All about Sensitive Skin

Published in Peninsula Living February 2015


Sensitive skin is extremely common with around 50% of the population experiencing some form of skin sensitivity and it tends to occur mostly among women, says Gina Gatford – Founder of AbsoluteSkin and qualified Beauty Therapist.

Many people perceive their skin to be sensitive, however, a true sensitive skin is a generic trait whereby people are born with delicate and sensitive skin and are usually allergy prone.

Not many people are born with a true sensitive skin but many have a sensitised skin, brought on by environmental and lifestyle factors. Anyone can develop a sensitised skin regardless of skin type and age.

Characteristics of a sensitive skin:

  • Red and blotchy
  • Tightness after washing
  • Prone to blushing, itching and stinging
  • May have dry skin
  • Dilated capillaries across the cheeks and nose
  • Small red bumps

Regardless of the classification of skin sensitivity, the underlying thread is skin inflammation due to a breakdown of the skin’s protective barrier. This means that the skin has lost its protective layer of oils and lipids allowing unwanted agents to penetrate the skin, causing inflammation and irritation. The loss of this barrier also means that moisture is not being retained in the skin. One or many of the following can cause the breakdown in the skin’s protective layer:

  • Climate: especially wind, heat and air conditioning
  • A diet low in essential fatty acids and high in processed foods
  • High consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
  • Stress
  • Incorrect skin care product selection. Using products not specifically designed for your skin type can lead to an impaired barrier
  • Over use of exfoliating products. Whilst we love that “squeaky clean” feeling – the overuse of exfoliants, chemical peels or retinol products can cause a breakdown in the skin’s barrier resulting in sensitised skin.
  • Skin care products that contain parabens, artificial fragrances and colours or cleansers that contain Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulphates can also strip the skin of its protective barrier.

The good news is that sensitised skin can be treated. It needs to be strengthened, rebuilt and then protected. Going back to basics with a simple skincare routine to gradually strengthen and rebuild the skin is the best way to go. The skin is the largest organ and has an amazing ability to repair itself.

Look for products that are designed for sensitive skin; that are fragrance free, gentle and free of any harsh chemicals. Eliminate exfoliating products until such time that your skin has improved and signs of sensitivity have reduced. Use moisture rich creams that hydrate, reduce redness and inflammation as well as daily use of a sunscreen (specifically recommended for sensitive skins) to complete your skin routine. A sensitive skin needs moisture, comfort, soothing and nurturing.

If you have sensitive skin, it is best you seek advise from a qualified skin therapist who can discuss your skin, your lifestyle and then recommend ways and appropriate skincare to help overcome all the symptoms associated with having a sensitive skin.

A few lifestyle tips:

  • Avoid overuse of exfoliating products
  • Eat a diet rich in essential fatty acids to help combat inflammation. Foods rich in essential fatty acids are: oily fish, nuts, flax seeds, avocado
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Exercise regularly to stimulate blood flow and nutrient supply to the skin
  • Be careful of hot or spicy foods, which can aggravate the skin.
  • Never use hot water when cleansing, lukewarm water is always recommended.


About Face by Gina Gatford

Published in Peninsula Living October 2015


A facial mask is a great addition to your skin care regime. Gina Gatford explains the three most popular.

Cream masks

Cream masks have a nourishing, creamy texture. They provide the skin with lots of moisture, oil and nutrients and have a plumping, moisturising and rejuvenating effect. Your skin will feel softer and smoother after application.

For an added boost of radiance, look for a cream mask that contains glycolic or lactic acid as these have a smoothing effect and will liven up the skin whilst the mask goes to work on moisturising your face.

Clay based masks

Clay based masks typically contain Kaolin, a soft natural clay. Kaolin is very effective at absorbing excess oil and drawing impurities from the skin without leaving it feeling dry. Clay masks are very effective at deep cleaning the pores, preventing and clearing up blackheads.

The mask goes on as a thick cream texture and takes around 5 minutes to harden and dry. It’s best removed by using a wet facial cleansing cloth.

Clay based masks are recommended for combination, oily skins and for those prone to breakouts, blackheads and acne.

Gel masks

Gel masks have a beautiful, cool, calming and soothing effect on the skin. They are usually oil –free and beneficial for oily, combination, and dehydrated skins. They are a great choice where the goal is to add water to the skin. A dehydrated skin typically feels very tight due to the lack of water content and the gel mask will replace the lost water resulting in glowing and more hydrated skin.

Because of their naturally cold temperature, gel masks are also good for soothing sensitive skin conditions and will leave irritated skin feeling calm and comfortable.

The array of masks doesn’t stop here. There are masks for skin concerns from firming to lightening and even radiance benefits. It’s always best to choose your mask based on what you want to achieve with your skin today. If you need guidance on the best mask for you, ask your professional beauty therapist.

