I am 24 years old, and up until recently, I thought I knew how to wash my face. Like, I thought the face wash I was using was AMAZING. And it was, it really was. I was obsessed. But after a lovely facial at Massage Envy, I found out from my esthetician that the face wash I was using is not right for my skin type, and it was actually making my skin really irritated. I didn’t even notice. You may think you’re using the right face wash, but you could be wrong. *Gretchen Wieners voice* I always knew my skin was sensitive but had no idea face wash could possibly be harmful to me. Especially because it’s not like I felt it stinging or ripping my face off. So she told me exactly which type of face wash I needed. I got it, and it DOES feel so much gentler on my skin. My mind was blown, and I decided I needed to ask about the correct face washes for each skin type on behalf of y’all. You’re welcome.
Do not waste any more time using a product that is making your skin worse. I asked a few simple questions for each skin type: What type of face wash you should be using, which face products you should be avoiding, other easy steps you can take to make your skin better, what you’re doing that’s making your skin worse, and which facial is best for your skin type. And to make sure I got an expert opinion, I consulted Diana Morrison, the lead esthetician of Massage Envy. She’s the HBIC who told us 3 easy things we can do for healthier skin.
Skin Type: Well-Balanced Or ‘Normal’ Skin
What type of face wash should I use: Look for a middle of the road cleanser that doesn’t contain harsh exfoliants or too many moisturizing ingredients. A person with normal skin should look for a gentle foamy cleanser. This will allow them to cleanse their skin and remove impurities without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. To take the skin to the next level, I recommend a hydrating toner. This will add additional nourishment and vitamins to keep the skin as healthy as possible.
What types of face products should I avoid: For normal skin, the key is to be gentle. Avoid using aggressive scrubs that will over exfoliate the skin and leave it irritated and dry. The goal is to maintain balance.
Is there anything easy I could be doing that could make my skin better?: The ABC method is essential for people with normal skin. The A, is a vitamin A, like a retinol for use at night. This can help promote cellular rejuvenation while we sleep and keep skin youthful. The B is a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Everyone should be wearing an SPF 30 every day. Even if you are not spending a lot of time outside, it is important to protect your skin. Try to look for a sunscreen that has extra benefits like hydration, or a moisturizer that has SPF. C is for Vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin. I recommend using a Vitamin C day serum. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, which is the building block of our skin.
Anything I might be doing that could be making my skin worse?: The most important thing is to find balance in your skincare. Have fun with your regimen, but don’t over do it. At home, face masks can be beneficial, but over exfoliating will leave the skin dry and flakey. It’s also important to not pick at breakouts and spread bacteria. You should also avoid tanning. There are many disadvantages to tanning but what most people don’t know is that the UVA and UVB rays activate enzymes that eat away at the collagen in the skin. Collagen is the building block of the skin and essential for maintaining a youthful, plump, healthy complexion.
What type of facial is best for me: Someone with normal skin should look for a vitamin-rich facial to rejuvenate, nourish, and refresh skin. At Massage Envy, our Healthy Skin Facials incorporate Murad’s Multi-Vitamin Infusion Oil to give skin a dose of vitamins A-F.
Skin Type: Dry
What type of face wash should I use: Someone with dry skin should stick to a creamy cleanser. It is important to gently cleanse the skin without stripping away oils. Infusing hydration with a cleanser will also help keep the skin nourished. Micellar water can be used as an alternative cleanser for dry skin.
What types of face products should I avoid: It is best to avoid mattifying products that are meant to dry out the skin. Salicylic acid has a lot of benefits but is simply too harsh for someone with dry skin. Stay away from anything that will accentuate dryness. Even when using makeup, heavy powders will dull out the skin. For the best results, use products that add luminosity and give a healthy glow.
Is there anything easy I could be doing that could make my skin better?: Facial oils can be a lifesaver for people with dry skin. Using the right amount in the morning will allow the oil to absorb into the skin, giving a plumping and luminous glow. It is also important to moisturize often and drink a lot of water. Healthy skin can start from the inside out.
Anything I might be doing that could be making my skin worse?: Over-exfoliating is dry skin’s worst nightmare. A lot of people with dry and flaky skin try to over exfoliate it to get rid of dead skin cells. But in reality, they should be moisturizing and hydrating internally and externally.
What type of facial is best for me: A healthy skin facial works best for people with dry skin. Enzyme facials yield amazing results. The enzymes act like pacman and gently digest the old, dead surface cells on the skin. This allows moisturizers to absorb better and help with an overall healthy glow.
