An Esthetician's Six Beauty Tips to Her Younger Self

In life, we say that hindsight is 20/20.  We all wish that we could go back in time and tell our younger selves what to do and what not to do so that we could be the best versions of ourselves today.  As a licensed esthetician and skin care expert, here are my top six beauty tips to my younger self (and you). 


1.  Do Not Over Tweeze Or Wax Off Your Eye Brows:  

What I wouldn't give to tell my thirteen-year-old self to "put the tweezers down!".  As we age, we notice that our brows do not grow-in quickly anymore or they've ceased growing altogether.  Bald spots, short brows without proper length and thinning hairs plague many a beauty guru.  Brow tint, pencils and tattoos are awesome but wouldn't it be nice if we had just let our brows live naturally and free from the start?  I would tell my younger self to clean up strays between the brows and rogue hairs on the lids, but keep everything else in its rightful place!  Nothing says youth and beauty like a full set of brows and If I could turn back the clock, those babies would remain mostly untouched.


2.  Wear Mineral SPF Daily and No Tanning:

Without a doubt, I would tell my younger self to wear SPF everyday and avoid suntans and burns.  Suntans seem so appealing when we are young: we look like glowing, bronzed beauties with flirty tan lines to boot.  However, most of those suntans from our youth add up to major, permanent damage later on in life.  UV exposure causes all of those hard-to-hide age spots and makes our skin wrinkle and sag.  As soon as our early thirties and forties, we will notice freckles that don't fade, vertical lines on the mid-face and deepening crows' feet around the eyes.  About 90% of this damage is caused by the sun exposure we maintained in our younger years!  So think twice before unprotected days catching rays.


3.  Start Getting Regular Monthly Facials ASAP:

Nothing prepares us for aging gracefully like regular, monthly, exfoliating facials, from our early twenties on.  Starting facials anytime is great, don't get me wrong.  But when it comes to regular facials: the earlier you start the better!  Making a commitment to a professional skin care regimen as soon as possible is the path to aging prevention instead of years of intense and costly correction.  Regular facials are maintenance not miracles, I always say.  So I would tell my younger self to make and keep my monthly facial appointment to ensure clean and tight pores, dewey skin and amazing muscle tone for decades to come.


4.  Don't Be Lazy: Always Wash Your Face Before Bed:

Being sure to wash makeup and environmental debris off every night is one of the best habits to begin in our youth.  I know it can be agonizing to think about splashing water on your face and sudsing up when you're tired and groggy, but regular evening face washing is key to clear and youthful skin.  Maybe we could avoid acne, enlarged and stretched out pores and premature aging if we had simply taken care to cleanse and treat our faces consistently every night.  I know that if I had to do it all over again, I would be sure to wash my face as soon as I returned home from school or work so it wouldn't get neglected later on in the evening.


5.  Start Using Eye Cream Now:

The eye area is delicate and ages faster than the rest of our face.  Furthermore, we make a lot of facial expressions that involve and crease the eye area (for example, smiling and squinting).  Side sleepers and eye-rubbers are also prone to aging the eye area more rapidly.  Because of this, it is never too early to start using an eye cream.  You don't want to wait until dark circles, puffiness and fine lines start plaguing the area before adding eye cream into your skin care routine.  I would tell my younger self, to prevent premature eye aging before it starts, dab on a quality eye cream as soon as my late teens and early twenties.


6.  Begin Botox and Retinol Before the First Signs of Lines:

Many of us are surprised to hear that neuro-inhibitors like Botox and Xeomin are best used on younger patients.  Their role is to temporarily relax the muscles that move and crease the skin creating wrinkles.  For best results, it is wise to consider these treatments before or just after scowl lines between the eye brows or the horizontal lines on the forehead appear.  Once the wrinkles become deep and set-in, Botox injections will only soften them slightly or prevent them from getting worse - but it will not erase them.  Always seek out a qualified injector who consults with you before the injections about your goals.  


