March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate, we’re talking to a unique group of women who are experts in the field and use advanced beauty in their professional skincare practice. These women 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 Constance Campion.
With more than two decades of experience, Constance Campion is an international leading expert in medical aesthetics and skincare. A pioneer of skin health rejuvenation, she’s a founder of The London Wellness Centre in Kensington, Vice-President of the American Institute of Medical Aesthetics (AIMA UK), and Director of Medico Beauty. In addition to leadership positions in international organizations, she’s also a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists and The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses. She’s been featured in the press and published in both professional journals and leading health and beauty magazines. As a consultant nurse practitioner, Constance is a strong supporter of continuing developments in nursing science and was recently recognized with The Diamond Award for Best Aesthetic Nurse of the Year 2018 by Safety in Beauty.
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?
I agree that despite advances, mankind still lives in a wild world, where survival of the fittest remains the norm. It’s a tough world when we navigate a juggling act, so we are challenged. Our priorities are often influenced too by external factors, which all too often take the focus away from a healthier personal care and central wellbeing. For that reason, one survival tool worth noting is the go-to cathartic effect of a personal beauty routine. Beauty is an attractive tool that is highly beneficial. And, if it is utilised wisely, it can make a real difference towards adjusting our physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing, because it is directed by an intrinsic need to self-care. It has been shown that beautification is a natural ignition to raising self-empowerment, self-esteem and to improve the health of an individual. In fact, I believe that it is a useful tool to harness to advance global wellness initiatives. With a focus on beauty, mankind can make a better life and a better world.
I advise and I teach my patients to connect and to practise self-awareness, so as to foster a comprehensive self-care system. It gravitates towards the meaningful use of the need to care, the need to be cared-for and the need to look attractive. But, my advice is that we have to develop a belief system that it is rooted in health first, in order to care for ourselves properly. And, we have to make that our constant. The triage of self-awareness, self-care and beauty from within are elements in the clinical dynamics of healing, which remain a driving force of nature. And nowhere is the result more visible than on the skin. Therefore, putting skin health forward, our philosophy right across the wide scope of our work in our medical practice and in our company Medico Beauty, is that skin is an organ, not just a face and that we can change the face of skin, from the inside out and the outside in.
Medico Beauty has encapsulated skin health, skin fitness, and health and beauty from within, as the primary goal towards getting clients started on their skin and health transformation, because the company has the clinical capacity to have decades of experience and the evidence base that has proven, that what is good for the body is good for the face and what is good for the face, is good for the body. It’s simple.
Medico Beauty: What is your favourite wellness ritual?
My favourite? I stand before myself morning and I take a good look at myself in the mirror, so that I can engender a smile and ignite a little happiness, and I give gratitude before I shower and clean my face. I have my three-minute CosMedix skin ritual, after which I brush my teeth, comb my hair and splash on a wonderful scent, before I face the day or the night with the words: “Come what may. Inshallah”.
Medico Beauty: How do you recover after a stressful day or in the moment of a serious meltdown?
After a stressful day, I cannot wait to get home, so I beat the retreat to my lovely kitchen, stand in front of my Aga cooker, where I put the kettle on and make myself a beautiful cup of the best tea I have in the house. I love Fortnum & Masons Irish Blend and Lady Grey and there’s always Poona Kandy, which helps me to have a little thought and to park the day. If I’m in a moment of serious meltdown, I bite my top lip and channel my belief in God, reminding myself that I’m not put on this earth to suffer. If I can put my emotions to one side, and hold the line, I will force my mind not to abandon my critical thinking, so that I can figure something out! But, there is always a point in some situations, which can test one to the limits. I have to admit, that is the point at which I become a cross between Eddie Murphy and Brigid Jones dealing with a meltdown!
Medico Beauty: What personal achievement are you most proud of?
I’ve scored a few high 5’s in my professional career, particularly as the analyst that set out the case for private healthcare, private insurance and the subsequent building of the first private hospital in Denmark. Additionally, I was the architect and advisor for the primary medical needs in preparation for the merger between Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse in 1998. And, I’m particularly honoured, to have been given the task by The Royal Palaces, to choose my short-list of eminent doctors for the position of the Royal Apothecary. Her Majesty was extremely grateful for my advice and I was rewarded, but the same eminent man is still doing the job, so I got that one right. But, my greatest achievement to date quite frankly, has been my marriage, my four amazing children, and their husbands and wife and a most adored granddaughter. And, playing my little part and helping my dear mother who is now 99, is something that I am particularly proud of too. In sum, my family is my greatest achievement to date.
