Skin Story: Kat Julyan // Dry & Hyperpigmentation

She exfoliates daily, wears high protection SPF and never sleeps with makeup on. This 39-year-old blog editor Kat Julyan, of, is certainly well-behaved when it comes to skin care. She is as much obsessed about natural and organic skincare as she is about her 13-year old Australian miniature schnauzer. Here she tells us about her skin type, how she battles pigmentation and the best skin advice she got from her dad.

What is your skin type?

Dry and hyperpigmentation.

Have you always been obsessed with perfect skin?

Yes. It started when I noticed that my sister and I have completely different skin. For many years, my sister suffered from acne-related skin problems. She’s seen countless dermatologists and taken all sorts of medication to regulate hormones and whatever else. I was the lucky one with the flawless fuss-free skin. I could not understand why we had such different skin types when we shared the same genes. Over time, I realize it is a factor of many things from hormones to habits. At different stages of our lives, some of these factors weigh in more than the others.

What skin-related problems do you face?

My biggest problem is hyperpigmentation. I used to train on the tennis team in high school, play competitive golf and do adventure racing. Those days, nobody cared much about SPF.  It is greasy, uncomfortable and a waste of time. I should be playing, not applying! It is only years after that pigmentation started to show.

How do you combat those woes?

I don’t leave the house without wearing SPF factor 50 or higher and I use skin products that are formulated to address pigmentation and sun spots. I also carry a foldable umbrella in my handbag so it’s with me everywhere I go.

Your skin looks very smooth and flawless today. How do you maintain this complexion?

I only use natural and organic skincare products. Plus, I try to cultivate good skincare habits.

What is your daily skincare routine?

When I wake up in the morning, I cleanse, tone and moisturize my face with a very light facial oil and moisturizer. In the evening, I remove my makeup with a gentle oil or water-based cleanser. Then, I go into the shower to exfoliate my face. It is called double cleansing. I wrote a good article about it here. After, I apply toner and pat on facial oil. Leave oil on face for 2 minutes then followed by a serum and/or moisturizer.

When you have the occasional bouts of dryness (that is dry, rough and redness), what do you do?

Good question. This is a common problem for women with my type of skin. My secret? Facial oil. I mix a drop of facial oil into my serum or moisturizer. Apply gently onto my skin with slow circular motions. If need be, I will apply a second layer of pure facial oil just on the affected area. I do this religiously everyday for 2 weeks until the dry patch or redness goes away.

Do you get pimples?

Yes I do occasionally. My secret is Sisley’s Creamy Mask with Topical Resin. I lay this on thick as a topical spot mask on the actual pimple and leave it overnight. In the day, I apply Aesop’s Control Anti-Blemish Gel. It is a light, transparent gel that is made with 15 essential oils. Give myself 2 days and the pimple is gone.

For women with the same skin type as you, what is your best beauty advice?

Invest in a good facial oil. Not all oils are thick, heavy and greasy. Some are surprisingly very light and absorbs into the skin instantly. You need to find the right one that works, and feels, best on your skin.

What are your favorite beauty products?

Apart from the few I mentioned above? There are so many. I love the whole Defence Elixage range from BioNike. One product I cannot live without is Coast to Coast’s Rejuvenating Facial Exfoliant.

Who first inculcated the importance of maintaining good healthy skin?

My dad. When I was barely 12 years old, my dad took me to buy skincare stuff for the first time. We went into a small shop and he asked the lady to recommend some good products for me. It turned out she was a Clarins distributor. The bill was over $100! I was mortified and felt extremely guilty for spending so much money. My dad paid for it without hesitation and said something to me that I will never forget “You only have one face. Think of it as an investment”.

So do you splurge on expensive skincare now?

Frankly, I don’t equate the cost of a skincare product to its efficacy. I buy what I need and what I know works for me.

How does one get smart shopping for the right skincare?

First and foremost, you have to know your skin type. Then, look for ingredients in products that are suitable for that type of skin. Read labels. Always try to go for natural and organic skincare brands because their products are free from chemicals and nasties. If the product is super expensive and beyond your intended budget, get a sample first. You never know the result because sometimes expensive does not mean it will work for you.

Want to know your skin type? Read Flawless Skin 101: Know Your Skin Type

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