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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to get rid of Blackheads

The question I would get asked by my clients both online and in my clinic MANY times a week is:

How do I get rid of blackheads??

I want to break this down into 2 categories to explain this best:
1) blackheads on the nose
2) blackheads on other facial areas

But first, let me tell you in very simple terms what the common blackhead is. 
  • Our pores contain a few things: oil (sebum) , hair follicle, dead skin cells
  • makeup and dirt also find there way into our pores
  • see the sebaceous gland in the picture, well that is what produces the oil that nourishes and protects our skin
  • when the oil comes into contact with oxygen, it oxidizes it - giving it a black appearance. 
  • you will notice this oxidation wherever your pores are larger - typically the nose/chin area
  • when we exfolliate our skin, we are removing dead skin cells and part of that oxidized cap which makes our skin look brighter and fresher. 
  • removing the oil plug or black cap with pores strips is a temporary solution, it simply removes the oil cap taking away that oxidized black cap
Blackheads on the Nose:
Unfortunately we can never get rid of blackheads completely. Due to our pores typically being larger on the nose and sometimes chin area, it is only natural that oxidized oil will be seen as "blackheads". We can however minimize them. This is how:
  • First we must clean out the oil, dead skin, dirt, makeup residue BEFORE we can minimize. 
  • First things first. Change to a mineral makeup such as Jane Iredale Mineral Make up which is designed to sit on the surface of the skin. Also if you suffer breakouts .... this is a must. Breakouts find it hard to stop when your pore keeps getting filled with unwanted gunk!
  • To assist in cleaning out your pores, use a product such as Defy from Cosmedix - a fruit acid cream to be used of a night will help break down hardened oil, makeup and dirt built up over the years. 
  • Now that we are on the right path to cleaning out our pores, we now need to minimize them. 
  • Use a vitamin A product that contains either Retinol or Retinaldehyde. For minimizing pores, anything except the above stated forms of Vitamin A will not minimize pores, they will give the skin an antioxidant benefit only. Retin A which is the strongest form of Vitamin A, I am not a big fan of. It is very irritating, causing flaking, dryness and the skin burns very quickly in the sun which can lead to pigmentation problems down the track. Typically you can only use Retin A for a period of 3 months, before you need to give the skin a break. Products that you should be looking for are: Renew from Osmosis or Refine or Define from Cosmedix.
  • Treatments that will assist are: microdermabrasion, Vitamin A infusions or peels such as the Osmosis Peel or the Cosmedix Benefit or Timeless Peel. Read more on these peels here.
  • Microdermabrasion gives you quick satisfaction as the oxidized caps are removed. For long term satisfaction, the peels and infusions will help to restructure your pores and refine them. 

Blackheads on the Rest of the Face:
Blackhead on the other parts of the face are not as common as on the nose. Everyone has blackheads to some degree on their nose, but not everyone has them on the cheeks for example.
Unless my client has a acne and/or problematic skin where the pores are enlarged and their natural oil flow is very high, blackheads on the rest of the face is commonly a topical problem.
Usually a skin product is smothering their pores and not allowing their natural oil to flow naturally on the skin. Products that contain Parrafin or liquid parrafin, mineral oil and lanolin and there are many others can, on some skins, cause blackheads. We need to allow the skin to breathe to function as it was designed to. Smothering it with barrier creams will only benefit very sensitive skins, people who suffer from eczema and dermatitis. Once I find the culprit that is responsible for the blackheads and remove it from the skin routine. I will then need to put them on some sort of fruit acid cream light Defy from Cosmedix and manually extract the blackheads.
If however the pore has been stretched over a period of years, it makes minimizing a little more time consuming as there is a lot more to minimize than the standard enlarged pore. It would be nice if our pores snapped back into position once all the debris was removed from the pore, but no such luck.
I have found that the Dermaroller Treatment, Skin Needling is FANTASTIC for minimizing pores.

