Tried And Tested: Skin Serums

Unlike moisturizer, which only hydrates the top layer of your skin, serum particles are smaller and penetrate deeper into your pores. Serums are typically natural oil- or water-based, and rich in vitamins like A and E vital to healthy skin. Serums are primarily used to fight aging, but can also be used to brighten and firm the skin, treat dark spots or prevent acne. They are also full of antioxidants which can rid the skin of harmful toxins absorbed from pollution in the air.

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Daily Moisture Balancing Serum with Antioxidant Complex (1 oz), $50
This product smells like a rose-filled heaven! One of its key ingredients – Rose Hip Oil – is rich in fatty acids, great for skin elasticity. The Australian-made product is best for protecting and hydrating the skin, and smoothing an uneven complexion.

La Mav Organic Skin Science, Wrinke-Defence & Skin-Brightening Day Fluid (1.7 oz), $AUD39.95

This licorice-scented “day fluid” is designed to reduce shine in oily to combination skin. It evens skin tone and protects the skin from impurities – from dark spots to fine lines. Not only are La Mav products give you some bang for your buck, but they also don’t test on animals!

Dermalogica, Age smart multivitamin power serum (0.75 oz), $65

dermalogica.comThis serum is ideal for mature or aging skin. It boosts elasticity is rich in vitamins A, C and E. It reduces dullness and the appearance of sun spots and sun-damage. Dermalogica is a developed by the International Dermal Institute and is  free of artificial colors and fragrances.

Images via Jurlique, La Mav and Dermalogica.

Is Sugar Really Linked With Wrinkles?

There’s a lot of research and evidence against sugar out there at the moment and, unfortunately, premature aging is yet another side effect of a diet full of sugary sweetness. Emma Hobson, education manager for the International Dermal Institute, tells us why:

“Sadly, yes, sugar does cause wrinkles! We now know that collagen and elastin proteins (essential for a firm, youthful skin) are highly susceptible to an internal chemical reaction within our body called glycation, resulting in the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).

“AGEs contributes to the ‘thickening’ and ‘stiffening’ of protein fibres resulting in wrinkles, the loss of elasticity causing sagging and the aging process.

“Therefore, next time you look at that piece of chocolate cake, don’t worry about the calories as much as the way it’s going to age your skin!”

We recommend: Dermalogica AGE Smart Multivitamin Power Firm, $56 

Dermalogica, skincare, antiaging, sugar, wrinkles

Dermalogica: Face Mapping The Nation

Emma Hobson, education manager for The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, answered all our questions on Dermalogica’s major campaign to make us more aware of skin analysis and treatment by Face Mapping The Nation.

What is Face Mapping exactly?

Face Mapping is a revolutionary new approach to skin analysis developed by The International Dermal Institute exclusively for Dermalogica. For the first time ever, professional skin therapists have a comprehensive technique with which to analyse every aspect of their client’s skin. Face Mapping dramatically enhances not only the effectiveness of every treatment, but also makes the prescription of a home care regimen as focused on the client’s actual needs as possible. With the latest skin analysis techniques, the Face Mapping procedure provides the therapist with an objective view of the skin’s condition as well as an indication of the issues that might be affecting it.

Rather than analysing the skin in general terms, Face Mapping divides the face into 14 distinct zones, each with its own set of potential problems and unique needs. Using the zones and the Dermalogica Face Map as a guide, the therapist is able to conduct an inch-by-inch, methodical analysis of the facial landscape, guaranteeing that the subsequent professional treatment and or home care will fully address each client’s concerns. Face Mapping is very adaptive to the customers’ needs, it can be conducted sitting in the retail area (less than 5 minutes) or in a treatment room (less than 10 minutes). We recommend receiving a Face Mapping Skin Analysis every three months.

How did Dermalogica come up with this method of understanding our skin?

