Beauty sleep: It’s a real thing!

You probably know all too well that after a big night, with very little sleep, you wake looking less “Sleeping Beauty” and more “Cruella de Vil”. But why does lack of sleep have such a huge impact on our looks?

Skin is the largest organ in the body. Skin spends all day as the first line of defence, protecting the other organs from all the nasties in the environment. It makes sense then, that this hard-working organ needs to rest at some point!

What happens to our skin at night?
Essentially, a myriad of events occurs throughout the night which allow for cell renewal, collagen production and the reversal of some of the free radical damage we experience throughout the day. We also produce a few important anti-ageing hormones during the night.

Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is naturally produced at night in both the brain and in some skin cells. Melatonin acts as a powerful antioxidant that aids in the DNA repair of sun damaged cells, meaning it is essential in the fight against wrinkles and pigmentation.

The first few hours of sleep are also when we produce Human Growth Hormone (HGH), essential in the fight against premature ageing. In a recent study, HGH was shown to improve the appearance of wrinkles (such as crow’s feet and forehead lines) among almost 80% of participants!

Why is 8 hours’ the goal for optimal beauty sleep?
Each night we go through a series of sleep cycles. Each cycle consists of individual stages of sleep that allow for tissue repair and restoration. For those of us lucky enough to get 8 hours’ sleep, we will enjoy around 5 of these “sleep cycles”, which is optimal for cell regeneration.

Sleep is not only a rest for our bodies, but also for our minds. While we’re enjoying the land of slumber, we’re not exposed to the stressors we face during the day. Stress creates a spike in the stress hormone, Cortisol. Cortisol wreaks absolute havoc on our skin causing inflammation and damaging collagen, which in turn leads to dehydration and an increase in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. More sleeping hours = less hours to stress!!

Why is it so important to remember to cleanse and apply your serums at night?!
Cell renewal peaks at around midnight. At this point, skin cells are most in need of vital nutrients. At the same time, permeability of the skin increases, meaning you get the greatest bang for your buck from your anti-ageing products.

What products are best to use at night?
Retinol (or Vitamin A), is essential for 70% of our skin’s ability to renew. Vitamin A however is broken down by sunlight, meaning it should strictly be applied as part of your night-time skin regime. Retinol, once wrongly thought to make skin more sensitive to the sun, is now considered crucial in both reversing sun damage (removes pigment, treats fine wrinkles and thickens the skin) as well as protecting the skin from further damage at a DNA level.

Important note: Retinol should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding – we can help you with alternate products during pregnancy.
While the increased permeability of your skin is great for product absorption, it also means that you’re more susceptible to trans-epidermal water loss (hydration escaping!!), so a good moisturiser is ESSENTIAL at night. My favourite is Jan Marini’s Age Intervention Peptide Extreme. It contains a concentrated blend of peptides, antioxidants and hydrators that target wrinkles.

So, is “Beauty Sleep” a real thing? YES!

Why Millennials will age better than the other generations!

Millennials, they have their phones in their hands and the world at their feet! They are also in the awesome position of “ageing” at a time when anti-ageing and preventative treatments are the norm, meaning they are destined to age much better than their parents.

Here are the top 3 reasons why this age group will likely remain youthful well into their 50’s:

No-Sun Tanning
I am Gen X and I’ll admit, as a teenager I could have sun-baked professionally.  My girlfriends and I would catch the 8am bus to Soldiers Beach and return on the 5pm – we really were that dedicated to the beach life (or as the millennials would say #BEACHLIFE)!  Sure, we applied lotion, just not sun lotion. Instead, we covered our bodies in oil (for that extra crispy look!).  By our 20s, we’d figured out that the sun was bad, BUT tanned skin was still very much in fashion and there was no way we’d consider “tan in a can” (it simply wasn’t cool back then), so we continued to worship the sun (hello pigment in my 30’s!).

Millennials, on the other hand, are lucky for 2 reasons.  They know the sun causes pre-mature ageing (they have been forced to wear hats at school since kindergarten) AND they live in an age where fake tan is not only accepted but encouraged.

