Heyday Skin Therapist Alexandra Serron knew she wanted to be involved in the wellness industry from her very first facial, age 12. Since then, her obsession with health science and skincare led her to become an esthetician, and then a Skin Therapist at Heyday. As a member of the founding team, she speaks at events (including ours!) and works to recruit other Skin Therapists.
What’s your skin philosophy?
I consider myself to be more of a holistic skin therapist, so any facial with me I’m going to ask; what’s your lifestyle like? Are you drinking enough water? How’s your diet, stress levels, sleep, exercise, alcohol and caffeine intake, skin care routine? I hold myself to the same standard I aim to achieve with my clients—a balanced and healthy lifestyle that lends to a naturally healthy and balanced complexion. It’s not always perfect, but I try to exercise daily, drink enough purified water (I love the Aquasana filter), eat a healthy diet of veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein, and seasonal fruits. I enjoy organic coffee (Bulletproof brand for life), green tea, and sometimes I’ll do an intermittent fast stopping at dinner and not eating until noonish the next day.
My skin care routine right now includes products for my skin type, a gel cleanser, an AHA/BHA blend moisturizer toner, a cocktail of a Vitamin A Moisturizer, an oil, SPF in the AM, and for PM I use a lightweight moisturizer instead of the SPF. Of course I am always experimenting with new brands, but I usually stick to these type products in my routine.
At the Hero X Heyday Q+A, you mentioned a lot about stress and sleep affecting your skin. Can you share more about that?
It’s important to think about your skin holistically (big picture), instead of compartmentalizing it to just being affected by your product routine (one factor of many). Stress and sleep play a huge role in the overall vitality of your skin, so that’s why I can’t emphasize enough the importance of quality sleep (8 hours, dark, cold, quiet environment).
You should also focus the majority of your skincare routine at night, that’s when you’re body is relaxed and healing, so you will absorb more of whatever products you’re using. Stress affects our skin because of the inflammatory response it creates internally. Inflammation is linked to the degradation of all body systems, and it’s especially noticeable on your skin because it’s your first line of defense. Usually whatever is happening internally will show up on your skin. Stress reduction is a major key to a healthy lifestyle, so self-care has a direct affect on your glow! So here’s permission to schedule that facial, massage, or work-out class you love right now for self-care!
How does your gut affect hormones and hormonal acne?
Your gut microbiome is your internal ecosystem affecting your body in so many fascinating ways, including lifestyle choices and food you consume. Nutrients, vitamins and hormones are being produced and absorbed in the gut microbiome to help you function at your best. Any imbalance in the gut can cause a cascade of issues in the rest of the body, including acne.
Hormones are basically just chemical messengers helping to regulate larger functions in the body. The two most popular hormones people think of are serotonin (happiness hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone), but rarely do they think about how it affects their complexion. If you’re happy you’ll be more inclined to be more active and make healthier lifestyle choices, and if you’re sleep hygiene is on point, you’ll be waking up refreshed and revitalized each morning. It’s important to check with your doctor to make sure you actually have hormone deficiencies, and figure out the best way to increase them.
What should we eliminate from our diet to maintain clear skin?
Your skin functions at its optimum with a healthy balance in your diet. When I first meet with my clients I like to focus more on what can be added as opposed to eliminated. Once you’re in a healthy mindset, you’re more inclined to choose and crave skin-happy foods, so eliminating the bad stuff just happens naturally!!
Aim to drink enough water daily (strategically throughout the day, so you’re not running to the bathroom constantly), eat organic fruits and veggies, lean animal protein, and my favorite supplement is one that’s from earth grown nutrients. Personally, my skin is at its best when I’m drinking Organifi’s green juice blend daily. Of course reducing inflammatory foods is great for reducing acne flare-ups, and less sugar is a great place to start!
Tell us how you keep up with the latest skincare trends!
Other Skin Therapists, my clients, Instagram, and online articles. Of course my favorite way to learn is walking around Sephora, Ulta, Follain, and other beauty stores to experience and learn what’s out there.
Most important step in an acne-care routine?
Hydrating your skin! Once people experience acne they’re terrified to use any hydrating products or ingredients, for fear that it will make them breakout more. Myth buster! – by not hydrating your skin you can potentially cause more breakouts to occur! If you’re not hydrating your skin it’s causing the natural barrier to be compromised, causing irritation or flaking. Once your skin is dehydrated (lacking water) or dry (lacking oil), your skin will make up for it causing more oil production. This mix of irritated, flaking skin, mixed with excess oil is the perfect storm for more acne.
Best practice is to use products based on your skin type and conditions, and add in a quality spot treatment when needed for blemishes.