The face behind Environ – Dr Des Fernandes

The face behind Environ - Dr Des Fernandes

We can all agree that there is no better feeling than when your skin is looking and feeling fresh, younger and rejuvenated. One way to achieve this is to swing by Dr Des Fernandes’ office for a procedure he has pioneered, called skin needling.

If the name does not sound appealing, then perhaps you will be happy to know that the proper name for it is Percutaneous Collagen Induction.

This is a process where a roller with needles is applied to the facial area, allowing the skin to bleed.

“It releases growth factors, stimulates the cells to regenerate and thickens the skin,” Fernandes said.

If this does not sound like your cup of tea, then you will be relieved to know that the good doctor has also developed a range of skincare products called Environ. This product has been around for the last 25 years. Environ also has a nutritional range to help stock up on vitamins and other nutritional values that the body might lack.

“It helps with wrinkles, acne, scars and reduces stretch marks. I think I made the best skincare product in the world,” he said.


Fernandes is so confident in his products that he uses it himself, including the needling. And from what we saw, the 72-year-old doctor looks 20 years younger.

He confesses that he has already made attempts to come out with a new product that fights against going grey as well.

Fernandes started studying medicine at Wits University before starting off as a general practitioner. His professor advised him to not go into plastic surgery as it would be a waste of his talent. Fernandes admitted that he was very good at drawing and this is what made his professor convince him to stay clear away from plastic surgery. He worked as a GP in both South Africa and in the United Kingdom. In the UK he recalls working as a relieving doctor before heading back to Cape Town after a four year stay.

There just so happened to be a post as a cardiac surgeon where he worked alongside, Dr Christiaan Barnard.

He became so close with the Barnard family that he used to tutor Barnard’s son in medicine and when Barnard died; his daughter wanted him to inherit some of his clothes, which he declined. But to this very day, he is still friends with his daughter.

He said he did not enjoy being a cardiac surgeon as he did not like facing families where the patient had died. Giving them the news of the deceased was not for him. Fernandes then turned his attention to plastic surgery.

When Fernandes is not in the office doing surgery or conducting research, he turns to solitude by playing the piano. He also has an interest in history, geology, geography and astronomy. In fact, he recalls his mother waking him up at four in the morning as a boy to see Halley’s Comet.

Growing up and attending school in Johannesburg, he found himself going to Mozambique during the holidays. There he spent time with his aunt who ran an English school and his uncle who was Portuguese and had a horse riding school. He makes mention that all his cousins live in Portugal and finds it important to speak the language himself.

“There was a tremendous emphasis on education, even though we grew up poor,” he said.

If you are interested in Dr Des Fernandes’ services, you can contact the office on 021 424 4868 or visit their offices at 183 Bree Street at the Renaissance Body Science Institute.

Chilton Mellem
Editor, With a National Diploma in Journalism from CPUT and experience as a newspaper reporter, Chilton shares Dino’s passion for the Portuguese community in South Africa.