Beautiful, glowing, healthy skin: it’s what we all dream of. But why is it so hard to achieve?

I’m so excited to share that for the next four Tuesdays in January I’ll be teaming up with my sister, Victoria Perkins Fradette, to talk skincare basics. She’s a licensed esthetician in the state of Rhode Island (as well as a cosmetologist and nail technician, because, triple threat) and knows a thing or two about taking care of your skin. Trust me, her skin is pretty flawless.

Victoria Perkins Fradette

First up this week: we’re talking skincare basics. Read on to learn what we should all be doing for our skin–and things we need to stop doing ASAP.

Q: Break down the basics of a skincare routine. What should we all be doing regardless of our skin type?
A: Let’s start by saying respect the skin. You’re going to get what you give. Having a great skincare regimen is easier than you think and doesn’t require a million products. Lots of people get overwhelmed or simply don’t know where to start. So let’s go to the beginning.

    1. Cleanser – So this is where you’re washing away dirt, oil, and anything from the environment that’s sticking to your skin (the fancy name is free radicals). I actually only cleanse at night to take the day’s gunk off of my face. In the morning I don’t cleanse because, well, I’m not doing anything in between the night and the morning besides taking up the whole bed and dreaming. So I feel like you’re almost washing away all the work you did from a few hours ago. Simply rinse with cool water in the a.m. as your cleansing step.
    2. Toner – DO IT. Whenever you’re not an angel loses its wings. Toner is the unsung hero in any skincare routine. It’s telling your skin to not be too oily or dry aka balancing out your pH levels. It’s also helping to close your pores so dirt and oil stay out. Simple right? Apply a.m. and p.m.. DO IT.
    3. Eye cream – You’re never too young to start with a great eye cream. My aunt got me hooked in high school at 16 and no regrets. You’re tightening the skin and avoiding fine lines and wrinkles from an early age. Even if you haven’t been using an eye cream for years it’s never too late to start! Apply a.m. and p.m.. And omg will your skin thank you.
    4. Serums – If you’ve ever owned an *NSYNC CD, wore a scrunchy or teased your hair, it’s time for a serum. In a nutshell serums have smaller molecules than lotions and creams so they penetrate deeper and faster. You’re essentially putting hardcore ingredients deep into your skin to help combat the aging process. Apply morning and night.
    5. Lotion – These ALWAYS go after serums. You’re locking in everything. By applying a lotion we are hydrating and moisturizing the skin giving your skin a hug for the day/night. I highly recommend a lotion with SPF to protect from satan’s rays aka the sun. What’s the diff between lotion and cream you ask? Well, lotions are lighter weight and typically aren’t as oily as creams. Winter is typically a better time for creams since skin can dry out. Apply morning and night.
    6. Congrats, you’re done! All it takes 5 minutes and to protect your skin and be good to yourself; it’s totally worth it! Once you have your routine down you will never want to miss it.

Q: What are your thoughts on the double cleanse?
A: Not a fan of the double cleanse. I feel it dries your skin out too much and really doesn’t do much to help. I think there is a stigma out there right now because it’s such a trend and people feel like they have to do it when it’s simply not true. Of course every face is different (especially acne-prone skin) but that’s a discussion we’ll have in the coming weeks!

Q: Is there anything that people should be avoiding as part of their skincare regimen?

  • STOP PUTTING COCONUT OIL ON YOUR FACE. I will lose my marbles if one more person says this is a good thing or that they do it. It’s comedogenic aka it clogs your pores. It sits on top of your skin and doesn’t penetrate, so it’s basically useless. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for all parts of your body. If you really need it in your life drink a coconut water and be done with it.
  • DO NOT sleep in makeup. It’s straight disrespect to your skin. It’s clogging your pores like crazy!! It’s also not letting it breath and dries it out. If you just can’t make it to your nightly regimen do yourself a solid and cleanse with a makeup wipe. It simply stresses me out when people sleep in makeup. I can’t.
  • Face peels are great. Just don’t get too carried away with them, no more than once a week. It will strip your skin leaving it feeling tight.
  • The Clarasonic brushes are also a great exfoliator but don’t use more than every 3 -4 days. Using daily will weaken your skin.
  • If you have oily skin use a lotion that is oil-free.
  • Please use a bloody toner.

Q: How often do you recommend a professional facial as part of your skincare routine?
A: Every 3-4 weeks depending on your skin type.

Q: Do you have a favorite product that is good for every skin type?
A: Eye cream is life. Every skin type needs this in their routine. Oh and did I mention toner?

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give people about taking good care of their skin?
A: I can’t pick just one! Here are a few:

  • Water is your best friend while maintaining your skin. It makes such a huge difference: it plumps the skin, and due to the increase in hydration, your products absorb so much better!
  • It’s beyond hard but don’t pick at your face! It makes the area contaminated and makes more blemishes because you’re essentially introducing bacteria to an open wound. Leave extractions to the professionals.
  • One more thing for women to remember: Our chin area is the most affected by hormones and when we get stressed that’s where we’re going to typically break out first. And sadly we’re going to break out when we eat a lot of sugar.
  • But also keep in mind that you need to do what works for you! Maybe this is the year you step your skincare up with a cleaner line. Maybe this is the year you stop torturing your skin with coconut oil. Sky’s the limit!!
Victoria’s Picks For Any Skin Type


C'est Moi Gentle Foaming Cleansing Gel

C’est Moi Gentle Foaming Cleansing Gel


Thayer's Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Toner

Thayer’s Alcohol-free Unscented Witch Hazel Toner

Eye Cream:

Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Eye Firming Treatment

Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Eye Firming Treatment


Acure Brightening Glowing Serum

Acure Brightening Glowing Serum


Ursa Major Natural Moisturizer with SPF 18

Ursa Major Natural Moisturizer with SPF 18


Tata Harper Resurfacing Peel

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

*I know this product says mask, but it’s really more of a peel. It’s using enzymes to break down all the gunk on your face and has a gel-like consistency. Masks are a bit thicker.


Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay


Do you have questions for Victoria? Let us know and we will answer them in a future series! And if you’re ever in Eastern Connecticut be sure to book a facial at The Spa at Norwich Inn with Victoria. The spa has been named “Best Destination Spa in New England” and “Best Day Spa in Connecticut”.

*A quick note! I’m part of the Amazon Associate network as well as other affiliate networks and I earn a percentage from qualifying purchases. Being part of these programs allows me to keep bringing you high quality content you can trust. Thanks!

Posted by:ashley

7 replies on “Ask an Esthetician: Skincare basics

  1. Very educational. Thanks for all the tips. I have always cleansed and moisturized before bed. I have done this for over 50 years. I am now 61 and look like I am in my late 40’s. Skin care is that important. It just works!!

  2. Water FTW! Great post-Very informative! Speaking of the chin- that is my trouble spot….Looking forward to seeing what natural remedies you have for keeping acne at bay especially if its due to hormonal cycles.

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