Mum is the word

Mum, the name on top of our minds whenever we need advice or a sounding board & what better way to celebrate the most special woman in our lives than by taking some time out to reflect on the advice our own Mums have given us to help lead us to do our thing for your skin!

Cara, Gabby, and even our brand new ‘mystery’ team member (to be revealed as starting at The Clinic very soon!) are all very lucky to have had excellent influence from their Mums, and we wanted to share some of that advice they have received with you all.

Cara & her Mum

Our ever-stylish Cara certainly learned a trick or two about beauty from her Mum! ‘She has always been into self-care. She has given me my love of fashion and beauty and always had an amazing natural sense of style that was unique to her, she never followed trends.’

It is the push to be unique and follow your own path that helped Cara and The Clinic land where we are today. Right down to the ever important first skincare routine, Cara’s Mum has influenced her love for skin.

‘My mum put me on to my first skincare regime at the age of 10 years old’ She says, ‘I still remember exactly what the products where – the blue alpine cleanser from Clarins, their yellow toner and the moisturiser with the apricot lid!’

And much the same setup for a skincare regime is remembered by our newest, mystery team member – My mum was a true subscriber to the ‘cleanse, tone and moisturise’ protocol. At around the age of 12 she set me up with my own regime and I have been dedicated to my skin health ever since.’

 

 

Our mystery new team member with her Mum

We truly believe that taking care of your skin is one of the greatest acts of self-care you can choose to make. Cara has held this belief for a long time, likely from this lesson her Mum taught her ‘There are times in your life when you will be able to splurge on yourself and times when you will not remember to view looking after your skin and health as a not a luxury but a necessity.’

Lessons such as these have influenced the sophisticated level of care at The Clinic Skin Health and allow Cara to continually strive to bring only the highest level of product and treatment to all clients.

When it comes to sunscreen and sun protection, I am sure you could agree that many generations before us were less than likely to have been conscious about protecting against those harmful rays, but for our newest team member, that was not the case!

‘The thing my Mum was most particular about in our youth was sun protection and the use of zinc-based sunblock, hats, and sunglasses. We were those kids on the beach, the pastiest of white with every scrap of skin covered in rash vests, zinc on our noses and legionnaires caps, what I thought was a very dorky look!’

Being armed with the right tools and learnings from our past, sun protection is one of our number one skincare recommendations at The Clinic Skin Health, so there is no surprise that those of us with our own children now find ourselves falling into those same typical Motherly instincts, ‘I find as a mum myself now I have my kids covered in the exact same way! And I do not have half of the sun damage some of my friends have, so for this I am very grateful to have learnt this from a young age!’

Our mystery new starter with her two beautiful kiddies!

For Gabs, our youngest team member, she started by telling us that her Mum is her ‘Most favourite person in the world’ …is that not just the most heart-warming way to celebrate this special day?

Gabby & her Mum circa 1999

It is not hard to see where the passion for providing great care in Gabby comes from, she says of her Mum ‘From a young age my mum has always looked after herself both mentally and physically.’ And followed with noting that ‘The skincare advice my Mum has given me is to eat well, exercise, drink water, get enough rest and meditate, which has influenced my interest in learning and starting a career in dermal science so that I can know more about the links between physical health and our skin.’

The ladies of The Clinic all feel incredibly lucky to have had such positive and strong women influence and lead us to where we are now, and as we grow ourselves and become Mothers to our own children, it is the support, open arms, and nurture we hope to bring to our approach in our life’s work.

Cara & her son Hugo

And young Gabsters, who is not quite on her own motherhood journey just yet, summarised perfectly the change in dynamic between herself and her Mum now that she is studying & taking on higher level knowledge on skincare – ‘My mum is so supportive and interested in what I am learning as we both share a love for holistic health. I am proud to be able to share the knowledge I am gaining with my Mum; in the same way she shares her own knowledge and wisdom with me.’

Gabby & her Mum

We think Mums are the best, and they should know it!

Why not share your love for all things skin with your Mum this Mother’s Day. Shop our gift guide—curated to help you celebrate every version of her.

Skin through the ages – skin in your Fifties.

Reaching life’s half-century mark is certainly a major accomplishment, but as with any age, it is not all smooth sailing! Turning 50 brings with it a whole host of changes to our body & the way it functions.

In fact, the changes you will see in your skin are as far from smooth as you could imagine!

The resilient and youthful skin you have enjoyed throughout decades before generally becomes unrecognisable as it becomes thinner and less tight. Following through from the changes in your 40s, your skin will now be continuing to thin, dry, and sag during your 50s.

You may also notice that your skin becomes more sensitive and irritated as you enter your 50s. These changes are brought on by Mother Nature’s wonderous phenomenon of menopause. Skin conditions such as Rosacea are prone to presenting themselves during these years.

