All Things Skin with Yads Cauchi
All Things Skin with Yads Cauchi
[00:00:00] Felicity Cohen: Hello, I’m Felicity Cohen. I’m so excited to introduce you to my Wellness Warriors podcast for over 20 years, I’ve been a passionate advocate for helping thousands of Australians find solutions to treating obesity and health-related complications through surgical intervention and holistic managed care.
My podcast is dedicated to all the people past, present, and future who have helped shape my journey and continue to inspire me to work consistently to achieve a healthier Australia in both adults and future generations. I hope you enjoy it.
Welcome to the Wellness Warriors podcast. Today it’s my absolute pleasure to introduce Yads Cauchi who’s here today speaking from Canberra. Yads is a dermal therapist, but first and foremost, she’s a beauty journalist or a journalist who fell into the space of beauty, and then followed that into dermal therapy, so her area of expertise is everything to do with skin, and it’s such an important part of our overall health and wellbeing. So, first of all, welcome Yads to the podcast.
[00:01:10] Yads Cauchi: Thank you, very excited to be here.
[00:01:13] Felicity Cohen: So firstly, what actually took you down the pathway of falling into dermal therapy and beauty journalism?
[00:01:21] Yads Cauchi: So, I graduated from university when I was maybe 24, and I was writing for a women’s lifestyle magazines, you know, Cosmopolitan Bride, pregnancy, chop chew job doing some stuff with their online space, and I fell into the beauty world. I had never really been interested in beauty. I had always been very health-focused, but to be honest, I cannot even remember cleansing when I was in my early twenties. I remember wearing makeup, but I can’t remember cleansing, and I soon realised when I was interviewing, you know, dermatologists, nutritionists, and experts in their field that were working in the beauty space, how connected your overall health and your skin were.
So I just became obsessed with it, I still am obsessed with it, yeah, I just never really left the beauty space! I think when I started writing about beauty, I just did not wanna write about anything else.
[00:02:18] Felicity Cohen: There are so many skincare products out on the market, and for someone, for example, who like you had no exposure to what cleansing looked like originally, how do you know what’s gonna be right for your skin? How do you sift through all of the media, all of the products out there to work out your skin type and what skin cleansing routine for example is gonna be right for you?
[00:02:40] Yads Cauchi: So as a dermal therapist, I’ll always recommend having a proper skin consultation with a dermal therapist, just so that you have that professional guidance with your skincare routine. I think skincare is one of these areas where people don’t necessarily put a lot of focus into what they’re buying or why they’re buying, and there’s so much marketing and, influences talking about skincare, there are brands talking about skincare, we’ve got different retailers talking about skincare. But I think at the end of the day to get proper, I guess, understanding of your skin, it’s best to talk to a professional who can guide you and then you get to know your skin and they get to know your skin and it’s kind of, you end up working together.
[00:03:28] Felicity Cohen: Okay, great. So is that the traditional recipe of using a cleanser, a toner, or a moisturiser, is that the standard norm? Is that what we should be doing?
[00:03:38] Yads Cauchi: So the basics that make up a skincare routine really are a cleanser, morning and night, a moisturiser just to lock the hydration in and make sure that your skin is hydrated and an SPF. So those are the three products that every single person, male or female needs to have in their skincare routine. Then you’ve got so many other things like toners, you can definitely have a toner. They’ve changed a lot in recent years, so they’re not as stringent and drying as they used to be. There are different toners now, you can get exfoliating toners, you can get hydrating toners, and you can get essences, which are not toners, but can act as a toner. So it can be quite confusing, but for a basic routine, and to start with, I will always say a cleanser, moisturiser, and SPF is what you need to begin a routine with. And then you can look into serums and toners and exfoliants and things like that.
[00:04:31] Felicity Cohen: So let’s just talk about the SPF for a moment, because one of the things that I’m super acutely self-conscious about is sun damage, especially living in Queensland, where there’s such a high incidence of skin cancers, whether they’re melanomas or squamous cell carcinomas, basal cell carcinomas and all of these skin issues that I think it’s so important, firstly, that we get our skin checked annually, no matter how old you are to be very mindful and aware and to protect your skin when you’re out in the sun. Is that one of the things that you talk to your clients about and that you write about in terms of protecting our skin first with an SPF?
