After 14 Years of working in the skin and medical aesthetics industry and testing skin products and treatments as part of my job, working with dermatologists and skin experts and trying every new treatment coming out of the American and European markets —I’ve learned to sift out the incorrect information from what really works and what is worth spending your hard-earned money on. Here’s the most important skin care advice I’ve learned, and some skin care tips that I stick to.
Squeezing a pimple will never ever make it better or go away faster.
Please stop touching your face. Your hands are covered in bacteria most of the time (just think about all the stuff you touch). If you’re touching an already-inflamed pimple or infection, you’re only adding debris and bacteria to the pimple and delaying its demise. Plus, popping a pimple doesn’t do your skin or the pimple itself any good, particularly if it’s a swollen, large cyst without a whitehead on top, which will only get worse when you try to squeez.
Expert Tip: when breakouts occur an acne laser treatment (Forever Clear BBL™) can be done to actually kill the bacteria on the surface of the skin, helping to heal and clear up the skin quicker.
What you need to know about sunscreen and its ingredients…
When picking out a sunscreen, you need to think about the sun protection factor (SPF), ingredients, and whether you need a specialty sunscreen for your skin or your activities. You should also keep in mind factors like safety and potential toxicity, allergies to any of the ingredients, and whether the sunscreen you choose might disrupt your hormone balance. Sunscreen is the most-important skin-care step because it protects from free radical damage that can cause skin cancer and premature aging.
Expert tip: Look for the sunscreens rating (usually found at the back of the bottle) many of us are aware of the UVA Star Rating system, but it’s incredibly important and should always be taken into consideration when buying a cream. Usually it’s marked with ‘UVA’ inside a circle and you shouldn’t be using a sun cream if it doesn’t have it clearly labelled.
The rating is on a scale of 1-5 and measures how much UVA it’s blocking relative to how much UVB. So, the higher the star rating, the better protected you are against cancer-causing UVA. Ultimately, this means that a factor 50 with a 2-star rating is going to be less effective against the dangers of the sun’s rays rather than a 30 factor with a 5 star rating.
Look at the ingredients: my personal preference remains a mineral or physical sunscreen – ones containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (non-nano thought to be better for the environment). These have good safety data, are safer for the environment including being ‘reef-safe’ and do not degrade with UV exposure.
If your skin reacts badly to the type of sunscreen that you have been using, there are other types you can choose from.
Many people have a sensitivity to para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), which is a common ingredient in some sunscreens. If you are sensitive to that ingredient, look for sunscreen labels that say “PABA free.”
We have the evidence that certain ingredients such as parabens, phthalates and oxybenzone (a sunscreen chemical filter) can mess with our hormones (think infertility).
Broadband Light BBL™
Your neck and décolletage deserve as much TLC as your face.
The face, neck and chest are all susceptible to the same signs of skin damage. It does not make any sense to keep the face in beautiful condition and let the skin on the neck and décolleté deteriorate.
Expert Tip– BROADBAND LIGHT -BBL™ is a phenomenal treatment to remove sundamage, brown spots, broken capillaries and it also rejuvenates the skin as a whole! If you haven’t had BBL™ yet, you are seriously missing out!!
Sleeping the right way
Could it be possible that the way you sleep can contribute to your ageing process? Yes, it can. Sleeping on your stomach or on your side forces your skin to roll and fold into one another causing fine lines and creases to develop on the face and chest areas. Sleeping on your back avoids this whole process all together and by keeping your pillow raised slightly you promote lymphatic drainage, helping to reduce those puffy eyes when you wake up. Its not just about getting eight hours a night, skin will also benefit from regularly using clean silk pillowcases. The material glides easily and prevents creasing and wrinkles. Silk is also easier on hair- it helps avoid tangles and breakage.
Expert Tip – Satin/silk pillowcases allow your skin to move and glide more easily, thereby forming no creases and lines on the skin.
- You can use silicone chest pads while sleeping to reduce chest creases and lines! Who Knew!
- Make sure you buy a thick, decent quality silicone to make sure it lasts multiple uses.
