Celebrity Esthetician Olga Lorencin Talks Skincare and Wellness
Meet Halle Berry's skin guru of 16 years.
Celebrity esthetician Olga Lorencin has been working with our founder, Halle Berry, for twenty years, keeping her skin luminous — and ageless. Hollywood’s beloved “Acid Queen,” as she is fondly known, is adept at transforming A-list complexions using her own skincare line and in-office facials. While originally from Belgrade, she has spent the last two decades in Los Angeles performing custom facials with unique formulas of antioxidants, enzymes, and acid exfoliants to brighten dull complexions, clear breakouts, and congestion, and rejuvenate aging skin.
Below, read what Olga has to say about the role of skincare as part of our overall wellness regimens in 2021.
We have long heard it said that the skin is the body’s largest organ, making its health a top priority for wellness-lovers. Do you believe that skincare and wellness go hand-in-hand?
Skincare and wellness [do] go hand-in-hand. The skin is a complex organ that accounts for 16% of your adult body weight. It is the largest protective barrier between the outside and inside of your body. It’s also waterproof! Adding to this complexity, the skin is the most visible part of the body. It has varying thicknesses and textures with needs that can change daily. Taking care of your skin is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Please comment on the importance of using skincare products that take an understanding of skin health — something estheticians intimately understand — into consideration, versus those that make skin look good [at] the cost of skin health.
Today, skincare is a multi-billion dollar industry. Unfortunately, a lot of companies that make skincare products are more concerned about monetary gains than the health of your skin. The industry is cluttered with products that look good on Instagram — like glitter masks — but have zero real benefits for your skin. Currently, flashy marketing is more important than what is actually in the bottle. Thankfully, there are also some fabulous brands that do care about skin [health] and adhere to truthful marketing, even though this might not be as attention-grabbing.
We’ve noticed that you are fondly referred to as the “Acid Queen.” Please comment on the role of chemical exfoliation in the maintenance and health of the skin.
Exfoliation is by far the most important part of our skincare routine! Our skin naturally sheds an average of 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells per hour. We can shed over 1 million dead skin cells in just 24 hours! Natural exfoliation keeps our skin young, fresh, and healthy. As we age (yes, even in our twenties), natural exfoliation slows down considerably. Our skin starts to become sluggish, dull, congested, and we begin to see signs of aging. The most effective exfoliation is [performed via] acid peels, which come in different strengths and combinations. When formulated properly and appropriately matched to skin type, acid peels can transform the dullest, most mediocre skin into a glowing, illuminated complexion.
Here are some of the benefits of exfoliating with acids:
- Clearer Skin: Acid peels effectively unclog and have the ability to keep blemishes and acne at bay.
- Better Product Absorption: Other skincare products will work much better when applied to fresh skin without the barrier of dead skin cells.
- Glowing Skin: Underneath the layers of dead skin that accumulate on top of your face, there’s a glowy, hydrated complexion hiding. Acid cocktails uncover this radiant skin.
- Even Tone: Consistently exfoliating with acids helps prevent [and treat] uneven skin tone and discoloration.
When exfoliating, be sure to apply sunblock and be careful not to over-or under-exfoliate. Exfoliating just the right amount will give you the best results! Avoid using physical exfoliants, AKA scrubs, on your face. They can cause micro-tears that lead to undesirable side-effects. Use scrubs on your feet, and acid peels on your face!
As we detoxify our bodies in the new year, can this benefit our skin? Can it lead to purging?
Skin is not disconnected from the body—unhealthy eating, too much alcohol, and too much sugar consumption can be harmful to both. The best way to detox the body is to start by eliminating sugar, alcohol, white flour, and processed foods, and replacing them with green vegetables, lean protein, and low-sugar fruits like blueberries and raspberries. The best way to detox your skin specifically is to exfoliate with acids, which help your skin release dead cells and give it a fresh, new start. Ougon oil blended with acids is one of my favorite combinations to detox the skin.If you are acneic and use retinol, you might experience a short period of purging. But in reality, most of the skin purging talked about on Instagram is the result of people using the wrong products.
Do you believe it is beneficial to use facial tools or devices in addition to your regimen of products?
When your skin is properly exfoliated and you apply products that have ingredients with integrity, you do not need to do anything additional. Products containing peptides can signal your cells to repair the skin. In some cases, a gentle facial massage or warm steam can help some products to penetrate, but most of the time this isn’t necessary. While I do love LED lights, they need to be applied on the skin with no product.
Do you have any tips for readers when it comes to selecting skincare products?
When choosing skincare products, look for clinical brands and founders who have experience fixing someone’s skin! With skincare, it matters if the product originated in a treatment room versus a corporate boardroom. If you’re looking for some new skincare essentials, here are a few brands that Olga recommends in addition to her own, Olga Lorencin Skin Care:
- iS Clinical
- Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
- Murad Skincare
- Biologique Recherche
- Environ Skincare
- Jan Marini Skincare
- PCA Skin
- Perricone MD
- RoC Skincare
- La Roche Posay
- Vichy Laboratories