How Esthetician Heather Snead Keeps Her Skin Amazing

How Esthetician Heather Snead Keeps Her Skin Amazing

We know skincare isn't one-size-fits-all. That's why we've tapped our very own esthetician and skincare expert, Heather Snead, to share her tips and help you achieve your glowy skin goals.

Could my diet be affecting my skin?

We’ve all heard over and over that we are what we eat, and there is a lot of truth to that! There are, of course, many factors at play when it comes to skin health, such as genetics, hormones, stress levels, and even our sleep and lifestyle habits. 

We often forget that our skin is our body’s largest organ and is always under construction. Providing it with the nutrients it requires, both internally and externally, is essential for maintaining its health and helping us glow from the inside out. 

Balance is essential in everything we do, so while it's perfectly acceptable to “have our cake and eat it too” every so often, a diet high in sugar and processed foods can lead to breakouts, dehydration, and premature aging of the skin. 

Maintaining a diet based on whole foods can provide excellent sources of balanced macronutrients, such as protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, as well as hydrating foods rich in micronutrients and antioxidants. This is a great way to support our skin’s health and can help us feel amazing, too. 

Do you recommend any wellness and beauty supplements like collagen or vitamin E?

In a perfect world, we could attain all the nutrients we need each day entirely through consuming nutrient-rich, minimally processed whole foods. 

Supplements such as collagen powders and antioxidant blends that include vitamin E, among many others, are excellent ways to help “fill in the gaps” for what might be missing in someone's day-to-day diet. 

We aren’t always able, or have the time, to make perfectly balanced meals each day, so adding a collagen powder, multivitamin, or an antioxidant-rich supplement, is a great way to ensure our skin is consistently receiving the nutrients it needs day in and day out!

How can I maintain a youthful complexion?

Our skin needs a consistent amount of vitamins and minerals to truly glow. Understanding how big of a role our lifestyle plays in maintaining the radiant skin we want is also a huge piece of the puzzle. Living an active lifestyle helps improve blood flow, supporting cell nourishment and turnover. 

Increased blood flow helps our vessels flush out cell waste, which makes way for new healthy cells! Staying active can also promote better rest and recovery so our skin has the time it needs to replenish itself. All of this, compounded with a consistent topical skincare routine (which includes SPF), is the perfect formula for the glowing complexion we crave.

Tru Alchemy's Must-Have Magic Trio

What specific products should I use to maintain these results?

Products that contain hydrating, brightening, and gentle exfoliating ingredients are the perfect way to combat several concerns in a few simple steps. Gentle cleansers such as the Celestial Cleanser, which contains kaolin clay to remove dirt and oil and cucumber extract to soothe the skin, are the perfect combination to help the skin maintain its delicate balance. 

Serums that both hydrate and help to stimulate cellular turnover are a great way to keep the skin cycle in motion and help our skin keep its smooth appearance. I love that Glow Serum and Spot Check both contain hydrating and moisturizing ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to complement the exfoliating agents that can sometimes otherwise be harsh on the skin over time. 

Finishing off with a moisturizer with an SPF, either in combination or separately, is a critical step in this routine. Our external environment is getting increasingly harsh on our skin, and wearing the proper SPF is one of the most basic steps we can take to protect one of the most exposed parts of our skin!

What level of SPF should I wear daily?

To start with the basics, SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor,” and its associated number indicates how well the sunscreen protects the skin against sunburn. This number indicates how much longer it takes untanned skin to burn with sunscreen applied compared to how long it takes to start reddening without it. 

There has been a lot of back and forth about whether or not SPF 50+ really does more than SPF 25. For this reason, whether we have a fair or deep complexion, for the best protection, I always recommend sunscreen in the tried and true range of SPF 25–SPF 30. 

One of the most significant factors when it comes to SPF protection is the reapplication process. Depending on your activities and time in direct sunlight, we should be reapplying on average about every 2–3 hours. 

If we’re sweating, in water, or are in direct sunlight for an extended amount of time, reapplication should happen sooner rather than later. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! (Or burnt!)

Do I need an eye cream? Do I need one for dark circles and another one for targeting puffiness?

Eye creams are an excellent way to add extra support to one of the most delicate areas of the face. The skin around our eyes is some of the thinnest on our bodies and is often the most exposed to our external environment. I think it absolutely deserves some extra love!

For concerns such as dryness, dark circles, or puffiness, adding an eye cream is a great way to supply the area with extra moisturizing and antioxidant-rich ingredients. A great way to target these concerns is to find an eye cream that contains a broad spectrum of ingredients. 

Tru Alchemy's Eye Elixir

I love our Eye Elixir for this reason. It contains hydrating and brightening agents like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, caffeine, and butterfly pea extract. These ingredients work together not only to hydrate and brighten the skin but to help smooth and blur the appearance of the area as well. It's the perfect all-in-one! 

When it comes to a skincare regimen, should we load up on products with multi-step routines, or is less, more?

A big part of this depends on skin type and lifestyle factors, so there are a few things here to consider. For someone with relatively sensitive skin, such as myself, a “less is more” approach is often the more sustainable and effective way to care for the skin. 

Fewer products mean less chance of an undesirable reaction and less time (and money) trying to alleviate the reaction afterward. For these skin types and those who live an “on the go” lifestyle, using a minimal amount of multifunctional products helps us stay consistent in our routine while keeping our skin calm and happy. 

For someone who is able to take the time to stay consistent with an extensive regimen, layering lightweight but effective ingredients at multiple points during the day is the best way to get the most out of each product. 

Our skin can only absorb so much at once, so piling on everything in the morning and night can often overwhelm the skin's delicate balance, which can often lead to breakouts and irritation.

What is your basic daily morning/evening skincare routine?

Morning: I wake up, do a gentle cleanse, and apply my morning serum, which is often the Glow Serum. I then finish with an SPF moisturizer combo of at least SPF 25. I’m not a morning person, so keeping it simple helps me stay consistent. 

Evening: At night, I love to take extra time to wash the day away. I double cleanse my face if I’ve worn makeup that day, use a daily exfoliant, and finish off with my Glow Serum before my nighttime moisturizer. I prefer to use a heavier moisturizer at night that does not have SPF. 

What at-home treatments do you recommend, and how often?

Apart from a daily consistent skincare routine, adding a weekly or bi-weekly (depending on your skin type) face mask is a perfect way to drench our skin in the nutrients it needs.

I try to schedule mask time on a night I’ll know I have to myself and give myself this time to check in and see how my skin is doing. Much like the serums I use, I love a mask that will do it all. Our Mystic Mask has charcoal powders and a fruit enzyme blend, which I live for when I feel like my skin is feeling more rough and ruddy than usual. It also has activated vitamin C and niacinamide to help hydrate, smooth, and brighten my complexion. 

Esthetician Heather Snead with Tru Alchemy's Mystic Mask on

We shouldn’t have to see an esthetician just to spoil ourselves; setting aside some extra time to apply a mask and maybe add an extra serum into the mix is an excellent and easy treatment to throw into the mix. 

When I have the time (and energy), I also love to use modalities such as a high-frequency machine and a jade roller to help boost circulation in my face and help the products penetrate deeper into my skin. These steps help increase the products' effectiveness, making them feel amazing!

What about lip care? Are there treatments you recommend?

Our lips are often one of the most forgotten bits of skin on our face when it comes to treatments and special care. While typical chapsticks work well for basic moisture maintenance, special lip treatments such as sugar scrubs can exfoliate our lips and stimulate circulation to the area. Extra circulation helps us achieve the plump and pouty lips we love, which I think is something we can all get behind!

Can I wash my face in the shower?

There is a lot of debate on this topic, and personally, I am on team “wash in' the shower!” Concern for this practice is often rooted in the temperature of the water on our delicate faces. If our showers are too hot for our faces, though, they are also too hot for the rest of our bodies! 

Hot water can strip the skin of its natural moisture, which can contribute to damaging the skin's barrier. However, when we wash our face in the shower (even a lukewarm one), our skin has been softened, and our pores are slightly dilated. This means the products we use may have a greater chance of being effective. 

When we wash in the shower, we are also typically more thorough, and the continuous rinse helps to remove any spots we might have initially missed. I also love that it means one less mess in the bathroom sink.

If the idea of taking a lukewarm shower is never going to happen, at the very least, try to avoid the face directly for most of the time and use the steam produced during the shower to help soften the skin. At the end of your shower, turn the heat down to wash your face, or step out and wash it in the sink. 

What is your holy grail Tru Alchemy product?

Glow Serum is my absolute favorite go-to! For someone like me with relatively sensitive skin, I appreciate that it’s lightweight, gentle, effective, and incredibly user-friendly. 

Even with my somewhat fussy skin, I’m able to use it daily, which makes it easy to stay consistent, and keeps me in the habit of using it. I love that the TriDroxy Acid Blend® blend works to gently exfoliate my skin, helping to stimulate turnover and keep the surface of my skin clean, while the hydrating and antioxidant ingredients, such as the niacinamide and vitamin C, help my skin maintain its moisture and even skin tone. 

I get the best of both worlds because I get the even tone I am looking for while not having to worry about redness or drying out my skin. I never have to worry about my skin handling it only once or twice a week. For me, this is often the case with some of the more abrasive serums on the market today. 

How often should we see a dermatologist/esthetician? 

This really depends on someone's skin type, skin goals, budget, and time availability. As a general rule of thumb, seeing a skincare professional once a month is an excellent way to see how the skin reacts to a treatment plan. 

This time frame gives the skin time to adjust and heal while it goes through a turnover cycle. Our skin is also very adaptable and changes with the seasons, so a monthly check-in is an ideal way to find out if the prescribed plan is still providing the desired benefits or if there is a need to change course. 

If, for any reason, a monthly check-in is not available, try to calculate what time frame works best for your personal lifestyle. Even if it's only once every six months, some level of care is always better than none. You and your skin deserve it!