Posted: 2 years ago
Category: Uncategorised

Interview: Charlotte Wilkes - Skincare specialist, copywriter and journalist to the beauty industry...

Jobs in Beauty had the good fortune to chat to Charlotte Wilkes; a freelance beauty copywriter to the aesthetics and skincare industry. Taking time out from her busy schedule as an experienced beauty writer who also specialises in skincare, medical aesthetics and cosmetic surgery - she has also trialled and reported  many medical aesthetic treatments such as Botox, Profilo, Sculptra and rhinoplasty. Want to get the inside knowledge on skincare from an expert? Read on...

You've had a really interesting journey in the world of beauty and aesthetics, take us back to the very beginning of your career - what was the catalyst for training in the industry?
I had acne as a teenager, so I was always interested in skincare but never really considered a career in beauty. But after uni, I got sacked from four office jobs in a row. My brother gently pointed out that I had always been obsessed with my skin, so why not retrain as a beauty therapist? I loved the course and still love learning about the skin.

You had an early interest in focusing on anti-ageing. At what age should we be thinking of purchasing products to help our skin remain as youthful as possible?
Until thirty, concentrate on prevention. In the morning, use an antioxidant serum to protect against pollution and a UVA sunscreen to protect against sun damage (you might not need a moisturiser). In the evening, use an anti-inflammatory night cream to repair daytime damage. Past thirty, add a good quality retinol serum under your night cream or, even better, a prescription-strength retinoid from a dermatologist. I blame marketers for outrageous anti-ageing claims that over-the-counter products could never hope to live up to. Skincare comes into its own as prevention, not cure. If you want to reverse the signs of ageing, look to tweakments.

What one piece of advice would you give to a trainee beauty therapist today?
As a trainee skin therapist, you need to see and touch as many different skin types as possible, and there is simply not enough time at college. So practice on friends and family - no one hasever turned down a free facial!

How has the beauty industry evolved since you started working in it?
The younger generation is completely open about having tweakments (even if they go a bit too far sometimes!), but women of my age still keep them a secret for fear of judgement.

You've trialled and reported on many medical aesthetic treatments. In general, which treatments are the most beneficial if you can afford them?
Prescription-strength Tretinoin and Botox. I have been having preventative Botox since my late 20s, so I have very few lines - if you can't frown, you can't get a frown line. It has a bad reputation because of the frozen look, but subtle Botox is undetectable.

What's your opinion of really young women having treatments such as Botox.
Having said that, a good practitioner will not inject someone in their early to mid-twenties because they clearly don't need it yet. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous practitioners, and regulation is long overdue.

With so much conflicting info on skincare and a myriad of products to choose from - how do we select the right products from our own skin type?
Like anything in life - go to an expert. A skin therapist will analyse your skin and devise a personalised routine. Consumers can't be expected to know about cosmetic chemistry and product formulation.

Is it ok to mix and match skincare products or do you consider this a bit of a marketing ploy?
You could mix and match skincare products from different brands, but why would you want to? Product lines are designed to work together and complement each other. The key is to find a brand you trust that suits your skin.In your opinion,

Which is the best beauty skincare treatment we should invest in on a regular basis.
Red and infrared LED to prevent inflamaging. This anti-inflammatory treatment is always the bridesmaid and never the bride because you don't see benefits often for many years. I tell my clients to swap their 'hope in a jar' anti-ageing creams for a monthly LED treatment because inflammation is the cause of all skin ageing.

How did you make the move into your current role as a copy and content writer for the beauty industry?
Much as I love doing facials, I love writing too, so I decided to study freelance & feature writing at the London School of Journalism. Now I write three days a week, and I am in clinic for the other two.

What trends can we expect next in the beauty industry?
Despite the hype regarding peptides, I think the future of skincare is stem cells and regenerative medicine. However, this is still early science, so only invest in specialist brands – be wary of high street brands claiming to be rich in stem cells!

What's your go to beauty product?
Always sunscreen - better than any anti-ageing product on the market. When I was at uni, a beauty therapist living opposite told me the secret to eternal youth: UVA sunscreen! I have worn one every day since. But make sure it contains maximum UVA protection, which you rarely find in moisturisers because it makes the texture too greasy. Less is not more: I apply mine in two layers, ten mins apart. A little obsessive, I know!

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