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Ask Ildi: Secrets to Maximizing your Facial

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As we transition from winter to spring it seems everyone’s skin could use a little sprucing up. Enter skincare guru Ildi Pekar. Hailing from Budapest, Ildi’s European approach and certified organic treatments result in glowing and flawless skin – all based on a personalized formula for your skin type and needs. Her penthouse studio in midtown Manhattan is considered by many a skincare haven. Curious to learn more, we sat down with Ildi for a chat about skincare, facials and whether DIY is ever really enough.

Tell me about your background.
I was born and raised in Hungary and raised in Budapest which is the capital of skin care and famously known for their thermal baths. I went to school there for a few years studying beauty and skin care. I moved to the USA when I was 20, wanting to bring what we offer in Hungary to the beauty industry here. I finally settled in New York and opened my very own skin care spa featuring natural European beauty treatments with organic products.

What makes your facials different from others in NYC where admittedly the market is fairly saturated?
My passion and education for skin care is more scientific rather than a typical day spa facial. I like to set up customized facials and get to the root of the skin care problem, since everyone has different skin. I’m a naturalist; I like to heal the skin and body naturally with products and using hi-technology equipment to assist me in during my treatments. It is rare to receive this type of attention since you can get a generic facial at any other spa.

Why is it important for people to get facials?
When I first came to this country, I realized that getting facials was not in everyone’s beauty routine. Everyone opted to buy a product or cream that would “fix” the problem. With very little education, they were actually causing their condition worsen, setting their skin up for additional issues and problems in the future. If you do not have the proper education to care for your own skin, it is very important to get the right facial. You can heal your skin and prevent a lot of damage from occurring in the future. Most people wait until they have the problem to treat it, where they should just take the basic steps in caring for it to prevent problems. Getting facials regularly can help maintain young beautiful skin over time.

How often should they get facials?
This varies on the skin type, conditions, and how it is treated. I would always recommend a deep cleansing at least once a month for maintenance - no matter how much you clean and exfoliate, there is nothing like a traditional European deep cleansing (extracting all the buildup from makeup, sweat, and other impurities). If you’re older, I also recommend getting anti-aging facials at least once a month, but this all relies on your lifestyle and diet. Consult with a skin care specialist before starting any routine.

Is there anything they can do before going in to enhance the results of the facial?
Definitely! 50% of skin care is your home care. Treating your skin right from within is equally as important as using the right products topically. The proper diet, a simple at home beauty routine and the right products will lead you to clear, young, flawless skin. The key is proper education.

What about afterwards, can you extend the life of your facial?
This varies depending on the facial you receive. Extending a deep cleansing facial would consist of exfoliating your dead skin cells at least twice a week to prevent buildup. Intaking a sufficient amount of Vitamin C to provide healthy glowing skin as well as drinking a lot of water to keep your skin hydrated also helps.

How easy is it to do one yourself at home? Would you recommend this?
DIY facials at home are so easy and fun. One of my favorites is the honey and avocado DIY facial for clean hydrated skin. I recommend doing this with raw/organic ingredients only. Mash the avocado and honey together and apply to your skin, let sit and rinse with warm water. These little facials can give your skin the proper boost it requires to have great skin in between visit to your skin care expert.

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