Interview: Skin Health Science founders nurses Jess and Sam
I’m really excited to announce the start of a new interview series. Each month I’ll be interviewing a someone from the beauty industry about how they got started, their business and their products. In this series I’ll be highlighting some amazing up and coming Australian brands along with more well-known international players.
This month, I caught up with the nurse entrepreneurs behind Skin Health Science. Both women have worked in cosmetic clinics and have a deep understand about what we’re looking for when it comes to skin care.
What inspired you to start Skin Health Science (SHS)?
Being registered nurses we are very client focused. We like to support patients with evidence based practise, educate them about options available, so they can make educated health care choices. We found that clients would often become non-compliant with the treatment regime due to the multiple creams and serums recommended to them.
Often many would see relapse of their skin conditions and despite having seen multiple people would come to us, for review of their skinconcern. We wanted to try and create long term management of skin conditions as much as possible, to prevent this relapse. Research shows Vitamin A and B in particular are key to this, for most conditions people are faced with such as acne, melasma, rosacea and aging skin.
People are busy and we didn't want clients to spend money on multiple serums if they were unable to follow the regime. We thought if we could just get them on Vitamin A and sunscreen it would be a start. We really wanted to be able to get them onto Vitamin B, particularly with the research becoming available supporting oral forms of B3 helping with harmful changes to the skin cells.
We thought if we could combine all the ingredients in strengths beneficial to the skin then we could get better patient compliance and as much nutrients into the skin as possible in one simple step.
With so many skincare brands and products currently on the market, what makes SHS different?
We combine 3 key active ingredients in our REM serum to levels that would be in one full strength serum. Skin Health Science is bringing skin care back to basics. We are connecting simplicity with cosmeceutical skin care.
When combining multiple ingredients the levels can sometimes be reduced, we wanted to avoid this, so ensured we maintained the levels of the key actives we were able to before patients required prescriptions. We found that better clinical results were achieved at these levels particularly when dealing with more complex skin conditions such as melasma and acne.
Our range keeps it simple, we provide the key ingredients to support the skin for long term skin maintenance. We offer support and guidance by registered nurses for all customers who may have a question about their skin.
We offer advice based on evidence based practice and find that sometimes this requires skin treatments and even referral to a dermatologist. By keeping the range simple we can adapt to the changes in evidence based practice quicker and ensure our patients are receiving the nutrition required by the skin thats supported by not one study but multiple.
Given Australian restrictions on the amount you can use of certain ingredients like AHA’s without a prescription. Was it difficult to find the perfect formulations?
We are studying a masters Nurse Practitioner and utilising what we found through research and our experience as cosmetic nurses we knew exactly what ingredients we needed in our formulations. We needed our formulations to support the skin as a lot of the conditions we see are a result of inflammation from a break in the barrier at some point in the chain.
People tend to do too much to their skins such as over exfoliate etc and this can result in over stimulation of our cell turnover resulting in irritated skin. We wanted to take the concept that the skin is our biggest protecter and can heal and repair remarkably on its own. All we needed to do was to provide the topical support it was unable to absorb from our internal diet.
We did find that some guidelines needed to be more specific and governing bodies have been tricky to get accurate information and gain insightful information about these requirements. We were able to in the end get the information we needed however did find some conflicting information.
Whilst people in Australia were restricted in selling certain over the counter serums, these regulations did not restrict overseas registered companies from selling it into Australia, e.g Azelaic acid is a S2 pharmacy only medication, however companies registered overseas are not regulated and have the ability to promote and sell their product in Australia, despite not being a pharmacy.
Everyday skinmaintenance does not always require a prescription strength. We aim to deliver the highest strength possible without being prescription. We encountered more issues with key ingredients we wanted to use such as Azelaic Acid due to being pharmacy only medicines.
We were able to substitute this ingredient for a powerful peptide called Tetra peptide 30 that enables further benefits of a peptide plus assist in reducing concerns such as acne, melasma and rosacea.
Can you take me through the SHS regime and explain how each product works?
The products work to support and regulate the skin, the key powerhouse is Vitamin A (retinaldehyde 0.5%) , and is what we consider to be the priority in a skincare regime. Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide 10%) helps to reduce redness and inflammation with both A and B helping to inhibit pigmentation and regulate oil production. For these two later key actions, the REM serum is an all in one powerful tool to help target acne and pigmentation. The tetrapeptide 30, works to help pigmentation however is also potent for anti ageing as it triggers the skin to start to produce more collagen. All combined together this is one step at night, with the application of a pea size amount of the REM serum after cleansing in the shower.
Cleansing, we suggest to be guided by what you feel your skin needs, and flaking doesn't always indicate that we need to exfoliate. It could be a sign of over stimulation of which a gentle cleanser would be more suitable with emphasis on moisturising. We have incorporated the activated charcoal cleanser for more oily, congested skin as it incorporates lactic acid which helps to increase cell turnover and activated charcoal which has demonstrated an ability to bind to toxins for removal.
Moisturising helps to prevent trans epidermal water loss however excess use can potentially increase it as it inhibits the bodies ability to regulate shedding of old cells. This will be guided by climate, travel, and changes in lifestyle and preference to light, versus creamy formulations. For day time and night time use for those with oily, congested skin we have the RP moisturiser (Reflect & Protect), this incorporates both zinc oxide and titanium oxide for its reflective ability. Zinc has multiple other properties such as anti-inflammatory making it a perfect topical addition for acne suffers. We see a lot of congested skin and due to the risk of Vitamin C increasing congestion, we have incorporated Kakadu plum, for its powerful antioxidant ability but less incidence of exacerbating congestion in this patient population.
We have provided the option for a light weight however powerfully moisturising solution for night time use. With both high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, peptides and CoQ10, the Barrier Complex is perfect for supporting the skin barrier by preventing trans epidermal water loss and promoting collagen production.