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Alexandra Wagner is an aesthetician and owner of Alexandra Wagner Skin Care in Santa Monica. She also just gave The Studio (MDR) owner Lisa Hirsch one of the best facials of her life! We asked Alexandra for her best skin care secrets. Keep reading to find out what to do for your best complexion ever…
What are your top 3 skin care tips that you believe can transform a woman's skin?
1. We have to get rid of the dull skin that sits on the surface to transform the tone and texture of our beautiful faces. The way to do this is to exfoliate your skin two times per week (for normal to oily skin) and three times a week (for drier skin). Using a home peel once a week after a gentle scrub will transform a dull complexion and give it a healthier glow. Apply a brightening and/or hydrating mask after exfoliation, and leave it on for 10 minutes. Follow that with your favorite serum and moisturizer, and you are good to go! (And of course, don't forget your SPF 30-50 if it’s daytime.)
2. Exercise more, stress less, eat clean, and stay hydrated. Exercise brings blood to the surface of our skin, increases circulation, and leaves us with a healthy glow. We wear stress on our face and people can see it. Making personal time for ourselves to recharge will show in our skin. Of course, you know that the healthier you eat, the better you’ll feel and the better your skin will look and feel, too. Finally, staying hydrated keeps your skin plump.
3. Wear your sunscreen. Sun ages skin -- period. Reapply sunscreen every 1 ½ to 2 hours, and find a great hat to wear when you are outside having fun in the sun.
What are the things you tell women that surprise them?
1. I tell my clients that less is more. Most of us actually need to simplify our skin care routines. So many of my clients use too many products, thinking they need to use all of the latest anti-aging serums and creams. But too many products can actually create an imbalance in your skin.
2. You gotta, gotta, GOTTA exfoliate! And you’ve got to do this at least two times a week. It’s the only way to get that dead skin off the surface, and that dead skin not only makes your complexion look dull, but it also traps oils and bacteria under the skin, which leads to breakouts and large pores.
3. Sugar can wreak havoc on your skin! For some, just laying off the sugar for one month will help transform your skin’s overall balance.
What are your favorite skin care gadgets? Are there any that you think are well worth the money?
There are so many gadgets on the market these days, and the one I think is the best investment is the Nu Face microcurrent machine. We do professional microcurrent treatments, which lift, tone, sculpt, and help to reduce puffiness. This gadget is great to use in between professional treatments. It’s a wonderful treatment in combination with Botox or other fillers, as it sends energy and simulates cells in the areas of the face where botox has stopped muscle movement.
I think the Clarisonic brush is great to clean the skin, but it can sometimes create dryness and/or breakouts if overused. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the brushes on this machine (and similar ones) hold bacteria. So diligence keeping the brush clean is really important.
How often should we get facials, and why?
Taking care of your skin and working out are similar in this sense: Maintenance and consistency will give you the best results!
For an optimal skin care regimen that has the best potential to transform your skin, I recommend getting a facial every 4-5 weeks. But everyone has a time and financial budget. If you can’t do every month, try to get a facial every two or three months, and be diligent about an excellent at-home skin care regimen. Remember, skin care is not just for the results you see today. It’s about giving yourself the best shot at aging gracefully.
Do you have any skin care tips for our "MegaMen?” What do men need to know and do about their skin?
We all know men do less to maintain their skin than women. Shaving exfoliates the bottom half of the face, but the top half needs an exfoliation once a week (or at least every 2 weeks). While it can be tough to talk a man into an involved skin care routine, simply washing the face at night, using a good serum, and being diligent about wearing SPF during the day usually does the trick for most men. We actually have a lot of male clients at Alexandra Wagner Skin Care. Some come in for a facial once a month, others come in every six months. Even once a year will do a man’s complexion good! But the key is to maintain your skin, even if you keep that maintenance simple. For those men looking for a bit more transformation, I’ve seen microdermabrasion work wonders. After just one treatment, a lot of men can see a major difference in the overall texture and smoothness of their skin.