Skin Care Tips and Advice

Daily Skin Care products that should be apart of everyones skin care routine!

There is no point going to the dentist if you don’t brush your teeth. The same applies with daily skin care. Daily skin care involves the application of a sunscreen, a Vitamin A Retinoid and an Antioxidant cream.

Skincare is the science of skin health. Understanding this, Cosmos Clinic takes a scientific and medically-based approach to protecting, refining and repairing your skin. Concentrated, proven formulas restore optimal skin function, resulting in visible improvements to skin texture, tone, luminosity and hydration.

Sunscreen With Physical Blockers

Although skin loses about 1% of its collagen and elastic tissue per year after age 25, it is the effect of ultraviolet light from the sun that causes most of the visible effects of ‘aging’ skin. Regular use of an effective sunscreen with UVA protection is the single most important step one can take to maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin. We advise Actinicia (contains bemotrizinol for UVA protection) and Helioplex from Neutrogena.

By far, the most damaging influence on the skin, especially the facial skin, is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. UV comes in three ‘flavours’:

  1. UVC which is blocked by the Ozone Layer;
  2. short wave UVB, which is worse in the summer, on sunny days and in the midday hours; and
  3. UVA, long wave ultraviolet rays which penetrate deeply into the skin to damage collagen and elastic fibres.

The shorter wave UVB damages the upper layers (epidermis) of the skin, and is the primary cause of tanning, sunburn, and skin cancer. UVB is partially blocked by clouds and the atmosphere, which is why one is less likely to burn in cloudy days, in the winter, or in more northern climates. In contrast, longer wave UVA rays penetrate through clouds and atmosphere (window glass too!) and deeply into the skin, to damage connective tissue elements and blood vessels in the delicate upper dermis – even in the morning or evening, whilst driving and in the winter when the sun is lower in the sky! One can think of UVB as causing skin cancer, and UVA as the primary cause of photo-aging.

The application of a sunscreen in the morning which contains UVA and UVB protection is the most important part of skin care. Zinc oxide and Titanium Dioxide are physical blockers of the sun and help protect the skin against UVA light which damages the collagen in our skin.

Most sunscreens are primarily UVB blockers, and while they protect from sunburn and reduce the incidence of most skin cancers with proper use, they are less effective at protection from UVA. By preventing sunburn, UVB blockers may actually increase UVA exposure by allowing people to spend more time in the sun than they would without protection.

Facial skin loses about 1% of its collagen and elastic fibres per year after age 25, and chronic sun exposure can increase this loss markedly. Darker skinned individuals have a ‘built-in’ sunscreen, but they have only a 10 year advantage over those that are fairer-skinned. Sun exposure is cumulative: the UV rays will damage your skin whether you’re napping on the beach with a tropical drink or working as a brick layer.

Good ‘sun sense’ especially in childhood and young adulthood, will not only reduce the chances of skin cancer, but pay huge dividends in the appearance and texture of the skin later in life. One should apply a quality sun cream with UVA and UVB protection every morning. Like a permanent weight loss plan, saving your face may require changes in habits and lifestyles, but without good ‘sun-sense’ all the time, money and heartache spent on other treatments will be an exercise in futility.

Vitamin A creams – Retin A, Retrieve and retinaldehyde

Retinoids include the well known prescription medications such as Retin-A, Stieva A and Retrieve and over-the-counter agents such as Retinaldehyde, Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate. Retinoids act on the DNA of the living layers of skin to reverse the signs and symptoms of sun damage and skin aging. Effects include:

  • increased collagen;
  • increased production of ground substance, thus ‘plumping’ the skin and improving wrinkles;
  • reduction in pigmentation and brown spots;
  • increased cell turnover in the upper layers of skin, thereby improving the skin texture, complexion, blackheads and pores, and an overall improvement in the appearance of the skin.

Retinoids may cause dryness, redness, sensitivity to the sun and irritation of the skin and must be used for at least four months before the beneficial effects are realised.

Tretinoin (trans-retinoic acid) the active ingredient in such popular products as Retin A and Retrieve is one of the very few agents whose skin rejuvenation effects have been documented in many well-designed studies. Retin A and Retrieve can only be obtained with a prescription. They are typically applied sparingly at night before going to bed. Newer prescription retinoids such as Tazarotene (Zorac) are less irritating than Retin A and Retrieve.

Over the counter agents such as retinol (vitamin A) and retinyl palmitate have no activity until they are converted in the skin to retinoic acid (Retin-A), hence, they are less irritating and also less effective than the prescription retinoids. Despite the advent of more effective retinol products, tretinoin (Retin A, Retrieve) still offers a better chance of anti-wrinkle effects because its activity does not depend on conversion rates and other variables. However, well-designed retinaldehyde products such as the Dr Aspect range do provide a potentially less irritating alternative.

A prescription retinoid user who has developed side-effects, such as skin irritation, redness, flaking and skin sensitivity, may first try to reduce the concentration or frequency of application. If that fails, a well selected non-prescription product which contains retinaldehyde, like Avene Anti-aging range is the best option.

Retinaldehyde is the most effective non-prescription form of Vitamin A. Most over the counter preparations contain the Retinol form of vitamin A which is much cheaper to produce and ten times weaker in its effects than retinaldehyde. Regular exfoliation with fruit acids like AHAs may increase the effects of Retinaldehyde and Retinol.

Because retinoids are broken down by bright light, they should always be applied in the evening and because retinoids make the skin sun-sensitive, a sunscreen with at least 4-5% zinc oxide should be used regularly. Retinoid creams should be applied regularly but sparingly, a pea-sized “dab” of cream is enough for the entire face. Irritation and redness is not unusual in the first few months and the frequency of application can be increased gradually. The full beneficial effects of retinoid treatment may not be realised for 6 to 12 months. Despite these disadvantages, retinoids are the single most effective class of topical agent for reversing the signs of aging and sun damaged skin.

Tazarotene & adapalene – 3rd generation vitamin A’s

ZORAC a.k.a Tazarotene & Differin a.k.a Adapalene0.1% cream is a new and effective agent in the fight against aging skin. Related to Retin-A and Retrieve (tretinoin cream), Tazarotene is a “third generation” retinoid, which appears to be less irritating and more effective than its “first generation” relatives at reversing the adverse effects of chronic sun damage (“photoageing”) on the skin, including:

  • Improving skin hydration;
  • Improving skin texture, including enlargement of pores;
  • Reducing fine wrinkles;
  • Improving skin complexion/discoloration, including yellowing, bronzing, and brown spots; and
  • Increased collagen production and repair.


Oxidants or free radicals are produced by the normal aging process, UV A and UV B sunlight, pollution and the process that involves extracting energy out of nutrients called oxidation. These free radicals are reactive molecules that cause damage to normal cell structures and are a key element in the aging process. To act against damage from free radicals the body produces Antioxidants. Antioxidants are often incorporated in skin care products to protect the skin from free radicals.

The most widely used topical antioxidant is Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic acid, L-ascorbate), essential for collagen synthesis and UV protection. In order to be absorbed through the skin effectively, Vitamin C must be very acidic and such formulations may be irritating, especially in patients with dry, sensitive skin. The Vitamin C must be stable, acidic and non-irritating to be effective. The Antioxidant cream with Vitamin C reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, decreases skin roughness and evens out skin tone.

Other popular antioxidants used topically include idebenone, green tea, ferulic acid, alpha-lipoic acid and Coenzyme Q10.

For more information call us on 1300 138 797.