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What no one tells you about dry skin

 Living in a desert we can forget that dry, tight and itchy skin isn't normal. Most everyone's reaction to dry skin is a great deal of lotion, but if that isn't working for you, maybe it's time to see if your dry skin is a part of a bigger problem.

 

“It’s a dry heat!” We’ve all heard that before, but even living in a desert we can forget that dry, tight and itchy skin isn’t normal. Often times, I find myself blaming my dry skin on the weather change or Phoenix in general. Most everyone’s reaction to dry skin is a great deal of lotion, but if that isn’t working for you, maybe it’s time to see if your dry skin is a part of a bigger problem.

I know that too often I’ve noticed that my sunscreen or makeup is settling into a textured flaky surface, especially around my nose. I’ve made all the mistakes in the past: I’ve picked, scrubbed daily (and way too abrasively), gooped on a thick layer of heavy creme and applied mask after mask only to result in redness, inflammation and angry breakouts. I’m sharing this so you know that I have most definitely been in your shoes, the problem was that I was trying to solve a complex issue without understanding what was really going on with my skin. If you are having a similar experience let’s dive into what may be happening and how you can solve it.

A compromised barrier function can manifest in many ways. You could be experiencing dryness, itchiness, texture, flaking, inflammation, surface oiliness or an increase in breakouts.

If you don’t have time to read this whole article, make sure you skip down to the bottom and grab a breakdown of real things you can do at home to help. It also includes a bonus list of ingredients to look for when purchasing your home care products.

What is your barrier function?

Your barrier function is a term used to describe your skin’s main line of defense. Just like a wall, this thin layer has two jobs: holding things in and keeping things out. We want to hold in water and our natural combination of water-binding agents (electrolytes, urea, amino acids, and lactates) (Lynde) while keeping out any extraneous components that could cause harm. Think in terms of environmental toxins or materials that could cause infection. We come in contact with these external aggravators on a daily basis, so making sure our skin is ready to defend itself is important. (Natsuga)

Simply put our outermost layer (the stratum corneum) is made up of dead skin cells (corneocytes) and lipids (ceramics, cholesterol and fatty acids). The best description of this barrier is the “bricks and mortar” model (Lynde). Consider this exceedingly thin layer as a wall: those skin cells are the bricks while the lipids are the glue or mortar that holds the skin cells together. I’ve always found this depiction extremely helpful in understanding our skin.

Another integral element to keep in mind, is that your skin exists in a delicate balance and when left unmaintained can result in a number of complications.

Another integral element to keep in mind, is that your skin exists in a delicate balance and when left unmaintained can result in a number of complications.

How does a compromised barrier function affect your skin?

A compromised barrier function can manifest in many ways. You could be experiencing dryness, itchiness, texture, flaking, inflammation, surface oiliness or an increase in breakouts. Let’s tackle these one by one:

  • Dry skin: This dryness is often caused by transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which is the term used to discuss how much water is forfeited to diffusion and evaporation. It is somewhat impossible to discuss the topic of TEWL without bringing up occlusive skincare ingredients. An occlusive ingredient creates an actual water-loving barrier that locks in moisture to compensate for a compromised barrier function (Sethi). One of the ingredients I use often in my facial treatments because of it’s many skin benefits is jojoba oil. Jojoba also falls into another category of skincare ingredient that can help to increase moisture for your skin and that is a humectant. Humectants are water-binding ingredients that take water from the air and lower layers of the skin to moisturize.
  • Itchiness and inflammation: The itchiness and inflammation is caused by aggravating factors making there way in through the permeable damaged barrier. These stressors can cause our skin to attempt to protect itself creating inflammation resulting in irritation. There are many great anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients out there to help calm your skin, but one of my favorites is turmeric.
  • Texture and flaking: The fatty acids in our lipid makeup help to fill the spaces between our skin cells giving it a soft and smooth feel. When these fatty acids are missing from our wall-like construction we can experience uneven texture. The best type of ingredients that fix this issue are emollients. Emollients helps to fill those spaces giving you back that supple feel you’ve been missing (Lynde).
  • Surface oiliness and breakouts: These two things regularly come hand-in-hand. Too often people are convinced that their oiliness and breakouts can be cured by oil-free washes and medicated treatments. However, surface oiliness can be caused by our skin simply attempting to protect itself. Without it’s natural mix of protective agents, when attacked, your skin produces oil to compensate which can result in this surface oiliness. Also, medicated treatments often include harsh ingredients that exacerbate the problem.

Three steps can you take to strengthen your skin?

