At Elle, our Skin Specialists are equipped with the very best knowledge and technologies to target a host of skin concerns. We begin with a free of charge Gen 7 VISIA Skin Analysis and a consultation to evaluate your current concerns and assess your skin health.
Skincare is a highly personal service, and we develop individualised treatment protocols for each client, taking into account your skin, your goals and your skincare philosophy. We have an extensive range of services, including in-clinic treatments and home skincare, using award-winning skincare products and therapies, such as AlumierMD, Environ, CACI Synergy & OxyGeneo.
> Redness & Sensitivity
Skin aging results from biological changes in the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.
In the epidermis, barrier function is reduced causing an increase in water loss, skin cell turnover slows and there are pigment production changes causing dryness and an uneven skin tone.
In the dermis, collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid levels decrease leading to reduced firmness, elasticity and hydration. This results in fine lines, wrinkles, and decreased skin tone.
Hypodermis aging is marked by the loss of fat in the face, which leads to decreased fullness, sagging skin and wrinkles.
Intrinsic aging, known as natural or chronological aging, normally begins in our mid-20s and is determined by genetics.
Extrinsic aging accounts for up to 90% of skin aging and is largely controllable. The most common causes are:
Sun exposure – the major cause, often referred to as Photoaging
Pollution and environmental stressors
Lifestyle choices, such as smoking and alcohol consumption
Pigmentation is the natural color of a person’s skin and it is related to melanin production. Melanin protects skin cells and their DNA by absorbing the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UVR). Hyperpigmentation occurs when excess melanin causes a darkened appearance to the skin in either small or large areas. Darker skin types, in general, are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation than lighter skin types because their skin naturally contains more melanin.
Hyperpigmentation Types and Triggers:
1) UV induced: freckles, age spots and uneven skin tone caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays (UVR), whether from the sun or tanning beds.
2) Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): skin that has been subjected to inflammation due to trauma, acne or irritation (eg. fragrances). Inflammation stimulates Langerhans (immune) cells, which alter the activity of melanocytes (skin cells), increasing pigment production.
3) Melasma (chloasma): symmetrical patches most often on the cheeks, chin, upper lip and forehead. A hormonal condition related to pregnancy, birth control, menopause or hormone replacement therapy.
Hyperpigmentation can become darker as the skin cells move closer to the surface. This point is important because, with many treatments, hyperpigmentation can darken in appearance before fading.
Dry & Dehydrated
Dry skin is characterized by a lack of moisture and natural oils in the epidermis and can cause scaling, itching and fine lines. Dryness is usually related to a skin barrier issue that allows excess moisture to escape. This issue is referred to as increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
The main causes of dry skin are:
1) Winter weather: Cold temperatures and low humidity can dehydrate skin.
2) Aging: Hormone levels change as we age, leading to a decrease in sebum (oil) production and an increase in TEWL.
3) Genetics: Some individuals produce less sebum, causing them to have drier skin than others.
4) Hot showers: The longer you stay in the steamy shower, the more you dry out your skin. Five-minute is an ideal length of time.
5) Excessive exposure to water and harsh soaps: Frequent washing robs skin of moisture and many soaps strip skin of its natural oils.
6) The sun: Unprotected UV ray exposure disrupts the skin’s ability to balance moisture levels.
Dehydrated skin, also caused by a lack of moisture, is not a skin type but a condition - even oily and combination skin can be dehydrated. It occurs when the protective uppermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, becomes dehydrated. Some of the signs of dehydrated skin to look out for are itchy skin, dullness, dark circles under the eyes and the increased appearance of wrinkles.
Oily Skin & Large Pores
Sebum (oil) is produced to protect our skin, by making it waterproof and preventing it from becoming dry. Oil is produced in the glands, moves through the lining of each pore and then coats the skin’s surface. The overproduction of sebum (oil) is associated with large pores, a noticeable shine to the skin and a greasy feel. If the oil mixes with dead skin cells in the pore, it causes clogging and swelling leading to blackheads and acne. Genetics and hormones play a key role in how much oil our skin produces.
Large pores can also be a result of an aging skin. The production of collagen and elastin decreases with age and a loss of elasticity makes the pores appear larger. Gender and genetics are also factors. Men generally have larger pores than women, although hormonal fluctuations in females may contribute to enlarged pores.
Acne & Acne Scars
Acne is the most common skin disorder, affecting almost 85% of people at some point in their lives. Acne is a skin condition that consists of comedones, papules, pustules, and cysts. It develops on areas of the body that contain a lot of sebaceous glands (oil) glands like the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders, usually beginning (and is most common) in puberty, but many adults also develop the condition.
Acne is caused by three major factors:
1) Blockage of hair follicles (pores) by dead skin cells
2) Overproduction of sebum
3) Proliferation of P. acnes bacteria and consequent inflammation
Comedones occur when a plug of sebum and dead skin cells can be seen inside a follicle (pore), but does not cause any inflammation or redness.
Blackheads: If the plug enlarges and stretches the pore, it is referred to as a blackhead. It is not trapped dirt - the dark color is a build-up of oxidized oil.
Whiteheads: When a thin cover of skin traps the plug, it prevents the oil from oxidizing. This keeps it white and creates a whitehead.
Acne plugs put pressure on the follicular wall, which can cause it to break, spreading the contents to the surrounding skin. When your immune system responds to this bacteria and sebum, inflammatory acne occurs. The degree of inflammation determines the size and redness of an acne lesion.
Papules: Pink or red bumps without a white or yellow centre.
Pustules: Red bumps with a white/ yellow pus centre. When the plug inside a pore traps bacteria, white blood cells are drawn to the area to fight infection. Pus is made up of dead white blood cells.
Cysts and nodules: Larger often painful) lesions that extend into the deeper skin layers. They can last for months, destroy the follicle and lead to scarring.
Redness & Sensitivity
Skin Sensitivity occurs when the skin’s lipid barrier is impaired, leading to dryness and irritation. Causes of this include:
Skin disorders like eczema or rosacea.
Overly dry skin due to a compromised hydrolipid barrier.
Overexposure to irritants like wind, sun and harsh topical ingredients.
When the skin is over-sensitised, it has a heightened intolerance to everyday irritants such as temperature, exercise, products, food, sun, stress and medication. Since the lipid barrier is compromised and unable to properly protect the skin, the body sends blood to the areas as a defense mechanism. Blood brings red blood cells for oxygen and white blood cells for immunity to try and correct the effect of these aggressors. However, it also brings heat, redness and inflammation. You may also experience bumps and discomfort. If this occurs often enough, blood vessels just under the skin become dilated and the redness will be more permanent. As a result, the skin becomes even more vulnerable to daily aggressors and Rosacea may develop. Rosacea is a medical condition that can worsen over time if left untreated.
Classification of Rosacea:
Subtype 1: Characterized by flushing and persistent redness, and may also include visible vessels.
Subtype 2: Characterized by persistent redness with transient bumps and pimples.
Subtype 3: Characterized by skin thickening, often seen on the nose.
Subtype 4: Characterized by dry eyes, tearing and burning, swollen eyelids, recurrent styes and potential loss of vision from corneal damage.