Top dermatologist reveals the beauty mistakes that are ageing and can cause breakouts

From maskne to dry patches and breakouts caused by stress, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on our skin since it started. 

But there are simple steps everyone can take to help reverse the damage and prevent any further issues.  

Speaking to FEMAIL, Dr Ophelia Veraitch, 40, a consultant dermatologist on Harley Street, revealed it’s possible to achieve flawless skin without splurging on big beauty brands and says there are some popular treatments that experienced dermatologists and plastic surgeons know to avoid having themselves…


Dr Ophelia Veraitch, 40, a consultant dermatologist on Harley Street, revealed it's possible to achieve flawless skin without splurging on big beauty brands

Dr Ophelia Veraitch, 40, a consultant dermatologist on Harley Street, revealed it’s possible to achieve flawless skin without splurging on big beauty brands 

‘If you just do one thing for your skin wear an SPF daily. Everyday, no matter whether it’s summer or winter because UV radiation even comes through the windows,’ Dr Ophelia said. 

‘It’s only recently that I get so many comments about my skin.

‘I have a basic cleansing routine. In the mornings and on days when I’m not wearing makeup I just use a gentle cleanser. When wearing water based coverage makeup I use an AHA cleanser such as one with glycolic acid. When wearing heavier oil based makeup I use a BHA cleanser such as one with salicylic acid.

‘In the morning I will use my Hyperpigmentation Day Serum, which contains tranexamic acid, niacinamide and kojic acid. 

‘I am Indian, had two children and never listened to my mum about sun protection when I was younger… so using this serum helps keep my skin in an even and bright tone. I used to have melasma but this cleared it all up.

‘Then after I will use a daily SPF. I use a light SPF30 during winter and an SPF50 during the summer months. I put this on daily without fail, whether it’s summer or winter. I don’t think I have found the perfect sunscreen, so that might be my next project.

‘Then in the evening after cleansing I use the Dr. Ophelia Acne Night Serum, which helps with oil control and congestion. This serum has tretinoin, clindamycin and azelaic acid. So it’s great for oil control, congestion, anti-ageing and brightening.

‘Genetically I have some dark circles under my eyes for which I use the Hyperpigmentation Eye Night Serum which has a low concentration of tretinoin and hydroquinone which is perfect for the under eye area, and actually delivers results. With this regimen my skin has never been better.’


Dr Ophelia said it's important to wear SPF everyday because UV radiation can damage skin in any season (file image)

Dr Ophelia said it’s important to wear SPF everyday because UV radiation can damage skin in any season (file image)

 Dr Ophelia explained many leading make-up brands are improving the ingredients in their cosmetics, however she isn’t an advocate for wearing full coverage daily.

She said: ‘I always try to encourage patients to just use makeup on the occasions they really need it for work or socially, unless of course they need the coverage to give them skin confidence to be able to go out. 

It might smell good, but fragrance is bad for your skin! 

Dr Veraitch said it is a mistake to use skincare products ‘with fragrances and preservatives, as both of these groups of ingredients make up the biggest causes of skin allergies and sensitives.’ 

‘Ideally on a day to day basis I advocate either wearing no makeup or just very light coverage (such as with a mineral powder or compact foundation). Then for going out a non-comedogenic foundation for coverage. 

‘Oil based coverages should only really be for the cameras. I may have to re-think my views on makeup, as the leading makeup brands are bring out ‘skinification’ make up ranges with active skincare ingredients in the makeup.

‘For example foundations with active ingredients such as zinc oxide and salicylic acid, can help clear acne. Zinc oxide can help soothe inflammation and absorb excess facial oil. 

‘Salicylic acid contains exfoliating and unblocking properties which make it ideal for treating skin that is showing signs of acne as well as clearing away debris and build up. 

‘It also removes excess sebum, or oil, making it good for unclogging skin. If you do suffer from oily skin for example, avoid oil-based foundations and opt for water-based lightweight ones. 

‘Formulations that are too thick and heavy will clog the pores and cause break outs. Similarly, avoiding mineral oils, beeswax, and paraffin are key if you have oily skin because these compounds can clog your pores and trigger acne or make it worse.’  


Dr Ophelia Veraitch said the popular 'tear through filler' treatment isn't good for the delicate under eye skin (file image)

Dr Ophelia Veraitch said the popular ‘tear through filler’ treatment isn’t good for the delicate under eye skin (file image)

‘I did relatively few ‘beauty treatments’ until about three years ago when I noticed that age was catching up with me and I also started having more time to look after myself,’ Dr Ophelia said. 

Think twice before having tear trough filler 

Dr Ophelia said the ‘tear trough filler filler’ is a popular treatment at the moment as it achieves great results at first but in the long term it isn’t good for the delicate under eye skin.

‘Interestingly the most experienced dermatologists and plastic surgeons who first started doing tear trough filler have generally stopped doing it,’ she said.

‘Filling up the tear trough can stretch the under eye skin and lead to an increase in excessive skin under eye skin. 

‘Also by stretching the skin it can make the skin thinner and more translucent, showing the darker vessels underneath which actually are one of the important contributions to ‘dark/ tired’ eye syndrome.’ 

‘Also, around four years ago was when the penny dropped and I realised I wasn’t going to get results with fancy skincare so I stopped all of that.

‘I went cold turkey with the luxury skincare,  just went onto prescription actives when I needed to and for results driven treatments. Then in addition to my skincare I have had the following cosmetic treatments:

‘I have Botox probably about once a year, whenever I am at my lowest and need an effective ‘pick me up’ for visible results.

‘Profhilo is great as a ‘skin booster’, and I prefer this to using filler as you get a more natural result.

‘Then I give myself glycolic acid peels if I need a short term glow, so I would do this 1 week prior to any special event I wanted to look good at. My skin is very sensitive so I can’t tolerate anything other than glycolic acid as a chemical peel.’ 

The dermatologist added: ‘Facials can be hugely beneficial to the skin because they can help to exfoliate the skin and clean out blocked pores, helping to reduce breakouts. They can also help to hydrate the skin and rejuvenate the skin. 

‘However, it’s important to remember that facials are for achieving short term and not long term results.’


Dr Ophelia, who studied at Imperial College London and had four years of specialist dermatology training, noted it is important to verify a dermatologist’s credentials before visiting. 

‘Without having a solid understanding and experience in the vast repertoire of dermatological diseases you can’t have a hope to even know how to help achieve beauty for your patients,’ she said.  

‘Unfortunately, the term ‘dermatologist’ isn’t a protected term in the UK so many doctors and non-doctors call themselves dermatologists when in fact they are not. It’s very misleading to the public, and people should be aware of this.’

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