It is important that you keep your skin hydrated and more nourished throughout your 50s to combat these symptoms.

The eye area already holds the thinnest skin on our bodies, so naturally with the thinning of skin in your 50s comes more prominent and deeper wrinkles in this area. Both reduced collagen and elastin production can cause the body’s thinner skin to drape around the eyes, meaning now is the perfect time to introduce a nourishing eye cream, if you have not already!

Your 50s is also time to bid farewell to the radiant skin you have become familiar with over time. You are likely to begin experiencing menopause in your early 50s, with testosterone production increasing and taking over the production of estrogen. This of course reduces collagen & moisture in your skin, and that glow we all love will begin to vanish.

 

As if the changes inside our bodies weren’t enough to change during this stage, the environment plays its part also! Environmental pollution is of course never good for our skin, but you are likely going to start seeing more pronounced effects as you age. The loss of elasticity in your skin in your 50s can lead to more noticeably large pores, which can be made worse with environmental pollutants leading to clogging and inflammation.

Reaching that milestone of life’s half-century isn’t sounding so glamorous now, is it?! Don’t be alarmed, The Clinic is here to support you through!

We recommend if you are in or entering your 50s the below to combat all those wonderful changes –

Reaching that milestone of life’s half-century isn’t sounding so glamorous now, is it?!

Don’t be alarmed, The Clinic is here to support you through!

We recommend if you are in or entering your 50s the below to combat all those wonderful changes –

  • Introducing more nourishing facials to restore balance and provide more hydration to your aging and stressed-out skin. Our favourite is Soin Lissant by Biologique Recherche, an anti-stress beauty care treatment comprised of a lotion and a powder leaving the skin smooth and soft.
  • Skin tightening treatments such as Skin Needling and Nano-Fractional Resurfacing can be fantastic additions to keep your skin tighter and plumper. Also, our newest addition to treatments at The Clinic, the Diamond Polar is like a warm facial massage! This treatment when performed weekly for 12 weeks will give you 12-18mths of firmer skin. Results are noticeable directly after each treatment.
  • Introduction of an eye cream can help combat those more noticeable wrinkles in the thinner skin around your eyes – Creme Biofixine by Biologique Recherche and Eye Web by DMK limited are two of our most effective.
  • Want to retain some of that radiance in your skin? We can’t look past Soin Lissant by Biologique Recherche, once again, top tip – apply this with the cold masque by Biologique Recherche for the most dynamic duo of radiance-inducing products! In-clinic treatments are always our go-to for optimum skin health, and the Muscle banding enzyme therapy by DMK is one of our all-time favourites for boosting radiance.
  • We can’t stop pollutants in the air, but we can certainly point you in the direction of some products that will help build the barrier function in your skin! Serum Oligo Proteins from Biologique Recherche is packed with antioxidants to work with your skin for building that barrier. The combination of Creme VIP 02 and Fluide VIP O2 also from Biologique Recherche both draw oxygen molecules into the epidermis to feed, brighten and stimulate skin cells for a more energised and radiant appearance!

If you are looking to reboot your skin health, contact us or book in a skin consultation. Our team of skilled clinicians are here to do our thing for your skin with advice on the best course of treatments and products to help you achieve the skin you deserve at any age!

Everything you need to know about skin resurfacing

In recent years, skin resurfacing has come a long way. At The Clinic Skin Health, our passion for advanced clinical skincare & procedures has followed along with these changes too. From highly advanced peels to technology and machinery that is breaking ground in the way we can take your skin to the next level, we have a solution for everyone!

We believe in providing you with treatments and solutions that are going to deliver outstanding results that are pain-free and don’t require downtime.

One of our favourite and more recent additions to our skin treatments, and slowly becoming our most popular is skin resurfacing, and for those who haven’t caught on just yet, we’ve broken down the incredible benefits here!

What is skin resurfacing?
Skin resurfacing is an advanced, non-surgical treatment that works to improve the overall texture of your skin, by creating a smoother, healthier skin and reducing signs of skin damage.

An innovative, non-invasive nano fractional system uses radio frequency to effectively resurface the skin and improve the appearance of uneven skin texture and reduce other signs of skin damage without affecting the surrounding tissue, resulting in treatments that are safe for all skin types with very low downtime.

What happens during the treatment?
Heat is delivered safely using tiny pins through the skin’s surface, creating tiny micro-dermal wounds, which the body works to heal naturally. This process repairs signs of skin damage, and as the wounds are so tiny, the treatment is much more comfortable than lasers or chemical peels, with minimal downtime.

Is it suitable for me?
Skin resurfacing is safe for all skin types and is best used to treat many skin concerns such as:

  • Scarring
  • Rosacea
  • Enlarged pores
  • Stretch marks
  • Wrinkles
  • Textural irregularity

Is there any downtime after treatment?
Expect to experience mild redness post-treatment, however you can continue with your daily activities immediately afterward and resume wearing makeup 24 hours after your treatment.

