Seoulfull Conversations with Sari…@Talesofskincare

There is one skinfluencer in particular whose advice, judgement and knowledge I trust implicitly. I have done so for years now, and even followed her skincare journey from my personal account way before I delved into creating one of my own. Many of you know her and value what she shares daily here on Instagram, I’m of course talking about Sari @talesofskincare.

Sari is what I like to refer to as one of OG’s of our skincare community. She created her account to share her battles with cystic acne and has amassed a whopping 19K followers. Best sunscreen around? Sari has excellent suggestions for you. Why do you need peptides in your skincare routine? Sari will tell you. Want to know more about facial aesthetics, the different chemical peels and the in vogue skincare devices? Sari is your girl.  Her ability to write and convey skincare education is unparalleled (I only recently learnt that she writes skincare content for medspa clinics and frankly I could not think of anyone more qualified for this) What really sets her apart is her honesty, her candid posts and her personal story of strength and resilience.  She talks quite openly about how 6 years ago, her life turned upside down after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia and subsequently catching hospital borne campylobacter, a type of bacterial food poisoning that led to her contracting Guillian Barre Syndrome which can be triggered by infections such as food poisoning leaving her paralysed..  She was 35, living the dream in NYC and at the peak of her career.

Sari is the perfect example of someone who rose to the challenges and obstacles that life threw at her, who needed to pivot and adapt in the light of new circumstances. She handles it with so much grace and positivity that I thought she would be perfect to feature especially right now.  We talk about how she currently spends her days, her favourite device and why she’s loving it, she educates us on indoor pollution (I didn’t even know what was a thing!) and as a self-professed telly addict, she has top recommendations on TV shows to binge watch.  I especially liked her hopeful message for everyone, which draws inspiration from her own personal demons and challenges and I hope you enjoy reading this too!

Don’t forget to give Sari a follow here for quality skincare content.

A little bit about me…I’m Sari, otherwise known as @talesofskincare. I live in London and I am currently in my fourth week of self isolating along with my parents and Frenchie, Harvey. I’m immunocompromised and my parents are high risk so we started early.

How I start my morning…due to being paralysed, I have a strict routine which unfortunately doesn’t allow for lie ins. My carers arrive at 9am and they help me shower and get dressed, ready for the day ahead. To be honest, I’m glad for the routine. I’ve also taken to adding a couple drops of some essential oils in my shower to make it more fragrant and this really lifts my mood.

My morning skincare routine…is all about antioxidants, DNA repair and SPF. You’d be surprised how much pollution there is even indoors. There are numerous culprits such as dust, dander, radon and carcinogens from cleaning supplies and build materials, VOC (volatile organic compounds) from paint and even from some kinds of carpeting and upholstery materials. Mold and cigarette smoke can cause issues too. 

How I’m spending my days right now… I haven’t deviated from my routine and I’m thankful for that. My carers get me up at 9am, I shower and get dressed which is a 90 minute affair! During my bathroom time, I have a hot water with lemon. Once I’m dressed, I have the largest oat milk latte to start my day! I’m still working (thankfully). I do social media for @thelightsalon, I write content for medspa websites and other brands. First things first, I check my emails and Instagram. Then, I’ll make any calls that are scheduled. At 1pm, I have lunch.  My extreme chronic fatigue syndrome forces me to rest again from 1.30pm to 4pm. My carer then gets me out of bed again and I have another large coffee 🙈 and check Instagram. The afternoon consists of calls to the US if I’m working with US clients. I use a planning app which posts my posts for me, however I do go on Instagram once posted to engage with any comments. Then it’s dinner with my parents. Right now, my mum and I are also doing a puzzle. Once I’m in bed, I write my posts and I can stay up until 2-3am writing!

How I’m trying to exercise right now…unfortunately I can’t exercise correctly at home, only at my physiotherapist. But I’m kinda lazy, so not sorry about this!

What I’m wearing…I’m always pretty casual so nothing has changed here, but I’m not in PJs!I don’t tend to ever wear much makeup.

