From budget blemish clearers to weekly glycolic peels, NHS junior doctor and skincare guru Dr Kemi Fabusiwa knows how to keep her skin on track
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Dr Kemi Fabusiwa, 28, (or Dr Fab as she's known to her devoted Instagram following) is a junior NHS doctor working in London by day and a skin guru by night. She advises her followers and clients via her Joyful Skin clinic, offering skin solutions on everything from how to support your skin barrier to the difference between BHAs and AHAs. "Skincare is my passion and my favourite thing to talk about," she says. "I love helping people achieve their skin goals and giving advice to my followers."
After working on the frontline during the Covid pandemic Kemi decided to continue her medical training and become a dermatologist. "It means I'm back to a life of scrubs and crazy shifts. But it will be worth it!" she says.
My typical day
"As soon as I get out of bed in the morning, I do two minutes of mindfulness to prepare myself for what is always a hectic day. I get to the gym at 6 am and run for 30 minutes while listening to ‘Ali Abdaal my productivity guru. I then do a full-body YouTube class with online workout platform MadFit or yoga channel Boho Beautiful .
"After work, the real fun begins. Skincare is my passion and in the evening, I’ll most likely be doing skin consultations with Joyful Skin or offering expert advice on my Instagram or YouTube channels."
"I live for the weekends. It’s definitely my time to rest and recuperate, to work out and make myself a priority. To focus on my own skin, I do an advanced beauty treatment every week which is usually a deep cleansing facial or skin peel, I also love going to get rose petal pedicure in my favourite London nail salon Nail'd It . I’ll often still have my hands full with skin consultations over the weekend but I like to unwind in the evenings with a glass of wine."
My beauty routine
"When it comes to skincare, consistency is key. My routine consists of five main steps and I haven't missed a step in years. They include using an oily-skin cleanser (normally the Herbal Essentials Miracle Cleanser , £7.99), followed by my Herbal Essentials Refreshing Toner , £14.99. I then apply my morning and evening serums – at the moment I'm using The Inkey Lists's Lactic Acid Serum, £7.99, and follow with copious amounts of Skinceuticals Ultra Facial UV Defense SPF50 Sunscreen Protection , £41. As well as this, I do a monthly 20 per cent glycolic skin peel which has totally taken my skin to the next level when it comes to glow.
"How you use your skincare products is almost as important as what you use. I cleanse for 60 seconds, which helps achieve a deep cleanse, then dab on my toner with my hand (which is less irritating than using a cotton pad), and massage in my serums and moisturiser. I reapply my SPF every two hours and do my best to stay out of the sun. All these practices help my products go much further."
Wellness from the inside
"We all have the potential to look and feel our best if we take the time to look after our health and wellbeing. A nutritious diet, regular exercise and sleep will ensure a healthy body with strong hair, teeth, nails and fresh supple skin which you can support with a high-performance skincare routine. I also recommend using cruelty-free skincare with natural ingredients encased in eco-friendly packaging.
"I would also recommend saying something nice about your body every day, even if parts are starting to sag or you find hair growing in the wrong places. Beating yourself up isn't going to give you great abs or great legs, it will just leave you feeling bruised."
My best tip
Consistency is the best advice for skincare. The same way that you want to gain great abs or learn a new skill, you have to build a consistent skincare routine to see results. I always recommend building a skincare routine consisting of the following five steps, stick to it and I promise, you’ll see a difference: Cleanse, tone, active treatment, moisturise, SPF."
My wellbeing and skincare must-haves
1. Herbal Essentials Refreshing Toner, £14.99
"If you are like me and always looking for a good toner, look no further than the Herbal Essentials Refreshing Toner. It has multiple benefits to the skin, such as clearing, purifying, reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and improving texture, allowing my serums to seep in much better. Most importantly, it has been clinically proven to increase hydration by 41 per cent, so once applied, my skin feels instantly moisturised and soothed. It contains ingredients that are from 98 per cent natural origin, formulated with pure Himalayan spring water, known for its high level of essential macrominerals and enriched with cucumber to calm and hydrate the skin and rose water which has brilliant natural emollient properties."
2. Hello Klean Shower Filter, £60
"Moving back to London from medical school in Staffordshire, I definitely noticed that the hard water from my shower has been very harsh on my skin. My skin had definitely become hypersensitive and my hair limp and lifeless. The shower filter removes the minerals from my water and my skin has never looked back."
3. The Big Silk Pillowcase, £49
"Silk pillowcases, scrunchies and face masks from The Big Silk have been a massive upgrade to my beauty routine. Silk fibres are much softer, hypoallergenic and absorb less moisture. I have definitely noticed a reduction in breakouts due to maskne and have less irritated puffy skin in the morning."
4. Amazon Alexa, from £19.99
"My Alexa is programmed for wellness. She helps me do two minutes of mindfulness and I also do another session after work where Alexa plays my calm playlist before I go to bed, before reading me a sleep story. I try to spend another two minutes during the day reflecting on all the things that I'm grateful for and it really helps me to remember all the good things going for me."
5. Promethazine antihistamine, on prescription
"For anyone who has suffered from insomnia, I take the promethazine antihistamine at night. It has helped massively helped me get to my beauty sleep by 10 pm which has worked wonders for stress levels and skin."
6. Notion productivity app, free
"I've organised my whole life with this productivity app and I can't recommend it enough. If you're like me and constantly have ten different things on your mind at any one moment, then you need this. It helps me to plan my day, plan my meals and schedule time for wellness and keeping calm."
7. Inkey List Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment, £6.99
"This has been a great ingredient for me. It reduces the appearance of pore size and gets rid of excess oil but is so kind to skin."
8. Colgate Duraphat Toothpaste, £15.99
"I've been taking my oral hygiene very seriously. Spending five minutes on my teeth each night and using an extra high fluoride toothpaste to promote remineralisation of the enamel has helped to keep my teeth sparkling."
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9. Bioderma Biphase Lipo Alcoolique, £8
"This has saved my hands. I wash them around 30 times per day and use alcohol gel even more than this. Despite having hand cream in every pocket, jacket and bag, my hands are still dry and irritated. This product sanitises your hands whilst adding moisture to them. It is an absolute must."
10. Foam Home candles, from £15
"These are the best candles that I have used to date. They smell glorious and are beautiful too."