A Week in the Life of Philly Skincare Guru Lynn Gallagher

Lynn Gallagher, esthetician at Haven Wellness Center, Parlour, and Heyday, spends her free time practicing yoga, meditating, and of course, taking care of her skin.

Philadelphia esthetician Lynn Gallagher leads by example when it comes to her skincare. / Photograph courtesy of Lynn Gallagher.

Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one area resident to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email lbrzyski@phillymag.com.

Who I am: Lynn Gallagher (@lghtwellness), 27

Where I live: Fishtown (I am a native!)

What I do: I am an esthetician and a yoga/meditation teacher (RYT 200). I practice Gua Sha for Haven Wellness Center and offer facials at Parlour in Fishtown and Heyday in Rittenhouse. I also teach yoga for Roots2Rise.

What role healthy living plays in my life: I consider what I do to to be an approach to a holistic lifestyle that emphasizes wellness practices as a foundation for actualizing internal and external beauty. More so, I am personally and professionally working diligently to expose the truth of what I consider to be “wholesome beauty” which is the internal/external radiance and vitality that happens as a result of the conditions, habits, and behaviors we engage in and maintain in order to support our overall health and well-being.

Now, my main squeeze is facial Gua Sha, a facial massage technique that works with the lymphatic system, fascia, and musculature of the face, neck, and decollete as a means of detoxification and purification to restore skin’s radiance and help to de-stress. Practicing Gua Sha and spreading awareness about it has become my central focus in my esthetics/wellness career. I firmly support any way in which my clients develop and maintain self-care and healing modalities to optimize their wellness, which in turn can increase their wholesome approach to the ritualistic aspect of “beauty” practices.

Health memberships (and what they cost):


Gallagher plans out her schedule and grocery list in her nifty planner. / Photograph by Lynn Gallagher.

8 a.m. — In my industry, Saturdays and Sundays are the most busy and my schedule is full to capacity on both days. So, I consider Monday to be my “me day.” It’s a sacred time for me to create my moments of silence and organization because…Virgo tendencies.

9 a.m. — I make a pot of tea with my favorite Stagg kettle from Fellow and loose leaf tea that my best friend Gab gets me from where she lives in Maryland. I settle in and find my way to my meditation seat, where I create silence and reflect. This helps me set the tone of the day and week.

10:30 a.m. — I have an appointment at Barefoot Community Acupuncture. I unfortunately sustained a neck injury and am working to relieve the stress, tension, and inflammation. I go to Barefoot because I can spend as much time as I need there to relax ($20).

12 p.m. — Because of my work schedule, I typically don’t have my first meal of the day until 12 p.m. This month, I’m doing Whole 30 (for the second time) with my old roommate from college who conveniently lives around the corner from me so we can cook together and check in on each other. Accountability works! For today’s first meal, I make a fruit bowl over Culina coconut probiotic yogurt that I found at DiBruno Bros ($5.99) And OF COURSE, I found passionfruit and dragonfruit at Riverwards Produce ($9.98), making for a delicious first meal of the day.

1 p.m. — In between laundry, I need to plan out my week out in my agenda, organize my personal/professional life of managing clients at three locations, send emails, set up business meetings, plan some content, and check in with my budget. I do this while listening to my favorite podcasts and catching up with any content I missed from Tom Bilyeu’s Impact Theory or Goop.

2 p.m. — I water my plants and smudge them with sage or palo santo. After cleansing myself and my room, I like to keep infusing my space with good vibes and positive energy. It’s my peaceful place, so I have to treat it as such.

2:15 p.m. — I have to do some cooking and meal prep for the week and given my schedule, I decide to order WholeFoods from Amazon Prime for delivery ($140). This makes my life a lot easier. I already planned out my week of meal prep in my nifty journal, and will be prepping some shrimp with bok choy to have this week.

4:30 p.m. — Monday Movement with Meg… is what I made up… but I take Meg Townsend’s hatha class at Amrita. My training is in vinyasa and after practicing for so many years, I’ve transitioned a bit with my personal practice to yin and now hatha because I find it to support my body most at the moment. Plus, the savasana in Meg’s classes is so juicy I almost always nap a little.

