Kiwi skin therapist reveals her advice for great skin

Skin therapist Caroline Parker reveals how to age gracefully and battle dryness and oiliness in summer.

Dermalogica‘s Head of Education and skin therapist of 30 years, Caroline Parker, answers all your burning questions – including how to combat oily skin in summer and what factors are affecting your skin.

What challenges does the skin face in summer?

We have a very diverse climate in New Zealand so skin challenges will differ depending where you are.

Typically in the north of New Zealand we have warmer more humid weather, the higher moisture content in the air means our skin is less likely to dehydrate – which is a good thing however on the not-so-good side the extra heat and humidity can mean that we can experience an increase in oiliness and breakout activity.

To combat the increase in breakouts and oily shine look for a serum you can use daily and which won’t dry your skin, some of the newer ones use skin friendly probiotic bacteria to control acne-causing bacteria (try Breakout Control). For shine control look for a lightweight mattifying moisturiser.

In contrast further south in New Zealand there is usually less humidity, the dry, hot air can literally leach moisture out of our skin leaving it feeling dry, tight and uncomfortable.

To keep your skin hydrated look for an oil-free serum that can be used under a moisturiser (try Skin Hydrating Booster).

What’s something you wish women would do that would be beneficial for their skin?

I would love everyone to have their skin type and conditions confirmed by a skin professional.

Lots of people buy skincare products based on what they think they should use or what a friend has said is good, and then they find that product doesn’t suit their skin, sometimes with a really unpleasant outcome like redness and irritation.

Qualified skin therapists are much more accessible now – even if you aren’t having a skin treatment you can still have a face mapping skin analysis which will give you all the knowledge you need to understand what type of products will work for your skin.

What do you think is the biggest problem Kiwi women are facing in terms of their skin?

Uneven skin tone is a major skin concern for many Kiwi women, with many of us looking for products to erase the brown patches and bring back more even-toned skin.

The cause of this skin discolouration can vary, often it’s due to accumulated damage from UV exposure but other factors include hormones, skin trauma and acne.

Discoloured skin is perceived as “aged skin” while luminous, bright skin is perceived as healthier and younger.

What kind of factors go into how our skin looks and feels?

Your skin is a reflection of you, and is influenced by your general health and lifestyle.

A healthy vitamin rich diet will support your body including your skin while in contrast less nutritious food and drinks will take their toll leaving your skin dull and dehydrated. Adequate sleep is critical to skin health as the skin naturally regenerates at night.

Any tips for ageing gracefully?

I think focus on having healthy skin that makes you feel confident. Healthy skin is smooth and well hydrated – it feels supple and comfortable.

These things can be achieved with a good basic regimen of cleansing, exfoliating, tone and moisturise and maybe some help from a serum to hydrate or retinol to boost skin smoothness and firmness.

Try a tint instead of foundation as the lighter coverage of a tint can be more flattering as we age, maybe add a primer underneath which will give your tint a bit more staying power and can add more luminosity.

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