  1. Avoid: Reduce environmental damage by avoiding pollutants and wearing sun protection. Remove harsh products and synthetic or high allergen ingredients from your skincare routines.
  2. Rebuild: Use lipid strengthening and water-binding natural skincare ingredients that have the ability to fill in the gaps in your damaged barrier (i.e.: emollients and humectants).
  3. Protect: Give your skin a better chance of trapping in water by using ingredients that lower TEWL (i.e.: occlusives)(Lynde).

What other factors affect your barrier function?

I like to remember that the body is a whole and our skin is a reflection of our overall health. Diet, age, hormones and water intake can have a definite affect on the health of your barrier function.

  • Diet: Making sure you get enough essential fatty acids (EFA’s) can really affect whether your skin is functioning properly. Good sources include fish, flaxseed and walnuts. If you are pregnant you might already be taking a fish oil supplement which as long as it’s good quality can be advantageous (Cates).
  • Hormones: Our hormones are little messengers that communicate with our body’s systems and can therefore trigger unfortunate responses such as inflammation and dryness (Cates).
  • Age: One of the most prevalent and important lipids that exist in our stratum corneum is Squalene. As we age our bodies produce less of this essential lipid. You can find squalane as an ingredient in skincare to help balance the effects of lipid damage caused by environmental factors (Sethi). Want to read about an anti-aging hero ingredient in the skincare world? Check out my post on aloe vera.
  • Water Intake: In order to make sure your skin is well hydrated and your body can easily filter out any toxins that may be entering a compromised barrier function drink at least half your weight in oz of filtered water each day (Cates).

Have been experiencing these skin problems? Were you a scrubber like me? Share what you’ve done in the past that hasn’t worked.

If you feel like that was a great deal of information or that’s too many steps to implement into your life? That why I created a breakdown of this blog post in an easy pdf just for you called 10 Ways to Strengthen Your Skin. It includes 5 things you can do every day and 5 things to stop doing. I’ve also included a list of lipid-strengthening ingredients you can search for when you are trying to find good natural skincare products. Grab your printable download below to start repairing and protecting your skin’s defense system today!

 


Sources:
Cates, T. (2017). Clean Skin from Within. Beverly, Massachusets: Fair Winds Press.
Lynde, C. W. (2015, Dec 11). Retrieved from skintherapyletter.com.
Natsuga, K. (2014, April). Retrieved from http://perspectivesinmedicine.cshlp.org.
Sethi, A., Kaur, T., Malhotra, S., & Gambhir, M. (2016, May). Moisturizers: The Slippery Road. Indian Journal of Dermatology, 279-287.

 

 

Bring the Heat!

There are numerous rituals throughout my skin care treatments. Two of my all-time favorites are the practices that bring the heat! What am I referring to specifically? Using the steamer and hot towels! Now these two procedures can seem basic, but are integral to guarantee you get the most sublime facial experience.

Steamer

If you’ve never had a facial before this contraption can look a little intimidating but, it has the potential to make a huge difference for your skin. In case you aren’t familiar, the steamer is a machine that heats distilled water and then releases steam out of a nozzle. After a mask is applied, I use the steamer to help open pores and stimulate your skin’s circulation. Opening your pores can help the mask ingredients to be more effective and to help loosen debris that may be causing break-outs or pore congestion. The increase in circulation helps to nourish your skin cells and promote good collagen production that in turn strengthens your skin leaving it more supple and resilient. The steam’s intensity can be adjusted to your comfort and will only remain on your face for around 10 minutes depending on your skin’s needs. The steam can also help to relieve congested sinuses and soften skin.

Hot Towels

This ritual often times gets omitted in many spas’ facial treatments. I’ve found it is a client favorite, and therefore every treatment I offer gets at least six hot towels. The hot towel removes cleanser, masks and help to gently exfoliate the skin. This exfoliation can provide smoother, more even texture to the skin and clear away dead skin cells evening tone. However, I believe it is much more than just a removal tool! The warmth of the towel provides all the skin benefits of the steamer with the added perk of pressure. Every hot towel application allows a chance for me to focus on facial pressure points to relieve tension and detox the skin by encouraging lymphatic flow. Our Foot Scrub Add-on even includes hot towels on the feet to soften hardened soles.

I hope you can now see why these practices are essential to your skin and your relaxation!

Little Known Ways Grapefruit Helps Your Skin

Grapefruit essential oil is usually used as a way to give products a sweet scent, but the skin benefits should not be overlooked. Beyond the delicious flavor of this fruit, grapefruit can be utilized to improve the feel, health and look of the skin. Below I've listed little known ways grapefruit can benefit your skin.

I have many memories of the time I would spend at my grandparents home as a child. I remember setting food out for the squirrels and watching them climb up onto the window sill, hiding under the staircase and putting coins in my grandfather’s giant green glass bottle and sitting on the laminate countertop watching my grandpa cook in the kitchen. But there’s one memory that I treasure because it has such a strong scent attached to it. That memory is connected to the sweet smell of grapefruit.

