It’s the end of summer and reality sets in. The harsh fluorescent office lights replace the glorious sun and the implications become apparent. You notice the tan you returned from vacation with decided to bring along a pack of moles, freckles, and dry skin that’s crept up on your hands while you type away at your desk. Alas, sun damage is an inescapable part of life we must learn to live with. For many women, no matter how often you re-apply sunscreen, wear your hat and soak yourself in moisturizer, the sun gets you. This begs the quandary women all over the world are faced with: how do we repair our skin post-summer? Here, the most respected celebrity skin experts across America to weigh in.
Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas is our first go-to for skin tips for these last remaining weeks of summer. The veteran esthetician responsible for some of the most famous red carpet complexions, including Elisabeth Moss, Helena Christensen, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, believes in a philosophy firmly rooted in maintenance, discipline, and a clean, healthy lifestyle. In addition to using natural ingredients to help skin reach its optimum state, she is a firm believer in light therapy to rejuvenate the skin (she even has her own patented RevitaLight Bed). Here, Vargas sheds some light of her own on some of the best skin regimens to keep your skin it’s very best.
After a day at the beach, what is the best thing we can do for our skin at the end of the day? What can nourish our body’s skin after all of that sun exposure?
A sheet mask! My Twilight Face Mask contains epidermal growth factor, which is a type of peptide or protein chain that was developed specifically to speed up wound healing at the cellular level. My Euphoria Face Mask is also amazing because it has chamomile extract in it and really calms down inflammation and soothes the skin. I also love doing a DIY Mask. Plum mixed with yogurt and honey in a mask will hydrate skin, improve elasticity and correct any sun damage that we’ve suffered from summer.
Is there a skin treatment for the body women should do every September or October post-summer?
At the end of the summer going into fall, the sunscreen that we’ve used is clogging pores, most people have suffered sun damage, and their skin looks dull and dehydrated. Fall treatments for me include really great exfoliation. I like to have people do my Exfoliating Mask and even sleep in the mask overnight so it stays on the face for a long time to clean out the pores. It's the most often skipped step in people's home routine, but it really makes a huge difference in the way your skin looks and feels. I always recommend LED light therapy to help keep the skin healthy. It's a proven technology that literally works on everyone! LED light therapy uses red and infrared light to reduce inflammation, build collagen, and speed the healing of the body by 300 percent. In my salon, we do several different treatments that involve LED light, but by far the most popular, is my patented RevitaLight Bed, which gives a client a full-body LED treatment in just 20 minutes. The bed covers the entire body with red and infrared light, reducing cellulite, lines, wrinkles, sun damage, acne scars and stretch marks to give a smoother and more even skin tone. As we know, a large chunk of good skin is indebted to good genes, diet, and lifestyle, but what about discipline for body skincare? Any dos and don’ts for body skin you live by and advise your clients to live by?
For the body, start dry brushing before your morning shower. It's a great way to exfoliate the body while stimulating collagen production and maintaining elasticity all over. A bonus is that it's also great for cellulite. My Ritual Brush is made from eco-friendly materials and has a removable brush head. I would also invest in a skincare quality body bar like my own Ritual Bar. It contains green tea which really strengthens the capillary walls and increases circulation.
What is a great regimen one can follow that will ensure the best skin now and even ten years from now?
Elasticity and youthful skin are all dependent on antioxidants. I love recommending my own Super Nova Serum, which contains a gentle retinol, for night time and my Rescue Serum, which is pure vitamin C for day. If you are on a budget, or just don't have time to sift through the many choices in skincare out there, do a DIY mask. I think it's amazing to see how ingredients really work wonders on the skin. As a skincare professional I think ingredients that are fresh, natural, and organic make for better results.
One of my favorites is: 1/2 cup yogurt 1/2 cup mashed strawberry 1/4 cup honey
Mix together and apply to face and neck for 10 minutes. It's soothing and tightens pores. If you want to add some extra exfoliation, put two tablespoons of almond power into this one and scrub it onto the skin with extra time spent on the t-zone, where most blackheads are found. Then leave it on as a beauty mask. The results will be amazing!
Eating healthy is obviously good for many things, but if you want glowing skin, it's more important than you think to have a good diet. I find that the best skin diet is one that involves eating veggies of different colors for every meal and a green juice every day. There is really no substitute and it works on everyone! I would also strongly suggest avoiding sugar, dairy, and wheat. All of those things are hard to digest and lead to breakouts even in adult skin. Most people don't realize that skin directly correlates to our digestive system. If we eat something we can't digest or have trouble digesting, there are consequences!
Is there a nighttime ritual one should do on a regular basis?
I think that a lot of people don’t realize the importance of washing your face before you go to sleep at night. A lot of women skip washing their face, they think they don’t have time, or they’re tired. It’s the most important thing you can do. Nighttime is the time for the skin to repair itself from the pollution and sun we put it through all day. Leaving grime, dirt, and makeup on the skin, you will cause skin to become inflamed, and it will break out more easily. It will be susceptible to wrinkles because it won’t be healthy. I like products that multi task, like my own Vitamin C Face Wash. I have an exfoliating ingredient in it as well as an anti-inflammatory to get the makeup off and cell turnover so it’s great to use on a daily basis. Are there any supplements you think actually help maintain good skin from within?
I think of food as supplements for beauty. Green juice, and things like avocado, flax and olive oil, are popular for hydration and anti-aging. The digestive system and the lymphatic system are both responsible for how your skin looks. Breakouts, dryness, dullness and skin irritation are all related to what we eat, how we digest and how well our lymphatic system is supplying nutrients to the skin cells. Eating proper meals with good ingredients like salads with avocado and flax oil are great ways of getting beautiful skin fast.