Anne Stewart

Facials – helping MS-UK

Facials – helping MS-UK

Grab a summer bargain – get gorgeous glowing skin and help MS-UK, the Multiple Sclerosis charity

Book a facial between now and the 8th August and get 10% off the treatment!

For MS-UK’s “925” campaign we are working with my fabulous networking group Colchester WIBN to help raise money for this amazing charity.

We challenge companies to test their creativity, ambition and team work as they aim to raise £925 in 9 weeks, 2 days and 5 hours


We’ll contribute the 10% to MS-UK

So please don’t think about it – book in / share this with friends and family, so we can help others while we help you to get fab looking skin!!

  • Can’t be used in conjunction with other offers / concessions
  • More about MS-UK here
  • WIBN – Women In Business Networking here
Posted by Anne Stewart in Promotions and Special Offers

Science, not Magic…

Aesthetic Treatments & Scientifically Developed Products
for Real Results….

Aesthetic Treatments & Scientifically Developed Products

for Real Results….

Posted by Anne Stewart
Whatever happened to Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise???

Whatever happened to Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise???

Are you confused about what products to use to keep your skin healthy and looking its best?

Skincare is now bigger business than ever before, and research has led to a mass of new serums and other products that we are told we absolutely ‘must have’.

Back in the day we were told to decide whether we had dry, oily or combination skin and then encouraged to cleanse, tone and moisturise using products designed for our ‘skin type’. But the increasing influence of skin science has shone a light on the need to maintain the skin’s natural barrier function for skin health. This dermatological research has led to the development of results driven skincare products that focus on skin maintenance at a cellular level. These cosmetic products that have medically proven therapeutic benefits – so called ‘Cosmeceuticals’ – are generally not available to buy over the counter as they often contain percentages of active ingredients that require professional advice about usage, to both get optimum results and avoid adverse effects.

Everyday Essentials for healthy skin

Below is a list of essential ingredients for your basic skincare regime. There could be other products if you have a particular concern, if for example you are worried about redness or undereye dark circles, but this list includes everything we all need to keep our skin healthy and looking good.

So, do we really need them ALL?

Seems to be a lot? Remember ingredients can be combined, so if time is a concern look for products with multiple ingredients – cleansers with hydroxy acids for example.

Do they actually work?

Look for quality cosmeceutical products with pure ingredients that are formulated to actually penetrate the skin’s natural defensive barrier – research estimates that up to 75% of over the counter products do not contain actives in a form that can enter the skin. Active ingredients need to be either encapsulated in oils so that the skin absorbs them or have their molecular structure altered so that they are physically small enough to pass through. Additionally, they should be chirally correct and so in a chemical form that will allows them to bond with receptors on the skin cells.

  1. Suitable cleanser – free of foaming agents, parabens, emulsions and designed for your basic skin type. Cleansers should remove dirt and debris from the skin’s surface without disturbing or stripping away the natural oil and moisture film that acts as a barrier to protect against it against irritants and pathogens
  2. AHA/BHA exfoliants – many good quality modern cleansers now include mild hydroxy acids. These have gentle exfoliating and humectant effects that support the skin’s natural barrier function whilst encouraging natural cellular renewal. Where this isn’t the case, regular exfoliation using a mild enzyme peel will help keep dead skin build up at bay without the harsh effects of many physical scrubs.
  3. Antioxidants – our bodies naturally produce anti-oxidants, but modern life means that they are frequently overwhelmed by free radicals from UV exposure, pollution, stress and lifestyle choices. Free radical damage is a leading cause of poor skin health and non-age-related changes to the skin’s appearance, which means topical antioxidant products are a vital ingredient in any skincare regime. Topical Vitamin C is a go to antioxidant choice because it provides multiple benefits – it is essential for the production of Collagen and significantly increases the effectiveness of solar protection products, as well as fighting free radical damage.
    Vitamin E is also a superb antioxidant. It protects against damage by strengthening skin cell membranes. Recent research also suggests that it is has the power to prevent the production of skin cancer cells.
  4. Hyaluronic Acid – this is the skin’s natural moisture retention ingredient. Its molecular structure allows it to work like a sponge, retaining water in the deeper skin tissue to provide it with volume.
    Water is essential for healthy skin. It not only provides youthful volume, but is necessary for all effective cellular function, and so the first sign of dehydration as the natural exfoliation process slows is dull lifeless skin.
    Unfortunately, hyaluronic acid has a naturally large molecular structure, and many products containing this superstar ingredient will not work as it will not be able to actually penetrate the skin. When looking for a suitable product, check that the formulation states it is low weight, otherwise it will simply sit on the surface doing nothing, or worse potentially drawing moisture out of your skin!
  5. Retinol – this is a form of vitamin A, which is required for efficient skin cell functioning and renewal. Despite its association with the rejuvenation of older skin, it is actually suitable for almost all skin types. It has a regulating effect on sebum production and so can have a remarkable effect on acne prone skin. However, it can be irritating if introduced too quickly, especially if your skin’s natural protective barrier isn’t operating at full strength. So, it is important to choose wisely to ensure that you select a form that will complement your own skin.
  6. Broad-spectrum solar protection – absolute minimum SPF30! Sun exposure is the leading cause of early skin ageing.
    Most of us know that we should protect our skin to prevent it burning when out in strong sunlight. However, fewer realise about the damaging effects of UVA radiation, which is not limited to periods of intense ‘summer’ sun, and provides a daily threat to our skin’s health regardless of the temperature. UVA rays penetrate more deeply than the UVB rays associated with sunburn, and cause structural damage to the underlying dermal tissue that is the source of support to the skin’s surface.
    This can result in premature lines and wrinkles as well as giving the skin a coarse leathery texture. More worryingly, research suggests that UV exposure can alter a gene that suppresses tumour development.
    In short, it is essential for all exposed skin to be protected by the daily application of a broad-spectrum solar protection product i.e. one that has filters for both UVA and UVB with a minimum SPF 30

Looking for a bargain??

Whilst it might be tempting to opt for a ‘bargain’, please remember that you generally ‘get what you pay for’, and good quality products are generally not cheap. What might look like good value will only be worth it if it actually works! Medically researched products can sometimes seem more expensive than others, but nearly always outperform anything available to buy over the counter. Generally, only minimal application is needed and so on balance they really are an investment.

Remember you will be seeing the results every time you look in the mirror and so quality is worth paying for!

Still confused?

Please contact us, skin science is what we do and love!

We will be happy to help or advise on how to get healthy skin that you’ll simply love to be seen in!

Posted by Anne Stewart
Choosing your therapist wisely

Choosing your therapist wisely

I thought I would write a quick post to talk to you about minimally invasive aesthetic treatments – these include microneedling, plasma and various types of peels.

They are truly amazing treatments, that if carried out correctly have the ability to completely transform your skin. They work by encouraging the body’s own natural healing power; shrinking excess skin and creating new collagen, so that lines and wrinkles get smoothed out. In addition, they can be used to control acne, fade pigmentation stains and improve redness!!


But, to get these results your therapist has to be trained in skin health, and use suitable professional products and equipment. Sadly, the aesthetics industry is not regulated, and myself and my fellow professionals see, on a regular basis, hundreds of examples of appalling work carried out using cheap devices and poor-quality products.


So, before you opt for a treatment based purely on cost, know this:

  • good quality training is not cheap,
  • good quality devices are not cheap
  • and good quality products are not cheap.

Believe it or not, anyone can buy a cheap microneedling or plasma pen from Amazon or Ebay and advertise for clients, and research suggests that 80% of devices currently used by individuals for aesthetic procedures are not CE approved. These devices can seriously damage the skin causing permanent scarring.

It is equally easy for unqualified and unregistered individuals to buy poor quality peeling products online. These can have banned ingredients which are known to be carcinogenic, or have formulas that are unbalanced that can create more problems than they solve. Conversely, some that appear to be extremely strong, can in reality be completely ineffective.

Please, for the sake of your skin’s health, research carefully, and select a therapist who is competent and uses a quality device that is CE approved. Professional products and devices are developed and marketed through medical and scientific organisations, and these will only sell to individuals who can provide evidence of their training and insurance.

A professional well -trained therapist will do the following:

  • Carry out a thorough consultation to ensure that your skin is suitable for the treatment that you are interested in
  • Be happy to answer any questions that you have about the treatment, their training, and the device(s) they use
  • Will not push you into a quick, unconsidered decision about a treatment
  • Advise about suitable pre and post treatment products that you will need to ensure that you get the best possible result from your treatment
  • Provide thorough aftercare instructions for you to follow to prevent adverse reactions like pigmentation or infection occurring.
  • Carefully monitor your progress post-treatment

Whilst it might be tempting to opt for a ‘bargain’, please remember that you will be seeing the work every time you look in the mirror and so quality is worth paying for!

Posted by Anne Stewart
Great results for wrinkles and sun damage

Great results for wrinkles and sun damage

“Really impressive results” — her words not ours!

Bespoke treatment to resolve signs of ageing and sun damage.

Contact Anne at Timeless Allure if this interests you.

Posted by Anne Stewart in Results
Our Online Shop is now open

Our Online Shop is now open

It seems like a long time since we went into lockdown, but we have been busy behind the scenes.
Now, after weeks & weeks of hard work, our new online ‘shop’ is now open!


Not every product is listed yet…It’s a work in progress 😊, but all of your favourites are there!

