Handle with Care

Shalea Walker goes skin deep

When Shalea Walker opened Walker’s Apothecary in Jersey City, New Jersey in 2004, it became the fulfillment of her dreams — a boutique focused on achieving and maintaining healthy, great looking skin. And it all starts with ingredients, Walker says.

“Ingredients are the most important part of the skincare regimen. Tons of products have pretty packaging, but only by knowing what an ingredient does can you correct a skin problem,” she says. “Your eyes should be going straight for the ingredients, not the packaging.”

The 28-year-old licensed aesthetician not only provides skin analysis and facials, she also specializes in product knowledge and sells what she considers the best products for a range of skincare needs.

Start With The Basics
According to Walker, most people should have two basic products in their skincare arsenal: a cleanser and a moisturizer in two different formulations, one for days when skin needs more moisture, and one for days when skin may be more oily. But she warns her clients not to use blanket statements like, “I have oily skin.” “[Those] people tend to over-dry their skin,” she says, causing inflammation and leading to the production of even more oil. Those who believe they suffer from dry skin may actually have dehydrated skin. “I try to get people to realize the differences in their skin. Your cheeks don’t do the same thing as your forehead. Your skin [in general] doesn’t do the same thing every day.”

The Rub On Scrubs
Walker steers clients away from scrubs. “Scrubs tend to be harsh,” Walker warns. “If you have acne, a scrub can cause your skin’s bacteria to travel,” causing more outbreaks. To those who insist, she suggests using facial scrubs made of mechanically engineered microbeads, which are gentlest.

Male Skin Needs Pampering, Too
Men have thicker, oilier skin that needs special handling. To soften facial hair she recommends applying a pre-shave oil and using balms specially formulated to penetrate thicker skin.

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