Skin Treatments

What Is An Extraction Facial?

Do you suffer from bumpy, dry and blackhead-prone skin – especially around the trick parameters of your nose? Some of us might have accepted that this is just a way of life and perhaps use those annoying little strips to pull out blackheads every once in a while; this is where facial extractions enter the skincare game.

RELATED: No Moisturiser Skincare Routine

Although they might feel a little invasive at first – imagine having every inch of your skin poked and prodded to essentially extract the gunk underneath – the long-term effects outweigh the short-term pain, especially if you want to build a solid skin care routine in your 20s, 30s, or 40s.

How does it work?

Extractions are carried out by a beauty therapist who first massages the skin with a nourishing oil. This way, the skin can relax and improve circulation for the future extraction. Most of the time this is followed by a steam facial which opens up the pores and makes it easier – and less painful – to extract the gunk from under the skin.

Next up is the extraction itself, which requires no tools or sharp bits. The beauty therapist is simply using their hands (with gloves, of course) to squeeze out the gunk from main areas of concern on the face. These places usually include the t-zone, chin and nose. The skin is then cleansed, toned and prepped to go. You might experience some pain directly afterwards, but this is nothing to worry about and should subside over the next hour.

The cost of an average extraction facial is anywhere between $50-$100.

So there you have it, the quick run-through of a typical extraction facial! Are you brave enough to try one?

Image via The Fab Company

June 19, 2015

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

Want to re-hydrate your skin without lifting a finger? Sheet masks have been used for years to bring back some added moisture to the skin, with the simple requirement of sitting back and relaxing. So, if you’re looking for a few sheet masks to try out this winter, try a few of our recommendations below.

RELATED: Hello Hair Mask Review

Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Masks, $29.99

With winter just around the corner, now is the best time to treat the skin to a hydrating mask after a long day. Everyone is bound to love these sheet masks since they’re the perfect way to create a plump, moisturised complexion after a long day at work.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

Missha Real Essential Collagen Sheet Mask, $5.90

Treat your skin to a fine sheet mask from Missha, which helps to bring back moisture to the skin. Apply onto freshly cleansed skin, then sit back and relax for 15-20 minutes. If there is any essence leftover on the mask, apply it over the neck area.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

For Beloved One Melasleep Whitening Bio-Cellulose Mask, $47.98

A revolutionary face mask with added whitening treatments to give the skin an extra kick during the colder weather. Apply onto the face for a short period of time, or sleep with it on for extra moisture.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

Skinfood Deep Sea Water Mask Sheet, $3

Try this brightening gel mask if you’re looking for an instant treatment for flawless looking skin. Remove the film from the hydrogel mask, then apply onto the face and neck for 15-25 minutes and relax.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalising Face Mask, $63

We’ve saved the best for last! This concentrated sheet mask by Shiseido is perfect for a pampering session. It encourages the skin’s natural recovery function and it suitable for all skin types – even acne or blemishes.

Sheet Mask 101: The Best and Where To Find Them

After you’ve applied a face mask, there is no reason to wash it off! Simply dab the remaining essence onto your neck and decolletage, then proceed with your usual skincare routine. This could mean applying an eye cream over the top, then a nourishing lip balm afterwards.

Image via InStyle 

May 18, 2015

DIY Relaxing Scalp Massage

Who knew that there are so many benefits of a scalp massage? They help to relieve tension, de-stress the entire body, reduce shedding, increase energy levels, and even stimulate the follicle making your hair grow faster.

To do this yourself at home, all you need are a few basic techniques and some essential oils.

RELATED: A Couple’s Guide To Erotic Massage 

Instructions

1. Take 1 tablespoon of coconut or essential oil and smooth it between your hands. This will make it much easier to manoeuvre around your hair, and is super relaxing.

2. Start by running your fingers from the top of your scalp to the very back, since it helps to wake up the hair follicles. Avoid using your nails (possibly trim or file them beforehand), since they can damage your scalp.

The aim is to distribute the oil all over your hair, so don’t forget to work from back to front as well.

3. Use a zig zag motion (locking in your fingers into each other), and work from the middle section of your scalp, all the way to the back of your neck. Not only does it feel very relaxing, but it helps to detoxifying your entire scalp.

4. Concentrate on massaging the back of your head, and you might want to flip your hair over. Rotate your fingers and use an outwards motion to penetrate the hair follicle. If you feel like it’s actually giving you a headache, then ease-up and relax your hands – they’re probably too rough!

5. Apply some pressure with your fingers to the main points of your scalp by pushing down gently. Stimulate blood flow by rotating your fingers in a circular motion.

Image via Zunair Sulman

March 8, 2015

5 Benefits of Mud Masks

If you really want to see what’s hiding in your skin, then we definitely recommend that you use a mud mask.

Not only are these fabulous products easy to get your hands on (and at any budget), but they actually work really well! Here are just five reasons you should make room for a mud mask in your skincare routine.

RELATED: Snail Facial Mask – Would You Try It?

They last forever

Since mud masks are actually concentrated, a little goes a long way. You only need a small pea-size amount to cover your face and neck for best results! Massage gently into the t-zone, chin and cheeks before washing the residue off with lukewarm water.

Tones, exfoliates, and cleanses

The last thing you want to do after a mud mask is go through your entire skincare routine. Luckily, a mud mask acts as both a cleanser, exfoliator and toner so you only need to apply some moisturiser afterwards!

Non-drying

Rather than feeling too dry on your skin like other masks, a mud mask is actually deeply nourishing. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals (such as Vitamin E), to soothe all skin types, and avoid any dreaded dry patches.

Sit back and relax

One of the best qualities of a mud mask is that you get to relax while it does its job! Take ten minutes out of your day and apply the mask, lie down and listen to some music. There is nothing more relaxing than pampering yourself, and a mud mask is one of the best ways to do it!

Massage

While you’re applying the mask, massage the product onto your damp skin. Focus on the key areas around the lymph nodes, under the eyes, and around your chin. This is not essential, but will help your entire face and body to relax, and make the mask feel better on your skin.

5 Benefits of Mud Masks

1. Formula 10.0.6 Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask, $8.99

2. Dead Sea Mud Facial Mask, 24.77

3. Glam Glow Youthmud Mask, $75

Image via PRlog

February 19, 2015

Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Treating your skin to a weekly facial mask is the best way to control skin concerns such as acne and spots, whilst deep-conditioning at the same time.

Luxury skincare isn’t an essential, but it’s sometimes nice to indulge in a facial cream which is packed with botanicals and skin-loving nutrients, right? Below are some of the best high-end products which make your skin look and feel amazing, so use in moderation!

RELATED: The Hidden Dangers of Natural Skincare

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque, $50

If you suffer from extremely dry or flakey skin, then this could be your holy grail product. Apply before going to bed as an overnight masque to hydrate skin, and renew moisture for long-lasting hydration. There is no sticky residue the next morning, and it leaves skin feeling soft and smooth.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask, $54.92

Give your skin a refresh with this enzymatic peel mask which tightens pores, and reduces sebum at the same time. Ideal for combination/oily skin types who want to control their natural oil production, and create a matte base.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, $59

Another indulgent (yet effective) peel mask which restores the natural radiance of your skin without the risk of over-drying it. Apply onto areas of concern such as fine lines and wrinkles to diminish their appearance, and improve the state of your skin tone.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Clinique Turnaround Instant Facial Mask, $68

Combining the best of an oil-free facial and microdermabrasion which creates soft, smooth skin almost instantly. Apply to damp skin, and leave on for 5 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water, and following with a lightweight moisturiser.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Glam Glow Youthmud Mask, $75

One of the best-sellers from the entire collection, this mask helps to clear pimples and blackheads by gently exfoliating the skin. Massage a small amount of product over damp skin, and leave it on for 10 minutes until the mask begins to harden. Wash-off with lukewarm water for clearer, radiant skin.

The Best Luxury Facial Masks For All Skin Types

Image via My Lucite Dreams

February 13, 2015

How To Tame Rosacea

While rosacea is commonly accepted as a chronic, non-contagious skin condition prominent on both the face and body, men and women still find it difficult to live with.

Despite being so widespread, there is no miracle cure for this misunderstood condition which can turn skin red, flaky, and irritable in a matter of minutes.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Reduce The Effects Of Stress On Your Skin

What are the common side effects?

Even though side effects can vary from men to women, they both experience a sensation which feels like burning or tingling around the affected area. This may escalate and turn into small spots called papules which can become red and inflamed at any given time.

