An Esthetician's Secrets to Flawless Skin

Lisa Bova

We all love a good juicy secret, and oh boy do I have skincare secrets in spades! Problem with secrets is that if they aren't put into action they are just wasted insider knowledge, right? Over many years in the treatment room I've offered up the following secrets to clients willing to put in the work with incredible results. I've also witnessed how universal challenges in life that we all experience can so greatly impact the health of our skin. Without recognizing the importance of self love in bad times as well as the good, even the best skincare secrets become useless.

Secret #1: Let's get this one little detail out of the way and consider it your first secret to flawless skin: Consistency is an absolute must. Kind of like exercise or wight loss we go from a high pressure deluge of motivation only to taper off to a sad little trickle. Nighttime and morning time skincare rituals need to be routine enough as to become habit to have any long lasting results. Whether it's applying your daily treatment topicals, completely removing your makeup before bed, or applying SPF, make the things you do everyday as habitual as brushing your teeth.

Secret #2: It's time to take that cleansing session up a notch. It all starts here, folks. Cleansing really is the step that determines how your skin behaves. Spend a few extra cleansing minutes than you do right now, and you will solve half the battle, especially if it is bumpy compacted skin you are concerned with. Melt off makeup with a concentrated oil cleanser, and then wash again with a gentle cleanser to get skin completely free of any residual dirt and debris. Do this every single night before bed and watch in jubilation as breakouts subside and skin becomes smooth and bump free.

Secret #3: While we're on the subject of bumpy skin, this secret goes out to those struggling with mild acne well into the 20s and 30s. Make certain there are no internal factors that may be causing breakouts. Hormone fluctuations(switching up or going on or off birth control), medication reactions (many medications affect hormones) and food allergies (dairy, gluten) are three big components I saw time and time again with facial clients suffering from imbalanced skin. Get these things checked out by professionals if you just can't figure out why your skin is going bonkers. If predictable but annoying that-time-of-the-month breakouts are your concern, try adding some fish oil supplements to your daily routine and consider a Facial Oil high in essential fatty acids. I've seen some before and after worthy skin transformations in acne prone clients by the addition of these nutrients where there was once a major deficiency.

Secret #4: Regular gentle exfoliation. Our monthly cellular turnover rate slows significantly as we age, so while we were naturally knocking out the dead skin cells with warp speed at 18 years old, we need some help going forward. Exfoliation solves many issues including dull skin covered in debris, breakout control and general improvement of texture and tone.
So much of a flawless appearance is the tone of the skin. Even a face with many lines and wrinkles can have beautiful tone. This is skin that is creamy, even in color and radiant. This can be achieved by regular exfoliation. Removing dead skin cells at the surface promotes healthy cells within the dermis to speed up their journey upward. While intentional skin trauma such as chemical peels and lasers do this more intensely, your exfoliation routine need not be that extreme to be effective. Gentle enzyme masks or powders applied a couple times per week keep skin smooth and glowing.

I would not be a good esthetician if I didn't include retinol in the exfoliation conversation. Retinols are vitamin A derivatives that provide constant cellular turnover, making it impossible for dead skin cells accumulation. This effectively eradicates breakouts keeping skin clear and providing it with a dewy, lit from within vibrancy.

Secret #5: Hydration. Truth is that surface dehydration happens to us all, regardless of how many glasses of water you drink everyday. Surface dehydration is caused by such variables as climate, hormones, diet, sun exposure and skin type. Being sufficiently hydrated is the "texture" skin professionals speak of when referring to "texture and tone". We all know that parched thirsty skin feels awful, and when it comes to skin, typically it looks as bad as it feels. Dry skin lacks the moist plump appearance of healthy hydrated skin. Crinkles and creases are exaggerated to the point where even very fine lines can appear like deep wrinkles. I can't emphasize this enough--Your Skin loves Fat! There is a reason our grandmothers used Crisco as a body moisturizer. Getting rich oils high in oleic acid on the skin gives it the bounce and moisture it loves. Getting these oils on your skin even if only at nighttime will improve skin texture without question. If you prefer a more lightweight feel during the day, applying a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and moisture binding proteins will keep skin abundant with water content resulting in beautifully balanced skin that both looks and feels amazing.

Secret #6: Joy. Or happiness, contentment, peace, love, positivity, yin, balance, optimism whatever you want to call it. See, our skin is alive, the largest living organ we possess and a reflection of everything swirling around inside of us, our essence if you will. Stress, illness, anger and anxiety alter hormone levels, and that in turn affects all other facets of our body including our skin. I personally experienced a momentous alteration in my appearance following the death of my mother. The grief was so devastating, so deep, so consuming that I neglected any and all needs of my disconnected body. The months of crying and physical pain that accompanied the loss left my skin as ravaged as my tattered soul. My face is a bit more weathered now than the one that presented itself through life before, naive to the earth shattering nightmare that I had yet to experience.

While the above consistent skin routines are all tried and true secrets to outwardly gorgeous skin, we must symbiotically nurture ourselves on the inside as well as the outside. Inward balance permeates health to all of our living organs. So enjoy this precious life, dear reader. All the skincare secrets in the world can't compensate for a dulled, detached and desperate spirit. Find your light and you will glow from within, a bright and youthful presence surrounding you that fills rooms and makes impressions. Fill your life with whatever makes your heart sing, and that pure unbridled joy will certainly find you at your most beautiful.

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