Cosmelan Mask: Uses, Treatment, and Side Effects

If you suffer from hyperpigmentation, melasma, or any other skin problems that cause dark patches of skin to appear on your face, there are a number of options to treat them, with one option being a cosmelan mask. This type of mask is similar in function to a chemical or alpha hydroxy peel but is formulated specifically to treat dark patches caused by pigmentation problems. The cosmelan mask is performed in our office by our dermal therapists. This may be a viable alternative if you have tried to treat your hyperpigmentation or melasma with store-bought chemical peels, creams, or serums but have had limited results. However, before you choose to have a cosmelan Mask, you should know what to expect before, during, and after the treatment so that you can make an informed decision about whether it is the right choice for your skin.

What is a Cosmelan Mask?
A Cosmelan mask is a two-step treatment where the mask is applied to the skin by our certified skin care professional and is then washed off at home after the mask is worn for several hours. Once the mask is removed, a secondary cream is applied to protect new skin growth. A cosmelan peel differs from other skin brightening products and chemical peels in its ingredients, which are designed to treat the specific symptoms of melasma, which can occur during hormone changes in the body due to pregnancy or menopause, and hyperpigmentation, which can occur due to sun exposure or genetics. This type of peel may be beneficial to those who have tried creams that contain hydroquinone or tretinoin in the past and suffered adverse reactions to these harsh ingredients, as a cosmelan mask does not contain them.

cosmelan results
Cosmelan Mask Ingredients
Unlike hydroquinone and tretinoin, which can be harsh on the skin and cause a number of unpleasant side effects as they treat hyperpigmentation issues, a cosmelan mask contains azelaic acid, which kills bacteria on the surface of the skin and boosts new skin cell production; and kojic acid, which is an acid that is derived from several different types of naturally-existing fungi and which inhibits the production of melanin in the skin.

Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its colour, and when the cosmelan peel is applied to the skin, it inhibits further pigmentation from taking place. The cream that is applied after the mask is removed contains both kojic and phytic acid, which is an antioxidant that helps to heal the skin and protect it after treatment. Since a cosmelan peel can take several hours and then requires aftercare, you should plan on having the treatment after work or on the weekend, when you can return home and focus on applying the second step of treatment.

What to Expect During a Cosmelan Mask
Before treatment, your dermal therapist will clean your skin to ensure that no excess oil or dead skin cells remain. The mask is then applied and left on for up to six to ten hours. Once you are at home, you will remove the cosmelan peel on your own and then apply a secondary cream on a daily basis until the skin is healed. TMultiple treatments may be necessary before you see any results.

Cosmelan Mask Side Effects
While this mask is not as harsh as those that contain alpha hydroxy acids or hydroquinone, you may experience redness, tightening of the skin, and peeling during the initial treatments. Your dermal therapist who administered your cosmelan peel can advise you how to manage these side effects until they subside, based on your unique skin needs.
Self Help Tips for Melasma Patients
(a). Sun protection is #1. The most effective self-help for Melasma is the consistent use of sun protection. Although sunscreen or blocks will not prevent Melasma, sun protection will help prevent it from becoming darker. Even short exposures to the sun can cause significant darkening…even that short walk to the mailbox every day.
(b). Sunscreens will chemically absorb UV rays while sun blocks will reflect them. If you have sensitive skin, sun blocks may be your preferred protection. New formulas contain micronized zinc or titanium dioxide which do not produce the white cast of older sun blocks.

(c). Avoid overly hot environments when possible. If going to the beach or pool use a hat and stay under an umbrella.
(d). Love your sauna or hot baths? Melasma will likely worsen or re-emerge. When your body temps rise, your melanin cells turn on!
(e). Gym workouts can raise body temperatures and make Melasma worse.
(f). Avoid aggressive exfoliator scrubs or strong acid-containing products as both can create inflammation and worsen pigmentation.
(g). Some birth control pills or methods such as an IUD may cause Melasma. If you suspect this is the case, consult your doctor.
(h). Cheaper cosmetic or chemist beauty serums and creams usually contain irritants that build up in the skin. Melasma can worsen due to the irritation of the chemicals. Organic products can also be irritating as they can contain acids or overstimulate the skin into action.
Ready to book a treatment?
Our online booking system is perfect for midnight impulses.
I recommend that you book a skin analysis consultation, so that we can work together to find out about your skin and what treatments will work best to achieve your goals.


