LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
When you're stressed, your body's response is to go into fight-or-flight mode. Being in this state stimulates your cortisol levels, causing inflammation and making your sebaceous glands go into overdrive, which in turn increases oil production in your skin. In other words, stress can wreak havoc on your gut, and an unbalanced gut can cause breakouts and bad skin.
So, above all else, pay attention to the gut. Drink lots of water, eat nutritious food, try to manage your stress levels, and support your gut health by taking pre and probiotics and prebiotics. Our recommendation? We love The Beauty Chef Glow Powder and IMBIBE's Beauty Renewal.
SET THE MOOD
Create a spa-like experience by turning off your phone, lighting a candle, dimming the lights and playing some relaxing music. If you have the time, run a bath and add a bath soak like Botanical Signature's Deep Zen Bath Salt which is packed with detoxifying Epsom salt, dead sea minerals, quartz and kaolin clay.
Use a good body scrub to slough off any dead skin like Butt Naked's Sugar & Fruit Body Scrub, which includes glycolic acid and olive oil. We also love Salus's spa-strength Eucalyptus & Rosemary Body Scrub to stimulate cell renewal and restore a youthful glow.
Moisturising after scrubbing and bathing is the best way to provide intense moisture and to restore your skin's hydrolipidic film (aka your skin's bodyguard). Our top picks are Botanical Signature's Deep Zen Body Oil with revitalising Frankincense, Salus's Patchouli & Rose Ultra Moisture Body Oil and Butt Naked's Rose Body Oil.
GET SOME FACE TIME
Now that you're in the right headspace, it's time to turn our attention to, well, your head! Your face to be more specific.
First things first: double down on cleansing and make sure your skin is free of any makeup or dirt. Grab your favourite cleanser and take time – at least 30 seconds – to really work the product into your skin. Then wash it off with water. We like to use a cotton face cloth for a little extra exfoliation.
MAKE IT STEAMY
Once your skin is squeaky clean, it's time to unclog your pores and prep your skin for the treatments. To create your own facial steam, steep a handful of herbs (try herbal tea, lavender essential oil or lemon peel) in a bowl of boiling water. Then, place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl to trap the steam for about 10 minutes.
WEAR A MASK
Now for the fun stuff – a mask! This part depends on your skin type and whether you need something hydrating (sheet masks are great for this), exfoliating (those that include AHA and BHAs help to remove dead skin cells), or detoxifying (clay is the way to go). To clear out any impurities and for a little bit of a luxe ritual, we love Addition Studio's Australian Native Clay Mask.
ROLL IT OUT
Jade rollers and gua shas are having a moment right now, and it's easy to see why. These centuries-old tools are both great for lymphatic drainage, blood flow and collagen production by sculpting and toning the face shape.
Jade rollers have one larger stone for bigger areas of the face (cheeks, jaw, forehead) and a smaller stone for harder to reach places (undereye, mouth). Start by applying a generous amount of facial oil and roll in an upward stroke, using gentle pressure. Always start from the centre of your face, out. Pass over the same patch of skin three to four times, moving to the outer edge of your face. Make sure you don't roll backwards.
Take a similar approach with gua sha. Again, apply a generous amount of facial oil and hold the tool at an angle to the skin (between 15 and 45 degrees). Using gentle pressure, pull (never push) from the side of the nose toward the side of the face, from the centre of the forehead out towards the temples, etc.
MOISTURISE TO THE MAX
If you gave the jade roller or gua sha a try and applied face oil, then you're good to go! As a rule, oils can penetrate moisturisers, but not vice versa. If you didn't use those fancy tools, then it's time to apply a generous dose of moisturiser before you head to bed. We love this Midnight Dew Oil for maximum hydration while you sleep so you can wake up looking radiant.