As much as I love the latest groundbreaking in-office treatments, I truly believe that none of that will keep skin healthy unless you address issues on the inside. Recently, I had the chance to meet Shellie Goldstein, an acupuncturist and creator of the hit AcuFacial Facelift, which takes the “face to the gym” and uses a combination of techniques (acupuncture, microcurrent, ultrasound and LED light therapy) to lift, tone and renew while treating internal issues for optimal skin health. Here she dishes on why microcurrent is a game changer for aging skin, the local spots she frequents in the Hamptons and why coffee grinds are great in the shower.
1. How did your AcuFacials come about?
When I turned 40, I looked in the mirror and thought, “omg, I am aging.” I did not want to do procedures like injectables and surgery. And since I am licensed in acupuncture and esthetics, and also have a master’s degree in biology and nutrition, I came up with a unique facial treatment that is an alternative to invasive procedures and Western medically oriented treatments.
2. You do acupuncture on the body and face during a treatment. Why do you incorporate this technique?
The principles of Chinese medicine say that the body is made of chi (energy) and runs in pathways from the toes to the face. By stimulating points on the toes you can treat the eye area; by treating the fingers you can stimulate the cheeks. A lot of times cosmetic conditions—rosacea, acne, dermatitis and sagging—stem from internal issues and is a reflection of what is going on inside. With acupuncture, it will help regulate internal function and give longer-lasting results.
3. You strongly believe in manual sculpting and lifting techniques using a microcurrent. Can you share how this method changes the face?
Over time, habitual expressions constantly stimulate muscles and some can come too tight from being over contracted and some come loser from atrophy. Microcurrent takes the face to the gym. We are relaxing the muscles that are too tight and strengthening the muscles that are too soft. This technique helps with a decrease in wrinkling, gives more tone in cheek muscles, decreases the creases in the nasal labial folds, adds more lift to the corners of the mouth and tightens skin along the jaw line and neck.
4. Can you share some of your favorite products you use?
I like Environ’s C-Quence products and its retinol products because vitamin A is the key to anti-wrinkling and beautiful skin. Environ’s revival masque is great a few times a week as it leaves skin tight and glowing. I wear Elta MD Tinted sunblock every day. I drink Daniela Turley’s Urban Healing repair and refine anti-aging tonic two times a day and the skin brightening tea at night. For my body, I find the best scrub is wet coffee grinds. I take the grinds into the shower and rub them with a loofah all over the skin. The oil in the coffee makes skin really soft and smooth and the caffeine stimulates, making it feel tight and hydrated.
5. You must eat really healthy. Can you share your diet?
I do eat super-healthy with a lot of fish, vegetables and fruits. I take ingestible collagen powder daily and eat lots of salads, dried fruits and nuts, and also drink green juices. I’m more of a grazer than a big meal eater and eat dairy in moderation. I do like to enjoy a nice glass of wine though.
6. Some of your clients get injectables and in-office procedures, but still come frequently for your AcuFacials. Why do you think they do so?
Injectables fill in or replace collagen, but don’t address muscle tone, which is key to a healthy appearance. Microcurrent treats muscle tone and we use it with ultrasound, which shakes the cell and pushes the product deeper into the skin. The result is plump, luminous and gorgeous skin.
7. You spend time in the summer treating clients in the Hamptons. Can you share your favorite spots?
I love to grill outside with my friends, walk on the beach and spend time in my garden. I love going to East Hampton Point to watch the sunset and the Crow’s Nest in Montauk for dinner. I take yoga at Mandala Yoga and usually ride my bike there and around town. My favorite beach is Wainscott Beach where Georgica Pond and the ocean meet.
8. You treat clients with a variety of skin issues and all ages. How often do you need to come in to see results?
It depends on the severity of the condition and health of the person, but after one treatment you will see results. With the cosmetic work, we generally say 10 sessions and then re-evaluate. Part of our service is to get people on a healthy at-home regimen tailored to their needs and one that they can stick with.
9. Do you see a trend with clients coming in and wanting to take a natural, more healthy approach to treating their skin and the aging process?
Yes, I think people want to feel healthy and are looking for a more natural approach to aging and beauty. We are now seeing an increase in celebrities with more natural faces that are looking for alternatives and cosmetic acupuncture has become a very popular option.
10. Can you share with us some of your favorite places to travel and why?
I love beaches and warm weather. I love Australia, especially Sydney and Ayers Rock, which is so magical and spiritual. I loved sailing through the BVI on a catamaran and spent time snorkeling and scuba diving. Being in the water, focusing on the breath is so peaceful and I like the simplicity of it.
11. If you were not doing this what would you be?
I would want to be a philanthropist, donate money and work for charitable causes that I believe in. Also, I would help young women to feel confident, strong and successful in the work force.
photos taken by Vix Walker in NYC