Dolly Doctor

10 unexpected ~skincare secrets~ that'll help you get a #flawless complexion

We're all about that glow.

By Meg Bellemore

Do you sometimes fall asleep without washing your face? Okay, so basically every night for the last few months. Don’t worry, it’s easy to get into a good skincare routine so your face feels and looks its happiest again.

Skin and nutrition expert Fiona Tuck has offered up her ~expert advice~ and if you stick to these ten healthy skin habits you can expect to see some gleamin’ good changes to your complexion within the month.

1. Remove your make-up before cleansing

We know that it can be easier to just go straight into cleansing while you have a face full of makeup, but removing it first is the way to go. Make-up residue can lead to congestion and creates a barrier, preventing good active ingredients in cleansers and moisturisers from penetrating the skin and working their magic. “Once make-up has been removed, a cleanser can gently remove any skin surface debris such as dead skin cells and natural skin oils, to ensure the skin is left cleansed and blemish free,” says Fiona.

Try: NIVEA Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover, $5.99.
Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm $38.95.

2. Change up your cleansing technique

Cleanser may not be on your face for very long, but the way you apply it still counts.Vigorously scrubbing and rubbing the day away can lead to redness and sensitivity. If you’re using a gel-based cleanser, Fiona recommends mixing a five cent amount with water to create a foam then, disperse it evenly over your entire face. Using circular motions, massage your face to loosen any surface grime, focusing around the t-zone area or anywhere prone to congestion. Rinse off with tepid water and gently pat dry with a towel. A cleansing oil or cream can be applied the same way, only you don’t need to mix these with water before application. If any make-up comes off on the towel, you know you need another cleanse.

Try: Goodness Every Day Cream Cleanser, $13.99.
MUSQ Gel Cleanser, $44.

3. Exfoliate once a week

Your skin is always renewing itself, but exfoliating regularly helps to deep clean pores and dust away tired old cells. “There are two types of exfoliants – chemical and physical,” explains Fiona. “Chemical exfoliants like hydroxy acids and enzymes gently loosen dead skin cells, where as physical exfoliants such as scrubs and brushes mechanically push off the dead skin cells.” Try a cleansing formula including hydroxy acids once a week, or, if your skin gets super oily, use a skin brush with your daily cleanser once or twice a week as well. If bead-based scrubs are your pick of the exfoliants, keep application to once a week as they tend to be a little more aggressive. Got inflammation or acne? Try and avoid the physical exfoliators altogether as they can be too stimulating.

Try: Physical: A'kin Jojoba & Corn Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub, $29.95.
Chemical: Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads, $34.95.
Conair True Glow Sonic Facial Brush, $89.95.

4. Start using a toner

The word ‘toner’ seems really old-school and that’s because it kind of is. What were once strong, alcohol-based astringents that would remove cleanser residue and often leave your skin feeling tight, are now ~sophisticated~ hydration waters and mists. They are packed with hydrating ingredients like green tea, avocado oil and antioxidants that you can spritz or dab on throughout the day to protect the skin and refresh. Still keep an eye out for alcohol in the ingredients list, to avoid dryness and sensitivity.

Try: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner, $32.
Stem Organics Antioxidant Toning Infusion,50ml, $18.

5. Wear an SPF moisturiser every damn day

“It’s never too early to wear daily SPF. Protecting your skin when you are young will prevent sun damage showing in your late twenties and early thirties,” says Fiona. UV rays are present all year round, so make sure you apply an SPF moisturiser specifically formulated for the face every morning before make-up. Go for one with a tint and you’ve turned three steps into one for the days when time is not on your side.

Try: Cancer Council Day Wear Matte Face Sunscreen SPF50+, $14.95.
Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+, $80.

6. Do your research when treating acne

“The key to treating acne is to exfoliate (to clear the blocked follicle), calm the skin, and reduce the oil and bacteria present,” she says. Be on the lookout for antibacterial goodies like tea-tree, and calming agents like calendula, camomile and Canadian willow herb in your skincare formulas. “Avoid using harsh, drying ingredients such as alcohol and benzoyl peroxide on a daily basis, as these can cause skin irritation in some skins,” she warns.

Try: Swisse Olive Leaf Gel Cleanser with Glycolic and Salicylic Acid, $11.99.
T-Zone Rapid Action Spot Zapping Gel, $9.99.

7. Remove make-up before working out

Sweat can get trapped under heavy make-up bases, and that can lead to – you guessed it –breakouts. “Avoid heavy silicone primers and mineral oil-based make-ups as these are the worst for promoting congestion, especially when working out,” adds Fiona. A once over with a cleansing wipe will allow your skin to get the most out of your workout, or, if you can’t bear to bare-face the treadmill, dust on a natural mineral powder for a little coverage.

Try: Essano Gentle Cleansing Facial Wipes, $8.99.
Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Wipes, $6.95.

8. Apply a serum under your moisturiser

They don’t feel like they’re doing much, but these clear shields are seriously clever. They deliver skin boosting nutrients into the skin like vitamins A, B, C and E and keep the skin protected from environmental nasties like pollution. Smooth it on underneath your SPF moisturiser, whenever your skin is feeling on the dry side.

Try: Burt’s Bees Radiance Serum, $34.95.
La Mav Hyaluronic Acid Hydra-Max Serum, $69.95.

9. Keep your make-up tools clean

It’s gross to think about, but dead skin cells, oil, dirt and grime can all build up on make-up brushes and sponges, along with bacteria. To minimise the risk of bacteria on the skin, wash your tools regularly with one of the super easy to use spray cleaners hitting shelves. Spray the cleaner onto a tissue, then wipe over your brushes weekly. Allow the bristles to dry for one minute, lying flat or upside down in a breezy area far away from sources of ignition. Just like that, they’ll be fresh and ready to use again!Try: Beauty Theory Make-Up Brush Cleaner, $10.
Artiste Brush Cleaner, $14.95.

10. Make your diet skin friendly

Last but not least, your diet could just be the biggest influence on your skin health, so make sure it’s in good shape. Fiona recommends cutting back on processed foods such as fizzy drink, packet soups, sauces, chips and high refined carbs like potatoes and noodles. “These foods turn into sugar in the system, be high in salt and low in the nutrients we need for healthy glowing skin,” she adds. Fresh foods such as fruits, veggies, omega 3 omega 3 essential fatty acids such as nuts, seeds and oily fish are all ace choices for clear, dewy skin all year round. YAS!