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Retinaldehyde – The Retinal You Need

Retinaldehyde - The Retinal You Need

Retinaldehyde is my preferred choice of Retinal in the clinic because of the vast benefits it has in the skin. There’s no disputing the benefits of Retinol but I’ve been watching for years, not entirely convinced. Mostly because I have never liked the side effects, redness, sun sensitively and thinning of the skin, all things, in my professional opinion do not contribute to building healthy skin.

The Science

In the body, we convert Beta Carotene into Retinol, Retinol into Retinaldehyde, and Retinaldehyde into Retinoic Acid, a very detailed process! All of these Vitamin A derivatives serve an important job to the skin but the strongest, most active form is Retinoic Acid. Retinoic Acid is the only ingredient that requires a prescription even though Retinaldehyde has a similar activity level. Both Retinaldehyde and Retinoic acid are 500 times more active than their Vitamin A counterparts! This means you can use small amounts that give big results without irritating the skin.

The advantage of using Retinaldehyde is that smaller amounts (with much higher activity levels) can be used very effectively when incorporated into a liposome. By doing this, the penetration is enhanced (an important factor in the use of Retinols because of their size) and helps prevent oxidation, which also occurs with all Retinols.  This means, your skin’s absorption rate is increased by a clinically proven 600%! So using a less irritating form of Retinol delivered with a liposome gives much bigger results without the irritation. When I learnt this was the Osmosis way, I knew it was something I could get on board with.

Retinaldehyde is so important to treating skin conditions from acne to texture to ageing. Because it is the better Retinol, it is safe for everyone to use, even pregnant women. In the clinic I am stocking a couple of the Osmosis Retinaldehyde serums.

Which serum is right for you?

Calm is the Osmosis level 2 serum, with a lower percentage of Retinaldehyde to better suit all skins and the ultra sensitive. You can still get the wonderful cell turnover benefits of Vitamin A without any irritation. This serum is perfect for someone starting on a Retinol serum for the first time.

Clarify is the Osmosis Level 4 Retinal serum. Kick acne’s butt with this clearing, anti-aging, healing serum. The perfect balance of Vitamin A to scare acne right off your face all while keeping your youthful, healthy glow. Perfect for very oily and acne skins that want to advance their acne treatment.

Osmosis is a green cosmecutical brand new to the clinic. I chose Osmosis because it has a completely natural formulation while using the best available active cosmecutical ingredients. Using higher quality actives like Retinaldehyde we are able to give our customers the results they’re looking for without compromising the skin and causing inflammation (Inflammation is the kryptonite of healthy skin, making us age faster, read more here). This is the perfect cosmecutical brand for people already using cosmecuticals and wanting a more natural option, clients wanting to try something a bit stronger and for clients with stubborn skin conditions we want to heal faster. 

Also introducing our new Osmosis Pure Infusion Medifacial, a Retinaldehyde infusion treatment suitable for most skin types to give amazing results in the skin.

Book the new Osmosis Pure Infusion Medifacial!

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Inflamm-aging is the newest buzzword going around beauty. But what the heck does that mean? Have I finally applied one too many enzymes to my face and gone mad?! Not yet…

Inflamm-aging refers to low-grade inflammation in the skin. This can be triggered by internal health conditions or external factors on the skin.

Internal inflammatory conditions can be food and gut related, it can often present as Rosacea in the most extreme conditions. But low-grade inflammation can also play a part in sensitive skin and histamine responses. Some of the worst cases of stress in clients have actually triggered a histamine response. I often find people who suffer auto immune conditions are effected the most by histamine in the skin at times during stress and auto immune flare ups.  Histamine response presents as red inflammation or hives on the surface of the skin, most of the time in these cases only a topical steroid will help bring it down effectively.

Topical inflammation is often caused by environmental or cosmetic reasons. We can do our best to protect our skin from UV damage and environmental pollution with physical sunscreen and antioxidant rich products. Keeping the skin clean is also essential, making sure we are washing off all that makeup and pollution thoroughly at the end of the day can be key to reducing inflamm-aging.

