Intuitive Skin Care with Hayley Wood, Therapeutic Skin Coach

I am very good at pretending like I am not stressed. 

I'm so good at pretending that even I don't notice that I'm feeling overwhelmed. When people ask me how I'm doing I'm like, 'I'm breezy!'

But my skin always tells the truth. As soon as I see a breakout threatening to erupt on my face, I know there's something else going on in my psyche that I need to deal with. And, remarkably, as soon as I manage the stress, my skin calms down. It's annoying, and I haven't quite mastered it all yet (the skin and the stress), to be honest. 

The closest thing I've found as a 'fix' is Hayley Wood, the Therapeutic Skin Coach. Hayley is a serious skin goddess, with an impressive background in green beauty and aesthetics. Her facials are totally unique—she effectively reads your skin, treats you with a combination of clean beauty products and innovative beauty technology, and then follows up with a detailed explanation of why your skin is being funky and how to fix it through a combination of diet, lifestyle changes, and products.

Oh yeah, and she does all her work intuitively. Kinda witchy, kinda scientific. Right up my alley. 

When Hayley sent me her recommendations for my skin after our first session, a few were brand new to me. She suggested that I use products from OSEA, because I grew up by the ocean and my skin would respond well to OSEA's marine-influenced formulations, and that I stop using hot water on my face because of my Irish/Italian background. After I implemented her suggestions, I noticed an immediate positive change in my skin. Impressive, right? 

The holidays can be a stressful time for even the chillest among us, and if you're anything like me your angst over visiting family or dodging other shoppers at the mall shows up on your face. Below, Hayley drops some knowledge that'll keep your complexion looking merry and bright this holiday season. 

Want to get even more glowy? Swing by Hayley's pop-up at WMN Space this weekend. Typically she's booked out 4-6 weeks in advance—so this is the perfect time to squeeze in your pre-holiday facial! 

What's the number one biggest mistake most of your clients are making when it comes to taking care of their skin? 

What a great question! There are actually several answers to this but the number one thing I would say is that most people overcomplicate their routine.

We fall prey to branding, marketing, or just the feeling of wanting fast relief from a skin flare, but the truth is that skin is self-healing. If we simplify the process by nurturing the skin from the inside out with lots of rest, increased water intake, balanced diet full of whole foods instead of sodium/sugar-rich processed foods, and self-love our skin will work for us to balance out any imbalance.

If you trust in how your skin is communicating with you, you can learn so much more about your health. If you tune into what is being communicated then you can address the issue from within instead of overstressing the skin by giving it more to do. 

You mentioned to me that per my lineage, I should rarely use hot water to wash my face. What's the reasoning around that, and how can someone tell how they should be treating their skin based on their genetics? 

The reason I make this suggestion is that when I look into your lineage I try to see where your ancestors lived in accordance with the equator. If you have any part of your genetic makeup that is from colder parts of the world that means that you have to consider how their skin would tolerate too much heat.

Too much heat can eventually lead to inflammation and create a sensitized barrier which is needed for daily defenses against pollutants and allergens in our environment. One great way to calm or prevent that inflammation would be to control your water temperature. I try to give my clients tips on how to make small adjustments that in time create a big impact. 

Sometimes it seems like our skin stores memories. I know that for me, as soon as I'm in my hometown at the beach, my skin instantly clears and I look 15 again. It's like just by being back in my childhood environment by skin remembers how to exist. Can you talk a little about this phenomenon, and how to recreate the best 'environment' for your skin through the products you use? 

Our skin does a great job at recognizing it's original environment because as part of your development your skin adapted to that atmosphere. Our skin changes really quickly when we are younger and so when you go back to your home base, it's like pressing a reset button or at least your skin remembers how to act in that environment.

Since most of us have moved at some point or travel frequently, it's important to consider those factors. If we are used to seasonal changes and live in sunny SoCal, our skin might be expecting cold to come around the winter months. It then starts to sort of store heat in our skin because it wants to preserve that feeling before it gets frigid cold. If you can anticipate that response and work on cooling the skin, you can save yourself from having a major inflammatory imbalance.

Also, our skin recognizes water quality and air quality so it's important to have air purifiers (like plants or a machine like Molekule) and water filters (like Omica's shower filter). These investments can also help with hair health, the full body's skin, potential airborne allergens etc. 

Stress breakouts—they're DEFINITELY a thing. What can we do to prevent, or at least soften, our skin's reaction to stress? 

My favorite tip for breakouts, to begin with, is to support the lymphatic system as well as reducing the inflammation. Often times the stress just creates a response in our immune system that makes our body feel as if we are about to get sick. Supporting the lymphatic system with dry brushing, daily movement/exercise, Epsom salt baths, rest or simply a cold flush directed at the underarms can help so much.

I also don't believe in self-extraction because unless you are an esthetician you may not be able to properly identify the type of breakout and how to effectively remove it. Most of the time if you have a cyst with a white head, that doesn't mean it's ready to be messed with. There are many layers that need to be considered including a blockage in your lymph.

Instead of picking away, it's far more effective to cool the skin off. I like to wrap up an ice cube and massage it in the area of concern. This reduces inflammation, irritation, and takes the redness out much sooner. If you follow those steps not only will you help your skin but you are also working on stress management along the way. It's far more productive and your skin will reflect that self-care. 

Book a session with Hayley at WMN Space this weekend, or reserve a slot with her in 2018

Michelle Pellizzon