Wellbeing and Skin

At Hardwick Clinic we pride ourselves on our holistic approach to skin and health.

Good skin is usually an outcome of many factors some of which we cannot influence, for example age, biological gender and genetics. However, there are many other factors that we can influence, e.g. lifestyle, sun exposure and our diet.

The relationship between our diet, fluid intake, smoking, alcohol, skin health and ageing has been discussed for some time now. However, recent research increasingly points towards the relationship between gut health, skin health and mental health. This is known as the gut, brain, skin axis. This complex interaction is not only implicated in the way our skin looks but can also play an important role in health and disease via our immune system.  One important factor here is our microbiome.

The Microbiome is the collection of microorganism that live on our skin, in our gut and any other surface of the body.

  • Probiotic – Products that contain “good” bacteria.
  • Prebiotic – Products that promote and support the growth of “good” bacteria.
  • Symbiotics – Combinations of probiotics and prebiotics.
  • Dysbiosis – disbalance of microbiome which can result in symptoms and eventually in disease/“infection” where dysbacteriosis is disbalance of bacteria.

The Skin Microbiome

Your skin microbiome is populated by billions of diverse microorganisms that protect it from harmful microorganisms and the damaging effects of our environment. They also help to produce hyaluronic acid, slow down ageing and prevent photoaging. Skin microbiome is affected by many factors including skin care, environment, age,  diet, immune system, medication and many other factors. Disbalance of the skin microbiome can cause or worsen skin diseases including rosacea, acne, dermatitis, pigmentation and even skin cancer.  Our stress-level, gut health and the general state of our immune systems also play an important role in the health of our skin and are implicated in the health of our skin microbiome.

At Hardwick clinic we recently ran a pilot study where we tested the microbiomes of 17 patients. The results were presented at Wigmore presents at the Royal College of Physicians in April 2023 and are due to be published.

The study illustrated that we can use a microbiome test to tailour our treatments and select the best skincare for each patient. We are currently in the process of developing a microbiome test that can be used as part of our standard skin care assessment.

Our approach to skincare, anti-aging treatments and cosmetic dermatology takes into consideration our knowledge of the skin and body microbiome in general.

Take a look at our skincare page and arrange a skincare/cosmetic dermatology consultation to discuss this.

The Gut Microbiome

Your gut microbiota refers to all the microorganisms that live inside your gut. The gut microbiome plays an important role defending against harmful microorganisms, digesting fibre and absorbing some vitamins. The gut microbiome is influenced by many factors which includes factors like those influence the skin but also include diet and your weight.  There is good evidence to support adoption of the Mediterranean Diet for general health, gut health and gut microbiome. It is proven to present more health benefits than any other dietary regimens by reducing obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer as well as dementia and inflammation. Reduction in inflammation improves skin appearance and many skin conditions, especially acne, rosacea and some forms of dermatitis.

Healthy Diet.

Mediterranean style eating is now proven to present more health benefits then any other dietary regiments.

It keeps the blood sugar down, hence reduces the risks of obesity, diabetes, many forms of cancer and other health complications including dementia. It is also good for your skin, as health fats and greens in the diet slow down aging, reduces inflammation and reduces spots outbreaks. Also, if you need to lose weight, this approach to eating in combination with reduction in the amount of food you eat tend to cause easier weight loss with less hunger.

Oral probiotics

Addition of prebiotics and probiotics is known to improve overall health, immune system, gut health and skin. New evidence is emerging that prebiotics and probiotics are also helpful for mental health.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the most common vitamin deficiency in the UK.

The Department of Health currently recommends taking 10 micrograms daily in winter the months for all adults and children to prevent deficiency.

Vitamin D is important for practically every organ in the body, including the immune system, bones, heart, muscles and skin.

In skin Vitamin D plays an important role in wound healing, sebaceous gland regulation, photoaging, pigmentation and hair growth. Vitamin D is also implicated in many skin disease.

Here are some tips on how to adopt Mediterranean style eating to your day to day life.