6 p.m. — Dinner before I head out to teach my Monday night Roots2Rise class in Northern Liberties. Tonight, I’m having carnitas that I made in the crock pot earlier. Fun fact: I was previously vegetarian and vegan, but I find that eating organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised meats sustains me more optimally. Plus, the recipe I’m using is super easy and amazing!

7:30 p.m. — My Monday night class has been consistent for almost a year and a half! Tonight was a large group and they are dedicated and always curious! I teach this class as an all-levels vinyasa style with a bit of yin/restorative style at the end.

9:30 p.m. — I find myself wanting to sleep because tomorrow is the only super early work day of my week. But of course, my energy jolts and I have to tie up some loose ends before I wind down. So I light my candles/incense, turn on my Vitruvi diffuser, and get to my meditation room and find my journal to write, draw, or color (it’s cathartic for me) until I feel ready to sleep.

10:30 p.m. — My iPhone is set to remind me to sleep by 11 p.m., so it usually reminds me it’s time to wind down…technology apparently has to get me to sleep because I won’t do it on my own. I take a supplement to increase sleep quality: a blend of calcium and magnesium (which helps me stay asleep).

10:45 p.m. — I carve out time for my skincare routine because I love the feeling of “taking the day off”. Cleansing rituals are therapeutic for me. So I usually shower and do a four-step skin routine at night (Kumari oil cleanse, universal cleanser, balance aromamist, and nourishing oil — all from Wilde Gatherings).

11 p.m. — “Hey Google, set alarm for 5 a.m.” I listen to the Spotify playlist “The Sleep Machine: Waterscapes” while I sleep because I dream of living by an ocean, and this is the closest I can get right now.

Daily total: $175.97


One of Gallagher’s many work spaces. / Photograph by Lynn Gallagher.

5:15 a.m. — Google tried to wake me, but black out curtains and the sounds of water put me so at ease, I didn’t wake up on the first alarm. Before my feet hit the floor, I give a moment of gratitude and to start with the mantra, “I can’t believe I have another day,” as well as, “I can’t believe I decided to workout at this hour.”

6 a.m. — Today, I’m taking a Train class (aka a full-body workout) at EverybodyFights. It’s my first time there, which means it’s free! I mostly enjoy high-intensity classes with functional movement because they support my body and my yoga practice. Plus, I need a variation in my routine to keep me engaged.

7 a.m. — Class was great! I don’t consider my day as fully starting, though, until I complete my skincare routine. In the mornings, I need to keep it simple to get out of the gym in a timely fashion. I use my Grown Alchemist gentle gel cleanser, tone with rose water, and then apply Marie Veronique vitamin C, Image SPF 50 moisturizer, LilFox oil-based serum, and Laurel eye serum.

7:30 a.m. — I make it over to HeyDay after showering and getting ready at the gym. To start my nutrition for the day, I take my vitamins on an empty stomach post-workout, as per suggestion for the brand I take. I have time to make a latte with Vital Proteins collagen matcha and macadamia nut milk, with some skin vitamins on the side because anti-age from within leads to long term skin health and youthfulness! Are we keeping count of the amount of supplements I take???

8 a.m. — Tuesday is one of my longer days and I will see six clients today. I find that in the morning, it takes me a moment to get myself ready and I like to be in silence to get in the right mindset to give energy to my clients.

11 a.m. — I packed breakfast, lunch, and dinner to make my life easier and to remain Whole30 compliant. I have some leftover dragon fruit from yesterday and drink a Bulletproof collagen latte. Okay maybe too much collagen for today? I also have a snack of carrots and SOOM tahini mixed with cacao (YUM).

3 p.m. — I wrap up with my clients for the day and have a moment to myself before I head home. I have to go to a CPR class tonight since I am getting re-certified, as per a bi-annual requirement as a yoga teacher with the organization I teach. Saving lives is fun!

5 p.m. — I need to have my dinner now before I go to my class. I am having some of the shrimp and bok choy I made yesterday with a side of fresh peppers.

7:30 p.m. — Back home, time to wash the day off. My hands and arms are my lifeline… have you ever given a facial after lifting???? Ouch, sore. Good sore.