The line between Anti-wrinkle treatment and Dermal fillers can sometimes seem blurred, so here's the lowdown...

filler vs botox
Anti-Wrinkle Treatment

What is BTX and how does it work?
BTX, is a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles. It can also be used to treat medical conditions such as excess drooling, and other muscle spasm conditions. There are a number of brands on the market, and but they all work in the same way. It is the result of many decades of studies and has been used extensively in medicine. They are a very safe product, and is approved by TGA for many uses.

What does the treatment involve?
While there is no real downtime associated with this treatment, it is important to note that you may encounter some slight bruising and swelling directly after treatment, due to the needle. This is very uncommon, but can happen in people who bruise easily. This can easily be masked by makeup. There are no long-term side effects of having wrinkle injections, meaning patients can resume their usual activities straight away, and can also fly post-treatment.

Who would this treatment suit?
This treatment can be used on a wide range of patients, and is primarily used for skin rejuvenation and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. The anti-wrinkle agent is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows for a short period of time. It can also be injected into the area around the side of the eyes to improve the look of moderate to severe crow’s feet lines.

Who should avoid this treatment?
Those who have medical conditions, such as damaged nerves or muscle complaints, should disclose this information during consultation, to avoid any complications. Treatment is not advisable for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. While there are no clinical studies to show that the injection is harmful to the baby or mother, medical professionals advise against having treatment under these circumstances.

What results does the treatment aim to provide?
The treatment is used to soften the lines caused by facial expression and can be adjusted to ensure natural results. The duration of results is variable in between individuals but ranges from 3 to 6 months.
Typically, patients will come into the clinic and point to a specific line that they don’t like. Good practitioners, like the dentists at iDental, shouldn’t just look at treating this specific line, but will look beyond the line at how the face looks as a whole (as treating an individual line might make the face look unnatural). Sometimes patients come in and say their colleagues and friends keep telling them that they look tired or grumpy when this isn’t the case. In these cases, it’s usually not a single line that is creating this impression, but multiple factors, and the practitioner should talk through treatment options with the patient.

Dermal Filler
What are Fillers and how do they work?
As we age, the natural collagen and elastin in the skin lessens, as cells lose their ability to produce more of their youthful component. The skin becomes dryer, thinner and less able to fix itself. When we are born, we have plentiful amounts of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in our body, but as we get older this store of HA diminishes, leaving the skin less well supported, and so lines and wrinkles develop. By lifting and smoothing targeted folds and wrinkles by adding subtle volume, dermal fillers can make a difference to a person’s appearance, giving them a fresher look.
The treatment of wrinkles with dermal filler will usually involve injecting this naturally occurring product (HA) through a tiny needle. The discomfort is minimal as the treatment does not take long to perform. The aesthetic outcomes of treatments with dermal filler are seen immediately after the treatment. Treating wrinkles with dermal filler is fast, leaving no scars. There is a vast range of fillers on the Australian Market. At iDental we only use TGA approved products that are the most current generation.

What does the treatment involve?
The procedure takes around 30-45 minutes and patients can expect to notice the effects for some time, and this does vary depending upon the area treated. Treatment with fillers is completely reversible. With any injectable treatment, there can be some slight bruising or swelling that accompanies it. This should not persist for very long as it resolves in the normal way that bruises heal, and is easily coverable with makeup.

Who would this treatment suit?
Facial fillers can be used on a wide range of patients, and are primarily used for skin rejuvenation and the reduction of lines and wrinkles. Other suitable candidates are those seeking to add structure and volume to the face. I see a lot of patients who have lost volume in their face due to living a very active, high impact lifestyle (such as runners). Fillers help to restore the volume loss that naturally begins to occur when we reach our late thirties, and in turn gives a fresher, brighter appearance.

Who should avoid this treatment?
We would advise against pregnant and breast feeding women from having this treatment. There is no known risk, however it is best to be safe.

