I live for summer and everything it brings: long, warm evenings, salty beach days, champagne. More beach days. More champagne.
But my skin doesn’t agree. By the end of summer, my complexion is flat and dull, and my favourite beauty go-tos just don’t cut it. In November, applying a tiny, pea-sized dollop of moisturiser to my face produces a pleasing glow; by February, I’m practically applying it with a spoon.
So, this year, I decided to embark on a self-directed, one-week bootcamp to reinvigorate my skin.
The social media solution: Celery Juice
It couldn’t be that bad? Could it? As anyone on Instagram will know, celery has recently morphed from a tasteless vegetable best known as conduit for peanut butter into a “miracle superfood” that supposedly promotes weight loss, as well as clearer, brighter skin.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Pharrell Williams are both fans, as are countless wellness bloggers, and the idea is to drink 500ml of fresh celery juice, daily, on an empty stomach. And yes, there is very little evidence to corroborate any of this.
So down the hatchet… It’s not the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted (best to knock it back rather than sip it casually) but I was expecting worse. By far the hardest part was waiting 30 minutes before I could have coffee.
I didn’t notice much improvement at first but by day three, my skin’s redness and sensitivity had reduced and my digestion seemed faster. By day five my often-spotty chin had cleared. But just when I was starting to wonder if Gwyneth might actually be on to something, my entire household came down with gastro and just the thought of celery juice turned my stomach. So that was that.
The professional products: Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Duo
After my brief flirtation with a quick-fix Insta-famous option, I decided it was time to turn to the professionals – in this case, Emma Hobson, at the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica. She introduced me to one of the brand’s latest products: the Dermalogica Moisture Intense Duo – a cleanser and moisturiser designed to be used together.
She wasn’t surprised my skin felt dull and dehydrated. “We live in a world where we’re bombarded by moisture-stripping threats,” she explains. Pollution, poor diet and stress all conspire to deplete our skin’s natural oils. Throw in a summer’s worth of hot, sunny days and “you may notice fine crepey lines, dryness and possibly flakiness,” she told me. “Plus, your skin may feel tight, itchy – and when you look in the mirror, it’s dull and lacking in luminosity.” Yep, that’s me!
At first I was nervous that the range would be too rich for me. I was wrong. The cleanser removed the day’s dirt without causing the dreaded post-cleansing ‘tightness’. (Thanks to a unique BioReplenish Complex™ designed to inject a combination of essential lipids into the skin.)
The moisturiser was another success. Containing ‘dual hyaluronic acid technology’, the Intensive Moisture Balance “hydrates at different layers of the skin to increase and lock in moisture,” says Hobson. By the end of the week, my skin felt hydrated, radiant, refreshed and soothed.
The Probiotic Powder
The Beauty Chef ‘GLOW’ Powder, $65
Confession: this isn’t the first time I’ve tried this. But over the past six months (oh alright, the past year) I’d somehow fallen off the bandwagon (hello kids, work, life).
For the uninitiated, Beauty Chef probiotic powders, which contain all-Australian ingredients, claim to improve skin health from the inside out and so every day, I added the delicious, berry-flavoured supplement to a big glass of water or a smoothie.
By now, with the Dermalogica products, celery juice and Beauty Chef powders, my skin was improving. How much could be attributed to Beauty Chef? On day six, my friend told me my hair looked shinier (and no, I hadn’t just washed it), which is good enough for me.
The Hydrating Treatment
Dermalogica ProSkin60 Treatment $120 (1 hour)
Is there anything as good as a facial? If so, then lying on the bed in the Dermalogica salon, snuggled under a weighted blanket, I struggled to think of it.
Within moments, my manic morning was behind me. Brittany, the therapist, thoroughly mapped out my tired skin, and tailored the treatment to my main concerns: dehydration and congestion.
Following a cleanse, exfoliation, mask, massage, LED light and ultrasound infusion – not to mention an hour to myself – I was a new person… one with glowing, hydrated skin. The secret, explained Brittany, was an exfoliator with 30% lactic acids, which helped break down dead skin cells, and an ultrasound device that used sound waves to infuse the serums and creams more deeply into my skin. I walked away glowing, relaxed and desperate to book another appointment.
So: I survived my self-inflicted ‘beauty bootcamp’ and my skin loved me for it. Can I keep it up? I can and I will (minus the celery juice).
PHOTO CREDIT: Ed Urrutia
In partnership with Dermalogica