How an esthetician is rethinking her skincare routine in isolation


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Routines offer a sense of tranquility and control during times of calamity.

Mental health experts agree that sticking to a routine can help alleviate stress and create a sense of normalcy, even in the direst situations.

For some, that means eating meals at the same time every day and maintaining the same weekly workout schedule. Others prioritize their regimen with self-care, bubble baths, meditation and frequent Facetime calls with loved ones.

Self-care can be presented in a multitude of ways, not just in the form of exercise and relaxation.

"Right now is in an incredibly stressful time. Everyone is craving an iteration of normalcy, but most importantly you need to invest in self-care," says skincare guru Rachel Liverman to AOL Lifestyle. "Self-care is meant to find balance and structure, which is the baseline of a skincare routine."

"More than ever, we are seeing people being more mindful about their practices, especially with skincare as you can physically see the transformation. That right there can be an endorphin boost resulting in an improved mental state," she continues.

Liverman is a third-generation esthetician and founder of Glowbar, in Manhattan, which like many medical practices and other boutique beauty services, is using the internet to stay connected to their patients. She says the stressful public health climate has taken a toll on not just her clients' mental and physical wellbeing, but on hers as well.

We caught up with Liverman on how a routine, even one like skincare, can help in times of stress, her clients' biggest worries and how her routine has changed since lockdown.

Stress manifests in breakouts

Our skin is a direct reflection of what is going on inside of us, so with increased stress, our skin is going to show it. The same goes for diet. If you are only eating unhealthy foods and drinking soda you’ll see a noticeable difference in your skin. That’s not saying you can’t sometimes eat unhealthy foods, but it’s important to strike a balance and drink lots of water!

Her go-to stress eraser

I always bring our clients back to the basics to mitigate breakouts, especially in a time like this. I encourage people to make sure they are keeping their skin clean and hydrated, and not trying new things during such a stressful time.

One of the products that we swear by at Glowbar is IS Clinical Active Serum to help keep everything under control. The key ingredient is salicylic acid which is a BHA that helps tackle current and future breakouts. It's a best-seller at Glowbar and something that we recommend using at night or as a spot treatment for breakouts.

Shop: iS Clinical Active Serum (Dermstore, $138)

Biggest advice for clients

As Glowbar is temporarily closed, we’ve started virtual skincare consultations to help existing and new clients with all their skincare needs and across the board, the biggest concern has been new breakouts! While the root of breakouts varies per person, so many people (similar to me) have been abandoning their normal routine whether that is skipping cleaning and hydrating or using different products as they went home, in addition to the stress of the current situation.

I'm not using anything new because it's actually one of the things I advise everyone NOT to do right now. We have so many environmental and emotional changes going on that our skincare routine and products should actually remain as close to what we used pre-quarantine as possible. The only thing I suggest adding is a spot treatment for breakouts or a mask once a week to get as close to a professional treatment as possible!

How quarantine has changed her skincare routine

As an esthetician, I preach sticking to a skincare routine. However, my skin concerns have changed significantly in quarantine. Like many, I wasn’t adhering to my traditional skincare routine; forgoing cleaning and hydrating my skin the morning, which resulted in breakouts on my cheeks and forehead -- areas where I normally don’t see irritation.

My routine changed very temporarily when this all started and I was skipping my morning wash - big mistake! I am now back to my normal skincare routine and my skin is noticeably more clear and glowy. Even though I'm not wearing makeup right now, I still wash my face the same way I would if I was. Also, since I can't get a professional Glowbar treatment, I've been doing a mask once a week which helps exfoliate and keep my skin hydrated.

Wisdom passed along from her grandmother and mother, both estheticians

My grandmother wanted to advance the standard in skin health, my mom invested in scientific developments to further the industry and I get to continue that legacy every day by helping people take care of their skin, utilizing the practices my grandmother and mom have developed. They both instilled the importance of seeing a professional skincare expert regularly.

Glowbar is my legacy. My grandmother pioneered skincare in the United States and I am here to reinvent it.

I am so grateful that I have grown up with two incredible women in my life who have instilled in me the importance of skincare since the day I was born. Everything I’ve learned from my mother and my grandmother, from the treatments we use to the products we recommend, I pass onto my clients with Glowbar.

This interview has been edited and condensed.