“I wish everybody would wash their face at night before they went to bed, without fail,” says Joanna Vargas, AB’93. (Photography by Mike C. [CC BY 2.0])

Skin care tips from celebrity aesthetician Joanna Vargas, AB’93

The facialist to the stars gives a thumbs-up to K-beauty and DIY masks

In our Fall/18 issue, we profiled Joanna Vargas, AB’93, an aesthetician whose celebrity clients include Mindy Kaling, Elisabeth Moss, and Naomi Watts. But we couldn’t let her get away without answering a few skin care questions. Here’s what Vargas had to say about why actors have such great skin, the Korean beauty craze, eye creams, and more. (Her comments below have been edited and condensed.)

Yes, Korean skin care products live up to the hype.

The average Korean consumer is extremely savvy when it comes to knowing about ingredients, wanting to see results. In Korea, facial places are like Starbucks. They’re on every corner. It’s a part of the culture to take care of your skin, like going to the gym every day after work. And because the average client is so savvy and so knowledgeable, those companies have to service that highly intellectual, knowledgeable person. A lot of the products really are amazing.

There’s no magic behind celebrity skin. It’s the result of time and effort.

I do know a lot of celebrities. I can attest that they are just regular people. It’s not to say that they’re not beautiful. But they have the same concerns that you or I do. You have to keep in mind that it is part of their job to look good. It’s what we expect when we see them walking a red carpet.

They all take extremely good care of themselves. They’re all on a very specific regimen in terms of diet and exercise. A lot goes into that. It’s not just magic. When I’m prepping somebody for the Oscars, we’re doing treatments, and we’re doing a lot of them.

There are excellent, affordable skin care products in your kitchen right now.

You can make a scrub with brown sugar, honey, olive oil, and use it on your face or body. It really is a very effective exfoliant.

Yogurt is a natural anti-inflammatory. It’s also antibacterial, so if you’re having a breakout or you’ve had an adverse reaction to a product, putting yogurt on your face and leaving it on for half an hour helps the healing process.

It might be worth having a separate eye cream.

When I released my first line, I designed my products to be used in the eye area, because the skin needs certain nutrients no matter what. Why would you really need the extra step of putting on an eye cream? But I found that most women that came to my office wanted a special eye cream. So when I designed my eye cream, I tried to design it with specific qualifications in mind. I wanted it to address puffy eyes, but I also wanted to address hydration level.

Technically speaking, when you’re talking about a day cream versus a moisturizer, a day cream is supposed to be a barrier layer. It’s supposed to protect your skin against the elements outside. It’s not meant to be penetrating. An eye cream is designed to be penetrating.

She has one simple request.

I wish everybody would wash their face at night before they went to bed, without fail. Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t do that.