Here’s How To Get The Perfect Clean Beauty Look

With tips straight from a dermatologist.

First spotted on our TikTok and Instagram feeds, the natural and authentic beauty look defined by dewy skin, feathered brows and minimal makeup is here to stay.

Spotted on some of the most famous faces in the world (we’re looking at you, Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid and Hayley Lu Richardson), “clean beauty” has become an everyday go-to in our beauty bag of tricks.

With the key to the “off-duty” aesthetic lying in healthy, glowing skin, we sat down with Dr Cara McDonald, Principal Dermatologist and Director at Complete Skin Specialists, for her tips and tricks for our best skin yet.

Clean Skin, Clear Mind

According to Dr McDonald, the no-fuss, flawless finish speaks to our desire to simplify our self-care and makeup rituals.

“We are moving away from the heavily enhanced, filtered and excessive look to one of fresh simplicity,” she tells marie claire Australia.

“Smooth, dewy, luminous, clear skin is in and the last thing we want to do is hide it under inches of makeup.”

The look is also heavily inspired by the idea that clear skin equals a clear mind and a healthy lifestyle.

“When we see this fresh and healthy glow in our friends or on social media, you can’t help but be drawn in and think, ‘I want what she has’,” Dr McDonald explains.

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The move towards ‘clean beauty’ is influenced by a desire to show off smooth, clear and luminous skin. (Credit: Supplied)

Back To Basics

For our best skin yet, Dr McDonald says it’s all about getting the basics right.

“Make sure you have… a quality cleanser and moisturiser suitable for your skin prior to adding in any active ingredients,” she says.

“Next, ensure you prevent sun damage and premature ageing with excellent sun protection. Use it every day without fail.”

When it comes to adding in active ingredients or specialty skincare products, Dr McDonald recommends taking it one step at a time.

“Only add in one new product at a time. This way, if you have any problems or reactions, it is easy to pinpoint the culprit,” she says.

And, of course, less is always more.

“The majority of gains come from only a relatively small number of active ingredients with a good basic routine.

“Consistency is key… so find a manageable routine and stick with it. Over time, you can increase the potency and introduce extra ingredients for maximal results.”

The Hero Ingredients

For a clean, clear and glowing complexion, “hydration is key”, says Dr McDonald.

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Hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and actives that focus on skin repair and renewal go a long way in paving the way for clean, glowing skin. (Credit: Supplied)

“Skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides and niacinamide are a priority. These will strength the skin barrier and reduce inflammation,” she says.

“Other active ingredients will vary depending on your skin type, but good quality antioxidants in the morning are a great place to start.

“In the evening, focus on skin repair and cell renewal with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and retinols.”

Calling In The Experts

Sometimes, a visit to a clinic for professional advice or a more comprehensive treatment can be the perfect supplement for at-home skincare.

For Dr McDonald, going in-clinic may be a choice for those not getting the results they’re looking for from their products.

“This may be because you have an underlying problem with your skin, such as sun damage or inflammation.  Dryness, tightness, redness or broken capillaries, itch and irritation are all signs that you’ve got damaged or inflamed skin, which may require some professional or medical advice,” she says.

“Similarly, if you’ve got oily skin and dilated pores, sensitive skin or just dull, lacklustre skin and don’t seem to be reaching your ‘clean beauty’ goals, in-clinic treatments may be beneficial.”

“When looking at in-clinic procedures, the needs of the individual will be taken into account to deliver the optimal outcome,” she says.

“Superficial skin peels and minimally invasive procedures, sch as LED light and micro needling may be sufficient to boost natural glow. For those with more specific skin-quality concerns…energy-based devices including lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) can be used to improve the complexion and skin quality.”

For some, injectable treatments such as dermal fillers, skin hydration boosters and antiwrinkle treatments may help deliver smooth, luminous skin.

There are many options available, and all have risks and benefits. It’s best to consult an aesthetic healthcare practitioner for an individual treatment plan to achieve the clean beauty look.

To learn more about skin and ageing, visit

Brought to you by Galderma.

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