Monday, January 16, 2017

Toning - Why Skipping This Step Is Doing You More Harm Than Good

Every time I see a new client at my spa, they fill out a detailed consultation form. On this form I ask them to check off all of the products they are using in their current regimen. And you know what one I see skipped the most often? Toner. But why? If I were to ask my clients why they're skipping the toner I would get a range of answers including "it dries out my skin", "I don't see the point of it" and probably a few who just want to cut time or cut costs. But what are the consequences of skipping this step in your skin care regimen? The truth is most people have no idea what a toner even does! It's a common misconception that toners contain alcohol to "dry out" the skin and help prevent breakouts. True, MANY traditional toners did contain alcohol, and this is what they were recommended for in the 80s and 90s. But today's toners are of a different breed and can actually boost the results of your other skincare products. So what IS the purpose of a toner? It's to remove residue from my cleanser, right? Sorry, wrong again... There should be no residue left from your cleanser if you are rinsing properly, so you don't need a toner for this purpose. A soft wash cloth can do that for you.

Here are the THREE benefits to using a toner:

#1. It balances the pH of your skin. Remember in grade 7 science class when we learned about acids and bases and made those volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar? Well our skin, is naturally slightly acidic, and if you remember from science class, water is neutral, and therefore more alkaline than our skin. Have you ever noticed that after you get out of the shower your skin can feel tight? Well it's not dry... I mean you just got out of the shower, right? It's too alkaline. Throw an alkaline cleanser in the mix and you've got some upset skin if you don't do something about it. So what do most of us do? We slap some moisturizer on there. There that should do it, right? Which leads me to #2....

#2. Your moisturizer cannot work effectively if the skin is not balanced. Not only is your moisturizer meant to add hydration to the skin, but it's also meant to help lock in what moisture is already there, but if it's fighting an unbalanced pH, it can't penetrate effectively into the layers of the skin to do it's job. Plus, the added hydration from the toner means that you will need less moisturizer to spread onto the skin, so your products will go further and last longer, actually saving you money!

#3. Toners contain added vitamins and nutrients for the skin, so it's one more step to nourish your skin. Plus, you can even apply it throughout the day and over makeup to give a boost of hydration, refresh skin, and to set your makeup!

So if you've been skipping the toner, it's time to add it back into your routine! Stop by the spa and find out which toner is best for your skin type!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

If Only Toning Our Abs Was This Easy!

Our Skin Fit Facial has arrived at Skin Studio Spa, and it has people asking - what is this fancy new device and how does it work?

This new Facial incorporates our existing LED Therapy and amazing organic products with the incredible benefits of micro-current technology.
Micro-current has been widely used for over 30 years by physicians, occupational therapists, chiropractors and acupuncturists - but once it's tissue repairing capabilities were discovered, it was quickly introduced to the aesthetics industry for facial rejuvenation. It has since been proven that micro-current helps accelerate healing, increase circulation, and improve muscle tone, among other benefits.

First, the science-y stuff...
As you may or may not know, as we age, our cell turnover rate slows, and more and more of our skin cells become damaged. All damaged cells are deficient in a coenzyme known as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP is the cell's main energy source and is essential in the healing process. When we apply micro-current to the skin, it helps increase circulation and ATP within the cells and therefore allow nutrients to flow to the damaged cells and build new proteins. It is also believed that as we age, the body's natural electrical current becomes "misdirected", and by applying micro-current we can reprogram the muscles back to their original shape. Because the technology works in harmony with our body's natural functions, the result is dramatically increased elastin fibres, (both in number and length), as well as collagen thickness and number of blood vessels in the skin. Overall, the result is firmer, tighter, more youthful skin.

So how does this treatment compare to other anti-aging treatments on the market?
Well, what if I told you, you could get the results of a face lift without surgery, or even the prick of a needle? For years, doctors have been turning to Botox and fillers to mimic the effect of a brow lift for example, but with micro-current we can create the same great results, without the side effects! We can even slim the jawline, define the cheek bones, and smooth common expression lines between the brows and in the naso-labial fold. Over time, Botox injections can cause the muscle to atrophy, so even though micro-current can mimic the results of Botox, it can also be a beneficial complementary treatment to provide "plumpness" to the muscle and generate controlled muscle activity. Just remember to allow two-weeks post injections prior to going for a micro-current facial.