We can deliver many of the products needed to support your skin treatments, including items which are not available online.
In these strange days, delivery times can vary, especially for out-of-stock items. On the plus side, we have arrangements with some suppliers to deliver direct to you :-)

PLUS, you can now book an on-line Consultation – including an ADVANCED SKINCARE ASSESSMENT!

Posted by Anne Stewart in Promotions and Special Offers

Keep ‘Skin Fit’ during Lockdown! (part 1)

Staying indoors, protecting the NHS, and saving lives, doesn’t have to mean put up with lacklustre, unhealthy skin.

Follow these simple rules to beat the lockdown blues, and have healthy, glowing skin.

Keep your skin clean …. but, don’t strip away its protective barrier

Soap or bar cleansers tend to be too harsh

It’s important to thoroughly cleanse your skin before going to sleep. Soap or bar cleansers tend to be too harsh; they are generally more alkaline (remember the pH scale from school – alkaline things like chalk, have a high pH, whilst acids have a low pH?), whilst the surface of our skin has a natural acidic film. This film, called the ‘acid mantle’, is essential to protect our skin against bacterial infection and irritation, and its effect is reduced when cleansers with a higher pH are used. So, use a good quality, lower pH cleanser, that is suitable for your skin’s needs 

Gentle lotions and emulsions, light washes or gels (suitable for your skin type) are better

  • gentle lotions and emulsions for those with drier, rough or flaky patches, or who suffer with sensitivity.  
  • light washes or gels for those with oily zones or who are prone to breakouts.

Be sure to pre-cleanse, to remove make-up or sweat and grime if you have been outside to exercise. You can use an oil to emulsion product for this, most are even suitable for those with oilier skins. But while we’re staying indoors, why not give your skin a rest and go make-up free? 

 Unless your skin is particularly blemish prone, try simply rinsing in the morning instead of using a cleanser. If your skin is clean when you go to bed, it’s not essential to use a cleanser in the morning, simply use tepid water to freshen your skin and gently pat dry.  

For those of you with acne-prone skin (that’s about 48% of adults…) make sure that your pillow case is changed every day to reduce cross infection and keep blemishes at bay.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Our bodies need water to stay healthy, and being inside for prolonged periods of time, especially where the central heating is on constantly, we can lose moisture from the outer layers of our skin into the surrounding air. This causes our skin to become dehydrated and a patchwork of very fine lines to develop on the surface…. just think about that apple in the fruit bowl that you kept meaning to eat…!

The solution?

If you need to keep the central heating on, think about investing in some humidifiers to place over the radiators, they stop the air from drying out. You can add your favourite essential oils too, some, like Chamomile, Rose or Ylang Ylang are considered to be mood enhancing, great if the lockdown is making you feel a bit blue, and well they just smell nice!

Try to drink between 1.5 and 2 litres of water (or herbal teas) a day

Try to drink between 1.5 and 2 litres of water a day. Try herbal teas if you can’t face plain water, but limit coffee and black tea, both of which are high in caffeine and so have diuretic properties.

Invest in a good quality hyaluronic acid serum, which despite the name is actually a humectant that occurs naturally in our bodies. It’s the same substance that is used in many dermal fillers to give skin its youthful volume. It works by attracting and retaining moisture in the lower layers of our skin. The catch? In its natural form it has a large molecular structure, and so a lot of products that say they contain it simply won’t work, because it can’t penetrate into the skin. So, it’s important that you choose wisely, look for a low molecular weight product.

Moisturise…..keep that hard-won moisture in your skin!

Dry skin, and dehydrated skin are two completely different things, although they can be closely connected. Dry skin, also called Asteatosis, refers to skin that is lacking in oils, and is often associated with conditions like Eczema. In fact, it isn’t as common as people think, more often skin that is deemed to be dry is actually dehydrated and lacking water not lipids.  

But regardless of whether your skin is actually dry, or dehydrated, you need those oils, to keep the moisture in and your skin supple. Even skins prone to breakouts need moisturisation, because water is essential for the processes that keep blemishes at bay. So, you should make sure that you moisturise both morning and night, after cleansing and hydrating.

Choosing a moisturiser

Choose a moisturiser that will support your particular skin needs, 

  • creams or heavier lotions for those with drier, rough or flaky patches,
  • water-based lighter lotions and gel type products for those with oily zones or who are prone to breakouts. If you’re unsure, look for products that are ‘non-comedogenic’, which means they won’t block your pores.
  • avoiding those with essential oils if you suffer with sensitivity
We naturally lose more moisture during the night, so you may find that you need to use a richer moisturiser at bedtime, than the one you use during the day. Those of you that do have dry skin may also need to reapply your moisturiser throughout the day.

Don’t forget the Sun Protection……even on those miserable cloudy days!