Then we have cosmetic inflammation. I have a lot to say about this. Products and treatments that are very harsh on the skin like cheaper, harsh cosmecuticals, peels, lasers and microdermabrasion all trigger an inflammation response in your skin.

Seriously, put down the retinol/AHA daily combo.

If you are constantly blasting your skin to ‘get better results’ you will end up doing the opposite to it and eventually that smooth, plump look will degrade into a red-hot mess. This will age you faster. I know it’s difficult to pull back in the age of instant gratification but trust me; you want to be thinking about a long-term approach to your skin. My skin motto ‘building healthy skin for life’ means taking care of your skin, nourishing it and not peeling it within an inch of its life.

The best way to avoid inflamm-aging is to look after yourself from the inside out. Try a beauty powder like Vita-Sol to give you plenty of prebiotic gut health. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and healthy fats. Cut out sugars and preservatives. Get a great antioxidant rich skincare routine. One of our favourite brands is Eminence Organic Skincare as it’s packed full of rich antioxidants that will nourish, not strip your skin.

If you feel like you’ve been a bit over enthusiastic on the skincare and treatments come in and talk to us about how you can build up healthy, strong skin again. We love helping you build healthy skin for life.

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Gua Sha vs Jade Rolling

Gua Sha vs Jade Rolling

In the clinic we offer both Gua Sha and Jade Rolling. Both have become hugely popular, but many clients ask me what the difference is.

First though lets talk about Jade. Jade is what Gua Sha and Jade Rollers are traditionally made of. The benefits of Jade include cooling, brightening and the ability to draw out toxins in the skin. I’m aware there are other quartz versions but lets stick with Jade for now. Like anything the benefits of the product come down to quality. You can buy a $20 Jade product and a $80 Jade product, and there’s usually good reason for this. Genuine Chinese Jade costs money, if you’re looking at a $20 version it’s probably not real Jade. You will only get the benefits touted of Jade if you’re using the genuine stuff. So you’re $20 Jade or rose quartz roller probably feels nice but the benefits will be minimal. Back to the benefits of each modality.

Jade Rolling

This treatment was the first to gain popularity, promising detoxed glowing skin. Usually the rollers are are smooth of both sides and one side is smaller to get around the delicate smaller eye area. The main benefits for rollers is the lymphatic drainage. The Jade itself can have some cooling and brightening effects as well. Although the effects are often less than Gua Sha.

The roller I use in the clinic has spikes on one end and the other is smooth. I always use the roller over a hydrating sheet mask which helps the serum deeply infuse into the skin ‘drenching’ the skin in hydration. Perfect before long flights. The spiky end helps to stimulate collagen and the smooth end gives you some lymphatic drainage. To maximize results I like to follow up with micro-current.

Jade Roller treatments include our Peptide Sheet Mask and Jade Vita-Renewal Facial.

Gua Sha

Gua Sha has a much greater effect on the skin for smoothing out fine lines, inflammation and ‘lifting’ the skin. The genuine Chinese Jade that I use in the clinic also has a brightening effect.

It can help calm and even out your complexion, and make it noticeably less puffy, defining your cheekbones, jawline, and brows. The massaging movement (known traditionally as ‘scraping’ ) and jade properties can enhance circulation, de-puff the eye area, and improve skin elasticity. Facial Glow Sha promotes lymphatic drainage and detoxifying, promoting a hydrated and tight complexion.

From my experience in the clinic I believe Gua Sha gives a greater result for facial contouring, especially when combined with an elecronic modality like Micro current because the electric current enhances the effect of the Gua Sha giving you some serious lift.

Gua Sha facial treatments in the are Gua Sha + Microcurrent Facial and Express Gua Sha Lift + Facial Massage.

If you have any questions about our facial treatments our friendly staff can help to answer them via our Contact Form.

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Probiotics in skincare

Probiotics in skincare

Probiotics, more than just a buzzword or this weeks hot ingredient. Probiotics have been steadily seeping into our skincare for years now. Some brands are solely based on them and some brands bring out certain products with the feature ingredient.

So what are probiotics in skincare and how do they work?

Just like our gut our skin is a living organism, which contains microbiome that needs balancing and taking care of. Probiotics help to balance this microbiome out making the skin function better, which solves all kinds of skin conditions from aging to acne.

