[00:00:00] Dr. Lauryn: Well, hello hello hello. Welcome to another edition of the Break The Rules podcast, where we talk about quieting the noise and health, food, and fitness world. Today I am super stoked to have my sister Rachel Varga in the house. And Rachel is a board-certified aesthetic nurse specialist.
She is like the skincare guru, basically as much as she is. She’s got beautiful skin for one. And you can tell by picture and everything in her bio, but Rachel is going to help us figure out what are some really practical tips and tricks or improving our skin health, especially while we’re home, maybe not able to go for regular treatments. If we are getting treatments outside the house for our skin and some good DIY hacks if you have chronic skin issues. And you’re just like, man, everything I’ve tried has not worked in. I’m sure she has been there. Got the t-shirt, seen it before many, many times. So Rachel, thanks so much for coming on. And if you could just, give us a little bit of background about who you are and what got you doing the work you’re doing in the world.
[00:01:31] Rachel: Oh, thank you so much for having me, Dr. Lauryn. It’s an absolute pleasure to be on your show. I had the pleasure of interviewing you for a live event that I hosted as a way to give back for immune building. So it’s great to connect again and see your beautiful, your beautiful light and your presence and all that good stuff.
So a little bit about me, I’m a board-certified aesthetic nurse specialist. You’re probably like, well, what the heck is that? So I’m a registered nurse. I have my bachelor’s of science in nursing. And then I went on to get additional certification in the field of aesthetic plastic nursing. So this is a really cool way to provide care to people, to help them with their skin.
And then a number of other wonderful things come out of that, confidence building. People really starting to tune into what their skin might be telling them during times of physiological changes or stressors. So I know that you really focus on gut health. So when people come and find me for things like eczema or rosacea or acne or melasma, or just like accelerated aging loss of collagen and elastin, all of that. I really do like to just encourage them to inquire within also. So once you’ve met with someone like Dr. Lauryn, like yourself, to really help you on the inside, I kind of help with all the outside stuff. And I’ve been doing this for a while now, almost 10 years since 2011. And I’ve performed about 18,000 procedures. I teach other physician nurses internationally. I love writing academic articles. I wrote one last year and won an award on it. So
[00:03:18] Dr. Lauryn: Awesome. What was that on?
[00:03:20] Rachel: It was titled Providing Optimal Rejuvenation to the Periocular Area. And it pertained to advanced nonsurgical treatments to say, with the brows, the eyelids, how to avoid issues, like for example with tear trough fillers. It was a big safety piece. And just, I really wanted to kind of share my insight with some of my fellow nurses and physicians that, you know, do rejuvenation like I do as well.
[00:03:50] Dr. Lauryn: I’m so happy that we’re going to be diving into this topic because I do in my practice, I would say 70% of my clients have some sort of skin issue that there is just a residual of whether it’s hormonal imbalance or gut imbalance that is just annoying to them more than anything. And they’ve tried everything under the sun, seemingly and, and it seems like nothing worked.
And so for you to, I would love to know as an, you were coming from nursing, what really got you interested in this work? Was it just like seeing like the same kind of thing with some of your patients or had you had your own skin issues growing up?
[00:04:30] Rachel: I love answering this one. So straight out of nursing, about six months before I was ready to graduate, I thought I’m not done with my schooling. So I actually started the process of applying to med schools and what that looked like was basically taking all my med school pre-recs. So gen chem, organic chem, biochem, I looked into becoming a naturopath as well, and I just really wanted to continue to further my education to help people.
So during that time I was taking my med school pre-recs. I was also working as a pediatric ICU nurse. So I worked with little kids who were trached invented. And during that time I started looking after my skin. So I was about 25. I had pretty good skin. I was pretty healthy, but you know, I had some bumps on my forehead. I was starting to notice some fine lines and wrinkles and just changes even at 25.
So I had my first procedure, my first nonsurgical procedure. And I felt like during that whole process I could have had more education and more follow-up care. I just felt like it should have been done better as opposed to, you know, show up, get your treatment, pay, and then you’re out the door.
