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 !

IMG_0586 (1)


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!







12 Skin Care Tips to manage ‘Winters Itch’

It’s difficult for people not living in Noosa to picture us who do live here shivering by the fire in winter. I can assure you us ‘SunnyCoasters‘ feel the cold when the seasons turn!


 With Winter on our doorstep, shorter days mean less sun and longer nights with temperatures sometimes plummeting to a chilly 0 degrees celsius…cold enough for us Sunnycoasters to break out the bedsocks.

 Daytime peaks of 15 degrees celsius at 2pm, together with a formidable  Westlerly wind has us beach babes layering up, replacing the cotton throw for a feather doona and cranking up the open fire…. pity worthy…maybe not!

I’m no ‘Winter Virgin’…I’ve served a ‘chilly apprenticeship’ living through Melbourne’s extreme weather patterns.

Melbourne see’s Mother Nature in her foulest of moods… I’ve served my time and have enjoyed the seasonal changes!

Winter also marks opportunities for skin care companies to spruik their ‘winter range’, anticipating perceived changes in skincare needs by consumers during the colder months but is skin care really seasonal or a clever marketing tool in order to sell more product ?

The answer is not necessarily! Not everyone needs to adapt his or her skin care routine because the colours of the leaves have changed.Certainly skin’s demands may vary slightly, or for some lucky ones not at all.

 When it comes to skin care, you will know from my other posts, I like to take a KISS (keeping it simple stupid) approach.

 ASkinSolutions’ 1. 2. 3 steps of skin care –

  • Cleanse
  • Treat/Manage
  • Protect

 How do weather patterns influence the way our skin functions ?

Background…a tiny bit of A and P…

 Skin functions as a Thermo Regulator and houses it’s very own climate control panel called the Hypothalamus situated in base of the brain. It’s job is to respond to the environment, cooling us in summer whilst retaining heat in winter.

 In hot conditions the skin responds by initiating it’s cooling processes, stimulating the sweat glands to secrete fluid on the surface of the skin, cooling the skin when air passes over. Similarly when it’s cold, ‘goosebumps’ appear trapping warm air, keeping us warm – revision over!

 Predictably, lets reason, less sweat and oil secretions occur in winter meaning less lubrication for your skin. With this in mind your skin appears drier, flakier or might even be predisposed to dry skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis commonly triggered by seasonal changes.

 Winter skin 101 out of the way….

Artificial heating/cooling have little or no humidity further contributing to a drying effect on the skin.

  Tip; A good idea is to place a bowl of water in a corner of the room to try and combat the drying effect when using artificial heating/cooling.

 The moisturising process sometimes  gets overlooked as we hastily scramble into our clothes post shower in an effort to keep warm.

  Tip; Why not take warm oil baths to help lubricate the skin

 Excess and restrictive clothing worn in winter can also irritate the skin. Synthetic fibres may contribute to irritation by not allowing airflow and providing a moist environment for bacteria to flourish.

 Tip; Why not try under garments made of natural fibres such as merino wool.

 Should we change our skin care according to the seasons?

Whilst it’s not necessary to change your whole routine, a few minor adjustments or tweaking is all that might be needed. Maintain your routine and make adjustments to your cleanser and treat/manage for a drier skin type if needed.

TIP : If it’s Wet Dry it, If it’s Dry Wet it !

12 Skin Care Tips to Manage ‘Winter’s Itch’

1. Foaming cleansers can dry the skin with their foaming properties, substitute with an oil based cleanser. They cleanse the skin without stripping it of it’s protective acid mantle.

2. When I refer to Treating/Managing, I mean to address any concerns or changes you may have noticed  due to the change in seasons. Layering serums containing antioxidants underneath your moisturizer are a great way to treat specific skin concerns.

3. An emollient-based moisturizer; a formulation or ‘oil in water’ will keep the skin feeling lubricated. For some it may be a  period of  adjustment to an heavier cream.

4. When purchasing products include the ‘skin vitamins ADCEK ’ in the list of ingredients.. The B group vitamins are also great in helping to reduce an irritated skin.

 5. Avoid super hot baths and showers. In an effort to keep warm we tend to lengthen the time of showers and increase the temp -don’t!

6. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week allowing for better penetration of moisturises and products whilst removing flakiness.

7.  To get the maximum benefit from your product apply to  damp skin enabling better penetration.

8.  Up your intake of oily fish containing essential fatty acids omega 3s and 6’s such as nuts and whole grains flaxseed oil –these are a great resource help reduce the symptoms of a stressed skin.

9. If you suffer from winter triggered Eczema, try a topical occlusive  (heavier oil in water ) cream with antin flammatory properties. If the symptoms persist ,over the counter hydrocortisone cream .05% is available off prescription and may be of benefit until the symptoms are relieved.

10. Psoriasis  can be particularly troublesome in the winter months and treatment should be carried out in consultation with your Dr.

11. Allergy face (dry puffy eyes, blotchy skin),the fault of the seasonal winds blowing irritants such as pollens around. An anti -histamine is the best way combat allergens, or  cool compresses to reduce allergy symptoms. Dr William Goldstein discusses ways in which you can reduce puffy eyes safely.

12. Maintaing hydration in the winter months is  often overlooked in favour of warm drinks. Consider drinking herbal teas alternating with water at room temperature.

Visit the Hydration Calculator to assess if you are drinking  enough water based on your activity levels .

Further reading Associate Professor Greg Goodman says “Vitamin A is still the most important repair mechanism to use at night”!Don’t forget  ASkinSolution’s most valuable foundation of skin care – PROTECT !

Further reading Healing Foods 

 ASkinSolutions x