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Dr Rita Rakus

Every now and then, our complexions, bodies and skin all need a pick me up - especially when we've all enjoyed a good dose of sunshine; and when Melissa need's hers, she looks to an expert in non-invasive dermatology, Dr. Rita Rakus. After weeks of admiring Melissa's radiant complexion, we couldn't wait any longer and contacted Dr. Rakus to find out exactly what her secrets are...

1. If you could recommend one tip or treatment for prepping your skin for the summer, what would it be?

I recommend that everyone should use products that activate the skin cells - especially those responsible for collagen and elastin production. My own range of Prepare and Protect products includes the use of anti-oxidants and Vitamin C. One other brand that contains ingredients that work in-synergy is Zo Skin Health developed by Dr Zein Obagi who has based his principles on his research over the past 35 years of proven innovation in skin care. I would recommend using these products in a specially personalised technique for your needs to restore the natural barrier of the skin as well as protecting for future damage with his award winning SPFs.

Protecting skin from UV rays is essential – it is not just something you should do ‘on holiday’, but apply all year round. It’s trickier to achieve this around the eyes where the skin is more delicate and whilst sunglasses are helpful, they cannot absorb or reflect the more damaging UV wavelengths of light. New science products that can be beneficial are SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defense SPF30 (which is free from chemical fillers and fragrances) and the CE Ferrulic serum.

2. When it’s time to hit the beach, cellulite and stretch marks are most women’s worst nightmare; do you offer a treatment to tackle these areas?

The best advice I can offer is to “think ahead of the holiday’ if you suffer from these problems. There is no quick fix, but if you give yourself 6 months prep time we have a range of invasive and non-invasive treatments that can help improve cellulite including Cellulaze (the latest laser treatment from the USA which actually treats the cellulite structure under the skin), Thermage, VelaShape and Exilis.

For stretch marks we offer PRP, advanced lasers, Rejuvapen microneedling and mesotherapy; Further details are available on my website here.

3. Melissa is a huge fan of your SPF Daily Moisturiser - what makes it more beneficial from sun screen that can be found on the high street?

My SPF 45 moisturiser is a ‘physical’ sunscreen, which is unusual as most high-street products are only chemical based. 'Physical’ is more effective and can be used easily because of the effect of the mineral makeup that stops any build-up of residue. This combined with the fact that is has a nice texture and smells very pleasant has ensured it’s overall success.

4. How do you advise your clients to care for their skin after a long fortnight in the sun?

Post-holiday skin can be sun-damaged, breaking down collagen and depleting natural lipids that are essential for Skin Health. The ZO Skin Health Level 2 Kit is perfect for this. Always buff away dead cells with the Offects T-E PadsPad which are soaked in salicylic acid to help neutralise any oil that appears during the day; Whilst the Offects Daily Power Defence will help to restore damaged DNA and regulate collagen production with the added benefits of antioxidants. Their Growth Factor Serum Plus is also a very useful lightweight gel that strengthens the skin, repairs ageing and protects against future signs of damage.

5. When the tan starts to fade and the skin starts to dry, what treatment do you recommend to rehydrate your skin?

Damage and disruption in the DNA due to UV exposure can be revitalised with humectin based moisturisers. Follow the same wash-scrub-oil control regime above before applying a high dose vitamin A cream. This is the most effective ingredient for anti-ageing and has been referenced in over 44,000 clinical articles.

6. It’s important to have an everyday skincare routine, what products are must-haves in yours?

Rita Rakus Cleanser and SPF 45
Dr Levy Switzerland® serum and booster cream
Resveratrol – this is one of the latest products from Skinceuticals. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant products and stimulates the production of collagen thus helping to regain skin tone and combat the signs of aging.

7. For busy female professionals who can’t always find the time to pamper, which products do you recommend for easy monthly maintenance?

For mature skin, I recommend Dr Levy Switzerland® serum, Booster Cream and Enriched Cream which uses the latest Argan plant stem cell technology to revitalise the skin. They have also introduced an Eye Cream that received an award from Tatler who called it a "blinking miracle and quite possibly the best thing since Botox”.

To help lift, tighten and ‘glow’ a regular HydraTite treatment which combines the benefits of a Hydrafacial (the latest machine from the US that incorporates a detox, cleansing, exfoliation, brightening, extraction, hydration and LED rejuvenation in one treatment for the skin) plus Pelleve (radio-frequency) for skin tightening and lifting. The perfect face and neck pick-me up anytime of the year!

8. A good dose of vitamin D can often help heal acne scarring, but if you don’t get the opportunity to catch some rays this summer, what treatments do you offer to help reduce the appearance of acne and scarring?

Acne control usually requires the advice of a good dermatologist and lots of patience as identifying the cause of the outbreaks and understanding skin health is an important part of the process.

For patients who experience deep acne scars I would recommend that the skin is introduced to the fundamental ZO products of wash/scrub/oil control plus a high dose of vitamin A. ZO Medical Retamax is delivered deep into the skin using micro emulsion technology which increases the skin’s production of collagen and softening the appearance of the scar.

State of the art treatments that resurface and rejuvenate the skin include advanced lasers such as Fraxel and Total FX: IntraCel and PRP can also be very effective and I often recommend a combination approach to achieve the maximum result.

9. Which treatment do you most recommend for the ultimate ‘body sculpt’?

For pockets of stubborn subcutaneous fat, the latest FDA approved treatment from the USA called CoolSculpting, which uses cryolipolisis (fat freezing) will cleverly destroy the unwanted fat cells without inducing damage to the surrounding tissue. The ‘dead cells’ are gradually removed by the body’s immune system resulting in a permanent reduction of the fat layer within 3 months. For those who may then benefit from skin tightening, we offer Thermage which uses radio-frequency to stimulate collagen and help rejuvenate the skin.

10. And finally, what is your number 1 treatment and why?

My number 1 treatment is lip enhancement using dermal fillers with safe, biodegradable products. I have now performed over 80,000 treatments and the media have dubbed me the ‘London Lip Queen’ in recognition of my expertise in this area. I always strive to produce a subtle and natural look and I have a huge following of patients - some of whom who fly in to me from all over the world just to have me boost their pout.

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