Margarita Answers All Your Medical Grade Skincare QuestionsFebruary 19, 2020
We truly enjoyed discussing medical grade skincare in a Facebook Live event with Plastic Surgery Hub! Another huge thank you goes out to everyone who participated.
In case you missed it, medical grade skincare is skincare that has active ingredients, such as vitamins or amino acids, that nurture the health of your skin cells. Below is Skincare Product Specialist, Margarita’s expert advice on incorporating medical grade skincare into your daily routine.
Q: What is the best way to treat pigmentation?
There is not one best treatment for pigmentation, it depends on what’s triggered it. Pigmentation could be triggered by medication, stress, hormones, sunlight, UV which is everywhere. We have products that inhibit the overproduction of pigment that comes out of those brown cells, we call them “melanocytes.”
Pigment inhibitors are really good to use on the skin. The idea is that, if you have a good medical grade active serum that’s been formulated well, it will keep that communication to the cell, keep those cells flooded with a pigment inhibiting message. Day and nightly use is good, but definitely once a day, and keep that up. It’s like brushing your teeth, it’s something you have to do every day.
Then there are laser treatments, and other treatments, that can help with pigmentation, so the idea is to get yourself a free consultation and see if you can do something by combining treatments with your pigment inhibiting serum, a serum that tries to inhibit the overstimulation of these cells. We want everyone prepped on that prior to us doing any treatments, at least two weeks prior.
Sunscreen is the other thing you must do for pigment because your body is overproducing these cells, which is your body’s natural protection method to produce these brown cells, so you want to use a good sunscreen. Something that will stay on your skin if you’re in the water, or something with a good SPF factor on your face. We’ve got one here, the RejuvAus [M1] Super Moisturising UV Lotion. It’s physical, so it just coats the outside of your skin and you have some really good anti-ageing ingredients in there, and it doesn’t move and it has a good priming effect and it’s a matte finish, so there’s no excuse for not wearing a sunscreen and using a pigment inhibitor.
Q: What’s the best thing to do for dry skin?
Again, it depends what could be causing your dry skin, whether it’s lack of water or oil in your diet, i.e. drinking water, it could be the air conditioning that you work in, or if you’re a flight attendant going up and down in different temperatures all the time. Something you were using on your skin can cause it, illness can cause it, so there’s lots of different things that can cause dryness. Maybe you aren’t taking the dead skin cells off the skin, so they’re building up on top of the skin, and when you don’t moisturise, you think you need to put more on and it starts to flake.
So, a couple of things for dry skin; the first thing; diet, drinking water, that helps. Cleanse. Always use a good quality cleanser with none of the nasty chemicals in there [PEGs, perfumes, sulfates and parabens], but a good quality cleanser with either lactic acids or fruit enzymes, and do that cleansing to get the dead skin cells and those superficial oils and debris off.
Then, use something as a second step exfoliation, like an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) serum you can put on the skin, one with different fruit acids or milk proteins that help to shift the dead glue and debris off the surface of the skin, so you get that nice soft skin cell underneath, and then hydrate.
Hydrate with either a serum, it could be a Vitamin B serum, it can be your three fabulous antioxidants, a Vitamin A or a B or a Vitamin C in your routine, and then a moisturiser. If you need that on top, go ahead, but use a good quality moisturiser, something again that doesn’t feel and smell like a perfume. The fluffier and more perfumed it is, it’s not going to be good for you, so try and get some good medical grade actives in your moisturiser. You can use a nice, light moisturiser, or in winter you might need something richer over your acids and your serums that penetrate the skin.
Q: What about moisturisers with Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid brings water to the cell, and you can get different weights of Hyaluronic Acid in different products. You can get a low molecular weight, or you can get a high molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid, so you can bring that water into the cell and bring that moisture back again.
I always tell people, there are those oranges you see in the supermarket that are dehydrated, and you never go for those. Then there are the ones that are plump full of moisture. That’s Hyaluronic Acid for you, that’s what it’s doing, it’s keeping your cells spongy and healthy so that they’re less stressed.
Of course, if your cell is nice and fat, and plump and spongy, it’s less likely to break down, so you’re not getting that old wear and tear on your cell. Remember, we want to keep your cells nice and fresh and healthy each cycle when they come up every 28 days. We want to keep getting some good ingredients and some nice moisture to them, so they come up nice and thick and healthy, and you get that glow back into your skin.
