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Forever Young, Naturally!

Forever Young, Naturally!

The case for natural and organic professional skin care

To appear forever young is the ultimate goal and the whole point to beauty for most people right?! To stay as youthful and healthy looking for as long as possible are what people are chasing. This is obvious with the rise of the health and wellness movement, we know that eating well and exercising will help keep our bodies in top shape and give our skin a natural glow.

Next we turn our attention to our face and skin. Australia is now the largest consumers of cosmetic procedures per capita in the world (yes we’re beating the US) and it’s commonly accepted that most everyone has Botox and fillers at the very least. But is that what’s really needed for glowing skin?

I hate to bust the Botox bubble but no, Botox and fillers do nothing for the condition of your skin to achieve that youthful glow. Think of them more as structural work to smooth out wrinkles and pump up lips and cheeks.

But that’s what makeup is for right? Foundations and illuminisers help to achieve glowing skin, to a point. But if the texture of your skin is uneven, bumping under the surface, the makeup won’t sit properly and won’t look right.

This brings us to skincare. If you truly want youthful glowing skin you have to be using the correct skincare that’s going to work for your skin. Professional skincare is widely accepted to get the best results and natural skincare is a new huge staple as we’re becoming more aware of our health and bodies.

As a professional, in my experience with treating clients for over a decade as well as my own skin, professional natural skincare gets the best results for seriously youthful skin over time. Over time is the key phrase here, the way natural skincare works is not a quick fix, just like our diets. It is the consistent use for over a year and longer where your friends will start to really complement your skin and how well you’re looking.

I want to breakdown the difference between traditional professional skincare (also known as cosmeceuticals) and natural professional skincare. Cosmeceuticals commonly will tell you that everyone needs retinol as a holy grail ingredient and the skin can only take in a few select vitamins (A, C, E, B) These vitamins have been manufactured and freeze dried and placed in a cream with a delivery system. I find this extremely limiting and liken it to taking vitamins pills as opposed to eating a varied healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Natural and organic professional skincare on the other hand derives its active ingredients from plants and there are hundreds (possibly thousands) of different antioxidants that are nutrient dense to feed and hydrate the skin. When they are formulated in a professional product they work in the skin naturally, nourishing our cells, combating free radical damage and keeping our cells younger and it better condition for longer. In my experience as a professional, this is the key to the ‘fountain of youth’, more so than any intense treatments designed for a quick fix or ‘bullying’ the skin to do something.

Happy skin glows, simple as that. So I would love to take the fear, the self-loathing and knee jerk treatments out of beauty for everyone and love your skin with amazing professional natural skincare and see your natural glow come through. Who’s up for the challenge to join me in natural, healthy, glowing skin?

Glow like a natural beauty expert, my favourite products on high rotation:

Eminence Organics

Marine Peptide Serum

Eminence Marine Flower Peptide Serum is an easily absorbed, potent gel serum delivers concentrated plant peptides and botanicals to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for visibly smoother, plumper and more youthful-looking skin.

eminence marine flower peptide serum

Bright Skin Moisturiser with Sunscreens

Eminence Bright Skin Moisturiser with Sunscreen protects your skin while brightening with stone crop, bearberry, GigaWhite™ and a Natural Hydroquinone Alternative.

Eminence Bright Skin Moisturiser with Sunscreen

Organic Spa

Pro Renewal Cream

Organic Spa Pro Renewal Cream is formulated to help protect and defend the skin against environmental stresses while nourishing and rejuvenating the complexion.

Forever Young, Naturally!

Night Renewal Treatment

Organic Spa Night Renewal Treatment is a nourishing advanced night treatment is formulated to help stimulate cell renewal, improve skin texture and enhance the complexions clarity.

Forever Young, Naturally!

Roccoco Botanicals

Globiotic Serum

Roccoco globiotic serum is a topical live probiotic serum that enhances skin brightness, radiance and repair.

Forever Young, Naturally!

