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Knowledge Hub

Find out more about why we use the products we do…

Why Is Vitamin A So Important For Skin?

Ageing skin is a direct result of sun-induced vitamin A deficiency. Correct the deficiency and you’ll have more radiant-looking skin. It is the only known molecule that repairs cell DNA damage, helps keep the skin healthy, and provides anti-ageing benefits. 


Vitamin A deficiency can lead to skin abnormalities such as pigmentation irregularities, sun damage, ageing and skin cancer. In order to correct this deficiency we must replenish vitamin A in our cells every day for skin to appear healthier and more resilient. Basically vitamin A is a skin normaliser. 


Combined with other essential nutrients like antioxidants and peptides, the long term enhancement of skin becomes clearly visible.

Why Environ?

Environ creates scientifically researched and developed skincare products that make a real lasting difference to the appearance of the skin. It is for everyone regardless of age, gender and race. 


Environ was designed to help correct visible effects of the chronic deficiency of vitamin A, such as ageing and sun damage, this is something everyone suffers from in the exposed areas of their skin. 


Everyday our skin loses vitamins due to exposure to the sun and environmental factors which exacerbate the visible signs of ageing. The only way to effectively help replenish these lost essential skin nutrients is through topical applications and supplements. 


Environ skin care products are only manufactured from the highest quality ingredients and fresh, active vitamins.

What is Environ's Unique Step-Up System?

The core skin care products in this range are based around a unique Step-Up System. This range was created to help skin become more comfortable with increased levels of vitamin A and other ingredients from one level to the next. During this exciting journey your skin will become progressively smoother, younger-looking and more radiant.


Our motto is to START LOW AND GO SLOW.


*Please note if you allow your skin regime to lapse you will need to restart it at a lower level on the system.*

Why Skin Supplements?

We believe in feeding the skin from within. With high quality supplements as well as applying results driven products topically, we can achieve superior results in the shortest period of time. This is what we call ‘FEED AND FORTIFY‘. By taking a skin supplement this enables us to treat all of the layers of your skin, all over your body. 


The Advanced Nutrition Programme is a premium range of supplements which cover skincare, health, vitality and anti-ageing as well as areas of well-being that encompass weight loss, food intolerances, digestion, bone and joint support. 


Their philosophy is more than words, it’s a way of life. If you start from the inside to make healthy skin cells you can achieve impressive results.

Why Jane Iredale?

As a skincare professional, I know that salon treatments and skin journeys are enhanced further when finished with the protection that only Jane Iredale minerals can provide. Not heard of Jane Iredale? Here’s a little insight…


More than 25 years ago, Jane envisaged a makeup that consisted of clean formulas, free from harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances or preservatives, combining skincare science and potent natural extracts but also certified as cruelty free. 


Each product is vigorously tested to ensure formulas are safe to use on vulnerable and compromised skin, making Jane Iredale a top recommendation from dermatologists, aesthetic surgeons, and skincare professionals around the globe. 


This commitment to clean makeup has a positive impact not only on the skin, but also on the planet.

Skin concerns decoded: Pigmentation

Pigmentation is one of the most common yet complex skin conditions skincare professionals encounter and it is an increasing focus for clients. So far in 2021, searches for hyperpigmentation have soared by 140% as individuals seek out advice on tackling concerns such as age spots, dark patches and discolouration. Research suggests hyperpigmentation and melasma are frequently associated with negative psychological effects including anxiety or depression. 


Delivering tangible results for clients dealing with these issues takes time and requires the expertise and treatment advice of knowledgeable skincare professionals as damage can be hidden in the skin for years before pigmentation appears on the surface. Easing pigmentation requires a careful combination of treatments, active ingredients in oral and topical products and lifestyle changes.






All skin contains some level of the pigment melanin and the variety in our natural production of this molecule is what determines individual skin tone. Melanin is produced to protect skin cells from damage, for example when exposed to UV light. It is also produced in response to other stimuli both external and internal, some of which can lead to excess melanin production.

Pigmentation becomes visible as marks or spots when melanin deposits build up in the upper layers of the skin cells.






