The Skin Clinic Fremantle | Dr Sarah Boxley


  Contact : 08 9336 3066

Ingredient focus: Lycopene

What is lycopene and why should we be using it on our skin?

Lycopene is the bright red carotene pigment and phytochemical found in red fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes & red carrots, watermelons and papayas.

It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory – helping protect skin from environmental agents that can contribute to clogged pores and breakouts. Most importantly for long-term skin health, it can help protect against sun damage. Studies have indicated that lycopene helps protect fibroblasts (skin cells that make collagen) & eliminate skin-ageing free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays, both UVA and UVB.

Lycopene accounts for a whopping 90% of the colour of tomatoes. As an antioxidant it is twice as effective as beta-carotene and 10 times more than alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Our favourite anti-ageing cosmeceutical skin product – Superserum+ by Synergie, contains lycopene sourced from hydrolysed tomato skins.

Lycopene is a relatively new product from a commercial point of view and recently it has been added to fortified foods such as yoghurt and drinks.

Can the lycopene in your diet actually help your skin?

Although the absorption via diet is still being researched, the current evidence indicates that lycopene is absorbed in the intestine and then distributed to the liver and kidneys. It appears to be excreted into the skin via sweat glands, therefore the lycopene from your diet tends to accumulate on specific regions such as forehead, nose, chin, palms etc. A small study on healthy volunteers showed that a 10-week lycopene-rich diet improved the minimal erythemal dose by 40% compared with the control group. (Minimal erythemal dose is essentially the amount of UV radiation needed to turn the skin pink) NB: Watermelons are NOT a substitute for sunscreen!

Could your skincare be delivering more than your diet?

Back to cosmeceutical skincare: Hydrolysation of tomato skins stabilises the lycopene. Once it is stabilised, it can be distributed evenly and homogeneously across the skin. It’s a clever little ingredient, naturally sourced, that boosts our skin’s ability to protect itself. “Clean science” in action. Find it in these Synergie products: SuperSerum+, Practitioner A+, BB-Flawless makeup.

 

Interesting fact: although lycopene is chemically a carotene, it has no vitamin A activity. 

 

References:
Synergie Skin Hydrolysed tomato skin (lycopene) clinical data
Furr HC, Clark RM Intestinal absorption and tissue distribution of carotenoids Nut Biochem 1997 8:364-377
Fazekas Z et al. protective effect of lycopene against ultraviolet B-induced photo damage. Nut and Cancer 2003 47(2) 181-7
Stahl W et al. Dietary Tomato Paste Protects against Ultraviolet Light-induced Erythema in Humans J Nutrition 2001
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image of a young woman applying sunscreen to her face in the morning

Sunscreen: When should you use it?

 

Research from The Cancer Council’s recent National Sun Protection Survey show that nearly one in two Australians mistakenly believe that sunscreen can’t be used safely on a daily basis. 

For some years now, we have been advising our patients about the daily use of sunscreen here in Perth. We have been very pleased to see that in the last few weeks, the peak bodies responsible for sun safety advice in Australia and New Zealand have published an updated policy on sunscreen use, which makes our advice not only evidence-based but now also the accepted recommendation in this country.

The advice is now simple: make sunscreen part of your morning routine, just like brushing your teeth.

The national policy change has come about following a national Sunscreen Summit in Brisbane last year, that examined the current evidence on sunscreen use, and was published at the end of January in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. The publication, led by Professor David Whitman and Associate Professor Rachel Neale from QIMR Berhofer Medical Research Institute, shows that there is now clear evidence on the benefits of daily sunscreen use.

As Associate Professor Neale explains “up until now, most public health organisations have recommended applying sunscreen ahead of planned outdoor activities but haven’t specifically recommended applying it every day as part of a morning routine,”

“In Australia, we get a lot of incidental sun exposure from everyday activities such as walking to the bus stop or train station, or hanging out washing.

“In recent years, it has become clear that the DNA damage that causes skin cancer and melanoma accumulates with repeated small doses of sunlight.

“At last year’s Sunscreen Summit, we examined all of the evidence around sunscreen use and we have come to a consensus that Australians should apply sunscreen every day when the maximum UV level is forecast to be three or higher.”

“For much of Australia, that means people should apply sunscreen all year round, but in areas like Tasmania and Victoria there are a few months over winter when sunscreen is not required.”