Do they work?

Yes! Probiotics yield great results in the skin, especially from a function point of view. So if your skin is barrier impaired or stressed they can heal the skin for better function. They also help support collagen and elastin in the skin giving skin a plump glow.

Are there different types of probiotcs?

Just like with the products we ingest topical probiotics are also slightly different species.

LaFlore uses two types of probiotics Bifida Ferment Lysate and Saccharomyces Lysate Extract to neutralize surface bacteria, reduce redness and help support collagen and elastin production. LaFlore’s patent-pending technology delivers a diverse matrix of touch-activated live, pre, pro and post-biotics that strengthen and improve the skin’s microbiome and provide time-released actives for increased immune support and optimally healthy skin.

Roccoco uses Lactobacillus probiotics in their Globiotic Serum to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and is anti-inflammatory. This serum enhances skin brightness, radiance and repair. The live probiotics is encapsulated to protect it and for sustained release with delivery to the skin.

Amperna* uses an active probiotic complex, Lactococcus ferment lysate. The probiotic complex infused within Amperna products supports the skin barrier, helping to protect you from aggressions such as environmental pollutants, keep your immune system in check and reduce inflammation. Amperna products deliver good bacteria to your skin gently and effectively. In short, Amperna products create the perfect conditions for your skin to shine. Furthermore, as the probiotics break down on skin’s surface, they create amazing new ingredients for skin, such as hyaluronic acid, peptides and vitamins, as well as increasing the presence of ceramides. *coming soon

Overall probiotics are a new development in skincare that are becoming more and more essential to skin health. Got questions? Fill in our contact form or get in touch via Instagram for all your skin questions answered.

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Active Ingredients

active ingredients

When it comes to successful skincare, it all comes down the active ingredients. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. I choose professional brands in the clinic because those brands have been formulated with the correct percentage of actives to have not just an effect on the skin, but also take care of the skin, nourish and reduce inflammation. Taking care of the skin all comes down to reducing inflammation at the end of the day. So bare in mind ‘stronger’ is not better.

Deciphering Active Ingredients

Active ingredients are not created equal. The average consumer does not realize there is more than one version of ingredients. The most basic example is Vitamin C. For example you have L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl phosphate and kakadu plum (to name just a few). These are three vastly different versions but still Vitamin C. So when a client says to me ‘oh I have a Vitamin C serum already’ I always ask which one and explain the difference of the ingredient I am prescribing.

Trying to navigate this minefield of active ingredients as a consumer is almost impossible unless you have a degree in cosmetic chemistry and about a decade’s experience. Its not as simple as ‘going natural’ and looking out for a few choice ingredients. As a skin therapist it’s my job to match the correct products with the correct ingredients to your skin condition. If, as a consumer, you feel like you need to know more about how a product is formulated in detail, you will need to speak to the company directly. Because salons only on-sell products and (most) don’t make our own we can only help so far with deciphering every preservative and ingredient. When consumers want to know details about formulation for natural and/or environmental reasons they really need to speak to the brand and the formulator. Not because the therapist doesn’t know enough, but because we didn’t make the product and it’s not our job to know beyond active ingredients and reading labels to identify anything that might trigger a clients allergies. For example I have clients allergic to lavender and some preservatives.

Key Tips

When it comes to choosing the right active ingredients for your skin I would always recommend getting professional advice (just because your friend is using a 1% retinol serum, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you). But if you want a quick guide here’s my advice:

Serums are where it’s at. If you need to correct a skin condition or add more water hydration (which is pretty much everyone) you need to be using a serum under your moisturiser. A moisturiser alone just doesn’t cut it.

  • For on trend skincare, and a healthy glow you need probiotics.
  • To simply age well make sure your day cream has spf 30.

Overall make sure your skincare is nourishing and hydrating enough. Hydrated skin functions and heals better. This applies to acne and oily skin as well.

Expert Advice

If you’re confused about what you need I am always happy to have a chat in the clinic and direct you to the correct products that you need. You don’t need to book a facial to talk about skincare and the correct active ingredients for you.

