THE CANDIDLY: CANDACE MARINO TELLS US THE SECRET TO AN ACTUALLY EFFECTIVE FACIAL. WE ARE SHOCKED.
We all like facials. And I especially like any activity where I can lie down in the dark and emerge looking like an oily, shiny, glowing baby.
But…is it a lasting glow? Did those extractions really do anything beyond making my nose look slightly less blackheady between exiting the building and entering my car? And do any of us really go monthly, as instructed? In which case, are we actually reaping the long-term skin benefits, or are facials just a really lovely long nap?
As I HAD to do my scientific due-diligence for this article, I took one for the team and somehow booked a facial with the breathlessly sought-after LA-based facialist, Candace Marino, who told me (and showed me) the key to an efficacious facial, and maintaining the results. I assumed it had to be something about some micro-current gobbledygook or a $900 snail mucus or a crystal oxygen dome suspended by 3 doves.
But. I was wrong. It was none of those things. It was something far simpler. And I was humbled.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR EXPERIENCE, AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU’VE BEEN DOING THIS?
Candace Marino: By law, I'm a Licensed Esthetician, but I'm not an esthetician, I'm a facialist. I don’t do brows, or bikinis, or makeup or "esthetician stuff." I do facials. I have been licensed for 13 years.
Q: WHY FACIALS? HOW DID YOU GET INTO THIS?
CM: I have been obsessed with facials since I was a child. My idea of "playing" was having friends over, putting our heads over a steaming pot of water and doing facials. When I first got started in the industry, facials weren't as big as they are now, so I thought about becoming a makeup artist as that might have allowed me to get more work. I went the makeup artist route for awhile, and was surprised by how bad some of the models’ skin was. I found myself wanting to extract the skin and treat it, instead of covering it with makeup. I realized that I was in the wrong field, and decided that if I’m going to do facials for a living,I needed to stand out and find a way to make them different and special. That’s how I began this journey of developing my technique— my goal has always been to make it feel different than your average facial!
Q: WHAT’S YOUR OVERALL PHILOSOPHY WITH FACIALS. WHY WE SHOULD GET THEM AND HOW OFTEN?
CM: My philosophy is that healthy skin is a lifestyle, and consistency is key! I say this often. People want instant results, but unfortunately skin doesn't work that way. In order to keep the skin beautiful, young, and most importantly, HEALTHY, you need to be taking care of your skin daily and having regular treatments. In a perfect world, monthly facials are ideal, but for those who don’t have the time or budget, I would suggest at least quarterly treatments because the change of the season will always impact the skin.
Q: CAN YOU WALK ME THROUGH THE STEPS OF THE FACIAL AND WHAT PRODUCTS YOU USED?
CM: All of my facials are completely personalized, so no two are the same.
We started with a triple cleanse. This is my practice that I created— everyones doing a "double cleanse," and i feel they're missing a step. The triple cleanse goes like this:
1. The "Melt Cleanse": this is your makeup removing cleanse with an oil based cleanser to cut through makeup and allow us to actually clean the skin.
2. The "True Cleanse": this is your deep clean. Now that the makeup is off, we need to get down to business and get the skin clean. I usually use a gel or foaming cleanser for this step so the skin isn't left with residue or a film.
3. The "Glow Cleanse": this is a light exfoliating cleanse, which is NOT meant to replace your exfoliation routine, but to just to give the skin an extra little bit of love. The glow cleanse can be any GENTLE exfoliating cleanser, like an enzyme based cleanser; my favorite for this is the Warming Honey Cleanser from IS Clinical or Restorsea Pro Foaming cleanser, which uses an enzyme from salmon roe and gently digests any dead skin cells left behind.
After the triple cleanse, the rest of the facial went like this:
4. Facial Massage: I like to massage before extractions because it really softens up the skin, and allows blackheads and sebaceous filaments to come out without resistance.
5. A Deeper Exfoliation: We did a lactic acid peel, which is very gentle. I like to do this after the extractions because the pores are clean, which allows the peel to deeply penetrate the skin.
