With over a decade of medical experience, Dr Sophie Shotter is one the UK's leading aesthetic doctors and is renowned for her approach to achieving glowing skin with a combination of effective skincare regimes and natural-looking injectables.
"Have a good and consistent skincare regime. At the most basic level I believe every regime should include an anti-oxidant, an exfoliator, a retinol and a sunscreen." Sophie says.
We recently sat down with Dr Sophie, virtually of course! To get her expert advice and tips on all things skincare and how to achieve an inner and outer radiance.
1. In a few sentences, please can you let us know your route to where you are today?
I’m a medical doctor and worked in the NHS in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care. I had always loved beauty and skin and became increasingly interested in aesthetics. In 2012 I went on a training course and fell in love with aesthetics. Two years later I left the NHS to set up Illuminate Skin Clinic, and now work in aesthetics full time between Kent and London.
2. What was the most iconic moment of your career?
Probably winning the award for Best Clinic in the South of England at the Aesthetic Awards in 2019.
3. What does a normal day in the life look like?
I naturally wake up around 6am and tend to get up, have coffee and clear down some emails. I’m usually at work between 8am and 9am and have pretty busy clinic days, often not finishing until well into the evening. This is a mixture of clinic patients and press appointments usually, which makes my day varied and fun. I try to walk everywhere in London and usually pack in 15,000+ steps a day which is great as I’m fitting my activity in around my work day. After work I’m usually seeing friends and going to a favourite bar or restaurant after work.
4. What skincare products do you swear by?
There are too many for me to choose from! A few favourites are:
- SkinCeuticals Discolouration Defense is a super serum to provide antioxidant protection and correct some pigmentation.
- SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream provides results of a prescription strength retinoid but without the downtime.
- Zenii Skin Fusion is a drink containing hydrolysed collagen to help boost your body’s natural collagen levels – I have a shot of this every day.
- Institut Esthederm’s Intensive Hyaluronic Mask is a go-to for me overnight as well – my skin wakes up bouncy and dewy.
- I also love Space Masks – not strictly a beauty essential, but they are so relaxing and de-puff the eye area.
5. How do you achieve inner and outer radiance?
Radiance is what it’s all about, and happiness is definitely what promotes radiance – smiling takes us a long way there! In terms of products I believe in great hydration – drinking plenty of water gets you part way there, but supplementing to boost your Hyaluronic Acid levels is what will help you hold the moisture in your skin. Exfoliation is really important to help minimise the dull dead skin cells on the surface – I like to use chemical exfoliants, particularly AHAs to achieve this. Having a good fake tan is the icing on the cake for me – it’s when I feel at my most confident.
6. What is body confidence for you?
Body confidence is all about accepting who you are inside and out, and owning that. It shouldn’t matter what size you are, whether you have cellulite, or whether you have a few fine lines and wrinkles. It’s about owning who you are and loving that – let the confidence shine.
7. What are your top tips for keeping your skin looking rejuvenated and alive?
Have a good and consistent skincare regime. At the most basic level I believe every regime should include an anti-oxidant, an exfoliator, a retinol and a sunscreen. You can go crazy and have very complicated 10 step regimes, but it’s important to have something you will stick to. Prevention is better than cure, and collagen production starts to decline from about the age of 25 – so start early and you will keep the collagen bank topped up from a young age.
8. What is your go to beauty treatment?
This is hard for me to choose as I would happily pick about 10. But if I had to pick just one, then I would pick Hydrafacial – my skin feels squeaky clean and looks smooth and radiant afterwards. I love it!
9. If you could go back in time, what skincare advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Don’t buy into the marketing hype! I used to spend a fortune on skincare from a young age, but was buying what wasn’t right for my skin, just because a celebrity liked it. Actually, good quality cosmeceutical products don’t necessarily cost more, but will generate much better results, and I wish I had had an expert consultation to guide me when choosing products from the beginning – I would have achieved more for less investment.
10. What is your favourite budget friendly skincare hero and what do you think is worth saving up for?
Budget friendly – I really rate the Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water. It’s brilliant for cleansing and make up removal for most skin types including very sensitive skins and costs under £15. Worth saving up for – the SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream – it’s pricey but totally worth it. In studies it has been proven to be as effective as 0.025% retinoin but without any downtime.
11. What would you say are the top 3 cosmetic treatments to look into if you’re between 35-55?
Botox, Fillers and Profhilo are my go-to treatments in this age group.
- Botox is great for air brushing fine lines and wrinkles and can be used preventatively if we use it early.
- Fillers help to support the facial structure as we age, restoring the volume loss due to bone resorption and fat loss in the face – they give an immediate result and have a high impact.
- Profhilo is an injectable hyaluronic acid which works to boost the skin’s collagen levels – the result is firmer, hydrated and more radiant skin.
12. What ingredients do you swear by in skincare?
This could be a very long list!
AHAs/BHAs – I will vary the acid depending on skin concern, but I’m a big believer in using acids for healthy exfoliation.
Hyaluronic Acid – your skin’s natural moisturiser, HA will help to keep skin nourished and radiant.
Retinol – the ultimate anti-ageing molecule, retinol switches on your fibroblasts to produce collagen, elastin and HA.
Ceramides – these will help to restore the skin barrier, locking in moisture and keeping skin hydrated.
Vitamin C – this will help to prevent pigmentation from forming, and will help your sunscreen work more effectively.