[00:05:09] Yads Cauchi: Definitely. I usually don’t start a skincare routine unless, you know, a more in-depth skincare routine, I’d say, unless the client is using a daily SPF, you need to get into the habit of using a daily SPF, and when I say SPF, I’m talking a broad spectrum, a UVA, UVB, SPF 30+. So get into the habit, you know, like brushing your teeth, you wouldn’t leave the house without brushing your teeth, so don’t leave the house without wearing an SPF. It really is the number one product that will tackle a whole range of concerns, and it’s really great from an age management perspective as well. So if you are concerned with ageing you need to be using an SPF every single day before your Vitamin A, before your Vitamin C or any other type of serum, which I know are fun and a lot of people love, but SPF is definitely the number one product that you need in your routine.
There are so many different types now, and there are so many different textures, and they’re not as chalky as they used to be, and don’t leave the white cast, you can get great ones underneath makeup. So I don’t think there’s much of an excuse because the formulas have come so far as well that you can find something that you’ll like, and that you’ll wear every day.
[00:06:23] Felicity Cohen: Love! I love that, and I think it’s really great advice. So let’s just go through the serums. That’s an area that has just become also so vast, you know, do we use Vitamin C for example? You know, that’s probably one of the top things that we hear most discussed is using a Vitamin C serum, and what’s that gonna do for our skin, but then there are all these others. How do you know which serum to use, when, why, and what’s good for us?
[00:06:48] Yads Cauchi: So that takes us back to having a chat with your dermal therapist who can help guide you on whether you do need a Vitamin C serum. It’s a very popular ingredient and it’s a really great ingredient, but it’s not one that everyone can tolerate. So something that I think people should be aware of before they start choosing skincare products to put into their routine is to figure out their skin type and to figure out what their main concerns are with their skincare, you know, If you have age management concerns, if you have pigmentation concerns, if you have acne concerns, your skincare should be tackling those concerns.
Every product in your routine needs to have a purpose. So if you are using things, but not really knowing why you’re using them, then they might not be getting you the results that you’re after. So at the end of the day, we wanna be using the right skincare so that we can get the results that we’re after with the skincare. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a waste of money.
[00:07:42] Felicity Cohen: Absolutely. What do you see as some of the top or most common myths or misconceptions around skincare at the moment?
[00:07:52] Yads Cauchi: Definitely stronger products equal better results. I find a lot of people come into the clinic, I see a lot of impaired skin barriers and people with skin sensitivities or sensitised skin because brands market their products as, you know, we have this, you know, 15% glycolic acid as though it’s the better product and the better choice for you because it’s a higher percentage of acid or higher percentage of an active ingredient when realistically not everyone can tolerate that type of percentage.
They also, it’s the wrong type of, not everyone needs that type of product. So really, it’s finding the right skincare for you, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be really strong. So you need to find the percentage that your skin can tolerate. If you can tolerate it, you need to use the product correctly because when you are using these higher-strength products, you need to make sure that you’re wearing an SPF every single day, so your skin’s protected and it’s not causing any more damage. So I think it’s really important to find the right strength of product for your routine.
[00:08:54] Felicity Cohen: Thank you. I read an article that you wrote about some of the myths and things that you know, that we need to actually really explore, and one of those was around hydration and drinking water doesn’t necessarily equate to improving the hydration of your skin. Can you talk to us about that and what we really need to maintain good hydration for our skin?
[00:09:15] Yads Cauchi: Yeah, so it’s a myth, and firstly, I need to say that I love water, I think everyone should drink water! It’s very important for our overall health. It’s very important for our skin in general, but there is a really common misconception that water hydrates the skin. So I hear a lot of people and I read a lot of interviews with celebrities and influencers who say, “all I do is drink water, I make sure that I drink water”, and yes, that’s going to contribute to your overall skin health, but there’s actually no scientific proof to link that drinking water adequately hydrates the skin.
