“Slip, slop, slap” has been part of our vernacular for almost 40 years. It’s almost second nature when under the harsh Australian sun to slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat to reduce the risk of skin cancer and signs of premature skin ageing due to sun damage.
But sunscreen has a formidable ally in this quest – nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, whether applied topically or taken as a daily tablet.
In 2017, a ground-breaking trial conducted across Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred and Westmead Hospitals, led by Professor Diona Damian, made international headlines when the results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It was one of the biggest discoveries in skin cancer research – that vitamin B3 can help reduce non-melanoma skin cancers. The trial on 386 participants showed that nicotinamide is highly effective in providing immune protection. It does this by replenishing cellular energy, which also enables faster and more efficient DNA repair following sun exposure. Meaning it also helps repair surface skin damage and keep skin looking younger and healthier for longer.
A class of water-soluble vitamins, there are eight types of B vitamins—B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. These are vital for maintaining our energy levels, brain functions, and cell metabolism and are easily derived from food sources such as dairy, meat, fish, vegetables, seeds and nuts, and more. Used in skincare, vitamin B is an antioxidant that helps to treat signs of ageing and alleviate sensitive skin. The most common ones found in topical products are niacinamide, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and vitamin B12 (cobalamin).
“Vitamin B3 reduces inflammation, signs of ageing like fine wrinkles and blemishes, and improves the function of the skin’s barrier. Vitamin B5 is a humectant that keeps skin moisturised,” says specialist skincare expert Marionne de Candia, who counts among her loyal clientele the likes of Elle Macpherson, Delta Goodrem and Baz Luhrmann.
“Vitamin B12 helps to increase cellular regeneration and encourage wound healing. When taken orally, it helps in red blood cell production, regulates pigmentation in skin and maintains healthy hair and nails.”
“Daily application of nicotinamide cream, particularly post sun exposure, stands as one of the most scientifically sensible things you can do for your skin’s overall health.”
In a 30+-year career that has spanned the spectrum – from spa therapist to specialist facialist, to 5-star spa manager to spa consultancy with one of Australia’s leading spa consultancy firms – in 2017, Marionne’s special topic of interest has always been treating the ageing skin, particularly the effects of premature ageing due to sun exposure and environmental agents.
She has been profiled in influential publications here and around the world, including Australian Financial Review, Harpers Bazaar and Vogue Australia magazines. In 2012, she was voted by leading retail website Net-A-Porter as one of the Top 5 Facialists in the World.
In 2017 she decided to shift her career focus to medically-oriented skincare. Marionne studied with leading educators and skincare product chemists to develop a skincare cosmeceutical product range, Medi Skin Saver, which was launched in June, 2019. The face and body products are available through leading cosmetic and plastic surgeons globally.
From a serum (featuring vitamins B3 and B5, of course!), a facial oil, several moisturisers and a scar flattening treatment, the products are designed to protect the skin from the premature ageing process, UV damage and pollution. Medi Skin Saver’s top seller, however, is Body Treatment, whose key ingredient is nicotanimide.
“Daily application of nicotinamide cream, particularly post sun exposure, stands as one of the most scientifically sensible things you can do for your skin’s overall health,” says Marionne, who has teamed with leading Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr Luke Stradwick to open a paramedical facial room at his Gold Coast, Queensland, surgery.
It offers non-surgical day treatments by Marionne, including the revolutionary Healite LED (Light Emitting Diode) device, which can be used both pre and post-surgery to assist healing, reduce bruising, pain, swelling and speed skin rejuvenation. The facials are paramedical and utilise lymphatic drainage, acupressure and reiki.
“Medi SkinSaver is skincare for everyone,” she continues. “It was formulated with the latest medical research in mind, acting to protect and restore skin cells, minimising the degeneration of cellular health into disease.”
One of its biggest fans is renowned beach babe, The Body, Elle: “I love this brand,” she has said.” It’s completely clean beauty; simple, super-efficient and not very expensive.”