Skin deep with Jordana Mattioli

the regimen had the privilege to chat with superstar medical esthetician, Jordana Mattioli, L.E. of CompleteSkin MD on the Upper East Side in New York. A regular voice in beauty magazines and online publications, Jordana has had plenty of experience and a variety of clients. Despite changing technologies and new products, some things in skincare stay the same.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Kate Lee: How would you describe your skincare regimen, and what are your favorite products or ingredients to use?
Jordana Mattioli: My personal regimen is all over the place since I'm always trying and testing new products. I personally have oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin, so even though I alternate brands frequently, I still have a few consistent staples. Salicylic Acid does wonders for my skin and my favorite is Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, which I use almost daily. Differin Gel is my go-to retinoid, which I use about 3 times a week. Instead of creams and oils, my skin prefers hydrating antioxidant serums and mists. Lately, I've been really loving Allies of Skin Molecular Saviour Toner Mist and Algenist Genius Vitamin C+ Serum.

KL: Are there any new skincare trends--either in technique or technology--that you've recently loved?
JM: Technology keeps getting better and better very quickly. I love the latest at-home tools and devices, especially LED and micro-current. Not everyone can afford to do professional versions of those treatments so the at-home devices provide an affordable alternative. In the world of aesthetics, I'm really excited about RF (radio frequency) devices. The newer machines are showing the ability to tighten and firm skin without the discomfort of the last generation of RF machines.
There's a new brand, Skin Better Science (from the team that made Restylane), that has combined a retinoid with glycolic acid, plus amazing anti-agers in an 'all in one' product: the Regenerating AlphaRet Intensive Overnight Cream. It's so impressive! I love seeing hybrid multi-functional products with tons of science backing their claims.

KL: I've been seeing microneedling a lot. It's a bit intimidating for some, including myself. What are your thoughts on the process?
JM: Microneedling is very effective, it can be done in a professional setting or at home. The in-office microneedling can be adjusted to treat a variety of issues, but I think it works best on scars and wrinkles. The initial thought of needles does sound intimidating but we numb the skin prior to treatments, so it's not painful at all.
The at-home microneedling devices are usually in the form of rollers with different needle lengths, with the ideal size being .25mm length. Using a roller at home will help your products penetrate faster, so as long as you don't have sensitive skin, or active acne, using a roller at home could get you faster results with your skincare. I have seen websites selling rollers with longer needles, but I don't recommend doing this type of treatment at home. 

KL: For someone trying to create an anti-aging routine for herself, where should she start?
JM: Talk to your esthetician or dermatologist about putting together a plan. Start with the basics. 1) an antioxidant product in the morning 2) a low strength vitamin A product in the evening a few nights a week 3) alternating that vitamin A with something to exfoliate with, like an alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acid product (either in a toner, serum, lotion, whatever texture you prefer), and 4) a sunscreen that you love. Then add in additional products depending on your needs, like targeted serums. Give your products a few weeks to work: miracles don't happen overnight. 

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KL: You work with dermatologists at Complete Skin MD. What sets it apart from other medical practices in New York?
JM: Dr. Elizabeth Hale and Dr. Julie Karen, the founders and doctors at our practice, are widely respected dermatologists who not only in specialize in skin cancer and Mohs micrographic surgery, but also have such a natural approach to injectables. Working together lets us set up treatment plans for our patients, so all their medical and cosmetic needs are all under one roof! My job is not only to treat patients with a specific service for their skincare needs, but I also spend a lot of time listening to and understanding a patient's concerns to come up with a plan that will work with their lifestyle and budget. Patients tell us often that they appreciate never feeling rushed during their visit. We also keep a line of communication open and our patients know they can reach us all personally anytime with questions they may have. 

KL: I saw that one of the services you provide your clients is the Ionzyme machine that uses pulsed electrical currents and sound waves to deliver vitamins to the skin. Could you talk about it a little more? 
JM: The machine is made by one of my favorite brands, Environ. The founder, renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Des Fernandes, was one of the first doctors in the eighties to pioneer Vitamin A. He's a legend! The machine uses Pulsed Iontophoresis – the use of a specifically pulsed electrical current to facilitate penetration of vitamins into the cells, and Low Frequency Sonophoresis – the use of sound waves to transport vitamin molecules through the skin. This machine lets me treat almost any skin issue painlessly with results even after just one treatment.

KL: You've had over 15 years of experience as a licensed medical esthetician, what would you say are your clients' top 3 skincare concerns?
JM: Over the years, it actually hasn't changed. The major concerns are still adult acne, wrinkles, and hyper-pigmentation.

If you could give someone a tried-and-true piece of skincare advice, what would it be?
JM: Don't change your whole routine at once. Add in only one or two new products at a time. This way, if something is working or not working, you'll know what it is. Most importantly, prevention is truly the best cure: wear SPF. Every day!