Genetics play an important role but excessive sun exposure, hormones and stress appear to be the main triggers for the development of excess melanin. 

Blue light can also lead to pigmentation, with electronic screens and LED lights we are almost always exposed to this even in the shade. It is thought that blue light induced pigmentation is longer lasting than UV induced pigmentation. 

Alongside external stimuli, hormones play a crucial role, particularly for women. Oestrogen can stimulate the over production of melanin when skin is exposed to sunlight. This contributes to a specific type of hyperpigmentation called melasma also known a the ‘mask of pregnancy’ brought on by hormonal shifts during pregnancy. 

Studies suggest free radicals generated by the response to stressors such as pollution or lack of sleep can damage cell DNA and cause melanin production. 






Melasma: caused by hormonal changes and exacerbated by UV damage. More common in women, particularly during  pregnancy, menopause or those taking the contraceptive pill. Those with darker skin tones are more likely to experience this (Fitzpatrick III/V) usually symmetrical on the cheeks, nose, forehead, top lip, chin or jaw. 


Post-Inflammatory(PIH): often appears in the wake of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or dermatitis, leaving a darker patch of skin where flare ups have healed. More common in darker skin tones ( Fitzpatrick IV-VI) This can also occur if the skin is severely damaged by an external aggressor such as chemical burns, overly aggressive facial peels or lasers. 


Solar Lentigines: more commonly known as age spots, liver spots, sun spots or senile freckles. Basically patches of darker skin caused by sun damage and mostly appear in people aged 40 and over. Can appear anywhere on the body particularly on the face, arms and hands that are continually exposed to UV. Spots can appear scaly in appearance and can become inflamed. 


Freckles: these appear at any age, they are not a sign of severe sun damage but indicate that the individual is susceptible to UV damage making sun protection crucial. 


Hypo-pigmentation:  visibly the opposite of hyperpigmentation , creating white or pale marks on the skin due to an absence of melanin. Several genetic conditions including vitiligo and albinism cause hypo-pigmentation and is also caused by skin damage for example sun damage, inflammatory skin disorders or burns. This is more common than you would imagine and manifests as small, un-pigmented flecks on the arms or legs where sun protection may have been less vigorous. 






Improving pigmentation is challenging for both therapists and clients. It is often caused over years of damage and reversing this will not happen overnight. However, significant improvements can be made with smart treatments, client commitment and crucially, time. A holistic approach is vital, there is no one magic ingredient that can do it all, there are numerous triggers for pigmentation so the more you target the more effective the result. Oral and topical treatments containing ingredients with differing functions should be combined as oral nutritional supplements show impressive results on pigmentation.






Protection against sun exposure should be the main focus when treating  pigmentation. A few minutes of unprotected direct or indirect UV or blue light can immediately undo any beneficial effects from skincare and treatments. Avoiding excessive sun exposure is key. Sun protection with antioxidants and physical sunscreens plus the use of vitamin A from as young an age as possible is advised. 






Vitamin A: ensuring skin is rich in vitamin A is the most effective way to minimise the chances of pigmentation. Using topical and oral vitamin A combined ensures optimum levels within the body to avoid deficiency which is where pigmentation starts. 


Vitamin C: as a powerful antioxidant it helps to counteract the stress that triggers melanin synthesis meaning pigmentation is limited. Using topical and oral vitamin C combined shows to be extremely effective in combating pigmentation. 


Lactic Acid: as well as encouraging cell turnover it directly inhibits the activity involved in melanin production. Therefor this minimises existing while preventing new pigmentation. Gentle lactic acid peels can be beneficial within a pigmentation treatment programme. However caution and care is necessary when it comes to acids, some assume the stronger the acid the faster the benefits, this is not the case. Harsh acids are not beneficial for skin and can cause serious damage, overstimulating or damaging skin cells causing post-inflammatory pigmentation or even hypo-pigmentation.


French Maritime Pine Bark Extract:an emerging antioxidant used in topical products and supplements. Inhibits and suppresses the activity involved during the process of pigmentation. Studies found that when taken orally alongside sun protection melasma was improved in 94.4% of participants. This is also proven to improve age related pigmentation. 