Facts you need to know:

  • Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world.
  • Research shows undoubtedly that sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma.
  • There is consistent and compelling evidence that sunscreens are safe for human use
  • Adverse reactions such as allergies occur in a very low proportion of the population
  • Clinical trials have found that people who use sunscreen daily have the same levels of vitamin D as those who don’t.
  • The recommendation to apply sunscreen every day is to protect against the little bits of incidental UV exposure that most of us get each day, that cause damage over time.
  • Sunscreen is not a suit of armour – if you are planning outdoor activities you should also seek shade, wear a hat, protective clothing and sunglasses, and reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours.
  • Regular skin checks can save lives  – get your skin checked annually by your GP, a Skin Cancer Clinic (a list of accredited doctors can be found here) or a Dermatologist.

So what is the NEW RECOMMENDATION?

Sunscreen* should be applied and used regularly:

  • During everyday activities which add up over time (e.g. travelling to and from work; doing household chores; shopping etc)
  • During any planned or prolonged outdoor activities (e.g. doing outdoor work; gardening; playing or watching sport; going to the pool or beach; exercising outdoors etc)
Sunscreen for everyday activities

When the UV index is forecast to reach 3 or above, it is recommended that sunscreen is applied every day to the face, ears, scalp if uncovered, neck and all parts of the body not covered by clothing. Ideally, this would form part of the morning routine. This protects the skin from the harmful effects of everyday sun exposure.

Sunscreen for planned or prolonged outdoor activities

During planned or prolonged outdoor activities, for the best protection it is recommended that sunscreen is used along with other sun protection measures (i.e. clothing to cover as much of the skin as possible; hats; sunglasses; shade and scheduling outdoor activities to avoid the middle part of the day).

When the UV index is forecast to reach 3 or above, sunscreen should be applied to the face, ears, scalp if uncovered, neck and all parts of the body not covered by clothing.

Sunscreen should be re‐applied every 2 hours or more frequently if swimming, sweating or towel drying.

Sunscreens should not be used to promote tanning, but rather as one of five strategies (along with shade, hats, clothing, sunglasses) to reduce exposure to harmful UV radiation.

So, based on the average daily maximum UV index, residents in Australia’s capital cities should apply sunscreen daily in the following months:

Brisbane, Perth & Darwin

All year round

Sydney

Every month except June

Canberra & Adelaide

Every month except June & July

Melbourne

Every month except May, June & July

Hobart

Every month except May-August

 

*“sunscreen” means sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more and compliant with Australian/New Zealand Sunscreen Standard AS/NZS 2604:2012.

To read the full recommendation “When to apply sunscreen: a consensus statement for Australia and New Zealand” click here

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make up brush on pink background at the skin clinic fremantle

Make-up and dermal filler procedures – what is the problem?

Make-up brush applicator on pink background. The Skin Clinic Fremantle

Do you ever wonder why we ask you to remove your make-up when you come in for a dermal filler procedure with us?

Quite simply, both your makeup and indeed your own skin are an infection risk. There is increasing evidence that the complications of dermal fillers that were once thought to be caused by our own immune system are in fact due to infection. The most likely time for introduction of infection is at the time of injection1,2.

 

Bacteria on Skin

It has been estimated that 30–50 million bacteria can be found on each square inch of human skin. The majority of these are normal, friendly microbes, and if they remain on the outside we have no problems. The skin and mucous membranes are the body’s protective barriers. Breaching these barriers (eg with a needle or a scalpel) can introduce those bacterial into the subcutaneous tissue, muscle, bone and body cavities.

We know that most surgical site infections originate from the patient’s own bacteria entering the wound at the time of surgery3. Dermal filler procedures involve multiple passes of a needle or cannula from skin to bone, so disinfection of the skin before the injection of a filler is absolutely crucial in reducing the risk of microbial contamination. If bacteria is introduced into the body with the dermal filler at the time of injection, it can use the filler substance as a food source and slowly multiply, potentially leading to the onset of lumps and hardening of the filler, and even to abscesses. Reducing the number of bacteria on the entire face, not just the site of injection, will reduce the risk of a patient developing an infection-related complication4,5,6,7.

We therefore need to thoroughly clean and disinfect your skin before and during your filler procedure. Logically, in order to do that we need to remove your makeup.

