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Interview: Katie Piper on skin confidence, motherhood and giving back

August 26th 2015 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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The inspirational author, speaker, TV presenter and charity campaigner shares her formula for confidence and her pick of the beauty products that really work

There are few women in the beauty industry as inspiring as Katie Piper. A source of strength for women everywhere for her resilience and determination following an acid attack in 2008 which left her severely burned, she refused to let her horrific experience stop her from achieving her dreams. Today, she counts best-selling author, inspirational speaker, TV presenter and charity campaigner among her accolades: a true testament to her unyielding confidence and belief in what she could achieve.

Now the brand ambassador of Remescar, a range of medicated skin care products that help treat scars, stretchmarks and spider veins, Katie’s keen to raise awareness of the products that have worked for her, giving everyone the opportunity to help get their skin confidence back. Here, she shares her top beauty tips for feeling your best, how she changed a negative into a positive and dealing with the scars left from her attack.

What are you up to these days? What are you currently working on?

I’m currently filming series three of Body Shockers, which will air later this year. Channel 4 has also commissioned two brand new TV series with me; one is a standalone show and the other is a three-part medical makeover series. I’m really excited for everyone to see these shows! I’m also appearing at this year's Ideal Home Show at Christmas in London and Manchester.

When do you feel at your most confident?

I feel at my most confident when I am around good friends and people who are genuine and down to earth. I like spending time getting ready; it helps me to feel good about myself. I don’t think appearance is the tool to my confidence, but feeling good about the way you look can help.

You have been living with the consequences of the attack since 2008, how do you now feel about your scars?

I would definitely say that discovering products like Remescar has really helped with my confidence, both physically and psychologically. When you have an injury you look to the medical and beauty market to help. However, quite often you can try loads of different products and procedures that don’t actually work. This can be a massive anti-climax and I think can cause more harm psychologically. When you find something that works, something that has an active ingredient, and you see visible differences, it helps you progress. And with progress comes confidence, helping you to break free from your shell and feel better about yourself. I feel far more comfortable in the skin that I am in now.

You have turned a negative situation in your life into a positive story (had a baby, getting married, your own TV show), what advice would you give to others to help them do the same?

It is important to remember that I didn’t feel confident right away, it took a long time. I would say to others, don’t concentrate on the times you fell down, concentrate on the times that you felt on top. It doesn’t just come overnight, you have to really persevere and hang in there. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support and rely on other people. Sometimes if you let people in, the days you can’t do it for yourself, you can do it for them instead, because you don’t want to let them down. For me, I found using a psychologist really helpful, it helped unburden some of the pressure.

What is your usual skincare regime?

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I never sleep in my makeup, I always wash it all off and use a special eye cleanser to remove heavy eye makeup. I make sure my skin is cleansed before I apply the Remescar Scar Stick, £19.99 not just on the scars from my burns, but also on newer scars from operations I’ve had since (including the scar from my C-section). Then I use a good night cream and I always tie my hair back before I go to bed to keep it from getting tangled.

In the morning I have a quick shower and apply the Remescar Scar Stick in the same places. The stick is really great as it dries so quickly and isn’t sticky unlike other products on the market. This really helps when I’m rushing around with my baby or need to put makeup on, especially if I am filming and I need to put television makeup on! Also, as it’s a small stick I can take it out with me in the day and reapply whenever I need to.

What are your favourite beauty products (including Remescar)?

Moisturiser is a massive product for me. I always use a good night cream as I suffer from dehydrated skin. Again the Remescar Stick is so important for me, and even if I didn’t have my scars and burns I would still be using it on my C-section scar and other areas on my body.

I use eye drops every day as my eyes were damaged so can get quite dry. I have also invested in a really good old fashioned Mason Pearson hair brush, which I carry everywhere in my bag.

Your hair always looks glossy and shiny, what are your favourite hair products?

I don’t like to wash my hair too often as it dries it out, so I use the Batiste Dry Shampoo, £2.99 on the roots in between washes. I also try not to style my hair with tongs or straighteners every day. Instead, I leave it to every other day to protect it from breakage.

MORE GLOSS: 13 expert-approved ways for boosting your hair health

Do you ever leave the house without makeup on?