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What causes Rosacea?

Little is known about the deep-rooted causes of Rosacea, and this can often feel like there is no way to avoid it in the first place. Many dermatologists blame genetics, a poor diet, and even high stress levels as a way of developing Rosacea, but there is no main cause at this point in time. Try and keep track of any changes surrounding your diagnosis with Rosacea, and this should make it easier to control it for the long-term.

Dermatologists have looked towards a few main issues which could have the capacity to cause Rosacea, or possibility aggravate it:

  • Leaky Gut Syndrome: A condition where the digestive track develops small holes that can potentially damage your entire system, and create painful inflammation.
  • Blood vessel abnormalities: The inflammation of blood vessels in the face and body can contribute to Rosacea which is prominent around the cheeks and nose.
  • Mite Demodex: Small bugs which crawl over the skin, and have the capacity to seep into the bloodstream. Once they die, the bacteria released can trigger Rosacea.
  • Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth: A condition which results in gastrointestinal abnormalities, quite similar to the previously mentioned Leaky Gut Syndrome.

What are the treatment options?

While there is no known cure for Rosacea, many trial treatments can vary in effectiveness for each patient. Anything from topical creams, oral medications, home remedies, and even laser treatments are known to ease the pain and symptoms for chronic sufferers.

Can Rosacea be controlled?

There are a few ways to change your diet and lifestyle which could potentially have an effect on the state of Rosacea. A few examples include:

  • Diet: Stick to a diet which mainly consists of green vegetables and protein. Stay away from too much acidic fruit which could only be aggravating the Rosacea on your face and body. The Alkaline Diet is specially formulated for people who need to substitute over-acidic foods which something that is more balanced.
  • Home remedies: Aloe vera, banana, avocado, and olive oil are great to use on skin which is sensitive and prone to Rosacea. Use a tonic of each every few days and apply over the inflamed area. Remove with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a cotton pad.
  • Exfoliating: Use a gentle exfoliating formula on your skin at least once a week to remove dead skin cells, and keep the area clean. Use products which are sulphate and fragrance-free since they can  only make your condition worse.
  • Face mapping: Skin conditions on your face are almost always associated with what’s happening on the inside. Face mapping easily determines why skin is acting out due to poor diet and lifestyle choices which could be aggravating your Rosacea.

Images via Pyratine, Rosacea Diets 

January 16, 2015

The No-Stress Guide To Skin Exfoliators

Exfoliating is an important part of a skincare routine since it helps to rejuvenate the cells, and create a foundation for softer, smoother skin.

But what products are best for beginners? Treat your skin the right way by using some of our holy grail items, ideal for women with normal to sensitive skin.

RELATED: 10 At-Home Skincare Treatments

How should I exfoliate?

Most people think of exfoliating as an abrasive way of stripping the skin of its natural oils. There are a number of ways to exfoliate the skin on your face and body without turning bright red; one of which is perfect for those with sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Muslin cloth

Warm a muslin cloth under a hot faucet, then remove any excess water. Use a cleanser on wet skin, and work the product in with your fingers. Gently wipe the cleanser off with the muslin cloth in large, downward swipes. After you’re done with this step, open the cloth and lay it directly over your face; this helps to open the pores and exfoliate skin without continuous scrubbing.

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The Body Shop Muslin Cloth, $3.95

Scrub

Scrubs are the most popular way to quickly and effectively exfoliate the skin, and are available anywhere from the supermarket to a high-end department store. Apply a pea-sized amount over damp skin, then work the product in with your fingers. If your skin is sensitive, don’t use formulas with added microbeads since they could potentially cause additional redness.

The No-Stress Guide To Skin Exfoliators

DermaVeen Daily Nourish Facial Exfoliator, $12.99

Powder

If your skin is prone to redness and inflammation, use a powder exfoliator in your skincare routine. Not only are powders less abrasive, but they are also a great idea if you want your product to last forever.

Sprinkle a pea-sized amount into your hand, then add some lukewarm water to the mixture. Work up a lather, then apply over your face, neck and décolletage.

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Dermalogica Daily Mircofoliant, $70

Manual exfoliators

A Personal Microderm (PMD) is a manual exfoliating system which helps to remove makeup, and unclog pores. Use with a gentle cleanser, scrub, or facial mask, and gently create a lather; focusing on areas such as the forehead, chin, and cheeks.

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Clarisonic Mia 2 Pink, $199

What should I do now?

After you have exfoliated your skin, apply a gentle toner over the entire face. Focus the product into the t-zone, chin and cheeks since these are the places most women experience acne or scarring.

Wait for your skin to soak it all up, then apply moisturiser. Skin will feel soft, and smooth almost immediately!

Image via Getty Images 

January 13, 2015

How To Treat Dehydrated Skin

The mystery of dehydrated skin is that almost everyone has it; even if you experience a typically oily t-zone and dry patches across your face.

This could be the result of a few different factors which include your diet, not enough moisture on the skin, and sometimes even a lack of exfoliating. If you find your skin is feeling particularly lacklustre, try a few of these tricks to combat dehydration.

RELATED: Home Remedies For Irritable Skin

Serums

Serums work for a variety of skin types since they are extremely gentle, and can be used to cure a number of skin disorders. Try using a serum at least 2 times a week after cleansing your skin but before applying moisturiser. The role of a serum is to prep the skin so it can better absorb moisturiser and eye creams, leaving skin quenched for the day. Apply just 2-3 drops into your hands, and dab onto the t-zone, cheeks and chin, or any other problem areas you have.

Exfoliate

Rather using an exfoliating scrub which could only disturb already sensitive skin, it’s much easier to exfoliate with a cotton cloth. Use a cleansing oil to remove your daily makeup and skincare, then run a cotton cloth or flannel under warm tap water. Gently remove any makeup with downward swipes, or leave the flannel over your face to open pores for a deep-treatment. This is a less abrasive way of exfoliating the face (and neck!), without using a harmful scrub which can cause redness and breakouts.

Moisturiser

Keep your skin feeling hydrated by applying an appropriate moisturiser for both morning and night. For the morning, use a lightweight formula with added SPF to keep your skin protected all day long. If your skin is acne-prone, there are many fragrance-free formulas which won’t clog your pores or disrupt established breakouts.

Before going to bed, use a rich moisturiser which will keep your skin hydrated while you sleep. This is extremely important since dehydrated skin needs constant attention – even when you think it doesn’t need it! Choose non-oily formulas which won’t leave your skin with a greasy residue the next morning.

Thermal water

Spritz your face with a thermal water to beat the heat, and keep skin hydrated for those hot summer days. Thermal water is perfect for dehydrated skin because it helps to keep pH levels consistent, and prevents breakouts if you’re acne-prone. Keep a small bottle in your handbag and spray every time your face needs some additional moisture throughout the day, or on a long plane trip.

How do you treat dehydrated skin? Let us know of your tips below.

Image via Veooz

December 22, 2014

Tried And Tested: Jurlique A Touch Of Luxe Facial

A facial should be a part of every woman’s beauty regime. Whether it be once a week, month or year, it is a little slice of luxury that we all need – and deserve. So, of course, I jumped at the chance to trial Jurlique’s latest facial treatment at their flagship store in Westfield Sydney.

RELATED: Why Should I Use A Facial Serum?

Little did I know that, not only was I in for a real treat, but the entire experience was more like a dream than a Monday morning. The age-reclaiming facial using Jurlique’s breakthrough Nutri-Define range is aptly named A Touch of Luxe Contouring and Defining Facial.

And what a way to start the week it was! Lucky for me, the treatment went for 90 minutes and not only did it incorporate unique and indulgent contouring and defining massage techniques to leave the skin replenished and revitalised, but it also included a back, neck and hand massage. I was in heaven.

The treatment also used some unique tools that, as a big fan of facials, were new to me. The tools being a Jade roller and Rose Quartz stones.

As explained to me in detail by my therapist: “The Jade roller – the stone of youth and longevity – is used to massage the face, stimulating the skin’s surface and increasing blood flow. Various roller movements are applied to pressure points on the face and neck to relieve muscle tension, while the cooling properties of the jade stones help to tone and firm the skin.”

Next, the Rose Quartz massage stones: “When the crystals are heated circulation is improved, helping to revitalise the skin and leave it looking energised, firm and smooth, while lines and wrinkles are minimised.