The skin is actually one of the last organs that water will get distributed to, so I will always say “yes, drink your water”, but make sure if you do have dehydrated or dry skin that you’re using topical hydrating products as well because that is how you’re going to adequately hydrate the skin. So, don’t ditch the water, but you can ditch the myth that drinking water hydrates the skin because it doesn’t, but it is very good for your health.
[00:10:18] Felicity Cohen: Absolutely. No, that’s really important. We’re great advocates for, you know, maintaining really good hydration. It’s so important for so many, so many different functions every single day and for maintaining good wellbeing. So what about using too many products?
[00:10:33] Yads Cauchi: Oh, everyone is using too many products. If you haven’t seen a professional, I feel as though you are probably using too many products, and that’s partly because of marketing. There are lots of really affordable brands now as well, so instead of saving and kind of budgeting for a serum that’s probably better quality or better, I wouldn’t say better quality, but probably a little better formulated. I think a lot of people are just buying more products because they’re cheaper, and I think beauty marketing is a big issue as well. Obviously, I work in the beauty industry, there are so many new beauty products being released every week, you know? So it can be exciting for people to add new products to their routine.
I know I get bored, so I do like to switch my products, but you don’t need to have, you know, a 10-step routine to get the results that you’re after with your skincare. You do need just a really basic routine to make sure that the serums that you’re using are actually targeting your concerns. So, less is more and a simple routine can still get you the results that you’re after!
[00:11:44] Felicity Cohen: Thank you so much. There are so many new treatments available to us now, you know, whether it’s a standard facial that we used to maybe be able to access maybe seasonally, or once a month or something like that years ago. Now there are so many different laser treatments and so much to choose from, how do these all work and how do we know which one is going to be right?
And I have seen that you wrote quite a bit about laser Genesis and that you’re a fan of that as one of the best treatments for using a laser to improve your skin quality. Can you talk me through that a little bit?
[00:12:19] Yads Cauchi: I guess, there are so many different treatments now, and there’s a lot of information online that you can do your own research and try to see what treatments appeal to you. Again, it comes back to choosing a treatment that is probably best prescribed by your clinician because your clinician will know what’s best for you. Laser Genesis is obviously a very popular treatment because it’s a laser treatment that essentially generates collagen and is really good for helping to treat rosacea and vascular conditions, but it isn’t for everyone. Sorry, can I redo that bit!?
[00:12:58] Felicity Cohen: Yeah!
[00:12:59] Yads Cauchi: I would just say, when it comes to skin treatments, you have to work with your clinician because your clinician will know what’s best for you. There are treatments that are really popular at the moment like laser Genesis, you’ve got micro-needling, clear and brilliant lasers, fractal lasers, all of the things. But at the end of the day, you have to figure out what is best for you with your clinician, not everyone is suited to every treatment.
[00:13:23] Felicity Cohen: It’s pretty daunting when you see how many treatments are available out there. So for example, something like a vampire facial, that sounds like the scariest thing on the planet! Laser Genesis, I’ve seen that and I think, you know, that’s possibly something that’s more approachable, but which ones do you really love and why?
[00:13:42] Yads Cauchi: So needling and chemical peels would probably be my two favourite treatments. I feel as though chemical peels have come up really far. They’re not the scary peels that we all remember from Sex in the City when Samantha burned her face-off, I feel like everybody knows that scene! So chemical peels are really great at improving skin tone and texture, and they’re really good for helping with battling pigmentation and ageing concerns. Needling is exactly the same, more so from an age management perspective. What we’re doing is essentially creating micro-wounds in the skin. Your skin thinks it’s in trouble and it starts to rebuild the collagen again, needling is not for everyone. So I really like to tell people, it’s to be wary of where they’re going for treatments, because anyone can be doing a needling treatment, and just to make sure, like, when you are booking in treatment to make sure that you’re looking at people’s credentials because you don’t want to have a bad treatment because, at the end of the day, it’s your face.
