3 chic mothers spill their skin care secrets and favourite beauty buys

When it comes to skin care, we’re always on the lookout for products that will make our skin really glow...

As time-poor mothers, we want to diminish signs of ageing, combat acne and reduce sun damage and we want to do it quickly. Enter Retinol – it’s the superstar of the skin care industry and for good reason. When it comes to tired skin, retinol is the most sought after ingredient in the treatment of ageing skin. Why? Because it actually works and we found a product that will work its magic at night while you’re sleeping. The idea is you wake up looking fresh (we can’t promise that’ll happen if the kids have been up all night – sorry).

Dermalogica’s new Overnight Retinol Repair 1%, is a powerful anti-ageing treatment that works overnight to effectively reduces the signs of skin ageing. We’ve previously been using Overnight Retinol Repair, but this new product is even stronger (we asked, they listened). The new formula is enriched with clinical-strength retinol 1% to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone, as well as combat free radical damage. The treatment comes with a buffer cream so you can slowly introduce the retinol to your skin. So how do you get your hands on it? It’s available in store when recommended by a professional skin therapist. You can find your nearest authorised Dermalogica skin treatment centre via the brand’s store locator here. Read on to find out more about the skin care regimes of three chic mothers and how they make their skin glow post-kids…

Sibella Court, interior stylist, author and founder of The Society Inc.

It’s easy to see why stylist, author, designer and self-confessed globetrotter Sibella Court is a master of a simple yet effective skin care routine. Juggling her creative director hat with being a mum to three-year-old Silver, the interiors magician is as known for her inimitable design aesthetic as she is for her personal style, which mixes pared-down luxury with just the right amount of eclectic, a little like her retail store, The Society Inc.

We recently caught up with the acclaimed interiors expert to talk morning routine, how her skin has improved since becoming a mother and what her go-to beauty products are (hint: it seems retinol might be the secret!).

Photography: Julie Adams | Hair and makeup: Jessica Diez | Words: Marisa Remond | Go to www.thesocietyinc.com.au

What’s your approach to skincare?

I try to keep it as simple as possible! In the mornings, I mix my moisture, SPF and a serum in my hand and apply as one then a very light foundation. In the evenings, it’s a scrub or cleanse while showering and I have a little more time to layer up my products afterwards.

What are your go-to products and why do you love them?

I change it up depending on my travel schedule and the season:
Trilogy Rosehip oil is a go-to.
Dr Hauschka rose body oil.
Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist, Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil and Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex.
My Maison Michael hat.

Tell us about Dermalogica’s Overnight Retinol Repair 1% and what differences you've noticed in your skin since you started using it?

I use this daily. My skin does not get congested anymore, it’s smooth and my pigment has faded – not sure if this is all because of the Retinol! (Shop it here)

How has your skin changed since you became a mother?

I believe it has improved. It might have something to do with accidentally falling asleep with Silver before 9pm!

Can you talk us through your morning routine - how long does it take you to get out the door in the morning?

I have never been one to muck around in the mornings. We can turn it around within an hour of waking if we have to, but at this stage Silver is still allowing me to choose her outfits so that may all change.

All-time favourite beauty tips?

Eat your greens; exercise regularly; wear sunscreen and a hat; Swim in the ocean; Laugh.

Georgie Abay, founder of The Grace Tales & GRACE magazine

Our founder and mother of two Georgie Abay takes a minimal approach to her beauty regime. We quizzed her on her beauty tips, why Dermalogica’s Overnight Retinol Repair 1% is an essential part of her skin care routine and what makes her skin feel fresh.

Images: Grace Alyssa Kyo

What’s your approach to skin care?

To be honest, I keep my beauty cabinet pretty minimal. I try to just fill it with products I actually use rather than a mass of things I never touch. Since becoming a mother, I tend to focus on natural products that are formulated without artificial fragrances and colours. I’m big on hydration (especially in winter) and anti-ageing is a big focus for me when looking at products. I want lotions and potions that reduce visible wrinkles and improve skin firmness. Basically, I need the powerful stuff that works miracles. Since having kids, I do feel I look about 10 years older. Ah, the joys of motherhood (love you kids).

What are your go-to products and why do you love them?

I remember my mother sending me up the road for a facial and the therapist used Dermalogica’s unique Face Mapping skin analysis to basically decode my skin. I left equipped with a results-driven regimen. It’s free and I’d highly recommend it! Dermalogica’s products are gentle (perfect for those with sensitive skin) and effective. Tick, tick.

What makes your skin feel fresh?

A shower; a swim in the ocean; a good night’s sleep; eating well; microdermabrasion (or using Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, which is such an effective, gentle exfoliant – I discovered it many, many years ago and still love it); a good cleanser; and a super hydrating moisturiser. If only I could do all of the above all the time! Luckily, the skin care part is easy.

Have you used Dermalogica’s new Overnight Retinol Repair 1% and what did you like about it?

As a mother of two young children, I was a tad excited when I discovered this new product (previously I’d used Dermalogica’s Overnight Retinol Repair and built up to this new formula). It’s a powerful treatment cream, which accelerates skin renewal and reduces the appearance of skin ageing overnight. I repeat, overnight. That’s kind of the best part – you wake up with fresher skin (even if you’ve got less sleep than you’d planned). It contains active microencapsulated pure Retinol, which helps to increase collagen production and cell turnover. This active 1% microencapsulated pure Retinol formula helps accelerate skin renewal. It also contains powerful peptides and antioxidant Vitamin C, which helps to fight signs of aging (hello uneven skin tone and discoloration). Squalane from Brazilian Sugar Cane helps to restore skin moisture and suppleness while active polysaccharides hydrate and prevent water loss to help soften fine lines. It also contains soothing Licorice Extract and customizable Buffer Cream which reduces the risk of flaking or irritation as the skin acclimates to Retinol. Another plus? It’s formulated without artificial fragrances, colours or parabens.

Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair 1%, $145. How do you use this product? Mix one part Overnight Retinol Repair 1% with up to three parts Buffer Cream (included) and apply to cleansed skin at night. Once your skin is acclimated, you may use Overnight Retinol Repair 1% alone, prior to or mixed with your prescribed Dermalogica Moisturizer. New to Retinol? Start with Dermalogica’s original Overnight Retinol Repair and build up to Overnight Retinol Repair 1%.

How has your skin changed since you became a mother?

I’ve definitely aged since I’ve had kids. I look at photos of myself pre-children and can’t believe how fresh-faced I looked! Sigh. I’m generally always behind on sleep and often put my own wellbeing to the bottom of the list. A great skin care regime really is so important – I need simple, natural products that really work and won’t irritate my skin.


Can you talk us through your morning routine…

Our girls are up between 6 and 7 in the morning and it’s pretty chaotic once they’re up. I recently got into the habit of rising at 5am and spending an hour on getting ready, work and domestic things before they got up (shower and face done and dusted, laundry pile cleared, house tidied and school bags ready). It’s amazing. My husband always tells me “you need to control the day, not let the day control you.” My early starts are a new habit. I was finding that when I got up at the same time as the girls, the day was controlling me and I felt I was racing against the clock. If I’m up early, things just flow more smoothly. It doesn’t always happen, but I’m making a real effort to get up early. We have a wonderful au pair who either helps with the dogs who need walking or getting the kids off to school. We’ve had au pairs live with us since our youngest was two-months-old and I couldn’t do what I do without them – they’re such an amazing help and always feel like part of our little family. Once the kids are at pre-school, I have my second coffee for the morning (I’m trying to cut down) and get stuck into work for the day. If I’m organised, I’ll have make up on. But if not, it’s done at my desk!

All-time favourite beauty tips?

It’s really about getting back to basics – drink lots of water, cleanse your skin, eat healthily and exercise. While I’m not terribly strict about my diet and could certainly drink more water and less coffee, I think it’s all about moderation. Oh, and always wear sunscreen (I love Dermalogica’s Solar Defence Booster SPF50)! I also think eye cream is an essential for mothers. Try Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex.

What did your own mother teach you about caring for your skin and beauty?

Mum always said don’t bother wasting money on clothes – spend it on your skin. While I do love to shop for clothes (less so since becoming a mother), I also look after my skin. My mum has always taken such good care of her skin and now in her 60s, she looks incredible.

Elise Pioch, founder of Maison Balzac and mother to Loulou

The French founder of Maison Balzac (a chic line of perfumed candles and bespoke and ceremonious objects for everyday life) and mother to now four-year-old Loulou, Elise Pioch shares her skin care tips and tricks and what makes her skin glow.

Photograph: Julie Adams | Go to www.maisonbalzac.com

What’s your approach to skin care?

Extremely simple and efficient! I barely have time for anything in the morning and evening so it has to be quick.

What are your go-to products and why do you love them?

I have been obsessed with Dermalogica products for the last year and can’t have a day without the Precleanse (the smell of citrus is heaven) and the Hydrating Masque (which I use as a day cream). Since the age of 16, I have used the Beauty Flash Balm by Clarins (it’s a miracle two minute mask to apply before a night out to look fresh) and recently I have been loving the Wild Rose botanical mist by Wildcrafted (I get mine from Luna Apothecary in Surry Hills).

What makes your skin feel fresh?

The Precleanse and Skin Smoothing cream (both by Dermalogica) leave my skin feeling plump, fresh and glowing. It makes me feel happy too!

Have you ever used Dermalogica’s Overnight Retinol Repair 1% and what did you like about it?

I have discovered the Overnight Retinol Repair 1% treatment a week ago and I am slowly building the concentration up. I really like how I wake up looking less tired and I know it’s silly but all night I imagine the Retinol working really hard on my skin while I am having a rest.

How has your skin changed since you became a mother?

Sadly my skin has come second since I had Loulou (four years ago). This is why I only go to products that don’t need too much work. I can’t do a 15 minute mask or three different washes (scrubs, cleanse, lotion)!

Can you talk us through your morning routine...

My mornings are extremely rushed… we wake up at 8am, give breakfast to Loulou and while she is eating it I prepare her lunch box. When she is ready at 8:30am, I jump in the bathroom to make sure my face is ok, I cleanse my skin in 2 seconds, wash it off, apply one of the Dermalogica creams I have on hand ( I like to alternative products so my skin doesn’t get too used to anything), brush my teeth and off I go to drop her off at school, I am out the door by 8:33am! When I get back from school, I sit down at my desk and work work work until it’s time to cook dinner for the three of us. My days are packed like an egg! And my skin is always looked after in a rush.

All-time favourite beauty tips?

My mum taught me to apply serums and creams by tapping them into the skin with the tip of the fingers. It’s like a little ritual and I think of her every time I do it.

What did your own mother teach you about caring for your skin and beauty?

My mum and her mum were facial therapists and perfumers for a while (they had their own salon together) so I’ve always seen them look after their skin, before bed they would take so long cleaning their face and neck then applying creams that smelt so good (mostly roses). It is the best example I could ever have and I am trying my hardest to follow their routines, but right now it’s just impossible to be as diligent as them. I hope soon I will make it a priority and hopefully it won’t be too late!

In association with Dermalogica