Ahh, the age-old question that has plagued us since we were teenagers. It’s the no.1 question I have been asked throughout my Model career; a very relevant question from my students now that I am a Model Coach, and a topical question from my social media family: “How can I get clear and healthy skin?”
Spoiler alert – clear and healthy skin is not achieved with botox and fillers.
Hero Image Credit: Natalie Roser Photography.
Are you a new reader?
If we have just met (hello there, and thank you for stopping by!) you would see what I look like now and not the skin journey I have been on since a teen. In case ‘comparisonitis’ was slipping in and you found yourself judging, critiquing, or throwing shade.
Let me set a level playing field here for you.
There is every chance we don’t look the same – different age bracket, background, gender, etc So you’d be forgiven for judging my clear skin as “just another privileged person giving personal advice.” And if this is you… I can’t blame you. I used to think the exact same thing of Models when I was a teenager too.
Then vs Now
Me as a teenager vs me now are two very different people. Physically and emotionally. Although a lifetime ago now, as a pre-teen, I had out of control acne. The kind of acne that gets you bullied, teased, mocked, shamed and humiliated, because when you’re 11 and going through puberty – many years before your school friends and peers – it’s a lot to try and manage. Especially when no one is showing you how to look after your skin, and no one is helping you develop the interpersonal skills to speak up and stand up for yourself and handle bullies. Combined with the frizzy hair, needing glasses to read and generally being shy and awkward… What can I say? I was such a threat back then lol.
My skin journey from pre-teen to 30s:
A few things have changed since then. Mostly the relationships I have with my own body. In between are the years of trial and error, taking on advice from industry professionals once I started to work as a Model, and saving my hard earned money to invest in my skin.
Our skin is the largest organ we have, the only one we can’t exercise, and the only one we have to carry us through this life. Skin care isn’t just for females (that would be toxic masculinity talking). If you have skin, you need skin care. Simple.
Have realistic expectations
I have to warn you – maintaining clear and healthy skin is no walk in the park. It pays to also understand that your skin will never be perfect 100% of the time, and it isn’t meant to be either. When you understand that your skin, like your life, will be a series of ‘ebb and flow’; you’ll feel better about how you look, will be less likely to be so hard on yourself, and less likely to be overwhelmed with comparison.
When I was younger, I had no idea that it takes an incredible amount of time and dedication to ensure that your skin stays smooth and acne-free. And a lot of it is age related too. There are no easy shortcuts that can make you go to bed one night and wake up with ultra-perfect skin the next day. I wished for that as a teenager and what do you know, it never happened! Many years later it did though. So, let’s get to the good stuff…
There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you’re on the right track to getting clear and healthy skin. Let’s start with possibly the most important:
1. Have a suitable skin care routine
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing your face twice a day. This is necessary to remove any oil, dirt, or pollutants that your skin has come in contact with. If you work out or perform activities that lead to profuse sweating, it’s best to take a shower soon after. To adopt a self-care routine like a Model, follow the below simple and effective routine:
- Wash/cleanse your face and neck.
- Apply Moisturiser. Use your choice of skin care – ensure this is a brand and formula that suits your skin type, age and desired needs. Avoid toners as they are typically alcohol based and will dry out your skin.
- Apply a 50+ UVA/UVB broad spectrum sunscreen (cruelty-free is a must and reef safe is preferred too).
- Wait 20-30 minutes before applying makeup.
Further Reading: Do You Really Need to Wait for Products to Absorb?
- Wash/cleanse your face and neck. If you’ve been wearing makeup from a shoot, you may need to cleanse 2-3 times to ensure you’ve removed your makeup properly. No matter how tired, drunk or hungover you are (yes I went here) – always remove your makeup before you go to bed.
- Apply Moisturiser/Night Serum. Use your choice of skin care that is suitable for your skin type and age.
Washing your face morning and night (and when you need to remove makeup), especially if you have oily skin prone to breakouts, can help keep your skin clear and healthy.