[00:14:47] Felicity Cohen: We live in a world where we’re so concerned about anti-ageing, it’s such a big thing for us, and so for many women, especially, or for all people, things like, you know, fillers and anti-ageing type treatments, whether they’re injectables or whatever that looks like, fabulous. But probably better to start thinking about, you know, focusing on looking after your skin first, before approaching all of those types of other treatment modalities. I feel like so many people might go and do all the injectables, but they’re not then looking after the foundation, looking after their skin.
[00:15:23] Yads Cauchi: That’s definitely true, I feel like a lot of people do focus more on the injectable side of things, but I feel like most good injectors will be able to talk to the client about their skin health component of skin care because they work synergistically really. You can’t have injectable treatments without a proper skincare routine or even skin treatments, so they do go hand in hand, they are very popular, and I think you can have both and it’s fine. One of the things I think is that a lot of people that do get injectable treatments and don’t look after their skin, like what I think you need to understand is that injectables won’t fix your skin concerns, that’s what I’m trying to say. I just don’t think that you know, you can get injectable treatments and not look after your skin because your skincare is more important.
[00:16:21] Felicity Cohen: Fabulous. You are actually currently studying nutrition and obviously really focused on health management and, and wellbeing. What do you think are important factors around how we look after ourselves and fuel our bodies that relate to having better quality skin?
[00:16:39] Yads Cauchi: So I do like to look at skin holistically because there are obviously a lot of internal factors that contribute to our overall skin health. Sleep is very important, making sure that you are sleeping. We all know-how, you know, horrid we feel, you know, mom to three kids, I know what it’s like to live life on two hours, three hours sleep, and I know how it can damage the skin and how dull my face looks following a bad night’s sleep. So if that’s something that’s a constant for you, it’s definitely going to contribute to the health of your skin.
Not eating well, obviously. There’s not a lot of scientific proof that links certain foods to skin concerns like acne. But I do believe that the food that you eat contributes to your overall health and the way that your skin looks as well.
And stress is a big one! So stress, everyone for the past two years, three years, however long we’ve been since 2020 in the lockdowns, the job losses, everything, that is really stressful for a normal person, and it’s definitely going to create inflammation in the body and inflammation can create skin issues. So I think having a way to manage your stress levels is really important.
Making sure that you’re sleeping well and eating as well as you can is going to contribute to your overall skin health. And as well as exercise, exercise is really important for the skin too. You know, when we exercise, we sweat, I always feel like post-workout, your skin just looks better, you do have that natural glow. So, making sure that all of those things are ticked off and that you are doing all of those things will ensure that you have healthy skin as well as a healthy body.
[00:18:29] Felicity Cohen: Absolutely, thank you so much. So how do we care for our skin barrier and optimise the skin’s natural condition? What are your top five tips?
[00:18:40] Yads Cauchi: Stop overdoing it with acids, stop overdoing it with the Vitamin A’s, really pull back with your skincare, and make sure that your skin is hydrated. Use a hydrating serum, if you’re dry or dehydrated, making sure that you’ve got the right moisturiser for you, making sure that you’ve got the right cleanser. Really not stripping your skin, at the end of the day our skin needs to be hydrated and protected, and when we’re stripping it back all the time, it’s going to contribute to skin issues, it’s gonna contribute to ageing, it’s gonna contribute to breakouts, and acne, and congestion, and all of the things. So strip it back and focus on hydration, it’s very important.
[00:19:18] Felicity Cohen: What are your top five products that you have in your cupboard as a dermal therapist? What are you using or what are your favourite products for yourself?
[00:19:26] Yads Cauchi: Do you want brand names and products or?
[00:19:29] Felicity Cohen: I would love to know, we wanna know your secrets!
[00:19:31] Yads Cauchi: Everything, okay! Oh God, I have so many, I don’t even know where to begin because they all come through in PR.
So I would definitely say for me, a good SPF is my number one product. I love Aspect hydrating SPF, it is a very hydrating dewy formula. I don’t use a primer with my makeup, I just use an SPF and that’s a really, I think, a good habit for people to get into, thinking of their SPF as a makeup primer. So find one that works really well with your makeup and you’ll wanna use it with your makeup because it means that your makeup works and looks very natural and glowy. So the Aspect hydrating SPF is my number one.