I remember as a young child watching my grandpa pull a perfectly sliced grapefruit out of the refrigerator in the morning. The sour fruit had be cut by my Nana the night before and coated in sugar. He would eat the sweet citrus for breakfast at the wooden table next to the kitchen. It’s such a warm memory that I cannot taste or smell a grapefruit without thinking of his big hands maneuvering the delicate grapefruit spoon. Being a child I never asked him why he ate them, I only knew he enjoyed them.

As an adult, I know that grapefruit has a high content of vitamin C. In fact, grapefruit contains 114% of your Daily value of vitamin C. Some great benefits of vitamin C include:

  • Building immunity to help fight off illness
  • Aiding in the formation of collagen
  • Helping with wound healing

I always wonder if he ate the fruit for these benefits or if he just loved the tart flavor.

Grapefruit essential oil is usually used as a way to give products a sweet scent, but the skin benefits should not be overlooked. Beyond the delicious flavor of this fruit, grapefruit can be utilized to improve the feel, health and look of the skin. Below I've listed little known ways grapefruit helps our skin.

The best way to utilize grapefruit is in it’s essential oil form. Although grapefruit is native to tropical Asia and West Indies, the oil is mostly produced in California. Definitely leave the juice and fruit for yummy smoothies and breakfast because with a pH of 3, these components are too acidic and would throw off your skin’s pH too significantly to be beneficial. Also, grapefruit undiluted or in an alternative form than the essential oil can cause photosensitivity.

Grapefruit essential oil is usually used as a way to give products a sweet scent, but the skin benefits should not be overlooked. Beyond the delicious flavor of this fruit, grapefruit can be utilized to improve the feel, health and look of the skin. Below I’ve listed little known ways grapefruit can benefit your skin. It is easy to see there’s a trend among these benefits: as a skincare ingredient, grapefruit helps to purge the skin of impurities in different ways.

Cleansing:

Grapefruit functions as a great purifier. Although you shouldn’t use it topically undiluted, the anti-microbial properties help to reduce acne-causing microorganisms on the skin. There’s nothing more irritating than pesky blackheads, so you can think of this citrus as a pore decongesting aid. For those of you that struggle with topical oiliness or acne, grapefruit can help to balance out oil production reducing breakouts. What a winning ingredient for oily/acne-prone skin types.

Grapefruit essential oil is usually used as a way to give products a sweet scent, but the skin benefits should not be overlooked. Beyond the delicious flavor of this fruit, grapefruit can be utilized to improve the feel, health and look of the skin. Below I've listed little known ways grapefruit can benefit your skin.

Symptoms of Breakouts:

Increased discomfort from breakouts seem to exist mainly in the symptoms of acne. This fruit addresses these symptoms in two ways. First, grapefruit has strong anti-inflammatory agents that can calm the inflamed congested pore helping with the texture of skin. Second, it provides analgesic (pain relieving) properties to soothe the irritated area.

Future congestion:

Your pores will continue to thank you when this ingredient acts as an astringent. This means it will constrict pores slowing the formation of future breakouts. This is perfect for those of you that seem to see the formation of new breakouts right next to where a previous breakout has been relieved. Astringents are most helpful in a toning mist to be applied after your cleanser or following any picking/ extraction.

Toxin removal:

The detoxifying effects grapefruit has can improve the overall health of the skin. When this ingredient is used the lymphatic system is stimulated. Our lymphatic system helps to carry away toxins introduced to the skin through environmental pollutents and chemical products. Grapefruit also encourages good circulation helping to nourish skin cells which helps them to function at a more efficient level. The efficiency of your skin can also be helped through grapefruit’s antioxidant levels. This will help to reverse imbalances caused by oxidative damage that causes premature aging, uneven tone and loss in elasticity.

This ingredient provides a perfect collection of benefits for those that deal with breakouts, oiliness or exposure to toxins on a regular basis. These deep cleansing, pain-relieving and detoxifying effects help the skin to glow! I utilize this oil regularly in my treatments, products and daily life. And, even knowing all the significant assistance grapefruit can offer my skin the most meaningful reason I appreciate a grapefruit is to remember my grandfather sitting at his breakfast table.

As you can see, the function of this oil goes much further than just as a scent. This ingredient provides a perfect collection of benefits for those that deal with breakouts, oiliness or exposure to toxins on a regular basis. These deep cleansing, pain-relieving and detoxifying effects help the skin to glow! I utilize this oil regularly in my treatments, products and daily life. And, even knowing all the significant assistance grapefruit can offer my skin the most meaningful reason I appreciate a grapefruit is to remember my grandfather sitting at his breakfast table.


