Expert Tips for Your Best and Brightest Skin

by Catherine Trifiletti

Skincare tips and tricks to pore over (pun-intended) while social distancing.

As we continue to do our part to lessen the spread of the coronavirus by staying home, there is no better time to think about the health of our entire bodies, epidermis included. We circled up with aesthetician Chelsea Grimes Heidenberger from The West Institute to chat all things skin. The 10-year industry veteran shares simple skin facts, recommended services and her favorite products.

Skin Cycle:

Generally speaking, our skin cells turn over every 28 days. The regeneration is much faster when we are younger and slows with age. The goal behind medical treatments and products is to promote this process, as increased skin cell turnover stimulates collagen and elastin, reduces appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, pore size and acne. The list goes on.

Product Staples:

Keep these three products in your rotation year-round:
Vitamin C: The antioxidant accelerates the production of collagen and elastin, keeping skin bright and firm.
Sunblock: No breaking news here. Sunscreen decreases your risk of developing skin cancer and protects against photoaging. While product shopping, keep an eye out for active mineral ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Retinoids: Anti-aging compounds derived from vitamin A, this ingredient increases cell turnover. Ah, to be young again! (Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding).

Treatment Routine:

With respect to the natural skin cycle, patients should schedule treatments every four to six weeks in order to operate within the natural process and eventually see major accumulative results. “It’s like peeling an onion layer back each time,” Heidenberger explains. “We are able to work deeper and really start to see improvement.”

Chemical Peels:

This skin resurfacing treatment is used to improve acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles and scars. Depending on skin type, there are several types of chemical peels/acids which can be used to target a variety of concerns. (Starting at $150-$500)


This exfoliating treatment utilizes a scalpel to remove dead skin cells and “peach fuzz” (vellus hair). Since there is no downtime associated with dermaplaning, Heidenberger recommends having it done before a special occasion. In addition to helping with product penetration, the end result yields glowing skin. ($135)

Medical Facials:

The customized, results-oriented treatment is not your average “spa” facial. Using all medical, cosmeceutical grade products and ingredients, each session is tailored to patients based on skin type and goals. The procedure includes deep cleansing, extractions, light chemical peels, Professional LightStim LED light and a medical grade oxygen infusion treatment– this burst of vitamin C, E, amino acids and peptides hydrates and plumps skin. (Starting at $200-$290)

Lightstim Bed:

In addition to its anti-aging abilities, the LightStim bed also promotes circulation and healing, reduces inflammation, temporarily relieves muscle and joint pain and stiffness, arthritis pain or muscle spasms; increases muscle recovery and the natural production of nitric oxide. ($100 add-on for 40-minute treatment)

Expert Recommendations:

“When it comes to ‘active’ ingredients such as antioxidants and retinoids, anything you can buy over the counter won’t be strong enough for real results,” Heidenberger says. Her recommendations are all medical grade/cosmeceutical.

Vitamin C:

Phyto-C Superheal O-Live Serum


Isdin Photo Eryfotona Actinica Broad Spectrum SPF50+


Skin Better Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream


Restorsea Reviving Cleanser

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