Five Questions with Skincare Guru Alexis Robertson
The esthetician behind the flawless visages of Aly Raisman and Kelly Brabants shares wedding-day skincare tips.
Alexis Robertson started doing makeup for friends at age 14 when her grandmother, who worked for Estee Lauder, gifted the Nebraska native her first eyeshadow palette. As a teenager, Robertson dreamed of working at the Estee Lauder makeup counter, and her passion for makeup soon took her there—and beyond. She later moved to Boston, trained professionally at the Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics in Woburn, and went on to work for Image Skincare and Living Proof before eventually starting her own skincare clinic in 2015. Her first celebrity client? Olympian and Needham native Aly Raisman. “I actually went to her house and gave her a treatment the night before she left for Rio,” Robertson recalls. Raisman later introduced her to fellow Olympian Nastia Liukin, who became another longtime patron. Today, Robertson creates skincare programs for everyone from Patriots cheerleaders to brides who want glowing skin ahead of their walk down the aisle. Read on for her advice for getting your skin in tip-top shape for your newlywed debut.
What’s your treatment approach?
All of my treatments are tailored to work with the body’s own natural ability to heal. Through diet and lifestyle [changes] and proper skincare we can actually decrease the body’s underlying inflammation. We also incorporate mindfulness practices like breathing techniques and meditation, and I refer out for acupuncture so that a client’s anxiety levels and mental health are in a good space. By bringing the body to a place where it can heal, we can then do pretty aggressive treatments. Once the skin is prepared with a daily routine that is high in hydration, antioxidants, and SPF, most clients get some form of microneedling done. That treatment [helps] rewrite the memory in the skin cells and get the skin acting and looking healthier. Then we tailor the treatments from there. Usually we do something pretty hardcore in the beginning, [whether that’s] microneedling or a strong de-pigmentation peel, and then we blend in [other] chemical peels, LED lights, and ultrasonic facials.
Can you tell us about your “Bridal Boot Camp” service?
The “Bridal Boot Camp” is for that bride who, with all the photographs and people looking at her, is self-conscious when it comes to her skin’s [appearance] on the day of the wedding. She’s like, “These things have been on my mind and now it’s time for me to do something about it.” Before I touch anyone’s skin, we start with a one-hour consult in which I ask a lot of lifestyle questions. I ask what they would like to improve about their skin and look to see if there have been any lifestyle changes or if they eat foods that have been causing their skin to behave wildly. Some people also really do need to see a functional medicine doctor because some hormonal acne is systemic. Skincare will make the skin healthier, more resilient, and prevent scarring, but it cannot stop the recurring issues if the body is constantly being triggered by food, stress, or a hormone imbalance. Then we’ll get brides on a customized plan that includes homecare products and a tailored 90-day treatment program. Through the boot camp, brides feel so empowered because they understand their skin so much better.
What should a bride keep in mind in the days leading up to her wedding?
I tell my brides, “Let me be the person that you can depend on that isn’t your family.” Once you get to that crunch time before the wedding, you need to have people who you can turn to. I think having a dream team that includes health and wellness experts is key. Also, don’t drink alcohol. I know it’s so tempting, but the number one thing that ruins clients’ skin and increases their stress levels is alcohol. If you’re going to drink, drink the night of your wedding, do not drink the night before. I also give brides their own little package of get-through-the-wedding skincare products. It’s important to have something in your arsenal that helps to rebalance and hydrate your skin and feed it with a ton of nutrition. I always give everybody my own famous “Lip Enhancing Complex 3-in-1” lip treatment, which is a cult classic. I also give them the “Post-Peel Crystal Fiber” mask from Mesoestetic, which has a high level of hyaluronic acid and is very healing and calming to the skin. Then I tailor products based on what kind of issues the client has, but mostly it’s all about nourishing the skin with a ton of hydration.
What’s one skincare product you can’t live without?
Revision Skincare “Intellishade Original” SPF 45! Its tinted and matches almost all skin tones, increases hydration levels in the skin, reduces redness and fine lines, and is super stable, meaning it provides long-lasting protection from the sun if applied properly. I know SPF isn’t sexy—that’s why you never see it endorsed by celebrities and why most people don’t use one on a daily basis. But this SPF makes it easy to start a daily sunscreen practice. Even if you were to wear only SPF, and no other skincare products, you can decrease your skin’s rate of damage and aging by at least 40 percent.
What’s your best skincare advice for the wedding day and beyond?
Ditch your face scrub. Facial scrubs are the number one culprit for breaking down the barrier designed to naturally hold in water and hydration on your skin. They also increase the risk of having bacteria, which will make you break out. Scrubs keep you chasing your tail, too, so you have to keep scrubbing your skin to see that glow and eventually you’re just a hot mess. Throw your scrubs in the trash!
137 Newbury St., Boston, 617-903-7546, skngym.com
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