So, Hyaluronic Acid, yes, in two weights if you can get it in your products, so a high molecular weight and a low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid. It can be in a moisturiser or it can be in a serum.
Q: Should you wear sunscreen on top of your makeup or underneath?
Underneath your makeup always. If you have a makeup with a sunscreen in it, that will go on over the sunscreen that you’re using. Rule of thumb is usually after you cleanse, you’ll apply the lighter product first, so your serums first, and then you would put, if you want a moisturiser, you can put your moisturiser, then your sunscreen, and then if you’re adding makeup, your makeup goes over top of that. So, the last thing you look pretty with is your makeup.
When you have a good sunscreen, especially for that person who was asking about dry skin, sometimes those good sunscreens can form that nice barrier before you put your makeup on, and there’s where you don’t get that dry appearance, so that’s another thing to help.
Q: What sunscreen do you recommend for the face?
We have a truly amazing sunscreen in our range; M1 Super Moisturising UV Lotion. It contains a combination of 19 different medical grade actives. It is a moisturiser, anti-ageing lotion and physical sunblock all in one. It has a beautiful primer effect on the skin and it gives a beautiful luminescent glow.
Q: I have dark and puffy under eyes, is there something that can help me?
Yes, I hear ya. Over the years, I’ve had the bags under my eyes, and they’ve gotten less and less apparent. There are different things that we’ve found here that help. The ingredients Vitamin K and Arnica, which you’ll hear is often used for bruising. If you can find a serum, preferably a serum because if the molecule of the product is small, it feels like water, it goes without saying that it penetrates better, it doesn’t just sit thick on the surface, so if you can use something like a serum that’s good.
Why do you have the dark circles and the blueness under the eyes? This is another thing, it’s not usually one reason or one quick fix. Why do you have them? It could be just luck of the draw, it could be lack of sleep, stress, allergies, hormones, tiredness. There are so many things that can cause it. Sinus infections can cause more puffiness and blueness under the eyes. So if you can treat any of those things, if you have them, that will help.
Using that lighter grade product under the eyes in the form of a serum is fantastic, and something that has Collagen Peptides in it for help with the skin strengthening, and Hyaluronic Acid helps with the moisture, but it’s not heavy. Also use something with Vitamin K and Arnica, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper. They’re all good ingredients to have for that calming and that inflammation. We have a product like that in our range, we have an eye serum too, and that’s been developed for people like you who asked, for people that have developed the puffiness and the dark circles.
The other thing that I find, which I loved doing, when I used to do a lot of massage, when I put my eye product on and I’m sitting in front of the TV, I always push the skin and drain the fluid out to the side. I also push down on the sinus area, too, and I usually find by pushing up against the jaw, pushing those fluids away, the next morning, when you get up, you do look that little bit less puffy. It’s also a really good feeling when you’re putting it on to do it that way. So, go ahead, when you’re putting that really good quality product on, give yourself that little bit of a gentle lymph drainage massage.
The other thing that’s worked for me and for a lot of our patients over time has been laser firming treatments, so make sure you can get into a clinic that offers a free consultation. These skin tightening treatments really help to firm that skin, and of course, if you’re firming that skin, over the next three to six months, you don’t get that heavy falling bag, so you’re producing that collagen and that tightening effect around the eyes. So, use product and get yourself a consultation and ask about these firming, tightening treatments for around the eye areas specifically.
Q: Do you suggest using Vitamin A?
Yes it’s a definite to use in your skin routine. It is an ingredient that boosts your cell turnover which is great for refining your pores and reducing the depth of lines and wrinkles. It promotes a healthy cell membrane. It helps improve tone and texture while stimulating collagen.
We have it in our products in a Retinaldehyde form which is like a prescription strength without the side effects. It is safe to use day and night.
Q: I’ve heard that Retinol should only be used at night time, and even then not every night. Is this true? Do you apply Retinol on its own or after skin care?
Most people know Retinol to be a Vitamin A, which it is, a type of Vitamin A. So, if it is the type of Vitamin A that’s called Retinol, yes, you use that in the evening, and every second night is a good way to start, depending on the strength of the Retinol you’re using.
Your body changes how the Retinol is used until it becomes a Retinoic Acid, and that’s how it’s used in the skin cell, so we want to get it to that level. Retinoic Acid itself can be quite harsh, and it has to be prescribed.
