Cosmetic physician and founder of Australia’s Heber Davis Clinic and skin care brand Ultraceuticals talks to Stephanie Darling about what inspires him, in his uniquely scientific way.
Q When did you develop your first product and what was it?
A My first product was Ultraceuticals C10 Serum developed in 1998.
Q What is your hero product to date and why?
A My hero product to date is Ultra Brightening Serum. This is because for years there has been a need in the medical and beauty community for an alternative skin lightener to hydroquinone, which has issues about irritation and toxicity. Globally, most doctors would prescribe a cream containing hydroquinone 4% and tretinoin (vitamin A acid) 0.05% to treat hyperpigmentation. No one had ever published or presented a trial, to my knowledge, with a product which visibly improved skin hyperpigmentation as well as prescription strength hydroquinone combined with tretinoin until I did at the 2103 Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Non-Surgical Symposium Meeting in 2013.
Q Living in Australia, what is the greatest ageing factor and how can we fight against it?
A Without a doubt UV exposure is the greatest ageing factor. A few minutes UV exposure repeated frequently over years leads to obvious skin ageing that would not occur otherwise. The skin of adults from Scandinavian countries, on average, looks younger than ours at a given age. It is simply overcome by daily application of a SPF30+ or SPF50+ Broad Spectrum sunscreen daily.
Q How does men and women’s skin-ageing differ?
A The manifestations of skin ageing don’t differ significantly between men and women until the menopause. Oestrogen has numerous effects on the skin, such as maintaining hydration and collagen, and it’s loss leads to accelerated wrinkling and dryness that men don’t experience in such a well-defined time period.
Q What is your skin care routine?
A I am frequently trialling new products in the development stages. However, I apply Ultra MD A2 Serum daily. I don’t have much hyperpigmentation but I use Ultra Diminish Serum intermittently.
Q What’s the next big thing on the skin care horizon?
A For Ultraceuticals and Ultra MD it is new products that we have shown to reduce facial redness due to photoageing and rosacea to a remarkable degree. We have seen such consistent, obvious improvement in facial redness with these products that we will be launching them later this year.
Q Do you test all the products on your own skin?
A Yes. I participate in the product development process at Ultraceuticals. We test and retest all trial products on our staff with detailed questionnaires until we think they are right. Then we test them on external consumers, using detailed written questionnaire evaluations and 3 month’s trial with before and after photos for treatment products.
Q What is your favourite men’s fragrance and why?
A I don’t use men’s fragrances. Years ago I did. I inadvertently had traces of it on when I went to a yoga class. Another person in the class complained to the teacher about it, who asked me not to wear it again in front of the whole class. Embarrassing.
Q How do you relax?
A I exercise most days every week and have done so for over 30 years. I like watching Scandinavian TV drama series, which are unique and ground-breaking, with my wife. I also like good restaurants, good pinot noir wine and I read a lot.
Have you tried any Ultraceuticals products? Tell us in the comments below!