Skin Type: Oily
What type of face wash should I use: Foam cleansers work best for people with oily skin to remove oil, makeup, and sunscreen. Look for foam cleansers with lactic acid and salicylic acid. They remove impurities and tend to be a bit more drying, which helps control oil production while leaving the skin feeling clean.
What types of face products should I avoid: When it comes to oily skin, it is all about finding a balance in oil production. Anything too occlusive will not let your skin breathe and can lead to clogged pores and acne.
Is there anything easy I could be doing that could make my skin better?: For oily skin, I recommend a corrective serum. Topical products with AHAs like glycolic acid or lactic acid work throughout the day to help dissolve buildup and impurities in the skin. Salicylic acid also has many benefits. It helps balance the skin while acting as an anti-bacterial to effectively kill breakouts.
Anything I might be doing that could be making my skin worse?: The worst thing for oily, acne prone skin is to pick at breakouts. Most of the time, our bodies detoxify the breakout internally and can clear it up on its own. However, if you do decide to manually extract a breakout, make sure the skin is soft. It is important to be as safe and clean as possible when extracting breakouts. A misconception about oily skin is that you do not need a moisturizer. However, people with oily skin need the balance of a squeaky-clean feel and moisture. I recommend a lightweight, water-based moisturizer that will leave the skin looking balanced and healthy.
What type of facial is best for me: Massage Envy’s Microderm Infusion treatment is effective for people with oily skin who do not have active breakouts.
Skin Type: Combination Skin
What type of face wash should I use: For combination skin, it is important to treat the dry and oily parts of the skin differently. I recommend a double cleanse. First, use a light, foamy cleanser that is not too drying. Then, use a corrective cleanser with a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to treat oily and congested areas. The cleansers are most effective when paired with a corrective toner.
What types of face products should I avoid: With combination skin, it is important to find a balance. I do not recommend using anything that is too drying or too moisturizing.
Is there anything easy I could be doing that could make my skin better?: I recommend using a corrective serum. Anything with glycolic acid AHA works well with combination skin. I would pair this with a light moisturizer that is water-based and nourishing.
Anything I might be doing that could be making my skin worse?: Using any product that treats one extreme or another can have negative results on the skin.
What type of facial is best for me: A chemical exfoliation helps yield the best results for combination skin. Massage Envy offers Healthy Skin Facials that are personalized for the client’s skincare needs. Microderm Infusions also work to give a gentle exfoliation and clear the surface of dead skin cells.
About Diana Morrison (Lead Esthetician of Massage Envy):
Diana Morrison is the Lead Esthetician of Massage Envy. She has been a dual licensed massage therapist and esthetician for over 10 years. Diana has practiced in multiple modalities, including both spa and clinical treatments, such as highly experiential facial and body wrap treatments, advanced skin care such as microdermabrasion with a chemical peel, dermaplaning, high frequency.
It’s a beautiful time of year. The sun is shining, we can drink outside comfortably, and Mother’s Day is coming up. Since moms only get one day a year of celebration when they really deserve about 365, we as friends, daughters, nieces, granddaughters, whatever, need to make sure we are providing them with the perfect gifts. Flowers are nice, but putting some real thought behind a gift for the woman who birthed you (or any woman who birthed anyone, God bless), is nicer. No offense, but it’s true. So here’s a list of brands that we love and fully approve of for our Mother’s Day Gift Guide, and you know you can trust us.
For the mom who’s prepping for her retirement to Florida
If she’s going to be living on a beach, she needs to look hot. LaserAway is her one-stop-shop for laser hair removal, Coolsculpting, Botox, and like, a million other things. If you’re unfamiliar with Coolsculpting, it’s a non-invasive procedure that uses controlled cooling to freeze and eliminate unwanted fat cells. In as little as three weeks, the results will appear and she’ll basically have abs. Jealous? Get a treatment for yourself, too. Because we all know that even though looking fit is fun, the gym fucking sucks. LaserAway has a ton of locations and customers love it so much because they provide treatments that are driven by science, so you know it’s legit. “This stuff really works!” No, but actually it does. Plus they have discount offers like, all the time.
For the mom who deserves to feel like she sleeps in a hotel bed every night
A saint in the streets and a MILF in the sheets. Sorry, that was uncalled for. I deeply apologize. Riley Home has the softest and most beautiful bedding and bath sets and we cannot get over how much we love it all. With their simple but elegant bedding, you can take her room from blah to chic easily. You’ve been hearing her talk about how she wants to redecorate her room for years, right? This is the first step that will get her going and then she can shut up about it forever. Some of our favorite products include the Sateen Sheet Set, Hooded Waffle Robe, and Spa Towel Set.
