Nowadays we are all looking for ways to simplify and amplify our routines - including our skincare! The major themes that underpin an effective skincare routine are sun avoidance, active skin care ingredients and chemical peels.
It is becoming common knowledge that in Australia we are under extra-assault by the sun's rays and that clinical studies have proven that Australian women age 20% faster then any other place in the word. So what can we do about it? (Goodman et al., 2017).
Sun avoidance is key but even when you are avoiding then sun outdoors, indoors and in the car SPF 50+ is still a non-negotiable. Ensuring that you are using adequate amounts of SPF is just as important. Using a teaspoon for the face, neck (front and back) and more for the décolletage and don't forget those ears - is a perfect place to start. In order to do this keep a teaspoon or tablespoon in your bathroom to assist if you are applying SPF to your whole body as well - this would be the equivalent to 2 tablespoons.
Although overseas formulations are very tempting and can have superior textures, please remember to purchase your SPF product in Australia, as these are tested in the Australian climate under the Australian sun. Additionally, don't be fooled by SPF 60+ and 100+'s that can be found on the internet - as these only equate to the bare minimum of SPF in the Australian climate and sun. Remember to look for an SPF that protect against the broad-spectrum of UVR so think UVA, UVB, IR and HEV light, mainly UVA+UVB as these are the most skin damaging rays and can lead to a range of melanotic and non-melanotic skin cancers.
Skin is always changing, so feel free to come in and consult with one of our Skin Therapists to discuss which SPF may be right for you right now.
The all rounder sunscreen
Synergie UberZinc (SPF 15 / PA+++) is a fabulous, moisturising physical SPF all rounder that can be used daily, post treatment, on acneic skins, hypersensitive skins and rosacea. Zinc is an anti-inflammatory ingredient and UberZinc has a whopping 21% zinc oxide as well as green tea and hydrolysed tomato skin to provide antioxidant relief to sun-stressed skin as well as HEV light protection (blue light from computer-screens and phones).
SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense (SPF 50/PA++) is a high protection chemical filter SPF which is lightweight and suitable for a broader range of skin tones. It offers a both UVA and UVB protection and is an excellent player with other makeup and skincare.
Aspect Sun Envirostat On The Go SPF50 offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB. One for the exerciser, this physical SPF boasts Aloe Vera, Vitamin E to calm and Tapioca Starch to provide a dry-powdery finish to the skin. It's portability and size make it a perfect addition to your beach or exercise bag this summer.
Active skin care ingredients
Beyond using SPF utilising active cosmeceutical ingredients/formulations are excellent for treating targeted concerns. Each cosmeceutical active is formulated to a high standard to ensure premium ingredients and exceptional delivery systems to which they can reach the desired layers within the skin. Start with your A, B, C's this is what I start off with when I consult in clinic, these targeted actives assist in priming the skin and assist in promoting overall skin health, target antiaging concerns, prevent and neutralise free-radical damage, increase cellular turnover - the list goes on.
A is for Vitamin A (Retinoids)
Vitamin A assists with cellular turnover, collagen and elastin stimulation, sebum regulation, assists in reducing hyperpigmentation, increases hyaluronic acid and GAG's within the skin and assist to support the skins overall structure. I call this the proliferator/regulator - it will assist in upregulating your skin's structures and functions. There are many forms of Vitamin A available on the market so be sure to book in with your Skin Therapist to find out which is most suitable for your skin type. Slow and steady wins the race, patients that rush into Vitamin A/Retinoid usage often suffer from irritation so how you use it is of key importance, ensure to gradually introduce your skin to Vitamin A's - think every third night for one week, every second night for the second week building to nightly usage as tolerated.
