Former school psychologist shifts gears to create botanically based skincare products

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Skin Sanctuary is at 1905 S. New Market St. in the Village of WestClay. (Photo courtesy of Kathleen Eppink)

The birth of her granddaughter in 2021 brought Kathleen Eppink back home to Carmel. The former school psychologist had been living in Colorado, where she owned and operated ElevaSkin High Altitude Skincare.

“I had the opportunity to make a career change and entered into the world of esthetics,” Eppink said. “After almost 20 years of working with children in the schools, I loved the idea of taking care of all the hard-working moms who never have time for themselves.”

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She completed her aesthetics training and eventually opened ElevaSkin in 2014, which she still owns.

“I immediately encountered the challenge of finding skincare products that would work for my clients in the arid climate with the extremes of weather temperatures, high altitude conditions plus year-round excessive sun exposure,” she said. “I found that my clients’ skin was aging prematurely and showed significant sun damage. In addition, most of my clients had very dry skin while struggling with acne, rough skin texture and uneven skin tone.”

So, Eppink took all the active ingredients that were effective in treating her clients’ skin challenges and started researching the botanical buffering agents that would soothe the skin and add hydration while minimizing irritation and sensitivity, eventually developing a custom line of products.

“What I discovered along the way was that these formulas were also very successful for my clients who have sensitive skin and reactive skin from autoimmune conditions,” she said. “After being diagnosed with lupus myself in 2015, I learned firsthand of the challenge to find products that actually improve skin concerns such as aging, discoloration and dryness without irritating the skin and triggering an inflammatory reaction.”

Back home in Carmel, Eppink opened Skin Sanctuary at 1905 S. New Market St. in the Village of WestClay in June 2022. She shares her time between the two spas.

“In both locations, I strive to create a very personalized esthetic experience and relationship with my clients. I have the opportunity to get to know them, their skin and develop a good understanding of their skin concerns and goals,” Eppink said. “I truly love every minute I spend in my treatment studios. I swim a bit upstream in our aggressive skin care industry in my philosophy toward both facial treatments and products. I believe in a kinder, gentler approach to skincare. I keep daily skincare routines to three to five simple steps with multitasking products that will both improve and protect my clients’ skin.”

The Skin Sanctuary offers clients one-on-one private treatments and consultations.

“I am a huge fan of my zero-gravity treatment table, weighted blankets and maybe even a little obsessed with finding luxury touches that make my treatments as relaxing as they are clinically effective,” Eppink said. “The comment I hear most often from new clients, especially men, is how they wished they hadn’t waited so long to start taking care of their skin. Truthfully, it’s never too early or too late to begin a skincare routine. There is always an opportunity to improve your skin, plus the benefit of early detection of skin cancer.”

All products in Eppink’s skincare line are formulated and manufactured in FDA-approved labs in the United States and are ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested for safety and packaged for sterility.

To learn more about Skin Sanctuary visit