Q: Please share who you are and where you’re from.
A: I’m Fay Halkitis, a holistic aesthetician and naturopath based in Sydney, Australia.
Q: How were you first introduced to the world of beauty and wellness?
A: My mum studied beauty therapy when I was a toddler. She also studied aromatherapy which meant soothing and calming scents were the norm in our house. We were always trying different beauty products together. As I got older, I started seeing the local naturopath for various teenager related ailments like poor sleep and exam induced stress! I can remember being in awe of the magic of iridology and amazed at the efficacy of the herbal medicines prescribed to me.
Q: How do beauty and wellness connect — or overlap — in your world?A: Personally and professionally, naturopathic medicine and skin health are so entwined. I really don’t believe it’s possible to target skin issues without addressing the underlying root cause. Like any other organ, the skin is often a reflection of what is happening internally. In my opinion, skin is one of the most difficult organs to treat because it is impacted by such a vast array of internal and external stimuli.
Q: How would you describe your unique outlook on beauty?
A: Our treatment menus have a little saying on them, “There can be no beauty without health.” How I see it is that our skin is often a mirror to our health and this includes emotional health. When we feel well, nurtured and rested, we glow!
Q: What is the greatest lesson you have learned in regards to beauty?
A: Less is more! Too often clients complicate their routines. I’ve learned to simplify things for my clients. Wholesome, nutrient dense foods, quality sleep, movement, joy, sunshine and just a few good targeted skincare products.
Q: What are the essential rituals we should all practice to improve our overall wellness and beauty?
A: After being in practice for almost 15 years, the biggest recurring theme is the detrimental impact of stress on both health and skin. Unfortunately a lot of us are programmed to live in flight or fight mode and this isn’t sustainable long term. Chronically high cortisol levels often lead to inflammation which eventually will show up as skin imbalances. Stress management will look a little different for everyone but it’s important to check-in regularly with yourself and see what is working for you and against you in life.
Q: What are some of the most common and significant skin issues today?
A: The three common skin concerns I see in clinic regularly are post oral contraceptive acne, rosacea secondary to digestive issues, and general sensitivity and reactivity secondary to compromised barrier function, usually from overuse of cosmeceuticals.
Q: What are the everyday rituals we might implement to help prevent and combat these concerns?
A: Sleep and rest are absolutely necessary for our body to recharge and for repair and healing to take place.
Sunshine and time outdoors. We should all aim to spend time in nature where possible but even a small window of time in the sunshine each day is essential to elevate mood and wellbeing.
Hydration. We all know it’s important to consume filtered water daily but electrolyte and mineral balance is essential for proper hydration and water uptake into the cells. Try including bone broth, coconut water and herbal tea such as Nettle towards your daily fluid intake.
Gut health. Digestion starts in the mouth so tongue scraping each morning can help support microbiome balance.
Q: What are the three pillars of clear, balanced skin?
A: Ritual - having a consistent skincare routine.
Treatment - it can be very beneficial to include a regular treatment product in your skincare routine, especially if you can’t have regular professional treatments. After all, what you do the majority of the time will have the biggest impact.
Hydration - every skin type and concern can benefit from topical hydration. Healing can only occur when skin is adequately hydrated.
Q: Please name a LESSE product for each pillar, and describe how it aligns with this pillar/supports healthy skin:
A: Refining Cleanser: A skincare routine doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Even if you only cleanse and moisturize, this will help keep your skin balanced all year round. One of my non-negotiables in a skincare ritual is the evening cleanse. It’s necessary, particularly if you live in an urban environment. The Refining Cleanser is a favorite because it is suitable for all skin types and concerns. I love that it has a gentle exfoliating action so it also improves texture.
Bioactive Mask: This is the next best thing to a salon treatment. Even suitable for sensitive skin, this cooling and clarifying treatment targets congestion without stripping or drying.
Regeneration Mist: One of the most underrated steps of a beauty ritual is misting! A hydrosol or face mist moistens the skin, preparing it for the application of a serum or moisturizer. The Regeneration Mist does so much more than just soothe the skin. It helps to maintain pH balance, reduces inflammation and is reparative when used regularly.
Q: What is your greatest advice when it comes to beauty?
A: Don’t aim for perfect skin, aim for healthy skin. Skin that is aging well will still experience minor fluctuations. The main sign of healthy skin is when it is able to recover quickly with minimal damage. Good blood flow and circulation (achieved through massage, movement and healthy iron and zinc levels) will help achieve this!
Q: What are your greatest hopes for the industry / our society’s outlook on beauty?
A: I hope products that come from nature continue to reach more people and become the norm, not the alternative. While not all synthetics are bad, there is an energy and vibrancy that comes from plants and herbs which resonates more deeply with our being and our skin. As I mentioned above, I hope we move away from the goal of perfect skin and instead strive for healthy skin!
Fay is the founder of Luna Beauty & Apothecary in Surry Hills, Sydney.