Retinol aka tretinoin (prescription strength or equivalent) is another great product to begin in our twenties and thirties.  Retinol is a clinical strength version of topical vitamin A, and is responsible for healthy skin cell production rates, clearing acne and preventing collagen loss and wrinkles.  You can pick up retinol at a doctor's office and/or medical spa and it usually comes in a little tube in cream or gel form.  I consider retinol the fountain of youth and when I see patients who have used it for several years or decades, I can see they look eight to ten years younger than their peers!  


Don't wait if you are serious about your beauty and facial rejuvenation goals - it's best to start now!  Follow my six professional tips to freeze the hands of time and look younger everyday!

Four Simple Ways to Create Exceptional Service Experiences At Your Spa

When it comes to the spa industry (or any service industry, for that matter) customer service is paramount.  How you make your clients feel via memorable, five-star experiences is key to having a successful business.  Positive experiences that make lasting impressions even after clients leave your spa is what keeps clients coming back and referring their friends to you.

1.  Make sure your staff members act friendly and use a pleasant tone of voice: 

Whether on the phone or in-person, be sure that staff has a friendly attitude.  Only hire individuals that are naturally upbeat, friendly and positive, without exception.  Clients can pick up negative vibes in less than a few seconds so it's crucial to have staff members that smile often with a genuinely caring nature. Remember: a trip to the spa is usually not a necessity: it is a choice.  Clients choose to return to a spa that makes them feel welcomed, listened to and cared for.  

2.  Make your client feel like a star:

Always address your clients by their first name or preferred title.  Use their name as much as possible when addressing them.  There is no sweeter sound to anyone's ears than the sound of their own name…so use it often.  Remember your clients preferences and write them down.  Know any and all allergies, food preferences, music, lighting and locker room amenity choices.  Our clients leave their hectic lives behind to come to our spa and feel pampered.  Focus on giving your clients the celebrity treatment- because if you do not, someone else will.

3.  Create a relaxing sanctuary:

Clients go to a spa to be transported to a place free from stress, noise, obligations, and toxic vibes.  Make sure that your spa has a policy on children in the spa, cell phone usage and pets.  Be sure that phones and other electronic equipment/alerts are not too loud or jarring.  Make sure that treatment rooms are organized so that quiet areas are maintained (e.g. don't put a hair salon with dryers roaring next to a massage room).  Proper lighting and music are key ambient elements to maintain.  Aromatherapy, modern furnishings, cleanliness and fresh flowers make your space top notch.

4.  Always follow through with your promises:

Whether you've promised to call a client back about a promotion, create an appointment, or set them up with a referral: always follow through.  Clients feel valued and exceptionally cared for when you do what you say you are going to do.  It may seem simple or obvious, but in today's age of robot-calls, 36 minute wait times on hold and dropped calls, great customer service is the most refreshing and surprising thing ever!  Keep your clients singing your praises by paying close attention to their needs and requests and actually following through on them.  

Follow these four service standards and see how your clientele grows and flourishes year after year!


Don't Do These 5 Things Right Before A Facial

Many of us know that there are certain things that we should not do right after a facial such as sweating it out at the gym and applying heavy make-up.  But do you know about the the things that are dangerous to do right before a facial?  Here is my expertly curated list of things to avoid at all costs, right before you check yourself in to your favorite spa or medical spa.

1.  UV exposure before a facial is a big no-no:  

Arriving to your facial appointment just after a day on a blanket in the park, swimming in the pool or (gasp) going into a UV tanning bed is extremely risky.  Remember: most facials aim to remove dead skin cells which can be slightly irritating and stimulating for many clients.  So even if you aren't showing signs of a tan or burn, recent UV exposure mixed with a facial can mean redness, irritation, blistering, swelling or unwanted skin pigmentation.  Wearing SPF daily and avoiding the sun before facials are key tips for getting the most out of your treatment.  Be sure to always where SPF protection en route to your facial as well because driving or walking to the spa without sunscreen is a no-no as well.

