Recent Posts

My Experience and Review of Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum

My Experience and Review of Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum

It seems that recently Australia has been finally catching up with the rest of the world in the skin care game. As such, it shouldn’t have shocked me to walk into my local Mecca Maxima and see Mizon products. But I’m not going to lie, […]

How Much SPF Your Sunscreen Should Have

How Much SPF Your Sunscreen Should Have

When you’re faced with lots of sunscreen options, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the different types and brands. But the first thing that really matters is the SPF. Let’s talk about what is the minimum SPF you should be reaching for next time […]

Skin Care Routine for Australians

Skin Care Routine for Australians

We have it easy here in the great down under in many ways; great public healthcare, high standards of living, and a wonderful (albeit skin cancer inducing) climate. But what we do lack is an affordable, wide range of skincare like the US and Europe have. Sometimes you just get a bit tired of being suggested CeraVe and Stridex, and want be able to pop down Priceline and get everything you need.

If you’re a fellow Aussie searching for locally available and affordable product suggestions, look no further. Here’s some great products I love, and you wont need to wait for 5 years and sell a kidney to get them.


QV Gentle Wash

The most bland, unoffensive cleanser. Sounds boring, but seriously cleansing should be the boring step in your routine. It’s a waste to literally rinse fancy actives and extracts down the sink. A good cleanser should be non-drying and cheap, and this is exactly that. Plus it comes in a 1 litre size that might last you for the rest of your life.

Cetaphil for Oily Skin

But if you can’t give up that foaming action, this is fragrance-free and still pretty gentle. And yet another huge bottle that’ll last months, even years.

Simple Toner

This hydrating toner is packed with awesome ingredients like niacinamide, panthenol and allantoin, plus it’s alcohol free. If you want to move away from astringent toners this is a super affordable beginner’s option to give you a taste of what a hydrating watery lotion is like.

Benzac AC 2.5% Mild Acne Gel

A cheap and cheerful benzoyl peroxide acne treatment that’s great for beginners. It’s low percentage means its minimally irritating while still being effective. Be careful, it bleaches your sheets + towels, so make sure they’re white!

Benzac Daily Facial Moisturiser SPF 15

Perfect for wearing during the daytime, with some extra SPF. This is a lightweight moisturiser that’s also fatty alcohol free.

Nivea Creme

If you need something heavier however, try trust Nivea Creme. It’s super rich and moisturising and so affordable, and you can find it anywhere!

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face

This all-rounder sunscreen is white-cast free and dries down so you don’t feel sticky or look greasy.

Glow Lab Night Cream

Keep an eye out for a review on this bad boy in January. It’s a fatty alcohol free, lightweight night cream that’s great for breakout prone skin. It’s a new product made by a New Zealander company and I’m really enjoying it so far!

Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Night Cream

This is perfect for those who need a heavier cream to beat dry skin at night.



I hope that this list helps you out, let me know what other Australia-available products you love, and I’ll see you again soon!

The Skin Careless






Don’t Do it Yourself – Why Homemade Sunscreen Doesn’t Work

Don’t Do it Yourself – Why Homemade Sunscreen Doesn’t Work

There’s been a disturbing trend in the natural health sphere for a while now and I think it’s time I talk about it. Natural health bloggers (see Wellness Mama and Pronounce Skincare, for example) have been spreading the word about their amazing homemade sunscreens. They […]

The Myths About Mineral Oil in Skin Care

The Myths About Mineral Oil in Skin Care

Mineral oil is the ingredient that gives us baby oil, Vaseline and more. It’s a highly occlusive ingredient that’s chemically inert, making it amazing as a final routine step. It’s derived from the refinement process of crude oil to make gasoline and other petroleum products. […]

This is How Much Sunscreen to Put on Your Face

This is How Much Sunscreen to Put on Your Face

If you haven’t heard yet, SPF is the measurement of how much UV protection sunscreen offers you. An SPF of 30, for example, only lets through to your skin 1 bit of UV for every 30 it blocks. That sounds great, right? This is roughly 96% protection! But do you know about the way scientists gather this information? If you did, you’d know why it’s so important that you apply sunscreen generously. Otherwise you aren’t getting the SPF that’s stated on the bottle.


