I have a love/hate relationship with my skin (usually minus the love). I can frequently be found roaming the beauty aisle in search of that magic product promising to transform my skin and change my life forever (spoiler: it doesn’t). But, despite all of my struggles, I’ve never tried any professional skincare services. So, in the midst of another crazy Chicago winter, with my skin at its most dry and uncomfortable, I was invited to try a Signature Facial with Olena Oliynyk of Olena Skin Esthetics.
The appointment started with a short consultation where I explained my skin concerns and Oliynyk, an esthetician for 13 years, identified the best products and tools to use. I then spent 75 luxurious minutes being pampered with masks, moisturizers, and massage, all focused on helping my acne-prone, post-polar vortex skin. When I left the appointment, my face felt dewy and had a definite glow. Plus, best of all, my skin still feels amazing — weeks later and that dry, itchy winter skin has yet to return.
After my appointment, I asked Oliynyk to answer a few burning and, it turns out, myth-busting skincare questions. Here’s what she had to say.
Myth: If you wear makeup regularly, you age faster.
“Many makeup products have a dual function. They nourish, protect, or improve your skin while you’re wearing it,” Oliynyk says. But, that doesn’t mean you should leave them on when the day is done. “If you don’t wash your skin before bed, you leave behind toxins, oil, and dirt that can cause aging.” Oliynyk says going to bed with clean skin is critical to keeping your skin healthy for the long haul.
Myth: It’s best to use hot water when washing your face.
You’ve probably heard that washing your face with hot water opens your pores. But Olinyk cautions against cranking up the heat. “Hot water might damage your skin by stripping it of its protective, natural barrier and drying it out,” she says. “Lukewarm is the ideal temperature for washing your face.”
Myth: If you have oily skin, you don’t need to use a moisturizer.
“Not necessarily because you need to replace that protective layer after cleaning your face with a proper pH cleanser or micellar water; then your skin will be definitely balanced. When it comes to products, it’s better to use serums or lighter weight formulas such as lotions.”
Myth: Rubbing alcohol is the best treatment for acne.
This one’s a big no-no. “Rubbing alcohol is far too irritating and drying for a the skin, especially acne-prone skin,” Oliynyk says. “Your skin becomes so dry that it overcompensates by producing more oil that will clog your pores more.” Oliynyk recommends reaching for products containing salicylic acid, benzyl peroxide, tea tree oil, or witch hazel instead.
Considering a Facial? We Asked Olinyk What You Need to Know
Make It Better: What are the benefits of getting regular facials? And who benefits the most from regular facials?
Olena Oliynyk: There are several benefits to getting regular facials. One of them is lower stress levels. It’s been proven that stress could cause deterioration of the skin; it also can be a factor causing a variety of skin disorders. The thorough massage treatment can relax, calm, and detox your face and body, which is beneficial for your well-being.
The most common problem with any age group is acne. The cause of acne is mostly hormonal imbalances and inflammation. In my spa we are helping to find a resolution with different kinds of treatments, whether it’s a chemical peel or microneedling along with a home cure program.
Another big factor to improve the skin experience is to boost blood circulation. Poor circulation makes you look pallid and sickly, and it prevents nutrients from enriching your skin tissue. We have beautiful products that can instantly invigorate the skin circulation and infuse nutrients to nourish the skin.
As we grow older, the skin becomes more prone to oxidative damage from the accumulation of too many free radicals, and they can lead to more inflammation and an older appearance. There is a decrease in collagen production, so wrinkles and fine lines begin to form on the skin. We pay a lot of attention to anti-aging clients because it’s a big demand. We always provide [information on] how to take care of your skin at home, and in the spa we use technology and pharmaceutical-grade products to achieve the best results.
How often should you get a facial?
[Clients will see the most benefits] if they come regularly, such as once a month or at least every three months. With anti-aging treatments we have a protocol that clients have the option to come every other week or even once a week for three to four months straight; for acne-prone, oily skin we have a treatment plan as well that consists of frequent visits such as every two to three weeks for two months straight.
When is the best time to get a facial if you want it done before a big event?
If the client has a big event coming up, the best time to do a special facial or skin-tightening treatment is on the day of the event. We use the most powerful skin-tightening and bio-hydrating equipment that will infuse and nourish instantly and seal with a collagen mask to make the skin tighter, glowing, and radiant.
Are there any products you recommend using in between facials, or any tips for taking care of skin in between facials?
Using products in between facials is extremely beneficial for the client’s skin. Whether the client is on a treatment plan or just a regular monthly facial regimen, it is important to use the products that we recommend; it prolongs my work and the client sees longterm results. The basic regimen I always tell my clients is to use cleanser, toner, serum, and cream or moisturizer. Application could be done twice a day in the same order.