Penny Davis opened DPC Clinic, in Cheadle, in 2014, and has now released a skincare collection that does all the hard work for you 

'We started the clinic with micro-needling and gentle skin peels (still our most popular treatments) and my husband, Phil, does cosmetic tattooing, from permanent makeup to areola 3D tattoos and scar camouflage,’ Penny explains. ‘Clients seem to really like our way of working, and would keep asking – what else do you do? I started to study hard, researching what treatments I might introduce and learning how to be expert in their delivery. And it’s just grown and grown.’ 

Penny sounds a little surprised at this, but she really shouldn’t be. My personal experience with DPC, and with Penny herself, is that every conversation centres around how you feel, what you will benefit most from, and where the best results will come from, according to your time and financial facility. 

Great British Life: Skincare designed to have an impactSkincare designed to have an impact (Image: Getty Images)

‘I don’t give women what they ask for, I give women what they need – a managed service for skin, to keep it in tip top condition. I find that it works best when we don’t go for a one-off appointment, but plan in a ‘campaign’, with appointments every two, three or four weeks, where we assess the skin each time and agree what to do next. And for me, great skin always starts with a great skincare routine.’ 

Spending time with Penny is both a joy and an education. Her knowledge and understanding of how skin works is gripping – I could talk with her for hours. It boils down to one very basic premise: ‘The faster you can keep your skin turning over the fresher, the tighter it will be.’ 

It was Penny’s appreciation that her clients just wanted a simple, easy to follow daily routine to deliver beautiful skin that led her to develop her own skincare range – SkinGoal. 

‘Years of talking to women, of understanding their needs and advising on the use of multiple cosmeceutical brands showed me what a need there was for a range that was simple to use, but had powerful results. I met with a skin scientist and explained what I wanted to achieve, and, step-by-step, we took it forward. 

‘Your cells are designed to reproduce and replace themselves on a continual basis,’ she explains. ‘As we age, certain things happen less – we produce less collagen, our skin cells replicate less rapidly... By taking action – exfoliating the skin, feeding the cells – we can encourage it to remember how it used to work. 

Great British Life: SkinGoal products are designed to work with power and purposeSkinGoal products are designed to work with power and purpose (Image: DPC Clinic)

‘Loads of products will contain really beneficial ingredients, but in tiny amounts. They might proclaim they contain vitamin C, or hyaluronic acid, and they do, but in such small amounts it’s almost pointless. I wanted my products to lead with these key ingredients. A serum with 20% Vitamin C L-ascorbic acid, for example, to protect against environmental aggressors and support natural collagen production function. A high-potency hyaluronic acid serum, to really boost hydration, restore skin cell elasticity and restore the skin’s barrier.’ 

Before we agree on anything else, Penny assesses my skin and recommends a new skincare routine, where I pay more attention to exfoliation and hydration, feeding my skin what it needs to operate at its best capability. Twice daily with the Prep Wash, followed by the hyaluronic acid (Power HA) on my neck, the Vitamin C (Power AOX) on my face, followed by my own moisturiser, and a beautiful, rich, neck cream, to drench the neck and décolleté in hydration. And an overnight retinol cream, to use a couple of times a week. 

I have always been a little nervous of retinol – it can sting and tingle in a very uncomfortable fashion, in my experience.  

‘I love retinol,’ Penny says. ‘It’s a wonder ingredient, but yes, when you first start using it, it can sting a little. Retinol attacks damaged cells and boosts those cells doing what they are supposed to do. It’s a form of Vitamin A, and is a ‘skin signaller’ - it reminds cells of what they should be doing; to replicate accurately, to self-destruct if they are incorrectly formed, and to behave normally.’ 

With a collection of exciting new skincare products in hand, strict instructions on their usage and an appointment to return in two weeks' time, off I trot. 

Fourteen days later I am back, beaming. My skin feels amazing and looks great. There’s a new, soft, glow, it definitely has more bounce to the touch and without doubt my neck is less visibly aged than it was. Who knew? A little education and some hardworking skincare products and I have a skin confidence I had rapidly been losing. My skin has strengthened and I now use the retinol twice a week, happily aware it’s enabling the other products to work more effectively and boosting my skin health, too. Best of all, a makeup artist nearly fell off her chair when I admitted my age - “but your skin is amazing!” she exclaimed. Note the "but". Smug? Me? Absolutely. 

SkinGoal, DPC Clinic, Cheadle.