Dark circles under the eyes are among the most common concerns we see at Dr CP Aesthetics. They make us look tired or are a sign of stress, poor diet or illness, although contrary to popular belief, fatigue isn’t typically one of the leading causes.

One of the main reasons for dark circles is hyperpigmentation, which can be due to genetics or exacerbated by lifestyle factors such as sun damage or smoking. Seasonal allergies and nasal congestion can cause the veins under the eyes to become more dilated, and those with thinner lower eyelid skin are more susceptible as those veins are more likely to show.

The ageing process also plays a role as fat and collagen loss leads to thinner skin and a marked groove at the junction of the mid-cheek and orbital rim, known as a tear trough.

Is it possible to reverse dark circles? Here are five ways to brighten up your under eyes.

#1 Look at your diet

While there are no proven dietary quick fixes, embrace a diet rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, lean proteins and healthy fats, boosting circulation and protecting against oxidative damage. And drink lots of water, as dehydration can make dark circles appear more prominent.

# 2 Get your 8 hours plus

Although lack of sleep isn’t necessarily a direct cause of dark circles, it can exacerbate their appearance. Sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated can also minimise puffiness.

# 3 Quit smoking

Smoking causes a whole host of severe health issues, but there also is a link between smoking and dark circles under the eyes. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that narrows the blood vessels and limits the flow of oxygenated blood where needed. Along with nicotine, cigarettes also contain thousands of chemicals that destroy collagen and elastin in the dermis.

# 4 Wear sunscreen

Sun damage results in hyperpigmentation, so it is a must to wear a high-factor, broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. Also, wear sunglasses and a hat, particularly during the hottest part of the day.

# 5 Polynucleotides for dark circles

The under-eye area has typically been very challenging to improve, and Polynucleotides present an exciting new treatment. Polynucleotides is a refined pure gel created from salmon DNA fractions proven highly compatible with the human dermis.

They work by stimulating fibroblast cells to produce more collagen and elastin. They also have a powerful antioxidant effect, producing healthier, more hydrated skin and reducing pigmentation. In fact, some studies have estimated that they can increase collagen production by up to 30% after a few sessions.

Under the eye, it reduces hollowness and dark circles by thickening the skin and improving brightness.

To find out if you’re suitable for Polynucleotides, call 0115 772 2363 or email info@drcp-aesthetics.com to book a consultation at Dr CP Aesthetics.

If you’ve dealt with a bout of acne or a troublesome spot, you may feel like you’ve won the battle. But often you can be left with the aftermath for months and even years.

Acne scarring or post-inflammatory pigmentation?

Acne scarring occurs when too much collagen forms when the skin is healing after a breakout. Acne scarring can present as rolling scars, which makes the skin’s surface look wavy, ice-pick scars that appear as tiny holes in the skin, and boxcar scars which are wider than ice-pick scars like a crater.

HPost-inflammatory pigmentation (PIH) is the darkening of the skin after an injury or skin disorder and acne is a common cause. It is not categorised as scarring as the skin texture is not affected.

Why does PIH occur?

The red or brown marks are due to excess melanin production, the pigmentary cells that give skin colour, as a reaction to inflammation. The excessive pigment granules darken and discolour the wounded area and remain long after the initial skin condition has resolved.

Your complexion will usually dictate what colour the marks will be; fairer-skin individuals will usually suffer from more red-toned marks, whereas darker skin types will usually be left with darker brown marks. The latter are usually more susceptible to PIH.

How do you treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation should improve overtime with no intervention, yet there are some treatments that can improve and speed up recovery. Your current skincare regime will be reviewed as medical grade skincare will contain active ingredients which can produce a brighter, more even skin tone.

A recent clinical study into the effectiveness of AlumierMD’s Prep & Enhance collection of products found a 70% improvement in brown spots in just four weeks. It also found a 58% improvement in skin redness in patients over a range of ages and a broad spectrum of skin types, ranging from Fitzpatrick Types I to VI.

Chemical peels can treat hyperpigmentation, yet conversely PIH can be a common complication after a skin peel. The Perfect Peel’s blend of multiple acids combined in low percentages mean there is less risk of PIH developing compared to other chemical peels.

The sun can further aggravate post-inflammatory pigmentation, darkening the affected patches, so it is essential to always protect your skin with a broad-spectrum, high factor sun cream.

For more advice on treating all skin conditions, call 0115 772 2363 to arrange an appointment at Dr CP Aesthetics.

The Winter months are particularly challenging for our skin. A combination of colder outdoor temperatures with drying internal heating and low humidity, causes the epidermis to become dehydrated. Harsh winds, rain or snow also cause environmental damage. Skin feels drier, rougher, more sensitive and more prone to breakouts.

