Now that the ravages of winter weather are fading and summer’s heat hasn’t fully kicked in, it’s the perfect time to get your skin into shape. During Skin Gym Week, we’re sharing the tips and tools improve your skin health- from face-friendly meal plans to the most effective professional treatments, to the best and buzziest products, it’s everything you need to get the best skin of your life – from the inside-out.

Jocelyn Petroni is the woman that Australia’s most recognisable, and beautiful, people entrust with their faces. And their faces are their business. Miranda Kerr, Michelle BridgesRachael Finch, Victoria Lee, Megan Gale and Jessica Gomes all happily sing her praises, but it’s Petroni’s training not only as a facialist but in lymphatic drainage, shiatsu massage, reiki that has earnt her industry accolades too.

Given her hero-like status amongst Australia’s A-list, we thought we’d quiz the Sydney-based skin whisperer on the big beauty questions – can the right skincare routine make you look younger, what products can you safely save on and the eternal question – do you really need to use eye cream?

b+s: Can good skincare and treatments make you look younger? 

JP: Yes, with our regular clients we expect to see visible results in everyones skin. Not necessarily that they look younger but their skin looks more radiant and healthy and glowing. Clients have told us investing in their skin with JP has been life-changing. They go from needing to wear makeup on most days to hardly ever – they’re able to bank on clear skin which they’ve never been able to do. For me, the value of what we give our clients is reflected in our clients skin.

We can’t reverse the signs of ageing, obviously. What is your attitude to ‘anti-ageing’ skincare?

We want beautiful glowing skin that radiates through the lines, it’s all about skin health for us.

At what age should women start using products with anti-ageing properties?

The skin starts ageing from 21 so I don’t believe in anti-aging products per se but I do believe in taking ongoing actions to ensure optimal skin health at all ages. You wear sunscreen as a child and you start to cleanse and moisturise in your teen years, which is a reflection of the anti-ageing actions you take throughout the different stages of your life. We should always be wearing sunscreen everyday plus cleansing and moisturising daily – all of this leads to healthy, youthful skin. It’s not about aging, it’s about having the right attitude to healthy skin.

What are the key ingredients to look for in products if you’re concerned about the effects of ageing?

I swear by Vitamin A! I recommend applying a prescription strength Vitamin A (also known as retinol) in the form of a serum or cream every evening. Vitamin A should always be applied at night because it can make the skin more photosensitive during the day. 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.

It 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 – and we know hydrated, radiant skin always looks youthful.

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 to build up and 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 Vitmain A plus this unique formulation is also a natural anti-inflammatory to reduce redness and flaking. Avoid Vitamin A if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Top 3 skincare products that you recommend on repeat your clients? 

1. Sunscreen – I love Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 Sheer Tint ($70 at Ultraceuticals). I love the texture and colour so much that I often even wear it at night.

2. A face oil – The Ordinary Virgin Marula Oil ($18.30 at Adore Beauty) hydrates my skin by locking in water and retains it from evaporating into the atmosphere. I apply four drops neat to clean skin or add to my moisturiser, SPF or foundation for a dewy finish.

3. An active skin changing ingredient – which is often specific to what your skin needs, a personalised ingredient. See a skin expert to find out. Mine is Vitamin A!

Be honest now. do you really need to use an eye cream…?

YES, you do! The skin around the eyes is a third the thickness of the rest of the face. Because the texture is so fine and delicate it needs a moisturiser that is lightweight in texture so that it can permeate with delicate skin. Some face creams are light enough that they can double up as both. However usually your face moisturiser is performing a different function to your eye cream.

What do you think is better: physical or chemical exfoliants?

It depends on the person’s skin. We need to cut through the marketing and identify what is best for you personally. It’s not what’s better than the other but what is better for you. It’s important to have a personalised skin consultant to decide what works for you. Chemical exfoliants use fruit acids to dissolve dry/dead layers of the skin to clean the pores and they contain oil soluble fruit acids to dry out the pores. They’re great for congested skin, breakouts and skin types that don’t like abrasion of the skin.

Physical exfoliants are more instant, where granules manually slough away surface dry dead skin cells. This action takes place by physically abraising the top layer of skin cells in circular cleansing-like movements. They can also contain some fruit acids for a dual-action which is fantastic – they have surface manual exfoliation and fruit acids working a little deeper. Personally I use chemical exfoliant everyday on my skin and weekly I use a physical exfoliant for an extra skin boost before I apply a mask.

What do you think is better: physical or chemical sunscreens?

Again it is really about understanding what is best for your personal skin type. Personally I prefer a physical sunscreen. They usually include a zinc, which is topically healing for the skin. It does leave a residual layer on the skin which some skin types love and some dislike. For some skin types, that occlusive layer can become comedogenic for their skin and cause breakouts. Don’t be afraid of a chemical sunscreen it just means it soaks in, rather than sitting on skin’s surface.

Do you have a favourite sunscreen?

Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 Sheer Tint – I wear it everyday and even at night (the tint is sheer but has great coverage). It’s a beautiful tint that suits all skin types, it’s satin finish makes the skin appear even toned and dewy.

What’s the most effect facial treatment to treat or help with the signs of ageing? 

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. An ultimate skin boosting and age-defiance facial, The Skin Perfecting Azyme Peel is designed for instant glowing, younger looking skin.For clients concerned with sun damage and improving skin texture and tone, the Skin Perfecting Azyme Peel contains potent Vitamin A and Bromelain to refresh, refine and hydrate your skin.

Most underrated skincare product?

Definitely oils! Oils are amazing, they’re instantly anti-aging because on contact with the skin they immediately dissolve and hydrate the fine superficial dehydration lines. Oils are super easy to use, four drops neat on clean skin under moisturiser is an easy every day routine everyone can do. Add a few drops to your foundation or moisturiser to make your makeup dewy and glowy and ensure it doesn’t seep into fine lines.

Oils naturally prime and prepare the skin for makeup application, particularly in winter when makeup can tend to stick to dry areas and accentuate fine lines. I recommend more of a serum that is light in texture for oily skin. For dry skin, a heavier oil that will last the duration of the day and night is perfect. Some of my favourites are the KORA Organics Rosehip Oil ($79.95 at KORA) and BEAR Wonder, Prickly Pear Seed Oil ($145 at BEAR).

What’s the one product women can save on? And, conversely, the one they should splurge on?

Save on cleanser and splurge on serum! Because a cleanser is on and off quite quickly, it’s a very simple function. Whereas a good serum with the right active ingredients remains on the skin, soaks in and you will see visible results from the right serum.

Words by Alison Izzo for WHIMN & Body + Soul