We’re talking to the experts to learn more about the advanced beauty products and techniques they use in their professional skincare practice. These skincare leaders not only talk the talk, but they also walk it, too! They help clients look and feel their best and believe that well-being is greatly improved by taking an inside-out approach. Today, we’re chatting with Andy Millward.
A well-regarded expert and respected educator within the skincare industry, Andy Millward is a Level 4 qualified Facialist/Aesthetician and creator of the SKINTUITION signature facial. He takes a holistic approach to skin health and works with his clients to heal the skin from within in order to address their skin concerns. Additionally, he shares his vast knowledge of advanced skin treatments and teaches other advanced therapists and aesthetic practitioners the latest techniques to achieve optimal skin health. His clinic is located in Harborne, Birmingham.
Medico Beauty: Self-care is becoming a new buzz word. Often clients feel they lack enough time for themselves. What advice do you have for getting started?
First piece of advice is don’t convince yourself you don’t have time. When it comes to taking care of you, it’s something we need to make time for. Often we find time for everyone else and prioritise other people’s demands on our time, but don’t understand the importance or value of looking after ourselves first. I use the analogy of being on a plane when the oxygen masks drop. You always need to tend to yourself before tending to others.
Self-care needn’t be time consuming. As fantastic as having a long day at the spa is, even small things that fit in to our daily routine can have a huge impact. Such as a 5-10 minute meditation or going for a short walk at lunch, rather than eating your lunch at your desk or while distracted on social media.
Medico Beauty: What is your favourite wellness ritual?
This changes all the time but recently I got a new Celluma Pro LED device for the clinic. I also have an acupressure mat, which is said to boost circulation, relieve pain and encourage deep relaxation. So I’ve been enjoying lying on, with my Celluma Pro over my face and meditating (either focused on breath or plugged into a guided meditation) for 30 minutes. A combination of light therapy, mindfulness / meditation and acupressure therapy all-in-one!
Medico Beauty: How do you recover after a stressful day or in the moment of a serious meltdown?
I have recently discovered Buddhism philosophies and practising meditation more consistently (rather than my infrequent attempts in the past). I definitely find this helps to recover after a stressful day, but more importantly, helps to prevent the days from becoming too stressful. By changing my outlook and view on things that would have ordinarily made me feel stressed, they don’t have the same impact.
Medico Beauty: What personal achievement are you most proud of?
Proving to myself that I can do things that I always told myself I couldn’t. I always said I was too nervous to present in front of others, yet I now teach. I always said I couldn’t run my own business, yet I have done so for the last 5 years. So I am most proud of overcoming a lot of the fears and anxieties that used to hold me back in life.
Medico Beauty: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Don’t worry so much about the small things (that as you get older you realise don’t matter quite so much). Don’t be so fearful of what could go wrong or how you’ll look when they do and enjoy making more mistakes. Also, don’t use sunbeds. Use sunscreen daily. Ditch dairy, you know it doesn’t agree with you but you keep ignoring the signs.
Medico Beauty: How did you get started in the field of Advanced Skin Health and Wellness?
Initially I started writing a skincare blog, sharing my passion for all things skin / beauty. What started as a hobby soon grew to be a passion and a realisation that I finally knew what I wanted to do for a career. I retrained at the age of 30 as a skincare therapist and opened a skin clinic in Birmingham. Where I completed various brand training and first started using Cosmedix. I was very fortunate to start working with the brand and soon became their national educator. Alongside my work for the brand and clinic time treating clients, I also completed my Level 4 Diploma in Advanced Skin Science and Aesthetic Practice with Sally Durant Aesthetic Training. I then joined their team as a teacher / tutor, helping to train and mentor other Level 4 practitioners. My time is still split 50/50 between teaching and clinic work and I love both equally!
Medico Beauty: What single discovery do you believe has made a difference in treating skin concerns?
I don’t believe there has been a single discovery, but rather a collection of discoveries and more often used in combination or as part of a series together. My first discovery after basic Facialist training were peels and I particular love Cosmedix peels for their more gentle approach. Later I discovered LED and have used some form of LED in most of treatments since the beginning. Then came micro-needling. More recently I have re-discovered micro-current, something I hadn’t touched since completing my Level 3 training but have come full circle and really enjoying. Different skins need different approaches, it’s not one size fits all. So more often it’s a collection of things that make the big difference.
Medico Beauty: What’s the best way to get started with using active ingredients?
The first step is getting ready for active ingredients. I see a lot of high compromised skins, that can’t always handle active ingredients from day one. So the skin barrier has to be restored before introducing anything active. Next, start low and work up! There is a misconception, particular around the use of hydroxy acids or Vitamin A, that more is more or the stronger the better. Whereas using a little and using it often is the best and most effective way of getting active ingredients into your regime.
Medico Beauty: Have you had any beauty or skincare disasters?
Yes, many! Personally I have very resilient skin now and can handle some fairly strong treatments but it hasn’t always been this way. I used to be quite reactive and extremely acne prone. This is one of the main reasons when I qualified as a Facialist I had to discontinue testing out products and give up my blog.
Medico Beauty: What skincare advice do you have for those on a budget or who would like to save money?
Don’t feel like you need to follow trends or be tempted by the latest product. Stick with what you know works for you and use less product! I am forever telling clients in consultation less is more and they’re using too many products. Cut down to the minimum cleanser, hydrator and sunscreen. Then introduce additional products such as Vitamin A or antioxidants, as and when your budget permits.
Medico Beauty: Tell us about any new exciting projects you’re developing in 2019?
So I have already just launched my new website. Actually websites. I now have two, one focused purely on treatment and the other focused on products. It gives me more flexibility with the platforms and more scope to introduce new brands and treatments etc.
Medico Beauty: How do you see advanced skin health evolving in the future?
The skincare industry seems to evolve almost on a daily basis. It’s exciting but at the same time, I’m finding clients are getting more and more confused. Almost to a point where there is too much on offer and too much information being given. My hope in terms of how the industry will evolve, is that more skincare practitioners will pursue higher education and make their voices head over the loud shouts of social media influencers and large retailers.
Medico Beauty: What is your favourite face mask right now?
I love Marie Reynolds London Restore. It’s amazing for reducing inflammation and healing the skin. I also recently re-discovered my love for CosMedix Clear Mask too for days when I’m feeling my skin needs a good deep cleanse. When I have the time, 10 minutes of Clear followed by 10 minutes of MRL Restore is a winning combo for my skin.
Medico Beauty: Favourite CosMedix hero product?
I have quite a few but if I had to pick one it would be Purity Clean. It was the first CosMedix product I tried from the range and it transformed my own skin. It’s also the one product I know I can give to clients, knowing they’ll have a similar experience. I also love how versatile is it and advise clients to use it as a cleanser, exfoliator and a mask. The low dose L-Lactic Acid is great for really helping to condition the skin and boost ceramide production, helping the skin to retain more moisture on its own.