We pick Paula Joye’s brain about all things beauty

July 07, 2015

My pathological curiosity about what other women do to their face, skin and hair knows few bounds – and whatever bounds it does know, it ignores. Paula Joye is not just one of my closest friends of 25 years but she’s also someone who always knows the hottest, latest and best of everything. Products, clothes, trends ... Paula is always ahead of the pack. Paula is journalist, website editor, fashion and style commentator and former magazine editor, and as part of this series with Natural Instinct, I spent some time picking her brain about all things beauty.


Q: Paula, you have radiant skin. How did it get that way? Be honest.

A: Much of good skin health boils down to genetics and prevention. My mother was ahead of her time when it came to sun protection. She covered herself and my brother and sisters in thick bronze zinc – from the top of our foreheads to base of our necks. My 16-year-old-self hated her for it but my 43-year-old-self is eternally grateful. I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my daily beauty routine. It needs to be simple or I just won’t stick with it. I’m usually doing a bunch of things and all at the same time in the morning – lunches, finding missing school shoes, making breakfast – so I need fast. I use a serum and then a sunscreen which doubles as my moisturiser. I add an illuminator to the sunscreen to give my skin a little extra glow – which it needs. At night, I always, always, always take my makeup off and clean my skin with a gentle cleanser, then it’s a serum (every second night) followed by a hydration cream. Three nights a week, I use nothing at all because I think it’s important to keep the skin regulated with natural oils. Did I mention I always take my make-up off? You must, people - clean is the building block to good skin.

Q: I’ve never heard that before. Like recalibrating your skin. Tell me about your health regime – what do you do each day to look after your body? Are you still running?

A: I exercise four to five times a week. Yes, I’m a runner and I prefer to exercise outside and in the morning. I hit the road around 6.30am. We have such an incredible city to run in – the water, the trees, the space. Exercise is my thinking time and it’s very good for regulating mood and managing anxiety. It’s also my music time. If you see me running you just may also see me dancing in the street. Literally. I try to eat moderately, nutritiously and in season….but I love food and cooking so moderation is a balance game. If I eat cake the night before, then breakfast might be a protein shake. I want to eat bread rolls every day of the week – maybe five. I don’t diet – seriously, life is too short – but I have a lot of beautiful clothes that I want to be able to keep wearing so if my clothes get snug, then I lay off the pasta for a week and move a little more. I prefer to trim here and there than deprive. It’s a pretty unscientific system but it seems to work for me. I take powdered vitamin C and powdered magnesium every day as well as a fish oil.

Q: At the end of last year you undertook a 20-day fitness challenge that you posted about on your website – it looked exhausting and inspiring at the same time. What did it teach you about your body and your lifestyle?

A: The point was to exercise every day for 20 days. The real challenge was in accepting that 20 minutes of stretching is just as valuable as one hour of high impact cardio. Both have an important place in the bigger health picture. It helped me develop a new interest in Body Barre classes (amazing and so hard) and renewed my relationship with yoga. And discipline – doing anything every day requires willpower and tenacity. It was nice to be reacquainted with both. I am more interested in fitness than I think I’ve ever been. I love the way it makes me feel and I wont to see where my body can go in terms of endurance and strength. I’ve come to love exercise as a lifestyle. It’s like eating or brushing your hair – you need to do it everyday. Although some days I don’t brush my hair.

Q: Have aspects of the challenge now flowed over to your normal life?

A: I wish! I need much more order in my work life. It’s chaotic because I wear too many hats and somehow can’t find enough days in the week. I have just gone back to To-Do lists and that’s helping. Write one everyday and tick things off. Then repeat.

Q: You’re a mother of two daughters – are you concerned about strong chemicals on their skin?

A: I’m mindful of what goes on my kids’ skin in the same way I am concerned about what goes into their mouths. As a parent I try to stay informed, read packaging and keep a level head – what’s right for one family may not be right for yours. It’s important to follow your own plan and make up your own mind. I am vigilant with sun protection and use cold pressed oils (apricot is the best) to treat any kind of skin irritation. Good for young skins.

Q: What’s your favourite activity to do with the girls, besides come over to my house?

A: Swimming in the ocean. For sure. We jump in off the rocks at Bondi and swim into shore together. I can’t believe they are old enough to do that already. Time has flown. Too fast.

Q: How have the products you use on your skin changed in the past 10 years?

A: I guess the biggest change has been in the ingredients. Ageing skin needs more than just hydration so I’ve gravitated toward products that deliver noticeable results. When I was 30 I was happy with a tube of lanolin.

Q: What is your must-have skin-care product at the moment and should I buy it too?

A: I am in love with my sunscreen and yes you must get some immediately. I’m obsessed. It has the most incredible texture, no stickiness and gives my skin a great glow. So much so that I wear it under my makeup at night.

Q: What products have you stopped putting on your skin?

A: I’m not a fan of hydroquinone which fades pigmentation caused by pregnancy, the sun and hormones. I find it too harsh and there are more effective gentler way to get your pigment under control. There are some deodorants that I steer clear off. Basically, I don’t like products with a really strong fragrance or high alcohol level.

Q: If you could recommend one thing to your younger self about skincare – what would it be?

A: Look after it, lady! Treasure it. Wear a hat. Wear sunscreen. Wear a long sleeved shirt. Every day. Remember your face stops at the top of your boobs. Don’t forget the back of your hands. You must look after ALL of it. Be consistent, be moderate and take off your make-up before bed.


By Mia Freeman

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