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The gut biome and how it impacts your skin

Anyone who has met The Sharp Aesthetic Clinics’ dermal therapist Diane Lehto will know what we mean when we say she is enthusiastic and passionate about holistic skin health! In this article, she explains her own experience with gut health, skin conditions and wellbeing. To learn more about Diane’s unique approach to looking and feeling great, book a complimentary consult with her in our Brisbane or Ipswich clinics. Microbiome. Gut health. Good Bacteria. Bad bacteria. When did this all start? I don’t even recall exactly when I first heard about it, but I think the father of medicine, Hippocrates was onto something here! Nobody was talking about maintaining a healthy gut environment or microbiome when I was growing up. Flash forward to 2020, isn’t it ironic that it is now as ubiquitous as seeing fast food ads on television? My microbiome journey began when I experienced a terrible bout of gastritis. It was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever been through; it was painful and it was a big wake-up call for my own dietary habits. I must admit, my diet wasn’t the best at that time; I was always highly stressed, was always getting sick, had terrible, lacklustre skin and breakouts. I always felt tired and I couldn’t understand why. After being assessed, I was handed a FODMAP dietary eating plan, and prescribed medication that was designed to help decrease the amount of acid my gut was producing, while allowing it to heal. I left the hospital feeling a bit lost. I felt like I didn’t know enough, and nobody really explained what causes these issues. I...

Optimal Ageing: 5 skin tips to get your glow on at any age

After 12 years in the dermal science field, skin therapist Diane Lehto believes that having beautiful healthy glowing skin starts from the inside out; taking care of the mind and body through good nutrition, and using good quality skin care products to help maintain a gorgeous glow. She shares her top 5 tips for healthy, glowing skin all year round… We know how great our skin looks after we’ve had some much-needed time out. For me, usually a good exfoliation, a relaxing facial and rejuvenating mask does the trick; my skin looks healthy and has a nice glow. It’s amazing what good skin can do for your confidence. You feel brand new again. There are many reasons why our skin suffers from time to time, and there are moments where we may wonder why our skin can be looking dull - even though we think we may be doing all the right things! Our body is very clever and it lets us know if something is not quite right. But many of us fail to act upon these cues. If our car starts to splutter and malfunction, we put it in for a service to make sure it’s mechanically working well, right? The same should go for our bodies! However, unlike a car, our body and skin is a living thing; everything works synergistically to keep us healthy - and our organs functioning the way they should. Unhealthy skin is often a sign of what’s going on inside our bodies. Our skin is the body’s largest organ, and we have our body for our whole life, so it makes total sense...

Our top four melasma treatments

Melasma is a type of skin pigmentation, related to sun exposure and hormones. It occurs more frequently in women (often after pregnancy), but can also be seen in men. It is experienced by patients of all skin types, with most common location on the cheeks, upper lip, chest/neck and forehead. Due to our high sun exposure levels in Queensland, melasma is one of the most common skin condition complaints we see in our clinics. We have developed a range of scientifically proven therapies to effectively treat this persistent skin concern. Skin therapist Diane Lehto explains our treatment options below: 1. Sun protectionPrevention is always best, so sunscreen and sun protection are the most important aspects of our approach to keeping melasma under control. Daily sunscreen use is imperative, all year round in Australia. We recommend SPF50 and above.  View our range of high quality sunscreen products here. For those who like a quick two-in-one solution, we love our Synergie Mineral Whip makeup. 2. Microneedling with platelet rich plasma (PRP)If you are prone to melasma, even with great sun protection unfortunately you’re still likely to see it pop up, especially after hormonal changes or a summer holiday. Dermapen microneedling is a quick and easy way to exfoliate the superficial layer of the skin and stimulate healthy skin growth. We often combine Dermapen with PRP for a boost of collagen and to address fine lines and poor skin condition. 3. Fraxel laser therapyFraxel laser therapy is used to resurface the skin and peel the abnormal skin off so it can be replaced by normal non-sundamaged skin. If you have recurrent melasma, it might...

Facial Ageing Series: Upper Face Ageing

The signs of ageing are often caused by invisible changes beneath the skin’s surface. Anti-wrinkle injections can reduce fine lines and deep furrows in the upper facial area by relaxing the muscles underneath, while dermal fillers can restore lost volume. The aim is to create a relaxed look - not frozen or puffy! SKIN Lines appear on the forehead, between the brows and around the eyes, causing frown lines and crows feet - and a sagging appearance that can give a tired, worn look. Prolonged sun exposure causes pigmented age spots to appear, while skin around the eyes can become darker in colour and start to ‘hollow’. Wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, laser therapy and the right combination of active skincare ingredients can address these concerns. MUSCLE Repeated muscle action from expressions like smiling or being angry causes wrinkles to appear around the forehead between the brows and around the eyes. These wrinkles can then deepen and become more permanent - they are called ‘static’ lines, and can be softened through the use of cosmetic wrinkle injections. Likewise, as we age, we loose muscle tone in our face, which changes the shape and firmness; this can be replaced by dermal filler. FAT PADS The smooth, full curves that give our face a healthy, vital appearance are largely due to fat pads under our skin, which shrink and move south as we age. Diminishing fat pads cause a reduction in facial volume and the hydrated appearance of our skin. As a result, it also creates hollowing around the forehead, eyes and temples, giving a ‘sunken’ look. Dermal fillers restore lost fat,...

