SkinTipTuesdays || Tipping a Winner…or Not!


Well I never.…. who could have predicted America’s political #trumptastrophy…and I didn’t,  as didn’t a lot of other people?

Judging from my Instagram feed and the media fallout post election, most people are incredulous at the unexpected outcome of the American Presidential campaign.

I, alongside many other people, sit mouth agape, amongst  the campaign carnage, perplexed and amazed at how ‘the Donald’ actually ‘Trumped’ his way to victory?

In my mind, @HellYeahforHillary was going to romp it in, but now both Hill and I are having to ‘fall on our swords’ and, ‘concede defeat. Obvious now I  didn’t tip the winner and with the benefit of hindsight, I’m graciously withdrawing from my inaccurate forecasting  of American politics, taking a tip from the universe and sticking to what I do know. Skin!

Instagram users have an insatiable appetite for skin care  tips and like the American staple of buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing: one is never quite enough is it?  Bring on #SkinTipTuesdays!

Instagram SkinTipTuesdays are where I feed practical tips and science, evidenced based skin care advice, to those devoted to all things skin, on Instagram. Tips which deconstruct and demystify the ‘smoke and mirrors’ surrounding skincare, helping you get more bang from your skin care buck.

So ‘Skin Up’, back  away from those buffalo wings, and console yourself with a generous serving of  my  favourite  #SkinTipTuesdays Instagram posts…… reliable, winning tips with a ‘proven projected’ outcome !


16. 0f My Top #SkinTipTuesdays 2016!

 1. HYDRATE on repeat!

Hydration is what keeps the cellular processes in our body functioning optimally. For every alcoholic drink your body expels 4 glasses of water! Its recommended to alternate every 1-2 alcoholic drinks with a glass of water

2.Your lips are often a good indicator of when your skin needs more moisture.

If your lips are feeling a bit dry, humidity may have dropped and it might be time to add more moisture into your skincare routine.

3.Keep EYECREAMS in the fridge!

Not only does it extend the shelf life of the product, it is soothing whilst having a vasocontricting (tightening) effect on blood vessels helping to reduce redness and puffiness.

4. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, important for skin health.

Vitamin C is very unstable when exposed to air and light, turning a brown/orange colour. Any skin preparations containing Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid which have discoloured should be discarded. This means they’ve oxidised and cannot provide any skin benefits! Tip;Use your vitamin C at night!

5.When performing your routine skin checks for skin cancer, Ensure the skin underneath TATTOOS are thoroughly checked as they can disguise new skin growths and moles especially if the ink is dark!
6.Avoid using over-the-counter skin care products containing RETINOL and prescription retinoids

Discontinue Vit A derivatives two to five days prior to waxing.Vit A increases photosensitivity  in the skin creating an increased risk of burning when exposed to UV light  and light based treatments, and also helps to reduce the risk of removing skin along with hair when waxing.

7. ACNE News

 Isotretinoin is still the gold standard when treating Acne Vulgaris. A new study shows the combination of isotretinoin together with antihistamines have a significant decrease in acne lesion counts, sebum, erythema and side effects such as dry skin and mucous membranes caused by isotretinoin.

8. To B3 or not to B3?

Cosmeceutical companies are taking advantage of the many benefits of Vitamin B3. In skincare products you’ll recognise it as niacinamide, nicotinic and nicotinate esters. Niacinamide is most commonly used as it’s able to penetrate the skin without causing irritation.Some of It’s many benefits include;• enhances barrier function • helps reduce sensitivity and irritation • acts as a skin lightener- preventing the transfer of melanin to skin cells • helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles • helps to reduce the onset of Actinic Keratosis We should definitely B3ing!

9.Get the best out of your products by knowing when to use them, it’s all in the timing!

✔️AM || use products containing sunscreen and antioxidants.

✔️PM || Retinols and richer more nourishing products.

10. Lets get Fruity

Fruit enzymes are used in ‘exfoliators’ to help remove superficial layers of the skin,improving texture, hydration, pigmentation and assisting in the absorption of companion skincare products. Types of enzymes used include bromelain- derived from pineapples, and papain – derived from papaya; allergies from papain are very common so it’s a good idea to patch test prior to use. Tip || Test on the inside of the forearm once a day for 3 days, checking for any redness or irritation….any irritation will be your stop light!