The Cult favourite
Biopelle Retriderm Vitamin A Serum 0.5% Mild. This is a wonderful starter Vitamin A and contains 0.5% retinol. Retriderm is dispersed in an aqueous base meaning it's very fluid-like in nature, so great for people who don't want a thick or tacky Vitamin A. The common side effects reported from the MILD formula is it's reduction of wrinkles, tightening and firming effect as well as improvements in skin luminosity and brightness. The Biopelle Retriderm products are formulated in a 'step up' manner, meaning that as your skin begins to tolerate the vitamin A you may move up a strength if you wish.
Osmosis MD Calm with 0.6% retinaldehyde is an a calming Vitamin A. Calm is unique as it isn't aggressive to the skin barrier and serves to protect it with the added benefit of Vitamin B3 and Wild Cherry Bark extract, and assists with excessive scar tissue build-up. Calm is great for calming acneic skin inflammation, regulating sebum flow and assisting with skin barrier restoration, Calm can be used during the day and night with the addition of SPF 50+.
The sun damage corrector
Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 0.5 comprises of 0.5% Retinol alongside 1% Vitamins C and E. Activ Retinol further assists skin barrier function with the added benefits of Ceramides - skin barrier lipids that assist with improving a skin barrier ravaged by the Australian sun. Activ Retinol helps with premature ageing such as sun damage, uneven texture, fine lines, wrinkles and dullness.
B is for Niacinamide (B3)
B is also for balance, Niacinamide assists with upregulating Ceramide production and therefore strengthening your skins barrier function (vital barrier lipids, free-fatty acids and cholesterols). We aren't done yet, Niacinamide has more recently gaining attention for it's ability to regulate inflammatory signals within the skin and act as an anti-inflammatory agent which is important for rosacea, PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation), acne and scarring. Last but not least Niacinamide is excellent at regulating excess sebum within the skin that can help to prevent excess shine and acne. Vitamin B is great to utilise post Vitamin A use in the evening - to dial down any inflammation.
Synergie Vitamin B Serum is formulated with Vitamin B3 to boost skin immunity, strengthen barrier-function, collagen stimulation and reduce excessive sebum. This serum is suited for sensitive and rosacea prone skin as well as skin suffering from acne and dry skin conditions. The added panthenol soothes the skin and provides additional anti-bacterial properties.
The Aspect Dr Multi B Plus Serum is a Vitamin B3 formulation which helps to boost ATP and therefore energy production within the skin cells. This allows the skin to carry out it's functions at an accelerated rate ensuring a hydrated and more bright appearance. In addition to this Multi B Plus Serum provides additional antioxidant protection, balances sebum production and provides firming benefits.
The Teen idol
Synergie In-B-Teen Vitamin B3 serum has all the benefits of B3 plus additional ingredients like Liquorice Extract and Aloe Vera to soothe inflamed skin. Liquorice Extract helps to reduce excessive redness surrounding acne lesions whilst regulating oil production.
Vitamin C is an easy one to remember because when we think "C" we think Collagen. Vitamin C is all about protecting and nourishing and generating our skins collagen which is especially important when considering patients with acne scarring. Vitamin C is a highly effective antioxidant that I often describe as our skins insurance policy (as is our SPF) because it can neutralise free-radical damage generated from the sun and pollutants, but it can also promote and protect our skin cells that are hard at work protecting us. Vitamin C is also an excellent skin brightener so great for those with pigmentation concerns.
The Anti-irritant C
Aspect Dr Active C Serum is a fantastic option for sensitive skin types who can't tolerate water-soluble versions of vitamin C. Active C can be mixed with Aspect Dr Multi B serum in the morning or can be used on it's own. Aspect Dr Active C Serum provides antioxidant protection, hydration, and brightening effects!
The Exfoliating C
Synergie Suprema C+ is formulated with 20% CMF Triacid Complex™ meaning that you can get your daily dose of Vitamin C and helps reduce pigmentation and sun damage at the same time! The Triacid Complex™ comprises of ethyl ascorbic-C, mandelic acid and ferulic acid. These work together synergistically to provide solar protection, neutralise free-radicals, combat ageing concerns and excessive sebum production.