Bacteria in Makeup

Also, in addition to simply getting in the way, the makeup itself is potentially an infection hazard8. In a small study in 2015, items of out-of-date make-up were tested under strict laboratory conditions. All tested positive for enterococcus faecalis, a deadly strain of bacteria that can cause meningitis and septicaemia9. Other bacteria that were found growing in the make-up and their potential health risks include9:  

  • Ubacterium: causes bacterial vaginosis
  • Aeromonas: one of the causes of gastroenteritis and wound infections
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis: a bacterium which is resistant to antibiotics and can be deadly to people in hospital or who have catheters or surgical implants
  • Propionibacterium: one of the main causes of acne and other skin conditions
  • Enterobacter: causes urinary and respiratory tract infections

 

Make-up and photography

Makeup also interferes with our photography system – we can’t get reliable before and after photos when patients are wearing full contouring foundation, and the filters we use to highlight UV damage, vessels and wrinkles can’t see through the makeup.

 

At The Skin Clinic Fremantle

As dermal filler procedures become more and more popular, and access to them easier and easier, we find ourselves increasingly reminding patients that these are not beautician treatments. The injection of a foreign substance (that is going to last for months/years) into your face is a medical procedure and it should be treated as such.

Patient safety and outcomes are our paramount concern and so yes, despite our patients finding it inconvenient at times, we will insist on total make-up removal and thorough skin disinfection prior to dermal filler procedures.

Thank you for your understanding, Dr. Sarah 🙂

 

References

1. De Boulle K, Heydenrych I. Patient factors influencing dermal filler complications: prevention, assessment, and treatment. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015;8(8):205–214.

2. King M, Bassett S, Davies E, King S. Management of Delayed Onset Nodules. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016;9(11):1–5.

3. Ayliffe GA. Role of the environment of the operating suite in surgical wound infections. Rev Infect Dis. 1991;13(Suppl 10):S800–804 

4. Heydenrych I, Kapoor KM, De Boulle K. et al. A 10-point plan for avoiding hyaluronic acid dermal filler-related complications during facial aesthetic procedures and algorithms for management. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol.  2018 Nov 23;11:603-611

5. Signorini M, Liew S, Sundaram H. et al. Global Aesthetics Consensus: avoidance and management of complications from hyaluronic acid fillers—evidence and opinion-based review and consensus recommendations. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016;137(6):961e–971e.

6. Wagner RD, Fakhro A, Cox JA, Izaddoost SA. Etiology, prevention, and management of infectious complications of dermal fillers. Semin Plast Surg. 2016;30(2):83–86.

7. Ferneini EM, Beauvais D, Aronin SI. An overview of infections associated with soft tissue facial fillers: identification, prevention, and treatment. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2017;75(1):160–166.

8. Collier H. Infection control in aesthetic medicine and the consequences of inaction. J Aesth Nursing 2018; 7(7): 352-361

9. Matewele P. Out of date make up can contain lethal bacteria, London Met scientist finds. 2015. https://tinyurl.com/ybuat6o5

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Photo of a white shire on a white background

Sun Protection: How to get the most from your clothing

A patient recently asked whether it is really worth covering up; how much sun protection would he actually be getting from wearing a long sleeved shirt?

As a general rule, light-coloured, lightweight and loosely woven fabrics do not offer much protection from the sun. That white shirt you slip on at the beach when you feel your skin burning provides only moderate protection from sunburn, with an average ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 7. The sun protection lowers to an approximate UPF of only 3 when that shirt gets wet. (UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor and is the rating system used for clothing and fabrics. It is different to the SPF system used for skin products. The UPF indicates how much of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays are absorbed. A fabric with the rating of 50 will only allow 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through)

So, what should you be looking for when choosing sun protective clothing? Not all clothing fabric is equal. You need to consider:

Fabric structure:

If you can easily see through the fabric, chances are UV can easily pass through it. The tighter the fabric structure, the better the sun protection. Tightly woven, lightweight natural fabrics such as linen, cotton or hemp will also help keep you cooler than synthetic fibre equivalents.

Tension:

If a fabric is stretched, it will be less protective. This is common in knitted or elasticised fabrics.

Layering:

Layering of fabrics and garments is an effective way of increasing protection from UV.

Colour:

Darker colours absorb UV rays better than white or pastel colours of the same fabric.

Moisture content:

Fabrics offer less protection from UV radiation when wet. How much less protection will depend on the type of fabric and the amount of moisture it absorbs. To reduce the effect of the moisture, take dry clothes to change into or if dipping in and out of the water, choose a fabric that provides effective protection from UV and that will dry quickly.