How many treatments will I need?
The number of sessions in a treatment program will depend on the individual client and the needs of their skin, but the number of treatments we generally recommend is between 3-4 sessions, every 4-6 weeks.

How much does skin resurfacing it cost?
At The Clinic Skin Health, our skin resurfacing is priced as follows:

Full face $699

Full face and neck $799

Full face, neck and decolletage $999

Hands $299

All skin resurfacing treatments come with a complimentary LED.

Skin tightening using our Diamond Polar resurfacing head can be performed directly before the resurfacing treatment for an additional cost.

Are you ready to join the next steps in advanced clinical beauty treatment? Book in for a consultation or skin resurfacing treatment here, or feel free to contact us or visit us in the clinic to learn more!

If you would like to have your skin reviewed by us please book a consultation here.

Skin through the ages – skin in your forties

Turning 40. A birthday many of us try to hide from and cannot quite accept has come around so quickly!

Just as our style and tastes change over time, so does our complexion, and most importantly its genetic makeup. As you all likely know by now, our skin is ruled by hormonal changes, and with age comes many alterations to hormones, and ultimately our skin.

Hormonal aging is characterised by significant changes in the secretion of ovarian steroids, usually coinciding with the onset of Perimenopause. This is the marking of the end of reproductive years and the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause.

Contrary to popular belief, during this phase your estrogen does not plummet, that is yet to happen – just you wait until post-menopause!

It is in fact, the hormone progesterone that starts to dramatically decline, while your estrogen levels go through more of a roller coaster ride – from tripling to dropping and every level in between.

Staying skin-specific, these dramatic and ever-changing hormonal fluctuations can see an onset of adult acne, rosacea, increased skin sensitivity, peri-oral dermatitis, dryness of the skin, and an overall feeling of heat (oh hot flushes, how we dread you!)

As the skin aging process continues and volume loss in the skin is a lot more prominent an increase in skin dryness and decrease in thickness begins to become apparent, but this is just the beginning of what will later be one of your bigger skin concerns post-menopausal.

To combat these changes if you are in or entering your forties you should…

  1. Prescribe to regular in-clinic treatments to address the skin changes being faced, and the only way you can significantly increase collagen and elastin production. Some of our favourite treatments to help with this are – Nano-fractional RF Skin Resurfacing, Skin needling using R.A.S. Infusion and Laser Facials. 
  2. Increase the use of active ingredients in your skincare, such as vitamin B3, C, A, and E. Here are our most efficient products to deliver these – Biologique Recherche’s Lotion P50, Serum 3R, the Mystiq Intense C Booster C15 from Lira Clinical, and their brand new CBD oil booster, & Serum 24 by Cosmedix.
  3. Almost the most important element, you should also include hydrating products such as Hyaluronic acid. In particular, we love the Hydrating Booster from PCA and Serum Yall02 by Biologique Recherche. For lipid depleted skin (oil dry) we recommend the ultra-luxurious Vintners Daughter Botanical Serum, Seba E from DMK, and the Beauty Oil by Lira Clinical.
  4. Include supplements with Essential Fatty Acids, Glutathione, Zinc, magnesium and collagen & consider adrenal support supplements. Our favourite combination to deliver these is our Ultimate 1.0 – collagen and EFA’s from DMK daily.  For an even better boost, we recommend our Superfeast range, in particular, Ashwahganda or Reishi for adrenal support and Chaga Mushroom for added zinc and magnesium.
  5. Ensure your gut and liver are well functioning – this will be one of the keys to fewer menopausal symptoms. Caras favourite for this is by doing a Digestive Tune-Up using Regul8 Maintain a probiotic with lactoferrin, Regul8 Restore for the gut lining & Regul8 Maintain for the protection of the probiotic cultures in the digestive tract. And for the further benefit we recommend taking Masons Mushies – an all-rounder from Superfeast, MSM for the liver from Superfeast and eat plenty of steamed cruciferous veggies! (think cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts)
  6. Keep refined sugar and alcohol to a minimum. Their effects on collagen production are enormous and as we enter our 40s anything we can do to reduce the degradation of this should be considered!

If you would like to have your skin reviewed by us please book a consultation here.

Signs of a sluggish Immune System

I’m sure you’ve heard of your immune system. But how much do you know about it?

It’s essential to understand how important the immune system is and in which manner it protects us from disease and infection. The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infectious organisms and other invaders through a process called the immune response. The immune system actively fights foreign pathogens that invade the body and cause disease. Five essential bodily functions occur throughout the body, which are components of the immune system:

The Five Key elements of the immune system:

Lymphatic system: The lymphatic system is a network of lymph nodes and vessels that function by eliminating toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The lymphatic system transports fluid containing white blood cells (lymphocytes) which are deployed to destroy the pathogens.