11.Get more out of your products by applying to damp skin-helps skin absorption and easier application.
12.October is breast cancer awareness month and a good time to remind us all to check our breasts regularly. Something else to look out for are changes in skin colour and texture.

When the lymph vessels that help our bodies fight infection become blocked by cancer cells, they can cause the breast skin to change in colour and texture. Redness, swelling, itching, scaling, dimpled or skin which becomes puckered are signs you need to get checked …just saying!

13. Retinols/Retinoids/Vitamin A are all degraded by light or when exposed to air.

In order to maintain product efficacy correct packaging is important, that is; a pump which reduces oxidation when exposed to air or metal packaging preventing light degradation. A shelf life of 6-9 mths can be expected.


A common misconception is that wounds should be air dried and a scab allowed to form. Recent studies now confirm that keeping wounds moist and covered with dressings not only reduces pain and the risk of infection but also results in faster healing times when compared to dry wound healing.’ ….busting a myth from my recent blog in SCAR FREE || TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR SCAR MINIMISATION EXPLAINED!

 15.  If your skin care products are packaged in a pot,,inhibit bacteria growth by using a spatula rather than fingers when applying to your face!

 Here’s one of my helpful tips from an older blog post – apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before you go into the sun and then again 15-30 mins after sun exposure begins – this is the key to protection! Titanium and zinc based sunscreens offer immediate protection.

If you’ve developed an appetite for #SkinTipTuesday come join me on Instagram every Tuesday, I’d love to see you!

Susan x







SKIN-ERCISE – Exercising for Healthier Skin!


In an effort to reduce our rapidly expanding national girth, health professionals advise us to include exercise into our daily routines ensuring we are mind, body and soul healthy.

Recently researchers have discovered our hot and sweaty efforts may now have positive benefits for our skin’s health. If you’re less serious about exercise and more serious about skin care, I just may be able to provide that extra motivation you need to throw down that remote and leap off the lounge to engage in some Skin-Ercise; exercising for healthier skin!

 It appears the fountain of youth may just be as simple as whacking on some runners and ‘active wear’  and engaging in some moderate exercise!  (Surprise! Active wear can be worn outside the coffee shop!)

Researchers have found that exercise, in addition to all its other well-known health benefits, does indeed aid the skin and may well be able to keep your skin looking younger longer and that it’s never too late to turn back the hands of time!


Throw down that remote, throw on some Olivia and ‘Lets Get Skin-Ercising’….

Exercise aids in prevention of disease and maintaining our overall health but how does it benefit the skin?

 Regular, moderate exercise boosts circulation and helps to excrete toxins and wastes through sweating. When we exercise our blood vessels dilate, delivering a ‘double shot’ of nutrient rich, oxygenated blood to the skin, demonstrated in that post workout glow. Exercise also helps to produce collagen, the protein that provides structure to the skin, maintaining elasticity and firmness.

 Need some proof…..Antioxidant = Antiaging?

 A 2006 study Moderate exercise is an antioxidant: Upregulation of antioxidant genes by training discusses the production of antioxidant enzymes  during exercise and found they behave in a similar way as an antioxidant; mopping up the free radicals which contribute to ageing. The key word here is ‘moderate’. Conversely, strenuous exercise can have a negative impact on our bodies…no need to overdo it!


 Diabetics have impaired  blood flow to the skin  leading  to ulcers, blisters, skin infections and slow healing wounds.

 Reduced circulation is also responsible for a decrease in collagen formation.

 Exercise increases circulation to the skin and by promoting weight control contributing to the regulation of blood sugar levels which are abnormally elevated in diabetes.

 Obesity related skin conditions

 Obesity is responsible for an increase in sweating- responsible for drier skin due to an increase water loss across the skin barrier.

 Increased strain on vessels and veins can cause fluid retention-lymphodema.

 Skin folds harbour moisture – a perfect environment for bacterial and fungal growth leading to skin irritations. Skin conditions such as psoriasis and keratosis pilaris are more commonly seen.

 Exercise helps in weight control and can minimise the onset of skin conditions associated with obesity.