Caring for your clothes:

Washing new clothes can improve their sun protectiveness by shrinking gaps in the structure. However, old, threadbare or faded clothes may offer decreased protection over time.

UV absorbers:

Some clothing is treated so it can absorb more UV radiation. Check the clothing label to see if your clothes have been treated and follow the care instructions.

Source: Cancer Council Australia, Coolibar


Related: What you need to know about Skin Cancer >

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Photo of a mother about to breastfeed her baby

Cosmetic Procedures when Breastfeeding – are they safe?

So, you’ve made it through 9 months of pregnancy and now that the dust has settled and you are getting down to the joys of motherhood, you are perhaps realising that you might have lost that pregnancy-glow and perhaps haven’t had your anti-wrinkle injections for over a year? Frown lines are creeping back and your skin is looking dull and tired? This is a familiar story we hear from our patients on a fairly regular basis, and the question for many at this point is whether cosmetic procedures are safe to have when you are breastfeeding?

What are the facts about cosmetic procedures when breastfeeding?

Very few actual scientific studies have been conducted looking particularly at the safety of cosmetic procedures during lactation (breastfeeding). Clearly, the main concern in this situation is the possibility of chemicals or medications being absorbed into the mother’s system and from there excreted into her breast milk, which could potentially affect neonatal growth and development. Review articles in Dermatological Surgery in 20131 and in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology 20172 both summarised that most cosmetic procedures are safe to use during lactation since there is low concern for significant systemic absorption of any of the agents used in these procedures. In more detail….

Chemical Peels when breastfeeding

Superficial and medium depth chemical peels do not lead to absorption into the body, as long as care is taken around mucosal surfaces such as the mouth and eyelids. Therefore, we can be confident that routine cosmetic peels are safe during breastfeeding. Peels containing high concentrations of salicylic acid (including Jessner’s peels) and TCA are not recommended for use in pregnancy but can be used safely when breastfeeding.

Anti-Wrinkle Injections & Dermal Fillers when breastfeeding

Scientifically speaking, the doses of neuromodulators/anti-wrinkle injections (sorry – I am writing this in Australia where the law prevents me from mentioning the names or ingredients of these) that are used cosmetically are very small compared to the doses used for medical reasons and carry only a very low risk of systemic absorption into the mother. On top of this, the molecular size of neuromodulators, and incidentally of dermal filler materials, make them incredibly unlikely to be excreted into breast milk, with their use in lactation being deemed by experts to be safe1,2. However, despite this consensus opinion, the use of these products in lactating mothers remains off-label. No large scale studies have been (or will be) performed, and so as prescription medications they are not technically licensed for use during breastfeeding. For patients who remain concerned, we recommend the “pump & dump” technique – continued breastfeeding with pumping and discarding the breast milk in the first 24 hours after treatment.

Hydrafacial® when breastfeeding

This popular medical-grade facial treatment uses a low concentration of salicylic acid, but at a level that would be considered safe to use both during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Fat transfer when breastfeeding

Procedures which necessitate the redistribution or removal of fat such as fat transfer or tumescent liposuction are not recommended in the immediate postpartum period, although not specifically because of breastfeeding. These procedures have an invasive nature and there is a lack of safety studies particularly in the postpartum period. Increased fat stores are expected because of pregnancy, and women should allow for stabilization of their postpregnancy weight before pursuing cosmetic procedures. Non-invasive fat removal methods such as cryolipolysis (fat-freezing) and injectable fat-dissolving medications have also not been studied during breastfeeding and therefore safety data is not available, although it would seem reasonable that these could be used during breastfeeding once post pregnancy weight has stabilised.

Sclerotherapy when breastfeeding

Sclerotherapy should also be avoided during lactation1. Generally, hypertonic saline solutions that were traditionally used in sclerotherapy are safe but there are no data on whether other sclerosing solutions are excreted in breast milk, which has led to the recommendation to avoid this therapy while breastfeeding. However, anecdotally, some women have pursued this therapy and continued breastfeeding with pumping and discarding the breast milk in the first 48 hours after treatment. Nevertheless, there are no reports on the outcomes and/or complications of doing this and therefore experts can not make a recommendation on its safety.

