My Healthy Life: Dominique Backhouse

[caption id="attachment_1571" align="aligncenter" width="504"]Happy in my Skin Happy in my Skin[/caption]

What is your Skin Type?

From my teenage years I've had 'problem' skin: oily and often spotty. After 9 years in the UK’s cold climate I thought it had become manageable but I got the shock of my life when I moved back to my home city of Hong Kong, with its 90% humidity and its ridiculously high levels of pollution.  I had acne break out after break out and nothing seemed to help. I spend the whole day in air conditioned offices, cars and accommodation  meaning my skin often feels parched. Added to this was Hong Kong’s hectic social life and hot tropical sun. I was also smoking like a chimney, going out till all hours and spending most Saturdays and Sundays on a boat or a beach accidentally burning my skin. So, I suddenly had “problem” AND prematurely aged skin. I was then making the whole situation worse by cleansing my raw and damaged skin with what I realise now is effectively paint stripper (!) and then slathering on thick chemical moisturizer. I was completely foolish about what I put on my skin, blindly following advertising and whacking on anything that promised a quick fix.

[caption id="attachment_1588" align="alignleft" width="272"]My Medico Beauty Selection on Hols in Loas My Medico Beauty Selection on Hols in Loas[/caption]

How did you hear about Medico Beauty?

Camilla Campion-Awwad has been a great friend of mine ever since our first year at Edinburgh University. She always had fabulous skin and when she left banking and started working for her family’s amazing distribution business, Medico Beauty, she really began to open my eyes as to where I was going wrong. By the time I got engaged almost 2 years ago, I knew I had to do something about my terrible skin. I emailed Camilla and her lovely sister Aysha and (mildly hysterically) demanded that they help me. I was sent a batch of healing 'first stage' products by Cosmedix, which I was told to use over the next 4 months. The products visibly calmed my skin within 10 days: it was a truly incredible transformation. Within only one month, I had seen an enormous leap in the quality and evenness of my skin tone. What can only be described as a feeling of “rawness” had completely gone. Upon travelling back to the UK for a break, I then visited Aysha in their London Wellness Clinic and had some pretty high tech photo imaging of my skin using the Reveal camera. It literally 'revealed' the extent of sun and cigerette damage: it was horrifying and a massive reality check. Aysha was wonderful at calming me down and prescribed me my 'second stage' products containing active, stimulating ingredients.

I only ever buy from Medico Beauty and get the products shipped direct to me in Hong Kong.  Like  many skincare brands, there are some unauthorised sellers of Cosmedix on the web, especially located in Asia. Medico Beauty is the authorised distributor of Cosmedix.

[caption id="attachment_1574" align="alignleft" width="220"]A new shipment of Cosmedix arrives on my desk in HK A new shipment of Cosmedix arrives on my desk in HK[/caption]

What Medico Beauty products do you currently use? What is your current skincare routine?

I wash my face with Benefit Clean in the mornings & before bed with a Spa Cell Facial Mitt that helps to cleanse and replicates the body's natural lymph drainage. Something Camilla has taught me from Day One is to never dry my face with a towel, which are usually full of bacteria, so instead I use standard kitchen roll and pat my face dry.

In the mornings, I then mix some Benefit Balance Antioxidant Prep and some Clarity Serum (an oil blocking and healing serum) in my hand and then lightly massage it into my skin,. Finally, I spray on some Reflect SPF30 sunscreen.

In the evenings, I’ll cleanse my face and pat dry and then spray with the Benefit Balance. I follow this up with a light massage of Define (2% Retinol AGP Cream) on my face: especially around my crow’s feet, mouth, cheeks and forehead. I finish this off with the absolutely incredible Eye Doctor serum by Results Rx, which Aysha taught me to gently tap around my eye socket and over the sensitive skin below the eye. Being a Results Rx product, Eye Doctor is only purchased directly through your Skin Health Practitioner and not available online. Instead, you can get the Cosmedix version, Opti Crystals.

I have recently started taking Balance Greens in the morning on an empty stomach and Eskimo Oil Omega 3, 6 &9, to heal my body from within. I religiously wear their Aloette pressed mineral foundation, with it's natural SPF coverage.