Retinaldehyde’s a good form of Vitamin A because it’s already nearly turned into that Retinoic Acid, so it only has to convert one more time. We have Retinaldehydes in our products, which is a great form of Vitamin A, because it’s nearly there, your cell will use it more readily and available in a good strong form.
The levels go like this; it’s usually a Retinol Palmitate in your over the counter products that you can get everywhere, and then it becomes a Retinal [when applied to your skin, the cells change it], and then it becomes a Retinaldehyde in your skin, and then your cells use it as a Retinoic Acid. So, there are different forms.
You must be very careful how you use the form you’ve been prescribed, and usually, they will tell you how to use that type of Vitamin A. So, yes, Retinol at night-time, but if it’s a Retinaldehyde form like we have here, you can use that day and night.
Vitamin A, as we know, is one of the best anti-ageing vitamins because it helps with cellular turnover. We want to get those cells moving to the surface and flicking off like they used to when we were young. So we want the old cells to come up to the surface and the new cells to start making their way up, and when that happens, we get reductions in our lines and wrinkles, we help to remove those dead pigmentation cells, and it’s also beneficial for collagen stimulation, so a very good vitamin/antioxidant to have in your routine.
Q: Can we use Vitamins A and C every night?
Whether you can use them together or separately, as in Vitamin A at night and C in the morning, depends on the brand and the types of Vitamins A and C that you’re using. As I had mentioned briefly, certain types of Vitamin A, such as Retinaldehyde, can be used both day and night.
Vitamin C can be used day and night as well, unless it is stabilised in a thick base. Then you would use it in the evening only.
Some brands recommend that you use them separately, so it really does depend on the form of these vitamins in your products. In our Rejuvaus range, we have a serum with Vitamins A, B and C in forms that are safe to use together day and night, so that takes the ease out of thinking about it!
Q: For someone who is in a rush and doesn’t have the energy to spend a lot of time in the bathroom, what’s the best basic skincare program with basic products?
Again, it depends on the type of products you’re using. If you want basic skincare, but you want it to do something, make sure that they’re good quality medical grade ingredients in your bottle that you’re using. You want to eliminate the nasty chemicals, perfumes and all those ingredients that your cells are trying to fight against. So, really good quality skincare.
The first important step of starting your glowing routine is cleansing. So, I teach a lot of people the importance of removing bacteria, grime pollutants, dead skin cells, the cells that need to be shifted off the skin. So, cleansing. We have three cleansers in our range, and you can use a cleanser with Lactic Acids (milk proteins), you can use a stronger cleanser with different fruit acids in it, so those fruit enzymes which naturally allow you to remove those dead skin cells and glue. You can use even gentler ones. So cleansing is the first step to an easy program. Everybody does it, you can take it in the shower with you and wash it off.
The next step would be to use your exfoliation serum to remove any extra debris and those dead glues and oils that build up on the skin that harbour bacteria, and then your serum of choice, or your anti-ageing moisturiser.
So, if you can get all your antioxidants in one serum, like a Vitamin A, a B and a C, fantastic. If it’s in a form of Retinaldehyde, you’re nearly there. We have a serum that includes all three vitamins, [S1] ABC Repair & Restore Antioxidant Serum, and that was developed because people were sick of using three different serums to get the one result. So, if you can use something like that, it would be fabulous because you’re just cleansing, then you’re using your exfoliating serum and then you’re applying those three fabulous antioxidants.
If it’s daytime, sunscreen, moisturiser. If it’s night time, wintertime and you need some extra moisture, apply a good quality moisturiser. One that’s light and not too heavy on the skin is fantastic.
That breaks it down easier for you, if you can do those three things, that is cleanse, exfoliate and apply a serum or moisturiser, that’s it. Easy. Just like brushing your teeth, you just have to do that every day.
The benefits are that glowing, fresh, glossy look. The older I get, the more my skin glows and glosses. It’s unheard of. Usually when you turn 54, you become quite dry and heavy with lots of lines and wrinkles, but I’m really very conscious of cleansing, putting my exfoliating serum on, and a serum afterwards to keep the cells moving. The serum constantly communicates to those cells what to do because they forget. The older we get, we forget everything, but your cells forget as well, so if you can feed those communicators down to the cell and remind them what to do to move up to the surface to become nice and glossy and hydrated and plump, then you’re going to get a better glowing look.
