Your skin is your largest and most exposed organ, making it especially vulnerable to the effects of ageing, environmental damage and unhealthy lifestyle choices. It is essential to defend it from both external and internal elements to ensure it can continue to look its best and perform its important functions.

An optimised home skincare routine can help prevent and repair damage as well as maintain skin health and enhance results from clinic-based treatments. After a consultation, our dermal therapist can offer advice and recommend the most appropriate products based on your skin type and concerns.

What Should I Use on My Skin?

This is one of the most common questions patients ask. With the overwhelming number of products available, it’s understandably difficult to judge what is effective and what isn’t, and what is real and what is just hype.

As a general rule, we recommend:

  • Daily Sun Protection: This includes wearing clothing and hats that shield your skin, using sunscreen and staying in the shade as much as you can. Sunscreen is the cheapest and most important investment you can make for your skin. Look for an SPF 50+ sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection. Zinc oxide and iron oxide are “physical blockers” of UV light and provide additional benefits to the skin.
  • Avoid Fragrance: Choose skincare products that do not contain fragrance and do not apply perfume or cologne to the head and neck area. These measures avoid contact sensitisation, which has been implicated in conditions such as Poikiloderma of Civatte and melasma. Using fragrance-free products is a good practice even if you do not have sensitive skin.

For rejuvenation, most people benefit from the following ingredients:

  • Niacinamide: Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, is an antioxidant with a wide range of applications. Niacinamide boosts the skin’s immunity, reduces sebum production and helps restore skin barrier function. It can also help reduce redness and pigmentation concerns.
  • Other Antioxidants: Antioxidants in skincare products help prevent environmental damage by blocking toxic free radicals. There are dozens of effective antioxidants for skin, including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, resveratrol, glutathione and ferulic acid. Antioxidants work best when different types are combined.
  • Retinol or Retinoid Acid: Retinol is a powerful anti-ageing ingredient made from vitamin A. Retinoids accelerate skin renewal and improve texture, pigmentation, wrinkles and other concerns that age your appearance. Because they are strong and can cause irritation, retinoids should be introduced slowly into your skincare regime.
  • DNA Repair Enzymes: UV radiation from the sun leads to DNA damage that contributes to skin ageing and the development of skin cancers. Topically applied DNA repair enzymes enhance the body’s natural DNA repair process to rebuild damaged DNA. These should be used as an addition to, not as a substitute for, sunscreen.
  • AHA/BHA: Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) are exfoliants found in many different types of skincare products. These acids transform the skin by promoting cell turnover and skin regeneration, leaving you with a smoother, fresher complexion. AHAs and BHAs can be used separately or together, depending on your needs.

Other ingredients that may be beneficial:

  • Peptides: Peptides are the building blocks that make up proteins, including the most vital protein in your skin — collagen. Applying peptides topically signals the skin to begin the process of repairing itself and producing collagen.
  • Growth Factors: Growth factors are natural substances produced by cells that help maintain the skin’s firmness and elasticity. Products with growth factors are effective in supporting skin rejuvenation and reducing the visible signs of facial ageing, but they are often expensive.

How Can Skin Care Benefit Certain Skin Conditions?

In addition to general best practices for skin care, our patients are also interested in learning how to treat specific conditions affecting their skin. Some of the recommendations we commonly make include:

  • For Inflamed Skin: When your skin is inflamed due to eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, or following a chemical peel or laser treatment, only use a mild cleanser with simple ingredients and emollients to soothe and hydrate your skin.
  • For Rosacea Skin: Use the gentlest cleanser you can find and emollients. Introduce niacinamide to your routine first. Once your skin inflammation settles, introduce a low-strength retinol to help rebuild skin barrier function.
  • For Acne Skin: Patients often try to manage acne with benzoyl peroxide, but products containing this ingredient are harsh and can impair skin barrier function. We prefer niacinamide-based cleansers and serums. We also recommend slowly introducing retinol to your routine.
  • For Sun-Damaged Skin: Excessive sun exposure is one of the most significant causes of skin ageing. Key ingredients that should be incorporated into a skincare routine for sun-damaged skin include niacinamide, antioxidants, retinol, AHA/BHA and DNA repair enzymes.
  • For Melasma Skin: Strict sun protection is critical for patients with melasma, including protection from visible light using sunscreen formulated with zinc oxide and iron oxide. Ingredients such as niacinamide, tranexamic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), azelaic acid and kojic acid can help inhibit the overproduction of melanin.

This guide focuses on ingredients rather than specific brands or products. For more specific recommendations, contact Northside Dermatology on 03 8582 8688 to book a private consultation. Bring in the products you currently use, and tell us what you like and what you don’t like about your existing routine. After an assessment, our dermal therapist will be able to provide you guidance on what to use, what sequence to apply your products in and how to introduce active ingredients to maximises the health and beauty of your skin.

Contact Us

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm

Phone Number

03 8582 8688

Fax Number

03 8582 8788

Fitzroy North

379 St Georges Rd
Fitzroy North 3068

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Reservoir

2A Marchant Avenue
Reservoir, Melbourne

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