We’re excited to bring to you another installment in Lexli’s series of interviews with leaders within the field of esthetics. If you’ve been following, you know that the “Esthetician Talk” series asks outstanding professionals for their thoughts on key industry trends, their favorite treatments, advice for those just entering the field, and more. Whether you’re a licensed esthetician or a consumer interested in achieving healthier skin, there is something in this series for you.
Meet Erica Fulcher.
The owner of Roux Skin Care Studio in Los Angeles, CA, Erica, spent her career in some of the most distinguished spas in Los Angeles before rebranding her business in late 2020 to an open space concept facial studio. With an affinity for holistic care, clean formulations and advanced application techniques, Erica prides herself on offering results-driven skin care treatments for all skin types, with an emphasis on skin of color.
A 2019 finalist in The Skin Games (holistic category), Erica has trained at the Dermal Institute and received a seal of approval from the Esthetics Council, validating her competency, education and experience within the industry. She is committed to continued education to keep her skills on the cutting edge.
L: Thanks for sharing your time with us, Erica! Let’s start at the beginning - how did you find your way to a career in esthetics?
EF: My esthetician journey story starts in my childhood, actually. As a little girl, I loved beauty products. And as a teenager, I remember applying Queen Helene clay masks to my face and leaving them on all day to manage oil production and to tighten my pores! Eventually, I got my first facial at a nail salon and I vividly remember my skin feeling and looking better. I was hooked on skin care.
As a young adult, a friend and I were discussing the next steps in our careers. My friend pointed out my “beauty hoarding” and suggested that I was meant to be an esthetician. It was a conversation that sparked something in me and, ultimately, changed my life.
In 2014, I enrolled in an esthetics program. It felt like a leap of faith. However, from the first day, I found myself obsessed, excited, dedicated and passionate about learning as much as I could about the skin.
L: Many of the estheticians whom we’ve interviewed have said that opening an esthetics practice is an endeavor marked by a rollercoaster of emotions. What has your experience been like?
EF: I opened my business recently -- in the fall of 2021, and it has been an overwhelmingly positive adventure. I named the business after my grandmother (“Roux” is her maiden name) who is the motivation and inspiration behind my brand. She’s been with me every step of the way, which has helped me immensely in this process.
I always keep my end goals firmly in sight and my tenacity has never wavered - two factors that have been crucial to my success. While the beauty industry is very competitive and is always changing, there is a lot of room to be creative and I’m fully embracing that. Ultimately, skin care is all about trust and relating to people’s personal experiences. Word-of-mouth has been the #1 marketing tool for my business success. A friend telling a friend about their great experience is the best referral you can ever receive.
L: You describe your approach to skin as a “holistic” one. Could you explain what that looks like in your business?
EF: The word “holistic” means “whole.” Skin is multi-dimensional and all skin is not the same. Skin conditions can have their roots in our genetics, internal health, lifestyle, environment, diet or simply using the wrong skin care products. Therefore, it’s important to not only treat what is on the surface of the skin. As an esthetician, I dig deeper to understand the factors at work. I then strive to help my clients achieve their skin goals while educating them on how to properly care for their skin for the rest of their lives.
To accomplish this, each of my first-time clients receives an in-depth skin analysis, which allows me to create a customized treatment plan while setting expectations for the improvements we can achieve. I outline recommended home care products and provide a plethora of healthy skin tips.
L: What is your favorite treatment or modality?
EF: Due to their effectiveness, masks are my favorite treatments. In the treatment room, I love to multi-mask and cocktail them with serums.
One of my favorite modalities is LED Therapy. LED is a “colorblind” modality that calms inflammation, stimulates collagen production, kills acne bacteria and brings radiance to the skin. So, obviously, given its numerous benefits, LED is appropriate for most individuals.
L: In your experience, what is the biggest mistake that consumers generally make when it comes to their skin?
EF: There is so much information available on the internet and the biggest mistake I find people making is following DIY skin remedies or following the skin care advice of those who are not licensed professionals. These things create the perfect recipe for unhappy skin.
L: What is your best piece of advice for new estheticians who are just beginning their careers?
EF: First, get experience. I began my career in esthetics by working at Bliss Spa as a spa concierge while in school. This allowed me to become familiar with skin care treatments and retailing product, while allowing me to learn directly from other skin care professionals.
After I was licensed, I found it a little challenging to quickly grow due to the years of experience I was lacking. However, I didn’t let that stop me, and neither should you. Believe in yourself. Stay consistent. Remain committed to education. Finally, set realistic goals for yourself, which will help you to build confidence.
L: Finally, we love to hear about estheticians’ personal skin care routines. What is yours?
EF: My skin is oily and my main skin care goals are to improve hyperpigmentation and the appearance of my pores. The first step to healthy skin is clean skin. I’m a huge fan of the double cleanse method and always have a cleansing oil in my routine. I’m very consistent with weekly AHA exfoliation and monthly chemical peels and never go to sleep without applying a retinol serum. Five days out of the week you’ll find me lounging in a hydrating mask rich in humectants and emollients. And finally, rain or shine, I always protect my skin with SPF.