Caffeine and Eye Creams

The use of caffeine in eye products has been popular for a long time. Whilst this ingredient can sometimes be found in other skin and body products (particularly in the treatment of cellulite) you will most commonly find it in your eye creams.

The main reason why Caffeine is regularly included in these types of products is due to its ability to constrict the blood vessels, known as vasoconstriction, helping to reduce puffiness and brighten the skin.

The tightening of these fine blood cells assist in making the skin around the eyes look smoother and tighter and also help to lighten and brighten the skin, reducing the appearance of dark circles. Vitamin C in your eye cream is full of powerful antioxidants and will also help to brighten the skin.

Other active ingredients to look for in an eye cream include antiageing peptides, particularly Matrixyl, to smooth out fine lines and hydrate the skin, and Vitamin A to further work on lines, wrinkles and dryness around the eye area.

The skin around the eyes is particularly thin and fragile and will deteriorate during times of illness, stress and with age. Eye creams do not need to penetrate too deeply into the skin around this area to be effective due to the thinner layers of the skin. Whilst most eye creams are designed for this sensitive area, it would be best not overuse a product containing caffeine and discontinue use if any considerable irritation occurs.

Arabian coffee and green tea coffee extract, which also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can be found in my own eye cream, along with Vitamins A, C and E and a potent cocktail of peptides.

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Review: Payot Creme No2 Range

Payot have recently added two new products to their Creme No2 Range. This line of products is designed for sensitive and sensitised skin.

I really like the Payot range in general and as my own skin is sensitive, more so as I get older, I was very keen to get my hands on these two new products and try them for myself.

I have tried several other products from this particular range within the brand and have been very impressed. In fact, one of the moisturisers – Crème n°2 Cachemire – is a current favourite, so I was expecting the same quality and results. Not surprisingly, I was not disappointed.

The first product I tried was the Crème n°2 Eau Lactée Micellaire. This product is used to cleanse the skin and remove make up.

The first thing I noticed was how instantly cooling and soothing it felt. For those of you that radiate a lot of heat from the skin, flush easily or live in hot climates, this feature should appeal. The product also seems to combine this cooling, soothing sensation with a very fresh feeling which I would normally associate with products that are more stimulating.

This is no-rinse product, simply use cotton to wipe the cleanser over your skin, so this “fresh” feeling is an important feature of the cleanser.

The cleanser is a light texture, more like a lotion, and my own preference is for heavier products. If you don’t like products that feel too heavy or greasy, then you should like this cleanser a lot.

Other than the inclusion of Micelles, which gently cleanse the skin, this product contains prebiotics to defend against harmful skin bacteria, and probiotics to support the prebiotics and rebalance the skin.

The second new product I trailed is the Crème n°2 L’Essentielle.

This is a product that you would use like a moisturiser and has the feel of a beautiful melt-in balm. There is no discernible fragrance and also feels instantly soothing on application, but without the freshening sensation of the cleanser. The texture of this product is absolutely lovely and provides long lasting comfort and hydration.

The Payot formula including the prebiotics and probiotics is also found in this product to soothe, calm and defend the skin.

Both of these new offerings by Payot are of the quality you would expect from a French brand with such a strong history and reputation and I would not hesitate to recommend them to my own clientele, family, friends and beauty community.

Beauty and Paris

I recently had the most amazing trip to Paris, France.

This was my first time visiting this famous city and it more than lived up to any expectation I could have placed upon it.

Along with galleries, museums, parks, restaurants, champagne houses, etc, I was really interested to check out the beauty industry in what is, for me, the true origin of modern beauty therapy.

I have to say I was surprised and came away from this experience with a whole new philosophy towards the treatment of skin and the type of services I want to provide for my clients.

The funny thing is – it was everything I already knew, but had forgotten amongst the industry hype in my own country and media trends that I somehow knew were not really translating at the client level, nor satisfying myself as a facialist.

In Australia, the beauty landscape is very different to what I saw in Paris. Technology based treatments, a focus on fast results and cosmeceutical grade products are heavily endorsed by suppliers and their use is strongly encouraged.

In my own salon and with my own clients, I can achieve amazing results using these tools.

However, poor, or uneducated use of these services can result in traumatised skin and too much destruction to the skin barrier function, resulting in uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, sensitised skin, irregular oil production and breakouts.

What I find really works, and what my clientele love, is good quality aromatherapy based products, stress relief and manual massage techniques.

I admit that there is only so much I can achieve based upon this, and there are some technology based treatments that I will be looking to include into my facials that have minimum impact on the skins barrier function and achieve maximum results, such as the use of LED and Microphotorejuvenation, both of which can treat the skin at a deeper level without strongly promoting a wound healing response in the skin.