6. Masks: Depending on the skin type, I usually like to mix up something calming and rich, and then I massage it into the skin for a few minutes. This helps reduce inflammation post extraction/peel. Sometimes, I’ll use a Casmara Jelly mask, which has a cryogenic effect on the skin; it instantly lowers the temp of the skin and helps combat redness and inflammation.
7. Oxygen Mist: I load up a gun with whatever your skin needs— vitamins, minerals, Hyaluronic Acid— and mist away
Q: YOU DID A LOT OF MASSAGE ON ME. AND I THINK I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU NOW. WHY SO MUCH? WHAT’S GOING ON?
CM: This is the secret - massage is The Key to a real glow. You can apply as many products as you like to make the skin look dewy, but a true glow comes from within. When you manipulate the tissue, you oxygenate the blood and bring life to the cells, so when we massage, we get an instant glow and a lifting effect to the skin. You can actually sculpt out cheek bones and jawlines with massage, reduce puffiness and inflammation in the eyes, and drain lymph. If an esthetician is good at massage, I truly believe they don't need any fancy tools; in my opinion, the hands are the most valuable tool an esthetician can have.
Q: WHAT OTHER SPECIFIC THINGS DO YOU DO THAT ARE UNIQUE?
CM: My massage technique is unique and self-taught. Through my own struggles with chronic neck pain over the years, I've developed this technique in which I do a lot of massage on the neck, chest, and shoulders during my facials because through my neck pain, I've seen how the face presents when the body is in pain. When we are in pain, the face and eyes can pull downward, but when we are free of pain, things are lifted, tighter, and happier looking. So if we can relieve the pain in our shoulders and necks, we can really change how the face looks.
Q: WHAT’S THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN OIL AND A SERUM?
CM: Serums are smaller molecules that are able to penetrate into the dermis; these are generally very liquidy in texture, so your skin will drink them up upon application. They are your power product because serums are typically packed with ingredients that will illicit the most change in the skin.
Oils have a thicker, fattier texture. They are great for massaging the skin and leaving on as a night treatment. Generally, they aren't going to be a game changer for the skin if you’re dealing with something like pigment or acne, but on a well-balanced to dry skin, they will definitely give you a glow.
Q: PLEASE TELL THE WORLD, ONCE AND FOR ALL - WHAT’S THE CORRECT ORDER OF SKINCARE AT HOME?
CM: Generally speaking, the order of products should go from thinnest to thickest. So light, liquid serums go first, followed by gels, followed by creams.
Q: WHAT IF I HAVE LITERALLY ONE MINUTE IN THE MORNING AND EVENING TO DEDICATE TO SKINCARE, WHAT CAN I DO FOR THE BEST SKIN POSSIBLE?
CM: If you only have a minute to spare, this is what I’d recommend:
AM: Slap on a vitamin C serum to prevent sun damage, and then apply SPF 30 or higher— EVERY DAY! This is really quick— it takes longer to shower and put on clothes than it takes to apply your skin products.
PM: TRIPLE CLEANSE at night no matter what, and add massage for a true glow—taking a few minutes to take care of your skin will be time well spent. After cleansing, use a good retinol and a good moisturizer.
Ok, so using an SPF and getting frequent facials isn’t exactly an earth-shattering revelation. And TRIPLE cleansing, though the single most glorious feeling of my life when administered by Candace and her Magic Hands, is likely not a feasible nightly routine when sometimes even just reaching for a make-up up wipe feels taxing after a grueling day of writing articles like this for all of you.
BUT, Candace did 100% sell me on the benefits of facial massage, which is something we can do at home as we’re sitting on the couch, hate-scrolling endlessly through Instagram stories - with the help of an affordable gua sha or ice roller.
BECAUSE THIS IS THE GLOW HER MASSAGE GAVE ME:.
Have you regained your sight from that blinding glow? Ok, great.
So it comes down to this: ritual.
We always want to find some magic bullet, some cream or tincture or $500 treatment that will solve the years of tanning and neglect. But if having gorgeous glowing skin is important to you, and by God it is to me as I creep towards my mid-40s and away from my early-40s, spending a few minutes to fully dedicate to myself in the form of an aggressive massage sounds like something I can do. You can, too. And the next time you’re in LA, try to get in to see Candace. Tell her Audie sent you.
This article was originally published on thecandidly.com.