I felt like there should be a lot more to it. So, then I became keenly interested in actually getting into the field of aesthetic nursing. So got some training, found a surgeon to work with, promised me a year, and then I’d be off to med school. And then, you know, 10 years later, I’m still performing these treatments and teaching and having so much fun with it.
So that’s basically how I got into it. And then I quickly began to realize that helping people with their skin also allowed me to then help them segue into other aspects of their body, mind spirit, energy health. Because what I started to clue into this is the golden piece here, the golden nugget that people that have a higher level, all of beauty and radiance are in alignment and balance with their body, mind, spirit, energy, so balanced with their gut health, balance with their energetic health, balance with their hormones, everything. So what I’ve really come to learn, it’s just not about the skin staff and doing this for official stuff, but it’s really about looking within and seeing how we can balance things internally, which is thus going to help you become your most true, radiant, authentic version. Because I’ve really come to learn that true radiance is when you can share your most deeply, truest, authentic version of yourself, which is going to happen when you’re balanced.
[00:07:14] Dr. Lauryn: That was so beautifully said. And seemingly how do you get there? Like how do you even like begin that with a client that you’re consulting with and like really kind of, maybe it’s the constant reminder that you’re being able to speak that in, because it’s so true that when we’re balanced inside, we really radiate, like in all, all areas of our lives.
[00:07:40] Rachel: I think it just started to hit me. Because I wasn’t hearing about this type of information about internal balancing to really help with your skin radiance and all that. It started to hit me when I just saw so many beautiful women coming to see me in their sixties. They’d never done anything with their skin, rejuvenation wise. They’d come in and see me and then we’d start the process for them with say great medical-grade skincare, lasers, or other nonsurgical options. But they were looking more beautiful to me, you know? Subjectively, anecdotally, than some of my patients that should quote-unquote have better skin in their twenties and thirties. So I was like, what the heck is going on here?
And then I would ask them, I’m like, what are you your daily self-care practice routines. And across the board, they were all, you know, they have these common threads interwoven between all of them. They have self-care practices that were well established as they’ve moved through their life journey, but it all came down to balancing the body, mind, spirit, energy.
So, whether that was following a specific diet, that was great for their constitution. So not just following a fad diet, but like actually doing lab work and testing and meeting with experts like yourself to figure out what’s fast for their physiology and having, you know, spiritual practices, not necessarily religious, but having some type of meditative spiritual practice. And then moving exercising, whether it’s yoga, Pilates, running, other weight-bearing exercises, but being balanced on the bodily exercise aspect as well, it just really started hitting me. So that’s really why I’m doing a lot of this work online because how I care for people in the clinic, I quickly began to learn that it wasn’t the norm in cosmetic clinics where it’s like 15 minutes, you’re in, here’s a free 15 minute consult with a consultant. Here’s a laser package or injectable package you can do. There you go.
That didn’t fly with me. I was giving everybody I worked within the office an hour consultation to really go through what their goals were with their skin and to help come up with a plan, their skincare, they’re at home stuff, they’re in clinic stuff. What would that look like, how long it would take, how much it would cost, how to basically work it in with their budget and lifestyle.
And so I just didn’t think it was fair to just talk about some. My community, which is really why I brought my service online a couple of years ago. And I work with people all over the world. It is so much fun connecting with people and lovely ladies that just are really passionate about learning how to do this stuff. Cause I haven’t really found other people that are doing it the way that I’m doing it. And it’s a beautiful gift to help people and see that transformation happen.
[00:10:28] Dr. Lauryn: Yeah, it’s interesting to think about like the treatment, like skin health that you would typically go to. Just like you said, have a 15-minute service to Badda Bing, bada boom, that you are taking the time.
So let’s talk a little bit about, most people are actually at home right now and not able to like really go anywhere for, I mean, even my toes are needing a pedicure really badly. So what kind of questions do you inquire for someone when you’re getting to know like their skin story and like some practical steps we can start talking about for folks at home, as they’re trying to figure out like what’s best for their skin health.