The beauty trends that are popular in my own country are currently fake tan, fake eyelashes, injectables, fake nails, hair extensions, tattooed eyebrows, eyeliner and lip liner and lots of makeup.

I did not see much evidence of these trends in Paris at all.

What I did notice was Skin Institutes with long waiting lists, not a lot of make up (just a bold red lip), no fake anything.

Just a lot of good skin

I have now learned to take on board all that I have learned, and will continue to learn, however, I am moving forward with my treatments, trusting my own experience, first hand results and intuition.

So far, my clients have never been happier, and I am providing more facials than ever before. I’m excited to continue providing amazing facials and skin treatments whilst I delve further into my new-found treatment philosophy.

My advice?

Find a good facialist that you trust and maintain good skin with regular appointments.

The frequency of your facials may be determined by lifestyle factors and other life priorities, but whatever time frame you choose – stick with it religiously.

Source good quality products recommended by a qualified skin therapist. You don’t need a lot of products, just a few key items that are right for your skin type and lifestyle and that you enjoy using.

Feel free to ask me any questions that you may have regarding your at home regime or treatment program.

Is Your Skin Sensitive?





Many of us perceive as skin as sensitive.

This is for various reasons, however, in reality there is sensitive skin, which is a genetic trait, and sensitised skin, which occurs when the skin is traumatised or irritated.

If you have a genetic predisposition to sensitive skin, you may also experience some of the following:

Eczema, Psoraisis, Asthma, Bronchitis, Hay fever and Food allergies

Common factors that may lead to a sensitised skin condition include:

Pollution, incorrect product use, stress, medications, diet, microclimates and your home – believe it or not, where you live can be one of the most toxic places you can expose yourself to!

Obviously, when it comes to sensitivity, there is a scale, and some people would describe their skin as “a little sensitive” or “really sensitive”. 

Regardless of the level of sensitivity in your skin, you can still use effective skin care and have professional skin treatments.

As a skin therapist that treats sensitive skin, the aim is to calm redness and inflammation and build and repair the skin barrier.

As these factors are dealt with, treatment can then proceed onto other concerns, such as anti-ageing, acne and hyperpigmentation. 

I’ve noticed with my own skin, as I become older, my skin has become more sensitive.

I have actually experienced some of the conditions that are also present with a sensitive skin type that is genetic – like hay fever and bronchitis – however, it is a common phenomenon for the lipid barrier in the skin to weaken as we grow older, as cell renewal slows down allowing cracks to occur in the epidermis, weakening its protective function.

When applying a product to the skin, or having a professional skin treatment and you feel some sensitivity (this may be a tingling, heat or stinging sensation) before becoming too alarmed, ask yourself the following questions:

 Is this normal for me?

Have there been any changes to my environment lately?

Have there been any internal, biological changes recently?

Has there been a seasonal change to the skin or product regime?

Any discomfort that you would describe as a 7/10 or upwards, would indicate that the product needs to be removed, or the treatment needs to be altered.

Always consult your preferred skin therapist when it comes to any form of skin sensitivity and build a relationship with a therapist that you trust.


Is Hyaluronic Acid the Fountain of Youth?

Hyaluronic acid is a molecule, which occurs naturally in the human body to help cushion and lubricate the joints. It’s found in connective tissue and eye fluids, however, most of hyaluronic acid found in the body is in the skin.

Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient found in skin-care products and also heavily used as a dermal filler in cosmetic injectables.

Hyaluronic acid has the unique ability to bind and retain water molecules, HA (hyaluronic acid) can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, and because of this feature, can give our skin a plumper and firmer appearance.

Levels of hyaluronic acid decrease in our bodies as we age. Skin slowly loses water, loses elasticity and its structure softens. It is estimated that by the time we reach our mid-40’s, the production of hyaluronic acid is roughly half of what the body requires for adequate moisture retention.

When applied topically to the skin, HA strengthens the outer layers of the skin to create a healthy barrier, for softer, younger looking, firmer skin that glows. The best delivery of HA through cosmetic use is in a serum, mask or moisturiser.

There is so much advancement and innovative technology available now for skin beautifying treatments and products, and although I utilise these in my own practice and on myself, I also believe that sometimes keeping things simple is most effective. Sometimes less is more, and you don’t necessarily need an arsenal of products in your regime (although no judgement here!) but just a few, key, effective products, depending on your skin type and condition.

I see amazing results on myself, and my clients, with the regular use of products containing hylauronic acid, and I wouldn’t have a home care regime that didn’t include this ingredient which is so effective on my dry, dehydrated, sensitised and ageing skin.

Even for combination or oiler skin types, this ingredient works really well. Not only does it hydrate the skin, which can assist in slowing down sebum production, but it is capable of removing waste from the cells and calming inflammation, creating healthier skin.

