Dr. Stefanie Williams is a dermatologist and aesthetics doctor, known for her healthy and natural skin finishes and her ability to transform troubled complexions. skin. Problem skin something the 48-year-old mother of three and the founder and medical director of Eudelo aesthetics clinic in London has personal experience of.
"I’m prone to adult acne and rosacea . When you look at my skin you wouldn’t know this as I manage to keep these well-controlled most of the time. But it takes ongoing maintenance to keep it that way, so both conditions remain invisible. That means I can really relate to patients with breakout-prone skin in addition to being a specialist dermatologist," she says.
Dr Williams is a huge fan of non-surgical minimal-invasive treatments such as facial contouring using hyaluronic acid fillers and low-dose Botox . In fact, she's achieved great results on her own face, including her chin, this way.
"As I'm nearing my 50s and the menopause , collagen production in the skin naturally declines dramatically, so with my skincare as well as my regular regenerative in-clinic treatments (they are like a gym for the skin, you have to keep up the good work), I try to slow this process down. At the same time, I have to make sure that my products and treatments do not trigger my breakouts!
"If you look at the women in my family, one of our genetic skin ageing characteristics is loss of skin elasticity with lower face sagging and prominent jowls, so that’s something I am very aware of. I also suffer from melasma (irregular pigmentation) on my forehead and lateral cheeks in summer."
According to Dr Williams, problem skin is woefully underserved when it comes to anti-ageing skincare. "It’s a real problem that the vast majority of anti-ageing skincare products on the market are wholly unsuitable for breakout-prone skin. So I am fortunate to be able to hand-pick products that provide anti-ageing benefits but don’t aggravate or trigger breakouts."
Here are the treatments that work for Dr Williams
My skincare regime
Jan Marini Bioglycolic cleanser, £37 for 237ml to cleanse my skin. This provides a gentle exfoliation without drying the skin too much.
Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Serum, £150 for 30ml to protect my skin from oxidative stress including pollution. This has very high antioxidant protection levels. Also, if you are breakout prone as I am, it’s important to avoid all oil-based serums, so this is a great choice for that reason, too.
NeoStrata Intensive Eye Therapy, £44.34 for 15g to slow down skin ageing in the under-eye area. This is a multi-functional anti-ageing eye cream that (important when applying make-up on top) sinks in quickly without leaving greasy traces.
Jan Marini Physical Protectant SPF 30, £53.67 for 57g to protect my skin from the damaging effects of UV light (pure mineral broadspectrum protection, yet in a very light base formulation).
Exuviance Coverblend, £15.48 as a light-weight, skin-caring foundation containing polyhydroxy acids, it offers added benefits for the skin in addition to providing a lovely coverage.
La Roche Posay Micellar gel, £12.50 for 195ml to remove my make-up.
IS Clinical Cleansing Complex, £35 for 180ml to give my skin a deep-pore cleanse without drying.
Skinceuticals Custom Dose (available only at Eudelo ) serum for retinoid-free anti-pigment effects and gentle exfoliation.
"After the serum, I cycle through the following three products (alternating days), so get the best of all worlds."
Day 1: Ketrel cream, a 0.05% tretinoin cream (containing prescription retinoic acid) for collagen stimulation, sun damage repair and to keep my breakouts at bay. I would not tolerate this every day, as too strong for my personal skin, so I use this every three days at the moment.
Day 2: Neostrata Redness Neutralising ‘serum’, £47 for 29g it’s not really a serum, but more of a lotion that I use as an anti-inflammatory, light-weight moisturiser. With its calming effects, it’s a good counterpart to the very active tretinoin.
Day 3: Medik8 r-Retinoate cream, £135 for 50ml – an over-the-counter retinoid, containing a novel hybrid molecule of retinol and retinoic acid. It’s not quite as strong as the prescription tretinoin, but still providing great retinoid benefits.
The non-surgical treatments that work for me
I have monthly dermatology grade facials that include various steps such as extractions of comedones, advanced wet-microdermabrasion ( hydrafacial ), a mild peel and superficial needling with anti-pigment mesotherapy. These facials not only give my skin a wonderful refresh with a healthy glow but also help keep my breakouts at bay.