[00:11:07] Rachel: Totally. So I say the biggest question I get is, well, how do I get a good dermal roller? How do I get started on at home micro-needling? And I probably get about two or three Instagram DMs, I’m at RachelVargaOfficial on Instagram or email at [email protected]
And people always want to ask me that. And there’s actually a reason why I don’t just sell rollers to people because you can buy these you know, garbage rollers off these auction websites, like three-pack for 20 $30, and they’re 10 to 15 use, right. Or you get a really good one for four or five times that, but it’s going to last you a couple of years. But you have to know how to use these at home options quickly.
So, I would say, if you’re considering starting doing dermal rolling, or micro-needling, meet with an expert that you trust, I’m happy to shed light on, on how to incorporate this. But there’s a skincare prep work that you need to do before rolling. You have to know how to use your roller properly and then use the right stuff afterward to actually maximize those little honey holes and channels in the skin to deeply absorb nutrients like copper peptide, uronic acid, lactic acid, vitamin B. Gludethyon, vitamin A. But you have to just use the right stuff that’s proven in the research to be effective.
And then follow up with your skincare afterward, because some of these treatments, they can cause a bit of irritation, so if you don’t know how to use them right, you’re going to get some redness, irritation, itchiness flaking, especially from the vitamin A if you’re just like clueless on how to use things properly. So that’s where I come in..
But there’s other at-home options as well. Like red light therapy, which I’m sure you know, all about to reduce inflammation.
And so I am working super hard on my stand with my at-home stuff, and I really feel like it’s a super economical place to start as opposed to spending thousands on lasers. It’s like, do the prep work first at home and then do the in-clinic stuff for the stuff that’s leftover.
[00:13:15] Dr. Lauryn: Yeah, let’s kind of like break down some of those kind of at-home DIY. So let’s start with red light therapy. I guess, describe to the listeners what that is and how that impacts skin health for one and how they would use that at home.
[00:13:28] Rachel: Oh, I’m definitely going to be sharing my specific beauty routine here. My morning, nighttime routine, this will be super fun. So I actually recently interviewed Wes from Loovv Light. So Joovv Light is probably one of the most well known red light devices out there. And I’ve been using lasers for the last 10 years and you know, they’re $140,000 pieces of equipment.
You go in have your treatment. That’s great. So the thing with red light is that some places are charging anywhere from $40 to $100 per red light therapy treatments at different clinics or facilities. But the thing is, that’s not actually how you want to be using red light. You want to be using it consistently about 10 minutes on each area once a day.
So from a cost perspective, I think you’re better off actually investing in a really good at-home device for yourself, than say going into a clinic and getting a done.
[00:14:25] So basically how red light therapy works. It’s really, really cool because I’ve been using it. I have this pro athlete sho had her own red light therapy pads that we’ve been using, but they’re kind of clunky to use. They’re really tricky to sort of stabilize on your body on areas and secure them. And yeah, I just find with some of these other really well-made devices, like the Joovv Light, it’s really easy to implement. They are on a nice stand, they look really beautiful.
So red light therapy is shown to reduce inflammation. It basically turns on your mitochondria to make more ATP, and ATP is the energy of our bodies, you know what’s up. And so basically the root cause of aging and disease is a lot of times from inflammation. So when Dr. Lauryn, you’re working with people to reduce their gut health and all these other things, you’re working to reduce inflammation.
So that’s how the red light therapy works. But there’s so many other benefits too. I know when I started using it, this is of course anecdotal, my personal experience, but my sleep was better. My eyes were less dry, less irritated. My vision’s actually gotten better, really interesting. And it’s just really relaxing cause it takes you out of that sympathetic high beta cortisol dumping into your body, which is causing you the aging inflammation. And then it just takes down into the parasympathetic. So I’ll throw on my, are you ready for me to talk about my routine?
[00:15:52] Dr. Lauryn: I would love that. I want to hear it.
[00:15:54] Rachel: I know it’s funny cause I haven’t really been sharing like what my actual routine is kind of until now.
[00:16:01] Dr. Lauryn: Yeah. I love routines.
