Q & A: Facialist Molly Walsh

By: Sarah Burns

Ever wonder how celebrities on the cover of In Style look so flawless? Sure, airbrushing helps— but so does a strict daily skincare routine. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing (yes, that means serum and eye cream, too) can seem like a marathon of tasks after a long day, but celebrity facialist and The Body Shop spokeswoman Molly Walsh assures us it’s worth the effort. And judging from the glowing faces of some of Walsh’s celebrity clients — including Maria Sharapova, Brooke Shields, and Amanda Peet — we believe her. Bostonista spoke with the Hermosa Beach skin care boutique-owner about the best products and routine to get your skin looking and feeling fresher in the homestretch to spring.

What’s the best tip for fighting winter skin woes?

Exfoliation! In the winter, everyone’s skin is dry, which creates dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. It’s important to use an exfoliating scrub once a week.

What are some of your personal favorite skin care lines and products?

I have dry skin, so my personal favorite skin lines are really moisturizing, like the NatruLift line from The Body Shop that is made with pomegranate. The pulp of the fruit retains moisture and has firming properties as well; it’s nature’s alternative to retinol.

Besides cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, what else should you use daily?

I love to use a washcloth everyday to remove facial cleanser. I think this is especially important in the evening because it really helps remove all the make up and dirt that accumulates on your skin throughout the day.

Do you really need different products for daytime and nighttime, or can you use the same stuff?

Yes, your skin has different needs during the day and night. I usually recommend a cream with a sunscreen during the day because Vitamin C protects against environmental damage. At night I love products with ingredients that are like food for the skin, like the proteins, minerals, and omega fatty acids found in natural sources like brazil nuts and shea butter.

How often do you recommend getting professional facials?

Once a month is what I usually recommend to my clients. However, some clients with extremely dry skin or oily skin benefit from weekly or biweekly facials.

Biggest skin care do’s and dont’s?

Do use a toner to balance the skin’s Ph. Don’t strip your skin of its natural oils by using harsh products that contain alcohols and synthetic fragrances.

Any tips on how to take great care of the rest of our skin?

Always exfoliate with a body scrub and apply body butter while your skin is still moist.
Myth or fact: Sunscreen with SPF numbers over 50 aren’t necessarily better.
There are quite a few studies that do confirm that 50-plus SPF is false advertising. I’ve always recommended reapplying your sunscreen after a few hours of being in the sun; as well as mineral makeup with titanium dioxide that has a natural SPF of 15.

Which celebrity’s skin do you admire?

I love Brooke Shields’s skin: She takes care of it inside and out. Living a healthy lifestyle and using good skincare products really works!

What are some tips for looking fresh and natural when you’re pressed for time and can’t fit in an entire beauty routine?

Wash your face completely with a washcloth, and use a toner and moisturizer. Those three steps will only take a minute!