While premium skincare products might work wonders in some areas, the root cause for most skin problems actually comes from within, according to Dr. Nigma Talib. And she should know, being a naturopathic doctor to a number of A-list clients including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Stella McCartney and more.
Dr. Talib has authored the book “Younger Skin Starts In The Gut”, which explains how food that's terrible for your digestive system will ultimately cause unwanted facial features such as acne, blemishes, and wrinkles. She refers to this as “digest ageing” and suggests that for flawless skin, it's best to work on your diet before reaching for the beauty cabinet.
Making an appointment with Dr. Talib isn't easy, as it often requires a six-month-long wait. On her first visit to Hong Kong, we spoke with the London- and Los Angeles-based naturopath about her own skincare range and how one can achieve perfect skin in hot and humid Hong Kong.
How did you know you wanted to be a naturopath? Have you always been passionate about this field?
When I was a teenager, I was quite ill with a lot of digestive problems. My parents would take me to different doctors, gastrologists, and allergists and none of their treatments worked. But when I went to a naturopathic doctor, I started to get better within two or three months.
That’s when I decided to become a naturopathic doctor, as they do not suppress symptoms but uncover the root causes of illness. I went to medical school in Toronto and 10 years ago, I moved to London. Now, I have my own clinics in Los Angeles and London.
What made you decide to start your own skincare range?
I was so interested in how digestion was correlating with how people were ageing. I kept seeing my patients transform as I worked with them on changing their diet habits and supplement intake habits. I would see them reversing the signs of ageing, and they would notice it themselves, so I decided to write a book about it.
That’s also when I thought I needed to develop something topically. When I'm in my 40s, I want to be using something without any harmful substance that’s going to work and give me positive results in the long run. That’s how my serum and crème came about.
What are some of the most common skincare problems people who live in Asia have?
Congestion—congested skin from a toxic environment. A lot of my patients who live in Asia travel a lot, so most of them also have dehydrated skin. Many of them have gut issues as well, which causes their skin to age prematurely.
Is there such thing as starting anti-ageing care too early?
Not at all. Whatever you do in your 20s is going to affect your skin in your 30s and 40s. So, whatever you do in life is going to affect you in the long run. If you can start protecting your skin at a younger age, it's the best thing you can do for yourself.
How can we stay fresh and radiant in Hong Kong’s hot and humid weather?
First of all, you want to use a really good cleanser. Make sure to repeat the cleansing procedure at least twice every time you clean your face. Don’t touch your face or put your hands on your face. Also, don’t let anybody touch your face.
In your daily skincare routine, you can also use the Dr. Nigma Talib hydrating and plumping serum No.1 and the crème No.1. With the plant stem cells, hyaluronic acid, and jellyfish collagen in the products, they are anti-oxidant and will protect your skin from any environmental damage such as pollutants and UV rays.
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