Other ingredients to incorporate include: astaxanthin, geranium robertum extract and clairju (plum), niacinamide (vitamin b3) and sepiwhite-MSHTM.


*Here at KVLSKN we recommend:


-Advanced Nutrition Programme:

Skin Complete, Skin Vit C, Skin Ultimate, Skin Vitality, Skin Youth Biome



Moisturisers and serums from the Skin or Youth EssentiA range, Focus Care Radiance+ range, Even More Sun Care+ range


-In Clinic Treatments:

If you are lucky enough to live local to KVLSKN clinic we have specific treatments to target pigmentation.





In salon micro-needling has a regenerative effect on the skin which dramatically improves pigmentation. Home micro-needling helps enhance the penetration of active ingredients to get them to where the skin needs them the most, enabling them to start working against the pigmentation process. 




Menopause and the Skin

Did you know that almost half of women experience challenges with their skin during the menopause?


In the UK the average age for the menopause is 51. The years running up to this point are referred to as perimenopause, this period often starts around age 45 but can begin 10-15 years before the menopause itself. 


A recent study summarised the effects of menopause on the skin as follows:


Skin becomes thinner with less collagen, decreased elasticity, increased wrinkling, increased dryness and reduced vascularity. The skins protective function becomes compromised, ageing is associated with impaired wound healing, hair loss, pigmentary changes and skin cancer.


This primarily occurs from the drop of oestrogen as this hormone is involved with many of the functions that keep our skin healthy. 







Oestrogen helps to stimulate the normal production of hyaluronic acid – a substance that plays a vital role in ensuring the skin stays hydrated & comfortable, by holding a 1000 times its weight in water it binds in moisture keeping the skin plump. 


Oestrogen also plays a role in maintaining the barrier function of the skin. The upper skin layers create the waterproof barrier that locks in moisture and keeps unwanted irritants out. Molecules such as ceramides and omega fatty acids are involved with maintaining this barrier.


When oestrogen levels drop, the barrier becomes weaker leading to a decrease in hydration levels. Skin can become dry, cracked and uncomfortable with itching and irritation more common. Some women also experience tingling, rashes and numbness as a result of these changes. 


By replenishing levels of hyaluronic acid and ceramics through topical and oral skincare is key. Studies found that the combination of these two substances that are found in the [Advanced Nutrition Programme] Skin Moisture Lock improves hydration by 60%. Replenishing the skins supply of vitamin A topically and orally assists in reviving the skins hydration levels as it promotes the synthesis of hyaluronic acid. The intake of omega fatty acids are the cornerstone ingredient in managing dry skin and helping to maintain a healthy, effective skin barrier. 


Not only beneficial for the skin, omega fatty acids have been shown to reduce the severity of hot flushes. 


*Here at  KVLSKN we recommend:


-Advanced Nutrition Programme: 

  Skin Moisture Lock, Skin Omegas+, Skin Moisture IQ, Skin Vit A, Skin       

  Youth Biome, Skin Vitality



  Skin or Youth EssentiA Range, Focus Care Moisture+ Range







Type 1 and type 3 collagen levels begin to fluctuate during the perimenopause and decline by as much as 30% in the first five years after menopause. After this they continue to decline by 1.13% per year with skin thickness declining by 2% per year. These changes occur because of falling oestrogen levels in the skin. With elastin levels declining too, this equates to thinner, less firm skin, exaggerating lines and wrinkles. By incorporating vitamin A and C, peptides and antioxidants into your skin care regime minimises the impact. 


The supplementation of vitamin C by mouth as well as topically boosts the manufacture of new collagen, making wrinkles less noticeable. It also protects against oxidative stress, of which during menopause these defences are lower. It helps to strengthen capillaries which during menopause the blood vessel health can begin to decline. 


The job of peptides in skin care is to send messages from one cell to another to make more collagen so these are also vital for skin health. 


Combining topical and oral vitamin A with all of the above ingredients can help to restore the skins barrier function, thickening the top layer for strong, healthy, firm skin. 


