By Vicki Holder
When a rose bush is exposed to a frost or a drought, it suffers and has to be nursed back to health with proper care and nutrients. Our skin, explains Louise Gray of Louise Gray Skin Care in Mission Bay, is no different.
As a dedicated skin care specialist, Louise and her highly experienced and dedicated team are all about assisting the health of the skin through a combination of treatments and diet advice. Unlike many of the beauty salons around, they don’t do ready-made facials or injectables. Nor do they offer spa-type pamper sessions.
Hers is a serious skincare business, established to help people understand how the skin works and restore it back to glowing health so it can cope with all the things life throws at it.
Louise was previously a nurse working in intensive care. Rather than move into management, the traditional pathway, she wanted to stay in a patient-based role that allowed her to help people face to face, which led to her training in skin care. At the time, there were a lot of dermatologists and/or beauty salons but nobody was offering a good, common sense skin clinic with a mind to the medical reasoning behind the treatments. It seemed an obvious niche for Louise.
In tandem with her skincare knowledge, her medical background helps her to treat the cause not just the effects, resulting in long term change for the client.
“Many people have skin concerns,” she says, “either as a result of stress, ill health, lifestyle or aging. Repairing the damage is usually possible with a combination of internal things and topical treatments. If you don’t take the internal vitamins and probiotics, skincare won’t work.”
When clients visit Louise’s Auckland clinic, they start with a consultation to check their skin and diet. One of the most basic pieces of advice she offers is to take Omega supplements which improve hydration and moisturises your skin on cellular level. The other thing she says is that a good sunscreen is not negotiable.
“Often you need other things but if you’re on a limited budget, start with those things.”
Most of her clients have an issue with their skin or a complaint they want to fix. Louise and her team can work out the correct treatment programme for the best result and she has spent a lot of time researching the best professional products like Mesoestetic, Ilcsi and Dermalogica, that are really active to correct the skin.
Louise doesn’t believe in quick fixes. “If you have a problem, you need to take things slowly and surely. Less is best. We don’t want to overdo it and make the skin go into panic. We offer ingredients that are like a crutch to help the skin repair and then strengthen. You can’t strengthen before you repair.”
Treatments that work
“If you’re stressed”, she says, “your skin might be red. You might have rosacea or pre-rosacea or have an outbreak of dermatitis. We’d probably use a lot of LED treatments – lots of lights that stimulate the APT in the skin. It recharges the cell’s flat battery and kickstarts them so they can fix the problem. It’s amazing,” she says.
“Your skin is bathed in light that plumps the deepest layers.”
For many consultations, they make 3D images with software that lets them see the not so obvious damage underneath the skin.
“Pigmentation is a massive issue for many people. For this we use the Mesoetetic range from Spain. They have a programme called Cosmelan, an intensive professional treatment designed to reduce dark spots. It reactivates the vital functions of the skin and gives incredible results.”
She has a lot of excellent treatments for aging. If people have a big event, for example a family wedding coming up and they want to look good, Louise puts them on a collagen induction therapy programme that will start to get their skin functioning better and help with collagen and elastin production. Again, it gives incredible results.
Many mothers bring their teens in for advice on acne issues because they want them to hear it from an expert. “It involves a lot of talking about how skin works. It’s good basic skin care. Sometimes we do peels and/or LED lights. We clear the skin of congestion so the skin can start functioning properly. A lot of the time, you can work through acne with probiotics and home care.”
Louise also does electrolysis for hair removal in conjunction with IPL. “It’s soul destroying for many young people and you can see the confidence return as we resolve the issue.”
To complement the skin care, Louise offers make-up sessions, bringing in the Jane Iredale make-up range sales representative to spend time with her clients showing them how to apply products correctly.
There are so many things you can do to help your skin look better.
“It’s always changing because there is so much available. But you can feel bombarded and overwhelmed,” says Louise.
“Once going to see a skin care specialist would have been regarded as a luxury. Now, it’s like going to the dentist and it should be a part of your health routine.”