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Different types of ingredients need to be considered when tackling skin concerns such as, dry, ageing or mature, oily, acne prone and dull skin.

Being mindful of what is both good for your skin and

what is bad will determine the right product for you.

For example, alcohol in some products can dry out the skin and although collagen is crucial in the ageing process when naturally produced by the body, applied topically, it hardly does anything for anti-ageing, at best it aids in hydration. Rather, what you need is an ingredient that aids in collagen production such as, Retinol or Rosehip oil.

Selecting a skin care product based on its ingredients is a crucial step to aid in the health of one’s skin.

Skincare ingredients to look for:

1. Hyaluronic acid (applied topically)

Suitable for:
  •  All to dry skin types
  • Sensitive and oily skin
  •  The perfect allrounder
Benefits:
  • Hydration
  •  Promotes healthier supple skin, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, redness, dermatitis
  • Has a key role in wound healing due to its antibacterial properties
Tips:
  • Apply after toner and serums
  • Apply with already damp skin so that it retains moisture
  • Hyaluronic acid will not work to its best ability if the face is not damp

2. Rosehip oil (applied topically)

Suitable for:
  • Dry skin
  • Mature skin
Benefits:
  • Boosts naturally occurring collagen to create skin elasticity and firmness
  • Hydrates with the help of fatty acids (linoleic) which strengthen the cell walls of the skin and supports retain water

 A dry not greasy oil, that easily absorbs into the skin

  • Helps reduce scars and fine lines, hyperpigmentation, sun exposure and hormonal changes
  •  High percentages or vitamins A and C (benefits for these shown below)
  •  Boosts naturally occurring collagen levels to help increase skin elasticity and firmness
  •  Full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties (phenols)

Tips:
  • Make sure to keep it out of sunlight and warmer temperatures
  •  Use as the last step of a skincare routine, before bed
  •  If your foundation is to dry often one to two drops of Rosehip oil gives a youthful glow without greasiness, preventing the skin becoming dehydrated from the makeup
Fun fact:

Derived from Rosa Canina – a rose bush from Chile.  It is different from rose oil which comes from rose petals and derives from the pressed fruit and seeds of the plant (Rosa Canina).

3. Caffeine (applied topically)

Suitable for:
  • Red, puffy, and sensitive skin
  • Dark under eye circles
  •  Mature skin
Benefits:
  • Calming (opposite to drinking coffee)
  • Reduces the appearance of dark under eye circles
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Helps reduce the appearance of sunspots and appearance of fine lines
Tips:
  • Keep cool and store in a darkly lit space
Fun Fact:

Coffee grounds can be used as a skin exfoliator or mixed with a little olive oil – an exfoliating mask.

4. Zinc (applied topically)

Suitable for:
  • Acne prone skin types
Benefits:
  •  Helps clear acne-causing bacteria from skin
  • Helps reduce oil production
  • Reduces acne and acne scaring
  • Anti-inflammatory properties helping reduce redness and irritation
  • Can be used to aid other skin conditions such as melasma, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis and eczema
Tips:
  • Spot test first
  •  Use as a serum for best results

5. Vitamin C (applied topically)

Suitable for:
  • Sun damage
  • Mature skin
  • Dull skin
  • Hyperpigmentation
Benefits:
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Helps protect against sun damage
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Brightening
  • Aids in the healing of wounds
  • Creates a barrier against pollution
Tips:

  • Use both morning and night and for best results, after toner and before moisturiser

Do not combine Vitamin C and Retinol (Vitamin A) as it can reduce the other’s effects/neutralise each other

  •  Vitamin C can be found in face wash/cleansers, moisturisers, sunscreen even some powders, if you are the type of person who has no time for an elaborate routine try and use it in combination with something else

 The dryer the skin, the lower the percentage of vitamin C should be used, to solve this dilute in moisturiser

  • If the serum or product starts to change colour (oxidising) throw it away
Fun fact:

Once applied Vitamin C cannot be easily wiped or washed off thus, missing applications will not be too detrimental to overall result. It also works in combination with SPF (not as a replacement) to boost skins protection against the sun.

6. Vitamin A/Retinol  (applied topically)

Suitable for:
  • Mature skin
Benefits:
  • Stimulates the production of new skin cells (creatingnew skin)
  • Can help production of collagen
  • Speeds up the skin turnover process which in turns reduces the signs of wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines and acne
  • Promotes a radiant glow
Tips:
  • Well known for causing irritation at the beginning of use, it is advised to spot test and apply with care(symptom such as, dryness, itchiness, redness and increased sensitivity can occur)

When eased into softly (I.e applied less frequently increasing gradually, less irritation is likely to occur

  • If the above symptoms persist an alternative method would be retinal also called reinaldehyde or bakuchiol which appear to cause less irritation than retinol
Fun fact:

Vitamin A and Retinol are the same thing and has the best scientific evidence of anti-ageing.

Final Notes

Anti-ageing products are often left to too late, from early twenties onwards an anti-ageing ingredient should be implemented into the skincare regime as a form of prevention rather than used to fix the problem.