*Here at KVLSKN we recommend:


-Advanced Nutrition Programme: 

  Skin Complete, Skin Ultimate, Skin Vit C, Skin Collagen Support, Skin  

  Youth Biome, Skin Vitality 



  Youth EssentiA Range or Focus Care Youth+ Range 







This skin concern is common in menopausal women. The result of the changing ratio of hormones can increase the likelihood of developing acne, changes to the skins pH and to the levels of oil produced by the skin will also contribute. This change in the pH can result in the skin becoming more sensitive and aggravating existing conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or rosacea.\


Each case is individual, but problem skin can be supported by vitamins A, C and E for comfort and clarity. Additionally there is evidence that beneficial bacteria can be helpful for problem skin. 


*Here at KVLSKN we recommend:


-Advanced Nutrition Programme:

  Skin Accumax, Skin Clear Biome, Skin Vit C, Skin Omegas+, Skin Vitality 



  Focus Care Clarity+ Range or Focus Care Comfort+ Range 







Developing research shows that there is a close connection between oestrogen and the gut microbiome. Fluctuating levels of oestrogen can disrupt and alter the formation and diversity of our gut bacteria. Maintaining a diverse, healthy microbiome during a potential period of disruption is vital to overall wellbeing and skin health, thanks to the gut/skin axis. 


It is also thought that the gut microbiome may play a role in supporting bone homeostasis. Bone density is one factor that declines dramatically post menopause and this can progress into osteoporosis, so in addition to its skin and wellbeing benefits, a healthy gut biome may also benefit bone health in menopausal women. 


*Here at KVLSKN we recommend: 


-Advanced Nutrition Programme: 

  Skin Youth Biome, Skin Clear Biome, Probiotic Powder, Glutamine Powder 







When it comes to menopause, skin care is not about erasing any hint of a change or trying to turn back time but about ensuring the skin ages in a healthy way, supported by topical and oral skin care. 







-SLEEP… when levels of oestrogen and progesterone drop sleep is disrupted. Hot flushes, emotional turbulence and other discomfort can also impact on sleep.


-MOOD… feelings of depression and anxiety are commonly associated with the menopause as oestrogen levels fluctuate.


-MEMORY… when hormone levels drop memory problems or brain fog can occur effecting the sharpness in thinking. 


-EXERCISE… weight bearing exercises help build strength and maintain muscle and bone mass, combined with high intensity exercise which increases metabolic rate and cardiovascular fitness can both maintain the strength and resilience in the body as the bone density and muscle mass decrease dramatically in post menopausal women. 



*If you would like any further information on how to adapt your skin regime or would like a skin review in connection with the menopause then please get in touch with us to discuss. 

Preparing Your Skin For Winter

Changes in weather can have a dramatic impact on the skin. As the heating dial goes up, skin moisture levels go down. Equally, the minute we venture outside our skin is assaulted by blasts of wintry air which is just as drying. 



A key reason for skin becoming dryer in winter is that your ceramide levels drop. These make up 50% of the outer (protective) layer of skin. Ceramides are a naturally occurring fat, they are present in the spaces between skin cells. Think of them as the glue that holds skin cells together. Their main anti-ageing benefit is that they are responsible for waterproofing the skin (keeping essential hydration in) while creating a fortress to stop external aggressors such as pollutants and bacteria penetrating the lower layers. Not only that but ceramides inhibit the breakdown of Elastin that helps to keep the skin looking firm and smooth.



Ceramide levels start to plummet partly down to changes in the skins pH and the constant switching from warm to cold environments. So replenishing them topically and orally is vital when the temperature starts to drop. 



The dryer the air….the dryer the skin!

The atmospheric humidity is far lower in winter than in the summer months. This combined with central heating and car heaters can quickly decrease the skins hydration levels leaving tight, itchy, cracked skin.



Tackling parched winter complexions calls for two lines of attack:


1. Preventing skin from drying out in the first place 

2. Rehydrating it if it does



A few tips for you…


-Investing in a dehumidifier or placing bowls of water on top of radiators will help keep the air moist.


-Limiting shower time and using warm rather than hot water will stop skin from drying out so quickly. 


-It’s proven better to use a lightweight, vitamin A rich moisturiser which normalises the skins own moisture production, along with Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides for an extra anti-ageing hydration boost. Products containing lactic acid support the bodies ability to make its own ceramides.


