1. Hi Petra! Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi! My name is Petra and I am a Cosmetic Chemist for a beautiful company called Breeze Balm. I actually received my Bachelor of Education Studies and was an intermediate school teacher for 5 years before I decided to completely change my career!

I also teach Group fitness classes, performed in musicals and theatre restaurants, and was even a cheerleader at one point.

Petra Leonard skincare routine

2. You recently moved back to NZ from AU, what brought you back?
And how are you finding it being home?

Our company is based in Australia, I moved over from NZ to learn the company and LOVED it! I then convinced my partner in 2018 to join me in Queensland. When COVID-19 hit the country, my partner and I had to make the difficult decision to send him back to NZ to look after our fur babies and home. We didn’t anticipate multiple lock downs and travel suspensions. Fast forward 15 months (and freshly engaged) we decided that I come home.

I am loving being back home with my partner and dogs, although the climate is challenging to get used to. I can’t wait for the borders to open up so I can travel back and forth from Australia.

3. Talk us through your morning routine…what time do you get up and what are your morning rituals?

I typically get up around 4.10am. Make myself a HUGE cup of coffee, chuck my hair in a ponytail and head to CrossFit. My morning routine after the gym is extremely important, especially to get all the sweat off my pores.

I always cleanse twice and use a fresh, hot face cloth. Followed by my Unconditional Skin Live Probiotic Hydration Serum. I might shed a small tear if it is a morning where my serum has run out. This is the ONLY serum I’ve found that helps my hormonal acne. It. Is. Irreplaceable.

I then get myself ready for the day, which usually consists of ‘meal prep’ (chuck hard boiled eggs and tomatoes in a bag and kick myself for not actually meal prepping like the instagram people I follow), drag my puppy down the driveway and lift him into my truck (about 30kg now and STILL refuses to jump in the truck. Must remember to bend at the knees and not back). Drive to work and start my study around 7am before I then start work at 9am.

4. And what’s your skin and makeup AM routine?

I personally like to keep my face fresh. As a struggling, unfortunate acne- prone woman, I have always had a routine of not covering my pimples with make-up, instead letting it breathe (This of course is ONLY during work days where no one really sees me out and about lol).

If I am braving the town, I will use my favourite Unconditional Skin Live Probiotic Hydration Serum as a moisturising base, followed by BB cream by Breeze Balm, bronzer by Nude by Nature, Mascara by Lilash and give my brows a lil touch up from the Brow Company. Super brief and natural- just the way I like it.

5. What about PM routine?

My PM routine is exactly the same as my morning routine. Gone are the days where I use 20 different products in a bid to clear my skin. All I need is to double cleanse and follow with the Live Probiotic Hydration Serum.

6. How would you describe your skin?

Hormonal AF. I had acne growing up through my teens on my back, on my face and on my forehead. It then thankfully cleared until I had hormonal changes and was diagnosed with Endometriosis and PCOS. Epic. I thought acne went away when you were an adult. I have probably spent (I hate to think) thousands on skin care, needling, facials- you name it, I’ve probably had it.

7. How would you describe your relationship with your skin?

Love/ hate for sure. I definitely do my best to look after it, but it can be super defeating when nothing seems to work! That’s why I am so glad my skin care routine is now working!

8. You’ve been using our Live Probiotic Hydration Serum for a while now, how has it been for your skin? What do you like about it?
Oh my gosh, it’s a life saver. Leading up to my period I always have a breakout on the right hand side of my face. Using the serum has minimised this so much, that some months I don’t even get a break out.

Petra Leonard on her skincare routine

9. If you had to give your (younger) self one piece of skincare or beauty advice, what would it be?
Let your skin breathe, not all skin advice is good advice, acne is soooo normal, you are beautiful. Pimples and all.

10. Finally, any major skincare or beauty regrets?
I regret caving into purchasing skin care products. You know the ones, when you go in to get a facial, and the beautician tells you what you are currently using is the worst for your skin and to buy their products.

It really frustrates me for two reasons. Although I know they may have immense knowledge of the skin and some may indeed be actually trying to help you, the reality is, is that it is possible they are making commission from selling extra skin care products to you, and because you are at a point of intense vulnerability, you will do anything to achieve clear skin. Makes me feel like everything I have done previously is worthless.

Head to a different beautician - different story, different products, cycle continues. It also isn’t about products necessarily being ‘bad’ for your skin. Your skin just may not be compatible with what you are using.

After learning about ingredients and cheaply made products that the beauticians frown upon, these products aren’t really ‘bad’, just super basic and cheaply made. In fact, legally the ingredients should be at levels regulators deem ‘safe’ for the skin (although who regulates this?) they may just not contain certain actives that could benefit your skin more.

Read: Skinimalism with our marketing director Laura Grant