We all know the trials and tribulations that come along with aging. While we still have yet to find the Fountain of Youth, Nashville can rest assured, as our team at TNE discovered the next best thing. We interviewed Nashville’s most sought-after skincare providers to tell us their secrets and regimens on maintaining healthy and youthful complexions.
KAREE HAYS | KAREE HAYS ESTHETICS
“I had always been interested in skincare and decided to pursue a skin profession later in life, as I was personally aging. I always enjoyed science and chemistry and I loved to learn how things worked, which skincare products did what, and how the skin responded to ingredients.
“I started with a little blog called The Skin Girl, and from there it just sparked. I fell in love with skin, went back to school at thirty-eight and never looked back.”
In the mornings, I gently cleanse my face—you don’t want to strip the skin of its natural oils. I then follow up with my custom Koji pads followed by a sheer peptide gel on damp skin. I love Avené Thermal Spring Water to balance the PH in the skin and allow products to spread more easily and evenly. Next, I use Revision’s DEJ Face to moisturize. I love multi-purpose products that tackle many things, so this has your antioxidants and it’s a great moisturizer. I finish my morning routine with Revision Intellishade TruPhysical. I am NEVER without my Intellishade.
As for night, I pre-cleanse to break down makeup and SPF, followed by a gentle cleanse. I use a KH Mega-Bright T Pad, followed by my sheer peptide gel, once again on damp skin. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I use retinol (either DEJ Night or Revision Retinol Complete). On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I use KH Retexturize with plant-based growth factors. Of course, moisturize as needed throughout the week.
I am often asked if clients can use retinoids in the winter months. The answer is yes, you just may want to use lower strength or use them about twice a week instead of every other night. DEJ Night is a wonderful alternative for the winter months, as it drives in a .25% retinoid with the hydration and antioxidants to keep your skin nourished. If you need extra hydration during these cold months, I recommend hydration and collagen peptide powder.
I tend to throw my clients into skin “boot camp’” in the winter months, with more aggressive peels and laser treatments. These cold months are ideal for aggressive resurfacing treatments like major peels, lasers or microneedling. We tend to shy away from these treatments in the summer months due to the seasonal sun exposure, so these are ideal for a season when you are not in the sun.
Chemical peels are your best friend in the winter, especially the mandelic, lactic, glycolic and TCA peels. They adhere to the surface dry layers and unglue them with their actives. Also, using an exfoliating cream with these active ingredients will help on a daily basis to keep cells from thickening. When those dead skin cells build up is when we begin to feel the driest.”
RN MELISSA RHODES | ONA SKINCARE
“Growing up, I had a birthmark called a port wine stain on my lower lip and chin. I underwent my first surgery and laser treatment at the age of sixteen. From that time until I was twenty-three, I had a total of six surgeries and a dozen laser treatments to repair my lower lip. It was during those experiences that I realized what an impact these treatments can have on a person’s confidence.
“My goal with every client is to determine what I can do through treatments, services and product to help send them out into the world with a little more confidence!”
My daily skincare routine changes throughout the year with the variations in temperatures and humidity, however the standards I use year-round are an exfoliating cleanser with salicylic acid, like the ZO® Skin Health Exfoliating Cleanser, ZO® Dual Action Scrub, a brightening product for pigment control, and ZO® Daily Power Defense, which is like a multi-vitamin for your skin. The Daily Power Defense contains DNA repair, antioxidants and a small amount of retinol to keep the skin active. Since it can be carried right up under the eyes, it doubles as my daytime eye cream.
My “desert island” product for daytime is Revision Skincare’s Intellishade. It has an SPF of 45, antioxidants, peptides for collagen production and a tint that matches any skin tone, so no foundation needed! At night I use the same exfoliating cleanser along with ZO Oil Control Pads. They provide a mild at-home peel, growth factor serum and a retinol product so that while I sleep my skin can repair itself and build collagen. I also use ZO Hydrafirm, which helps reduce puffiness, fine lines and improves texture around the eyes.
Daily routines are helpful in maintaining healthy skin, but regular facials are also a must. Many people consider facial treatments as a splurge, but your skin is your largest organ, so keeping it healthy is as important as working out and clean eating. I developed the Cryoderm Trio, which utilizes a combination of a light GPA peel, dermaplaning or microdermabrasion for exfoliation and a cryo (cold) treatment that rapidly reduces inflammation and acne and acts as an exfoliant. This treatment leaves the skin glowing and brings down any inflammation in the skin rapidly.”
CARMEN MABRY | PRIVATE EDITION
“I grew up in a family where most of the women had beautiful skin, but I always battled acne. I vividly remember my mother, aunt and my grandmothers always using different products, feeding into my passion for learning about good skincare.”
My daytime routine goes something like this: I wake up and spray a mist on my face. Before getting in the shower, I’ll use one of two different face exfoliators about three times a week. On Sundays, I like to apply Omorovicza’s Deep Cleansing Mask or Ultramoor Mud Mask ten minutes before jumping in the shower, then rinse it off in the shower. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I’ll use Blue Diamond Peel ten minutes before my shower to brighten and oxygenate my skin, then rinse. This is an easy way to work in my treatments while I am making my coffee in the morning before getting ready.
