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Penny Davis

Penny Davis, Owner of DPC Skin Therapy and Lead Facialist

Skin Therapy Blog by Penny Davis


What is a chemical peel? It can conjure images of faces peeling off, we remember Samantha from Sex In The City post ‘refreshing peel’ hiding her face or worse the dreadful images of ‘10 Years Younger’ with black skin peeling off the face to reveal baby fresh pink skin. Whilst these are indeed all chemical peels, there are three main types and I will go through them now in more detail:

The Deep Peel
Firstly, the surgical 'Deep Peel', usually Phenol (includes carbolic acid) and it would be usually performed by a Plastic Surgeon or similar, under general anaesthetic or sedation and you have to be cardiac cleared to have this procedure. Your skin is prepped around 6 weeks in advance and pain medication is required around a week post peel, a crust will appear and you will experience a lot of swelling, redness and actual peeling of skin and you MUST stay out of the sun indefinitely. It will take around 3-6 months to fully recover and you skin can improve for up to a year. It is a very serious procedure and one that should not be undertaken lightly. A deep peel can cost anything from £2000 upwards depending on who does it and where you go.

The Medium Peel
The second type is a medical 'Meduim Peel' which is usually TCA (trichloroacetic acid) which is not as deep as a Phenol peel but is deeper than a 'Light Peel'. There is an element of downtime following a TCA peel, a superficial crust forms over the treated area, then flakes off in three to seven days. The skin will be red and swollen and skin may initially appear red, but the discoloration will fade within a week or so and healing time is approximately two weeks and skin peeling is obvious. You must avoid the sun for around 3 months and from then on always use at least SPF50. These peels cost around £200-£400 and for both medium and deep peels you would need to take anti-virals beforehand if you are prone to herpes virus (cold sores).

Different peel depth diagram

Chemical Peel Depth The Light Peel
Light Peels (Superficial Peel AHA or BHA) is the chemical peel that I frequently perform in my clinic. It addresses a variety of skin issues and I customise every blend dependent on your skin requirement. This is a factor in your downtime although generally speaking, there is very little. You can return to your day to day business immediately but avoiding sun exposure, saunas, and other things that could irritate your skin for around one week. If you consider the TCA medium peel and the downtime associated with it, I can achieve the same results over a short course of around 4-6 light peels, again depending on your desired results but in a more gentle and gradual way. As the skin will only heal effectively within it's own capacity to do so, the peel must be tailored to suit your skin type which is why progressive treatment approaches are far better than aggressive ones.

So now you are clear on the differences on the variations of chemical peels and what I offer, who do they suit and what are the benefits for your skin?

Good candidates for my light chemical peels are clients who want to rejuvenate and enhance the appearance of their skin without the recovery time of harsher treatments. The AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) chemical peels that I use include the following acids which are always customised for your skin: Glycolic, Mandelic, Kojic, Salicylic, Lactic, Phytic acids when blended together in certain quantities can address so many skin concerns.

They are such a safe and effective way to improve the look of hyperpigmentation, age spots, sun-damaged skin and smoothing skin texture. They are helpful in reducing acne scars and fine lines and give general skin rejuvenation by brightening dull and sallow skin. It may surprise you to know that I can blend acids to help for troubled and sensitive skins and some of these acids actually have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which are particularly good for acne conditions because they unclog pores and considered very effective as acne treatments and great for oily skin.

Client after two chemical peels

Skin improvements start immediately following your first peel and although you won’t actually see your skin exfoliating (you may get some dryness and very light flaking on day 2-3), you’ll soon see the smoother, younger-looking skin hiding beneath which will continue to improve with each peel. I always recommend that you switch over to our pharmaceutical grade skincare range, Dermatude. When we work on your skin on a course, it becomes very receptive to the active ingredients in these products. It is fantastic way to accelerate results and get you to your optimum skin health from the start. Once your skin is where it needs to be, it is simply a matter of getting on to maintenance treatments monthly or less depending on your skin profile.

If you want to start 2018 with your skin looking and feeling great, get in touch and book your chemical peel or skin consultation with me now. You can book online or call or message me.

by Penny Davis

I am very privileged to meet many men and women from all walks of life in my skin clinic. It truly is one of the most enjoyable parts of my work. Although there is certainly diversity across my client demographic, one thing that most have in common is that they are having some issue with their skin and it is often resulting in a severe knock to their confidence.
If you think about the last time you woke to find a rogue spot on your face, it is all you can think about, you try and cover it, you may try and squeeze the offending pimple but whatever you do, it usually makes it worse in the rush to get out of the house and do an camouflage job in under 10 minutes – no mean feat.