[00:16:03] Rachel: So I’ll draw a bath. I’ll put some of my glow jar pineapple oil in my bath, I love this. It’s actually formulated locally. I love local body products that are super, super clean. So this is one that I like to work with and offer. So it’s a body oil, but I use it in the bath to put some Epsom salts in there, maybe like some of my favorite essential oil. And then I’ll throw my red light on in the bathroom just like on a little plant stand about a foot or two away from the bathtub. Like just a disclaimer, probably shouldn’t use Joovv Light next to your bathtub. So I’m not going to be held liable.
[00:16:44] Dr. Lauryn: Exactly. By Joovv or anything like that.
[00:16:49] Rachel: Yeah, educational entertainment, not medical advice. It’s just a disclaimer. But yeah, I’ll throw it on while I’m in the tub and it’ll just kind of lay there and just relax. And then I’ll get out of the tub. And then I’ll turn the light around. So the light gets my backside. So while I’m in the tub, it’s getting my front, my face, and then while I’m turning around, like on my bathroom vanity, I’ll have the light behind me. So it’s getting the back of my body. You want about 10 minutes for each area of your body to get sort of the best effect from it a day. So I like to sort of do this morning and night so little over 10 minutes, but it’s all good.
And I’ll have it on my back while I’m putting my products on my face. So I’ll cleanse my face in the bath and then I’ll apply my moisturizer when I’ve, you know, gotten out of the bath. But I like to do my dermal rolling actually with the juke light on too. It’s just really nice. It just kind of makes you take a pause if you will, to take care of yourself. So that’s actually when I like to incorporate my dermal rolling is when I’m getting my Joovv therapy on my back.
[00:17:54] Dr. Lauryn: I love that. And can you describe for our listeners that don’t know what is dermal rolling?
[00:17:59] Rachel: Dermal rolling is basically if you have ever aerated a lawn and you know how there’s like the drum with little spikes that you go over the lawn and it creates a channel of injury into the skin, and then you put your fertilizer, which hopefully isn’t Roundup and all that stuff. But basically that’s what you’re doing to the skin.
This is an option that’s been used since the nineties. There’s tons of studies out there on the benefits of collagen induction therapy, red light therapy, like just, just do a Google. You’ll find tons of info. This stuff’s been studied for decades.
So once you’ve created those little channels in the skin, it can very deeply absorb different actives that you place on it then after. So copper peptide, lactic acid, high uronic acid, vitamin D, vitamin A, glutosiome like I mentioned before. But you have to use really clean products after you’re rolling. You can’t just use anything.
So what the deep sort of controlled injury does, you know, deep and shallow, depending on the depth of the needle, it tells your fibroblast to make more collagen. So there’s about 15 or 16 different types of collagen. New ones are being discovered all the time, but that’s kind of the aim of the game with everything. You want to use your skincare to be nourishing your skin, your sunscreen to protect it, and then things like rolling to tell your skin to kind of do something good for it, right? Like, make that collagen.
[00:19:26] Dr. Lauryn: So to kind of like cue your body. Like I get a little extra. Like, Oh, I can repair with the collagen.
[00:19:33] Rachel: You got it. Yeah, you got it because we lose college, and over time. So this is a great at home way to get a little bit of stimulation. And the trick with rolling is to do a consistently. So if you do it consistently at home, a couple of nights a week, as opposed to say, going into the clinic and getting it done every couple of months, you’re doing a package of like five or six, doing it at home, in my opinion, is actually a better use of your money and then doing lasers instead of that clinic needling option.
[00:20:07] Dr. Lauryn: Very cool. Yeah, talk a little bit about needling as well and what that does for the body and kind of describing that.
[00:20:15] Rachel: Yeah, so dermal rolling, micro-needling, they’re actually all the same. So really the medical term is called an induction therapy. So we’re telling the body to go through a bit of an injury, similar to how we work out. Our body goes through a little bit of an injury that it repairs it. And when we’re functioning, really well, like say you got your red light therapy, you’re reducing the inflammation or are you doing your dermal rolling and then you’re feeding your skin afterward, these are all really good things for the skin. So yeah, it’s a pretty tried and true option for at-home collagen stimulation, but you just have to know how to use it properly. So that’s sort of where a one-on-one consult comes in with me.