Here are three Winter skincare rules to abide by:

#1 Rethink your moisturiser

As your skin becomes drier during the Winter, it can be frustrating when you slap on cream or lotion and experience only a short-lived improvement. A long-term and visible improvement in dehydrated skin is about using the correct skincare products that will attract moisture into the epidermis and keep it there.

Humectants, such as hyaluronic acid, attract water from the deep layers of the epidermis to the surface layers of the skin. Emollients help repair cracks in the skin barrier, thus preventing water loss. Occlusives form a barrier on the skin to block water loss. Look for products that combine these ingredients to restore the skin barrier, decrease water loss and increase water content in the skin.

Alumier MD’s HydraDew is an intensely hydrating moisturiser loaded with Sodium Hyaluronate, a form of hyaluronic acid holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water; Shea Butter, an emollient with soothing and antioxidant properties; and Niacinamide, an occlusive ingredient that traps moisture as well as brightening the skin.

#2 Repair your skin barrier

The skin barrier is located in the upper layer of the skin and is formed of natural oils. It is the first line of defence from any environmental stress and protects against foreign substances that try and penetrate the skin such as bacteria or pollution. Winter places a lot of stress on our delicate skin barrier and the key indicator that it has been compromised is irritated and dehydrated skin.

If your skincare products aren’t cutting it, an advanced facial could be the solution for skin barrier repair. The 3D Hydro Facial combines several technologies to improve your skin health, including the unique Fire and Ice handpiece. First the skin is warmed to a temperature of 42°C which creates heat-shock proteins, which repair the skin and strengthen its elasticity. The skin is then cooled to a minimum of 5°C, which tightens pore and locks in moisture.

#3 Up your intake of the sunshine vitamin

As we head into the darkest Winter months, it is important to consider the amount of vitamin D we’re getting. From October to March, the sun in the UK does not produce enough ultraviolet light to produce sufficient vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D can help you fight off seasonal colds and infections but is also key for the skin’s defences. Inflammatory conditions such as acne, eczema and rosacea, often flare up when you’re deficient in vitamin D.

It’s possible to get vitamin D from food sources such as oily fish, including salmon, mackerel, and sardines, egg yolks, red meat, and liver. However, most of us do not get enough vitamin D from our diet to make up for the lost sunlight so we may need to consider a supplement.

For more Winter skincare advice, call 0115 772 2363 to arrange a consultation with Dr Claudia.

Tech neck has become the latest beauty concern as our addiction to scrolling social media on our iPhones combined with the natural ageing process, has left us with horizontal neck lines.

Just as crow’s feet develop around our eyes, these necklace lines are the result of a gradual weakening of our skin’s underlying foundation and the constant contraction and relaxation of the muscles beneath the skin. This leads to skin folds and lines that emerge and stay even when we are rest. And, our Instagram addictions might be the reason why younger and younger patients are seeking a solution.

How to treat neck lines?


Make sure that whatever anti-ageing products you’re using on your face, you extend down your neck. The skin on the neck is particularly thin and delicate which makes it more susceptible to environmental damage so make sure you protect it with a broad spectrum, high factor sunscreen.

Anti-wrinkle injections

Toxins freeze the nerves that signal our muscles to move which is why it is best suited to treating dynamic wrinkles like necklace lines. This is only a temporary fix though as the effects wear off after three to five months.


Like the gold standard dermal fillers Dr Claudia uses, Profhilo is composed of hyaluronic acid. Dermal fillers are less suitable for treating necklace lines as there is more movement in the neck and the skin very thin so a chance of lumps developing, but Profhilo works in a completely different way. The HA solution is developed to disperse just under the surface of the skin so the skin becomes more hydrated and plump. Collagen production is stimulated so there is also a lifting and tightening over time.

Microneedling combined with radiofrequency

At Dr CP, we offer 3D Dermaforce Microneedling/RF which is an advanced method of skin rejuvenation. It works by stimulating the body’s natural healing process to encourage collagen production in the dermis resulting in rejuvenated and tighter skin.

Radiofrequency energy is delivered through specially designed insulated needles. This allows for precise delivery into the dermis, while at the same time protecting the surface of the skin from any heat damage.

The neck and decolletage are a popular area to treat. As collagen production is stimulated, the skin looks thicker and more lifted and lines and crepey skin are greatly improved. Results can be seen after just one treatment, but we advise a course of three for optimal results and an annual maintenance treatment thereafter.

The neck can be a challenging area to treat, and treatment is usually aimed at being preventative and gently smoothing any existing lines rather than complete correction. To find out more about the treatments we offer for neck lines, call 0115 772 2363 to arrange a consultation.

