3 steps to heavenly skin – skin care steps explained

Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)

Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics

Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More

Cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise. Sounds simple, right? All too often we see people making mistakes with their skin care routine that can easily be avoided. Below we delve into the three most common mistakes and misunderstandings when it comes to skin care routines.

1. Is your cleanser doing more harm than good?

Finding the right cleanser for your skin type can be tricky. Whether your skin is oily, dry, sensitive, or acne-prone, your cleanser should remove traces of make-up and dirt without stripping your skin completely of its natural oils. It is possible to wash your face too much. Your skin naturally produces oils to protect it and stripping these away with harsh cleansers just triggers your skin to produce more of it. Makes sense right?

Cleansing tip: Dirty hands mean that you’re trying to cleanse your skin with dirty hands. Wash your hands first, then wash your face.

Click here to view our range of cleansers

2. Chemical exfoliants vs scrubs 

Why should we exfoliate? Exfoliating removes dead skin cells. This improves the texture and appearance of your skin, reduces breakouts and can improve absorption of other skin care products you’re using, in turn giving you better results.


Scrubs often use small pieces of nut shells, natural fibres or microbeads (small pieces of plastic), which are coarse and jagged, even if they’re small. These can damage and irritate your skin and can cause unnecessary irritation and damage to new skin cells resurfacing.

Chemical exfoliants 

Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA’s are acids derived from fruits that have skin rejuvenating properties. They are great for sun damaged, thickened skin because they exfoliate the surface layers of the skin and help skin hold more water, therefore improving the moisture content.

Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works exactly the same as AHAs, by breaking down and exfoliating dead-skin cells but the main difference between them is that Salicylic acid is oil soluble whereas AHAs are water soluble. BHA has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial action and has the ability to penetrate pores filled with oil and debris and exfoliates them. This makes BHA particularly useful for oily, acne-prone skin.

The amount of times you should be exfoliating per week and which type of exfoliant is best for you can be determined with your customised skin analysis here at Victorian Cosmetic Institute.

View our range of exfoliants here

3. Cosmetics vs Cosmeceuticals 

We have all found ourselves at one point or another being completely overwhelmed with the millions of different skin care products, all of which claim to do miracle wonders to our skin.


This is the category that most of us know and use when we don’t know any better. They feel beautiful, most of the time because they are filled with silicone, smell great because they have added fragrance and colour and have a hint of active ingredients, so that they can make claims of being much more beneficial than what they actually are. These products are sold over the counter at retail outlets because they are safe to do so. They are safe because there isn’t much active ingredients in them and not much can go wrong. Beautiful to use but no skin benefit here. Oh, and beware as many of these brands many use high levels of silica, mineral oil, petroleum, parabens, SLS and many other harmful ingredients when in contact with our precious skin.


Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products with active ingredients that help the skin change the way it behaves. Whilst they may look and feel like a cosmetic they tend to have the nasties removed. They contain the right amount of active ingredients that can make a visible skin difference. Cosmeceutical treatments are indulgent and relaxing without compromising on results.

Be aware that some cosmeceuticals contain active ingredients that are added topically to the skin, as a result of this your skin could react negatively if not the product is not properly applied. It is best you seek proper advice and instructions from a Skin Therapist.

At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, our Cosmetic Doctors, Cosmetic Nurses and Skin Therapists specialise in the treatment of all skin conditions. We have at hand a variety of prescription and non-prescription skin care products, as well as a number of treatments that can help in the treatment of particular skin conditions.

Call 1300 863 824 to book your 60 minute thorough skin analysis with one of our Skin Therapists.