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The 9 skincare tips and tricks we learnt from Go-To founder, Zoë Foster Blake

January 1 | 7 minute read

Zoe Foster Blake Skincare Tips Hero 16x9

Words by Arabella Roden and Gemma Dawkins

Originally published on | May 16

Zoë Foster Blake is a certified Australian beauty legend.

The founder of Go-To Skincare is a veritable font of knowledge, willing to share her insights gained over decades as a beauty editor for some of the country’s most coveted titles. She’s tried every moisturiser, serum and treatment under the sun (she even wrote a beauty bible about it) and will happily dish to any who ask. And ask they do! Despite being at the helm of one of Australia’s most-loved beauty brands, not to mention busy writing books and creating Spotify playlists, Queen ZFB has that indescribable quality that makes just about everyone feel like they’d be instant besties with her. And while we can’t arrange an endless queue of personal meet-and-greets with this beauty superstar, we can bring you the gospel according to Zoë Foster-Blake. Here are the answers to some of the juiciest questions thrown Zoë’s way, including the one Go-To product she personally loves the most. You heard it here first!

How do you keep skin hydrated in winter?

Suffering from dry, flaky winter skin? Much like we pack away our winter coats at the end of the season, many of us have different skincare routines according to the seasons. It seems logical to reach for the heavy night creams in winter as we try in vain to banish the scaly skin. But according to Zoë, there’s a better workaround – and it might surprise you.

“In winter,” she tells us, “people think, ‘Oh I need to get a thicker moisturiser’, but often it’s the serum that will actually do the heavy lifting! So, adding in a hyaluronic acid serum and using your regular moisturiser could actually have a lot more benefit than turning to something really thick that could clog your pores.” This makes perfect sense, since the humectant properties of hyaluronic acid actually draw water particles into the skin and lock them there for a plumping boost. Clever!

The right oil can actually be fantastic for oily skin!
Zoe Foster Blake

Which skincare products can be used for oily skin?

Oil plus oil equals disaster zone oil slick, right? Not according to ZFB. If you tend to avoid oil-based products because your skin is already oily, and you want to counteract that, here’s why she recommends rethinking your approach.

“Often, oily skin is in ‘over-compensatory’ mode, meaning your skin is dehydrated because you’re maybe using very strong exfoliants. I know when I have breakouts, my instinct is to go, ‘Dry that out! Use everything to get that oil out!’, and so the skin freaks out and just produces more and more oil, and you go on this loop-the-loop. The irony is that you can use the Go-To Very Lightweight Moisturiser, which is oil-free, and then you can use Face Hero on top, which is an oil, but it has excellent balancing properties. The right oil can actually be fantastic for oily skin!” It seems you really can’t have too much of a good thing.

What products would you recommend for a teenager looking to start a skincare routine?

While many of us have a 72-step skincare routine to rival Hailey Bieber’s, it’s definitely not advisable to go from zero to 100. Skin needs time to adjust (and for you to work out which products suit your skin). So when it comes to implementing a new routine, Zoë suggests starting with lightweight products.

She tells us, “I have dry, thirsty, reptile skin and I need constant hydration, so the thicker the moisturiser, the better – but I know that’s not the case for everybody. So now we have Very Lightweight Moisturiser. As with everything Go-To makes, the name hints at what it is. It’s a gel cream, it’s oil-free, it absorbs instantly and it mattifies the skin. No shine, no residue, and just really, really good for teen and tween skin.” Plus, she adds, it’s “great under makeup and full of ceramides and hyaluronic acid so it really hydrates but it’s very lightweight! It’s also refillable.”

Oh, and a couple more: “I’d also recommend a cleanser and of course, SPF,” she adds.

The general rule is to go thinnest to thickest with your application order, or most active to least active.
Zoe Foster Blake
Zoe Foster Blake Skincare Tips 11x4 1

In what order should you apply skincare products?

OK, so we’ve got our perfect products. But how on earth do we apply them? We’re not in Kansas anymore, so the basic ‘cleanse, tone and moisturise,’ mantra doesn’t help us to decipher our retinols from our hyaluronics. Is there a hotline we can ring to tell us the order?

ZFB has a simple, clever rule to live by: “The general rule is to go thinnest to thickest with your application order, or most active to least active. For example, you’d always put on Face Hero followed by the Very Useful Face Cream, but that’s because Very Useful is thicker and richer than  Face Hero. Whereas with Very Lightweight Moisturiser, because it’s thinner than a face oil and doesn’t have any oil – it’s actually got humectants in it – you would put that on first and then seal it in with Face Hero, because it’s thicker. So if you’re using a thicker, richer face cream, pop your oil on first!”

