11 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Ask Your Aesthetician

Knowing how to properly care for your skin can be confusing. What order should we apply products in? How can you get rid of spots, fast? 

Cutting through the confusion and getting real answers can be hard. So who better to ask than someone who spends their 9-5 administering facials and treatment plans to clients with any and every skin type and concern… We spoke to Elena Arboleda, Salon Manager and Head Aesthetician at Mario Badescu to get her expert advice.

What are the biggest skin mistakes you see people making?

There are so many that we see first-hand here at the salon. The top five would have to be: 

1. Following skin care trends instead of doing what’s right for your skin 

2. Over-drying acne-prone skin (troubled skin needs hydration to achieve clarity), or oily skin types that skip moisturiser 

3. Over-doing exfoliation, especially with acids 

4. Not protecting skin properly with SPF, and forgetting the neck, chest, and hands 

5. Picking at blemishes or blackheads 

What rules do you always follow?

Never go to bed with makeup on. Avoid touching your face, and never pick at your skin. And perhaps most important of all: following a regimen consistently.  

What order should I apply products in?

Of course there are always exceptions to every rule, but these are the steps of a classic Mario Badescu skincare regimen: 

1. Cleanser 

2. Exfoliant (1-3 times a week) 

3. Mask (1-3 times a week) 

4. Toner 

5. Facial Spray (optional) 

6. Serum 

7. Moisturizer 

8.  Facial Spray 

How often should I exfoliate?

It depends on your skin type. Normal to dry skin types should exfoliate one to two times a week. Combination to oily skin should exfoliate up to three times a week. If you have active breakouts, do not use a physical exfoliator, as it can tear at the breakouts and cause scarring or the spread of bacteria. Stick to acids like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. 

What’s the quickest way to get rid of a spot?

Avoid touching it, and never pick! Use a targeted spot treatment instead and be patient: the products will work if you choose the right one and allow it the time to do its job. 

How do I prevent spots from leaving marks behind?

Picking is the main culprit behind post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, although some spots (like deep, cystic breakouts) by nature will leave the skin dark or discoloured for some period of time. SPF protection is crucial in preventing dark marks from getting worse. Remember to be gentle on your skin as well. Don’t pick at the mark even after the spot has disappeared. Instead, incorporate brightening products like Glycolic Foaming Cleanser and Vitamin C Serum once your skin has cleared. With time and rejuvenating products, your skin will appear even once more. Marks that are more than just discoloration (like raised texture or depressions in the skin) is considered scarring, so will require that care of a professional. Seek out a dermatologist who can prescribe the right treatment for you. 

Why should I wear sunscreen even when it’s cloudy?

UV rays are always present. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen on any skin that’s visible (again, including the neck, décolletage, and hands) to prevent premature aging and discoloration. 

How should I prepare for a facial?

Make sure you book your appointment with your schedule and lifestyle in mind. If you have sensitive skin, active or aggressive breakouts, or congested skin, keep in mind that post-facial (especially with peels or extractions), you may experience some redness after your facial. You may also come in hoping for a specific treatment, but be flexible. Your aesthetician might recommend a treatment that better suits your skin’s needs after analysing your skin’s condition. 

How should I maintain my skin after a facial?

Follow your skin care routine diligently—especially the one that our skin specialist has prescribed you! Exfoliate one to three times a week to remove the buildup of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. Use a mask a few times a week as well to maintain your post-facial glow. 

How do I get rid of blackheads around my nose?

Extractions—by a professional only! A regular, basic facial every 4-6 weeks is ideal for maintenance. To maintain that post-extraction clarity or help achieve it at home, it’s important to remove the buildup that can clog pores(with regular cleansing) and use a clay-based mask to help draw out oil and impurities. At Mario Badescu, we recommend a two-step routine to polish and purify at home. Massage the Botanical Exfoliating Scrub onto the skin using gentle but firm pressure. Concentrate on the T-zone (or wherever congestion is visible). Then, apply Silver Powder. Silver Powder can be used 1-3 times a week to help break down congestion and diminish the look of blackheads. Silver Powder has actually won a few awards—including the Teen Vogue Acne Award last year. 

How do I treat acne if I have dry skin?

One of the most common skin care mistakes is not giving problematic, acne skin the hydration it needs. Without proper hydration, there is no balance—and without balance, skin can become reactive trying to seek a harmony. With dry skin in particular, one or a combination of the two things can happen: the buildup of dead skin cells from dehydration can clog pores, or oil glands are forced into overproduction of oil to make up for the lack of moisture.