Skin Care

Skin care needs to be individualised. Factors such as your age, your degree of sun damage, associated problems (eg eczema, acne, irregular pigmentation) have a major influence on how your skin should be managed.

Skin Care Basics

Have a baseline skin assessment done by your dermatologist: if you have any underlying problems your skin specialist can guide you in the right direction. You can also book in for a consultation and Total Skin Analysis with our Aesthetic Nurse who uses our electronic skin analysis tool for a closer view and report of your skins condition.

Our basic guidelines for skin care

  • Wash your skin twice per day. A gentle soap-free wash is one of our favourite types of cleansers. Cleansers don’t need to be expensive, they just need to clean the skin well.
  • Cleansers are rapidly washed off, so active ingredients have little time to work.
  • Moisturise your skin twice a day: your skin type will determine what moisturisers you need. The Dermatologists or Aesthetic Nurse at Northern Sydney Dermatology can help you with this choice.
  • Manage problems: use products to treat your problems eg bleaching creams for abnormal pigmentation, medicated acne creams if you have pimples, corticosteroid creams if you have eczema.
  • PREVENT: the best antiaging cream available on the market is SUNSCREEN. Apply it regularly and stay out of the sun.

Cosmeceuticals – what works?

Skin care is no longer about a brand. Consumers are informed and are now asking about the latest “ingredient” that has age-defying benefits, reduces pigmentation or can improve acne. The term “Cosmeceutical” is a household name, considered by many to be as important to their health as brushing their teeth. “What is that secret ingredient doctor?”, is how dermatology consultations frequently begin.

This is often immediately followed by the “plastic bag”. Jammed to the brim with products, the patient slowly pulls out each product one after the other. This one stung, this one cost $900 and didn’t do a thing, this one caused pimples, this a rash and so on. Fielding through the labels there are words like Coenzyme X, Ketoenzyme and polysaccharide. They sound good, but are they really? The world of cosmeceuticals is not regulated by an authority, such as the FDA or TGA. Just because an additive looks impressively scientific and terrific, in truth, it may represent no more than marketing hype. But to the consumer and many doctors and aestheticians, fielding your way through what is cosmetic company hype and what is real and effective can be a complete nightmare.

The term ‘Cosmeceutical’ means a scientifically designed topical agent applied to the skin that has both cosmetic and quasi-pharmaceutical effects. The effects are not as therapeutic as a drug but are claimed to contain active ingredients that have proven benefits. Some cosmeceuticals definitely have a role in enhancing the effects of procedures and prescription medications. Separating fact from fiction will mean the difference between ordinary and superb results.

Common Traps

When selecting cosmeceuticals to buy, it’s not just the ingredient itself that is important. Concentration, pH and the type of cream added to the ingredient, have a major impact on the effectiveness of that ingredient. For instance, a product may contain retinol. A small amount of retinol or retinyl palmitate can be converted in the skin to the active ingredient that produces all the desired dermal anti-aging effects. This is why, very often it is prescription strength preparations containing synthetic retinoic acid (eg tretinoin, adaplene, tazarotene) that are required. Similar to the retinoid issue, Vitamins can be unstable and other ingredients added to the cream can affect their activity. We often don’t know a lot about the benefits of topical application of vitamins, which is surprising seeing their large presence in the market place. Hydroxy acids are effective, but the concentration and pH in a topical preparation really must be significant to have the desired reported concentration and pH in a topical preparation really must be significant to have the desired reported effects. Ask the representative of the brand to prove that the ingredients in their products are stable and of adequate concentrations. The list below is not exhaustive but is designed as a guide to common scientifically proven ingredients.

A referral is not always required for aesthetic/cosmetic consultations with our dermatologists as these do not attract a Medicare rebate unless you have a medical problem.

If you are uncertain if you need a referral please contact our helpful staff at Northern Sydney Dermatology on (02) 9958 1555.

Our dermatologists request that you bring all of the skincare products you are using or have tried previously along to the consultation.

Skin Care Advice Dermatologist