Tune In: All The Things Your Skin Is Craving — According to An Esthetician
Recently I was chatting with holistic esthetician Lesley Thornton, founder of KLUR, for the most recent episode of Clean Beauty School. Even before we started the episode, I knew we shared a lot of the same opinions about the beauty space we both occupy: That natural and synthetic aren't mutually exclusive, skin care is deeply personal, and it's important to find products you actually want to use, and that the skin should serve as our best teacher on how to care for it.
"I take a holistic approach grounded in science. The skin is an exterior organ that is a communicator. It's connected to billions of cells and nerves and becomes an extension of our whole health," she tells me. "I have no interest in the latest skin care trends. I care about what works for the skin."
Couldn't agree more! Tune in to the episode to hear us chat about what skin care ingredients and products we're into—as a teaser, here are three tips from Thornton that I love.
Find a good cleanser.
"You hear so often that your cleanser doesn't matter," she says. I, too, still hear this advice far too much. While there is truth to the fact that a cleanser is a wash-off product, and thus isn't great for delivering potent activities—that doesn't mean it's an afterthought.
"Cleansing happens about 14 times a week. It's the thing you use the most out of your routine. It is the backbone of your routine," she continues. "And you can do so much damage with a cleanser. What good is retinol if your barrier is compromised?"
So, how does one go about finding a cleanser suitable for their needs? Thornton has the answers: "A good cleanser makes your skin feel comfortable, nurtures your skin microbiome, balances your natural pH, and actively prevents dryness and irritation in the skin," she says. "You should know within two to three washes if it's doing that. If you have to rush to put on a cream or cleanser right after, you're probably using the wrong cleanser."
Replenish what your skin makes naturally.
Your skin naked has a wide variety of things on its own: collagen, elastin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, peptides, squalane, and antioxidants. Yes, all buzzy skin care ingredients. And as Thornton notes, these can serve as inspiration for your own product lineup.
"I often get asked what [these ingredients] can do. Just ask your skin! It's been making them since you've been alive," she says. "You should be replenishing what comes out of the skin naturally."
One worthy of note: "I don't like CoQ10, I love it," she says. "It is the only enzyme and antioxidant that your skin makes. But the environment, time, and diet—all these things break down our own antioxidants. We have the highest amount when we're about 12 years old and start to decline at 25."
Pick a sunscreen you'll wear.
The beauty industry can get pretty particular about its sunscreen types. And while it's good to be diligent about the ingredients you're putting on your skin, ultimately the best options are simply the ones that you'll use.
"The best sunscreen is the sunscreen that you'll actually wear," she says. "I don't argue with people about sunscreen types. Do you wear it? Great."
For more info, tune in here.
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 Allure.com. 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.