In addition, I have regular regenerative treatments. These are minimally-invasive in-clinic treatments that slow down the skin ageing process on a cellular level and should ideally be done in monthly intervals. It’s like joining the ‘skin gym’ – you have to do them regularly for best effects."
My latest discovery is Exokine treatment, which is a 100 per cent natural regenerative treatment from Germany, where your very own growth factors are used to stimulate collagen in the skin. We have had amazing results with this. It is somewhat similar to 'PRP (platelet-rich plasma) Needling', but with 10 to 100-times higher growth factor concentration (plus added anti-inflammatory cytokines, the proteins that signal between cells). The combination treatment of medical needling and Exokine infusion stimulates fibroblast cells in the skin to produce more collagen and elastin, thus repairing and regenerating the skin on a cellular level. The result is a more elastic and firmer, glowing skin.
Alternatively, I may get a Carboxy Facial (where medical grade CO2 gas is infused superficially into the skin to wake up dormant blood vessels and thus improve the skin’s supply with oxygen and nutrients) or a mild laser treatment called Clearlift, which rejuvenates the skin via non-ablative collagen stimulation. In the past, I have also had a Eudelo Soundlift, a treatment that uses Ultherapy technology to non-invasively tighten and lift the skin with focused ultrasound waves. It’s great for the lower face, but can also be used to lift the eyebrows.
The injectables I really rate
Every one or two years, I have facial contouring with hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers particularly in my cheekbone area, where the contouring filler replaces the volume that naturally gets lost during the ageing process. I also had contouring fillers in my chin in the past, which used to look very recessed and is now more balanced and in proportion with the rest of the face.
Twice per year or so, I have ultra-low-dose Bocouture (a botulinum toxin) to mimic lines between my brows and on the lower face. This ultra-low-dose normalises mimic muscle movements without freezing the face, such as frown muscles and the muscles that progressively pull down the corner of the mouth over time, which is a genetic family trademark.
In the past, I have also had my deep tear troughs softened with hyaluronic acid HA skin boosters, as I have always had very, very deep tear troughs (even as a child), so much so that I was constantly asked whether I was OK or tired. After a few of these skin booster sessions over the years, the cumulative benefits mean that I haven’t needed that treatment for the past few years, as my deep tear troughs remain well corrected even without treatment now.
Under the knife?
I haven’t had any surgical procedures. It’s not that I am against them, but I just haven’t needed them, which is thanks to the advanced non-surgical options we now have at our disposal. The advantage of non-surgical contouring with fillers compared to surgery is for example that facial features can be lifted without the wind-stretched appearance often seen after facelifts.
What I'd never go near
"Permanent fillers! Surprisingly there are still practitioners who use them these days and I have seen quite a few patients with complications such as painful lumps coming to see me in the clinic, asking for help. Unfortunately, often the only option to correct this is for a plastic surgeon to surgically cut these out. Also, our face changes over time, so what looks great now, may look completely out of place in 10 or 20 years. Permanent fillers are just not worth the risk, especially as we can do pretty much everything we need with HA fillers now.
My good skin philosophy
My philosophy is prevention and early intervention. In my opinion, that is key to keeping the skin as healthy and beautiful looking as possible, long term.
At Eudelo, we use the three-key system, analysing and addressing not only lines & wrinkles (as most people still do), but also facial contour and volume, as well as skin quality & skin health. I developed the Eudelo system myself, as it allows us to let you become the very best version of yourself, but still look like yourself and completely natural. Nobody would ever know (find out more in my book 'Look Great, Not Done' .)
The treatments that give the biggest bang for your buck
That’s a question that doesn’t really make sense. It’s like going to the gym and asking your trainer “I'm only going to use ONE of these machines, which one is best?” For best effects, you always need a combination approach, and of course maintenance! There isn’t such thing as an overnight miracle – sorry to be the bearer of bad news...
However, I am excited at what a clever combination of facial contouring and improving skin quality (the Eudelo ‘GlowLift’) can achieve – truly life-changing results.
The lifestyle habits that best support the skin
If I can just name one, it would be the daily use of good cosmeceutical skincare. This is an investment in your skin’s future that nobody should be without.
Find out more about Dr Stefanie Williams at Eudelo.com