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Ask the expert: Q & A with Emma Coleman, Dermatology & Aesthetic RGN

Q: Do Botulinum Toxin injections really prevent lines and wrinkles?

A: Over time, yes. The toxin (or Botox), works by gradually preventing nerve messages getting through to the muscles, telling them to contract and thereby stopping the skin over the muscles creasing and making expression wrinkles. Botox lasts for around 12 to 16 weeks on average, and with repeated dosing line prevention begins to take place, where facial muscles become ‘retrained.’ An example is that the urge to frown or raise the eyebrows often gradually lessens.

Q:How Does Occasional Alcohol Affect Our Skin?

A: Alcohol even in small quantities causes skin flushing and dehydration, as it is a vasodilator and diuretic. Weekend heavy bingeing can affect the skin significantly. One study provided evidence that women who consumed more than eight alcoholic drinks per week were more susceptible to increased upper facial lines, under eye puffiness, oral commissures, midface volume loss and blood vessel visibility. If you are going to indulge, prevent the side effects by, avoiding caffeinated drinks earlier in the day, and alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water. White wine and prosecco have strong links with rosacea, psoriasis and accelerated ageing, so opting for light coloured spirits diluted with tonic can help to reduce the impact. After your splurge, drink a cleansing cup of herbal tea before bed such as mint or ginger.

Q: Should I cleanse my face with Apple Cider Vinegar?

A: Also known as ACV, this can help to rebalance the the skin’s surface acidity which should sit at a pH of around 5.5 (slightly acidic). If you have slightly dry or combination skin, I recommend using ACV 3 times weekly at night. Don’t forget to always dilute ACV with equal parts water before applying to avoid burning the skin.

Skin Recipe of the Month: Any Time Granola

The effects of sugar on the skin are well documented & lots of snacks have hidden sugars in them. Packed with protein to help keep you full and away from the goodie cupboard, these no-bake granola bars are also high in fibre, Vitamins A &E. The kids will love these too!

Here’s the recipe:

1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
1/4 cup almond or cashew butter (I like Whole Earth’s nut butter)
1 cup chopped unsalted almonds
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for GF families)
Optional: Handful of dried banana chips, sultanas, chopped up dried apricot, whatever you fancy


  • Blend the dates in a food processor until they clump together & form a ball
  • Place oats, almonds & dates in a large mixing bowl – mix with a wooden spoon and set aside
  • Place the maple syrup/ agave/ honey & nut butter in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat.
  • Stir in the oat & date mixture, mix well & gently warm through
  • Transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with parchment paper. Press down firmly with hands or the base of a glass
  • Cover with parchment or foil and allow to firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes
  • Remove from the fridge and chop the granola up into squares or bars
  • Store in an airtight container for up to three days.

If you have a skin or skincare question please drop me an email, I’d love to help:

More recipes @EmmaColemanSkin

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