  • Cut right down on sugar, sugary treats, drinks and desserts: No more than once or twice a week and preferably less. Try to wean yourself off very sweet items except very occasionally.
  • Avoid very sweet fruits: Berries, apples & pears are fine, but sweet tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple, melon and bananas are high in sugar content.
  • Minimise or avoid the starchy “white carb” bread, pasta, potatoes, rice: Be wary of “brown” alternatives as they are also full of hidden sugars. Switch instead to quinoa, bulgur (cracked wheat), whole rye, whole-grain barley, wild rice and buckwheat.
  • Avoid most breakfast cereals: They are usually full of sugar, even the ones that contain bran.
  • Avoid snacking if possible find healthy snacks if you must: Nuts are a great source of protein and fibre. Try to avoid salted or sweetened nuts. Or a few bits of chopped veg, a small amount of dark chocolate after meals (70% cocoa or higher) is ok.
  • Start the day with eggs: Boiled, poached, scrambled or as an omelette.
  • Full-fat yoghurt is also good: Add berries, like blackberries, strawberries or blueberries, for flavour. Or a sprinkling of nuts.
  • Eat more healthy fats and oils: Along with oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), consume more olive oil. A splash makes vegetables taste better and improves the absorption of vitamins. Use olive, rapeseed or coconut oil for cooking.
  • Legumes, such as lentils and kidney beans: Healthy and filling.
  • Use butter instead of margarine: Cheese in moderation is fine.
  • Have high-quality proteins: Oily fish, prawns, chicken, turkey, pork, beef and eggs. Other protein-rich foods: soya, edamame beans, Quorn, hummus. Processed meats (bacon, salami, sausages) should be eaten only a few times a week.
  • Eat plenty of different coloured veg: From dark leafy greens to bright-red and yellow peppers.
  • Add sauces and flavouring to your veg: Lemon, butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, chilli, gravy.
  • Have a drink, but not too many: Try to average no more than one to two units a day (a small glass of wine or shot of spirits is 1.5 units) and cut back on beer as it is rich in carbohydrates, which is why some people refer to it as “liquid toast”.

You may crave carbohydrates at first, but this settles within days. As your insulin levels settle down, so your appetite and hunger spikes reduce.

It is also important to drink plenty of fluids (i.e. water or other sugar-free drinks). It is currently recommended that an adult should be drinking around 3 litres of fluids a day.

Physical activity

In general, to keep us healthy,  current guidelines on physical activities  for adults aged 19-64 advise achieving at least 50 minutes a week, of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking as well as strength exercises on two or more days a week. These should work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

However, if you are short for time Hight Intensity work outs has been shown to demonstrate significant health improvement.

You can find one online which is easy to do and requires little equipment.


Sleep is important for all body function and is part of general wellbeing. An adult needs 7-9 hrs of quality sleep a day. Poor sleep is responsible for poor skin quality and weight gain.

The skin cells contain internal clock connected to body’s “master” circadian clock located in the brain.

If you do not sleep at night or eat late it confuses our body clock. A disrupted body clock confuses the skin as at night skin cells are more active preparing for the day ahead. This makes skin more vulnerable to damage in the daytime.

Below are some tips to improve sleep to look and feel better:

Sleep hygiene tips

Good sleep habits can help with good night sleep.

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time including on the weekends.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
    Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep at night.

Mental health.

Provides a completely free of charge app full of useful resources including mindfulness and meditation.

There are number of free resources that are available to deal with everyday stress


Chronic stress activates immune responses seen in chronic inflammation. This has an impact on your metabolism, weight gain and can contribute to impairment of healing, susceptibility to infection, poor health and poor mental health. Immune cells activated during chronic stress  can also impact the microbiomes of both gut and skin. It is important to mitigate the effects of chronic stress where possible.

Below are some tips on how to improve your mental health.

Stress reduction breathing exercise

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is routed in yoga and is good for reducing stress, helping with anxiety and falling asleep.
It involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.

Tools for creating space and boundaries

If you are going to make a change in life no matter how small or big it is, it is worth considering that takes both time and space. Hence, work, home and social arrangements may need to be adjusted.. To succeed in implementing these changes, even if they are only temporary, you may need to rethink your personal and professional boundaries.

In general, boundaries are the limits and rules of engagement we set for ourselves and others within social interactions and relationships. When your personal and physical space is respected, you and others are more likely to feel heard, validated, appreciated and safe.

Below are some examples of most common boundaries that apply to all to work, home, intimate, personal relationships, health and pretty much anything else.

