Sometimes skin care can feel like a bit of a stab in the dark. Looking at a wall full of products all vying for your attention, it can be tough to pick something that has the ingredients to give your skin what it actually needs. That’s where a proper skin analysis can help.
I met with Becky Watkins, SkinCeuticals Associate Vice President, Global Education, to have a chat about what my skin issues were and how I could help them. For ages, I’ve assumed that my only real skin issue was pigmentation and the fact that my skin always looks a bit tired in the mornings. And I was right… but also wrong.
First things first: the analysis. Becky presented me with this thing that looked like a giant space helmet, with some black curtains on the back, called Skinscope. “SkinScope is a way for the physician to be able to have a great conversation with their patient,” she explains. “When you go into the office it’s a little nerve-wracking to have them looking so close at you, and they could tell you anything, you either believe it or don’t believe it. With SkinScope you can see for yourself; it’s a way for you to validate your concerns.” She instructs me to place my head inside the space-looking device and rest my chin just inside. What confronts me is a giant, magnified picture of my own face. It’s like a mini hall of mirrors in there where every single thing I hate about my skin is staring back at me. Becky is looking from the other side of the space helmet but all I can see is my own face. Presumably, that’s what she can see as she starts drawing my attention to a few things I should be aware of.
“Ok so this is your skin in daylight,” Becky says, as I think ‘Holy hell, does my skin really look like this during the day?’
Becky continues: “So yes we can see that pigmentation you were worried about. You’ve got some uneven skin tone there and a bit of sun damage.” WEAR SUNSCREEN, EVERYONE.
Other than that, my skin looks pretty good in daylight. Now we get to the nitty gritty with LED lighting to uncover what the naked eye can’t see. “The LED light will show pigmentation, dryness, congested pores, any dead skin, dehydration and dryness as different colours.”
All of a sudden it looks like a rave party and my face is an unearthly purple, with all my pigmentation and the circles around my eyes super SUPER dark, and a few orange flecks peppered across my T-zone. But what does it all mean?
“Well those dark circles around your eyes tell me that your skin is really dehydrated around there,” Becky says. Which surprises me because I drink a hell of a lot of water, like, all day long. “We don’t have oil glands on our eyelids so we really need to make sure that we are using products to hydrate that area,” she explains. There’s also WAY more pigmentation than I had in the “daylight” mode. Becky tells me this light will bring up all the freckling and damage that eyes can’t see, and it’s these areas I need to focus on with my sun protection (including around my temples and EARS which I realise I miss with the sunscreen). It’s important I prevent these areas from getting more damaged, so I take note.
So what about the orange dots? “They’re congested pores, everyone has them,” she says. “Those are the areas you want to work on cleansing regularly.”
And what about dead skin? “I can’t see any, which means you exfoliate!” she says. I feel quite proud of myself as she praises me for using a chemical over physical exfoliants to avoid micro-tears and premature aging. Also, she tells me I look amazing for my age, so I pat myself on the back for my skincare work and good genes.
So what products should I add into my routine? Becky, of course, is all about the SkinCeuticals products being the head of their global education. “We’re a medical first brand… there’s so much testing they do on these products and we partner with doctors. We provide these high-level ingredients, which are tested over and over again, and we ensure the safety of the skincare for your skin.”
For me, she recommends CE Ferulic and Resveratrol. “Resveratrol is wonderful for energy and antioxidant for the skin at night. You can’t use it during the day because it’s sensitive to the sun … it makes you wake up looking rested because it works on your mitochondria and energy for your skin.”
And for my pigmentation, she says the CE Ferulic can protect and correct. “It protects from UVA, UVB, infrared, ozone pollution, basically it keeps you young and that’s proven. For me the first two weeks I tried it I saw a transformation in my skin and now I go nowhere without it.” She tells me it can help shield me from environmental damage as well as evening my skin tone. Of course, sunscreen – especially on the parts where damage was visible under the LED light – is a non-negotiable.
She also tells me to get myself a good, hydrating eye cream. “Regardless of what you use, make sure you use it regularly. If you can use something consistently your skin will love you for it.”
For more information on SkinCeuticals see https://www.skinceuticals.com.au/