Medico Beauty: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
“Don’t ever allow yourself to experience the negative pressure of insecurity, loneliness, guilt, low-self esteem or self-doubt. And the way to do that is to learn to love and to care for yourself as best you possibly can, before you start to learn how to professionally care for others. And, whatever else you do, don’t pluck your eyebrows”!
Medico Beauty: How did you get started in the field of Advanced Skincare Health and Wellness?
Care of the skin has always been a central feature within my specialist field and scope of practise, so there was a natural interest in developments that came about in the 90’s. Those highlighted the dynamic approaches in bio-regenerative “holistic” dermatology and far more natural and healthy skin processes, which the commercial skin brands and BigPharma had eclipsed. So adding basic lifestyle science to our understanding of cellular health and particularly the role of inflammation in the body and in the skin put the level of our knowledge on a new trajectory in the early part of the New Millennium. Then, finding the best ingredients, the leading formulators, and formulations underpinned by a Nobel Prize winning technology, (chirality) and the best FDA approved laboratory in the United States, which teams up with CosMedix who produce our treatments and our skincare, felt as if we had finally found the Holy Grail. That relationship gives Medico Beauty the edge because our company has the best treatment line of skincare treatments and skincare products available in the world. The results speak for themselves: consistent results right across the board. What we do and what we advocate resolving cosmetic skin concerns, prevents pre-mature ageing and deals with environmental ageing without unnatural, unsafe, harmful and irritating ingredients. Our skin plans don’t disrupt, but rather repair the skin, using advanced skin treatments, products, health and wellness.
Medico Beauty: What single discovery do you believe has made a difference in treating skin concerns?
I think the discovery of the effective use of active ingredients such as retinoids, i.e., potent antioxidants such as Vitamin A and its divertives such as retinol, as well as other powerful antioxidants such as Axtaxin, and of course non-hydroquinone tyrosnaise inhibitors are pretty unique. But, they have to be combined with the professional skills sets we learnt since the Millennia in holistic dermatology and its links with how to achieve intrinsic and cellular health, which support the skin and overall health. The skin is attached to every organ in the body, so it’s rather foolish and out-dated to just rely on slapping on moisture creams on the face. The skin is the mirror of the mind, body and soul. So, we utilise a combination of professional competencies extended into a comprehensive concert of client care treatment, with the correct skincare for their unique skin needs. This makes the greatest difference in how we treat and resolve skin concerns today. Our approach differs, insofar as it is in stark contrast to the traumatic extrinsic annihilation, synonymous with the massive attack that skincare chemicals, drugs, ingredients and laser “warfare” causes to the skin. Those treatments are still widely available, as indeed in truth, there’s a lot of bad science around. But, preventing impairing cytokine and chemokine production in macrophages, we have to move away from harmful chemicals and embrace the more skin friendly ways to prevent and to repair wrinkles, resolve pigmentation issues such as melisma and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or in order to clear acne and rosacea and of course, this helps to reduce the risks of premature ageing and skin cancer.
Reducing inflammation is the single most important frontline effort our formulations offer, but without up-to-date knowledge skin experts for sure, struggle today.
Medico Beauty: What’s the best way to get started with using active ingredients in skincare?
That is a very important question today for any skin client who wants to embark on an advanced skincare plan, so as to achieve a visible difference. If anti-ageing and resolving a cosmetic skin condition is needed, then corrective skincare is not run of the mill.
Competent professional skincare experts, who are worth their salt, start with giving their clients a comprehensive consultation and assessment first, which if it is conducted competently, is an amazing experience. It takes about one hour to carry this out. (That is one of our most popular appointments we schedule, right across the board in our aesthetic practice. And, our students learn it too at the classes and courses at our Medico Beauty Advanced Skin Institute). It underpins and determines what is going on in the person’s skin health, because it identifies the red flags, as well as the condition of the skin and how it is being challenged. The idea is to determine the root cause of the problem, rather than a have-a-go treatment, that often do more harm than good. If someone has a common cosmetic skin concern, then as often as not, one has to re-adjust the internal health of that person. We can also determine the ageing level of the skin, and whether it is prematurely ageing. The age of the skin is a pre-determinate in the overall health of the person and its an organ that is connected to every organ in the body. Our next strategy is to determine how the results driven skincare programmes we offer as part of an effective treatment plan.
