NO ONE PUTS BABY IN THE SUN || Sun Protection Tips for Babies!

‘No One Puts Baby in the Sun’, but many times it’s unavoidable. Many mothers have experienced the sickening feeling of realising their babies have been sunburnt. As you may have  recently read one of Australia’s most trusted sunscreen brands has come under fire after an horrified mother took to Facebook to show her gorgeous 3 month old baby suffering the effects of what she describes as a ‘rash/burn’ after using the Cancer Council Peppa Pig 50+ sunscreen to protect her baby whilst outdoors. This story unleashed a barrage of over 1600 comments initiating a dialogue amongst  parents, many of whom appeared to be unaware of how to adequately provide sun protection for their young babies.

The Cancer Council of Australia aren’t the only sunscreen manufacturers on the end of the ‘angry stick’ of unhappy parents who’ve applied sunscreen to their babies, assuming their babies are protected, only to have their children suffer nasty sunburn/rashes….. just the most recent.

Viewing the photos on Facebook it’s easy and understandable for us mothers to apportion blame  on  the sunscreen manufacturer. Its heart wrenching and very emotional to see your, or any baby, hospitalised with such a severe reaction to the sun, especially  as a parent  who is practising the Sunsmart message  of Slip Slop Slap; but for very young babies whose skin is skin is vulnerable to the absorption of chemicals and with no natural protection against the sun’s harmful rays, sunscreen may not be the most appropriate method of sun protection according to the American Academy of Paediatricians.

but first some background….

a melanoma lottery!

One lottery you don’t want to buy a ticket for….!

We now know skin cancer develops as a result of earlier sun exposure and just one blistering childhood sunburn can increase the risk of developing melanoma by up to 50% later in life according to authorities.

Should you apply sunscreen to babies?


Paediatricians recommend avoiding sun exposure altogether in the first 6 months of life. However where sun exposure  is unavoidable, an inorganic sunscreen such as zinc is preferred rather than a chemical sunscreen, on sun exposed areas, which may be less irritating to baby’s sensitive skin.

Why cant I use sunscreen on my baby?

Babies skin differs from adults in that it starts at birth with very little protection and  develops its protective barrier function throughout the first 33 months of life.

The higher skin-surface area to body-weight ratio, and thinner epidermis means greater absorption of chemicals in sunscreens through the skin,  increasing the risk of adverse skin reactions such as photo allergic rashes. These factors together with a lack of melanin (the pigment which gives skin it’s colour and which offers limited natural sun protection) make a baby’s skin far more vulnerable to the suns harmful rays when compared to adults or children.

Melanin offers natural but limited sun protection from the sun’s harsh rays and should not be relied upon for sun protection in adults or children.

Tips to protect babies from sunburn

   less than 6 months
  • Keep babies less than 6 months out of the sun and in the shade as much as possible
  • Use window shades for car windows
  • Choose a pram with a movable hood to provide screening
  • Purchase pram shade covers which are able to block 70% or more of the suns harmful UV rays. These are often a combination of densely woven fabric combined with a  mesh section to allow for air circulation and for baby to see.
  • Dress baby in lightweight protective clothing including hat and protective eyewear
  • Watch your baby carefully for signs of sunburn such as redness or fussiness- this may be a sign they’re uncomfortable with the heat and getting sunburned.

Tip; If you can see through the light weight fabric it probably doesn’t offer much sun protection. 

    Babies 6 -12months
  • Sunscreen may now be used but patch testing is advisable. Patch test using a small amount on the inside of the wrist over a 3 day period, checking for any irritation or redness prior to use.
  • Continue to dress baby in light weight sun protective clothing.
  • A broad spectrum sunscreen sensitive skin/tear free formula is advised to apply to exposed areas such as arms and legs
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before venturing outside and reapply every 2 hours, or after excessive sweating or swimming.
  • Avoid aerosol sunscreens as they don’t provide a reliable coverage

When it comes to sun protection in babies prevention is always better than cure. Practise safe sun protection and if baby shows signs of becoming sunburnt, get out of the sun immediately and apply cool compresses, keep well hydrated with breast milk/ formula/water and see your Doctor.






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







Scar Free || Treatment options for scar minimisation explained!


