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May 03, 2018
by Vivant Skin Care
When it comes to skin care, there is a lot of advice out there. Some of it is good. Some of it is crazy. And some of it is just plain wrong. If you’re going to take advice, take it from the people who really know: skin care professionals. They spend their days exploring and excavating pores. They know a thing or two about how to keep skin at its peak. We talk to a lot of them in our line of work, so we thought it would be helpful to gather their top advice for quick reference. These are the estheticians' top nine rules to live by.
“Skin care is a commitment. Just like exercise. It takes a lot of consistent work and a variety of professional treatments,” says Colorado aesthetician Shawn Lynn Haviland. Same goes for following the instructions that your esthetician or dermatologist provides. Los Angeles area acne specialist, Antoinette Klinakis, is unequivocal on the topic. “Stick to your skin care regimen. Do EXACTLY what I tell you to do. If you don’t follow the routine, you won’t get the results.” And when planning your regimen, Haviland reminds you not to skimp. “Get good quality products with the science behind them.”
Estheticians across the board recommend a professional facial every 4 to 6 weeks to support your at-home care, and not just because it’s their job. A regular facial is the best way to keep the skin in peak condition. Your esthetician can perform extractions, analyze your skin’s specific needs, and provide a number of treatments for intensive rejuvenation and repair. “What I really want people to understand is that a facial is not a luxury. It’s a necessity,” says San Francisco esthetician Jodi Ramos-Austria.
Estheticians agree that what you put on your skin is only part of the equation. It’s essential to support the skin through a healthy lifestyle. “Drink water. Exercise. Avoid sugar and cut down the stress,” Klinakis advises.
A low glycemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant diet that includes green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, starchy root vegetables (for increasing hyaluronic acid), and healthy fats like salmon and avocado is best. “You have to feed your skin from the inside out to really keep it looking healthy,” Raleigh, NC esthetician Lina Yang says. “And get good sleep. Good sleep is essential for good skin. The body needs its rejuvenation time.”
“I would say diet and stress are the number one triggers with skincare,” L.A.-based esthetician and celebrity makeup artist Gigi Jara notes. “One of the things I say to my clients is, you have the power every morning to decide how you're going to feel. You have the control.”
New York-based esthetician Jill Syslo believes retinoids are the recipe for true beauty. “Whether your skin is congested, uneven, aging, whatever, a retinoid in some form will completely transform the health of your skin.” The most researched and proven ingredient out there, Vitamin A (retinoids) effectively treats acne, discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles. It’s probably the most transformative and versatile ingredient in your skin care arsenal. “Retinoids are an absolute must for all skin types,” Syslo says.
“I really don’t think you can start too early. It’s good to be aware and ready, and easier to do in advance instead of playing catch-up. On my own face, I’d much rather prevent a hyperpigmentation spot than be treating it,” says Minneapolis-based aesthetician Cassie Fehlen. Raleigh, NC esthetician Lina Yang agrees. “Start caring for your skin when you’re young before you have a wrinkle. Cleansing, exfoliating, serum and sunscreen. Always use sunscreen,” she says. The consensus is, it’s always easier to prevent damage than to repair it.
To protect the skin around your eyes from age-accelerating photodamage, Colorado-based esthetician Melanie Brown has a collection of sunglasses. “I probably have three or four pairs. I suggest everyone wear sunglasses even if it’s mildly cloudy out.” Lina Yang is also a proponent. “I wear sunglasses to protect the skin around my eyes, and I use Wink and Rejuv Rx to keep the skin firm. Botox is a short-term solution. I prefer long-term. Good skin care has a long-lasting impact.”
This simple step can make or break a skin care routine. First, be sure you’re using a cleanser that’s designed for your skin type. No harsh soaps or rough scrubs. Los Angeles esthetician Rochelle Rudolph recommends against things like apricot scrubs because “the granules are too large and sharp.”
It’s not just what you cleanse with; it’s how you do it. Gigi Jara suggests turning down the heat in the shower. “I work with a lot of clients who are concerned with aging skin and they have complaints about their skin tightening and drying, or they’re seeing broken capillaries. I always ask, ‘How hot is your shower? How hot is your bath?’ Tone it down a little bit. Have some warmth but take away that excess heat and see what happens. And then I get the phone calls. ‘My skin’s not as tired and dry, and my scalp isn’t itchy.’
If this was a horse race for top skin care rule, “don’t pick” would be neck-and-neck with “always use sunscreen.” Jodi Ramos-Austria lays out the reasons you want to avoid picking. “It just causes scars, pigment, and is harder to correct during a facial.” Instead of picking and damaging your skin, Los Angeles esthetician Rochelle Rudolph recommends you “either leave it up to the professional or help it go away faster with medicated products and icing.” Rochelle tells all her clients to ice regularly after cleansing because “it reduces redness and inflammation, it’s an anti-aging tool, and it lightly exfoliates dead surface cells.”
St. Louis esthetician Shaylyn Gilmer thinks the biggest mistake people make in caring for their skin is not doing enough to protect their skin from the damaging effects of the sun. “Daily SPF is crucial!! Wearing a wide-brimmed hat for extended time outdoors is a must!”
As an esthetician in Colorado, Melanie Brown is very familiar with the damaging effects of the sun. “The sooner we start using sunscreen every single day, the better. It so helps with the aging process,” she says.
Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Exfoliating Cleanser
Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser
Wink Eye Rejuvenation Cream
Derm-A-Gel Daily Vitamin A Serum
Day Treatment Lotion SPF 15
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