Wisdom seeks wisdom, and we love any opportunity to talk skincare with those who know it best. That’s why when paths crossed with celebrity facialist and licensed esthetician Kristyn Smith, we knew we had to let you in on the conversation.
Kristyn grew up in Southern California, but has lived in London, SF and LA before making her current home in NYC. Her love of beauty started early, at age six, when her grandmother began treating her to manicures. It continued growing as a teen, where Kristyn was inspired by watching her mother’s routine to learn makeup herself. She started practicing on “any willing subject.”
Eventually blossoming into a successful career, Kristyn’s passion for healthy skin is in line with everything we do here at Ohlolly. We know you’ll appreciate her advice, so dive into our full chat with her below!
Ohlolly: What is your background in skincare?
Kristyn: I had always loved skin and was really anti covering it up. I was also always looking for different ways to apply the most natural base makeup and was constantly treating skin and trying any and every remedy to better it.
Needless to say, when I went to the Skin Academy that desire came to life through my studies under a NARS makeup artist and a deep dive into skincare. I loved every minute of it. I quickly discovered that makeup (especially facial makeup) was usually used to mask something that people are uncomfortable with -- this meant that a regimen that treated the skin correctly and reduced issues would result in the person needing less coverage and would help end the cycle of makeup -> breakout -> makeup.
After I graduated from the Skin Academy (16 years ago), I worked in Newport Beach at a prominent plastic surgery office, in SF at a luxury spa and at several high-end skin boutiques, and in LA for a luxury Japanese skincare line. Now, I own my own practice in NYC.
Ohlolly: What are the benefits from someone getting a facial and seeing a facialist regularly, over just having a skincare routine at home?
Kristyn: As a facialist (licensed esthetician), we are able to push the skin just a little beyond “comfortable” in order to stimulate the skin’s repair mechanisms. The ingredients and equipment we work with should always be a little stronger than what you’d be able to use at home, in turn delivering more cellular turn-over while also boosting collagen and elastin.
In addition to this, regular facials also lift harmful dead skin cells that not only endanger the skin, but also cause dullness and uneven skin tone (pigmentation).
“home care is 75% of your skin’s health”
If a client is really diligent with their home care routine and doesn’t have any skin “issues,” then I usually see them less (home care is 75% of your skin’s health) versus when I’m working with clients suffering from acne, pigmentation, or skin damage (where I might see them as often as once a week). This will continue until the client’s skin healthy, after which we would transition into a maintenance program which would be every month or every few months.
Ohlolly: Is there really a link between drinking water and how hydrated our skin is?
Kristyn: Yes and no. If we are completely dehydrated, then the face will show it, especially around the eyes. But our real skin moisture comes from natural moisturizing factors within our own skin (e.g., hyaluronic acid) and intracellular lipids (omega fatty acids can contribute to this) and healthy epidermis (outer layer of skin).
In short, the best way to have hydrated skin is to have a good regimen that avoids anything that breaks down the skin’s barrier, such as harsh products laden with irritating chemicals and sun exposure (pollutants too, of course).
Ohlolly: Are there certain products you’d suggest investing in over others?
Kristyn: Yes. A fancy eye cream over a cleanser and a serum over a toner because serums and eye creams are a power punch of active ingredients.
Ohlolly: What are some big “no-nos” for skincare that you wish more people followed?
Kristyn: Working out in makeup (this is a big one). Only using cleansing wipes. Touching your face (totally subconscious, but it’s a big factor in acne).
Ohlolly: What does your own skincare routine look like? If you’re short on time, is there one thing you never leave the house without?
Kristyn: Oh haha, this one is hard! Probably better phrased what I DO skip, and the answer would be makeup. My regimine always includes a double cleanse, toner, serums (many, but Vitamin A, peptides and antioxidants), moisturizer and eye cream. I try to enzyme exfoliate once a week, (I love masking but am bad at it) and I give myself regular facials. I also break my face down into segments and treat T-zone differently then the rest of my face.
Ohlolly: Where do we find you?
Kristyn: My practice is located in the West Village, NYC and on Instagram @ksmithskin.