The Beauty Memo

Melanie Grant’s Everyday Beauty, Health And Wellness Routine

With clinics on three continents and an A-list clientele that includes Victoria Beckham, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Cate Blanchett, Australian aesthetician MELANIE GRANT is a leading authority on skin health. Here, she shares why less is always more with skincare, the benefits of face icing, and the one bedtime ritual she swears by

Beauty

First thing in the morning…

…I drink a large glass of warm water with an entire lemon squeezed into it. Then, it’s straight to my morning coffee; I like it strong, hot and with a dash of homemade almond milk. I’ll quickly catch up on emails and make a plan for my day, do an abridged skincare regimen, and then I take a brisk walk around the neighborhood with my dogs before jumping back online for calls with my team.

My skincare routine is not what people expect

I’m actually quite efficient when it comes to my own routine. I prefer to rely on a small number of high-performance and multi-functional formulas to do the heavy lifting for me, so I don’t need to do as much. In the morning, I focus on prevention with hydration, antioxidants and SPF; and in the evenings, I incorporate ingredients that are more active or corrective, such as AHAs, BHAs and retinol.

I use a face mask while soaking in the tub

I do this a couple of times a week. I love the Augustinus Bader Face Cream Mask – I massage it into my skin after a double cleanse, let it infuse, and then blot off the excess before hopping into bed. That’s probably my biggest skincare indulgence; it’s only three steps, yet I still wake up with super-plump, hydrated and nourished skin.

I swear by facial massage

Never underestimate the power of your own hands. Massage oxygenates the tissues, flushes stagnant lymph, boosts circulation and sculpts the complexion. I also carry a NuFace Trinity device in my kit [to use] for an extra lift. Microcurrent is a great way to improve muscle tone, so it’s both preventative and corrective if you’re concerned with skin laxity and density.

My favorite clinical treatment is LED light therapy. I’ve been working with it for well over a decade and, to this day, I’m still impressed by the results it’s capable of in terms of wound-healing, curbing inflammation and promoting collagen and elastin synthesis – and all without any downtime.

If I stick with body brushing…

…I see the improvement in a few weeks. The quality of my skin is better and everything ‘lifts’, as it gets rid of puffiness around the ankles and knees. I wish I could say I follow this with a cold plunge, as the benefits are incredible, but it’s just not for me. I slather on a body oil every day, then lightly rinse it off in the shower before massaging it in – this conditions my skin without leaving it greasy. I love Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser and, twice a week, I use black Aleppo soap with a Charme d’Orient Moroccan exfoliating glove that I got from its beautiful hammam spa in Paris.

My hair can be dry…

…because I get highlights on and off throughout the year, so I always go back to using Olaplex. It’s the only thing that works on brittle and damaged hair. I try to use only silk hair ties and pillowcases for this reason, too. Slip is the original and the best; I’ve been using the brand for as long as I can remember.

I never used to wear a lot of makeup…

…but I’ve been having more fun with it lately. To me, a bold red lip is a sign of confidence. Pairing it with a bare face and tidy brows has been my go-to look lately. I love products with a natural texture but a high payoff, such as Victoria Beckham Beauty’s Lip Definer in Number 2, Contour Stylus and Cheeky Posh – they’re my everyday trio without fail. I love anything that accentuates our unique features – like a rosy cheek, a sprinkle of freckles, or a few smile lines here and there – which ultimately are what make us who we are and, in my opinion, most beautiful. I think that’s a very Australian thing – easy, natural and honest.

On a ‘bad’ face day, I turn to enzymes and ice

If my skin is dull or lackluster, I’ll do an enzyme treatment to get rid of dead skin and boost circulation. It gives the healthy glow of a good gym session without the effort. Lately, I’ve been using Auteur’s Definitive Enzyme Cleanser – it completely revives my complexion. I’ll follow this with an old-school ice plunge. This boosts vascular constriction, de-puffing, lifting and tightening; it’s like an at-home cryo-facial. I simply fill a large bowl with clean, cold water and empty a tray or two of ice into it. Then I submerge my face in the cold water around five times at 10 second intervals. There are so many fancy tools on the market, but ice is easy, free and almost always available, even if you’re traveling. Plus, it works every time.

I work out on a rebounder mini trampoline…

…as it boosts lymphatic circulation, so it’s good for detoxing, circulation and elevating your heart rate – and it’s super-fun! When I can fit it into my schedule, I love what reformer Pilates does to my body. In my line of work, when I’m leaning over a treatment bed for most of the day, prioritizing posture and spinal mobility is so important.

I don’t fast…

…but just eat when I’m hungry. I have a coffee first thing and then usually don’t eat until noon. It might not work for some people, but I think it’s important to listen to your body. I feel my best when prioritizing hydration and sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, high-quality protein, and lots of healthy fats, such as avocado and cold-pressed olive oil. I don’t believe in deprivation, so there’s always room for dark chocolate or a glass of red wine.

My dad gave me the best advice

“Your team never work for you; they work with you.” It’s an attitude I’ve always carried.

Bathing is my favorite thing in the world

It’s the cornerstone of my bedtime routine. Preparing for a good night’s sleep starts from the moment I get home. I often like to carry out my skincare routine as soon as I walk through the door – it helps me relax and switch off from the day, and means I won’t skip this step the more tired I get. Bathing is a huge part of that process. I also like to dim the lights as much as possible from about 6pm to support natural melatonin production. Calming herbal teas and magnesium supplements are a go-to for me each evening, too.

I always double cleanse

First, with Augustinus Bader’s The Cleansing Balm, followed by Macrene Actives High Performance Cleanser. Most nights, I’ll also exfoliate with a peel or acid toner to keep my cells turning over and help the other actives in my regimen penetrate more effectively. Serums are the heavy-hitters in any regime – I’ve been using Auteur Definitive Retinol Serum and my skin has never been brighter. It’s a slow-release formula that really prioritizes barrier function, so your skin gets a considerable dose of retinol without any of the usual side effects.

If I have an evening event…

…I get a blow-dry the day before and then use dry shampoo on the day, so my hair looks less ‘done’. I use St. Tropez self-tan (but never on my face), and then blend a few drops of In Fiore Calendula Solution with Augstinus Bader’s The Cream, as it gives the skin a really silky glow. Victoria Beckham Beauty does beautiful kajal eyeliners – I like Coca or Smokey Quartz smudged into my lashes for a bit of drama without being too high maintenance.

For any dermatological skin issues…

…I have Dr. Timm Golueke on speed dial. We’ve been working together for years now, and he’s become a dear friend. He founded Royal Fern Skincare – he’s the real deal. Dr. Macrene Alexiades in New York is my go-to in the US. Her work is inspiring – she’s someone I really admire. For spa treatments, I love Biologique Recherche – it’s so old-school, and they always treat the bust with the face – and the Charme d’Orient hamman, both of which are in Paris. In New York, Aire is a wonderful modern bath house.

To beat jet lag when traveling…

…I try to align my body clock with the time at my destination as soon as I board the plane, and I don’t sleep until 10pm once I arrive. I also avoid any alcohol, coffee or salty plane food. I pack my own snacks instead.

On my bedside table…

…there’s a lamp, hand cream, book and carafe of water. It’s not very exciting. I used to have two slabs of rose quartz next to the bed, but I heard it can affect sleep quality – and I’m not a great sleeper – so I’ve moved them into my office. For me, a clear space allows for a clear mind; that alone has been so helpful for getting a good night’s sleep each night.