This is Chicago…we take the bus and the train everywhere. My daily commute affords me plenty of people watching time. As an Esthetician, I have an unintentional preoccupation with skin. More and more often I see preteens to teenagers to millennials trying their best to cover their acne and breakouts. What’s worse, they are using a considerable amount of makeup, not realizing that it’s really doing more harm than good; both in the way they look and the health of their skin. Yes, we are going to talk about acne.

By definition, the primary goal of makeup is to enhance your natural beauty by bringing out the most attractive features of the face, while minimizing those that are less attractive.
-MILADY’S Standard Esthetics Fundamentals

Shellac is only good for nails

Now, as a woman that cannot leave the house without her mascara and concealer, I know the inner voice that tells us to cover, cover, cover! But, as a skincare professional, I council “less is more.” Basically, we need to use makeup more for enhancing our best, most attractive features and less for trying to hide (or, in some cases, shellac away) our imperfections.

Acne scars are more than skin deep

Acne is a skin condition that can have a major impact on a person’s life, physically and mentally. It’s also the most common “imperfection” we tend to over-conceal. Left untreated, or not treated properly, acne can leave a lifelong impression. Physical scarring and post inflammatory discoloration to insecurity and shyness are the lasting marks acne leaves behind.

So, now that we know this, let’s stop just covering our flaws and let’s get to fixing them! It can be as easy as 1-2-3.





Schedule a complimentary consultation appointment with a skincare professional to assess your skin. Together you will put together a treatment plan and at-home skin care regimen. Make sure you are set up for a full skin analysis, not a 5-minute drive-by at the make-up counter. They should listen to your concerns, ask you questions and welcome your questions for them. A true professional will create a plan for your skin, not just sell you a lot of product and wish you luck at home!






Make the commitment to follow up with the plan. Yes, when it comes to acne treatments, IT DOES TAKE A VILLAGE (meaning you and your skincare professional.) Humans are creatures of habit, so committing to your commitment should be easy. There are little things you can do to help like setting a daily reminder on your phone and putting all your acne products together and in a convenient place.






Be patient! You will see results sooner rather than later, but…it won’t happen overnight. It’s like the first few days of a diet when you feel like you’re spinning your wheels. But, once that first 5 pounds comes off, it’s game on! Let your progress keep you motivated.

On a side note…

Dr. Pimple Popper is a viral sensation meant to entertain (??), not emulate. Please, leave that task, if needed, to your skincare professional! There are plenty of other ways to wow on YouTube!


Here are some of my favorite PCA Skin® at-home products to treat and prevent acne and occasional breakouts.
*PCA Skin® is a results-driven leader in clinical skincare.

BPO %5 CleanserBPO 5% Cleanser
Eliminates existing and future breakouts, ridding your skin of impurities with 5% benzoyl peroxide and antioxidants.




Intensive Clarity Treatment .5%


Intensive Clarity Treatment 0.5% pure retinol
*a personal favorite of mine
Dramatically reduce and prevent acne breakouts, oil production and inflammation with this salicylic acid, retinol and niacinamide.




A light moisturizer that reduces redness and breakouts, balance the skin’s natural oil production and provide antioxidants protection with 4% niacinamide.


Perfecting Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 30


Perfecting Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Defend from UVA/UVB rays with this sheer SPF that has five discoloration-fighting ingredients. Added antioxidants increase protection from free-radical damage.




Emilia StanciuEmilia Stanciu
Esthetician, CIDESCO Diplomate
Joseph Michael’s Salon and Spa