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A renowned aesthetician shares her unique strategy for complexion perfection.
Written By Lexy Lebsack
A renowned aesthetician shares her unique strategy for complexion perfection  |  #VioletGrey, The Industry's Beauty Edit

— PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAN WELTERS / TRUNK ARCHIVE

On par with landing the part of a lifetime or receiving an invitation to the Academy Awards is securing a regular appointment with Hollywood aesthetician Cristina Radu. To wit, one must compete for a space with longtime clients like Jennifer Aniston, Liv Tyler, Eva Mendes and Cindy Crawford, and her in-demand services come at rates best suited to be written on fine card stock and slid across mahogany desks, never spoken aloud. That said, no one says she isn’t worth the trouble. Her time is so coveted because her unique, highly effective and slightly controversial philosophies about caring for skin.
For VIOLET GREY’s final file in a trilogy devoted to achieving close-up ready skin (T.V. makeup artist Jorjee Douglass shares her H.D. makeup strategy in Part I, while celebrity dermatologist Karyn Grossman divulged her coveted treatments in Part II), Radu explains her techniques for creating smooth, radiant, even skin. The advice she gives to her A-list clients include the importance of daily physical exfoliation and the need to abstain from all skincare products with acids — what she calls the root cause of an uneven complexion. “Young people have more discoloration now than they did in the ‘80s,” Radu says, referring to the prevalence of alpha hydroxy acids, which became very popular in the ‘90s as a skincare staple to brighten and chemically exfoliate (anyone with skin too sensitive to tolerate hydroxy acids should take note.) More on this, and the rest of her secrets to create a more even, glowing complexion, below.  

Cristina Radu’s
skin secrets

Skin Secret: Exfoliate your entire face and body, every single day.

Why: “The accumulation of dead skin, oil, and makeup oxidizes and hardens, which creates blackheads and clogged pores,” Radu says.

Skin-scription: Radu suggests a face scrub with gentle granules the size of natural sugars. She also performs microdermabrasion on her clients, which takes the practice a step forward, helping to lessen fine lines and dark spots by buffing off dull and dry skin.
Skin Secret: Avoid all skin care products with acids. This includes alpha hydroxy acids (or AHAs, such as glycolic, citric, and lactic) and retinoic acids (like OTC and prescription retinols), both of which are very prevalent in OTC products.

Why: “You think you’re exfoliating or brightening your skin, but you’re really creating a low-grade burn, which makes your skin more sensitive to the sun,” Radu says. That, in turn, creates premature brown spots and discoloration. “It may take me time to show my clients that acids are bad, but I always do,” she says.

Skin-scription: While skincare professsionals suggest the use of retinol in moderation, Radu tells her clients to use serums and creams with ingredients like collagen, elastin, keratin, and sodium hyaluronate, which all nourish the skin and in turn provide a similar glowy effect.  
Skin Secret: Transderm, an in-office device that uses electrical pulses to penetrate nourishing serums and lotions deep into the inner layers of the skin.

Why: Hydration is the secret to skin that is perfectly smooth, Radu says.

Skin-scription: Radu treats her clients’ dull and thirsty skin with the procedure as needed along with deeply hydrating product with the aforementioned ingredients. It also helps for under-eye darkness. “Dark circles are also caused by dehydration,” Radu says.
Skin Secret: A classic facial, plus microdermabrasion, and either light therapy or an oxygen treatment (or both).

Why: An oxygen treatment requires targeted blasts of O2 to skin for a plumping effect, while a light treatment stimulates collagen from the inside out. For the latter Radu favors blue light (a specific wavelength of light therapy that keeps skin clear by killing bacteria in pores) and cellular modulation light varietals (a type that firms skin by increasing collagen production).

Skin-scription: One may indulge in these treatments as needed. Radu performs this winning combination on her clients when they need glowing, fresh skin urgently, such as before an [red carpet] event or T.V. appearance.

insider
skin secrets
part I

A TV makeup artist reveals how to perfect skin for a hi-def-ready complexion.

insider
skin secrets
part II

A sought-after dermatologist shares her coveted treatments for camera-ready skin.

in polite
society

In polite society, the most important number in  one’s little  BLACK BOOK is her 
 aesthetician’s
–  VIOLET GREY 
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