White blood cells (lymphocytes such as B and T cells): White blood cells protect your body from infection by moving through blood and tissue, looking for foreign microbes.

Spleen: The spleen filters blood by excreting old or damaged red blood cells or platelets. The spleen also produces antibodies and lymphocytes.

Bone marrow: Bone marrow is the soft tissue found inside your bones which produces red and white blood cells along with platelets and yellow marrow.

Tonsils and the thymus: Produce antibodies to attack foreign invaders.

What happens during an immune response?

When the white blood cells come into contact with foreign antigens, an immune alarm goes off, setting off a chain reaction of cellular activity in the immune system. The bodies first line of defence is made up of innate cells including macrophage, neutrophils, basophils and dendric cells. These cells respond quickly to foreign cells to fight infection, battle a virus or defend the body against bacteria.

When the first line of defence is not able to destroy the pathogen, the body utilises T and B lymphocytes.

Although antibodies can recognise an antigen and lock onto it, they need the help of the T-cell to destroy it. There are two main types of T-cells. Helper T-cells and killer T-cells.

Helper T-cells send a chemical message to B-cells to produce antibodies and help killer cells develop. Killer T-cells destroy antigens tagged by antibodies. B- cells fight bacteria and viruses by making Y-shaped proteins called antibodies, which attach to each pathogen. The antibodies remain in a person’s body so when the T-cells recognise the same antigen it can destroy the microbe before it can multiply and make you sick. That’s why someone who gets infected with a disease, like chickenpox won’t get sick from it again.

What are the symptoms of a compromised immune system?

Feeling sick, tired, and other nagging symptoms can often mean you have a weakened immune system.

There are some common warning signs.

  1. You always have a cold or infection
  • main symptom of a compromised immune system is susceptibility to infection.
  • Normal for adults to get around 2-3 cold per year. Most people feel completely recovered after ten days. It takes four days for the immune system to develop antibodies and fight off germs. Continuously catching colds or not being able to get rid of a cold is a clear sign your immune system is struggling to keep up.
  1. You experience frequent gut problems
  • 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract. Your gut contains bacteria and microorganisms that defend your gut from infection and support the immune system. If you experience frequent diarrhoea, gas or constipation that could mean your microflora is unbalanced, therefore lowering your immunity.
  1. Your wounds heal slowly
  • you get a cut, scrape or burn your body works to heal and protect the wound by sending nutrient-rich blood to the injury to help regenerate new skin.
  • A wound to heal correctly healthy immune cells are required. If your immune system is compromised, your skin will not be able to regenerate, and your injuries will have a longer healing time.
  1. You feel tired all the time
  • you know you are getting enough sleep, but you still feel run down and tire it’s usually a sign your immune system is trying to tell you something. When your immune system is struggling so is your energy levels.
  • of the factors that affect immune function include:
  • Lack of sleep
  • Smoking & Alcohol
  • Poor diet
  • Sugar
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Exposure to certain germs

All of the above factors affect gut health and compromised gut health lowers immune function. It begins and ends in the gut. Boosting your gut health is the primary factor in boosting your immune system. It’s best to start by eliminating irritants including processed foods, sugar, dairy and gluten. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and fermented foods. Include herbal support in the form of medicinal mushrooms. Specific immune-boosting mushrooms are Reishi, Turkey Tail, Chaga and Lions Mane. Include immune-boosting supplements like Vitamin C, D, Zinc and Omega 3’s. Omega 3 also provides secondary benefits to brain and cardiovascular function.

Other necessary steps to ensure are adequate sleep, proper stress management, exercise and skincare that supports the skin microbiome. Avoid stripping and over-cleansing your skin.

It’s the small changes that count. Do what you can, what feels right, and your immune system and skin will thank you later.

Written: By Gabby Wills

If you would like to have your skin reviewed by us please book a consultation here.

The Importance of the Sunshine Vitamin

The “sunshine” vitamin is a hot topic that attracted ample attention over the past decades, specially that a considerable proportion of the worldwide population are deficient in this essential nutrient. Vitamin D was primarily acknowledged for its importance in bone formation, however; increasing evidence point to its interference with the proper function of nearly every tissue in our bodies including brain, heart, muscles, immune system and skin. Thereby its deficiency has been incriminated in a long panel of diseases including cancers, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular and neurological disorders. Its involvement in the contributing causes of different skin diseases is no exception and has been the subject of much research over the recent years.

It is somewhat ironic that vitamin D, through a historical accident, became classified as a ‘vitamin’, owing to the fact that vitamin is conventionally defined as ‘essential item needed in the diet’. The paradox with ‘vitamin D’ is that diet per se is usually poor in vitamin D except for cod or other fish oils or food fortified with this vitamin.

