The Beauty Routine Holistic Esthetician Lesley Thornton Is Using As Of Late
After looking down at thousands of faces over the last 13 years, holistic esthetician Lesley Thornton knew there was something missing in the vast industry of at-home skin care.
"I realized there was a lack of understanding around ethnic skin and a lack of consumer education around skin care routines," she tells me in a virtual chat.
She adds, "After working on thousands of clients, you come to realize that you can get all of the facials you want but it's your home care that does the heavy lifting."
All of this combined inspired her to create Klur, a modern skin care line that's independent, self-funded, and woman-owned and operated. The brand has a unique emphasis on minimal but well-considered products to help you build a routine that's low maintenance yet highly rewarding.
After such a long career in the beauty industry, Thornton has compiled a quick list of her favorite products and rituals that keep her looking and feeling healthy, well, and always glowing. To come, her top picks.
The tried-and-true: A gentle cleanser.
"I use oil cleansers from different brands, but there is no other gel cleanser that I have used or loved more than Gentle Matter. The cleanser starts in a gel format but performs more like a cream once it touches the skin.
"What I love about it is that it glides on the skin really silky. There's no scent, it's very aroma-natural. It's a pleasure to use and it takes a simplicity approach in formulation, but it feels very sophisticated."
The surprise hit: Ashwagandha for relaxation.
"Something that I ended up adoring but wasn't totally expecting is ashwagandha. I take it at night at about six o'clock because it helps me wind down. It puts me in a place where I feel like stress doesn't affect me.
"I use Life Extension Optimized Ashwagandha. It's a capsule and I take just one capsule. It's not a ton of ashwagandha so I don't feel depressed—I can still feel my feelings, you know? It's just enough."
The secret: Using body scrubs at the gym for a mess-free experience.
"One of the most underrated things is a gym shower. I do body scrubs at the gym—I take a jar of my body scrub and take it there to avoid making a mess, and it's the best thing ever. I do it once a week after a really great workout and some time in the sauna."
The up-and-coming: Grounding as a form of skin health.
"I practice grounding as a form of skin health. I scrub my feet; I go to the park and walk in the dirt for 10 to 15 minutes and practice grounding for inflammation.
"When I was a kid, I loved being in the dirt. I realized whenever I would go to the park I have the desire to take my shoes off. Rubber soles and insulated shoes disconnect us from electrons in the Earth anyway, and when I take my shoes off I feel like a whole new person, so I started making it part of a weekly routine.
"I do think we will start seeing more people grounding for inflammation."
The steal: Affordable Korean scrubbing cloths.
"I use these Korean scrub mitts from Amazon. This is a cloth you can throw into the laundry; I just throw it in when I do my sheets. It's not plastic; it's woven fabric. Because of the way they weave it, it helps to pick up the dead skin. The best thing you've ever used for $6—just add it to cart right now."
Exfoliating Bath Washcloth
The thing my grandparents taught me: Eat your protein and eat your vegetables.
"My grandfather died at 97, and my grandmother just turned 90. They were a butcher and a gardener, so they always told me: 'Eat your protein and eat your vegetables.'
"There are other compounds that are released when you chew foods. For example, broccoli releases sulforaphane when you chew it, and the saliva works on an enzyme that converts it to that nutrient.
"If you need a green juice on the go, fair enough. But sometimes, you just need to eat your vegetables. Skip steaming them, blending them, juicing them, just eat them."
The seasonal staples: A warming post-dinner tonic.
"I love warming spices. I drink a combination of cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger in winter, and I love it. It's a warming drink that I have either pre- or post-meal, but it's my winter drink, and I just have to have it. In the summer, I put strawberries in it.
"It's spicy, it's warming, it feels Ayurvedic, it has medicinal properties to it as well."
- 1 cup water
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice of ½ lemon squeezed
- ¼ tbsp ginger powder
- a pinch of cayenne powder
- a pinch of cinnamon powder
- a pinch of turmeric or turmeric extract
- a couple of drops of stevia
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.