The Touch of Luxe Contouring and Defining Facial Treatment incorporates:

  • A neck and shoulder massage
  • Facial cleanse
  • Compress
  • Skin exfoliating treatment
  • Customised facial mask
  • Moisturising application
  • An arm and hand massage
  • Jurlique Nutri-Define Touch of Luxe Contouring and Defining

It really is the definition of a luxury indulgence and, needless to say, I enjoyed every one of the 90 minutes of it!

Available at selected Jurlique and department stores, $170rrp.

November 5, 2014

How To Keep Your Hands And Feet Feeling Soft

Now that winter is here, we have to deal with all of the side effects including dry hands and feet.  Of course winter isn’t the only reason why we develop dry skin. As well as the winter climate, dry hands and feet can also arise because of chemicals in the water, particular soaps that we use and if we wash our hands too often.

Tips for softer hands:

  • When you’re washing dishes use rubber gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals in the detergent and water
  • When you’re outside in the sun don’t forget to put sunscreen on your hands too
  • Try not to be too pedantic about washing your hands every five minutes.  The constant washing will dry our your skin
  • Moisturise after every time you wash your hands – keep the moisturiser in a small pump bottle next to your basin so you remember to do it
  • Exfoliate your hands once every few weeks (see below for a homemade scrub)
  • Before bed, coat your hands with moisturiser and then cover them with cotton gloves overnight
  • Include foods that are high in omega-3 in your diet as these can help your skin to feel softer and look healthier.  Salmon, tuna, walnuts and canola oil are all good sources of omega-3.

Tips for softer feet:

  • Ensure you dry your feet properly after a shower or bath
  • Before bed, lather your feet with moisturiser and then cover them with socks overnight
  • Soak your feet in warm water and milk (2 parts to 1) a couple of times a week and then use a pumice stone and exfoliator to gently scrub away the dry skin (see below for a homemade scrub)
  • Make sure you put your feet up at least a couple of times a week.  Being on your feet all day long, day after day can cause cracked feet
  • Ensure you wear comfortable footwear that fit properly.  If your shoes rub on your feet it can cause calluses to form
  • Give yourself a gentle foot massage twice a week with Vaseline, or even better, ask you partner to give you one

Homemade Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Why pay for expensive scrubs when you can make your own at home?  Sugar is great for your skin so try this homemade recipe and gently scrub away!

  • 1 x cup sugar (white or brown)
  • ½ cup almond oil
  • 1 x teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A dash of Vitamin E oil

Image via everydaylife.globalpost.com

July 22, 2014

Skincare Saviours For Acne-Prone Skin

Anyone with adult acne-prone skin can tell you that treating your skin with less product will help it over-time. The ‘less is more’ approach works wonders on helping skin breathe and repair itself. Although finding these holy-grail products can be prove difficult, since testing them on sensitive acne-prone skin can be a nightmare. Below are a handful of products which won’t break skin out, and are gentle enough to use everyday.

PanOxyl Acnegel 5, $5.00

This solution works to diminish the appearance of nasty spots and decrease any blemishes or redness that come along with it. Simply apply a tiny amount of the gel onto affected areas, then wash off after 1-2 hours. Don’t leave the solution on while you sleep, since it needs to be washed off to achieve the best results. A great product to use if you see an incoming pimple and want to stop it before it hits the surface.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, $27.99

The Effaclar Duo is mentioned so many times, but that’s simply because it works very well at reducing the severity of breakouts. Apply onto the entire face 1-3 times a day to help blackheads, whiteheads and breakouts diminish in just a few weeks. The formula is fragrance-free and won’t cause any incoming irritation or breakouts.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser 500mL, $13.19

Finding a great cleanser which won’t strip the skin from it’s natural oils is the first and most difficult part of a stable skincare routine. Cetaphil is ideal for any skin type (even infants) since it cleanses without removing the natural protective oils from the face. The product can be used with or without water, and it’s one of the most gentlest non-soap cleansers on the market.

Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque 60mL, $51

If you’re on the hunt for a rich deep cleansing face mask, Aesop have formulated one especially for acne-prone skin. The clay-based formula is packed with purifying botanicals which absorbs excess oil, calms problem areas and deeply refreshes the skin making it feel brand new. Use 1-2 times a week for best results.

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Face Wash for Acne 150mL, $12.99

Tea tree oil extract is another ingredient to look out for when choosing acne-friendly skincare products. It removes a build up of excess bacteria on the surface of the skin by gently cleansing away impurities. With just a touch of chamomile also found in the formula, it soothes skin keeping it fresh and soft.

Image via Huffington Post

By Felicia Sapountzis

June 4, 2014

Treat Psoriasis At Home

Although there may be no known treatment which could completely erase psoriasis, there are ways to control its nasty symptoms. Firstly here’s what you need to know about this pesky skin disease (which even Kim Kardashian suffers from): it is characterised as a disorder whereby the skin flakes up and cracks to expose red patches over various parts of the body. If you’ve tried every over-the-counter cream and just aren’t satisfied, try out these home remedies which could ease symptoms fast.

Moisturise regularly

An important step even if you aren’t suffering from psoriasis. Moisturising skin both morning and night leads to a less breakage across the surface, and will avoid any scaly or dry patches which are even more prominent in the autumn-winter months. If you’re low on time, use a spray moisturiser such as the Vaseline Intensive Care Spray & Go Moisturiser, $6.99. The formula absorbs quickly into the skin, and doesn’t leave a greasy residue.

Have a bath

If you have some spare time, draw a lukewarm back and soak your entire body. This rehydrates the dry and damaged patches of skin, and helps to soften the psoriasis on the surface. It will also temporarily relieve any symptoms of itching and redness you might experience.

Avoid shaving

Since shaving removes layers of dead skin cells, this is not ideal for skin which is suffering from psoriasis or any damaging skin disorder. Regular shaving will make the patches more prominent and could even aggravate the skin more.

Soap-free shower gels

Choose shower gels or cleansers which are targeted to sensitive skin, since they are less likely to infect the already delicate patches on the body. Gels with aloe vera are perfect since they specialise in cooling and repairing the skin, as opposed to soaps which could potentially dry the area out and cause even more damage.

Do you have any home remedies for managing psoriasis?

Image via Birth and Beyond Magazine

By Felicia Sapountzis

June 4, 2014

5 Best Products For Sensitive Skin

Living with sensitive skin can often mean sticking to same old skincare routine in fear that something could break you out, and effectively start World War III right on the surface of your skin. Take greater care when choosing products that don’t strip oil off the skin, since this is a major source of skin breakage and irritation. Below are some products which work wonders on sensitive skin, and don’t cause any bad breakouts.

1. Kosmea Organic Rose Hip Oil 20mL, $21.99

Rose Hip Oil is a skincare saviour for anyone who suffers from sensitive skin, acne or scarring. This product is packed with essential fatty acids which include omega-3 and contribute to healthy skin all year round. They act as a super-moisturiser which repairs skin cells while you sleep, and helps to effectively decrease the appearance of wrinkles, acne scarring and also stretch marks.

2. Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream 60mL, $49.00

Australian skincare brand, Aesop is revolutionising the way traditional products look and feel when they interact with the skin. They specialise in a number of hydrating creams which lock in moisture without feeling weighed-down. The cream also includes chamomile oil which softens the skin and avoids any irritation around the forehead or cheeks.

3. Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin 200mL, $20.95

Aloe Vera is known for it’s healing properties, and is the perfect ingredient to look out for when investing in skincare products. The soap-free formula gently cleanses the skin, while the aloe vera helps to keep any irritation at bay.

4. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo 40mL, $27.99

Effaclar Duo is an incredible product for anyone suffering from sensitive skin as well as mild acne. The formula is specifically made to decrease the amount of breakouts you accumulate, and avoid any nasty blackheads from popping up over the skin. Keratolytic acid which is found within the formula helps to reduce the amount of breakouts in just three days, and dramatically changes the look of skin if used on a regular basis. Even if you don’t suffer from acne, the formula is gentle enough to use every morning, and even works as a primer before applying makeup.

5. Puretopia Refresh & Balance Facial Mist & Toner, $14.95

Recommended for all skin types, this mist toner is also packed with soothing aloe vera and vitamin C which brightens skin tone and complexion. Use as a toner to minimise the look of pores, or lightly mist throughout the day to nourish dry skin.

