beauty

A celebrity 'skin whisperer' shares her tips for looking after your complexion.

Over the years, I’ve been asked lots of questions about my skin routine – what products I use, what treatments work… Truthfully, I’m a bit hopeless.

I was blessed with a mother who was way ahead of her time and covered all of us in zinc cream well into our teens. She made daily sunscreen a habit from a young age. That stroke of luck, combined with her good DNA, has allowed me to put in minimum effort for last four decades.

RELATED: Are you applying your sunscreen correctly with your makeup?

These days I find my skin needs more, and by more, I mean it needs Melanie Grant. Melanie is the owner and founder of the Double Bay Clinic , an advanced skin care centre which specialised in high-level treatments, appearance medicine and nutrition. Melanie is the single best thing I’ve done for my skin because she’s all about non-invasive, glow inducing, texture-refining treatments and simple, effective home care.

She gets that most of us are time-poor, lazy and have a budget. My skin goal is to where little or no foundation and she gets me in and out in under half an hour.

Melanie and some of her celeb clients: (from left) Ruby Rose, Lara Bingle, Nicole Warne and Nicole Trufino. (Image via Instagram/MelanieGrantDBC)

Melanie is the magic behind some of Australia’s best complexions – Lara Bingle, Jessica Gomes, Nicole Trunifo, Jessica Mauboy – but the best advertisement for Melanie’s skill is her own skin, which is wonderfully pale with a porcelain texture.

As soon as I met her, I knew I would do whatever she instructed. So far that’s paid off in spades, with my skin improving almost instantly under her care.

RELATED: Noticed your skin’s been oily lately? This could be the culprit.

She’s also a mum of two, clever business women, supermodel (the Originals) obsessive and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Here, Melanie shares her top tips for healthy skin, the importance of good nutrition and her favourite two minute de-puff and glow trick.

What is the single most important thing a woman can do for her skin?

Take care of herself. Good skin really does come from within, so by eating well, getting enough sleep and keeping stress levels to a minimum you’re giving yourself the best chance at a great complexion.

What factors affect the skin most negatively?

Sun exposure, free-radical damage from smoking, drinking alcohol and processed food loaded with preservatives. Stress and hormonal imbalances impact ageing aggressively. (Post continues after gallery.)

What role does food play?

Food plays a massive role. Your skin will always affected by your health and lifestyle choices. Foods that are high in essential fatty acids such as avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds are great to feed the skin from within.

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Flaxseed oil, fish oil, zinc, vitamin B and C and probiotics are my picks for complexion nutrition.

What does eating for your skin look like on a day-to-day basis?

Drink water.

I have a smoothie most mornings with banana, blueberries, coconut water, Udo’s oil and dates. For lunch, I usually have a salmon and pea salad or a kale and tuna salad with a soft boiled egg. Dinner is almost always fish with salad or vegetables. I also try and drink two litres of lemon infused water each day to flush out toxins from coffee and wine.

RELATED: 12 (awesome) things that happen to you when you start eating right

How important is sleep?

Very. Important. This is when the body and therefore the skin, repairs itself. The more sleep you get the more regeneration and repair for your complexion.

What skin-care products should you splurge on?

Splurge on serums. My favourites are Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum ( a high potency triple antioxidant serum) and SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum (a potent mixture of antioxidants and peptides), eye cream Results RX Eye Dr and a Clarisonic.

And where can we cut corners?

I believe it’s best to have a few great products rather than many cheap products. Having said that, I love Cetaphil Cleanser which is super inexpensive and a great product. There are many great cleansers and sunscreens that are inexpensive and do a great job. (Post continues after gallery.)

When it comes to result-driven ingredients – what should we be scanning the label for?

Those with clinically proven track records such as AHAs, retinols, antioxidants and SPF. I’m not convinced of snake venom and placenta creams… yet!

What are four skincare products every women needs in her routine?

A good cleanser to properly remove your make up, an antioxidant serum for the morning, a retinol at night and a broad spectrum sunscreen every single day. The SPF 15 in your makeup doesn’t count. We live in one of the harshest climates in the world.

What are the most critical parts of your own skin-care regimen?

I take a preventative approach. The most important part of my personal regimen is an antioxidant serum – (Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum) and a broad spectrum SPF – Actinica Liposomal SPF50 (I swear by this product!) . I never leave the house without applying both of these products. Ever.

