3 counterintuitive skin care facts your esthetician wants you to know

Our estheticians want to shed light on a few common misconceptions about skincare.  It is easy to see why people get confused because these ideas are sometimes completely counterintuitive!

Myth: The best way to treat excessively oily skin is by drying it out.

Truth: While it seems like drying out oily skin is the best route, skipping moisturizer or using a harsh toner to try to dry skin can actually strip natural oils from the skin causing the skin to over-produce oil to protect itself.  The best option to hydrate oily skin is a serum or gel moisturizer.  These products will absorb quickly and skin won’t “panic” and produce even more oil.

Serums or gels, like the Rhonda Allison Blushed Wine Gel are great light moisturizers to hydrate oily skin.

Serums or gels, like the Rhonda Allison Blushed Wine Gel are great light moisturizers to hydrate oily skin.

Myth: Acids are harsh chemicals and aggressive on skin

Truth: The acids we use in skincare are naturally derived and vary in strength and benefit.  For example, Hyaluronic Acid, which may sound scary, is naturally occurring in the body in synovial (joint) fluid and in the eye.  This acid is used in products to plump and hydrate skin and some medical professionals recommend this for wound and burn healing.  Lactic acid is derived from milk and is beneficial for dry, mature skin and is often used to exfoliate without over-drying.  Some acids are more potent, but just because a product or ingredient is labeled an “acid” doesn’t mean it is scary.

Cassie getting a light facial peel using a variety of acids from our esthetician, Cammie.

Cassie getting a light facial peel using a variety of acids from our esthetician, Cammie.

 

Myth: If you have true acne, you need a good facial (or body) scrub to help unclog pores.

Truth: True acne occurs when excess skin cells, oil, and debris clog pores, potentially leading to infection.  Using a mechanical scrub over acneic skin may spread bacteria and increase inflammation, worsening the problem.  Depending on the severity of the acne, a chemical exfoliation (don’t let the word “chemical” scare you!) is best.  For example, glycolic or salicylic acids, applied topically as recommended by your esthetician or dermatologist, will help to break down skin cells and excess oil without spreading bacteria or increasing irritation.

Gritty scrubs like those pictured can spread bacteria and further inflame acneic skin.

Gritty scrubs like those pictured above can spread bacteria and further inflame acneic skin. It is best to stick with an acid based exfoliation instead of a manual exfoliation during a breakout.

If you have questions about your skin care or want to find out whether or not something you read online or heard from a friend is accurate, ask your esthetician!  To schedule a facial for an in-depth consultation and treatment, click here.

Get to know Camdine Cox, LMT

Camdine CoxWe are happy to introduce you to our newest team member, Camdine (Pronounced “Cam-den,” she also goes by “Cami”) Cox, Licensed Massage Therapist.  Camdine joined our team in February 2016, but her massage career started long before we were fortunate enough to cross paths!

How long have you been in the industry?

I have been a licensed massage therapist since 2009

Why did you go into massage therapy?

I have always loved helping people and making them feel better.  When I was little, I used to massage clients’ hands at my grandmother’s beauty salon  while their hair dried.  I love cooking and took a year of culinary school at DMACC but realized I’d be working odd hours in the culinary field.  I got my massage license to help work my way through college, but I fell in love with it!  I love being able to take away someone’s pain and get them back to what they love doing.

What is your favorite service to give?

My favorite massage to give is the sports massage.  I have learned a technique from Dr. James Mally that he refers to as “pin and stretch.” It allows me to work with tight, shortened muscles using range of motion and pressure.  I have found this approach very effective.

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

My favorite massage to receive is the hot stone massage.  One stroke with the stone is equivalent to seven with the hand.  It allows the therapist to work deeper faster and without having to use as much pressure.

What is your favorite retail product?

The Farmhouse Fresh honey glaze.  It smells amazing and works great on dry skin.

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

I love to get lost in a book or listen to music.

What are your favorite suggestions or tips for clients?

Drink your water and stretch everyday.  You should drink your body weight, divided in half, in ounces of water daily.  Every night when you sleep, your body builds additional connective tissue over your muscles.  This binds you up and makes you stiff.  Stretching and massage helps to break this up.  You should stretch when you wake up and before you go to bed, ideally.

Do you have a special talent people might not know about?

I like to make jewelry and I can speak Spanish and French

Why should clients visit YOU?

I focus on relieving the cause of pain and stress through sports, prenatal, and hot stone massage.

To book a massage with Camdine, click here!

Ingredient Spotlight: Arnica

Arnica is a healing herb from the sunflower family found in a diverse array of our home care and treatment products.  Arnica is popular as an ingredient in skin care and body care products for its healing and medicinal properties.

