As far as we know, there’s almost no such thing as effortless beauty. From facial treatments that leave your complexion dewy and luminous to the perfect winged eyeliner, experts reveal their most-trusted, insider hacks for CR‘s series, Beauty Secrets.
Joanna Vargas’ dedication to helping her clients achieve radiant skin with tech-enhanced, nature-driven treatments is what has made her a go-to aesthetician among celebrities. However, it’s her belief that anyone can cultivate amazing skin and her devotion to empowering others through that message that has made her so lovable. While her two spas in Los Angeles and New York keep her busy with working on the complexions of clients such as Rachel Brosnahan, Debra Messing, Mindy Kaling, and even P. Diddy, Vargas also has an eponymous skincare line and recently embarked on a new venture, composing a guidebook full of her skincare secrets titled Glow From Within, which releases in February 2020.
Vargas’ facials are surely an investment (her new Twilight Facial rings in at ,200), but the aesthetician has invested a commensurable amount of time herself, researching and developing the highest quality treatments. Behind the Twilight Facial’s price tag, for example, is a series of special techniques that Vargas has tested and approved, including microneedling, radio frequency, cryotherapy, an oxygen treatment, and a session in Vargas’ patented LED light bed that promises to lift and brighten the face. (“It’s heaven,” Vargas says of the facial.) Learn more about how the skincare star develops her luxe treatments as she speaks with CR about her facials, plus other tips for beauty fanatics and those who can’t make it to the spa.
What is your daily skincare routine?
“In the morning, I wash my face with my Cloud Bar. I dry brush my body before I get in the shower, and afterwards, pre-makeup, I’ll do my Daily Serum, Rejuvenating Serum, Daily Hydrating Cream, and some sunscreen. For nighttime, I wash my face with my Vitamin C Face Wash. I exfoliate twice a week with my Exfoliating Mask, and I do a sheet mask every night. Lately, I’ve been using my Twilight sheet mask with the epidermal growth factor. I follow that with my Supernova Serum, which is my retinol serum.”
What about makeup?
“I usually use Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, a Kevyn Aucoin eyebrow pencil, and a Becca blush and highlight. I don’t wear a lot of makeup every day. I want clients to be able to see my skin. I like a little something that makes me look more done, though.”
You’ve created some famous treatments, such as the Triple Crown Facial. What is the process behind developing new facials for your spa?
“I’m known for vetting technology for my clients and brining in the best of the best so I can curate a specific protocol for each individual. I tend to go back to the original research, to read the published scientific papers. [They share] what the findings were when the technology was tested, how many participants, what conclusions were drawn, and how that applies to what I do for people. It’s a process, because you have to pick through a lot of scientific jargon, but if you can dial yourself into that it’s the best way to gather your own evidence. When I teach my aestheticians to speak to clients, I want them to know that I’ve studied all of this technology and then I impart the data to them, so that clients feel comfortable and feel like we know what we’re talking about–that we’re not just doing it off of a rumor or buzz on Instagram.”
In your research, have you found a skincare fad that you think can be skipped?
“I usually don’t like to dog other people or other treatments, but I’ve never read any science to support the vampire facial. The science of using one’s own stem cells to stimulate healing and regrowth, all of the scientific evidence shows that it works very well on joints and the repairing of sports injuries. But there’s no science that supports applying one’s own plasma to the skin after getting a dermaroller treatment.”
What tips do you have for people who can’t make it to a spa on a regular basis?
“Washing your face before bedtime is an absolute must, as is a nighttime serum because it assists the process of repair as you sleep. A daytime serum or face oil underneath makeup. And investing in a good SPF. Those are the basics. Then exfoliation once or twice a week, either with a great scrub or just using a washcloth if you think a scrub is too much for you. Those are non-negotiables.”
What is the most common skincare question you’ve heard?
“The most common thing I hear over and over again is that ‘I just wasn’t born with great skin’ or ‘I just haven’t had any luck with my skin.’ People think skin is about luck or genetics. Most people who have that kind of viewpoint just haven’t been able to control their skin from breaking out. I’ve had people come to me at 40 years old saying that they haven’t had a day in their life since they were 12 years old that they didn’t have a pimple on their face and they just don’t know what to do anymore. When you think about that, it’s pretty intense. It’s demoralizing, especially if you are trying to do the right thing and take care of yourself. It can be very daunting. In the skincare industry, there’s so much data, there’s so much product, no one knows what to do anymore.”
How do you help people approach those issues?
“I’ve been doing facials for almost 20 years. I have a tendency to hear the same things from women all over the world. I feel like every client has their own personal story with their skin, but most people think that skin is about your DNA. Part of what I do is educate my clients that their skin is telling the story of what’s happening inside of their body, what’s happening in their life. If someone has a lot of stress at work and has a lot of stress breakouts, obviously they’re not going to quit their job. So what should I tell women who work in finance what they should do for their skin? What are those secrets? I wanted to create a guide for people, so that even if I never meet them and even if they don’t live in New York or Los Angeles, they can still get the message that my definition of beauty is the best version of you and I’m here to teach you how to achieve that for yourself. That’s what my book is about.”
With social media and the rapid growth of the beauty/wellness industry, many women are exposed to a myriad of promising products every day. What’s your advice for the beauty fanatics that want to try everything?
“You need products that you know work for you all the time. Have a good face wash, a good vitamin C serum, and good exfoliant. Those are like your foundation, so then when you want to try something, try only one thing at a time, so you know what’s working for you and what isn’t. You can’t even tell what you think about a product if you’ve tried five different ones in a single week. You also won’t learn what your skin hates and what it loves. Even if it’s just two days with one product, and then the next two days you switch to something else, you’ll be able to tell right away if you’re breaking out. Then if your skin really freaked out over something, have time in between when you bring your skin back to basics again. Go back to your three products that you know works for you, those are your standbys and calm your skin down.”
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createdAt:Thu, 05 Dec 2019 22:34:58 +0000