As Sydney comes into Summer we have some amazing weather involving 30 degree days and cracking Summer thunderstorms in the evening. Excellent for ruining any Friday and Saturday night plans.
So instead of that night out in the city, or a post-work trip to the beach, lets catch up and go over some stuff about skincare. 99% of the people I’ve met, as clients or in salons have the same approach to their skin: “according to xyz magazine, I have an oily T-Zone and normal everywhere else. I use a cleanser and a moisturiser and an eye cream, and whatever else L’oreal or Olay had on their top two shelves last week at Priceline”.
WHICH IS TOTALLY FINE. For most people. But if you are starting to hit your 30s, 40s, 50s and up, or at the other end of the spectrum, anywhere from 12 to 22 you more than likely have some skin concerns (so basically everyone who is not genetically blessed with Tyra Banks skin tone and clarity).
Main face dramas:
-dry as hell
-oily as hell
-pimples the size of Mt Vesuvius
-Look like a kraken
Now skincare off the shelf is totally fine to use for maintaining skin that you’re relatively happy with, and maybe do a few things like clear up mild breakouts, or lighten some dark circles under the eyes. But if you want to get high tech on this bad boy, you need what are considered the over-the-counter version of skincare – Cosmeceuticals. That’s right, it’s actually a word, and it’s essentially pharmaceutical grade skin-care that uses active ingredients – go google. Which is nowhere near as scary as it sounds. Now I don’t believe in self-diagnosing your skin unless you are already a trained professional, but I can tell you how to get a good consultation, and walk away with the right kinds of products without breaking the bank.
Firstly, most good beauty salons will offer you a free skin consultation, if they have a black light (hand-held or box) even better, you can actually see for yourself what’s going on with your skin. Before buying any products, go to a second salon and have another consultation to check that they’re on the same page and you don’t just have yourself a sales-woman intent on meeting her bonus for the week. If you don’t have any major concerns with your skin and everything looks fairly normal (mild oiliness/dryness/ageing etc) then simply ask them what TYPES of products you should be looking out for and what they might contain, or what the end result should be. Then mutter some excuse about needing to catch a bus and get the hell out. Go to your local Priceline, or Mecca Cosmetica or wherever depending on your budget and look for products from reputable brands that are designed for your skin type.
If however, you have some major concerns and skin issues and your therapist is hell bent on selling you 24 treatments and a huge skincare package do the following: Tell them you’re only interested in cosmeceutical products – if they don’t sell them, walk away. No, 90% of the Dermalogica range is not cosmeceutical.
Next, ask for their recommendation on a cleanser, and a moisturiser. Then ask for the best type of serum. Money depending, buy JUST the cleanser and moisturiser. Most skin concerns that I’ve seen as a therapist can be significantly improved with just these two products. If the damage or concern is a biggie aka laser burns, severe acne, hella ageing, or kraken face, then I normally move up to include a mask, a serum and then an eye cream for good measure.
Note also, you don’t always need monthly facials and oxygen treatments, and LED, and whatever else is on the menu at an exorbitant price that month. Tell the therapist that today you just want to walk home with a cleanser and moisturiser and after 2 weeks you’ll be in touch to maybe book a treatment or come and pick up that serum. And tell her not to call you. Because she will. Every damned week.
Next step, go home and pamper. Keep in mind with cosmeceutical products, you really don’t need to use much, and they may not always behave like your off-the-shelf versions in that they may not foam, or lather. My all time favourite cosmeceutical brand is Sircuit Skin and they pride themselves on being professional – you can’t buy their stuff online, or without a skin consultation first, and they have strict guidelines on shelf-life, and try to use organic ingredients where possible.
So cleanse, and moisturise – twice a day for two weeks and see if you notice an improvement. If you are but you’d like a bit of a kick, go back for that serum and try for another two weeks. Then if you’re still not happy (by this stage you should be thinking about calling to complain about the recommendation if there’s no improvement) then shop around for another therapist, OR if you trust that therapist, go in for a facial.
There’s a big trend in the Beauty Therapy world where many women believe they have to sign up for all these crazy treatments to get results, but with improvements daily in skincare, so many problems can be corrected with products alone. For example, I had a client once who came to me with horrific laser damage – her skin was literally raw, red, swollen, and angry. It WEEPED it was so bad. She was convinced she was going to either be scarred for life, or she would have to undergo more serious treatments like laser to correct it. I gave her a stock standard facial using the Sircuit Skin products, and then on request, an Oxygen treatment (which honestly is nothing more than cold air and a serum – please don’t bother. She loved it mainly because it was cool and calming on her raging aggravated skin). I sent her home with one cleanser.
Two weeks later she came back and almost started dancing in the waiting room because her skin looked NORMAL. The redness, weeping, and swelling was gone – simply from one cleanser everyday for 2 weeks. Needless to say the thought these products must be miracle workers because she went home with a few hundred dollars worth simply out of want (not need!) 2 facials later, she didn’t ever need more except for maintenance or relaxation purposes. The horrible damage was healed.
Moral of that story is, don’t give up on your purty face yet, go get some good products and a decent skin analysis and you might be pleasantly surprised by Christmas!
All my love xx