Image Source: Biocutis

By Felicia Sapountzis

June 3, 2014

5 Of The Best Hydrating Hand Creams For Winter

The cold snap has hit and it’s only going to get colder, windier and more harsh on our skin – particularly those part of our bodies that aren’t covered up and hidden from the elements. While much emphasis is put on our faces, with products and treatments specifically designed to lessen the impact of winter conditions, it’s our hands that are left out in the cold. So we have searched high and low to source the best of the best hydrating hand creams that will help you get through the season with soft, supple and youthful-looking hands.

hand creams, hydrating cream, hydration, winter, skincare, dermalogica

Dermalogica Multivitamin Hand & Nail Treatment

An intense, non-greasy treatment of botanicals and vitamins to protect and repair chapped hands while strengthening nails against splitting and peeling. Contains no artificial fragrance or colours.

hand creams, hydrating cream, hydration, winter, skincare, Grown Alchemist

Grown Alchemist Intensive Hand Cream

A rich intensive hydrating hand cream that is instantly absorbed reviving the driest skin without leaving a greasy feel.

hand creams, hydrating cream, hydration, winter, skincare, The Aromatherapy Co

The Aromatherapy Co Therapy Range Hand Cream

Infused with rosehip, sweet almond and carrot seed oils, and extracts of pomegranate, blended with 100 per cent pure and natural essential oils of sweet orange and jasmine to encourage healthy, glowing skin. Sweet orange can boost circulation and aid in discouraging the formation of fine lines. Jasmine can encourage cell growth, improve skin elasticity and tone dry, irritated, sensitive skin providing suburb protection whilst rehydrating and leaving your skin radiant, restoring your hand’s inherent softness.

hand creams, hydrating cream, hydration, winter, skincare, Burt's Bees

Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream

This is a rich, all-natural hand cream made with sweet almond oil and vitamin E to moisturise dry skin and beeswax to help seal and shield your hands from the elements.

hand creams, hydrating cream, hydration, winter, skincare, Appelles

Appelles Sea Buckthorn Skin Lotion

The Sea Buckthorn Skin Lotion provides a supreme moisture effect in a lightweight formulation that will not leave the skin greasy or tacky. Sea buckthorn supports the epidermis resulting in a firmer, more youthful-looking skin. This is packed with antioxidants including the precursor formulation of vitamin A that is amazing for promoting cellular turnover, regulating the moisture content and brightening.

May 19, 2014

Does Laser Hair Removal Really Work?

We ladies love long luxurious hair on our heads however we are not so much of a fan of having it on the rest of our bodies, right? Anyone remember bleaching the hair on the upper lip?  Or the chemical wonder in a tube that sent hair, and several layers of skin, swirling down the drain and not to mention the smell of it was enough for you to pass out in the bathroom?  If not, look it up or ask your mum about it.  She’ll tell you she doesn’t wear short shorts anymore for a reason having nothing to do with age.  Since the desire for hairlessness on certain body parts has stood the test of time, many have turned to laser hair removal.  

Dr Glenn Murray from Absolute Cosmetic Medicine was sceptical over 20 years ago when he tried this procedure on his wife: “We tried it on her bikini line only to find that it didn’t come back and that we may have taken off more than we should have.” So let’s go deeper into the world of laser and you can decide whether this treatment is for you.

The basics

What is it exactly?  Laser hair removal is done with a machine emitting an intense pulse light or IPL.  It’s a fairly pure light used to heat up the pigment   and follicle of hair which kills the follicle.  New hair cannot grow from a damaged or dead follicle. Here’s where it gets tricky sometimes other factors such as fluctuating hormone levels in the future may trigger off dormant hair follicles that had not grown previously. It’s not the old hair coming back but new hair that has grown from follicles, which have not been previously damaged. This is why sometimes laser is often though not to be permanent. With another trip to your local IPL specialist and BAM hairless again.

Who can use IPL machines?  In some areas, only licensed physicians can use IPL machines but other places allow the use in a clinical setting where there may not be a licensed physician on site.  To further confuse matters, hair removal machines are sold on TV and in drug stores as “medical grade” giving credence to the idea that they are actual medical devices.  In fact, many are extremely weak and unlikely to work well at all.  Others are stronger and may work to a degree but could cause permanent skin damage if used incorrectly.

Clinic, doctor or DIY?

The answer here is clinic or doctor.  You don’t cut your own hair and rarely paint your own nails!  DO NOT do your own laser hair removal.  First, you may get carried away and take off too much or do serious damage to your skin.  Secondly, removing unwanted hair requires more than picking up a device at the discount store and aiming it your face or bikini line.  The ads on TV make it look as simple as waving a wand-like object over unwanted hair and magically, hair is gone.

Proper laser hair removal is a process.  The process works but takes time and more than one treatment.  Cost per treatment at a clinic is usually less expensive than a doctor’s office.  However, clinic treatments are usually higher in number to achieve the same results as a doctor’s office so the cost can add up to about the same or higher. With saying all of this the questions still remains, does it really work

Before your treatment

Avoid the sun before your treatment.  The treatment works better when there is a difference in tone between skin and hair.  Tonal difference is why grey hairs, with less pigment, are more difficult but not impossible, to remove. 

Plan timing around your period.  Due to hormonal fluctuations and extra sensitivity in skin, avoid coming in 1-2 days prior to your period starting. 

Don’t wax prior to treatment.   Obviously, to remove hairs by damaging pigment and follicle, the laser needs to lock on to hair.  Shaving is OK, and even recommended, as long as it isn’t a super close shave.  Treatment works best when hair is about 1 mm in length, which is slight stubble. 

Be prepared to pamper yourself.  Bring an ice pack for sensitive or hot areas after treatment and use a bland (no dyes or perfumes) moisturiser and follow instructions carefully. 

The permanence of laser hair removal is appealing.  Constant waxing and shaving is tiresome and time consuming. Honestly, we have much better things to do than to be constantly defuzzing ourselves.  Our mothers always told us to wear nice clean underwear in case we were in an accident.  Well, wouldn’t it be great to also have smooth hairless skin all the time too?  

May 6, 2014

4 Evils That Are Prematurely Ageing Your Skin

Experts in dermatology and cellular energy from around the world have revealed new scientific findings on ‘skin-cell fatigue’ – highlighting four key energy drainers that not only age the skin, but may deplete skin’s energy beyond its ability to respond to even the most expensive anti-ageing skincare products.

At a press conference held at the 6th Asia and Oceania Conference on Photobiology (AOCP) in Sydney, the latest scientific findings on skin-cell fatigue were presented, for the first time showing how four energy drainers of stress, ultraviolet radiation, pollution and diet impact the appearance of the skin, and the response of skin to anti-ageing skincare products on the market.

According to the UK’s Professor Mark Birch-Machin, Professor of Molecular Dermatology, Newcastle University, the decline in energy production is known to begin in a woman’s 20s and continues to decline through to her 60s, resulting in skin issues such as wrinkles, skin discoloration and dryness.

“In recent years we’ve witnessed a revolution in the study of skin-cell fatigue, fueled by the development of technology that can visualize and measure skin-cell energy in living skin,” Professor Birch-Machin said.

“This science helps explain how skin-cells respond to internal and external factors – primarily, the four key energy drainers of stress, UV exposure, pollution and diet – and how skin-cell energy production declines with ageing.

“These drainers can affect skin energy in several ways – by creating free radicals that affect cell energy production, depleting skin’s natural antioxidant system, damaging nuclear DNA and cell proteins which then require energy for repairs, or damaging the mitochondrial DNA permanently which decreases energy production.”

Dr John Oblong, the principle scientist at Procter & Gamble, explains that this new technology and science, pioneered by companies like P&G, is now being utilized in the development of skincare products.

“By visualizing the metabolic activity of skin-cells, we can now measure the effect of specific ingredients and formulations on skin at a cellular level and carefully refine our product formulas to make them even more effective at refueling and protecting fatigued skin-cells, jumpstarting them into a new level of vitality,” Dr Oblong said.

“Women and men today are more engaged in the health of their skin than ever before, investing time, energy and in some cases – significant amounts of money.

“This new science suggests that the most expensive products may not yield better results, while the skin’s energy continues to be depleted by the key drainers of stress, UV exposure, pollution and diet.”

May 3, 2014

How To Take The Sore Out Of Coldsores

If coldsores are a recurring nightmare for you, you are not alone. Up to 80 per cent of the adult population are infected with the cold sore virus with approximately 30 per cent having apparent reoccurring outbreaks. Health and beauty expert Fiona Tuck, MD of Skinstitut Australia and author of the myth minx, investigates what cold sores are and can they really be banished for good?

