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Owner of the research triangle’s Skin Essence Day Spa Lina Yang and Dr. Fulton at a Vivant Skin Care training.

Lina Yang

A cosmetic surgeon and aesthetics educator in her home country of China, Lina Yang furthered her studies at the University of Virginia School of Medicine when she came to the U.S., earning a laundry list of skin care certificates. Her early interest in skin care and avoiding the signs of aging lead her to train directly with Dr. Fulton.




Lina Yang on long-term skin care and her childhood fear of wrinkles.


“When I was a little girl, my mom was such a beautiful woman. In her thirties, she started getting wrinkles. And I thought, ‘Oh my god, why is she getting wrinkles? One day when I reach her age, I don’t want to get wrinkles.’ I started actually doing my own natural masks at home, with milk, honey, flour, and cucumber on my face.

Later, I studied medicine. I had a private practice as a cosmetic surgeon and taught aestheticians.

As always, I’m very conscious about skin care. It’s so important. You can always change clothes. You can have beautiful clothes. But you can’t change your face. You can’t throw your skin away and say, ‘I’m going to buy new beautiful skin.”

What’s the biggest mistake people make in caring for their skin?
Sun exposure. Not using sunscreen is a big mistake. A lot of people get early aging because they don’t take care to protect their skin from the sun. Prevention is number one.

When do you think people should start using anti-aging products?
Twenties, early twenties. You actually start to lose collagen in your twenties. Some people already have little fine lines from not using sunscreen. To prevent it, people should start early. I start anti-aging eye cream for people at 18. They love it.

What do you think is the secret to great skin?
The secret is absolutely exfoliating. Not just scrubbing, but exfoliation from serums with vitamin A, mandelic acid, and the use of a toner. They have all different degrees of strength. Most of the time, I instruct my clients to alternate. One day, vitamin A and the next day, scrub. In the wintertime may need less because of dryness. But they definitely always need it.

And, of course, hydrating and sunscreen, antioxidants including vitamin C, and peptides.

Other than product, what do you think has the most impact on the health of your skin?
Without a doubt, nutrition. Fiber, protein, veggies, vitamins. You have to feed your skin from the inside out to really keep it looking healthy. And sleep. Good sleep is essential for good skin. The body needs its rejuvenation time. I make sure to get seven to eight hours a night no matter what.

How often do you recommend people have a professional facial?
Once a month. At least.

What are your must-have products?
I’m addicted to my routine. I use Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser, Mandelic Acid Toner 3% or Normalizing Tonic, Rejuv Rx, Spin Trap, 15% Mandelic Acid Serum, and Day Treatment Lotion.

My favorite is Mandelic Acid Serum 15% because it’s a three-in-one. It corrects acne, aging and discoloration. If you can only get one product, get Mandelic Acid Serum 15%.

Botox or Notox?
I don’t use it. I think it’s better to protect the skin with the right regimen before it starts to age. I wear sunglasses to avoid squinting and to protect the skin around my eyes from photodamage. I use Wink Eye Rejuvenation Cream and Rejuv Rx to help keep skin firm. Botox is a short-term solution. I prefer long-term.

What advice do you give to your clients?
It doesn’t matter what your age is. Start caring for your skin when you’re young, before you have a wrinkle. It is easier to prevent than trying to correct the damage. Cleansing, exfoliating, serum and sunscreen is a routine I promote.

What’s the best thing about what you do?
I’d have to say educating my clients to effectively protect and take care of their skin. Good skin care has a long-lasting impact.



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