What results does the treatment aim to provide?
The results should suit our face, leaving our friends and family believing that we are simply looking our best and great for our years. We will measure your face to determine the best treatment, and will only proceed with treatment if we feel that the result will enhance your face naturally. When the effects begin to soften, we aim to ‘top up’ the treatment.
Patients will often come in to the clinic and point to a specific line that they don’t like. Sometimes the patient will say that people tell them they look sad, tired or grumpy when this isn’t really the case. In these instances, it’s usually not a single line that is causing this impression but multiple factors and the practitioner should discuss treatment options with the patient. It is really key that you feel safe and reassured by your chosen practitioner: a partnership should develop where you can speak freely about what concerns you, as this will allow the practitioner to truly understand your hopes and desired outcomes.


Microdermabrasion and Light Chemical Peels

What are light chemical peels and microdermabrasion used for?
Light chemical peels and microdermabrasion are most commonly used for:
~ refreshing skin texture and improving “glow”
~ helping to treat certain types of acne, clean out pores
~ helping with melasma when done in a series of 4-5
~ after some lasers to speed shedding of brown pigment
~ before weddings, reunions, etc to improve skin

What is microdermabrasion (MDA)?
Microdermabrasion is a method by which very fine crystals are vacuumed across the skin under pressure with a tiny vacuum-cleaner-like tip. The newer systems don’t use crystals but instead tiny diamond chips embedded in the tip to provide the abrasion. It’s nice to use the newer crystal-free systems but not essential.
Also, the newer systems offer the ability to infuse therapeutic agents at the same time that the microdermabrasion is being performed. For example, an aesthetician can infuse a solution of salicylic acid, which helps to clean out the pores while the microdermabrasion is working. Or, hyaluronic acid, could be infused to add extra moisture.
Microdermabrasion can cause irritation or inflammation if the microdermabrasion is too aggressive for your skin type.
Depending on how much acne or pigment you have and how sensitive your skin is, approximately five microdermabrasions are done one to four weeks apart, followed by a maintenance treatment about every four to eight weeks.
You may have seen the terms Parisian peel, diamond peel, or lunch-time peel. Most of these all refer to the same process – microdermabrasion.

chemical peel
What are light chemical peels?
Light chemical peels exfoliate the superficial layers of your skin to help remove dead and damaged surface skin cells, refine the texture and color of your skin, and help improve acne. There are many different names for these peels but most contain hydroxy acids, either alpha hydroxy, beta hydroxy or combinations of both. Many of these peels contain glycolic acid (AHA) or salicylic acid (BHA).
Like microdermabrasion, they are usually gentle enough that you can go right back to your daily activities.

How often should I get microdermabrasion (MDA) or light chemical peels?
This really depends on your skin. If you are very oily and acne-prone, you may want to get a series or two every year with maintenance treatments every 4 weeks. For others, a series (usually 3-5 treatments) followed by a maintenance treatment every couple of months might be plenty.

Do the treatments hurt, and how long will they take?
For microdermabrasion, there is a mild pulling sensation (that tiny vacuum cleaner) during the treatment and a gentle, sandpapery feel. Most patients notice just mild discomfort.
For light chemical peels, there is mild itchiness or warmth in the skin for a few minutes. The treatments usually take 30 to 60 minutes, depending on what else is being done.

What will I look like right after treatment, and what will the healing time be?
Generally, the skin may look slightly pink for one to two days after the treatment, although not everyone experiences this. Check with your aesthetician, but makeup can be used starting right after the treatment as long as it is applied over a moisturizer and removed very gently.
You will need to increase your use of moisturizers during the treatment period as your skin will be slightly drier temporarily. Be sure to use sunscreen every morning.


Skin Analysis
You’ve decided it’s time to treat your skin and have a treatment, you’ve selected iDental, but with so many specialized treatments available to choose from, knowing what kind of treatment to book can be confusing.
The best place to start is by coming into iDental to book a Skin analysis consultation. We will take photos of you, scan your skin and then discuss what concerns you have. We can go through together what we can do to improve your skin health, and what skin care products are right for you.
Below is a general introduction into possible skin types, and what to consider when treating them.

What skin type do you have?
Recognising and Understanding Oily Skin
Oily skin is hard to control because it's the result of genetically determined hormonal changes in your body, and you simply cannot control hormones topically. The hormones responsible for oily skin are called androgens—the male hormones—and they are present in both men and women.
Androgens stimulate healthy oil production, and while that truly has benefit for your skin, it is a problem when androgens stimulate too much oil to be produced! When too much oil is produced, the pores become larger to accommodate the excess oil production. Excess androgens can also cause the pore lining to thicken, which blocks oil from getting out of the pore, and that can result in blackheads and white bumps.

