Jul 21, 2015 - Things to Do

How Woo Skincare + Cosmetics saved my face



I have acne. That’s really hard for me to say because I spend so much of my life trying to cover it up. But look through any of my un-tagged Facebook pictures and you’ll see the truth. I’ve got pimples. And, for a long time, I had a lot of them.

When I was younger I would imagine what it would be like to be 28. I dreamed of being a famous novelist with a team of beauticians that help me ward off even the slightest signs of crow’s feet and sunspots. In reality, I’m a famous Axios Charlotte writer who still gets 13-year-old-boy-sized pimples on the tip her nose.

The irony? I never had breakouts as a teenager. Not once. My acne is purely of the adult variety, which, I’m convinced, is the worst variety. My derma-distress all started my freshman year in college when I developed a super cute pimple mustache.

mary gross

Looking back at this picture, I see that I apparently didn’t deem this semester-long breakout bad enough to cover with makeup. Why did College Mary make such poor decisions?

Anyway, the pimple mustache went away (thank god) but I’m now left with something referred to as hormonal acne (breakouts on the lower half of your face).

I finally visited a dermatologist who told me to “wash my face more often”. What this man didn’t know (because he didn’t ask) was that I was already washing my face four times a day, drying my face with only paper towels, using prescription creams, getting microdermabrasion and even changing my pillowcase out every night.


I left Dr. Helpful’s office $130 poorer and still pimply. It took three more years and a move to Charlotte to find the solution to my faulty face: Elizabeth from Woo Skincare + Cosmetics.

Woo Skincare + Cosmetics

I first heard about Elizabeth a few months ago. My coworker, Ashley, was talking about her esthetician at Woo Skincare. Ashley has milky-white perfect skin and I was willing to pay my life savings ($18) to have my face look half as good as hers. I made my appointment the next day.


Woo is located on Selwyn Avenue near littleSpoon where I once had a horrible experience doing brunch with my boyfriend’s extended family after a particularly ambitious night on Montford. (Sorry, Mrs. Ransenberg.)

You can park on the side of the raunchily named salon, Blo, or risk your life and park in Woo’s front spots, which are nearly impossible to back out of without causing a five-car pile-up.

mary gross facial

Elizabeth greeted me as soon as I walked in. She was young and beautiful and not stuck-up like the other estheticians I’ve had in the past. She took me through a sea of makeup and into what I can only describe as a skincare lab.

She explained her plan and had me get into a skimpy robe-type thing and lay onto a comfy table bed. When she came back into the room I started to complain about my acne and she made me feel better by saying, “I know Girl, my forehead is acting up too!”

Wow, this girl was actually human. I loved her already.

Elizabeth gave me a fully customized facial that she concocted just for my skin.

I like to think that she took all the skin off my face and gave me a brand new one.

I’m pretty sure she didn’t do this, but whatever she did do made my face peel to reveal new, blemish-free skin. It cost $150 but it was absolutely worth every penny.

This was the first time in years that I’ve felt comfortable enough to leave the house with no makeup.

I’ve been back to see Elizabeth several times since that facial. Sometimes I go in to ask her questions, other times I get the $70 express facial to help keep my skin clear even when I’m feeling poor.

But the best part about seeing Elizabeth isn’t the facials. It’s her daily plan for my skin. I was upfront with her: I don’t have a lot of money. That didn’t bother her at all. She’s not in the business of hulking $90 creams. We talked about my regimen and Elizabeth suggested vitamins and lower-priced creams that help with hormonal acne. We then went through EVERY SINGLE product I use and she customized a nightly routine with creams I already own.

It’s been six months and I still get a few pimples (thanks Charlotte heat wave) but, thanks to Elizabeth, I now have an affordable long-term plan to improve my skin. And guess what? Washing my face more often isn’t part of it.


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