Natural Skin care - featuring ‘Quite Frankly Natural

The further I delve into helping my clients with their skin, the further away from conventional skin care I seem to find myself.

I am trained as a Beauty Therapist and Cosmetic Nurse. I have been taught sales techniques and a vast range of product knowledge. I find skin care reps would have us focus on the top 3 key ingredients in a product to push to our clients. They would always sound amazing, but quite frankly, just pulling the wool over our eyes. When are we ever going to chat about the 30 other ingredients on the back of the box? Some ingredients that have been linked to cancer, some endocrine disrupting and some known topical irritants despite the product being designed for ‘sensitive skin’.

‘Natural’ Skin care has come such a long way. I have a new found view on the way I treat mine, and my patients skin. I want sustainable products that are feeding my skin with nutrients, without stripping or causing long term damage.

Today I am interviewing Samantha Marsh, Nutritionist turned product developer and founder of ‘Quite Frankly Natural’, a luxurious, highly effective, vegan, organic, cruelty free and Australian Made skin care and makeup brand.

Madilyn: “Samantha, what natural ingredients do you include in your natural cleansers and how do they work?”

Samantha: Well there is quite a few amazing natural ingredients in our 2 different cleanser formulas, i'll pick my top favourites:

Lactic Acid - Lactic is my favourite AHA, its derived from plant fermentation and is an excellent exfoliator for all skin types. With regular use, it can help reduce acne/breakouts and visible signs of ageing.

Coco Glucoside - Is a natural foaming surfactant that is very gentle and is made from coconut and sugar. It still produces enough foam safely to remove makeup and dirt without stripping, irritating or drying the skin.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) - This potent herbal extract contains superior healing properties and may help to relieve irritation and inflammation. It also may help to stimulate collagen and skin repair.

Madilyn: “ What are some harmful ingredients we need to look out for in other cleansers that can affect our skin and overall health long term?”

Samantha: Most importantly, the one we hear a lot about are “Sulfates” like "Sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES)" or other forms SLS, ALS, etc. Sulfates are often included in formulas mostly because they're dirt cheap, produce a very high-foam and also have a strong ability to dissolve dirt and oil but at what cost to the user? Sulfates are known skin irritants, skin sensitizers and have a

greater ability to penetrate the surface (the skin). Sulfates have a plethora of research for and against them, however in practice, I have seen what they can do to people’s skin with long term use (think eczema, painful, cracked and bleeding hands). Sulfates can be adsorbed through the skin and over time, build up in organs and may be contaminated with toxins such as 1,4, dioxane which is a probable human carcinogen.

Another ingredient to look out for are chemical anti-bacterial/anti-acne ingredients such as Benzoyl Peroxide (insert emoji with steam coming out of nostrils!). Benzoyl Peroxide dries out the skin causing redness, irritation, extreme dryness, peeling, scaring, hyperpigmentation, reduces SPF activity (yes, it can cancel out your sunscreen!) and can even cause premature ageing!-Need I say more?

Madilyn: “ Do you feel natural can be just as effective as cosmeceutical grade products?”

Samantha: The answer is yes however, not always. It depends on the quality and potency of each individual ingredient in the formula and also the product performance as a whole. Does it have the correct pH? Has it been tested for microbial activity and stability? Does it contain medicinal grade ingredients? Is the formula efficacious (does it do anything in particular)? and how does it absorb or feel on the skin? These are some questions you can ask the brand. Some cheaper, organic and/or natural products sometimes, haven't considered some of these important elements or even lab tested their formulas, ...we do!

Madilyn: “ Compared to mainstream Cosmetics, what do you think are the biggest challenges in creating Natural Skin care?”

Samantha: Finding 100% natural ingredients that "work" in practice not just in theory ie. swapping a synthetic or toxic emulsifier with a natural plant based one.

Madilyn : “ Are all Natural skin care products created equal?”

Samantha: Absolutely no! Reinforcing the above, about natural and organic products.

Madilyn: “ Which is your favourite all rounder product from your range and why?”

Samantha: I love all of my products equally, as they have been created from scratch by yours truly, with blood (virtually), sweat and MANY tears! In saying that, my 2 favourites, if i had to pick, would be the Facial Revitalising Silver Perfecting Cream and the Facial Revitalising Daily Foaming Cleanser as they are more suited to my skin type, now. I was previously an adult-acne sufferer and developed my now called Facial Balancing range to help clear it up (in combination with dietary change). Now my main concern is to slow down ageing and maintain the skin's elasticity. I'm obsessed with the smell of the Revitalising Silver Cream - the sandalwood, frankincense and seaweed combo is unique and alluring.