Not sure if you have oily skin? It's recognisable by a few classic characteristics:
~ Your face is shiny only an hour or two after cleansing, and usually appears greasy by midday.
~ Your make-up seems to "slide," or disappear right off your face.
~ The more oily areas of your face have blackheads, white bumps, or acne.
~ The pores are visibly enlarged, especially on your nose, chin, and forehead.


Why Your Skin Gets Dry
The primary reason your skin becomes dry is all about impairment. What happens is that the outer layers of skin lose their ability to maintain normal moisture levels? For the most part, this is due to sun damage and, to some extent, the use of skin-care products that contain irritating or drying ingredients.
Have you ever noticed that the parts of your body that don't have sun damage (the parts of your body that are not routinely exposed to the sun) are rarely, if ever, dry (just look at the inside part of your arm or your derriere)? That's because areas with little to no sun damage don't suffer the range of problems that stem from cumulative sun exposure.

How to Fix Dry Skin
What dry skin needs is barrier-repairing ingredients that help it act younger so it can sustain a healthy water balance. Here are our best tips to stop the cycle of dry, uncomfortable skin:
The first step is to stop damaging the outer layer of skin by avoiding:
1. Soaps (all kinds, and anything in bar form)
2. Harsh cleansing ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium C14-16 olefin sulphonate
3. Products with irritating ingredients (i.e. alcohol, peppermint, menthol, mint, citrus, eucalyptus, fragrance)
4. Exposure to hot water
5. Abrasive scrubs (think of the microdermabrasion-at-home type, or those that contain fruit and nut fragments)

Will Drinking Water Prevent Dry Skin?
This is one of those beauty myths that refuses to go away, but here are the facts: Although drinking eight glasses of water a day is great for your body, it doesn't work to improve or reduce dry skin. If all it took to get rid of dry skin was drinking more water, then no one would have dry skin and moisturisers would stop being sold.
The causes of and treatments for dry skin are far more complicated than just drinking water. Of course, you should be careful to not consume the types of liquids that lead to dehydration, with alcohol and caffeine being the chief offenders. Balancing moderate intake of coffee or, for example, red wine with water will help offset the dehydrating effects both can have on your body.

Allergy-Prone or Sensitive Skincare

The most common reason people have sensitive skin is using the wrong type of products on their skin, so that the skin barrier becomes compromised or damaged. The skin starts performing badly as it gets clogged with the product. Typical examples include using essential oils, coconut oil or sorbolene on your face. All of these products have heavy oils and fats that stop the pores from being able to release natural oils and moisture. This then gets trapped in the skin, causing the skin to break out. Once you stop using the irritating product, it will take quite some time to see an improvement, as skin cells need to cycle through from the bottom to the top to begin functioning again properly.

Is it a Skin Disorder?
Be certain you are dealing with an allergic or sensitising reaction to a product, and not a skin disorder. Many skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, folliculitis (an inflammation of the hair follicle), and reactions to food cause irritated, swollen, red, itchy, flaky or rashy skin.

Avoid Problem Ingredients
Find what product(s) or ingredient(s) are causing the problem and stop using them. Sometimes this is a simple determination. If you started using a new concealer and within a few hours that area became red, itchy, and swollen, it is clear that the concealer is the problem. Unfortunately, it isn't always that easy. What makes this process potentially difficult is that many skin reactions don't happen quickly. Further, given the number of cosmetic products women use daily, it is no wonder that pinning down exactly which item caused the problem can be a challenge.

Avoid The Following:
~ Overly abrasive scrubs (such as those that contain aluminum oxide crystals, walnut shells, or pumice)
~ Astringents containing irritating ingredients (alcohol and menthol being the prime offenders)
~ Toners containing irritating ingredients (alcohol and menthol being the prime offenders)
~ Scrub mitts
~ Cold or hot water
~ Steaming or icing the skin
~ Facial masks containing irritating ingredients (watch out for fragrant essential oils and polyvinyl alcohol)
~ Loofahs
~ Bar soaps and bar cleansers
Ready to book a treatment?
Our online booking system is perfect for midnight impulses.
I recommend that you book a skin analysis consultation, so that we can work together to find out about your skin and what treatments will work best to achieve your goals.




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