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The 6 key skin concerns you’ll experience at one point in your life

The 6 key skin concerns you’ll experience at one point in your life

And how to tackle them head on.

Despite popular belief and the efforts of the skincare industry to muddy the water, most people (regardless of age, sex, or race) will experience a combination of 6 key skin concerns throughout their life. I’m always harping on about these 6 concerns but just to recap, I’m talking about:

  1. Ageing
  2. Pigmentation
  3. Sun-damage
  4. Acne
  5. Rosacea/sensitivity
  6. Dehydration

Something you may not know is that from a dermatologist’s perspective, my approach to treating these concerns doesn’t differ from patient to patient (the intensity of the treatment may) however the principles remain the same. So here I wanted to break down each of these conditions, and let you know the ingredients I’d be looking for to minimise and treat them.

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Ageing:

This one may be obvious, but whether we like it or not, none of us are getting any younger. Ageing is the result of a combination of different things, however when it comes to our skin the main external contributor is the sun. Resulting in a loss of volume, elasticity, uneven skin-tone, rough patches, brown spots , loss of vibrance and wrinkles.

Now my approach is twofold - firstly remember that your skin is your body’s largest organ and you have it for life. Prevention and early intervention are the key. SO take care of it on a daily basis with the right concentrated clinical strength skincare and lifestyle habits (I.E. protecting your skin when in the sun with a high SPF sunscreen; eating a balanced and healthy diet and not drinking excessive alchohol, and supplementing with skin-worthy supplements like niacinamide).

Secondly when it is time for a clinical grade treatment such as cosmetic injectables, laser or chemical peels, ensure you go in with realistic expectations about maintaining and enhancing your skin quality, look and feel.

The signs of ageing are not only perceived if you have wrinkles, but other factors such as a uneven skin-tone caused by pigmentation and excess redness and capillaries, can actually have a greater impact.

Psychological impact studies show uneven skin tone has a greater effect on the perception of youthfulness and ageing than wrinkles. Which brings us to the next key skin concern - pigmentation.

Handy hint: Our skin cell turnover decreases from every 30 days in your 20s to every 60 days in our 30s - so look for a cell stimulating serum or peel with alpha and beta hydroxy acids to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful. Find out more about how to incorporate acids into your routine here.

Shop the Concentrated Clarifier now.

Pigmentation:

This is an increasingly common issue in Australia due to our harsh environmental conditions mainly in the form of high levels of UVA and UVB

The Australian sun is the single biggest contributing factor to causing pigmentation. Contrary to popular belief, hormones do not create pigment. You need a long history of UV exposure to cause the damage first and reprogram the pigment cells slowly over time. Hormones can then exacerbate this pigment. If you did not get the sun exposure in the first place you tend NOT to develop pigmentation.

It is also important to understand that pigmentation comes in all shapes and sizes, and can be more prevalent in some skin tones than others. For example everything from a dusting of freckles across your nose, through to dark patches, age spots and melasma are forms of pigmentation. That being said not all have the same influence on how we perceive skin-tone, health and age.

Essentially pigmentation is caused from the stimulation of your melanocytes (whether that be via UVA/hormones) causing them to manufacture pigment called melanin which in turn creates everything from the cute freckles to the dreaded melasma.

My top tip for pigment has always been that the best treatment is to protect your skin and not get it in the first place, however for some of us it may be a little too late.

So aside from using a high SPF sunscreen, and following the appropriate sun safety protocols, you should be looking for skincare that delivers the right nutrients to your skin on a cellular level to minimise the visibility and slow down the production of the pigment. Also ingredients that lift and exfoliate the pigment out on a microscopic level. Skincare alone will never fix this problem completely so treatments such as BBL and the Erbium laser are super effective as they work by pulsing a beam of concentrated light into the treatment area. Particular wavelengths of light get absorbed by the pigment. The light energy converts to heat energy, destroying the pigment molecules and they exfoliate out of the skin.

Handy hint: When you are looking for skincare to tackle pigmentation the concentrations of active ingredients, as well as the combinations in the formula are so important. Look for ingredients such as B3 and vitamin C which slow down and inhibit pigment production. AHAs will do the heavy lifting and exfoliate the pigment out of the skin. You may also need a prescription of a hydroquinone based cream for further inhibition of the pigment production enzymes,

Find our more about B3 here.

Shop our Concentrated Illuminator now.

Sun-damage:

Like I said before, the Australian environment is unforgiving, especially for those of us with a pale complexion. The effects of sun-damage range from fine lines, wrinkles and loss of skin elastin ( a process known as elastolysis) degradation of collagen, through to pigmentation issues. Not forgetting the single biggest contributing factor to getting skin cancer.