Vitamin D is actually a fat-soluble prohormone steroid that has endocrine, paracrine and autocrine function.  The endocrine effects of vitamin D are mainly involved in serum calcium homeostasis. Vitamin D and calcium are often used in the same sentence because they work closely together, vitamin D’s primary role is to control the levels of calcium found in the bloodstream by constantly allowing calcium and phosphate absorption from the intestine or taking calcium from bones.

Sources of vitamin D

There are only 3 known sources of vitamin D; sunlight, diet, and vitamin D supplements. Insert diagram

There are several ways that being vitamin D deficient might impact your skin.

Healthy levels of vitamin D have been demonstrated to prevent skin ageing. Skin ageing can be demonstrated molecularly, by the shortening of telomeres, the caps of genetic material on the free ends of DNA strands. These telomeres shorten with age, rendering the DNA more and more unstable, until the cell dies. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that telomeres were “significantly longer in patients with the highest serum vitamin D levels, compared to those with the lowest … equivalent to five years of aging.”

Vitamin D is crucial for skin protection. Further, calcitriol (the active form of vitamin D) helps in skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism as well as prevents skin aging. But too much sun leads to accelerated skin ageing, ultraviolet light (sun light) does cause direct DNA damage, skin injury and skin cancers. Hence, sunlight is not the best way to get your vitamin D.

Other ways Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the health of your skin are:

  1. Can help prevent chronic inflammation and regulate the immune system
  2. Influences genes that ensure skin cells die, shed, and don’t clog pores
  3. Increases the absorption & utilization of magnesium, phosphate, vitamin K2, and other nutrients
  4. Plays a role in insulin secretion (too much insulin can be a nightmare for acne).
  5. Some studies have found that vitamin D can help treat skin conditions like dry skin, psoriasis, or eczema.
  6. People over the age of 50 have less ability to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight and are at a greater risk of osteoporosis and arthritis, fractures, muscle weakness, and cancers.
  7. Deficiency in vitamin D is a real problem for acne – a recent study found that 95% of people with acne were deficient in vitamin D. It’s hard to understate the importance of vitamin D when it comes to acne.

Testing for Vitamin D deficiency involves a simple blood test. The lab should measure the level of bioavailable vitamin D, which is D3 (the type that the skin makes). There is a range of normal, low normal, moderate and severe deficiency.
Aside from vitamin D supplements that your doctor and or dietician or naturopath can recommend,  a diet rich in vitamin D is the best place to start. TIP: Taking vitamin D3 with a fat can increase absorption by up to 32%. Taking the DMK EFA’s with the Vitamin D3 will do the trick.

Vitamin D supplements may help with many skin conditions, including dry, itchy skin, psoriasis and acne

Researchers are establishing a firmer link between vitamin D levels and acne. Acne (clinically known as acne vulgaris) is a skin condition where your pores become blocked or clogged, causing red bumps or blackheads to form on your skin. Acne can be caused by changes in hormone levels, bacteria, oils, and more. If you have acne, a vitamin D deficiency may be part of what’s causing symptoms or making them worse.

Is vitamin D deficiency a risk factor for acne?

In 2006Trusted Source, researchers estimated that over 41 percent of the U.S. population was deficient in the hormone called vitamin D. Vitamin D is not listed as an official risk factor for acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. But researchersTrusted Source are starting to explore how vitamin D regulates the immune system. This immune system link might explain the relationship between vitamin D levels and skin health.

In a 2014 studyTrusted Source, people who had nodulocystic acne were at risk for more severe symptoms if they had low levels of vitamin D. In another studyTrusted Source, people with acne experienced significantly improved symptoms when they took oral vitamin D supplements.

Benefits of using vitamin D for acne

Vitamin D has antimicrobial properties. If the acne you have is caused by bacterial overgrowth, using topical vitamin D might calm your symptoms. More studies are needed to confirm how this could work.

Vitamin D also has an anti-inflammatory property. Having adequate levels of vitamin D in your system may help addressTrusted Source the inflammatory symptoms of acne. Taking vitamin D supplements could also be an alternative way of treating recurrent acne that appears red and inflamed.

How to use vitamin D for acne?

If you’re deficient in vitamin D, sitting out in the sun won’t fix your acne. Doctors agree that prolonged exposure to sunshine is not the best way to get vitamin D. Exposure to the sun without using a protective sunscreen can put you at risk for skin cancer. Taking dietary supplements and consuming foods rich in vitamin D are the best ways to increase your vitamin D levels to help treat acne.

There are few foods naturally rich in vitamin D. Dairy products, like milk and cheese, are a great source of the vitamin, but have been found in some studiesTrusted Source to make acne symptoms worse. If you’re lactose intolerant, you may already be considering taking a vitamin D supplement. People who don’t consume milk regularly are at a higher riskTrusted Source of being deficient in vitamin D.

