Have you ever got a massive pimple – and short of putting a paper bag on your head – wondered what the hell you’re meant to do with it? Or what about your skin pigmentation, following multiple pregnancies: what can you do about that?
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Answers are at hand here thanks to paramedical aesthetician Sia Hendry, founder and owner of leading Sydney chain of skin and laser cosmetic clinics, You by Sia, and a cosmeceutical skincare range by the same name.
With five clinics and more than 14 years experience, Sia (pictured) says she’s a bona fide skincare expert. Her core philosophy is “caring for skin from the inside out”.
Here, SHESAID put her to the test with these common skincare problems and concerns.
What are some top skincare myths?
Many people with oily skin believe that they need to use a dehydrating, astringent skincare formula to balance out their oily complexion. Few people realise that by over-drying the skin, it causes the sebaceous glands to panic and go into overdrive, thus producing more oil than usual. The key to finding the perfect balance is a skincare routine which regulates your sebaceous glands by cleansing away dirt, makeup and excess oil, without stripping away your skin’s natural and necessary oils.
Another popular myth is that those who suffer from aged or damaged skin tend to see the symptoms on the surface of their skin, panic and attempt to erase it with abrasive exfoliation treatments or harsh chemicals. Few people realise that the ageing process actually occurs in the deeper layers of skin where collagen and elastin is produced, and that by treating the cause beneath you are not only reversing the years, but prolonging results for years to come.
Is it best to pop a pimple or leave it be?
We know it’s tempting, but you must leave blemishes alone. To avoid spreading bacteria and the risk of acne scarring, your best bet is to treat the cause of issue, not to pick it. My best advice to those suffering from regular breakouts is to let a professional gently unclog your pores and remove the congestion. Once the excess sebum is removed from the pores, I would recommend an appropriate skincare routine to control excess sebum and ensure the skin remains nourished and balanced.
What are the most common skincare problems for young women?
The majority of my younger clients tend to suffer from blackheads, breakouts, acne scarring and also skin dehydration. All of these issues can easily be addressed and prevented so long as we work with the skin, as opposed to against it. There should never be a need to damage the skin with harsh exfoliation treatments or chemicals, no matter how bad the problem may seem.
Is it best to cover a pimple with a blemish-agent or let them breathe?
Depending on the formulation of the blemish-agent, you may reduce the bacteria within the blemish and perhaps even dry it out, however you are not treating the cause of the blemish which is where the problem lies. When fighting the battle of blemishes it is primarily important to maintain a skincare routine which will deliver antioxidants, botanicals and gentle exfoliants to the deeper levels of skin, all whilst assisting with the appearance of irritated or inflamed skin. Depending on the severity of the issue, I would also recommend a course of our signature Inside Out Peels. This exclusive treatment normalises the oil production levels within the skin without the use of any harmful chemicals or harsh ingredients.
Is cleanse, tone and moisturise the best skincare approach?
Not many people realise that there is actually no need to tone! Whether your toner is built to rehydrate, exfoliate or simply remove those last spots of makeup, this is all a job your cleanser should be doing by itself. Strictly speaking, you should be using a cleanser to wash away dirt, make-up and excess oil, followed by a serum to infuse your skin with a beneficial complex of vitamins, amino acids and minerals.
Can you combat skin pigmentation caused by pregnancy?
Absolutely! Depending on the severity of the pigmentation, a combination of laser technology and active cosmeceuticals can be used to address visible signs of hyperpigmentation on the face and body. Once treated, it is important to prevent further pigmentation from occurring. The best way to avoid further pigmentation is to apply a sunscreen each morning, rain or shine, which will block both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen must be applied every three to four hours if you’re outdoors.
Is good skin just about having good genes? Why do some people “look good for their age”?
Naturally, genes do play a big role in our skin’s appearance, contributing to the way it looks, feels and even how it ages. For example, many with olive skin types tend to age much slower than those with fairer skin. That being said, so long as the skin is treated correctly, it has the potential to be better than ever. I believe in addressing common skin concerns at the cause, rather than simply masking the symptoms. Combine this along with a top quality sunscreen and you will be set for life!
What are some top skin foods?
Diet and lifestyle play a huge part when it comes to a healthy complexion; my best advice to those looking to feed their skin is to keep meals and snacks as pure and natural as possible. A multitude of nutrients and vitamins can be found in the simplest of foods, whilst avoiding all the preservatives, chemicals and sugars that come with many pre-made foods. My top five foods for radiant, healthy skin include:
Avocado: A rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids, avocados have got you and your skin covered from head-to-toe.
Nuts and seeds: Walnuts and sunflower seeds in particular are both rich in essential fatty-acids; a great source to keep skin soft and supple.
Kale: This green machine includes nutrients which absorb and neutralize free radicals created by UV light – including wavelengths which can get through your sunscreen. It also contains a large amount of vitamins C and A, both of which help to keep the skin firm.
Extra virgin olive oil: Loaded with antioxidants and fatty acids, extra virgin olive oil is your skin and hair’s saviour! Whether consumed or applied topically, olive oil is a great way to fight the cause and signs of ageing.
Dark chocolate: Yes ladies (and gents), it’s true: dark chocolate is good for your skin! It’s rich in cocoa, a plant compound with high antioxidant levels which helps to hydrate skin and improve circulation.
Image via healthwork.com.au
What do you think? What skin beauty secrets do you swear by?