AT HOME WITH // Julie Civiello Polier

I first met Julie in person a few years ago at an event, and I was instantly inspired by her passion, enthusiasm, and openness. She was a very new mom at the time, and I felt that she had this instant willingness to communicate and connect. There was no small talk, it was all about authenticity and good energy. As I learned more about what she does, and her energetic approach to skincare, I understood why she felt special. We've stayed in touch as mothers and entrepreneurs.

The energy behind the products we use, or our relationship to our beautification processes is very important, and not something that gets talked about much in the main stream narrative. Julie is leading the way by touching clients (both in person, and virtually) and helping others understand how to heal themselves, and feel more beautiful along the way. Thank you Julie!

1 - Your 3 word bio:

Intuitive Skin Energy

2 - Tell us briefly about what you do, and what you offer your clients?

Pre-Pandemic I was... I feel we're all still emerging from our chrysalides, and we have our caterpillar identities from before "Covid times" and we are still acquainting ourselves with our butterfly selves...

Anyhow, before the lock downs in Los Angeles, I had a thriving facial and energetic healing studio where I offered Shamanic Facials, Akashic Record Readings, Reiki Attunements, Mediumship and Intuitive Readings.

These days I am a mother; and part time I am consulting with clients virtually, offering them a mixture of facial readings (which can include health and energetic diagnosis), guided meditation, and co-creating energetic and practical tools to shift from coping to thriving. Some clients are coming in to heal fertility challenges, trauma, and/or identity patterning. Oftentimes this work involves some guided facial release using acupressure or specific massage techniques in tutorial fashion over zoom.

I'm consulting with a few skincare companies creating things like skin meditations, which is a ritualistic way of caring for one's skin, much like a walking meditation, except I'm guiding audiences through intentional facial massage with products while sprinkling in ingredient education, instead of walking.

I've a few fun collaborations in the works and I'm coming up on my year anniversary of releasing Linea, a holistic beauty kit that includes a gorgeous face oil and facial massage tool that doubles as a stunning pendant and necklace.

3 - I feel like your approach to natural skincare, along with massage and reiki techniques is very unique. This holistic infusion of energy work, along with the physical work is not something that I personally feel very fluid in speaking about, but it is something I intuitively prescribe to. What do you think is the major misunderstanding that we have culturally when it comes to the separation between skin health and holistic health?

I think we can easily forget -- sometimes I forget until I have a heavy duty breakout -- that our skin is our largest organ and it is an excretory organ at that. I've been very disheartened in many dermatologist offices when I've been dismissed for asking questions in an attempt to connect various skin issues with my diet at the time or ingredients in a medication or ingredients in beauty products. The well known diagnosis, dermatitis, is a catch all for "I don't know what this is or where it came from but your skin is certainly irritated." And I've been given hydrocortisone so many times, which is a lovely band aid for treating the inflammation in real time, yet it's not healing the root cause of the skin flare up. The skin is our body's message board, so when a rash, a pimple, or pains appear it is a signal that something deeper needs our attention. Luckily our ancestors have created body and facial maps that our modern practitioners continue to expand on. So if we have a rash across our upper cheeks it's a signal from our large intestine and possibly stomach too that something is off.

Our educational systems have become so niche and especially in the healthcare industry there are many specialties; and in my opinion the vast majority of specialists are not taught a holistic and connected approach even though our bodies are connected and all systems rely on one another. At the same time, the four bodies (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) must harmonize and support each other as well for an optimal life experience.

Over my years so far of practicing energy work and treating many different skin types therapeutically, it is noticeable how our bodies are constantly sending us messages in an effort to return to center, to return to optimal health, to live with integrity emotionally, and to connect to our most loving selves and each other. And what I find the most interesting and curious is the physical ailment of pimples, or back pain, or any physical discomfort or disease are often seeded in the emotional body. Once we can acknowledge, move through, and reclaim that aspect or emotional energy we had been dismissing (often it's a self judgment or hindering belief), many times if not every time, the physical ailment is released.

4 - On your website you mention bringing healing into your own hands. I feel like this is such an important part of skincare that we don't talk about enough. Yes, there is the energetic component of taking care of yourself and healing in that way, but there is also a more literal/practical side of knowing the lumps, bumps and moles that are normal for you! What does healing with your own hands mean to you?

Our hands are filled with active energy, electricity, and they are an extension of our heart centers. Touch is incredibly powerful and it is both a giving and receiving at once. And so much can be communicated through touch. When I touch people I often immediately receive psychic visions that person has experienced or I receive organ transmission, detailed info about the health and well being of certain organs.