I also, one of my main concerns obviously is age management and pigmentation. So I stock Skin Better Science in the clinic, I love their even tone correcting serum, that’s a tyrosinase inhibiting serum that you can use morning and night. It contains no acids, just tyrosinase inhibiting ingredients, and what I mean by that is tyrosinase is an enzyme that we have in our skin, it is responsible for producing melanin. We need to inhibit that production of melanin when we are dealing with pigmentation. So if pigmentation is a concern for you, definitely have tyrosinase inhibiting serum in your routine. That is my number one pick.
And at nighttime a good Vitamin A obviously from an age management perspective is a really great product as well, as long as you’re using SPF. So I love the Skin Better Science exfoliating serum and I also love Medik8 crystal retinal, now that’s a really, really great product as well.
And in terms of moisturisers, cleanses, and exfoliants, I really stick to my clinical products most of the time now, I do still write about beauty, but at the end of the day I do love the products that I have in the clinic. So as a moisturiser, the PCA collagen hydrator, is really great. I’m based in Canberra, so everyone in Canberra, I usually say 90% of the population here is dehydrated. The PCA collagen skin hydrator is a really good, lush moisturising cream that you can use morning and night, and will protect your skin from dehydration, so it kind of locks the hydration in, and it’s definitely great when you are living in an area where the weather is cooler or that where you are working, where there’s lots of air conditioning or heating and all of those things that suck moisture from the air and from your skin. So definitely that would be my moisturiser.
[00:22:08] Felicity Cohen: Thank you very much, I love your tips, that’s great and super helpful. What about heading into winter? You know, your skin can be so much more dehydrated I guess in the winter months.
[00:22:20] Yads Cauchi: Yeah, make sure that you have a good hyaluronic acid serum in your routine. That is going to help pull moisture from the air and lock hydration to the skin, following that with a moisturiser. I would also invest in a hydrating mask just to have on hand, or something that’s gonna replenish the barrier and, you know, Go-To Skincare has just released their repair shop and it is amazing, it’s such a great product, and it’s a 10-minute mask when your skin’s feeling blah or it’s feeling dehydrated. If you’ve impaired it, for whatever reason and it’s feeling sensitised, pop the mask on and that will help repair your skin. And make sure that the cleanses that you’re using aren’t stripping the skin either. So you want to be using a cleanser that is hydrating and not stripping. So you know that squeaky clean feeling that a lot of people love, that’s actually really bad for the skin. So make sure that you’re using a cleanser that your skin feels clean with, but not stripped. Yeah definitely, , those would be my tips.
[00:23:20] Felicity Cohen: Do you have a specific morning routine? What’s the first thing that you would do for your skin in the morning?
[00:23:25] Yads Cauchi: I always start my morning with a cleanse. I feel like that preps my skin for all my serums. Oh, realistically, I’m thinking about my kids! I wake up before my kids, so I wake up at 5:00 AM because I have three kids, and so if I don’t wake up at 5:00 AM, it’s complete mayhem and I feel like my day just doesn’t go well. I need that hour to myself in the morning, so whether I exercise or whether I work, it’s just my one hour before the kids get up. Then I will have a shower and do my routine. So, you know, I start my morning with a cleanse, make sure that I cleanse my skin so that my face is prepped for my serums. In the morning, I like to use a Vitamin B serum and again, a pigment serum, the vitamin C is a really good ingredient to have in your routine to help your skin protect itself from free radical damage,, it works really well with SPF as well, again, it’s a really great ingredient for pigmentation. So vitamin C, a pigment serum, a moisturiser and SPF. And then I’ll run around with my kids and just cater to all of their demands really like that’s the honest truth! I don’t really have a lot of time to myself, so I tend to do my makeup on the fly, I will do my skincare, but then I’ll do my foundation, or I don’t really wear foundation, but like my makeup base, if I’m wearing like a tinted moisturiser or a CC cream, I will do that in the kitchen, and then I’ll run downstairs and make three different breakfasts that no one will eat, and then I’ll go back upstairs and try and finish doing a little bit more of my makeup, and then take the kids to school, and yeah, it’s wild. My mornings are really chaotic! So it’s that one hour before the kids wake up, that I really treasure. And even, you know, sometimes I’ll do, obviously, I have my clinic at home, so in-clinic here in Canberra, if I have time, I will generally do an L E D light or, I’ll do a treatment on myself in the morning at 5:00 AM before the kids get up, because that’s the only time that I have. Yeah, my mornings used to be much calmer, but they’re not as calm anymore. So that one hour is very sacred to me.
