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?



It seems that everybody is looking for the new miracle cure to ageing. This search for the “elixir of life” is not a new concept. The high dose antioxidant supplements are yet another attempt to slow the ageing process and prevent the negative outcomes and chronic diseases that accompany it. But are they doing your body more harm than good?

 Ever since the idea of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the body and the harmful effects they cause, ways to counteract and neutralise them have flooded the market. ROS are electron seeking free radicals that break down proteins and cell membranes within the body. This cell and DNA damage is directly linked to the ageing process. Oxidative damage has links to things like skim damage and degeneration, degenerative disorders and some cancers. ROS are produced both by the body and from external stimulants. The most common forms of free radical production are metabolism, inflammation (most commonly from excess body fat), air pollution, smoking, UV light and radiation.

 The high dose antioxidant theory is a theory based on using high dose antioxidant supplements, as opposed to dietary dose in food, to scavenge all the free radicals in the body produced from both endogenous and exogenous sources. These supplements are an attempt to avoid or slow the ageing process and the associated chronic diseases. The power of antioxidants has been at the base of the supplement, neutraceutical and anti-ageing industry for the last 30 years. This is not to say that antioxidants themselves are not beneficial in slowing the ageing process, it is just in the supplement form that one must be cautious. The high doses that antioxidants are being marketed and sold to consumers can be more than 1000X more than one person needs.

There is little clinical evidence for efficacy of these supplements and in some cases toxicity is a very real risk. In smokers, beta-carotene supplementation showed an increase in risk of lung cancer. The body has its own pathways in place to cope with antioxidants. We need some levels of ROS in order to activate these pathways and it is possible that the high levels of antioxidants in supplements reduces the activation of these very effective pathways. It is possible that in high doses antioxidants can actually allow ROS levels to increase.


 So how do you get these antioxidants in healthy levels? Whole foods are the safest and most balanced way to obtain antioxidants in your diet. The compounds in food are multi-targets for multi factorial diseases. The combination of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in the food also allow for better absorption and eliminates the risk of toxicity. A diet rich in a variety of food allows for synergy of constituents as opposed to the isolation in high dose supplements. Being able to substitute a healthy diet for a pill is still a fantasy with no real clinical efficacy or substantiated claims.

Antioxidants are in lots of delicious and easy to access foods. Almost all plant foods (whole grains included) contain an assortment of antioxidants; berries, apples, green leafy vegetables… the list goes on. As a general rule deeper and more varied fruit and vegetables tend to have a higher level of antioxidants.

Although not a quick fix pill, the safest and most effective way to get these anti-ageing antioxidants is through a balanced and healthy diet.

Ellen Foster has a Bachelor of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences from the University of Queensland. Ellen is passionate about health and wellness and is focussed on furthering her academic studies in Medicine.

Ellen Foster has a Bachelor of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences from the University of Queensland. Ellen is passionate about health and wellness and is focussed on furthering her academic studies in Medicine.


Christmas is a time for all things sparkly – Lorna’s, Champagne, flashing Christmas tree lights and if you’re lucky one carat diamonds for each ear, boxed in blue and tied with a gorgeous white satin ribbon in the perfect bow – too obvious ?

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My ‘Fit Foodie’ tennis mate Lorna Garden, sparkles with good health, wellness, vitality and a carotene tinged complexion attributed to a love of carrots !

‘Lornatic’, as she is known in our tennis group, is a registered Dietitian with an impressive professional pedigree. Lorna believes being creative with fresh ingredients will help curb our predilection to overindulge during the silly season ,reducing post Christmas damage control. I’ve enlisted her to help us through the season of excess with some healthy eating tips.

Lorna says…

fit festive food

 One of the wonderful things about Christmas is that people get together and prepare and share special foods and dishes with friends and family.  Choosing fresh ingredients and being creative with nibbles and desserts can turn your festive season into a fit and fun time, rather than a time of overindulgence that you spend weeks working off.


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Here’s my favourite fit, festive food suggestions this Christmas:

  • Berries & cherries.  Not only are they packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre but raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, loganberries, strawberries and cherries are all available fresh now and are low in kilojoules and have virtually no fat.  Frozen berries are awesome blended with natural or coconut yoghurt as an ice cream alternative, and a huge bowl of juicy cherries is a must for the Christmas table.
  • Go nuts.   One of the best options is to buy fresh nuts in their shell – walnuts, pecans, peanuts, brazil nuts, almonds, or pistachios and have fun cracking them open and making a big mess.  It is much more difficult to over eat them this way!  Always buy nuts raw and unsalted, and dry roast them yourself if you prefer them crunchier.
  • Vietnamese rice paper rolls.   Fresh vegetables & herbs, with bean shoots & rice noodles, and  chicken, prawns, marinated tofu or lean pork, (use up those leftovers!),  these are a fun food to have as an easy family meal on a hot day, or as an elegant appetiser with cocktails.
  • Minted watermelon.  This is too easy!  Toss chunks of fresh watermelon with fresh, chopped mint and keep chilled.  Keep a container full in the fridge for a quick snack, puree for a refreshing drink or serve with natural yogurt for an easy dessert.
  • Chocolate coated strawberries and banana.  I might be stretching the meaning of  ‘fit food’ here, but if you are going to indulge in a little chocolate I always think it is better if it’s dark and wrapped around some fruit like fresh strawberries or banana (then frozen – yum!).
  • Roast Turkey.  Turkey is low in fat and high in protein, and a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins.  Cook it with minimum fat added, remove the skin and visible fat and enjoy it with a little cranberry sauce and a plate load of fresh vegetables or salad.
  • Beetroot. Not only a potential ergogenic aid but this vibrant vegetable is also an excellent source of phytochemicals and antioxidants.  Wonderful roasted in a rocket salad or raw with grated carrot, orange and mint, or in a fresh juice. The perfect color for the Christmas table.
  • Mineral water.  Add a dash of lime or cranberry juice and mint leaves for a refreshing & rehydrating drink without excessive sugar.
  • Mango.  It’s not an Australian summer without fresh mango.  Enjoy slurped straight off the skin, or add to fruit platters, fruit salad, smoothies, and even salads (with raw macadamia nuts of course!).
  • Dips.  Fill a platter with grissini sticks, carrot & zucchini pieces & watercrackers and serve with a selection of fresh, low fat dips like tzatziki, hummus, creamed corn or beetroot, and dip away.   A much healthier option to crisps & pastries.

 Remember, keep the indulgences to just a couple of days and fill up on fresh, healthy food and drinks the rest of the time, for a fit, fun festive season

 For related reading visit

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Lorna Garden is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with over 20 years experience .