How to use a facial mask:

  • Always read and follow the instructions on the product.
  • Apply the mask evenly, using either your fingers or a mask brush.
  • Leave on for the recommended time.
  • Remove the mask either by rinsing off or using a damp facial cloth.

Follow with your usual skin care regime.

Skin Exfoliation – Uncovering the real you

Exfoliation Blog Image

Exfoliation. A word we’ve all heard before. We associate it with that “squeaky clean” feeling. But what does it really mean & why is it important?

Regular exfoliation is a necessary step in achieving healthy skin. Simply, it’s the process of removing the layer of dead skin cells from the outermost layer of the skin. Removing this outer layer of dull, dead cells encourages the regeneration of new cells. It gives your skin a glowing appearance and improves its feel, texture and health – all good things we want for our skins!

So now we know how important exfoliation is – which exfoliant to choose?

Exfoliants fall into three basic categories:

  • Enzyme
  • Chemical
  • Mechanical


Enzymes are the newest group of exfoliants and work by breaking down the keratin protein of dead skin cells. They effectively dissolve your unwanted skin cells without the need to scrub. Enzyme exfoliants are applied to the skin without any rubbing and are left on to gently remove and dissolve the skin cells. They are a good choice for anyone with sensitive skin or rosacea. Exfoliants like Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant or Skinstitut Enzymatic Micro Peel are a good choice if you have sensitive skin .


Chemical exfoliators use acids like alpha-hydroxy acid (AHAs – glycolic and lactic acids) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs – salicylic acid) to help weaken and dissolve dead skin cells and their bonds. They also work at a deeper level of the skin – encouraging cell renewal, so your skin heals faster and more effectively. Chemical exfoliators with AHA’s are a popular choice for dry, mature or sun damaged skin, where as BHA’s have the added benefit of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making them a good choice for those with oily, acne prone skin.

If these are your concerns, some good places to start are asap’s Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub and Skinstitut’s Glycolic Scrub 14%.


These products are designed to physically clean your skins pores and scrub away unwanted dead skin cells. Ingredients include small particles or grainy ingredients like corn meal (found in Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub), flowers (Kosmea Daily Facial Exfoliant), oats, rice or beads. They suit skins that perhaps don’t require or prefer a chemical exfoliant.

With all these options, the right exfoliator to achieve happy, healthy skin is available for everyone. If you need advice, call or email Leanne, AbsoluteSkin’s Beauty Therapist on 1300 334 683 or She can guide you through the exfoliants to suit your skin, so you achieve the results you want.

Happy exfoliating!

Acne Treatment Tips

Aughhh Acne

Do you remember what it was like to be a teen ager and wanting to grow up and be an adult as soon as possible? It is a confusing time thats for sure. If you have a teenager or are a teenager yourself you will know all about the hormonal imbalances that are happening in this stage of life – the crazy mood swings, pimples and broken skin. Let us help you with a few things to assist is dealing with acne. 90% of adolescents suffer from acne so know that you are not alone.

What is Acne

Acne is a result from the action of hormones on the skins sebaceous glands because of the release of sebum that empties onto the skins surface. This causes a mixture of the oil and allows bacteria that lives on the skin to grow in the follicle. When this starts to happen the pores become clogged with oil and pimples develop.

What NOT to do

– Please don’t scrub your skin. It is a myth that acne is caused by dirt but this is not true as we explained above. Harsh scrubbing will only irritator your skin and it also makes irritated scrub to produce more oil and that just leads to more acne, can you see this never ending cycle?

– Picking and squeezing pimples is wrong and is a very hard habit to break. If you touch or squeeze your pimples and then touch other parts of your face you are just transferring bacteria. This bad habit also contributes to acne scaring.

How to manage Acne, sometimes with a few simple measures acne can visible improve. However it can also be very persistent if so please see a dermatologist. Below are a few tips that may help you or your child with combatting acne.
– Always keep your skin clean. Wash your face twice a day, making sure you wash it before going to bed. Use a cleanser made for acne prone skin. When you use a scrub, try and use a mild one and make sure you are gentle.

– Keep your skin moisturised and hydrated. Also try using a toner helps control secretion of sebum.

– Always use a sunscreen and avoid tanning and being in direct sun. Acne prone skin is generally more sensitive than the other skin type.

– Make sure that your diet is rich in vegetables and fruits. A healthy diet translates to healthy skin and body

– Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night

– Learn to handle stress well. Stress is known to make an acne condition worse.

– Regular workouts do wonders to acne prone skin. The pores of the skin are open during a workout, the sweat flushes out all the dirt and bacteria

– Do not touch your skin unnecessarily

– Always clean the items that touch your face – mobile phone, earphones all these items carry bacteria from your hands and other services to your face.

– Be more diligent in washing your hands.