Through the International Dermal Institute (IDI), the leading post graduate skin and body care education provider. IDI researches and develops not only the dermalogica product range but also the various treatment techniques we use within the professional skin care treatment centre. Having been established for over 30 years and based in 80+ countries around the world it enables IDI to gather incredible sources of information, collate them and create something incredibly unique such as Face Mapping skin analysis. Blending the best from Eastern as well as Western techniques of skin diagnosis combined with IDI’s wealth of experience with working with skin and the needs of the skin therapist and the discerning consumer.

What can face mapping tell you about your skin that other methods can not?

Using Face Mapping means the skin is viewed in a unique manner, firstly by systematically assessing the skin with the trained human eye to detect imbalances, combining the knowledge not only from a Western view point but also and Eastern one too. This is then coupled with skilled fingers trained which detect the nuances of the skin through touch, resulting in an incredibly accurate and detailed assessment of current skin health and the possible causes of any imbalances.

Why is it important to understand the different facial zones? How can you use the Face Mapping information to alter your skincare regime?

As a result of the hundreds of years of skilled observations of medical practitioners we have the ability to see how the face can tell us so much about ourselves and how it is a clear reflection of our inner wellness. Imagine your face as a mirror that reflects the internal health, stresses and challenges your body is facing both from a long term as well as a short term prospective. By ‘reading’ the signals that our body communicates via our face and our skin, we are better prepared and armed with the information as to how best to customise and treat our customers by achieving the results they are seeking. A slight adjustment in diet and lifestyle can make all the difference in how we can bring our body back into harmony and balance, sound advice a therapist can share with their customers.

For the therapist, it allows them to incorporate various methods of treatment such as Stress Therapy, Detox Body Wraps, Aromatherapy (face and body), Acupressure, Pressure Point Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Stress Therapy, MLD (manual lymph drainage) to name but a few, and an adjustment of the skin care regimen to target specific current skin conditions, all of which assist in restoration and energy balance. Some examples of what can be found through Dermalogica’s Face Mapping skin analysis: Breakouts, dehydration, or irritation in the eyebrow area? The eyebrow area links with adrenal stress. Knowing this the therapist can not only treat current skin condition, but also provide stress relief treatments and advice. Breakouts between the eyes? This zone is known as the ‘wine and dine area’, a breakout could possibly be reflecting intolerance to food such as dairy products, wheat or processed sugars or simply poor eating habits or over consumption of alcohol. Again the therapist can assist with the current skin condition but provide suggestions to the client as to the possible causes so they may consider tweaking their lifestyle options accordingly.

Where/when can people have their skin analysed with face mapping?

You can easily find your nearest Dermalogica Skin Expert by visiting us at

Skin Care Tips With Skin Expert Emma Hobson

If there’s one expert on skin care, it’s Emma Hobson, Education Manager at the International Dermal Institute. We chat with Emma on which skin care and beauty products she can’t live without, how to really cleanse and moisturise your skin, and what the best anti-ageing ingredients out there are.

Which 3 skin care products can’t you live without?

I can’t live without age reversal eye complex. This is an awesome, eye care saver containing highly active cosmeceutical product containing retinol and ARG-LYS Poleptide , stabalized Vitamin C, Niacinamide and a UGL complex. Which reverses the multiple signs of ageing around my eye area (fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles and dehydration).

I simply can’t live without is Power Rich™ ; this is the ultimate multi-functional product that packs an incredible punch of Dermalogica cosmeceutical active ingredients to address my ageing skin needs. It’s the ultimate restructuring cream, and one of Dermalogica’s premium super performers.

C-12 Concentrate is my third can’t-live-without product. After way to many years in the sun when I was younger, I suffer from hyperpigmentation on my neck and face. Since skin discolouration/uneven skin tone is the number 1 sign of premature ageing on the skin I need to ensure I keep my pigmentation at bay.  C-12 Concentrate does this,  it’s a high potency treatment  containing a proprietary peptide called Oligopeptide-34, Zinc Glycinate, Phytic Acid, and various botanicals and mineral amino acids that all targeting the pigmentation. This product keeps my skin looking luminous and improves its clarity.

