EXPERT'S CHAT: SKINCARE WITH SUPER FACIALIST KATHARINE PATERSON
London born super-facialist Katharine Paterson is a go-to name for those in-the-know about skincare. Her holistic approach to beauty has won Katharine legions of loyal customers, paired with her second-to-none knowledge and highly tailored treatments means she is a highly sought after expert.
I talk to Katharine about how she started her business, KMP Skin (formerly Azure Beauty ) in London's Mayfair, and pry into her top take-away skincare tips to get you glowing.
"Since I can remember, I have always had a fascination with all things beauty related. When people used to visit my parents house, I always used to get told off, because I used to accost their visitors and sit on the back of the sofa subjecting them to having their hair styled at ‘my hairdressing salon’!
I first started working in the beauty industry whilst still at school at 16. I was just desperate to get out there and work. My first job was working for Benefit cosmetics - I remember thinking I had landed one of the sweetest jobs working on a cosmetics counter! University never really called out to me in a big way. I decided to take a gap year to think longer about what I wanted to study, and went full time with work, giving me time to see if I would come round to the idea. I moved from Benefit and worked with Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics.
When it came round to submitting university applications for the following year, I still hadn’t developed a yearning to apply. It was actually friends of mine that encouraged me to not worry about the pressure of feeling like I had to attend university, and apply to do beauty. They were like ‘you love doing make up, you’ve always been interested in this world, just go and learn all of it! If you don’t enjoy it, then go back to thinking about university’.
So off I went, up to the London School Of Beauty and Make Up, near Oxford Circus in London. I spent over a year full time studying for a CIDESCO diploma. It was an intense course and hard work, but I loved it.
After I qualified I really wanted to work with Declèor skincare. I had been using it on my own skin since I was 15. It was a dream to land my first choice work location pretty much fresh out of college. It was a beautiful place, at the time they had a wonderful and super strong team of girls. I worked there for over 7 years, progressing to a senior spa supervisor. It was here that I was introduced to Carita skincare there and worked with the brands Environ and Shiseido too.
I had amazing opportunities, working with the press, VIP clients and travelling with my clients, but when the time was right, I left to co found Azure Beauty in 2014. I wouldn’t say I ever strongly imagined having my own business at that point in my life, but now I love being self employed.
I love the challenges (and constant stress!) of growing a business, and it’s so rewarding. One, to have the most direct relationship with your clients and two, seeing my business start to flourish.
In June 2017 I took the business forward as the sole owner, and at the end of 2017 will relaunch and rebrand under KMP Skin. This is something I am incredibly excited about, beginning the journey of building a new brand.
COMMON SKINCARE COMPLAINTS
A lot of my clients are time poor, managing busy work schedules along with home and family life, so as much as they want to feel zoned out after a relaxing treatment, they also want to walk out the door, feeling like they’ve had something more results driven.
First things first, I always look at a clients skin and focus on getting this functioning at its optimal condition. For example, there’s no point in focusing on fine lines around your eyes, if you’ve got a persistent bout of rosacea going on. Age prevention (I do not like the term ‘anti ageing’) is a massive focus, as well as skin rejuvenation for more mature skins.
I have a lot of clients I treat with concerns about getting ‘that glow’ and general overall skin tone, so treating pigmentation, whether it's post traumatic pigmentation from acne, or pigmentation from excessive sun exposure.
I’m also seeing a big increase in clients wanting help with treating menopausal skin.
EASY CHANGES WOMEN CAN MAKE TO THEIR SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Cleansing properly and SPF!
I do often say to clients that there’s absolutely no point in spending hundreds of pounds on really amazing moisturisers if they’re putting them on a skin that has seen 5 seconds of a cleansing wipe every evening.
Also, the whole process of cleansing, when done properly, stimulates the skin, thus promoting blood flow, thus increasing oxygenation, thus increasing cellular turnover… that means healthier skin!
KATHARINE'S TIPS FRESH, HEALTHY GLOWING SKIN
"It’s not just about skincare here, its really about taking a holistic view to your wellbeing."
The most important factor I would actually say is sleep. Something I’ve learnt myself recently too, is that it’s all about the quality of it, not just the quantity! The whole point of sleep for humans is to give us time for our bodies to heal, repair and rejuvenate and this is all happening to your skin too!
Drinking lots of water, trying to eat a healthy well balanced diet with lots of fruit and veg, not eating excessive sugars and keeping alcohol intake as low as possible. Sugar really is so damaging to skin, the oxidation it causes to skin cells, just makes is so dull, and slows its renewal.
Of course, using a good range of products, but the right products for your skin, and taking time to care for your skin. When you have a facial, its not just all about the benefit your skin will be getting from it. Actually taking that time to relax, unwind and enjoy the change of energy from someone else's expert hands are all healing for the skin and the soul.
I really try not to force rules to 'abide' by down my clients necks, we are all human after all. Of course we are all going to have one too many glasses of champagne at some point, or enjoy a really sweet pudding - I will be the first person to admit to this. At the end of the day though, if I have a really excessive week, where I haven’t had a lot of sleep, eaten badly and haven’t taken as much care of my skin, it really shows on my skin, so I know I need to reign it in!
CITY POLLUTION, SUN AND IT’S IMPACT ON SKIN
UV PROTECTION FACTOR and antioxidants! The younger you start using a daily SPF on your skin, the more protected your skin will be for the future. I have so many clients say to me, ‘but why do I need an SPF in the middle of winter in dull London?’ - well actually, UV damage is more prevalent in cities, because of increased smog and pollution particles, making free radical damage much worse.
Free radicals are reactive molecules that are formed when normal skincare cells are mutated by pollutants, such as petrol fumes, cigarette smoke and sun rays. SPF will protect against these.