Topical Steroid Withdrawal.

ECZEMA, PSORIASIS, DERMATITIS? MUST READ!

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. The epidermis (the outer most layer of the skin)  provides protection for the human body through specialised cells involved in immunity. Eczema presents  on the skin as dry, itchy and flaky patches that can stem from mild to severe/debilitating.

Eczema, Psoriasis, Dermatitis, Roascae and Eczema are becoming more and more common and can often all stem from a “malfunctioning immune system” (Myers, 2016). The increase in use of antibiotics, medications, western diet, lifestyle, topical synthetics and environmental triggers can play a major role in triggering the inflammation.

When you present to a GP with any of the above inflammatory skin disorders, you are often prescribed corticosteroids. Corticosteroids applied topically to the skin can help control the body's inflammatory responses. Topical steroids are used as anti-inflammatory agents to reduce the swelling and redness of lesions. Steroids can bring amazing relief to those suffering with the pain and discomfort of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis however they do not treat the main cause nor are they are sustainable long term.

According to the National Eczema Association, topical steroids are often used to treat eczema but when used too much or incorrectly, the body can become addicted to it and react severely. This condition is called topical steroid withdrawal or TSW.

TSW can present as redness, extreme sensitivity, recurring  inflammation, skin lesions and more. TSW can be a viscous cycle for patients who have not been properly informed of steroid use. Patients often mistake TSW for another ‘flare up’ and therefore apply more steroids which intern feeds the dependance.


The skin can tell us when it’s absorbing too much of the steroid; this is when patients start to see the ‘fine print’ side effects. Side effects of topical steroids most commonly  present as increased blood vessels or thinning of the skin, loss of pigment or puffiness.

As a former corticosteroid user for my eczema, I wanted to help raise awareness of the dangers of steroid use for skin conditions. I have interviewed a TSW warrior who has been battling with withdrawals for five years now. This blog is not to scare you, corticosteroids, like all western medicine, have a time and a place in medicine. This blog is to help raise awareness of relying on a drug/cream/ bandaid approach to heal your skin. Always know your side effects of medications and always be searching for the root cause of your condition, so you can manage your condition long term, not just treat the symptoms.  


INTERVIEWEE: Emily

Find her n instagram at @tswsurvivor

When and why were you prescribed steroids?

I  was prescribed steroids to control mild eczema from multiple doctors and specialists from the age of 7- 27 in New Zealand and Australia.  I remember when I was around 10 years old, I was prescribed steroids mixed with moisturiser and told to apply it all over daily as a preventative (eeeeek)!

How was your skin prior to steroid use?

I had mild childhood eczema which began when I was around 7 years of age. Over the next 15+ years I had beautiful skin with a little eczema from time to time which the steroids would completely clear up. It was until around the 15 year
mark where I had to start using a stronger and stronger steroid to control the eczema, which started getting worse and spreading.

Were you thoroughly informed of the possibility of TSW when you were consistently prescribed steroids?

I was never informed of tsw. The only side effect I was told about which was briefly mentioned over the years was that steroids can thin the skin and only use a small amount, which I did.

How are you treating your skin now? Are you using any natural alternatives?

When my skin is clear I don’t use anything just a basic moisturiser/natural balm if I need it on my face. The skin on my body is great. Unfortunately at the moment I am having tsw relapse which I treat with Dead Sea salt baths. My skin feels better with no creams or products, producing its own natural oils. If for example I shave my legs and need a little extra moisture, I use a natural balm made from organic essential oils, bees wax and Shea butter.

How do you plan to holistically treat your skin in the future without the use of steriods? Once the damage that was done from 20 years of steroid use is healed, my skin will not need any treatment and I will be able to manage any mild eczema if it happens (which I doubt) through my continued healthy diet and lifestyle, Dead Sea salt baths, and the sun and ocean. Many tsw warriors have gone on to heal and never have eczema ever again.

