For Joanna Vargas, beauty comes from both inside and out.
After moving to New York City with dreams of becoming a photographer and working numerous odd jobs in the fashion and art worlds, Vargas decided to try her hand at makeup artistry and skincare. While gaining valuable organic self-care knowledge first at Ula Day Spa in Tribeca and then with celebrity dermatologist, Dr. Brad Katchen, she noted a demand for result-oriented, but natural products and treatments.
With that experience in tow, Vargas launched her own skincare spa in 2006 and, with it, a signature line of organic beauty products. Today, she is a sought-after expert in the field of self-care with a client list that includes a-listers like Michelle Williams and Sofia Coppola. In her view, skin reflects not only what is happening on the surface, but also how the body is functioning internally. For the healthiest complexion, she stresses topical treatments paired with a green diet.
Here, Vargas shares how organic esthetics first captured her interest and offers more insider tips for glowing skin:
Live The Process: When did you decide to pursue a career in personal care with a focus on natural and organic products?
Joanna Vargas: I started really taking health and wellness seriously when I was pregnant with my son. Nothing makes you think about what you are putting on your body more than when you have a baby! I started to read labels and really look at everything we use in the home, as a lot of personal care and household cleaning products contain toxic chemicals. Plus, being a result-driven facialist, I saw a huge difference in my clients’ skin when we went natural.
LTP: How does the connection between nutrition and beauty manifest itself in terms of a clear and healthy complexion?
JV: The skin is a window for what is going on inside the body. Digestion is just one thing that will manifest problems on the face. Any type of breakout or extreme dryness has an internal component, for example. I always advise green juices because they hydrate from the inside out and really make the skin clear and glowing.
LTP: How do you find the time and energy to maintain your own self-care regimen and what does that look like?
JV: Finding time for myself is always tricky, but it is part of what makes me happy. I keep skincare simple and my own edited line of natural products is all I use. I always make sure I exercise—I love Flywheel indoor cycling!—to burn off stress and restore my energy levels.
LTP: What are three lifestyle and/or products tips for combatting signs of stress and fatigue on the skin in our over-scheduled lives?
JV: Trade the 4pm coffee for a green juice: it will energize you and make your skin glow!
Eat veggies with every meal: they aid digestion and prevent against random breakouts.
Exfoliate regularly: like a mini facial at home, this will help products penetrate your skin better throughout the day.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
JV: Happiness is someone living life feeling confident in his or her own skin.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
JV: To me, that means taking the necessary steps to make yourself feel good! I make sure that I take time for myself. Exercise is a big part of that. So is eating right, so I feel happy with myself, and spending lots of quality time with my kids. My daughter is really into art right now, so I am capitalizing on that. It's so relaxing to draw and color with her; it's what makes me whole again.