The Perfect Wedding Prep List – Q&A With Dr Sophie Shotter on The Best Skin Treatments Ahead of Your Big Day
Absolutely London meets Dr Sophie Shotter, renowned Skin & Aesthetics Doctor and founder of Illuminate Skin Clinic, to discuss the best in pre-wedding treatments
Could you run us through your background and what led you to the world of skin and aesthetics?
I am a medically qualified doctor and I trained in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine in the NHS for several years, before falling in love with Aesthetics. I’d always been interested in skin and intrigued by ‘tweakments’, and one day decided to go on a training course with an intention of having an aesthetic practice alongside my NHS job. But from day 1 I fell in love with Aesthetics and went on to set up my first full time clinic in 2014.
Is there one particular treatment that you would recommend to brides?
All of what I do is bespoke and is really about individual faces and individual concerns. But Profhilo is an amazing treatment that you just can’t go wrong with. Every bride wants glowing, radiant, smooth skin on her wedding day and that’s what Profhilo will give you. The number of sessions I recommend may vary depending on your skin and its condition, but it’s a great option!
Should brides adopt a new skincare routine ahead of the wedding day? Are facials a crucial part of the preparation?
I would always suggest making changes with plenty of time ahead of the wedding. There is a lot that can be achieved with a good skincare regime, but if you try to change it too close to your wedding you could get irritation, redness or breakouts. To get real tangible benefits from a new regime you will also want to give products a few months to work. So my advice is to plan an appointment with a skin specialist at least 3 months beforehand (preferably more like 6 months), and get their advice. Facials are a great part of the preparation, but if you only have facials and no at home regime it’s like having a Personal Trainer and never going to the gym in between. So the at home regime comes first.
What skincare products do you swear by?
Where to start! The staples on my shelf are:
Delo Rx Cleanser – I love this. It’s very effective at removing the day’s grime and protecting the skin, and feels lovely and fresh
Neostrata Tri Therapy Lifting Serum – I’m never without this. It’s hydrating, plumping and firming.
Meder Beauty Circa Night Cream – this is a biohacking night cream that makes my skin look like I’ve had 8 hours sleep even if I’m stressed and not sleeping well
SkinBetter Science EyeMax and Alpha Ret Overnight Cream – Both these products contain a patented Retinoid complex, one for the face and one for the eye area. They’re incredible for giving prescription level results without irritation.
Revision Skincare Nectifirm Advanced – the best anti-ageing neck and decolletage product I’ve found.
Profhilo has become a very popular treatment, especially amongst brides – what is it?
Profhilo is an injectable Hyaluronic Acid. It’s the texture of runny honey, and we inject it in set points in the face, neck or on the body. You walk out with bumps which go down over the following hours. The treatment is repeated again 4 weeks later, and stimulates bioremodelling – collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid levels are boosted. This leaves skin smooth, firm and glowing and gives the best base for make-up.
What are the main benefits of Profhilo and how long does it take to work?
The main benefits are a real radiance and improvement in skin texture. People notice your skin’s looking amazing, but it doesn’t change your facial shape or structure. Some people notice results after one treatment, but final results are 4-6 weeks after your second session. This is because it’s working by stimulating your body’s fibroblast cells.
Can you administer Botox and Profhilo at the same time?
Yes if they are in different areas.
What would be the ideal timeline for treatments, ahead of the big day?
My dream is when a bride comes for a consult a year before the wedding day, so we have a chance to construct a plan. This also means we have time to get results from any treatments like CoolSculpting or Profound RF which can take a few months to work. I never like to do a treatment too close to the wedding. So for example if a Bride would like Botox, I always advise we do one treatment well before the wedding, and then treat them again 1 month before the big day. That way we know for sure that she will love the results she sees in her wedding photos, as well as having time to make any adjustments to the treatments before the big day.
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