All the time! I often get my daughter ready and put her into a nice outfit and then her nappy leaks or she throws up on my outfit. So at the moment, I would say I leave the house without any makeup almost every day!

What are your top beauty tips?

Always wash your makeup off! Your skin can become really tired and dehydrated if you don’t clean and moisturise properly at night. Always floss your teeth. I think teeth are really important as when you smile you are communicating with people and your smile is one of those things that people look at straight away.

I don’t think you have to spend lots of money on expensive products. Experiment and try different products, and once you find your key products keep using those and invest where you need to.

How would you describe your fashion style? Any favourite clothes you like to wear at home?

I really like the high street. I don’t buy anything designer at all, probably because I like to change trends according to the different seasons. I shop a lot at Miss Selfridge and River Island; they are my two favourite shops. Sometimes I get more expensive pieces from Coast and a lot of my summer stuff has come from Oasis. I am a big fan of Oasis!

Who is your style icon?

I really like the way that Millie Mackintosh dresses. I think she always looks sexy but stylish and elegant as well and young.

MORE GLOSS: Millie Mackintosh’s top fitness tips

What made you become an ambassador of Remescar?

The brand was already in my life and I have been using their products for years. People constantly write to me and tweet me asking me about it, so I was already living the ambassadorship. So it is great to be able to share this with people on a wider platform.

How did you find out about the Remescar Scar Stick?

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Four years ago I was researching creams and gels that would work on my burns and scars and tried Remescar alongside similar products. It was the product that made a physical difference to my scars and it fitted in with my busy life. Then, when I became pregnant, I remembered that Remescar offer a stretchmark cream, £24.99. As I was already a fan of their products I knew that the stretchmark cream would work which meant I didn’t have to try out lots of different creams.

What did you like best about it?

The fact that I didn’t get stretchmarks! It’s natural to get stretchmarks when you go from a small size to having a massive bump, so I was prepared for them and was perfectly fine with it as it is part of the process, but I didn’t get any at all! It really exceeded my expectations.

What do you think makes the Remescar stretch mark cream different?

I suppose the fact that it is medically certified. Many stretch mark creams just smell nice, look nice and have nice packaging and that’s fine if that is all you are looking for. But I actually wanted a treatment and I wanted prevention, not just wellbeing.

MORE GLOSS: 12 nutrition and fitness tips to help you sail through pregnancy

What do you like best about the Remescar Scar Stick?

The main thing is that it actually works. It isn’t just a wellbeing cosmetic product to treat the surface – that would be a waste of time for me. I struggled to find something that was clear, fragrance-free and non-greasy so I could wear it under makeup. It’s a medical device and it fits into my lifestyle.

Since using Remescar, have you noticed a difference in your scars’ appearance?

Yes I have, I’ve noticed a big difference on both the burns as well as scars from surgeries I’ve had since. I was using it on my C-section scar and by the time my baby was two months old I noticed a huge difference.

Were you aware there is a new Remescar product which has just launched in the UK for spider veins?

Yes, it wasn’t something I was looking for myself but I may have to start using in a few years’ time! As I trust the other Remescar products, I know it would be my go-to product if I needed it.

Would you recommend the Remescar spider veins product to people that feel conscious about their spider veins?

Yes, as it’s so disappointing to try products that don’t work. It’s great to find something that is reasonably priced that will help prevent further breakage of the veins.

Tell us more about Katie Piper Foundation?

The Foundation helps people with burns and scars both immediately after their injury and on an ongoing basis. We provide advice on scar management and give access to free specialist treatments such as hair restoration, camouflage and makeup and medical tattooing. We have also funded specialist burns rehabilitation in France for patients while we work towards our goal to establish a residential facility for burn survivors in the UK.

We also provide ways for people with burns and scars from traumatic injuries to meet up with each other to give and receive support and share experiences, either at a one-to-one meeting with one of our trained Peer Support Volunteers or a larger social event; we have recently held our first weekend event. Soon people with be able to chat to others chat online via our new forum.

More information can be found at: www.katiepiperfoundation.org.uk

Follow us @getthegloss, Katie @KatiePiper_ and Ayesha @Ayesha_Muttu.

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