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 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!






WHY YOU NEED A MOISTURISER– Don’t be left high and dry!

Cleanse Tone and Moisturise ’ has long been accepted as the golden rule of skin care. Deleting ‘Moisturise’ from your skin care routine is a little like having a 3 wheeled car…..the car would still run ok, albeit a little wonky, a little inefficiently and with an accident waiting to happen. Without this important third step in your skin care routine you’ll find your skin being left “ high and dry”!

That’s not all as not only will your skin be less hydrated with fine lines appearing, it will also be more vulnerable when exposed to its changing environment, more susceptible to skin irritations and its crucial barrier function may be compromised.

definition; Moisturiser 
noun: moisturiser
A cosmetic preparation used to prevent dryness in the skin.


Our skin has it’s own mechanisms in place to maintain hydration by secreting oils which help by trapping moisture within the skin.

The combination of hot water and soaps used when showering or bathing, can disrupt these mechanisms leading to dryness and dehydration.

Whilst personal hygiene is important (especially if you value friends), replacing these essential oils lost from everyday showering is vital in maintaining healthy skin.

Applying a moisturiser replaces the lost oils by providing a protective layer, stabilising the barrier function and increasing water content by reducing trans epidermal water loss(TEWL)  helping to keep our skin supple.

Job Opportunity,

Moisturisers need only apply!


  • Be willing & able to make my skin smooth and supple
  • Be willing & able to duplicate and enhance my skin’s natural moisture retention mechanisms
  • Be gentle on sensitive skin types – & in particular experience in being hypoallergenic ,non-sensitising & non–comedogenic ( Non pimple making – important for acne sufferers)
  • Commence work promptly by being rapidly absorbed and fragrance free be proficient at carrying water binding agents called humectants
  • Must display excellent interpersonal skills and have demonstrated ability to communicate well with sunscreens & other skin nutrients


 The science behind moisturisers

 Trans Epidermal Water Loss [TEWL]

Trans Epidermal Water Loss is a measure of the amount of water that passes from inside our body to the outside through the epidermis – the skin’s topmost layer. The water loss occurs via diffusion and evaporation and is continual and beyond our control. Disruptions to the skin’s barrier system including cuts, scratches, burns and dry skin with diminished natural oils ( e.g. after water,soap and bathing) , can increase TEWL. It is also affected by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and UV light.Factors that damage or insult skin increase water loss, leaving skin feeling dry.

Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF)

The role of the NMF is to maintain adequate skin hydration. The NMF is composed principally of free amino acids, inorganic salts, sugars, lactic acid and urea . NMF components are highly efficient humectants which are compounds that attract and bind water from the atmosphere and draw it into skin cells.Humectants are the weight lifters of the skincare world.Their hydrating properties and strength lies in their ability to hold between 600 -1000 times their own weight in water which increases the skin’s moisture content. Where NMF is low the skin may appear dry and flaky . The NMF may be reduced by excessive bathing or exposure to UV light

 All class!

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A Match made in hydration heaven….

Tailoring moisturiser to skin type can mean the difference between good skin and great skin. Choosing the correct moisturiser depends on skin type, environment and specific skin conditions such as Acne.

  • Dry skin may appear flaky to the eye. Choose an heavier more occlusive moisturiser which prevents water loss from the skin
  • Oily skin is prone to congestion and blackheads. Choose a light moisturiser which includes exfoliating acids such as salicylic acid and humectants which will attract water to the skin.
  • Sensitive skin is susceptible to skin irritations and rashes. Choose products which are fragrance and allergen free.
  • Mature skin becomes drier so choose a more occlusive moisturiser combined with anti-aging ingredients will help to prevent moisture loss.
  • Normal skin contains a normal moisture balance. Choose a moisturiser which is light and maintains the hydration in the skin.
What’s in a sample?

 Unfortunately not all cosmetic companies go to the expense of providing samples of their product but they’re a great way of testing suitability. When they are available they contain 3-4 days worth of application which is more than enough time to observe whether any adverse reactions are likely to occur. Tip: Apply on the inside of your forearm.

Should we expect more from our moisturisers?

Absolutely !