Cold sores are characterised by painful, burning or itching clusters of small blisters usually found on the lips and oral mucous membranes. Cold sores (namely herpes labalis) are due to a virus called HSV-1 or herpes simplex virus which, once transmitted, can remain latent in the nerve root ganglion of infected individuals. After the initial infection this dormant virus seemly disappears only to be reactivated under stress. Reoccurring breakouts have been found to be more common in individuals with high stress levels such as personal trauma, emotional stress and work levels such as personal trauma, emotional stress and work-related pressures.

Additional stressors that may attribute to reactivation of the virus include:

Fever

Illness

Physical and emotional trauma

Compromised immune system

UV light

Diet can also play an aggravating part and high sugar, refined carbohydrates and high arginine consumption has been found to further aggravate this condition.

When the herpes virus invades a cell it alters cell metabolism causing it to synthesise virus specific proteins high in the amino acid arginine and low in the amino acid lysine. A diet high in lysine and low in arginine may well assist with the inhibition of the virus.

Minimise arginine-rich foods such as:

Nuts and seeds

Grains (eg. wheat, oats, rice, corn)

Legumes

Chocolate

Gelatin

Caffeine

Berries grapes, garlic, orange juice

Eat more lysine-rich foods such as:

Fish

Beef, lamb, chicken and turkey

Brewer’s yeast

Dairy (eg. milk, cheese, yoghurt)

Fruits and vegetables particularly avocado, beetroot, apples, mango, pears

Supplemental lysine can be taken prior to an expected outbreak such as prior to a stressful event, surgery or an intensive skin treatment such as a chemical peel or laser treatment.

Over the counter medications are also available for topical application to a lesion and prescription med­ication may also be taken to prevent an expected outbreak. Colloidal silver (available from health foods stores) is a wonderful natural treatment to heal and clear breakouts. The liquid can be applied topically to the lesion and reapplied regularly to speed healing time. Application prior to the lesion at the dreaded tingle ‘I can feel an outbreak coming’ stage can also be beneficial in preventing a blister from actually appearing.

So whilst we cannot ever get rid of the virus we can certainly help prevent cold sore flare ups by look­ing at stress busting techniques such as yoga and meditation and controlling dietary intake of lysine and arginine rich foods.

April 27, 2014

An Expert’s Tips To Treating Cellulite

Cellulite. It’s a fact of life for many of us. Nobody wants it and nobody really wants to discuss it. But seeing images of bikini-clad, butt-baring models with smooth, dimple-free skin can leave you with a sense of “what the..?” Fiona Tuck, Skinstitut Australia’s managing director and author of The Myth Minx, has investigated some of the ways to treat cellulite and busts some myths along the way.

Firstly, methods to treat cellulite have been few and far between with most being unsuccessful. The reason for this being due to a lack of understanding of the real causes of cellulite and how to effectively treat it. Fiona says that years of pummelling and pounding vigorous massages, torturous-looking cellulite hand held home devices and cellulite dissolving gels are a myth.

“In fact, over zealous massage, once thought to break down stubborn fat deposits, has now been proven to have the opposite effect – make it worse,” she says.

Tips to reduce cellulite:

Reduce pro-inflammatory foods in the diet such as fatty foods, saturated fat in red meat, dairy, refined processed foods, salt and sugar. Saturated fat, transfats and sugar are HUGE enemies of cellulite and hormone imbalance.

Increase essential fats to maintain cell integrity and strength. Include nuts, seeds and oily fish in your diet. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to ensure high intakes of antioxidants, phytonutrients and bioflavonoids. These assist with healthy collagen production, cell protection and assist with the prevention of excessive collagen breakdown.

Adequate amino acids and protein intake are essential for healthy connective tissue and collagen production. A loss of connective tissue and collagen will worsen cellulite.

Topical creams and essential oils such as juniper, fennel, ginger and even caffeine derivatives can assist with enhancing peripheral circulation but do little to assist with the actual integrity of the skin. Topical application of retinol and vitamin C are essential for assisting with healthy connective tissue.

Professional manual lymphatic drainage massage is excellent to reduce sponginess and fluid retention and the removal of toxins from the fat cells.

Dry body brush daily at home to improve lymphatic system health and excess fluid retention between cells.

Dermal rolling is also always a useful technique. This can induce collagen production and skin integrity thereby constraining the hypertrophied fat cells. Stay well away from basic mechanical rolling and pressure devices and pummelling massagers. Whilst once thought to break down fat it is now know that these options are the worst cellulite treatments of them all. This is due to causing further damage to the weakened connective tissue therefore worsening the appearance of cellulite.

There are more advanced paramedical clinical treatments now available using radiofrequency technologies which target the weakened connective tissue thus reducing the bulging fat cells. Combined with lymphatic drainage these treatments can provide exceptional results. But these treatments can be costly and sometimes painful.

So there you have it healthy diet, exercise, application of quality ingredients and the right professional treatments can lead you on the way to smoother thighs.

April 4, 2014

Light Relief: How to Get Rid of Skin Pigmentation

As you bask in your summer glow, you might also be getting visits from its unwelcome relatives, including dark spots and uneven skin discolouration – pigmentation by any other name. Ways to out those damned spots.

Lines and wrinkles are the most lamented signs of ageing skin, but dark spots or patches (aka pigmentation) caused by sun damage, hormones or inflammatory reactions to skin trauma can, incredibly, make you look 10-15 years older than your true age.

In Australia’s harsh climate, this makes it a very big deal. Indeed, a survey conducted by skincare giant Clinique in 2011 revealed that pigmentation was the third largest skin care concern among Australian women, with 62 percent of those surveyed saying they suffered from it to some degree.

“When we look at skin, we see a reflectance of light,” says associate professor Greg Goodman, from the Dermatology Institute of Victoria. “Light bounces off the epidermis and, if it’s well hydrated and even in tone, the result is a nice vibrant effect. If, however, the epidermis is unevenly coloured, light will bounce back at you in a scattered, dull way.”

So …  just as a key hallmark of young or youthful-looking skin is its ability to reflect light (ie. radiance), dullness and discolouration that “swallow” light create the perception of an ageing skin.

Not only can pigmentation contribute to an older appearance, in more severe cases it can cause emotional distress. Sufferers may resort to wearing thick, layers of makeup to mask it or avoid social situations they believe will place them under negative scrutiny.

They main causes of pigmentation are:

Excess of melanin, or pigment,  in the skin as a result of too much UV exposure (solar lentigines: isolated dark spots, or spreads of finely clustered freckle-like spots). Some people are so sun-sensitive, however, that that a short walk in the park can bring it on. Pigmentation as a result of sun damage takes the form of.

Hormones play a role in many cases. Many women develop pigmentation from taking the contraceptive pill or during pregnancy. This is known as melasma (it can also result from genetic and other factors) and, while it usually fades after childbirth, it may persist in some cases. Melasma is notoriously difficult to treat and may recur even after an apparently successful treatment.

When the skin scars after an injury (whether from an accident, surgery or from acne outbreaks) it may develop post-inflammatory pigmentation.

Being vigilant about applying a high SPF, broad spectrum sunscreen on a daily basis, wearing protective clothing such as hats and avoiding unnecessary or prolonged exposure to the sun are key to avoiding pigmentation.

However, once you have it, these basic rules may stop the condition worsening, but won’t cure it. The dark spots and patches usually fade in the mellower months but they’re bound to make a comeback when the sun is once again at its seasonal peaks.

Reducing and ideally reversing pigmentation requires dedicated treatment. Depending on its severity – or your level of concern and your budget – this can range from home skin care regimens to salon or spa solutions or calling in the bigger guns – scientific-medical technologies and treatments. SheSaid looks at the options in the first of two parts.

Topical treatments
Just about every chemist, department store and “boutique” skincare outlet (from medi-clinics to beauty salons and retail cosmetic chains) carry lightening/brightening products to cater for pigmentation conditions and budgets across the spectrum.

They vary greatly in the range and intensity of their active ingredients – eg. kojic acid, niacinamide (Vitamin B), bearberry, coffeeberry, liquorice extract, Vitamin C, rice bran extract, glycolic and salicylic acids (to name but a few). These “melanin inhibitors” target the pigment production phase.

All can help pigmentation to fade, but they require dedicated use and it may take weeks or months to see an improvement. Melanin is not only hard to remove but has a dark habit of coming back (hence wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen every day is crucial when treating pigmentation).