Something that is not commonly talked about is the effect of the Sun on the skin’s immune system. To put it simply when skin is exposed to UVA (and this is the stuff that passes through glass so you are NOT protected when driving) it causes our skin’s immune system to go into shut down . Known as Langerhan cells, the immune cell of the skin literally deteriorates and disappears. Leaving NO immunity in our skin, thereby increasing the risk of problems such as skin cancer as the defence system has gone.

Now these cells are also responsible for a range or vital immune system functions such as antimicrobial activity, immuno-survaillance and the prevention of chronic inflammatory diseases. In fact studies have shown that areas of skin with constant sun exposure (such as the arms) compared with areas that had received little to none (the buttocks) had less immune cells to protect the skin.

This is where we cross the boundary from aesthetic skin issues through to health issues. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting regular skin checks with any new or changing pigmentation or mole with a GP or specialist.

Aside from taking the right protective precautions (ie sun screen and sun avoidance) topical and oral vitamin B3 can have amazing benefits for protecting the skins immune cells from UV. Best in concentrations of 5% or more and orally 1000mg a day.

It also works to reboot, repair and restore’s the skin’s functioning by delivering fuel to our DNA. As well as fading pigment and prevention of sun spots.

Handy hint: When it comes to sun-damage, B3 repairs UV and DNA damage; protect’s the skin’s immune system; fades pigment and sunspots and restores cellular energy - minimising ageing. Take it orally and look for it topically here.

Find our more about B3 here.

Acne:

When it comes to misinformation - acne and breakouts has to be the holy grail. In a similar sense to pigmentation, there can be different causes of acne and breakouts. Its a specialised area so seeing an expert who can rule out any underlying causes (eg hormonal imbalances) is vital.

When you break it down to basics acne is caused by congestion. Our sebaceous glands constantly produce an oily substance called sebum. When our pores become blocked or clogged this oil is trapped beneath the skin and causes us to breakout.

The first sign of congestion on the skin are blackheads and whiteheads, which can potentially lead to full blown cystic acne. Once you’ve determined the cause of your acne the best form of treatment is through routine. You will experience the best results through consistency.

Look for cleansers that don’t strip and dry the skin but help to relieve congestion. Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are powerful when it comes to cell exfoliating without further inflaming the problem with mechanical exfoliants such as micro-beads.

Moisturoser is your friend with acne. Use one that integrates and is non-comedogenic. Your acne may need further assistance with hormonal treatments or oral medications like vitamin A (roaccutane).

Handy hint - Moisturiser DOES NOT make acne worse, in fact THE RIGHT moisturiser will actually help reduce acne. The reason being is that our skin’s natural acne fighting enzymes need a moisture to properly function, so look for something lightweight that doesn’t block your pores and delivers a vitamin boost. Check out my Concentrated Moisturiser here.

Discover the definitive guide to the perfect moisturiser here.

Rosacea/sensitivity:

In my experience conditions such as rosacea and sensitivity affect up to 80% of the caucasian population and lower percentages in other groups. The main symptom of rosacea is the tendency to flush more readily in the central third of the face, however if left untreated it can worsen over time leading to acne like papules. It’s triggers include heat, emotional stress, excessive alcohol, and like acne can be a confidence killer.

Despite popular belief winter can often be a worse time for flare-ups of rosacea and sensitivity due to the changes in environmental temperatures (I.E. warm interiors to cold windy outdoors) and decrease in humidity that zaps the skin of moisture. First and foremost you need to work on reinforcing that skin’s barrier with a gentle cleanser and the right moisturisers.

Handy Hint: Nourishing ingredients such as medical grade lanolin and shea butter help to reduce sensitivity by reinforcing the skin’s barrier.

Discover the definitive guide to the perfect moisturiser here.

Dehydration:

People often say “I’ve heard that using moisturiser actually causes your skin to stop producing moisture and become more dehydrated - is that true?”. The short answer is no - but again it’s about choosing the right moisturiser. Dehydration can be uncomfortable and one of the first signs is skin tightness, redness and potential cracking. It can also be the starting point for a range of skin conditions including acne, sensitivity and rosacea, so keeping moisture levels up is vital.

Aside from the aesthetic benefits of being hydrated, your skin feels fantastic when it is properly moisturised and nurtured. Alongside topical skincare you should also be drinking plenty of water, and eating a balanced diet to make sure your skin is functioning. Low sugar, low carb and high in protein and above ground leafy greens as well as plenty of tomatoes!

Handy hint: Depending on the time of year and environmental conditions you will need to alternate between a lightweight and more intensive moisture formulation to ensure your skin remans balanced. Learn more about choosing the right moisturiser here.

Discover the definitive guide to the perfect moisturiser here.

Shop the Concentrated Hydration+ now.

My approach to skincare:

Like I said at the start, everybody will experience a range of these conditions throughout their life, which is why these 6 conditions have formed the basis of my range of Concentrated Clinical Strength Skincare. Find out more about each product here.

Subscribe now and never miss a post here.

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