[00:20:56] Dr. Lauryn: Yeah, where you’re teaching folks. Talk about, then, you mentioned products. Like there’s a wild West out there of skin products and lots of claims that may not be like, they can just be claims. But talk a little bit about how you educate folks to find the right product for them and even if something’s labeled like eco-friendly or like organic, like talk a little bit about navigating skincare.
[00:21:27] Rachel: I have a really great resource for everybody. It’s actually my ebook, Unlocking Your Vitality. And I actually have a whole page on it, that’s dedicated to greenwashing and the whole concept of what’s natural and what’s clean and what’s green and what’s ecofriendly because from a chemistry perspective, all of that means nothing right. Petroleum is natural. Petroleum is from the earth. So it’s green, right? Yeah. I dive into that in my ebook and also during our consults, but you have to be really careful. It is a wild, wild West out there. And if you kind of want a little bit more of like a resources diet into after this, I recommend you check out the Netflix series called Broken. Because it dives into the counterfeit world of beauty products, whether it’s makeup or skincare, or supplements, or at-home devices like dermal rollers and other knockoff red light led therapies. So you really don’t want to be getting anything you’re applying to your body, on your body, around your body, in your body, from these auction websites. You really want to be either getting them straight from the manufacturer or through a distributor like myself as an aesthetic nurse or an aesthetic physician. If you see your esthetician, those are gonna be spa-grade products, which are still quite lovely. I work with product brands that do place a lot more emphasis in research, which is the biggest difference. So higher levels of actives, like your vitamin C, your vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, vitamin A, all sorts of great things, but then these companies, they go that extra mile and do research on the final formula. So it’s not just about finding a product that say has those ingredients in it, but okay, is that formula that’s created that has those ingredients, is it actually going to be providing a benefit to the skin? Is that hyaluronic acid actually penetrating the skin cell? Is that vitamin A actually penetrating the skin cell and causing beautiful cellular changes, right? Because it’s an antioxidant. So that’s where the research comes in. So support companies that care about their research, that don’t just put out great ads and marketing and all that stuff.
[00:23:56] Dr. Lauryn: Companies that go the extra mile, not just trying to sell you a product, but actually trying to sell you like they care about you, not just the sale.
[00:24:03] Rachel: Yeah. And then another thing I noticed is that for the consumer, it’s really tricky because okay, this influencer or this aesthetic nurse or doctor said this is a great product, but you don’t know if it’s a great product for you. And every skin type actually needs different things. And I’m not just talking about like dry, oily, sensitive. I’m talking about like Fitzpatrick skin type one to five, right? Like how much melanin you have in your skin, how prone you might be to things like skin cancers, right? Like you and I, we’re of a certain skin type where we are prone to skin cancer. So we have to do certain things. And then there’s this whole layer on top of this, it’s like with our nutrients, what does your body physiologically want? What additives or ingredients are actually in alignment with what your body wants and your physical pathways can work with?
So I find like people from certain ethnic backgrounds even do well with certain protocols. It’s really fascinating. But working with someone to guide you is really a great place to start, as opposed to just trying to online order what you think might work for you.
[00:25:14] Dr. Lauryn: Yeah, it’s a longer path I imagine, going that way.
[00:25:18] Rachel: Yeah, and I mean, we’ve all done it, right? We’ve all been like, Oh my gosh, I really want to try this product. Oh gosh. Yeah. Right now, especially everything is on like deep sales. Everything is on sale right now and I’ve just, I met with so many people through all my consults, like all over us and the world that just, he’s like three serums, right?
A separate vitamin C, a separate vitamin E, a separate hyaluronic acid. And they’re like, Oh, they were on sale so I just got them. And I’m like, listen, you could get this one product that has all three of those ingredients mixed together. And that are designed to work well.
[00:25:55] Dr. Lauryn: Yeah, meeting with an expert like yourself can really short circumvent that road to frustration usually is where it ends. Otherwise. And I find the same thing with like supplement world and stuff out there. Speaking of supplements, what do you find, nutrient wise, is really game-changing for skin health?
