Act II of my chat with Phytomer Angela, all-around skin expert and DIY-facial guru extraordinaire

You'll get the "sea" idea in a sec.
You’ll get the “sea” reference in a sec.

Yesterday I introduced you to Angela Ericksen-Stanley, Director of Education for Phytomer, the sophisticated, delish and super-effective French skincare brand that derives many of its ingredients from the ocean. Phytomer also develops “thalossotherapy” treatments for spas, which literally deploy sea water to beautify.

Aaaah…I could barely type that last sentence without wanting to dive into the Gulf. How much do you love the ocean? So much, right?

Back to Angela. She teaches Phytomer estheticians how to execute all those thalossotherapy treatments. She also teaches them how to perform truly excellent facials, treatments that involve many complicated steps and oodles of products.

Happily, Angela has agreed to help us import some of that spa magic back to our very own salles de bains. Picking up where yesterday’s chat left off, she’s giving us more DIY tips and insider skin intel.

Encore, on y va.

Wait, before we dive into all that, I promised you a cute pic of Angela. Et voila:








Now, on to the chat.

1. DANA: Let’s circle back to one of yesterday’s topics: Removing makeup. How can we get squeaky clean before we move on to the rest of our DIY facial?

ANGELA: For eye makeup removal – in addition to using a product specifically formulated for this – soak a cotton round with makeup remover and lightly press over the eye to saturate makeup. Be extra careful and don’t rub; that just causes irritation. Carefully remove makeup from eyelids and lashes.

For the face, emulsify your cleanser with your fingertips and gently cleanse, using circular motions. Use an electronic cleansing brush, if you’re into those. Then thoroughly rinse with warm water and gently pat skin dry with a soft towel. Again, don’t rub.

(NOTE FROM DANA: I just blogged Clarisonic Dos & Don’ts earlier this week, if you’d like more details on that.)

2. DANA: Got it. Now on to masks. There are millions on the market. How do you figure out what type to use?

ANGELA: When visiting the spa, ask your therapist / esthetician to help identity your skin type along with its current condition.

Having multiple types of mask on hand can be a great way to address the little changes that can take place due to seasonal, hormonal, and stress level fluctuations. Depending on the differences that can occur in each individual’s skin it may be beneficial to have two or more types of mask on hand to customize your at-home facial and skincare program.

Here are some guidelines:

If you tend to get flakiness or tightness in the skin due to dehydration, frequently or from time to time, it would be a good idea to have a hydrating mask. Most hydrating masks can be used on any skin type, because they simply boost the skin’s ability to hold onto water. This makes them a safe choice.

If you have frequent or monthly breakouts, it would be a good idea to have a purifying mask on hand. They can be used to soothe and accelerate the healing process of a breakout, while disinfecting the skin and absorbing excess oil.

If you have very sensitive skin or are prone to blotching due to stress or seasonal changes, having a soothing mask on hand can be useful.

If you’re looking to target another specific concern – such as dark spots or to slow the aging process – seek out more targeted masks with ingredients to provide results for those concerns within your skincare brand.

3. DANA: What do you think about those “overnight” masks that are popping up on the market more and more? They sound messy, not to mention potentially irritating.

ANGELA: If a product is too messy or hard to use it will sit on your shelf. Instead of an overnight mask, just use a high-quality nighttime moisturizer to conclude your at-home facial. Our Night Recharge Youth Enhancing Cream is designed to work at night when your skin is in “repair mode.” It’s loaded with antioxidant ingredients to detox the skin, re-oxygenate and repair. Skin looks really refreshed in the morning.

4. DANA: Any harm in leaving a clay mask on longer than the recommended time? Sometimes I get distracted doing something else and forget to remove them in a timely manner.

ANGELA: That could definitely dry the skin out too much, which you don’t want. The other issue that can come up is that the clay dries out and adheres to the skin so it can be difficult to remove. Sometimes it takes a lot of rubbing and scrubbing, which can lead to sensitivity by the time the mask is finally removed.

5. DANA: How often do recommend doing a DIY facial?

ANGELA: Once to twice a week depending on your skin type, the condition it’s in and the recommendations of your pro skin therapist.


Micellar Water – for removing eye makeup

Doux Visage Velvet Cleansing Cream – gentle all-over cleanser

Oligopur Shine Control Purifying Mask – clay-based; absorbs oil without excessively drying the skin

Douceur Marine Soothing Cocoon Mask – calms sensitive and redness-prone skin