As Halloween looms, now might be the time to consider the Vampire Facial. You may have seen scary pics online – Kim Kardashian, anyone? – of patients with a bloody face post treatment, but is the vampire facial as painful as it looks and is it worth investing in?

Kim first posted pictures of her post-PRP treatment back in 2013 and this super-charged skin rejuvenation therapy remains highly sought after.

What does a Vampire Facial do?

The Vampire Facial is known medically as platelet-rich plasma therapy or PRP for short. It has been used for many years to speed up healing in joint and soft tissue injuries, to alleviate arthritis-related pain and to boost post-surgery recovery. More recently, it has been adopted by the aesthetic world to treat a wide range of concerns:

  • General skin rejuvenation
  • Minimise fine line and wrinkles
  • Tighten skin
  • Brighten skin tone
  • Reduce pore size
  • Fade hyperpigmentation
  • Reduce scarring
  • Treat hair loss

The first step is to take a sample of your blood which is placed into a centrifuge. This machine will spin the blood at a very high speed to separate out the platelets from the red blood cells. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the skin in a series of injections using tiny needles.

There are many advantages to PRP over injectables and other anti-ageing treatments. PRP is derived from your own body so there is no risk of allergic reaction, although there may be some bruising, bleeding, and the risk of infection at the PRP injection site. The whole procedure is carried out by Dr Claudia using an aseptic technique so there is no contamination and the risk of infection is very low.

It works by releasing high levels of growth factors and stimulating collagen and elastin production, so you get a subtle, all-over rejuvenation rather than just targeting one area.

Even though you may look very red-faced immediately afterwards, most patients do not report any pain during the procedure as a topical numbing cream is applied beforehand. Your skin may feel slightly tender and tight as it is healing, and you should avoid any sun exposure.

How much is a Vampire Facial?

Our Vampire Facial usually costs £300, but we are currently running a special offer of £250 a session. The offer extends until 30th November. So, if you want to look hot for Halloween and beyond, call 0115 772 2363 to take advantage of our offer.

Profhilo is a truly unique approach to skin ageing: fast acting, minimally invasive and highly effective. We look at whether this injectable moisturiser is worth the investment.

How does Profhilo work?

Very fine needles inject small amounts of hyaluronic acid at a very superficial level into five specific injection points on each side of the face. These are known as Bio Aesthetic Points. The hyaluronic acid then flows evenly in the top layer of the dermis, integrating smoothly into your tissues.

Before this hyaluronic acid naturally disperses, it stimulates collagen and elastin production. Collagen is a protein that makes up the largest percentage of your skin – about 75 to 80%. Collagen has a crucial role in the strengthening of your skin and gives it elasticity. Elastin is another essential and naturally occurring protein that is very elastic and found in the connective tissues. Both collagen and elastin deplete as you age which is the main cause of skin sagging and wrinkling. So, as well as a skin moisturiser, Profhilo remodels the skin from the inside out, tightening and lifting the skin.

Is Profhilo clinically proven?

Profhilo is backed up by several clinical and in vitro studies. In one study, 70% of patients showed an improvement of at least one grade in facial volume and another showed significant improvement in skin hydration after only one treatment and in skin elasticity after two treatments. Profhilo is also proven to deliver high patient satisfaction.

When will you see the results?

This varies from patient to patient, with some reporting an improvement after the first treatment. However, we recommend two sessions spaced a month apart and you should see a visible improvement in the weeks after that second session.

How long does Profhilo last?

Again, this varies from patient to patient, but you can expect brighter, tighter, younger-looking skin for 6 to 9 months.

Will Profhilo make you look younger?

Patient satisfaction after Profhilo is typically very high as it can deliver an all-over skin rejuvenation and targets many of the signs of facial ageing.

Is Profhilo better than other injectables?

Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers work in different ways and deliver different results. The former target dynamic wrinkles such as crow’s feet and frown lines. Temporary dermal fillers are also composed of hyaluronic acid but rather than just filling a specific area, Profhilo stimulates collagen and elastin production across the face, so remodels the skin on a deeper level.

However, the results can be more subtle than other injectables so Profhilo might not deliver the results you desire as a standalone procedure. During your consultation, Dr Claudia will assess your skin and listen to your ageing concerns and then advise you on a treatment protocol that will deliver the results you’re hoping for. Call 0115 772 2363 to arrange an appointment with Dr Claudia.

As the temperature finally drops, it’s time to count the sins of summer on our skin. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause some serious skin damage – it’s estimated that 80% of visible skin ageing is due to UV exposure. This presents as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, poor skin tone and texture and sagging skin. There is also the very real risk of developing skin cancer.

