Ming has been an integral part of the Leahlani Skincare team since 2016, when she joined us as a studio assistant before later becoming one of our skincare chefs. She took a brief hiatus from Leahlani to head to esthetician school on the mainland before coming back to Kaua'i and re-joining us as our new in-house esty!
Q & A with Ming, Our Resident Esthetician
What inspired you to go to esthetician school?
I’ve loved skincare for as long as I can remember and working at Leahlani really solidified my interest in it. Learning about the products inspired me to want to know more about the skinʻs physiology and how ingredients work on a deeper level. I was also inspired by other estheticians I knew who are now experts in the field!
Kaua'i is such a nourishing environment for the skin, with clean air, warm temps, humidity, and sea breezes. How did your skin react when you left to go to esthetician school on the mainland?
Surprisingly, my skin adapted great when I moved. I went to school in Colorado where the air is a lot drier than Kauaʻi, so I had to make sure my skin was getting enough moisture for sure. It also helped that I was getting a facial almost every day at school!
That’s such a hard question because I love all of them! If I have to choose they would be Pamplemousse, Mermaid Mask, and Bless Aromatherapy Essence (BAE). Pamplemousse is the perfect all around cleanser, Mermaid always makes my skin feel renewed, and BAE is my signature scent that I absolutely cannot live without.
Everyone's skin is so different, but are there any skincare practices that you would recommend to everyone?
Finding practices that work for your skin is a continuous process, but there are things I think that everyone could benefit from. Having a basic routine with cleansing and moisturizing is obviously a must, and I believe that SPF is important for everyone. Growing up I didn’t realize to what extent UV rays damage the skin so I never wore sunscreen. I now have a lot of sun damage that I’m trying to reverse because of that. Even if you’re not concerned about what the sun will do to your skin’s appearance, it’s important to protect yourself from the risk of skin cancer.
I also think that seeing a professional for your skin concerns is great if you have access to that, and masking can benefit everyone!
Do you have a favorite aloha alchemy ritual?
I love mixing Pamplemousse and Kalima together! Itʻs a great combo for a gently exfoliating cleanse.
My perfect day would start with waking up early and going on a morning walk while listening to my favorite music. Then, I would pick up a poke bowl for lunch and drive to Haʻena to spend the day at Tunnels beach with a friend or my family. I would probably grab an açaí bowl post beach and then watch the sunset. Oh, and of course mask with Mermaid at the end of the day!