Think of micro-current as your personal trainer for your face. It strengthens and tones facial muscles, among many other benefits, and has even been dubbed the "pilates for your face"! Makeup artists love to keep NuFace in their kit to help create a more almond shaped eye, and a more dramatic arch in the brow. In as little as five minutes they can tighten, and create a gentle lift, and even help you look more awake! Oh, and don't worry, the current works below the sensation threshold, so you will only feel a slight tingling sensation, if anything at all - in fact, many clients fall asleep during their facial!

Ready to give it a try? Click here to book our SKIN FIT FACIAL or WOW BROW now!

Monday, November 9, 2015

An Open Letter...

This is an open letter to all the women who are too embarrassed to go to the spa.

Listen... I got into this industry so I could empower women and make them feel beautiful! So to all the women who have ever gotten on my table and apologized - stop it. To all the women who have never gotten on my table because they couldn't bear the thought of a stranger seeing their deepest insecurities - stop it. I will speak for MOST Estheticians when I say we did not get into this industry to judge you for not being perfect - we got into this industry because we wanted to make you feel perfect just the way you are! Our job is to enhance what you've already got so that you can see how beautiful you really are.

I get it... you are vulnerable when you're on my table. You come in here with no makeup on, and then I have the nerve to shine a bright light over your face, and look at it through a magnifying lamp. But I remind you - I am not judging your face/skin/chin hair/whatever, I am assessing your skin, and listening to your concerns so I can create a game plan for you. I will then customize an amazing facial for you and educate you on how to target those concerns at home, and take care of you, and your largest organ - your skin.

Sometimes you come here, because you've got hair. So don't apologize for being hairy. A please don't apologize to me that I have to look at your vagina to make a living. I choose this career, and I'm not sorry one bit! Don't apologize for asking if I can wax your tummy while I'm at it, or the extra hair on your buttocks. If it bothers you, I remove it, you feel more confident - whether it's for your own comfort, or so you can feel more comfortable in the bedroom is none of my business, and really doesn't matter, as long as YOU are happy.  You see, we're people pleasers, us Estheticians. All we want is to see a big giant smile on your face when you leave our spa.

You're not the first person to have hair on your lip, chin, cheeks, forehead, nipples, tummy, back, buttocks.... you name it - I've seen it before. It doesn't bother me. It's my job - it's what I am here for! So just ask! And if you're not sure what a Brazilian wax is, or if you want one, just ask me - I will answer any and all your questions until YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE.

Please, don't be shy. If you always wanted to try XYZ, but you're not sure what it's all about, I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, ask questions, and just try it! I promise you won't regret it. You may even want to make it a monthly endeavor!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The BEST Products For Your Skin!

Yesterday I had a client ask me a very good question...
"Every place that I go for a facial, the Esthetician tells me that her product is the best. How do I know what's actually best for me and my skin?"

First of all - let me assure you, we are not just telling you our product is the best in order to lour you in with false promises to make a quick buck. We genuinely believe that OUR PRODUCT IS THE BEST. So how do you know which product is actually the best?? Well, what's "best" is going to be different for everyone, and will be dependent on your beliefs/ lifestyle/ preferences/ what's important to you, and so much more!

So, where do you begin when searching for a product for your skin? Let me tell you where I began...

First of all, as a skincare professional, I have tried and worked with several professional grade lines, and like all human beings, what works for me is what I'm going to recommend to my friends, my family, and of course, my clients. I was first introduced to Eminence Organic Skincare approximately 8 years ago, and fell in love with the line! Not only was my skin clear, healthy and glowing but the philosophies behind the brand really caught my attention (more on that later!). Although I only worked with the line for a short time, I came back to certain products again and again, and I knew that if I ever got to choose a product line to work with, this would be it! Fast forward to 2014, I was ready to open my doors as Skin Studio Spa and the first person I called was Darlene at Eminence. I was looking for a location for my spa, and because Eminence doesn't like to over saturate the market I couldn't be too close to another Eminence spa. So I told her the address of the location I had my heart set on to see if they would allow it, and boldly told her - "Eminence is my ONLY choice for skincare so if I have to choose between Eminence and my location, I'll move." Thank my lucky stars they approved me so I got my favourite product line to AND a great location!

