'STOP using that acne treatment.' Words from a wise woman about your face.

Natural Instinct
Thanks to our brand partner, Natural Instinct



That’s what I’ve become since doing these Natural Instinct Q and As.

It’s like I’m someone from CSI discovering skin care tips and secrets for the good of humanity. Except I’m not. I’m discovering it for you good folk reading it.

Although that’s kind of like the good of humanity – right? Anyway…. I’m soaking up this beauty knowledge like a 5-year-old soaks up swear words.

This week I asked my friend, journalist Wendy Squires, what she puts on her face each day. As someone who has worked in magazines and in the media most of her life, Wendy looks for facts in everything – she loves to read a label or two.

That’s why I was so pumped to see what secrets she shared and products she recommended.

Q: You’re not a high-maintenance person but you know your way around a beauty counter. What do you put on your skin each day – morning through till night?

A: As I’m not a morning person – at all – the first thing I do is splash cold water on my face to try to wake myself out of my sleep coma. My dog Iggy allows me 10 minutes before he is scratching at the door for his morning walk so I use a mild, gentle cleanser with no preservatives, then a thin layer of light moisturiser with a 30SPF and I’m out the door with Iggy to fetch coffee.

Returning home I shower and loofah and then apply an oil-rich body moisturiser as it tends to absorb faster than others and I am super lazy. Again, I apply a moisturiser with SPF to my face and then a BB cream for sensitive skin.

Over the top I apply a mineral makeup powder, a touch of blush, and some tinted lip balm. I no longer wear mascara as well, I can’t really be bothered and I tend to rub my eyes and smear it. So I get my lashes tinted once a month and curl them instead.

At night, I make sure I cleanse thoroughly with a gentle cleanser then add some drops of Rosehip Oil to my moisturiser as a serum.

“At night, I make sure I cleanse thoroughly with a gentle cleanser then add some drops of Rosehip Oil to my moisturiser as a serum.” Wendy Squires (L) with Kate Leaver (R).

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

A: I try to drink lots of water but I never manage as much as I’m supposed to. I really enjoy stretching my body and mind so yoga is my exercise of choice, however, as I’ve put on some weight recently, I’m adding a few hours a week on a cross trainer to my routine. Here’s hoping it works.

Q: As a writer – a lot of your time would be spent inside in front of your laptop. How do you make sure you get a nature hit each day?

A: Nothing makes me happier in this life than being with my dog. I never take my mobile phone on walks with him as it’s our special time together. I live in St Kilda in Melbourne by the bay which I love. Unlike Sydney, dogs are welcome on Victorian beaches all year around. Iggy is crazy for a wave, no matter how small. Seeing him chasing a bobbing piece of seaweed is pure heaven.

Q: You have a beautiful dog – how has he changed your lifestyle?

A: Iggy motivates me in so many ways, he really is my best friend. I take him for a walk at least three times a day, which gets me out of the house. As a writer, I tend to spend a lot of time in my own head and as someone who works from home, I also tend to spend a lot of time indoors. Iggy is much more social than I am so on every walk he tends to say hi to a neighbour or another dog. I’ve made some great friends through him. He is a magnet for good energy.

Wendy with Kate Leaver during a recent interview.

Q: Have you become more aware of what you are putting on your skin as you get older?

A: I had terrible skin most of my life – inherited cystic acne – and as such I got so much advice about my skin that was, in a word, crap. I used products that made it worse instead of treating the underlying sensitivity. I was also a beauty writer for a few years and, unlike many today, had been a newspaper journalist prior.

So, I attacked the job of writing beauty as I would any other story, by checking the facts. So many ingredients that are supposed to be miracles are just chemicals that do little other than cost a lot and, in a lot of cases, irritate the skin.

Q: What products have you stopped putting on your skin?

A: I don’t use anything too harsh these days. I went through a phase of using Retinol-based products to try to treat my acne scarring but I found they stripped my skin and made it red and even more sensitive and susceptible to breakouts.


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

A: To me it is all about treating my skin for what it is – highly sensitive. I am really cautious of any products with lots of chemicals. The skin is the body’s biggest organ, which lots of people tend to forget. They watch what they ingest in terms of food then slather all sorts of chemicals on their skin, which are then absorbed into the blood stream. I love very gentle products. They are just as effective in terms of cleansing and moisturising if you find the right ones for your skin. They are also a lot cheaper than products packed with nasty ingredients that promise the world and deliver little.

Wendy with friend Vivian Vassos and dog Iggy. Image via Twitter @wendy_squires

Q: What is your must-have skincare product at the moment and should I buy it too?

A: I am addicted to Rosehip oil. It is gentle, efficient, natural and inexpensive. Oh, and sunscreen for sensitive skin.

Q: I know you struggled with your skin when you were younger. If you could recommend one thing to your younger self about skincare – what would it be?

A: Stop applying all those horrible, irritating and drying acne products to your face. They will only make it worse and encourage scarring. Acne is a hormonal imbalance. See a dermatologist and treat the problem from the inside out. Be nice to your skin. You will have to bear the brunt of what you do to it when you’re young a long, long time.

Q: As a journalist you always look for facts….has understanding skincare ingredients always been an integral part of your beauty approach?

A: Oh yes, so much. Read labels on skincare products like you would food products. If there are lots of letter combinations meaning chemicals, beware. And do not buy the bull. So much of those expensive products are just marketing, hype and packaging.


How do you keep your skin healthy?


Here are some of our fave celebs and their glowing, healthy skin:

Want more? Try these:

You’ve heard about Mia Freedman’s green smoothie obsession – now here’s her other health tips.

NSW Health Minister slams Pete Evans’ anti-fluoride stance.

Zoe Foster Blake’s ‘Oh Sh*t The Baby Is Starting To Cry 2-minute’ makeup routine.