You are self-conscious about it, you believe that everyone who is talking to you throughout the day is in fact talking to your spot. We’ve all had them, some are so big and persistent we even name them in an attempt to ‘reason’ with said offending blemish so we can ask it to leave! They can be quite sore too. The relief when it does finally go is real, your makeup then sits better, you feel happier that it has ‘left the building’ – until the next time…

I often find that my clients who are suffering with breakouts have spent, quite literally a fortune in their search of better skin. The same for those clients on their quest for eternal youth, line reduction, skin brightening or maybe it is in pursuit of whatever the latest marketing jargon trend is. But the reason they are sat speaking to me usually is that whatever the miracle cure is, it hasn’t worked for them. They are frustrated, self-conscious and certainly hundreds of pounds lighter with a bathroom cupboard rammed to the rafters with half empty lotions and potions that all promised to solve their skin woes. I don’t mind admitting that often I am their last resort.
I always start right at the beginning with my skin consultation, I do an extremely detailed line of questioning about current skin routine, what is going on with you generally, the history of said skin and it usually lasts around an hour. Throughout this time I can see the distress and frustration of my clients, they cannot see a way beyond how they are doing things.
Once I have a picture of you, then I create a skin package that relates to you and you alone. Yes it does mean handing over even more money and the commitment that you can give me the time needed to get the results you need. This often requires you coming in weekly or fortnightly for a fixed period of time, following my at home routine to the letter (or at the very least that ball park of the alphabet :-)) and putting your trust in me.

Once we start seeing the results (we often see an improvement around 2-4 weeks in) and I can see the overall change in my clients. Not only do I see their skin starting to change and improve, I also see something else…. It’s their confidence, it starts to grow and glow from within, through every skin cell, as one pore closes another burst of light shines through!
By the time we are finishing off the course, reviewing their pictures I have a new person in front of me. Yes the road to great skin health is sometimes a winding, sometime we have to tweak the course or the products until we get the right solution… but when we do get there and my client is happy and I am happy, there isn’t a price tag in the world that you can put on seeing that happiness and confidence restored.

I find with women and in particular mothers, they do find it very hard to justify both the time and money to spend on themselves. It's time to put yourself first as I have always believed that happiness starts from deep within you, once you are happy then you can spread your happiness in to your world. So don’t forget about yourself, you really are your most valuable asset.

by Penny Davis

This is an incredibly popular treatment in my clinic! It really is the next generation of effective, safe and results driven procedures. Microneedling, also known as Skin Needling or Collagen Induction Therapy has been around since around 1995 but does have distant origins in Chinese acupuncture.

Personally, I have been having microneedling on my face in one form of another for around 10 years now. In the early days, it was all about the 'Dermaroller', this is a manual roller device that had small needle spikes on it and was literally rollered over your face, often causing bleeding and it was rather painful too! Due to it being a roller shape, it was a bit awkward to get around the contours of your face, around your nose. Also as the needles are static and so remain at the same length throughout the whole treatment (our skin on our face is of varying depths) so depending on what needle length you are using, you would need to adjust depth as you go around delicate areas such as around the eyes and forehead where the skin is much shallower than the cheeks for example - ouch! Then there was the 'Dermastamp', think a flat, postal stamp shaped device that was pressed in to your face, see previous comments around needle depth, facial contours and I would estimate it hurt me twice as much! Despite the pain, I endured it as I saw the results!

​​​​​The industry is now moving towards digital needling devices, thankfully! These sophisticated machines take microneedling to the next level, with adjustable needle depths, lightning speed settings which create microscopic wounds in the skin. The Dermatude device I use creates 2700 per second on the face and 5700 on the décolleté due to the 18 and 38 needle cartridges that are available now. The reason these devices are so effective is because they very safely, very delicately create microchannels in your skin. The needles should simply skim the dermal/basal layers of your skin to trigger the body's own healing mechanisms. As the body detects this 'controlled wounding' it starts to send out the repair teams, fibroblasts pump out collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, growth factors flood the area.

Why 'damage' your skin?

In order to make real changes to your skin, you have to make changes the skin cells and so by creating wounding, the body brings in new, fresh cells replacing the old, damaged tissue. The result is a firmer, more youthful remodelled skin network as the injured tissue heals.

During the microneedling process, I implant a potent serum in to this dermal layer as absorption of active ingredients is increased by up to 300%. The body can utilise these formulations which also can aid and accelerate healing and cell renewal. It is imperative that only products that have been specifically designed to be used on 'broken' skin are used during and immediately after this treatment. In my clinic, I only use Dermatude products which are all designed especially for microneedling treatments.

I do get asked if I do Vampire Facials which is also known as PRP Therapy (Platelet Rich Plasma) which is needling with your own blood which is separated to create the PRP and this is needled or injected back in to your face/body). Whilst it does have it's place, the results can vary so much down to various factors such as the quality of the centrifuge used, the patients’ general health (if you’re a bit run down or ill then your own PRP might not be top quality that day), method of blood retrieval and so on. I also believe that only medically trained people should be taking and handling blood. I find that the microneedling serums are clean, safe and extremely effective.

Indications for microneedling:

Sallow or dull skin
Ageing skin that is losing firmness
Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, folds
Rough or uneven skin texture
Scars (specifically indented acne scarring)
Skin redness (fine skin with spider veins and sensitive skins with redness
Acne Rosacea (as long as not active at time of treatment)
Acne skin (again as long as not active)

All of these indications respond exceptionally well to this treatment. If you would like any further information, please get in touch to book your complimentary skin consultation. You can do this by booking online, call or message me.

by Penny Davis

Fibroblastic is a plasma based procedure and it is not to be confused with Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP) which is sometimes known as a Vampire Facial. PRP is when blood is removed from your arm, spun in a centrifuge then injected or needled back in to the face or other part of your body. I will cover microneedling procedures in-depth on my next blog so look out for that!