YOUR SMARTPHONE AND YOUR SKIN
You will find that most dermatology based skincare brands are now creating SPF’s that also protect against ‘High Energy Visible Light’ (HEV). HEV is basically the light that is given off from screens like your computer, tablets and smartphones, as dermatology studies have found that HEV can be damaging for skin too. Epionce Tinted SPF 50, is a great sunscreen that covers all of this. It’s light, great for sensitive skins, isn’t overly greasy and the tint also gives skin a soft blur effect.
Using antioxidants internally and externally will also help to prevent and repair again damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C in high quality forms is an amazing antioxidant for skin, and really helps to strengthen and repair skin.
iS Clinical has a great selection of Vitamin C serums, because there's one designed for sensitive or compromised skin if needed, and another to really focus on skin optimisation for stronger skins.
Eating lots of dark leafy vegetables, and berries also have the highest naturally occurring levels of anti oxidants in them.
SAME FOR SPOTS?
If you suffer with the odd hormonal or stress spot, my best advice is NOT to pick it as already these types of spots are angry little things, and the trauma of squeezing them just makes them even angrier!
I sometimes recommend almost ‘suffocating’ if you like, the spot with oil. I personally think this is good for sensitive or thin delicate skins.
Declèor Neroli balm is a bit of a miracle balm which has been around for years. It was one for the very first products I started using by Declèor. It has Basil in it to purify and purge the grime out of skin, and Chamomile in it to heal. Also it’s 100% natural and paraben free, so a great option for people wanting take a more natural route to skin care.
If constant acne is an issue in varying degrees, using a serum or cream with certain skincare acids in will increase cellular turnover. This will improve skin texture and scarring and dry up/prevent further acne from appearing. Lytic renewal serums from Epionce are fantastic for really improving a blemish prone skin. This whole skincare line is based around improving the skin barrier function. I do think it’s important not to just reach for any types of products containing acids though, please do see a skincare specialist that can look at your skin properly and advise and prescribe case by case.
KATHARINE'S TOP HERO PRODUCTS THAT REALLY WORK
I’ve never really been one to invest in gimmicks for skincare, or for treatments, and there are a good few of them around! I tend to go for products that have been clinically tested, or contain active ingredients I know offer results for skin.
My skincare routine changes season by season, and this is important for everyone. You really shouldn’t be using the same moisturiser on your face in the height of summer as in the depths of winter, the same as you wouldn’t be walking around in a cashmere sweater in the middle of August!
My constants in my skin care routine though are Vitamin C serum, and a hydrating serum of some sort. My skin loves Carita Lagoon Serum, I would probably drink the stuff if I could!
I’m big on toning skin. A lot of skin care specialists aren’t necessarily fussed with toner, but I think it’s an important step to restore the pH of your skin, so bacteria can’t breed on skin causing blemishes. I have been using Declèor Tonifying Lotion for over 15 years- it’s alcohol free and the scent almost has this sentimental value to me now.
I’m a massive fan of a sheet mask. They’re so easy and convenient to use and travel with, and a mask offers really quick results when needed. I love Hyalual WOW masks, which are full of hydrators and collagen to really plump and hydrate.
At night time, my skin has never really liked night creams, but it loves an oil/balm or more of serum. Declèor Lavendula Iris serum is on my bedside table at the moment. The smell is so calming, and I wake up with rested, glowing skin. When I can feel some breakouts lurking, or if my skin just needs an overall exfoliation then I’ll reach for a renewal product, like an Epionce lytic or iS Clinical Active Serum. I’m really not a fan of strong grainy exfoliants for home use. They just cause a lot of trauma to the skin, and are often used too much.
WHAT ROUTINE SHOULD A WOMAN IN HER 20S/30S/40S + BE LOOKING AT?
In your 20’s you should just try to start consciously make an effort to get into a good skincare routine, and protect it.
Take your make up off at night
Clean your skin properly
The earlier you form these habits, the less of a shock or chore it becomes to look after your skin in later life.
Your 30’s, is the decade when you start to notice that your skin doesn’t bounce back into shape as quickly after a night out, and you might start to notice a few expression lines starting to make a permanent fixture on your face.
This is the time to start using products with more results driven ingredients in.
If you’ve not used a serum before, start getting into the habit of using one- this way you can focus your serum on your concerns like attacking lines, or toning down pigmentation if you have any.
Hyalronic Acid is your friend! Use it to really flood your skin with water and moisture- most lines start from dehydration.
In your 40’s you’ll probably find that your skin texture changes and starts to lose its volume. Also, oil production has really slowed down so skin trends to be drier.
Making changes to a richer cream, or perhaps using a facial oil are good choices to make.
As we age, the skins natural exfoliation process slows down, so keeping this at an optimum level will prevent heavier pigmentation forming and keep skin more able to really take in the benefits of your creams and serums.
Trying to get into the habit of using masks and massaging your skin at night too will help to keep the blood circulation going and keep the skin plumped, dewy and glowing.
*All products mentioned are available at KMP Skin. (www.kmpskin.com)
The Icon facial (my most popular treatment !) :
Duration: 90 minutes
Our Azure icon facial is one of our much loved treatments, it really gives us time to assess your skin and properly address your individual skin concerns. Expect a relaxing treatment, but a really thorough facial. We will expertly cleanse, exfoliate and analyse your skin. Then follows youth boosting facial massage, LED and Infa-Red light therapy and muscle firming futuristic technology with immediate results. Known as our signature treatment by many, this comprehensive age defying facial will work to deeply sculpt and lift the skin.
(For all skin types, especially those wanting to focus on age prevention and first signs of ageing)