2.  Hair Removal before a facial is risky:

Whether you've just had an upper lip or brow wax, laser hair removal or a Nair session at home, getting a facial right after is very risky.  Many hair removal methods can exfoliate and temporarily inflame the skin so going into the spa for a peel, microdermabrasion or enzyme treatment can cause damage to the skin in a big way.  Be sure to wait about five days after any hair removal treatments before going in for a facial service.  Trust me, your esthetician won't mind if you have some strays - it's better than the possible side effects of over-exfoliation and inflammation.

3.  Recent injectables need time to settle in before a facial:

Getting an injectable treatment to smooth lines or plump the cheeks are everyday treatments, these days.  However, make sure that your injectables have had at least two full weeks, in most cases, to settle in before you go in for any kind of facial.  Your qualified injector should let you know how long after your treatment you are eligible for facials.  Typically, if facials are performed too soon after an injectable treatment, you run the risk of disrupting the injectable treatment by either moving it or spreading it to an unintended area of the face (think eyelid droop!).  Remember: facials involve a lot of muscle and skin massage and manipulation and injectables shouldn't be moved around when they are still settling in.

4.  Do Not Pop Pimples or Pick at Your Face Before a Facial:

I know, some people can't help themselves.  Even many estheticians are guilty of squeezing a pimple on their own faces, now and again.   But it's really best to leave your white and blackheads for the pros.  An esthetician will oftentimes have to turn you away and reschedule your facial treatment if you come in with scabs, scars and infected lesions on your face.  It is very risky to exfoliate, massage and (generally) manipulate skin that is riddled with wounds and scabs.  You are at a higher risk for infection and other unwanted side effects if you show up for your facial with broken, scabbed skin.

5.  Do Not Use Retinol 72 Hours Before A Facial:

Retinol is a buzzword in the skin care industry and a lot of people are using it to treat acne and signs of aging because it is so effective.  Prescription strength retinol is even available OTC, of late.  However, keep in mind that retinol (especially the prescription strength versions like Retin-A, Renova and Tretinoin can thin the skin and make the skin more susceptible to inflammation from exfoliation treatments and the sun.  Be sure that you are off your retinol containing products at least three days before any type of facial, microdermabrasion or peel so that you don't suffer any scary side effects like redness, irritation or even burns and blisters.   

Follow these guidelines and make sure your visage is in tip-top shape before your facial to avoid any scary outcomes.  

Which SPF is Right For You?

Thankfully, these days, it's not a question of should I wear SPF but which SPF should I wear?  Knowing which type of SPF to wear and when to wear it will keep the guesswork out of protecting your skin from painful burns, and UV damage like age spots, wrinkles and skin laxity.  

1.  Powder SPF  

Powdered SPF in the form of pressed and loose mineral powders, or loose powders packed into a handle of a retractable brush are great for on-the-go SPF touch-ups and re-applications on small areas of the body (think face, neck, chest and hands).  Typically, the powders are comprised of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which are physical UV blockers that create a shield that reflect UV rays- it's the safest way to go when it comes to sunscreen protection. Powders are fast, instant and clean. Especially great for oily and acne prone skin types, powdered SPF formulations will help to mattefy the skin and will typically not clog the pores.  I recommend powdered formulations when clients wear makeup and do not want to disturb it with cream or lotion sunscreens.  Simply dusting on mineral SPF will take away any T-zone shine and refresh your UV protection all in one step.  The other bonus is that powdered SPF formulations are applied with a brush so you don't have to worry about dirty hands touching skin.

2.  SPF Sprays  

Spray-on SPF formulations are very popular because they are widely available in the drugstores and grocery stores.  They boast extremely high SPF ratings like 50, 70 and beyond and can be easily applied to large areas of the body with the touch of an aerosol nozzle.  Similar to powder SPF formulations, spray-ons are clean and fast but the downside is that after application you may need to manually rub them into the skin with your hands to ensure ample coverage.  The other downside is that the spray-on varieties are typically composed of chemical based sunscreen ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, octisalate, homosalate and octinozate which help prevent burns but do not prevent tans.  Chemical sunscreen ingredients are designed to make the skin absorb the UV rays and transform them into heat.  So clients who are prone to freckles, age-spots or melasma will tend to see these conditions darken while using chemical sunscreens alone because heat can activate all of these conditions.  The other things to keep in mind about the spray-on formulations is that they need about 20 minutes to cure on the skin before UV exposure and must be reapplied about every two hours or more if you sweat or your skin gets wet.

