I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
There’s nothing convenient about treating your skin with a cocktail of DIY products. I have to make sure all of my little blends are ready to go for each day and night, and if I miss a step or get lazy, all hell breaks loose on my forehead.
I could use a break from DIY, and my skin has reached a plateau, so I decided to try something different for a few days. I’d heard about Layla Fayad, of Visage de Layla skincare, from a friend out west.
Layla has training in traditional Chinese medicine, as well as European skincare techniques; her approach is different from other estheticians I’ve encountered. She's based in L.A., so in lieu of a visit to her office, I chatted her up during a lengthy Skype session.
We talked about my skin type (dry and oily with blackheads and occasional hormonal acne), the role diet and exercise plays in the pursuit of good skin, and my penchant for cheese, alcohol, and jars of speculoos. At the end of our call, I agreed to cut back on dairy and cookie butter and to up my fruit, veggie, and water intake while using a handful of Visage de Layla products, exclusively, for two weeks.
Layla’s clinical system was created to cleanse gently, moisturize deeply, and combat redness and scarring. She sent me her Arnica Facial Wash ($27), Hydra-Essence Toner ($27), Azu-Zinc Soothing Mask ($29), Skin Recovery Créme ($37), Eye Nourisher ($47), and Soft Grain Scrub ($37).
My instructions were simple: cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice daily; exfoliate and follow up with the soothing mask once or twice per week; and forgo my DIY oils, serums, and creams (as well as my beloved sheet masks) for the entire two weeks.
I’m not going to lie. It was hard to resist the urge to throw a few non-Layla products, DIY or otherwise, into the mix. But I stuck to the rules for the full two weeks. Did I miraculously stop getting pimples? Nope. But I felt great and none of the products upset my skin.
I loved the cleanser and toner especially. The cleanser was gentle, not too foamy, and it broke down my makeup without drying me out. The toner contains lavender, chamomile, and aloe, so it smells lovely. It’s also formulated with vitamins to calm inflamed skin.
Morning and night I moisturized with the Skin Recovery Créme, which is really light and non-greasy, and a dab of the Eye Nourisher. I also really enjoyed using the scrub. It contains glycolic acid, which is the one AHA I haven’t tried, and uses corn meal as a physical exfoliant and acne fighter. Following up with the Azu-Zinc gel mask was great, too!
Often I give away or forget about products after I’ve tested them, but not this time. I keep the toner and the mask in my fridge (they’re saving my sweaty arse this summer). I use the eye cream nightly over my castor oil, and I’m using the cleanser as a follow-up to my oil cleansing method. The scrub, meanwhile, has really been helping with ingrown hairs on my legs.
I am a complicated lady, so adopting a simple, monogamous skin routine was a big change for me. But it was awesome! I now know why Layla has such a huge following in L.A. I'll definitely pay her a visit the first chance I get.
Have you had success using a “system” or single line of skincare? Does it make you antsy to throw something different in the mix?
Photos: Darnell Scott