Lawless, J. (2013). The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. San Francisco, CA: Conari Press.
Packianathan, N., & Kandasamy, R. (2011). Skin Care with Herbal Exfoliants. Functional Plant Science and Biotechnology (1), 96.
Tourless, S. (1999). Naturally Healthy Skin. North Adams, MA: Storey Books.
Uysal, B., Sozmen, F., Aktas, O., Oksal, B. S., & Kose, E. O. (2011, March). Essential oil compostition and antibacterial activity of the grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi. L) peel essential oils obtained by solvent-free microwabe extraction: comparison with hydrodistillation. International Journal of Food Science & Technology.

Three Ways Cucumber Can Heal Dry Skin

Biting into a crisp cucumber you can taste the freshness. The juicy cucumber is rich with refreshing water and can add the perfect flavor to encourage you to hydrate throughout your day! Dehydration can definitely make matters worse if you already suffer from dry skin, so let’s talk hydration first.

Why is hydration important for you skin?

Giving your skin the moisture it needs from the inside out will help to encourage good elasticity, make it more resilient and keep your barrier function strong. With a durable barrier function, your skin will hold onto moisture better and be less affected by detrimental external factors (such as the sun and toxins). One of my favorite infused water recipes comes from Cassie over at Wholefully. This strawberry, lime, cucumber and mint infused water recipe is especially good if you are pregnant, nursing or just trying to make sure you have all the hydration to help your skin glow. Here’s a  benchmark to gauge your water intake: try to drink half your weight in ounces everyday (i.e.: If you weigh 150lbs then you should drink 75 oz). I love to carry a reusable water bottle with me and keep track and set a goal of how many I need to drink throughout the day. Here are my most-loved reusable bottles:

  • Hydroflaskthis is definitely my #1 pick. I bought mine from Dutch bros, but they don’t sell them anymore. I love to use the straw lid cap which I purchased separately at La Grande Orange Grocery Market. It keeps my water cold all day, which can be challenging in the 100 degree heat of Phoenix! My only complaint is that the straw lids can get noisy and mine has broken in the past. However, your Hydroflask bottle and accessories come with a lifetime warranty and their customer service is great and they sent me a replacement extremely fast.
  • ContigoAnother great option. When I purchased mine they didn’t have the stainless  ones available yet, and so my only complaint was that the water got warm. But, Contigos are leak-proof which is important for those of us that have toddlers ready to turn them upside down at any moment!
  • ElloI have the Ello Thrive, which is glass with a bamboo lid. I love the design on the outside and esthetically this one is on top for me. Obviously, it isn’t kid friendly though.
  • Zulu: I have the Zulu element. This one is also made of glass, but has a silicone wrap around it which makes it a little more resilient.

We know that cucumber is good for our bodies internally, but what about topically?

From movies like Princess Diaries to Legally Blonde, we picture facials being covered in a colorful goopy mask with cucumbers on our eyes. Every time I see cucumbers used in the skincare world, I think about the makeover scene from Princess Diaries. A young Anne Hathaway sits with headphones in while her makeover artist says, “Do you want to know a big secret… the cucumber does nothing! This is something we make up.” Although that scene makes me smile, let me tell you all that this under appreciated ingredient can be such a winner for your skin.

Cucumbers were used in folk medicine to treat a myriad of diseases from burns, cancer and diabetes to a battery of skin disorders (Nafessa). While I cannot prove the effectiveness of cucumbers for disease, I can tell you that people were on the right track with treating skin disorders. Here are three ways cucumber can help your skin today!

1. Strengthen:

Cucumber contains a high content of silica. Silica is an essential element of healthy connective tissue (Kapoor). Providing areas where the integrity of your skin may have been compromised through dry skin, breakouts, skin thinning or sun exposure with products containing this ingredient you can expect your skin to be fortified. Cucumber also can help to speed the healing process and provide your skin with support.

2. Hydrate:

After that first bite of cucumber, it is easy to see that this vegetable is filled with water. That high water content is perfect to help hydrate your skin (Kapoor). Dry skin often appears textured, dull and any aging is accentuated. This moisturizing effect will help to soften any rough texture you may be experiencing (Packianathan) and provide your skin with nourishment. Another benefit of moisturizing your skin with cucumber is that it will reduce the appearance of fine lines.

3. Clarify & Tighten:

This ingredient will also provide a deep cleanse. When your skin is dry, it can trap debris under a layer of dead skin cells. Cucumber works by purifying and unclogging pores. It will go even further by working as an astringent tightening these pores to reduce their appearance and help keep them clear (Packianathan).

Which products and why?

