Sonya Dakar wants to be a healer and nurturer for her clients.
As a young girl, growing up in Israel, she delighted in accompanying her mother to her monthly facials and was fascinated by the older woman’s daily skincare routine. She began to sneak facials herself as a teen, soon becoming her esthetician’s apprentice. So, after graduating high school, she jumped at the chance to study beauty.
Early in her training, the burgeoning esthetician began learning chemistry and tinkering with product-making, and was soon selling out of the daily supply of creams and ointments she concocted. From this, her namesake product line. Today, at her lauded Beverly Hills Skin Clinic, she continues to help patients from around the world heal their skin, so they can look and feel their very best and provide laser hair removal.
Here, Dakar shares the details of her journey to becoming a household name and touts the importance of taking life one step at a time
Live The Process: How did you first become interested in skincare?
Sonya Dakar: Growing up as a child in Tel Aviv, I admired the way my mom took care of her skin: she got monthly facials and used creams every day. I would often tag along to her facial appointments. When I became old enough to babysit, I decided to save up my babysitting money for one thing: facials. Soon, I was sneaking out of the house each month to get a facial, as my mom thought I was still too young for such things.
Enthralled by the entire process and amazed by the Israeli esthetician who was also a doctor of holistic medicine, I felt instantly inspired to become an esthetician myself. I knew then and there that healing people through working with their skin is how I wanted to devote my life.
I wanted to do this in an alternative way. I was never interested in the pampering aspect of skincare, but more so the healing aspect of it. I continued to learn and observe as much as I could over the years, and this esthetician became an inspiration to me. In my late teens, I became an apprentice in the esthetician’s clinic. After graduating from high school, I excitedly enrolled in esthetics school in Tel Aviv and officially began what would be my lifelong career as a skincare expert.
While in esthetician school and throughout the beginning of my career, I had taken a variety of chemistry and product development courses and soon discovered that I had a natural knack for creating products. I quickly began experimenting at home and creating skin concoctions that I would try out on friends. And, before I knew it, I was selling out of these products daily. From there, without even realizing it at the time, my brand was born.
LTP: Having treated clients from around the world, do you notice culture differences in terms of self-care attitudes?
SD: I treat people from all over the globe, and every culture views self-care and skincare in a different manner. I treat clients from Australia, the Middle East, Russia—you name it. Each lifestyle and culture is different and so I always start off by educating them on my Beauty Boot Camp philosophy. Whether it is due to climate, culture, education or ethnicity, they all have different ways of taking care of themselves. For instance, in Israel, people from all over Europe who are suffering from arthritis frequent the Dead Sea for holistic treatment and healthcare. Western society is way more into medications, injections and prescriptions.
I grew up with a very holistic approach to self-care. That said, the world is becoming much smaller due to social media and the Internet, and everyone I see has a similar vision in that they want younger, healthier looking skin. A lot of my European clients look for pampering, whereas clients from Asia generally want healing. But, at the end of the day, everyone wants the same thing: results.
LTP: What steps do you take personally to maintain not only your skin, but also your overall physical and mental health?
SD: I tend to be pretty hard on myself and I push myself a little bit more each day. My morning starts early: I usually wake up around 6 a.m. and I am on my treadmill by 7. I like to work out hard, as it energizes me. During the warmer months, I jump in my pool for 30 to 45 minutes, if my schedule allows it.
I stick to a primarily green, gluten-free diet. I never drink soda, try to stay away from processed foods and I juice every day. I exercise six days a week and meditate at night before I go to bed.
LTP: What is your top-selling product and why?
SD: Once people try the Organic Omega Booster, they are immediately addicted!
It is 100 percent natural and made with organic flaxseed oil and a proprietary blend of essentials oils. It was the first product I ever created and is very dear to me.
No matter what your skin type or concern, this product will help you. Oils feed and nourish your skin and your body does not naturally produce omega 3 fatty acids, so this oil feeds it to your skin. It balances oily skin and deeply hydrates and nourishes. I wear it every day and night. The second my clients use it, their skin glows and their cheeks become rosy. It really wakes up the skin.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
SD: Being surrounded my family, kids, grandchildren and friends—knowing that everyone is healthy. I love gardening, cooking and painting. This is pure bliss to me and my heart is really full.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how do you do that every day?
SD: I have to work out first thing in the morning to clear my mind. While I run, I remind myself, “Take life one step at a time.” You can’t conquer everything at once and need to do one thing, check it off your list and move on to the next item. I like to constantly create, do and get things done.
Find more information on the Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic here.