The Cream C
Dermaceutic C25 Cream contains 25% Vitamin C combined with Vitamin A, B5, E and Polyphenols to assist with skin texture improvement, hyperpigmentation, moisturisation, antioxidant protection and free-radical fighting properties. This is for the cream lover or the dry skins out there who need an extra dose of nourishment with their Vitamin C.
Skin Treatments for healthy skin
When trying to reach your best skin you may want to consider an in-clinic skin treatment performed by one of our Skin Therapists, that way we can help you to better launch your skin journey and track your progress, in combination with ongoing professional advice along the way. Our in-depth skin consultations are perfect for this, here we can ensure that you are booking in for the most appropriate treatment for your skin type and concern.
Who isn't in need of a big refresh after Covid? Chemical Peels are and excellent and approachable way to do this, they utilise acids from different sources think fruit enzymes, milk acids and even sugarcane! Each type of acid has its own unique profile with its own benefits which is why we suggest consultation first.
L is for Lactic
Lactic acid is where we start all skin types when patient's first visit us in clinic. Lactic acid is great for exfoliating the most superficial epidermis (upper layer of skin) and assists with binding moisture to the skin as it has some humectant properties. Lactic acid is the largest acid molecule and therefore it can't penetrate very far into the skin so is great for sensitive, dry, dehydrated, flaky and dull skin. A very popular peel is the Synergie Lactic Chemical Peel. For those with more sensitive skins we can perform the Synergie Enzyme Hydropeel. If you have regular peels the Dermaceutic Milk Peel is a mixed peel for more tolerant skin.
A is for Vitamin A
Vitamin A peels contain different concentration of Vitamin A combined with other anti-ageing ingredients that support a remarkable increase in cellular turnover, pigmentation reduction, decrease in fine lines and wrinkles, acne breakouts and assist with stimulating available collagen and elastin levels. With Vitamin A we generally like to prime and build the skin up to vitamin peels to ensure the best possible outcome and results with this peel. Vitamin A is suitable for most skin types over the age of 25 but are indicated for patient's looking for a greater anti-ageing result from their peels. The Cosmedix Timeless Peel helps to improve tone and texture.
S is for Salicylic
Salicylic acid is a great anti-inflammatory and acne fighting ingredient. Salicylic acid can be used at different percentages to treat different skin types and concerns, for example 5% Salicylic is perfect for dialling down inflammation associated with Rosacea symptoms. Whereas 10-20% Salicylic acid is more indicated for oily, congested and acneic skin. Salicylic acid works by acting as an oil-fighting bottlebrush and is the one and only BHA that can actively attract and clean out oil from plugged comedones, oil congested pores and active acne lesions. For this reason I love to treat acne skin with Salicylic. Synergie Salicylic Acid chemical peels can be an excellent start to your peel journey. Alternatively the Dermaceutic Milk Peel, with Lactic acid as well as Salicylic acid is ideal for more tolerant skin types.
My final word
When considering upping the ante with your skincare think smart not complicated. Starting with these cosmeceutical ingredients and having your peels performed at a reputable clinic will improve your skin health and aid in treating specific concerns.
Do you have a particular skin concern?
Written by Alara Wierzbinski, Skin Therapist
A qualified Dermal Clinician who is incredibly passionate about taking a holistic and patient-centric approach to advanced skin therapies, skin and skin conditions. Alara is well versed in the nuances of why people seek cosmetic skin treatments and pays great respect to beauty being more than just skin deep.
NOTE: Synergie skin care products are unavailable for purchase online. To enquire about Synergie skin care please complete this online form or call our Customer Care team on 1300 863 824.
Goodman, G. J., Armour, K. S., Kolodziejczyk, J. K., Santangelo, S., & Gallagher, C. J. (2017). Comparison of self-reported signs of facial ageing among Caucasian women in Australia versus those in the USA, the UK and Canada. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 59(2), 108–117. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajd.