I’m Vanessa, a licensed esthetician based in the Pacific Northwest.
I'll start by saying: Skin care is vulnerable.
In my mid 20’s, I developed adult acne. Despite years of research and helping clients in the treatment room, I could not figure out how to heal my own skin. In a society that places a lot of value in our physical appearance, imperfect skin can change the way we present ourselves to the world. I spent over a year dreading looking in the mirror, crying at my reflection, and having my acne occupy the majority of my thoughts. I avoided socializing when I could, and when I couldn’t, I was shy and quiet - afraid to draw attention to myself. I changed my entire skin care routine and visited doctors, dermatologists and naturopaths. I tried prescription enzymes, topical products and even acne medication. Nothing worked. I looked in the mirror and felt helpless, ashamed, and angry. My skin was my enemy and every blemish felt like a punishment. I was exhausted.
I needed to heal my skin, and more importantly, my self esteem. Until this point, I had been focusing on the symptom - acne - and not the underlying cause itself, a hormonal imbalance in my body. To address the cause, I needed to look into my lifestyle. I was a runner, I ate healthy, drank water and went to bed early - what was there to change? When I sat down to take a good look at my lifestyle and even thought patterns, I realized I had a lot of room for improvement. It wasn’t until I started making those changes that I started to see results not only in my skin, but my attitude as well. I could look in the mirror and see me - not just my acne. My skin was no longer my enemy - we were on the same team, both wanting to be healthy inside and out. A new blemish wasn’t a punishment - it was an opportunity to get to know my body a little more.
When we care for our skin, we care for ourselves.
Skin care is connection. It’s a way to check in with your body. A way to reflect on your day, processing any neglected emotions as you massage out your expression lines before bed. When you see your skin tone in the mirror, you can take notice of how much water you’re drinking, or the quality of sleep you’re getting. Imperfections are an opportunity to check in with your nutritional needs and determine what your body needs to heal - and how this might look different compared to last month or last year. Skin care is a way to commune with your body, a way to love yourself no matter how your body presents its needs.
I’ve experienced every step of the skin care journey. I’ve had years where I loved looking in the mirror, followed by years where I dreaded it. I’ve been grateful, happy, sad, frustrated, angry, and ashamed. The journey is hard. It can feel stagnant, challenging, frustrating and transformative, but it can also feel incredibly lonely. To those that dread looking in their mirror because of acne, those that wear long sleeves year-round to hide their eczema, those that are afraid to go makeup-free because of uneven skin tone - I see you. I’ve been in your shoes, and I know what it’s like to feel ashamed to show up as your true, raw, unfiltered self. To those with more hidden concerns or who want to grow holistically through skin health - I’m with you too.
Today, my skin isn’t perfect, but after years of working with clients of all demographics I can confidently say:
Perfect skin is a myth. With seasons, age, diet and stress ... your body is constantly changing, as are its needs. A healthy, radiant complexion doesn’t happen overnight- it takes consistency, patience, and forgiveness- because nobody is perfect, and neither is our skin. Our skin doesn’t define us, but I know firsthand how it can impact how we feel, and how “bad skin” can radically alter our view of ourselves, stripping us of our confidence and making us feel unworthy and not beautiful.
I’m here to help - offering the education, insight, support, & accountability that I wish I had. The more we learn, the more we’re able to tend, nurture, care for, and anticipate the changing needs of our skin. We all deserve to feel confident, beautiful, and at home in our skin, and my passion is helping clients achieve this radical vulnerability, connection, acceptance and self-love. I take a holistic approach, analyzing both skin and lifestyle, to find opportunities to accelerate the changes my clients wish to see in their skin. Part education, part discovery, and part talk therapy, I help clients find a skin care routine and lifestyle that works for them - not against them.
We all deserve to feel confident and beautiful in our skin.
Let me help you discover your power, beauty & strength
wherever your life - or skin - takes you.