In Conversation with: Dr Katie Le
Dr Katie Le
When it comes to pressing skin concerns, we turn with confidence to RATIONALE’s prodigious network of Dermatologists for their particular brand of guidance and wisdom.
Lending her authority and expertise to the subjects of age-based skincare, reversing solar damage and more, Dr Katie Le answers your questions.
A comment we’re often met with is: ‘I didn’t wear SPF when I was young, so the damage is already done—there’s no point starting now.’ What are your thoughts on this subject?
KL: This is one of my favourite skin myths to dispel. Sun damage, photoageing and the risk of skin cancer are ongoing concerns. Additional sun exposure will only worsen pre-existing damage—so a thorough SPF routine is essential at every life stage. Conversely, good sun protection has the potential to actually reverse damage done in earlier life (especially when used in conjunction with the correct skincare and treatments).
Should your age dictate the kind of skincare you use?
KL: Skin type, rather than age, is the best guide for determining the skincare you should use. Ask yourself—or your Skin Consultant or Dermatologist—if you have sensitive or oily skin, are prone to acne or have rosacea; the answers to these questions will be much more likely to dictate your skincare than your age.
That being said, there are some skincare actives that I recommend to individuals of all ages, such as topical retinoids (present in the RATIONALE’s DNA formulations), and Vitamin B3 (found in Immunologist Serum, UltraCreme and Mask.)
If you stick to the same routine for a long time, does your skin get used to it and become ‘immune’ to the benefits of the formulations?
KL: While it is true of some medications (such as anti-inflammatory steroid creams) that regular use can exhaust the skin’s receptors and lead to reduced effectiveness, when it comes to skincare, it is more likely that regular use will enable the skin to better adapt to the preparation, reducing stinging, tingling and irritation over time.
This is particularly true of the Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (found in RATIONALE’s Catalyst Serum, Cleanser + GelCreme) and Retinoid formulations (such as DNA Night Cream and Serum)—it is not that the products become less effective, your skin has become stronger, healthier and better able to absorb them without issue.
Can dry skin be helped by diet, particularly drinking more water?
KL: While adequate hydration is crucial for good skin, drinking water is not the only answer to alleviating dryness. Usually a barrier issue, dry skin is caused by a deficiency in ceramides, lipids and proteins rather than water alone. Replacing these essential agents through skincare is the answer—and a lipid-rich cream cleanser like ProCeramide Cleanser will deliver the nightly nourishment needed for relieving dry skin.
Besides nourishing your skin topically, are there any other rituals you like to partake in regularly for holistic health and wellbeing?
KL: Tea is an absolute love of mine—I have many varieties! My daily morning ritual is a bowl of matcha green tea, which has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any food. I prepare this in the traditional Japanese way—using a chasen to whisk the matcha powder into a froth. The ritual is always calming, and I find that drinking matcha gives me a calm alertness which helps me in my job.