Laser & Lights

With regard to laser procedures, the wavelength of light is theoretically not deep enough to affect function of the milk ducts. Low-level laser therapy can be used to treat postpartum mastitis as well as sore nipples and to enhance wound healing after episiotomy, and has been shown to have no serious effects on lactation3,4,5. Laser therapy should not produce adverse effects on lactation, breast milk production, or quality of breast milk1, and so can safely be used for cosmetic facial indications during breastfeeding. This applies to LED light therapy and biophotonic treatments (Kleresca®) such as are used for acne, as well as pigment, vascular and fractional ablative lasers. We should point out that treatment of pigmentary changes (such as melasma) and increased facial hair growth caused by pregnancy-related hormonal changes should not necessarily be treated until the hormones have stabilised as results may be suboptimal in these situations.


1. Lee K.C., Korgavkar K., Dufresne R.G., Higgins H.W. Safety of cosmetic dermatologic procedures during pregnancy. Dermatologic Surg. 2013;39:1573–1586.
2. Trivedi M.K., Kroumpouzos G., MuraseJ.E. A review of the safety of cosmetic procedures during pregnancy and lactation. Int J Women’s Dermatol. 2017; 3(1):6-10.
3. Kymplova J, Navratil L, Knizek J. Contribution of phototherapy to the treatment of episiotomies. J Clin Laser Med Surg, 2003; 21:35–9.
4. Pietschnig B, Pani M, Kafer A, Bauer Wais E, et al. Use of soft laser in the therapy of sore nipples in breastfeeding women. Adv Exp Med Biol, 2000; 478:437–8.
5. Kovalev MI. Prevention of lactation mastitis by the use of low-intensity laser irradiation. Akush Ginekol (Mosk), 1990; 2:57–61.

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Photo of man and womens feet in bed,

Sex in Menopause: The Painful Truth

Findings of a recent health survey in the US suggest that women are not well-informed about one of the most common and troubling symptoms of menopause: painful sex.

Key Survey Findings:

  • 73% of women were still sexually active after menopause.
  • 62% were experiencing pain during intercourse.
  • Of those who reported experiencing pain during intercourse 83% reported experiencing pain in half or more instances of sexual activity with 73% rating the pain moderate to severe.
  • 60% had never discussed their painful sex with a health care provider.
  • 69% did not know that the painful sex they were experiencing is treatable.

The survey, conducted by HealthyWomen, an independent, nonprofit health information source in the US, was conducted among 832 women aged 45 years and older and 305 women’s health care providers (HCPs). It really highlights the importance of women sharing their symptoms with their health care providers for proper treatment and to prevent symptoms from worsening.

About Dyspareunia (painful sex)

Before menopause, oestrogen, the primary female sex hormone, helps maintain the thickness and elasticity (stretchiness) of vaginal tissues. However, as women age, oestrogen levels drop, causing changes in these tissues. These changes can lead to a medical condition called vaginal atrophy (VA), also known as GUSM (Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause), which can lead to painful sex. Left untreated, painful sex due to menopause can worsen. Dyspareunia is a common postmenopausal condition, with as many as one in three postmenopausal women experiencing pain during intercourse.

The survey also gave some insight into how women were electing to cope with painful sex – 33% of respondents were avoiding sex altogether, and 45% were resorting to lubricants to manage pain.

Lubricants can provide temporary relief, these do not treat the underlying condition. A number of prescription therapies, including hormone replacement tablets or patches, as well as vaginal oestrogen are available. For women who can’t (or prefer not to) take hormonal therapy, laser regeneration treatment can be delivered directly to the vulval and vaginal tissues to specifically treat the dyspareunia related to menopausal lack of oestrogen.

“Women’s health is a topic that is often in the headlines, yet menopause is still an under-discussed stage of life, especially when it comes to lesser-known symptoms and impact on a woman’s sexual health,” said Barb Dehn, NP, and member of the HealthyWomen Women’s Health Advisory Council. “These findings show the need for improved communication between women and their HCPs, as well as general condition and treatment options awareness so women can lead fulfilling sex lives, pain-free.”

If painful sex is an issue for you, please bring it up with your GP.

If you would like to talk to us about quick, painless, non-hormonal laser treatment please send us a confidential message through our contact form or book online for a MonaLisa® Consultation with our experienced female doctor.

Read more about Vaginal Rejuvenation

or Contact Us to Arrange Your Appointment.

