We all know how important skin care is, but with so many treatments and products out there, where does one even begin? It can seem overwhelming, especially as we head into spring and summer when skin care concerns are heightened. To help get you started, we’ve rounded up the top tips and tricks from a few of our favorite North Jersey estheticians and skin care professionals. Keep reading to learn about the best ways to care for your skin from these local New Jersey skin care experts.
Achieving Clear + Healthy Skin
Alyssa Santangelo, Elite Esthetician at Lifespa Bergen County in Montvale, specializes in acne and irritant-prone skin. Something she notices is that clients of all skin types are concerned about blackheads and clogged pores. Her belief is that both skincare and makeup should be non-pore clogging and with clean ingredients, which will help achieve clear and healthy skin. One of her favorite non-pore clogging products is Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops. With hydrating hyaluronic acid and brightening Niacinamide, this serum leaves skin dewy and supple.
The other answer to clear and healthy skin is her all-time favorite facial treatment, the HydraFacial. The HydraFacial is a non-invasive hydra-dermabrasion that achieves cellular turnover (exfoliation), brightening, hydration, clarifying, and anti-aging — all in one sitting.
“The results from the HydraFacial are long-lasting and leave you with the softest skin and healthiest glow,” said Alyssa. “My tip for maintaining clean skin is staying on top of your facial schedule and maintaining a good AM and PM skin routine. I recommend facials at least every four to six weeks, so when that dead layer of skin needs to be sloughed off (every 21-28 days), your skin will always look in its best shape.”
Combination is Key
Michelle Romagnoli, Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner at Evolve Med Spa Ridgewood, believes that the best results are achieved by a combination approach. She said, “Skin care concerns are complex, resulting from a variety of external and internal factors. At Evolve, we use multimodalities to achieve the results you desire. I believe that medical-grade skin care, injectables (wrinkle relaxers, fillers, and bio stimulators), and in-office skin care treatments (DiamondGlow Facials or micro-needling) are the best combination to achieve beautiful skin.” Since the combination is personal to your skin type and goals, Evolve will customize a treatment plan to give you the best possible outcome.
Treatment plans can also vary seasonally, given the effects of temperature and skin exposure on our skin. For this reason, Vanessa Coppola, a board-certified nurse practitioner and Founder + CEO of Bare Aesthetic in Closter, is a proponent of transitioning to micro needling from harsher treatments like laser facials in the spring and summer. Both promote skin rejuvenation, but micro-needling is a safer bet for the warmer months. She explained that “laser-based modalities affect the surface layer of the skin, which makes it more susceptible to sunlight and can sometimes aggravate side effects or reduce the results of the treatment. Whereas radio frequency-based modalities like micro-needling occur at a deeper level in the skin, and do not typically affect the epidermis directly.” Microneedling procedures create micro trauma or deliberate small injuries to the skin, which then initiate the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This helps to repair the skin and increase cellular renewal and the body’s ability to produce collagen and elastin.
Think About Prevention
Prevention is one of the most important aspects of skincare, which is why Vanessa formed a Preventative Skincare Clinic at Bare Aesthetic. This in-office clinic focuses on wrinkle relaxers such as Botox, Xeomin, or Dysport, and medical facials such as the Diamond Glow, Hydrafacial, or chemical peels. The program uses small mini-smoothing treatments with wrinkle relaxers to prevent fine lines from forming, and then optimizes skin health by building collagen. Vanessa said, “I often tell my patients that regular maintenance is key to aging gracefully. You want to be conservative, but you also want to be strategic. For example, after a wrinkle relaxer treatment, our muscles are relaxed and not moving in a way that reinforces the development of fine lines and wrinkles, so this is when retinol can really do its job.”
At Evolve Med Spa, Michelle advises clients to start using wrinkle relaxers at the age they would like to preserve their skin. The answer to that is very individual. “Everyone’s anatomy is different — a 24-year-old could have deeper lines than a 35-year-old. It’s never too late to begin using injectables, however, it is important to keep in mind that it’s much easier to prevent problems than to correct them later on.”
The Power of Retinol
For Treasure Uhlik, Lead Esthetician at SKN in Montclair, retinol is the number one ingredient that clients ask about. Retinol is available in many forms, however, its primary goal is to increase skin cell turnover production (exfoliate), unclog pores, and increase collagen production which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a fresh and plump appearance.
According to Treasure, “This ingredient should be applied at night only, finished with a hydrating moisturizer on top, and never combined with other active acids (AHA’s/BHA’s). A first-time user should start 1-2x a week and build up slowly to avoid sensitivity or irritation.” The SKN-approved retinol night creams for beginners are the Image Skincare Ageless Total Repair Crème and Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3% Refining Night Cream.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
If there’s one thing that all skin care professionals agree on, it’s the importance of sunscreen. Michelle recommends applying sunscreen daily following your morning skincare routine and reapplying throughout the day.
“UVA and UVB damage is the number one contributing factor to aging skin,” warns Michelle. “Exposure is cumulative, happening throughout the day whether sitting by a window while working from home, running errands in the car, or taking your dog for a walk. Applying sunscreen daily will help save your skin and your money.” Michelle’s favorite is SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 32 (Tinted). And for reapplication, it’s Color Science Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50.
Treasure echoed this sentiment and pointed out that as we head into warmer weather, our skin is more susceptible to burning which makes daily SPF a must-have. Her favorite is Image Skincare’s Daily Hydrating Moisturizer, which is a broad spectrum SPF 30 that gives a lightweight, silky finish allowing for a flawless makeup application or a natural dewy look that doesn’t feel heavy. It’s also formulated with antioxidants, ginger root extract, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, plus chamomile to help soothe the skin making it perfect for all skin types.
And whatever you do, don’t skip out on the lips, which Vanessa warns are most prone to sun damage due to having less pigment. “We often think of the lips as having a lot of pigment, but this is merely due to the fact that in the lips the blood vessels are very close to the surface, giving our lips their reddish rosy hue. Additionally, the actual shape and anatomic formation of the lips make them very prone to damage from the sun. Sun damage to the lips is cumulative and irreversible so prevention is key. Regular use of sunscreen or other forms of sun protection are vitally important.”
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration!
When a client at SKN tells Treasure that they’re following their skin care regimen but are still feeling dull, she always asks about their water intake and diet. She said, “It is just as important to internally hydrate as it is to apply daily skin care. When you consume enough water you’ll be able to notice your skin is instantly more plump, dewy, and rids itself of that crepey appearance and texture. Your skin’s oil production remains under control and lessens blackhead congestion and your skin care products seep in easier allowing you to use less.”
Treasure suggests spicing up your water by adding lemon or cucumber for a fresh taste, or eating foods that contain a higher water content like celery, watermelon, berries, peaches, and plums.