How I’m really feeling about the current climate…
I’m not nervous about getting the virus per se. I’m extremely anxious about the economy. The last crash was in 2008 which I remember vividly. Since then, we’ve had a bull market for 12 years and it was going to crash soon regardless of the virus or not. However, this is going to cost us on a scale that is unimaginable. It’s going to take years to recover from and life is being redefined for us.What our “new normal” is going to look like, I’m not quite sure yet, I’m worried about it. I think a lot of people are underestimating it.

What I’m currently binge watching… Ha! I’m a telly addict of the highest order! Just watched Trials of Gabriel Fernandez- truly harrowing. I like all the Real Housewives for mind numbing goodness, Bosch is a great detective series, Greys Anatomy has also started and I love The Morning Show!

I’ll watch anything but horror and sci-fi.

Podcast, websites and books I totally recommend… The guinea pig podcast which is amazing if you have an interest in aesthetics like me. I also like perusing The Candidly, the SKIN, Spotlyte and Gritty PrettyGood Bacteria for Healthy Skin by Paula Simpson is also an excellent read

Everyday, I look forward to…20 minutes under my @thelightsalon Boost Advanced LED Mask.

It increases circulation, accelerates tissue repair, kills acne bacteria, decreases inflammation, improves skin tone, texture and clarity, supports the production of dopamine and serotonin, our happy hormones and so much more! They are certainly an investment in terms of price, but so worth it!

Sari’s favourite device, the @lightsalon BOOST Advanced LED Mask

I’m really grateful for…my carers. I’m grateful for them all the time but right now they are putting themselves in truly precarious situations (2 of them have had the virus badly) and they still come every day with smiles on their faces and all they want to do is help people. Historically, carers have been looked down upon, I truly hope they start getting the respect they deserve from now on. 

How I’m keeping in contact with family and friends…there’s a lot more WhatsApp and FaceTime going on and I just started Zoom.

My favourite comfort food at the moment is…nothing at the moment, I’ve lost my appetite and I get like this when I get anxious. I’m drinking a lot of herbal tea with honey.

What my night time skincare routine looks like…how much time do you have?! 😂My night time routine is what I consider my my ‘me’ time.I always start with a luxurious double cleanse. First cleanse consists of about a 5 minute massage with a beautiful oil or balm cleanser. Then go in with a hardworking exfoliating cleanser. Moving on to a double mask, every night. Usually an enzyme mask, a probiotic mask, something focused on pigmentation always followed by a hydrating mask. Sometimes I skip the hydrating mask and do my favourite ZO Skinhealth Sheet Mask. I then get ready for bed and pop on my LED Mask for 20 minutes. Often falling asleep it’s so soothing. Once it’s off, I do a quick spritz of The Light Salon Cleanse & Recovery Spray which is a game changer. The key ingredient is hypochlorus. Highly antibacterial and amazing at killing off any germs. I then go in with my Jan Marini Routine of growth factors, AHA serum, retinol brightening serum and a benzoyl peroxide/retinol cream to finish.

My night routine is all about prevention and repair.

One skincare product I’m currently really enjoying is…Jan Marini Regeneration Booster. It is one of the most sophisticated growth factor serums I’ve used with beautiful results

Sari’s favourite product right now Jan Marini Regeneration Booster
Image via

What I consider a total luxury these days is...sleep and unfortunately I’m not getting enough of it right now

I’m currently coveting…honestly, nothing, except maybe a necklace of my mother’s that I keep begging her for.

Once this is all over, I’m looking forward to…fresh air, followed by the most dreamy facial! I totally miss the pummelling of my face during  a facial right before I drift off to sleep. 

What’s keeping me sane right now is…knowing that we’ll get through this. Having been through my own personal crisis before of becoming paralysed, I’m well versed in the feelings of the unknown and the anxiety etc. And they are totally normal.This feels different to me somehow. As people, we’re incredibly resilient. Seeing the virus come to an end in countries such as China, South Korea etc is extremely positive. We must diligently play our part and we can and will see a positive outcome too. 

One piece of advice I want share with everyone right now…in a few weeks, or a few months, the current situation will be behind us. Try to make sure that what’s remembered about you and the part you played in this situation is something positive.

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