3.  SPF Lotions  

SPF lotions have been on the market for many years.  They can be in the form of moisturizing creams, lightweight lotions and spray lotions.  They can have a wide range of SPF ratings and usually contain chemical SPF ingredients (see above)  and sometimes a physical ingredient (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) as well.  SPF lotions need to be applied to clean, dry skin before makeup or any other type of product.  You must have clean hands to apply lotions to your skin and if you are acne or breakout prone then it is imperative to ensure that the formulation says that it is "non comedogenic" on the label so that you do not suffer breakouts post use.  Lotions need time to work on the skin so be sure to apply them about 20 minutes before UV exposure (and always follow the instructions on the back of the packaging).  Lotions can provide hydration and moisture so if your skin tends to be dehydrated, tight or dry, lotions may be the best way to go.  Oftentimes, I recommend applying a SPF lotion to the skin of the face then applying mineral makeup or SPF powders over it, for the rest of the day - it's the best of both worlds.  

4.  SPF Clothing  

SPF clothing has become one of the easiest and safest ways to protect skin from harmful UV rays. SPF clothing includes swim shirts, shorts, long sleeve shirts and hats, etc that have an actual SPF rating on the fabric.  This SPF rating will mean that you are protected from the sun for as long as you are wearing the clothes - no need to reapply!  SPF clothing is a great option for children and adults who are extremely active and want to play all day without constantly reapplying SPF to large portions of the body.  Obviously, the fabric should not interact with the skin in a negative way so skin conditions do not need to be taken into account when it comes to using this option.  Keep in mind, however, that SPF clothing does not cover every inch of the body so it is important to apply and reapply another SPF option on the exposed areas of the body.

Sunscreen concerns seem to be more prevalent in the spring and summer months when we are outside or away on vacation, but year round SPF is really the name of the game for skin cancer prevention and anti-aging. Think about choosing your SPF formulation based on your preferences for applying it.  Each style and formulation has its pros and cons, so find the kind that works best for your lifestyle and skin care concerns.


Reclaim Your Retail Sales

Professional skin care product sales aka retail sales are a pillar of a spa's revenue potential.  Recommending and retailing professional skin care products improves client relationships, prolongs treatment results and creates beautiful, long-lasting changes in clients' skin: so why do most spas fall short in this area?  It's time for spas, medical spas and solo estheticians to reclaim their retail sales and increase their revenue…here are my five tips to do just that.

1.  Start with a Mindset Shift.  

It's time to remind our staff that retail sales belong to the spa and esthetician, without question!  Put simply, we are the trained experts analyzing, advising, touching, massaging, extracting and treating our clients' skin.  Let's own the fact that estheticians are educated experts and will be the most qualified individuals to offer the best advice on at-home product suggestions to clients.  TV ads, sales personnel at the beauty counters, and celebrity-endorsed beauty brands can often mislead clients, in terms of how they appropriately select skin care for themselves.  So stand a little taller, take a deep breath and feel confident about your expert role as a skin care advisor.  Be a trusted resource and beacon of knowledge on which your clients can rely.

2.  Talk Retail Sales in Your Initial Consultation.

Your initial consultation will typically include going over client intake paperwork, discussing goals and concerns, analyzing the skin and discussing treatment options.  However, many estheticians forget to mention that clients need to be advised in their initial consult about the importance of professional skin care products for home use, to ensure positive outcomes.  Be sure to say that compliance with professional skin care products at home is part of your process and make sure they are onboard from the get-go.  A non-negotiable attitude when it comes to retail sales is one that makes the client feel confident in your skills, knowledge and imparts a feeling of care and commitment.  It's not to say that you require a massive purchase right off the bat, but that in terms of creating successful outcomes - customized, at-home professional skin care is a must.

