When the queen of corneotherapy agreed to an interview I nearly died. I couldn’t believe she would even respond to me let alone agree to an interview and it is an honour to have Robyn talk all things skincare, clean beauty and Skinside Out.
Robyn McAlpine has spent 15 years as a corneotherapist and expert skin therapist and has a skin therapy clinic in Newcastle. She is an authority on all things skin and has written a book Skinside Out which I suggest you get yourself a copy – it’s amazing!
- You are known as the best facialist in Newcastle, saving skin one beautiful person at a time. How did you get into your job and what is your favourite part of your job?
After graduating from beauty college, I worked for a couple of salons. Three years later I decided to take the leap and open my own skin clinic called SkintifiX. My business baby turned 11 years old this year and I am so proud of the place my incredible team and I have built.
My most favourite part of my job is seeing clients skin transformed. So many times, the people I meet have been struggling on and off with their skin and have been let down by the beauty industry so when we start working together and work together to address the leading cause of their skin woes, we create real change in their skin. It’s these kinds of results that changes their life because once we eliminate, support or reprogram things, their skin concerns are no longer!
- Congratulations on the launch of your amazing book, a must read for everyone who wants to know about skin. Tell us about the book.
Skinside Out is a book that had been begging my brain to release for many years. It’s the book I wish every woman could have read in her teen years to save so much skin angst. Its everything I need you to know so that you can understand how to better care for your skin without falling for the hype of the beauty industry.
It takes each reader through understanding their skin on such a deep level that they truly can understand why their skin behaves the way that it does and also how perhaps treatments and products they have used in the past, were unable to deliver the results promised. It will save every reader from falling for gimmicky skin products and help them to pare back to basics exactly what their kin needs to be the healthiest it can be, for life!
- You book is called Skinside Out and talks about the impact of gut health on your skin. Why do you think gut health is so important for achieving good skin?
Our gut and skin are so intimately connected. You cannot achieve true skin resolution from skin care alone, it requires a holistic full body overview. Skin reflects every other system within our body and Skinside Out takes its readers through that. Helping them to see that everything that happens in our bodies is connected to our skin. The gut is such an important one as it is the
- What does your skincare routine look like?
My skin care routine is quite simple. Skin as an organ doesn’t need to be over complicated with a cocktail of ingredients. Healthy skin needs the simplicity of great nutrition, hydration and barrier support.
I use an emulsifier free cleansing milk, a lipid rich skin tonic to support my skins barrier and a moisturiser that contains a derma membrane structure to always be creating a healthy skin barrier and supporting my stratum corneum.
Of course, I use active ingredients here and there but I do not use any acids, fragrances or emulsifiers on my skin. I rarely exfoliate (not even monthly) and I wear sunscreen every time I am in the sun.
- What is the biggest mistake you see people making with skincare?
Over cleansing and using too much. Our skin doesn’t need to be squeaky clean and we seem to get caught up in the tight, clean feel of skin that has been over cleansed. This isn’t normal.
Yes, it is important to wash your face at the end of each day, we need to remove pollutants, pathogens and everything else that landed on our skin throughout the day, but we don’t need to be using barrier stripping, skin drying ingredients to achieve this. If your skin feels squeaky clean after you wash your face, you might just be using the wrong product or using too much.
- What are two products you can’t live without?
I never go a day without my Dermaviduals Lotion N. I’ve used this morning and night for the last 10 years. I’ll definitely use it for another 10 more!
For a boost of vitamins and actives into my topical skin care, I use the Dermaviduals Mask with Vitamins. I use it as a wearable night mask 2-3 times per week and I am always so pleased with my skin the following day as it is smooth, plump and really hydrated.
- You just opened a new space in Newcastle, Skintifix. You have a lot going on! What are some ways you look after yourself when life gets a little crazy?
I will be the first to put my hand up and admit I am the worst for selfcare! I’m quite low maintenance and can thrive on very little of it, but that’s nothing to brag about! I underestimate its importance often and only when I am without it do I realise how much I need it!
One selfcare thing I never miss is my nightly skin care routine! No matter how tired, overworked or distracted I can get, I never go to bed without my skin care done!
When I’m pedal to the metal in ‘work mode’, I crave nature time. When I have a lot on my schedule, I always book in time to get outside in nature. It’s been a little tricky to do this year with restrictions but I have also found that looking at pictures of nature and planning future visits to nature has a similar effect. So once travel opens up again, thanks to Pinterest and travel blogs I’ve already got ideas and outlines for some exciting adventures.
- Obviously, we are a fan of clean beauty and think there is a real shift to clean beauty in the industry. What does clean beauty mean to you and how do you think people can incorporate clean beauty into their skincare routine?
To me clean beauty is looking at the ingredients of a product and how it works within our skin. I look for low-tox ingredients always but high on the list for me is working with physiological ingredients. These are ingredients that our skin recognises as similar.
Physiological ingredients are those that mimic our skins already present ingredients like ceramides, phospholipids and fatty acids. These are not foreign to skin therefore are more utilised by our skin without creating an inflammatory response. For example. Fragrance.
Whether natural or synthetic, this ingredient is not naturally found in our skin, therefore it is not physiological. Our cells do not need fragrance. When we apply something that smells nice to our skin, its completely foreign and not metabolised by our skin. My motto if it smells good it’s no good.
- Sometimes all the information about skincare and labels etc can be so confusing. Do you have any advice for someone who is just starting out with a skincare routine and don’t know where to start?
My first piece of advice is to ask why you are wanting to use it. Is it because the beauty industry has told you to? Perhaps a celebrity or influencer is promoting it? Want and need are two very different things with skin care and just because it’s sold at a beauty shop, doesn’t mean it’s good for us. There’s so much sales and marketing in this world and the beauty industry is knees deep in it. Before you start using skin care, talk to a skin expert about whether or not its something your skin actually needs and if it is even going to do what you hope it will. Keeping it simple and not overcomplicating things is what is best for our skin.