I remember opening those jars and feeling nostalgic - "I remember this smell!", "I used to love this masque!". Something about the scentual (yes I made that word up) experience you get with an Eminence facial just keeps you coming back for more!

When considering what's important to you in a skincare line, there are so many factors to consider! Here are a few reasons Eminence is, and always will be my go to line - and why I truly believe it should be yours too!

  • They were organic, before it was "cool". And not just "we-use-organic-lavander-oil-so-we-can-call-ourselves-organic" organic. Eminence is actually true to the definition, organic-because-it's-the-heart-and-soul-of-the-company organic. I never have to worry about a product being toxic or carcinogenic, and all of their products are safe for pregnant/ nursing mamas and children alike.
  • They're eco-friendly! They have their own solar and wind powered farms in Hungary where growing practices are closely monitored, not only for the production of quality ingredients, but also for the better interest of the land so soil is always nutrient rich and never deprived. Plants are hand picked and products are hand made. The warehouse looks like your grandmothers cold cellar with mason jars of luscious strawberries, blueberries, pears, and so much more! There are several efforts that the brand takes to ensure they are minimizing their carbon footprint - check their site for more details on that!
  • Active ingredients! Usually when you look at the ingredient deck for any skincare product, the first ingredient is water, followed by a bunch of fillers, and then the active ingredients. Not with Emience. No, my friends, Eminence doesn't believe in selling you a fancy jar of water. You get nothing but skin beneficial ingredients, and if you choose, you can run your fingers under the tap and add a little water yourself! 
  • They're Canadian! I bet you didn't know that Eminence is right here in the Great White North, calling beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia their home. So you can feel good about supporting your fellow Canadian and our economy :).
  • They give back! For every product you purchase Eminence plants a tree! Plus they have many other programs they take part in, including their children's charity "Eminence Kids" where they help provide healthy, organic food to sick children around the world. 
  • There's something for everyone. Did you know that Eminence has 33 (thirty-three!) moisturizers? And you thought there were only 3 skin types (oily, combination or dry)! Ha! There are an array of smells, textures and sensations with every product in the line, so rest assured if you don't fall in love with one Emienence product after trying it, there will be another one that will fit all your wants and needs!
  • They support me. This may not be as important to you as a consumer, but consider the following... If a skincare company supports small businesses (and your favourite Esthetician!), this means we can keep providing the excellent care and service that you love. Eminence provides me with the knowledge to effectively recommend treatments and homecare products for you, provides free samples and GWPs (gifts with purchase), plus they have a handy Spa Locator on their website that helps Eminence lovers find a retailer in their area quickly and easily!
  • Tens of thousands of people can't be wrong! With over 63,000 Facebook followers, 14,000 Instagram followers and almost 6,000 Twitter followers - Eminence certainly has a lot of raving fans, including me :).
So after hearing all of the reasons why I love Eminence and you love it too - if you want to find the products that are best for your skin, come in for one our signature Organic Hungarian Facials and let me create a customized homecare regimen for you. 

Still not sure what's right for you? I recommend you find an Esthetician that you trust, and listen to her advice. She knows skin, and she has likely tried enough products out there to know what works and what doesn't. Make sure her philosophies and the brand she represents match up with what you believe in, and don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. You'll know if she's being authentic or if she's just recommending the priciest products to up her commission cheque. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The ABC's of LED.

What is LED Therapy?

 LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LED Therapy is an effective skin care treatment using different lights to help with reducing wrinkles, sunspots, acne, and to relieve minor pain.

How can LED light help my skin? 

 First off, what is a "Diode"? It is the simplest form of a semiconductor that allows the flow of energy in one direction. The diode allows energy from a power source to be transformed into light energy - this light energy is absorbed by the skin.

 In the same way that plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into tissue, light at the right wavelength and dose can trigger a natural cellular reaction in our skin. The part of a molecule that absorbs the different lights is called a chromophore. When light is absorbed by these molecules, it is taken into the mitochondria of the cell to create a biological effect in the tissue. A certain amount of light must be absorbed by the tissue being treated in order to activate a cell response. (Whew! That was a lot of science!)

 LED light energy is most effectively absorbed when it is emitted at or very near the surface of the skin. The further away the light source is from the skin, the less likely it will be able to absorb and reap the benefits. Research shows that cells are also much more likely to absorb light energy when that energy is delivered at a lower energy over a longer period of time, and delivered in pulses vs a constant stream of light.

 SO, what does this all mean?  What are the different lights doing to help my skin?

The Celluma panel (the LED device used at Skin Studio Spa) utilizes a combination of blue, red and infrared light simultaneously. The treatment consists of a cleanse, treatment serum and 30 minutes relaxing under the panel. 1 of 3 settings will be chosen, based on your concerns, and the device is set to "pulse" for maximum absorption - which is more like twinkling Christmas lights than a strobe light.

RED LED is the anti-aging aspect of the treatment. It allows cells to replicate more efficiently and aids in healing. It penetrates deep into the layers of the skin, increasing cellular energy, improving circulation, tone , texture, color and overall health and vitality of the skin .

BLUE LED  helps with acne, decreases inflammation and stimulates lymphocytes. Blue light kills bacteria and yeast and can help treat actopic dermatitis. 

INFRARED LED is used to warm the skin, making it more permeable to skin care products, relax tight muscles prior to massage, and increase circulation. 

 LED Therapy can be booked as a standalone service or as an upgrade to any skin care treatment. If you have concerns about acne we recommend appointments twice a week, once a week for anti-aging benefits, and as often as possible for aches and pains!

Give us a call, (519) 766-0003
Send us an email,
Or click HERE to book your LED treatment online 


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Eat Your Way To Healthy Skin

Think of your favorite meal. What is it? Typically our favorite meals are the meals that are not so good for us such as pasta, steak or lobster soaked in butter. Now although it is well known that creamy fettuccine is not a very healthy meal choice in terms of calories, do we ever think about the other side affects it may cause? I'm talking about what food like this may be doing to our skin.

Many of us have had breakouts in our lifetime. Sometimes they are due to hormones, or stress. But what about the unexplained breakouts? Have you ever connected those to what you are eating? There are certain foods that are just as bad for our skin as they are for our waistline.

Top Acne Agitators 

1. Sugar 
When you ingest sugar or high-glycemic foods that rapidly convert to sugar - whether it's in the form of an apple or a piece of cake - your body breaks down these carbohydrates into glucose, which raises your insulin levels. Simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar, white bread and soda, cause your insulin levels to spike, which leads to a burst of inflammation throughout the body. Not only is sugar linked to acne, but it also can cause premature aging, so back away from the dessert table!
Alternative: Stevia (a natural sugar alternative)

2. Dairy
Dairy contains its own hormones and growth factors that are absorbed into the bloodstream. These hormones have androgenic effects that can cause acne in women. Dairy products are also pro-inflammatory, which means they can worsen acne issues and also accelerate aging.
Alternative: Sesame seed butter, almond milk or goats milk

3. White Flour/White Rice
The digestive system sees refined carbs as foreign invaders and pulls out all the
stops to protect itself from it. This causes a number of internal problems, one being inflammation. White or "bleached" flour and rice cause a chemical reaction in the body that can drive your system to a state of imbalance. This causes an extra heavy load on your organs of elimination, hormonal imbalance and toxic buildup - resulting in acne.
Alternative: Brown rice, whole grain, rye, sour dough

4. Hydrogenated Oils 
Hydrogenated fats, even in a small amount, will induce a chemical reaction that can cause free radicals in the body destroying the Essential Fatty Acids essential for healthy skin.
Alternative: Pure extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil or sunflower oil. 

5. Red Meat
Some experts believe red meat is linked to problematic skin because it can increase levels of the male sex hormone testosterone in the body. People who are more sensitive to testosterone are more likely to suffer breakouts.This is because higher levels of the hormones lead to more skin cells growing, and more sebum oil being produced. This can in turn, block pores and causes acne. 
Alternative: Chicken or Fish. 
*If you're going to eat red meat, have a lean steak with veggies to help negate the inflammatory effects, instead of having a burger with fries!