Blueberry AGE Cream for mature acne skin

Roccoco Blueberry AGE Cream is designed for mature and dehydrated skins that are glycated and barrier impaired.

Forever Young, Naturally!

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Banish Blackheads Forever

Banish Blackheads Forever

Just about everyone who comes into the skin clinic at South Yarra for a facial has concerns with blackheads, even if they don’t suffer from acne or oily skin.

So what are blackheads and how do they form?

Blackheads are a build up of cellular waste, dirt, oil and pollution that get trapped in the pores of our skin, and then oxidize. This build up turns black in our pores creating what we commonly know as ‘blackheads’. This build up under the skin can be unsightly, leave the texture of our skin uneven and lead to our pores appearing larger.

Some common treatments people use to get rid of blackheads are:

Pore strips (ouch!)

Intense exfoliation like Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Retinol that can leave the rest of your skin red and raw

Professional skin peels, again not sustainable long term

Microdermabrasion, being a manual exfoliation it doesn’t get down into the pores as effectively as peels

Some of the above treatments are more effective than others but they all have the same problem, they’re mostly only temporary. Yep, those pesky blackheads just seem to come back, with vengeance. Then stripping the rest of your skin just to get to a few pores across your nose is far from ideal as well.

At Belinda Hughes Skin Clinic we have a couple of alternatives that we have found to be very effective and more long term than the above treatments.

In Salon

In the clinic we have created our signature Blackhead Melting Facial with our acne brand Roccoco Botanicals. This treatment begins with a double pore cleanse and a cranberry and pomegranate enzyme exfoliation to deeply clean your skin. Then we use a blackhead melting gel on negative galvanic current to literary melt the blackheads and congestion in your skin, then we extract any further congestion ready to come out if required. Finished with a sulfur mask derived from kale this facial leaves your skin clear and glowing.

At Home

To maintain results at home we recommend a cleansing system. Use the Roccoco Pore Cleansing Oil over the basin at home straight onto the skin without water, massage the cleanser around for a couple of minutes then remove with a warm damp face washer. If your wearing makeup, use the pore cleansing oil to remove your makeup first, it’s brilliant over eye makeup and everything just melts.

Banish Blackheads Forever

Followed by the Roccoco Purifying Essence, which is a toner that contains willowbark, a natural salicylic acid. For best result spray the rococo purifying essence onto a cotton round and wipe over your skin.

Banish Blackheads Forever

This cleansing system is proven to deeply clean skin and banish blackheads from the most stubborn pores. Your skin is left calm and purified. Then finish your routine with your recommended serum and moisturizer. If you’re not sure what’s best for your skin, get in touch with us at the clinic and we can guide you on your bespoke home routine.

Book your Blackhead Melting Facial below:

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Food and Beating Acne

Food can effect acne

Food has the power to affect our bodies in very positive or sometimes negative ways. With so much conflicting information, trends and fads it is really hard to find the right fit with our own personal nutrition. Our skin is our largest organ and part of our excretory system so when things are not functioning properly it reacts, most commonly with acne.

At the clinic I’m a huge advocate of ‘one size does not fit all’ and often refer clients to my network of practitioners around Melbourne for everything from food allergy testing to good old acupuncture. Acne is a particularly tricky skin condition we treat a lot of in the clinic. Clients are often already under the care of health practitioners for other health conditions. As a result, they already have the basics of a great clean diet with minimal to no sugar, junk food and any food groups they have diagnosed sensitivities to like gluten or dairy. But sometimes there’s apiece missing. I see the frustration, I council clients through the process of clearing acne over 6 months or longer.

We stock the best products on the market to treat it topically as well as a Chinese Medicine supplement Zilch Acne. What I have recently learnt though is there are definitely some foods and herbs that trigger receptors in the skin, which cause acne flare-ups. If you are struggling I would urge you to get allergy tested, but this is a go-to list to get you started.

Foods that commonly trigger acne

  • Milk
  • Wheat grass
  • B1, B6, B12
  • Whey protein
  • Cocoa – sorry to break your heart, this includes raw cacao which is often a health food favourite treat
  • Iodine

Be sure to double check multi-vitamin supplements for the B Vitamins and Iodine.