Model Insider Tip: Avoid washing your face in hot water as it can damage or dry out your skin. Use lukewarm water to make sure you open and clean your pores without damaging your skin.
Makeup is not considered to be an element of your skin care routine. However, I’m mentioning it here as the application of makeup typically follows your skin care routine (in the morning). If you frequently use makeup, I’d suggest using noncomedogenic or oil-free products that won’t clog your pores.
Make sure you carefully remove your makeup before bed and thoroughly clean your makeup sponges, brushes and tools once a week, minimum. Don’t forget that every makeup product has a use-by date! Replace your old make-up and skin care products to ensure everything you put on your skin is safe and hygienic.
Model Insider Tip: Models wear makeup everyday – for work. When on photoshoots, sets, productions and projects both indoors (studio) or outdoors (locations), a professional makeup artist (or multiple hair and makeup artists) will be part of the team to keep the Model(s) looking picture-perfect. When Professional Models aren’t working, they don’t wear makeup. They know to let their skin breath between shoots to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.
2. Use sunscreen daily
Having healthy skin is subjective and all of us have a unique approach to our skin care. While I understand the need to have a skin care routine in place, I’d suggest leaving some room for flexibility (you need to cater for your change in skin type, age, lifestyle and weather), EXCEPT for when it comes to sunscreen!
Sun Protection Factor, a.k.a SPF, protects the skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, which can cause skin redness, burning, dryness and (what most humans fear) premature ageing. Wearing a daily moisturiser, tinted moisturiser or foundation with an SPF doesn’t not cut it. I’ll say that again for the aspiring Models down the back – an SPF inside your everyday skin care/makeup products is an ok added layer of protection, though it doesn’t actually protect you on it’s own. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and apply and reapply it liberally.
Spoiler alert: My skin doesn’t look the way it does today with botox, fillers and Instagram filters. It’s largely due to wearing a SPF50+ broad spectrum, UVA/UVB (cruelty-free and reef safe) sunscreen – everyday without fail – since I was 18. A tip I learned from my Grandmother, who looked 70 when she passed away just shy of 92 in 2007. It’s the little things that you do each day that make the biggest differences in your life.
Your skin isn’t the same every day. Therefore, it doesn’t require the same type of care every day. For example, while you may use a light moisturiser and then apply sunscreen in the summer, during the winter months, you may have to switch to a richer composition moisturiser and then your sunscreen to keep your skin from drying out as fast. I would suggest following a loosely-defined skin care routine that you can alter to suit the needs of your day.
And while we’re talking about moisturising – don’t forget to do it every day. It may take some time to get into the habit, though your future glowing self with thank you. The best time to apply moisturiser is after washing/cleansing your face or taking a shower, and is a product you can find to suit all skin types.
3. Stay well hydrated and eat well
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during the day. Water keeps your body and brain refreshed and helps maintain your body’s every day necessary functions, including your skin’s elasticity. It can help flush out toxins in your body and can help lower your chances of getting soft lines and wrinkles.
It’s a very natural and normal part of life that we age and therefore will have those fine lines and wrinkles. Genetics does play a role, though how you look after yourself is the other half of that equation. The aim of the game here is to maintain healthy skin that doesn’t age before it’s designed to.
Good food is also a must for maintaining clear skin. Cut back on processed carbs like bread and baked goods, and limit your consumption of unhealthy sugar to reduce breakouts.
A diet rich in plant foods and lean protein sources can help your skin stay clear and healthy. Replace any junk or processed food in your diet with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Eating a healthy diet can be quite a challenge at times. But don’t give up on it! Take baby steps every single day until you’re following a diet plan that works best for you and your skin.
Model Insider Tip: If you need help getting into a healthier lifestyle routine (and need help with your relationship with food), don’t be afraid to ask for help. The best advice to source for YOU is going to be from a qualified nutritionist, dietician or naturopath (not your family, friends or the social media influencers who have amazing food flat lays).
