Follow Jemma Moran’s beauty therapy journey from high-tech to slow beauty and learn why grateful clients reverently pass on her name to people who are suffering with skin disorders.

An editorial by Kathryn Overall – Autumn edition of Beauty NZ 2017

After a decade of working in skincare clinics throughout New Zealand, America and the United Kingdom, Jemma Moran returned to her hometown, Dunedin, with her husband and baby daughter.

When she began offering skincare services part-time from the spare bedroom of their home in 2011, she didn’t imagine that she would soon need a bigger house to keep up with demand.

Once the word got out about the amazing results Jemma was achieving by holistically treating serious skin disorders like acne, rosacea, pigmentation and eczema, a steady stream of hopeful women began to walk through the door. 

Over the last five years, Jemma’s Skin Health Studio in St Clair has been the epicenter of many skin transformation journeys. Jemma, whose own flawless, radiant skin is her best business card, says she loves the challenge of solving skin disorders and the rewarding work of coaching people through the life-changes they need to make in order to heal their skin.

“I remember one lady who came with horrific acne and rosacea all over her face,” says Jemma. “It was so bad you couldn’t cover it with makeup. She had tried everything medically possible and nothing had worked.”

Jemma undertook a thorough investigation into the woman’s diet and discovered she had a severe intolerance to dairy.

“I put her on a full nutrition and topical healing protocol regime,”says Jemma. “Within six months her skin was completely clear. She was in tears one day in my clinic thanking me so much for helping her. She was a pleasure to work with because she followed all the rules and it has changed her life.”

Jemma became disillusioned with beauty therapy before she discovered the holistic way of working with skin that serves her so well. The results she now enjoys can be traced to the influence of two significant mentors in different chapters in her life.

The London chapter | Donna Gershinson

When Jemma moved to London in 2005 she began working at ‘Face It’, owned by Donna Gershinson, one of London’s most respected skincare educators. Over the next five years Donna mentored Jemma, emphasizing the importance of advanced skin analysis.

“A key thing I learnt with Donna was to be extremely detailed and thorough in consultations, to try and get as much information out of the client as possible,” says Jemma.

During this chapter, Jemma also gained a greater understanding of the links between nutrition and skin health, and she undertook an advanced nutritional programme.

The slow beauty chapter | Janine Tait

Upon her return to New Zealand, a chance meeting with Janine Tait of Bestow and Janesce opened Jemma’s eyes to the power of working from within to treat the underlying causes of skin disorders.

Janine Tait is a leading figure in the New Zealand beauty industry who educates therapists about the Slow Beauty approach to skincare. This growing movement champions a move away from invasive, quick fix topical treatments and champions a holistic approach to skincare with a focus on dermo-nutrition, wellness and topical skincare, which rebuilds and preserves the barrier function of the skin.

Jemma began using Janine’s Janesce botanical skincare range and Bestow skin-friendly super food blends and recipe books with her skin disorder clients. 

“Until I met Janine, I was still that ‘technical, heaps of machinery type therapist’,” says Jemma. “When I took on the Janesce range and philosophy I was amazed by results we got. The Janesce training and the mentoring I received from Janine are a huge part of what I am doing now.”

Jemma Moran’s tips for correcting skin disorders

Use Healing Topical Skincare Ranges

I use both Janesce and Dermaviduals skincare ranges in my clinic. With skin disorder clients I usually prescribe the Janesce Hypersensitive range as a starting point. I am a big fan of Dermaviduals Cleansing Milk and will often use this in conjunction with Janesce.

Be Gentle and Go Slowly

If a skin is really inflamed and reactive I go slowly. I often introduce the Janesce soaking protocol twice a day followed by the Janesce Lavender Soothing Mist and Avocado and Sesame Oil. The goal here is calm the skin and begin to rebuild a healthy barrier function.  It’s likely the client has been on harsh regimes previously, which have broken this down.

Once the skin is ready for the next step, I add in specific Janesce herbal concentrates or Dermaviduals tailor-made serums.

Ask Questions, Listen Carefully

Your client’s skin is a reflection of their life so it’s very important to understand what their life is like. I get each client to fill out an online form and food diary before I see them. During the first consultation I ask them to run through a normal day for me. Detail is important here: how do you start your day?  Does work get stressful?  What time do you get home? I’m listening for their lifestyle habits, their stressors and their triggers.

“You are expecting your skin to change, you will have to make changes.”

Require Commitment from Clients

If someone wants to change their skin they are going to have to change their life, especially their diet. I am quite straight up about that with my clients. As far as I am concerned it is all or nothing.  They can’t get a great result if they only do half of the treatment plan. Most people are receptive to this because they are pretty desperate by the time they come to me.  They have tried lots of things and are being emotionally impacted by their skin condition.

Be Their Cheer-Leader

You need to be just as committed to the client as they are to the changes you are asking them to make.  Regular check-ins with clients is crucial for keeping them on track and supporting them through each step. I say to each client, ‘you can text me or email every single day until you don’t need me anymore.’  And most of them take me up on it!  Be their coach and biggest cheerleader. Your encouragement and praise gives them the confidence to keep going.

Begin With A Detox

The majority of my skin disorder clients start their journey with the Janesce 7 Days of Me Cleanse. If someone has a skin disorder, 9 out of 10 times, there are issues occurring internally. This gentle diet detox helps to reduce the inflammation in their body, and improve liver and digestive functioning. When they come back for their next consult often their skin has calmed right down and they are feeling better. After detoxing, the Bestow Recipe Books teach them how to make healthy skin friendly meals everyday. Bestow super-food boosters also become a key part of their skincare regime at home – especially Bestow Beauty Oil for moisturising the skin from within and regulating oil flow.

Kathryn Overall is a freelance writer and Slow Beauty movement advocate. She lives in Tauranga.