Skin Sense-Interview with Holistic Esthetician, Gina Palazzo

I sat down with Gina, a holistic esthetician at one of New York City's trendiest skin care spots. She gave us amazing insight and answered our burning Qs.

Winter is the time to get back into deep nourishment

Let's jump into it. It's winter and almost all of us are suffering from dry skin. What are your tips for keeping skin hydrated during these cold months?

Winter is the time to get back into deep nourishment. A common mistake is turning to heavy exfoliation to get rid of the dry skin, but this can lead to sensitivity. Instead, double down on nourishment. The skin needs to be fed inside and out. Think greens like spirulina and chlorella as well as healthy fats. 

How about when it comes to products? Are there any brands in particular you're really loving?

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Marie Veronique is a brand whose philosophy mirrors plant medicine. They focus on long term integrity of the skin. They have a barrier restore serum that has the appropriate combination of lipids that make up the skin's barrier. When your skin is feeling cranky, it guides the skin back into balance. They also have a micronutrient mask filled with greens, minerals and nourishing elements without the heavy exfoliation. 

The skin doesn’t need to be fixed, but needs to be given the right conditions under which it can thrive

Laurel Skin Care is another one. They have a similar scientific approach but they work with the whole plant, instead of plant extracts. They respect the skin's intelligence, meaning the skin doesn't need to be fixed, but needs to be given the right conditions under which it can thrive. They have some great balms which I'm a big fan of, especially in the winter. It gives the skin a thick layer of protection. 

Amazing! What about if you're perusing through Sephora, for example. A lot of products claim to be natural but they're not. What can we look and look out for?

Yes! There are no formal designations for "natural" or "organic" in skincare, so companies can and will get away with a lot. Brands with integrity (typically smaller brands, like the ones I mentioned) won't try to sell you with gimmicks or fear-mongering. They use simple, sophisticated ingredients. Dont drive yourself insane trying to keep up with it all, speak with an expert if it's accessable to you. Decoding through the bullshit is our job.

There are no formal deisgnations for “natural” or “organic” in skincare

If you're in a store and looking through products, check ingredients and look out for preservatives and fragrances. Research brands and their philosophies. Don't just fall for good packaging. Ask for samples and make an investment. 

Is there a certain way we should be applying these products?

How to apply products has to do with what's going on with the skin, for example, an oily T-zone or lack of blood flow. Generally speaking, apply in a way that makes sense. Leave on products (serums, moisturizers, etc) should be pushed and padded into the skin and then absorbed and dry before continuing to the next step. 

What about physically massaging products into the skin?

Yes, you can take the time to apply your products in an upward motion as you would experience during a facial. I love the idea of thinking mindfully about skin care and making it a moment of ritual and intention.

We had a lot of people in the Root to Rise community write in about under eye care, from circles to bags to wrinkles. I know this is a whole topic of it's own but I'd like to hear your general thoughts. 

dont stop smiling or living your life with joy

Collagen and elastin break down faster around the eyes which is why it is noticeable in these areas first. One of the best things you can do is use products containing sunscreen which are specifically formulated for the eyes. Also, invest in a good pair of big, wrap-around-lense sunglasses that you love. Seriously. They'll provide a physical barrier instead of trying to reapply sunscreen every two hours. My other advice, dont stop smiling or living your life with joy! 

I will tell you that if your dark circles are hereditary, they're here to stay and it's not a flaw. If not, you can use things like licorice, ivy, or slices of potatoes for microcirculation and tightening. To move your lymphatic system try a jade roller. I also recommend to drink a little less and sleep a little more. 

This has been so insightful, thank you so much Gina!
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Want to connect with Gina? Check out her Instagram.