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The Truth About Over-The-Counter Products vs Medical-Grade Skincare

What’s the difference between over-the-counter products and buying medical-grade skincare? And are you wasting your money on beautifully packaged products and a great marketing campaign?

Science has shaped the skin industry dramatically over the last 20 years; so much so that the industry I trained in 26 years ago has taken a completely different form.

I believe the most impressive change we can make in the skin is through topical manipulation: the ability to use or replace nutrients in the skin that are readily recognised. Of course it is not enough to apply any form of nutrient to the skin and hope it absorbs, after all, your skin is there for protection. For example, rubbing an orange into your skin is not going to supplement the Vitamin C it needs to be healthy. Unfortunately, the body’s largest organ, the skin, is the last organ to receive the nutrients you eat and is the most vulnerable to the environment.

One of the most remarkable and significant changes in skin care came about around 1998 with the discovery of ‘Chiral Correction’. Every living molecule or cell is ‘Chiral’, some are chirally neutral, but most have a left or right spin. Put simply, this system is to ensure that some things are absorbed by certain cells and some are not.

Our skin cells have something called ‘receptors’ which allow certain substances necessary for healthy cell function, to be recognised and absorbed easily, a sort of recognition system. For a nutrient or substance to absorb effectively it needs to fit the receptor on the cell like a ‘lock and key’ or a hand in glove relationship. If a receptor on the cell has a left or right spin, some of the ingredients in a skin care product will need to match that. If it has the wrong spin the message can be blocked, inaccurate or incomplete. Chiral correction of certain skin care ingredients allows important nutrients to be absorbed effectively and without irritation.

Chiral correction is also used for the same reason in drug manufacture, as specified by the FDA ‘Federal Drug Association’, again for safety and efficacy.  It is an expensive process and therefore will not be used in many brands of skin care, especially those you commonly see in the supermarket or chemist. 

‘Dosage’ or the amount of certain ingredients found in a product is also fundamental to its efficacy. It is an absolute given that ALL skins, whatever type, condition, or genetic predisposition need Vitamin A and antioxidants. Vitamin A comes in many different forms and amounts, an excess or a particular type of Vitamin A or C can cause aggravation or irritation in the skin. Although this is temporary it is something an experienced Medical Skin Therapist will guide you through to eventually increase your levels of Vitamin A and C in the skin for optimum results. For this reason you will not be able to buy a product over the counter that has significant levels of Vitamin A or C: it is absolutely necessary for a professional to diagnose your skin and ascertain when it is appropriate to introduce a product, what forms of vitamin A and C should be prescribed and how much.

Advanced cosmeceuticals (aka medical-grade skincare) that incorporate this science, and the guidance of an experienced Medical Skin Therapist can give you healthy, beautiful skin. It is not enough to use any Vitamin A or antioxidant product and stay on the same one indefinitely, your Medical Skin Therapist will take you on a journey over years to increase and adapt the ingredients they prescribe you to suit your ever changing skin and environment. 

To get on board with your own tailored plan of medical-grade skincare, come and see our Skin Team for an Initial Skin Consultation.

Best wishes,

Skin Team Leader

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Takapuna Car Park

Toka Puia AT Carpark has just opened at 15 Northcroft Street and we recommend this as the closest option. This is Pay by Plate or by app and $1 per hour.

We also suggest parking on Northcroft Street or Anzac Street using AT Pay & Display.

Anzac Street Carpark offers Pay & Display parking as well as monthly parking leases with casual parking from $1.

First 2 hours – $1 per hour
Hours thereafter – $2 per hour

Monday – Saturday 6pm – 8am No Charge
Sunday and Public Holidays- No Charge
Motorcycle and Mobility parking P180 – No Charge

Britomart Car Park

Currently this car park is offering 2 hours' free parking with a receipt of $50 or more from a Britomart store (such as The Face Place). We also recommend using the valet parking option at Britomart Car Park.

The Central Valet drop-off point is located on the corner of Gore and Tyler Streets, opposite Takutai Square. Drive in via the entrance on Gore Street, where you’ll be greeted by a friendly valet concierge. Just leave your engine running, take your ticket and off you go. Cars dropped here will be valet parked for you at Britomart Car Park. You can retrieve your car at any time by taking your valet ticket to Britomart Car Park Reception on the corner of Britomart Place and Scene Lane.

Valet parking is $20* for two hours (includes parking charges) $5 each additional half-hour to a daily maximum of $45 (to midnight). You just drop off your car and pick up a ticket, without the hassle of finding a parking space. It is available from 10am-8pm.