Michelle Hedge is a qualified nutritionist and finalist for the Australian Traditional Medicine Society as practitioner of the year. She is passionate about helping people feel and look their best. We sat down with her to talk all things beauty and wellness.

Michelle Hedge

How did you enter the health and wellness area?
I was actually travelling the world with three young babies and I realised I my real desire was to help people with their health. I was originally going to become a doctor, and I realised that nutrition allowed me to help people to achieve better health, especially in the preventative health space.

You are in the business of helping people look and feel their best- what’s the key to that?
I love to get my glam on, like many women. For me, it’s really about looking after yourself from the inside, because when you feel better, you look better. I find when someone is in a great head space and really looking after themselves physically- that’s when we look our best, and for me, that’s what my work is all about. You know when I was travelling the world with three babies, there wasn’t a lot of time for beauty, so that’s when your health and self care is so important- so that your real hair, your real skin, looks as good as possible and, of course, that you actually are well.

Which comes first- the head space or the physical health?
I find they work synergistically.

So, party season is upon us, what’s our best strategy to make it through and still feel good afterwards?
My top tip is to eat before you go- especially quality protein like some crackers with nut butter.  It makes it so much easier to resist if there is something in your stomach- and it also means the alcohol won’t be on an empty tummy!

Speaking of which…alcohol. I know I love a glass of sparkly, is it going to wreak havoc on my skin?
(laughs) I love a glass of something too, of course what we have to take into account is the sugar content in alcohol. There is evidence linking sugar to causing wrinkles by a process called AGEs so it’s in our best interests to keep the sugars low.

That is the worst news I have ever heard. Please tell me I can still have a glass of champers. What’s the best alcohol to choose, in terms of sugar?
Ok so the highest sugar content is champagne and cocktails with sugary mixers, then red wine, then white wine E: ( interjects)  ‘ok, that’s getting more encouraging’ M: (continues) then the best is actually white spirits, with soda water and maybe a tiny bit of juice to keep the sugar down.

What else is our skin’s enemy?
Processed food and high carbohydrate content would be my pick.

Michelle’s top beauty tips:

  1. Hydrate. It’s just so good for you, and it helps you function better. Try mineral water with a slice of lime or lemon, the vitamin c in the citrus fruit is amazing for collagen production
  2. Eat quality protein- protein really is the building block for your skin as it helps on collagen production. I encourage my clients to eat protein with every meal, plus it keeps you fuller for longer.
  3. Good fats. My top recommendations are avocado, salmon, even nut butter. It’s the key to glowing skin and helps you feel satiated.

What’s your normal beauty routine?
I’m a big believer in a good quality cleanser and exfoliator. It’s so important to get your skin clean properly so your moisturiser can work. I also use a good eye cream- I smile a lot and it’s taken me a long time to accept my smile lines. I figure they may as well be moisturised!

Desert island makeup products?
1) at the moment I’m using a beautiful lotion with shimmer- shows off the glow
2) even without other makeup I always wear a lip of some sort- it could be bright or nude
3) a good quality oil to tame my hair and combat frizz- I guess I could probably use it on the face as well as a hydrator!

Best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
When I was little I remember being in the bathroom with my grandmother. She told me to look in the mirror. ‘Smile’ she said ‘ Because when you smile, people will see your beauty’