I would highly recommend Skin Needling to anyone that was concerned with enlarged pores, blackheads etc. Make sure you go to a clinic that uses a Skin Needling device that is approved by the TGA (therapeutic goods administration) of Australia. These devices are designed to penetrate to your Dermis (second layer) of the skin, so you want to insist the procedure is sterilized and the technician is highly trained in skin needling.

Also as a tip, I highly advise you ask your technician is they reuse their rollers. Some clinics do, and some don't. You are paying decent money for this treatment, so you want sharp, new needles every time, a new roller that has been taken out of a sterilized packet every time.
Read more on Skin Needling with the original Dermaroller here

Some other helpful tips for a clean pored complexion:

  1. cleanse with a cleanser morning and night
  2. double cleanse or use clear on a cotton round to remove any excess make up
  3. use a moisturiser that sinks in deeply and nourishes the skin. Unless you have dermatitis, eczema, super sensitive skin,  or a thin skin you do not need products with heavy waxes, oils and paraffin that only sit on the surface of your skin and clog up your pores. Use a moisturiser like Quench that deeply hydrates and sinks in super quick.
  4. Thoroughly cleanse your skin after using chemical sunscreens, they are notorious for hanging out in your pores long after your lovely day at the beach!
  5. Exfoliate with my facial scrub at least once a week
  6. Do not squeeze blackheads, over time you develop scar tissue around the pore - even harder to minimize!
  7. Visit your Aesthetician for a deep cleansing facial/peel/infusion or microdermabrasion at least once a month. You WILL see a difference. 
  8. Change to a 100% mineral makeup like Jane Iredale
  9. Throw away that mirror in your bathroom that magnifies your face 1000 times! No one is going to look that close, it is impossible to have magnified vision.
  10. Be loving and kind to your skin
Hope this helps answers many of your questions!

Happy Skin Days,

Sarah Wilkinson
Skin Matrix
0417 404 700

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cosmedix Medical Skin Range NEW LOWER PRICES!!


To all the Cosmedix lovers out there! 
You will be jumping up and down for joy with the news that Cosmedix have drastically reduced their RRP on their medical skin care range here in Australia.
Over the past few years, I have to admit the prices of the Cosmedix products have been steadily increasing whilst my clients were steadily decreasing purchasing the Cosmedix Range.

Cosmedix was one of the very first premier Medical Skin Care Ranges that hit Australia and it did so like a tsunami! The percentage of active ingredients where something we had not come across before and WOW what an effect they had on the skin!

10 years ago I think was around the time I was introduced to Cosmedix, and I remember it being the FIRST skin care range out of all my experience that I could actually see a change in the skin within a short period of time.

The basis of Vitamin A and the delivery system was next to none and my clients were addicted along with myself. A few years later there have been other Medical Skin Care Ranges that have hit the market and cosmetic and plastic surgery clinics alike.

Now, Cosmedix are back and in a MAJOR way. You won't be able to find a better price than here for your Cosmedix purchases. In some cases you are looking at around 50% off!!

Unfortunately I am restricted to publishing the new prices on the net and cannot sell online as per instructed by the Australian Distrubutors. BUT if you email me here what you are interested in at, I will gladly respond with the prices and you can purchase over the phone with free postage over $90.

Don't spend more than you need to!

Email or call me on 0417 404 700 to order your Cosmedix Products today.

If you are new to the range, email me and I can advise you through discussions the best products for you.

Happy Skin Days,

Sarah Wilkinson
Skin Matrix
0417 404 700

Monday, February 13, 2012

What is Mineral Make Up

Time to shed some light on Mineral Make Up and what they are all about!