Q: My skin particularly around the nose can get very oily. What do you recommend for this?
Around your nose, make sure you’re using that good quality cleanser, and particularly concentrate when you cleanse with your washcloth, or your gauze or whatever you’re using, to wipe away that build up around the nose, otherwise it can get quite red. Sometimes you can get dry patches and it can get irritated. So, cleansing and concentrating on the nose because people put moisturisers and serums around the nose but forget to cleanse that area. It always gets forgotten.
Then, when you’re applying your serums, concentrate on including the area around the nose, but no thick moisturisers around the nose. Make sure that there’s no excess sitting there. That will help.
Q: My son has acne, and he may not be good with keeping a routine. Is there something we can do? I’m worried about scarring. Some scarring has already happened.
I have kids as well, teenagers that were going through the same thing. So with your son, I don’t know how old he is. If he’s coming into those teenage years, they usually get that burst of testosterone, and girls get their female hormones coming into play. It produces a lot of oil activity in the glands, so they get a lot shinier, and their skin starts to get that normal T-zone area [forehead, nose and chin], and then they start to crave a lot of sugars, their diet’s quite poor, and that breeds more bacteria.
So, look at clean pillow slips, proper cleansing, good diet, lots of water. That first step of cleansing, I know it’s not easy to get a child to do it, but if you put a bottle of a good quality cleanser in the bathroom, we have one that’s called [C3] Purify Deep Exfoliating Gel, and it has Activated Charcoal and gentle acids in it, so it’s natural fruit acids that draw the impurities away from the skin, so if you can teach them instead of using a bar of soap, just pump, cleanse, wash off, there’s the first step. They’ll come out with less bacteria on their skin.
The second step is teaching them to know how to wash their hands and not touch their face, that’s the thing that a lot of teenagers like to do. That’s a good step, just hygiene practices. Changing pillow slips regularly because of the oil that breeds while they’re sleeping.
Additionally, use a serum like a Vitamin B, or they can use a Vitamin A, B, C but in a lighter form, depending again on the age of the person, you’d like to start just very gently.
If they use a Vitamin B, that helps to regulate the oil glands, so something with a B Vitamin like a Niacinamide is very good for regulating those oil glands.
Get them to try and drink lots of water and good quality fruit juices at home if you can get them into their routine, and just remind them that every time they touch their skin, there are millions of particles of dirt and bacteria underneath their fingernails. They don’t think of that when they touch their skin.
With girls starting to wear makeup at a younger age, just spraying your makeup brushes and keeping everything clean, and not double dipping into dirty old makeup and then reapplying on your face.
There’s lot of things to look out for. We always try and teach people to look at the big picture of what they’re doing that could be causing this, but unfortunately with teenagers it can be the age and the production of all that extra hormone, so they’ve just got to keep it clean with a little bit of a serum on top, really easy, really simple.
Also, coming in for a consultation. We offer free consultations where we’ll go through what it is that might be causing it, light easy treatments for a young teenager to be able to have. It’ll all be kept on the record on the system and that way when they want to come in and have it done, it’s there for you.
If you want to come in for a free consultation, the best thing to do is to get him in front of a professional, face to face, who can discuss holistic approaches, products and treatments as well as how to prevent scarring. You can book by sending us a direct message or on our website, there’s a phone number, email address or a web form. Get on top of it earlier than later.
Scars and scar tissue at a young age are easily corrected. You’ve just got to get into a routine. We also have our Acne Triple Combo treatments which can be tailored to each patient’s skin.
Q: What would happen in a skin consultation, how long does it take and how much does it cost?
For us, at our clinic, it’s a free consultation. The reason we do that is because there’s not just one thing sometimes that would help everyone, and the questions can be very detailed.
Some people have something that we can’t necessarily see until you get into that consultation, so all your needs and concerns are addressed in there. Everything that could be causing it, they go through with you, and then a treatment plan, or a product plan, is carefully written down and assessed, and you also get a summary sent to you afterwards so you can remember what it is that you spoke about.
We have brochures and product guides for you as well, so everything is written down on there. We’ll recommend a product routine that you can use. We have brochures with information on the treatments that we do for certain conditions, or just for anti-ageing, and then we follow you up as well.
It takes about 20 minutes or 30 minutes, depending on what it is you’re talking about, and everyone that you speak to will be just designing that plan for your needs.
If you have any further questions, or you would like to come in for a consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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