Reiki healing is usually activated in our hands and during attunements, when one is receiving a reiki certification, the practitioner or Master activates the healing reiki symbols in the student's hands. A student of reiki has amplified awareness of the power of the hands and just how powerfully healing a handshake or a shoulder squeeze really is and always was.

When we are working on ourselves and massaging tension from our jaws for example we are feeling the skin of our cheeks, the muscles of the masseter, risorius, and platysma, the flesh of our gums, as well as all the fluids of the lymph and blood and finally the mandible bone and some teeth. All of these are also feeling our fingertips, the electricity in our fingers, the muscles, the fluids and the phalange bones. So much information passing back and forth!! A reminder that our hands are so healing and so much is being offered in every touch, then add loving intentions to that touch and wow, transformation on every level and for each of the four bodies is happening! Can you tell I geek out on this daily?

5 - What are some skin conditions that can be physically improved through energy work?

I think perhaps all skin conditions can be improved with intentional and loving energy work. A few examples include:

– Sagging Jowls/Cheeks can be lifted by releasing grief. The lungs are represented in the lower cheeks and lungs tend to correlate with the many emotions associated with grief. There are many ways to release grief whether this is through crying, working with different therapeutic modalities, journaling, rituals to honor the deceased or the loss. An example of an affirmation to let go of grief, which will aid in lifting and toning the cheeks, is "I am filling up with joy and love as I clear old energies."

– Forehead wrinkles can be improved by reiki healing over the gut since the colon and digestion are represented all over the forehead. Also taking the right digestive enzymes for you consistently can really soften or eradicate forehead wrinkles. To determine the best enzymes for you consult a naturopath, holistic pharmacy, or use muscle testing. An affirmation to soften forehead wrinkles is "I am free from worry and digest exactly what I need."

– Sagging/wrinkling neck can be improved by honoring the voice. I recommend using voice memos on the smart phone to record what you need to "get off your chest" and choose to delete it or keep it. Giving those thoughts to the recording truly releases them from your brain and your being by giving them a place to go instead of just speaking them out loud where they might float back onto you.

– Any rash/pimple/rosacea: look at the facial organ map and see where this skin messenger is located and what part of the body is represented there. This map will clue in as to which organ is calling out for support. There is further meaning in the rash vs the pimple, but it's often specific to the individual.

6 - Can you explain what it means to be Nefeli gua sha certified?

Nefeli is both a skincare company and educational platform founded by Dr. Ping Zhang and she is largely responsible for bringing facial gua sha practice and certification to the west. There are a few more facial gua sha certifications now, yet Nefeli remains the most notable.

7 - You practice face mapping as well as working with a gua sha tool. What are the most practical first steps people can take in order to start doing at home facials in the way you prescribe? And what should you look for?

A lovely way to start is getting acquainted with the facial organ map. When we realize that dark circles under our eyes are associated with our kidneys we can do a quick google search on foods that are supportive to kidneys and then run it through our own intuition and what we know agrees with our body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each organ is associated with an emotion and the kidney usually holds fear. So we can ask ourselves, what can I do to release fear? How can I de-stress? What would need to happen for me to be more fearless every day?

I also think we can all touch our faces a lot more. We often are unaware of how much stress, tension, emotional history we hold in our faces. Massage is truly one of the most powerful ways to slow our aging. Before we fall asleep or while watching a show at night, cleanse your face with dry hands and dry face using the The Balm from Nucifera and then remove all makeup, debris from the day, with a warm to hot face cloth. Then The Mist (I love The Mist so much, my skin craves it 3-6 times a day) generously, and I mean soak your face. Then using either The Oil or The Balm again as a massage medium, intuitively massage the contours of your face. Moving in circles around your eyes very slowly is incredibly relaxing. Soften your jaw. Breathe deeply.

8 - We met when you were newly postpartum. How has motherhood changed your approach to skincare?

HA! It's changed everything. Having children changes everything! I'll focus on skincare though ;) For my skin and many postpartum mamas I treated, we were all really dry. Our bodies were giving so much to the recovery process and if we were nursing so many calories and hydration were going into the milk. So I was lathering The Balm several times a day, which is laughable because I was always so afraid of balms before motherhood because my skin was prone to breakouts.

I've also loved The Balm for massaging out scar tissue around my c section. The Balm is truly a multi-purpose healing formula and can be used in so many different applications.

My approach to the simplicity of my skincare ritual has heightened, meaning I keep it as low maintenance and brief as possible. I'm also loving that the Linea tool is on a necklace, so I can bring the massage pendant up to my face any time so I can release my tense jaw, or soften my frown, or comb out those tense muscle attachments at my hairline with the teeth edge. It's always on me so I can reach for it anytime. And I love the clear quartz crystal that offers energetic properties of cleansing and balancing as it rests right over my heart.

