Where did you do your aesthetics training?

I actually worked in fashion for 15 years as a handbag designer, although I’ve always loved beauty and skin care. I retrained in aesthetics at Christine Valmy School in New York City whilst still working in fashion full time. I graduated and just started giving my friends facials, and within a year, I was so booked I quit my fashion job, started working for a dermatologist for more advanced training, and the rest is history.

How were you able to stand out so quickly?

My special sauce is problematic skin, and I’m known as New York City’s “Acne Whisperer.” I don’t recall how this was ever coined, but it stuck, and now I would say the majority of our clients come to see us with a skin concern versus wanting a relaxing sensorial experience. We aren’t the studio for a relaxing, no-talking service; we want to get you the best skin of your life. This requires a lot of talking, education and home care.

What did you bring to the “acne party” that other facialists didn’t?

You can’t clear acne with one facial. We offer a 12-week program at my studio [in Chinatown] where we consult with a client, treat them monthly but then also check in with them biweekly to see how their home care is going. We offer lifestyle advice as well as leaning into nutrition. I think our clients feel taken care of, and we stand out in that way. It’s hard to maintain that level of customer service in a larger spa.

Tell us why you began creating your own products?

I started working on the Sofie Pavitt Face skin-care line in 2019; everything I develop is something I want to use on my clients, and we get feedback from them during the development process. It’s amazing.

What’s your all-time favorite skin-care ingredient?

Mandelic acid is transformative. A large-molecule alpha hydroxy acid that gently dissolves the bonds between dead skin and the healthy skin underneath, it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and it’s brightening. It’s the perfect addition to someone’s routine who may be suffering with persistent breakouts and needs a daily dose of exfoliation without irritation. Obviously, I recommend our Sofie Pavitt Face Mandelic Clearing Serum. In addition to the mandelic acid, it’s formulated with panthenol and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and soothe the skin as well.

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