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Skin care beats surgery

Date
Skin care or surgery?

Skin care or surgery?

What women want for their skin is a quick fix for as little outlay as possible, according to plastic surgeon Mr Ian Carlisle. But this is not going to happen, he says, unless we are willing to put some effort in. To do our homework. Without skiving, even on Fridays.

Mr Carlisle, a plastic surgeon at Melbourne's Cabrini hospital, said home maintenance does what no amount of surgery or cosmetic procedures can do. It can improve the skin to a point where cosmetic procedures are no longer wanted or needed. It backs up any non-invasive work done, such as photo rejuvenation, microdermabrasion and laser work - which will soon lose its benefits without it.

Mr Carlisle's ''home maintenance'' simply involves using skin-care products with anti-ageing ingredients and most of all - and for always, every day - sunscreen. ''All of it is a waste of time unless a sunscreen's used every day. The issue here is finding a sunscreen that women want to use. There's plenty of good ones on the market but they're no good to wear with makeup so women just don't use them.''

Mr Carlisle says the results of home skin care can be outstanding. ''I've had clients come wanting a face lift but after using a skin care management system at home for six weeks they've been so happy with the results they haven't wanted the surgery,'' says Mr Carlisle. Clients at his private skin clinic are put on a Jan Marini skin care system before any laser treatments because, he says, the products address many of the issues of concern. Glycolic acid, Vitamin C, retinols and peptides markedly improve skin.

''None of it [treatments] is worth doing unless the proper home maintenance is done,'' says Mr Carlisle. ''They're back in months for more work if they don't do the work themselves at home.''

Do you put in the work at home? If you are willing to invest the downtime and money for treatments such as Fraxel, are you also prepared to follow through with a good, structured skin care regime? You might care for your skin but do you have sunscreen on at the moment? How much time and thought goes into your skin care? If quality and consistent skin care gets results as good - sometimes better - than expensive cosmetic procedures are you prepared for a bit of an overhaul? What does your skin care include and involve?

30 comments so far

  • Sunscreen every day - absolutely. I do agree that it can feel a litle thick under makeup but its just a matter of experimenting with brands.

    And yes, I take home maintenance pretty seriously. Recently I've had a series of chemical peels and the results are amazing. I'm maintaining at hime using a glycolic scrub, vitamin C and retinol.

    The upside has been that I've been able to switch from using foundation to just a tinted moisturiser because my skin tone is so much better.

    Commenter
    Sarah
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    September 13, 2012, 9:19AM
    • When you mention maintaining using glycolic scrub, vitamin C and retinol, do you look for products with those ingredients? Or are there brands out there that specifically contain those ingredients?

      Commenter
      Niz
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 11:47AM
    • I use skinstitut products and they are brilliant.

      They havea glycolic cleanser and a scrub. I also buy the vitamin C powder and mix a small amount in with their retinol or with their even blend serum (alternating nights).

      It makes my skin glow and they are reasonably priced.

      And no, I dont have financial interest in the company!

      Commenter
      Sarah
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 3:54PM
    • Oh wow that is really interesting to know and thanks for the info @Sarah. I do not live in Australia anymore though, but good to know about it. Maybe I can look around for products containing those ingredients. But they aren't like anti-aging ingredients right?

      Commenter
      Niz
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 6:31PM
    • I've also been able to switch from foundation to a tinited moisturiser - or somethimes even nothing at all which just feels so good! Having had what I would call "bad skin" for years (breakouts, redness and increasing lines and wrinkles) I started using Karin Herzog oxygen creams and it's made such a difference. If my skin can stay looking this good, I wouldn't go for any invasive treatments at all, but I know for some people creams just aren't enough.

      Commenter
      roz
      Location
      NSW
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 8:20PM
  • I never wear sunblock - I don't spend any time outdoors, so why would I give myself greasy, pimply, blackhead filled skin for no benefit? Retin A and moisturiser are all I use. If I don't wear sunblock I don't need foundation or concealer to cover up.

    Commenter
    K
    Date and time
    September 13, 2012, 11:31AM
    • I'm a fan of Tretinoids too. It's pretty cheap though doesn't come in a fancy wrapper. I do wear sunblock. It doesn't do any harm to my skin but it's greasy and I have a shine pretty soon after applying it. However, despite daily thick application I still get new areas of pigmentation, so I wonder how effective it is.

      Commenter
      Anna
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 1:46PM
    • There are options for sunblock that aren't greasy and won't clog up your skin. On the lower end of things there's Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturiser with SPF15. I also recommend trying some of the Asian brands, they tend to be light in texture with high SPF. In the upper price ranges, there's Estee Lauder Daywear, that's very light in texture and won't break you out. I have VERY sensitive skin and a lot of sunblocks break me out but the ones I've mentioned haven't done.

      Unless you never, ever leave the house during daylight hours, you are getting exposed to sunlight and UVA/UVB.

      Commenter
      CateO
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 1:50PM
    • What, are you a nocturnal creature? I work indoors, but in summer time if I do not wear sun block I will get burnt even in the short time it takes to walk from one building to another.
      And if you think sunblock causes greasy, pimply, blackhead filled skin, you really need to try another sunblock! There are really good sunscreens that work and the only reason you know you have it on is because it stops you getting burnt.

      Commenter
      Fran
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 1:52PM
    • K, you might want to get your GP to check your vitamin D levels. I found mine were very low and just need to take a supplement once a month to boost it all year long. I don't wear sunscreen unless out for longer than 15 minutes in the middle of the day, or half an hour mid morning or mid afternoon, none if out before 10 or after 4. Our bodies need some sunlight to produce vitamin D and lack of it has been associated with many cancers. Sunlight also improves mood and lower depression. Some sunscreens have been found to have nanotechnology that is carcinogenic. Quite frankly, I'd rather live longer than die with slightly less wrinkly skin. The obsession people have with aging normally is ridiculous.

      Commenter
      maggie
      Date and time
      September 13, 2012, 1:53PM

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