Skincare Secrets From A Beauty OG, Toni Yue

In a world of constant-evolving skincare trends and products, we sat down with this OG to get back to basics on what really works – on everything from her hero product, the right way to treat a blemish, her #1 tip for healthy skin at any age – and her honest take on all the facial oils we’re seeing now.

Toni Yue of Bloom Skincare is a best kept secret in New York and the only person I trust with my skin. A true OG, she has been perfecting her method for over 20 years with an approach focused on restoring natural balance with deep extractions, using a tiny lancet needle to clear congestion. She specializes in anti-aging and adult acne—and creating a perfect natural glow. 

Here’s our Q&A with Toni.

Q: Your technique is different from a lot of other facialists we’ve gone to because you really focus extractions and use a lancet needle versus your hands. You get so much more of the gunk out of our faces compared with other deep clean facials. We feel excavated and so clear and glowing. How did you develop the technique?

A: I have been doing this for 20 years, and the approach came from a lot of experience across different skin types and ages, and learning what really works. It’s all about three things: massage, extractions, product. When I first got my license 20 years ago I worked in Chinatown with customers used to getting really frequent facials. I learned having the skin deeply cleaned out is the foundation for the anti-aging because then when your natural oil comes through it becomes beneficial versus harmful.

Q: Why do we end up with bruising or pain on our face after hand-done extractions? 

A: Because we have to be really targeted. With hand-extractions, more of the skin is getting pressure than needs to. With the needle, I can be very targeted with making the congestion that needs to come out a little looser so it can come out more easily. Hand extractions can be harsher and less complete. 

Q: What is the biggest mistake you see people making with their skin right now?

A: The biggest mistake is getting rid of your natural oil on your face. If you use products that get rid of oil on your face, your body will reproduce even more of it. Anti-aging is all about taking care of skin so that it can take care of you. People with oily or ‘combination’ skin often are doing the wrong things. I don’t believe in ‘combination skin’ it just means you’re dehydrated. 

Q: So we should even be hydrating our blemishes versus drying them out?

A: Yes, that is how you allow your body to repair itself. And it will. 

Q: What is your hero product—your favorite thing to use that can work for most skin types? 

A: It’s the Le Mieux TGF-B Booster. This booster is the best. It is really hydrating and has hyaluronic acid, peptides, proteins, antioxidants, and algae extract. It also works well with adult acne. I use this to rebuild the skin in a gentle way. The ingredients are also clean and all rate well on the Environmental Working Group [EWG]* scale.

Q: Biggest tip for skincare at any age?

A: Protect your skin from the sun, but not always with sunscreen. The best protection is physical protection—a hat, the shade if you can. A little sun and vitamin D is good for you. I recommend physical barriers from the sun as much as you can and rely on sunscreen when you know you’ll be out in the sun all day or on vacation. Even the most gentle sunscreens can make a lot of us break out and cause irritation. 

Q: What is a positive change you’re seeing now versus when you started in the way people care for their skin?

A: People are paying more attention to what they eat, beyond the calories. I believe you have to enjoy your life, I enjoy my wine, but eating unhealthy or unnatural junk food can really show up on your skin.

Q: What do you see that clients eat that shows up on their face most?

A: Fried food is basically the worst for you skin. The oil comes out on your skin, it’s part of how it moves through you, and it can really show. You’ll get too much oil versus the balanced amount that you need. 

Q: There’s a lot in the beauty world right now around facial oils. How do you feel about face oils?

A: I’m not the biggest fan of oils for everyone. It’s not for every day. It can be too much along with natural oils for some people. Where I do recommend it is in winter or for very dry skin: use it as a top layer for your skin routine as a way to keep the rest of the product and moisture in. After you get through your driest time or cold weather month, I ask you to put that away.

You can book with Toni at Bloom Skin Care in New York’s East Village.

*EWG’s Skin Deep® cosmetic database lists hazard ratings for nearly 70,000 products and 9,000 ingredients on the market. The U.S. government doesn’t review the toxicity of products before they’re sold. The aim of Skin Deep® is to fill in where industry and government leave off.​

Stefania Romeo

Stefania Romeo

Stefania Romeo is the co-founder of Virra and co-host of the ’This Life Explains It All’ podcast. Prior, Stefania led teams and programs at Uber and BuzzFeed. She is currently based in San Francisco, CA.