Social Media
The pursuit of the perfect selfie has made Millennials hyper-aware of how they look.  Kimmy K once said she takes 300 photos before she settles on the perfect one. While the average person might not like to admit they too take a ridiculous number of photos, sneak a look at their deleted photos album and it might reveal otherwise. Young people are analysing their every flaw, and they want it fixed!  In fact, in a recent study by the American Academy of Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, doctors reported a 31% increase in patients seeking to improve their appearance based on how they want to present themselves on social media.  Which brings me to my next point…

It’s OK to tweak your appearance
One amazing thing the younger generation has going for it, is that their peers will JOIN them, not JUDGE them! My 50-something clients are still hiding the fact that they have treatment from their closest friends and family, while my 20-somethings are snap-chatting the whole visit! It’s ok to have a few jabs these days, and because prevention is always better than cure, millennials have the luxury of preventing the wrinkles from forming in the first place.


How to arrive in another country with perfect dewy skin!

Unless you own a Private Jet (#goals!), I’m sure you can relate to stepping off a long-haul flight and feeling like absolute crap. And it’s not all due to lack of sleep or your inability to resist the 7am champers the day before (holidays, right?!?). In fact, it simply comes down to low humidity and low oxygen! Humidity levels on aeroplanes are usually less than 20%. Even in the dry heat of Tamworth, humidity generally only gets as low as 50%. Low humidity strips the skin of oil, essential for our skin’s barrier functions, which can lead to a myriad of skin complications. On top of that, oxygen levels within the cabin are around 5% lower than the air we breathe on solid ground. This impacts circulation which leads to a reduction in blood to our skin cells, resulting in poor supply of essential vitamins and minerals.

So, what can we do to prevent beginning our long-awaited holiday looking dry and washed out??

Give some forward thought to boosting the health of your skin BEFORE the flight. I recommend a resurfacing treatment 3-4 weeks prior to take-off.

At the 3-weeks-to-go mark I had a Vampire Facial with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). This not only removed any dead cells from the surface of my skin, it boosted collagen production leaving my skin extra hydrated!

I also made sure I religiously used my Hyla 3D (by Jan Marini Skin Research) to boost the levels of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in my cells. Hyla 3D is one of the only topical HA products on the market proven to penetrate the epidermis. HA is hydrophilic, which means it draws water to the area – again ensuring super hydrated skin.

Lastly, my prep included making sure my skin was on point from the inside-out. I start every morning with a dose of The Beauty Chef’s Antioxidant and Hydration – to ensure I’m hydrated and protected at a cellular level.

I’m going to share something shameful. I live in hope of being “discovered” and becoming the world’s most famous cosmetic injector with a reality show (Keeping up with KGA?). So understandably, given I’m off to LA, I would prefer to step off the plane looking completely glam with perfect hair and a perfectly contoured face. Realistically however, applying make-up before a 15-hour flight will NOT make me look glamourous, in fact it’s about the worst thing I could do for my skin. If you must wear make-up, apply it just before landing (if you can contend with the horrible lighting in those tiny bathrooms!).

Personally however, I always opt to fly sans make-up, allowing me to apply multiple layers of goodness to my skin during the flight. Which brings me to carry-on essentials…

“Must haves” for mid-flight application include an antioxidant serum and a thicker moisturiser to help replenish the lost oil. As always, I recommend a high quality, medical-grade product. Something that works at a cellular level (hint: nothing from the Chemist will do this), but if you have a medical-grade brand you love, use it.

However, my personal preference (and what will absolutely be in my carry-on) is the Jan Marini Age Intervention Peptide Extreme. I will be lathering this on my skin several times throughout the flight because it contains an awesome blend of peptides, antioxidants and hydrators.

Finally, and I know I harp on about this all the time, but you really do NEED to wear sunscreen everyday – EVEN on the plane. At high altitudes, the UV index is much higher than on the ground, and while most aircraft have windows that block the bulk of the UV radiation, you are still at risk. Choose a lightweight one (no need for Zinc) and for those extra long-haul flights, reapply at some point throughout the trip.

Drink water, minimise alcohol, and try to get some sleep (easier said than done depending where you’re seated I know!). And enjoy your holiday!!

5 reasons why you should have Laser Hair Removal in winter!

