Beauty more than skin deep

Jemma Moran finds her job as a beauty therapist very rewarding. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Jemma Moran finds her job as a beauty therapist very rewarding. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

Dunedin’s Jemma Moran has been named New Zealand Beauty Therapist of the year. She gives Brittany Pooley some summer skincare tips.

Brittany Pooley
Brittany Pooley

Jemma Moran finds her work as a beauty therapist is as enjoyable as it is rewarding.

"Changing skin visibly is the biggest and most enjoyable part of my job as it can really change people's everyday life and self-esteem,'' she says.

Moran's passion for skin health has always been a part of her life.

"As a young girl, I always loved makeup and flawless skin on women, so my career path was already there''.

She took this path straight out of high school, studying at the National School of Aesthetics in Christchurch and later taking her practice abroad to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Ultimately, she chose to bring her knowledge back to her roots, drawn to the simplicity of Dunedin life.

"The ease of life is fabulous in Dunedin when running a business and having children. My kids' daycare and school are just down the road, which is far better than when we lived in London and it took an hour just to get to work''.

Moran's personal attributes contribute greatly to her success in beauty therapy, she says.

"My honesty and straight-to-the-point approach when fixing a skin disorder is always helpful to people.

"I also think people like that I am Dunedin girl who is here to stay.

"Clients know they will always get me and not a different staff member every time they come.''

In September, the New Zealand Association of Registered Beauty Professionals held its annual industry awards, naming Moran as Beauty Therapist of the Year.

"I was absolutely ecstatic when I won'' she says.

"It was a lot of hard work and a lot of hours getting all of my work together for submission, so for it to pay off and get recognition is extremely rewarding.''

Her business, Skin Health Studio, is in St Clair and opened in 2010.

Moran enjoys having her business in Dunedin as it is people-centric.

"I have a lovely and loyal clientele here, which makes business so enjoyable every day.

"The Skin Health Studio is a lovely peaceful private environment. I like people to feel relaxed and comfortable to take their mind of everything else in their life'' she says.

With business booming, Moran spends the little spare time she does have with her family, husband Karl and young children Angus and Molly.

"I also love early walks along St Clair Beach now it is lighter in the mornings''.

Moran aligns with the slow beauty movement, a holistic approach that calls for a cultural shift in slowing down how we carry out our everyday skincare.

"It means that results don't happen overnight. You have to slowly make changes in lots of different everyday things; so many different aspects create a skin disorder, so slow movement is always a long lasting result,'' she says.

Moran offers personalised ongoing support through clients' skin health changes.

"I make sure I am available to them over the phone or email and even skin health check-ups weekly or fortnightly''.

The slow beauty movement calls for changes in different parts of each client's life. "Sometimes clients don't necessarily need hands-on treatment in the beginning, the changes they make at home are more important and my support in those changes help them get results faster'' she says.

While she fights for bettering her clientele's skin health, Moran is her best testimonial.

Her personal skincare routine involves a selection of techniques designed to balance, hydrate, trigger skin renewal, stimulate skin tissue and protect from the sun.

She achieves this through "not overcleansing my skin''.

The overcleansing of skin strips it of the natural oils that keep it healthy and balanced.

Her routine also involves continual skin hydration with water.

"Soaking my skin in water to hydrate the top layer'' she says.

Other practices include evening rollering, designed to trigger the skin renewal process and LED light therapy to stimulate skin tissue, regenerating her skin and improving its appearance.

Moran is an advocate for using products that are corneotherapy based.

"Corneotherapy means supporting the top layers of the skin and not using any type of chemical that will damage your corneocytes, the top cells,'' she says.

"It is imperative to have an intact barrier function in order to achieve healthy glowing skin.''

For the summer and everyday skin health, Moran advises the use of SPF (sun protection factor).

"I definitely recommend the Dermaviduals' SPF 30 for summertime. It is free of harsh ingredients and chemicals, so it's perfect for any skin,'' she says.

While many sunscreens irritate the skin, Moran suggests Dermaviduals as a potential solution.

"My 18-month-old wears it at daycare everyday as his skin flares with most other sunscreens.''

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