When pigmentation is particularly problematic – as in the case of melasma – you are probably best to get a referral from your GP to a dermatologist.

“Melasma is a difficult condition that causes a lot of distress,” says Sydney dermatologist Dr Chris Kearney, who prefers to address this type of pigmentation with prescription formulations incorporating hydroquinone. The latter is commonly mistaken for a bleaching agent, when it actually works by blocking tyrosinase – the enzyme that tells cells to produce pigment.

Exfoliation
What’s going on in the top layer of the skin where excess pigment is housed can be helped with exfoliation – such as peels or microdermabrasion. This also allows for greater penetration and effectiveness of lightening/brightening products.

If you’re using skin peels or microdermabrasion systems at home, remember that over-zealous use can actually contribute to making pigmentation worse by inflaming the skin or making it weaker and, so, more vulnerable to sun damage.

Beauty salon or medi-clinic treatments use various types and strengths of enzyme or acid peels that are usually conducted over several intervals. These chomp away at the dead, discoloured superficial layers of the skin. In some clinics, peels are followed by an LED (Light Emitting Diode) treatment, such as Omnilux, to help reduce any side effects and speed up the time your tissue takes to regenerate.

What products have you used to treat skin pigmentation?

February 17, 2014

A-Z of Cosmeceutical Skincare

We’ve come a long way, lady, from the days when cold cream and rosewater were the biggest guns in the skincare arsenal.

Harnessing the power of science, over the past decade “ cosmeceuticals” have changed the entire landscape of skincare, arming us with clinically proven weapons against (and for the prevention of) lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and other signs of skin damage and ageing.

Australian experts have been at the forefront of this revolution, no doubt driven by our harsh climate and a generation of sun-worshipping Baby Boomers paying the price for the unwitting follies of their youth, seeking solutions.

But the cosmeceutical industry has also become a dizzying minefield of ABCs and A-Zincs of vitamins, minerals, peptides, ceramides, microbial technology, rare and exotic marine and botanical extracts to ingredients from Icelandic volcanic soil … and blah, blah and blah.

What to choose? What works? How does it work? What works with what? Will it work on me? These are but a few of the questions on consumers’ minds when deciding how to spend what are not insignificant prices for “miracle” formulations.

SheSaid asked a leader in the cosmeceuticals industry, Australian biomedical scientist and cosmetic chemist Terri Vinson, founder of Synergie Minerals and Synergie Skin, to make it simple:

“Most over-the-counter (OTC) products are created for a budget and often more money is spent by the manufacturer on marketing and packaging than the contents on the bottle!” she says.

“Consumers are now becoming aware of the media hype and are savvier than ever in understanding ingredients.”

This is her advice for choosing your basic cosmeceuticals and how to use them wisely:

Prepare your skin for active ingredients with a gentle cleanser: “Since a cleanser is a wash-off product and only in contact with the skin surface for less than 30 seconds, adding active ingredients is not logical. Save your precious actives for products that remain on the skin.” After massaging cleanser into your skin for maximum removal of makeup and dirt, remove with a face washer (don’t be too rough with it) or splashing clean with tepid water.

For day, apply a Vitamin C serum (or L-ascorbic acid powder mixed with a water-based serum immediately before use) under your moisturiser and/or sunscreen. It assists with sun defence, as well as helping clarify the complexion, addressing pigmentation and brightening. However, not all vitamin C serums are created equal, according to Terri. For more detail, visit www.synergieskin.com

The most important skin care product of all is sunscreen – of the high SPF, broad-spectrum variety used every day, rain or shine, all year round. Luckily we live in an age where these abound, are eminently affordable and can come combined as a moisturiser, foundation, BB or CC cream. Apply over face, neck and “dec” (decolletage). “Sunscreen is your primary insurance policy against environmental ageing,” says Terri.

For PM skincare, remove the day’s makeup and dirt with a gentle cleanser. Apply a Vitamin A serum over face, neck and dec and wait for three minutes. Vitamin A encourages cellular turnover for firmer, more youthful-looking skin. Again, not all “A”s are top of the grade. Check out Synergie’s site for more info. “World-renowned [US] dermatologist Professor Leslie Baumann states that mixing [retinol] with acids, particularly chemical exfoliants, results in its chemical breakdown and ineffectiveness.

The next step is to apply Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) over the same areas. B3 helps boost skin hydration and reduce pigmentation. Contrary to a lot of advice out there, Terri urges that niacinamide serums should not be used at the same time as L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), lactic, glycolic or salicylic acid-based products for the same reason as not combing them with Vitamin A.

Follow with a nourishing moisturiser for overnight regeneration.

“Formulating cosmeceutical skincare is based on complex chemistry,” Terri concludes. “It’s not simply throwing together various active ingredients and expecting a result. Any cosmetic formulator must respect and have a deep understanding of how ingredients interact with human cells, how ingredients react with each other and clinical data to support scientific claims.”

Have you tried cosmeceutical skincare? What are your favourite products?

February 4, 2014

We Review Infini Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation

Non-surgical facial rejuvenation technologies have ramped up several notches with the introduction of Infini, and a clinical study claiming it is up to 49 percent as effective as a surgical facelift.

As little as 10 years ago the answer to sagging facial contours and wrinkled, lax skin was a choice between the scalpel or ageing graciously. Then non-surgical rejuvenation technologies came along and revolutionised the face of ageing.

Devices harnessing energy sources such as light (laser), radiofrequency and ultrasound allowed consumers to achieve a firmer, younger-looking appearance without the invasiveness of surgery, its expense and the healing downtime involved.

This, in turn, allowed them to prolong the need for cosmetic plastic surgery (if that was ever on their radar) or avoid it altogether.

Now non-surgical facial rejuvenation has ramped up several notches with Infini, a treatment described as “3D Micro-Needling Fractional Radio Frequency (MFR)”.

A clinical study conducted among 499 participants in five countries showed that Infini could be up to 49 percent as effective as a surgical facelift.

When asked to trial Infini at cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson’s Sydney clinic (the first in Australia with the technology), I wasn’t exactly skeptical but, as a specialist writer in cosmetic anti-ageing for more than five years (and with a great personal interest in subject for years prior to that), I have heard my share of extravagant product claims.

I have also had a number of non-surgical facial firming/rejuvenating treatments over the years. While they certainly made a difference, it was of the subtle kind that attracted comments from others like “you look well – have you been on holidays?” rather than seeing it for myself in the mirror. Because the improvements are gradual, over a period of 3-6 months as collagen in the dermis is regenerated, it’s hard to see these changes for yourself.

After the first session of Infini (two down, one to go), I began to notice distinct improvements within about two weeks. It wasn’t that I was staring in the mirror watching for results – it was catching random glimpses of myself in glass reflections (the latter are way worse than mirrors as they tend to exaggerate every groove and depression. Or maybe they just tell the plainer truth!).

The hollows under my eyes appeared less … well … hollow, my jawline seemed firmer and my mouth corners not so ☹. In the mirror my skin looked fresher. Llnes weren’t as pronounced around my eyes and pigmented patches were lighter. Overall my complexion looked and felt more hydrated and it absorbed product more effectively.

My skin is definitely improving all the time and I still have one session to go. I’m told I’ll see optimal results 3-6 months after my final treatment.

One not-so-great by-product is that the intensive process of cell renewal generated by Infini seems to have dislodged all the murky stuff that lay beneath and brought it to the surface. For about a month I was getting breakouts, particularly around my chin and lip area. I’m told this is a good thing and a sign Infini is doing its work. Thankfully the eruptions have now subsided but I delayed my final Infini treatment as a result.

So, what is Infini? 

Non-surgical rejuvenation technologies using radiofrequency (RF) heat the dermis (the second of the skin’s three layers) to stimulate the production of new collagen and, so, renew and tighten the skin. Because RF doesn’t affect the epidermis (surface of the skin) there’s no way of telling what effect it is having underneath if the setting is too high – until it’s too late and the patient is burnt.

By using a “micro-needling” handpiece that creates fractional micro-holes in epidermis, higher levels of RF can be delivered to the dermis with more predictable results than RF used alone. Micro-needling is also well documented to generate production of new collagen in its own right.

This all means more dramatic results. It also meant my face was left beetroot red immediately after treatment, and it took up to a day for the red-pink blush to fully subside. But more of that in shortly…

What does an Infini treatment involve?

