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







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?



YOU ASKED FOR IT…The good, the bad and the VERY bad! blog systemic skin lightening

YOU ASKED FOR IT…the good the bad and the very bad!

I love Instagram and those closest to me would even go as far to say that I’m addicted. It plays a valuable role in the branding of my business and one I really enjoy!

Mostly it’s the interaction with fellow Insta- users. I love helping them make informed choices when choosing skin care, steering them towards a product benefitting their skin type, helping find solutions for worrying skin conditions or providing tips related to skin-health, assisting them on their skin care journey.

Regularly popping up are questions for treatment options when treating pigmentation. Recently a question that piqued my interest was an enquiry about the efficacy of the Intravenous use of Vitamin C and Glutathione for skin lightening…. What I found was disturbing!

Thankyou for the question @muchkingrace, here are my findings….

Skin lightening is very popular amongst Asian cultures in which lighter skins are often considered desirable and are associated with with social and economic status and it appears systemic skin lightening is becoming dangerously more popular – sometimes to the detriment of their own health.

Background…. identifying the role of Glutathione (GSH) and Vitamin C in skin lightening.

Melanin is a pigment produced by melanocytes ( pigment producing skin cells) when the enzyme tyrosinase is oxidised. Melanin determines our skin colour and some skins produce more melanin than others giving the appearance of a more ‘olive’ complexion and darker skin shades.

Both Vitamin C and Glutathione function as antioxidants and work synergistically within the body to help neutralise the formation of free radicals. Glutathione is commonly combined with other agents like Vitamin C, which help to aid in its absorption.

Glutathione is synthesised endogenously which means the body produces it’s own supply in the liver when needed – one of many feedback systems in our bodies. Eating foods rich in lean meats, eggs, fruits ,vegetables and whole grains will stimulate the liver to produce Glutathione, raising the levels in our blood.

Read more about the super antioxidant Glutathione.

Glutathione has recently been used as an inhibitor of melanin in the cosmetics industry. In countries such as Japan and the Philippines, this product is the active ingredient in products such skin-whitening soaps. It’s ability to inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme needed in the formation of melanin, is what makes it useful in skin lightening.

The role of Glutathione as a skin whitening agent was an accidental discovery when skin whitening was noticed as a side effect of large doses of Gluatathione being used in the management of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alcoholic Hepatitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. These are the only indications where Glutathione can be used legally and in fact the FDA has banned its intravenous use due to reports of serious side effects such as skin rashes, Stevens Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, derangement in thyroid, renal function and severe abdominal pain.

Enough side effects to put you off?


Intravenous Glutathione delivers very high doses directly into the systemic blood circulation, overloading the renal circulation and interrupting the body’s feedback system regulating its production.

The effects may be permanent and may increase the risk of skin cancer or permanent skin depigmentation resulting in Vitiligo

Vitamin C is a potent exogenous antioxidant used in Dermatology and skin care preparations. This means it needs to be acquired from our through foods rich in Vitamin C such as green leafy vegetables and fruits. It is a co-factor in collagen synthesis but it also has the ability to inhibit the action of tyrosinase, thereby similarly decreasing the formation of melanin. Vitamin C, when combined with Vitamin E has been found to have photo protective qualities and can protect against UV damage.

Toxic doses of Vitamin C are rare and the levels needed are 100-200 times the daily recommended dose. This gives Vitamin C a very high safety profile although diarrhea, headaches and kidney stones have been a reported side effect of prolonged high doses of Vit C.

Something else to consider….the intravenous administration and use of Glutathione for skin whitening is unauthorised and carries additional risks. As it is an illegal product it is unregulated and of unknown quality and sterility and may be administered by untrained people increasing the risk of serious infections, air embolism and transmission of blood borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis B.

Systemic skin whitening agents lack scientific evidence regarding their safety and efficacy and the FDA continues to ban their use until this can be established.

As a Dermal Clinician I am concerned with the adverse health implications of systemic skin lightening and would strongly recommend against this treatment option to anyone considering systemic skin lightening, favouring instead alternative treatment options, which are both safe and legal.

Approved and safer treatment options for skin lightening can be found in these links!!LET-THERE-BE-LIGHT/cmbz/9EF014F1-7078-458B-8447-C3ADE83E6D10!PEELING-GREAT/cmbz/4C854E86-1F26-49DA-B63A-96DDA6D48838!melasma/cmj4

‘You asked for it……’ is going to be featured regularly so If you have a skin related question you’d like to see featured contact me via my website Instagram or Facebook