It’s all fun and games until you end up over the handle bars of your bike….scenes of tears, scars or worse, Brad Pitt-less – that is if you’re Angelina! Unless you live in a bubble or are Teflon coated, chances are you won’t have a skin which is ‘Scar Free’.  Whether from surgery, pool dives gone wrong, cuts, stretchmarks or even acne; scars are an inevitable tracing of a life well lived. Wherever the skin has been broken and needs to repair itself, there will be a story to be told with a scar.

 Defintion:Scar – a mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore has not healed completely and fibrous connective tissue has developed.

 Any injury to our skin can result in a temporary or sometimes unwelcome permanent scar. If it’s not a conversation opener at a dinner party, we spend a lot of time disguising, covering or wanting to get rid of them.

 Unlike the gorgeous Kate Middleton, your scar isn’t hidden beneath your hairline, there are a number of scar minimisation treatment options available to help reduce the appearance of those unwanted scars.

Skin heals unpredictably and so it can tough to predict the nature and extent of scarring after an injury or operation. Multiple factors including skin type, age, health status and the depth and nature of the injury to the skin all contribute to how a scar heals and what residual signs or scars may be left. Different skin types also have an impact on how the skin heals For example, Asian or darker skin types have an increased risk of developing keloid, hypertrophic scarring or post inflammatory hyper pigmentation.


 First up….Types of scars

 Mature scars are scars which have completed the healing process. These types are definitely more challenging to treat.

Flat scars are scraped knees, abrasions or common superficial injuries.

 Atrophic scars are indented or depressed scars where and include the destruction of the supporting structure of the dermis- seen in post acne scarring.

 Keloid or Hypertrophic scars occur from superficial to deep injury of the skin and more commonly affect darker skin types or those with an Asian descent. They may undergo surgical revision with no guarantee of resolution. Keloid scars usually occur from the chest up, where scar tissue grows outside the borders or boundaries of the original scar or injury – seen in tribal markings or facial piercings.

 Hyper-pigmentation This is where there is a darkening of the skin caused by an increase in melanin production in the post inflammatory phase of a wound repair. Sun exposure during the healing process can exacerbate this.

Hypo-pigmentation is a loss of melanin to the site of injury and may be permanent or temporary depending on the depth of injury.

Early tip; Before that scar horse bolts…… Good wound care and scar prevention is always better than seeking scar minimisation treatment options.

 A quick tour on how the skin heals…

There are three phases in wound healing and they all overlap each other ultimately resulting in the healing of a wound-

Inflammatory phase the bodies first response, is to stop the bleeding and send in it’s army of protective cells to ward off infection as well as cells that will direct the healing process .

Proliferation phase– is the crucial rebuilding stage where epithelial cells (skin cells) resurface the wound — seen in a scab.

Maturation phase this is the final stage and the replacement of collagen from type III to type 1.During this phase erythema or redness decreases. This phase may take up to 2 years to complete.

Myth busting.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.


Tip; A quicker a wound heals the less of a scar it will form.

You’ve got that Scar now what?

Treatments explained….
  • Sunscreen –  Sun protection is vital for minimising the appearance of scars preventing hyper or hypo pigmentation – Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB rays.

Tip; the zinc in broad-spectrum sunscreens has great healing properties in addition to sun protection.

  • Massage the wound gently – this helps in breaking down and lessons the risk of thick scarring from forming. Massaging should only be performed during the maturation phase of healing.
  • Retinols – when applied topically these Vitamin A derivatives help to control hyperpigmentation whilst facilitating cell renewal.
  •  Silicon gel sheeting – Putting a sheet of silicon gel on a scar every day may help it fade or keep it from getting worse. The sheeting is available at pharmacies or from dermatologists and should be used for at least 3 months.
  • Concealer – A quick fix! Pick a shade that is waterproof and most effective with the colour of your scar and skin tone. For a pink scar use concealer with green undertones, for a brown scar, try a concealer with a yellow undertones.
  • Dermal fillers – Injecting substances such as collagen or fat can immediately raise sunken atrophic scars. However, this treatment isn’t permanent and may need to be repeated regularly to maintain benefit.
  • Steroid injections – These may help flatten raised scars, but a long-term course may be needed note-Long term use of steroids in the skin may also cause a thinning of the skin.
  • Dermabrasion – This procedure abrades the surface of the skin,helping to reduce the look of raised scars.
  • Laser resurfacing  – The skin surface is removed with lasers, or lasers are used to work on the collagen in the dermis without removing the upper layer of skin.
  • Micro-needling – Small needles are delivered into the dermal layers of the skin, to break down scar tissue and stimulate the formation of new collagen.
  • Subcision – The sharp edge of a hypodermic needle is used to break down fibrous connective strands underneath the scar to improve appearance .
  • Surgery – You can’t remove a scar entirely with surgery, but you can alter its size, depth, or colour. Surgery isn’t suggested for hypertrophic or keloid scars because it can make them worse.Consult with an experienced Plastic Surgeon or Cosmetic Surgeon prior to considering this option.