You can be forgiven for asking, why not say ‘don’t forget your SPF’, after all it’s sun protection, right? Well not exactly. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) products do indeed protect our skin from damage by the sun, but generally only protect against UVB radiation. This is the short wave ultraviolet rays, largely responsible for the sun burn that we all try to protect against whilst being out in hot sunny weather. But research has shown that we really need to protect against UVA rays too. These are longer wave rays that are able to penetrate our skin more deeply, reaching the dermis – the lower layer of our skin, where new cells are produced – where they can disrupt cell processes, damaging the cells ability to produce the structural proteins, Collagen and Elastin, which leads to the development of lines and wrinkles. Even more worrying, is the evidence that they are able to switch off our cells ability to prevent tumours, and so promote cancerous change. 

Unlike shorter UVB rays, UVA rays are able to penetrate cloud cover, light rain, glass and even light clothing! Similarly, UVA is also not limited by latitude, or time of the day, and so can potentially penetrate our skin 365 days of the year during daylight hours. It is therefore absolutely essential that the last step in your morning skincare regime is to apply a broad-spectrum solar protection product that screens for both UVA and UVB

UVA penetrates cloud, glass and light clothing, all year round

 As with your other products, buy one suited to your skin, but ensure that it has a minimum SPF 30 if you will be out in strong sunlight. Many cosmetics now contain SPF, and it is fine to use these in addition to your main product. 

You should apply solar protection to all areas of skin routinely exposed to the sun – face, neck, décolletage and backs of your hands! Make sure that you buy separate products for your face and body, as the skin on your face is thinner and more delicate than other areas of the body. If you are out in strong sunlight the recommendation is to reapply your sun protection every 90 minutes. Finally, if you nip to the loo whilst out, remember to reapply after washing your hands!

Keeping it simple….

The four basic steps above are the essentials needed to keep your skin healthy. Don’t be a slave to prescriptive skin care regimes, give your skin what it needs. 

So, is that all I hear you ask.  What about serums and other specialised products, are they not needed? 

The answer is, that it really depends on what concerns you have about your skin, and what your goals are. If you are looking to resolve established issues, like Acne or Rosacea; signs of premature ageing like lines and wrinkles; pigmentation issues or scarring, then you will certainly need the support of serums, and other products containing more active ingredients. We’ll look at more advanced products in part 2 of this ‘Skin Fit’ blog.


One final reminder about the importance of choosing your products carefully…… 

whilst price isn’t always an indicator of quality, remember the old adage –

if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Posted by Anne Stewart

Coronavirus / Covid-19 Precautions

A few people have asked if we’re open for appointments. The answer is yes.

I’m trying to steer a course between unnecessary risks and overreacting — monitoring the situation daily and taking heed of official advice.

Measures I am taking which affect you (some have been in place for weeks):

  • I’ll ask you to wash your hands on arrival.
  • I’ll ask you about
    • any recent overseas visits
    • if you have any symptoms like cough, fever, shortness of breath
    • if you have been in contact with a known or suspected case of the virus
  • I’d prefer contactless payment if possible (but sanitizer is available if you need to use buttons or cash!).
  • I won’t be treating people with symptoms of illness ( but we never have; your body should be in good health to get the most of our treatments.)

Other measures I’m taking behind the scenes

  • Staff will wash hands between clients ( of course, that’s always been the case :-) )
  • Cleaning and sanitising all contact areas between clients as usual. This includes equipment, treatment areas, but now also door handles, toilets, chairs etc.
  • Normal sterilisation practices are being followed for tools and equipment. Some equipment (like microneedles) is sterile single-use anyway.
  • Of course, if Timeless Allure staff were to develop symptoms, we would close until cleared.
  • We’re in the fortunate position of being a small, appointment-only studio. So there won’t be anyone present except yourself and the therapist.

It’s all commonsense really. It isn’t in our interest for you (or us) to become ill.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you for your continued support!

Posted by Anne Stewart

Stretch marks and navel wrinkles

Stretch marks and navel wrinkles have responded well to plasma for this client.

The second 2nd picture is only 8 weeks after treatment, so there may be further improvement.

Posted by Anne Stewart in Results
Can microneedling help melasma?

Can microneedling help melasma?

Can microneedling help melasma?

Microneedling can be a very effective treatment for most forms of hyperpigmentation.

The micro-needles create minute channels in the skin’s surface breaking up areas of pigmentation staining. Suitable actives can then be delivered deeper into the skin to aid the process.

Where the pigmentation is a result of sun damage, treatment is particularly effective. A course of 3 – 6 treatments are generally required.

When triggered by hormone changes, as melasma often is, improvement is possible but more difficult due to the physiological nature of the problem and our body’s genetic make-up can not be changed.

Following treatment, all results will require the on-going use of products with the appropriate actives for maintenance and the prevention of further staining.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart