I got hooked on skoah last fall. My fiance and I moved in together in the early-ish stages of our relationship, when thoughts like "When I break out in front of this guy, am I going to check into a hotel to avoid him? Am I going to sneak apply zit products, and put makeup over them; how's this gonna work?" seemed rational. Then I found skoahand these ridiculous thoughts became entirely irrelevant.
skoah calls itself "personal training for your skin," meaning that just like your body, your skin needs regular workouts to look good. It even offers "skin gym memberships"-- yes I wrote that and I also have one! Such workouts have contributed to my confidence in my skin and lots of awards- skoah was named Best Facial in Boston by Allure magazine three years in a row, Best Facial in Boston by Boston magazine two years in a row, and received a City Voter A-list award in 2014.
Between his two locations, in the South End and at The Street in Chestnut Hill, owner Pete Dziedzichas thousands of Bostonians running to him and his team, including brides and grooms-to-be. He comes from the heart: "to have a guest come in after we have been working with them and see the difference in the way they carry themselves because of how they feel about their skin is so gratifying." And he's not afraid to get creative; in addition to offering skin workouts, treatments and products, skoah works with wedding parties to create in-store experiences like mini facials and make-up applications. Here are Pete's insights into your skin... and your workout plan.
q. How do you define BEAUTIFUL skin?
A:The technical answer is it's all about having the right balance of oil and hydration and addressing any concerns, like breakouts, redness, etc. But really, I think it's more about how you feel when you look in the mirror. I am always amazed at how overly critical people are of their skin. We are constantly telling people that their skin is actually in much better shape than they think. One of our internal mottoes here is that we want people to feel great from the skin in. So for me, good looking skin is when you look in the mirror an feel happy and confident and ready to take on the world (as cheesy as that may sound).
Q. What makes skoah so damn GOOD?!
A.First, since we only focus on one thing (skin care), we are really experts in that area so that we can help our guests with any of their skin concerns and goals. Second, our products are awesome and we make sure they actually do what they say they will do. When you take expert Skin Care Trainers (our term for estheticians) doing what they love, add effective, easy to use products, and encase it all in a store that is approachable and not pretentious, it's a winning combination!
Q. Let's TAKEskoah's motto OF "personal training for your skin,"iF you were to prescribe a bride or groom with a bootcamp for their skin, what would that look like?
A: Much like with a personal trainer at the gym, the earlier we get started with a client, the better the results. We recommend that a bride or groom first meet with us at least 6 months in advance so that we can discuss the guests particular skin care concerns and come up with a plan of attack. Generally, this would include both a series of facials, as well as a quality at-home routine. At skoah, our skin gym memberships are a great idea for brides and grooms-to-be; not only do you receive a discount on facials and product, but they help keep you accountable to come in for your regular skin work outs.
Q. If you had to RANK the most important steps to skin care how would you DO THAT?
A: The best way to good skin is regular facials, a strong at-home routine, balanced diet, consistent sleep and working to keep stress at bay, but the exact balance between each will depend on the person. For example, some folks will break out any time they even think about eating dairy, but most will not! If you suffer from rosacea, it can be triggered by all sorts of outside factors like spicy food, stress, or sun exposure. Sleep, stress and diet do play a role in skin health. If you don't get enough sleep, then your skin does not have time to properly repair from exposure to daily environmental factors. Higher levels of stress produce higher levels of cortisol in your system, which can cause breakouts (and which can only be treated by reducing the cause of the stress).
Adding beta-carotene (mangoes and apricots), Vitamin C (broccoli, oranges, strawberries), Vitamin E (whole-grains, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables like spinach) and selenium (cottage cheese and brazil nuts) to your diet can help fight free radical damage.
q. ANY common skin woes that come with weddings?
A.Brides/grooms tend to have the same concerns as most of our guests, with the caveat that there is one day in particular they want to look extra great and they also have to deal with the stress of planning a wedding. Therefore, when we work with a bride/groom, we are working on both the overall skin care goals and best practices while also planning the lead up to the big day itself.
Q. Best skoah product for a bride; if you had to pick just one?
A:Hydradew mask. This is so versatile for the bride. It's an oil-free way to add hydration to your skin and the glycosaminoglycans (derived from vegetable skins) actually help plump up the skin instantly. This is a great product to use the night before or day of your engagement photos, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner and the big day to look absolutely glowing. Plus, you can leave it on and after it dries, it works as a great primer for your makeup. And if you're flying anywhere, whether for the wedding or honeymoon, take the hydradew on the plane with you and wear it during the flight to combat that dry airplane air!
q. Best skoah product for a groom, if you had to pick just one?
A:Rock wash face polish. Guys tend not to be great about exfoliating, but this face wash has ground pumice in it that helps to gently remove dead skin cells without feeling gritty or abrasive. It's gentle enough for a guy with heartier skin to use daily, or 2-3 times a week for a slightly more sensitive skin type. Just keep it in the shower or your gym bag!
Q. FOR SUMMER WEDDINGS, how can you nail that dewy, glowing summer skin?
A:The summer wedding seasons can be tough on your skin. Travel, sun exposure and booze are all enemies of good looking skin. To look your best, you really need to be cognoscente of these issues and make sure you are addressing them. That means sun protection, hydration and exfoliation. Avoid excessive exposure to the sun and if you are outside, use sun protection (even on cloudy days). In order to combat the dehydrating effect of travel and drinking, make sure you are taking in plenty of water (you can even "eat" water by adding certain foods like broccoli and berries to your diet). And to really get that glow, exfoliate 1 to 2 times per week with an exfoliator that's right for your skin (the skoah aha mask is great for all skin types and is a definite customer favorite). By removing dead skin cells, you take away that layer of dull skin leaving bright, glowing, healthy skin in its place. In addition, getting rid of those dead skin cells will help to keep pores from clogging, allow makeup to go on more evenly, and allow your other products to be more effective. Basically, exfoliate to solve all your problems!
Q. If you're having a destination wedding- whether on a beach or a mountain or a desert, how can you prep your skin for the tolls that climate changes and travel time can take on skin?
A: Think about the weather at your destination. Going to a tropical island? Then you probably want a lighter moisturizer and gel based cleanser. Getting hitched on the slopes? Then you need a heavier moisturizer and products that will protect your skin from the wind and cold. Second, prep your routine ahead of time. A few days before you leave, switch over to the new routine (especially if you will be using products outside your normal repertoire or heading to a climate your skin is not used to). Third, fight the dry plane air. Make sure to drink plenty of water while flying and pass on the in-flight beverage program (alcohol and caffeine are very drying). And use a hydrating mask, like the skoah hydradew mask, during the flight to keep your skin nice and hydrated.
Q. What makes you and your team so passionate about skin care?
A:Skin care is a really unique way to help make a difference in a person's life. Everyone sees your skin every day, so we naturally develop insecurities about how it looks. For us to be able to work with someone to help address their concerns and make them feel better - that's an amazing feeling. It really is gratifying to have a guest come in after we have been working with them and see the difference in the way they carry themselves because of how they feel about their skin.