"The skincare routine that helped clear my skin problems."

Thanks to our brand partner, Ultraceuticals

The state of my skin has been a major preoccupation for me since childhood.

From birth, I’ve had eczema and incredibly dry skin, and spend significant amounts of my time trying to remedy the situation.

As a child, it was all QV baths and slatherings of sorbolene. As an adult, it’s body oils and yet more sorbolene. During puberty, my face developed a delightful new condition: the dreaded oily T-zone, though for me it’s just an oily nose-zone. And what comes with that? Blackheads.

Despite considerable time having passed since those pubescent years, nothing I have ever tried has diminished my oil situation, so I’ve taken to relying on powder to mop up the excess.

So, here I am, going through life with a dry face and an oily nose, when my skin pulls yet another bit of tomfoolery on me. My nose (the oily one) starts flaking. YET REMAINS OILY. So it’s oily and dry all at once?

Make-up makes it worse, exfoliation has no effect, and I’m constantly concerned that people are staring at the dry bits of skin hanging from my nostrils.

The perfectly contoured selfies of Instagram are not what I see in the mirror. Even if I wanted to use that much make-up, it would make my skin an even bigger mess.

effective skin care routine
Writer, Alex Greig. Image: supplied.

I’m so confused. I have no idea how to remedy this. I realise it’s time to call in an expert, which is where Amy, my Ultraceuticals beauty therapist comes in.


She sits me down for a consultation during which I explain, somewhat hysterically, my face sitch.

“Like, it’s oily, but it’s flaky!” I tell her gesticulating wildly at the offending area of my face.

“And the rest of it is so dry, even though I slathered on moisturiser this morning!”

Amy is calm and unperturbed by my seemingly illogical skin. She explains to me that there’s a difference between my skin being dry and being dehydrated, and shows me diagrams that show how my skin is letting out all the good stuff, which is why my nose is overproducing oil to compensate.

Slathering on moisturiser is pointless, she tells me, if none of it is actually penetrating my skin. I have barrier issues, which sounds like something a psychotherapist would tell me.

Amy then diagnoses my skin and recommends a treatment plan that sounds remarkably simple yet incredibly smart. It’s called the RVR90 Day Skin Challenge (RVR stands for Real Visible Results). In 90 days, she says, if I stick to the regimen set out for me, my skin’s dryness, flakiness, and oiliness will all be under control. I feel like I’m finally making progress.

The whole 90-day transformation is documented with high resolution digital photos (Reveal Camera) that actually show the improvement in your skin structure.

Because Ultraceuticals is a cosmeceutical – that’s a portmanteu of the words cosmetic and pharmaceutical – brand, it means there’s a lot of science behind its treatments and its products. The fact that it’s an Australian-owned company that doesn’t test on animals also fills me with confidence.

But it’s the facial that really convinces me.

I’ve had facials before, from therapists who shall remain anonymous, in which I explain my skin’s idiosyncrasies and they go ahead with a treatment that actually exacerbates the problem. In one, my entire neck area went bright red and splotchy and the therapist quickly denied any responsibility, implying the problem was actually that my skin was “weird.”

Amy begins my facial — a Signature Repair — with a glorious deep-cleanse, using some kind of wand that makes a buzzing noise kind of like a dentist’s drill. There’s no pain, though, just a nice warming feeling. And my skin feels cleaner than ever before — it actually feels like it can breathe again.

effective skin care routine
“It’s the facial that really convinces me.” Image: supplied.

By the time our session is finished, I feel incredibly pampered – which isn’t something I usually do for myself – and my face feels amazing. Clean. Hydrated. Radiant.

Amy explains the RVR90 Starter Pack she has selected for me – a gentle cleanser, the Ultra B2 Hydrating Serum that has provitamin B5 and vitamin B3 combined with a high concentration of hyalauronic acid that sinks right into my skin, unlike all the oils I’ve been using. On top, I smooth some Ultra Moisturiser Cream, which is really helping balance out my dry spots. That’s for nighttime.

In the day, I’m using the Even Skintone Serum, which is full of AHAs to address fine lines, and BHAs, to address my blackhead issues plus the excellent Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 to moisturise my skin and also protect it from the sun.

So far, the results are actually visible, and it’s only been a week. In another few weeks, I’ll go for my second treatment, which will be a Lactic Peel Treatment, all the while continuing with the products.

I feel so relieved I’m actually doing something about my skin instead of just living with it — and I’m also looking forward to even more improvements.

Check out the video below documenting another woman’s skin journey. 

What is your skin journey?