Found in the swankiest of clinics from Harley Street to Harrods, these in-demand skin doctors spend their days tending to the complexions of those in-the-know. They boast decades of experience and a list of qualifications almost as long as their waiting list. But their expertise isn't just reserved for those who can bag a slot in their busy schedules. They have all created performance skincare lines to help their clients – and the rest of us – keep up the good work at home.
From growth-factor-powered serums to world-first cleansers, each has poured their knowledge into their own skincare line comprising at-home products that promise to truly deliver. Here, we reveal who to see and what to buy...
The queen of cheekbones Dr Nina Bal
You probably recognise beautiful Italian Dr Nina Bal from her frequent appearances on This Morning and E4's Bodyfixers. With more than 400,000 Instagram followers, she's one of London's most-acclaimed facial aesthetics gurus. And as a cosmetic dentist too, she knows facial architecture like no other. Dr Nina is all about 'cheating cheekbones' and 'facial sculpting', using fillers and wrinkle-relaxing treatments. She swears by the 'Golden Ratio of Beauty', a mathematical algorithm said to create the most aesthetically-pleasing combination of features.
See her for: Her unique Endolift laser and Profhilo combo, dubbed the 'no-knife face lift.' It comprises one session of the jaw-sculpting laser and two sessions of Profhilo and starts from £3500.
Her skincare: Seeing clients daily in her clinic led Dr Nina to launch her own line this year – Facial Sculpting by Dr Nina. It currently consists of just one product – a targeted serum, focused on anti-ageing.
What to buy: Dr Nina Face Sculpt Serum, £120 – a multi-pronged power product that uses glycolic and salicylic acid, a tripeptide and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid to rejuvenate. After using it for four weeks, our tester in her fifties, had a noticeable difference to her skin that even her facialist commented on.
Consider Dr Stefanie Williams a walking skin-cyclopaedia; she's penned three books, won awards for her research and lectured around the world. Yet the German consultant dermatologist still finds time to work in her two achingly chic Eudelo clinics in London's Harley Street and Vauxhall.
See her for: If you have a medical skin condition that needs attention, dermatologist Dr Stefanie is your woman. She is all about bringing skin back to health before embarking on any kind of aesthetic journey, although if it’s filler or laser you want, she can do that too, all in a luxe spa-like setting.
Her skincare: Two years in the making, Delo Rx by Dr Stefanie Williams was founded this year following her own first-hand experience suffering from adult acne and rosacea. Having struggled to find products to tackle both breakouts and ageing, she's began formulating her own. The range currently comprises just one product – a cleanser with the highest concentration of active ingredients on the market – although we're eagerly awaiting the arrival of her retinoid and her breakout-proof SPF next year.
What to buy: Delo Rx Radiance and Rejuvenation Hybrid Cleanser , £85 – soothes and smoothes while zapping breakouts, even in sensitive skin.
Image: Instagram @drajsturnham
When she's not working as a GP, specialising in dermatology, you'll find Dr Anita Sturnham heading up Nuriss on Marylebone's Wimpole Street. More than a skin clinic, this uber health and wellbeing hub takes a 360-degree approach. Think lasers and peels with a side serving of hormone, allergy and microbiome testing.
See her for: Her Essential Upkeep Facial that combines lasers and LED is a standout treatment. But following an initial consultation, Dr Anita will advise you how to get to the root of your skin problem with her unique approach combining 20 years of medical experience and taking into account factors such as gut health and hormone balance.
Her skincare: Decree by Dr AJ Sturnham aims to take the confusion out of actives. It's a clutter-free range of eight products, each marked 'morning,' 'night' or 'weekly' and suitable for all skin concerns. Having helped formulate products for Unilever and Procter & Gamble, developing her own was a no-brainer for Dr Anita.
What to buy: Decree Treat Tincture , £130 – a supercharged do-it-all serum that boasts six different actives, including squalane and retinoid, to quash pigmentation, wrinkles and uneven texture.
You might have spotted a white coat-clad Dr Ophelia Veraitch alongside Eva Longoria in recent L'Oreal Paris ads as the brand's UK dermatologist. And it's no wonder the powerhouse brand scooped her up. She's one of the few UK consultant dermatologists to have both academic and clinical expertise in hair – that means she conducts her own research for peer-reviewed journals as well as treating patients.
