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Silicon Valley Tastemakers Share Their Glow-Getting Secrets

Carolyne Zinko | February 25, 2020 | Lifestyle Style & Beauty

SkinSpirit CEO Lynn Heublein and NBC Bay Area evening news anchor Raj Mathai share a glimpse of how they get glowing from dawn to dusk.

The CEO of SkinSpirit finds her work as rejuvenating as the treatments her company provides.


Lynn Heublein, the co-founder of SkinSpirit, opened shop in Palo Alto and now has 13 branches nationwide.

You can take the woman out of the startup, but you can’t take the startup out of the woman. Engineer and Stanford business school grad Lynn Heublein, a co-founder of Catapult Entertainment in the 1990s, put in 100-hour workweeks and went 18 months without a single day off before selling the network gaming technology company and taking a year off to rest. It was 2002, the early days of cosmetic dermatology, when she undertook microdermabrasion and laser hair removal treatments with Stanford-trained plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Dean Vistnes. They brainstormed and, in 2003, created their own startup, SkinSpirit (, a Palo Alto clinic for facials, injectables like Botox and fillers, and a host of other medical treatments.

Today, thanks to mainstream acceptance of such procedures, SkinSpirit has 13 locations stretching across California, Washington and Texas (with eight in the Bay Area, including three in Silicon Valley, and one in Orange County’s Newport Beach). Plans call for up to eight more locations across the U.S. this year. Heublein describes her client base as highly educated professional women 35 to 55 years old, with $100,000 in household income. Her days start at 6:30 am, when she rises to read the news and answer email. She juggles meetings with exercise (“Working out is a priority,” she says) and has dinner at home with her husband and teenage son at night.

In the fall of 2018, the chief executive officer accepted her first outside funding from PWP Growth Equity in New York to retain a competitive advantage while avoiding growth for growth’s sake. “It’s important for us to follow our North Star: providing a quality experience and being a reliable place where people know what they’re doing with a focus on natural results,” Heublein says. “The kind of products and services we offer is very empowering to people so that they have more control over how they look and how they age, and to address things that might hold them back in terms of their confidence. That’s the thing I most enjoy and value.”


“I have a latte at home with Peet’s French roast and 2% milk on a DeLonghi espresso machine.”


“I work out on my Peloton or do a barre class at Alkalign, in Menlo Park, drink a Skinade with collagen-boosting agents and B vitamins, and get a blowout at Halo.”


“If I’m working in Palo Alto, I’ll go to Whole Foods and pick up sushi or soup or a small salad for lunch.


“I schedule a treatment: facials every six weeks, Botox every three months, and sometimes IPL (intense pulse light treatment) to even out my skin tone.”


“Dinner is usually grilled fish, vegetables and rice, and a glass of Whispering Angel rosé.”

An intrepid anchorman brings energy, consistency and trust to NBC Bay Area’s airwaves on a nightly basis.


Raj Mathai comes from a family of journalists and counts 12 Emmy awards to his credit for TV news.

With 12 Emmys for TV news, on-air talent, cultural programming and sports journalism, it’s no wonder Raj Mathai is not only a familiar face but a trusted voice for news. The evening news anchor for NBC Bay Area KNTV’s 5pm, 6pm and 11pm newscasts was the first Indian sportscaster in the United States, and hails from a family of journalists. His father, T.J. Mathew, ran magazines in India in the 1970s, and his uncle, T.J.S. George, founded Asiaweek magazine. Mathai, at KNTV since 1998, says, “I just love exchanging ideas and information with people—that’s what keeps me going. Sometimes that is a serious news situation, sometimes it’s a sports situation, sometimes it’s a life-or-death breaking news situation.”

When he was 6 years old, his family moved from India to Palo Alto. While watching ABC’s Monday Night Football, with commentators Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell and Don Meredith, a career aspiration was born. “I remember turning on the TV and I was hooked, mesmerized, and not necessarily by the game, but by the announcers and the storytelling,” he recalls. The most challenging aspect of the job, he notes, is “getting the story right,” whether it’s minutes or days to deadline, and “giving it perspective, not just facts.”

Looking good for high-definition cameras requires working out and eating well. He steers toward salads and fish, skips breakfast and avoids caffeine (Asa restaurant in Los Altos is a favorite). His gym’s steam room is important, he says, because “it gives me a chance to think; physically and mentally, I feel everything going right through my body and cleansing me.” There are frequent haircuts, facial cleansers from the Berman Skin Institute and custom suits by Indochino, J. Hilburn and a family tailor in London. But life
is not all flash for Mathai, who with his wife, Sonia, is raising a 2-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. “If it was up to me,” he says with a laugh, “I’d be like everyone else and get a haircut and shave whenever I felt like it—and I wouldn’t wear makeup.”


“I wake up to the news on TV, radio and online, chat with producers and newsmakers, and play with my 2-year-old.”


“Every 17 days (for the past 19 years), I get a haircut at Sammy Zelcer’s in Menlo Park.”


“I swim and steam at the Bay Club in Santa Clara or do a Tony Horton HIIT or yoga video at home.”

“I head to NBC studios in San Jose.”


“I get home from work, unwind and go to bed.”

Photography by: Portraits, tie detail and laptop detail by Craig Lee. Coffee, Snap by Three; Courtesy of Peloton; sushi, Niclas Illg/Unsplash; facial mask, Mikolette/iStock; salmon bowl, Cotton Bro/Pexels; barber, Allef Vinicius/Unsplash; pool, Sacha Styles/Unsplash