Tips for healthy winter skin

Queensland winters are typically mild, and although our skin does not suffer the extreme cold of other climates, winter can still leave us with dry, unhappy skin. As we move into the warmer months, Dr Sharp and our dermal clinician Deborah have 4 tips for restoring a luminous complexion, ready for summer… 1. Resurface During winter you may notice the evidence of last summer’s sun exposure coming through, with sun spots and pigmentation. Resurfacing the skin by removing its upper layers through Fraxel laser has a dual effect, both lifting off old, pigmented skin and precancerous skin growths (actinic or solar keratosis) while stimulating fresh healthy skin growth and collagen production. Fraxel laser is a safe and effective way of reducing discolouration, in addition to targeting fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment takes about 45 minutes and requires strict sun protection in the days following as the old skin flakes off, and the new skin is revealed, making the pre-summer months an ideal time to undertake this treatment. 2. Regenerate Fractionated treatments - which utilise laser or micro needling technology to strategically penetrate the skin - creates microscopic columns of safe trauma. The body’s natural response to this trauma is to produce collagen; something our body reduces its production of as we enter our 30’s. Collagen levels deplete from this time onwards, contributing to the formation of lines, wrinkles, a thin or lacklustre appearance. By stimulating new skin growth and collagen production, fine lines are reduced and a healthy, luminous complexion is restored. Fraxel and Dermapen can also be effective treatments for acne scarring and congested skin. The effects...

New research suggested makeup helps fight skin cancer + signs of ageing

New research from the Australasian College of Dermatologists suggests that cosmeceuticals - or functional coloured cosmetics - such as foundation, eyeshadow and lipstick are the second most important anti ageing products to use after sunscreen. ACD dermatologist Dr Phillip Artemi said some makeup products offer benefits that are more than just aesthetic – reducing the incidence of skin cancer, especially around the eye. “We now know that it isn’t just solar radiation such as UVB and UVA that is bad for the skin,” he said at the ACD’s Annual Scientific Meeting this month. “The sun also emits infrared radiation and visible light, which can lead to damage resulting in dull skin, wrinkles and unsightly pigmentation. “Pollution, too, has been shown to cause wrinkles and skin ageing and, with increased urbanisation, traffic pollution is set to become a major skin toxin.” Due to properties such as SPF ingredients, pigments and reflectors of solar radiation, functional coloured cosmetics can offer protection against the ageing - and cancer causing - impact of sun exposure. But Dr Artemi said lipgloss provided little protection, suggesting that coloured, long lasting lipsticks afforded better protection. He said that while sunscreens go a long way to helping prevent sun damage, “we now advise that functional coloured cosmetics should be added to the long-standing advice in order to further reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing as well as protecting against the increasing danger of air pollution”. PRAHS Cosmetic and Rejuvenation Clinics dermal clinician Deborah Seib-Daniell recommends a daily routine of cleansing, then applying an antioxidant-rich serum, moisturiser and SPF 50 sunscreen – after which functional cosmetics such as foundations,...

What is actinic or ‘solar’ keratosis?

An actinic keratosis (AK) is also known as a ‘solar’ keratosis. It has the appearance of a crusty, scaly growth and is caused by  damage to the skin from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation; something we see a lot of in Queensland! Can it cause skin cancer? Actinic keratosis is considered a pre cancer because if  it’s left alone it may develop into a skin cancer, most often the second most common form of the disease, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). What causes solar keratosis? Sun exposure! Queensland has the dubious title of the ‘skin cancer capital of the world’, having the highest rates of skin cancer thanks to our high year-round UV levels, outdoor lifestyle and the predominance of people with light skin colour in our population. The most common type of precancerous skin lesion, actinic keratosis appear on skin that has been regularly exposed to the sun or artificial sources of UV light, such as tanning machines. Where does actinic keratosis form on the body? They most frequently appear on exposed areas such as the face and body, including the scalp, ears, shoulders, neck, arms and back of hands. They can also appear on the shin, ankles and feet. Which skin types are more likely to develop solar keratosis? People who have fair complexions are more prone to AKs than are people with medium or dark skin. What does solar keratosis look like? They are often elevated, rough in texture and resemble warts or scabs. They often become red, and can range in colour from  light or dark beige, white or pink. They can also change colour. In...
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