 

sex in menopause info-poster


For more information on the survey: healthywomen.org/painfulsex

* This survey titled “What Do You Know about Your Sexual Health After Menopause?” was conducted within the United States by HealthyWomen in partnership with Duchesnay. It was conducted online from December 4, 2017, to March 18, 2018, among 832 women ages 45 and older and 305 women’s health care providers.

References:

  • Davis SR, Lambrinoudaki I, Lumsden M, et al. Menopause. Nat Rev Dis Primer. 2015; 15004. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2015.4.
  • Freedman MA, Kingsberg SA, and Portman DJ. Dyspareunia Associated with Vulvovaginal Atrophy: Innovations in Counseling, Diagnosis, and Management. Supplement to OBG Management. 2018: S1-24.
  • Krychman M, Graham S, Bernick B, et al. The Women’s EMPOWER Survey: Women’s Knowledge and Awareness of Treatment Options for Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy Remains Inadequate. J Sex Med 2017; 14: 425‐433.
  • Simon JA. Vulvovaginal atrophy: What is it, what causes it? OBG Management. 2015;(suppl):1-2.
  • What Do You Know About Your Sexual Health After Menopause? Healthy Women website. healthywomen.org/painfulsex Updated May 2018.
  • Wysocki S, Kingsberg S, Krychman M. Management of Vaginal Atrophy: Implications from the REVIVE Survey. Clin Med Insights Reprod Health 2014; 8:23-30.
  • HealthyWomen. Data on File.
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Photo of lady with clear skin - DOT Therapy Special Offer

20% off DOT Therapy

AUTUMN OFFER: 20% off DOT therapy

Summer is over, the weather is cooling down, and now is the perfect time to repair and rejuvenate your skin.

Fractional CO2 laser +RF = the ultimate in skin rejuvenation. Fast recovery times and tailored laser settings so that we can address skin resurfacing and wrinkle reduction for almost all skin types.

The addition of RF therapy assists tightening and reduces the recovery time after treatment.

Full face laser peel only $880 for a limited time.

Read more about DOT Therapy

or Contact Us to Arrange Your Appointment.

T&Cs: Valid for treatments booked until 31st May. Non-transferrable. Requires medical consultation prior to treatment.

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Lady doing Facial Exfoliation

Facial Exfoliation

Facial Exfoliation – where to begin?

Our skin cells have a natural life cycle that sees them rise from the lower skin levels and flatten as they develop, until they mature and are shed as dead particles from the top layer (the stratum corneum).

As we age, the cells in the stratum corneum become stickier and are harder to shed, leading to a build up of the dead top layer of skin. This can give the skin a lacklustre dullness and make it more challenging for active ingredients in our skincare products to penetrate.

The answer to this issue is regular exfoliation.

Regular exfoliation will remove that dead top layer and reveal the more radiant healthy skin layers beneath. This is a simple step that we generally recommend you add to your skincare routine from your early 20s (but it is never too late!) or earlier if you are a acne sufferer.

There are a number of ways that exfoliation can be achieved, which can be mixed and matched to suit lifestyle and budget.

Physical exfoliation

You can clean and exfoliate at the same time using your normal gentle cleanser if you apply and remove this with a light abrasive cloth. This is a cost effective, easy solution and may be enough for young, non-acne prone skin. Muslin is a great option and can be cleaned and reused. You can buy ready-made muslin cloths specifically for this, or if you are feeling crafty you can pop into Spotlight for some muslin and make your own. Other examples would be facial buffers, exfoliating mitts and the fancier version made of 100% floss silk (eg Microdermamitt®) which are available online as well as from the bathroom section of department stores, pharmacies and skincare stores.

Facial scrubs

Another way to cleanse and exfoliate in one step is with a facial scrub, which is a cleanser with something gritty added to it. Avoid scrubs with plastic microbeads (banned in many countries as they are harmful to aquatic life) and choose biodegradeable products instead, which tend to use substances such as natural earth minerals (eg Synergie® Mediscrub) or nut shells as their exfoliant (eg Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant). If you are a coffee fan, you can use your left-over grounds to make your own facial and body scrubs.

Chemical Exfoliation

This sounds scary but it merely involves using substances such as light fruit acids to dissolve the sticky bonds between the matured skin cells in the stratum corneum, allowing them to fall off naturally without any sort of physical rubbing. The most commonly used chemical exfoliants are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs- see below) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid. These are often combined and applied as a serum (eg Synergie® Reveal) between the cleansing and moisturising steps of a skin care regime. There are different preparations and strengths available for different skin needs and so it is good idea to seek appropriate advice for your individual skin before using a chemical exfoliant.

