauty may differ drastically from your doctor’s.
Now onto fillers. It’s no secret that lip fillers probably contributed greatly to Kylie Jenner’s alleged $1billion net worth, and with limited downtime, the treatment has fast become this generation’s favourite go-to cosmetic procedure. There are over 180 licensed filler brands in the UK alone, but very few that Dr Sophie would class as safe and would choose to have injected into her clients’ face. Reputable brands to look out for are Juvederm, Teosyal, Belotero and Restylane.
Most fillers are made of hyaluronic acid which is a very safe choice, as it can be dissolved should there be complications. There are non-hyaluronic acid fillers available such as Radiesse and Ellanse which can give excellent results for certain patients, but are non-reversible.
Facial fillers can be used in many areas of the face – lips, cheeks, chins, jawlines and underlies for example. The type of filler used in these areas will differ. For example, in a delicate thin skinned area like the lip or the eye, you want to use a soft filler that will blend well with your own tissues. However when sculpting the cheeks or jawline Dr Sophie will recommend using a firmer filler to give shape and support. Make sure you trust that the injector you have chosen understands the look you want to achieve. Fillers are a combination of medicine and art, and it’s important you feel that your chosen ‘artist’ is going to deliver a look you are happy with.
Note that injectables such as Botox and fillers should ideally be administered a month before your big event, however some may notice more immediate result.
Other Facial And Skin Treatments
If you are not a believer in facial injectables, or simple don’t need them to look or feel amazing, there are a ton of choices Dr Sophie would recommend to help you feel that much more radiant during the festive season. LED light treatment, mesotherapy, peel, micro-needling can all be done between 2 days to two weeks before your big event to give you that extra glow.
With Christmas being one of the most popular time to get engaged, Dr Sophie also recommend Intense Hand Rejuvenation, which includes a brightening peel from the NeoStrata Pro System Peel range to suit the skin and its condition. This will slough off all dead skin and stimulating the cells to hydrate and thus plump and brighten the skin. Tiny, light injections of Volite Skin Booster are then administered to fill the lines whilst deeply hydrating the hands from within. The Treatment will end with a luxurious hand mask featuring SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque covered with a polythene protector and heat mitts to help the product to penetrate. If you cannot attend Dr Sophie’s Clinic for the treatment, an at-home kit can also be seen here.
Stay tuned for more updates on cosmetic treatments from Dr Sophie Shotter.