The good news is scars do resolve themselves significantly over time but some may never completely disappear.It’s good to know however, that for those people who can do without the permanent reminder of a life well lived, there are many scar minimisation treatment options available.

Have you had any success with removing scars?

Susan x

IN the BLINK of an EYE || Eye creams, are they worth it ?



Never trust the eyes with a secret! In the blink of an eye they’ll reveal all.Our emotions, our health and age, all without even batting an eyelid. Whilst dark circles and puffiness expose our lifestyle choices, fine or permanent lines become the barometer of our chronological age – all visible signs of ageing.

A 41 second Google search tells me 1,990,000 people are talking about, purchasing or searching for a miracle in the form of an eye cream, which will reduce these visible signs of aging. … quite a demand, with high expectations not always met.

 Hedging my bets…

 My Keeping Skin Care Simple and Sensible approach doesn’t always include an eye cream in my personal skin care arsenal. I do love the luxurious formulations of eye creams but I vacillate between essential and superfluous. As a Dermal Clinician, my philosophy is – if your skincare already contains cell communicating, active ingredients in an hydrating formulation, then eye creams may not always  be necessary. However, if the skin around your eyes differs significantly from the rest of your face and you have specific concerns for your skin around the eye area, then an eye cream may be of benefit!

 …..but first some Anatomy

 The skin around the peri-orbital (eye) area varies slightly from the rest of the skin on the face and body. It is the thinnest skin on our bodies, measuring a mere 0.04mm – 0.2mm thick, containing less appendageal glands (sweat and oil glands), resulting in a drier and potentially less supple skin.

 The Obicularis Oculi, the muscle surrounding the eye, sits directly below this thin skin and is responsible for the ‘crows feet’ that form at the sides of the eyes. We blink approximately 28,000 times a day. This repetitive movement, together with environmental exposure, drier and  thinner skin, makes this area more vulnerable to the visible signs of aging.

So why might I need an eyecream?

 Generally speaking most eye creams are made from heavier formulations designed to hydrate the area where there are less sweat and oil glands.

Being more fragile than the rest of the skin on the face means that this area is also quite vulnerable to textual/pigmentary changes.

Introducing scientifically proven cosmeceutical ingredients into an eye cream, together with careful and gentle application, is able to assist in addressing some of the most common peri- orbital concerns.


 Eyeing off ingredients in eye creams….

Unless those bags are Louis Vuitton,’check in’ that puffiness!

Puffiness can be due to a number of factors including a collection of fluid, a high salt dietary intake, allergies, not enough sleep, alcohol, eye irritation and poor elasticity of this fragile skin.

Establishing the cause goes a long way in addressing the concerns when choosing the correct eye cream.

  • Caffeine is an alkaloid extracted from the leaves and beans of the coffee tree, functioning as a diuretic helping to remove excess fluid build up around the eyes.
  • Neotensil is a contracting polymer product and when applied to the skin contracts, forming a ‘spanx’ type of effect, smoothing the skin underneath the eye. This effect can last up to 16 hours.
  • Manage allergens causing the puffiness.
  • Make lifestyle changes in either diet or sleep patterns.

Tip; refrigerate your eyecream to help reduce puffiness


 Dark circles …. ‘My, what beautiful dark bags you have ‘said no one ever unless you’re Nick cave!

 Dark circles or per-iorbital pigmentation occurs when there is a thinning of the skin, a loss of fat, venous stasis, medications, allergies, asthma, eczema, fatigue, genes and photo-aging.