 Exercise helps to relieve the symptoms of stress by secreting the ‘feel good’ hormone seretonin in contrast to  stress which initiates the release of an hormone called cortisol. Excessive cortisol release  over long periods can trigger unfavourable skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczema, hair loss and even an autoimmune disease called vitiligo – where areas of the skin becomes depigmented in patches.


 In addition to providing nutrients and oxygen to the skin, exercise and sweating  can also help to propel toxins and dirt from the skin, preventing the follicles becoming blocked,  contributing to acne.

 Tips; Shower immediately after exercise to prevent bacterial growth found in acne.

 Lymphodema – a build up of excess fluid

 The lymphatic system is a highly specialised network of vessels which form part of the immune system and whose job it is to transport excess fluid and waste products to lymph nodes for filtering.

A build up of  lymph fluid can cause a thickening of the skin , slow healing ulcers, dry warty spots and infections such as cellulitis.

 Exercise and movement is crucial in propelling lymphatic fluid towards lymph nodes and avoiding a build up.

 Wait there’s more….

Don’t skip that post workout coffee…..a recent article in the Dermatology Times discusses caffeine, when combined with exercise, helps to reduce the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers in mice…….C’mon ‘Tom and Jerry’ repurpose that activewear, lets Skin- ercise…… I’ll see you at the gym!

Susan- ASkinSolutions x

Have you noted any skin changes whilst Skin-Ercising?

SKIN DIARY OF A DERMAL CLINICIAN – what a skin professional uses on her own skin !

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This month I’m getting down, dirty and a little bit personal, opening my bathroom cabinet with a peek inside my personal skin care toolbox, with a little too revealing of my no fuss, no muss approach to skin care.

As a Dermal Clinician and skin health professional I’m sharing my daily skin care diary with a glimpse into what a skin health professional does (or rather doesn’t do) to keep her skin healthy and looking it’s best… may be surprised!

You won’t see a bathroom cabinet heaving with products. I maintain a simple skincare philosophy; combining ingredients that deliver results, backed up by scientific evidence. My message of Keeping Skincare Simple is what works best for my skin.

Acknowledged or otherwise,  being on the front line of skincare/skinhealth means there are pressures to maintain and present a happy, healthy skin…. after all,  you wouldn’t go to a dentist with bad teeth would you?

My minimalistic streamlined approach to skincare was born from lack of time with a splash of laziness – no Robinson Crusoe here – so what little I do do for my skin needs to be both effective and time efficient and able to treat the visible signs of ageing, of which there are a plenty….I’ll get to that!

You would expect and assume, with my background in skin sciences I’d have this ‘skin thing’ all sown up, with the perfect formula for radiant, glowing and youthful skin at my fingertips. As they say, ‘careful, assuming makes an ASS out of U and Me’ and it not  surprisingly, I don’t always have the perfect skin 100% of the time. Yes, being a Dermal Clinician means I have the skills and resources in my skin care arsenal to know what works and what doesn’t when treating my own skin, but there are times when my skin doesn’t always play nice!

Under the magnifying lamp…

With my Dermal Clinician  hat on, there’s no denying that this more than middle aged woman is suffering from the effects of the visible signs of ageing, due in part to a misspent youth on the beaches of Sydney. Pigmentation/ skin laxity/increasing dryness together with the occasional spot and ohh, my arch nemesis – fine lines and ‘wrinkles at rest’ all combine to produce the visible signs of ageing. They’re referred to as ‘wrinkles at rest’  because they remain permanently etched long after that last laugh… well, find a seat somewhere else!

Whats in that cabinet….