I was told there could be pain or discomfort, but I’ve heard that before. Yeah, yeah. yeah. I consider myself an aficionado of these treatments and, combined with extensive corrective dental work over the years, have a high pain threshold.

So maybe I was just too cocky. I won’t lie…it hurt. Quite a bit.

After two applications of numbing cream at 20-minute intervals, Hannah, my designated therapist, got down to biz. There were to be three “passes” over my face and upper neck of decreasing intensity. Hannah started on my forehead and worked down (with extra attention to the droopiest and most lined areas), along systematic lines. On each “line” there were up to five short, sharp pulses of micro-needles delivering RF.

Each pulse of the first “pass” jolted me and I asked for micro-breaks. The second pass was easier and by the third it was bearable. It was all over in about 30 minutes.

Redness is an oft-cited side effect of skin rejuvenation treatments. I’ve rarely suffered any but in this case it was no lie, either. My face was bright red (mainly the result of the micro-needling) but fortunately the clinic recommended Synergie Minerals’ Mineralwhip Antioxidant Cream Foundation as the ultimate post-procedure cover-up. Although light and silky, it covered the redness so no one could tell I’d had anything done. I went straight on to a meeting.

My skin was still a bit red, then pink for a day after each of my two sessions so far and felt somewhat dry and flaky for up to a week.

Is Infini for you?

Dr Hogdkinson says Infini is ideal for those concerned by moderate signs of facial drooping and skin laxity who aren’t ready for, or want to avoid cosmetic surgery.

“However, if a patient has passed a certain point, I will recommend they save their money for when they are ready to have a surgical rejuvenation procedure,” he says. “Otherwise they will be wasting their money and I don’t condone that.”

Although I found Infini … uncomfortable … I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it in light of the results I have achieved so far. No pain, no gain as the cliché goes.

I would, however, advise accepting the offer of a pre-procedure painkiller or sedative (in that event, make sure you have a lift organised home, or get a taxi)!

You don’t have to go the “whole hog”, either, as I did. Patients can have either the superficial RF or the micro-needling as individual treatments. This is ideal for younger patients and those who just want a subtle boost.

What anti-ageing treatments have you tried and loved (or hated!). Tell us in the comments!

February 3, 2014

How to Reduce Cellulite (No, Really!)

Cellulite is one of the most frustrating issues for women of all ages, sizes and ethnicities, and if you have it, welcome to the “over 80% of women above 20 years of age” club that develop it at some point in their lives.

Unfortunately for women it’s not only due in part to our hormonal profile and an excess of estrogens, but it’s also related to how many toxins our bodies are holding on to, and to the anatomy of our skin and the way in which our fat cells and receptors are distributed.

Fitness and health expert Alexa Towersey, listed by Lifestyle Asia as one of the Top 5 Toughest Personal Trainers in 2013, knows there is no miracle overnight cure to getting rid of cellulite. But there are ways to combat cellulite naturally by making some lifestyle changes. Here’s how:

1. Minimise your exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants
Go organic with your cosmetics and household products (check out www.ewg.org to find out how toxic your favourite brands are), don’t reheat your food in plastic containers, avoid soy products, and buy organic produce when possible.  If you’re on a budget and need to prioritise, watch out for the pesticide laden “Dirty Dozen”: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, capsicum, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale.

2. Eat nutritionally dense, high fiber and low GI foods to manage your blood sugar and reduce bodyfat
The worst offenders for cellulite are alcohol, caffeine and refined sugars.  If you just can’t do without your glass of wine with dinner, stick to Sardinian and Spanish red wines, pinot and merlot which have some beneficial anti-oxidants.

3. Cellulite isn’t just a fat issue, it’s a skin issue
One of the reasons it may be so visible is that the collagen in your skin lacks optimal connective tissue structure. Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C, high in collagen strengthening and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals, and have lots of essential fatty acids.  Citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruits and oranges are good choices, as are nuts and seeds. Plant based omega oils are a great supplement to increase fat burning, decrease inflammation and improve the health of our cell membranes.

4.  Support your digestive system
Learn to love your cruciferous veges (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy) which contain compounds that draw out excess estrogens, and include plenty of fiber which will then bind to and eliminate the waste products (flaxseeds, dark green leafy veges, fresh fruits, beans and lentils, steel-cut oats, buckwheat and barley).  Raw apple cider vinegar in warm water is a strong digestive aid, and a really cheap and effective way to kickstart your system first thing in the morning.  I’m a fan of includng a good quality probiotic and a plant based digestive enzyme.

cellulite

5. Use resistance training to help rebalance your hormones and reshape your body
Hormonal imbalances can often show up as stubborn fat on different parts of your body, with estrogen dominating the hip and thigh region.  You can effectively lean out your legs by telling your body to turn on your fat burning hormones and turn off your fat storing hormones.  I recommend women include weights as part of their training program using a circuit style of high reps (15-25), moderate weight and low rest.  For fans of spin classes, I’m sorry I’m about to ruin your day, but research has shown that spinning actually increases the intramuscular fat stores in the legs!

6. Reduce the appearance of cellulite by improving your circulation
Lymphatic drainage and detoxification channels using alternative body treatments such as acupuncture, lymphatic drainage massage, Epsom salts baths, body brushing and infra-red saunas will all help to reduce cellulite.  Drinking plenty of water is also important for flushing out toxins.

What are your best tips for reducing the appearance of cellulite?

January 29, 2014

6 of the Best New Age Facials

Facials aren’t what they used to be – thank goodness! It’s no longer enough to be pampered. We want real results, and there’s something for every skin.

While blissful, traditional pampering facials really don’t do much for the skin beyond a fleeting after-glow. With huge advances in rejuvenating and corrective skincare technology, women now expect to see visible, ongoing results from solutions-driven facial treatments.

SheSaid looks at six of the best facial treatments, whether to give your face a boost for festive season frolics – or to recover from them! (Prices and treatment protocols may vary according to the location).

PRIORI® CoffeeBerry Yoga Facial with Omnilux Light Therapy
Equal parts pampering and potent. The treatment starts with a blissful “yoga” massage of the arms, hands, neck, décolletage and scalp. Next comes a cleanse, exfoliating peel, facial massage and mask using Priori CoffeeBerry products. CoffeeBerry extract is the most potent form of natural antioxidants of any fruit, vegetable or tea – indeed, it’s three times more potent than green tea. Priori products are also free of parabens and petro chemicals. The Yoga Facial improves hydration for anti-ageing benefits such as a visible reduction of lines,  wrinkles and pigmentation and refines skin texture for a smoother, more radiant complexion. You won’t recognise yourself afterwards (I barely could!). The Yoga Facial may be followed by Omnilux Light Therapy for around 20 minutes, a non-invasive treatment that helps boost skin regeneration with no downtime.

Visit www.spauniverse.com.au for a salon near you.

Eminence Firm Skin Facial
For people who want real results from products without chemicals, the Firm Skin Facial starts with a thorough cleansing and enzymatic peeling using “active organics”. This stimulates blood flow, transporting fresh nutrients and oxygen into the tissue. There is a lot of active product application and a great “organic Botox” massage that combines some facial muscle manipulation with lymphatic drainage. The skin looks immediately lifted, firmer and more hydrated. The “holiday glow” has lasted up to a week in my experience, using home care products from the Hungarian range to maximise results. Firm Skin Facial is particularly effective for anti-ageing, hydrating and detoxifying.

Call 1800 142 182 or www.eminenceorganics.com.au

Ariane Inden Personalised Facial Treatments
An Ariane Inden facial starts with a computer analysis of your skin’s condition to determine the percentage of moisture and sebum. A treatment is then prescribed according to which one of the 32 skin types you are, as identified by the Dutch-based skin care company.

These are based on eight skin characteristics (Tired, Stressed, Acne, Wrinkles, Sensitive and allergic, Thick Skin, Thin and couperose, Perfect and beautiful) and four skin conditions: (low moisture/high natural sebum; high moisture/low natural sebum; low moisture/low natural sebum; high moisture/ high natural sebum). All facial treatments use high concentrations of anti-ageing vitamins A, C and E. There is a big emphasis on face, neck and shoulder massage (sublime!) to promote better blood flow and infuse the tissues with youth-giving oxygen.

You float out of the clinic looking radiant – but only after a complimentary makeup session and armed with a menu suggestion of ideal home care products.

While high tech, Ariane Inden products are hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested (not on animals), do not contain animal ingredients and are available scented and unscented, without colouring agents.