3.  Explain Products Throughout the Service.

Yes, oftentimes, facials are quiet and tranquil services for our clients.  However, with proper timing and style of speaking, you can introduce, explain and recommend retail products throughout the entire session flawlessly.  It's as simple as softly telling the client the name of the product you're using and the benefits of it, throughout the service.  Clients want to know what you are putting on their skin, more often than not, so be sure to share that information.  Of course, there are times when it is not appropriate to speak during the facial and allow the client their quiet time.  However, it is crucial to know when to explain product choices and benefits so that clients can be informed about their treatments and educated on product ingredients.  Moreover, if you are waiting until the end of the service to initiate a dialog about home care products: it's too late!  Clients are off to their next appointment or going back to work and an esthetician may have their next client waiting for them in the lobby! It's better to use your session time to prime your client for retail sales instead of relying on the few minutes available after the treatment.

4.  Pull Products Off Shelves for Clients to Hold.

After the service, it is crucial that you follow through and show clients the actual bottles of product that you recommend for them.  Let clients look, touch, smell, and hold packaging and testers - this will create a connection with them.  Many estheticians make the mistake of signaling to product shelves or pointing to products barely visible through dusty, glass cabinet doors - it just doesn't work!  Help clients feel comfortable and familiar with the professional skin care offerings at your spa by pulling the products off the shelf and creating a customized regimen for them that they can see and hold.  Just like therapeutic touch is a cornerstone of spa services, touching and experiencing retail products will make the client feel more comfortable and apt to purchase them.

5.  Write it All Down.

Just like a physician hands a patient a written prescription for a medication with instructions on how and when to use it, estheticians needs to write down and explain retail product instructions.  It is crucial for a client to see a written prescription style pad of all of the products you recommend for them morning and night with details of how and when to use them.  Be sure to date and photocopy this list so that you can give one to the client and keep the other for your records.  That way, if your client has questions or only purchases a portion of those items on the list, you will have everything organized for future reference. This process will show commitment and professionalism on the part of the esthetician and make the client feel well taken care of and valued. 

Follow these five, easy tips to reclaim your retail sales at your spa or medical spa, today!  Enjoy increased client retention and satisfaction along with increased revenue and profits.




6 Tips To Love Your Skin Like The Pros Do

Have you ever wondered how the pros in the beauty and skin care industries take care of their own skin?  Learn the skin-loving tips that beauty experts live-by for gorgeous, year-round glowing skin.

1.  Wash Your Face Like You Mean It

Youth and beauty starts with a clean slate, morning and night.  You've gotta put some elbow grease into your cleansing routine to really get the oil, dead skin and makeup off consistently.  Beauty pros don't count on just wipes or micellar water either!  You need to find a creamy, foaming or gel cleanser that works best for your skin conditions and rinse it off really well with several splashes of warm water.  Pros also utilize sonic cleansing tools along with finishing the job with toner to complete the cleansing process and stabilize the pH of the skin.  Incomplete or improper cleansing leaves oil, makeup and debris in the pores and creates the perfect breeding ground for clogged skin and breakouts.

2.  Don't Ever Miss Your Serum Step

After cleansing and toning, the pros always apply some type of treatment serum to their skin.  This can be a fine, measured liquid dispensed with an eye-dropper, a gel, oil or silky lotion.  Serums are going to make the changes you are looking for because they are concentrated and powerful.  Cleansing and moisturizing alone will not transform your skin; you need to put your targeted treatments on and then seal them in with moisturizer.  Serums are going to brighten brown spots, unclog pores or soften lines more effectively than night creams and SPF day-time moisturizers ever will!  Look for antioxidant serums with vitamins A, C and E and lotions that contain an exfoliating agent like glycolic or lactic acid.