Morning routine
  • I use a gentle Cosmedix oil based cleanser –  Purity Solution morning and night as I find this to be the most efficient in removing makeup and dirt. I tend to steer away from foaming cleansers as the lauryl sulfates needed for foaming to occur are a bit drying on my skin.
  • 2-3 times a week and in the shower I exfoliate with Clinicians Complex Microdermabrasion Cream which contains fine magnesium oxide crystals helping to remove a buildup of dead skin cells.
  • You can never have enough sun protection so I use a broad spectrum UV sunscreen doubling as my daily moisturiser…..might be a little lazy but it does the job!
  •  Colour Science manufacture a ‘Sunforgettable’ mineral based powder with 50+sunscreen –  water resistant , great when exercising.
Night-time weapons
  •  I repeat my cleansing ritual using a face washer which helps to exfoliate.
  • Whilst my skin is still damp I apply SkinMedica Vitamin C+E Complex serum which I allow to absorb-approx 1 minute (taking up almost ½ of my allocated routine)
  • This is followed by a prescription strength 0.05% Vitamin A – commonly known as Retrieve

Tip; Vitamin A and Vitamin C are best used at night as they’re  oxidized by air and light.

  • If I extra moisture is needed i reach for Cosmedix Rescue Balm/Mask which can be left on overnight – this can be quite occlusive and not for everyone but I love the thick texture and how hydrated my skin feels in the morning!

Tip; Don’t forget your neck and décolletage – extend product onto these areas as they’re often exposed to the sun.



 And with a little help from my friends…

Bi-annually I enlist the help of my colleagues for some IPL keeping pigmentation and redness under control.

I’m a fan of medical grade peels which resurface the skin. Both these treatments involve a little downtime but are well worth it when chasing a more youthful even skin tone.

I’ve made friends with muscle relaxants and dermal fillers but less is definitely more, when it comes to muscle relaxants and dermal fillers.

What I should do more of…..

  1. Eat less sugar –sugar causes inflammaging –a low grade chronic inflammation at the cellular level and sits alongside the sun as one of the causes of aging and in the aggravation of acne.

2. Drink more water- this hydration calculator will help you assess if you’re drinking enough water

3. Exercise more- – exercise helps to reduce cortisol, the hormone released when we’re stressed.

I plan on ageing disgracefully …. those visible signs of ageing are in for quite a fight… glove up wrinkles and pigmentation – I will not go quietly!

Disclosure :Lastly I’d like to mention this post is my personal skin diary as a Dermal Clinician and I have  included products I have purchased and found to be effective…..also no animals were kicked or maimed in the writing of this post!






TAXES AND CHOCOLATE-10 Skin Reasons You Should Include Chocolate In Your Easter Diet!


Taxes and Chocolate ,two of life’s inevitables. These two aren’t mutually exclusive, one leaves a bad taste in your mouth and the other leaves a taste of pure joy. Easter gifts us chocolate lovers four chocolate-coated days of shameless chocolate consumption. And if you need any more reasons to nibble on those bunny ears , do as Molly Meldrum says and ‘Do your skin a favour ‘and jump on board the Easter parade because chocolate might just be your skin’s newest best friend.


Who knew- something that tastes that good could be soo good for you?

 The humble cocao bean provides a source high in antioxidants and nutrients providing many  positive health benefits. Research suggests that cocoa and chocolate (specifically dark, contains more cocoa), are rich in organic compounds such as polyphenols and flavonols which function as antioxidants.

 Tip- To take advantage of the positive health benefits it’s best to choose chocolate with 70% cacao content.

And when it couldn’t get any better….

A researcher form Cambridge University has created a dark chocolate that claims younger healthier skin can be achieved by eating 7.5 gram of this newly developed, low in sugar, super chocolate called Esthechoc. Esthechoc claims it contains more antioxidants than 100gms of regular chocolate or 300 gms of Salmon.


10 reasons why your skin needs Chocolate–Feed your body,skin and soul!

  • Tastes great levitra zoloft – a taste like no other.
  • Chocolate makes you hop hop happy! Mood altering chocolate can relieve stress and contains a number of psychoactive substances including serotonin and phenylethylamine which control mood.
  • Chocolate makes you smarter! Cocoa is a stimulant and contains caffeine, theophylline and theobromine which improves alertness and cognitive function.
  • Chocolate increases microcirculation helping to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin.
  • Chocolate is noted to have anti-inflammatory properties reducing the formation of free radicals which contribute to aging.
  • Cardioprotective-Flavanols in chocolate help to prevent heart disease
  • Not Acne causing as once thought but foods high in fats and sugars may increase sebum production contributing to acne.
  • Anti cancer properties – thankyou Flavonols!
  • Antiaging – flavonoids specifically catechins and procyanidin act as antioxidants protecting the body from free radical formation.
  • Offers uv protections- a 2009 study investigating photo protection shows that choc high in flavonols protects the skin from harmful rays and a reduces risk of sunburn.