If you’re curious about Go-To, Face Hero is the one to try.
Zoe Foster Blake

What does a face mist actually do?

Face mists aren’t just nice refreshers for 18-hour flights. And nor are they just a fancy way of wetting your face. But until recently, you could have fooled Zoë Foster Blake about that.

“A few years ago, I thought face mists were just silly things that people who had 12-step skincare routines used,” she says. “And then I started using one and saw the efficacy of my products go way up. Applying a face mist before you use certain serums activates them. For example, you shouldn’t apply a hyaluronic acid serum to dry skin; you need to have damp skin, so a little mist in there helps with absorption and ensures it can actually do its job.”

And since face mists are packed with efficacious ingredients themselves (like we said – not just fancy smelling water), it’s almost like sneaking an extra layer of skincare into your routine. Fresh!

Is double-cleansing necessary?

Surely once is enough, right? Wrong, according to Zoë (best not to mention if you’re still only using a swipe of micellar water or – gasp – occasionally sleeping in your makeup.)

“If you’re wearing makeup and SPF every day,” she explains (and you’re definitely wearing SPF every day, right?), “a nourishing oil cleanser is great for removing those thick SPF particles, primer, and all of the oil and water-based ingredients that come from your products. If you’re applying six or seven makeup products a day, you’ve got to get that off! So that cleanser, followed by our water-based cleanser Properly Clean, gives you a stunning clean that allows your skincare products to absorb better and work better, and all that money you’re spending is actually going to give you results. You’ve got to clean your skin!” Repeat that three times in front of the mirror every night, please.

What’s your favourite Go-To product?

You’re not allowed to pick a favourite child, but you are allowed to pick a favourite Go-To product, especially if you’re the founder. It’s a tough call to make, given how exceptional the peachy range is. But when we forced her to choose, ZFB called it: “I’m going to say Face Hero, because it’s the one I use morning and night, and sometimes in between! It was the product that informed our children’s range because I was using it on my kids’ rashy skin to sort it out and calm it down. I can’t fault it. I’m very proud of it! If you’re curious about Go-To, that’s the one to try.”

With over 2000 five-star reviews on, we think you agree. Almond, jojoba, brazil nut, buriti and the radiance-boosting rosehip oils all combine with an orange blossom and rose gardenia scent that smells as lush as it feels. What’s not to love? (Don’t tell the others.)

It’s all about moisture, moisture, moisture!
Zoe Foster Blake
Zoe Foster Blake Skincare Tips 11x4 2

How do you prep for the red carpet?

Whether she’s hitting the Logies awards ceremony or a blockbuster beauty event, ZFB can be counted on for a major look. Like any former beauty editor worth their salt, she knows the importance of prepping her skin for a full face of makeup. And if we’re very lucky, sometimes she’ll document the whole entire process on her Instagram stories (dream fodder for beauty lovers.)

“I’ll start with a double cleanse, then barrier repair in the form of The Repair Shop mask,” she says. “Then I’ll use a Transformazing sheet mask, then Face Hero, then Very Useful Face Cream. It’s all about moisture, moisture, moisture! I’ve also got my gua sha [to massage in my products] because I will be puffy, so that will help with circulation and give me a jawline!” Now, speaking of sheet masks…

What’s the most popular Go-To product?

Zoë doesn’t hesitate on this one: “Transformazing – this is our bestselling sheet mask; we sell one a minute. It’s a big claim for our brand to go out and say, ‘This will give you instant results, this will make you look like you’ve had a full night’s sleep, and a facial, and gone for a run, and had a green smoothie,’ but it works! We have a lot of makeup artists that insist on using it on models before makeup and it’s also great for brides pre-wedding and the day after.

“When you’ve got something big on, always reach for this mask for a really concentrated dose of treatment, and always follow up with something. My dear husband [comedian and host Hamish Blake] was so proud of himself the other day; he bought a six-pack of Transformazing at MECCA and sent a photo to me of himself wearing the mask, saying, ‘Are you proud, honey?’ and I said, ‘Did you put anything on afterwards? Because the mask is only half the job!’

“Because it’s a serum, you need to follow up with an occlusive, so you need to add something thicker and more nourishing to lock in all that goodness. Another hot tip: if you’re using the sheet mask, squeeze out the magic potion residue and bring it down to your neck and chest – or save it and use it the next day!”

Related topics and brand tags

Skin careFacial masksMoisturiserSerumCleanser

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