AHA Source
Glycolic Acid Sugar Cane
Lactic Acid Milk Products
Malic Acid Apples
Tartaric Acid Grapes
Citric Acid Citrus Fruits

Professional exfoliation

If daily home exfoliation is not enough for your skin, or doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, then regular clinic treatments may be for you. The simplest of these is microdermabrasion, which is literally a light mechanical sandpapering to remove the dead top layer of skin. Slightly more advanced are the hydrabrasion treatments, that use water to assist with the removal of the dead skin. Medical grade treatments such as the Hydrafacial® will have the same effect as a good microdermabrasion but with the additional benefit of a light chemical exfoliation and an infusion of nourishing ingredients into the skin.

Chemical peels

You can step it up even further and go with this alternative in-clinic option for removing that dead top layer of skin. Lactic or glycolic acids can be applied at stronger concentrations than are available in at-home products, and cause a gentle peeling of the entire uppermost skin layer over the following few days. Downtime is minimal due to the light superficial nature of these peels and side effects are rare. This sort of peel can be combined with a microdermabrasion for people with thicker or oily skins. This is definitely a treatment for the winter months as you should avoid exposing the skin to bright sunlight for a few days afterwards.

There you have it, there is something for everyone when it comes to exfoliation. So get scrubbing!

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Kate & Abel Hat Giveaway

Giveaway for National Skin Cancer Action Week

Image by @makersportraitperth

Awesome hat giveaway for National Skin Cancer Action Week | November 19-25 2017

WIN A HAND-FINISHED BESPOKE HAT FROM @kateandabelperth Valued at $165!!

Some scary statistics:

With two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70, and more than 2,000 people in Australia die from skin cancer each year. The Cancer Council estimates that Australia spends more than $1 billion per year treating skin cancer, with costs increasing substantially over the past few years.

Yet most skin cancers can be prevented by the use of good sun protection.

Each year Cancer Council Australia and the Australasian College of Dermatologists come together for National Skin Cancer Action Week, which in 2017 runs from 19th to 25th November. This year, to encourage Australians to remember to use the five forms of sun protection, the Cancer Council are inviting everyone to join the #SunSmartGeneration.

Today’s children have grown up with the SunSmart message and are our most sun savvy generation ever. Parents understand the importance of protecting their little one’s skin with rashies, hats, sunglasses, shade and sunscreen, and yet they frequently neglect their own skin and sun protection. It’s never too late to prevent further damage and parents play a hugely important role in setting a good example for their kids.

That’s why this National Skin Cancer Action Week, Australians of all ages are urged to use the five forms of sun protection. These are to:

  • slip on sun-protective clothing
  • slop on SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen
  • slap on a broad-brimmed hat
  • seek shade
  • slide on sunglasses.

A combination of these measures, along with getting to know your skin and regularly checking for any changes, are the keys to reducing your skin cancer risk.

Many folk tell us that they struggle to find a hat that suits them, fits them, or compliments their style. Which is why, to help our lovely patients out with their own slipslopslap mission, this November The Skin Clinic Fremantle shall be GIVING AWAY a fabulous hand-finished, bespoke hat worth $165. Kate and Abel are a local company, based right here in the Many 2.0 Project in Fremantle, who have achieved international success with their one-of-a-kind hats. Whether you are male or female, young or old, big headed or small, they should be able to find the perfect fit for you.

How to enter

Entering is simple: any patient that comes to us for a skin cancer check during the month of November will be automatically entered into the draw. The winner will be picked at random on 1st December and notified via email and/or phone. Be a role model for your kids, join the #SunSmartGeneration 🙂

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vitamin-C-photo

Understanding Skincare Ingredients: Antioxidants

We all know we need more antioxidants, right? Antioxidants are good for us. We are told we should be having more of them – in our diets and on our skin. Sounds great and we are all totally on board with that.

But do any of us actually know what the hell an antioxidant is? What is the point of them and what is all the drama about?

Antioxidants are substances that protect our body’s cells from the stress on them caused by the environment around us. They do this in a number of ways and in order to understand how it all works, cast your mind back to high school science…

The human body is made up of many different types of cells. Each cell is composed of many different types of molecules, and each molecules consists of one or more atoms of one or more elements joined by chemical bonds.