Further comments from Emily:

Steroid use creates steroid induced eczema, and steroid addiction so worsening your eczema over time! If you ever have to increase the strength of topical steroids to achieve the clearing of your eczema unfortunately your body is now in the cycle of addiction and the only way to heal is to stop using the creams and go through withdrawal. Topical steroid withdrawal is a living hell which can take years to heal from and pushes you to mental, emotional and physical limits you didn’t even know you were ever capable of dealing with. If I could describe how tsw feels - it feels like the worst sunburn you have ever had in your entire life where heat radiates off your body. Your skin becomes fragile like wet paper and scratching it, it falls away to bleeding. The itch feels like the intense itch of a mosquito bite but on your whole body at the same time 24/7 down to your bones, and the only thing to stop the itch is when the bleeding and pain becomes too intense.  I remember waking up and my skin had split open on its own and began leaking fluid. Everywhere on my body leaked, including my eyes, ears, skin and I also coughed up fluid. Loads of my hair fell out and I considered shaving my head. I lost 20kg, and could not get out of bed for about 6months. I could not shower for around 4months. My skin got so bad I was hospitalised 3 times and I was so sick I had to take 1 year off work. I was disabled, and my mum had to fly over from New Zealand to help look after me. I had to inform doctors and specialists of what was happening to me and some laughed at me, and refused to look at the research papers and reports I brought in to show them.

There needs to be far more awareness about this. I am gratefully on the other side, almost healed, but almost 5 years after stopping the use of steroids it is still affecting my body.  I am one of the lucky ones, as I have met fellow tsw warriors who have gone on to suffer from further steroid side effects like cataracts and osteoporosis.


If you are suffering with Eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis and in need of relief, I’ve attached my top skin care products I recommend and why. These two brands have been life savers for my own eczema. I am now 7 years without steroid use but still suffer with the hypo pigmentation and thin skin that topical application left me with me.

MOOGOO:

Eczema and Psoriasis cream:

With aloe vera, chammomile and sage oil, this cream is a life saver to calm and soothe the irritation and inflammation.


Moogoo Milk Wash:

Shower gels and soaps can often have harsh chemicals that strip the skin and leave you feeling even more dry and irritated. The milk wash is super gentle, contains no nasties. It washes gently without drying.








Biologi BF serum: A unique blend of fruit acids and vitamin C that hydrate, soothe and repair, leaving the skin feeling smooth and supple. This product and brand is 100% plant, no nasties, no irritants, just nature in a bottle.

USE CODE ‘FNURSE10’ in check out for 10% off





McGrath JA, Eady RAJ, Pope FM. Anatomy and organization of human skin. Blackwell Publishing Co; pp. 3.1–3.15


































Sunscreen Review

NATURAL PHYSICAL vs CHEMICAL

NATURAL:

Natural sunscreens are a physical barrier of protection for the skin. They can contain ingredients such as Zinc Oxide that helps reflect the suns harmful rays. This is different to chemical sunscreens, which absorb and filter UV rays. Natural physical sunscreen particles sit on top of the skin acting as a reflective UV layer.

CHEMICAL:
Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays through the superficial layer of skin  before it can penetrate into the deepest layers of the skin and therefore cause long term damage.  Chemical based sunscreens are typically a combination of active ingredients such as; octocrylene; oxybenzone; avobenzone; octisalate; homosalate and octinoxate. There is controversy around chemical sunscreens, as some of these ingredients can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Some of the chemicals found in these sunscreens, and in many other skin care products, have been shown to cause hormone disruption once in the bloodstream.

APPLICATION:

In our industry, we recommend as a general rule that you apply chemical sunscreens around 20 minutes before sun exposure so that  they are fully absorbed by the skin.

Where as physical sunscreens, can be applied as the last step in your skin care routine and will begin deflecting the sun’s rays immediately.

The SPF factor is all about the longevity of protection. If you would typically start to burn after 10 minutes of exposure, then an SPF of 15 will allow you 15 times longer in the sun. Keep in mind though, your SPF is not cumulative. Wearing a 50 + sunscreen and 15+ makeup over the top, does not mean you have 65+ protection. Its only as strong as the strongest spf.

FROM MY EXPERIENCE:

Physical sunblock tends to be:

  • Less irritating and preferred by sensitive skin

  • More moisturising, which can feel heavy on oily skin

  • Quiet occlusive on the skin which can cause more breakouts for acne prone skin.

Chemical sunscreen is a better option if you:

  • Have quite oily skin.

  • Want a sunscreen to soak in when swimming/ beach day/ playing sport.

  • Break out easily with sunscreens

WHAT TO LOOK FOR AS A GENERAL RULE

  • Broad spectrum (protects from both UVA and UVB rays)

  • Fragrance-free

  • Noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores)

  • Oil-free

  • Paraben-free

  • SPF of at least 30 or higher

PRODUCT REVIEWS:

(The following information is a combination of the manufacturers information advertised and my personal opinion from use.)