Along with the foods that aren't so good for your skin, there are some "Super Foods" that can help to fight acne, minimize wrinkles, and enhance your skins natural beauty...

Broccoli is high in antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. The vitamin C in broccoli aids in collagen production and keeps your skin healthy and supple, while vitamin E protects your skin cell membranes and guards against UV damage.

Onions have enormous anti-aging benefits. The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E fight against the damage caused by harmful UV rays as well as prevent free radical damage which is responsible for causing premature aging of our skin. Onions also help in purifying your blood and supply your body with flavonoids which assist Vitamin C in its important functions. The consumption of onions can keep your skin healthy and glowing. The anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities of onion can work wonders on your skin. It is a powerful antiseptic which protects your skin from acne-causing bacteria and other skin infections.

Watermelon is a rich source of antioxidants like lycopene, Vitamin A and C. These help reduce free radicals in the body, thus preventing signs of aging. 

... These are just a few examples of how some super foods can help with your skin concerns from the inside out. Some other foods you can try to help enhance your skin are garlic, carrots, apples, spinach, grapes, almonds, sunflower and sesame seeds!

There are many vitamins and minerals that our skin requires to maintain a healthy balance, and although we may try our best to get all that is necessary through whole food sources, supplementation can have a great impact on our skin as well. 
Our skin needs a balance of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium and selenium.

Try Ascenta Skin - a dietary supplement that helps improve skin elasticity, firmness & hydration, and helps reduce roughness, redness & inflammation. Ascenta Skin contains 6 essential nutrients; EPA, DHA, GLA, Lutein, Vitamin D and Zeaxanthin. These ingredients work together to increase your natural UV protection, provide powerful natural anti-inflammatories and essential nutrients your skin needs to lock in moisture. With continued use it will also help support heart, brain and eye health as well as hair and nail health, and has even been shown to improve mood and mental focus!

Stop by the spa and pick up your bottle today!

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Non-Chemical "Chemical Peel"?

 When you hear the word peel, what do you think of? 

 For those of us who aren't completely sure of what they are, we tend to get frightened  when we hear the word "peel" or "chemical" and think that our face is going to be burned off! Well fear no more, for that is not the case!

There are two types of exfoliation: Mechanical and Chemical.
 Mechanical exfoliation is physically scrubbing dead skin cells from the skins surface. Ingredients like jojoba beads, crushed nuts or plant material are added into products to achieve the results we want.
  While mechanical exfoliants are great for normal, combination and dry skin, it is not ideal for all skin types. Skin with active breakouts or infection can run the risk of the rougher material opening the infection, and then as you are scrubbing, you can spread the bacteria.

 Chemical peels refer to a "chemical reaction" in the skin, and are beneficial to most skin types . They produce results through the use of enzymes and fruit acids. Enzymes gently break down the lipids that act like glue/cement that holds the dead skin cells together, and thus help naturally exfoliate. Acids exfoliate by dissolving the dead skin cells on the outer most layer of your skin. Using this approach we can also increase hydration in the skin, simulate collagen production and infuse the skin with powerful anti-oxidants. These peels restore skins youthful appearance by reducing wrinkles, help with uneven skin tone, smoothing texture and also reduce sun damage.

 Although there are some chemical peels that have a very high acidic percentage and you will see your skin literally peel and flake off - Skin Studio Spa uses peels that are a lower percentage and therefore safe for almost all skin types. Our products are working on the top layer of skin, making them ideal for those who want the benefits of a peel without the downtime and negative side effects of deeper peels. 

 Our Arctic Berry Peel uses natural fruit acids like citric, malic and lactic acid to deeply exfoliate, refine and even skin tone, and assists with hyperpigmentation. It has very strong anti-oxidant and age-defying benefits and also reduces inflammation and redness.

 The Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel is highly active, refining and collagen boosting! Using ingredients such as yam and pumpkin pulp puree, pineapple and papaya, this peel deeply exfoliates, infuses the skin with active vitamins and bioflavonoids, hydrates and plumps, and reduces hyperpigmentation.

Want to try a Rejuvenating AHA Peel that uses natural ingredients to leave your skin positively glowing?