The Journey to Concentrated Clinical Strength Skincare.
In my last post I explored some of the newest (and not so positive) trends when it comes to facial aesthetics, including fillerexia, 'selfie syndrome' and full blown dysmorphia (read more here). Whether you agree of disagree with the phenomenon is up to you, however the question still stands - how can I best look after my skin as I age?
My belief is, that before you start looking into treatments like anti-wrinkle injections and fillers you should first work on getting your skin to its best quality - you could call it the clean canvas principle.
In fact using the right topical, clinical strength skincare over a lifetime can have a more beneficial effect on your skin than other forms of treatment. This is why I've formulated my skincare range using clinical concentrations - but what does that mean and how do you find it?
Shop the range here
First things first - get smart!
Time and time again I repeat to my patients and customers that the skincare industry is full of BS. It’s overly confusing, and fuelled by false marketing claims that promise one thing, and often deliver the exact opposite.
I’ve spoken about it in relation to (i) avoiding cleansers that foam; (ii) moisturisers that clog your pores and (iii) serums that promise the benefits of a vitamin without delivering the concentration to make it effective (and much more). the lesson here - get educated when It comes to skincare, how ingredients work and the concentrations you need.
Whenever I describe my skincare to anyone, I inevitably use the terms ‘clinical concentrations’, ‘clever combinations’ and ‘active ingredients’ to explain what I’m all about. But what do these terms mean, and how does clinical concentrations differ from a regular formulation that may not deliver the results your skin is craving.
How & why I developed these complex formulations.
Although my skincare routine is simple (3 steps morning, 3 steps night, Once a week), each of the formulations are incredibly complex - realistically it's taken me over 15+ years to get to this point.
One of the main reasons I started this journey was that I kept seeing the same 6 concerns emerging time and time again, including ageing, pigmentation, acne, sun damage, sensitivity/rosacea and dehydration (Read more here). The funny thing about this, was that in some cases (especially when we are talking acne, sensitivity and dehydration) the very products my patients were being sold where the ones creating the issue in the first place.
So I researched, and looked for products that fit the criteria set by dermatologic science, and at every turn was disappointed. This is what ultimately led me to clinical trials and papers to look for answers.
Shop the Total Transformation Kit.
Daily skincare with clinical concentrations:
Research and innovation in skincare and dermatology has sky-rocketed in the past decade. New technologies and pathologies are being developed on a daily basis to better address the challenge of living in an increasingly polluted, overpopulated society with higher cultural expectations on how we should look.
Especially in countries like Australia, with the increasingly harsh conditions spurred by climate change and increasing UVA and UVB levels, the need for skincare that delivers is vital. This is why we have clinical trials and studies of ingredients - so that as a dermatologist or specialist we can formulate and prescribe treatments for diseased skin.
Now, in each of these studies the ingredients are tested in very specific concentrations for a certain condition. In general they compare a placebo group to another who is given the ingredient (either topically or orally) to see how it reacts. By the end of the trial for example, we are given results that indicate whether an ingredient such as vitamin C or vitamin B3 are effective at treating conditions such as sensitivity, pigment or sun damage (see Concentrated Illuminator).
It’s this type of in-depth research that I base each of my formulations on. If a research paper says that 5% vitamin B3 has been shown to reduce pigmentation topically in a cream, I add that concentration to my formulation (see the Concentrated Hydration+).
Clever combinations of stable active ingredients:
Stability is another enormous issue when it comes to skincare - especially when we are talking about vitamins such as C and A (retinol). Many people don’t understand how important a delivery system is when dealing with unstable ingredients - even things like the colour of the packaging can have an impact on your skincare.
But why is this important? the reason is that the minute you break the seal of an unstable formulation it begins a process of oxidisation (similar to a bottle of wine). This means as time passes, the potency and effectiveness of your skincare decreases.
This can be exacerbated when you put the wrong ingredients together. I’ve referenced the Illuminator already, however their is method behind pairing 10% vitamin B3 (one of the most stable antioxidants) with 10% vitamin C (one of the least), and that is for added stability, shelf life and concentrated power.
The exact same goes when patients ask me if I believe in vitamin A (retinol) and why I don’t have a product specific for it. It is my belief that vitamin A is best administered by a specialist in a bespoke formulation at a compounding chemist. Due to its volatility and short shelf life, you aren’t going to get the same results from a vitamin A serum that sits in your cupboard for 6-8 months as from a fresh batch, prescribed by your derm.
Finally - don’t get caught up in the bogus trends that seem to be prolific in the skincare industry. Look for research that you can understand or look to a professional who can translate it. This means no snail slime, algae extracts or growth factors (I’m going to go more in depth on these topics in my next post). We have a huge range of already proven, super effective topical ingredients that will work if administered in the correct concentrations on a routine basis (Like vitamin B3).
In skincare, the only way to ensure you get the results you deserves is by arming yourself with the facts, and challenging the brands that muddy the water. This means look for products that declare their concentrations and if they don’t - ask them to! It's time for a change in the industry and that starts with you.
For more information about my range of concentrated clinical strength skincare click here.