Skincare guru Dr Lancer fills us in on the ingredients to look out for in our products, what our most common skincare mistakes are, and his new range, now at Fenwick.
If you ever took a step into Dr Lancer’s LA office, you’d see more celebrities in his waiting room than on a red carpet. His client list reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood, all eager to have their skin graced by his products - he’s become so popular that awards season sees him turning down even the biggest stars.
Thankfully, after endless begging from his A-list pals, Dr Lancer has finally decided to release his Holy Grail products to the public. Now available at Fenwick of Bond Street, we spoke to the skin care guru about the ingredients we should be looking out for in our products and what our most common skincare mistakes are.
###### What is the most important part of a woman’s skin care routine?
When it comes to an anti-ageing skin care regime, there is no one single step that is most important, as true skin maintenance is a multi-step process. If you really want to break the process down to its bare bones, you can look at the most important steps of anti-aging as exfoliating, cleansing, nourishing and protecting.
###### Which ingredients should we look for in our products?
That largely depends on the results you're seeking. For example, retinol is a great, high-quality general anti-aging and anti-acne ingredient that over time helps improve elasticity, tone, texture, pore size and decreases the appearance of wrinkles – but it can irritate very sensitive skin.
For sensitive or red, reactive skin, you should look for non-foaming cleansers with no added scents, which contain soothing ingredients like chamomile, oat, aloe vera or soy. Blackhead-prone and oily skin benefits from the sebum-dissolving effects of salicylic acid, whereas blemish-prone skin can benefit from benzoyl peroxide, which helps kill of the bacteria that cause some breakouts.
Doing your research before you shop for skin care is crucial. Assessing your skin, understanding what results you are looking for and knowing the ingredients to help get you there will prevent you from wasting time and money.
###### Does application technique make a difference to how a product works?
In some ways - yes. For example, applying product to extremely dry or flaky skin can prevent the product from properly penetrating, so I suggest my patients keep a facial mist in their bathrooms to apply between products.
The main thing to remember when applying product is to be gentle. Good-quality products will work no matter how you choose to apply them, but being too rough with your skin – pulling or massaging too intensely - this can be problematic for your complexion.
###### What is the biggest mistake women make when it comes to our skin care regimes?
The biggest one is constantly switching up the products they use. Yes, trends in skin care come and go, but the key to a truly effective regime is finding what works for your skin and committing to caring for it daily.
###### Your infamous three step method advises exfoliating the face every day. Isn’t this damaging to the skin?
Absolutely not. Daily exfoliation triggers a cascade of healing action in the skin; the body recognizes the abrasive feeling of exfoliation as injury, even though it is not, and thus increases blood flow to the skin, increases epidermal growth factor and collagen, and speeds up the skin's cellular cycle. Regular exfoliation also helps slough away dull, dry surface cells and helps reveal the fresh glowing skin beneath.
The risk that is run with daily exfoliation is due to poor quality products. My Dr Lancer: Exfoliator Polish was developed with uniformly-sized and shaped crystals, developed to eliminate any rough edges. Many exfoliators are made with crushed nutshells which, though they are small, have rough, jagged edges that can tear and cut the skin.
###### Is it better to use hot, warm or cold water when washing your face?
Tepid water is best - it will adequately clean your skin without stripping its moisture.
###### How does our diet affect our skin?
Diet is a huge part of healthy, glowing skin. The skin requires protein, fat, and oxygen to maintain cell function, build collagen and repair itself. When your diet is lacking in these, it will show in a dull or ruddy complexion that is easily irritated and breaks out.
The optimal diet for skin health is approximately 40% lean protein, like chicken or fish; 40% greens, like spinach, kale, and broccoli; 10% healthy fats, like nuts and avocado; and 10% whole grains or legumes, like quinoa or lentils.
The key food group to avoid for a healthy complexion is sugar. White sugar and processed carbs, which become sugar in the body, bind to beneficial nutrients and rob our bodies of the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep us healthy.
Dr Lancer's skin clinic in LA
Dr Lancer's skin clinic in LA
Dr Lancer's skin clinic in LA
###### What's the vibe of your office during awards season?
It gets quite busy. Working in Los Angeles means that we’re not only dealing with actors and actresses nominated for awards, but also the directors, producers, studio executives, agents, managers and everyone in between.
Most patients are scheduling their prep appointments months ahead of time because they know that I will get completely booked up - though I’ve been known to make a special exception once in a while.
###### What’s the most popular treatment during awards season?
In the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in the request for radiofrequency tightening treatments leading up to awards season. They are largely painless and require little to no downtime, but leave the skin looking smooth and firm for a major event.
I’ve also had a number of patients come to me to have their tattoos removed leading up to major events. I was the first doctor in the United States to offer Pico Way tattoo removal - it’s an amazing laser that targets the dark pigment of the tattoo and is able to destroy the embedded ink without the pain and tissue damage that other tattoo removal lasers cause. It’s an incredible piece of technology and has made many patients very happy.
_Dr Lancer is available at Fenwick of Bond Street._