Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas’s number one skincare tip is surprisingly simple: You don’t have to be born with great skin to have it.
“I hear it over and over again — ‘I just wasn’t born with good skin’ or ‘I’ve never had good luck with my skin,’ “ Vargas tells PEOPLE. “It’s the biggest mistake women make. It’s not about your DNA. It’s about your lifestyle, your choices and your habits.”
When it comes to achieving glowing skin, the founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skin Care says her non-invasive techniques paired with her natural and effective skincare products (her Daily Serum is a celebrity favorite!) is the winning combo. And her unique approach to skincare has been celebrated by many. Julianne Moore, Rachel Brosnahan and Mindy Kaling are just a few of her celebrity clients — even Meghan Markle has called her New York salon the “best in the Big Apple.”
And she doesn’t underestimate the power of peace of mind, which was the topic on hand during fashion designer Misha Nonoo’s “Women on the Go” wellness panel in N.Y.C. on Tuesday. Vargas joined fellow panelists Bobbi Brown (founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics) and co-founder of Health-Ade Kombucha, Vanessa Dew, to discuss all things wellness — personal, mental and physical.
The mother of two says time with her kids, putting her phone away when she’s home at night, working out, eating lots of greens and a good sheet mask (her current go-to is her Twilight Face Mask) helps her stay in-check.
She also relishes her nightly routine, which she is now teaching to her young daughter.
“I actually feel most beautiful when I’m going to bed at night,” she says. “My daughter and I do our nighttime routines together. We’re putting on body lotion and she puts a little skincare on her face. The other night I taught her how to exfoliate. I feel like when I’m taking care of myself at night and I’m going to bed all dewy from my nighttime products, it makes me feel like I’m honoring myself and like it was a day well played.”
Vargas says she was “honored” to take part in Nonoo’s wellness panel this week. The New York-based fashion designer’s four month-long pop-up, which opened last month, has become a go-to destination for sustainable styling advice, informative events and panels.
In addition to Vargas, this week saw panelists such as Arianna Huffington and Gayle King speak to a group of women looking to find community and inspiration. Huffington’s talk with Nonoo, which was sponsored by Tanqueray, focused on how to find a healthy balance when juggling work life and personal life.
Nonoo says her goal for the panels is to create a space that empowers women.
“We see ourselves as being part of the community — and this woman doesn’t have that many places to go to either be mentored or build her network with like-minded women, so we wanted to have a space that also felt like a place where you can really build your network,” Nonoo previously told PEOPLE.
That’s a business ethos Vargas can get behind.
“I definitely had some good teachers, but I never felt like anybody mentored me. I felt like I was on my own a lot, so when I hire somebody, I take pride in the fact that I’m going to take them under my wing and I’m going to really show them all my secrets,” says Vargas, who opened her first salon in N.Y.C. in 2006. “I’m proud to say that all the executives in my company were hired as receptionists and in entry level positions. That’s a big accomplishment for me as a mentor and it says a lot about my company.”
In her upcoming first book, Glow From Within (which is now available for pre-sale), Vargas shares even more of her tips and secrets.
“It really can be simple. You don’t have to have a celebrity budget to achieve great skin. Just refocus yourself a little bit on the important things that you do have control over, like your daily routine, important ingredients and the essential steps to having glowing skin all the time.”
One of those tips? Exfoliation.
“People either over-exfoliate or they never exfoliate,” she says. “There never seems to be a happy medium of exfoliation.”
One of her favorite exfoliation methods is dry brushing.
“Dry brushing is really important and it’s a really simple step. You can get a dry brush for $10 and it will help improve elasticity, your overall wellness and it’s a nice moment to just take care of yourself before you get in the shower,” she says, adding: “It’s all about creating the best version of you.”