Arnica is commonly used in topical preparations to assist with skin irritation, bruising, burns, inflammation and joint pain.  According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, arnica products, when used topically, are generally considered to be safe.  Arnica should not be ingested as it could be toxic, though may be safe in extremely diluted homeopathic formulations under the guidance of a healthcare provider (this blog post does not constitute healthcare advice!)

In an online post about arnica, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center explained that while arnica hasn’t been widely researched, a small body of research has emerged showing it may be effective against osteoarthritis, swelling, and bruising, though more research is warranted.

Our estheticians use and recommend the Rhonda Allison Arnica Therapy cream after waxing services and when skin is healing post-peel to help with calming skin.

RAARNICA

Our massage therapists will often use a Kneipp arnica cream and cooling arnica gel when working on people with tissue inflammation or bruising.  Many of them use these products on their own bruise relief and as self care.   Our best-selling Kneipp product is the Arnica Joint and Muscle Bath Salt blend, which people report to be helpful for pain in hips, knees, low back, feet, and other joints when mixed into a hot bath for a relaxing soak.

kneipp joint and muscle

For more information about our products featuring arnica, be sure to ask your massage therapist, esthetician, or our receptionists at your next visit and check out the resources below.

References:

University of Maryland Medical Center: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/arnica

Rhonda Allison: https://www.rhondaallison.com/Arnica_Therapy_lp.html

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/arnica

What kind of massage should I book?

People always want to know which massage is the best.  It is a great question and not always the easiest to answer until we get to know someone a bit, but I hope this post helps you to sort through our four most popular massage styles to find one that suits you best!

THE EV SIGNATURE MASSAGE:

EV Signature Massage East Village Spa

This is our most popular massage for a reason: It is easy to customize for many preferences.  Our Signature Massage is usually full body, but can include more focused work on a specific area of tension.  Your massage therapist can vary your pressure from light to firm throughout the session based on your needs and preferences.  He or she will also incorporate a few warm stones on the back and feet (not to be mistaken with a hot stone massage, the stones are used for only about 5-10% of the treatment time in the Signature massage).

Your therapist will often blend some essential oils into your massage cream based on your health intake and he or she will also use a warm honey mask on your back with hot towels to soften skin (and the towels feel amazing).

If this massage was a vacation it would be: A trip to Colorado to take in some nature, great food, light hiking, and a visit with an old friend.

If this massage was a flavor of ice cream it would be: Neapolitan or cookies and cream

THE ATHLETIC EDGE MASSAGE:

athleticedge

All of the therapists who offer the Athletic Edge massage at our spa have extensive training in deep tissue techniques or sports massage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, and/or assisted stretching.  You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from this service, it is for anyone with a busy lifestyle, injury, or chronic aches and pains.

Don’t book the Athletic Edge massage if you want to drift off to sleep, but when you want to feel like you and your therapist really accomplished something.  This massage is generally not full body, but is focused on a few areas of pain or injury.   Your therapist will incorporate a variety of techniques and possibly even stretches, products to warm or cool muscles to reduce inflammation, and might ask you to participate by engaging muscles or assisting with a stretch.

If this massage was a vacation it would be: RAGBRAI, a ski trip, or a week off work spent remodeling your kitchen.

If this massage was a flavor of ice cream it would be: A frozen fruit and protein smoothie or rocky road

TWO FEET DEEP BAREFOOT BARS MASSAGE:

TwoFeetDeepMassageEastVillageSpa1

If you love firm pressure, but still want a full body massage that lets your mind drift away, this is a good choice.  Your massage therapist will stand on the table and use bars overhead for balance as she massages you with her feet.  Unlike a traditional deep pressure massage that uses hard surfaces like the therapist’s elbows or knuckles, the feet are softer and spread pressure evenly over a broader surface.  Your therapist isn’t “Walking” on your back, but rather using her feet to provide a massage that includes flowing and targeted strokes. This is a great choice for people with a more dense musculature or people who like to feel like the pressure is firm, but don’t like to feel sore the next day.

If this massage was a vacation it would be: A trip to Thailand or Bali

If this massage was a flavor of ice cream it would be: Dark chocolate chili pepper or Cherry Garcia

HEAVENLY HOT STONE MASSAGE:

The therapist uses a variety of different shaped warm jade stones as an extension of their hands to relax tense muscles.

We call this massage “Heavenly” for a reason.  This is our most relaxing massage.  Your therapist uses warm jade stones of different shapes and sizes to provide a massage that is extremely relaxing and boosts circulation.  He or she will use a combination of long, flowing strokes and quicker, focused techniques with the stones to increase blood flow while warming and relaxing the muscles.  While this treatment doesn’t use heavy pressure, the heat of the stones works deep to relax the muscles for the muscles.

If this massage was a vacation it would be: Relaxing on a beautiful beach with a cocktail and a great book.

If this massage was an ice cream flavor it would be: Mango sorbet or a hot fudge sundae with a toasted marshmallow

Ready to schedule your massage? Click here to book online at East Village Spa!