Skincare is a complicated and sometimes overwhelming world, and it only becomes more complicated the older you get. Where once all you cared about was intense lotions to zap pimples into oblivion, now you’re faced with an array of potions and serums and whatever, because skin is weird and your pimple problems from 15 have suddenly become everything from fine lines to pigmentation and enlarged pores.

First thing’s first – no one (NO ONE) has “perfect” skin, and there is definitely an element to skincare where we just need to embrace what we have going on. But if there are things that make you unhappy it’s also your own decision to want to work on them.

We asked extremely popular Sydney facialist Jocelyn Petroni to give us the 411 on keeping common skin concerns in check (and making sure your skin looks fire in the future).

FINE LINES

Noticing some baby lines around your eyes or on your forehead? They’re likely not wrinkles, like you thought. In fact, they’re probably dehydration lines – which are a much easier fix.

“Dehydration lines that pave the way for future lines to form,” explains Jocelyn. “These fine dehydration lines can be plumped up with water retaining ingredients like Hyaluronic acid and deeply hydrating skincare products.”

Her suggestion? Upgrade your skincare routine by incorporating a hydrating serum after cleansing, but before you apply moisturiser.

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“Serums contain high concentrations of active ingredients, giving the most visible and often immediate results. They are light in texture, which gives them the capacity to penetrate the deepest skin layers, so these active ingredients are delivered to their target site.”

Another great way to keep skin hydrated is to incorporate a face oil into your routine, either by mixing one into your moisturiser or applying after your serum.

“Oils retain water within the skin, preventing trans-epidermal water loss and dehydration, the key solution for youthful, radiant skin,” explains Jocelyn.

TRY: Bioderma Hydrabio Serum, $34.99, Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Hydration Booster, $99

PIGMENTATION

Pigmentation can either look like a bunch of freckles that have clustered together to form a darker patch of skin, or acne scarring or pimple scars. Sometimes these are caused by factors that are semi outside of our control, like hormones. But lots of pigmentation is formed by sun damage.

“When it comes to pigmentation caused from sun damage, prevention is definitely much easier than treatment,” explains Jocelyn. “So it’s essential that you wear a product with very high sun protection everyday, regardless of your intended sun exposure, and yes even on rainy days.”

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Basically, sunscreen is your best bet in preventing – and fading – pigmentation. The more sun damage your face cops, the more pigmentation will darken and become more obvious. Pigmentation also develops under the top layer of your skin, so while you might not be seeing much right now, there’s the chance in a few years that what’s already there will shine through. FUN.

“To help fade visible pigmentation at home, look for products that contain AHA’s or BHA’s in a percentage of no less that 5%,” says Jocelyn.

Ingredients like Lactic and Glycolic fruit acids (from milk and sugar cane respectively) are most efficient in breaking up pigmentation. AHA’s/BHA’s are commonly found in cleansers, exfoliating treatments and serums.”

But mainly? Use your sunscreen. EVERY. DAY.

TRY: Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, $24.95, Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+, $18.

DULL SKIN

Remember when you had the dewy skin of an angel as a sweet kid? Yeah, that’s gone to shit thanks to age and terrible choices (*cough* vodka red bulls every night at uni *cough*). As you get older, exfoliation is even more key to glowy skin. You need to get rid of all those dead skin cells to promote cell turnover, and also to allow your fancy serums to absorb effectively.

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The best kind of exfoliation? Gentle acids.

“Lactic acid dissolves dead skin build up and is deeply hydrating,” explains Jocelyn. “It gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin, promotes skin renewal and collagen production, and helps to manage pigmentation. Lactic acid topically applied stimulates the skin’s own hyaluronic acid production.”

TRY: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, $154, The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%, HA 2%, $12.70.

Image: Instagram / @amandlastenberg