The BIGGEST benefit of a 100% Mineral Make Up is that it is designed to sit on the surface of the skin. It will not penetrate into the pores like a chemical make up will. Time and time again, chemical make up is the culprit for my clients breakouts, bumps under the skin and skin irritations.
Clients that go on to a 100% Mineral Make Up like the Jane Iredale that I use, will never go back to a chemical make up again.
  • It feels better (more natural on the skin)
  • It has a flawless finish
  • It will assist in calming a sensitive/rosacea skin
  • It is healthy for the skin
  • Fantastic coverage
  • Some contain natural sunscreens, giving an anti-ageing benefit as well

Here are the characteristics of the Jane Iredale Mineral Make Up:

  • Non-comedogenic, will not block pores.
  • Virtually no allergy risk.
  • All products have been sensitivity tested.
  • Broad-spectrum UVB and UVA protection - up to SPF 30.  UVA tested at High.
  • Anti-inflammatory, helps to calm and soothe irritated skin.
  • Very water resistant rating by an FDA-approved lab.
  • Complete coverage for skin conditions like acne, rosacea and redness following treatments like chemical peels and laser resurfacing.
  • Contains no talc or parabens.
  • Composed of inert minerals that cannot support bacteria. 
Some examples of typical mineral make up ingredients to look out for are:
I have clients come in to see me who are using a Mineral Make Up which is wonderful news, but unfortunately some of the time it is a mix of both chemicals and Minerals. Which is only a problem when it is the chemicals that are aggravating the skin and the reason I am seeing them.
The Make Up will be called Mineral Make Up, but only part of the make up is minerals. The rest I am afraid ... is chemicals.

So how do we know if our Mineral Make Up is 100% Minerals???

According to the ACCC, after discussions with them, there is no law stating that to be labelled as a Mineral Make Up you need to have XWY % of Minerals in the product.
It could contain 1% minerals and be called a Mineral Make Up.

So, hence my blog. As a skin care professional and skin advisor, I wish to pass this information on to you, so you are empowered when you purchase products. Lets face it, it is a MINEFIELD out there.
What is the best product for me? Will I react? Is this 100% minerals? What chemicals are in here? Are chemicals bad for me? All of these questions needs answers for you to be able to make informed decisions on what you purchase, to minimize buying products that aren't suited to you.

When purchasing YOUR Mineral Make Up, ask your skin care professional, "is this a 100% mineral make up?"

If you want to be an investigator yourself ...
  • check out the ingredients on the label - google them, do they sound weird, hard to pronounce?
  • does it contain talc?? Usually one of the first ingredients on the product label ... not a mineral!
  • visit your Mineral Make Up Brands website ... what information do they have there? What testing have they done? Do they state they are 100% minerals?
I stock the Jane Iredale Mineral Make Up which I have been using professionally and personally for over 10 years. Other 100% Mineral Make Up brands that I am aware of are: Young Blood and ID Bare Minerals. 

I hope I have helped shed some light on Mineral Make Up for you. If you are experiencing break outs, redness/flaking skin, pustules etc, give a 100% Mineral Make Up a go. If the make up is the culprit, my clients will start to see an improvement in their skin within 7 days! Yes, that quick. When you take away what is irritating the skin, you see vast improvements.

I am available for email consultations, skype consults, phone chats, and in my clinic in Sydney on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Happy to extend my knowledge and help you achieve the skin you want .... today!

Happy Skin Days,

Sarah Wilkinson
Skin Matrix

Friday, February 10, 2012

Osmosis Quench VOTED Best Moisturiser for 2012!

        BUY NOW
Quench is the ever so popular moisturiser from the Ben Johnson Range Osmosis.
My clients (myself included) LOVE this product. Here are some great facts about this award winning moisturier for 2012:

  • designed to protect, restore and hydrate the skin
  • protects the epidermal barrier (the upper most layer of the skin) from external environment
  • contains loads of hyalauronic acid, a natural yet powerful hydrating and plumping ingredient
  • is light weight, absorbs quickly into the skin
  • does not leave a greasy film on the skin
  • suited for all skin types
  • for super dry skins - mix 1 pump quench with 1 pump of immerse

  • Mix 1 pump Quench and 1 pump of Shelter 29+ together in the morning for the best day combo! 

Happy Skin Days,

Sarah Wilkinson
Skin Matrix