5 reasons why you should have Laser Hair Removal in winter!
Winter is almost upon us.  It’s cold, and the last thing you want to do is strip off the layers and spend half an hour semi-naked on our treatment bed.

But here’s 5 reasons why your summer self will thank you for it.

  1. It takes around 6 months to complete a session of treatments for permanent removal.  That means by November you can wear singlets, short shorts and bikinis without even owning a razor, much less worrying about if you shaved that morning!
  2. Laser hair removal may leave your legs a little red or blotchy for a day or two – this is much easier to cover when you’re your wearing long pants.
  3. Tan reason # 1 – We can’t treat you if you have recently been exposed to too much sun OR if you’re about to head to the beach (no risk of laying by the pool during a Tamworth winter!!).
  4. Tan reason # 2 – We also can’t treat you if you have been fake tanning.  We tend to worry less about a bronzed body when we’re coving it up every day, making winter the perfect opportunity to laser (sans tan).
  5. Why Not!? It’s relatively painless (so much better than waxing!), its quick, affordable and permanent.  Don’t procrastinate, just get it done and be ready to flaunt the results when the weather warms up.

At KGA we use the Gentle Max Pro.  It is the gold standard in laser hair removal.  It is safe and effective on ALL skin types.  It is the only laser of this calibre in Tamworth.  You will be treated by fully qualified and certified technicians under the supervision of a Registered Nurse.

So what are you waiting for?

There’s no such thing as a miracle elixir

Currently, the anti-ageing market is estimated to be worth around US$150 billion. With this sort of money up for grabs it’s no wonder every man and his dog wants a piece of the pie. Sadly, what the ageing population, desperate to hold on to their looks while simultaneously needing to age “gracefully'” forget, is that ageing is a biological process. Therefore, unless you look at anti-ageing and preventative treatments scientifically, you’re wasting your money!

Every time I see the latest miracle cure for ageing, whether it be an exotic fruit from deep in the amazon jungle; or a cream as generic as Sorbolene, but served up in some ridiculously gimmicky packaging (I recently saw a moisturizer packaged in a syringe that you take home and fake-inject, claiming it will work like a dermal filler!); I cringe and want to warn the world not to fall for such absurdity. It actually reminds me of those old-school travelling medicine shows where lotions and potions were peddled by poorly educated “doctors”. “Miracle elixirs” were promoted as the cure for any disease! including smoothing wrinkles! Yes, even back in the 19th century, when we weren’t even living long enough to age that significantly, we were lining up for the promise of youth. Here’s a tip for the people of the 1800 if your “doctor” arrives with a traveling freak-show, question his reputability!!

Thankfully, here in 2016 we know a little more. So here’s my tip for the people of today – choose science, not marketing! Today we know without a shadow of doubt what ages us in the first place, so this is not rocket-science, just standard science.

So what does age our skin and what should we do? Obviously the way in which we age is dictated by time itself and genetics. As a result, we are never going to be able to completely stop or reverse the effects of chronological ageing on our skin. There are, however, a few things we can do to ensure our skin looks amazing well into middle (and old) age.

Firstly, start by avoiding the 3 most damaging things to our skin:

  1. The sun – mitigating this couldn’t be easier, wear sunscreen every day! Done.
  2. Smoking – if number 1 is easy, then this is a no-brainer – don’t smoke! Der.
  3. Alcohol and Sugar – Ok, so even I’m guilty of indulging here from time to time, but the key is MODERATION (and lots of water in between drinks!).

Secondly, and importantly – stop wasting money on skincare that has a pretty bottle but no scientific merit. If, after the age of about 30, your skin care is not medical-grade and scientifically formulated to have an impact at a cellular level, you may as well be using the no-name moisturiser you find at Coles. We all need an at-home regime that includes crucial ingredients like Vitamin A and C, that also helps to accelerate the cell-cycle. The cell-cycle slows dramatically with age, so anything that speeds this up helps to keep the skin looking radiant! Your cosmetic physician should be able to assess your skin, determine what products are best for your individual needs and explain the science behind why these products will work. Don’t be afraid to ask!and if you’re not seeing results, tell them and ask why – because science doesn’t lie.