  • Cleanser: Deep clean your pores and counteracts drying formulas.
  • Toner: Cucumber helps to constrict pores. It also encourages healing when applied post breakout.
  • Moisturizer: Reduce the appearance of fine lines, decrease the breakdown of elasticity (Kapoor) and hydrate dry skin.
  • Masks: Purify with a deep cleanse and soothe/calm irritated skin.
  • Eye cream: Anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce puffiness (Packianthan) and reduce the look of fine lines.

Let water and cucumbers be the answer to you dry skin. Say goodbye to dull, irritated and textured skin through natural skincare and hydration! Cucumber has a purpose in our skincare routine beyond just covering eyes!

Let water and cucumbers be the answer to you dry skin. Say goodbye to dull, irritated and textured skin through natural skincare and hydration! Cucumber has a purpose in our skincare routine beyond just covering eyes!

Leave your two cents:

What’s your biggest struggle with dry skin?
Do your skincare products contain cucumber?
What tricks do you use to get enough water?


Kapoor, S., & Saraf, S. (2010, Oct). Assessment of vicsoelasticity and hydration effect of herbal moisturizers using bioengineering techniques. Retrieved from Pharmacognosy Magazine: http://www.phcog.com/article.asp?issn=0973-1296;year=2010;volume=6;issue=24;spage=298;epage=304;aulast=Kapoor
Nafeesa, Z., Shivalingu, B. R., Neema, K. N., Achar, R. R., Venkatest, B. K., Hanchinal, V., . . . Swamy, S. N. (2017, June). Procoagulant serine glycoprotease from Cucumis sativus L.: action on human fibrinogen and fibrin clot. Retrieved from Spring Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13205-017-0686-9
Packianathan, N., & Kandasamy, R. (2011). Skin Care with Herbal Exfoliants. Functional Plant Sciene and Biotechnology.
Script-O-Rama. (n.d.). Princess Diaries Script – Dialogue Transcrip. Retrieved from Script-O-Rama: http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/p/princess-diaries-script-transcript-hathaway.html

 

 

Six Skin Benefits of Green Tea

Each one of green tea's amazing skin benefits seems to lead into the next. Here's the top six ways this powerhouse ingredient can transform your skin.

In most countries you would be offered tea as a greeting gesture. In fact, it is the most enjoyed drink worldwide, only second to water. Countries like India and China have grown and prepared tea for centuries.

I grew up in a British and Chinese household, so tea was always the drink of choice. It was more than just something to keep you warm: it was comfort in a cup. If family gathered, we made tea. If we were upset, we made tea. Even if it was 100 degrees outside (as it often is in Phoenix), we drank tea. My Mum has countless tea service sets that are dear to her. Some of them have been imported from England, some were inherited and others remind her of days together at market with my Nana. When we all go to dim sum as a family we sit around tins of steaming pork buns and pour each other jasmine tea into small ceramic cups. It is something share and is so much more than just a drink in my family.

My affinity for collecting information on natural ingredients lead me to look into this powerful gift from nature. It has been interesting learning about how this staple of my childhood can be used to change the condition of the skin. Although tea in general has been the tie that bound together memories throughout my life, green tea specifically has a wide range of benefits that extent to topical usage.

Each one of green tea's amazing skin benefits seems to lead into the next. Here's the top six ways this powerhouse ingredient can transform your skin.

I believe that each natural ingredient has a theme that may appeal to a certain skin type, condition or goal; however, green tea has a generous range of enhancements to improve the skin. Each one of green tea’s amazing skin benefits seems to lead into the next. Here’s the top six ways this powerhouse ingredient can transform your skin.

1. Acne:

Breakouts are not just something you deal with throughout your teenage years. Acne can plague us throughout times of stress, imbalance and diet changes. Another time we often see breakouts pick up are during hormonal shifts such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, our monthly cycle and menopause. Studies have shown that topical preparations of green tea help reduce breakouts quickly without the side effects that prescriptions topicals can cause (Fowler Jr. MD, 2010). Being a mom twice over, I have experienced that unfortunate cycle from pregnancy through postpartum where hormonal shifts trigger breakouts, scarring and hyper pigmentation. Pregnancy is such a sensitive time where we question the safety of what we put on our skin. This makes green tea a natural solution to something that causes discomfort for many people.

2. Rosacea:

Often times, rosacea flare-ups can be stimulated by the sun. Green tea is a natural photo-protectant against this kind of UV trigger. Using green tea in your everyday skin care, along with a daily mineral sunscreen can relieve some of these flare-ups.

3. Hyper-pigmentation:

Hyper-pigmentation or dark spots are our skin’s natural way of protecting itself from damage. However, as I mentioned above green tea provides a certain level of sun protection that can aid your sunscreen and reverse the sun’s harmful effects. In this way, green tea is a super protector. Some of the damaging results of the sun includes cell damage that leads to inflammation and dark spots.

4. Photo-aging:

Being burned or tanning is often thought of as the sun’s strongest way of affecting our skin, however I believe that photo-aging should be our number one concern. Without antioxidants to reverse these imbalances, we can experience premature aging. Green tea contains antioxidant powers twenty times stronger than that of Vitamin E. This level of oxidative resistance can help even skin tone, reverse imbalances and protect against photo-aging.

5. Elasticity:

Speaking of aging, green tea has found another amazing way to protect our skin. This ingredient actually protects collagen by inhibiting the production of collagenase enzymes. These enzymes destroy the bonds that provide our skin with good elasticity. That bounce back is essential to the look and resiliency of our skin. Strengthening the integrity of your skin is the best way to ensure the sun doesn’t add years onto your face.

6. Redness/ Irritation:

As if the above skin benefits weren’t enough, green tea provides strong anti-inflammatory properties. These calming properties help to soothe redness and irritation. This is another wonderful benefit for those of you that may be experiencing rosacea or breakouts. With relief from blotchiness the skin appears more even in complexion.

What about the caffeine?

If you are concerned about the caffeine in green tea I think it is important to add that a small amount of caffeine applied topically can offer some skin benefits. Caffeine can reduce puffiness, encourage good circulation and reduce redness. If you are pregnant and worried about how the caffeine will affect your baby you should know that the levels absorbed by green tea are low. The American Pregnancy Association suggests drinking less than 150mg of caffeine daily, and green tea levels are much lower (ranging from 23mg-70mg). Even less caffeine is absorbed when applied topically.

Green tea provides strong anti-inflammatory properties. These properties help to soothe and calm redness and irritation. This is another great benefit for those of you that may be experiencing rosacea or breakouts.

There are several types of tea that are used throughout skincare. Although their benefits may differ depending on the variety, you can generally expect many of the above listed uses to be included. Some of my favorites include Japanese green tea and white tea. Also, there are a great many internal benefits from consuming this drink as well.

Next time you’re offered a cup, remember all these lovely skin benefits and enjoy the warm comfort!


American Pregnancy Association. (2016, Sept 2). Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy . Retrieved from Americanpregnancy.org: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/caffeine-during-pregnancy/
Fowler Jr. MD, J. F., Woolery-Lloyd MD, H., Waldorf MD, H., & Saini MD, R. (2010, June). Innovations in Natural Ingredients and Their Use in Skin Care. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.
Gediya, S. K., Mistry, R. B., Patel, U. K., Blessy, M., & Jain, H. N. (2011). Scholars Research Library. Retrieved from http://scholarsresearchlibrary.com/archive.html
Packianathan, N., & Kandasamy, R. (2011). Skin Care with Herbal Exfoliants. Global Science Books.
SK, K. (2003, Sep). Skin photoprotection by green tea: antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects. Retrieved from PubMed.gov.
SK, K., N. , A., & H., M. (2000, Aug). Green tea and skin. Retrieved from PubMed.gov.
Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc. (n.d.). Tea Fact Sheet – 2016-17. Retrieved from Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc.: http://www.teausa.com/14655/tea-fact-sheet
University of Maryland Medical Center. (2015). Green tea. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center: http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/green-tea

 

Client’s Point of View: Maribeth

Let me introduce you all to Maribeth! She has been a midwife for 16 years and during that time has welcomed about 1,250 babies into this world with her hands (including 13 sets of twins)! Maribeth lived in Southeast Asia for two year and is a ‘single mom by choice’ which in her own words has been the hardest and best thing she’s even done. Favorite hobbies include coloring and Legos.

Maribeth has had two Custom Radiance Facials and agreed to share details of her experience on the Touch of Radiance table.

Had you ever had a facial before and what expectations did you have going into this treatment?
I have had facials before and have always enjoyed them, though I have occasionally found them uncomfortable.  My expectation was that it would be a similar experience to past facials.

What was your favorite part of the facial and why?
But it was WAY better than other facials, the best!  My favorite part was that it was gentle but therapeutic, and had surprise hand/foot/etc. mini massages built in!  Victoria also just radiates calm, and that let me go into the “zone” – not talking, just pure relaxation.  Afterwards I am so refreshed and relaxed.

Did any part of the treatment surprise you?
That the treatment was about more than just my face.  Massage, as above, but also a whole sensory experience with warmth, essential oils, etc.  Bliss.

How was your skin affected by the facial?
It was so soft for days!

Was this a good experience and would you get another treatment in the future?
Absolutely, and soon!  I have also gifted Victoria’s facials to my mom, brother and dad.  My mom and brother have already been and they both loved it too!

