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Tune In: Skin Care & Lifestyle Tips From Esthetician Joanna Vargas 

woman applying face cream
Image by Mihajlo Ckovric / Stocksy
November 15, 2022
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Joanna Vargas, famed esthetician and founder of her namesake spa and skin care line, is responsible for some of the glowiest skin complexions you've seen walk the red carpet. Celeb clients are rumored to be the likes of Mindy Kaling, Naomi Watts, and even Meghan Markle.

But what makes her so refreshing is her skillful and thoughtful approach to skin care: Her treatments and techniques blend together high-tech tools (think radio frequency and LED) with mindful holistic touches (like lymphatic drainage massage and stress management). 

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"I became an esthetician because I fell in love with taking care of people. I love the idea that someone would come to me one-on-one, tell me all their issues or insecurities, and I would help them overcome that. We would become a team, working together to get the skin the healthiest it could be for you," Vargas tells me on this episode of Clean Beauty School. "What strikes me is I have so many people who come in and say things like: 'I wasn't born with great skin' or 'it's just not in my DNA.' And while some of it is genetic, a lot of it is how you treat yourself: What products you use, how much you sleep, if you're eating well. You have so much control over what you see in the mirror."

The entire episode is chock-full of advice–Vargas is extraordinarily eloquent in the way she talks about skin care and well-being—but here are some tips to satiate you in the meantime.

Never treat washing your face as a throwaway step. 

"People don't value the cleansing step of their routine enough. They wash for like two seconds, and then start putting on all these active ingredients," Vargas notes. "What I teach to the facialists that work under me is that the cleanse is the most important step: Take your time, and really work it into every area of your face and neck."

She's not wrong: A proper wash (especially at the end of the day) is vital. Not only can remaining makeup, SPF, and debris from the day cause irritation in the skin if not properly removed, but the products you apply after aren't going to be able to be properly absorbed.

Remember: Not everything is for you. 

Your skin is unique, so treat it like it's unique. "Stop buying products just because people influence you or because it's a trendy product to try. Not all ingredients are meant for every person," says Vargas. "If you go into the store because you read about something and you buy that thing, and if you do that one time a month, you wind up with like 80 products but never really sorting out what you should use." You're better off sticking to the basics and trying out new products slowly and one at a time.

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Make caring for yourself a lifestyle — not a to-do list. 

Toward the end of the episode, Vargas said something that has since stuck with me—I think about it often. I really hope this resonates with you too: "You should build out a lifestyle in which you are treating yourself as you deserve. If you really do that thoughtfully, you'll look in the mirror and see what you want to see at the end of the day." 

Tune in for more.

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Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.