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The eczema treatment that has left us looking fabulous

A treatment for problem skin which became a cult beauty product has found a new fan base among three local women. Una Brankin hears how Seavite worked for them.

‘It works as well as a premium face cream but at fraction of the price’

Belfast-born fashion designer Helen McAlinden was horrified to see spider-veins spreading all over her face seemingly overnight, in her mid-fifties. Having designed for high-profile ladies - from Iris Robinson to Mary McAleese - Helen is very much in the public eye, and hated having to use heavy make-up to cover up her skin.  She says:

Before I had a few red veins around my nose but they had spread all over my cheeks, chin and nose, and no amount of make-up would cover it up. It made me feel self-conscious, as I work with all these fabulous looking women. Iris Robinson, for example, who has great skin.

Then, a beauty editor friend of mine recommended dermatologist Dr Katherine Mulrooney who prescribed a course of antibiotics and a course of Impulsed Light Laser (IPL), and made me swear to wear SPF 50 every day.

After about three months and six laser sessions, my skin was completely clear and in much better nick as the laser stimulates collagen and minimises lines, too.

That was about five years ago now and I visit the clinic every four months for various treatments, from the heavier Fraxel laser to lactic acid peel.

I even tried the vampire facial there recently, which was gruesome, but the results were incredible.

Dr Katherine also convinced me to ditch my pricey premium moisturiser, for Seavite, and I swear it does the same job, if not better, for a fraction of the cost. I've sent many of the models we work with to the Dr Mulrooney clinic for various skin concerns, and they're like modern day miracle workers. They adopt a less-is-more approach, so never seem to make clients look like a frozen waxwork.

I use a BB cream now instead of a heavier foundation. The veins never came back."

Helen McAlinden's autumn/winter collection is available from the House of Fraser, Victoria Square, Belfast

What the doctor says:

When Helen McAlinden walked into the Dr Mulrooney Clinic, master dermatologist Dr Katherine Mulrooney could see the cause of her sprawling veins right away. Dr Mulrooney says:

Helen's skin problem was cumulative sun damage. The first thing I did was simplify her skincare regime with a Seavite cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser.

We recommend La Roche Posay factor 50 sun protection on top, and prescription Vitamin A serum (Retriderm O.5%) three times a week at night to fade the pigment - sparingly.

Then, we did a course of light, superficial chemical peels with lactic acid to slough off the dead skin cells, and Impulsed Light therapy (IPl) to target the pigment. This laser has an anti-ageing action also as it stimulates collagen.

Over time, it improves the tone and luminosity. It's good for someone as crazy-busy as Helen, as it has no down-time.

The results last for three to six months, and if you look after your skin and don't go into the sun unprotected, you can reverse sun damage."

‘It made a huge difference to my daughters’ skin, and now it’s worked wonders for my complexion’

Part-time marketing advisor Aisling McKenna (37) has two daughters, Charlotte (4) and Chloe (18 months), who suffer from severe atopic eczema. Aisling from Moira, was delighted to find a cream that not only worked for her children, but gave her a better complexion, too. She says:

I had tried all manner of pharmacy lotions, harsh prescription creams and even a few home-made kitchen remedies, with coconut oil and aloe vera, to try and help the girls. The eczema got progressively worse in winter, as they were not out in the fresh air and sunshine, and it was heart-breaking watching them itch and scratch, making the cycle worse.

A friend told me to try Seavite and when I Googled it, the story of the doctor's father trying to cure his little girl's eczema with seaweed resonated with me. I'm originally from Co Wicklow and grew up on the beach, so I'm a big believer in the healing power of the sea.

I ordered the shower/bath gel and body cream and within a week of using it in my girl's baths and applying the body cream every few days, the difference in their skin was remarkable - much less red, irritated and scaly. It has really lifted their mood.

I've been using it now for over six months on them and bought some of the face products for myself, and now I'm addicted to the face cream - I can't believe it's so reasonable.

My complexion looks so much better now after using it for three months - I have less ruddy, more uniform skin. I used to get what I assumed were hormone breakouts on my chin every few weeks, and I haven't had a single one since I started on Seavite.

‘I loved that it was entirely natural. My skin felt soothed straight away’

Anne-Marie McGeary (31) began having trouble with her complexion following the birth of her third child, two years ago. The former beauty sales woman from Collegeland, Co Armagh, was plagued by bouts of adult acne, combined with highly sensitive skin, and couldn't find an effective treatment - despite her background in the beauty industry. She says:

I was spending a fortune trying to find a moisturiser that suited my skin, but nothing worked. My skin reacted badly to everything, even essential oils. I had to wear a lot of make-up to cover the flare-ups and I felt very self-conscious, and it left my skin very dehydrated.

My sister-in-law told me about this new seaweed-based range, Seavite, so I got online straight away and did some research. I loved the fact it was entirely natural and had no nasty additives.

I put in an order and the moisturiser arrived the next day. I put it on straight away and my skin felt soothed right away. People started noticing after a couple of weeks - my skin cleared up and plumped out, so it has had an anti-ageing effect, too. It's also a very good base for make-up and I put an SPF cream on top of it.

I loved the cream so much, I'm using the cleanser, toner and eye balm, too. I would never dream of putting anything else on my face - I'm just surprised I never heard of it before. Although my skin isn't perfect yet, I have every faith with continued use, one day it will be, and I'll have no need for invasive treatments."

The Seavite story

In the Eighties, marine scientist, Patrick Mulrooney, began his quest to cure his daughters' severe eczema.

He believed the ocean was an endless resource of healing and regenerative elements, and every summer in the west of Ireland, he witnessed how his girls' skin was soothed by its therapeutic powers, so he set about bottling its magic.

Through combining pure botanicals and nutrient-rich seaweed extracts, Patrick formulated the Seavite range, which fast earned cult beauty status, thanks to its profound powers of skin transformation.

Daughters Katherine and Jane both went on to become medical doctors, with Masters in Clinical Dermatology. They've dedicated their entire careers to healing sensitive skin conditions and solving ageing concerns. The now-iconic Irish doctors have built on their father's legacy, by reformulating the Seavite range, using the latest scientific developments and proven anti-ageing ingredients, while staying true to the brand's core values of purity and healing.

Katherine and Jane use Seavite products on all patients in their renowned Dublin skin clinic. They believe that every skin type can benefit from the calming and regenerating magic of the Atlantic sea, captured in Seavite and fine-tuned by science.

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