Call 02 8964 7005; www.facebook.com/arianeindenaustralia

MEDIK8 “Lunchtime” Facial Peel Treatments
High performance British cosmeceutical clinical and home skincare range Medik8 has “lunchtime” acid and enzyme peels for different conditions that leave skin looking younger, clearer and more radiant, with increased hydration and elasticity. During treatment, there may the sensation of tingling or even mild stinging for a few minutes, but there is no redness or peeling afterwards, so no downtime. Skin continues to improve after treatment. Depending on your preference and practitioner, the peels may be combined with massages or masks.

There is Superfacial, to pep up dull skin, White Peel to help lighten pigmentation, Age Peel to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and imperfections, Eye Peel to improve tone, texture and plumpness around the vulnerable eye area (also good for upper lip, decolletage and backs of hands) and Beta Peel to combat and help prevent future occurrences of acne, breakouts and congestion.

Call Advanced Cosmeceuticals on 1800 242 011 or visit www.medik8.com.au

Clear + Brilliant
Designed to fill the space between a microdermabrasion and more aggressive laser treatments such as Fraxel, Clear + Brilliant can be used as a one-off treatment for younger-looking, more radiant skin before a special event or over a course of treatments for longer term youth-giving improvements. It’s not a pamper fest, let’s get that straight. Numbing cream is applied and then the laser device is moved over the face in precise areas in meticulous strokes (simultaneously with cold air for comfort). There may be a sensation of slight, warm prickles or even of getting sunburnt. Skin can look pink to red for up to a day afterwards and feel a bit dry, so Clear + Brilliant needs to be planned ahead. It’s ideal perfect for those who want to refresh their skin, or are looking to prevent the signs of ageing (or both!). It’s is designed for all skin types, colour and age, even people in their 20s.  You will see results immediately and more as time goes on.

Visit www.clearandbrilliant.com/consumer/find-a-doctor

Luminiere Microdermabrasion, Peel and Omnilux Facial Treatment
A Luminiere microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals to deeply exfoliate the build-up of dead cells that contribute to conditions from breakouts to dullness and fine lines. Products used afterwards will penetrate more effectively to enhance results. Microdermabrasion also improves lymphatic drainage and circulation for a clearer, brighter complexion. It sounds scratchy but in fact it is a very soothing, almost massage-like experience as the therapist systematically works the microdermabrasion device over the face.

A light chemical peel follows to remove the top layers of skin and help stimulate collagen production and combat the signs of sun damage. The type used at Luminiere will be completely dependent on your skin type and concerns. You may feel a tingling, or even mild stinging sensation for a few minutes as the peel works its magic.

Omnilux Light Therapy follows to stimulate the body’s natural process to heal and rejuvenate the skin. You glow!

Call 1300 586 000 or www.luminiere.com.au

What’s your favourite facial treatment? Share it in the comments!

December 17, 2013

3 Totally Weird Anti-Ageing Treatments (And Why They Work)

Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I often applied a face mask which included toxic white lead as an ingredient? Or that the Ancient Romans believed that gladiator sweat could create a glowing complexion?

Weird, right? Well you may be surprised to learn that the 21st century has some totally bizarre anti-ageing beauty treatments all of its own.

We look at 3 anti-ageing beauty treatments that might freak you out – but actually work!

Snail Cream
Yes, you heard right. Snail cream has been big in Korea for several years, but it’s taken the likes of celebrity Katie Holmes to get products infused with snail filtrate flying off the shelves in the West.

When we talk about snail cream, we’re talking about products made from snail filtrate or mucin. You know, the glittery trail your good friend the garden snail leaves behind. The creams also tend to be formulated with other skin-loving ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin E.

Rumour has it that snail filtrate’s efficacy was first discovered by Chinese snail farmers, who found that handling the snails made their skin heal quickly and minimised scarring.

Snail cream is marketed as a product that can fade scarring, fight acne, moisturise skin and even fight the signs of ageing. If you’re feeling brave, you can even opt for a snail facial!

How does it work?
Snail filtrate contains allatoin, which promotes tissue growth; glycolic acid, which breaks down dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores and dullness; hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin to maintain moisture and; collagen, which strengthens the skin and protects it from environmental toxins.

Interested? Try Tony Moly’s Intense Care Snail Cream Set.

SYN-ake Cream
Again with the creepy crawlies? Not quite. SYN-ake cream isn’t actually made from snakes, nor will it give you scaly skin (phew!). Instead, it contains a synthetic peptide that mimics the effects of a polypepetide found in the Malaysian Temple Viper’s venom.

While SYN-ake anti-aging cream is a fairly new skin care innovation, it already boasts celebrity fans such as Jennifer Lopez and has been hailed by users as ‘Botox in a bottle’.

Studies have found that ongoing usage can significantly decrease the appearance of crow’s feet and expression lines on the forehead without the dangers of more drastic treatments.

How does it work?
SYN-ake cream works in a similar fashion to Botox, by blocking nerve receptors to keep your facial muscles relaxed. When the SYN-ake peptide freezes the tissue beneath a wrinkle, the paralysed muscle allows the wrinkle to relax, creating a ‘smoothed out’ appearance.

Interested? Try Secret Key Syn-ake Wrinkle & Whitening Cream.

Sheep Placenta Facial
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, let’s talk about the bizarre Sheep Placenta Facial that’s rapidly gaining popularity. Victoria Beckham and music mogul Simon Cowell are converts to the treatment, which has been touted as a less drastic solution to a conventional face lift.

The treatment was devised by Harley Street doctor, Dr Roberto Viel and can cost around £600 ($1,000) for results that last up to 5 months.

The Sheep Placenta Facial, also known as Actistem, involves applying an anaesthetic cream to the patient’s face before rolling a dermaroller across the skin to stimulate blood flow. Then, sheep placenta (in a viscous liquid form) is massaged onto each area of the face. The process is repeated three times for each portion of the face.

Patients are then told to keep their skin dry for the following 12 hours and to expect a visible improvement in skin texture within 3 days.

How does it work?
Just like snail cream, the Sheep Placenta Facial aims to promote the body’s production of collagen to fight the signs of ageing. According to Dr. Viel, the placenta treatment achieves this by harnessing the restorative power of sheep stem cells. These stem cells (present in the proteins contained in the placenta) rebuild the patient’s skin cells and fibroblasts, which build up elastin and collagen to increase skin firmness and plump up its appearance.

Interested? Sheep placenta facials are still catching on in Australia. In the meantime, you can check out this cream option from Healthy Care.

It’s amazing what people will put on their faces to stave off old age. However, with preliminary research showing that these three anti-ageing beauty treatments get results, they make an excellent choice for people who are feeling their years but aren’t quite ready (or comfortable) to go under the knife.

Would you try a weird skin treatment like a snail facial?

Bethany Tyndall writes about beauty on her blog Beauty Junkie.

October 9, 2013

A Beauty Therapist’s Guide to Spring Cleaning – Part Two

Exfoliate

The quickest and easiest way to boost the skin instantly is to give it a good scrub. Exfoliation gives the skin instant sheen by removing dead skin build up that makes the skin look dry and dull. Dermalogica Sea Salts are an excellent solution for crepe skin and thorough barnacle removal. For a fabulous, freshly scrubbed feeling apply the salts to dry skin with your hands or better still in combination with a loofah mitt. If you’re feeling a little delicate, simply add the salts to your bath water, the salicylic acid in the salts will melt away “roughness” without stimulation or aggravating fragile skins.If you are scrubbing, remember not to scrub too hard, or too long. For your face no longer than 30 seconds in a light circulation motion, and the body, keep your scrubbing to 2-3 minutes making sure soles of feet, knees and elbows are thoroughly worked. Top tip: If you look flushed after exfoliating you are scrubbing to hard. Keep it light and only exfoliate once a week depending on skin condition. Over exfoliation can break the capillaries in the skin, unsettle your acid mantle (which is the skin’s natural ph balance, protecting it from the environment) and expose you to environmental damage.

Professional body scrub treatments not only feel great but they’re great for stimulating the lymph system detoxifying your system and assist in blood circulation. They also ensure a thorough body overhaul to those hard to reach places such as the back, shoulders and bottom. Most body scrubs range from $80 to $120 and products used in the salon can be purchased for home maintenance.

What to look for A treatment that uses quality salts and/or scrubs, and a therapist with an angel’s touch.

October 7, 2003
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