Diary of a Global Skin Guru

Diary of a Global Skin Guru


4 weeks, 12 countries, 14 flights, 65 hours sitting in a plane...And so concluded my most recent venture to Europe as the Global Brand Ambassador for Dermapen™.

First stop was London. As one who has a habit of always being in the right place at the right time, it was little wonder that I had already bumped into the Queen (as she was being driven through the gates) at Buckingham Palace within 5 hours of landing. With such luck, I was looking forward to training and presenting at CCR (Clinical, Cosmetic, Re-constructive) Congress in London’s Olympia exhibition centre.

The CCR Congress is a fusion of the surgical and non-surgical cosmetic medicine worlds. Attended only by doctors and medical professionals, it was a hub of the latest technologies in needling, injectables, laser, liposuction and aesthetic surgical procedures. What immediately caught my attention was the sheer number of dentists who were in attendance. As one proudly proclaimed to me “we do the best the blocks, why wouldn’t you see a dentist for your injectables and needling?”. The irony of course was not lost on me… a dental appointment that doesn’t hurt, but leaves you with glowing skin!! On the skin needling front, delegates were fascinated by new techniques to treat acne (yes acne), milia, keratosis pilaris and even pigmentation. Combination therapies combining PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) are further defying the ageing process whilst maximising the skin’s youth potential. Other infusions combined with needling provided further results for keloid scarring, vitiligo and decade old stretch marks.

London of course would not be complete without a shop to Harrods and Harvey Nichs. What surprised me was the availability of brands, exclusive only to the professional beauty market in Australia, openly available on counters and shelves. No therapist, no consultation… On the pharmacy front, I was impressed how brands had embraced peptides, hyaluronic acid and the use of niacinamide. From pimple creams to anti-ageing solutions, Vitamin B3 had been heralded as a skin necessity.

Next stops Zurich and Barcelona. In both places I was lucky enough to meet some of the world’s most famous dermatologists. From the medical side, hyaluronic acid fillers were big. Fractional laser was big, but patients preferred the no-downtime approach of needling. The most interesting innovation was a clinical exploring demonstrating how Dermapen™ could prevent acne scar formation with patients on Roaccutane. Whilst this is still in a “don’t try this at home stage”, the preliminary findings were astonishing. Barcelona’s body beautiful crowd erase their body stretch marks with needling sessions every 8 weeks. Combination therapies including hyaluronic acid and TCA (yes the peel) infusions ensure the smoothest results.

Enchanting Istanbul was my next visit. Almost every street corner had dermatologist’s offices. In Turkey, skin is big business. With darker skin tones ineligible for IPL Photorejuvenation, cryo therapy was the solution for caramel spots and lentigines. How I successfully managed to get 48 nitrous oxide gas cartridges (for my Dermapen Cryo) though airport security must have been divine intervention. PRP goes one step further in Turkey, where stem cells are isolated further. These are re-injected or painted (post-needling) to tackle scar tissue, wrinkles, pigmentation and even acne. For the Turkish woman, beauty begins with clear, even and smooth skin. As one patient confided in me, such skin can be achieved “by using Australian sunscreen. It is the best in the world”.

The German’s love their skin care. In Munich, the department stores contained 2-3 floors of skin, fragrance and make-up solutions. What I noted however was a lack of salons and laser hair removal clinics. Although having a dermatologist on speed dial was a social pre-requisite in Turkey, the Germans were far less brash when it came to their procedures. Lucky it was Oktoberfest and I could extract some skin secrets via my special truth serum… alcohol.

Despite the -1 degree Celsius temperature in both Copenhagen and Stockholm, both cities proved to have some of the most knowledgeable aesthetic nurses and clinicians I had ever had the pleasure of meeting. Whilst in many other European countries, body was a big focus, in Scandinavia, creaseless and youthful faces were all the rage. Combination therapies restored lost volume with filler, re-defined skin integrity with needling then resurfaced with vitamin A and TCA peels. Despite my luck with Lizzy, there was no repeat of a royal rendezvous as I stood outside Princess Mary’s palace in Denmark. Whilst you can stand just outside the front door, the guards shout at you if you try to turn the handle… Stockholm was where I lectured to my largest group. Over 40 of Sweden’s top cosmetic doctors, nurses and therapists.

Destination Paris, my favourite city in the world and off to the AMEC Congress. The Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Medicine European Congress is for the European surgical and non-surgical aesthetic market. I noticed 4 huge trends at this exhibition: needling, liposuction, threads and of course dermal fillers. On the needling front, dermal rollers was definitely out, pen technology was definitely in. The infusion of actives such as hyaluronic acid and zinc were big with such devices. A fusion of Mesotherapy and dermal filler techniques have really increased needling’s efficacy, results and treatment indications. Teaching surgeons from as far away as Uganda was an honour. Trying to find a soy latte in Paris was an impossibility!

After a very big celebratory night in Paris, next stop was Milan. What I loved about the Italian market was the emphasis placed on skin care and treatment. A daily regimen choc full of peptides, vitamins A, C and E was the perfect prep for any clinical skin treatment. I also noticed how prevalent the male market was here. It is argued over 25% of Italian men look after their skin with daily products. It is no wonder that all my needling models had such beautiful, olive complexions.

Second last stop of my European leg was Warsaw. Such an incredibly modern city with a cool urban vibe, it was different to what I had expected. Whether it be doctors or therapists, the understanding of skin here was phenomenal. The average therapist studies for over 4 years and that’s just the start. With such low salaries in Poland, the upside was very affordable treatment and procedures, by extremely qualified practitioners. Poland is the place to go for a quick, risk free and affordable aesthetic fix. With such strong skins, it was little surprise to see that the Poles get needled anaesthetic-free. They also like their medium and deep peels such as TCA and Phenol.

A return to Paris ended my European adventure before heading over to the Middle East.

My proudest moment? Getting to work with an Australian innovation that is changing so many skins across the world.

Andrew R. Christie is the Director of Lipservice Consulting, Australia’s specialist in technical writing and training manual content for the medical and clinical aesthetics market. Andrew regularly tours nationally and internationally as an industry expert and lecturer. Ph 0405 145 514 andrew@lipserviceconsulting.comcont’d

Click here to download the full article as seen in Beauty Biz Dec/Jan issue.
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