5 things you should never do to your skin with cosmetic nurse Zena Dammous

5 things you should never do to your skin with cosmetic nurse Zena Dammous

5 things you should never do to your skin with cosmetic nurse Zena Dammous

Beauty routines can be fun and experimental. But there are some things that are non-negotiables and plenty that should be left to the professionals.

Experienced Cosmetic Nurse and Director of Medical Aesthetic in South Melbourne, Zena Dammous, has seen it all when it comes to clients taking beauty matters into their own hands. From mistakes and mishaps to missed opportunities, we tapped into her decades of expertise for your definitive list of things you should never do to your skin.

  1. Pick your pimples

This is a huge one, not only because it introduces bacteria to the area potentially making your break outs worse. But it also leaves the skin red, sore and can lead to scarring.

Instead, a holistic approach that prioritises barrier repair is crucial. Our ethos at Medical Aesthetic has always been to begin by treating the cause not just the presenting symptoms. Acne can have various symptoms and can have many causes. Without addressing the internal causes, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, we simply won’t see long term changes in the skin.

  1. Use actives without seeing a dermal clinician

 Actives should be used as part of a holistic treatment plan that is as individual as you are. No two skins are the same, and just because your friends are using a particular active ingredient doesn’t mean your skin needs it. Without the correct guidance you could be stripping your delicate barrier, which increases dehydration and can lead to an increased risk of inflammation, redness, dry skin, acne, and accelerated ageing.

  1. Skip your SPF

Living in Australia, this is an absolute necessity. Not only does it prevent dangerous skin cancers, UVA and UVB damage is a leading cause of skin ageing. It causes both pigmentation and collagen breakdown that leads to fine lines, wrinkles and loss of laxity in the skin.

  1. Forget your annual skin check!

Something not often spoken about is annual skin checks. We are so lucky to have grown up with the “slip, slop, slap” message in Australia. Unfortunately, most of us still had too much unprotected sun exposure as children. We know that most of the sun damage we have as adults occurred between the ages of 0-7 years old. It’s super important to ensure early detection of any changes in the skin.

  1. Underestimate the power of your lifestyle choices

Sleep, diet, water, exercise, and stress - lifestyle choices are so important for skin health. Aim for 6-8 hours of good quality sleep every night. Eat a balanced diet with fresh leafy greens, proteins, and good fats such as avocado and olive oil and drink 2-3 litres of water per day to flush toxins from the body. Exercise 3-5 times a week; whether it be a Pilates class or brisk walk you will absolutely see a difference in your skin. Best of all, each of these also help the body to regulate cortisol levels and reduce stress.  

How to take care of your skin from home

With your list of what not to do in hand, you can easily curate a thoughtful at-home routine to keep your skin glowing between in clinic appointments or professional treatments.


There are a plethora of skincare products and ingredients available so talking to a professional about your unique skin concerns and condition can be a good place to start. A simple routine should include a good quality cleanser, antioxidants, skin hydrators like hyaluronic acid or glycerine, a moisturiser to lock in hydration and an SPF 50+ used every morning.

Skin supplements

Ingestible beauty plays an important role in caring for your complexion from within. It forms part of a bidirectional approach to health and beauty that sees the best results.

Key ingredients to consider in your skin care supplements include:

  • Hydrolysed Marine Collagen Peptides: A natural anti-ageing powerhouse, sourced from the skin of fish. An abundance of scientific research shows that collagen supports skin's elasticity and hydration, whilst reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An under-appreciated skin care supplement when it comes to optimising skin health. Omegas help to reduce inflammation (particularly in acne and eczema) and maintain the skin's lipid barrier.
  • Vitamins A, C, E and SOD: These potent antioxidants are essential for skin repair and protect against oxidative stress generated from sun and UV exposure.
  • Grapeseed: Grapeseed is extremely rich in antioxidants compounds called proanthocyanidins, which have a wide range of benefits, including enhancing skin health. They can improve blood flow which is important for oxygen and nutrient delivery to all layers of the skin and reduce oxidative stress.

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