ANISSA GUSTI is a Licensed Master Esthetician and globetrotter. Having lived abroad in the Middle East and Japan, she brings sensitivity and cultural awareness to the beauty industry along with her considerable training as an advanced esthetician. Here, she shares with us what she learned about Japanese attitudes towards beauty during the years she lived in Okinawa, as well as her advice and tips for staying healthy and beautiful!

What’s your favorite part of working in the spa and beauty industry?

I love that the industry is constantly changing. It is difficult to get bored when there is always something new to learn about. 

Having lived in Japan, did you notice any differences between Japanese and American attitudes or approaches towards beauty and wellness?

Absolutely! The one thing that stood out to me was that Japanese women focused on preventing aging before seeing any signs of it. Women in their 20’s would cover up completely when they were exposed to sun. To most people the umbrellas and gloves worn on a daily basis can seem extreme. An Okinawan women explained to me that the reason the Okinawan people live longer than any place on earth was because they see food as their medicine. In order to look good on the outside you must focus on what is going on internally. I notice that in the U.S. skin care isn’t a common focus until there is visible damage to the skin. I personally think Americans are obsessed with looking tan. I am finding that slowly more people are being educated about the adverse affects of sun exposure. In America most people want instant gratification, quick and easy fixes. 

Did you pick up any beauty tips in Japan?

Hydration is the key! Most Japanese women use toner like it is going out of style. Not only should you tone but your water intake can make all the difference. My favorite secret was a daily serving of aloe juice. 

What are some of your favorite ways to pamper yourself? And how do you find the time to do it?

Once a week I do what I like to call a “spa shower.” This usually includes a body scrub, followed by a Middle Eastern body milk lotion. While that sits, I exfoliate my face. It is a great way to maintain my skin with my crazy schedule. 

With regards to skin care or beauty in general, is there anything that you feel people overdo or don’t do enough of?

I feel that people do not reapply their SPF as often as they need to. 

Do you have any beauty or wellness advice for us as we head towards Fall and winter?

As great as hot showers feel, try to limit your time. It might sound backwards but hot water removes your skins natural oils. Those become essential in the dry winter months. 

What are some of your favorite services to perform?

I love sugaring! Hair removal satisfies my OCD. I love getting every single hair. 

What are some of your personal skin care concerns, and what do you do to address them?

Acne and pigmentation. I have learned that with concerns such as these, I cant mess around with basic skin care lines. By basic I mean anything that isn’t considered clinical skin care. Acne is a genetic condition, my goal has been to tame the beast. Since switching most my skin care to a clinical line the beast has been tamed! As far as my pigmentation the process is a little longer. I have managed to see a 50% reduction in dark spots in the last year. The trick to pigment issues is being consistent with a routine and never leaving the house without SPF.

Do you have any favorite products at the moment?

Epionce MelanoLyte Tx paired with MelanoLyte pigment perfecting serum. This is an amazing combination if dark spots are a concern.

What sort of products or treatments do you think are worth the cost? 

Clinical skin care is SOOOOO worth the money!!!