How To Choose The Right Skincare – Advice From An Expert

As we know, our skin is the largest organ in the human body and without its protection, we’d die. It’s also very beautiful – and by some estimates, we spend more than USD100 billion annually, hoping to enhance our skin. The problem? Knowing what to choose and why.

We asked Dr Travis Badenhorst of Snowberry skin care, who also happens to be the Vice President of the NZ Society of Cosmetic Chemists, to explain what we, as skincare consumers, should be looking for when we visit our favourite store.

First, he says, we can think about this simple idea – ‘Protect & Refresh.’ ‘Protect,’ refers to what we should be doing from a very young age – keeping what we have in the best possible condition; and that means ensuring the skin is not accidentally degraded. There are many ways we inadvertently degrade our skin and unfortunately, all will contribute to premature skin ageing. Simply, if we don’t protect our skin properly, by the age of thirty it could scream to the world that we’re forty!

And keeping our skin in its youthful and radiant condition, means two things. Taking great care not to remove the natural oils and the invisible film that are essential defenders of healthy skin; and avoiding excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Unfortunately, some of the cleansing and toning products we buy, contain aggressive foaming agents and volatile alcohols that will rapidly strip skin. Says Dr Badenhorst, this will worsen acne and break-outs, and when used at any age, can lead to the skin reddening called chronic, low-level inflammation, which may then become permanent discolouration and rosacea.

So, ‘Protect’, means avoiding the use of any skin care product that can strip the skin of its natural defences. How do you tell? Products that foam vigorously, or that feel cold on the skin, will likely contain foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulphate, or toning agents like isopropyl alcohol that are equally bad. The answer is to choose cleansers using, for example, natural plant surfactants. It was this knowledge, says Dr Badenhorst, that resulted in the creation of Snowberry’s Gentle Cleanse & Tone.

But what about the ‘Refresh,’ of ‘Protect & Refresh?’ After about the age of thirty, he explains, many of the protectors of healthy, radiant skin will start to decline naturally. These are mostly very small proteins called peptides that act as messengers in the skin – telling the skin to produce more collagen and elastin for example; and glycans, which are essential holders of plumping moisture. The huge challenge for skin care scientists, is to find ways to help refresh the skin’s natural production of these peptides and glycans. This is where, he says, we should regard the increasingly common claim of ‘Nature & Science,’ with healthy scepticism, because the science isn’t at all easy.

So, go skin care shopping armed with ‘Protect & Refresh.’ By doing so, Dr Badenhorst says, we have a much better prospect of buying only those products that will truly lead to more radiant skin – at any age.

It took Snowberry five years of research to achieve the world-first breakthrough in anti-ageing skin care that led to the New Radiance Face Serum with CuPEP™ – the only anti-wrinkle serum on earth, invited to be presented to the prestigious 23rd World Congress of Dermatology. More importantly, says Dr Badenhorst, both that and the more advanced Intensive Renewal Face Serum with eProlex®, are proven by gold standard clinical trial – which is the only standard of proof acceptable to dermatologists.


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