How to Banish Blemishes

Shonagh Walker

About Shonagh Walker

Beauty Expert Shonagh Walker is one of Australia's leading beauty editors. Her work has been published in most major magazines, newspapers and websites both in Australia and around the world. She is currently relishing her freelance life, contributing to quality publications like The Sunday Telegraph's Body and Soul.

How to Banish BlemishesHi Guys,

Now that I’ve well and truly settled into the year, after a hectic holiday season, I’ve noticed my skin is a little worse for wear. Read: blemished.

Blemishes and acne are directly related to hormonal imbalance and triggers include poor diet, stress, illness, puberty, pregnancy or menopause, and more (like late nights and lots of imbibing). The unbalanced hormones creep into the sebum, enlarging the sebaceous glands, and allowing bacteria to infect the follicle. Blemishes result.

Then, there is habitual acne. Pimples can’t exist without bacteria and simple things contribute, like resting your face in your hands, using a phone with a dirty mouthpiece, rubbing your forehead when you’re stressed and even massaging your nose where your glasses rest. Exercising while you’re wearing make-up can cause blemishes too, as can using dirty make-up brushes or make-up past its use-by date. Sleeping in make-up is also a huge contributor.

Prevention is always better than cure. Cleanse your skin before any workout and if you use a towel to wipe sweat, ensure it’s clean. Clean your make-up brushes at least once a week, and consider swapping to mineral foundation or one that has been specifically formulated for troubled skin.

Hint: Never apply new foundation over old foundation when touching up make-up.  You’re simply pushing old make-up and bacteria into your skin.

There are also many other skin sins that contribute. Here’s my hit list, below:

1. Over Cleansing 

It’s about consistency. Not cleansing is bad, but over-cleansing is as much of a no-no. It’s natural to want to wash away blemishes, but you’ll only trigger more oil and exacerbate the problem. Use a gentle rebalancing cleanser morning and night, like Pevonia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, $67, which has citric acid to help refine pores and clear away congestion.

2. Scrubbing

Exfoliating three times weekly will allow your skin to purge toxins, sebum and bacteria, but avoid harsh scrubs, as you’ll remove the protective layer of skin and trigger more blemishes. Choose a gentle, natural formula and apply using a slow, gentle, circular motion. Try Pevonia Clarigel Exfoliating Cleanser, $68.50.

3. Mask-erade 

Initially, a weekly cleansing mask might seem to intensify acne, but like a salon-facial, it’s drawing impurities from the skin, helping clear blemishes faster.

Try Pevonia Purifying Skin Mask, $74, which has zinc oxide to heal and draw out impurities, glycolic and salicylic acids to slough congestion and dead cells and chamomile and camphor to soothe and repair.  

4. To Moisturise or not to Moisturise?

People with acne tend to skip moisturiser, which is the worst thing they could do. Skin needs hydrating. Choose a product that’s non-comedogenic, without heavy oils, like Pevonia Problematic Skin Care Cream, $74, Problematic Skin Lotion, $68.25 or Mattifying Oily Skin Cream, $82, depending on the extent of your problem.


Be patient and diligent with skin care. It takes up to four weeks to deliver noticeable results (in tune with skin’s natural renewal).

Watch your diet, too! There’s a link between dairy and acne. Dairy is mucous producing. Mucous can block pores and slow lymph drainage, which means toxins are building in the skin.

Vitamin deficiency contributes also. Skin is healthy when intake of Vitamins A, C and E are adequate and zinc levels are maintained. Ensure you’re getting enough essential fatty acids too, which help normalise oil.

Avoid icy-cold drinks. Our internal body temperature is 37.5 degrees. Drinking cold liquids restricts nerves, which in turn can slow digestion and circulation. Keep drinks at room temperature or above.

Stress triggers oil-producing hormones, too. Regular exercise and quality-plus-quantity sleep are obvious solutions. Team them with breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.

Check your shampoo too. Healthy skin has a pH level of 5.5. When this increases, it’s open to infection. If shampoo pH is too strong, it can create an environment for acne around your hairline.

Use spot treatments products with bacteria busting glycolic or salicylic acid, like Pevonia Clarifyl Spot Treatment, $91, which also uses aloe to soothe and horse chestnut to diffuse redness.

Finally, don’t squeeze! Medium to dark complexions risk triggering melanocytes, and you’ll be left with a big, brown, pigmented scar. Pale skins can burst blood vessels, leaving a red star-like cluster on the skin, while all skin tones risk crater like pockmarks when squeezing cystic pimples.

Until next time.

Love and light (and clear skin wishes),

Shonagh xx

How young are you?

beachYou have to take special  care of your skin during the summer season. Your skin may look radiant in winter, but when summer comes, the scorching heat of the sun can easily damage your skin and make it dull, blemished and oily. Your body oil flows freely during summer because of the high temperature.