 Skin lightening ingredients to include in eye creams
  • Licorice root is an anti-inflammatory with pigment lightening properties and may be helpful after establishing the cause of the pigmentation.
  • Vitamin C assists in skin tone texture and laxity and is an essential for the synthesis of collagen; increasing skin thickness.
  • Retinols are the cornerstone of anti-aging products with their abilities to reduce the appearance of fine lines, hype-rpigmentation and skin texture but in some individuals they can cause eye irritation and as a result are often avoided around the sensitive eye area. Include retinoid derivatives such as retinaldehyde rather than retinoic acid.
  • Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 is effective in skin lightening by interrupting the melanosome transfer to keratinocytes and has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Makeup concealer/highlighter are products containing mica or other tiny particulate light reflective particles to increase under-eye light reflection and optically decrease eye puffiness. 

Nothing to crow about!

‘Crows feet’ or laugh lines form due to accumulative UV exposure and repetitive muscle movement.

  • Niacinamide  Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin E functions as a protective agent for the cell membrane. Studies show improvements in wrinkling when applied topically and has shown to decrease UV induced photo damage
  • Peptides are short chain amino acids and the building blocks of proteins, instrumental in cell communication. Skin penetration is questionable due to the large molecular size but evolving technology in formulations means change is emerging.
  • Alphahydroxy acids such as glycolic, mandelic and lactic acid (AHA’s) all exfoliate the skin, increasing skin thickness. Improving synthesis of glycosaminoglycans (GAGS- help maintain hydration in the skin), collagen, and possibly elastic fibres.
  • Hyaluronic acid acts as an humectant able to bind to water 1000 times its own volume increasing hydration.
  • Ceramides help to maintain barrier function and reduce trans epidermal water loss (TEWL), improving skin hydration.
  • Vitamin C
  • Green tea exhibits anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. The anti-aging benefits of green tea are postulated as a result of its anti oxidant properties mopping up the nasty free radicals which contribute to skin cell aging.
  • Resveratrol derived from the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries is an antioxidant with photo-protective properties.
  • Dimethicone is a silicone based product which temporarily minimises fine lines by filling and hydrating the peri-orbital area prior to makeup application and is washed off with cleansing.
  • Retinols

 A common bond

An essential ingredient common to all treatment options is the number one anti-aging weapon…


Include sunscreen wherever possible in any skin care opportunity to help reduce the visible signs of aging and why not ‘Rock Star’ it and reduce squinting, with large framed protective eye wear.

Remember if irritation develops with any eye cream discontinue use immediately.

Susan X

Have you found your perfect eye cream….tell me about it?



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!









We Aussies love our sunburnt country! Many Australians will have experienced a ‘Sunburnt Sunday’. Unfortunately, those lazy Sundays  spent in the sun can manifest in pigmentary dischromias in the skin. These pigmentary dischromias are  caused by the  accumulation  of UV exposure and referred to as photoaging. Unwanted dark spots, uneven skin tone, solar lentigines (brown age spots) and even Melasma-a condition which can be triggered by the sun, hormones or have a genetic influence are a visible reminder of our fun in the sun.

Thankfully, there are a number of treatment options available to reduce the appearance of pigmentation, all involving persistence, patience and a little light based intervention. Depending on the type and severity of pigmenation treatment options can be tailored to skin type with great outcomes and happy campers!

When 2 tribes go to war- Hyper vs Hypopigmentation

Hypopigmentation is the absence of melanin and is caused by sun damage, seen in conditions such as Idiopathic  Guttate  Hypomelanosis and Vitligo. Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis appears as ‘white spots’ in sun exposed extremities like arms and legs. Vtiligo includes larger areas of depigmentation and may be caused by an autoimmune disorder, triggered by sunburn, stress, genetics, viral infections or even physical trauma to the skin. In a recent blog I’ve detailed  available treatments options – From Valentino to Vitligo for further reading. Fungal infections such as Tinea Versicolour or Pityriasis Alba may also temporarily cause hypopigmentation and are successfully treated with anti-fungal or over the counter steroidal creams.

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the cells, which produce pigment in our skin called melanocytes, are overactive and produce an excess of melanin, resulting in an uneven distribution of pigment.-the cause of which can be due to sun damage, hormones or disease-which in some cases are more difficult to treat.

Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with hyperpigmentation. I hate that hyperpigmentation is a visible sign of aging-photoaging. Conversely, I love the outdoorsy lifestyle which keeps me on the hyperpigmentation treadmill of triggering pigmentation and it’s subsequent removal! I also love the many treatment options available used to treat my hyperpigmentation .I’ve used them all……well most of them, to successfully fade and treat my pigmentation… are my tips!


