Five minutes with: Dr Daniel Maes


Protection of the skin is mandatory, especially if you live in a place that has a lot of UV light like Australia or New Zealand, you have to wear SPF every day. Where I differ from some dermatologists is that I recommend only a SPF 15, if it is applied correctly.

SPF 15 is sufficient if you only spend up to 30 minutes outside during the day. But you have to apply it evenly to the skin, not just a little bit on your cheek. You have to make sure the whole area of your face, neck and ears are covered.

SPF technology has improved dramatically. The best ones offer both UVA and UVB protection as well as antioxidants. If you’re out in the sun for more than 30 minutes, use an SPF 30.


We are starting to see real skin damage caused by people who have exhausted their skin from over stimulating cell division with peels, lasers, etc. You need to treat your skin gently, ideally with a mild cleanser, a moisturiser and a repair product at night.

At any one time you should only be using a maximum of three products. You could even just get away with a moisturiser in the morning and a repair product at night.

If you could only afford one product, I would just recommend a night repair. During the day the cells are coping with an onslaught of potentially damaging factors such as the sun and pollution. Skin repair is more active at nighttime, so it helps to have a product that supports this.


Once you have a skin program, don’t change it for a minimum of three months. Give your skin time to adapt to the products. People who change their product every month aren’t doing their skin any favours.


Dr Daniel Maes is the Senior Vice President of Global Research and Development for Estée Lauder. Dr. Maes oversees all aspects of Skin Biology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Analytical Chemistry, Medical testing, Safety-In-Use testing, Raw Material Administration, Public Relations, Polymer Technology, Physical Chemistry and the External Research Program. A staff of over 72 people assists him with his work.

Dr Maes was born in Belgium and raised in France. He holds a Masters of Science degree in Nuclear Chemistry from the University of Paris and earned his PhD in Nuclear Chemistry at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Since completing his doctorate, Dr Maes has published many scientific papers and holds numerous patents.


Estée Lauder is releasing a new anti-wrinkle moisturiser in February 2009 called Time Zone. The product contains new technology that work to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. RRP 50ml $138.

Five minutes with: Karen Fischer

Karen Fischer is a nutritionist who specialises in skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and premature ageing.

Her book, The Healthy Skin Diet, has specific programmes showing you how to get beautiful looking skin within eight weeks.

What does it mean to have healthy skin?

A healthy complexion is one of the best assets you can have. It’s not overly oily or tight and uncomfortably dry. Your skin tone is even, with minimal rosiness, and it complements every outfit you wear.

Skin problems can prevent people from fully enjoy their lives as they’re more likely to feel self conscious. Healthy skin can enhance self esteem and life enjoyment.

How does the function of the body effect the outward appearance of skin?

When water in a river flows freely, it looks clean and healthy. When water lacks a good filtration system, such as water left in a bucket, bacteria proliferates and debris builds up.

It is a similar story with your skin. A healthy complexion is a sign that your bloodstream is healthy and efficiently supplying oxygen and nutrients to your outer layer, and that your lymphatic system is adequately removing dead cells and other wastes.

What are the most common skin disorders seen in adults?

Age spots and skin inflammation called dermatitis is most common. We’re also seeing a surge in adults with acne.

And in babies?

In developed countries, more than one in ten children suffers from atopic eczema.

Are these caused by an unhealthy diet?

People can have a genetic predisposition to getting eczema. However, this means a healthy diet is even more essential for them because it can prevent their eczema from reoccurring.

It’s important that they avoid overly processed foods such as margarine, pastries and foods containing artificial additives, and dairy products need to be temporarily taken out of the diet.

In people who are prone to getting pimples, diets rich in sugar, saturated fats, high GI foods – think burger, fries, soft drink and ice-cream – cause the skin’s sebaceous glands to produce too much oil and this can lead to breakouts.

Stress can also cause random breakouts to occur. Age spots can be reduced if you have a diet rich in antioxidants such as selenium and vitamin E.

What are three foods (or food groups) that can transform the skin?

The top one is vegetables, especially dark leafy greens such as baby spinach, as they thin the blood and as I mentioned before, healthy blood transports oxygen and nutrients quickly to the body’s outermost layer – the skin – and gives your complexion a healthy glow.

You also need to moisturise your skin from the inside out with omega-3 rich foods like fish (and linseeds/flaxseeds if you’re vegetarian). And I love soy lecithin granules as they aid fat digestion and supply inositol for healthy skin cells.

What would you suggest to someone who was worried about premature ageing?

Become a hat person and wear sunscreen. Taking an omega-3 supplement also works wonders for dry and wrinkle-prone skin (however, before taking omega-3 consult a doctor if you are on any medications).

What is your daily mantra?

Look for beauty not faults. This is my mantra to reduce self criticism. Another mantra of mine is healthy food at home. So when I go out with friends, once or twice a week, I can indulge in unhealthy food if I feel like it. It prevents me from being Nancy-no-fun.

What do you eat or drink upon waking?

I have a glass of water with liquid chlorophyll (low strength) as it’s alkalising and keeps my food sensitivities at bay. Then I usually have my favourite beauty breakfast which is porridge with flaxseeds, lecithin granules, soy milk, honey and banana or frozen raspberries.

What is your favourite meal?

Baked salmon with my tasty antioxidant salad, plus frozen mango for dessert.

What is one ingredient you would hate to live without?

Rocket. I can’t believe I’m saying this as I used to hate salad, but now I crave it. I love a good rocket side salad with any (and every) savoury meal. It gives my skin a healthy glow.

Does what you put inside your body have more effect than what you put on your skin, such as lotions, creams etc?

Yes, definitely! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good quality skin cream that contains no harsh ingredients, as moisturiser can make the skin feel extra soft, however, a healthy diet does so much more.

It gives you energy and creates a strong body from the inside out. You don’t need to be born with the “good’ skin gene: beautiful skin can be created with a healthy diet and that’s good news for the rest of us.