How does the sun damage your skin?

When the skin is exposed to sunlight, it manufactures vitamin D which is essential for many important body functions. The downside is that ultraviolet light in the sun rays can also cause lasting damage.

In the outer layer of the dermis, cells contain the pigment melanin which give skin its colour and which can change colour as a result of UVA and UVB exposure. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and give you that golden glow in the summer months but are also the cause of sunburn. Cellular turnover means that many of these pigmented cells will naturally disperse over time, but permanent changes can present as patches and spots of hyperpigmentation.

UVB rays have a longer wavelength and penetrate to a deeper level, permanently damaging the DNA of your skin cells and accelerating the breakdown of collagen and elastin which provide the supporting structure of your skin, resulting in fine lines and sagging skin. Hyaluronic acid, another natural component in the skin which traps moisture and gives the skin its plumpness, also depletes at a quicker rate due to sun damage.

Is sun damage reversible?

While a full reversal of sun damage isn’t possible, there are treatments and products that can partially reset the clock as well as prevent future damage.

Photodamage is occurring at the deepest layers of the skin so it can often be many years before the damage becomes visible but, the earlier you can address it, the better. The first step is always prevention of further damage, which is why we advise a broad-spectrum sunscreen such as the AlumierMD Sheer Hydration Broad Spectrum SPF 40. It is a sheer physical sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Skincare as the first line of defence

Medical-grade skincare is essential for reversing sun damage. Retinoids encourage cellular turnover and stimulate collagen and elastin production. UV radiation also causes an explosion of free radicals that damage skin cells through oxidative stress so look for products that are rich in antioxidants.

Boost cell turnover with a chemical peel

A facial peel can address many of the visible signs of photodamage, by removing the top layer of the skin and boosting cellular turnover. Dark spots and fine lines are greatly improved as a new, healthy, younger-looking complexion emerges.

Laser away the damage

A CO2 laser is the gold standard laser for treating superficial sun damage. It works by creating tiny injuries to the skin, stimulating the body’s natural healing process. Alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers can target and destroy areas of excess pigment in the skin as the light energy is attracted to the colour in melanin.

For more advice on reversing sun damage in the skin, call 0115 772 2363 or email info@drcp-aesthetics.com to arrange a consultation with a skin expert.

The thread lift is not new but recent technological advances means it has become safer, more predictable, and effective, delivering both an instant lift as well as stimulating collagen production for a further, natural rejuvenation. So, could the thread lift replace the surgical facelift or the ever-popular dermal filler treatment?

Thread lift vs facelift

The thread lift uses sutures composed of products such as polydioxanone (PDO), poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) and polycaprolactone (PCA). These are highly biocompatible, are reabsorbed into the body over time and have been used safely in medicine for many years.

Threads are inserted into the dermis, which are then pulled to lift sagging skin and other facial tissues. The body’s natural reaction to the sutures is to simulate collagen production so there is further tissue regeneration over the following months.

For patients in their 30s to 50s who have started to see the visible signs of skin ageing but aren’t ready for surgery, thread lifts are an exciting option. It’s also a relatively painless and quick procedure with minimal downtime. The results last up to two years, so for patients that want longer-lasting results or have marked skin laxity, a surgical facelift might be the preferred option.

Thread lifts vs dermal fillers

Dermal fillers are typically composed of hyaluronic acid and are injected into the dermis to revolumise the face and provide a mild lifting effect. They can also be more effective at contouring the face than a thread lift, as well as softening and smoothing areas such as the lips. Downtime is even quicker than after a thread lift and results are immediate whereas you’ll have to wait a few months to see the final outcome of your thread lift.

A thread lift produces a more dramatic facial rejuvenation, however, and results are longer-lasting than dermal fillers.

Your thread lift options

Dr Claudia has long been a fan of the results that thread lifts can deliver for the right patient. She has recently started using MINT™ threads after undergoing training at their Harley Street academy.

MINT™ stands for Minimally Invasive Non-Surgical Thread and is a Korean PDO thread lift treatment offering superior and long-lasting skin lifting results. It is backed by more than six years of published studies into its safety and efficacy and is the only PDO suture that has received dual FDA clearances, including being the only thread that has been approved for nasolabial fold depth reduction.

Whether you’re contemplating surgical intervention or considering a non-surgical treatment, all procedures offer different results and come with varying levels of downtime or risk. The key is always a consultation; Dr Claudia can advise you on which approach you are best suited, and which procedure will deliver the results you’re hoping for.

Email info@drcp-aesthetics.com to arrange an appointment.