In stage 'three' of my programme, now my skin is behaving in a more healthy way and can tolerate a Vitamin A derivative ingredient, I'm moving onto the new amazing Serum 16, containing retinaldehyde to further stimulate skin cell production. I'm also going to start using Pure C Crystals too, containing Chirally Correct L-Absorbic Acid to further firm and brighten me up!

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="298"]Cosmedix Define Cosmedix Define[/caption]

What is your favourite Medico Beauty product?

Oh my GOD, where do I start? First of all, the Benefit Clean is the best cleanser I have ever used; I ran out of it a few weeks ago and swapped over to Clarins for one week while I waited for my new batch to arrive. My skin just felt so raw and dry, like the old days. I was so excited about having my Benefit Clean back when it arrived that I washed my face in the office 3pm in the afternoon. Yeah. I was that girl.

Secondly, the Benefit Balance Antioxidant Spray is an absolute life saver in heavily polluted Hong Kong. It’s so light and fresh on the skin first thing in the morning, and I even keep it in my desk at work for when I get back into the office after a meeting on a particularly smoggy day as a way to help with outside irritants. It's also formulated to soothe the skin after excess sun exposure, perfect for the hot HK sun.

Thirdly, a combination of the Define and the Eye Doctor serum have definitely helped control my wrinkles and I have seen an incredible rejuvenation of the fine lines around my eyes and forehead.

[caption id="attachment_1585" align="aligncenter" width="538"]Healthy Skin Healthy Skin[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="272"]Yoga practice on holiday with Camilla Campion-Awwad, India 2007 Yoga practice on holiday with Camilla Campion-Awwad, India 2007[/caption]

What is your favourite thing about the Medico Beauty philosophy?

Medico Beauty has completely changed my skin around from problematic and prematurely aged to balanced and happy.  I feel confident in the way my skin looks and, more importantly, empowered in how my skin will look as I continue to age. I wholly trust Medico Beauty: if you use the products the team prescribe you then all you need to do is follow the daily routine and you are guaranteed a positive change. Like any healing process, reversing years of damage takes time: expect to go through various stages while your skin renews. But the wonderful change IS inevitable. Unlike High Street brands, they don't promote false advertising and fake promises. Instead, Medico Beauty provides a well thought out medical approach to skin issues. It really, really works and you will be proud again of your skin. They WILL help you, just like it helped me.

What is your exercise routine/likes?

I do Ashtanga Yoga 4 times a week, usually Mysore practice in the mornings before work or otherwise at lunch time; it helps to clear my mind and help me focus for the rest of the day.

[caption id="attachment_1570" align="alignleft" width="240"]Quinoa Quinoa[/caption]

What is your favourite healthy food?

I grew up in a completely ohm shanti organic hippy vegetarian household. Everything we ate was healthy and I wasn’t allowed meat except for on Sundays. Wheat, dairy and any form of toxic product was completely banned from my mother’s house, right down to the cat food and the cleaning products.  So when I was old enough to make my own eating choices and was sent to boarding school, I went nuts on toast, cheese, steak and chips. Now that I’m older, I’ve come full circle in the last 4 years, and am now wheat and dairy free again and keeping red meat to a minimum.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="263"]Almond Milk Almond Milk[/caption]

Quinoa and almond milk have therefore played an important role in allowing me to still indulge. Quinoa is literally the best health food of all time; although it looks like a carbohydrate, its actually 100% protein and can be used like any other grain. I love it as a rice replacement for dinner or lunch, or in a salad with red onions, tomatoes and avocados  You can even eat as a porridge and quinoa bread is flipping fantastic when you’re desperate for a piece of toast on a cold rainy day. As for almond milk, it takes a while to get used to, but as a milky tea addict, I forced myself to make the switch and I now drink it in small portions every day. It’s also pretty adaptable: mix it with quinoa, raisins and goji berries in the morning for a yummy porridge. While cooking, I’ll often replace dishes containing coconut milk with almond milk instead.

What is your favourite way to keep a healthy mind and unwind?

The work/play ethic in Hong Kong is pretty extreme and people can burn out really quickly if they’re not careful. To keep myself sane, I’ve started going to yoga retreats around Asia every 6 to 8 months for a week of yoga, raw foods and massage. It has literally changed my life and my health.

[caption id="attachment_1569" align="alignleft" width="606"]Yoga Retreat in Thailand Yoga Retreat in Thailand[/caption]

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