-Oral supplementation of ceramides also delivers significant skin benefits.







Here at KVLSKN we recommend:





-Skin Moisture Lock: A blend of hyaluronic acid and ceramides to plump skin and maintain a healthy barrier. Research shows significant improvements, particularly around the eye and neck area where the signs of ageing are most noticeable.

*Eye hydration improve by 31%

*Smoothness improved by 20% 

*Wrinkle depth improved by 28%


-Skin Moisture IQ: [features Skin Moisture Lock] hyaluronic acid, ceramides, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin D and a modern multivitamin complex to deliver an intensive moisture shot to the skin across the whole body. 


-Skin Omegas+: Works on the skin cell itself, strengthening it and helping to retain moisture. 


-Skin Youth Biome: Supports skin health and immunity by maintaining a healthy gut. 


[also remember when taking skin supplements these treat all of the layers of your skin, all over the body, hair and nails]



Skin Care Products:


-Skin EssentiA and Youth EssentiA ranges are packed with protective antioxidants, vitamins A,C and E to Shiel skin against the elements. 


-HA Intensive Hydrating Serum is enriched with hyaluronic acid to quench and plump the skin, combine with micro needling foe even better results. 


-Vita-Complex Super Moisturiser has an ultra hydrating blend of emollients and moisturising agents.  


-Vita-Antioxidant Hydrating Oil Capsules filled with antioxidants and vitamin A to nourish and energise the skin.


-Even More Suncare+ range contains UVA protection to take you through the winter months offering extra antioxidant defence. 



Finish with skin care makeup:


-Beyond Matte Liquid Foundation nourishes and hydrates while concealing redness and pigmentation.


-Liquid Minerals Foundation is a treatment serum with pigment that provides sheer to medium coverage.it plumps, hydrates and calms inflammation.


-Pommist Hydration Spray is packed full of protective antioxidants and botanicals to hydrate.


-Lip Drink Lip Balm prevents lips from chapping and protects with UVA filters and antioxidants. 



In clinic treatments:


-Essential Moisture Boost: increases the plumpness in the deeper layers of the skin by delivering Hyaluronic Acid to where the skin needs it the most.


-Cool Peel Moisture Boost: Lactic Acid is used to gently buff the skin and assists in the stimulation of cermides.



Sun protection:


Protecting the skin against the sun is still important after we kiss goodbye to the summer.


Some SPFs only protect against UVB rays, which cause burning and these aren’t actually present in the UK from October to March.


UVA protection should be worn all year round.


UVA rays don’t burn but they can reach skin even on murky, overcast days and cause damage to the skin which may only become apparent years later.


Adding a hefty dose of antioxidants orally as well as topically will provide a second line of defence by neutralising free radicals generated by UV and blue light.


As a bonus, anyone using level four or above of Environ moisturisers will benefit from the additional protection from the high levels of vitamin A (although this is not to be mistaken as a replacement for SPF)



As always if you would like anymore advice on any issues addressed here please contact us at KVLSKN we would love to hear from you.

Retinol or Vitamin A?

I get asked so much in the skin clinic about Retinol so I thought this would give you a little incite into Retinol or Vitamin A as its also known. 






Vitamin A belongs to a family called Retinoids, it is an essential nutrient found naturally in the skin. 


The body does not make Vitamin A so we need to take it internally as a supplement and apply it topically to our skin. 


It is the ULTIMATE ingredient, here are some facts about Vitamin A:


  • Protects and repairs skin cells
  • Re-educates damaged skin cell DNA 
  • Is fat soluble so the skin can store it
  • The more stores of Vitamin A you have in your skin, the higher the skins natural SPF (can be up to SPF 20)
  • Normalising effect so it controls the growth of the skin
  • Depletes through exposure to UV light which we call ‘Photo-Ageing’
  • A skin rich in Vitamin A is less likely to develop skin abnormalities like skin cancers
  • We need to replace Vitamin A twice daily by topical application otherwise the skin will become deficient
  • It is sensitive to light, air (oxygen) and water 
  • Essential for every cell in the body
  • Vitamin A is the ‘Oxygen’ for our skin 




There are many different forms of Vitamin A but they all have essentially the same action…..


