1. Hi! Tell us a bit about yourself and your background...

Kia ora! I’m Laura, the Marketing & eCommerce Director at BLIS Technologies. I have a science and philosophy background, but my day job for the past 7 years has been in eCommerce and digital marketing. I’m originally Finnish-Bulgarian but have been living in New Zealand for the past year and a half.

Laura Grant skincare routine

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

I’m an early bird for sure, it’s my favourite time of the day. I get up with the dog at around 5:30am, pop in my contacts and start the day with a pot of strong coffee and a walk with the pup. Usually end up spending way too much time scrolling through Reddit or social media afterwards, but oh well. Typical millennial!

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

I’m currently in the throes of embracing skinimalism, focusing only on a few key ingredients. In the AM, I wash my face with cold water – have stopped using warm / hot water and cleansers in the morning as I noticed it was breaking me out and causing my skin to get irritated. Sucks to not be able to multitask in the shower, but the results have been worth it.

I then follow up with a Vitamin C serum, eye cream, moisturiser, and SPF. After the SPF has sunk in properly, I do my makeup routine which varies day to day, but I do tend to use a sheer base product, brow products, blush, mascara and lipstick on a daily basis.

On the weekends I usually just do my skincare routine, or a mask, and then chuck on some brows (my Scandi heritage has not been kind to me when it comes to eyebrows).

4. What about PM routine?

Double cleanse –  I use an oil cleanser followed by a gel cleanser to make sure my skin is clean. I then follow with either a strong glycolic acid serum or Differin gel (not at the same time!). Let it sink in for 10 minutes, and follow up with eye cream, moisturizer, using an oil to seal it all in.                                                                   
If I don’t look like a greaseball at the end of it all, I’ve done something wrong.

5. How would you describe your skin?

I now have fairly normal, but sensitive skin, but that wasn’t always the case. In my teens I had really dry skin, and after being on and quitting hormonal contraception my skin turned into a greasy mess.

I can handle strong actives, but my skin hates certain ingredients and clogs up easily, which is why I’ve mercilessly stripped down my routine. Main concerns for me are clogged pores and hyperpigmentation, and I also sometimes get a bout of perioral dermatitis which only goes away with antibiotics. But overall, I can’t complain too much!

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

It has improved in the past year or so – I used to do way too much and try out all sorts of new products and ingredients, so I’ve been through a lot of trial and error. I think seeing your skin up close can be daunting, and I’ve for sure felt the pressure of needing to look ‘flawless’. I’m really enjoying the new trends of individuals and brands showing real skin and how much filters and photoshop are really used in everyday marketing.

I still really enjoy researching skincare and learning about the science, but I’ve decided to spend my money on products that have clinical evidence and that work for me, instead of just buying things based on trends!

7. You’ve been using our Live Probiotic Hydration Serum, how has it been for your skin? What do you like about it?

I didn’t initially think it would do much for me, given that I didn’t suffer from any major skin problems, and because my skin was / is normal. But, since using the serum, I have noticed that it helps heal breakouts quicker and seems to have contributed to my skin barrier as well, as it doesn’t feel as rough as it used to.

I also like the glow it gives, and that I can use in conjunction with my other products. I feel like it gives a moisturiser that extra kick without being overpowering. It also doesn’t clog my pores, which is a massive win!

8. If you had to give your (younger) self-one piece of skincare or beauty advice, what would it be?

Don’t buy into trends so much, and don’t believe all the weird fearmongering, either, because a lot of it is completely unfounded or created to boost a brand’s marketing. Cost also doesn’t equal effectiveness (looking at you, La Mer).

9. Finally, any major skincare or beauty regrets?

I have two major ones.
One, wrecking my skin with niacinamide for way too long because I couldn’t believe that such a hyped-up ingredient could actually not work for me.

And two, eliminating all silicones from all my products when it turns out they actually help so much with preventing water loss and keeping things looking and feeling healthy.

Read: Cosmetic chemist Petra Leonard shares her skincare routine