Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Kramer.
Jennifer, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started breaking out when I was 15 years old. I was incredibly insecure so I researched and did *everything* everyone suggested; topical medication, crazy clear-skin diets, dry ice therapy, facials, internal medication (including Accutane), etc. Nothing worked for me. One day in high school, I remember walking into the bathroom feeling horrible because my makeup was greasy and dripping off (it was a super hot day).
I didn’t have anything with me to re-apply so I shrugged my shoulders, pulled my hair in a ponytail and washed all the makeup off and acted as if I was confident. Later that day my teacher pulled me aside and complimented me, “You look really pretty when you aren’t hiding behind all that hair and makeup”. That one simple statement had a real impact on me. I realized that acne wasn’t just physical and that my mood and general outlook were also tied to this condition. It became really important to clear my skin and look good, sure, but much more important for me to FEEL GOOD.
I sought help at an acne clinic and met a woman who taught me the importance of caring for my skin. She taught me not only how to clear, but why I was breaking out in the first place. As my research escalated, I met and worked with Dr. James Fulton, the expert on acne (he co-invented Erythromycin, Vitamin A Acid, and Benzoyl Peroxide Gel) and I studied diligently. Fast forward 25+ years and here I am, typing a response on how I got started in this business. I own two Corrective Skincare Clinics in Los Angeles (one in Encino, the other in Santa Monica) and I love what I do!
Corrective Skincare addresses what was missing from all of those early years of me coming up empty-handed. We provide EDUCATION: why certain things work, what parts of our diet are important, how much product to use, how to apply it, we go over lifestyle, genetics, etc. This isn’t cookie-cutter and everyone has different skin. Success comes from pulling all of these things into account and working on the individual, not just the skin. I find the whole thing fascinating and I love helping people find their confidence; having clear skin helps.
Has it been a smooth road?
I worked by myself for the first 16 years of my career. I went through a break-up with a boyfriend and came face to face with a personal crisis. For some reason, it really hit me hard. I felt the need to re-examine everything in my life. When I steadied myself again, I looked around and realized that I could do much, much better. At the time, I was driving 2 hours a day to/from work, 6 days a week, and had more client requests than I could fit into my schedule.
The hours I was working to accommodate my regular clients were taking a toll on my body and mind. I asked all of my friends if they knew of anyone who could help me and I was referred to an amazing business coach. We worked together only 5 times in that first year but I worked hard and scratched my “to-do’s” off the list. I hired employees, remodeled my office, rebranded, opened a second clinic (3 miles from my home- phew!), hired more employees… this was 6 years ago.
Now, I’m not only helping even more people but I have a much better quality of life. I look around much more often now and ask for help all the time! One huge ‘AHA’ for me was when I changed my perspective. Instead of considering things a ‘struggle’, I now think of them as a fun challenge.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Corrective Skincare story. Tell us more about the business.
Corrective Skincare is a skin clinic run by a team of warm, compassionate and fun people. Our specialties include reduction and prevention of acne, skin discoloration, scarring, aging skin…we like to fix things. Think of it like a facial but a little more clinical in nature. We spend a significant amount of time giving an in-depth analysis of the skin, focusing on the client’s specific needs, and an ongoing treatment plan is then tailored to suit.
We have a chemist on staff and we don’t believe one-size-fits-all. Having had a mentor from Nigeria and training from the best physician in the field, I excel at treating acne, scarring, and discoloration in all skin types, with clients of all ethnic backgrounds and have passed that on to my team. I don’t love using the term ‘Type A’ because it sounds harsh. I’d rather say we’re gently assertive about getting your skin clear. 😉
There is no magic pill or big check anyone could write that would spontaneously clear acne or scarring, or make someone 10 years younger. I’ve spent my entire career helping clients take personal responsibility for their skin’s health specifically because I was a consumer dealing with the same issues and *it’s frustrating*! There is an endless list of skin care super-ingredients, must-have wonder drugs! In the real world of marketing, up-sell, and silly semantics, somehow consumers lost their ability to think for themselves and use common sense.
Just today a client came in and asked about this “skin tightening, acne reducing, discoloration machine for cystic acne” for only $40 on Amazon. Obviously, the market likes to sell a variety of products and people love to buy them because they’re desperate. That’s not how we are at Corrective Skincare. What it really comes down to is consistent practice and the basics. A frozen ice cube to this day still the most magical treatment many of my clients will find! (Find out why here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6-34AMl9GU&list=PLAyRgqqhxnE0gQzxF-ARa3WYd_lUF-QC-&index=4).
There is nothing better on the market than a diligent washing routine and ice. I’m not saying products are bad (some are awesome!), I’m simply saying there is so much out there that people are being pushed upon and in their desperation to fix their skin, they’ll purchase anything to feel better. We really believe in creating a trusting relationship, giving great clinical facial treatments, skin care products that work, and a simple home care routine. That makes all the difference.
I’m most proud that we take the time to work with the individual, spending time educating and teaching the basics of self-care. At the end of the day, after all the trends and “must-have” products fail, you will ultimately find your way back to the one absolute thing that matters- that you feel good about yourself and we love to help!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see people moving in the direction of a more natural state when it comes to beauty and self-care. (Or that could be wishful thinking!) Truth is, I feel we’re more concerned than ever with our image (and how others see us) since the rise of social media. A lot of us struggle with insecurity because we are constantly comparing ourselves to what we see on Facebook, Instagram, etc.
I’m saddened by how it has made this desire to achieve a certain look or become different than who we are, the norm. We’re pumping our faces full, cutting excess off, lips are becoming bigger… and while trying to create the illusion we never age, we don’t look human anymore! But there’s been a backlash…
…I’ve been noticing a shift in the way our industry is going, starting with the Dove campaigns introduced almost a decade ago. It reframed the discussion, aiming to change the woman’s image in the media. I LOVED IT! It showcased women who reminded us of ourselves: graying hair, fuller figures, freckles, etc.
This helped create a better discussion: a real and honest picture of who we are and how self-love, self-care, perception, and acceptance matter so much more than an impossibly perfect-looking woman. I hope that my industry continues to move in this direction, as new generations of young, impressionable women develop their self-esteem and confidence.
- Address: 1828 Broadway Unit A Santa Monica, CA 90404 (Corrective Skincare – Santa Monica)
16161 Ventura Blvd Unit 109 Encino, CA 91436 (Corrective Skincare – Encino)
- Website: www.correctiveskincarela.com
- Phone: Encino (818) 981-6130 – Santa Monica (424) 280-4591
- Email: info@CorrectiveSkincareLA.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/correctiveskincarela
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/CorrectiveSkincare
- Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/corrective-skincare-encino AND www.yelp.com/biz/corrective-skincare-santa-monica
- Other: YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UC6aOQP45Yso61UGHn-DOAmg?view_as=public
Sarah Moon, Manuel Lozano