Meet Esme P., Skin Therapist & The Coolest Grandma Ever
By Michael Pollak
Esme! Where are you from?
New York City, NY
So how did you get into skincare?
I've always liked skincare. I remember as a kid that I was always into makeup and dressing up. My mom made me dress up as Wonder Woman every year for Halloween. She also cared a lot about skin. She always said, "make sure you take your makeup off." I had to take care of my face, so I would do my own little masks. Egg whites for firming, oatmeal and honey for hydration. I knew I wanted to be an esthetician and was one for a bit, but since I got married young, I put it on hold. I had two sons. Now I have a grandson!
One of my girlfriends, who is a massage therapist, asked me to use a spare room in my apartment for her clients, and of course, I said yes. So, she made me a deal. She said, "once I build up my clients I will give you a commission for using your space. I said, "Wait a minute, this could be a career. I could go back into skincare!" So there I was, a working grandma.
How would you describe the style of your work?
Fun! I work here part-time, but I don't see this as my second job. This is my playground. This is where I come to have fun. I also would say that I like to make clients feel as comfortable as possible. So, comfortable, I guess, would be another way to describe how I see my work.
What do you think is the most fun part of this job?
Clients. I love talking to people, and learning, and teaching them. I love skincare, so it's fun to be able to play with it all day.
Do you have any general advice based on what you've seen with clients?
Yeah, don't over exfoliate! People think the harder they scrub, the better it is. If you over exfoliate your skin, you'll irritate it. Your lipid barrier becomes all messed up and you'll start breaking out. It becomes angry. Over-exfoliating isn't going to help keep the breakouts at bay. Yes, we have to surface whatever is in your skin, but scrubbing at it like that won't do it. The more gentle you are, the better. I always say, "pretend your skin is a balloon and you're trying to not pop it."
I have two favorite brands of exfoliants here. The first is the Brand New Day Microderma Scrub + Masque from One Love Organics. It makes me feel so smooth. I also like the Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel from Naturopathica. I call it "my drunken cherry peel" because it has red wine in it. It helps with signs of aging and brightens the skin.
What are three things that you like that don't have to do with skin?Traveling - I love to travel. I used to be a travel agent, so as long as I can be on a beach then I'm happy. I'm about to go to Cuba. I'm so excited! Although recently someone told me that when they went, no one there had black beans for their rice. I'm bringing my own beans to Cuba with me.
Shopping for shoes - I love to shop in person, there's nothing like going to feel the fabric. There's something about shopping that makes me feel so calm. I love heels, sneakers, everything. My dream is to make a walk-in closet for just my shoes. I'm getting there!
Reality TV - I'm still watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I like to come home and just put something on to relax to. It's so fun. I want to know what they're up to.
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