Weapons of mass pigmentary destruction

Home care arsenal – ingredients to look for and include in your skin care!
  • Sunscreen – prevents the oxidative stress caused by UV rays leading to pigmentation
  • AHA’s BHA’s  and Exfoliators – shortens the cell cycle, removes superficial skin cells,  interferes with pigment transfer and allows deeper penetration of lightening agents
  • Vitaminc C- inhibits melanocyte proliferation
  • Licorice extract
  • Bleaching agents Hydroquinone, Kojic acid, Azealaic acid and Arbutin
  • Retinols accelerates cell turnover
  • Niacinamde/Nicotinic acid/ Soy acts as a skin lightener working by inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes – keratinocytes in the production of melanin.

Tip; Allow 12 weeks to see an improvement. As a point of reference, take a photo so you have something with which to compare and track improvement.

Bring on the big guns !

  • Lasers/ IPL – treat pigmented lesions by selective photothermolysis, Heating the targeted tissue, effectively destroying the pigmented cells.
  • Chemical peels are another great treatment option to consider.They can vary in strength and depth of penetration and should be tailored to skin type. Combinations of Glycolic and Lactic acids have been found useful in treating pigmentary disorders by lifting and exfoliating the superficial pigmented layers of the skin.
  • Kligmans formula – a combination topical therapy containing Vitamin A, Hydroquinone and a corticosteroid-prescription only and not advised for long term use.
  • Transexamic Acid an oral treatment used as a treatment for heavy periods it has been found to inhibit tyrosinase activity aiding in prevention of melanin production.

Understanding the types and causes of pigmentation will contraindicaciones del viagra en adultos mayores determine which treatment options will  achieve the best outcome. Together with a tailored home care program  ‘Winning the War’ against pigmentation has never been clearer!

Need some help with diagnosing what type of pigmentation you have, drop me a line?

Susan x





Who doesn’t  love a tan? A tan screams of health and wellness! I love the way a tan deceives us into a flawless, 5kg lighter, sans cellulite and blotchy skin, bronzed better version of oneself .

What I don’t love is skin cancer and premature aging. Both unwanted side effects of sun exposure needed for a  natural golden glow.

Friend’s of ASkinSolutions know when it comes to the sun, regardless of season, or changing weather patterns, I’m a sunsafety Nazi.There is no ‘sloppy’ in my ‘slip and slapping’ of sunscreen.

So well protected am I from the sun’s harsh rays, achieving that #Iliveinnoosa tan is unlikely due to the impenetrable layers of sunscreen I apply each morning.


Faking it till you make it!

Still, the lure of a tan is strong… I’ve become a  ‘Faker’, a ‘Spray Tan in a Can Fan’!

Sunless tanning allows me to  get my ‘glow on’ safely and without the risks associated with sun tanning.

 I’m enjoying being in  great company, with more and more people heeding the #sunsmart message  and ‘getting it on’ with their faux glow –  tanorifics are seeking safe alternative methods of tanning.

So how do they work?

The active ingredient in self-tanning lotions and spray tans is a molecule called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is a 3-carbon sugar molecule, when applied topically, interacts chemically with the amino acids in the skin producing a darkening effect. DHA doesn’t damage the skin as it only affects the outermost cells of the epidermis.The higher the concentrate of DHA in a tanning accelerator, the darker the colour.

Erythrulose is another tan accelerator, creating the same chemical reaction in the skin as DHA but taking longer to develop.

Not a Trump tan fan?

 How to avoid looking more tandoori than tanorific !

The new breed in spray tanning means the orange ghosts of spray tans past, are just that, a thing of the past! Todays spray tans are more natural looking and longer lasting; normally 7-10 days. Spray tan representatives attribute the familiar orange hue to the sourcing poor quality DHA and in tanning solutions with DHA saturations of 10% or higher.

Tip; Experts suggest for a natural looking tan, choosing a tan a couple of shades darker than your natural skin colour, gradually building colour, rather than leaping straight to ‘Dark Chocolate’.


‘natural and organic’ – are they?

 Ecocert is a worldwide organic certification body. It’s a leading certifier of organic food and food products, developing standards for natural and organic skincare and cosmetics.