Skinstitut Age Defence SPF 50+

  • Advanced chemical and physical hybrid moisturiser

  • Non comedogenic and water resistant.

  • Can feel quite heavy on the skin

  • Only need a pea size amount and pat on skin - do not rub in as it becomes pasty.

  • $49

Invisible zinc:

  • Lightweight mineral shield, physical protection

  • Broad Spectrum – High UVA & UVB protection,

  • 1 hour water resistant, Suitable for sensitive Skin.

  • Non-Comedogenic, Paraben & Fragrance Free, Vegan Sunscreen, Cruelty Free, Rubs in easily, Australian Made

  • Heavy at first, soaks in light weight - fine for oily skin

  • Tinted

  • Roughly $30

Rationale Beautiful Superfluids:

  • Physical Sunscreen Actives (Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide + Iron Oxide)

  • Broad-spectrum combination of Solar Constant filters

  • Actually super light weight and mild coverage from tint

  • Price $88

Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 50+

  • Chemical sunscreen.

  • Sheabutter ingredient may break out

  • Paraben Free. Synthetic Fragrance Free.

  • Non greasy, fine for oily or dry skin.

  • $79

Dermalogica Super sensitive shield spf30.

  • Formulated specifically for sensitised skin using only natural mineral UV protectors (non chemical sunscreen).

  • Sheer formula hydrates while reinforcing barrier lipids.

  • Antioxidants and botanical extracts guard against premature aging and irritation.

  • Non greasy on skin

  • Price: $80

Moo Goo- natural spf 40+ face tint.

  • People that are sensitive to sunscreen with UV filters.

  • Natural moisturisers, minerals to add a natural tan coloured tint, and Zinc for sun protection

  • People that want a Zinc only based sunscreen that is not greasy.

  • Price: $19.90

MY PICKS:

An oily skin that hates sunscreen: Rationale Beautiful super fluids

A skin easily irritated by sunscreen: Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield spf30 +

A dry, dehydrated skin: I can't go past Skinstitut spf50+

Pick of the bunch for everyone: Moogoo Natural Spf 40+ face tint. For about the quarter of the price, 40+ natural protection. Its worth purchasing to trial without wasting your money.


Skin Care Fads.

Now, we have all been there - we’ve seen some flawless instagrammer or youtuber sporting some new fancy looking facial product and we immediately presume that our skin can be that glowing if we use it too? There is forever new products or beauty trends on the market claiming to ‘Cure your acne overnight’, ‘Remove all of your blackheads’, or “remove stubborn wrinkles without Botox’. It can be very easy to fall victim to this never-ending stream of cosmetic trends born on social media.  I've created this blog post in response to the inboxes I receive daily about what is just a fad and what is actually ok to use on the skin.

Let's start with on of my favourite (well, least favourite) beauty trends of 2017,

FAD #1 The Black 'Charcoal' face mask:

You by now would have come across a viral video or two of an influencer applying a black face mask, letting it set and then creating a hilarious response when trying to pull it off, as  it is extremely painful. They then show all of the ‘blackheads’ its remove, all the while they will be throwing in some “ooohs” and “wows” whilst feeling their raw skin and claiming how smooth and glowing it is.When removed, the mask is removing cells from the outer layer of skin and any hair and sebaceous filaments along with it. This is why these influencers are in excruciating pain when removing the mask.

Yes deep cleansing and exfoliating is good for the skin, however I compare using a ‘glue’ like mask on the skin, to using a chainsaw to trim back a tree, when some garden shears could have done the job more precisely and safely. You are essential stripping your skin of its natural oils, risking a chemical burn and damaging your skin's barrier function. The sebaceous filaments that have been removed, can replenish themselves up to 30 days post, however continual use can cause major skin sensitivities, welts and even long term effects of chemical burns.

Now dont get these cheap and nasty Black face masks confused with real activated, certified organic face masks. There is certainly a place in skin care for activated charcoal, however please read labels! If there is a long list of chemicals, chances are you're applying the equivalent to PVA glue to your face.

Alternatives: Still feel intrigued and amazed at the videos of the blackhead removals and desperate to try anything to get rid of yours? Try the following alternatives:

  • La Mav Organics skin care:  DNA Phyto-Guard Pink Clay Mask: Pink Clay absorbs and removes surface impurities, withdraws toxins and cleanses pores. Apply once per week to skin.