The savvy cosmeceutical industry are all over this! Cosmeceutical companies are responding to the needs of consumers who want to streamline their skin care routine whilst seeing results. But cosmeceutical companies don’t have a monopoly on being savvy. More than ever consumers are time poor, results driven, and demand ‘actives’ to be included in their skincare.The humble moisturiser becomes a multi-tasker tasked with maintaining balanced epidermal hydration and being an anti-ager, repairer and protector.

Additionally doubling up your daily moisturiser with a suitable SPF makes for economical and sensible skin care.

Don’t be left high and dry!

Choosing moisturiser to skin type is key. Correct diagnosis by a skin health professional tailored to your skin’s needs will save you dollars and potentially skin irritation not to mention an healthy and hydrated skin!

Need more specific advice, head to and ASK away?

YOU BOOZE, YOUR SKIN LOSES – Don’t be caught ‘red faced’ this Xmas!

Not ‘grinching’ on your xmas but……alcohol can wreak havoc on our skin, triggering rashes, dryness, even dull and lifeless skin.

It’s no secret Santa’s favourite colour is red. The suit, the rosy red cheeks…..he rocks red!


Those rosy cheeks however, are not from scaling chimneys Xmas eve, rather are more likely a result of imbibing in refreshments generously left out for him and his reindeers by grateful families in exchange for presents.

Fact: Santa has alcohol triggered Rosacea!

Like Santa it’s difficult to resist ‘cheering’ over the silly season but if you want to avoid Rudolphs’ glowing nose it might pay to moderate your alcohol intake and follow a few sensible ‘tippling tips’ this Xmas.

How does alcohol affect our skin?

Alcohol contains congeners, chemical substances produced during the fermentation process, which gives alcohol its unique taste, smell and colour.

Heads up! the darker the liquor the more congeners it contains and the greater kick to your hangover!

Not only are the congeners in alcohol affecting our skin, it ‘s the added sugars, salts and other impurities swirled together with those festive swizzle sticks mixing the perfect ‘molotov skin cocktail’!

If you booze your skin loses!


  • Dehydrates the skin by acting as a diuretic, making your kidneys work harder with increased trips to the toilet and giving the skin a dry,sallow appearance.
  • Prevents important vitamins and minerals required for skin health from being absorbed. Specifically vitamins A and B are destroyed by alcohol.
  • Is a vasodilator causing facial capillaries to dilate, giving the ruddy appearance Santa makes fashionable annually.
  • Interrupts our REM sleep making us more likely to wake early, feeling tired.
  • Increases our sugar/salt intake when adding mixers to drinks, creating systemic inflammation, skin ageing and the appearance of bloating.
  • May cause acne by increasing insulin levels in the blood and inflammation in the body.
  • Can trigger skin conditions such as psoriasis and rosacea
  • Damages the liver, potentially leading to cirrhosis and jaundice – a yellow discolouration of the skin



Tips to keep you ‘drinking with the enemy’!

Maintain hydration and keep your fluids up!

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.

Avoid carbonated drinks as the bubbles can hasten the effects of alcohol!

Drink moderately!

‘Drunk brides don’t look pretty’, kept me sober at my wedding….imagine you’re the bride, this will help you moderate your drinking!

Downsize the size of your drinks!

Replace those ‘2 handed wine buckets’ with a smaller glass …keep a free hand for food!

Resist topping up early!

Refill your glass only when empty

Enjoy those ‘devils on horseback’!

Xmas is as much about the food so dig in!

Food helps to slow down the absorption of alcohol!

Load up on foods with high water content such as watermelon!

Hit the rocks!

Pop some ice into your drinks, this will help to dilute your drinks and aid hydration

Alcohol and skin are definitely not besties but Xmas is a time for eating drinking and merrymaking so if you want your skin luminescent rather Rudolph red then stick to the plan ….hydration and moderation!

C’mon it’s time to get a little silly!

Merry Xmas  and thank you to everybody for the wonderful support this past year! Keeping skincare simple is what ASkinSolutions is all about.I hope you’ve  enjoyed reading my blogs as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them?

Ps; Dear Santa, ….It’s water for you this year!

ASkinSolutions x