For my first post in the Beauty Secrets series, I talked to skincare expert and beauty influencer, Ashley White. We discussed her journey and of course, skincare and beauty!
Ashley, known as @skinclasshero on social media, is a Chicago-based esthetician. I met Ashley on Instagram in 2018 and have had the pleasure of hanging out with her a few times in New York this summer. I personally love how much she educates us on skincare and beauty…all while cracking us up! If you follow her on social media or have been lucky enough to have a conversation with her, then Ashley’s funny memes and straightforward answers won’t surprise you. Read my interview with Ashley below.
1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ESTHETICIAN?
ASHLEY: After getting my own eczema under control, I wanted to help others achieve their skin goals but I didn’t always know exactly how. Google wasn’t enough for me and I knew that furthering my education would make my mission even more successful.
2. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH IN THE ESTHETICS INDUSTRY?
ASHLEY: My path was a little short (LMAO). I graduated last year and got my license in May. I started working as a receptionist at a spa a few days after graduation and then I started taking actual clients when I got my license. On average, I would perform about 8 facials a day, 4-5 days a week. When I wasn’t at work I was constantly attending trainings and that’s what inspired me to start working for myself. I’ve been independently taking clients for a little over 4 months and I have over 300 clients which is pretty cool.
3. WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE?
ASHLEY: The results. My clients saying that they feel confident enough go without makeup, I know how big of a deal that is. Skincare has been really on the rise but I feel ahead of the game since I’ve been involved in it for so long so seeing people start to care about it as much as I do is truly rewarding.
4. WHAT’S THE MOST COMMON SKINCARE MISTAKE CLIENTS MAKE?
ASHLEY: Over exfoliating!!! You don’t need acids in every step of your routine. You don’t need to combine every single active ingredient you own into every routine. When it comes to resurfacing, less is more.
5. IF YOU COULD OFFER ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO THOSE LOOKING TO TAKE BETTER CARE FOR THEIR SKIN, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
ASHLEY: Invest in facials. If you can’t go once a month, at least check-in when the seasons change. Seek a professional to make sure you’re adjusting to the right products every few months because our skin does go through so many changes over time.
6. HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR GLOW?
ASHLEY: Lots of humectant layering. I’m genetically dry, so my skin doesn’t retain moisture as well as other skin types. So, I’m very generous with hydration, and in turn, it keeps my skin looking luminous around the clock.
7. CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MORNING OR EVENING ROUTINE?
ASHLEY: It varies honestly. Some nights it’s super short, and other times it’s super dramatic. On average, I’m using a gentle cleanser, hydrating toner/essence, vitamin c, and sunscreen in the morning. And at night, I double cleanse and use retinol and a moisturizer.
8. WHAT HAVE YOU DISCOVERED LATELY THAT’S FED YOUR BEAUTY?
ASHLEY: Cooking! Taking back control over my diet has allowed me to play with more vegetarian and vegan dishes which my skin REALLY enjoys.
9. WHAT BRANDS, PRODUCTS, OR INGREDIENTS ARE MOST EXCITING TO YOU RIGHT NOW?
ASHLEY: Bakuchiol has been on my radar lately. It’s an ingredient that has been hailed as a retinol alternative. Research on that claim is premature but still very compelling, and I look forward to experimenting with it a lot more.
The Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer has absolutely blown me away. I haven’t been this impressed with a product in a while, and I’m already planning on repurchasing it. The suppleness my skin has been experiencing since I incorporated this into my routine has been phenomenal.
Kosas and Lilah B. have been piquing my interest as of lately. My everyday makeup looks tend to be on the softer side with a little punch, and I think these brands align with my style. I’ve always had this weird thing where I’m too proud to reach out to brands. But, once I get back to posting consistently, I’m definitely going to reach out to them with some ideas. I love the packaging, and the pigmentation has been just right for me so far.
10. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 SKINCARE PRODUCTS?
ASHLEY: My top 5 skincare products are cleansers, vitamin c, retinol, moisturizer, and sunscreen.
My favorites in each category are:
- Cleanser – Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. I’m currently on my 9th bottle.
- Vitamin C – I’ve repurchased Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma at least 6-7 times.
- Retinol – Differin has been holding it down for quite some time.
- Moisturizer – This one was hard, but Drunk Elephant’s Protini really hits all the marks for me.
- Sunscreen – This is pretty obvious, but Black Girl Sunscreen is my favorite for face and body protection.
11. WHAT ARE YOU UP TO WHEN YOU’RE MOT IN THE TREATMENT ROOM?
ASHLEY: I am volunteering at several community gardens in the city. I’ve been urban farming since 2014, and I love grounding my hands in the soil and watching my crops grow. It’s beautiful what we can produce when we work with the Earth and not against it.
12. WHAT DOES “BEAUTY IN COLOR” MEAN TO YOU?
ASHLEY: It means inclusion, but not with just skin tones. This includes different body types, skin conditions, and even more guys posting are making the skincare community less generic, to be honest. I’m glad to see more creators of color experimenting with videos and sounds to create a story. Even if it’s just their routine, it’s still an experience. Skincare is personal and therapeutic, especially when you feel like you have a community to honor that with.
I WANT TO THANK ASHLEY FOR TAKING THE TIME TO BE A PART OF MY PLATFORM! IT HONESTLY MEANS A LOT.
Ashley has definitely been influential in my beauty purchases, and all of her recommendations and beauty tips have worked well for me. Plus, her skin, in real life, will motivate you to do better!
If you’re in the Chicago area, book a facial with her here. Ashley also has facial pop-ups in other cities, including NYC. So, make sure to follow her Instagram page @skinclasshero to stay up-to-date on her latest recommendations and whereabouts.
I can’t wait for her to lay hands on my face this fall!