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It's all in the technique

Date
Glowing complexion ... Charlene Florian practises what she preaches.

Glowing complexion ... Charlene Florian practises what she preaches.

Skincare doesn't need to be complicated. It's about finding the right products - ''an excellent cleanser, a moisturiser and something to remove the build-up of surface skin cells'' and then using them consistently, according to Charlene Florian. She's the vice-president of corporate creative development for the luxury spa line Kerstin Florian and daughter of its founder. She's also the archetypal golden California girl (rather than the miserable emaciated type). While keen to extol the benefits of the brand on her visit to launch it in Australia this week, she's equally willing to share some of her holistic beauty tips. These too are straightforward. In theory.

Florian, 44, and mother of two, does all the things the rest of us know we should be doing, start to do, then let fall away when real life, or a piece of cake, gets in the way. Living the beautiful life ''is the path I've chosen'', she says. She's been doing it - consistently - for years. And it shows.

Florian meditates (beachside), practices yoga (ashtanga), hikes the hills (of Orange County) or, when her schedule's tight, trampolines (for 15 minutes) in the backyard. She has visited high-end spas all over the world to learn massage, aromatherapy and herbal medicine. (She's just got back from a more rustic trip to Peru where she studied Amazonian herbs). She eats really well - 50 per cent raw, no meat, no refined sugar and lots of juicing daily, not only of vegetables but of Chinese tonic herbs and grasses. ''It's honestly been a passion of mine to understand longevity,'' she said. ''Even from the start of college I was into exercise, working in a gym. It's all about balance. To me it's a journey. There's no end to the improvements you can make to your health.''

Her passion, her reading and her travels translate into ingredient research and product development for Kerstin Florian. ''I'm always looking for interesting plant-based and technically advanced ingredients,'' she says. The company produces 95 skin and body care products (the sublime Caviar Age Defence Creme is $287) and offers 25 spa treatments including, now, at five high-end Australian day spas including Aurora Spa at St Kilda and Eforea Spa at Hilton Surfers Paradise. ''We have quite a number of products because everyone has different skin needs,'' says Florian. ''It is essential to have a proper skin analysis and use the products recommended. You don't need a lot of products. It's really about simplicity and consistency.''

Do you keep your product list simple? How many products do you use? More importantly, according to Florian, do you use the right ones and do you use them regularly? And like her, do you ensure you get your beauty benefits from healthy lifestyle habits? More to the point, do you manage to keep them up?

8 comments so far

  • Good skin comes from the inside as well as the outside. I eat well - 3 meat free nights a week, everything home made and I've been reading David Gillispie's books about sugar and seed oils being bad for you. So Í've gone back to the diet my grandparents had (and the one I had as a child). Everything fresh and cooked from scratch, and food made on butter, olive oil and beef dripping (although not in the same meal). Lots of steamed veggies and salads greens and wholegrain breads.

    Now I'm steadily shedding weight and my skin is loving me for it. I'm also consistent in my beauty routine. At night, makeup off using Dove Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser (in the blue tube) and warm water and jojoba oil to moisturise. In the morning, a quick splash of warm water to wake up and more jojoba oil to moisturise. Then light makeup and I'm ready for the day.

    I've been following the external beauty routine for years now, I just change cleansers every year to try new things and see if they work better than previous ones. I've also taken up walking for exercise again and the combination of unadulterated food, steady beauty routine and a reconnection with exercise and nature has not only lifted my mood but given my skin a new lease on life.

    Commenter
    Audra Blue
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    April 19, 2012, 12:46PM
    • I agree that you don't need many products - and who wants to apply that many chemicals (natural or not) to their skin every day anyway? I find that using Karin Herzog oxygen products I only need to use a couple of products and my skin looks the best it's done for years. A simple cleanser ( I like Cetaphil from the chemists) and then the oxygen cream for my face and a special one for my eyes and that's it. I've been doing this simple regimen for about 2 years and I never get breakouts and my lines have reduced and skin just looks more healthy somehow.

      I've also swapped exercising in a gym to doing something outdoors instead and I much prefer it. Even if it's just a walk I feel more healthy and relaxed and I think that is reflected in my skin too. It is hard to keep it up (especially in winter) but I keep reminding myself that I never regret it afterwards!

      Commenter
      Sam
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      April 19, 2012, 12:48PM
      • Its nigh impossible to fully reverse skin damage caused by the sun, no cream can achieve more than 2% improvement in my opinion. Fillers & botox just make you look like a freak and expensive plastic surgery is a high price to pay compared to a bottle of sunscreen.

        I am 44, have been wearing sunscreen since my late teens due to being the owner of skin than burns easily and I often get told I look like I'm in my early 30's. Wear it on any exposed part of your body, especially on your face, neck, chest and back of hands and wrinkles will be kept at bay.

        Also, why not picture a more truthful representation of Charlene, one which has far less photoshopping.

        Commenter
        Bella18
        Location
        Perth
        Date and time
        April 19, 2012, 1:24PM
        • Well said. Too much fake science in the beauty industry these days. They make you believe you can eat and drink anything you want, party all night, never sleep - just wipe something on your skin to look healthy?? young?? Who do they think they're fooling?
          You can't wipe health into the skin - you gotta live it.

          Commenter
          Denise
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          April 19, 2012, 2:52PM
      • Its simple Jyunka, Omega 3 oils and a good work out!

        Works every time :)

        Commenter
        Alias
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        April 19, 2012, 1:39PM
        • To be honest I tell my patients that it's the modern processed food and drinks that kill our looks. You'll never maintain healthy skin if you eat mainly acid producing foods - coffee, dairy,cereals, meat, bread, soft drinks, fruit juice etc. On top of that we don't exercise enough and we overload on stress. I recommend metabolic treatments to help detox years of built up residues in the skin and to help stimulate new collagen cells. Creams do nothing for the metabolism. We need something deeper and more meaningful from the beauty industry - a metabolic makeover works better than anything.

          Commenter
          Denise Lamond
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          April 19, 2012, 2:46PM
          • By "metabolic make-over" do you mean just a better diet or something else as well?

            Commenter
            question
            Date and time
            April 19, 2012, 7:15PM
        • I am reading the book "Timeless Makeup" at the moment by Rae Morris (a world known makeup artist so I found out although I had never heard of her). In it she says she uses as an exfoliant bicarb of Soda from the pantry and mixes it with her cleanser. I tried this a couple of nights ago - brilliant. I will never buy exfoliant again!

          I use Cetaphil from priceline as my cleanser, QV night cream at night, Olay regenerist as my day cream and Olay's eye cream (I can't remember the name of it). My body exfoliant is whatever shower gel I use and the back scrubber brush in the shower and my body moisturiser is Palmers Olive butter.

          I have fair hair and exceptionally fair skin and really only put blockout on when I go to the beach. Regardless of how well you look after yourself, genetics plays the biggest part in your ageing process. My 2 sisters and I are fortunate that both our ageing parents 73 and 67 have aged beautifully. Our skin remains wonderful with me in my early 40's and my sisters in their late 40's.

          Commenter
          newbie
          Date and time
          April 19, 2012, 4:44PM

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