Q & A with beauty expert Linda Meredith
Knightsbridge based facialist Linda Meredith counts some very famous and beautiful faces amongst her many clients including Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Madonna, Stella McCartney, Emma Thompson and Penelope Cruz. Her facials (also available at Chewton Glen and the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park), as well as her products are sought after because they actually work; they are results-based and exceptionally effective. In point of fact, Linda’s philosophy of looking good differs dramatically from beauty gurus who will tell you that maintaining youthful beauty as you age is a simple matter of lining up the right combination of Botox, fillers, laser and chemical peels. Instead, Linda takes a big picture view. To her mind, you can get incredible results with effective facials, consistent home care and good quality products.
And with over 40 years experience in the beauty industry Linda knows what she is talking about. Over the course of her career, Linda has noted dramatic changes in the way that skin has evolved, and following extensive research into the cause, it became clear to her that in the last 60 years toxins are making massive changes to the quality of our skin. And after realising that most of the products on the market weren’t addressing this issue, preferring to stick to ‘oily, dry, dehydrated and combination’ formulas, Linda developed her own range of skincare – one that deals with skin problems not skin types.
She says: “Working on clients every day for the past twenty years, it became very obvious to me that skin was changing. I also discovered that different traditional skin types would simultaneously show up on the same client at various times. As other brands dealt with oily, dry and combination separately and could not be combined I needed to come up with a solution. Like our body, our skin needs a combination of nutrients and LM products are designed to be layered on one after the other, depending on what your skin needs.”
Linda believes that one of the biggest mistakes women make about their skin is using the same cream every day year in and year out. She believes that skin changes constantly and it is vital to use the appropriate product depending on what it needs that day – and the difference this kind of attention makes is amazing.
Question 1: I have Rosacea and it gets worse in the cold weather in autumn and winter time – red and dry. What can I do?
Linda says: Rosacea is a difficult problem to deal with as it will flare up and go down for no reason at all. In my opinion after many years of seeing clients with this problem it generally flares up because of emotional stress. It normally occurs on both cheeks but I have seen a client where it was only on one side of the face. Medically it is normally treated with steroid cream, however this will thin down the skin and destroy the collagen. I do not feel using steroid cream is the solution as when you stop using the cream it is likely to flare up again. We have had great results with two of the LM creams. Amazon and NET-45. You may still get flare ups but at least there are no side effects from using the creams and you can use them all over the face as moisturisers and get the other benefits at the same time. The cheeks are related to the lungs and part of the problem is respiratory stress. Any form of relaxation will also help.
If your issue is just general redness, this could be from broken capillaries showing through a fine skin or a genetic disposition inherited from a parent or your ethnicity. In both cases we recommend a product called Phyto 4. It contains a high concentration of essential oils which will strengthen the capillary walls and reduce the redness. A repairing serum can also be added to Phyto to help repair any surface damage. Capillaries can also be treated with laser or straight diathermy (a form of electrolysis ) I would advise the later as laser may also burn the surface layer. We do have an expert in this field who visits our London salon once a month.
Question 2: My Skin Gets so dry in the winter what can I do about this?
Linda says: This can be dealt with both from the inside and the outside of the body. I would recommend a dual approach. A good quality fish oil ( Vega ) can be taken daily as a supplement during the winter months. The outside can be treated very successfully with the LM product called Amazon. It has amazing healing properties for the surface layers along with a high content of encapsulated Vitamin C with is anti-ageing. Adding serum to the Amazon balm will also help, for example Amazon in the morning ans Amazon mixed with serum for night. This will take the place of your morning and evening moisturisers.
Question 3: My skin seems to be dry but at the same time I’m breaking out – how can it be both at once?
Linda says: Unfortunately, there is no such thing as individual skin types, they all overlap so you are not alone. This is actually the reason why I developed the LM skincare range. Products that could be overlapped to deal with individual issues. However in saying that, in my experience, it can also be down to products on the market that are recommended to use if and when your skin has breakouts. They can dry out the surface layers but your body still produces excess oil. Alternately, you could have dry skin on the cheeks and around the nose but get breakouts in certain areas such as the chin or forehead. In this case the breakouts may be caused by certain foods. Too much fruit or dairy can cause breakouts. It is the sugar in fruits such as berries and if the skin produces too much oil dairy will produce more sebum. First, check out your diet if you think it may be the problem simply by eliminating either for about a week and if the problem subsides you will know the cause. Dryness is easily eliminated with Amazon or NET-45. Adding serum will also help dryness and heal the damaged skin from breakouts. Phyto 4 will reduce any future breakouts.
Question 4: I love getting facials but I don’t have the time to go into a salon – what can I do at home to get a similar result?
Linda says: Whether you visit a salon for facials or not the most important part of skin care is what you do at home. People always complain about time but your homecare routine can be carried out in a very efficient way. Cleanse the skin well with a water soluble cleanser not one that leaves a barrier on the surface as this prevents the other products from absorbing and working at their optimum level. Apply a layer of the LM Enzyme peel and leave for 25 minutes. Once applied carry on with your daily routine. Remove thoroughly after 25 minutes and apply a thick layer of the LM gommage, it is absorbs quickly apply more and repeat if required. If the gommage absorbs quickly it means is your skin is very hydrated so apply more until your feel your skin is full. Carry on with your daily routine and when it is dry remove with warm water. Depending on what your skin needs, apply a thick layer of either Phyto 4 or NET-45 (see the LM website for recommendations). Take an amount of LM Mask about the size of a 50 pence piece. If you have used Phyto 4 as your preferred cream add in one third of the Phyto and mix together spreading quickly over the base cream. Leave until the mask starts to absorb into the skin 25 to 30 minutes. Carry on with your daily routine. Remove with warm water and layer a selection of LM products such as eye gel, Hydrating Mist, LM2 or Q3. If your preferred choice of treatment cream was NET-45 add several pumps of Collagen gel into the mask and quickly apply over the base cream. Your skin will feel amazing like you have just been to a professional salon for a Haute Couture facial. We also have a homecare selection of oxygen treatments.
Question 5: I have long had ‘problem skin’, it’s sensitive and I break out easily – what products do you recommend for me?
Linda says: Most skin problems today originate from the inside of the body not necessarily from the surface layers. You may have a food allergy, you could check this out with a nutritionist or you may be allergic to an individual ingredient in the cream you are using. Anything else would be genetically inherited. Many of my past clients tell me they are sensitive after I have carried out an AHA peel without any problem. If you have fine skin you may be touch sensitive but any redness tends to disappear quickly. Always treat skin gently and feed it with good quality products. This does not mean you need to buy expensive. Depending on your budget there are lots of products available. Try and buy water based and make sure you apply enough product. Check out health food shops not department stores. You can always ask for samples to try first. In the LM range my first recommendation would be Amazon.
For more information on Linda, her services and products, visit lindameredith.com.