Here's How Mindy Kaling's Esthetician Keeps Her Skin Youthful and Glowy
Cleanse, moisturize, sleep, repeat—or not. From the 18-product maximalists to the one-and-done movers and shakers, everybody's skin care routine differs. In A.M. to P.M., we explore the morning and evening routines of people with different skin care concerns, from targeting acne to embracing vegan beauty.
Skin type: Dry
Skin concerns: Aging
For many skincare professionals, their beauty journeys began at a young age. This rings especially true for celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas (Mindy Kaling, Elisabeth Moss), who can pinpoint the moment her interest in beauty spiked. "My earliest memories are of my grandmother putting on skincare and doing her hair and makeup—and she was the most glamorous woman in my life," she tells HelloGiggles over the phone. "She taught me to love what made me unique and that taking care of yourself is the starting point of being able to take care of other people."
As a half-Mexican and half-Irish child with pale skin, Vargas used to lament not having her mother's olive-brown skin, but her grandmother taught her how to care for her skin and protect it from the sun. "She had a lot of allergies, so she taught me a lot of natural techniques, such as putting chamomile tea in your bath when your skin was itchy or extra dry, which I do to this day with my daughter who has super sensitive skin," Vargas shares.
Years later, when she stepped into the skincare world professionally, she used that specialized attention to different skin cares to set her apart from other New York salons.
"There was no diversity in the beauty world and it didn't feel like it was for everyone," Vargas recalls. "At the time, the most interesting thing that happened when you got a facial was adding a glycolic peel to a standard cleansing facial, and I wanted to add in technologies that explored the world of science. I wanted to create something that was inclusive for everybody, and I felt like going the non-invasive route was universal for a variety of skin tones and types."
Today, Vargas has embedded this knowledge and her grandmother's passed-down lessons into her current skincare routine. Below, she shares exactly how she keeps her skin in tip-top shape.
Before getting out of bed, the first thing Vargas does is press the snooze button to get a few extra minutes before her daughter comes in to fully wake her up. She explains that as her approach to skincare is very holistic, the first step in her routine is taking a multivitamin from Love Wellness to help support collagen production and overall brightness. Vargas does this while making her daughter breakfast and whipping up a protein smoothie that she'll sip on all day.
Once her daughter leaves for school, Vargas preps to go into the shower by dry brushing her body for a few minutes. "It's great for your skin's elasticity, it's exfoliating, and it's good for circulation," she explains. After, she hops into the shower and cleanses her body with a mix of her brand's Cloud Bar and the Jordan Samuels After Shower Body Cleanser which "smells like you cut a grapefruit open and rubbed it all over your body."
Once out of the shower, Vargas slathers her body in Dior's Sakura Body Cream to moisturize her skin—but mainly, because the scent reminds her of her grandmother. "It's perfumed, but not overwhelming," she says. "My grandmother's skin smelled so sweet to me—it reminds me of her. Because she was Latina, and being perfumed is a big part of our culture, she had about eight thousand perfumes."
Then, Vargas will use her brand's Rejuvenating Serum all over her face. "It contains Argan oil, which is a great antioxidant, and it's got proteins and neroli which improve your general appearance and give your skin a nice glow," she says. She then follows up with her own Magic Glow Wand (a 2021 Beauty Crush Award winner!) to calm down puffiness and soothe her skin.
Lastly, she applies Supergoop!'s Mineral Powder SPF 35 to protect her skin from the sun throughout the day. "Melasma is something that I, and many Latina women, struggle with, so I really need to reapply sunscreen every two hours," Vargas explains. "So, for me, having a powder is so fantastic because it doesn't feel like I'm building up 20 layers of sunscreen by the end of the day. It works well to control my melasma."
If she's worn makeup that day, of which she shares she uses very little of these days, Vargas will use the Jordan Samuel The After Show Treatment Cleanser for Sensitive Skin. "It's like a balm and very good at taking everything off," she explains. Otherwise, she'll use her brand's Vitamin C Face Wash, which has salicylic and lactic acid in it, as she likes to get a little exfoliation at night.
Typically, Vargas will go straight to her Supernova Serum with retinol, but once a week she likes to do a facial at home. "My daughter and I created 'girls night' and it's an entire day of us hanging out together, and part of it is doing a whole skincare and bath ritual," she shares. "We take a bath with bubbles, we have tea, we do a scrub on our face, then we do a sheet mask, and then we do a Magic Glow Wand together."
Right now, Vargas enjoys using the Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel and her brand's Twilight Mask. "I love enzymatic exfoliating face masks—I have pineapple enzymes in mine—and hers is really fun because it looks like you just smeared jelly all over your face and you can feel a nice, tingly experience," she says. "Then I love the Twilight Mask because it's hydrating and has epidermal growth factor. We use this [on our clients] after doing a laser treatment or a micro-needling session as it's healing. It's my favorite mask and I see the biggest difference in my skin when I use it."
Finally, before going to sleep, Vargas piles up on the moisture for her lips and hands. "Hand sanitizer tears up my cuticles pretty, and the CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream is formulated for sensitive skin and is really thick—I keep it next to my bed," she says. "And for my lips, I put on the Sara Happ overnight mask. I find that the formula really goes into the skin, and when I wake up, my lips don't look chapped and miserable. I go to sleep with greasy hands and greasy lips."