If you want to avoid the calories but still enjoy the benefits , astaxanthin, another antioxidant found in chocolate has been found to achieve similar results when applied directly to the skin……

Hop hop hop into a guilt free Easter!

Which is your favourite chocolate?




Dear Stress, 

Lets breakup!

Breakups are always difficult, especially when it comes to getting rid of STRESSSSSS!

 News flash… life is stressful !!!

 Multi tasking means sprinting with scissors, traveling at 210 kms on the 8 lane freeway of life  –  too familiar?

 Keeping all the balls in the air….. Juggling relationships, home, work, finances with little downtime from our organised chaos is cause enough for our skin to behave badly!

 Sitting in a traffic jam, late for work or facing the imminent departure of my flight when I still havent parked the car, is enough to get my heart racing whilst sweating off my not so perfectly applied makeup. These physical symptoms are the result of the release of an hormone called cortisol.

 Cortisol is released by our bodies to help us deal with stressful situations.

 Whilst cortisol is beneficial to the body  in the short term, it’s release over longer periods can trigger unfavourable skin conditions and have other damaging effects on your health

 More and more frequently people are presenting  with conditons known to be exacerbated by stress such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczema, hair loss and even an autoimmune disease called vitiligo (where areas of the skin becomes depigmented in patches), to Dermatologists who recognise there is a relationship  between stress and skin. This frequent association between stress and skin disorders has led to the evolution of a new medical discipline called Psychodermatology.

 Psychodermatology is the treatment of skin disorders using psychological and psychiatric techniques.

 ‘We all boil at different degrees’- Ralph Waldo Emerson, so  understanding how to effectively deal with stress will help alleviate the skin conditions triggered by stress.

 Stress can see our skin falling apart on us  with broader health implications if we don’t find time to relax and give the body some downtime…easier said than done!

 In the beginning….

Skin Behaving Badly

 In utero the skin and nervous system develop at the same time, holding hands, forming a partnership closely intertwined lasting our entire lives.

 In times of stress the adrenal glands are triggered to release cortisol helping the body to-

  • Metabolise glucose in the body- needed for sprints of energy
  • Release insulin – maintaining blood sugar levels
  • Increase Immune function
  • Increase inflammatory response

On the flip side…

 Chronic periods of stress and a constant release of Cortisol can have a deleterious effect-.

  • Impairment in cognitive performance
  • Suppression of  thyroid function
  • Disordered blood sugar levels
  • Decreased bone density
  • Decreased  muscle tissue
  • Increase in  blood pressure
  • Decreased immunity and inflammatory response
  • Compromised wound healing

Definitely not what we need when dealing with stress related skin conditions!

What happens to our skin when we’re stressed?

 In the case of acne and stress, cortisol is released, increasing oil production. Together with cortisol -induced lower immunity, decreased inflammatory response and reduced wound healing capabilities, suddenly we have the perfect environment for acne to flourish.

 It can be a vicious cycle, the more stressed we become the more these conditions flare up and may worsen, the more they worsen or appear, the more anxious we become….so it makes sense to treat the underlying causes of skin conditions triggered by stress with a multifactorial  approach.

 Trying to apply the brakes on stress is like turning back the hands of time, near impossible but grabbing 5 mins here and there in our busy schedules might just be enough to make a difference and disturb the prolonged release of cortisol.

Skin Behaving Badly

  Off the treadmill and start by trying to access some anti-stress techniques and lifestlyle adjustments.

 Eating foods with anti-inflammatory and healing benefits!healing-foods/clb8

  • Start small with snatched moments of downtime  – be careful not to have unrealistic expectations of available time as you will stress even more if you can’t meet them
  • Recognising your stress triggers
  • Find your ‘Oprah Corner’ where you can zen out for 5 mins
  • Walking the dog – you know he’ll love it!
  • Why not try Yoga
  • Meditation and Minfulnesss
  • WaterWaterWater

 further reading;

  Meditation for Busy People  by author OSHO- readily available at all online bookstores.