[00:25:40] Felicity Cohen: What’s so good about the LED light? That’s becoming more and more popular. There are these, you know, light studios where you can go and have the LEDs. What’s so good about that?
[00:25:49] Yads Cauchi: It is the best for everyone, that is one treatment that literally every skin type can do. So there are different wavelengths, LED is really good at treating, it depends on the wavelength, so we have, you know, infrared red, blue, yellow. The blue is really good at treating acne, so it kills the acne bacteria in the skin, so if you’ve got acne you go under the blue light, you really only need, I think it’s about, you know, 12 minutes, you know, it’s a very short amount of time that you lay under the LED, and it’s really good for that. Red light stimulates collagen production, it reduces the inflammation in the skin. I always have an LED post-treatment as well because it reduces inflammation, it can actually minimise the downtime of your treatment too, so that’s a really good addition to, you know, any type of treatment. You can also do an LED treatment just to calm inflammation in the skin on its own. And because it has no downtime, you can literally pop in and do it on your lunch break and then go back to work or go back to a Zoom meeting if you’re working from home or whatever, like it is such a really gentle treatment. It gets into the dermis which is the middle layer of the skin, so it stimulates the collagen production there, and it essentially teaches your skin cells how to work. So it’s been my favourite treatment, definitely.
[00:27:14] Felicity Cohen: Love it. So one of my patients is actually someone suffering from eczema and it’s actually caused by food allergies rather than being a skin condition, it’s more a symptom. So what would your approach be to treating a client who has that kind of an issue?
[00:27:32] Yads Cauchi: I’d definitely work in conjunction with a dietician. That would sit outside my scope as a dermal therapist. And a lot of my work, even with people who have hormonal acne and things, you know, I will refer them back to their doctor because skin requires a multi-practitioner approach, sometimes you can’t do everything yourself. And when it comes to nutrition, definitely work with a dietitian or a nutritionist to help treat those concerns.
[00:28:04] Felicity Cohen: Thank you. So, finally, as you’re probably aware, our listeners are all wellness warriors and we know wellness is worth fighting for. Once you lose your health, you spend the rest of your life fighting to get it back, whether that’s physical or mental or spiritual health and something that’s always inspiring to learn about is how others are going on their wellness journey. So my final question to you is, can you share with us a time when you were struggling with your wellness and what did you do to fight it or to regain it?
[00:28:44] Yads Cauchi: Honestly, the only time I’ve ever struggled with my wellness was as a new mom, because I don’t have, or didn’t have the time for myself. And I feel like, with my first baby, I gave everything to my first baby, you know, I put myself on the, I just did not give anything to myself, and I think the more kids you have, it sounds wild, but the more you give to yourself because you need to really. And so now I’m much more conscious of what I need to be a good mom to them. So I have that time, I make sure that I exercise, I make sure that I am eating well, I make sure that I have time away from the kids, which is really important too, I think. And that I’m, you know, at the end of the day, I’m a mom, but I’m also, you know, a dermal therapist, I’m a journalist, I have my work, I have my husband who obviously is like my fourth child, all of the things, I just feel like I, over the years, motherhood has taught me to give back to myself. So you just, need to otherwise the whole house will go under if I go under honestly!
[00:29:54] Felicity Cohen: So true. Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today. It’s been really insightful and I’ve loved having the opportunity to chat with you.
[00:30:01] Yads Cauchi: Thank you.