What does problem skin mean?

“When we talk about problematic skin,” says Senior Aesthetician Milena, “We mean skin that is sensitive or prone to redness or blemishes.”

In this case, Milena is going to be talking generally about three very common skin types:

Blemish-prone skin – “Acne affects most people at some point in their lives, it’s something my patients always want to get under control.” she says.

Reactive skin – “or sensitive skin”, Milena adds.

Problematic skin – “or ‘unpredictable skin’ is also what I like to call it.”

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How to identify if you have blemish-prone skin 

The first way to identify if you have blemish-prone skin may be obvious, ask yourself do you have visible breakouts frequently? If the answer is yes, then you probably have breakout-prone skin.

There are many reasons why the skin becomes problematic and this may be because your skin type is oily – meaning excess sebum (oil) is produced. (There are traditionally five types of healthy skin: normal, dry, oily, combination (both oily and dry skin) and sensitive.)

“When the tiny holes in the skin become blocked, this is when breakouts start to present themselves.” Milena says. “Spots are caused by the build-up of bacteria, oil and dead skin cells.”

Milena recommends: Potenza

✓ Suited to both active acne and acne scarring

✓ Monopolar and bipolar energy reduces the inflammation surrounding acne

✓ Reduces redness to prevent the deeper, long-term scarring often associated with acne

✓ Ultra-fine microneedles and radiofrequency help trigger your body’s natural healing process, encouraging renewal from a cellular level

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How to identify if you have reactive skin 

‘Reactive skin is described as sensitive skin,” Milena, Senior Aesthetician at our Harley Street clinic and 111SKIN’s Head of Aesthetics says.

Other ways to identify sensitive or reactive skin:

  • Skin reddens easily (could also be a sign of rosacea)
  • Skincare products and water can burn, sting or tingle when in contact with the skin

“One of the reasons the skin is problematic or reactive is due to the lipid barrier becoming disturbed.” she adds.

“The lipid barrier protects your skin – keeping moisture in and irritants out. However, when the lipid barrier isn’t functioning at its optimal level, symptoms such as skin inflammation appear. It’s your skin overreacting to allergen your skin is exposed to.” Milena explains.

Milena recommends: ClearLift or ClearSkin

✓ ClearSkin combines light wave energy with cooling vacuum technology to soothe spot-prone skin

✓ ClearLift stimulates collagen producing new cells to help heal the skin’s barrier

✓ Kills the three causes of breakouts: excess oils, dead skin cells and bacteria

✓ Laser technology minimises oil production and stimulates collagen production

✓ Pain-free treatment with zero down-time

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How to identify if you have problem skin 

“In this instance, we are using problem skin interchangeably with ‘unpredictable’ skin,” Milena states. “Unpredictable, or problem skin can sometimes be temporary and caused by environmental and personal factors, such as high stress levels or poor diet.”

“Hormones can also play a role,” she continues, ‘Age-related changes such as puberty, menopause, menstruation and pregnancy can cause spots, eczema or acne to flare up.”

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Milena recommends: a good evening skincare routine

In addition to regular in-clinic appointments and professional skin treatments, Senior Aesthetician, Milena, emphasises the importance of a good evening skincare routine. She says “one of the reasons the skin is problematic, as I mentioned earlier, is that the lipid barrier is disturbed. So using products rich in hyaluronic acid, vitamin C for oily skin and products rich in phospholipids for dry skin is very important.”

If you find yourself asking what are phospholipids? They are hydrating ingredients that penetrate the skin and work to retain moisture that will keep the skin looking plump, full and hydrated.

Her top products:

111SKIN’s Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser: “Cleanse well in the evening to remove makeup and dirt that can irritate the skin.”

111SKIN’s Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Booster: “Rich in phospholipids to hydrate dry skin and reduce flakiness.”

111SKIN’s Repair Serum NAC Y²: Helps repair skin from within. “Dr Yannis’ newly reformulated, but original serum, inspired by the surgeries he performs at 111 Harley St.”


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Milena Naydenov

Milena is a fully-certified laser technician and has an expansive knowledge of the aesthetics industry and continually keeps up-to-date with the latest leading treatments. Her passion for all things skin has lead her to become 111SKIN’s Head of Aesthetics, where she travels the world sharing her knowledge and deep understanding of the epidermis.

If you want any skincare product recommendations, her expertise is unparraelled. Drop us at e-mail or message on Instagram!


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