We all know our skin is our largest organ. Do you take good care of yours? I have to admit, I’m a bit lazy when it comes to skin care. Pam Pannacci, owner of Laura Vera Skin gave me my first facial this past April and was so surprised at the results– I had never been a huge fan of facials, believing they were just “fluff.” Pam who is both a flight attendant and an esthetician taught me quite a few things about skincare and has forever changed my mind about facials!
Flying really takes a toll on our skin. Do you suffer from dry skin or breakouts when you travel? I interviewed Pam for some professional tips on how to best cope with skin issues.
Wendra’s Wellness: Pam, you have such gorgeous skin! I want to know all your secrets!
Pam Pannacci: I haven’t always had “gorgeous” skin but thank you! It was a lot of trial and error trying to figure out a way to keep my skin as healthy and hydrated as possible while flying. Beauty starts from within. A well balanced diet with a well balanced skin care regimen and a focus on hydration. And, don’t forget your water! Staying hydrated from the inside is absolutely an important piece of the puzzle!
WW: How long have you been an esthetician?
PP: I’ve been blessed with this career for over 10 years.
WW: What made you decide to get into skin care?
PP: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love everything about the beauty industry. I remember visiting a little makeup boutique in our neighborhood and buying whatever I could afford with my allowance and practicing makeup application on my brother. My grandmother, Laura Vera, used to give me perms in the kitchen.
WW: That’s where you got the name for your company? After your grandmother?
PP: Yes! She was such an inspiration to me. It wasn’t until I developed acne that I really took an interest in skincare. My spending turned from makeup to anything touting acne clearing. One day, my mom and I spent the day at the spa. It was my very first facial and the esthetician spent extra time with me. She explained all the technical details and then she let me slip into a ‘zen’ experience. She helped me devise a plan that would help me deal with my acne and feel exited about my skin. That was the first time I realized that being an esthetician was a career option.
WW: How long have you been flying ?
PP: Coming up on 20 years and I still love it. But, I don’t love the toll it takes on my body or my skin.
WW: Do you notice a change in your skin when you fly a lot?
PP: Yes! Ha! It’s one of the reasons I don’t like to fly long-haul flights. But before going out on any trip, I load my skin up with hydrating ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which is known as a hydration powerhouse. It’s a naturally occurring substance in our bodies that has the ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water. And glycerin, a humectant that also forms a protective layer that helps prevent moisture loss. Layering this under your moisturizer is a great way to combat dehydration.
WW: How many days a month do you typically fly?
PP: I used to fly around 90-100 hours a month. I started flying less once I became an esthetician. Now I average around 50 a month. (For my non-airline friends figure 5-7 hours per day on average)
WW: Do you have any secret weapons for the dry air on the plane? I always see passengers with these face masks on during long haul flights. Do you think they make a difference?
Photo credit: Jorge Luna
PP: Yes, I think they can. But the key is also what they do after removing the mask. Those ingredients are most likely water based. So removing the mask and doing nothing to follow allows that moisture to evaporate from your skin. Applying a moisturizer while the ingredients are still tacky to the skin is the key to sealing in all that hydration.
WW: I love how you said I had the most dehydrated skin you’ve ever seen! You know I fly a lot. What should I look for in my skin care?
PP: I spoke previously about a ‘well balanced’ skincare regimen. Our skin requires three things to maintain our skin barrier: fatty acids, ceramides, and cholesterol. These are the ingredients we should be looking for.
WW: If someone is acne prone what should they avoid?
PP: Oh my goodness, the list is extensive – pages and pages. While I enjoy providing corrective facials, especially as I get older, acne management will always be a passion of mine. It’s probably because I’ve always had to manage my own, even now at age 48. Some notable offenders include: coconut oil, argan oil, soybean oil, almond oil, apricot kernel oil, shea butter and grape seed oil. I’m picking on these ingredients simply because I see these a lot in DIY videos and blogs. Many believe these ingredients to be a straight forward ingredient, ‘coconut oil is just coconut oil.’ But the composition of coconut oil is a chain of fatty acids, some of which make this ingredient a disaster for acne prone skin. Internally, of course, is a different story! 🙂
WW: Wow, those are a lot of natural ingredients which I always think would be better than chemicals.
PP: We have to remember, not all ‘natural’ ingredients are safe for the skin, just as not all ‘chemical’ based ingredients are bad. It’s all about understanding the composition of the ingredient and it’s effect on the skin.
WW: What about any foods to avoid? I’ve heard dairy exacerbates acne.
PP: Yes, dairy most definitely can exacerbate acne. Not only does it have iodides (dietary iodine occurs naturally as an iodide), it also has hormones that will contribute to acne. Speaking of salty foods and other foods high in iodides, I’m not sure why this one comes to mind but kelp is high in iodides. Other foods are peanut butter, shellfish, seaweed and whey protein. The list goes on! And it’s a list I review with clients who visit me for acne management. Of course, I never ask my clients to give up what they love but all in moderation.
WW: Do you have any organic, natural skin care lines you recommend?
PP: I personally use Roccoco Botanicals, where formulations are more than 85% botanical, acne safe, and most importantly, formulated with the three key properties the skin needs to maintain health; fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramics. I also love Annmarie Sun Love! It gives my skin such a nice healthy glow!
WW: I love Annmarie’s Sun Love too! I’ve been using it for years and I get so many compliments on my skin when I’m wearing it! Is there anything we should absolutely avoid when traveling?
PP: Alcohol is a big one as is caffeine. And powders. If I may pick on our younger colleagues who I see pampering their skin with powder during flight. They are absorbing any excess oil their skin has left, leaving it parched. It pains me.
WW: What about sunscreen to avoid some of the UVA/UVB rays coming through the windows?
PP: SPF is just as important on the plane as it is when driving or walking around outside. UVA rays (those rays which are responsible for aging and skin cancer) can penetrate through those windows. About 1/4 teaspoon is the amount of coverage you want in order to achieve the SPF rating on the bottle; e.g. SPF 30- which BTW is the ideal rating.
PP: I’ve met a few pilots in my career who were battling skin cancer. It is really sad. They are exposed to the damaging effects of the sun front and center every time they fly the plane. Sunscreen can absolutely make a difference as can yearly visits to the dermatologist for a full body scan. It’s a doctor visit not many people think about– at least not those I’ve seen in my skin studio.
Pam has offered so many great tips from how to hydrate, what to avoid in order to alleviate acne, and the importance of sunscreen even on the airplane (and especially in a window seat) For more information on her services and to schedule a consultation and appointment, visit Laura Vera Skin.com. She is conveniently located in Redondo Beach and offers a 20% discount to crew members! She truly offers a blissful experience and you will not be disappointed in her expertise!
Sources: Laura Vera Skin
What’s an ideal way to stay hydrated inflight? SOS Hydration. These little packets are so easy to throw in your bag and arrive at your destination feeling great, refreshed and ready to go! They are also great after a tough workout or a big night out. 😉 Low in sugar, and contains all natural non GMO ingredients and no fillers or preservatives– as effective as an IV drip for combatting mild to moderate dehydration. Get 20% with promo code WENDRA20