health

Poh: "I always do my own make-up for TV. Always."

Natural Instinct
Thanks to our brand partner, Natural Instinct

I used to think I could pick healthy people from miles away. They were the ones in the tights and joggers, clutching a giant green smoothie and eating an acai bowl while running. Being healthy is about so much more than posting a #fistpo photo on insta – it’s about looking after your skin, your mind and your whole body.

Poh Ling Yeow is a person who does just that. She’s famous for being on Masterchef but she’s also a graphic designer, illustrator, painter and a former makeup artist.

She knows loads about skin and eating well which is why I wanted to feast on her thoughts about all things face…

Q: Poh, you have excellent skin. Tell me exactly what you do to your face morning, noon and night…

Every morning I use a natural moisturising lotion on my entire body and face after a shower. At night I use a cleanser with a face cleansing brush my mum gave me when I was as a teenager – yes, I’ve had it for 27 years.

If I have to step out of the house, I will always put on makeup because I’m a vain git. I never use foundation, even for special occasions, because I hate the way it feels and looks on my skin, but I do conceal EVERY blemish. My look is pretty fresh and natural but it takes about 30 minutes. I like to do it well, then I rarely touch it again except to top up on gloss and maybe some powder to reduce shine.

“Every morning I use a natural moisturising lotion on my entire body and face after a shower.” Image via Instagram @pohlingyeow

Q: Do you use a particular sunscreen, moisturiser or skin care range?

I use sunscreen everyday. No particular brand – I just make sure it’s a sensitive skin product or a ‘for children’ formula. When it comes to moisturiser I prefer a lightweight, natural all over moisturiser.

Q: Tell me about your health regime – what do you do each day to look after your body?

I’m not going to lie. I do nothing in the form of exercise but running Jamface. My two market stalls have become a full-time affair – I’m always moving and very active in our commercial kitchen. It’s rare for me to sit down during the day. I eat like a horse without denying myself anything but I naturally gravitate towards lots of veggies and I try to make sure I drink a very large pot of green tea a day, and no alcohol.

Q: As well as being a chef, an artist and a graphic designer you also have experience as a makeup artist. What did touching so many faces teach you about skin?

Skin is 90 per cent genetics. As a makeup artist I learnt nothing about caring for skin – most makeup abuses it, to be honest. I’ve always stuck to what I’ve known instinctively works on my skin – it’s vastly different for everyone. I have no belief or interest in magic tonics or expensive brands. In my experience natural products are the way to go.

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” I’ve always stuck to what I’ve known instinctively works on my skin – it’s vastly different for everyone. I have no belief or interest in magic tonics or expensive brands.” Image via Instagram @pohlingyeow

Q: How do you get your dose of nature each day?

Gardening is my all-time fave outdoor activity. Growing my own food from a tiny seed is so gratifying and convenient. I love pottering around the garden and munching on stuff around me knowing it’s utterly chemical free – organic at its very best.  Also, taking the dogs for interesting walks.

Q: How do you prepare your skin for TV makeup (which is notoriously heavy)?

I don’t believe in TV or film makeup.  It’s a really dated concept that it needs to be heavier. Whatever you see in real life gets picked up on camera. I always do my own makeup and I literally don’t change a thing.

Q: Do you stress about strong chemicals on your skin?

Yes. If I feel my skin needs rejuvenating I’ll buff it with something mildly abrasive like a skin polishing glove, using my ring fingers only and a teensy bit of natural cleanser – for me the results are better and safer than anything chemical.

“Gardening is my all-time fave outdoor activity. Growing my own food from a tiny seed is so gratifying and convenient.” Image via Instagram @pohlingyeow

Q: As a chef, what’s your personal meal plan?

Lots of fruit, vegetables, tea, very little red meat and no alcohol.

Q: How have the products you use on your skin changed in the past 10 years?

It hasn’t at all. Brands have changed, but it’s always been about natural products, a facial cleanser, and then a moisturiser that covers both body and face.

Q: If you could recommend one thing to your younger self about skincare – what would it be?

Don’t listen to what others might suggest is best for you, trust how your skin feels and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. At some points I just wasn’t convinced about my very basic routine and invested in some more expensive skin care with disastrous results.

How do you get your daily dose of nature?

Want more Poh? Here’s some of the latest from her Instagram:

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