Skincare 101 | Jennifer De Vivo
Paying attention and caring for your skin is an absolute necessity if you are wanting to feel and look your best from the inside out and nurturing your skin is an art form that Angela’s facialist and G.M. Collin expert, Jennifer De Vivo has down pat. Jennifer has been working exclusively with G.M. Collin for 13 years because she loves that it’s a dermo-corrective professional skincare line that has an extensive team who are committed to combining nature and science, tested by clinical studies to provide unbelievable results for their consumers. Here, Jennifer and Angela sit down to discuss the correct approach to getting your skin treated, the do’s and don’ts of exfoliation and why it is important to have a set routine for both morning and night.
ANGELA BUTKUS: When you get a new client for a facial, what do you initially take in consideration in order to determine how to improve the quality of their skin?
JENNIFER DE VIVO: I determine my client’s skin type and any skin conditions they may have. We are born with our skin type and these consist of normal, combination, dry, oily and sensitive. I always start off with a skin consultation and ask what their current routine is. Knowing their daily step-by-step routine helps me determine why their skin is in the condition it’s presently in. After assessing where they are—and everyone is different— I’ll explain to them what’s going on with their particular situation. Some people over-exfoliate, and some only wash their face once a day… or with body soap which is not made for facial skin. I, then, start with the basic level of correction, which is working on any sensitivity, dehydration and oily skin. After we get the skin balanced, the skin will be able to better accept any anti-aging products and clinical treatments that I want to introduce for preventative measures and overall health of the skin.
AB: Can you elaborate on harms in exfoliating too much and with not exfoliating at all?
JDV: When you over-exfoliate, you’re stripping your skin of its natural oils and damaging the natural moisture barrier, resulting in dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin can lead to sensitivity, irritation, and inflammation. Inflammation in the skin causes aging. “Inflamm-aging” is a thing! So basically, over-exfoliation can cause an accelerated rate of aging. Sometimes I’ll have new clients who have been over exfoliating their skin due to breakouts and blackheads, not realizing they’re actually causing their skin to overcompensate for the dehydration, creating more oil and blackheads to build up, and even become impacted underneath the layer of dead flaky skin. Remember, you can have dehydrated skin even if you have oily skin, so stripping your skin of its natural moisture barrier will cause additional skin conditions to arise.
On the other hand, when people don’t exfoliate enough or at all, they are affecting their cell turnover rate. As we age, our cell turnover rate slows down, which is why it is so important to exfoliate so that we can slough off the dead skin at the surface and reveal the new healthy skin underneath. Therefore, our serums and moisturizers can better penetrate into the skin and work properly, instead of just sitting on top of the skin. It’s about properly using the correct products for your skin type to effectively make healthy changes.
AB: Is oversensitivity and the premature ageing exclusive to just overexfoliating or can it be achieved by other means of doing a preventative step too often?
JDV: Over-cleansing on any level can cause problems and irritation. One client I have was using GM Collin products that I carry and then started using other products in addition to overtreat a problem she was having. In turn this created a sensitivity in her skin that was not there before. It became very reactive because she was treating her skin in a manner that did not correlate with her particular skin type. There is a trick to utilizing the products you use to optimize results without using them too often or incorrectly. It is extremely important to consult with a professional to avoid creating problems that can occur from self-diagnosing.
AB: What do you do to help clients with really irritated skin in terms of the types facials you provide? Which facials do you provide are best suited for oily skin clients and how do you make the decision?
JDV: My favorite go-to clinical treatment that is great for calming the skin is the AlgoMask+. This thermo-cooling mask is super soothing and hydrating for all skin types and conditions. In conjunction with that mask, my calming products include the Sensiderm line, Intensive Exfoliating Gel, Vasco-tonic Concentrate and Daily Ceramide Comfort (which one of my clients said feels like a hug for the skin, and it’s so true!)
The Oxygenating Skin Care clinical treatment is great for my clients with oily skin or clients who are suffering from acne. I will also customize my European and acne facials if a chemical peel is not suited for their skin at the moment.
GM Collin has an extensive line for all skin types that make it easy for me to create customized facials based on my client’s needs. I’m able to mix and match their entire line, and I don’t give the same exact facial every time I see my clients because our skin is always changing due to internal and environmental factors. I consider all of those factors when choosing the products for my clients.
AB: I know you happen to have a different routine for nighttime which you posted on your Instagram a while back. Can you explain to us what the importance is to have a different routine at night than you do in the morning?
JDV: It’s very important to take care of your skin both morning and night because we need to address the different cycles our skin is experiencing. While we’re sleeping, our skin is in repair and recovery mode, working on cell renewal and regeneration. During the night, our skin is more receptive to any skincare products applied, which is why we should take advantage of our anti-aging products that encourage improved hydration, cell renewal and boost collagen production. But not only that, cleansing our skin properly at night is crucial for the health of our skin because it removes the environmental pollutants and free radicals that we have accumulated during the day.
Morning routines are important and different than our nighttime routines because we need to focus on protecting our skin from aggressors like UVA and UVB rays and environmental pollution. An SPF with at least 25 or 30 and any product that contains antioxidants are perfect for protecting our skin during the day. Even if we are inside, we are exposed to the UV rays from indoor lighting, so protecting our skin right after we wash our face in the morning until right before we go to bed is best. I believe using sunblock is the number one anti-aging step we can do for our skin.
AB: Aside from aesthetics, what does beauty mean to you and how do you incorpate that in your career?
JDV: Beauty comes from within. Being a kind person to yourself and to others is a beautiful thing. Self care is super important and is directly correlated to how I take care of my clients. My personal maintenance and self-care affects my physical and mental well-being – from my skincare routine, working out and yoga, chiropractic care, massage therapy, mediation, vacations, and time with family, friends and my furry friends– and without all of these I don’t feel happy and whole. It always starts with you. When you take care of yourself, I feel it’s easier to spread love to others. Happiness and kindness is beauty.