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Vitamin C Explained

Vitamin C Explained

Everyone has heard of Vitamin C, but what you may not know is that there are many different versions available. Not all Vitamin C is created equally and the differences can be synthetic, natural and everything in between.

Quite often I’ll recommend a Vitamin C to a client and they quickly reply ‘oh I have one already’. I guarantee they would be nothing alike, especially if they are an over the counter product that hasn’t been professionally formulated. Different C’s treat different skin conditions; also the formula that the C is in could be totally different to the next. For example the Organic Spa C serum also has Black Kohosh in the formula, which helps to control monthly hormonal acne breakouts.

Breaking It Down

There are dozens of different Vitamin C’s out there. Here are the most commonly used that we stock in the clinic.

AA2G – a very stable version that doesn’t actually turn into Vitamin C until it hits the skin. That means no oxidization in the jar! Which is amazing for lifespan. It’s optimal effectiveness for UV damage repair; protection from pollution and brightening is at 2%. Found in Organic Spa Vitamin C Serum.

Vitamin C Explained

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate – A stable water soluble Vitamin C that brightens skin. Much more stable than just Acorbic Acid. A natural skin saver from UV damage it helps with sun induced premature aging. It’s also  badass natural acne killer, at just 1% concentration (yes, 1%) it has strong antimicrobial effects against acne for 8 hours! This is why it’s found in the Roccoco Clarifying C Serum because it fights acne while fading old acne spots.

Vitamin C Explained

Kakadu Plum – this plant based Vitamin C has gotten a lot of attention lately for it’s potent natural properties. Indigenous to Australia Kakadu Plum contains 50% more Vitamin C naturally than Oranges. Not only does it help repair UV damage and fight acne like other versions it’s also incredibly soothing. Containing gallic acid (a natural anti-inflammatory), this botanical ingredient helps to reduce redness, inflammation and irritation. Used in Divine Woman Gel Serum for deeply hydration that soothes sensitive skin.

Vitamin C Explained

These are just a few examples, as you can see there are many high quality versions of Vitamin C available. In the plant world there are many more fruits that offer natural antioxidant protection. Each contains their own unique antioxidant acids that treat different skin conditions. Next time you’re looking for ‘Vitamin C Serum’ look a bit deeper, ask which version of Vitamin C it contains and their benefits to your skin.

In The Salon

In the salon the best professional Vitamin C treatments we offer are the Eminence Fire and Ice Facial and the Jade Vita Renewal Facial packed full of Matcha!

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Exfoliation – how to do it right

Exfoliation – how to do it right

There are lots of different methods and ideas on how best to do exfoliation in the market. So how do you know which is best for you? It all comes down to skin type and condition, as well as some personal preference.

So what are your options when choosing an exfoliant? First of all knowing your skin type is key; these days most people are pretty savvy and know if you’re oily/acne or dry/sensitive. There are two main methods of exfoliation, manual and chemical. When we say chemical we mean alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or enzymes, which are usually plant based. These chemical exfoliations sit on the skin like a mask and gently dissolve away dead skin cells as opposed to scrubs, which manually buff dead skin away.

Manual Scrubs

Popular ingredients in manual buffers are ground nuts like apricots and other buffers like argan, rice and olive seed. These are often in a cream or gel base, sometimes with clays included to help ‘mop up’ excess oil in the skin. Some manual scrubs can be left on like a mask to let the clay absorb and treat the skin further. Also sometimes manual scrubs have additional alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) in them to assist with further cell turnover when left on the skin for an additional few minutes. These two in one manual and chemical exfoliators are great value for money as you are getting a little ‘extra’ treatment of the skin. My favourite are Eminence Strawberry and Rhubarb Dermafoliant and Divine Woman Exfoliating Cream.

