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A Facialist’s Secret Weapon for Acne-Prone Skin



This column reveals the personal beauty recipes, homegrown remedies, and family concoctions that the industry’s trusted pros rely on for staying radiant.

From the Kitchen of: Sonya Dakar, celebrity facialist and founder of her eponymous skincare line.

These days oil is somewhat of a beauty obsession, but aesthetician Sonya Dakar was slathering on the skin-saving ingredient way before it became a thing. “I’ll always remember one of my first press trips to New York City over 20 years ago. I was walking around and the cold wind was slapping me in the face and irritating my sensitive skin. I immediately ran into a bodega and walked up to the salad bar and proceeded to pour olive oil into my hands and apply it directly onto my skin for instant relief. I got some strange looks, but it totally worked,” she said. “Ever since, I’ve been passionate about all types of oils, and this particular DIY concoction of grape-seed oil and lavender oil is high in antioxidants, brightens skin, and immediately hydrates. Combine it with active probiotics and you have yourself a gentle scrub that naturally produces lactic acid, which helps diminish acne-causing bacteria.”

One for the Recipe Box: Clarifying Face Mask

2 tablespoons of grape-seed oil

1 to 2 drops of lavender essential oil

2 to 3 capsules of probiotics with live cultures, like Acidophilus Flora

“Combine the two oils in a small bowl. Next, open the probiotic capsules and stir the contents into the oil mixture, resulting in a milky consistency. Allow the mask to sink into your skin for seven to 10 minutes. Gently massage your face to boost circulation, then wipe off the mask. You’ll find your skin has that glow and the texture is noticeably smoother. And the therapeutic lavender scent it leaves behind? That’s just an added bonus.”

—Christa Joanna Lee,

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