Celebrities like Kate Moss and Lauren Conrad have been open about using skin icing as a cosmetic treatment for the face. Facial skin icing in can help you wake up, and afterwards feel refreshed like you’ve had a spa treatment. This process can minimize the appearance of pores and wrinkles, as well as increase blood flow for a healthy, glowing effect. Because ice soothes irritation, skin icing can also reduce acne and blemishes. Skin icing is an old and ancient method known to be used by many Korean woman and several other cultures too. It is a natural method of anti-aging, done in the convenience of your own home.
Skin icing has been known to benefit the skin is many ways, such as:
- Tightens pores.
- Reduce redness and swelling associated with acne breakouts.
- Reduce puffiness around the eye area.
Skin icing is most effective as the cold temperature constricts the tiny blood vessels found just below the skins surface. This temporarily shuts off blood circulation to the skin and areas which are inflamed are then reduced, allowing the redness to settle. Once the ice is removed the tiny vessels expand, allowing for an increase of fresh blood to flood to the surface of the skin.
Expert Tip: Skin icing is performed morning/evening by either placing a block of ice directly onto the skin for 2-3 minutes or by placing your entire face into a bowl of ice water. Hold your breath and dip your face into the ice water for ten to thirty seconds. Do this several times, with a few seconds to a few minutes in between.
The skin is often a natural reflection of our internal health and hydration levels. Ensuring that you stay well hydrated during the day by drinking the necessary 6-8 glasses of water a day will help your body detox and rid itself of any toxic waste build up. Staying hydrated will help in reducing the added stress put onto the skin.
Expert Tip: Try adding fresh fruit to your water such as cucumber, strawberries or oranges to help naturally sweeten the flavour of your water to make for easier drinking.
Protection doesn’t stop at sunscreen.
We’re talking SPF makeup, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats. Preventing sun damage is key to making sure that your skin doesn’t age prematurely.
Expert Tip- BROADBAND LIGHT BBL™ is a phenomenal treatment to remove sundamage, brown spots, broken capillaries and it also rejuvenates the skin as a whole!
Clean up your eating
Everything in moderation. By eating high fat, high sugar and high carb foods this adds extra stress and inflammation to the body as it is being processed and the side effects are often shown directly on the skin in the form of puffy eyes, breakouts and skin aging. High intakes of sugar cause an effect in the skin referred to as glycation, whereby sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibers such as collagen and causes them to snap like a raw noodle. The skin will therefore lose its support structure and thickness, causing deeper lines and wrinkles in the skin.
Expert Tip: Avoid eating large heavy carb rich meals before bedtime and try to eat smaller lighter meals to reduce the added stress on your body, helping you to get a goodnights sleep.
Avoid direct heat exposure
Don’t just watch out for the sun — getting too close to heaters and fireplaces can also wreak havoc on your skin. It causes inflammation and dryness. I recommend staying at least 2-3 metres away.
Expert Tip – Keep that hairdryer heat away from your skin. Heat from hairdryers can worsen pigmentation(melasma), especially on the forehead.
Don’t just eat your vitamins, apply them to your skin!
A balanced diet is important, but there’s more than one way to give your skin vitamins. There’s also topical antioxidants, which are serums and creams that contain ingredients that nourish the skin. These can really help to repair the skin from sun damage and they also have natural sunscreen properties. Not sure how to use them? The best time to apply them is right after cleansing, or they can be layered under your sunscreen for added protection.
Nothing is more beautiful on you than your lovely smile. Nothing, I tell you! Finish off your look with a grin and you’ll feel better every time, I promise.
The moment you look good you start to feel good too. As we are only given one skin it is vitally important for us to look after it so that we get to wake up with great looking skin for many years to come
Written By Skin & Laser Specialist Cherie Cochrane
Cherie specialises in the aesthetic side of Atlantic Dermatology and Laser. With over a decade of experience in skin, laser and aesthetic treatments, a results-driven approach and over 6 years as a business owner, she has created two successful aesthetic businesses.
Cherie has recently moved to Cape Town and is a proven professional with a results-driven approach. Cherie has trained Doctors, Nurses, Therapists and Professionals to become leading experts within their chosen profession and won the prestigious international “Best Results” Laser competition by Sciton, competing against the top 200 clinics from around the world.
After having your first consultation with Cherie, you will leave here educated and with a proper plan to get the best results for your skin