‘Decided to quit’: Elyse’s new move
For Elyse Knowles making the move to Byron Bay hasn't been just about renovating her dream home, which now has a new kind of urgency while she expects her first child.
The 28-year-old told news.com.au she and boyfriend Josh Barker hadn't given their nursery a thought as they work to get the rest of their house done.
"We've been painting all the bedrooms and all the rooms," the MAAEMO skin care ambassador said. "We're doing heaps and it's nearly done, so I'm so excited because then I'll be able to think about the baby room."
In 2019, Knowles and Barker made the move up north from their hometown of Melbourne in Byron Bay and haven't looked back.
As well as embracing the town's outdoor lifestyle, Knowles says Byron Bay's carefree attitude has given her more confidence with her skin, which she has struggled with for years.
"I've gone the last week without putting any makeup on my skin or any colour or anything like that, just because I'm so comfortable and it's the natural, normal thing to do up here," she said.
"Whereas in Melbourne, where I used to live, I didn't have the confidence to go out of the house without putting a base on.
"So I think there's a bit of a difference there. When you do walk around the streets (in Byron) and you look at the older generation, they're shining so bright because they really do look after their skin.
"They're natural they've got smile lines, they've got wrinkles, they are just so happy and fresh."
'I DECIDED TO QUIT'
Knowles's skin problems began not in her teens, but in her early twenties.
"I was 21 when I went off the pill, not saying that everyone should go off the pill, it's definitely a personal approach, but I think it was a mask for my skin," she said.
"My brother and my sister had really bad skin when they were younger and I wondered how the hell I had got away with it.
"But it was pretty much the pill levelling out my hormones so that didn't happen."
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Working in the modelling industry where she was often required to have perfect skin, Knowles tried everything under the sun to fix her acne.
"I tried a lot of things, doctors they would put me on antibiotics which I hated and then they put me on roaccutane, I hated even more and I did two rounds of that," she said.
It was after her second course of roaccutane, which the model secretly took while filming her gruelling season of The Block in 2017, that Knowles decided enough was enough.
"The first round didn't work then I had to go on it again and then I decided to quit all of that," she said.
"I hated any drug in my body and I wanted to keep it really clean and simple, so I was educating myself on all natural ingredients and how that can help."
'NOW IT'S JUST KEEPING IT SIMPLE'
As part of her switch to a more natural approach, Knowles began seeing a naturopath which she says helped heal gut issues that were impacting her skin as well as looking at natural products she could use on her face.
"It's just keeping it simple, noticing what you are putting in your body, what you eat, what you digest and what you put on your skin," she said.
"Because your skin is the biggest organ in your body and whatever you put on it soaks through all the layers of your skin and then straight into your blood stream."
Knowles was recommended Australian brand MAAEMO and instantly fell in love with their gentle, simple range of products.
"I found out (about) MAAEMO through a friend a while ago and I started using their cleanser and then I also started using their face elixir at night," she said.
"It's a beautiful hemp seed oil that I put on and it's not too oily and it doesn't make me break out in the morning."
When MAAEMO's founder Hillary Wilcox, a 24-year-old Melbourne naturopath, approached Knowles about becoming an ambassador for the brand it was a "dream come true".
"For MAAEMO to have someone support it like I do, made it clear to me that she and I have similar ethos and values which will only benefit MAAEMO," Ms Wilcox told news.com.au.
"Elyse trialled the products for a number of months prior to coming on board which was also super important to me as I know her skin journey has been something close to her heart."
Knowles said her skin is still a work in progress but she is happier using natural, all organic products.
And while she admits breakouts can be annoying, she tries to keep it in perspective.
"Sometimes you do have days where you do get a little bit frustrated," Knowles said.
"But then, on the other hand, if that's one of the worst things that we have to deal with then that's OK.
"You've got to really think of the positives of it because there are people who have got a lot worse issues in their life to deal with."
Originally published as 'Decided to quit': Elyse's new move