Spray tan companies use terms such as ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ as a marketing strategy as consumers lean toward healthier lifestyle choices but are they?

Whilst not deceitful, they may be misleading. Ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Shea Butter and Avocado are just some of the ‘natural and organic’ ingredients sourced and used in organically labeled formulations for sunless tanners but DHA remains the active ingredient and is  manufactured from ‘natural’ not ‘organic’ sources-yes there is a difference.

Biddiscombe Labs are an Ecocert approved skin care manufacturer and says ‘’There is no such thing as certified organic DHA.” As a raw material it can be used in cosmetic preparations with ecocert approval if it is manufactured by any of the four certified and approved DHA manufacturers, viagra sans ordonnance which then allows the labeling of ‘Natural and Organic’.

How to achieve perfect faux glow!

  • Enlist the help of a professionals
  • Do follow the instuctions  of the professionals
  • Wait 4-5 days between self tanning applications – unless they’re  gradual tanners
  • Exfoliate prior to self tanning as this extends the life of your tan and ensures even application, paying particular attention to knees and ankles
  • Avoid hair removal, waxing or shaving for 48 after tanning accelerators.
  • Apply a moisturizer around elbows and knees prior to tanning as it tends to concentrate in drier areas
  • Avoid products containing more than 10 % DHA
  • Avoid tanning areas which aren’t normally tanned i.e.;inside of wrists ,underside of arms and in-between fingers – the love is in the detail!
  • Go easy on tanning your face, instead match your makeup


  • Avoid using products containing Alphahydroxy Acids and Retinol as they will reduce the life of your spray tan
  • Don’t have any permanent hair reduction treatments ie; IPL or Laser if a self tan is present
  • If irritation develops discontinue use

Are there any side effects from using DHA self-tanning preparations?

Skin irritations are the most common side effect experienced.

Although DHA is not considered harmful, some reports have found that it may have the potential to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage.

Some studies show high concentrations of DHA applied to the skin may result in free radical formation causing changes and mutations in the skin.

EEK,sounds bad but What does that mean?

Concentrations of DHA in self tanners are very low and considered non-toxic and safe to use according to Australia’s governing body  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA).The FDA have approved the external use of sunless tanners containing DHA and recommend protecting mucosal membranes and eyes. The mist caused by spray tanning booths may be inhaled, so on the other hand, commercial spray tanning has not been approved.

…But I’ve read it can give you cancer?

To date, “There is no evidence that spray tans cause cancer. Products containing DHA are safe to use on your skin and don’t pose an health risk either during an individual session or many sessions over time” says The Cancer Council.

Tip; It’s good practice to protect your eyes and lips with Vaseline and ensure good ventilation when having a spray tan.

What starts in fun ends in streaks – some quick fixes!

  • Long baths and or swimming in a chlorinated pool
  • Products containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids-these will chemically exfoliate
  • Loofah whilst showering

Remember faux glowing offers no sun protection so play it safe and use 50+ protection rain hail or shine.

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?


Summer lovin-skin cancer not so much!

With an early kick off to summer and soaring temps it’s an important reminder to apply sunscreen correctly…..yes there is a technique!

I’ve shared my 13 top sunscreen tips to keep you Sunsmart over summer!



The Cancer Council launched it’s recent Sunsmart campaign of ‘National Skin Cancer Action Week’ providing preventative guidelines and the correct technique of sunscreen application, highlighting the importance of being Sunsmart.

Telling the kids to apply sunscreen is a bit like telling them not to run around the pool; what starts in fun ends in tears! Or worse skin cancer!

A recent study found only 30% of women and 15% of men apply sunscreen before going out into the sun….no surprises… 2/3 Aussies get skin cancer before the age of 70.

What will it take?

Disappointingly, another study shows, for some, even with a previous diagnosis of skin cancer it wasn’t enough to get a lather up!

Dermatologists agree that most people aren’t aware of the correct application technique, nor that reapplication is necessary for adequate protection, or that sunscreen products vary in their directions of usage.

How much is enough?

7 teaspoons or 35mls is enough sunscreen to keep you covered!

Experts advise applying sunscreen liberally to exposed sites 15 to 30 minutes before going out into the sun, followed by reapplication of sunscreen to exposed sites 15 to 30 minutes after sun exposure begins.

This reapplication during sun exposure is key to providing optimal sun protection and a tip most sunlovers aren’t aware of.

