Profession: Holistic Esthetician. I recently have been using the term, “wholistic”, as I use a multitude of integrative approaches to treating the skin with a focus on bringing harmony within the whole body.
Location: Bradenton, FL
How long have you been an esthetician? 9 years
What’s one thing we can all do today to get better skin? Look, touch, and feel within our body to understand our skin. By intuitively getting to know what our complexion needs allows us to take careful steps to achieve our goals. We often over-cleanse, over-exfoliate, and dabble in too many products which disrupts our pH level, potentially causing irritation and an impaired barrier. Gentle care and self-awareness are the paths into becoming comfortable within our own skin and realize it’s ever-changing.
If you could only use three skincare products, what would they be? Cleansing is the most important step in our regimen as it removes impurities and toxins exposed during the day, while maintaining a healthy microbial environment. We have trillions of bacteria living in our bodies and on our skin, but these precious buggers protect us from invading pathogens by communicating with our immune system. If we over-cleanse or use an inappropriate cleanser, we risk disrupting our microbiome; a truly important part of who we are that keeps us harmonious and healthy.
Moisturizing and sunscreen are the other most important products as they soothe the skin, restore moisture balance, and reflect harmful UV rays. Moisturizing the skin aids in repairing the barrier and preventing moisture loss which leads to dehydration and dryness. When our skin is impaired, we become more susceptible to inflammation and premature aging. Even oily skinned complexions need moisture! Oftentimes, too much cleansing and exfoliation leads to an oilier complexion because our lipids are stripped. A stripped complexion feels tight and dry with an oily sheen appearing throughout the day, and this happens because our oils are compensating for the dryness of over-stripping the skin. Keeping our skin hydrated reveals a healthy, dewy glow and supports a healthy barrier for optimal functioning. Sun protection is the greatest way to prevent accelerated aging. “Pro-aging” is a healthful term referring to “anti-aging” as we cannot prevent aging, rather, create lifestyle changes to age gracefully. By applying daily sun protection, we defend our skin from environmental stress from free radicals which damage our DNA and break down our collagen and elastin as well as compromising our cell immunity.
I love how passionate you are about skin care and your whole body approach. How did you decide this was the profession for you? What sparked your passion?
Looking back 10 years ago, I was attending college majoring in Biology which I had high hopes of becoming a Dermatologist. The universe had other plans for me and I went with what was guiding me. While I was still attending college, my heart led me to a local college specializing in natural health and Esthetics. I immediately knew I had to fulfill that space in my heart because deep down, I loved the skin. Naturally, I’m a caregiver and felt this dream of pampering men and women while improving the health of their complexions. After receiving my license in 2008, working in the industry within different spas allowed me to dive within myself and understand where I wanted this journey to take me. I have a natural passion for wellness and I began to truly focus on a wholistic approach to caring for the skin. The more I learned, the more I was intrigued and amazed how the skin influences other organs and our immune system. Our bodies are deeply connected; by marrying plant-based skin care and nurturing lifestyle elements gives us a chance at total renewal for our best skin possible.
What does a normal work day look like for you?
I allow myself 4 facial treatments a day, with other small appointments like waxing in between. I have worked in spas that booked me treatments back to back all day long, sometimes with up to 8 facials! I ended up feeling wiped and unfulfilled. I created my business as a space for healing and to provide exclusive one-on-one treatments to develop trusting relationships with my clients. I value our time together while deepening my understanding each client’s unique skin story. My facial treatments often pleasantly surprise those who first visit me as each step is slow and intentional. We are in a society that is overstimulated, so much so that it becomes reflected within our complexions. Our skin and nervous system are intricately related which is why stress has a huge influence on our skin. By using meditative modalities and special massage techniques, I can help remove blockages within our tissues while unwinding the nervous system. This will promote our body’s natural ability to regenerate and heal itself, all in addition to firming, sculpting, and detoxifying the skin. When our skin has beautiful circulation, we are able to receive appropriate nutrients and cellular waste is excreted, paving the path for a radiant glow. Facials have become a quick, results driven approach with machines which is quite disheartening. The elegant movement of fingers, hands, and gentle tools unwinding the tension and stress patterns is an art, one that transforms our faces and may just deepen our self-confidence. It’s like a delicate dance with skilled massage movements that gives the skin life. My facial treatments have become more intuitive–some may not need extractions, some may need a deeper facial massage, some may be too inflamed to receive massage at all, maybe just acupressure. Going back, our skin tells a story and it is my job to listen, feel, and look to improve the skin’s health.
Role model: My father. I’m the youngest sibling and as I’ve grown, I’ve become closer to him more than ever. His sensitivity and huge heart has had a positive impact in my life and has always driven me to be the best version of myself.
Dream vacation: I studied French throughout my school career so visiting France is high on my list! I am drawn to Étretat, which is on the northern coast in Normandy, complete with cascading cliffs, charming cobblestone roads and architecture, and striking turquoise waters.
How do you unwind from work? Cooking is so therapeutic for me. I find it a way to shut my mind off and just create something nourishing for the body. I rarely follow recipes; I just throw spices together and taste as I go! No rules is the best.
Where should we be splurging with skin care and where should we be saving? Finding a good middle price point is ideal. We are often paying for the “name” with high-end lines yet are formulated with harsh fillers and ingredients that may cause more harm than good. On the other hand, drugstore brands are formulated cheaply because they ARE cheap. So either way, our skin is not reaping any benefits. Professional products typically have a perfect mid-range price point. They are formulated to work in synergy with the skin so you will receive beautiful results without compromising the skin’s protective barrier.
Favorite week night meal? Lately, I have been loving sauteed cabbage, shredded carrots, minced jalapeno, ginger, and garlic with roasted chicken, topped with cilantro and fresh lime. Super fresh and aromatic. One of my ultimate comfort foods is roasted rosemary chicken thighs over sweet potatoes and onions. It’s a very grounding and comforting dinner, especially during the wintertime.
Favorite moment as a business owner? Having been chosen as one of the top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs in this area was a true highlight of my career. My heart is so deeply involved with my business that this recognition means that my dream has come true. But mostly, my favorite moments are those with each of my clients who have placed their trust and skin in my hands. It’s an incredible honor when they open their hearts and give me a chance to make them feel at home in their own skin.