Beauty therapist Kate Michelmore has channelled her love of the moon to create a unique sensory spa experience. Style director Louise Hilsz visits Skinography to experience her beauty philosophy, Lunar. 

Skinography is located in Auckland's new Orakei Bay Village.

Skinography in Orakei Village
By working to heal the gut, increasing skin nutrition and understanding the skin at a cellular level, you can slow the ageing process and essentially change people’s lives.
— Kate Michelmore.

Why did you start Skinography?
I felt I needed to combine my love of advanced skin anatomy and cosmetic chemistry with my holistic belief system, ensuring that we are not only treating the skin topically but also from within. I have been successfully working with a wide range of skin disorders – including acne, rosacea, dermatitis and eczema – for 16 years. By working to heal the gut, increasing skin nutrition and understanding the skin at a cellular level, you can slow the ageing process and essentially change people's lives. That’s why I do what I do – I have a passion for people and I'm obsessed with their skin. 

What treatments do you offer?
Our Raw Facial is inspired by plant-based healing traditions from around the world, while our Intuitive Facial is customised to each individual's needs. Both treatments include our signature 'heart to hand' philosophy and our bespoke, nurturing, high-touch massage, which relieves stress and muscle tension and boosts energy.

What products do you use?
Our philosophy at Skinography is to restore balance and engage all five senses with our LUNAR aromas. Lunar Beauty is a plant-based, organic range I developed, which supports long-term skin health and is free from irritants like perfumes, emulsifiers and preservatives, which can leave your skin open to barrier disorders like acne and dermatitis. We use this in our Raw + Holistic treatments, including our Raw Facial.
For our Intuitive + Science treatments, we use Dermaviduals, which is biologically identical to the natural structure of the skin. We create skin-specific blends, which are unique to you, from customised cleansers, serums and moisturisers, right through to weekly treatment masks and even skin-nourishing foundation, full of antioxidants and vitamins.  

What do you put on your skin?
In the morning I press a warm flannel to my face for about five seconds and repeat this action five times. This superficially hydrates the skin and helps my custom Dermaviduals serum and moisturiser absorb better. I don't cleanse in the morning, because you don't wake up with a ‘dirty face’ (unless you've gone to bed with your make-up on, in which case we need a have a talk!). I always use SPF. This is your biggest and best tool for preserving your skin and preventing skin ageing.

At night I double cleanse with Dermaviduals Cleansing milk to gently remove any make-up, pollution or dirt that has built up during the day. Then I mist my skin with Dermaviduals Face Tonic – the cucumber extract is beautifully hydrating – before applying either my customised Dermaviduals lipid-rich night cream or my Dermaviduals vitamin cream mask, which is full of antioxidants, and my Dermaviduals eye cream.

What's your best beauty tip?
My four skin-changing rules are:

  • Use a vitamin A serum. 
  • Drink plenty of water and have a nutrient-rich diet, free from processed foods and sugars.
  • Omegas. Omegas. Omegas. I can't stress this enough. The lack of this essential fatty acid in our diets accelerates the ageing process and can cause acne as well as inflammatory skin conditions like dermatitis. 
  • Collagen induction therapy! Skin needling is by far the most effective way to reduce scarring and boost skin regeneration. I prefer the pen over the roller, as the micro wounds it creates heal much faster. 

Louise reviews the Intuitive Facial

After a thorough consultation, Dermaviduals products are expertly blended to address my skin needs. First, a double cleanse with cleansing milk to nurture and soothe my dry winter skin, then the delicious cucumber-infused Face Tonic to soothe and hydrate my parched skin. The exfoliation step comes in the form of a gentle brightening enzyme mask, which is applied under a steamer to keep the enzymes moist while they smooth and even out my skin. A nourishing antioxidant serum, which was also the base for the mask, comes next. Throughout the treatment my facial muscles are given a deep massage, leaving me feeling thoroughly relaxed and calm. A reawakening aromatherapy ritual and lymphatic drainage finish the treatment and I leave with brighter-looking skin and an overall better sense of wellbeing.

Kate Michelmore and her beautiful spa Skinography