The Low-Down on Skincare: A Professional’s View

These days, with the power of the internet, almost anything can be found with the touch off your fingertips. Countless knowledge databases are accessible from your home. But among the reservoirs of useful knowledge, you are bound to find some swamps full of junk and myths. So when it comes to skincare, what sources can you trust? With so many myths and questionable articles online, we decided to go to the most trustworthy source on skincare: an esthetician!

An esthetician, somewhat akin to a dermatologist (without the diagnosis’s and prescriptions) deals with the skin, and treats skin according to one’s specific skincare needs. They may not have a Ph.D. but they study long and hard to learn how to take proper care of our skin, and they certainly know what they’re doing!

We chatted with Hampton Roads’ own Chris Werne, owner, Director of Education, and Master Esthetician at Chrysm Institute of Esthetics, to see what she has to say on all things skincare!

chrysm instituteSOHO Lashes: How long have you been an esthetician?

Chris Werne: Fifteen years.

SL: What got you into skincare?

CW: I opened up a day spa and I had gone to school for premed, but I noticed that there was no education available locally for esthetics. Plus proper skincare has become such a trend today, whereas twenty years ago esthetics was more about relaxation. We can now make a change for clients in skin condition, filling that gap between makeup and dermatologist treatments.

SL:  What makes your students’ learning experience unique from other esthetic learning environments?

CW: I’m not sure what a lot of other schools do, but our students begin hands-on training on day one. By the time they leave they’ll have treated acne, hyperpigmentation, and rosacea. They  leave Chrysm ready to join the work field.

SL: What skin problems do you see most with clients?

CW:  Sensitivity. We get a lot of reactive skin from overuse of product, and sometimes the environment. We also get a lot of hyperpigmentation, especially being in the beach area. Lastly, we see a bit of adult acne, which is possibly hormally based.

SL: What types of things are happing to our skin every day that we don’t even notice?

CW: Clients tend to use the wrong product. They want to do the right thing, but then see this new commercial for a product that can help with this or that, but using the wrong product can be what causes the most harm to our skin. Estheticians can pick the right products because we will know what the client needs.

SL: When should someone turn to esthetics and when should someone turn to dermatology for their skincare issues?

CW:  If it’s disease or disorder-related, turn to dermatology, EVERYONE should see an esthetician, especially while you are young. In your twenties, good maintenance will put you on the track to healthy skin which won’t require a lot of corrective measures later in life. This can make a big difference when you reach your forties or fifties in combating hyperpigmentation and texture, and allows you avoid plastic surgery.

SL: What are the main factors in maintaining healthy skin?

CW: Sun screen,  using the proper products, and especially making sure all product is removed. Cleanser is one of the most known skin irritants.

SL: What long-term damage can be caused from ignoring these factors?

CW: Congestion, increased pore size , build up of bacteria in the skin, adult acne. Constant reparation of the skin is a major cause of aging. If the body has to constantly repair the epidermis, it will thin and  you’ll see wrinkles [and other texture].

SL: Are there any skin problems which are irreversible and best kept at bay with a preventative treatment?

CW: Healthy tissie has no issue! Taking care of skin tissue early on is key to any skin problem.

SL: You find a lot of skincare advice online in blogs and articles. One thing I personally read online is that water mixed with flavoring powders (Crystal Lite, etc.) is less effective on cleansing the skin than pure water. Is this true? How much of what you read online can be trusted?

CW:  Be very careful about anything you can find on the net. That type of information be dangerous, another reason why it’s important to go to a pro for the best info possible. A lot of estheticians do free consultations, and it can’t hurt to get advice from an educated and trained professional.

SL: What are some common myths about skincare? (i.e. what we think we need, what we think is harmful, etc.)

CW: The main one? That you don’t need toner. People don’t realize how necessary a toner is. It helps balance out the skin’s natural PH and helps to remove residue from product. Toner is VERY important.

SL: Moving into the fall we will be seeing significant changes in weather. How should we adjust our skincare regime to fit the change in seasons?

CW:  Every season, your home care regimen should change. In the winter, there is less bloodflow to the surface of the skin. This makes your skin dry so you need products to hydrate. And you need a balanced hydrators, because there are two fluids in the skin: oil and water. Clients will use hydrators that are heavily rich in oil, which will clog pores and cause more issues. Even someone with an oily skin type should use a hydrator because if you don’t the body will over produce oils. Sun protection should also carry into the winter. Never give up your sun protection!

Chrysm students are all trained under the above skin philosophies. Established November 2004 and located in the Town Center area of Virginia Beach, Virginia, the Chrysm Institute of Esthetics has been sending licensed estheticians off into the Hampton Roads area and beyond for years. And these students service clients as they learn, so if you’re in the area and looking for some good skin care, you won’t find a more professional place! For more information, visit or call the institute’s office at (757) 456-5386 😉 Blink blink wink!

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