And which 3 makeup products can’t you live without?

1. My Lancôme Dolls Eye Mascara- just the best for defining my lashes, creating length without clogging or smearing.

2. My MAC eye shadows, I have way too many, the ease of application, the variety and depth of colour they offer and the colour lasts all day.

3. Dermalogica’s skinperfect primer SPF30, this provides a great canvas for my foundation making it easy to apply, I need less foundation which lasts day to night on my skin. It heightens and improves the colour of the foundation I am wearing, it has an SPF30 to help protect my skin, AND since it is a skin care product too it is packed full of cosmeceutical age fighting ingredients.

What are your best tips for cleansing and moisturising your skin?

To get a really squeaky clean skin I would recommend the use of a pre-cleanse oil. Cleansing oils are a fantastic new type of product that you use ideally for your first cleanse, they deliver a level of cleansing traditionally experienced in the professional treatment room. They work on the principle that like attracts like. The oil in the product attracts the oil as well as the dirt, make-up and debris on the skin surface. These are simply massaged into the skin with light fingertips. They help liquefy sebum without stripping the skin or compromising the barrier function. Therefore, when you wash off the cleansing oil you will thoroughly wash away all the dirt, surface oil and debris. This ensures your second cleanse with your normal cleanser, really cleans the skin so it is squeaky clean.

The great thing about these types of product is that they are excellent at removing sun screens off the skin surface. A sun screen can often sit on the skin and result in skin congestion or sensitivity. They are also fantastic at removing waterproof mascara and long-wearing lipstick.

One of the secrets to effective cleansing, is to cleanse the skin twice (morning and evening),that’s right double cleanse!

You follow the pre cleanse oil with a good cleanser which needs to match your skin type for your second cleanse. If you have oily skin, you need a cleanser with a stronger surfactant (degreasing agent) and one that does not strip the skin of oils (i.e. soap or products containing S.D alcohol) these normally come in the form of clay based cleanser or a gel facial wash. Equally if you have an oil dry skin you will need to use a milder cleanser with less surfactant, they often come in the form of a milky/ creamy cleanser. For a combination skin the cleanser sits in the middle of the cleansing spectrum (re surfactant) and can be a light milky cleanser or a gel facial wash. If you have a some sensitivity, choose a cleanser ensuring it has no know skin irritants (free from artificial colours and fragrance) and has calming and soothing ingredients. If you have a very traumatised/sensitised skin choose a cleanser that normally states ‘for environmentally sensitised skin’. These come in milky/creamy formulas or cleansing gels.

There is no need to change your cleanser during the seasons as your skin type does not change winter to summer, what does change is your skin condition, being perhaps more sensitive and dehydrated. If your skin is environmentally sensitised (disregarding your skin type) you may want to choose a cleanser specifically for this skin condition. These cleansers are formulated to be gentle and help repair the barrier function of the skin. And are great for people who are so sensitised they can’t even tolerate water on their skin, as they can be completely removed with soft  tissues instead.

You will notice if you have chosen the incorrect cleanser as you will not be getting the results you should expect such as clearing the skin from congestion,  helping prevent breakouts form reoccurring. You may find it has to strong a degreasing agent and the skin becomes dehydrated or your skin can become sensitised to the cleanser.

