6 Beauty Products That Are Destroying Your Skin

Turns out they’re actually doing you more harm than good…

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.

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 www.dermalogica.com.au

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?

Q&A With Anti-Ageing Expert Dr William Amzallag

Dr William Amzallag is one of the world’s leading anti-ageing experts, with decades of experience in anti-ageing, regenerative medicine, skincare and stem cells. The France-based M.D. is also the medical advisor for Jeunesse Global. We asked Dr Amzallag what we can do to avoid premature ageing, how much skincare plays a part in the way we age, and which ingredients to look for in your anti-ageing routine.

What is your top tip for avoiding premature ageing?

There are two different options:

My top tip by far is to improve your lifestyle – but to do it seriously – which means look at your nutrition, avoiding almost completely simple sugars, having at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day on a very regular basis, managing stress, avoiding toxic thoughts and toxic relationships.

Improving your daily nutrition will double or triple the efficacy of growth factors.

On top of improving your lifestyle, you have to treat the skin locally by protecting, hydrating, nourishing and replacing senescent cells with new ones thanks to nanotechnology and growth factors from stem cells.

What are growth factors?

Growth factors are our cells’ language. This is how thousands of cells communicate allowing them to do one vital function – repair and regenerate the tissue in the body which occurs in the deepest layers of the skin.

Can you tell us about some of the latest advances in anti-ageing skincare technology?

Today there is a revolution in skincare. A revolution thanks to nanotechnology which brings the right ingredient exactly where we want and penetrates where we want it to.

There is also a revolution in the quality of ingredients with the use of growth factors coming from adult stem cells culture. These growth factors are magic bullets which are able to refresh, repair, maintain or even replace damaged cells almost immediately.

How much do the products we apply to our skin affect how we age?

You have to use common sense: it is wrong to think that the more you apply to your skin the better it is for your skin.

Knowledge about skincare products is essential. Ask yourself what kind of ingredients are in your skincare, are they natural or from natural origins? What kind of preservatives are in your skincare?

Applying the wrong products with the wrong ingredients may be damaging for your skin and cause premature ageing.

What ingredients should we look for in anti-ageing skincare?

As well as the efficacy of the ingredients, you need to consider the compatibility of the ingredients, and how the formula penetrates the skin and how deeply it penetrates the skin for it to be efficient.

Antioxidants are the first line of defence, one of the best being superoxide dismutase. Replenishing water is essential to keep your skin firm and to prevent wrinkles. Extracts of prickly pear or baobab can help too.

But the most important factor is to look for a solution with one single ingredient: the only one available is the end result of harvesting adult stem cells from human fat and extracting the intercellular fat which is full of growth factors. Those growth factors have very special benefits: they repair, maintain and even replace damaged cells.

Growth factors are the critical ingredients used in the revolutionary LUMINESCE range. The growth factors are combined with a suite of complementing ingredients, some of which are used to nourish the skin, while others deliver the growth factors into the skin, enhancing the efficacy of the ingredients.

We want to know: what are your best skincare tips for looking younger?

You little beauty

Eye know

When wearing black go the unpredictable and try gloss above the eyes in green or pastel pink. Sweep over the top of the lid and the lighter shade will lighten up the weight of black.

Stilla Eyeglosses are easy to use. Hot Pink and Cosmic Purple are our faves.Use a cream or white coloured eye-pencil on the inside of the bottom lid. It will make your eyes look bigger. We can all do with a bit of that!

Nailing it

Best to go exotic in the nail department. We like:

Chanel silver flecked Le Vernis for around $36

Lancome Vernis Instant Magnetic. No. 235. Around $29. L?Oreal Jet Set Quick Dry Nail Enamel in Luscious Lavender.

Lady in red

Clarins, Shiseido and Napoleon all do great reds to help you acquire the perfect pout. Drip gloss over the top and you have the look. Chanel?s Levres Scintillantes Glossimer for Lips in Pulsar we love.

Available for around $38? as long as they haven?t run out! Rock chick eyes

Try flicking a smoky eyeliner up and the ends of the eyes. Then smudge with a cotton bud. Grrr!

The right chemistry

It can be therapeutic going to the chemist up the road and stocking up on product. Here are some of the basics that can be mixed and matched with your premium products for custom skin care (without the budget blowout!).

Cetaphil At the bottom of any in-the-know make-up artist?s kit you?ll discover a little find called Cetaphil. Available in most chemists, this generic and reliable product is a cleanser and moisturiser all in one – perfect for the girl with extremely sensitive skin. All clean packaging in blue in white for as little as $10? you can?t get cheaper than this.

Nivea If it?s good enough for Dame Edna Everage then it?s good enough for us! No Australian girls beauty kit is complete without at least one item from this extensive range and Nivea just keeps getting better. The classic Nivea product to look out for is the Ultra Moisturising Body Lotion for dry skin. You?ll just keep going back to it, not only for price but also for its hydrating qualities. Available from selected pharmacies.

OlayWe can?t get enough of Olay?s Total Effects Intensive Restoration Treatment. This is a powerful anti-ageing product. It is also the ultimate over-the-counter Retinol product. Need we say more? Another hot Olay product is Total Effects with Vita Niacin. This is a product for under $30 that helps fight the war against ageing. Most users experience an immediate boost to skins texture and appearance. Vitamin B5, E and B3 moisturise and help to soften those ever impending fine lines.

Neutrogena With no detergents or colours is probably one of the first products mum handed you when you were a little girl. And not too bad now that you?re a grown up too! It?s definitely not drying and it leaves skin clean and fresh. Available at selected pharmacies.

Witch Hazel Toner Our tip? Don?t skimp on the super premium serum or moisturiser and save on the toner. This is a classic and it does what you want it to.

Simple Simplify your life with Simple skincare products that are designed for the sensitive types. Available at selected chemists.

Blistex The only lip balm, (besides our beloved eight hour cream, by Elizabeth Arden, of course) that protects against wind, water and sunshine.

When Black is Black and White is White

It?s easy. Black and white is back. (In that order.) Think slick and sassy. We don?t have to think about it too much when we wear them together. And when black and white are accessorised the right way it is a look that really works. Any colour will do as long as it?s black or white. They transfer well from day to night and they can make you look like you just stepped out of the pages of a Gucci advertisement – and that you?re majorly cashed up – even when you?re not.

Our suggestions:

  • Witchery is cool and cutting edge for variations on black and white.
  • Scanlon and Theodore: their black and white is classic and unforgettable buys.
  • Marcs: Chic, stylish and timeless black and white pieces.