Purchase online: https://lamav.com/products/dna-phyto-guard-pink-clay-mask

  • Revision Skin:  Black Mask: This intensive mask with a moist after-feel deep cleans the skin, ridding it of impurities and excess sebum. Apply once per week.

Purchase through my link: https://www.ageingsolutions.com.au/?ref=madilyne


FAD #2 COCONUT OIL USED FOR EVERYTHING

No! Now I am sorry for all of the die hard hippies who will not like me saying this, but please take your jar of coconut oil out of your bathroom and place firmly back into your kitchen pantry. Yes, I am all about natural solutions and reducing chemicals and toxicity, so I understand how appealing coconut oil can be to slather on morning and night, but IT IS OCCLUSIVE!

What does that mean exactly for you skin? Well occlusive skin care products means  it creates a barrier that traps moisture, dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells and sebum in your pores! You are literally applying a layer of glad wrap to your skin and creating a breading field for bacteria and acne to thrive. This even applies if you are using it as your makeup remover, which I notice during consultations that a lot of you are, the reminisce of the oil can still be occlusive.  If you haven't heard of the occlusivity scale, then please take a read of the following link. Coconut oil receives a 4 out of 5 on the comedogenic scale!

Yes there are some people who swear by its use for all things beauty, but typically these are the genetically blessed few who arent overly sebaceous and poress and therefore dont have much trouble with the comedogenic factor. However, if you have skin concerns, please invest in products suitable to your skin. There are still natural chemical alternatives you can use that aren't as occlusive like the following:

  • Grapeseed oil: This is an ultra-moisturizing oil,  rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, is anti-inflammatory, and can soothe and calm aggravated skin. Grapeseed oil can often be great for acne-prone skin because it naturally regulates the skin’s oil production functions to help stop your body from producing excess oil that could trigger a breakout.
  • Skinsitut Multiactive oil: Multi-Active Oil is specially designed for dry, dehydrated, ageing and sensitive skins.  Enriched with a blend of botanical oils, the skin is helped in its defenses against free radical damage, while it is deeply moisturised and nourished with Coenzyme Q10, Macadamia, Rosehip and Avocado oil.


SKIN FAD #3 - BAKING SODA FACE MASKS

Baking Soda is a common household ingredient. It is an alkaline substance helpful in managing pH levels. It helps neutralize acidic substances in and outside of the body and has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties, which is why people often use it as part of their DIY home care rescheme, however there is little research on baking soda’s effects on the skin specifically and therefore I urge you to use with caution. Baking Soda can interfere with the skins pH level. The pH scale is from 0 to 14. Anything above 7 is alkaline, and anything below 7 is acidic. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Our skin is a naturally acidic organ with pH of 4.5 to 5.5. This range is healthy to ensure thriving skin health. With over use of baking soda , you have the potential to cause negative, long term side effects such as;

  • An impaired barrier function leading to secondary concerns such as welts and dermatitis.
  • over drying of the skin which can alter the sebum production and cause premature ageing.
  • Worsening of acne breakouts with the potential for scaring
  • Skin irritations and inflammation.

Baking soda when used correctly, can help assists in skin clarity, however DIY use is not recommended. Instead see a licensed Dermal technician to assist you with Skin peels and products that will help balance your pH without leaving your skin stripped and impaired.






 

What skin treatment is right for you?

Have you ever wanted to go into a clinic for a skin treatment but have no idea what to book in for or where to start? First off, knowing the difference between a Beauty Spa and a Cosmetic Clinic, can save you a lot of money and time. Although we are gradually seeing a merge between the world of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetic Medicine, there are still major differences to be aware of.

If you are after a relaxing facial to distress and hydrate the skin, then beauty spas will give you this experience. If you have never had a relaxing facial before, then I highly recommended you do! Beauty Spas smell/ feel like heaven and leave you feeling indulged and ready to curl up in bed with a book. Their products will often smell and feel beautiful too! Attending a beauty spa is an indulgence, not a medical treatment. Some people may find they have successfully treated their skin concerns through beauty spas. This is great and my intention of this blog post is not to degrade the industry, however more so to educate you on the difference.

At a Cosmetic Clinic you will find Doctors, Nurses and Laser technicians who are trained in treating skin medically as an organ. When attending a cosmetic clinic, you should receive a thorough consultation regarding your skin type, medications, lifestyle factors and main concerns. The clinics have a medical feel and treatments are designed to change or restore the skin. This can often require numbing to ensure you are as comfortable as possible, however, don't expect dolphin noises and foot rubs. If your skin is problematic, then these are the types of specialists I would recommend seeing. It is always great to have a consultation first and then decide on a treatment plan, however, here are some treatments offered at Cosmetic Clinics that are great for majority of skin types and needn't shy away from.

