The value of professional skincare

acneLet’s say you are experiencing some skin break outs. Your first instinct might be to try the drugstore products you used in high school when you had teen acne, or to buy a full line of products at a home-party that is specifically labeled for acne. The problem with this approach is that breakouts, like many skin concerns, can’t be treated with a “one size fits all” approach. Without knowing the cause (stress, diet, hormones, bacteria, medications, etc…), breakouts are hard to treat and prevent.  A licensed esthetician can help you get to the root of the problem, whether acne, hyperpigmentation, dry skin, etc… to address it with a customized approach.

Licensed estheticians are professional skin care experts.  In Iowa, an esthetician is required to have a minimum of 600 hours of training in skin health, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, ingredients, and hands-on treatment techniques before they can sit for a licensing exam that allows them to provide facials, skin education, waxing, and powerful “professional only” treatments like chemical peels.  Once licensed, they must continue their education regularly.

With an abundance of professional skincare lines and more advanced ingredients at their disposal, Estheticians have the ability to mix and match products to provide the most customized treatments for ideal results. Many estheticians invest much time and training to select the best professional line for their clients, paying close attention to ingredients, effectiveness, ease-of-use, cost, and complementary services like chemical peels to help maximize benefits.

A few of the benefits customers might expect with a professional use line:

  • Greater ability to customize products for desired results.
  • May need LESS product due to higher level of active ingredients
  • More pure ingredients for more potent results
  • Similar price points to mass-marketed or direct sales lines due to less money spent advertising to mass-markets. The savings are passed on to you!
  • Advice from a professional who has had extensive training in product chemistry
  • The ability to combine home care with professional treatments like facials or peels for more intensive results

At East Village Spa, another benefit of using a professional skin care line is a professional BEHIND the line.  Not only will you have access to our estheticians for advice via e-mail, phone, or in-person, but our estheticians have direct access to those who formulate their products and thousands of their licensed peers for advice on particularly difficult skin care situations.  We have even been able to submit (with client permission!) skin histories and photos to product educators to “crowd source” a perfect solution for unique cases from advanced professionals.

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Too good to be true?

We’ll be honest: Professional skincare takes work.  Your skin won’t likely become perfect overnight and your skin’s needs are always changing, but your esthetician will help guide you as your needs change, from pregnancies, life stress, new medications, seasonal changes and aging.  Like exercise, you have to stick with it and be diligent to create change.  You can’t go to the gym once and expect to your biceps to swell overnight!

Ready to learn more? 

Set up an appointment for a facial with any of our licensed estheticians who are happy to help you learn more about professional skin care and offer you a service that is not only super relaxing, but really informative.  Click here to schedule or e-mail EVSpaDesk@gmail.com if you aren’t sure which facial is right for you.

 

Farmhouse Fresh has NEW gift sets and soaps!

fhftextThe other day, I ran home to walk my pups and came back inside to a string of *slightly enthusiastic* texts from our desk manager Kelly telling me that Farmhouse Fresh had released new products and new gift sets!  Farmhouse Fresh rarely gives us teasers before releasing new goodies, we usually stumble upon them on their order form first so it is as exciting as finding a Pokemon when you least expect to! (Did I get the analogy right?)

 

Gift Sets:

farmhouse fresh travel setsSweeping Softness:  Travel sizes of the Sweet Cream scrub, Whoopie Cream shea butter lotion, and Agave Nector body oil

Quick Recovery: Travel size mask trio including Guac Star, Pudding Apeel, and Splendid Dirt

Skin Saviors: Travel sizes of Whoopie Cream, Rainbow Road, and Fluffy Bunny shea butters

Shea Butter Soaps:

Farmhouse Fresh Soap

New scents: Citrine Beach and Coconut Cream.  Citrine beach also has a matching body milk lotion and Coconut Beach complements the popular Coconut Beach shea butter scrub. We are now carrying the Front Porch Punch shea butter soap again as well!