In my humble opinion, HA, and its application,  is a cornerstone of skincare technology and I would recommend that any person, regardless of age, gender, skin type or condition, incorporate this ingredient into their regular skin care regimen.

Oily Skin and Facial Oils

Have an Oily or Combination skin type?

Then don’t be afraid of facial oils. They can actually help!

Oil loves oil and products like moisturiser, sunscreen and makeup need an oil based cleanser to be removed. Facial oils and oil based cleansers cut through grease – cleansing with oils help remove oils and dirt from the skin.

Trick your skin into producing less oil by keeping the surface of your skin hydrated and moisturised. Facial oils can help with this by mimicking the skins natural structure, thereby reducing the skins need to produce more oil to send to the skins surface.

Many facial oils and oil based facial cleansers contain essential oils, which are packed with beneficial vitamins and anti-oxidants for the skin, improving the skins health.

Facial oils also provide the skin with a protective barrier that can combat environmental conditions like the weather, heating/cooling and pollution.

Some of the best essential oils for dealing with a combination or oily type skin can include:

Tea Tree Oil  – a natural antiseptic that helps inhibit bacteria whilst stimulating the skins natural anti-bacterial agents. Also helps soothe and heal the skin. Use as a spot treatment on breakout areas.

Tamanu Oil – one of the most effective agents for promoting the growth of healthy skin. It is highly beneficial as an anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and skin smoothing ingredient.

Ylang Ylang Oil  – contains anti-bacterial properties, can assist with healing the skin and helps to balance the secretion of sebum (oil).

Jojoba Oil  – commonly used in skincare, this oil extract doesn’t leave a greasy residue on the skin. It acts as an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and soothing agent.

Geranium Oil  – the extract of this plant contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, rebalancing and soothing properties.

Grapeseed Oil – Acts as a decongestant to the skin and contains astringent properties to help with oil flow and breakouts.  Also acts as an anti-inflammatory and can help the skin to heal.

Why not try mixing your own aromatherapy blend to use at home?

A few drops directly on the skin, or mixed with, your moisturiser should do the trick:

Mix a few drops of Ylang Ylang Oil, Geranium Oil and Grapreseed Oil into a small glass bottle and top with Jojoba Oil.

For many years, I have used facial oils, serums and oil based cleansers on not only my own skin, but on hundreds of clients as well, and I encourage you to give them a try if you haven’t already. The results are great and will leave your skin feeling happy and healthy.

Review: Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair 1%

I have recently been using the new Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair 1% on my skin as part of my evening regime.

The product comes in a 25ml tube, is accompanied by a 15ml Buffer Cream and retails for $145 AUD.

Dermalogica recommend that when introducing the product into your skin care routine that you mix the buffer cream with the serum to allow your skin to adjust to this clinical strength product. Once your skin has been conditioned and prepped, you can use the serum on its own or mix it with your moisturiser.

I was really excited to try this product. It contains the highest strength Vitamin A that can be sold without a prescription and I envisaged a flawless complexion in no time at all!

The serum is actually more like a paste, and alongside the active 1% pure retinol, it contains Vitamin C ( a powerful anti-oxidant and addresses uneven skin tone and pigmentation) , squalene ( to moisturise ), anti-ageing peptides, licorice extract ( another powerful anti-oxidant and soothng properties ) and polysaccharides ( to hydrate and prevent water loss or TEWL ).

The buffer cream has a really lovely texture that my dry skin loves, and allows for customisation of the product, as you can add a little or a lot to your serum depending on your skins ability to tolerate the product.

After several days of using this product, I noticed that all the other products in my regular regime (there are quite a few) started to tingle and irritate slightly on application. I also noticed some dry patches of skin forming under my eyes. I surmised that this was due to the strength of the new serum I was using and immediately stopped using it.

Once my skin had returned to normal, I reintroduced the serum back into my skincare routine, albeit gradually – like every second or third day. Once my toleration of the product improves, I will increase the frequency of use.

I love the results I saw when I started using this product, and it is something I would recommend for anyone concerned with anti-ageing, skin resurfacing or retexturising, pigmentation and brightening. However, proceed gently and with caution, as I totally underestimated how strong this product really was and wouldn’t want this for anyone else.

How often should I have a facial?

How facial-image-3often should I have a facial?

As a skin therapist, this is a question that I am often asked.

The answer depends on several factors such as lifestyle, priorities and skin objectives.

I generally give the following advice:

If you have a special event coming up or would like to address a skin concern as quickly as possible, then weekly or fortnightly is best.

For those requiring a skin maintenance regime or are generally happy with the skin and would like to maintain their complexion, I recommend professional treatments for every 4, 6 or 8 weeks, depending on the lifestyle and priorities of the client.

At a minimum, I always suggest that a client receive a treatment every quarter with the change of the seasons, allowing the skin therapist to tweak the home regime of the client and correct any change in skin conditions to adjust to the seasonal change.