3.  Make UV Protection A Top Priority

Skin care pros always wear a high quality SPF everyday and reapply it.  A high quality SPF usually contains some type of physical UV blocking agent like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and will be a bit on the thicker side.  The other thing you will see a sun-savvy skin care pro doing is reapplying said SPF multiple times per day. Even most medical-grade sunscreens are only blocking rays for around two to three hours, so application is never a one shot deal.  Hats, umbrellas and UV blocking clothing are also popular amongst the the pros.  The pros know that UV exposure thins your skin, can exacerbate rosacea, and stimulates your melanocytes creating unwanted hyperpigmentation - so the temporary tan is never worth it!

4.  Grin and Bear It

Pros are willing to put up with a little bit of bullet-biting to get great results!  Building up to aggressive treatments is something that most estheticians and beauty professionals will always be willing to do (and sometimes brag about).  Just like fitness enthusiasts will boast about their 15 pull-ups or 700 calories burned, estheticians will proudly tell you that they got an amazing medical-grade peel that made them shed skin for seven days!   In terms of skincare, some procedures can be slightly uncomfortable, however, new, beautiful skin will result - so the temporary sacrifice is worth it!  Mind you, these aggressive treatments are not to be performed on one's self at home.  Even estheticians and physicians insist on professional, in-office treatments under qualified supervision.


5.  Clean Eating And Above-Average Water Intake

Most skin care enthusiasts know the connection between clean eating, ample hydration and beautiful skin.  You will regularly find skin care pros who start their day with a green smoothie, eat lots of salads with lean protein and snack on fruit and nuts.  Avoiding processed foods, refined sugar, deep-fried foods and, for some, dairy products, can be the formula for skin care success.  Estheticians will regularly refer their clients to registered dietitians, holistic nutritionists and food allergy specialists to ensure that chronic, unwanted skin conditions are not simply a result of an adverse aspect of the diet.  Water intake, as always, is beyond important when it comes to glowing skin.  Even celebs like JLo have been quoted saying that water is their number one beauty treatment.  Well hydrated skin (from within) will look plump, dewey and youthful - so don't be shy when it comes to your daily H20.

6.  Read Product Labels

Just like many health-conscious people scrutinize food labels, skin care experts will always examine the ingredients in a product.  The pros know that the norm is for products to be comprised mostly of fillers, thickening agents, perfume, colorants, cheap emollients and/or water. Sifting through skin care brands from the drugstore to doctor's office is a task that few can master.  The most important tips to keep in mind: find out what the active ingredients are in the product, how much of it the product contains and is it in a form that the skin can accept.  Many brands make big claims but when you flip over to read the label and see nothing to back up those claims, you may be getting much less than what you're paying for.  A serum, for example, may claim that it clears blemishes and reduces pores but if you don't see ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid or sulfur you will most likely see very little impact from using it.  

Take my advice, and follow what the pros are doing when it comes to having youthful, clear and glowing skin.  Partner with an esthetician who can properly analyze, treat and care for your skin.  If that particular esthetician has glowing skin then you can rest assured that their advice will be on point for you as well!

YouR 2017 Skin Care Resolutions

1.  Stop the Negative Self-talk About Your Skin

Try to be aware of the language that you use when you describe your appearance and your complexion.  We all do it, but try to curtail phrases like, "my pores are disgusting," and "I look so old and tired." Words and thoughts are powerful and can deeply influence skin care outcomes when you are working with an esthetician on achieving your skin care goals.  Try to adopt a positive and hopeful attitude about your skin and realize that being negative will not help you in anyway.  Just like a personal trainer doesn't want to hear your complaining about your "rolls" or how much you "hate your thighs," your esthetician doesn't want to hear you go on and on about how much you hate your skin.  Keep in mind that as estheticians we got into this field to help you and usually we have also struggled with our own issues - so we get it - trust us and the process!