 As Psychodermatology increases in popularity and people understand the close relationship between mind and skin, greater success will be seen in the management of stress related skin conditions.

An integrated approach combining relaxation techniques,  nutritional advice, medication will all contribute in helping to alleviate the cause and symptoms of skin conditions triggered by stress.

 ASkinSolutions x





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To squeeze or not to squeeze………………..or pick,or prick,or pop,or scratch-that is  the question?

The birthing of a pimple is no cause for celebration and there will be no naming ceremony at my house. We’ve all played host to these nasty, painful, unsighly, throbbing, mind of their own insidious beasts.

They choose their host indiscriminately but not their position, placing themselves front and centre like  Ricky Martin on stage and never never never discreetly behind your ear,or in your hair line kinda place.

The Third Eye-unseeing but not unseen!

Aways in a place where random strangers are immediately confused as to which head they should be talking to, coinciding with the day you’ve booked the family photo shoot in preparation for the xmas card mail out, thats our beast!

A BCF ( best concealer friend) became my 11th finger during those times of torment. Armed with a ‘go hard or go home’ attititude and an inability to restrain myself, the creation af a green headed monster to embark on it’s own healing process never entered my mind. Immediate erradication was overiding. As a Dermal Cllinician I am now skilled in removal of my own Mt Etna’s but I’m not sure I would advise the same technique to fellow sufferers. Hypocritical I know but I want scar-free and complication-free outcomes for my clients.

Gotta getcha outta my life……….. 

Professionally I approach this delicate procedure glove,gowned with aseptic practice. Reducing the spread of infection is priority so keep those hands away from the area involved!

We all have a preferred method of strangulation……from the tea tree burn to the two finger vice grip.Some even suggest using a combination of rubbing alcohol and sea breeze……not sure how to capture and apply the sea breeze, despite my proximity to it. There is certainly a dearth of creative home remedies out there!

A good starting point is to include good cleansing hygiene ,which means using a gentle cleanser containing Salicylic Acid and a non oily Zinc based sunscreen or moisturiser. Salicylic acid acts as a keratolytic, bacteriocide and antinflammatory agent and  Zinc posesses the ability to help speed up the healing process. The regular changing of bedlinen and towels is also of benefit.

For more severe cases, in clinic treatments may include superficial peels and llight based therapies to assist in the reduction of lesions. The use of isotretinoins, oral/ topical antibiotics and retionoids may also be considered in difficult to manage cases,however this should be balanced with the risks and side effects associated with these treatment options.

Patience and compliance are your friends when tackling this condition and results may be prolonged taking as long as 8 weeks for results.

Acne Is a multlifactorial condition meaning there are a number of contributing factors including genetics, hormones, enviromental (humidity and skin care products),medication and diet.

Acne is diagnosed into three categories -mild, moderate and severe according to the number of lesions involved and these factors should be considered when investigating treatment options with your Dr or Dermal Clinician. It is also important to remembet to consider treatments  already tried.

The Triangle of Death, an urban myth….?

The Triangle of Death is no urban myth! The area spans from the corners of the mouth to the bridge of the nose. The potential exists for the spread of an infection to the brain from a pimple being squeezed in this triangle. This is possible due to the special nature of the venous supply to the nose and surrounding area and proximity to the meninges (the membrane protecting the brain), via the cavernous sinus, so best to avoid using the ‘vice grip’ here!

But it’s no myth Acne can be disfiguring and emotionally damaging. It is most prevalent during the angst ridden teenage years when the hormone Androgen is rampant. Androgen increases the production of oil in the sebaceous glands. Together a build up of epidermal cells (creating a plug), this increased oil production, bacteria and inflammation combine to form a pimple.

So lets have that funeral……

Plenty of treatment options are available depending on the severity of the condition……squeezing is not one of them! Heres some tips…….


  • gentle cleansing x 2 daily
  • non oily moisturisers/zinc base sunscreen
  • diet- there is some evidence to suggest a low GI diet may help with some Acne sufferers
  • Don’t battle the beast on your own seek help from your Dermal Clinician, Dr or Pharmacist


For more detailed professional advice and treatment options for Acne -or simply to ask me a question-please visit