Exfoliation – how to do it right
Exfoliation – how to do it right

Chemical Exfoliation

In my professional opinion I feel like these exfoliantors are the best. They are fruit acid based with either the above-mentioned AHAs or enzyme. AHAs break down the glue between your cells and work on the surface of the skin to help lift away old cells that are ready to come away from the skin. You don’t need a high percentage of AHAs to achieve this as they only work on the surface and you shouldn’t be red and irritated. Enzymes work deeper in the skin and they digest dead cells and debris as they work in the skin. Sort of like pac man for your skin. You can get a better result with enzymes when you are very oily and congested as they generally are less irritating on the surface of the skin and clean better. Giving a better result, especially for acne skin. Two very effective chemical exfolaints are the Eminence Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System and Eminence Yam & Pumpkin Enzyme Peel.

Exfoliation – how to do it right
Exfoliation – how to do it right

Leave on Exfoliation

These are relatively new products that are very effective and gaining popularity. They can come in forms of pre-soaked pads, essences, creams and concentrates. The most common ingredients in these products are lactic acid and willowbark (a natural salicylic acid) both are more gentle but effective as a leave on product. Some of our favourites are Roccoco Purifying Essence, Eminence Mangosteen Concentrate and Organic Spa Night Renewal Treatment.

Exfoliation – how to do it right
Exfoliation – how to do it right
Exfoliation – how to do it right

How often should I be performing an exfoliation on my skin?

Generally once, maybe twice a week is enough for most people. But this will vary, if you’re very sensitive and fine skin, use a very gentle chemical exfoliation once every two weeks or so. For more oily and acne skins you can exfoliate around 3 times a week, especially if the skin is going through a purge. The Roccoco Sulfur Mask is an ideal treatment for disrupted skins because it not only contains effective enzymes but also lots of anti-inflammatory ingredients to calm the skin.

Exfoliation – how to do it right

Getting advice from a professional is always going be the quickest way to choosing the right product for your skin, but following this guide gives you a great head start.

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The Power Of Touch

The Power Of Touch

One of the most import things human beings need is touch. Touch is vital to our health and well-being, and even increases our longevity.

Touch achieves three main things for humans. Because physical touch, like a hug, makes us feel good it also inspires trust and positive thinking. These feeling are essential if you are receiving a treatment from a therapist to make you comfortable and enjoy your treatment. Touch reduces anxiety and stress, which is a major factor, in having a beauty treatment. A lot of clients need not just results for their skin but also the ability to relax and switch off. There are not a lot of facial treatments that achieve both well. The long-term benefit of touch is lower blood pressure and even a boost to the immune system. Basically touch equals relaxed, healthy, happy humans.

So how do we achieve all of this in just a one hour treatment? Facials have gone through a phase with shopping mall style in and out clinics popping up everywhere and introducing the express slap on a peel and leave style treatment. Or just come in for a laser rejuvenation quick session. These treatments can be as short as 15mins and marketed as an essential quick fix. Somewhere along the way we lost track of longer more in depth care and treatments.

sometimes as a therapist I feel like I could just do a cleanse and massage a face with sorbolene cream and the clients will get off the bed toned and glowing

In most cases I feel like massage is essential in all facial treatments. Even if you’re having a treatment for acne skin, which can’t be massaged, at the very least an arm and shoulder massage can make all the difference to the client’s well being. For those clients coming in for more facial rejuvenating treatments massaging the face in the correct way makes ALL the difference. Honestly sometimes as a therapist I feel like I could just do a cleanse and massage a face with sorbolene cream and the clients will get off the bed toned and glowing. That is the power of touch and massage and how essential it is to facial treatments.

I often talk about ‘building healthy skin for life’ and massage in a facial treatment is the clinic version of that. We want juicy, healthy, glowing plump skin. Not traumatized, stressed thin skin. So how do we achieve the healthiest skin possible? Firstly I don’t over exfoliate, I have a few different grades of enzyme based professional exfoliators I use in the clinic and that’s it. No dermaplaning, microdermabrasion or strong alpha hydroxy acids. Depending on the skins needs I might do more cleaning with galvanic or a mask, or even do a micro current lift for toning ageing skin. Then I always do an infusion with the sonophoresis spatula to feed the skin and replenish what we may have taken away. I finish treatments with the facial massage. This gives all the gel based serums and masks the ability to infuse into clean skin before we feed the skin with a hydrating creamy mask while we massage and work those muscle to achieve that toned glow.