For the mom who’s DRIPPIN
Okay, so you’ve definitely seen this on TV or at least heard about it. Betch goes out, betch makes bad choices, betch wakes up with a hangover so betch orders an IV drip to bring her back to life. Drip MediSpa is more than just a hangover cure, though. I mean that is the most amazing thing ever, but there are so many other drips on their menu. Yes, you order from a beautiful menu. For the expectant mom, they have a prenatal drip to help control all that nausea and exhaustion. And for the old AF mom (haha sorry, but it’s true) they have a “fountain of youth” drip. Sooo rejuvenating. Book her an IV drip and she will love you SO much! Unless she hates needles. In which case Drip has plenty of other things to offer, like skincare treatments.
For the mom who never learned how to use the in-house speaker system anyway
This will probs be easier for her. Fun fact, we bump music at Betches HQ from Sonos speakers and the neighbors are jealous because they think we’re partying 24/7 (we’re not… not partying 24/7). Their newest speaker, the Sonos One, is everything you could ever need in a music playing device. It has a voice-enabled smart speaker, the ability to stream from more than 80 services, and is compatible with our girl Alexa. Basically, mom is about to throw a house party. But yes, you’ll have to set it up for her.
For the mom who knew that charcoal was cool like, 2 years ago
Good for you, mom. Archipelago Botanicals has an ah-mazing collection of Charcoal Rose products, and they make it v easy for you by grouping them into cute gift sets. Buy your mom the Charcoal Rose candle so her powder room can smell like something other than her classic potpourri (get with the times, lady). Or she would looove the organic rose water, which is said to clean your pores and give you younger looking skin #vitality. We’re also obsessed with the Charcoal Rose Body Oil because our skin has been dry as fuck due to this horrendous weather (getting better now though, thank you for asking). Basically you can’t go wrong with anything from Archipelago so just like, have at it.
For the mom that deserves the world, so you’ll send her to a spa
You really can’t go wrong here. There’s nothing that says “you are a perfect human full of wisdom and unique matronly powers and you deserve to be served heaven on a platter” quite like a massage. Good news, Massage Envy is running a special Mother’s Day promotion from now through Mother’s Day. You can purchase $125 in gift cards for her and receive a FREE 60-min facial. Give the facial to her…or yourself, we’ll leave that up to you. You can also get her a membership to Massage Envy, which gives her a reason to make an appointment every month…because again, she deserves it.
For the mom who’s best friends with everyone at her salon
Mom, you’re embarrassing me. But at least your hair looks fab. And since she accepts nothing but the best when it comes to haircare, you should definitely introduce her to Seven. Their products are created by a team of stylists who wanted the perfect blends for their salon, so you know their stuff works. Our favorites include their Gazar Diamond Serum, Satara Texture Cream, and Satara Relax Serum. That was really hard to narrow down to just three, though. They have pretty much anything you could ever need to keep your hair in check, especially now that humidity is going to be a thing. No more dull hair, no more fly-aways, no more frizz.
For the mom who’s tried every anti-aging method and product in existence
Chill out, just use Algenist. This award-winning beauty brand has unlocked the secret powers of algae, one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world, to create anti-aging products with clean and safe formulas. Science! Its natural and clean ingredients make Algenist’s products non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and they’re good for all skin types. So if your mom also happens to be a hippie betch…this is the stuff. Our favorites include their Complete Eye Renewal Balm, Sublime Defense Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid (say that 5 times fast), and their Sublime Anti-Aging Blurring Moisturizer. And they have way more than just anti-aging stuff, they have legit everything to save your skin and you need to check it out.
For the mom who enjoys the simple things in life (and a good laugh)
Obviously we need to talk about our Mother’s Day cards from Shop Betches. Sometimes we have like, nothing left in our bank account and can’t afford a present, but that just means we have to step up our card game. It’s perfect because the hilarity of the card will balance out the heartfelt sappy note you leave for the most perfect mom. And if you have more than like $6 in your bank, your mom will litttterally die at our “Ask Your Father” hat.
Three Olives Rosé Vodka
For the mom who parties harder than you
She’s gonna be the baddest bitch on the block when she finds out about this. In case you somehow haven’t heard, Three Olives launched their newest vodka this April, and it is rosé flavored. You read that correctly. If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that every mom in America loves rosé. And now she has something to whip out at dinner parties that get a little rowdy. Or at book club. Either one works. Also it’s pink (duh) so it will just look really pretty as a gift from you.
