Ildi Pekar

Ildi Pekar has been Marta's esthetician for nearly half a decade. After spending eight years with Tracie Martyn, Ildi opened her own salon in the heart of New York City in 2006. She is known for customizing her signature anti-aging techniques to suit the skin of each individual. We sat down with Ildi to gain some insight into the skincare field from an expert's perspective.

What is your background and specialty?

I received my Diploma of Beauty in Budapest, Europe. Within my experience in anti-aging techniques, I specialize in body and face treatments and sensitive adult acne.

Have you noticed any major differences between European and American skincare?

Absolutely. Skincare has always been a woman's first priority in Europe. I was 13 when my mother took me to receive my first facial, and I've been hooked ever since. In the last couple of years I have noticed a big change in American skincare. Women in the U.S. now take better care of their skin by using higher quality products and getting facials more often.

What is your favorite product for mature/aging skin?

That is hard to say because every mature skin is different. I would have to analyze the person's skin first and I'd need to know the person's lifestyle (smoke, diet, exercise, etc). But among my favorites are Celltresor from Dr. Spiller and Dermophisiologique products.

What particular ingredients do you look for?

I care about effective natural ingredients such as: hibiscus (stimulates collagen), collagen peptides (penetrates directly into the cells of the connective tissue- the skin regains elasticity), argan oil (similar to the lipids in human skin), matrixyl 3000 (regulates skin cell activity), ferulic acid (an antioxidant that can seek and destroy several different types of free radicals).

What is your personal regimen?

I use Dr. Spiller Hydro-Marin cleanser with my Clarisonic Pro Brush; then I apply Dr. Spiller Hydro-Marin toner (using a tonic is very important). Afterward, I apply Dermophisiologique eye cream and moisturizer. I could never leave the house without my Dr. Spiller tinted sunblock. When I have time, I do an LED treatment and a microcurrent facial on my skin.

How does an oxygen facial work?

An oxygen facial promotes the acceleration of cell growth. As oxygen passes through the layers, it produces a finer, younger-looking outer layer of skin. You will see the effects in just 30 minutes. The special firming serum that I use in the oxygen facial plumps, tightens, and hydrates, revealing skin that is more radiant and firmer with reduced lines and wrinkles.

Can the same effects be achieved at home using a firming serum?

Using a firming serum is definitely a big plus, but you will never get the same results as the professional oxygen facial treatment. That is why so many celebrities are hooked on it, like Madonna, Demi Moore, Eva Longoria...

Could you explain the B.E.A.M. body treatment?

The B.E.A.M. treatment mimics the body's natural abilities to remove fat through minimal physical exercise without actually going to the gym. It works by imitating the body's natural bio-electric processes in sending customized electrical pulses through the nervous system via a set of electrodes. After just one treatment, you will most likely notice visible results, and it can even reduce aches or pain felt beforehand. It is safe, painless, non-invasive, and proven effective for body shaping and contouring.

How many inches are typically lost in a body slimming treatment?

With the ThermaSlim treatment, individuals lose between 6-9 inches after the first treatment and up to a dress size after a series of twelve sessions. Keeping those inches off depends on the individual's lifestyle. You can achieve more if you increase your fiber intake and work out regularly.

Are you a proponent of any natural remedies?

Yes, I will share one of my favorite secrets, which is my parsley mask. As the seasons change, a parsley mask is excellent to soothe and soften the skin. And it's very easy to make it at home. You'll need a handful of chopped parsley, 2 spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar, and 3 spoonfuls of plain yogurt. Mix the solution, put it on your face, leave it on for 20 minutes, and rinse it off with lukewarm water.

Do you recommend specific lifestyle changes for your clients?

Absolutely. We only have one skin, so we better take care of it from the inside out. What you eat and how you live is very important because everything you do shows up on your skin (smoking, eating, drinking, sleeping, exercising, being in the sun). I can't express enough to my clients how critical it is to get sufficient sleep, to drink plenty of water, to cut out smoking, and most importantly, to never leave home without sunblock.

What is the next big development in the realm of skincare?

During my trip to Europe this year, the breakthrough procedure was microcurrent. The next big development is Radio Frequency Technology.