Do You Need A Skin Coach?

PHOTOGRAPHED BY AMELIA ALPAUGH.
If you’re going through one of life’s inevitable rough patches — hell, even if you’re just trying to deal with the day-to-day — it’s totally normal to seek help to guide you through. Maybe sometimes you've wished for your own on-call coach to provide you with a motivational speech now and again. Well, we wondered, what if your skin needs that same guidance? Is there any kind of coaching for it? A "clear skin, full hearts, can't lose" type of thing?

Enter Celeste Hilling, CEO and founder of the skin care brand Skin Authority, and “skin coach.” Her company boasts 40 different skin care products, but what really has us intrigued is My Skin Authority — a free, personalized skin-therapy app that launched this summer, which provides real-life (at your fingertips) estheticians to guide you through all your skin quandaries. It’s a little like WebMD for skin care, but with an actual person on the other end to stop you from going down a hypochondria-fueled, symptom-search k-hole.

But best of all, to get this kind of coaching, there's no need to join your local intramural sporting team. Skin Authority has been coaching clients since it started in 2003 (it was one of the facets that Hilling founded the brand on) and it has more than 7,500 trained and certified coaches. Skin Authority makes money from selling its own products, but coaches will discuss and recommend products from any brand and at all price points.

“People call our coaches when they are shopping and ask about [ingredient] concentration levels, which products they really need, how to read a label, and so on,” says Hilling. They can answer any question, whether it's "in what order to use products, how to banish a blemish before a date night, or which ingredient works best for your specific needs,” she continues. And because it's an app, you can ask for help from wherever you are, whether it’s the drugstore aisle as you're pondering a purchase or in your bathroom, before you take on a pulsating pimple.

“The difference between a skin coach and your derm is a consistent, ongoing dialogue, and accessibility,” says Hilling. “We designed our coaching programs to fit today's busy lifestyle. Our coaches are accessible on the phone, email, FaceTime, anytime." (Though you may not get the same personal coach every time.)

This all sounds super helpful if you have a burning question, but how much can one person know about your skin without actually seeing it in the flesh? Hilling says her skin coaches can attain quite a bit from the info each client gives them; if you want an actual in-person consultation, the coaches can recommend a dermatologist in your city who is suited to your needs.

When you first "meet" your coach, he or she will ask a lot more than skin questions — they delve into lifestyle, budget, how often you want to connect with your coach — then they build a personalized plan from there. They will provide: “Tips, advice, and encouragement to achieve your personal skin care improvement goals, personalize or adjust existing product routines, or develop new routines to meet your changing skin care needs,” says Hilling. “The number one reason people are not successful with regimens is they can’t stick with them. This is all about guiding someone through their issues."

So like your high school soccer coach, a skin coach will "hold you accountable and get you where you need to be.” Amazing? Scary? We'll leave that between the two of you.



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PHOTOGRAPHED BY AMELIA ALPAUGH.

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