Do you find yourself hyper-aware of your skin’s health during these frigid winter months? Many of us, myself included, experience dryer, tighter skin, but we’re all in luck because we have master esthetician Sarah Akram here to bring life back to our skincare routines!
A renowned facialist and lash specialist, Sarah has perfected anti-aging skincare with her unique combination of all-natural products and cutting-edge technology. Sarah recently joined us on Instagram Live to share how she develops unique, effective skincare treatments, the winter skin routine she’s perfected, and so much more. If you missed the discussion, read on for everything Sarah has to share! XO Nina
Nina Westbrook: Can you tell us about your journey to skincare and how you curated your service offerings and developed an experience that is uniquely your own?
Sarah Akram: I started in the industry when I was in my late teens – I was a receptionist for a world-class plastic surgeon who saw something in me and that pushed me towards a career in aesthetics. While I learned a ton as an aesthetician in his practice, I started to formulate ideas around a non-invasive, natural way to accomplish some of the things we were doing at the practice that had zero downtime. From this idea, Sarah Akram Skincare was born.
Sarah Akram Skincare is unique in that I continuously research the latest skincare products as well as cutting-edge professional-grade / at-home devices for my boutique. I use all sorts of technological skin care modalities (sonophoresis, iontophoresis, microcurrent, etc.) coupled with expert hand techniques and all-natural products.
NW: Can you share why you opt to leave laser treatments out of your customized skincare offerings?
SA: I’m not here to begrudge anyone interested in getting laser treatments – they can be helpful and effective in certain situations – but I believe there are alternatives that are less aggressive and invasive that don’t involve downtime. If you get regular professional treatments every 4-6 weeks and are disciplined with an at-home bespoke skincare regimen, you can get incredible results (what I refer to as the “slow and steady” approach.)
Back to lasers – ok here we go, generally the more aggressive the laser, the more downtime you can expect. You really need to do your research and understand what laser treatment you’re getting and the downtime associated with it. Secondly, if you are going to go the laser route, it’s smart to see a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist with significant experience in resurfacing laser treatments. I know Botox bars and medspas are exploding right now but you need to do your research as you only have one face. Thirdly, if you have a darker skin tone, you need to be careful with lasers – the risk with more pigment in the skin is hyperpigmentation, which oddly means you risk creating more blotchiness, darkness, or brown spots on their skin as an unwanted side effect, when that’s often exactly what they’re trying to treat.
Lastly I would not recommend lasers if you have acne-prone skin – they do not mix well and I would rather you go a different route.
NW: Take us through your routine for the winter season and the products you recommend clients use throughout these cold, dry months?
SA: My personal go-to winter skincare routine is Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, coupled with Environ Skincare’s Vita-Peptide C-Quence Serume 1 (a great entry level retinol serum.) I then use sheet masks weekly for my face, neck and decollete and lips massaging each using my Cryo Sticks. My go-to sheet masks are made by Biologique Recherche – Masque PIGM 400 for the face, Platysma for the chin and neck, and Liftkiss as a lip mask.
If you are particularly dry or dehydrated you can incorporate one of my favorite go-to moisturizers made by Environ Skincare’s Tri-Peptide Complex+ Avance Moisturizer.
Before purchasing a regimen, I recommend that anyone who’s new to bespoke skincare get a seasonal skin consultation which you can get by popping over to www.sarahakram.com. Alternatively, you can purchase the above products at www.shopsarahakram.com.
NW: Is there a treatment you feel is going to be the next to revolutionize the skincare industry?
SA: I would say there are three trends that are ready for their moment (1) consumer momentum toward an all-natural approach to skincare (yes, this is actually being lead out of Hollywood), (2) highly effective at-home devices that extend the benefits of your professional facial between appointments and (3) skincare minimalism or “skipcare” (finding high quality products that do multiple things thereby cutting down on production waste and carbon footprint) – the Vintner’s Daughter line of products (all two of them) are quite simple, highly effective, and a perfect example of this trend.
If you’re thinking about spending a little more time on the device front given the holiday season, there are four products you should have on your radar: (a) cryo sticks (b) LED masks (face, hands, neck & décolleté), (c) microcurrent, and (d) sonophoresis and iontophoresis (i know it’s a mouthful to say the least).
- Cryo sticks are perfect for lowering the skin’s temperature, limiting vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) and promoting vasoconstriction (constriction of blood vessels) which also helps reduce skin redness. I love the ergonomic handles and they pair perfectly with the sheet, lip and neck masks discussed earlier – just be sure to store them in your freezer between each use.
- LED masks do wonders for the skin; they emit varying wavelengths of light that treat different skin concerns; for example, red light masks (the most common) help stimulate collagen, reduce inflammation, and promote blood circulation. Blue light is ideal for combatting acne-causing bacteria. Omnilux is my go-to here as they have a red light mask, a “clear” mask for those with acne prone skin but most importantly they even have LED gloves and a neck and décolleté device for those parts of the body which are often ignored. Gamechanger!
- Microcurrent is perfect for lifting and sculpting the skin and my go-to at-home device is the ZIIP. The ZIIP has several preloaded routines depending on your skin goals, all driven through your phone which makes things super easy!
- Sonophoresis and Iontophoresis are effectively ultrasound and low-intensity electric current respectively. They help create cavitations in the skin to deliver essential skincare nutrients deeper into the dermis. I usually pair this device with my favorite targeted serum to enhance my at-home results. The DF Mobile is a must-have for your daily at-home skincare care regimen!