The thing about Christine Chin is that I respect her, but I'm mostly afraid of her. I've actually never had an appointment with her—it's been on my to-do list for awhile, but it's taking some time to work up the courage. It's funny, too, because her salon is literally around the corner from my home. But the facialist didn't garner the nickname "Mean Christine" for nothing. This lady is the original queen of extractions. (Dr. Pimple Popper can take a number.) She and her team of trained assassins will dig out your pores until they're as fresh as a newborn babe's. You've been warned; but you've also never been cleaner.
I realized I had to stop avoiding Christine when she sent me one of my newest favorite products after a particularly rough breakout. Her Perfect Hydrating Creme made me a believer, full stop. If the most ruthless extractor on the block can also make a moisturizer this comforting, she couldn't be so mean. Or maybe it's a Fight Club sort of thing. At least that's what Molly Young told me. While I spend some personal time figuring that out, I figured I'd ask Christine what I could do in the meantime to get skin closer to what she would leave me with. She very happily obliged. So I'm leaning towards "not that mean after all."
Why are you not using toner?
Because you should be using toner. Christine says this is the number one mistake new clients are routinely making before their first appointment with her. "It removes all traces of any cleanser or residue on your face," she says. "I find with many of my clients that they are skipping that step and I can tell as soon as I look at their skin." Yuck. Maybe you hate toner because you were using the wrong toner. That's OK! But now is the time to find the right one. "Many people assume toners are drying, but a good toner will actually help your skin get more hydrated as well as ensure your serum and moisturizer penetrate your skin better," Christine argues. Check the ingredient list against your skin type before jumping in.
Sleep isn't safe
You should be washing your face twice a day—that's a given to Christine. But why? At the end of the day is obvious: to remove your makeup, the grime of the day, sweat, etc. But in the morning, "you don’t realize how much your skin is picking up from your pillow. You sweat, your hair product rubs off—and it’s unrealistic to change your sheets every day." Do less laundry; cleanse your face more.
If you're craving a skin treatment of some sort, but you don't know where the bang for your buck is, Christine suggests a laser treatment. Why? "It’s more expensive that other treatments but worth it," she starts out. "We recently starting using a new laser that will take effect and reveal new skin with a single pass. With many lasers, you have to go over the same spots again and again in a single session, which is why many people look red after a treatment. But this new laser is much gentler. However, we still recommend multiple treatments so you’re continuously improving the look and condition of your skin." Sounds like a pre-wedding treatment if ever this was one.
Peel multiple ways
It takes a confident facialist to tell you how to do their signature facial at home. Christine is confident. "For those looking to put in extra effort in their routine, use Cell Gold Gommage Peeling twice a week with a scrub [ed. note: Yes she said WITH a scrub!]—it's like giving yourself a light facial at home. They will help ensure you’re removing dirt and impurities as well as any dead skin. Not only will it have an immediate effect on the look of your skin, but it will contribute to the efficacy of other products, like a moisturizer." Not every day. Just sometimes. And I really do love that moisturizer as a chaser, that's for sure.
Photos via Christine Chin.
Or maybe mean isn't your thing. Sensitive skin, right this way.