For the mom who wants to know what all the cool jams are
What’s the 411? Operator, patch me through to Fenty Beauty. That was so dweeby I’m sorry. Anyways…we all know that anything Rihanna touches turns to gold, and her beauty line is no exception. And for the trendy mom, we recommend going with Fenty all the way. Our faves include the Body Lava Body Luminizer to give mom that effortless glow, and the Universal Gloss Bomb which looks amazing on every betch.
For the mom who always has her shit together
Rude that you didn’t pass that trait down to me, but whatever. It’s no secret that we are ob-SESSED with Philosophy. Everything they make smells amazing, it all works great, and there are just so many options to choose from. All our homes are filled to capacity with Philosophy products because we can’t help ourselves. Our favorites for Mother’s Day include their Amazing Grace Candle, which makes your place smell like it’s filled with flowers from your non-existent boyfriend. Also loving their new Amazing Grace Ballet Rose fragrance. Their packaging is so pretty and light so it will look beauteous as a gift.
Summer is finally on its way, and that means two things: 1. I will start wearing less and going out more 2. This will bring to light the war zone this winter has left upon my skin. Now, I’m running around CVS picking up every sheet mask and new face wash I can try in order to clean up this mess before Memorial Day. I’ve been doing a lot of research on skin care, facials, and chemical peels to figure out if they’re even worth it. Who really has time for that? And a chemical peel kind of sounds like acid dissolving my face off, idk. Lucky for me, I got in touch with Diana Morrison, the lead esthetician of Massage Envy. Ever heard of it? I blew up her inbox with questions that I, and probs most people my age, have about facials and skin care in general. Now I am an ever-flowing fountain of wisdom on how to prevent your face from looking like shit, and you can be, too.
How important are facials, really? I feel like I take good care of my skin at home, so am I really missing out on some miracle by not getting regular facials?
Facials are absolutely critical. You are going to see much better results if you make regular facials a consistent part of your skincare routine. Treatments done by licensed estheticians use professional-grade products with active ingredients at much higher concentrations than you can get at home, and we use techniques that allow those products to better penetrate your skin. Think of facials as a once-a-month deep cleaning for your skin, while your at-home skincare regimen is regular maintenance to keep skin in the best condition possible. Really, both are essential for healthy, strong, and glowing skin.
We like to tell people to think of it like going to the gym—and it’s probably a lot more enjoyable. It’s important to make appointments with your own wellness, and that includes the skin.
I have really sensitive skin and have had bad experiences with facials—how do I know I’m not going to walk out of there with a bright red face and end up breaking out because of it?
If you have sensitive skin and someone gives you an aggressive treatment, you could wind up having an adverse reaction. At Massage Envy, we do a thorough skin analysis before your treatment. This allows us to give you a completely customized facial, so your skin gets exactly what it needs. If you are prone to redness, you might want to consider something like a chemical peel. Most people think peels and facials are strictly for exfoliation; however, these treatments also work to strengthen the skin, which in turn helps to calm redness.
We also like to let clients know that there is some stimulation that happens during a facial. This could potentially make impurities come to the surface, but they typically just come up and off of the skin. During a facial your esthetician will also apply products to balance, correct, and treat your skin, which will help your skin better heal itself.
On Healthy Skin
What’s the deal with evening out skin tone? How does our skin tone become uneven in the first place, and how do we get it back?
When we talk about discoloration, or uneven skin tone, there are a few factors at play. First, as our skin rejuvenates, it produces newer, healthier cells in the lower layer. But without regular exfoliation, dead cells will build up in certain areas on the surface, causing rough texture and discoloration.
Next, when melanin (the pigment that causes our skin to tan) builds up in the skin, it can leave us splotchy and with hyperpigmentation. Melanin is only produced by our skin when it feels like it needs to protect itself from a harsh environment. For example, constant exposure to the sun, or even overly warm conditions, such as the ones you find in hot yoga classes, can cause the skin to produce melanin.
Lastly, inflammation in the body can also discoloration. Inflammation is caused by a number of factors, including shifts in hormones.
To treat discoloration, it is essential to exfoliate away the old skin cells and protect your skin with things like SPF and quality skin care products. Peels are great, and we also recommended our microdermabrasion infusion treatment, which exfoliates and, at the same time, infuses serums we mix for you directly into the skin. Everyone’s skin is different, so when people come in concerned about uneven skin tone, we make recommendations about the best treatments and at-home products for them.
