Plus Sean shares his current holy grails and his skin care do’s and don’ts.
If you’re like us, constantly scrolling through Instagram in search of skin care inspiration and new finds, you may have come across Sean Garrette, a licensed esthetician with a knack for making bottles of toner and tubes of masks look photogenic. Not only is his feed filled with perfectly shot and edited images of his favorite skin care products, but with a glowing complexion, he is the definition of #skingoals. Sean has gained a following by posting in-depth reviews of products he’s tried, his own personal skin care routine, and of course his tips and recommendations on how to achieve clear, healthy skin.
But even though his skin looks flawless now, it’s something he’s had to work for. He openly talks about how he deals with consistent hyperpigmentation, and how he suffers from fungal acne and a skin condition that causes razor bumps and inflammation after shaving. Knowing some of his followers might deal with the same skin issues, he also shares what products and routines help treat them. Ahead, he tells us his best skin advice, some of his favorite skin care products, and what he looks for when trying new products.
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The Klog: On your Instagram, you talk about your journey with fungal acne and inflammation. What have you learned about your skin through treating these concerns?
Sean: From treating fungal acne and other skin issues I’ve had, I’ve learned to be gentle and kind with my skin. Often times when we’re experiencing breakouts and skin issues, we want to attack our skin and use very aggressive and harsh treatments. The best method is to use effective ingredients and products to solve the issue but also treat our skin with love and care.
To treat fungal acne, the star product that helped heal my skin was something called Nizoral. It’s a anti-dandruff shampoo that has an ingredient called ketoconazole. Ketoconazole specifically helps kill the bacteria and yeast that feeds the fungal acne. I would apply 2-3 times a day as a mask for about 15-20 mins at a time. It took patience and consistency, but it helped heal my skin.
You try new products often – do you have any holy grails?
I have a few holy grail products that I’m sure all of my followers know because I never stop talking about them LOL. I love Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting BHA 2% Liquid, Antioxidant Pore Purifier and Azelaic Acid Booster, Krave Beauty’s Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser and Great Barrier Relief serum. I also have a ton of K-Beauty Favorites! I love the COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence, Ariul’s 7 Days Vitamin Mist and sheet masks.
What product and beauty trends are you excited about right now?
I honestly don’t pay much attention to beauty trends. I find that a lot of them tend to be a bit gimmicky. For instance, the whole CBD in skin care movement. There was a lot of misinformation brands were putting out, and most products didn’t even include CBD in the formulas – it was hemp seed oil.
Personally, I’m excited for any brightening products! I suffer from hyperpigmentation and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, so any product that can help my skin look brighter and more even toned — I want to try it.
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What do you look for when testing and reviewing products? What tips do you have for finding a product that works for you?
When I’m testing a new product, I always want to compare the claims of the brand to the actual ingredients of the product. If the star ingredient of the product isn’t included in the first 5-7 lines of the ingredients list, then 9/10 it’s not as effective as the product may be claiming it to be. That doesn’t mean that you won’t see results, but the ingredient or formula may not be as potent. I also always looks to see if there are any added fragrances, essential oils, or irritating ingredients in the formula. If these ingredients are higher or come before the actual actives in the product, it’s a pass for me.
Testing a product varies for me. There are some products that I’ll know if I like immediately, and there are others that take time to form an opinion on. I would say, test a product for about 4-6 weeks to determine if you’re seeing results from it and if it’s beneficial to your routine and skin.
What are the best skin tips you learned during your journey becoming an esthetician?
I’ve learned that less is more sometimes when it comes to skin care, especially when it comes to exfoliation! I see a lot of clients that damage their skin and/or moisture barrier from over exfoliating. Generally, using a chemical exfoliant 2-3 times a week is more than enough for the skin.