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Environ® Founder

About Dr. Des Fernandes


Dr. Desmond Fernandes graduated MB. B. Ch. At the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg and obtained F.R.C.S. (Edin) in 1973. He worked at various hospitals in the UK and in 1973 joined Prof. Christiaan Barnard in the world famous heart transplant unit at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town. He was responsible for the illustrations of the "Piggy-back" or "Double" Heart transplant. In 1975 he returned to Plastic Surgery and eventually became the consultant in charge of Cleft Lip and Palate Division at the Red Cross Children's Hospital.

He held this position for 21 years, but retired from it in 2000. During this period he presented many papers on cleft lip and palate at International Congresses. As a result of this interest, he was made a Fellow of the Plastic Surgery Unit at Showa University, Tokyo.

In 1979 he commenced private practice and joined Dr. David Davies in his private clinic.

Dr Fernandes has written numerous papers and chapters for medical publications on various plastic surgery procedures and in the more recent years on skin health and rejuvenation with the use of vitamin-containing skin care preparations and also in methods of improved penetration - particularly skin needling for collagen stimulation. He has lectured at many Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Congresses and Dermatology Congresses throughout the world and receives many requests from organisers of these congresses to lecture.


Since ancient times, mankind has attempted to make cosmetics to improve the skin and to hide the visible effects of ageing. The truth is that, for the most part, cosmetic creams remained simple old-fashioned moisturisers offering "Dreams of Youthful Skin" often without real results.

The introduction of vitamin A into the formulation of skin care products heralded a new era in the treatment of sun-damaged skin. Although some cosmetic houses were using very low doses of vitamin A in their skin care products in the 1980s, Dr Des Fernandes, a prominent Cape Town plastic surgeon, was the first person in the world to introduce vitamin A in high effective doses. This range established Environ as a leader in skin care.

The Environ® skin care range was first formulated as a result of Dr Fernandes' misfortune when he attempted to treat the melanoma of two young, charismatic patients, who both died before they were twenty-three years old. Such a horrifying experience leaves an indelible scar on one's life as a doctor. For this reason, he started to study the mechanism of skin cancer and the skin - and thus Environ® was born.

The cosmetic manufacturing company, Environ Skin Care (Pty) Ltd., was founded by Dr Fernandes in 1990 and he soon expanded its number of products into a full skin care range. Environ® skin care products are manufactured under strictly controlled laboratory conditions at the Environ® factory in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Company is a family run business and as such is one of the very few major skin care products that is manufactured and marketed by the same company. Founder, Dr Fernandes has specialised in the field of plastic surgery in which he has gained the respect of his international peers. After a long career in the commercial world, Dr Fernandes' sister, Val Carstens, joined her brother at Environ Skin Care (Pty) Ltd. as its CEO, bringing with her a wealth of business experience that she has used to engineer and build Environ® into the company it is today.

Environ® now has an extensive distribution network throughout South Africa and exports to more than sixty countries worldwide.

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