Foods that are good for treating acne

  • Green tea
  • Brown rice or pea protein – double check your protein powders
  • Probiotics
  • Zinc
  • Fish oil
  • Nicazel - click the link for more information on this supplement

If you’re looking for answers to your stubborn acne, book an Initial Consultation Facial with Belinda for professional advice, or get in touch with us for a chat.

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I Bought Natural Skin Care and My Skin Still Sucks

I Bought Natural Skin Care and My Skin Still Sucks

You’ve finally found the holy grail of skin care – natural skin care products!

These beautifully packaged, so called "natural skin care" butters and oils promise to take you to skin care nirvana. But after a few weeks use your skin is still kinda feeling the same. Mildly better, but it’s not rocking your world. What went wrong? So often my clients arrive in my clinic announcing they’re all about natural and organic skin care and they’re so glad they found me. But they still face a variety of skin concerns ranging from acne to dryness, an organic oil is supposed to be hydrating right?! Well sort of…

Here is why your natural products are still giving you sucky skin

You picked the wrong product for your skin condition
You’ve had the same combination skin forever and get pesky breakouts about once a month still. You’re over the shine and want clear glowing skin, the bottle says for normal-oily skin so you’re good, right? Not necessarily. There are more factors going on in your skin than just your skin type. Choosing a broad range product for your skin type won’t address the underlying skin condition only a skin care professional can spot. Although these online retailers give general guidance, it’s not the same as getting advice from a trained skin expert.
Your product isn’t that natural
Green-washing is HUGE still. So many products have the words ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ in the label, or come in pretty amber packaging on wooden shelves, but they’re not natural. They still contain petro chemical ingredients like sulfates that are going to sabotage your skin. Lots of clients come to me using products like (that product that sounds like Aesop) thinking its natural and wondering why their skin isn’t improving. This is not your fault, but if I can educate you on which are the natural skincare products and what to spot, you’ll be less likely to fall into the trap of fake natural products.
You’re confused about product terms
With the explosion of natural products on the market certain terms have been confused like oils and serums. Many natural brands market their face oils as ‘serums’, which is not entirely the correct description. Traditionally serums are more like a thin gel consistency that disappear deep into the skin carrying vitamins and antioxidants and a moisturizer I used to lock it in. Oils on the other hand don’t disappear into the skin straight away like a serum and it isn’t necessary to lock them in with a moisturizer as well. Serums are more effective at carrying vitamins into the skin than just oils. Depending on your skin condition and preference these two products have very different purposes.
You’ve found a funky little artisan brand that’s handmade
Now I love these little finds as much as the next person, and believe in supporting them to grow into the best version they can be. BUT it is a little bit buyer beware when skincare is being mixed up at home so I tend to stick to more general body products while these products are new. There are a few issues with small homemade brands. Testing for microbial fungus doesn’t happen, so if there’s an issue with the product it could cause adverse reactions. Also testing for splitting and separation of the product may not be done thoroughly enough leaving you with a jar of split sludge. Finally, if essential oils are used and are too strong it can also cause adverse reactions on the skin, and UV sensitivity. Of course this does not apply to all brands, but buyer beware.

So what do you do to get the best out of organic and natural skin care?

Ultimately consulting an expert with professional brands is the best way to go. But since natural and organic salons are not the norm yet, it can be tricky to find one. Plus then you have the extra expense of having a treatment done, when all you may want is some awesome skincare that’s going to work day to day. This is why I’ve created the concept of an online skin consultation that gives you access to my online store of professional brands. Professional advice ü professional brands ü all natural and organic ü. Plus you get the added bonus of then being a customer and you can re-order our professional products to suit the changing conditions of the skin (and continue to grow with us as we expand our offering). You don't need to be in Melbourne or make it into the clinic. To book, simply click the link below: Online Skin Consultation
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Urban List Loves Belinda Hughes Skin Clinic

Urban List Loves Belinda Hughes Skin Clinic

The Verdict

It doesn’t look like much from the street, but wander up the stairs to Belinda Hughes’ new South Yarra skin clinic and you suddenly find yourself in a timber-floored Zen palace. The white-washed walls, leafy outlook windows, and a soothing meditation soundtrack massages its way into your brain.