The correct cleansing routine would be to firstly ensure you have your hair back from the perimeters of your face, this will enable you to clean the often neglected hair line and around the ears. Then apply the correct amount of product (check product instructions) to the skin with clean hands. With a facial brush or your fingers work the cleanser into your skin in light circular motions from top to bottom or vice versa. Pay special attention to the areas where you have congestion such as the nose, forehead, neck or chin.  Ensure you take your cleanser right up to your hair line and around to the back of your ears and under your jaw line and down the neck as these are common areas for congestion, often due to poor cleansing. It should take about one minute to cleanse your skin; research at the International Dermal Institute found that most people spend less than 10 seconds on cleansing!  It is essential to use  the correct amount of product , and if it is a gel to mix it with sufficient water otherwise the gel remains too concentrated and can result in irritation, dehydration or poor results.  Most cleansers these days can be used in the shower as they are easily washed off.  There are some cleansers which have been developed for environmentally sensitised skin, these are for people who can’t tolerate water on their skin so they can be completely removed with tissues instead.

For your moisturiser, ideally this will be applied over your toner. By applying a hydrating spritz toner it will boost the hydration levels of the skin and prevents dry skin patches (which soak up heaps of moisturiser) you will then only need about half the quantity of moisturiser than if you hadn’t spritzed, that would need about the size of a pea. If your moisturiser is also your sun protection you will need to apply about half a teaspoon for the SPF to be effective.

To combat dry skin think  PROTECTION, HYDRATION AND MOISTURISATION. Choose a moisturiser with lots of hydrating and soothing ingredients and one that acts as a protectant (may contain silicones that form a protective barrier over the skin),there are many ranges now that have products designed specifically for harsh/extreme weather conditions. You may want to choose a moisturiser with a slightly higher oil content but note ‘only slightly’ if you feel your skin is more flaky, dry and dehydrated. If the skin is oil dry, then it needs additional nourishment which can be easily found in a good moisturiser.

It is no longer necessary to use a ‘thick, greasy’ moisturiser as there are now such fantastic ingredients and formulations available that can be really effective without being too heavy or sticky on the skin. Look for moisturisers that contain a complex of vitamins A,C,E, Panthenol (B5), as well as essential fatty acids found in many vegetable oils such as Evening Primrose oil Borage Seed oil, Shea butter, Jojoba oil,  a great ingredient to combat dry skin is Betaglucan derived from Oates. It is important not confuse (as so many people do) a dry skin (skin lacking oil) with that of dehydration (a skin lacking moisture). If your skin feels dry solely from dehydration, you will need a lightweight moisture rich, moisturiser which may have little to no oil content.

What are some of the key ingredients we should be looking for in skincare products as we get older?

  • Arginine/Lysine Polypeptide: A peptide that acts as a sugar trap, binding free sugar that would react with proteins to form AGEs.  Provides an anti-glycation effect
  • Palmitoyl Pentapeptide & Olgiopentapeptide:  for deeper fortification of collagen structure. They stimulates collagen & works similarly to retinol & vitamin C.  Helps skin re-structure the extracellular matrix
  • Glucosamine HCl : Helps stimulate collagen production, fights AGEs, inhibits melanin formation, inhibits MMPs, stimulates Hyaluronic Acid, defends against ROS and inhibits AGE formation
  • Glycine Soya Protein (Soy)
  • Genestein
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate being a non-acidic, stable form of Vitamin C that stimulates collagen formation in the skin while providing antioxidant protection, inhibiting melanin formation and inhibiting MMP enzymes that contribute to collagen degradation.
  • Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract protects against Reactive Oxygen Species (free radicals), fights the formation of AGEs in skin and inhibits MMPs.
  • Vitamin A, E and Beta Glucan
  • Hyaluronic Acid & Cross Linked Hyaluronic Acid provides intense skin hydration.
  • Yeast Extract helps stimulate wound healing, collagen formation and increases oxygen utilisation in skin.

What’s your favourite Dermalogica product and why do you love it so much?

My favourite of the three above would have to be…ohhh this is very hard……Power Rich. It is such an amazing multi-functional skin performer, the results I get from it are fabulous especially as I am so concerned with trying to inhibit the ageing process!

What are your can’t-live-without skin care products? Tell us in the comments below!

Win a holiday to Bali
Win a brand new Hyundai
Win 10K cash