 

 

 

Common Misconceptions about Skincare Treatments

When I tell people that I am an Esthetician and I do facial skincare services, I run into a lot of fears and misconceptions. The purpose of this post is to shine some light and share information. I think it is important to preface these four common ideas of facials and my answers with the fact that every spa and esthetician has a different approach to client care. My approach is only botanical effective ingredients to address your goals and holistic gentle treatments to ensure your relaxation.

1. Facial Treatments are painful

  • Every feature of our protocol is custom. That means that you decide the pressure of extractions, exfoliation and every mask is concentrated to your level of comfort.
  • We encourage communication and that means you are in control. We will always ask if you are comfortable, from how tight the head towel is wrapped to the intensity of the steam.
  • Sometimes the sentiment is shared that masks/products need to feel active or uncomfortable to accomplish your skin care goals. This is simply untrue: skincare products do not need to be painful to be effective. Your skin knows what to do with natural ingredients. Supporting your skin’s ability to process these ingredients with gentle encouraging products is key. Discomfort caused by products should be considered a red flag. It is your skin’s way of warning you.

 

2.   Skin treatments leave you red and blotchy

  • The truth is that relaxing rituals like hot towels, massage and steam can encourage circulation causes redness. However, redness is not a bad sign because skin that is receiving healthy circulation is being nourished and collagen production is being stimulated! This type of redness should subside during or soon after your treatment is completed. If redness does not leave quickly than you should contact your esthetician or health provider. Which leads me into the next bullet point.
  • Everyone’s skin is different. This means that you can be allergic or sensitive to any ingredient (even natural ones), and we will work with you to help troubleshoot which ingredients bother your skin should this type of redness occur. This is another area where communication should not be neglected. If at any moment during your skin treatment you experience discomfort, always voice your concerns. If you are having an allergic reaction, quick removal can help to reduce the severity.
  • As I’ve said before, our treatments are gentle. We do not use harsh chemicals or acids that will create lasting reactive redness.

3.   Estheticians try to make you feel bad about your skin.

  • There is a big difference between healthy skin and perfect skin. We strive to give you the healthiest skin that will make you the happiest. What that means is that we will offer an honest skin analysis that highlights how we can help. Whether you want to move in the direction of our treatment suggestions is completely up to you. You have the final word on your treatment plan, and your wishes will always take precedence.
  • We will never suggest a treatment or product we do not believe would benefit your skin or wellness.

 

4.   Who knows what’s in these products

  • We only use natural locally made products that are made with gentle, gluten sensitive, vegetarian and pregnancy/breastfeeding safe ingredients.
  • Each ingredient is carefully researched, tested and chosen before being added to a product.
  • If you have ever have a concern about an ingredient or technique, please ask and if you aren’t happy with the answer, we can always customize to make your experience as comfortable as you like. Education and communication are key ingredients for you to receive the best care we can offer, so ask away!

What other misconceptions have you head about facials? Do you have any questions about what to expect from our treatments? Check our service page to get details about each of our treatments.

Ingredient Spotlight: Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is extracted from the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis plant which is 50% liquid wax esters. The Simmondsia chinensis plant can endure high temperatures and is native to Southern Arizona, Southern California and Northwestern Mexico. This golden oil was popularized after the ban on whaling in 1971. Whale oil (squalene) was used in many cosmetics at the time and jojoba was a far superior oil that had more benefits with the same desirable qualities. Here are the main skin benefits of this unique oil:

  1. Heal: Vitamin E (Tocopherols) in jojoba oil have healing properties which stimulate collagen synthesis to even skin tone, simplify the cell nourishment process, reduce inflammation and deterioration.
  2. Moisturize: Jojoba is very similar to human skin, absorbing quickly without leaving a greasy residue. This quick absorption increases moisture, softens and helps with the skin’s resilience. Studies have shown an improvement in skin elasticity by 37% in a short 30 minutes. Jojoba’s moisturizing properties extend to hair and nail care.
  3. Protect: Antioxidant properties reverse oxidative imbalances through free-radical scavenging. Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) is the measurement of water as it leaves the skin through evaporation. Jojoba contains lipid-like compounds that create a protective layer to lock in moisture and support the skin’s barrier function.

We use this incredible oil in our treatments, some choice retail products and as our main massage oil so that you can feel moisturized and renewed from head-to-toe.

 


Patzelt, J. L. (2011). Oil on skin: penetration and occlusion of mineral oil and vegetable oil. Excellence in Paediatrics Congress. Istanbul.

PAZYAR, R. Y. (2013). Jojoba in dermatology: a succinct review. GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA.

