New York-based aesthetician and skincare influencer Sean Garrette is the definition of Black excellence. Garrette was crowned the first ambassador for Fenty Skin in 2020 and educated us all on Rihanna’s highly anticipated innovations from her. Since then, he has worked as an expert advisor to numerous brands and publications. As of late, his newest appointment of him is with Dior Beauty as the brand’s US skincare expert.
In the latest installment of Hypebae’s Beauty Essentials series, we talk to Garrette about the definition of sensitive skin, what his latest achievement with Dior means to him, and we even get the slim on his skincare routine and all of what we can expect from soon .
Continue reading to learn more about Garrette’s story and what it’s like being a skin ambassador for Dior Beauty from the lens of a Black man.
As an aesthetician, what is your take on sensitive skin and could the skin be more so reactive than sensitive?
Technically reactive skin is sensitive skin. You want to treat them in the same way. The key is to be cautious about the kind of treatments you’re applying to your skin that could be too harsh for you, like certain retinoids and exfoliants, such as glycolic and salicylic acid.
When you have sensitive and reactive skin you want to focus on hydrating and skin barrier nourishing products. Look for products that have ingredients like hyaluronic acid, beta glucan, niacinamide, peptides, sodium PCA and antioxidants. These will help nourish and repair the skin and alleviate skin sensitivities.
You can use exfoliants and retinol products but look for more gentler versions of those products. Lactic and mandelic acid are great for sensitive skin. They exfoliate, while also having hydrating properties, so it’s not as harsh as a glycolic acid.
I know you get this question a lot, but could you give us a run-down of your full skincare routine from AM to PM?
My skincare routine is pretty simple — in my terms of simple. In the mornings, I don’t use a traditional cleanser. I like to use a gentle and hydrating micellar water. My favorite is the Dior Purifying Nymphea Infused Micellar Water. Then, I’ll go in with a hydrating toner, an antioxidant/vitamin C serum that also has hydrating properties like Dior Super Potent Serum, moisturizer and sunscreen—always sunscreen.
In the evenings, my routine is a little more intense. I always cleanse at night using a gentle and moisturizing cleaner. It’s important to remove the impurities of the day from the skin. I love Dior’s La Mousse OFF/ON Foaming Cleanser at the moment. It’s hydrating, gentle and packed with antioxidants, but it doesn’t strip the skin barrier. Some nights, I like to double cleanse, especially if I’ve been out all day, reapplying sunscreen and am wearing makeup. To double cleanse, I love the Dior Nymphea Infused Cleansing Milk. It’s a silky, milky cleanser that doesn’t lather, but turns into an oil as you massage it into the skin. It’s great for breaking down makeup but also as a stand alone cleanser — especially if you have dry, sensitive or reactive skin.
I always following up cleansing with a hydrating toner and essence. I exfoliate and apply retinol twice a week. My routine is always focused on hydration and nourishing the skin barrier so I use hydrating serums that are packed with peptides, epidermal growth factors and other ingredients that help protect, nourish and regenerate the skin barrier. I love a rich cream at night and sometimes will do a sleeping mask, too.
I’m also a bit of a skincare device obsessive, so I love using LED light therapy a few nights a week, microcurrent and cryotherapy to tone and calm the skin.
Since the world is coming up from the debris of the pandemic from a skin perspective, are you finding that a lot more people are coming to you to recalibrate their skincare routines and goals?
Definitely. The pandemic definitely sparked an interest in people to start taking their skincare routine more seriously. When the pandemic first started, a lot of my clients were dealing with masks as we were wearing masks constantly at the time.
Now that we aren’t wearing masks as much, most people are focused on having their skin look as healthy and glowing as possible. So now we’re focused on refining the texture and tone of the skin, treating hyperpigmentation and restoring the skin barrier.
The Dior partnership is a huge deal, why did you feel this was the right move for you?
Dior felt like the right move for me because it was such an amazing opportunity that people who look like me rarely get. Dior is one of the leaders in luxury skincare and beauty, it’s important to have diverse faces and talent working alongside a brand to reach everyone and to reflect what the world actually looks like.
As an esthetician, I was supremely impressed with the Dior Science team and the research and technology that goes into Dior Skincare. Dior works closely with some of the most talented and prestigious Chemist in the world and has pioneered cosmetic stem cell research since 2008 — something I’ve been very interested in since the beginning of my career.
If you can share, what are some things that we can expect to see from you in the future?
You expect to continue to see my work and partnership with Dior Beauty. We have some very exciting things happening over the next year. I’m excited to continue to educate my audience on skin health and new innovations within the skincare industry.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.