World-renowned South African plastic surgeon and Environ co-founder and scientific director, Dr Des Fernandes (‘Dr Des’), celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday, 30th October 2022.
Dr Des is regarded as a pioneer in the use of vitamin A and antioxidants to treat skin and co-founded Environ Skin Care 32 years ago together with sister, Val Carstens.
The Environ team is celebrating Dr Des’ milestone birthday through social media and internal communication. Messages include:
“Happy birthday to Environ’s visionary founder and scientific director, Dr Des Fernandes.”
“Dr Des is recognized, respected, and celebrated globally for his pioneering scientific research and innovation in the world of skin care. Thank you for dedicating your life to creating a world where healthy-looking, resilient and beautiful skin is the norm, not the exception.”
“Wishing you a year of health and happiness.”
Says Dr Des: “I have focused on facial surgery for most of my career and that is also why I realised that we need active cosmeceuticals to maintain or restore healthy skin. I started researching the prevention of skin cancer in 1979 and as a result encountered the importance of vitamin A and also the, then controversial, role of antioxidants. My interest in the prevention of skin cancers has never waned.
“Since my search for an established skin care with these ingredients delivered no results, I resolved to make a small laboratory and make the products I believed my patients needed. This developed into Environ Skin Care. In turn, I investigated ways to increase penetration into skin and in 1966 started researching low frequency sonophoresis (LFS) and iontophoresis that had been described by Mitragotri at MIT. As a result, I became the first person to use LFS on live human skin (my own) and in skin care. Further investigations pioneered skin needling from 0.05 mm all the way up to 3.0mm. I continue researching how to physiologically regenerate young skin.”
In 2021, Dr Des was honoured by the The Skin Cancer Foundation of South Africa with the first of its kind Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the techniques and technologies associated with skin rejuvenation as well as photoprotection. He was also recognised for his contribution to the field of topical antioxidants and vitamins to which he has dedicated more than 30 years of his life.
Dr Des remains in private practice at The Cosmetic Surgery Institute, Cape Town. (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)