What skincare products really work?

There is so much confusion in the world of skincare products. It’s really hard to sort through the aisle at your local chemist or the counter at David Jones knowing who to believe! But the truth is that some products do work! So it is worth a little effort to try and get to the bottom of what we know about skin care ingredients.

My Story

I changed my career direction when I was 40 years old. I had been in general practice for 15 years by that time. I enjoyed those years but felt it was time for a change. My skin history was not great. When I was in my teens and twenties I was not much different to most Australian girls at the time – I loved the sun! I would diligently roast myself for 10 minutes each side ( so as not to burn – usually!) to get that all important tan! I did start to cover my face as I got older but a lot of damage was already done!

I had always been interested in Dermatology, so it was natural that I look to skin cancer medicine for my new direction. Like a lot of things, you never appreciate how much there is to know about something until you look more closely.

I began my training with a Sydney Cosmetic Surgeon and things grew from there. I am still constantly learning in this growing field of medicine 15 years later! However, the point is that my skin now is actually better than it was 15 years ago. Better tone, texture, more even colour, and brighter. Of course I have followed a wholistic treatment plan including clinic treatments and home care. Everything works together. My program includes quality sunscreens and well researched skin products. If I have a client who wants lasers or injectables but won’t use good home care, we just can’t get the same results.

Ingredients in skincare that really work!

In future Blogs I’ll start to spend some time looking in detail at ingredients that you want to find in good skin products. For today though, I’ll start with listing what the top performers are and briefly what they will do for you.

Niacinamide : This is one of my personal favourites. It helps protect and enhance skin immune function (more studies are being done on the effect of Niacinamide on skin cancer) . It also reduces sensitivity and inflammation, helps normalise melanin production (for maintenance of hyperpigmention ), and regulates sebum production.  (Attention Acne sufferers)!

Vitamin A/Retinoids : These are probably the most prevalent cosmeceuticals on the market.  They act like antioxidants, they stimulate collagen, improve pigmentation and reduce sebocytes (again – Attention Acne sufferers).

Hydroxy Acids ( AHAs and BHAs) : There is still some controversy about the effects of this common ingredient, but it does enhance shedding of dead cells and unclogging of pores (is everything about acne??) making skin smoother and more uniform. It also has an effect on collagen and skin hydration.

Antioxidants : This range of products has been expanding over the years. The original antioxidants were Vitamin A, C and  E. They reduce the free radicals that solar damage can create in the skin, improve pigmentation and also stimulate collagen.

DNA Repair Enzymes : – So, what if we can just fix the DNA the sun damages? What a great idea! Enter DNA Repair enzymes –  a more recent direction for skin repair.

Growth Factor Serums : These are the other new direction in ingredients. There are now some stable safe well studied growth factors available to really kick start your own skins production of collagen and elastin – all the stuff that makes your skin plump and springy! ( Makes much more sense than an apple stem cell cream! Why do humans need the stem cell of an apple? -but I digress!)

Moisturisers : Well sure, even after treating your skin to all these actives, we sometimes need a little more hydration help.

Cleansers : A topic of their own just so we don’t wreck all our good work by stripping our skin when we clean it. And don’t get me started on toners…. but thats all for another day!

Feel free to give me a call at the clinic if you have any questions.

Take care Kathryn


Our approach is centred on personalisation. An initial consultation will ensure we can offer you bespoke, medically-backed guidance around which customised treatments will enable you to achieve long-lasting natural, targeted results, and healthy glowing skin.