Microdermabrasion

What is it:

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive skin treatment where a finely abrasive technique is used to buff away the outermost layer of the skin. A small machine buffs away dead skin whilst encouraging lymphatic drainage. The idea is that if you remove or break up the dead skin cells on the surface of the face, the body interprets that as a mild injury and rushes to replace the lost skin cells with new and healthy ones. This polishing removes dry, damaged surface skin and stimulates collagen production and blood flow to give you an instant glow.

Who can have it:

Microdermabrasion is suitable for majority of skin types. The roughness and degree to which the machine exfoliates the skin, can be determined by your Dermal Technician to ensure it is suited to your skin type. It is great for following:

  • Breakout prone skin
  • Dull looking skin
  • Ageing skin
  • Healthy skin to help preserve
  • Oily or dry
  • Pigmented skin

 When is this treatment not suitable: 

  • Open lesions on face (from either picking or from severe acne)
  • Eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Rosacea and broken capillaries.
  • Can not be performed within 2 weeks of having anti-wrinkle injections or dermal fillers.

Down time:

This treatment requires very little down time. You will be quite red immediately after as the treatment encourages blood flow (hence the glow!). You will be required to wear spf 50+ straight after treatment and stay out of direct sunlight to insure pigmentation does not occur. It is recommended not to wear makeup after treatment, as anything you put on your skin will infuse a whole lot deeper! So if you are naughty and do wear makeup after, be mindful of using mineral, organic makeup.

Treatment Plan:

How often you have a Microdermabrasion is dependant on your skin concerns. If you're happy with your skin and just need a boost, you can have the treatment once every now and then or a maximum of every two weeks.

If you're treating breakouts and problematic skin, then your Dermal Tech should discuss other treatment options to include in your skin plan alongside Microdermabrasions.

HEALITE infared light

What is it:

Healite LED uses low levels of light energy to target skin concerns. The light stimulates the healing process at a cellular level repairing and reversing damage. The red light penetrates deep into the dermis, increasing blood flow and cellular activity. Healite LED Therapy utilises yellow, red and blue wavelengths to offer a variety of treatments such as skin rejuvenation, acne treatment and pain relief, and aids in the healing process after invasive or minimally invasive procedures. Although a medical treatment, the light is quite relaxing and pain free!

Who is it suitable for:

Basically all skin types! Perfect for inflamed acne, rosacea, eczema and dermatitis.

Down time:

NO downtime is required post Healite. Slight redness of the skin can occur and will subside over the following one - two hours. Again spf 50 + and no makeup is recommended post treatment.

Treatment plan:

Again this is dependant on the condition you are wanting to treat. Healites can often be prescribed to patients as intense two week courses to reduce significant inflammation, or can be incorporated into long term treatment plans to initiate quicker healing and amplify the results of other cosmedical treatments. Results can be seen after just one treatment with results improving with each additional treatment thereafter. My recommendation would be to start with a combination of Microdermabrasion followed with a Healite to really amplify the glow!

SKIN NEEDLING (Meso Therapy)

What is it:

Skin needling often scares people due to the gruesome videos on instagram, however it is by far one of my favourites! There are quite a few different names and techniques to this treatment however the basic principles are as follows.

First off, let me point out that this treatment requires numbing cream and therefore a lot more comfortable than it sounds! Lots of fine surgical steel needles are applied directly to the skin in a crisscross motion. The objective is to puncture the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production, smooth skin and promote scar or stretch mark reduction through the skin's natural wound healing process. When performed medically in a Cosmetic Clinic, the target of the needles and penetration is the upper dermis called the intermediate reticular dermis.

Who is it suitable for:

  • Acne scarring
  • stretch marks
  • fine lines
  • Pigmentation
  • enlarged pores
  • Blackheads
  • Scarring.

When is this treatment not suitable: 

  • Cannot be performed over active cystic acne.
  • Can not be performed within 2 weeks of having anti-wrinkle injections or dermal fillers.
  • During pregnancy.

Down time:

Redness post treatment can subside between 12- 48 hours post. Makeup is not recommended 12- 24 hours post.