  • Beta-carotene 
  • Retinyl Palmitate
  • Retinyl Propionate 
  • Retinyl Acetate 
  • Retinol
  • Retinaldehyde/Retinal
  • Retinoic Acid 




This is the plant form (carotenoid) of Vitamin A and is found in spinach, parsley, carrots, tomatoes and broccoli. 


It is a very powerful antioxidant and is found in Environs Skin EssentiA AVST moisturisers and Rad SPF. 


This form can be converted although it prefers to stay as a carotenoid. It is not vegan friendly. 





  • Retinyl Palmitate
  • Retinyl Propionate 
  • Retinyl Acetate 


These storage forms of Vitamin A are more stable, milder but still active and easier for the skin to tolerate. 


Retinyl Palmitate is the most dominant form and actually gives the same benefits as Retinoic Acid (strongest form/medical grade) because of the conversion journey that takes place.


The more variety of Retinyl Esters we supply the skin with the better the results. 





This is the alcohol form of Vitamin A and is unstable in cosmetic formulas that is why when you use the Environ Retinol series of serums you will notice it has a short shelf life. 


Retinol is a very active form of vitamin A and is used to transport the vitamin through the bloodstream so must not be used during pregnancy.  It is less irritating than Retinoic Acid. 


It can often cause mild peeling of the skin when it is first used until your skin has become acclimatised.


As always your skin specialist is here to advise you on when and how to introduce this ingredient into your regime. 





We do not use this form in Environ. 


This form is essential for night vision. 





This is the medical grade form, it is not found in Environ but is the destination goal of all of the other forms as it works on the DNA of the cell nucleus to achieve the desired results.


Once this form has been reached it can not be reverted. 


This form is the most irritating, it is an acid and is only available on prescription. It should be used night time only, a few times a week as it is extremely exfoliating. 







No matter what form of Vitamin A you apply to the skin, your body will always convert it back into the milder, storage form (Retinyl Palmitate or one of the other esters) before going through a journey of conversion to reach the end goal and strongest form ‘Retinoic Acid’ 


This is why with Environ we start your skin journey off with the low storage forms of Vitamin A that are found in Skin EssentiA AVST 1 or Youth EssentiA C-Quence 1. 


Your skin journey up through the levels is simply to acclimatise your skin and slowly build up the stores of Vitamin A, which don’t forget are depleting every day! 


It is then after you have reached the highest level in either of these ranges we can start to introduce the form ‘Retinol’ unless you are presenting a skin concern where you may need to be fast tracked onto this ingredient. 





I have a lot of people asking what percentage of Vitamin A we use in Environ products. Although we do not measure in percentages as it is impossible to be accurate, we measure in IU (international units) 


So for example… 1IU of any form of Vitamin A we apply to the skin becomes 1IU of Retinoic Acid (most active form) after the conversion takes place. 


We say you need to be using a minimum of 500IU of Vitamin A during one application to really make an impact on the skin.


Although jumping up to the strongest formula is certainly not recommended, you have to start off low and go slowly up through the system.


There is a huge difference from entry level formulas to say for instance level 5 which is 100 times stronger!!! 


What I do know is that Environ work with the maximum permissible amount of Vitamin A, so you’ll find you’ll achieve results like no other skin care range. 





  • Environ Skin Care is made under yellow light which prevents the product from      degrading and in a controlled environment. 
  • The products are formulated in air tight containers as oxygen depletes the strength of Vitamin A.
  • Skin EssentiA AVST and Youth EssentiA C-Quence serums are all tested for strength and all bottles are stamped with the recognised Swiss Vitamin Institute Seal of Approval.





  • Vitamin A makes the skin thin… In fact it is the opposite, as regular use of Vitamin A thickens the outermost layer of skin ‘Epidermis’ creating a great protective barrier.
  • Vitamin A makes your skin photosensitive….. Only the medical grade ‘Acidic’ form has this ability as it promotes ‘peeling’ of the skin when applied topically that’s why when prescribed by a medical professional you will be advised on controlled application and to avoid exposure to UV.