For some, having a facial or skin treatment is a luxury purchase, although maintaining clear, healthy skin is also a priority. Your skin therapist should be able to offer you a maintenance regime that addresses your concerns and is also realistic for your lifestyle.

Free Radicals

free radicals

When discussing the ageing process with clients and age management skin and body solutions, I often talk about free radical damage. Whilst most clients trustingly accept my explanation, I know that there are not many of those that fully understand how they occur and how this impacts their bodies and complexion. Therefore, when making decisions about treatments and products, I am aware that it’s not really taken into consideration. The downside of this is that we are constantly fighting both internal and external forms of this cellular disturbance and need realistic solutions to counterattack the damage.

The cells in our bodies are composed of many different types of molecules. Molecules consist of one or more atoms of one or more elements joined by chemical bonds.

Sometimes these bonds split leaving a molecule with an odd, unpaired electron. This is when free radicals are formed. These free radicals are very reactive and will seek the nearest stable molecule to gain its electron. This then creates another free radical as the affected molecule loses its own electron, causing a chain effect of free radical damage within our cells. This process accelerates with the age.

Free radical damage is also created by some external elements and include pollution, cigarette smoke, UV radiation, chemicals, pesticides, unhealthy foods, and some medications (like a birth control pill).

Unfortunately, even television screens, pc monitors and mobile phones contribute to the formation of free radicals. Highly inconvenient in today’s world.

It is now widely accepted that the ageing process and the onset of some illnesses can be linked to the breakdown of healthy cells and free radical damage.

Most people will see this in their skin as their collagen and elastin cells are disturbed, creating drier, thinner skin that is not as taught as it once was. External free radical damage can contribute to hyperpigmentation and the occurrence of redness and veins on the skin.

The most common way to fight free radical damage is through the use of anti-oxidants.

Anti-oxidants and ingredients that contain high levels of anti-oxidants are commonly found in skin care products today. In fact, I would not advise a client to use a regime that did include these effective ingredients. It is also recommended that we consume a diet that is anti-oxidant rich.

The benefits of anti-oxidants and the best sources of these heroes will be covered in the next post.

Till next time..

Should I get Botox

A friendwoman-having-botox of mine recently had some Botox injections done for the first time. They were very keen for it not to be commonly known and they were very happy with the results. They also strongly suggested that I go and try it for myself. I found myself, for the first time, seriously considering if I would do it.

I have always been a promoter of ageing gracefully, with as little intervention as possible, in the particular form of surgery and injectables. However, I have since being given this further consideration.

The Botox drug is made from a toxin – the same toxin that can cause the type of severe food poisoning called botulism. That alone is enough to make me wary.

I have read many articles and spoken to many people that have had the injections or were considering them. The reasons for their having the procedure done have varied, but it has been generally to improve their facial appearance and enhance their feelings of feeling happy with themselves.

Side effects aside – some more serious than others – I have mostly found that people do experience an increase in self- confidence once they have had it done and generally feel better about themselves and their appearance. Most people would have and have had it done again since. Although many people wish it to remain a secret, and don’t want other to know that they have had it done.

If I was truly confident in myself and felt enough self- worth, would I even consider it? Is it a tool to alleviate feelings of inadequacy and insecurity? And why the secrecy surrounding it?

Mainstream media and celebrity culture flood us with altered images that are ridiculous to try and emulate. It would be unwise for me to delve into the psychology of it here, but the impact on self -consciousness within our culture is evident. I’m not immune to that.

After studying my face extensively in the mirror, I can honestly say I don’t think I’m doing too badly. 23 years of working within the beauty industry has definitely made a difference to the ageing process for myself. I have had many more facial treatments than most people would have had an opportunity to experience and access to the best quality skin care products.

At 41 years old, my face is relatively smooth. Genetics may also play a role here. Deep lines or wrinkles are not something that my mother experiences either. However, I appreciate that having Botox injections can be preventative and discourage lines from becoming deeper or more prominent.

My forehead could probably be smoother, but this is mostly noticeable when I am in conversation and not when my face is resting. I mostly notice the ageing process in my overall skin tone (pigmentation) and the loss of elasticity around my jaw line and marionette lines.

Bipolar Radio Frequency for the skin tightening and Intense Pulse light treatments for the pigmentation will address these skin conditions.

Overall, I am currently comfortable with “how old” I look. I appreciate that a little Botox may make me look fresher and perhaps a little more youthful, but I don’t feel strongly enough about it – yet – to have the injections done. This may change in future.

I fully support anybody’s endeavours at self- improvement and reserve no judgement at all towards anyone having any cosmetic procedure. Whatever makes you feel good. For myself, I think I’ll wait a little longer before considering going under the needle.

Have you had it done? Why did you have it done? How did you feel afterwards?