Active sunlovers remember sweating, swimming and rubbing may remove sunscreen so keep that tube handy for reapplication!

I keep a couple scattered throughout the house…. under the sink in the kitchen and in the bathroom. Keeping it in the bathroom means it doubles as my body moisturiser post shower. Like any skin care product, applying to damp skin makes sunscreen more easily absorbed and if clothing moves around during sun exposure, you’ve got it covered! Keeping a tube in the kitchen, the busiest room of the house, means I can supervise and police application…..everyone’s gotta eat !

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 My top 13 tips

1. Shake the bottle before use as this mixes the ingredients evenly throughout the sunscreen

 2. Check the expiration date-if there is a change of consistency ,colour then chuck it; like most things left in the car, they expire! Once the sunscreen reaches 30 degrees and above, the ingredients become inactive.

3. Choose the sunscreen which best suits your skin type or activity .If your activity sees you outside for extended periods or in the water, ensure you use a water resistant broad spectrum 50+ protection, reapplying every 40-80mins.

4. When applying sunscreen to your face, a sunscreen designed specifically for the face often has a higher SPF value and is less irritating to the eyes.

5. A shot glass or 35mls is a good guide of how much you’ll need to cover exposed areas, be generous, rubbing the sunscreen into the skin until it’s no longer white.

6. If you have oily skin or suffer from acne, keep away from thicker sunscreens favouring instead a zinc based which has healing benefits in addition to it’s sunscreen properties.

7. Play particular attention to the tops of ears, back of the neck, feet, and even even the part in your hair….anything which is exposed to the sun; Bob Marley died from melanoma underneath his big toe nail!

8. Wear clothing designed to block the sun…thin clothing such as a T-shirt only offers a UV protection of 7.

9. Application 20-30 minutes before you go into the sun and then again 15-30 mins after sun exposure begins. Titanium and zinc based sunscreens offer immediate protection.

10. Time poor? I advise my clients to buy a sunscreen which doubles as a daytime moisturiser, forming part of their daily skin care routine.

11. Spent a bit of time on your makeup and don’t fancy reapplying sunscreen over the top during the day? Colorscience  make a great mineral based powder which provides broad spectrum water resistant 50+ sun protection, combined with a great makeup finish…whats not to love?

12.  Hand washing removes sunscreen….just a reminder!

13. The use of insect repellants can reduce the efficacy of sunscreens by 33% – reapply more frequently and with a higher SPF.

Sun damage is a creeper, accumulating over time, which is why many  Aussies are often diagnosed with some form of skin cancer later in life. It’s a case of ‘if you snooze’ in the sunscreen game…..’you lose’!

Rain hail or shine….no excuses….dont get – Slip Slap Sloppy.Lather up liberally and often when it comes to applying sunscreen!

Remember the best sunscreen is the one you’ll use!

ASkinSolutions x


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First a few questions….

Does your skin have more in common with Spot the Dog than Nicole Kidman perfect?

 Are you wearing a Butterfly pattern of pigmentation on your face?

 In the summer months do you find yourself wearing more and more makeup to disguise those patchy brown spots on your cheeks,chin and forehead?

 Are you of child bearing age and someone in your family bears the similar markings on their face?

 Yes to any of these questions means you’re probably suffering from a common skin condition called Melasma

 The ‘Mask of Pregnancy’ is the common name for this facial pigmentary disorder affecting predominantly females in the 20-50 years age group with olive skin complexions, presenting in a symmetric butterfly pattern.

 Melasma ranges in colour from dark brown-grey patches according to the depth of where the pigment lies in the skin. Practising as a Dermal Clinician I see the anxiety and concern these sufferers experience and the lengths thay will go to in order to rid themselves of these sometimes psychosocially damaging patches.

 Mohammed Ali said…”Floats like a butterfly but stings like a bee”. Was he wondering how to treat Melasma?

 Ali won his bouts with a combination approach of an uppercut and a left and right jab.Treating Melasma needs to be approached with same determination and with a combination of therapies.


Glove up and lets get in the Ring….Melasma needs to be disposed of !

Unfortunately there are no quick fixes and it is possible you will never be free of the condition but with some patience and professional guidance from your health care provider, sufferers will be rewarded with eventual fading of pigmentation, keeping the condition in check.

 Fight to the Death!

 ASkinSolutions x