Did you know that 90 percent of the wrinkles you’ll probably get may be caused by too much sun exposure? That is if you don’t protect your skin from sun rays UVA & UVB. These reach the deepest layers of our skin, damaging the collagen. The collagen is the spongy protein that makes our skin smooth, firm and wrinkle-free. SPOT CHECK: Inspect your skin and see if it’s still smooth and firm. Must read: Quick Fixes for Summer Beauty Woes

Let’s take a simple check. Doing these skin routines can actually slow down aging! Every item on the list below that you do earns you 1 point. Total your score and let us know what you get =)

___ I always wear sunscreen, even when it’s not summer.
___ I try my best to stay out of the sun between 10 am to 4 pm, when the sun’s UV radiation is at its strongest.
___ I wear protective clothing (sunnies, hat, scarf) to cover my skin from direct sunlight.
___ I wear clothes that allow my skin to breathe for proper circulation.
___ Applying moisturizer is a must, every morning and every night to keep my skin hydrated.
___ I wash my face regularly and make sure that my face is free from dirt before hitting the sack.
___ I exercise daily. Want lovely legs? These routines work!
___ I exfoliate my face & body at least once a week. Try Shonagh Walker’s DETOX tips
___  I drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday and eat healthy food and lots of fruits. Your skin condition tells you what you should eat
___ I use Pevonia which is an all natural/organic brand to  make sure my skin is free from harmful chemicals.

Total your score and comment below:

My skin is (score) years younger than my actual age! =)

The Party Season Skin Detox

Shonagh Walker

About Shonagh Walker

Beauty Expert Shonagh Walker is one of Australia's leading beauty editors. Her work has been published in most major magazines, newspapers and websites both in Australia and around the world. She is currently relishing her freelance life, contributing to quality publications like The Sunday Telegraph's Body and Soul.

holiday skin careHi Guys,

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately, working hard, grabbing meals on the run, and enjoying all those lovely Christmas cocktails. I sure feel the need to detox. Do you?

Well, it’s not going to happen until after New Year, so I’m relying on a few smart skin care steps to get me through. Want to join me? Here’s my list of essentials, to keep me feeling as fresh as possible this party season.

1. A Dry Body Brush

I use one every morning, before showering. It kick starts circulation and helps to support lymphatic drainage, which eliminates toxins from the body and helps counteract seasonal woes, like dark circles and puffy eyes.
Simply run it over your body, starting at the left ankle and moving in long upward strokes in the direction of your heart. Your skin should turn a mild shade of pink, which signifies that it’s working. Make sure it doesn’t redden though – that means you’ve been brushing too hard.

2. Pevonia Anti-Stress Bath and Shower Gel, $81.50

I lather up with this in the shower, in place of soap. It’s a skin softening, lightly sudsing lotion that cleanses the skin without stripping away the oils it needs to remain hydrated and soft. Use a shower sponge, as it will further stimulate circulation and help you turn your shower into a real spa experience.

3. Pevonia Silky Skin Body Scrub, $75

This is my twice-weekly treat, which keeps the skin on my body glowing. It contains jojoba beans, rosemary, sage and allantoin to slough dead skin cells whilst infusing anti-ageing, skin-clearing and softening benefits.

It also helps your body remove toxins, as it clears the way for them be flushed out through the skin via sweat. And, it’s a great anti-cellulite tool … massage into affected areas for a few minutes to help flush away the fluid that has built up under the skin.

4. Pevonia Aromatic Moor, $182

This is the ultimate. It’s an ancient anti-fatigue therapy that relies on Natural Black Moor and Pine Essential Oil to relieve aches and pains, as well and melt away tension and stress. It has a drawing action, which means it can absorb toxins through the skin and help combat cellulite. It can heal the skin as it softens and is just perfect for party-weary bodies. Add half a cup to your bath and soak for 20 minutes. I indulge in this about twice a week, on the same days that I’ve used my Silky Skin Body Scrub.

5. Pevonia Micro-Emulsion Massage Oil Anti-Stress, $61
I always moisturise all over, every time I step out of the shower or bath. And, I love to use oil, as I feel it has a better affinity with my skin. This oil is a favourite of mine, as it has a delicate uplifting scent, but it leaves my skin feeling supple and really well hydrated. I take a few minutes to massage it in well, using long, firm movements (Lomi Lomi style) from my left ankle, again following the direction of blood flow.

So, that is my regime to keep my skin as radiant as possible throughout the party season. In January, I’ll embark on a proper detox, which eliminates caffeine and cocktails, too, but until then, I’m sticking to this!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Love and light,

Shonagh Walker
Beauty Expert