Ask a Beauty Expert: Kerry Benjamin of StackedSkincare
Meet Kerry Benjamin, skincare expert, celebrity aesthetician, and founder of StackedSkincare. Kerry started StackedSkincare after a lifelong battle with severe and chronic eczema. After visiting many doctors to no avail, Kerry decided she wanted to learn more about skincare and become an aesthetician so that she could not only help herself, but others as well. She went to aesthetics school, got her license and in 2010, opened the StackedSkincare Spa in Los Angeles. Kerry now tends to the skin of countless celebrities and influencers, including Kristen Noel Crawley of KNC Beauty.
We asked our readers to send in their most pressing skincare questions for Kerry. You asked, she answered. Read on to learn about dermaplaning, microneedling, tapping into EGFs, and recommended skincare routines.
WHAT IS STACKING?
Stacking is combining different ways of exfoliating and infusing active ingredients with tools in the most efficient way possible. Kerry developed the methodology in her spa where she "stacks" or combines different procedures in one session to maximize the efficacy of the treatment. Kerry started it in her practice, using different ways of exfoliating the skin with peels, dermaplaning, micro-dermabrasion, and infusing active ingredients in serums by using tools like microneedling and oxygen therapy to drive these actives deeper into the skin. She later took this concept and developed her consumer product line that allows people to follow this practice at home.
Dermaplaning is all the rage right now. Currently making its rounds on the Internet, and in skincare-obsessed communities, people everywhere are busting out their Venus razors in a DIY attempt at Dermaplaning (Kerry is cringing in her seat as I write this).
So what exactly is Dermaplaning?
According to Kerry, Dermaplaning is a skincare procedure involving manual exfoliation and removal of dead skin cells and vellus hair (fine facial hair, or "peach fuzz") using a sterile blade. Dermaplaning is best performed by a licensed professional and produces immediate results in improving skin texture and tone.
The benefits of dermaplaning?
By physically exfoliating that layer of dead skin cells, your serums and products will penetrate and absorb better. This also helps with minimizing acne scars, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and lifting hyper-pigmentation.
Does dermaplaning cause your hair to grow back thicker and darker?
Kerry wants you to know that this myth is just that - a myth. "No, it doesn't make your hair grow back thicker or darker" says Kerry, "it's physiologically impossible and it's totally a myth."
How to safely dermaplane at home?
For starters, put down your Gillette razors and make sure to only use tools made specifically for dermaplaning. StackedSkincare makes a Dermaplaning tool that is safe and effective for home use and can be used in conjunction with the rest of the StackedSkincare line. Kerry recommends dermaplaning 2-4 times a month, depending on hair and skin growth.
Microneedling is a tool that has hundreds of tiny needles on a roller that is used to stimulate collagen production and drive active ingredients deeper into the skin for maximum efficacy. At home microneedling should be done with rollers that are .3mm, like the StackedSkincare Micro Roller.
The needles stimulate EGFs (Epidermal Growth Factors) to boost collagen and elastin that plump and firm the skin. Epidermal Growth Factors were discovered by two scientists in the 80's who received a Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering what is now considered to be the fountain of youth in skincare. What they learned was that EGF's can regenerate our skin and are released in the body when there is an injury.
The use of a micro-roller does two things, it activates the Epidermal Growth Factors, increasing cell renewal and turnover, as well as creating microscopic openings that increase absorption of active ingredients by greater than 90%, making it one of the most powerful and effective way to stop early signs of aging and prevent new fine lines and wrinkles from occurring. Kerry recommends incorporating microneedling into your routine 3-5 times a week and using it in conjunction with a topical EGF such as the StackedSkincare EGF Activating Serum.
KERRY'S SKINCARE ROUTINE
I asked Kerry to share the details of her skincare routine - for educational purposes, of course. I'm certain it comes as a surprise to none that Kerry stands by the amazing brand she spent years building and the proof really is in the pudding.
An avid stacker, Kerry completes an entire 'stack' every 7-10 days, Dermaplaning and then following up with her TCA Multi Acid Face Peel, all 3 of her active serums (in order from smallest to largest molecule), and finishes it off with her micro-roller.
On a daily basis, Kerry cleanses using her Clarisonic Cleansing Brush, applies her Stacked Skincare active serums, and follows it up with a hydrating SPF.
Kerry stresses the importance of prevention as the key to not only anti-aging, but any skin concern including acne and hyper-pigmentation. She insists that starting to take good care of your skin as early as your 20's is a good idea, it not only gets you in the habit of taking care of your skin, but can also help prevent signs of aging, breakouts, and hyper-pigmentation.