Ask an Esthetician: General Skin Questions for Your Best Skin

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I met Kristin from Simply Skin Cary a few months ago and we bonded pretty quickly over skincare and products at lunch. She has over 10 years in the industry and works in a private suite doing esthetics.

“I love acne!” she said at lunch, followed by a laugh.

She went on to clarify that she loves the challenge of clearing up acne and seeing how happy her clients are once she’s helped them! It was fun to talk about different products and skin issues while we were at lunch and I knew immediately her wealth of information would be valuable for you as well!

I sat down with her recently and asked her a bunch of questions that you all had. We discussed that for a lot of women time and cost may prevent them from getting regular facials, but I was so glad that Kristin was willing to share some of her knowledge with us via this casual interview.

We focus on general skin questions in this video and move onto more aging skin questions in the second video (coming soon!)

The questions we covered in the video can be found below!

1. How do you handle large pores?
2. How do you keep your skin smooth?
3. How often should you do a face mask?
4. What causes melasma or dark spots and what can you do to combat it?
5. What number of sunscreen is best for your face?
6. What are the best ways to deal with Rosacea?  
Kristin talks about a lot of different kids of products in the video so I rounded up a mix of products I’ve personally tried and those that come highly recommended via reviews on various websites.
Many love the Mario Badescu Skin Care Acne Facial Cleanser. This is great for flushing out pores and keeping skin blemish free.
A chemical exfoliator option would be the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask by Peter Thomas Roth. For manual exfoliation (something with a bit of grit), I love the Transforming Walnut Scrub or the Facial Sauna Scrub by Ole Henricksen.
Retinol cream, as it turns out, is not cheap! Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream is well-loved and is considered “clean”.
This SPF by Supergoop! is a “Best of Beauty Award Winner” by Allure. I’ve used Supergoop! SPF products and they are truly light and non-greasy!
A long time personal love of mine, the Truth Serum by Ole Henricksen is a great Vitamin C serum. A slightly more oily but better priced option is the Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence by No 7.
I had a wonderful facial with her a few weeks ago and would recommend her if you are looking for an esthetician! Check out her website here!


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Sadie says · 02.11.19

Great video!
Of interest to me were the comments on melasma. Kristen covered the causes and how to avoid getting the condition but I am hoping your next video will cover how to get rid of melasma for those of us who already suffer from the condition.

Lydia says · 02.12.19

Same here! Would like to know how to get rid of melasma.

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 02.11.19

Added to my Watch Later list! Good skin tips are always welcome! 😀

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Amanda says · 02.11.19

Brilliant, super helpful – thank you. Really enjoyed this and would love to see more of these in the future!

Kaitlyn says · 02.11.19

Was she able to recommend any specific products for rosacea? Thanks!

Mrs. P says · 02.11.19

Would love more posts like this. I’m almost 40 and still feel so inept in my skincare.

Jackie says · 02.11.19

That was really helpful. Thank you for your time in putting this segment together.

Robyn says · 02.13.19

LOVED this video! Great information for all ages. In my 20’s, as a new mom, I worked part time as a skincare consultant. Now in my early 50’s, I’m so glad to have that knowledge. Kristen was spot on! Been able to pass that along to my now 26 yr old daughter! Can’t wait for the next installment.

Sarah says · 02.14.19

Great intro video but it would be more helpful to interview a licensed healthcare professional who works with skin/in the dermatology field such as a physician, PA, or NP. Estheticians are great, but might not be the most knowledgeable or aware of the newest treatment options for certain conditions. For example, fragrance has no effect on rosacea and is not a known trigger unless you also have allergic contact dermatitis (aka eczema). A helpful, easy OTC ingredient to combat redness seen in rosacea is niacinamide, while vitamin C is too harsh for rosacea skin.

Angie says · 02.16.19

Great video!

Sue says · 02.28.19

Thanks for this! Have you ever tried a Hanacure mask? Would love your thoughts. Thank you.

Kate says · 03.01.19

No I haven’t!

Brittany says · 03.12.19

Hi, Kate!
I have watched both videos. These have been great. Do you know what order you should apply products? Serum, moisturizer, then makeup?
Thank you,

Julie Krause says · 04.01.21

What is the best purchase for fading a few dark spots/sun spots on my face

Jane Smith says · 07.03.22

My Mom had a stoke 4 years ago. She has essentially no ability to now care for herself and is in a nursing home. During my regular visits she loves for me to wash off her face with a warm wash cloth. While I do this, I have notice her skin pilling on her forehead, checks, and chin. I would love to give her a painless facial. Please keep in mind my Mom is very sensitive to pain and NEVER had a facial of any kind and has not worn makeup since the 60s. Her skincare routine was ivory bar soap and simply washing. I am not trying to make her look younger. I am trying to help her enjoy something and have some enjoyable feelings. Thank you, Jane Smith

Angelina says · 05.04.23

Hi thank you for reading my message. For a while now I have been feeling like I am doing my skincare routine wrong and I want to feel like I am getting the most out of my skincare and sometimes I feel like I don’t and I keep overthinking and overusing product. So currently I have retinol, hyaluronic acid and vitamin c. How I usually layer my products in the daytime is using a gentle milky cleanser since I have dry skin. But my question that always confuses me is should my face be wet before I apply any hylauranic acid or vitamin c serums or can my face be dry before applying? I hear a lot of people say it should be wet but I want your opinion. Also another question is how to layer my serums? Would it be retinol before hylauranic acid want are the proper steps? And when to apply my vitamin c serum and facial oils? what I have been doing for my morning routine is pat dry my skin after cleansing, wipe a cotton pad on my face, apply vitamin c serum and pat it on face always then right after apply hylauranic acid and pat it in then a moisturizer and facial oil and eye cream. My night routine is mainly the same except for the vitamin c I just use retinol and pat it in and then hylauranic serum and moisturizer but many people think I need to wait a couple minutes before applying products over each other. What do you think is the proper routine for my skincare products and I want your honest advice I am also 20 years old and would love your opinion. Thank you.