Further Reading: How To Stay Hydrated: 3 Infused Water Recipes To Make Your Insides Sing.
4. Sleep: Get enough rest
Sleeping for eight hours every night isn’t just essential to getting clear and healthy skin, it also ensures long-term health benefits.
According to Sleep.org, our bodies release growth hormones that action cell and tissue repair, contributing to restoring our skin overnight. A lack of proper rest can cause your skin to break out and have other lifestyle and health consequences.
If you don’t have one already, I can highly recommend starting a night routine. This will help set yourself up for success the next day and also help if you are having trouble falling asleep. I personally like to take a warm bath (provided my toddler is settled for the night so I’m not interrupted), do some bedtime reading or meditate.
Try to be off your social media (or any screen time) by 8pm to help your body unwind and work its way towards sleep.
So, my advice for getting clearer, healthier skin? Get your eight hours of beauty sleep and keep late-night celebrations and cocktails (any/all alcohol really) to a minimum.
5. Treat yourself to salon-grade skin care treatments
From face masks to fillers, photofacials, to chemical peels. An occasional trip to a beauty salon or dermatologist can do wonders for your skin. These professionals can talk you through your personalised options that can help maintain your skin’s natural elasticity, giving a fresher appearance.
People may think that models and celebrities have better skin because they have easier access to treatments, but many of these services are available at a beauty salon near you. Do your research and find a trusted professional to help you when choosing what treatments are best for your skin type, age, and skin goals.
What to go pro? Learn: How to Become a Model.
6. Incorporate some lifestyle changes
Keeping your stress levels in check is also important to maintain clear and healthy skin. Excessive stress doesn’t just take a toll on your skin, it can also negatively impact your overall wellbeing and inner peace. When you’re stressed out, your body produces more inflammatory compounds, which in turn can lead to a breakout of acne.
There are various activities you can do to reduce your stress levels. Some of the activities I love include taking a walk, going to the gym, stretching, meditation, getting a massage and soaking in an epsom salts bath at home. It may also help to know some breathing exercises for those moments when you feel particularly overwhelmed or triggered.
A significant lifestyle element that I have introduced to my daily/weekly routine is tidying. You may find this boring if you associate ‘being tidy’ with cleaning or your nagging parents. I too was a messy, disorganised and cluttered room teenager and back then I was also easily provoked, triggered and overwhelmed with stress. My solution: I adopted a minimalist lifestyle. It will find you by disaster or by design. Nowadays I follow this philosophy: if I don’t need to use it or I don’t love it, I don’t need it. Being disciplined and intentional with my time and my space brings peace to my life.
Lastly, taking some time away from endless scrolling on your phone and the rollercoaster of excessive social media consumption trap you may find yourself in. Unfollow, unfriend, block people who make you feel like shit. Toxic people and situations have just as much of an impact as unhealthy and toxic food and skin care. It will help you clear your mind and reset.
Working your way towards clearer and healthier skin can be empowering in the newfound control you’ll have over your appearance. In my experience as a Model and Model Coach, no other feeling can quite compare to feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin.
Further Reading: Types of Modelling and Requirements.
I hope you found this guide helpful. I wish you all the very best in your future endeavours to break into the Model industry and find a thriving career!
Ps: This is a quality guide and I don’t mind you sharing it. I’d appreciate it if you follow standard professional etiquette and please quote + credit my content appropriately when you do:
Kate Heussler kateheussler.com | Instagram: @kateheussler Thank you!
Want to learn more?
Let’s get you closer to where you want to be! My signature offering The Model Masterclass will give you all the information you need about working as a Model, the insider info to prepare and maintain your skin, and more importantly – how to set yourself on the right path for Model success. For more details, you can read about my Model Courses here, my professional background and path to being a Model Coach here, my press + media coverage here. You can also get to know me a little more here on my Insta: @kateheussler and Facebook: @kateheussler.
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