For oily skin types, it is still necessary to hydrate it. Often the production of excess oil is due to the skin trying to rehydrate itself, thus helping this process should slow down the production of oil. Sometimes choosing products that stop oil adds to the problem, it is better to choose something lightweight and hydrating. However if symptoms are excessive its advised to see a health professional.

 

Accredited Practising Dietitian, founder of and Mum of three, Kate Bullen has gone from A for Additives to Z for Zinc, providing you a guide to keeping your family’s food healthy and nutritional.

 

 

 

Additives – may include preservatives that help keep our food safe to eat, or colours and flavours added to make food tastier and more appealing to eat. Most people don’t react to food additives, but some people do. If you think your child might be reacting to food additives, please speak to an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

Breakfast – it really is the most important meal of the day. Research has shown that children who eat breakfast are more likely to have a healthy diet. Quick and easy breakfasts include a piece of fruit, some toast, a smoothie or a couple of Weetbix with milk.

Calcium – needed for strong bones, which is most important in growing children. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are our best sources of calcium. But, we can also get calcium from other foods including almonds, tahini, salmon and dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and bok choy.

Drinks – the easiest, cheapest and healthiest drink is water, followed by milk. Drinks are important to stop children getting dehydrated – particularly in our hot summer months. Encourage regular drinks of water throughout the day and get children in the habit of having water as their first choice of drink.

Eggs – boiled eggs are our family’s easy meal. My children will have boiled eggs at least once a week – add a bit of salad to the plate, and some toast – and an easy, healthy and tasty meal is ready to eat. Children typically love eggs and they are a good powerhouse food with plenty of protein and other vitamins and minerals.

Fruit – summer fruit is the best! Watermelon, grapes, mangoes, stonefruit – all so tasty and plentiful. Fruit is great for snacks, but also delicious when whizzed up with some milk and yoghurt to make a smoothie, or used in baking muffins. Frozen grapes are an easy fruit to add into the lunchbox – and stay cool till lunch which increases the chances of them being eaten!

 

Genetically Modified Food – relatively new in Australia, and really comes down to personal choice. As yet we don’t know if there are any long term effects of eating genetically modified food. Most foods will be labelled if they contain genetically modified ingredients.

Hunger – does this phrase sound familiar “Mum – I’m hungry”? I hear this many times a day! Sometimes it’s true hunger, sometimes it’s ‘boredom hunger’. Children typically need to eat every two to three hours as they only have little stomachs – so this can be a clue as to whether they are truly hungry. If you don’t think your child is hungry, try re-directing them to another activity until it is time to eat to avoid ‘boredom eating’.

Iron – if you have a teenager at home, you might want to check if they are getting enough iron as the amount of iron they need increases during the teen years. If they don’t get enough iron, anaemia can develop. The best sources of iron are red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, wholegrain breads and cereals.

Junk food – it is almost impossible to completely avoid junk food, but keep it to special occasions. Once a week is occasional, when junk food is eaten every day then you may need to reassess a child’s diet.

Kilojoules – the preferred unit of measuring energy in Australia, abbreviated to kj. Kilojoules are what you will see referred to on food labels. Calories are the alternative measure of energy. One calorie = 4.186 kilojoules.

Legumes – baked beans, chick peas, lentils and kidney beans are all lentils (sometimes also called ‘pulses’). They are a great sources of protein and fibre – try adding some legumes into your next mince dish. Lentils go almost unnoticed by children, so can be a good one to try.

Meat – choose lean meat with very little visible fat. Red meat such as beef and lamb is a great source of iron and zinc.  Eating lean meat a couple of times a week is a great way to make sure your kids get plenty of these nutrients.

Nuts – fantastic sources of protein, fibre and vitamins. Great snacks for older children, although not appropriate for taking to school due to the risk for any children with nut allergies.

Overweight and obesity – current research shows that 23 per cent of primary school aged children are overweight or obese. If you are concerned about your child, speak with your GP and an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

Probiotics – good bacteria to help keep the digestive system healthy.  Most useful to reduce the likelihood of antibiotic-induced diarrhoea. Whenever my children have a dose of antibiotics, I usually get some probiotic yoghurt and milk drinks to have daily for a couple of weeks.

Recipes – involve your children in cooking and planning family meals, and they will be more likely to eat the food. This is a win-win!

Sugar – naturally occurring sugar in fruit and milk is unlikely to be a concern in a child’s diet as they provide other important nutrients. Added sugar in foods (eg. biscuits, cakes) is something to watch out for, as sugar can be easily over-eaten – particularly by children.

Trans Fat – avoid as can increase cholesterol levels. Most often found in processed foods such as biscuits and pastries, fried foods and takeaways.

Underweight – less common than overweight, but can still be cause for concern. If you are worried about the weight of your child, please speak to your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

Vegetables – very few of us eat enough vegetables. Children will typically model their eating from their parents. If there is one change you make to your families eating, then I would strongly encourage it to be eating more vegetables. This is a change you won’t regret!

Whole grains – choose whole grains instead of refined and processed grains to get more fibre and antioxidants.

Zinc – essential for normal growth and development in children. Good sources of zinc include lean meat, chicken, fish, lentils, nuts, seeds and wholegrain cereals.

For more information, head to Kate Bullen’s website www.dietitianonline.com.au