Monday, May 15th
Our skin is one of the first features we notice about one another. Glowing skin can be a sign of vitality and on the other hand, the skin can also give us clues to many ailments.
There is no doubt that the skin is a reflection of our inner health. The skin is the largest organ of the human body and has many functions. It is our gate keeper that protects us from many environmental hazards and fights for us by coordinating an immune response to pathogens and cancers in the skin. The skin helps to keep us at the right temperature and synthesises vitamin D, amongst many other important chemical processes.
So why is it that the skin is often an after thought? What can I do to have healthy, glowing skin?
Firstly, to achieve healthy skin we need to start from the inside. Real whole foods that provide you with essential nutrients is crucial to glowing skin. Ensure you have adequate intake of essential fats, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin E and antioxidants. Hydration is a must! You may have heard all of this before, but have you thought about your sex hormone balance? Stress (such as from environmental factors and intake of caffeine) compromises your glow! This is a complex topic for another occasion, but to keep it simple – if you can swap your java for green tea, take time to relax and ensure you have enough sleep this will speak for itself in the glow of your skin.
Once we have our bodies working from the inside out, we can help to support the skin with effective skin care products. Unfortunately even with an adequate intake of all these essential nutrients, the skin is the last organ to receive their benefits. This is why topical nutrition for the skin is so important!
But how do I know what to use on my skin when there are a plethora of products available?!
It can be a huge challenge to choose skin care products from the ever increasing market. The first thing you need to do is start looking for something called cosmeceuticals. You won’t find a cosmeceutical in the supermarket or at your local department store – look to your specialist clinic and ask a dermal therapist!
A ‘cosmeceutical’ is a skin care product that is a hybrid of a cosmetic and a pharmaceutical.
What does this mean? It means that a cosmeceutical has the power to actually change the skin! Cosmeceuticals achieve change in the skin in three main ways. Firstly, they provide a barrier function by working on the surface layer of the skin to prevent water loss and increase the hydration of the skin. Secondly, they have the ability to permeate through the surface layer of the skin to work on deeper levels where topical nutrition is needed most (such as an active ingredient called lactic acid). Finally, they are able to alter cellular function, for example how vitamin A is able to regulate cellular turnover (which means healthier and younger looking skin!).
Unfortunately, not all cosmeceuticals are created equal. So when we look for a cosmeceutical, we want to ensure it meets Kligman’s (a world renowned dermatologist) definition of efficacy:
- Proof of penetration
- An identifiable mechanism of action
- Evidence of clinical value
This is why here at AR Plastic Surgery we use Synergie Skin Care. Synergie harnesses the power of clean science to protect, change and nurture the skin. Synergie products are Australian made and owned, not tested on animals and are Choose Cruelty Free accredited.
They are free from:
- Artificial colours
- Artificial fragrances
- SLS (or sodium sulphates)
- Propylene glycol
If you find yourself at the end of this blog, well done! I’ve saved the best for last – The most important take home message about skin care is sunscreen! If you’ve lived in Australia you’ll know how important sunscreen is to prevent burns and skin cancer. But I want you to be honest with yourself about how often you apply it? If you haven’t answered every single day in the morning when you wake up (after you have washed your face and applied your other topical nutrients of course!)… then you aren’t applying it enough.
If you are going to hit the shops in search of sunscreen, the most important thing is to look for the ingredient Zinc Oxide. You’ll want this ingredient listed first on the back of the product, which means it is the key ingredient. Check the front of the package to see if it says SPF 30-50%. Or try Synergie UberZinc with 21% Zinc Oxide!
In our next blog we will talk all about sunscreen and sun damage. In the meantime, check out ‘Synergie’s Skincare Theories Busted’!