Inside-Out Beauty: The Founder of Total Glow MD Shares her Secrets

Terrie Absher’s beauty gleams from the inside out. With a passion for wellness and holistic beauty, the founder of Total Glow shares her decades of education and insider discoveries with her guests, a glitterati clientele, at her sought-after skincare and wellness med spa in Menlo Park. Embracing the sentiment attributed to Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken,” this eschewer of trends and advocate for celebrating each person’s individual attributes deftly directs her guests to be the best they can be with every visit. Offering services that run the gamut from facials to injectables to body sculpting to IV therapy, Absher also utilizes her own line of custom-formulated products, including some instant-result sheet masks, specially produced in France, and Ayurvedic facial serums for different skin types and concerns. 

But that’s not all. Absher, a highly trained esthetician, Ayurvedic master, and aromatherapist brings a unique East-meets-West perspective to Total Glow. Believing that “skincare requires attention to our whole body,” Absher’s technique relies on information from her clients about their diet, sleep, skin history, personal goals, and more to formulate the best program for each person. Exposed in childhood to and having deeply studied the wisdoms of the East and the West, she blends modalities to offer what she deems to be the most “effective and helpful combinations of the two approaches.” 

Though currently the largest provider of HydraFacial, Omnilux, and Ballancer Pro in California, a Center of Excellence for EmSculpt, and already bustling, Total Glow has announced that it will soon grow to a luxurious 9,000 square feet. The spa will offer the same skincare philosophies with updated treatments and amenities, including a comprehensive wellness center with such options as a detox center, a Himalayan salt cave, yoga, and meditation, among others. 

Skip sugar today—just start with today and maybe add another day. Eat your vegetables and take a walk. No need to be ambitious, just make a start. Move your body. We need to use it today so it will work tomorrow.

HL: You seamlessly blend East meets West. Tell us more.

TA: This philosophy of East and West is actually my heritage. I am half Irish and half Korean, and actually grew up in Korea and in Okinawa, Japan. My childhood was influenced first-hand by the Asian culture, which included skincare. My mother and female relatives would spend over an hour after cleansing their skin using multiple facial massage techniques. I remember being in awe of this nightly ritual and connecting it to my mother’s flawless beauty. This was an integral part of my own routine, since I was given my personal skincare products as a young girl. 

When I pursued skincare as a professional business, I was very excited to learn the newest and latest technological advances in skincare. This introduction to a whole different approach to skincare became my main focus for a time. Although I focused on becoming an expert in Western techniques, I always incorporated wellness into the conversation, as that was a particular passion of mine. It was clear that skincare required attention to the whole body. After my graduation and credential from an Ayurveda program, I had no doubt about my vision to combine Eastern and Western ways to bring an entirely different level of optimum skincare.

HL: What are some things we can do, starting today, to ward off ageing in general? 

TA: Skip sugar today—just start with today and maybe add another day. Eat your vegetables and take a walk. No need to be ambitious, just make a start. Move your body. We need to use it today so it will work tomorrow. Stand up and try to touch your toes right now. How did you do? If you are stiff, do some gentle stretching: sign up for yoga or learn a few poses you can do today. Flexibility is completely related to staying young. If you aren’t flexible today, you will become increasingly more so. Work on your sleep habits. If you have a problem sleeping, learn how to create healthy sleep habits. Take a nap if you need it. Take care of your body from the surface to the inside, and you will be happily surprised when you notice your age doesn’t bother you.

HL: What about for our skin?

TA: The very best step, other than sunscreen, is to use Environ’s fat form of Vitamin A, which can be worn during the day to protect you from the ageing effects of sunlight. Sunlight destroys Vitamin A in your skin, which is an essential ingredient for skin health. It is this deficiency that creates photo-damage, which is the primary cause of premature ageing. Secondly, think vitamins for the body and vitamins for the skin. Add in topical vitamin C and antioxidants, then you will have 80 percent of what your skin cells need to be healthy. The Omnilux Contour Mask is another great addition to up-level your skincare treatments and enhance the products you use at home.

HL: What are your top tips for a more beautiful 2022? 

TA: Eat what is healthy for you—that’s different for each body type. Keep unhealthy habits balanced with healthy ones. It is true: moderation is key. You will know that you are leaning too far in the unhealthy column when your skin, hair, and eyes lose their vibrancy. 

Have a restful 2022. That means make time for downtime and sleep. That’s when the restoration process that renews our cells and systems happens. The internet has so much competing information that it’s difficult to know what’s up and what down, so take the time to see a professional skincare therapist. 

Adopt a skincare regimen and stick to it. Jumping around between different products can be very challenging for your skin, which is an organ that deserves respect. Skin sensitivity is really on the rise compared to when I first started in the industry. This is an important conversation to have with your skincare professional. Find someone in the industry who will tell you what is best for you as an individual. Let them sort through the overload of information and misinformation and guide you for a truly beautiful 2022.