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Beauty: Dr. P fills us in on aesthetic beauty treatments

In early 2016, Dr Portia Gumede, fondly known as Dr P, began to explore the entrepreneurial spirit that had been re-ignited by her husband Robert Gumede. Although she had been out of the medical field for a few years, she retained her interest in dermatology.

Gumede’s love for medicine was kindled when her mother, a nurse, looked after her ailing grandmother. Watching her grandmother made her feel helpless and she vowed to help other people. During her time in medical school, Gumede became passionate about skincare, which inspired her to open an aesthetics centre for the African market, and beyond.

Prior to opening her aesthetics practice, Gumede pursued further through the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine. After completing her studies, she spent 18 months building her private practice and the Dr P Aesthetics Lifestyle Centre was born.

The centre aims to provide a holistic approach to medical aesthetic treatments, while delivering world-class client services. The treatments offered include skin analysis, chemical peels and rejuvenation.

“We don’t try to change the skin’s genetic make-up, we just make our patients look like a better version of themselves,” says Gumede.

We asked Gumede some questions about aesthetic beauty treatments.

1. What are some of the most popular beauty treatments among dark-skinned people?

Most of our dark-skinned clients are Indian people. They mostly come in because of pigmentation, which is genetic to them. They usually come in for chemical peels, which help with this type of problem.

2. When should people start with treatment?

You can start these types of treatments from your 20s, like re-surfacing. In your 20s, you would do less aggressive treatments because you are just maintaining. You are removing the dead layers on top of your skin, maintaining that glow.

From around our late 20s, we start losing collagen so, at this point in time, you want to do treatments that are stimulating your own body’s collagen. For example, you would use needling, which stimulates your body to make collagen.

Remember, collagen is like a matrix that keeps the skin plump and is highly water-molecule binding, so it is hydrating as well, and it gives you that young, fresh and “well-rested” look. If you start early, you tend to do less as you get older – that’s the trick.

3. How often should one visit an aesthetic practitioner?

Different treatments require different breaks in between and also different skin types. For example, a light skin type, like a Caucasian person, would need less time than a darker-skinned person.

With dark skin, when you do anything on it, there is melanin that wants to heal that part of the skin and then it clogs up on that area. With lighter skin types, because it has pink melanin, it does not show as much. So, with a darker skin type, you would need two weeks more than a lighter-skinned person. With chemical peels, it would be one a month with micro-needling – so it would be four weeks for a lighter-skinned person and four to six weeks for a darker person.

However, treatments like Botox are standard for everyone, because our body’s metabolic system excretes it at the same time, so it is repeated every four months. Treatments like filler would be repeated every 12 to 18 months.

4. What would you recommend as everyday products to supplement the treatments you offer?

It is very important that what patients use at home complements the treatment we offer at the practice. First, everyone needs to wear good sunscreen and it should be put on even during cloudy days. Invest in sunscreen that has extra benefits, such as anti-oxidants, which help in removing free radicals in our bodies - especially dark-skinned clients, who think they don’t need sunscreen, as the sun can be very ageing.

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