Now that the ravages of winter weather are fading and summer’s heat hasn’t fully kicked in, it’s the perfect time to kick your skin into shape. During Skin Gym Week on bodyandsoul.com.au, we’re sharing the tips and tools improve your skin health- from face-friendly meal plans to the most effective professional treatments, to the best and buzziest products, it’s everything you need to get the best skin of your life – from the inside-out.
Elyse Knowles is known for her down-to-earth, Aussie can-do attitude, here the 27-year-old Byron Bay based model and Myer Ambassador chats to body+soul about her personal skin journey, how she stays positive when her skin is less-than perfect, the lessons she’s learnt along the way and shares her tips for keeping your complexion in check.
Do your research
“I came off the pill when I was 21 and ever since then my skin has flared up. It’s been an ongoing battle for years trying to find out why my skin is going crazy, but it’s come down to a hormonal imbalance in my body. You may think it’s all external and what’s happening on the surface of the skin, but it [can just as much be] internal, so I’ve been learning a lot about that along the way.”
“I’ve spent the last few months drenching myself in research,” she writes on her website. “I’ve been talking to experts, friends, family and colleagues about skin in general. When you spend some time learning about whatever it is you’re stressing over, it can help to calm you and you begin to see how and why things work the way they do – cause and effect! As they say knowledge is power, and it’s very true!”
Before moving to Byron Bay, Knowles began seeing Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Cosmetic Acupcunturist Dr. Vivian Tam: “I’ve been taking Chinese medicine from about 6 months and have been changing the doses to make them stronger because nothing seems to be working, so I’m currently on that journey,” she says. “We also did some research into my diet. I eat sugar and that’s always something that flares up my skin but my skin shouldn’t be like this because of having one piece of chocolate and I’m not going to give up that indulgence, because that’s what keeps me sane!”
Keep it clean and simple
When it comes to treating her breakouts, she prefers alternative and natural therapies, with natural products at the top of her list. “I only use all-natural, clean products. I can’t bear to think that I could have chemicals going into the biggest pores in my kin and then going straight through to my bloodstream,” she tells us. “I’ve made my skincare routine simple and I’m not using heaps of products. I take my makeup off with Face Halo ($30, at Face Halo) with water and no chemicals, then I use Mukti Organics Vitamin Booster Vital C Elixir ($109.95, at Mukti Organics), a vitamin A at night, Dermaviduals Suusmoon Lotion N ($139, at Dermaviduals)and Liberty Belle Superstar SPF 50+ ($60, at Liberty Belle).
I’m trying to minimise the amount of products I use, and only use the ones that make a difference. People are always suggesting products, and every time I go to get a facial they tell me to use this and use that but I am doing my own research now because everyone always tells you different things. So I listen and educate myself from others, but I it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t for your own skin.”
A regular for microneedling and light therapy, Elyse tries to visit her local salon Aesthetica as much as possible. “I try and do microneedling monthly, or whenever I can which is hard because I can’t have a red face for work, but whenever I have downtime I do that and light therapy. I also have facials at Little Company, I had one last week and they do a really nice exfoliant, which I don’t do at home I let them do it properly. It’s very important to build a relationship with someone who knows your skin instead of chopping and changing [salons] all the time.”
Don’t sweat the small stuff
“Stress and freaking out over things doesn’t help. Keeping my mind positive helps a lot because when I‘m stressed I get bad skin and when I get bad skin I get angry so it’s just a vicious cycle,” she explains.
To overcome feeling self-conscious when her skin is less than perfect the model looks at the big picture.
“I feel self-conscious all the time, I have people staring at me 24/7 and makeup artists playing with my face and always touching up my little friends, but I’ve learnt to accept that that’s me. If you have big, under-the-skin pimples it’s frustrating because you just want them gone and it takes a while. But if that’s the only negative than that’s OK. Other people aren’t actually looking at your skin – you may think that are but they’re worried about something else in their own lives – we’ve all got little things that we’re worried about. I’m healthy, I’m happy and I’m grateful that this is the only little negative I have to worry about, so I’ll take that.”