If you do use a vitamin D oral supplement, keep an eye on the dosage. Make sure that other supplements you’re taking, such as a calcium supplement or prenatal vitamin, aren’t putting you over the recommended amount of 100 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D per day. And since vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it can build up in your system. Vitamin D supplements are best taken with a meal.

Topical application of vitamin D3 has been foundTrusted Source to be an efficient way to get vitamin D levels up with fewer side effects than oral supplements, but more research is needed.

Potential side effects and risks

Taking too much vitamin D can result in serious side effects. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has set a limit of 100 mcg per day of vitamin D for men and women who are not pregnant or nursing.

The most common side effect of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in your blood, called hypercalcemia. Hypercalcelmia can cause nausea and vomiting. Taking too much vitamin D over time can result in heart arrhythmias, tissue calcification, kidney stones, and organ damage.

Vitamin D levels can also be decreased when taking corticosteroid medication.

If you have recurrent acne that hasn’t resolved with other kinds of treatment, you may have a vitamin D deficiency. So have your serum levels checked.

References

If you would like to have your skin reviewed by us please book a consultation here.

Chinese Medicine’s Answer to Radiant Skin

According to the Taoist traditions, our skin is an extension of the Lung channel, so when we experience an excess of blemishes, eruptions, psoriasis etc, a part of these issues are correlated to a deficiency in lung Qi. Common skin issues like acne, eczema, dermatitis & psoriasis relate to heat in the Lung channel, weak Lung Qi & dampness in the body. Plus we know day-to-day stress weakens our immunity & diverts Qi to our sympathetic nervous system; we don’t want this.

How To Get Radiant Skin?

◇ Diet ◇

Be mindful of food allergies or sensitivities & focus on an anti-inflammatory diet, by removing dampening foods (gluten, dairy, salicylates, amines/histamines, cheap oils & the four whites – sugar, wheat, dairy & processed salt).

◇ Lungs ◇

As the Lung organ system governs the skin, toning the lungs is key. Lung Qi tonics & breathing exercises can profoundly benefit the skin. & think about this: our lungs are one of our major defences against the outside world (namely pathogens & bacteria). When our immunity is deficient, what often happens?! Breakouts! Dryness! Plus, our lungs control our skin respiration; this includes controlling the pores & sweat glands. To tone & support lung function, we love Astragalus, Tremella & Schizandra. Please contact us or visit the clinic to purchase.

◇ Gut Health ◇

Is always connected to any skin issues, especially if you are suffering from leaky gut. As we have discussed, when we have low immunity (the gut houses our immunity), our skin shows it. You must focus on supporting & nourishing your gut microbiome. Aloe vera, bone broths, collagen & chlorophyll-rich juices are all your gut’s best friend. We love Mason’s Mushrooms. Please contact us or visit the clinic to purchase.

◇ Stress ◇

Will absolutely trigger eczema & psoriasis. Burnout & exhaustion shows up on your skin. So please rest, intuit into your needs. Take space. Meditate. Connect to spirit. We love Reishi. Please contact or visit the clinic to purchase.

◇ Love Your Liver ◇

If there is a toxic load present & your liver is under pressure, skin issues are more likely to arise. We love Beauty Blend, MSM & Schizandra. Please contact us or visit the clinic to purchase.

◇ Toxicity ◇

There are so many toxic factors that can contribute to the health of your skin. Synthetic chemicals are known endocrine disruptors, so it’s really important to consider your relationship to plastics, what products you use in your beauty regime, do you handle receipts often etc. Eliminating toxicity from both your diet & lifestyle, is really key. We love EstroBlock to help remove toxic estrogens from the body.

 ◇ Hormones ◇

Sex hormone imbalance can often be one of the core factors with skin issues. By toning the liver, by toning your gut & by being mindful of stress you are already supporting the health of your sex hormones. All the previous herbs suggested above have endocrine supporting properties (through their toning of the gut & liver) however if this is a real focus for you. We love Beauty Blend & JING. Please contact us or visit the clinic to purchase.

On some parts of the body, like the face, we can see patterns & associations relating to core dysfunction. The ancients mapped out these associations & you can use this map to consider organ function issues you may be experiencing. Consider where you experience eruptions, dryness or irritations. Every human is individual, just like we have skeletal variations, there are facial meridian variations & so you may see slightly different maps.

If you would like to have your skin reviewed by us please book a consultation here.

What Causes Post-Pill Acne?