Pro tip: When you unwrap your soap, put the pretty paper in your linen closet to lightly scent towels!

Coming Soon: Farmhouse Fresh Lip Balms

Farmhouse Fresh Lip BalmsWhile we don’t yet have these awesome looking lip balms, we promise we’ll have them SOON!

Sale Items:

Farmhouse Fresh Sale.Because we’re making room for so many Farmhouse Fresh goodies, we’ll be marking a few items 25% off including all in-stock Magnificent Milk and Bright Eyed and Bushy-Tailed Farmhouse Fresh travel facial skin care sets and the Pink Moon scented shea butters.

For more information about East Village Spa’s services and to book online (consider booking a service if you’re coming to check out our new arrivals) visit our website!

Summer Skin Savers: 15% off!

I had to get out and enjoy the weather today because the rest of the week will be HOT!  The forecast inspired us to offer a special price for the rest of June on our summer skin saving essentials.  Now through June 30th, enjoy 15% off the following items to help protect or cool your skin:

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  • Rhonda Allison Broad Spectrum Daily Defense SPF 30 face and body sunscreen
  • Rhonda Allison Sheer Tint Finisher with SPF 18 moisturizer
  • Farmhouse Fresh “Guac Star” avocado mask to re-hydrate dry, damaged skin
  • Kneipp cooling arnica gel, a perfect treatment to cool and heal a suburn (best if kept refrigerated!)
  • Therapearl cold packs (all varities)

These products will be 15% off from June 9th through June 30th.

3 Spring Sunscreen Tips

CassandraClients are starting to abandon their heavy winter moisturizers for lighter skincare and spend more time outside so it is the perfect chance to learn what’s new for sun care!  I talked to Cassandra Lacina-Griffin, one of our licensed estheticians, for answers to common questions.

 

Question: If I have SPF in my make-up, is that enough coverage?

Answer: Probably not.  Most people aren’t wearing full make-up to take the dogs for a walk and by afternoon, the coverage won’t be effective if you put your make-up on in the morning.  For people who want light-feeling SPF coverage, a good choice is the Rhonda Allison Sheer Tint Finisher.  It provides SPF 18, is easy to apply, and as an added benefit, evens many skin tones so is perfect under make-up or powder.  No SPF product lasts all day, so you would need to reapply something if you put on your sheer tint finisher and SPF make-up in the morning before going out in the afternoon sun.

If you will be out for more than a few minutes, you could consider the Rhonda Allison SPF 30 sunscreen which is good for face and body (don’t forget your hands and decollete! They are some of the first body parts to show signs of sun damage!)  This still needs reapplied, but will last longer outside and provide more coverage than make-up. You can still wear make-up over it.

Question: Should I put on my sunscreen before or after my moisturizer?

Answer: Sunscreen goes on after your moisturizer.  Depending on your moisturizer (or serum) you’ll want those active ingredients closer to the skin so they can penetrate the skin easier.  You want your sunscreen closest to the sun exposure to provide a barrier.

Question: Do the products I use impact what kind of sunscreen I need?

Answer: When you are using professional grade correctives like many of the Rhonda Allison line, your skin is getting more exfoliation, which means new, fresh skin that is more susceptible to burns.  Just because you aren’t prone to burning, you still need sun protection. If you are investing in great skin care and corrective products, you need sunscreen more than ever so you don’t counteract all the good you are doing for your skin.

If you’d like more information, book a facial with Cassandra or any of our estheticians by clicking here.

 

 

Perfect Easter Basket Fillers

Whether you need a perfect hostess gift or some Easter basket fillers, we have lots of cute options…including some on sale!

For the Easter Brunch hosts: This Bunny Loves You Gift Set (15% off through April 30th, 2016)

This Bunny Loves You set includes a Fluffy Bunny (lavender mint) hand cream and a sweet cream salt scrub.  It is so pretty it doesn't need a basket!

