We need to separate the hype and the science about what works to improve skin quality. There is so much pseudo science and outright lies about skin products and what can be achieved. There is also some very strong evidence about treatments that can boost collagen, remove pigment and decrease wrinkles. You can spend a lot of money on products that are nothing more than lovely smelling moisturisers.

Remember that you have to live in your skin for a long, long time. As individuals, it is through our
skin that the world sees us. We do have some control over how we are viewed. We can significantly improve both the health and appearance of our skin! However it does require an interest in the area and a commitment to an evidence based treatment plan.

I will look at various types of products and treatments that have some evidence supporting them
and are known to produce results:

Sunscreen -this is always at the top. Prevent further damage. This is the number one cause of
premature ageing in our community.

Vitamin A applied topically -if tolerated tretinoin cream ( available on prescription) will
stimulate collagen, reduce fine lines and reduce pigment. It can be drying and irritating to the
skin in some individuals. There are less irritating vitamin A products that can be used to build up
tolerance and give similar benefits, however, they need to be in the right form and a high enough
percentage to be effective. This is where you need advice from a specialist cosmetic clinic.

Topical Alpha Hydroxy Acids will help remove dead skin cells and unblock superficial glands.
This can give the skin a clearer, fresher appearance. These can be in the form of a cleanser or a

Light based therapies such as laser and IPL. The light therapy targets the pigment and
destroys it. Laser is focused on one colour and IPL will treat a variety of colours such as brown
and red pigment as well as reducing sebaceous glands and pores and having a minor collagen
stimulating effect.

Collagen Stimulating Treatments. As we age, we lose collagen and elastin in the skin. The
skin is thinner, crepey and more wrinkled. To prevent and improve these changes we need to
look at treatments that stimulate collagen. There are varying results with a variety of treatments
including platelet rich plasma (PRP) – using growth factors from your own blood to stimulate
collagen in the skin. This can be combined with skin needling using a Dermastamp. With this
device, the PRP solution can be injected directly into the skin through very fine needles. Skin
needling alone will stimulate collagen, but combined with PRP, there is further benefit.

• Other collagen stimulating treatments include fractionated laser and radio frequency
therapies that treat a grid of isolated columns of skin allowing healing to occur from the
surrounding untreated skin. During this controlled healing process, collagen is produced. Skin is
tightened and fine lines are reduced. There are visible changes to the quality of the skin. This
equates to thicker and healthier skin. These treatments will actually improve the health of the

This is where it gets really confusing-which laser or RF treatment. We want results but we can’t
afford time off work with weeks of skin healing. More aggressive treatments will get faster results,
but with more downtime. Similar results occur with more frequent, but less invasive treatments.
Most people prefer the latter option. Sublative RF gives collagen stimulation, skin tightening and
rejuvenation with more impact on the deeper layers where collagen is produced and less impact on
the skin surface. This means there is less downtime and mineral makeup can be applied the next

All skin is different and not all treatments are suitable for everyone. There can be adverse
outcomes in inexperienced hands. This is where you do need professional advice from an
experienced cosmetic doctor, nurse or dermal therapist. In a medical clinic, the most appropriate
treatments can be recommended and performed safely.

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