See her for: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a serum of your own blood plasma injected into the scalp to treat hair loss and thinning. Working from an exclusive Harley Street practice, Dr Ophelia is a best-kept secret among royalty and beauty insiders alike, particularly when it comes to hair fall issues, such as alopecia, although she delivers all the skin 'tweakments' you'd expect to find, too.
Her hair and skincare: The just-launched Dr Ophelia line, which includes face serums, hair tonics and hair supplements, is prescription-only. Fill in a detailed online questionnaire and Dr Ophelia will choose the medical-grade product, such as her Anti-Ageing Night Serum , £60, containing tretinoin – to suit your needs, with everything handmade in her London-based lab.
What to buy: If you've previously tried minoxidil products for hair growth and want to step it up, choose Dr Ophelia Hair Growth Elixir Plus , £180 for a three-month supply. It uses 10 per cent minoxidil (anything over five per cent can't be obtained over the counter) for proven results.
Having spent years treating patients daily from her Harley Street base, Dr Sam Bunting is now on a mission to make her wealth of skin knowledge more accessible. She's swapped in-clinic appointments (except for a few VIP clients) for educational videos on YouTube and her buzzy 22,000-strong Facebook community. If you want glowing skin, Dr Sam can get you there.
See her for: The dermatology big three – acne, eczema and rosacea. If you can't score an appointment with Dr Sam herself, she's recruited some of the best in the business, including Dr Emma Wedgeworth and Dr Tracy Wong, to maintain her clinic's steadfast reputation. Catch her on her private Facebook group – Dr Sam's Skincare Club. The group is instrumental in the development of her own product line with her formulas masterminded based on demand from her followers.
Her skincare: Dr Sam's skincare has three 'Basics' that everyone should have (SPF, moisturiser and a cleanser) to which you can add the ‘Flawless’ range of targeted actives – retinol, niacinamide, azelaic acid, vitamin C and bakuchiol are her stars. All are unscented for maximum tolerability, affordable (£16-£44) and idiot-proof – there’s plenty of info on both the packaging and her social channels about how and why to use them.
What to buy: Dr Sam's Flawless Brightly Serum , £44 – a multi-action powerhouse for antioxidant protection, skin barrier building and brightening containing azelaic acid, niacinamide, ascorbyl glucoside (a type of vitamin C) and the 'alt-rentinol' bakuchiol, that's a brilliant introduction to daytime actives.
From bags to lumps and eyelid sagging, Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai is the oracle for all things eyes. A leading ophthalmic plastic reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon, she has 20 years worth of experience peeper-perfecting in esteemed locations across India and the UK including her own Perfect Eyes clinic on Harley Street.
What to see her for: Incredibly natural tear trough fillers. Dr Sabrina has come up with a patented 'Eye Boost' technique, in which she injects a hydrating skin booster into the thin skin on the eyelid, rather than placing fillers at the lid-cheek zone, for a more subtle effect.
Her skincare: Dr Sabrina is set to launch a one-of-a-kind new system for banishing dark circles in spring 2022.
What to buy: Dr Sabrina Perfect 360 Eye Illuminate and Eye Protect are the two inaugural products in her range – designed to brighten and offer sun protection, with a cooling applicator to help de-puff. Dr Sabrina sent us an early sample last year and we're impressed with the results. The Eye Illuminate is making a noticeable difference to GTG editorial director Victoria Woodhall's under-eye area. "Brighter and tighter," she says. Watch this space for launch dates.
You'll find Dr Maryam Zamani scrawled in every A-lister's diary – next to an appointment for some of her flawless eyelid work, no doubt. The Iranian oculoplastic and cosmetic surgeon performs her magic from a glossy new clinic on the King's Road where she offers a transformative menu of everything from cryotherapy to threads. There's even a selfie room for you to show off your transformation.
See her for: Her BBL treatment (Broadband Light), the world's most powerful IPL laser. With minimal to no downtime, the laser busts sun damage, redness, brown spots and acne with Dr Maryam's clinic one of only two in the UK to offer it.
Her skincare: Dr Maryam's award-winning MZ Skin line has no shortage of famous fans including Gwyneth Paltrow and Gisele. It's easy to see why. While the packaging is beautifully dressing table-worthy, the formulations are cutting edge. She uses ethically-sourced animal placenta, rich in growth factors, for its collagen-boosting prowess and high-strength encapsulated retinol that can be worn during the day without going off in sunlight.