8:30 p.m. — OK…SLEEP! I just need my sleep supplements (and CBD lotion from Sagely Naturals) that I hope will take away the muscle soreness and help me wind down. I usually prefer workouts in the morning because the adrenal pumping plus caffeine is lethal for me *wants to sleep but stays up all night*

9 p.m. — My favorite part of the day: night time facial massage with a jade roller. Tonight features May Lindstrom’s blue cocoon balm while I wind down in bed. I need to jot down a few daily recaps and plan for the next day in my “Positive Planner” book my best friend got me for our Christmas pollyanna and this settles my mind before bed. *Cue Google home for sleep routine*

11 p.m. — Goodnight!

Daily total: $0


Gallagher and her SO Donovan take care of their skin together. Now that’s love. / Photograph by Lynn Gallagher.

8 a.m. — The feeling when you’re ready to hit the floor and get the day started and your muscles are like NOT YET because of your EverybodyFights workout… I do get up, mostly because my cats are scratching at the door.

8:15 a.m. — Thanks to my best friend Sarah for my Christmas gift tea set, I get my morning pot prepared. This morning’s blend is from Steap and Grind and I add a little collagen creamer for vitality and recovery from the gym. I am taking a Facial Gua Sha client this morning at Haven, so I like to do my own facial Gua Sha and energy cleansing before I go. I always use Elements of Aura rituals before I see clients.

11 a.m. — My first client has never done Gua Sha before, so we go through an evaluation and consultation before the cleansing session and facial massage with Gua Sha. I end her session with a hand and arm massage, a steamed lavender towel, and some palo santo. It’s magical to see a client transform energetically after treatments!

12:30 p.m. — I wrap up at Haven and have my first meal of the day before heading into Parlour Fishtown to see clients. I am having left over carnitas with a side of avocado, mango salsa, and plantains that I fried in coconut oil.

2 p.m. — My day at Parlour consists of both waxing (usually eyebrows) and customizable Ayurvedic facials with Gua Sha added in. Working here doesn’t feel like work, it feels like the type of place you go to relax. We are all laid back and have a take-no-BS attitude, but are equally as dynamic, loving, and approachable. Personally, the way Kelley designed the facial room quite literally sets me into a different mental and energetic state. It smells of sage, essential oils, and her soothing aromamists. I love seeing clients light up when they come in.

6 p.m. — I wrap up with clients and have time to get home to change for teaching yoga and get a quick meal in! Tonight’s dinner: Thai-flavored meatballs and zucchini noodles.

7 p.m. — I have to be on my way to NoLibs again to teach my class. Tonight’s class is yin yoga with a small group. I love teaching yin as much as I love practicing it because it allows me to drop into my physical and energetic body and cleanse myself from the madness of the rushing around of the week. Maintaining harmony is key in helping me keep up with the rest of the week.

9:30 p.m. — Yes! I get home for the day. This is usually the point in the week when two very important things happen 1) I get to spend some time with my partner, Donovan, and 2) we exfoliate together. Not only are we compatible in our relationship but we share the same skin type so consider the deal SEALED. We use Naturopathica’s sweet cherry enzyme that I get from Heyday which has salicylic acid in it to help prevent breakout for me and excess oil production for Donovan. AND of course, a Gua Sha moment to be had.

9:45 p.m. — We have a nightly routine when we are together: we reflect and say what we are grateful for after energy cleansing with some palo santo. It took time, but Donovan understands my lifestyle and my rituals, and now participates, too!

11:30 p.m. — And you know by now… cue Google and it’s lights out!

Daily total: $0


For dinner, Gallagher enjoys a protein-packed bowl from Dig. / Photograph by Lynn Gallagher.

7 a.m. — I don’t start at HeyDay until 3 p.m. today, but Donovan is on the 9-5 schedule right now so of course the alarm he sets on Google gets me up, too. Time for some movement! So I head to Amrita for a yoga class.

9:30 a.m. — Today’s class is approachable and a nice way to iron out some of the tension and kinks I felt from my workout the other day. I love being in the Maha Room with the water sounds and skylights. Plus, this class usually isn’t too crowded so I can spread out and be zen in my own space.