Plasma in PRP, not to be confused with Plasma used in Fibroblastic!

Back to Fibroblastic, this works in a completely different way with a totally different type of plasma! Plasma energy is generated when the atmospheric gas between the specialist machine and the skin is ionised. This creates an electrical arc, the energy from this device is then absorbed by the skin cells causing skin fibres to tighten and contract. Not only does it permanently remove the excess skin but it encourages regeneration and regrowth of collagen and elastin which allows smoothing of the skin. It is a safe and effective treatment as your body triggers repair and rejuvenation in response to the plasma touch. The placement of the plasma arc is crucial to attaining the best results and I use various techniques of tracing either side of the line or wrinkle, to random configurations on eye hoods for general skin shortening and tightening.

The process always starts with a consultation so that we can discuss your areas of concern and we talk about potential outcomes and an idea of realistic expectations. We also discuss your potential downtime and that in most cases, you may need up to one week clear of social engagements. This is due to post procedure swelling which can last for a few days and the small eschar marks (similar in appearance to a small scab) that are left on the site where the plasma charge is applied.

Day 2 Post Fibroblastic note the small eschar marks

Your results can take up to 6 weeks to show and interestingly can continue for up to 3 months so this isn’t an instant result, more of a subtle, progressive improvement. I often see other plasma treatments ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures immediately after the procedure has been performed. This is not your result, this is simply post procedure swelling in the area, true results are visible once the area is fully healed. When reviewing some of my client results, the reduction of loose or crepey skin is an obvious and welcome result, but also it's the overall skin rejuvenation effects that are just as notable.

Results 8 Weeks Post Fibroblastic

I personally absolutely love performing this treatment and I enjoy the journey with my client as I review you after two weeks to check on your healing then perform a second treatment if necessary after 6 weeks then review again. Included in my Fibroblastic treatment plan is my A-Lift facial. I perform this at your two week review as I’ve found it really does accelerate healing of any red marks that can remain visible on the skin whilst healing (although typically they disappear at around 2-4 weeks). It is also a fabulous way to end your Fibroblastic treatment experience as the A-Lift is a non invasive, extremely effective facial that also stimulates collagen, encourages cell turnover and has the added bonus of being extremely relaxing :-)

If you think this treatment or any of my skin solutions are for you, I’m a click or call away!

by Penny Davis

A question I often get asked, 'Why have I got enlarged pores?'
Did you know in just one square inch of skin we have 20 million cells, 20 blood vessels, 60 hairs, 650 sweat glands, 100 sebaceous glands and 1000 nerve endings?
Therefore, we have around 300 000 pores on the face alone.

So what is a pore?
Simply put, where we have a hair, we have a corresponding pore. So as we gaze upon our children's fresh, young skin and notice they don't seem to have any visible pores, don't be too hard on yourself as you didn't either at their age 😀
The activity in childhood sebaceous glands is very low making the pores seem almost invisible and they remain this way until mid-childhood. At this point, the sebum production starts to increase up until late teens when the activity level remains mostly stable for the majority of our adult life. Our pore size is genetically determined, so sadly it is not true that we can actually change the size of our pores. However, pores can stretch if they get a build up of congestion with material such as excess oil and dead skin cells so this makes them look bigger. Sun exposure (including sunbeds) can also make them appear larger.

So why does age seem to enlarge them?
Well, unfortunately, pores can get larger and more visible with age because with the degradation of collagen and elastin over time, the skin slackens and stretches and as a consequence the pores do too.

So what can we do about it?
Well we can make the pores appear smaller. We have a number of solutions, after a thorough skin consultation we can devise a plan of action! I will create a bespoke skin plan to get your skin working in a more effective way to avoid the build up of skin congestion. I am a big fan of chemical peels as they are a natural and exceptionally effective way to safely and deeply exfoliate the skin. Although they are suitable and beneficial to most skin types, in this case specifically for oiler skin, they can really help control your excess sebum and get your skin cells signalling to one aother to increase cell turnover and desquamation (natural exfoliation sequence) and therefore reduce congestion. Micro-needling treatments are also incredibly effective in the appearance of pore reduction as they stimulate the body to produce more collagen and elastin which makes the skin firmer and appear fresher.

I find that the Dermatude Pigment Equaliser range is perfect to keep your skin nourished and appropriately hydrated and is wonderful for oiler skin types. Of course a thorough cleansing and toning routine done twice a day will greatly help as well. This will keep the pores clear of any material build up, it will help your skin to breathe and regenerate and accept the active ingredients of your creams . A thorough skin cleansing regime is crucial for your skin health.

Get in touch if you'd like to discuss any skin concern, there's nearly always an answer for most common skin issues. I'm a phone call or a couple of clicks away 📲

By Penny Davis

Image of a Healthy Pore and a Blocked Pore

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