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3 questions for an esthetician

Can anyone get a facial, even if they have sensitive skin?

“There is a facial to suit everyone. An esthetician will analyze your skin and ask what your goals are. We’ll help you understand your specific skin type and the products you should be using. The first question I always ask a client is, ‘When you look in the mirror, what bothers you?’ Then I go from there. We discuss their daily regimen, how they spend their time. Everything in your body is connected, so diet, lifestyle, hormones, stress, emotions, and other elements will reflect on the skin. Your skin also changes with the seasons, and estheticians can help maintain its health throughout those transitions.”

What's a skincare habit people should adopt, and one they should abandon?

“First, you need to start changing your pillowcases because bacteria from your hair and face spreads all over it while you sleep. You should switch them on a regular basis, at least once a week. If you break out or have oily skin, do so more often, every three to four days. I can’t stress this enough.

Second, stop picking. There’s a proper way of extracting those comedones, the white and blackheads, and other types of acne. It needs to be done with the right tools and products and your skin needs to be properly prepped to avoid long-lasting marks and scars.

Skincare is health care.

Jode Castillo

Plus, if you squeeze an inflamed pimple that’s not ready to be extracted, you can damage your skin further by pushing the bacteria deeper rather than toward the surface. This can lead to infection or make the breakout worse. Safe extractions are part of my job as an esthetician.”

How far ahead of a big event should people schedule a facial?

“For something like a wedding or red carpet appearance, I recommend getting the Deep Cleansing Facial two weeks prior. It includes steam, exfoliation, extractions, massage, and a mask, which all detoxify your pores and boost blood circulation. Not only will it de-stress you, but it also makes skin radiant. Because of the stimulation involved, impurities such as sebum or grime may come to the surface during the healing process, causing breakouts. Take it as a sign of continuing detox from the session. Two weeks is enough time to allow your skin to breathe and get to optimal condition.

For a smaller outing like a date or photo shoot, I suggest the Elemis Facial, which uses microcurrent technology to engage the muscles and give you a natural lift. Think of it as strength training for your face. The HydraFacial is also a great option. It penetrates your pores with acids and antioxidants to boost hydration and give you that glow. You can schedule one of these treatments as late as the day-of if you’ve had it before. If it’s your first time, get one of them two or three days before the event so your skin has time to relax in case you have any reactions, such as redness.”

This interview has been edited and condensed for publication.