We follow specialist evidenced standards in our treatments and skincare, and we emphasise the need for client information for informed consent, because our clients should understand the issues at play, the benefits and the risks of treatment and the proper use of the products and treatments that we advocate. We teach our clients how to use our active ingredients from the start and compliance and acclamation is how we manifest tolerance. Effective and beautiful advanced products are very simple but admittedly, it’s an experience that many clients may never have experienced before. But, once they have access to and experience the effects of a top quality active and intelligent skincare treatment line such as CosMedix for example, they experience a value system, that they’ve never experienced before. And, there is no doubt that when compliance with the skincare programme is adhered to, it sets the results apart from what is otherwise available.
Our treatments and our skincare products always deliver results that are highly effective. All our ingredients are the freshest quality and they are natural for the skin and purified, so we can stand by the effectiveness and the safety when they’re applied to the skin. Using our skincare regimes, inflammation irritation and damage to the skin is unheard-of when our clients are taught what to do alongside the correct and meaningful use of our products.
We move all our skin clients away from the usual cookie cutter one size fits all Cleanse, Tone and Moisture, which has been the commercial beauty industry standard for skin products for decades. Our washes are therapeutic, but they don’t dry, strip or upset the skin, and even though they have active ingredients, they are gentle and balancing. The serums in our skincare treat and acclimate the skin appropriately for clients, even those who are using our highest strength most active ingredients experience how a treatment line differs and makes a positive difference. One way we manage to ensure our clients can use active ingredients is that we prescribe the correct formulation and strength for each client on a bespoke basis, and we know from our assessment, what level of internal inflammation and disruption they are experiencing. We can help a client’s skin to take in active ingredients from the outset of the skincare programme, because everything we use will fit the specific needs of that client’s skin. All our skincare clients successfully use antioxidants, peptides, growth factors, tyrosnaise inhibitors and retinoids.
Medico Beauty: Have you had any beauty or skincare disasters?
I had one when I went along to a training session carried out at the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons annual general meeting at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver, in April 2004. I attended the annual plastic surgical meeting with my husband who is a plastic surgeon, attending lectures and presentations, hooking up with my American colleagues, and also attending my own professional society, which is affiliated with ASAPS. In one session, I volunteered along with other “ faces” to try out a new revolutionary, superficial peel. The practitioners, carrying out the treatments were seated behind us on the right side of the room, whilst those who were having stronger medium strength peels,(which by the way, required a 2 week preparation of the skin in advance), were lying on trolleys on the left side of the room. The instructor/ lecturer decided to come to me so as to carry out a practical demonstration on video. So, there I lay as still as a facial model should be, very happy to try a new revolutionary skin peel. What I didn’t realise however, is that I had the strongest medium-depth peel in the entire treatment line. And, to make matters worse, I only realised that, three days afterwards when my skin erupted into the most almighty dry, flaky mess. I went about for the remainder of that meeting having ten minute breaks to wash off the dryness of my face and applying a Godsend: CosMedix Rescue and CosMedix Mystic, which literally saved my blushes.
Medico Beauty: What skincare advice do you have for those on a budget or who would like to save money?
I don’t think that anyone needs to race off to a cheap skincare line. Rather, it is a lot easier and more effective to access a top quality skincare line and invest less money, by purchasing less products.
Medico Beauty: Tell us about any new exciting projects you’re developing in 2019?
This year, I have launched my new website and continue to engage with the public so as to educate them about up to date know and ‘take ownership over your skin’ information. And, I received the Safety in Beauty Award, I am helping to make the public more aware about the hidden dangers lurking in aesthetic treatments. More to the point, helping to treat them when medical aesthetic procedures go pear-shaped and, help practitioners to manage complications will continue to be necessary.
Medico Beauty: How do you see advanced skin health evolving in the future?
Undoubtedly, the skin world is moving more and more towards safer more natural and compatible ingredients that are recognised by the skin’s own receptors. But, advanced skin health has to move towards integrated health and wellbeing. Sadly, we are still 15 years behind in skin knowledge in the UK and there are a lot of snake oil sellers duping the public.
Medico Beauty: What is your favourite face mask right now?
Medico Beauty: Favourite CosMedix hero product?
I think every CosMedix is a hero product, but if you leave me stranded with only one, I would need my Purity Clean, because it’s a deep cleaning princess which also hydrates.