Q+A with Esthetician & Acne Specialist Sofie Pavitt
Sofie Pavitt sits down with us to discuss how to keep skincare simple, what her best skincare tips are for new moms, and more.
Sofie Pavitt is a licensed esthetician and certified acne specialist based out of New York City who is passionate about rethinking the facial experience for modern women. While tackling her clients' skincare woes from acne to wrinkles, Sofie encourages open dialogue, the freedom and courage to ask questions during appointments, and a completely personal experience from start to finish. Considering this deep desire to connect and share, we were excited to have the opportunity to have a conversation with Sofie about her time in the industry, her product tips and tricks, and more.
Q: How did you get into skincare?
I actually worked in fashion for 15 years as a handbag designer. I was always obsessed with skincare and part of my job as a designer was to go to Seoul for production every 12 weeks, for about 9 years. I saw a lot of progression with Korean skincare during that time and decided I had to join the industry. I trained alongside working in fashion and ended up quitting my job, starting my studio, and working for a med spa.
Q: What do you love the most about what you do?
My favorite thing about my job is making clients feel good about themselves again. We’re a results-driven studio — our acne-clearing program is very popular. I want clients to know that whatever their skin conditions, we will see them in-studio for treatments and we will improve their situations. I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated to come in, which seems to be a thing I hear a lot from them.
Q: What is a myth about skincare that you want to debunk?
That “clean” beauty is better. I get bent out of shape about this one. There are a lot of brands out there claiming this and that, “preservatives are bad”, “natural is best” — it’s so misinformative, marketing at its finest. If it works for you, awesome! But don’t dismiss everyone else using drugstore, FDA-regulated, safe products. Parabens are some of the safest preservatives out there, yet they’ve been demonized so much. You know what’s scary? Staph infections. That’s all.
Q: What is one product everyone should be using, no matter what their skin type?
Exfoliator. Any skin type should be exfoliating. It helps dry, oily, even sensitive skins. It will help remove dead skin cells and prepare the skin to receive actives from other products, too. Sunscreen is the other non-negotiable, so boring to say. But there’s no point putting in work to protect and improve your skin if you’re not using sunscreen. It’s the most effective anti-aging product out there.
Q: What is your best advice for someone who is struggling to find a skin routine that works for them?
Keep it simple! Everyone should be washing their face and wearing sunscreen, period. A gentle exfoliator a few times a week, a decent moisturizer, and a vitamin C serum tend to work for everyone. If you feel overwhelmed or confused, consult with a local or virtual esthetician to figure out a customized routine. We offer this service at our studio and it’s very popular.
Q: What do you wish people were talking more about in skincare?
I think this goes back to my answer about finding a skin routine. Just because a product is trending, it doesn’t mean it’s right for YOU. Educating yourself about ingredients is so much more important, and discovering the ones you need for your current concerns and building a product routine from that angle is better than picking the top ten most popular picks.
Q: What are the products you use in your typical skincare morning skincare routine?
I wake up and use either Dr. Jart+ Micro Foam Mousse Cleanser, or iS Clinical Cleansing Complex. I’ll then add a serum. I love Pro-Heal by iS Clinical, followed by a moisturizer (right now I’m using Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Balm) and SPF (iS Clinical Extreme Protect is my go-to).
Q: What are some skincare tips for new moms, based on your own experience?
Hormones tend to flare the skin more when you’re pregnant, whether that’s with breakouts or pigmentation. SPF is non-negotiable and will help you be protected against melasma and hyperpigmentation from hormonal breakouts. You’re totally safe to use AHAs, so I recommend a lactic or glycolic exfoliation here and there. Retinols are off the table, but hydrating masks and treatments are great! And make sure to moisturize your bump constantly, as this will help prevent stretchmarks.
Rapid Fire Round
Q: Splurge-worthy item:
I love the Shiffa Healing Balm. It’s a luxurious balm that literally fixes anything.
Q: Favorite drugstore find:
Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Face Cleanser is one of the best salicylic cleansers out there.
Q: Latest beauty empty:
Mutha Body Butter. Perfect for the colder months.
Q: Recent discovery:
The Augustinus Bader Essence is really great, and gentle enough for everyday use.
Q: Product you can’t leave home without:
iS Clinical Extreme Protect SPF.
For more of Sofie's favorite products, check out her shop below: