Is your skin oily, dry or combination? Are your breakouts a result of stress, environmental factors or the products you're using? 

A self skin diagnosis may be the most time and cost effective solution but, as I only just managed to discover recently, it's definitely not the most effective one. 

Why am I telling you this? 

Because a few weeks before the Christmas holidays something happened, and my body decided it was time to play not-very-funny tricks on my skin – which is not exactly what you want when you're about to embark on a two week vacay. I tried everything; cleansing extra thoroughly, drinking more water, eating well, and even called on the help of some super strength targeted breakout cream, but nothing worked. 

A few weeks ago I took a little trip across town to North Sydney to visit Dermalogica's headquarters, where I was treated to an hour long skin consultation and treatment. While kicking back on the bed in my all-white attire (i.e. super cosy robe) I learned a lot about my skin and now, after only two weeks of sticking to my prescribed regime, both myself, and my skin are back to being happy little Vegemites. 


I always thought it was dry, but it's mostly dehydrated. 'Dry' is a skin type, describing the characteristics of your skin that you inherited from your parents. 'Dehydrated' is a skin condition, which refers to a loss of moisture in the skin. It's important to know if you're dealing with the skin type or condition (or both) to be able to provide your skin with what it needs to fix the problem. 

My skin type is 'combination/dry' which, in simple terms, means oil flows through certain areas of my face and hardly in others. So, while I've always been reaching for products intended for 'dry' skin on the shelf, I should be seeking out 'balancing' ranges. 

Skin likes stability. If you find something that works, stick to it. Don't be an over-excited little product junkie like me and juggle different brands and product ranges from week-to-week.

I need to exfoliate more (but this doesn't mean scrubbing). It's all about gentle products that limit physical abrasion of the skin – like Daily Microfoliant

Regularly exfoliating your body is important, too. I'm always too lazy/forgetful to do this, but the pay-off is well worth it. You'll be super soft and glowing all over. 

Keep it simple (step away from the products, Carmen). I need to avoid over-stimulating my skin, as this can be one of the main causes of dehydration, congestion and sensitivity (which my skin also suffers from). 

Stress really is your skin's enemy. We've all read this, but I kind of never believed it. How bad could it actually be, right? It's bad. Very very bad, so boil up a chamomile tea, take a few deep breaths and get off Instagram