Coming off birth control doesn’t have to be a nightmare for skin. True, it was a nightmare last time, which is why you returned to the pill after only a few months. But this time will be different, because this time, you know about post-pill acne. You know it will get worse for six months, and then you know it will get better. And this time, you know how to treat it.
What causes post-pill acne?
Certain types of hormonal birth control suppress sebum (skin oils) to “childhood levels,” which is a bit frightening when you think about it. Adults are supposed to have more sebum than children, so it’s an abnormal situation. Your skin responds by up-regulating sebum, and that up-regulation can persist for months even after you stop the pill .
Post-pill acne is the result of:
1) rebound sebum production as you withdraw from the sebum-suppressing drugs drospirenone (Yasmin) or cyproterone (Brenda or Diane), and
2) a temporary surge in androgens (male hormones) as your ovaries kick back into action, and during which time you could be mistakenly diagnosed with PCOS.
The withdrawal process won’t last forever, but it could last up to a year or more. And post-pill acne is usually at its worst about six months off the pill—just when you were about to give up hope.
But please don’t give up hope!
You’ll get through post-pill acne (usually within twelve months), and you can use natural treatments to ease the way.
Natural treatment of post-pill acne
For best results, start treatment a couple of months before you stop the pill. That way, your skin will be less reactive, and better able to withdraw from the drugs.
• Avoid normal A1 cow’s dairy. Dairy causes acne because it spikes a hormone called IGF-1 (see Insight into Acne) and because it contains an inflammatory protein called A1 casein and stimulates histamine release. There’s very little A1 casein in butter and heavy cream, so they’re usually okay. There’s no A1 casein in ricotta, goat or sheep dairy, so they’re okay. All other dairy (yogurt, cheese, ice cream, milky coffees) is a problem for skin.
• Quit sugar (concentrated fructose). Sugar causes acne because (like dairy) it spikes IGF-1. Sugar is concentrated in desserts, honey, fruit juice, and dried fruit (whole fruit in moderation is okay). Sugar is a problem for skin for everyone, but it is particularly a problem if you have PCOS. Do you know if you have PCOS? Are you sure? A normal ultrasound does not rule out PCOS. Speak to your doctor, but according the Lara Briden esteemed Naturopath and author of the Period Repair Manual, don’t let her talk you back onto hormonal birth control because the pill is not good for PCOS. It worsens the insulin resistance that causes PCOS.
But wait. How could dairy and sugar be causing your acne? They were never a problem before. Well, before the pill (and on the pill), your skin was less reactive and could cope with acne-causing foods. Now your skin is in the throes of pill-withdrawal, and so cannot cope with dairy and sugar.
• Take zinc. Zinc reduces keratin production, so it keeps pores open. It also kills bacteria and reduces testosterone. In many ways, zinc is the perfect medicine for post-pill acne. It’s also one of the key nutrients depleted by hormonal birth control. According the Lara Briden, you’ll probably need at least 30 mg in an absorbable form like liquid. You may need more than 30 mg.  Speak to your clinician.
• Consider taking DIM (diindolylmethane), which is a phytonutrient from broccoli. It blocks androgens (male hormones) and is one of the most popular natural treatments for acne.
• Consider taking berberine, which is the active constituent in a number of popular herbal medicines such as goldenseal (goldenseal is also found in ‘Actrol powder’ by DMK). Berberine works for skin because it’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and improves insulin sensitivity (thereby reducing the acne hormone IGF-1). Finally, berberine reduces androgens in women, which makes it a particularly good choice for PCOS. Don’t take berberine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and speak to your pharmacist before combining it with prescription medications. Lara generally recommend’s berberine not be used for more than eight weeks continuously. If you need it for longer, then take a week off, and then resume.
• Consider supporting healthy stomach acid with gentian or betaine hydrochloride (HCL). Forty percent of acne-sufferers have low stomach acid.
How long until skin improves?
You might see an initial improvement within a few weeks, but then see a worsening with stress or your next round of PMS. Real, lasting improvement is a longer-term project and should start to appear within six months. Continue treatment until your skin is truly better, and then you can stop the supplements and relax the diet somewhat. (Although you’ll probably never want to go back to a high-sugar, high-dairy diet.)
What is your experience with post-pill acne? Please comment.

If you would like to have your skin reviewed by us please book a consultation here.

What is the difference between SPFs?

What is the difference between SPF’s?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it indicates a sunscreen’s ability to block UVB rays. The concept was pioneered at the Coppertone Solar Research Center in 1972; in 1978, the FDA published an SPF method based on Coppertone’s system, according to Dr. David Leffell, Chief of Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at Yale.

The numbers themselves stand for the approximate measure of time a person who has applied the sunscreen can stay out in the sun without getting burned. Say you get burned after 20 minutes in the sun without sunscreen; if properly applied (and reapplied), SPF 30 will allow you to stay in the sun 30 times longer without burning than if you were wearing no protection at all. So, theoretically, you should have approximately 600 minutes, or 10 hours, in the sun. But it’s not an exact science because the amount of UV light that reaches us depends on a number of factors, including cloud cover, the time of day, and the reflection of UV rays off the ground, so it’s generally recommended that you reapply sunscreen every two hours (or even sooner).