After I shower, I spritz Omorovicza’s Queen of Hungary Mineral Mist all over my face and neck. I follow up with my serums. I rotate different serums, but always start with a vitamin C serum, like Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Gel. After my vitamin C serum, I’ll apply one other serum depending on my skin that day. If my skin feels dry, I’ll use a hyaluronic acid serum or a facial oil. I like Miracle Facial Oil by Omorovicza or BY Terry Liftessence Facial Oil. If I feel my skin is droopy, I’ll apply a firming serum like Blue Diamond Concentrate or Rose Lifting Serum to give my face a natural “botox effect”. Then I apply a small amount of Omorovicza’s Intense Hydralifting Cream, followed by eye cream massaged gently around the eye lid and under eye. If I’m not in a hurry, I’ll apply a neck cream, otherwise, I’ll just bring my other serums and moisturizers down onto my neck and decolletè. Last, but NEVER least, sunscreen! Most days I wear a BB Cream, which is a natural looking tint with sunscreen in it. I also love Skinceuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50 in either skin tone or regular.
At night I use a thick balm cleanser to take off any makeup, sunscreen or long-wearing mascara. Many cleansers can be drying if they contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is like putting detergent on your face. I love Omorovicza’s Thermal Cleansing Balm! It not only deep cleanses your skin with actual Moor Mud from the mineral-rich Lake Hévíz in Budapest, but it also nourishes and balances the skin whether you are oily or dry. Use on dry skin, then steam off with a warm washcloth. Next, I’ll use a hydrating mist on my face, then apply a retinol/retinoid. I have several that I like and use them in rotation. Being in this industry you get bombarded with products—but you really only need one. I like Therapy Systems Retinol PM. It also has glycolic acid in it, so it breaks through the skin better and faster. I personally only use retinols in the winter months, then ween off them in the late spring/summer months to give my skin a break. Retinols will make your skin sensitive to the sun and you’ll burn easily and quickly.
After my retinol, I apply a rich night cream, followed by some eye cream and firming neck cream. I use a dot of facial oil on the backs of my hands, then my hand cream to massage into my hands and elbows. I finish my PM routine by applying a thick, rich lip balm. Can’t forget about the lips!”
DIANNA GRECO | WOO SKINCARE & COSMETICS
“I am beginning my twenty-first year at Woo, with fifteen years of skincare and makeup background in the Midwest as a Barber Stylist, and also working in department stores there. I was educated in skincare and makeup at Barber College in Iowa, where a license enables you to do haircuts, shaves, perms, hair color, manicures, facials and makeup applications. The training was the most hours required for education of any state, including extensive skin anatomy training. That is where my love of everything beauty started.
As far as my routines go, in the morning I start out by toning, then add an anti-aging and antioxidant serum. I moisturize before adding my SPF, add a dab of eye cream and then moisturize my body with body lotion. At night, I start out with micellar cleanser, eye makeup remover, toner, followed by face oil or moisturizer. I follow it all up by using lip cream and hand cream!
Some of my favorite products include SkinBetter Science Even Tone Correcting Serum, which is good for improving all skin discolorations and providing vitamin C in the advanced form of Kakadu Plum extract, and SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream, which improves the appearance of lines, wrinkles, tone and texture. I also swear by Natura Bisse Inhibit High Definition Serum because it minimizes lines, provides density and fullness, and fights sagginess and elasticity loss.
“During this time of year, it’s so important to stay on top of exfoliation and cell turnover, thus removing excess surface dryness and allowing hydration products to better absorb.”
I prefer alpha and beta hydroxy acids or enzyme cleansers, but professional microdermabrasion techniques work well, too. I highly recommend HydraFacial with Dermabuilder if you desire to see improvement in skin’s health and appearance.
These colder months are drying and harsh on the skin, so clean-eating, drinking lots of water, vitamins, supplements and exercise are all very important for healthy skin!”
DR. TAYLOR MULKEY | REN DERMATOLOGY
“The dermatologist was my favorite doctor to see as a kid. We were a bunch of fair-skinned children with moles. My mom wasn’t sure what to do with us, so we went to the dermatologist regularly.
I have two small children, so I need a routine that is effective, but also simple. We are typically running out the door in the morning and I crash in the evenings. My core routine is cleansing twice daily with La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser. I double cleanse, but with the same cleanser. I then apply an antioxidant serum, Epionce Intense Defense Serum. Depending on how my skin feels, I may add a moisturizer before my daily sunscreen. During this time of year, I really need the added moisture. Currently, I really am enjoying Epionce Renewal Facial Cream. I then use EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. Since it has a tint, I don’t need to use extra makeup. In the evenings after I cleanse, I will use a retinol before applying my moisturizer. I use an eye cream twice a day, NeoCutis Micro Eyes Riche, and exfoliate twice a week with Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel.
“Everyone needs a great sunscreen. Honestly, it doesn’t matter the brand, just something you like and will use! I do recommend at least an SPF greater than 30—the higher the better. Remember, it is so much easier to prevent than correct the sun damage.”
Everyone can also benefit from a retinol, which can help visibly diminish the look of fine lines, increase the appearance of firmness, improve uneven skin tone, and smooth the surface of skin. The main issue with a retinol is irritation. I struggle with the tolerability of a retinol, and no adult woman (or man) wants to be peeling! I am really excited about SkinBetter Science AlphaRet. It combines both a retinol and an acid, two well proven ingredients, and is extremely tolerable. If you have struggled with a retinol in the past, this is a great product to try!
The winter months are a great time to have a laser procedure. Lasers can help address many concerns depending on what device is chosen for the procedure. The amount of downtime also varies depending on the device. Lasers are a great way to tackle redness, pigment issues and achieving a youthful more radiant glow. Most aggressive treatments, such as laser, require some sun avoidance both before and after a laser procedure, so the winter is a great time to address these issues.”