If I can do three easy things every day that will keep my skin healthy, what would they be?
A cleanser that balances the skin and is not over drying is an essential. You should ask your esthetician for a product that’s right for your skin type.
I also always recommend a vitamin C serum as a brightening and strengthening treatment. Vitamin C is a really potent antioxidant that will protect your skin from environmental factors that cause inflammation and the production of melanin. Vitamin C is also essential for the production of collagen, which is the building block of our skin. Collagen is what keeps our skin firm and plump; however, it degrades as we age. Stimulating collagen production topically with vitamin C will help to keep your skin strong and healthy.
Finally, an SPF of at least 30 is a must have. UV rays come from the sun and florescent lighting, and without the proper protection they can cause immense damage to skin.
What foods can I eat for better skin? Which ones should I avoid?
Experts recommend that you “eat your water,” meaning you should adopt a diet that consists of water rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, which help with the metabolism of cells in the body, including skin cells, and let them to function better.
On Skin Care Regimens
I’ve read a lot about different types of skin care regimens. What is actually the simplest skin care regimen that truly works?
It’s all about the three must-haves I mentioned above: a cleanser to balance and clean pores, vitamin C serum to strengthen, and SPF to protect are all essentials in every skin care routine.
Beyond that, I would definitely recommend adding in a vitamin A, or a retinol. There are different percentages of retinol, and your esthetician can help you to pick the strength that is best for your skin type. No matter what percentage you use, retinol is always a nighttime treatment because of the way it resurfaces your skin and helps it to shed the lining of your pores. This resurfacing and shedding helps treat acne, get rid of old skin cells the make your complexion look dull, and makes your cells act younger. Retinol essentially builds up and strengthens skin from underneath.
Also, as we sleep we lose a lot of moisture in our skin. To keep your complexion dewy and hydrated, it’s great to add a nighttime moisturizer into your routine.
But the bottom line is that you are going to get the best results if you work with a professional to choose the right products for your skin and, just as important, make a monthly facial, peel or microdermabrasion part of your routine.
Have you heard of face yoga? If so, do you think it’s legit?
I don’t have any experience with it, so I can’t make a recommendation one way or another, but there is definitely something to be said about stimulating the muscles in your body. Anything you do to increase circulation will bring fresh blood to the area and stimulate cells.
What are your thoughts on the sheet masks everyone is doing at home? Are they pointless, or are there ones that you would recommend?
We are all about sheet masks! They’re a big focus of Massage Envy’s first skin care line, called CyMe, which includes of sheet masks for your face, feet, and eyes. These masks are not only nourishing for the skin, but also corrective. They treat skin with a variety of nutrients that address your skin care concerns, and provide hydration while leaving a serum on your skin.
My favorite mask is the CyMe Oxygen Sheet Mask, which gives skin a glow and is effervescent; so it stimulates your skin cells while you wear it. It works to purify skin and address any congestion. I also love the CyMe bio-cellulose sheet masks, which are made from coconut and hold 100 times their weight in water, allowing them to deliver intense hydration.
Are there any products you would tell us to definitely avoid putting on our skin at all costs?
You should definitely avoid any harsh scrub that doesn’t use rounded beads as an exfoliator. Granular exfoliators can actually cause small cuts and tears on the surface of your skin. Exfoliation is definitely something that we need, as long as it is gentle. Exfoliation not only helps to get rid of old cells, but also encourages the production of healthy new skin.
If there’s one treatment you would strongly recommend for a woman in her 20’s-30’s, what would it be?
Massage Envy chemical peels are great for women in their 20’s and 30’s. We use PCA peels, which are self-neutralizing and customizable for your skin type and concern. They are not scary at all, and safe for even the most sensitive skin types. They work by getting rid of old skin while replenishing and rebuilding from within for stronger, healthier skin. They also help you to get better results from your at-home regimen and by making the products you use daily even more effective.
About Diana Morrison (Lead Esthetician of Massage Envy)
Diana Morrison is the Lead Esthetician of Massage Envy. She has been a dual licensed massage therapist and esthetician for over 10 years. Diana has practiced in multiple modalities, including both spa and clinical treatments such as highly experiential facial and body wrap treatments, advanced skin care such as microdermabrasion with chemical peel, dermaplaning, high frequency.
Diana’s vast experience in the industry led her to become the Lead Esthetician and skin care subject matter expert at Massage Envy Franchising in 2014. In this role she test and evaluates all potential skin care products and services, curates the skin care service offerings, and advises on the development of service protocols and technical training.
Images: Giphy (3); Unsplash (1)