The Method Scientists Use to Get The SPF Number

Volunteer participants are sat under a high-intensity UV lamp, and the sunscreen in question is applied to a portion of their body. This is then compared to the unprotected skin, and the time it takes for them to burn naturally vs. with the sunscreen is measured. This gives us a rough idea of how much UV light is getting through. If it takes 30x longer for the protected skin to burn, then it’s being exposed to around 1/30th of the UV light, making the formula an SPF of 30. A higher number like 50 means the fraction of light being let through is less (1/50th). A lower number like SPF 15 only extends burn time by a factor of 15, meaning 1/15th of UV light is blocked by the formula.

The important part here is the amount of sunscreen they apply.


How Much SPF You Should Be Applying

To get the amount of protection it says on the bottle, we need to apply as much as the scientists did when they tested it. It’s logical that less sunscreen = less protection.

The industry standard for SPF measurements is 2.0 mg on every cm2 of skin (that’s ~0.0655 oz/1 ft2 for the non-metric readers). Every time a sunscreen is tested, this amount is carefully measured out so as to ensure consistency between tests and brands.

‘2.0 mg/cm2’ doesn’t mean much to the everyday person. We don’t weigh our sunscreen out and measure our skin. But with some simple maths we can make this number easier to remember and go by.

The average adult face is ~557.4 cm2 in size. That means to get 2mg on every centimetre of our face, we’d need 1115 milligrams (557.4 x 2), better put as 1.15 grams. That’s about a quarter of a teaspoon for just the face. Surprisingly large! Now think about how much you’d need to use on your arms and legs! It’s estimated to be around a teaspoon for each each arm and each leg. If you wanted to cover every inch of your body, you’d need 7 teaspoons of sunscreen!

Without this amount, not only might we miss spots, but there simply won’t be enough chemical or physical blockers to effectively protect our skin from the sun, potentially leading to photodamage and skin cancer.

John Su wrote a great post illustrating exactly how much he sunscreen he needs for his own unique facial measurements. If you’re interested in the maths, check it out!

The Implications of Having to Use a Lot of Sunscreen

The problems begin when people rely on moisturiser or especially foundation as their sole SPF protection. Not only is it unlikely that they’re evenly covering all of their face, but I’m almost certain that nobody uses anywhere near that amount of foundation! You then won’t be getting the SPF on the bottle. I think additional SPF in makeup is great as an extra precaution or for touch ups during the day. But you should always use a dedicated sunscreen first and apply it generously to exposed areas.



That’s it for today folks! Remember to apply your 1/4 teaspoon this morning, and I’ll see you all next time,

The Skin Careless






Skin Care as Self Care: Safe DIY Ways to Pamper Yourself

Skin Care as Self Care: Safe DIY Ways to Pamper Yourself

As I mentioned in my Skin Care + Depression post, I think skin care is a great tool for self care. It’s fun, relaxing, and really offers tangible self improvement.  But unfortunately, a lot of the DIY at-home spa day guides out there on the […]

The Dangers of the Winter Sun

The Dangers of the Winter Sun

It’s a chilly winter morning. You reach over and pull apart the curtains and take a look outside only to see that it’s dark, grey and overcast. The weather report says there’ll be a storm, maybe even snow. “Great!” you think, “I won’t need sunscreen […]

4 Surprising Reasons Why You’re Breaking Out

4 Surprising Reasons Why You’re Breaking Out

Whether you’ve dealt with consistent acne for years or you’ve just woken up one morning to a brand new family of pimples on your chin, it can be frustrating not to know why. A common misconception is that bad hygiene causes acne – this isn’t true! Instead, there are so many more subtle and complicated causes. Finding out which you ones you suffer from can help you pinpoint the routine and treatments that will fix your skin. Today let’s talk about some of the less discussed underlying reasons why you might be breaking out and how to amend them.

1. Hormones

Hormonal acne can often appear down the centre of the face (forehead, nose and chin) in teenagers going through puberty. For adults, painful cystic acne on the lower half of the face, especially the chin and jawline is also typical of hormonal breakouts.

Excess testosterone (common in teenagers) binds to androgen receptor cells in the skin, causing oilier skin and overall inflammation. This encourages bacterial growth and clogged pores, and makes inflamed acne seem redder and angrier. For adult women the hormonal fluctuations associated with menstruation can be the source of this excess testosterone.