It’s the latest bricks and mortar venture from celebrated beauty blogger Belinda Hughes (aka the Natural Beauty Expert), as well as the only 100% organic skin clinic in South Yarra. Think of it more as a holistic beauty and wellness centre; a place for your monthly facial where you can learn about your skin, get a naturopath referral (Belinda has a few choice contacts she recommends) or grab a bottle of moisturizer from the carefully selected products on display…

Read full article

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Stop Wasting Money on Skin care!

Stop Wasting Money on Skin care!

Why would a beauty therapist tell you to stop buying skincare?!

Almost every client that comes to me tells me how they have a cupboard full of stuff they barely use or alternate and are frustrated with how their skin not improving. Because of this wasted money they also feel reluctant to purchase more product, even though their current products aren’t working. I totally get it.
I would love it if no woman had to waste another cent on inappropriate, ineffective skincare ever again. Unfortunately big cosmetics producers with big marketing budgets suck us in with those shiny cosmetic counters and bright lights time and again. Not to mention your co-worker, mothers group friend or neighbor peddling the latest ‘miracle cream’ from home, but that’s another blog.
We’re flooded with information but have little to zero guidance on what is best for our skin.

So what are we supposed to do?

Firstly, always get professional advice from your local beauty therapist. Skin clinics have products with a higher percentage of active ingredients that actually achieve results in the skin. Also a beauty therapist is trained to look at your skin and give you the right match of product on your skin. Going to get advice for your oily skin usually results in sales assistants directing you to the ‘oily skin’ ranges, when in fact your skin could actually be dehydrated, and only a skilled therapist with a diploma in skin science can pick this. Without these expertise to properly diagnose your skin, the recommendations are a guess at best.

Changing skin

The good news is with the correct guidance it’s not hard to turn skin around in a short amount of time. Simply adding in a potent vitamin serum or getting onto the correct basics (cleanser + moisturizer) skin starts to correct itself in a week or two. Combine this with a professional facial to clean and kick start your skin and you’re in business.
Clients are always amazed at how easy it is to achieve great skin after just a few weeks. The only secret is finding the right advice.

Will it cost me the earth?

Going to a professional skin therapist is daunting. Paying for a facial service and professional product must cost more than going to the beauty counter, right? No! You will SAVE money. Yes paying for a service is extra on top of product, but how much are you paying for product that doesn’t do anything? Counter cosmetics can cost anywhere from $60-$300 for a moisturizer, and only contain 10% or less active ingredients. That’s a lot of money for a jar of water, fillers and perfume.
Professional cosmetics can start as little as $35 and go up to around $110 on average. This is for basic moisturizers and professional strength serums that make a real change to the skin in a few weeks. Professional cosmetic contain upwards of 80% active ingredients. That’s a massive difference in price to performance. Plus the bonus is a professional has looked at your skin and given you exactly what you need. No more guessing!
So after reading this I hope I’ve empowered you to get a skincare routine that works so you can stop wasting money on cosmetics.

Book your customised organic facial today.



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We’re Matcha mad here at Melbourne Girl.

We’ve been known to sip on a Matcha latte, enjoy a Matcha breakfast bowl, nosh on a Matcha bar and even indulge in a Matcha burger but this week

We trialled the magical green tea powder in a completely new way; a Matcha facial!

Natural Beauty Expert, Belinda Hughes, has just introduced the new treatment to her South Yarra clinic and explained “Matcha is a green tea superfood full of antioxidants for skin brightening and anti aging. It’s proving to be just as popular in facials as it is in many Melbourne cafes.”We were intrigued and I was lucky enough to be one of the first to try it!