Treatment plan:

Optimal results come from having a course of three to six treatments monthly. The true result of your Skin Needling treatment will be apparent approximately three - six months post treatment as your skin regenerates and continues to produce new collagen and elastin. However, most clients can note improvement in their skin texture and clarity within a two to four week period.

The Vampire Facial (but better!)

If you're into skin, then you've most likely heard of the 'Vampire facial'. Its the scary looking one that you need to be a tad morbid to get excited over! Well the Vampire facial has come along way with technology and science, bringing us the revamped vampire facial, now known as 'Factor 4'.  I have been treated with two courses of Factor 4 now in the past three years and the change in my skin and reduction in acne scarring has been phenomenal. As a skin obsessed Cosmetic Nurse, I am always looking for new advanced technology to see how far we can improve the skins integrity and slow down the signs of ageing.

My biggest advice to anyone considering cosmetic work, is to think about your skin integrity first! Glowing healthy skin is always flattering at any age. You can inject, plump and antiwrinkle until the cows come home, but if your skin is dull, lifeless and impaired, then people will be drawn to this first.

Before I tell you about this treatment I need to explain a few things.

Growth factors: These are protein molecules made by the body; their functions are to regulate cell division & cell survival (Therefore they are pretty important to us!). As we age our bodies ability to produce growth factors decrease resulting in the lack of rejuvenation of cells. From a skin perspective this then results in fine lines and wrinkles or a poor healing response resulting in scarring and tissue damage.

For the treatment, a sample of your own blood is taken. After 6–9 hours of incubation, we remove the red blood cells from the plasma. The end-product is your own personalised anti-ageing treatment serum. This serum is a highly-concentrated formulation of your own growth factors and cytokines.

The serum is then micro needled into the skin. I'm sure by now we have all seen the Kim K ‘vampire facial’? Well essentially that's how you will look (not like Kim K, I'm just referring to the blood part! Factor 4 is good, but it's not that good). The microneedles we use to inject in the plasma, induce a natural wound healing response which stimulate the release of growth factors and the deposition of new collagen and elastin to heal the skin. By applying your Factor4 serum over the skin whilst needling, we can achieve four times the growth factors helping your skin heal, and rejuvenate.

The treatment is recommended once per year and a course of four treatments weekly over one month.

This course of treatments helps with:

  • Scarring

  • Sun-Weathered skin

  • Dark Circles under your eyes

  • Fine lines

  • Crepey-looking or Saggy Skin

  • Stretch Marks

  • Tightening and improving elasticity

  • Dull complexions

  • Large open pores

And the best part of all is that it is completely autologous, meaning we are not injecting anything synthetic into the skin! It's all you baby!



 

What is your skin telling you?

Holistic skin analyse is what I, and this blog is all about. Thankfully a lot of skin care companies are also catching on to this necessity and providing Dermal Technicians with the skills to use ‘facial mapping’ as a guide to treating your skin concerns.

"Face mapping," is an ancient practice rooted in Ayurveda teaching. It is based on the premise that the entire body is reflected on the face, with each area relating to an internal body system. If there is an imbalance in that internal system, we (in theory) should see skin changes such as breakouts, milia, inflammation, discolouration and texture changes in the corresponding facial areas.

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Of course this is not an exact science and not always an accurate representation, especially considering there are a few different variations floating around on the net. However if you know your skin well and notice recurring issues in a certain area of the face, than this may be a good guide for you to follow.

This facial map is one of my preferred to show patients as it is a little more simplified and I find in my experience, quite often more accurate.

Some common areas I often use to analyse my patient and prompt further questioning include recurring inflammation/ congestion on the chin. This can often be a sign of poor diet, food intolerance and gut inflammation. If this is an area of concern for you, you may want to also look out for any bloating, fatigue, indigestion or irregular bowel movements. If you tick all of these boxes, then head on over to my ‘Gut skin link’ blog for more explanation on these correlations.

TREATMENT ADVICE:

  • Supplement with a Probiotic to help encourage good bacteria. 
  • Food intolerance testing (If you can't afford this, than you may want to try eliminating the typical culprits: gluten and dairy and see how you and your skin are feeling after 2-3 weeks).
  • 3-4 litres of water per day and reduce refined sugar (this is basically the answer to all skin concerns!).
  • Ensure 30 minutes of exercise a day to encourage regular bowel movement.

Inflamed cystic acne around your jawline is very often a sign of hormone imbalances and will typically find correlate with irregular periods, abnormal hair growth, use of contraceptive pill, Endometriosis or Poly-cystic ovaries. This obviously requires further investigation and testing and therefore topical products will only achieve so much reduction for you.

