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Pre-Tweakment Skincare: The Expert Guide

1st August 2023

So, you’ve booked in for your tweakment and are getting excited to see the results, but you may be forgetting a crucial step already – your pre-tweakment skincare regime. From reducing downtime to preemptively maximising overall skin quality, the right routine can make it easier to achieve your long-term tweakment goals. While your chosen practitioner should give you specific recommendations, for general advice, here’s what the experts had to say… 

Why is pre-tweakment skincare important?

“There is a lot of focus on preserving results after a treatment, but many people don’t realise that the right skincare beforehand can significantly enhance their in-clinic results,” reveals the expert aesthetic doctor Dr Kam Lally.

“By using good quality skincare with medical-grade active ingredients, you’re optimising the skin for peak performance. This results in better, quicker and longer-lasting results due to an increase in overall skin metabolism and a reduction in sensitivity. With targeted routines, you can see a visible difference before you set foot in your chosen clinic, and you will get a head-start towards your goals as you won’t be starting from scratch.”

How can pre-tweakment skincare help with downtime? 

“Preparing the skin prior to tweakments is known to improve healing and treatment outcomes,” say the founders of River Aesthetics Dr Charlotte Woodward and Dr Victoria Manning, as it can avoid “dysfunctional healing and excess inflammation due to age, sun damage, hormone loss, and poor nutrition.”

Specifically, “inflammation can be reduced, healing time is improved, bruising, swelling and unwanted pigmentation is significantly diminished, and patients are able to return to normal activities faster and with better results.”

If you do just one thing, it should be… 

Building a consistent basic routine that includes SPF. For the best results, you should have a regime in place at least four to six weeks before your tweakment.

“A skincare routine can easily be one of the most important things you can do to help improve and maintain your skin integrity,” explain Dr Woodward and Dr Manning. “All you really need is three or four primary products: a cleanser, a vitamin C serum, a night cream with retinol and an eye cream. Plus, SPF.”

What skincare ingredients should I look for?

Try to target the same concerns that you will be targeting with your tweakment. Two-star ingredients are retinoids, for fine lines and signs of ageing, and L-absorbic acid – the most biologically available form of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects and helps brighten the skin.

“My go-to recommendation before most in-clinic treatments is AlumierMD’s Prep & Enhance Kits,” says Dr Lally. “Where the goal is to restore the appearance of the face, such as with an injectable tweakment, threads or fat reduction, opt for AlumierMD’s Prep & Enhance Rejuvenation, which is designed to target signs of ageing. If you are having a laser treatment, where you are addressing skin tone, texture or skin pigmentation, use AlumierMD’s Prep & Enhance Discolouration. They both contain the fundamentals needed for a skincare regimen – vitamin A (as retinol), vitamin C and sunscreen. So, the end results of any facial rejuvenation treatment are enhanced by a smoother, more even, complexion.”

Why is sunscreen so important?

“The most common mistake people make with their skin is not applying some sort of sun protection,” say Dr Woodward and Dr Manning. “Too much sun can contribute to sunspots, premature ageing, rough-textured looking skin, and even skin cancer, so we advise an SPF of 30 or higher.”

“Most common skin conditions or complaints are either triggered or worsened with the sun’s UV rays, so sunscreen is my non-negotiable,” agrees Dr Lally. “By shielding your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, you’re protecting the skin from these harmful rays.” That therefore lays a strong foundation pre-treatment.

What skincare to use and phase out pre-tweakment:


Use: Focus on locking moisturise into your skin with hydrating moisturisers and serums ahead of treatment. If you are prone to small amounts of redness or irritation, look to soothing redness-reducing formulas too.

Avoid: You want to avoid triggering unnecessary irritation, so “stop using retinol at least a week before,” says Dr Lally. “Peels contain various concentrations of acids that also encourage exfoliation, so using retinol in conjunction with a peel can cause excessive ‘shedding’ and also make the skin very sensitive.” In fact, most practitioners advise stopping retinol at least 72 hours prior to most treatments.


Use: “Before injectables (such as dermal filler, wrinkle-relaxing injections and fat-dissolving treatments), I would recommend keeping your skincare consistent,” says Dr Lally. Look to the gently cleansing and moisturising products within your current regime.

Avoid: Switching up your routine with different active ingredients. That includes adding any particularly exfoliating products or retinoids that may trigger irritation.

Laser and IPL treatments

Use: Sunscreen (and limiting sun exposure) is extremely important to limit burning or sun sensitivities before your tweakment, alongside gentle cleansers and moisturisers to limit irritation. The area that is being treated should be dry and bare of products directly prior to treatment.

Avoid: Exfoliating acids and retinols also need to be stopped prior to laser treatments. “Retinol sensitises the skin to light, so it can make the skin prone to burning and hyperpigmentation following treatment,” say Dr Lally.

Can supplements help reduce downtime too?

“Taking food supplements that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as Omega 3 and vitamin E, can help reduce the risk of bruising,” advise Dr Manning and Dr Woodward. Collagen supplements, which have been shown to help support the overall health of your skin, may also improve your results overtime too.

The shopping list

The cleanser: Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser Cream, £44

The vitamin C serum: Alumier MD EverActive C&ETM + Peptide

The SPF: Heliocare 360 Mineral Tolerance Fluid SPF 50, £31

The redness reducer: Skin Bureaux Rescue And Relieve Moisturiser, £114

The retinoid: Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1, £45

The supplements: The Delivery Club: BioCare Mega EPA Forte £26.50, Altrient C Liposomal Vitamin C £44.50, Totally Derma Tub £103


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