[00:26:17] Rachel: Yeah, I would say meeting with a professional, like yourself to do the lab works right. To see what your body really wants. That’s going to be the best thing, in my opinion, and in my experience, working with other professionals that have been able to help me figure that out. As opposed to trying this supplement or trying that you just don’t know.
So I would say if you’re considering supplements, you know, get a bit high tech, work with someone like Dr. Lauryn, who will take you through those labs. But I do actually work with some skin supplements for people that have things like melasma, which is too much pigment in the skin because their melanocytes are just producing too much melanin. So that’s usually caused by hormonal changes. For example, when people have had babies or menopause. But what I’m learning now is that when people actually have that, that manifestation of melasma, it could be, this is coming straight from a genetic analyst, Beth O’Hara that she shared with me recently in an interview, that it could be a sign of some of your detox pathways actually being congested and not functioning properly. Isn’t that crazy?
[00:27:28] Dr. Lauryn: Yeah, health is an inside job, too. And just remembering that in so many ways. Well, anything else that you’re finding DIY hacks that you’ve been talking to people about lately, especially during this time of quarantine at home or questions that people have had for you. Improving skin health at home.
[00:27:46] Rachel: Yeah. The biggest takeaway from this, because we talked a lot about dermal rolling, don’t just try to do it DIY yourself. Actually consult with someone like myself that can really take you through your basic protocol that you need to have dialed in first, how to incorporate the active so that you avoid things like reactions or that retinoid reaction phase that you’re kind of going to get from a really good vitamin A. How to mitigate that, how to care for your skin before rolling, during, after to just give you the best outcome. And the biggest thing is avoid using too many products because of the toxic load. That’s a big one. I was just on the nontoxic beauty summit and people are layering and layering and layering all these different serums, and they’re probably like incompatible with one another. So keep it simple. I have this really great skin cheat sheet that you guys can get for free listening. So that’ll just be a great resource, but just spend and a little bit of time and a little bit of money meeting with an expert like myself and you’ll actually end up saving money. That’s a big claim that I just made, but I really mean that. Just have someone pare things down for you and simplify it and help you come up with a plan based on your skin goals is really key.
[00:29:04] Dr. Lauryn: And such a cool business model you have because there’s not a lot of folks in your area of expertise offering online. Maybe they are now with the COVID, but just really cool that you’ve been a front runner in that. And just really making it accessible to people to get customization for their skin health.
[00:29:21] Rachel: That’s what everybody wants. They want to have it customized. And it actually should be customized. It’s not like a one kit fits all. So I work with a couple of skin kits, but sometimes I’ll just end up customizing them anyways. But just consult with a professional. I’d say that’s the first place to start because we’re talking about at-home stuff, there’s so many things that you should be avoiding that are just going to be a ton of, you know, a waste of your time and money, but might look quote-unquote, Instagram worthy. Those are out there. And then there’s also the concept of what’s going to be a good use of your time and money in the clinic because there’s a lot of really subpar technology out there as well.
[00:30:04] Dr. Lauryn: Thank you for speaking some truth and helping us break some rules today in the skincare world.
[00:30:09] Rachel: Yeah. At least be a smarter consumer.
[00:30:11] Dr. Lauryn: Rachel, where can people find you and more about your work?
[00:30:15] Rachel: Yeah. So I hang out a lot on the Rachel Varga Podcast and I love interviewing other health experts like Dr. Lauryn to really unpack body, mind, spirit, energy. How that translates it to skin health. It’s really fun. A lot of really great conversations on there. I’m at Instagram, RachelVargaOfficial reach out, send me a DM, say hello, I respond to everything. And you can book a consult with me at rachelvarga.ca. And I would love to help you guys streamline what you’re doing at home and plan out what you do at a clinic because I really go beyond what is traditionally offered in a medspa plastic surgery office. And it can just really help to complement what you may already be doing or what you’re kind of thinking about doing. I just love helping people.
[00:31:04] Dr. Lauryn: We sense that for sure. And Rachel, thank you so much. It’s been a wonderful episode and we’ll be keeping up with your work.
[00:31:12] Rachel: Yeah, thank you for having me and have a great rest of your day everybody.