It would seem that natural skincare and makeup would be the ideal solution to my often red, overly shiny, and sensitive skin. I see many products, even stores, wholly dedicated to all-natural skincare—organic, even vegan skincare and makeup. The big question is: Where to begin? Everything is orderable and testable. And everyone on the internet seems to know best. Should I start with a foundation since that’s the base of the face? Or how about a cleanser, since I use it all the time? Or maybe something small like concealer?
I figured I’d go to my friend and makeup guru, aesthetician Chelsea Grimes who has helped me with acne, pores, texture, and makeup. She’s tried everything! If I have a product question, I always go to her for advice. Skincare is her vocation, and makeup is her hobby. She has to know what her clients use to assess their skincare issues and needs. And, her skin –well, it’s cream. She’s young, but not that young, and has a client base of women like me, so she gets mature skin. I’m not yet on the “clean product bandwagon, so asking Chelsea Grimes Heidenberger, what she thought about it could lead to some answers. Chelsea has helped me through her treatments and with what I call her “skin care coaching” improve the texture and color of my skin and helped with my daughter Charlotte’s acne. Chelsea’s got the knowledge, experience, and magic touch to help anyone at any age with any type of skin get that healthy glow that lasts.
Chelsea, skin is your life, your skin, other people’s skin, and you love skin products-skincare and makeup, it’s all we ever talk about. When did your obsession with skin start, and where is it now?
Thank you, Kim, for the kind words! My obsession with skin started pretty young. I always loved playing with my grandmother’s lotions and face creams when I was little. Once I hit middle school and beyond, I always did all of my girlfriends’ makeup for our dances, homecoming, proms, and then it turned into weddings. I went to nursing school instead of aesthetician school because I never thought I would be successful as “just an aesthetician.” And it was in my clinical rotations where I fell in love with the OR, and I knew I wanted to be in the medical cosmetic field somehow. I finished nursing school, took my boards (and passed lol), then immediately went into esthetician school. My husband (then boyfriend) is the one who pushed me to go to esthetician school. He always told me if you do what you love, you will always be successful! So almost ten years into my career, I can say that I’m not only successful but that I LOVE what I do. Coming to work every day, I feel blessed to help people feel good and confident in their skin.
It’s taken me years to figure out my skin, how to take care of it and keep it looking bright and feel soft…All I read about is clean skincare and clean makeup. I have my routine of products that are working for me; why should I use natural products vs. traditional skincare?
So here is what I look for, first and foremost, Non-toxic! For body and often, face. There are so many products out there being labeled as “all-natural” or “clean” that aren’t at all. They can have different kinds of chemicals and irritating ingredients. I’m a health nut and very careful about what type of food I put into my body –and the same goes for what I put on my skin. After all, our skin IS our largest organ!
However, when it comes to my face, all-natural and organic skincare products aren’t going to turn back the clock. They won’t reverse sun damage and hyperpigmentation, increase collagen and elastin production as some medical-grade retinoids and antioxidants will. There’s also a massive difference between “traditional skincare” and medical-grade skincare. If you’re buying an anti-aging or retinoid cream anywhere other than a medical office, it’s not strong enough to do anything. Meaning, it isn’t strong enough to work deep into the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin, or they wouldn’t be able to sell it over the counter. I see this all day long when patients bring in a trash bag full of products from Sephora. They’ve bought every product that says anti-aging or improves wrinkles and just keep stripping their skin and causing more irritation and inflammation. I really believe in less is more. Non-toxic is the key!
What does “clean vs. natural vs. organic mean? Are they all non-irritating?
“Clean” is a term being used everywhere, basically saying their product is free of parabens, silicones, chemicals, etc. However, not all of them are actually clean, so read the labels! For clients concerned with using all clean beauty, whether they have a health issue or on chemotherapy, I always tell them to use a site like Credo Beauty or Follain. They do rigorous research and testing to make sure the products are, in fact, actually organic and/or clean.
No–just because they say all-natural or organic does not guarantee that the products are NON-irritating! In fact, most of the skin reactions and inflammation I see in my practice are from natural products. Many people’s skin sensitivities to ingredients like tea tree oil and lavender, which are used in a lot of natural products.
As with any skincare, it’s not a one size fits all thing. What may work for some may cause a severe reaction in another.
Where do I start incorporating natural skin care into my product rotation?
I always tell my patients – I’m all about natural products as long as you are using active products with them. For example, if you get your medical grade vitamin C serum (Skin Better Science Alto is my fave) on first thing in the morning and you want to put a face oil or all natural cream on top – go for it! It is the same for nighttime, putting your retinoid on, and then using your natural skincare on top!
What are your favorite natural skincare products?
I use primarily medical grade cosmeceuticals (skincare from a medical office). My all-time favorite is Skin Better Science. They’re the best I’ve ever worked with. They are less toxic than a lot of other medical brands out there. For all of my clients that only want all-natural products, I love Restorsea Pro. Restorsea Pro is an all-natural, completely non-toxic skincare line we carry at our office, and the science behind it is so cool! It’s active but still all-natural!
And a hero product of mine is Living Libations Seabuckthorn Oil. It is truly a wonder oil.
What is your opinion of natural makeup products? Do you use any? Do you have any favorites?
I actually switched all of my makeup to completely clean products this last year. All natural clean make-up is now my staple. My best friend was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis last year, and her surgeon told her to completely cut out all regular makeup products and switch to clean. He said that our cosmetics here in the US have minimal FDA regulations and are packed with chemicals that are major hormone disrupters. I immediately did a ton of research and tried so many brands because I loved my tried and trues (Bobbi brown, Cle de Peau concealer, etc.), so it had to be good enough to replace them.
My absolute favoritea are Westman Atelier and Jones Road Beauty. Jones Road is Bobbi Brown’s new clean makeup line. She sold Bobbi Brown Cosmetics to Estée Lauder years ago and had a non-compete until this year. So, she has been working on this clean beauty for quite some time, and it’s fantastic!
Do you have a mantra? What is it?
I don’t really have a mantra, but I do practice gratitude daily. Since I was a little girl, my mom always taught me how important it is to be grateful. To show gratitude for the things I have and the things I don’t yet have, always choose the words I say out loud and put in the universe wisely, and that God gave us all the power to create. So, I live by that. I have so much gratitude.
I love her mantra. she is truly beautiful inside and out. And Chelsea has good tips on products for sure. If you’d like to schedule a consultation or appointment with Chelsea call 301-986-9378. And Please let meknow if you want more posts like these!!