  1. Time (how much time you spend with someone, or doing something)
  2. Emotional (how emotionally available you are)
  3. Material (includes financial and monetary contributions)
  4. Self/Others (how much energy you can give)
  5. Privacy (personal space, your body and privacy/ how much you want to share)

Re-evaluation of boundaries requires a degree of self-awareness, however the simplest way to do it, we find, is to consider the 5 main domains of our lives: Work, Home (children, family members, pets), Partner, Social (Friends/other non-work related engagements), Self (menopause, andropause, health issues, whatever makes you happy, mental health). New categories can be created as appropriate.

Then use a traffic system Green (satisfied with current arrangements), Amber (not sure/needs further thought) and Red (needs adjustment).

See example below

Once this is completed you can then clearly see what needs to be adjusted to give you more space to get what you need.

In order to negotiate the boundaries it is important to be assertive.

Assertive, does not mean aggressive. It means been able to express yourself and been able to show respect with, it means been open and honest without been hostile or offensive.

Some people feel that it is easier to say “yes” then to say “no”. But saying “no” is the key to establishing boundaries, reducing stress, resentment and limiting regret.

If you really find it difficult to say no, it might be necessary to practice it in front of the mirror.

Examples of saying “No” when you don’t have time.

  1. I’m just swamped right now, so I can’t.
  2. I’ve got too much on my plate right now.
  3. I’m not able to make it this week/month/year.

Saying “No” to an Invitation or Offer

  1. I’d love to, but I can’t
  2. Thanks for the offer, but I can’t
  3. I’m honored, but can’t

What our clients say

I have had a number facial treatments at the clinic. All of them have been excellent and I have never been disappointed with the results. I use the clinic because they only use medically trained staff to deliver the treatments. My last treatment was microneedling which was performed by Clare, a highly trained nurse. It was quick, painless, professionally carried out and has genuinely given me some great results. It goes without saying that medically trained professionals keep the clinic scrupulously clean. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Great service and good value for money.

Cate Dyble

can highly recommend this clinic with no doubt. I am very pleased with the results, my skin looks better, younger and refreshed.
A very big thank you to Dr Tatyana 😊👍 and definitely will see you again! …

Hanna Hooper

I heard a lot about this clinic before I came and I was not disappointed. Incredibly high standard of professionalism. The place is welcoming and immaculate. The doctor explained all my options with great patience and care with regards my individual needs and personality. The nurse was lovely. The atmosphere was calm and supportive. I had the forma inmode treatment which is the gentlest one. After two days my face is fresh and rejuvenated. I will definitely be coming back again to try other treatments too.

Daphna Shochat

Dr Lapa-Enright understands how to achieve the results I want every time. She has provided my treatments for several years and I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else!

Annie Witcombe

I visited Dr Lapa-Enright for a course of skin boosters and am amazed by the results. The whole experience was wonderful. I have anxiety, yet was immediately put as ease by her warm, friendly persona and highly professional attitude. All my friends have noticed how much fresher I look and now want the treatment themselves! Highly recommended!

Koburg Anderson

I can’t recommend Dr Lapa-Enright highly enough. I first visited her over a year ago for a free consultation, and was immediately put at ease. As well as being amazing at what she does, I also love how she never tries to ‘upsell’ you or push other treatments.
As other reviews have mentioned this clinic is highly professional and completely patient led. I’m so happy I found it and would highly recommend going for a free consultation so you can see for yourself.

Lucy Becker

I have visited the Hardwick clinic several times over the last few years and had treatments with both Dr Enright and Dr Lapa. They are experts at what they do, have set very high standards for their business, and yet the atmosphere always relaxed and friendly. They can be trusted to tell you the truth, and I believe that they really do care about their clients.
Highly recommended.

Neil Drummond

Dr Lapa-Enright has performed wonders. I’m 53 and definitely look fresh faced for my age. I’ve used a range of treatments, designed to work in harmony and I couldn’t be happier with the results
I highly recommend Hardwick Clinic and Dr Lapa-Enright.

Louise Higginson

Arrange free consultation

Hardwick Clinic

Hardwick Clinic. 227 St. Neots road, Hardwick, Cambridge, CB23 7QJ

Call us on 0782 5215531

**Results and pictures are indicative only. Actual results may vary from patient to patient

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