TREATMENT:

  • A trip to your Gyno and Naturopath to determine hormonal imbalances
  • LED red light therapy to help reduce inflammation.
  • Supplement with Adaptogenic herbs to help balance the body. (blog post on Adaptogenic herbs coming soon)

The cheeks can be a more complex area and often give an accurate glimpse into any respiratory distress. Fine broken capillaries, congestion and black heads are usually a big indicator of smokers or allergy sufferers. This is also typically an area of makeup build up from foundation and blush.

TREATMENT:

  • Eliminate smoking/ second hand smoke exposure.
  • Treat the gut to help reduce allergies.
  • Wash makeup brushes regularly and use natural non comedogenic makeup.

Had a big weekend of white wine and tequila shots followed by Maccas at 4am on the trip home? (not speaking from experience) Well you may notice in the week following, a nice scatter of breakouts through the forehead. This can be a sign of your liver under stress attempting to eliminate toxicity from the body.

TREATMENT:

  • Try to drink 3-4 litres of water daily and eat an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables!
  • Eliminate coffee, alcohol and refined sugar.
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day (HIT workouts, hot yoga, sauna session)
  • Have a Microdermabrasion treatment to help encourage lymphatic drainage.

All of the above will help to flush out the toxins and provide your body with sufficient vitamins and minerals to rejuvenate the skin.

If you're finding you've tried all of the above and still at a loss with your skin, just remember your skin is a tool of elimination. Your body is letting you know there is a form of toxicity that needs to come out, so try not to add more in! Take a look at what you're putting into and onto your body on a daily basis.

Coffee, alcohol, the chemicals in manufactured foods, even some ‘health' foods (protein bars, juices, fruit bars etc), plus the products we put onto our skin (deodorant, perfumes, heavy makeup and hairsprays) are generally all toxins. All of these products can make their way into our bloodstream causing a strain on our elimination system. As long as these toxicities continue, your skin will be in constant battle to heal, no matter how much money you spend on products.


 

Back To Basics

Skin care is all about routine. I often find clients will spend large amounts of money on products, to have them sit in their cupboards and only use once a week. You wouldn't pay for a gym membership to only go once a week and expect to see impressive results would you? Much like the gym, daily effort is required for your skin care.

A number of genetic, intrinsic, and extrinsic factors can cause skin conditions such as acne, mild breakouts, rough dry skin, pigment or premature ageing. A good skin care routine with the right products, can be preventive as well as a therapeutic treatment to alleviate these symptoms.

To give you an insight into the skin care routine of a Cosmetic Nurse:

AM:

Cleanse with an AHA ( alpha hydroxy acids)  cleanser

Hydrating serum

Vit C

Moisturiser

Spf50+ (Always!!)

PM:

Cleanse makeup off with a gentle cleanser

2nd cleanse with an AHA cleanser

Exfoliate with an enzyme/ AHA 1-2 times per week

Retinol serum (every 2nd night)

Hydrating serum

Non occlusive oil

Moisturiser

My skin has always been high maintenance. Unfortunately, I was not born one of these girls who can cleanse with Micellar water once a week and look flawless.  I have dry, dehydrated, breakout prone skin with an impaired barrier function from years of topical steroid usage (refer to my ‘about me’ page for more on that story). So if your skin is also problematic and high maintenance like mine, then you may be finding your self a little lost and uncertain where to start.

If you are just starting out with a skin care routine, my best advice would be to invest in a cosmedical strength AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) cleanser. AHAs are acid molecules scientifically proven to work by accelerating the skin’s natural exfoliation process and therefore increase the natural rejuvenation process. Essentially they dissolve the ‘glue’ that is holding together the weak bond of dead skin cells occupying the surface of our skin.  By getting rid of the dead damaged skin cells, your skin can now let the new undamaged cells surface.

If you are anything like my partner and still insist on using soap/ shower gel on your face, please stop! Your face does not need to be stripped of bacteria and treated the same as the souls of your feet. By using harsh soaps on your face you are stripping the skin of its natural oils, protective barrier, helpful probiotics and are in turn accelerating the signs of ageing and exacerbating inflamed skin.

I will be covering more in depth topics regarding my product preferences, explaining the difference between a ‘beauty’ and a ‘cosmedical’ product, different skin types and many more in the months to come.. But for now, cleanse, exfoliate twice a week, spf 50+ everyday and say goodbye to your coles body wash!

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