Holistic Facialist Tammy Fender's Best Skincare Advice


There are facialists to see if you want a little lift 'n' plump before a big event. There are other facialists to see if you've got sensitive, breakout-prone skin in need of calming. Then there are the facialists that you want to surrender your whole life over to—body, mind, and spirit—in hopes that they can somehow access your soul through your pores and make everything better. If that sort of thing appeals to you, Tammy Fender is your girl.

I first learned of Tammy during one of my early days at ITG—I received a bottle of her Intensive Repair Balm in 2014 and started to read the label. There were the ingredients, the directions, the skincare claims...and the "Emotional & Spiritual Benefits" section. In particular, the Balm is "Supportive and comforting—restoring and renewing the soul." All of which is to say that Tammy doesn't just look at the skin, she looks at the person. Her tips, below, can obviously be applied to your skincare regimen. Or you could get a little macro with it and use them in context of your entire worldview. Up to you! Here's Tammy:

Plant-based is better.

All of Tammy's products are made with 100% botanical ingredients because, as she says, "Our bodies are perfectly designed to utilize and benefit from natural remedies. On the molecular level, plant-based ingredients absorb deeply and easily through the transdermal barrier." Whether or not you're on the organic bandwagon, you can't argue with efficiency.


We're all beauty junkies here, and that's cool—no shame. But maybe ease up on the masking and the 10-step routine. Tammy says, "Skin can become fatigued when constantly working with an overload of personal care products." Skin is a sensitive organ, even if you don't identify that way! Try testing it—"Plan a pause into your routine, and resist the urge to overburden skin with too many products at once."

Life is skincare and skincare is life.

This is when Tammy gets spiritual: "Through the skin we can discover such interconnections, to the environment and to our own patterns of diet, rest and exercise. I like to say that the skin is truly healthy and radiant when everything comes into balance on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. In my practice I've seen the huge effects that meditation can have on the skin, or the wonderful benefits of spending more time in nature." So...go on a hike, I guess!

Respect your barrier.

If there is one constant in my life, it's that I'm constantly conflicted about whether or not I should be exfoliating more. When I'm leaning toward more, I hear Tammy sweetly whispering in my ear: "Trust in your skin's natural abilities to protect itself and keep in moisture by maintaining that protective barrier [edit note: your acid mantle!], which means never over-stripping the skin with harsh soaps, rough exfoliation, or extreme peels." You don't have to throw out your glycolic toner or anything, but try cutting back. That's what I'm doing, at least. Supplement through "bolstering that barrier with a protective, nutritive oil-based serum."

Be patient.

"There are no quick fixes," said every mother ever and also Tammy. "True, deep beauty comes from consistent care—and it's so lustrous, polished, and fresh. Of course, many clients will see immediate results when switching to a plant-based skincare routine. But it's a long game, and there is nothing like the radiance of a truly healthy, glowing complexion." Nothing like a long con to get your heart racing.

—Emily Ferber

Photos via Tammy Fender.

More skin tips, you say? Of course: stop over here for Shani Darden's best advice, or heed the words of Jenna Lyon's facialist this way.