Courtesy of Hayley Wood
For most people, seeing a facialist or dermatologist is the status quo. How about an esthetician that doubles as a life coach? I met Los Angeles-based Hayley Wood through our mutual friend Kristine, who urged me to learn about Hayley’s unique practice of treating the skin. For Hayley, skincare goes beyond topical treatments – treating the skin is about an integrated approach that takes into consideration the body’s well-being, state of mind, and dietary and lifestyle habits. Here, I chat with Hayley about beauty that’s more than skin deep.
Hi, Hayley! Tell us about yourself.
I’m a licensed esthetician with a facial practice and blog called Therapeutic Skin Coach. I reside in Los Angeles, California with my husband and our husky, Josie.
In my practice, I use only non-toxic ingredients to treat my clients and customize treatments. I educate my clients on how to get to the root of their skin imbalance by tuning into what their skin is telling them. Once I was able to identify different hormonal imbalances as well as specific emotional blocks, I knew I couldn’t just keep this information in. I started writing a weekly blog because people would always ask me the same questions so I created the material that I can share with a larger audience. It has since turned into a growing conversation about my own personal journey as well as an education portal for people. It’s so rewarding and I am humbled by the abundance of work I have been able to attract from this practice.
“Our skin is self-healing if we have the right health habits and attitude towards ourselves. I just help each individual tune into that inner voice that guides them towards bettering themselves.”
Please tell us more about your therapeutic approach to skincare.
It’s funny how I started my business. Before I started working for myself, I was not selling enough retail yet I had great client retention numbers. Meaning, my clients would return to me but to not buy products from me – they came back because I asked them questions beyond just topical care like, what’s REALLY going on [in relation] to where your skin is imbalanced?
I can read skin pretty well where I can tell if you pick at it, eat too much sugar, or are majorly stressed. My clients always came back because I would give them homework that barely have anything to do with topical care because our skin is self-healing if we have the right health habits and attitude towards ourselves. I just help each individual tune into that inner voice that guides them towards bettering themselves.
Do you have a daily beauty ritual? Can you talk us through it?
My daily skincare regimen is my favorite ritual because I focus in on myself, my breath, and what my skin is trying to communicate to me. I massage my skin as I cleanse and take a pause to breathe fully during the whole process. I also repeat self-loving mantras such as “I am beautiful” and “I am deserving.” Every decision to better my health is also part of my beauty ritual. Deciding to go to bed earlier, drinking more water, having a tea ritual, or eating whole foods are all part of bettering myself so it reflects in my skin.
“Reading ingredients isn’t as simple as some people think. Just because you can’t pronounce something, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for you… I would say that look for less ingredients if possible because the more there is in a formula, the less potent each ingredient gets.”
Can you recommend some soothing rituals for when you’re stressed, anxious, or stuck in a creative rut?
Most people tend to attack their skin once they feel off-balance in any way, whether it’s excess stress, anxiety, or as an unconscious act. That behavior is rooted in escapism or even just the need to control something. The truth is that it’s very self-sabotaging to pick or over-treat the skin. Instead, you want to be able to turn any skin routine into an act of self-care and love. If you shift your intention behind any skin ritual you will really benefit from it more. If you feel the need to attack your skin when you’re feeling off in any way, try journaling or meditating first to shift that habit.
What are key things to look out for in skincare products?
Reading ingredients isn’t as simple as some people think. Just because you can’t pronounce something, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for you. Most brands have to label ingredients in different ways in order to get certain certifications. I would say that look for less ingredients if possible because the more there is in a formula, the less potent each ingredient gets. You can also test certain products and go by your sense of smell. If the scent doesn’t resonate, you can honor that instinct as a sign that your body is not going to benefit from those ingredients.
“Most people tend to attack their skin once they feel off-balance in any way, whether it’s excess stress, anxiety, or as an unconscious act. That behavior is rooted in escapism or even just the need to control something. The truth is that it’s very self-sabotaging to pick or over-treat the skin.”
How do you recommend to vary one’s skincare routine in accordance with the seasons?
I believe that with each season, our skin needs different nutrients just like how we grow different produce per season. I often have to ask the people at the Farmers Market what they recommend per season and it’s the same with skin – seek the help of a professional. Having an assessment based on your exact needs can make the world of difference.
What do you yourself do to unwind?
I love taking Epsom salt baths, going on walks with my puppy, and just giving myself a day off to shut my mind off completely. I’m lucky that I love what I do so much that it’s not adding stress to my life, however, I do see a lot of people daily so just making sure that I keep my energy balanced is a necessary part of my success.