Think about your last facial treatment, did you get off the bed and say wow? Were you still glowing a week later? Great organic products and professional touch are essential to glowing, healthy skin.

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Treating Rosacea

Treating Rosacea

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea can be a tricky skin condition to diagnose and treat. The fact is no one knows the exact cause of rosacea and it’s thought to be different from person to person. Our only ideas on where it originates is from the gut and can also be linked to autoimmune disease.

Typically rosacea will appear as a red rash across the cheeks and nose, known as a ‘butterfly’ rash. It can however, also just appear in the early stages on the cheeks. The flushing can be so severe capillaries are visible on the surface and the redness can also have sore papules appear. These are not typically acne; they are actually an overgrowth of the dermadex mite on our skin. Everyone has these mites, but in a rosacea skin will have a population explosion and the burrowing of the mites causes papules or water blisters to appear. Getting these mites under control should also be part of every rosacea treatment to stop the itching and papules forming.

How Do We Treat Rosacea?

As the skin is hot and inflamed treatments need to be focused around soothing and cooling facials. Aggressive peels and microdermabrasion should NOT be performed on a roasacea skin, as it will further aggravate the delicate skin. Our protective layer (the acid mantle) is already in a delicate state and needs repairing and nurturing. In the clinic we use gentle enzymes to give a light exfoliation followed by a chrysanthemum and rose alginate mask to soothe and cool.

What Should I Use At Home?

Home care is just as important. Foaming cleansers, Vitamin A serums and glycolic acid based products can be very aggravating to rosacea skin. At the clinic we recommend Roccoco Botanicals for our rosacea clients as they have specially formulated products to treat the condition. Roccoco Botanicals are a herbal-based skincare system that use powerful herbs to address what’s going on in the skin. For rosacea you need to give these products a minimum of eight weeks to see the calming at it’s most effective level. These herbal powerhouses cool and calm the skin causing the capillary network to settle back into the skin and also kill the over population of dermadex mites to sooth itching.

Ideally homecare for rosacea includes Soothing Cleansing Oil, Reactive Skin Serum, Radiance (in the morning) and Reactive Intensive Cream (in the evening). This system has been proven to work on rosacea skins to improve the condition.

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Zilch Acne

Zilch Acne

Popular Acne Supplement

Cult acne treatment Zilch Acne is probably the most popular acne supplement on the market today. Honestly I can’t keep it on the shelf in the clinic these days. I’ve noticed an interesting trend though; people are just purchasing it or popping in to get their bottles and don’t seem very interested in talking about topical skincare. It’s almost like this mentality of  ‘popping a pill’ will fix everything. Zilch Acne is extremely successful as an internal treatment so it’s perfectly understandable that when it clears your skin you’re totally happy with it and don’t need to bother with expensive skincare routines. I totally get it! BUT what if in 6 months your acne comes back? What’s the answer? More pills? Possibly, but what are you putting on your skin every day? The reality is most products are comedogenic to acne skin. If you’ve suffered from acne your whole life the reality is you need to be on specialized skincare, or it will be a struggle to get clear and stay clear.

Getting It Right

In the clinic I have learnt so much about acne in the past 18 months, I’m a constant student of skincare. I’ve researched, gone to courses and bought in specialized products that not only treat acne but also stop you from breaking out in the future. This ranges from everything from skincare to makeup. When you’re treating acne topically it will take up to 6 months to clear all the micro comedones from your skin. Used in combination with a supplement like Zilch Acne the clearing process can be accelerated. If anyone else is making promises for quicker results they’re probably fibbing or just trying to sell you something. Clear skin is a journey, and when done properly can yield excellent results that leaves you with the best skin of your life.  I encourage everyone to stick with the journey, through the purges, the ups and downs to clear skin. Clearing skin is a journey and these things take time. Quick fixes don’t apply to this tricky skin condition.

Topical Acne Care

Our preferred ranges for acne in the clinic are Roccoco Botanicals skincare, Adorn mineral makeup and Zilch Acne supplement. These three powerhouse brands yield excellent results that get our clients clear and keep them clear.

If you have any questions about your skin we always encourage contact with the clinic for a free no obligation chat. Giving everyone clear skin is our passion and mission!