A few weeks back we sat down with facialist Jordana Mattioli to talk about how to get rid of under eye puffiness. We were amazed at how much we didn’t know, and couldn’t wait to book another session with Jordana to take advantage of her major expertise. As a leading NYC facialist at Complete Skin MD, Jordana has spent her career helping women love their skin and over the years she’s seen it all — from rosacea to adult acne. Blotchy skin is a problem that most of us have faced at one point or another, and some of us (ahem) have battled our whole lives. Read on for Jordana’s tips for how to conquer blotchy skin and discover the even, healthy skin of your dreams.
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Jordana, first tell us a little about your background and experience. How long have you been a facialist and what do you love about what you do for a living?
I received my esthetics license in 2001, but my passion for skincare started long before that. Having problematic skin on and off as a teenager and trying different medicines to keep my skin clear really forced me aware to be aware of everything I was putting on my skin- mostly in fear of “will this break me out?” I read everything I could get my hands on and experimented a lot on my own skin before deciding to go to esthetics school. Being an esthetician, especially within a dermatology practice, allows me work with a lot of different skin types of individuals of all ages, and backgrounds but all with the same goals- better skin. It’s a lot of different types of problem solving, which I love…but being able to help someone feel better about themselves is what motivates me.
Within the realm of facials, do you have a particular area of passion or expertise?
Over the years, I’ve become known for helping clients with problem skin, mostly acne. I don’t really have a particular area of passion, if its on your face, I’m passionate about it!
What is your skin like and what treatments or practices have you found to be life-changing or transformative for yourself?
My personal skin type is primarily oily, acne prone, and sensitive — a hard combination! For me, getting rid of acne scars with laser treatments was life-changing. Laser hair removal is up there with life changing treatments as I suffered from ingrown hairs and waxing was so painful. Lasers in general have helped me tremendously. Pairing down products was also a huge key for my skin. I cringe when I see recommendations of a 10-step routine! If you are one of the lucky few (and I stress few) that could put anything on their face and be fine, then great, slather it all on if it makes you happy….but its not necessary. For most of us, using a few well formulated products is more then enough.
Okay, so let’s get to the topic at hand: what causes blotchy skin tone in the first place?
Red blotchiness is caused by dilated or broken blood vessels and capillaries or general inflammation. Either which can be caused by sun damage, inflammation from certain products, excessive heat or cold, lifestyle habits, heredity or a skin condition called rosacea.
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Does sun exposure tend to make it better or worse?
Always worse. Some may find a tan camouflages their blotchiness, but that is short lived and temporary -plus you’re accumulating more long term damage and raising your skin cancer risk. Rosacea in particular, flares up with sun exposure.
What topical treatments do you find most effective for evening out blotchy skin tone?
If the persistent blotchy redness is caused by dilated or broken blood vessels, topical products won’t help and lasers will be the most effective. When it comes to skincare, remove anything that can cause inflammation. I usually have clients keep their skincare super simple for two weeks, then slowly add back in products to see if their skin reacts to specific ingredients. Common skincare culprits of inflammation are most bar soaps, over exfoliating, certain astringent alcohols, fragrance, or a high content of essential oils. I look for simple formulas with tons of antioxidants, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and calming agents.
What habits and practices do you think can help with blotchy skin?
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1. Start out with clean skin.
Washing every morning and night with a gentle cleanser will remove all the pollution, sweat, sunscreen, makeup, allergens, and bacteria off the skin — all which you don’t want to leave on causing further irritation and a slew of other issues!
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2. Avoid saunas, steam, and excessive hot or cold environments.
Drastic temperatures have a way of bringing out the blotchiness in our skin. Simply regulating your environment in terms of temperature can really help to keep skin tone even.
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3. Simplify your skincare routine.
Use gentle products as a base routine, and slowly add in any actives (like acids and retinols) to avoid blotchiness.
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4. Drink more water.
Staying hydrated is imperative, dehydration in the slightest affects the skin for the negative.
5. Eat foods rich in antioxidants.
Certain foods, especially anti-inflammatory ones rich in antioxidants will help. Think veggies, nuts, fruits, whole grains. I recommend everyone take supplements like omegas, and antioxidant drinks like green tea will are highly anti-inflammatory.
6. Cut back on alcohol.
Alcohol is a major contributor to blotchiness since it spikes your blood pressure and causes blood vessels to expand.