Still with me?

Each atom consists of a nucleus made up of neutrons and protons, with some electrons orbiting around the outside. The electrons are negatively-charged, and the number of them in orbit is determined by the number of positively-charged protons hanging out in the nucleus.

The electrons are involved in chemical reactions, which bond atoms together to form molecules. The electrons are orbiting the atom in layers called “shells” and it is the number of electrons in the outermost shell that determines the chemical behaviour of the atom. Atoms behave a bit like they are on the dating scene.

An atom that has a full outer shell is stable and tends not to enter into chemical reactions. The other atoms out there are looking to stabilise themselves by completing their outer shells. They can do this by:

  • Gaining or losing electrons to either fill or empty the outer shell, swap-meet style.
  • Hooking up – sharing electrons by bonding together with other atoms in order to complete their outer shell, making themselves stable.

Now sometimes, these bonds between atoms can split, particularly if the bonds are weak or have been damaged in some way, which can create a “free radical” – an atom with an odd, unpaired electron. Free radicals are very unstable and are quick to react with other compounds, trying to capture an extra electron to gain stability.

Imagine a slightly drunk ex on the rebound at a party. Generally, a free radical will attack the nearest stable molecule, “stealing” an electron to stabilise itself and leaving its victim short of an electron. This “attacked” molecule has now becomes a free radical itself and will in turn try and stay an electron as well, beginning a chain reaction like dominoes.

The chief danger of free radicals comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs.

Some molecules within the body are particularly susceptible to free radical attacks, including fats, DNA, RNA, cell membranes, proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates. Of particular importance is that free radical damage accumulates with age.

How do free radicals form?

Some free radicals arise normally during metabolism. The cells of our immune system can purposefully create them to neutralise viruses and bacteria. However, they can also form from the result of exposure to heat, light or environmental factors such as pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides. Oxygen within our bodies is very susceptible to free radical formation. Oxygen free radicals have been implicated in the overall ageing process of the skin, playing a part in photo-ageing as well as skin cancer and skin inflammation.

This is where “antioxidants” come in…

Normally, the body can handle a certain level of free radicals, using substances known as “antioxidants”. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, ending the electron-stealing reaction. Despite donating an electron, the antioxidant doesn’t become a free radical itself as it has a unique ability to be stable in either form.

antioxidants-free-radical-diagram

Antioxidants act as scavengers, helping to prevent cell and tissue damage, but if antioxidants are unavailable, or if the free-radical production becomes excessive, damage can occur. As a species, our environment is changing quicker than our bodies can adapt, creating an imbalance between the formation and the neutralisation of free radicals.

The aim of using antioxidants in cosmeceutical products is to deliver them directly to the skin, soaking up free radicals to prevent cell damage. A good antioxidant is able to:

  • inhibit environmental stress by scavenging free radicals
  • reduce DNA damage
  • have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce skin redness
  • promote new collagen growth

The bees-knees, gold standard of antioxidants for skin is vitamin C, at concentrations of >5%.

This can be irritant to the skin when first using it, particularly if the barrier function is impaired and the skin is “sensitive”, and application can cause stinging and redness. When first using vitamin C, it is helpful to start with a lower concentration and build up to a higher strength preparation once the skin gets used to it. Vitamin C is included in many anti-oxidant serums and is also available as powder that can be mixed just prior to application.

Other compounds that are useful cosmeceutical antioxidants are:

  • Vitamin E (tocopherol) – naturally found in vegetable oils, nuts, fish and leafy green vegetables.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) – foods with the highest levels include fish, poultry, pork, liver, peanuts, beef, mushrooms, green peas, sunflower seeds, and avocados.
  • Ferulic acid – an antioxidant found in the cell walls of plants such as rice and oats and the seeds of apples and oranges.
  • Flavonoids and Carotenoids – a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) responsible for the vivid colours in fruits and vegetables.
  • Phloretin – a type of natural phenol that can be found in apple tree leaves and the Manchurian apricot.
  • So now you know, by ensuring your skincare includes antioxidants you are helping to protect it from ongoing environmental damage, slowing down the ageing process.

    Most of us begin to stick to a regular skincare regime in our 20s, and this is the perfect time to introduce these little hardworking scavengers.

    – Dr Sarah Boxley

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