Welcome back to our series for the month of May, Winding Down and celebrate self-care and the women who inspire us.
Self-care is often misconstrued as self-indulgence—or treating yourself to things you don’t need—but caring for yourself now feels more vital than ever. When we feel burned out and depleted, it’s usually because we’ve been denied the time or ability to do things that have deep meaning to us, leaving us feeling off-balance. This is why self-care is so important.
Personally, I neglected my skincare for the longest time. I was young and anything beyond a cleanser and a moisturizer felt like splurging. Then I got pregnant and I started treating myself with facials since I couldn't use many products at home. And then, I met Aimee-Claire, our skincare goddess.
We talked to Aimee-Claire from ACQ Beauty about her family, skin care and self-care practices.
Read the full interview below.
Can you describe yourself in 1 paragraph, please?
I’m a mom first and foremost. That drives everything I do. I have two wonderful boys: Archer (7) is a future ninja/Jedi master and the biggest softie, and William (7mo) is the happiest baby I’ve ever met. I’m married to Price Feland, the sweetest man I’ve ever known. Family time with these three guys is my favorite thing. We like to get away to the beach or the countryside as often as possible. I’m also an esthetician at the Skin Retreat in Little Rock. Any of my clients can tell you this is my absolute passion! Seriously, I started giving friends facials and brow designs in the 6th grade. I can’t keep up with dermatology journals and product launches like I did before I was a mom. So I love it when my clients text me an article they found or ask me about a new product. It gives me a quick chance to deep dive into new skincare information.
What is something people don't know about you?
I’m ambidextrous. You may have noticed if I’ve ever given you a facial or shaped your brows. I frequently swap tweezers, extractors, etc. from hand to hand.
It’s been over a month since we have been practicing social distancing. For a lot of us, that means no makeup (thank God!) and also more time to be able to give your skin a refresh.
If you could pick 3 things that we should all do to have great skin, what would those be?
I’m hoping everyone is realizing the best foundation is healthy skin. The top three things I tell everyone to use on their skin are:
1. Sunscreen - preferably it contains at least 11% zinc oxide and has a blend of antioxidants in it. UV exposure is the number one cause of skin aging so this can’t be overstated. Apply it alto all sun exposed areas every day of the year, and keep reapplying every two hours outdoors.
2. High Potency Vitamin A - Skin loves Vitamin A and uses it for all its cellular production and functions. It can take a few weeks to acclimate to a higher dose so quarantine is a great time to get started. You can get all the redness and flakiness out of the way in private. It can be retinol, retinaldehyde or retinoic acid. Just start with a low dose formula and work your way up to a full dose. Personally, I have been reacclimating after stopping usage for pregnancy using ZO Wrinkle & Texture Repair.
3. High Potency Vitamin C - It’s like squeezing lemon juice on an apple slice so it doesn’t brown. Vitamin C in a high potency formulation stops free radical molecules in the environment from aging your skin.
What do you think are the most damaging things we do to our skin that we need to avoid?
I can’t say it enough, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN. In tandem with this you should be supplementing Vitamin D to make up for the lack of natural production when you avoid UV exposure.
The other would be randomly hopping from one “wonder product” to the next without any real understanding of what you’re using. This is the most common thing I see in my practice. Women bring me a bag, if not many bags, of all their products, and they could have five retinol products and not realize it. That will lead to a lot of inflammation! Work with a qualified skincare professional to establish a targeted skin care regimen just for you. At the Skin Retreat you can get a complimentary Visia Skin Analysis that measures every aspect of skin quality so your skin improvement from our products can be measured with an objective lens. It takes all the guesswork out.
When you finally get to wind down, what are some ways you practice self-care?
Everyone close to me knows I have no problem with traditional concepts of self-care (ie, massages, facials, mani/pedis). That’s my jam! Honoring personal boundaries, keeping my word to myself, speaking my truth, these are the forms of self-care I’m working to master now.
What is one of your favorite things now? It can be anything that brings you joy.
I’m trying to support local businesses, and I am embarrassed to say how much I enjoy curbside pickup. I already use what is possibly the only full-service gas station in the state, and now I am even more spoiled. I might not be able to go back.
What is something you have enjoyed during this social distancing time?
Time with baby William has been the best thing. I stayed home with his brother Archer for nine months, but I went back to work after only three months home with William. This extra time with him, when he’s changing so rapidly, has been so precious. I don’t know who will have a harder time when I go back to work, him or me.