This Skincare Expert Wants You To Think Twice About Using Retinol

Noughties kids might remember Nurse Jamie from her stint on The Simple Life with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. As the show's resident medical expert, she very memorably provided the pair with vitamin B12 injections (in the derrière) and fixed a brush with poison ivy. Since then she has become one of the most sought-after skincare specialists in Los Angeles.
If you have a TikTok account (and regardless of whether you're a beauty obsessive or not) it's likely you've come across at least one viral video lauding the expert's Instant Uplift facial roller. Featuring 24 massaging stones, a quick once-over with the roller is on par with some professional plumping facials — and the five-star reviews on Cult Beauty speak for themselves.
Patients flock to Nurse Jamie's LA clinic to sort a variety of skincare concerns, from acne to pigmentation. One of the most common questions from beauty enthusiasts is how to get rejuvenated, healthy, glowing skin without going under the needle. Ahead, Nurse Jamie reveals her ultimate tips and tricks — and you can do them all in the comfort of your own home.

How to lift your face without surgery

"Thanks to Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, I have lots of clients coming into clinic and wanting threads to raise the lateral quarter of their eyes," says Nurse Jamie. But she warns that the lifted eye look might not be a hot trend forever. To avoid going down the needle route, she suggests investing in a tool with sonic technology, like the Eyeonix Eye Massaging Beauty Tool, £49. "With sonic technology, you can get the benefits of a really elevated lift if you want to. I recommend it more because it allows for proper absorption of your eye cream, too."
Although the lifting benefits are temporary, regularly massaging the under-eye area can help to alleviate discolouration over time, says Nurse Jamie, as you're improving circulation underneath the skin. Why is a tool better than your hands? "You could never get your fingers to move at 12,000 oscillations in minutes. With a massage tool, eyes look more rested." R29 also rates HoMedics Eye Revive Luxe, £39.99, and FOREO IRIS Eye Massager, £119.

Think twice about using retinol

Dermatologists tout retinol as a gold standard ingredient in skincare. Not only can it help minimise acne and skin staining left behind by spots but it can treat the signs of premature ageing (such as hyperpigmentation and fine lines) by encouraging the production of collagen and shiny new skin cells. That said, Nurse Jamie isn't a big fan — but that's because of how she sees it being used in her clinic.
"Retinol makes you sensitive to light," she says, for example harsh UV rays. "A lot of people don't properly protect their skin with sunscreen in the morning, which means your skin is more open to the effects of the environment." This can mean you're more likely to experience skin sensitivity and potentially burn. Dark spots or pigmentation may also deepen without the right sun protection. Retinol is typically recommended for nighttime use, to be washed off in the morning and followed by a high factor sunscreen. When it comes to protecting your skin with SPF, R29 rates Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF30, £32, and Glossier Invisible Shield SFP30, £20, both of which are suitable for all skin tones.
If it's more radiant skin you're after, Nurse Jamie recommends the Brightening Bar, £46. "This has the highest amount of kojic acid that you can get without a prescription, and you can use it as a daily cleanser or a daily treatment."

Look out for this star ingredient in skincare

A lot of the time in clinic, Nurse Jamie notices that some clients aren't properly moisturising their skin. "I see a lot of people who have transepidermal water loss and aren't aware of it," which can lead to dehydrated skin. This can present as a crepey texture and appearance, and a tight feel. "Properly hydrating the skin is a big issue but one great ingredient to look out for is prickly pear," she explains, which is shown to keep moisture under lock and key in the skin. The ingredient is in The Formula Eye Cream, £29, and Miracle Base Beauty Oil, £120.
If you're after an all-over facial moisturiser, try Weleda Prickly Pear Hydrating Facial Cream, £14.85, and Huxley Glow Awakening Cream, £33, both of which are lightweight and sit well under SPF and makeup.

This is the easiest way to achieve a natural glow at home

In both London and LA clinics, Profhilo is a popular skin treatment which involves injecting hyaluronic acid into the skin to give it volume, elasticity and glow. Nurse Jamie would recommend swerving the needles for something a little less expensive (and easy to DIY at home). "I'd rather you use a facial massager alongside a facial oil for plump skin that looks natural." Nurse Jamie suggests doing this in the evening before bed for glowing skin come morning. "I only use facial oils at night," she says, "because using them in the morning could deactivate your sunscreen and cause too much slippage." You can triple the moisturising benefits by using a moisturiser, too, but Nurse Jamie explains that as oil is thicker in texture, it should always be put on last.

Skin massage is an important skincare step

"Facial massage is very important," explains Nurse Jamie. "You can have a product with all these great ingredients but it essentially just sits there and might not do what it is designed to. In order to get products to penetrate and hydrate your skin, you want to allow a temporary improvement of circulation. This boosts proper absorption of products." Nurse Jamie thinks of skincare as the fuel and a good massage tool as the car. "You need both to get somewhere." Her Uplift Facial Roller, £55, has a ton of celebrity testimonials from Jessica Alba, Hilary Duff and Khloe Kardashian but if you have a jade roller, gua sha tool or another facial massager to hand already, you can achieve good results. Instead of dragging your skin down, remember to roll or swipe upwards and outwards to improve circulation.
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