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If I have time I dab a gel eye cream under my eyes – I like Results RX Eye Dr. At night, I cleanse under the shower with a lactic acid cleanser such as Cosmedix Purity Clean, and apply a retinol serum like Cosmedix Serum 16 under my night cream.

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Twice a week, I use a Clarisonic with my lactic cleanser at night time for a really thorough clean.

If you could go back in time and give your 20-something self advice, what would be?

You don’t need a 20 step skincare regimen, and the most expensive products are not always the best.

RELATED: What you need to start, stop and continue doing in your 20s, 30s and 40s

In the clinic, how do you treat…

Pigmentation: Depending upon the type of pigment (hormonal, sun damage,) I use a combination of light chemical peels, IPL and Fraxel. Also active skincare with lightening ingredients.

Signs of ageing: Laser, radio frequency, chemical peels, light therapy, and skin needling. Anything that promotes collagen is a positive.

Acne scarring: Depending on the depth and degree of scarring I usually favour Fraxel , skin needling or sublative laser.

Check out a few of The Glow team's favourite natural Aussie skin care products (post continues after gallery)

Microdermabrasion, Fraxel, Thermage — what’s the difference?

Microdermabrasion is a gentle resurfacing treatment that is used to buff away the upper most layers of the skin promoting a clearer more polished complexion. It has no down time.

Thermage is a device that uses Radio Frequency to heat the deepest layers of the skin and promote collagen resulting in a subtle tightening. Most commonly used for the neck and lower face.

Fraxel is a skin resurfacing laser treatment used to reduce acne scarring, wrinkles, large pores, pigmentation and actinic karatoses. it pioneered laser skin resurfacing 10 years ago and today it’s a proven, safe and effective treatment. I personally have worked with Fraxel for years and love its results.

Skin Dos…

Be consistent.

Take a preventative approach? – antioxidants, retinols, sunscreen.

Always include your neck and décolletage?.

Be informed and cherry pick your products – you don’t have to have everything from the one brand or range.

Skin Don’ts?…

Don’t overload your skin with too many products.

Never go to sleep with your makeup on.

RELATED: Why sleeping in your makeup is a really bad idea

Jess Mauboy is also one of Melanie's celebrity clients. (Image via Instagram/MelanieGrantDBC)

What are your tips for slowing down the ageing process?

Stress less, avoid sugar and processed foods and… stay out of the sun.

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How important is hydration?

Hydration is so important, both internally and topically. The skin needs to be kept moist and supple to perform it’s primary function of protection and also to avoid premature ageing.

RELATED: The amount of water you should actually consume every day? It’s not 8 glasses

Instant at-home skin revitaliser?

Start with a gentle exfoliant (scrub or enzyme) and then plunge your face into a bowl of ice cold water with ice cubes – several times. This helps reduce puffiness, refine pores and tone and clarify the complexion.

Follow with a hydrating serum, moisturiser (try one with hyaluronic acid) and a light liquid foundation. Apply cheek stain to the apples of your cheeks and your lips. Keep your make up light and minimal.

Is exfoliation the answer to everything ?

Exfoliation is an effective way to keep the skin looking fresh, dewy and polished.

As we age our skin’s natural shedding process slows down. This build up of dead skin cells causes the skin to appear grey, dull and lacklustre. Exfoliating encourages cell shed and helps minimise this problem. I love ingredients such as lactic acid which chemically exfoliate the skin as well as hydrate and retinol which also encourages cell turnover.

Vitamin A or Vitamin C? Which is the best and what do they do?

They are both amazing. Vitamin A promotes collagen, cell turnover and is an absolute champion ingredient for anti ageing. Vitamin C is a great anti oxidant which prevents free radical damage in the skin.

Should we adjust our skincare from winter to summer?

As summer approaches, we should ease off rich, heavy products. Increase exfoliation and ensure that you wear a high spf sunscreen each day. Get back to using aha’s and retinols if you’ve stopped using them through winter due to the skin becoming too dry.

RELATED:Five small ways to tweak your skincare routine for winter

What are the biggest mistakes you see women make when it comes to skin maintenance?

1) Buying skincare products they have read about in magazines, or seen a celebrity endorse, without having it prescribed for their specific skin needs?.

2) Assuming that their foundation offers sufficient SPF protection.

3) Not being consistent in their regime because they have such a complicated, time consuming regimen.

How do you look after your skin?

This article was first published on The Joye