It is important to note that the SPF factors are calculated by rounding down the time required to burn; however, you may get a false sense of protection from an SPF because the amount of sunscreen used in the tests is a lot more product than the average person uses. The tests use 2 milligrams of formula per square centimeter of skin.

What gives a sunscreen a higher SPF comes down to the product’s formulation. It’s possible that an SPF 50 might contain slightly more of one or more sunscreen active ingredients to achieve that higher SPF but it’s also possible that the SPF 50 might contain an additional active ingredient to help boost the SPF performance to SPF 50.

But no matter what SPF your sunscreen is, you’ll still get a burn if it’s not properly applied. So let’s go over how to do that.

HOW TO APPLY

First, make sure you have a water resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen—which means that it protects against both UVB and UVA radiation—with an SPF of at least 30.

Twenty minutes before you go out to the beach or the pool, begin to apply your sunscreen in an even coat. Don’t apply it like icing on a cake, unevenly applied sunscreen, is not a good sign. Sunscreen sprays will easily give you that even coat you need.

Whether you’re using lotion or a spray, when it comes time to apply, start with your scalp and face, even if you plan on wearing a hat. Make sure you’ve covered the ears and nose and under the eyes. Then, I would move down to the shoulders, and make sure that someone can apply the sunscreen on your back beyond the reach of your hands.

Other areas that are important that you may forget to cover, but shouldn’t, are the tops of your feet, the backs of your hands, and your chest. We see it all the time now—the v of the chest in women has become a socially and aesthetically huge issue when they are 50 and beyond. Because even though they can treat their faces with all sorts of cosmetics and procedures, the chest is much harder, and they are stuck with the face of a 40 year old and the chest of a 60 year old. You want to avoid that using sunscreen.

Another important thing to keep in mind: Water resistant doesn’t mean waterproof. I always tell clients to reapply every couple of hours while you’re active outdoors and always reapply when you come out of the water or if you’ve been sweating a lot, regardless of whether the label says water resistant.

Determining whether or not you’ve succeeded in properly applying your sunscreen is easy: You know you’re applying your sunscreen properly if, after the first time you’ve used it, you haven’t gotten a burn.

There is a caveat, though: It’s not a good idea to think of sunscreens only as a way to extend your time in the sun. One must also understand that even before becoming sunburned, your skin is receiving UV exposure that causes other damage to the skin. At the end of the 600 minutes, you will have accrued enough UV to cause a sunburn—one Minimal Erythema Dose or MED—but there is pre-MED damage done to skin cells’ DNA and to the skin’s supporting structure of collagen and elastin that is not visible and happens even before you sunburn. These types of damage can occur without sunburning. So you can’t measure all the damage done to your skin by only being concerned about sunburn.

So let’s talk about an important difference between sunscreens that you should know about.

Physical Sunscreens

Physical Sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They are often referred to as physical blockers.

Pros of Physical Sunscreen:

  • Offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays and is naturally broad spectrum
  • Protects from the sun as soon as it’s applied, no wait needed
  • Lasts longer when in direct UV light (but not when doing physical activities that cause the skin to get wet or sweat)
  • Less likely to cause a stinging irritation on the skin, making it better for sensitive skin
  • Better for those with heat-activated skin(such as rosacea and redness) since it deflects the heat and energy given off by the sun away from the skin
  • Less likely to be pore-clogging, making it ideal for acne-prone skin
  • Longer shelf life

Cons of Physical Sunscreens:

  • Can rub off, sweat off and rinse off easily, meaning more frequent re-application when outdoors as needed
  • May leave a white-ish cast on the skin, making some formulas incompatible for medium to dark skin tones
  • Can be less protective if not applied and re-applied generously and accurately since UV light can get between the sunscreen molecules and get into the skin

CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS

Chemical Sunscreens contain organic (carbon based) compounds, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin. They are often referred to as chemical or organic absorbers.

Pros of Chemical Sunscreens:

  • Less is needed to protect the skin because there is no risk of spaces between the sunscreen molecules after application
  • Tends to be thinner and therefore, spreads more easily on the skin.

Cons of Chemical Sunscreens:

  • Can possibly cause and increase in existing brown spots and discoloration due to a higher internal skin temperature ( over-heated skin can make brown spots worse, such as melasma)
  • Requires about 20 minutes after application before it starts to work
  • Increased chance of irritation and stinging (especially for those who have dry skin with a damaged moisture barrier) due to the multiple ingredients combined in order to achieve broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
  • The higher the SPF (such as formulas of SPF 50 or greater), the higher the risk of irritation for sensitive skin types
  • The protection it offers gets used up more quickly when in direct UV light, so re-application must be more frequent.
  • Increased chance of redness for rosacea-prone skin types because it changes UV rays into heat which can exacerbate flushing
  • May clog pores for oily skin types

So what is our preference, we more often than not recommend physical sunscreens to our clients.

We also suggest supplementing with an internal sunscreen. Contact us now to find out more information.