Nadm A. Shaath, P. (2012). The Wonders of Jojoba. White Plains: Alpha Research & Development Ltd. and Shaath & Meadows Consultation.

 

Client’s Point of View: Cori

 

 

You & Me Photography

 

Periodically I’ll post a client review to give you all a peek inside the thoughts of our guests, and let you know (through their eyes) what you can expect from our treatments.

To introduce you to Cori I’ll tell you a little bit about her. She’s a Mama to a sweet little girl whose middle name is Safari; she lived in South Africa for five years as a missionary and loved it; and she loves ballet and horses, but thinks oil rigs are scary.

Cori came in for a 60-minute Custom Radiance Facial and agreed to share her experience with us all. Being a Mom is busy, so I appreciate her taking the time to give us a review of her treatment!

Had you ever had a facial before? What expectations did you have going into this treatment?
Yes, I have. The facial I went to before made my face feel refreshed so I expected to have brighter looking skin- and I did have glowing skin afterward! BUT I didn’t expect to learn about my skin and feel so relaxed that I could fall asleep! The massage, aroma therapy, music…everything was the perfect touch.

What was your favorite part of the facial and why?
Walking away feeling very refreshed and valued, Victoria desired, not only make my “mommy away time” restful; but also, deposited into who I was by talking with me about how I take care of my skin and  also give some great/simple pointers of some new things I could try. Simple, yet what many mommies need.

Did any part of the treatment surprise you?
Loved the follow up email! Mommies forget half of what we talk about… the email was just what I needed to remember some helpful things we had talked about.

How was your skin affected by the facial?
My skin felt brighter, softer, happier!

Was this a good experience and would you get another treatment in the future?
The facial was amazing and I’d recommend it as a sweet getaway time to feel refreshed. Also, I would recommend it as a gift to others who you know need the time away and won’t take it themselves.

What can you expect from a Custom Radiance Facial?

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Have you ever had a facial treatment before? Maybe you haven’t had a facial before, or maybe you have and it was clinical or confusing. I think it’s important that you know what to expect. I think that every time you lay on the table and trust your skin to someone it should be relaxing, educating and safe. So here’s what you can expect when coming to receive a facial with me at the Nest at Babymoon Inn!

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Custom Radiance Facial

60 minutes | $60 (no tip policy)

The Custom Radiance Facial is tailored to each guest’s skin care needs. From beginning to end this treatment a full body experience. The treatment begins with a foot bath and brief consultation where you can explain any of your goals. You will be able to choose the therapeutic grade oil that resonates with you and relax into the space. Once on the table, a breathing routine designed to calm and center will help to release the stress of the day and focus on the intention of the service. Next, a double cleanse and tone provide a clean slate for the skin analysis where we determine which treatments will help you to achieve your goals. All of the treatment options will help to nourish and maintain healthy skin. Your facial plan will include two of the treatments below:

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  • Brightening: This treatment was created to help even tone and provide the skin with antioxidants to reverse damage done by the sun. A mild exfoliant smooths texture and encourages cell turnover. Collagen synthesis is stimulated strengthening the integrity of the skin and slowing signs of premature aging.
  • Detox: Pores are decongested and breakouts relieved during this treatment by drawing out excess oil, toxins and impurities. Anti-inflammatory and redness reducing properties paired with strong antioxidants begin to heal damaged or acne affected skin.
  • Exfoliating: Natural exfoliants will gently massage away dead skin cells and stimulate circulation. The pressure and type of exfoliant used will be customized to your needs. Mechanical exfoliation helps to refresh and renew dull or uneven skin.
  • Hydrating: This deeply moisturizing treatment contains nutrient-rich oil paired with gentle buffing agents to reduce flaking and create a barrier to protect against water loss.

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Each treatment is fragrance free and can be customized with skin benefiting aromas. Steam helps the mask to work more effectively while you receive foot and hand massages to promote relaxation. Every mask is removed with hot towels and pressure points are focused to relieve tension. Gentle extraction are key to clear skin without causing damage and the pressure is adjusted to your comfort. Face and décolleté massage help encourage good circulation and nourish skin. The facial comes to a close with a moisture application and deep breaths to bring your awareness back to the outside world. Every facial receives follow-up information including: a review of the treatment you received, recommendations for home care and a future treatment plan.

This service is designed to be a refreshing treatment that encourages you to embrace your skin, learn what’s in the products you use and promote self-care.

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All of the products used during this service and techniques performed are pregnancy and breastfeeding safe. Our products are all natural, gluten-free, vegan and hand blended locally by Slather Lotions. To learn more about Touch of Radiance visit: here.

Book your Custom Radiance Facial today!

Marketing photos taken by the incredible Shealin Duncan of Life Abundant Photography

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