12 p.m. — Get home, showered, and ready for the day. I sit for meditation, drink some tea, you know the deal. I am going to have my lunch before I head out to Rittenhouse to get some work done before my 2 p.m. meeting. Just some leftovers from yesterday’s dinner of meatballs and zucchini noodles.

2 p.m. — I have a meeting today with a brand strategist who has been helping me with a personal project. Before we meet, I stop at Mom’s Market because I absolutely need my favorite coconut yogurt, CocoJune. I can’t live without it so I get two of the large containers ($16.98).

3 p.m. — Into HeyDay I go! Thursday nights usually get pretty slammed. People are preparing for the weekend and because it’s usually after a work day they are either 1) high energy and ready for Friday or 2) ready to sleep the rest of the weekend. So I never know what I will get. HA! But so far today/tonight, I have clients who have been faithfully coming to see me for a facial every month so I am always excited to see their progression!

7 p.m. — The moment I have been waiting for…. I FINALLY get Dig for dinner. This is the first meal I have bought out in a few weeks since I started Whole30, so this is such a treat! Plus, it’s easy to stick to complying when their options are so healthy! I get chicken thighs over beats, sweet potatoes, and greens! YUM! ($14.74)

11 p.m. — I head home from a day of clients and am definitely pooped. I do a quick skincare routine of oil cleanse with Living Libations “best skin ever” and a quick jade roll, no Gua Sha.

Daily total: $31.72


Gallagher performs her own Gua Sha facial massage while in the sauna at The Wellness Refinery. / Photograph by Lynn Gallagher.

9 a.m. — For most people, today is the start of their weekend, but Friday means the most work for me. I actually have become accustomed to this lifestyle of working on the weekends, but I love the way people’s energy shifts. They are more relaxed and a bit more “buzzy” and not so stressed about the week. They are ready to unwind and receive their facial treatments as a way to relax and I am here for it!

9:30 a.m. — I am going to The Wellness Refinery this morning because something about detoxifying internally and externally feels right to me. Plus, I need to spend time in the sauna for skin health and muscle relaxation, and to keep my mitochondria strong as the colder weather and darker days hit. Plus, Ashleigh (the owner) can make me a tonic drink that’s Whole30 approved! Win, win.

10 a.m. — Check into The Wellness Refinery. As always, I am greeted with a loving hug, the hospitality of a cold pitcher of water, and a piping hot room ready for me to go sit in for 45 minutes ($39 for sauna, $6 for tonic).

10:15 a.m. — After giving myself a moment to settle in and adjust to the heat, I do a mini Gua Sha session on myself. I started doing this when Ashleigh first opened her spot and now I conditioned myself to treat my skin while sweating. For me, it works. I crave the feeling of the warm tool on my face as it melts away all the tension in my body.

12:30 p.m. — I have my first “breakfast” styled meal that I’ve had all week: organic eggs, sugar-free bacon, and some avocado.

1:30 p.m. — I am ready for my day at Parlour. Fridays are typically days full of eyebrow waxing clients and some facials. Tonight, I see one of my very loyal clients which makes the day go by quickly.

7 p.m. — Time to wrap up today, but I need a moment to unwind a bit from the day and week. At this point, I feel a bit more of a need for silence, rest, and a reset to make it through my weekend. I typically do 12-hour days on Saturdays and start early on Sundays so I need to pace myself. Donovan has already gotten our groceries to make for our dinner tonight. He has so willingly and kindly readjusted his palate tonight to accommodate a Whole30-approved meal. We love to cook together and it’s our first time using Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy cookbook. We make a cabbage recipe with coconut flour crusted flounder and adjust a bit to meet the requirements for Whole30.

9:30 p.m. — Our nightly routine begins. It’s a little difficult now to not have a glass of rosé and a dessert right now, which we usually do on a Friday night in. But it’s all good! We want to start tomorrow morning with a meditation together so we make it an early night. But of course, we do our nightly skincare routine.

11 p.m. — *Cue Google*

Daily total: $45

Weekly totals

Money spent: $252.69
Workouts completed: Three
Personal Gua Sha sessions: Five