Read the full review here.

Book a MATCHA Facial



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Why Do I Need A Facial?

Why Do I Need A Facial?

Everyone’s heard of professional facial treatments.

But what does a facial actually do? Are they worth it? Will you end up having a Samantha experience (SATC style)?

Why Do I Need A Facial?

In the hands of an experienced professional they are necessary, non-invasive and totally worth it. Let me explain how.

Deep Cleanse

Even being religious with your routine isn’t enough to get all the makeup, dirt and congestion that build up over time. Often I will be getting old makeup out of a clients skin even after the professional exfoliation.

Clean skin also equals healthy skin. Less congestion allows the skin to function as it needs to, prevents pores from stretching and even appear smaller and makes your routine of serums and moisturizers penetrate and be more effective.


Infusing your skin deeply with vitamins and nutrients is just as important as clearing the way for them. With the advancement in technology in professional use only masks they now not just detox, but calm, soothe, plump and feed skin like never before. When you combine latest organic technology with traditional beauty methods like galvanic infusion and micro current the results can be spectacular in just one hour. Hello healthy skin!

More than a beauty counter

Nothing beats the advice you get from a trained professional with professional skin care. Unfortunately well meaning sales ladies on the beauty counters are often not qualified in skin physiology and anatomy and their job is to sell you the latest cream released whether it’s suitable for your skin or not.

A beauty or dermal therapist however can thoroughly assess your skin and make recommendations based around their years of training and experience. This will create a bespoke program of professional treatments and home care (and how to use it) designed just for you. This is only available from a trained therapist.

Beyond skin

A really good therapist should be able to make suggestions about what’s going on more than skin deep. Hormonal imbalance showing up as adult acne or a disrupted digestive system creating painful sensitivities need more than just a facial service. Your therapist should know where to refer you if they are not working with an in house practitioner. Often therapists will partner with a nearby trusted practitioner; these referrals are invaluable for painful skin conditions that need balancing from the inside.

Great skin happens by appointment

I recommend to my clients monthly facials for optimum skin health. Each appointment is tailored to your skins needs that month. Courses are also available so you can set your appointments, never miss a skin appointment again.


Book your next professional skin treatment:



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Eat Your Way To Glowing Skin

Eat Your Way To Glowing Skin

Beauty comes from the inside; a great organic skincare routine backs it up.

Skin nutrition 101:

You will notice the abundance of omega 3 rich foods, anti-bacteria and nutrient dense foods. Our cells are made up of fatty tissue to keep cells plump and healthy, this is exactly what you want for healthy skin leading to reduced wrinkle depth and healthy skin tone.

Here are my 10 beauty food essentials (I eat most of these foods daily or weekly) for glowing skin.

Fatty Fish

Omega3s are essential fatty acids that protect your skin cell membranes. They make your fatty layer under your skin firm and plump, which reduces lines depth. The best fatty fish are salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies.


Full of essential fatty acids again to maintain skin elasticity and collagen production, keeping skin hydrated and firm. Coconut water is full of electrolytes, which boosts hydration levels.


Rich in Omega 3s (see a theme here) avocados have all the plumping effects for the skin. The oil in a face blend has vitamins A, D and E, which are the building blocks for the skin as well as helping to even out skin tone.  They’re also a great hormonal balancing food if you have adult acne.


One of eggs key nutrients is sulfur, which helps everything from liver function to vitamin B absorption. Sulfur is also necessary for the production of collagen and keratin, which help create and maintain shiny hair, strong nails and glowing skin.


Truly one of nature’s best medicines, garlic also helps prevent breakouts and maintain clear skin. To make the most of its naturally antibiotic compounds, it’s best to crush or chop garlic and leave it on the cutting board for a few minutes before cooking.


Tomatoes contain a phytochemical called lycopene. It boost colleen levels in the skin and helps the skin protect itself from UV damage. Full of vitamin C they help revive dull, tired, skin and help prevent acne.


