There is literally not one human in existence who would say “no, thanks” to having clear, even, smooth and radiant skin. The quest for a flawless complexion is pretty much the reason that the skin care industry is booming, and women are – now more than ever – clued up on those big player ingredients (retinol, vitamin C, salicylic acid, lactic acid, and the list really goes on and on), the skin care products that they’re in, and the wide variety of treatments available to help achieve said flawless complexion.
But that’s actually where things get a little confusing. So much knowledge and choice can become overwhelming, and knowing when to use a hyaluronic acid serum over a vitamin C serum and how to spread out your retinol use so it doesn’t clash with your alpha hydroxy acids can almost become paralysing.
So that’s where a little guidance can come in handy. Someone who can show us the ropes and spell it out.
And do you know who would know exactly what to do to get amazing skin? One of Sydney’s top facialists, Jocelyn Petroni.
Having been in the industry for almost 20 years with a holistic approach to skin health (think traditional skin techniques combined with lymphatic drainage, shiatsu massage and reiki) and celeb clientele like Miranda Kerr, Rachael Finch and Megan Gale visiting her Woollahra salon, you can pretty much take Petroni’s recommendations as gospel.
So, of course, we asked her to share what it takes to achieve healthy skin, without sending yourself crazy. The bad news? It requires some commitment and investment. The good news? The list is stupidly short (yep, you can kiss that 10-step Korean skin care routine goodbye).
1. Look at your skin care technique
You can stock up on all the makeup removers, micellars, cleansers, exfoliants, toners, serums, eye creams, treatments, face masks, sheet masks, and everything in between that we’ve missed, that you like, but at the end of the day, that won’t guarantee healthy skin. See, while the products you use and a dedicated skin care regimen are definitely important, so too is the way you apply them.
“Your skin care routine and how you apply your skin care daily can make a huge difference to your skin health,” says Petroni. Translation: If you get your application right, you’ve pretty much got a one-way ticket to glowing skin.
“I recommend a double cleanse at night before your cream. The first cleanse should be an oil cleanser, because it is the best universal solvent and dissolves makeup, excess oil, dirt and sebum build-up the most efficiently. Oil absorbs oil,” explains Petroni. And yes, you can still cleanse with an oil if you have oily skin! We promise you won’t get blackheads and breakouts.
“Your second cleanse should be with a foaming cleanser to wash away any excess oils and residue from the initial cleanse, leaving a clean and clear base,” says Petroni. To wash your face the second time, we like the Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Ultra-Rich Foaming Gel as it’s a super gentle cleanser that’ll give you a really good clean without leaving your skin feeling dried out (including sensitive skin or dry skin types).
As for your cleansing technique, Petroni says, “Your cleansing movements are so important”.
At Jocelyn Petroni’s salon, she has a particular routine for this, which you can replicate at home in both your morning routine and before bed. “Work in the direction that the lymphatic system naturally flows, as this will give you the added benefit of lymphatic drainage every day, at home. That direction is working from under the chin down the neck towards the heart, and the centre line of face out to the ears. This technique of stimulating lymphatic drainage decreases puffy eyes, congestion, dark circles, detoxifies the skin, decreases excess fluid, flushes toxins and improves the clarity of the skin. Stimulating lymphatic circulation is one of the only techniques to clear dark circles as topical treatments aren’t as effective,” Petroni says.
2. Use vitamin A
One of the best ingredients when it comes to top-notch skin and anti-ageing results? “I recommend applying a prescription strength vitamin A in the form of a serum or cream every evening,” says Petroni.
“Vitamin A assists with the natural desquamation process. We’re shedding skin cells constantly, but at an uneven rate throughout the day. Vitamin A evens the skin’s natural desquamation process, creating a smoother and clearer tone and texture. Seems simple but the impact and visible results are enormous as it reduces pigmentation, fine lines and breakouts while revealing fresh, dewy, radiant, glowing skin.”
But as good as these smoothing and brightening benefits sound, vitamin A (or retinol) should always be used with caution, warns Petroni. “As it is quite a strong ingredient, I would recommend applying once every few nights only and gradually building up to every night. This process can differ per person – for some it may take three months, and for others, one month, depending on your skin type. If you’ve never used vitamin A, it’s best to test it out with an expert first in-salon. At Jocelyn Petroni we incorporate vitamin A into our facial treatments and can build the skin towards The Skin Perfecting Azyme Peel, a treatment that saturates the skin with an intensive vitamin A boost for instant and optimal results. For an at-home option, we love Ultraceuticals Ultra A Skin Perfecting Serum, which contains all the benefits of vitamin A, plus this unique formulation is also a natural anti-inflammatory to reduce redness and flaking.”
And as always, it’s recommended to use proper sun protection when you use retinol. If you’re not already using a sunscreen every morning, make sure to add some SPF into the mix (we’re all for SPF 50 every day of the year, just FYI).
If you want to hear more about the skin benefits of vitamin A, check out this episode of Get Lippy:
3. Mist regularly
If you ever thought facial mists were an unnecessary thing, it may be time to rethink them.
“A mist can work wonders on the skin for a light hydration throughout the day and to reset your makeup,” says Petron. An added bonus? “It can also moisten your makeup if you’re getting lines throughout the day, making your skin appear more dewy.”
Her top pick? Shemana Heart Activation Mist. We also love the Murad Prebiotic 3-in-1 MultiMist, a hydrator-meets-primer-meets-balancer.
4. Treat while you sleep
We all know that we need a good night’s sleep to ensure our skin is at its healthiest, but it’s also the perfect time to treat your biggest skin concerns, especially with hardworking active ingredients.
“During the day our skin’s main function is secreting, and at night, the skin’s main function is repairing and absorbing. Therefore, during the day we should be protecting the skin (wearing sunscreen) and using lighter textured products. Our night routine is where we should apply active products, hydrating treatments and heavier serums for our skin to absorb overnight. This is the perfect time for a rich, nourishing mask to repair the skin overnight. I would recommend the delectable La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask and the Ultraceuticals Ultra Energising Mask,” says Petroni.
5. Invest in light therapy
You may have heard about Omnilux, but what actually is it?
In short, it’s a professional LED light treatment (it uses blue and red light) to help heal and rejuvenate the skin. “Omnilux is deeply hydrating and completely revives the skin,” says Petroni. “It triggers a healing response in the deepest layers of the skin and stimulates collagen in the dermis. Omnilux penetrates and hydrates the skin cells beyond the capacity of topical ingredients. Essentially, Omnilux plumps the superficial dehydration lines so the skin looks healthier, particularly around the eyes – no Botox needed!”
Words by Carli Alman for Beauty Crew