It’s thought that high blood sugar can overstimulate the sex organs that output testosterone. This testosterone then has nowhere to go except the androgen receptors, further creating acne. A low-GI, high protein + fibre based diet is a good place to start for levelling out your blood sugar. You can also see a doctor to get your hormone levels checked out and get recommendations for other ways to control them.

2. Stress

Stress breakouts are linked to hormonal breakouts. Your adrenal glands (that are stimulated when you’re stressed to produce adrenaline) also release testosterone. As such, these kind of breakouts resemble hormonal breakouts, typically featuring cystic lower jaw and chin acne. If you’ve been spreading yourself thin recently and are seeing an increase in acne, consider stress as a culprit.

There are lots of ways to deal with stress. Meditation, mindfulness and other mental exercises can be used to control negative thoughts and pressures. Endorphins released during exercise are also natural stress-busters. Deep breathing exercises are also great for slowing the heart rate and mind. And finally, self care is a great way to step out of your stressful headspace. Try watching a great movie you love or visiting a place you’ve been meaning to go but haven’t found the time. Regularly making time for yourself, be it with an activity like a movie or a bath, or through a skin care routine, will help incorporate a little bit of stress relief into your daily life.

3. Fungus

The less common but equally stubborn fungal “acne” appears as many small, skin coloured bumps, often found on the forehead and cheeks. They can sometimes be itchy. It doesn’t cause cystic pimples and won’t respond to traditional acne treatments at all.

Unlike the previously mentioned forms of acne, fungal acne is not a reaction to bacteria trapped in pores but rather to the byproducts of a fungal infection. In most cases, it’s malassezia folliculitis that’s masquerading as breakouts. This fungus (malassezia) eats skin oils and produces excess inflammatory, irritating fatty acids as a byproduct. The body’s reaction to this can resemble acne, but is not truly acne.

Long-term antibiotic use has been suggested as a catalyst for fungal acne. The loss of many natural skin flora means that fungi have a chance to take over. A whole-body yeast infection could also be the cause of some fungal acne. Treatment for this is usually an antifungal prescription and diet from your doctor. Another potential cause is an improper routine that feeds naturally occurring fungi on the skin, leading them to get out of control. F.C. over on Simple Skincare Science wrote a great post on malassezia and what ingredients to avoid using on it. I follow his advice when I get a flare up of seborrhoeic dermatitis (another similar kind of fungal infection) and it’s a huge help!

4. Dehydration

You just have to look at my skin journey to see what bad dehydration breakouts look like. They’re small, flat red bumps amongst rough and scaly skin. It looks super irritated and doesn’t respond well to most acne-fighting products. Your skin might be very oily, but at the same flaky, tight or dry.

It seems counter intuitive, but acne loves dehydrated skin. Dehydration is caused by the loss of the protective barrier (called the acid mantle) from rough and improper care. This makes our skin susceptible to infection. Also, when transepidermal water loss (evaporation of water from your skin into the air) subsequently increases, causing dehydration, it irritates the skin. These combined create a perfect environment for really angry acne and general redness.

Of course, you’ll have to drop any harsh or foaming cleansers and acne treatments from your routine and focus on moisture. This can be scary, especially with oily skin, but I promise that it will calm down soon and look so much healthier. When skin is properly moist it can heal and repair much faster. Hydrated skin is also easier to cover up with makeup if you so choose. If you need product inspiration, check out my routine which was designed to repair my dehydrated skin.

Do you think you suffer from acne caused by any of these things? Skin can be complicated at times, but the best approach is always patience and hope. If you keep at it, you’ll figure out a routine that works for you.

Having trouble creating a routine? Check out my new Beginner Skin Care Guide, designed for skin care newbies looking for some direction (It’s totally free too)!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you again soon,

The Skin Careless






5 Must-Have Items to Pack for Your Next Camping Trip

5 Must-Have Items to Pack for Your Next Camping Trip

If you were to ask me what my happy place is, I’d describe to you a pristine beach on a clear summer’s day, viewed from the picnic blanket outside my camping tent. I’d be with my boyfriend, eating nibbles and drinking iced tea. The birds […]