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  1. consistency is key!

  2. use the correct moisturizer & cleanser for your skin type

  3. use a professional grade serum/serums for your specific skin concerns (ask an esthetician for help if you don't know).

  4. Your lifestyle matters! Stress, Hormones, Diet, Medications and Environmental factors can play a role in your acne breakouts.

  5. Wear the damn sunscreen. If you don't, you shouldn't even bother using any skincare.

Here is a list of drugstore products that are Clear Skin By Katie Approved!!!

ALL products are:

* Acne Safe

* Free of Fragrances & Dyes




EVEN THOUGH THESE PRODUCTS ARE "ACNE SAFE" CHOOSE PRODUCTS THAT ARE DESIGNED FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE! "When in doubt: REACH OUT!" DM me on Instagram and I can help you figure out your skin type. If you have oily skin (do not use a cream product). Use a light-weight lotion or gel. As for cleanser, if you ever find that your skin is dry or tight after washing - do not use that cleanser anymore. A cleanser should not disrupt your skin's natural barrier. If it does - it's the wrong cleanser for you. If you have dry skin opt for a creamy cleanser as opposed to a foaming cleanser. If you have oily skin, don't be afraid of creamy cleansers - sometimes foaming cleansers (depending on the brand) can be too stripping even for oily skin. Keep that in mind.

**I have not used all these products myself; I'm just going off the ingredient deck to determine whether or not these products are "acne-safe." I cannot guarantee these will work for you. Just because I list a product from a certain brand doesn't mean the entire brand is acne-safe! If it's not listed - I probably do not consider it acne-safe.**



  1. Estheticians cannot guarantee that drugstore products will work for you because we don't know much about them! Unless we use them ourselves, we can't really be certain how these products will work other than looking at the ingredient deck. Everyone's skin is different and will react to ingredients differently - we carry skincare lines that we do extensive training on so we know the ins & outs of our products - that's why we recommend what we recommend.

  2. There are a plethora of drugstore, and Ulta/Sephora products out there and we can't keep up with it all! These skincare companies are not looking out for your skin's health - they are trying to make money by formulating products as quickly as possible.

  3. Drugstore products are often labeled as "non-comedogenic" when in fact they are full of acne causing ingredients!

  4. Drugstores often do not carry "active serums" such as your vitamin a's, antioxidants, and BHAs & AHAs that are formulated at the correct and effective percentages. Also, they are not formulated with as high quality ingredient standards that you will find with professional grade skincare. Therefore, I did not list any actives or serums because I want you to spend your money on professional grade serums and purchase them from your esthetician.

  5. FINDING A FACIAL SUNSCREEN THAT DOESN'T SMELL OF CHEMICALS OR LEAVE A WHITE CAST IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE AT THE DRUGSTORE! There are options - but you may have to put up with a white cast or walk around smelling like a headache all day.

  6. We as estheticians want to help you clear your skin and keep it as healthy as possible; that's why we want you using RESULT-DRIVEN SKINCARE! It's not about money gouging you --- it's about helping you find what actually works, and unfortunately sometimes you gotta invest in yourself to do that.

  7. With all that said, here are some cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens that you can use when you aren't able to invest in a full professional grade skincare routine.

  8. I will make a separate post to help you determine what skin type you have and how to choose the right products for your skin and acne type.


Sunscreen/SPF for Dry Skin

Sunscreen for Oily Skin

Moisturizers for DRY skin

Moisturizers for Oily Skin

As new estheticians we may have fears, worries, and everyday life stressors that hold us back from giving our clients the most incredible facial massage! But, have you personally ever had a facial or massage that just wasn't quite up to par? How did that make you feel? Probably like you wasted your money, right? Often times I think as new estheticians, we don't think about the massage part of our facial treatments, but for me that is my favorite part of each and every session I perform. It's what will make your basic facial go from, " was ok," to "that facial was F%&King amazing!"

So, here are 4 ways you can improve your facial massage and end up with a $20+ tip as a new esthetician!


Have you ever had a facial and the esthetician was using incredibly light touches? It almost feels creepy! When we first start out as estheticians, I know this feels weird and almost like we shouldn't be touching strangers without consent; but they are there to be touched! If the pressure is too light, it almost feels like we aren't doing anything for our clients. Let them know you are there and present with them during your treatment, by adding more pressure. If you don't know how to do this or what it feels like to add more pressure, have another esthetician give you a facial! That's what has helped me the most; getting facials and massages myself! We can't know how something feels unless we have had it done ourselves! Also, if you want to ask a client for consent to touch them before each treatment, I highly encourage it! I've done this a few times when I have felt the client was uneasy or anxious and this seems to immediately put them at ease!

2. Negative Energy

If you're emotionally checked out or you're in a terrible mood while performing a facial massage - your client knows! There's a major energy exchanged happening while you are with your client. Touch is very powerful and it can be positive or negative. Why would anyone want to pay for a facial if they're going to absorb your bad energy? No, thank you. If you've had a long or particularly stressful day, make sure to take care of YOU before your sessions. Even if you only have 5 minutes before a facial, take some deep breaths, drink some water, juice or eat a piece of fruit for a little pick me up. I wouldn't recommend coffee, because that can lead to shaky hands. Tapping both arms back and forth, standing up and shaking off your day or giving yourself a tight hug can also be very helpful. Shaking off your bad day may sound silly, but studies show that if you shake your body, you can help release negative energy through your movement.

"Shaking can help regulate the nervous system and calm the body when it's overstimulated. While evidence is still lacking, trauma and tension releasing exercises, like shaking, may be beneficial in managing and relieving stress."

- Healthline

I know this may not help everyone and it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but find your own small ways to take care of yourself so you can begin and end you facials with positive energy!

3. Wet cotton rounds can save the day!

Remember that time you gave a facial massage to the dude that kept his eyes open the whole time? Or the chick that talked the entire scalp massage? I believe this one tip can help minimize the anxiousness your clients may be feeling and ends all the awkwardness - wet cotton rounds! Yep! Take 2 cotton rounds and lightly dip them in your water bowl and ring them out well, (we don't want water dripping down our clients neck and décolleté). Let your client know you will begin their facial, scalp, or hand and arm massage and that you will be placing cotton rounds over their eyes to help them relax. Letting them know what you are going to do, also helps calm their nerves so you don't scare them as you suddenly place cotton rounds over their eyes! This small gesture gives your client permission to check out and turn off their brains for a bit, so they can get he most out of their facial treatment and massage.

4. Use Your Tools!

Almost every time I've used cool globes, clients comment on how lovely it feels! Especially in the summer heat, I think added cool globes, cold rollers, refrigerated gua sha tools, etc., can be a great way to add a little something extra to your facial massage!

I hope these tips helped you as a new esthetician! I know it can be scary and uncomfortable at first, but the more we practice and share our knowledge and expertise, the easier and more enjoyable our jobs can become!

PS: Have you ever had an amazing facial? What made it so amazing? Let us know in the comments! Also, if you have any questions feel free to leave me a comment or DM me. :)


Katie <3

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