2.  Stop Expecting Miracles from Drugstore Products

I am not saying that there aren't any drugstore-gems out there, but keep in mind that if you have serious concerns for your skin you need serious, professional skin care.  Professional, spa-grade and prescription-strength products are usually the fastest route to positive outcomes.  Consulting a licensed esthetician at a spa or medspa is your first step to success.  Professional grade products guarantee higher concentrations of active ingredients that create the changes you're looking for. Professional grade products also have advanced formulations in terms of efficacy and quality accompanied by a skin care expert to walk you through the entire process - and what's better than that?


3.  Stop Eating Junk and Make Water Intake a Priority

Many people operate under the misconception that skin health and diet are unrelated.  The truth is, junk food (aka processed food), sugar, excessive caffeine, and a lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet will negatively impact your skin and/or slow the progress of your topical regimen.  Our skin is the largest organ of our body and is connected to the body as a whole unit.  What we put in our mouths with certainly affect what happens with our skin.  Many dermatologists have actually written books about nutrition because they know that it seriously impacts the skin.  Furthermore, most people are dehydrated.  Water intake can play a major role in fixing common skin care concerns.  Think about it this way: whenever the skin is inflamed (i.e. red, hot, flaky, tight and just angry in general) water may be needed.  Topical hydration in the form of serums and masks are a must but internal hydration is also key.  Remember: when there is a fire, we use water to put it out!


4.  Put in the Time

Most likely your acne and wrinkles did not appear overnight so do not expect them to go away in a flash either.  A professional esthetician will be able to analyze your skin and come up with a proper treatment plan which includes a regular treatment schedule for facials about once every month and a home care regimen for morning and night.  Commit to six months to a year to get glowing, healthy skin.  That may initially seem like a lot of time to achieve your skin care goals but the time will go quickly and before you know it you will have the complexion you always wanted - just be patient and trust in the process.  A typical skin cycle occurs once every thirty days (and old habits die hard) so give it a substantial amount of time and the pay-off will be worth the wait.


5.  Clean Up Your Act

It's the little things that count, when it comes to keeping your skin blemish free and clear.  Some things that your esthetician wishes you would stop doing (in no particular order) are falling asleep without washing your face, picking at your skin and making it bleed (and generally touching your face with unclean hands) sleeping on unclean pillowcases and drying off with musty towels.  Be careful of your mobile device or office phone coming in contact with your skin and be sure to clean your makeup brushes as often as you can.  These little tips can make a huge impact when you are trying to achieve an angelic glow in 2017.


Unsavory Gym Habits to Avoid for Clear Skin

As a NY State/Internationally licensed esthetician and consultant, gym related breakouts are a huge complaint I hear from my clients! Sweat spiked with hair care product residues along with bacteria, oil and cross-contamination from gym equipment all play a part - but it can be prevented:

1. Wear a headband

Wear a headband to keep sweat from coming down onto the face past the hairline. Hair conditioners, sprays, gels and dry shampoos are unsuitable for the face and can alter the pH of the skin and clog pores leading to breakouts.

2. Don't wipe your skin with just any old gym towel

Gym towels can be rough because they are washed and bleached so often. Do not aggressively wipe your face, neck or chest with them because they can increase redness, irritation and even create micro-tears on the skin! Opt for a soft microfiber cloth just for your face. This is especially important for people with sensitive skin and rosacea.

3. Avoid cross-contamination

Whatever you do, do not drape your towel on an unclean cardio machine handle and wipe your skin with it throughout your workout - better to drape your towel around your neck or a belt. Keep un-sanitized hands and yoga mats away from your skin as well.

4. Do not go to the gym right after a facial or any type of at-home peel or exfoliating treatment.

Leave your skin resurfacing treatments for after the gym! Going to a communal workout environment like a gym after a facial exposes your skin to microbes and the possibility of infections. Most facials gently remove the outermost layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum and this means the defense barrier of your skin is temporarily compromised.

5. Wash your hands before you wash your face.

Many of my clients opt to do a quick face wash at the gym sink before leaving the gym, if they don't shower altogether. However, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap, before washing your face, to avoid getting gym germs on your visage.

So don't skip your workouts but do keep these tips in mind for healthy, glowing skin after the workout's over!