What to buy: Her targeted skincare kits. We love MZ Skin Instant Radiance Facial Kit, £245 – the pink fluffy bag, headband and cleansing pads might look cute, but the seven products inside, worth £309, mean business.
You'll find the esteemed Dr Rabia Malik nestled inside two of London's chicest hotspots – that's Harrods Wellness Clinic and the Lanserhof at The Arts Club. These VIP sanctums are the perfect locations for the GP and holistic aesthetician who sidelines injectables in favour of other collagen-boosting treatments.
See her for: Her bespoke meso-peels for pre-event rejuvenation. This treatment combines two of Dr Rabia's secret weapons – her bespoke peels and medical-grade microneedling. Expect plump, vibrant skin with no downtime.
Her skincare: Having spent years blending her own skincare for clients to take home, Dr Rabia launched her own collection Skin W1 London by Dr Rabia Malik. At the heart? A copper amino acid complex (copper lysinate prolinate) is used at strengths clinically proven to firm the skin. It's a pricey ingredient – one reason why you don't see it used often. That hasn't phased Dr Rabia, though, who's chosen to sacrifice making a hefty markup to share the love.
What to buy: Skin W1 London Collagen Stimulating Serum , £95, which scooped gold in the Age Well cateory of our Get The Gloss Beauty and Wellness Awards 2021. This uses that all-important copper glycinate in the same concentration as the serum from the range. Hello, nourishing benefits and serious anti-ageing prowess.
Plastic surgeon Dr Yannis Alexandrides is renowned for innovation on Harley Street, having been one of the first surgeons to advocate non-surgical procedures. The bookings that keep him busiest? Breast enhancement, nose jobs and facelifts.
See him for: His signature Y Facelift technique that's popular with actors and politicians. It specifically targets the lower part of the face and neck, accentuating its profile. Although you might prefer to head one of the 111Skin treatment venues in London (Selfridges, Liberty or the 111Spa/Clinic on Devonshire Place) for a tweakment or two with his team, or even to London's Harvey Nichols for a turn in the 111Cryo Chamber or infrared sauna-meets LED Heat Pod.
His skincare: His patented NAC Y2 formula, which combines powerful antioxidants and amino acids, forms the basis of Dr Yannis' whole skincare line – 111Skin – named after his famous 111 Harley Street clinic. Originally developed to speed up healing in his surgery patients, the formula – used by astronauts in space – was also found to offer incredible anti-ageing results. Fans of the brand include pretty much every A-lister you can imagine from Margot Robbie to Jennifer Aniston and the Beckhams.
What to buy: 111Skin Y Theorem Bicellulose Facial Mask , £85 for five, with the hero NAC Y2 ingredient as well as peptides and calming tiger grass aka centella Asiatica. Think soothed, smoothed and plumper skin in 20 minutes.
You might already recognise Dr Tijion Esho , as the former resident cosmetic doctor on E4's Body Fixers makeover show, who has royals and celebrities on his books. Dubbed The Lip Doctor, he’s renowned for his lip fillers but also offers a variety of other 'tweakments' from his clinics in Wimbledon and Newcastle.
Dr Esho's speciality is the ‘Esho ratio’ and nano-droplet lip filler technique, which involves creating a 1:1 ratio in the outer corners of the top and bottom lip, and a 1:2 ratio in the centre of the top lip versus the bottom lip. In short, lips that are thicker in the middle with an accentuated Cupid’s bow. He’s also passionate about making lip fillers last longer and even weaning us off them via his Esho lip-focused cosmeceutical skincare line.
See him for: Laser Lip Lift. His latest invention is for people who don’t want injectables but seek a more natural lip enhancement. You can’t really look overdone as it relies on your own collagen stimulation for volume. It’s a 10-minute painless treatment that resurfaces and adds volume with no downtime. The six sessions you need a year cost £950 in total and you can also have it if you’ve had fillers.
His skincare: Esho bills itself as the world’s first cosmeceutical lip care range, providing a no-needle solution for enhancing the lips with plumping and hydrating serums and balms. If you've had lip fillers, it also helps them last longer. It's already become QVC's best-selling lip range of all time.
What to buy: Esho Sculpt, £21.99 – a tingling lip serum designed to boost lip shape and volume immediately and in the long-term thanks to a super concentration of peptides. We also love Esho Coat, £21.99, which scooped a gold medal in our Get The Gloss Beauty and Wellness Awards 2021 .
MORE GLOSS: Why a top hair doctor is raving about peptides