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Every journey in life is meaningful and a learning experience. Mine originated in South Africa, swimming and windsurfing at the beaches of Durban and Cape Town, then to the music and theatre of Toronto, my gateway into skiing in Quebec, Alberta, and BC, and arriving in the ultimate city of peace, love, and human rights, San Francisco. It was sun damage to my Scottish/English skin that led me to my future in skincare, and I moved out of the hi-tech world. I thus switched from hi-tech to hi-touch!
As a California licensed esthetician, I created Blue Turtle Spa in 2007 as a full-service spa. Through the mentorship of industry icon Rebecca James Gadberry, and her cosmetic ingredients and skincare courses at UCLA, and inspired by chemistry coaching from San Francisco City College lecturer Torrey Glen, my focus narrowed to skincare only. In helping clients with problem skin, who had tried everything else the marketing world could conjure up, my two San Francisco treatment rooms delivered positive results to so many people seeking a truthful, scientific and natural approach to skincare.
Inspired by this success, I developed Sensitive Skin Clinic, my own line of cruelty-free products made in the USA by the best cosmetic laboratories in S California and Illinois. Problem skin is always sensitive skin, whether it be unbalanced and reactive, Acne or Rosacea prone, sun-damaged and/or aging, or genetically inherited, so I knew I needed specific ingredients and cruelty-free formulas to help my world-wide clientele.
Helping people take better care of their uniquely challenging skin through simple, natural, and logical (non-marketing-hype-based) skincare techniques is my happy place. My sadness comes from all the cruelty to animals around the world. My hope is for a caring, compassionate, humane planet, and my cruelty-free skincare line is intended to make a difference not only on human skin.
To keep on top of current thinking regarding skincare I read extensively. Two books that really stand out for me are Oxygen: The Molecule That Made The World (Nick Lane), Life Itself: Exploring The Realm Of The Living Cell (Boyce Rensberger).
In my free time, I listen to music, with Pink Floyd, Armin Van Buren, Tiesto, Joan Armatrading, Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, and Joe Cocker among my favorites. I love movies and documentaries like Just Mercy (2019), This is Football (2019 6 part documentary), Selma (2014), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), Matrix (1999), The Color of Paradise (1999 Iranian), Hamam: The Turkish Bath (1997), Dog of Flanders (1997 animated English dub), The English Patient (1996), The Color Purple (1985), Harold and Maude (1971), Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). I also enjoy non-scientific books like A World Lit Only By Fire (William Manchester), The Last English King (Julian Rathbone), A People’s History Of The United States (Howard Zinn), The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje), Cutting for Stone (Abraham Verghese), Ishmael (Daniel Quinn). I believe veganism is best for strong and healthy skin, and my favorite cookbook is Speed Vegan - Recipes (Alan Roettinger)
Before moving to Washington (mid 2016), Andrew operated two top-rated spas in competitive San Francisco under the brand "Blue Turtle Spa". He earned 5-Star standing on Yelp!
Andrew earned a 5-star reputation for his Bellingham, Washington Sensitive Skin Clinic spa, too!