We have a few great ranges that assist in acne and skin care for teens. If you need any further guidance give our friendly beauty therapists a call and we can help you further.

Post shower routine TLC

There are some routines in our lives that have become so, routine that we go through them as if on autopilot for example brushing our teeth, washing our face, etc. Our post-showering rituals would probably fall into this category, as we are all so busy with life that getting dry and clothed as the basic priorities after shower time.

At Absolute Skin we feel it is our duty to inform of you that it is important to maintain a good post-shower routine. Here are some post-shower rituals you should be implementing.

ultimate showr
1. Moisturizing

Did you know that hot water and steam can leave your skin super dry after showering. Stay diligent and keep your skin supple and hydrated by moisturizing from head to toe as soon as you jump out of the shower. Make sure that you are using a moisturisor that is right for your skin type.

2. Pat Your Skin Dry

Sometimes you need to need to dry off fast and hop into some warm, clean clothes and rush off somewhere. But try not to rough towel dry as is not very good for your skin. Rubbing can exacerbate dry and sensitive skin. So try and be gentle when drying off, I promise it won’t take much more time but your skin will thank you.
3. It is the best time to apply your Serums

After a steamy shower, the pores in your body are open, allowing for better absorption of skincare products. This is the perfect time to give your beautiful face some love by applying your skin-saving serums and oils.

4. Apply leave-In conditioner

Are you haphazardly throwing your unbrushed, wet hair into a tangled bun when its wet? This could be contributing to those split ends. Take a few minutes and spritz your post-shower hair with a nourishing leave-in conditioner or detangler and comb through it with a wide-toothed comb.

5. Cut your nails

This is the best time to cut your hands and toe nails as your nails are softer from the water and heat. This makes them easier to cut and file. Make sure when you are applying moisturiser that you ensure that you are extending to your hands and feet as we often forget about these areas.
When it comes to your beauty rituals make sure that you are just giving your body the time and tlc it deserves. Happy showering!

10 tips for beauty sleep

We all have a night time beauty routine. Mine is fairly basic, I make sure my face is clean and put on moisturiser. However as I am getting older I feel like more should be happening whilst I am sleeping each night. Here are some overnight beauty rituals to add to ensure you are getting the best out of your beauty sleep.


1. Don’t forget your hands and feet. Apply a moisture rich hand creme to your hands and feet, cover your feet with socks to lock in the moisture.

2. Wake up with kissable lips by using a replenishing lip creme to them before sleeping.

3. Moistures your clean face to ensure your face is rejuvenated overnight, massage it into your face as you lie down in a relaxing manor. It will help you feel relaxed before you drift off to sleep.

4. Your nails need moisture too, use coconut oil or cuticle oil into your nails as it will help strengthen and grow them.

5. Eyebrows and eyelashes don’t forget to moisturise them as they need to be nourished as well to help them grown. Simply use a little coconut oil and massage in.

6. Your hair needs love too, massage some vitamin e or coconut oil into the ends and place in a loose plait. You will wake you to smoother ends.

7. Sleep on satin for beauty. When you sleep on a satin pillow cases it reduces fruition and helps prevent frizzy hair. It is also great for your skin as it reduces stress on your skin so you won’t wake up with sleep lines on your face.

8. Apply body creme to your whole body concentration on elbows and knees as these are the driest parts of your body and need the most attention.

9. Eye care don’t ever forget your eyes, just before you close them give them some love. Gently apply your eye creme and close your eyes and drift to sleep knowing you will wake up glowing.

10. The best thing you can do to ensure you wake up beautiful is get enough sleep around 8 hours is recommended. Sweetest dreams xo ZZzzzzz

Wash your face

Wash your face 

ok something that we all do well should be doing every day is washing our face from dirt grime and everyday pollutants as well as any makeup on our skin. So how is the best way to wash your face? Here are some expert tips.

face wash babe

1. Ensure that the water you are using is not to hot or cold. If you do it can cause capillaries to be purmanently broken leaving your skin red and sensitised.

2. Make sure that you are using a cleanser that is not drying out your skin. See or speak to a skin care specialist who can guide you in the right facial cleanser for your skin type

3. Use correct technique. Use your fingertips and gently massage the cleanse into your skin using small circular movements. This ensures that all dirt and makeup are removed from the skin and also stimulates circulation.

4. Don’t just slap it on and wipe it off, spend at least 45 seconds to a minuet spending more time on your T zone where there is the likely hood of oil build up. Finish the process with rinsing the face with cold water to close the pores

5 Make sure that you cleanse morning and night and for the cleanest and best skin do a double cleanse as this will make sure that your skin is clean right deep into the pores.

A few more tips
– finish with a toner as this will help balance your skins pH
– Dont rush take the time to let the products work on your skin and make sure you don’t miss any areas.
Check out our great range of cleansers here.