The older and busier I get, the more important skincare has become to me. Gone are the days of hiding my skincare insecurities under makeup because as a busy mom, some mornings there just isn’t time for make-up. My skin is prone to melasma and dark spots and at age 35, I want all the best anti-aging products and treatments to help to age as gracefully as possible. With baby number three on the way, I’m pro-actively preparing against dark spots and fine lines with the help of my fabulous esthetician, Deborah Michelson.

I started visiting Deborah over a year ago at her beautiful facial room in River Oaks District’s Bella Rinova salon and spa, and she has done wonders for my skin! She’s the only esthetician in Houston who uses the cult-like French beauty brand Biologique Recherche.

I’m always getting so many questions about my skincare routine and favorite products, so I decided to share Deborah’s recommendations with you! Read on below for 10 of her tips, and be sure to visit her if you live in Houston!

Let’s start with the basics! How often do you recommend getting a facial?

DM: This is very subjective, however, once a month is ideal for the average client. More specific issues are best addressed during your initial visit to help you achieve the best long term results.

There are so many products on the market now – oils, serums, micellar water, toners, mists – which products should someone absolutely invest in for their daily routine? Are there any products you suggest avoiding?

DM: Everyone should invest in a good cleanser, as in P50 Lotion by Biologique Recherche, as well as a moisturizer and mask. Try to avoid anything that is too harsh on the skin which will cause further issues. 

What products are best for anti-aging? Do you recommend specific anti-aging products and skincare routines for women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and so on?

DM: I recommend retinols, peptides, hyaluronic acid, P50 and sunscreen, always. In your early twenties, start using antioxidants and then in your thirties, and beyond, use eye patches. And at any age, always cleanse, preferably with P50, and moisturize. As you mature, start introducing anti-aging serums and creams. 

Do you recommend changing products seasonally for hot and humid months and then cold, dry months? Any specific seasonal recommendations?

DM: Yes, I would switch out your cleanser and moisturizer depending on how your skin reacts to the change in climate. Houston is an exception, but most cities have four seasons! During the winter months, it’s best to use heavier night creams and more serums. In the summer, go lighter on the products. You should use sunscreen throughout the seasons. 

Which products do you think are most effective for treating adult acne breakouts?

DM: Most adult acne is triggered by stress and/or hormones, which stimulates the body to produce more oil. Salicylic acid, diet and lifestyle are known to improve the appearance of acne. 

There is a movement towards using clean products without harmful chemicals. Are there specific skincare products that you believe should be swapped out for clean brands? Do you think non toxic treatments are just as effective?

DM: In my humble opinion, I don’t believe there is a product that is completely “clean”. However, there has been a ton of research and development in creating standout products that maximize one’s skin health. And that ideal combination can vary from person to person.

Please explain to us the benefits of microdermabrasion and chemical peels and when you recommend getting these?

DM: A microdermabrasion is a physical exfoliator and chemical peels are chemical exfoliators. My recommendation of choice is the Hydrafacial. It is has replaced my microdermabrasion machine. I feel that it is a more effective approach to the skin. 

If someone has a big event, like a wedding or milestone birthday, what is the best way to prep your skin in advance to be sure it is glowing?

DM: Pre-wedding, I suggest using the Biologique Recherche Remodeling Face Machine for lifting, plumping and firming results. As stated on BR’s website, the machine offers “Wider-looking eyes, more prominent cheekbones, softer wrinkles, and a better facial contour.” It’s known as the non-invasive face-lift which awakens your face and offers that wedding glow while also lifting and hydrating for immediate results. Each treatment builds upon the next and you’re never too young to start. 

Pregnancy and postpartum hormonal changes can cause acne and melasma. What do you recommend for treating these changes?

DM: In my years of dealing with melasma, hormones is the biggest culprit. There are products on the market that can help, but everyone should avoid the heat and sun, which has proven to be most beneficial coupled with sunscreen for maximum coverage. 

What effect do you think food has on your skin? Do you suggest any dietary guidelines to your clients?

DM: As we know, food impacts everything. Hence the expression, “You are what you eat.” More specifically, stay hydrated and have a cleaner diet by eating more organic fruits and vegetables, and grass feed meats. Also to be noted is to avoid caffeine and alcohol. And the number one culprit for aging gracefully is to minimize stress where you can. In our day and age, it is difficult, but stress is the number one reason I see people age. The good new is that the right skincare can help you combat it regardless. 

Do you have any follow up skincare questions for Deborah? Leave her a note in the comments below!