9 - What is your advice for skin health to new moms? What do new moms typically need for support?

For new moms, I suggest increasing high quality water intake whenever possible. We get so dehydrated no matter what, especially if we are nursing. By high quality water I mean spring water, preferable bottled in glass so there is no leaching from plastic. I order Alive Water that bottles from a river in Oregon that is raw water and very alive from the algae that grows in it, plus it flows over agate stone so it's filled with minerals and powerful energy! I also recommend sipping in small, slower sips instead of chugging. When we gulp a large amount at once it overwhelms our cells and bypasses our kidneys to rush right to our bladder and we release it; so chugging water doesn't actually hydrate us nearly as well as we hope.

Keep the routine simple, your skin is repairing just like your body. A massive transformation has taken place over 9-10 months and there was an incredible drop in hormones just after birth, so all systems are trying to stabilize. Products can have too much information in them sometimes, meaning a lot of ingredients that are trying to send a lot of signals to the cells. The less we overwhelm the skin and body in this time the better. Remember anything we apply to our skin absorbs into our bodies and bloodstreams at about 60-70% so choose clean products that have few ingredients. If you're ever questioning a product for you and your new baby, check out – most likely the product has been uploaded to their database and you can see exactly what's in it and whether it's clean or not.

10 - Why does skincare matter? I feel like skincare can get lumped into the vanity realm of things, and it has a hard time making its way out. I know we both see it as something deeper, and I'm curious how you would put that into words.

I love this question so much and I feel like you and I could collaborate on an entire book to just try to do this question justice. I feel skincare is one of the many entry points we have to developing a deeper and more meaningful understanding of who we are and how we can communicate with ourselves and also how we can listen to all the ways our four bodies are communicating to us through our physical body. If our faces are truly a map of our entire bodies, we can listen, offer love, release old hurts, eradicate pain, invite radiance and glow to every organ, every tissue, all the fluids, and every cell residing inside and on the outside of our bodies using intentional touch. Skincare is our reminder to apply this loving touch to our skin and all parts of our bodies. Clean and nutrient rich skincare actually nourishes our bodies inside and out similar to the way our diets do. Our skin and gut and brain are all so closely related and are embryologically the same stuff, meaning our brain cells also reside in our skin cells and the microbiome of our skin directly communicates and mimics the microbiome of our guts. Skincare certainly does aid in preserving our vanity and if that's why we make an effort to use and apply it then great! Also know our skincare is interacting with all aspects of us, so even if the only reason we reach for it is to make our surfaces shinier and prettier we're still getting all the added benefits to all the other layers as well, right to the marrow of our bones.

11 - Lastly, what is your daily skincare or self care routine?

My skin is still really dry and we're coming into Fall and Winter, so my focus is hydration and repair while still allowing my skin to breathe at night.

Rinse with cool to warm water.
Pat dry with turkish towel or something soft. This has been a recent game changer. I was absurdly behind on laundry and all face cloths were indisposed. I resorted to some turkish towels I had from my studio and they were so incredibly soft, all organic cotton, and it felt so much kinder to my skin!
Mist generously with The Mist by Nucifera
Massage generous pump of serum, either Moon Juice's Plump Jelly or True Botanicals' Chebula
Massage Linea Luminous Facial Oil and work it in so the skin has absorbed quite a bit of it. *Pro tip: if you don't Mist enough, the oil will sit on top of the skin and be greasier* I truly love this oil and it's funny because I made it only to use as a massage medium for the facial tool and I was proud of it, but now I love it so much and I can't go a day without it as it really balances my skin out and calms it down if it's flaring up for any reason.
Massage in The Balm by Nucifera or Earth Tu Face's balm on the areas I need it, which is usually forehead and around my eyes where I have these sweet crow's feet wrinkles.

Oil/Balm cleanse with Nucifera *Pro tip: don't use any water here. With dry hands and dry face lightly massage The Oil or The Balm to remove makeup or sunscreen or the day's layer. Then remove with a hot face cloth.
Cleanse with Kora Organics Milky Mushroom cleanser
Rinse *I rinse with tap water, but I prefer the bath because I have a filter. I once read that Nadine Artemis, founder of Living Libations and author of several books, only cleanses her skin with glass bottled spring water, so when she travels she has bottles of water just to wash her face. And I love this commitment! But my family gives me enough grief about ordering expensive alive river water that runs over agate stone for drinking!
Steps 3-5 for the evening routine. I skip the balm so my skin can breathe at night, UNLESS if I have to film something in the morning, then I do apply The Balm in any really dry or more wrinkly areas because it acts as an occlusive and seals moisture in. It works beautifully.

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