Full of vitamin C and an enzyme called bromelain, pineapple is a great skin softener. It helps the body produce collagen and the amino acids assist which aid in cell and tissue repair for a youthful appearance.


Very high in zinc they are a hair and skin super food which help the growth and function of skin cells. Half a dozen oysters will give you 500% of your daily requirement.


High in Omega3 and 6 fatty acids they help the body retain moisture. The protein component helps boost hair making it fuller and stronger.


Not just good for your muscles, spinach is a major anti ager. Rich in Beta-carotene it converts to a powerful vitamin A. This is crucial to maintain proper moisture retention to the epidermis, helping to prevent wrinkles and remove dead skin. For maximum absorption pair it with a vitamin C like lemon. A squeeze over your salad will help you reap maximum benefits.

Book a consultation to discuss a great organic skincare routine today:



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I’m An Adult, What’s With The Acne?!

I’m An Adult, What’s With The Acne?!

Also known as “hormonal acne” it can be very frustrating to treat, especially if you don’t have oily skin and thought your spotty teenage years were behind you.

How to know if it is hormonal acne


The breakouts will typically appear on the chin and jaw line and probably coincide with you period.

Type of breakout:

The breakout will usually be deep, take a long time to come to a head (if at all) and be sore to touch. These cystic type breakouts can lead to scarring in the skin.


If you breakout gets worse changing birth control, or going off it, then it’s hormonal related. Other things that can affect your hormones and cause breakout are diet and stress. Sugar is huge acne trigger. Stress messes with our cortisol levels and therefore our hormones.

Treatment can be confusing because often our first response is to ‘dry out’ our acne even if we have dry skin. Stripping your skin with too much washing is the worst thing you can do for hormonal acne. When you strip the skin of its natural oils it becomes tight and dry. To protect itself the skin then starts to produce more oil, which in turn creates more acne and sensitivities. Avoiding this vicious cycle is key to getting on top of acne skin.

These are our top tips for caring for a hormonal acne skin

Gentle Cleansing

Use a mild cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin. It’s important to keep your natural oils balanced while cleaning mildly.


You still need to kill the p bacteria causing the acne. A chemical exfoliation like salicylic acid (derived from Willowbark) is great for getting into the skin to kill bacteria and unclog pores without scratching the surface. If your acne hasn’t come to a head an exfoliant that doubles as a mask with gentle clay to draw out bacteria is also a great choice.


Often serums will have the essential ingredient needed to treat these tricky conditions. Serums are your vitamin shot and when trying to balance disrupted skin should not be skipped. Using a great professional serum morning and night will greatly improve your skins condition.


It is important to moisturize still. Not moisturizing will lead to the skin becoming too dry and over producing oil again. Using the correct serum for your skin type is very important. Using a normal day moisturizer is fine to balance your skin and will not lead to extra acne. Using a moisturizer in the evening that contains a mild AHA is also great for keeping skin clean and helping to clear stubborn acne. Think of it as your over night skin trainer.

Spot Treatment

Using a spot cream will help current breakouts. Looking for antibacterial ingredients like tea tree oil can be highly effective at letting the blemish heal. A great spot treatment won’t just dry out a spot but contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that will work like magic to help spots disappear within 48 hours.

Take a Pro-biotic

Having a healthy gut will help your body balance out your hormones. Treating the condition internally as well will go a long way in preventing future breakouts.

Seek professional help

Seeing a qualified natural health practitioner will go a long way to help you heal your hormonal imbalance. They can test for food intolerances that may be contributing to the imbalance and prescribe herbs to assist the body to heal.

Additionally it is also helpful to speak to a professional beauty therapist about a course of peels to give the skin a great clean out, heal any scarring and create a fresh start for your skin in a controlled environment.

Stress less!

Stress is a huge contributor to hormonal acne. Taking some serious time out to chill will greatly increase your chances of balancing your hormones out again, plus healing your acne at the same time! Try creating a spa experience in your home with beautiful bath salts, body washes and creams.

Book your professional deep clean today: