Esthetician Talk: Lexli interviews Kelly Ulstad

We hope you’ve been enjoying Lexli’s series of interviews with standout estheticians. Called “Esthetician Talk,” this regular feature provides insights into the various specializations in esthetics today and offers expert opinions on industry trends, professional treatments, advice for new estheticians, and more.

Click to see all interviews in the Esthetician Talk series or read on for our latest installment.

Meet Kelly Ulstad.

A licensed Advanced Practice Esthetician since 2016, Kelly is the owner of The Skin Reform in Hudson, Wisconsin, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. While she is trained in a variety of advanced practice modalities, Kelly’s passion lies in the treatment of stubborn acne. Her expertise in this area has helped numerous clients overcome breakouts to realize clear, healthy skin.

L: What inspired you to become an esthetician?

KU: I struggled with acne as a teen, an experience that led to lingering unhappiness with the overall appearance of my skin. In my early 20s I sought care from an esthetician and religiously followed her advice regarding treatments and skin care products. Within eight months, my skin had never looked better and, for the first time, I felt confident going makeup-free. I learned so much about what my skin needed during that experience. It sparked in me a passion for skin care, so much so that I left my corporate job in product development to pursue a new career in esthetics. I wanted to help others on their journey to feeling confident in their own skin.

L: It seems that many consumers think of esthetic services as something you seek out only when you have a specific skin concern you’re trying to address. On that note, do you advise individuals get regular facials even if their skin is in pretty good shape? If so, why?

KU: I do recommend regular facials for nearly everyone because they not only provide an opportunity to treat skin concerns, if you have any, they also are vital for healthy skin maintenance. During a facial treatment an esthetician can perform extractions; utilize advanced, professional-only treatment modalities that target skin issues; and, most importantly, provide personalized care for your skin’s unique personality.

In our world, we are constantly surrounded by product marketing and influencers telling us what our skin needs. It’s important to recognize, however, that skin care is not one-size-fits-all and that guidance from a professional is always best!

L: It’s a good point because we often hear people say they become easily overwhelmed by all the information and “tips” out there about skin care. On that note, what would you say is one of the most common mistakes you see consumers making when it comes to skin care?

KU: The biggest mistake, in my opinion, is constantly trying new products and changing skin care regimens. Skin care requires time and consistency to show results!

L: What are your top home care tips to keep skin healthy and looking its best between appointments?

KU: Commitment to the skin care regimen prescribed by your esthetician is incredibly important between treatments. Although treatments can work wonders in driving results, it is necessary to provide the proper care for your skin at home each day to achieve lasting results. Also, cleanse your skin at the end of each day, exfoliate appropriately for your skin type, and always wear SPF!

L: What is the one piece of advice you wish every client followed?

KU: We are always searching for the next best thing. If your treatments and products are working, check-in with your esthetician for ideas to keep your skin care regimen fun and exciting while sticking with what has been proven to work for you and what your skin needs.

L: On the topic of new and exciting things, there is always something new on the skin care ingredient front. What is your favorite skin care ingredient and why?

KU: As someone who has quite an extensive lineup of skin care products in my daily regimen, it is extremely hard to choose one favorite ingredient. If I must, however, I’d pick mandelic acid because it is such a universal ingredient and benefits the skin in several different ways.

L: That’s a great segway to one of our favorite questions to ask estheticians. What is your personal daily skin care routine?

KU: In the morning, the products I use are: cleanser, toner, antioxidant/vitamin C serum, eye cream, hyaluronic acid serum and, finally, SPF. In the evening I use cleanser or an exfoliator, toner, peptide serum, AHA or retinol serum, eye cream, hyaluronic acid serum and finish with moisturizer. It’s a lot of steps but I’ve found them to be exactly what my skin needs.

L: Before we go, we’d love to ask for a piece of advice you could offer new estheticians.

KU: Always make time for education, as the industry is constantly changing and evolving. In addition to providing knowledge, education also helps you to develop confidence - two things that are needed to build loyalty and trust with clients. It’s important to set boundaries for yourself so you can spread your energy between face-to-face time with clients, education and your personal life.

Learn more about Kelly Ulstad at her website, or on Instagram

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