Abigail James - Skin Genius with Magic Hands!

Tell us why we need to wear SPF even when its not sunny?

Find an SPF that’s suited to your skin.

When we go in the sun, we must put SPF on to protect our face. The argument for wearing even when it’s not sunny. Its because the UVA waves (94% of sun rays are UVA) this is what does the ageing. UVB does the burning on the hot days. Some rays can even get through gloves.


Vitamin D is very important. Can factor 50+ block your skins ability to stop our skin absorbing Vitamin D?

I believe we are animals and we interact with the planet, we need Vitamin D and sunshine. But if we want to protect our face - the skin on the rest of our body will absorb enough Vitamin D for synthesis to take place, we can even absorb it through our eyes. See the skin as your head and body when it comes to the production of Vitamin D.


Would you advise against tanning?

There is no denying sunbathing and tanning will speed up the skin ageing. However, I believe in the balance. Some of my clients wear SPF religiously, others will give themselves 20 mins without anything to get that Vitamin D and tan. Others accept that if they don’t they get a tan but the lines, pigmentation will show a lot more and I will treat those side effects when they’re back from their holiday.


Is there a way you can prepare your skin in the lead up to a holiday?

Yes, always recommend a facial the month before and after you come back to get extra hydration into the skin. Use hyaluronic acid - this will boost the hydration into the skin. Key antioxidants in to the skin through masks and serums - increase these before you go away. 

hyaluronic acid has the ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water - this is how it holds moisture within the skin.

My fave range Cosmedix - Hyaluronic Surge

Allies of skin - hyaluronic serum

An affordable one The Ordinary/NEOD


Body - what can we do to help dryness?

Certainly when you’re a certain age we start to look dry and crispy! Body care is important. Body brushing for exfoliation as well as body scrubs. Ranges like Rituals, Cordially, REN. Go natural. Body scrubbing once or twice a week is a great routine to get into to upkeep your body, or prepare to go on holiday.

If you’re going after cellulite then try just over a month before your holiday - body brushing can really help to tone cellulite. Body brush dry, then shower and wash with a hydrating body wash (Avenno do nice ones) then when you’re still damp use a body oil which will really hydrate. Thick moisturiser are lovely for the body but sometimes don’t seep into the skin so try a lighter lotion.


Pigmentation - can we avoid getting it and what can we do if we have it?

This is a natural part of the ageing process. Malasma is a hormone related pigment problem. Often people get it when they’re pregnant, on the pill or going through the menopause. Key ingredients within home care is to have lots of Vitamin C, in serums and moisturizers. You can get pigment holding ingredients, like liquorice root. Some help disperse and some protect.  Niacimindie is a great pigment holding ingredient.


What would your one go to pot of something be to keep your skin hydrated?

It would be a Vitamin C moisturiser - Dr Dennis Gross have lovely ones. Image Skin Care have some good ones too.

Then you need a serum - a Vitamin C serum that’s potent. Then a hydrating moisturiser.


SPF - What level would you recommend from an anti-ageing perspective?

Science bit - we have 2 different types of SPF. Chemical SPF absorbs into the skin, there is a chemical reaction in the skin which helps absorb the rays.

A physical SPF which is mineral - they sit on the skin and act like little mirrors so the UV rays bounce off. Everyone reacts differently to these, you shouldn’t feel like you have anything on the skin.

There are a few ranges I know and trust for their SPFs.

iS Clinical - for a dewey finish

Osmosis - purely mineral for a matt finish

Cosmedix have a good one too.


Definitely try a facial massage - it can really help you look instantly different. I would do it for 5 minutes, your face will feel different. Stroke upwards for 10 moves - it helps to count. Be careful on this with acne prone skin, it generally means you should move in downward movements.