THE DR DES STORY • ENVIRON FOUNDER AND SCIENTIFIC DIRECTOR
Dr Des graduated from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa with an MB.B.CH. He obtained his surgical education and training (specialising in cardiology), F.R.C.S. (Edin) from the College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1973.
After training in various hospitals in the UK he returned to Cape Town, South Africa to work as a Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon, joining Professor Christiaan Barnard in the world-famous heart transplant unit of Groote Schuur Hospital. He then became part of the world’s first heart transplant team. Dr Des was also responsible for the illustrations of the “Piggy-Back” or “Double” heart transplant.
In 1975 he returned to his passion, Plastic Surgery, eventually becoming the lead consultant of the Cleft Lip and Palate Division at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital for 21 years. Due to his expertise, he was made the fellow of the Plastic Surgery Unit at Show University in Tokyo. In 1979 he commenced a private practice in the field of reconstructive and plastic surgery, the speciality in which he continues to practice today and in which he is internationally renowned. Dr Des has written numerous papers and chapters for medical publications on various Plastic Surgery procedures, and in more recent years he has studied, written and lectured around the world on skin health and skin rejuvenation through the use of vitamin skin preparations and technology.
Through intensive research, he discovered the essential role vitamin A plays in skin health. He became determined to create a skincare range that would maintain healthy skin, especially as the incidence of sun-related disorders was growing worldwide. He pioneered the use of vitamin A in high enough doses to help counteract the harmful effects of the environment, pollution, and stress, to create radiant, visibly improved skin in the 1980s.
What followed has become a legacy of scientific innovation that is today, celebrated and respected globally, starting with the creation of Environ in 1990.
A year later Environ introduced the world to the first vitamin A skincare system – the Environ Vitamin STEP-UP SYSTEM, following in 1992 with the word’s first chemical and physical sunscreen with antioxidants.
Dr Des’ innovation continued with the creation of the word’s first safe and effective Cool Peel Technology System in 1994. He also pioneered skin needling or Collagen Induction Therapy in 1996. Ionzyme, the brand’s premium Vitamin STEP-UP SYSTEM Range, launched in 1997 and was the world’s first ‘made-to-order’ vitamin A skincare regime.
In 1998, he took Environ’s skincare knowledge into the technology field with the launch of the patented Ionzyme DF MACHINE – the world’s first low-frequency sonophoresis and iontophoresis facial machine.
It comes as no surprise that in 2011 Dr Des received the Marquis Who’s Who Award.
As Environ’s maverick scientist and doctor, he continues researching and developing new products to deliver to the market, allowing Environ to redefine the boundaries of global skincare.