 

This Bunny Loves You set includes a Fluffy Bunny (lavender mint) hand cream and a sweet cream salt scrub. It is so pretty it doesn’t need a basket!

For sisters and nieces: Nail polish minis (Zoya sets are 15% off through April 30th, 2016.

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The Zoya lips and tips quad includes 3 spring minis and a coordinating lipstick.  The Vinylux Flirtation gift set includes 4 polishes minis and fast dry topcoat mini.  These sets are perfect to give whole or split to fill Easter eggs!

For moms, co-workers and your BFF: Farmhouse Fresh spring scented shea butters.  These scents are 15% off through April 30th, 2016!

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Farmhouse Fresh has tons of delightful scents, but our two favorites for sprin are their Fluffy Bunny (lavender mint) and Rainbow Road (pear).  They come in a beautiful jar and a purse size hand cream tube.

For YOU: A visit to the spa

East Village Spa Spring Specials

Whether you’re hosting a big Easter gathering or worn out from getting your garden beds ready for spring planting, you deserve a trip to the spa.  Check out our fun spring specials and book YOUR spa visit 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

Top Thanksgiving Host Gift Ideas

Thanksgiving and other winter holidays  are just around the corner and it is time to start thinking of a nice way to thank your hosts! We have a few fun alternatives to wine or flowers.

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  1. A donation to their favorite charity. Whether an animal rescue like one of our favorites, Fluffy Butts, or a donation to your local food pantry in their name, this is a gift that your host AND a great charity will appreciate!
  2. Locally crafted goods like Morphew Designs Earrings. We carry a beautiful assortment of Morphew Designs jewelry, but a gift from a local artist is a lovely gesture for both the recipient and as a way to support a small business or artist.
  3. Kneipp bath salts are a wonderful gift for a host who is preparing an entire meal! Nothing better than an aromatherapy bath to unwind after a busy day cooking.
  4. Pure Inventions drink mixes for a healthy and delicious alternative to wine, especially if you don’t know whether the host drinks. Our favorite for the holidays is the Cranberry Elderberry packaged with cloves and cinnamon sticks from Allspice.
  5. An East Village Spa gift card is a great way to thank a local host, especially one who has overnight guests! A massage is a great way to recover from the full house frenzy. You can even purchase one to email or print from home at www.EVDaySpa.com!
  6. Farmhouse Fresh Candles. Not only are these candles perfectly scented for winter holidays, they come wrapped in cute festive sweaters that can be reused as coffee coozies! Plus Farmhouse Fresh donates a portion of their sales to animal charities, which we adore.

Are you the harried host this season? Be sure to book yourself a spa service or two after the festivities. Having something relaxing  on the horizon is a great way to manage stress. You can get through just about any crazy meal if you know you have a massage a few days away!  Book yours online!

My first Rhonda Allison peel: 7 day journal

I was tickled when summer running and triathlon season was over and I could FINALLY find a stretch of time when (in theory) I wouldn’t be outside exercising for awhile and I could get a new Rhonda Allison peel!

Our estheticians decided I needed to try a Vitamin A peel for general anti-aging, hyperpigmentation, and overall skin refining.  This peel is best done in a series of 2-3, about 2-3 weeks apart.

I am a real weenie about pain and I know that typically, some of the peels (even some of the more potent products used in the Rhonda Allison EV Signature Facials) can be warm or tingly so I made sure Cassandra had a fan at the ready for me to cool off my face.  She started with a double cleanse, then products to suppress the melanin in my skin and break down the oil (a defatting agent-sounds glamorous) so the peel could penetrate properly.  It is really quite a precise science and it is fun to  learn the reasons behind each step.

My "before" photo on the treatment table after a double cleanse.

My “before” photo on the treatment table after a double cleanse.

The peel products were surprisingly comfortable!  I got a bit warm and tingly for a minute or two, but I’d have been fine without the fan.  She didn’t have to wash them off at the end either, I was instructed to wear sunscreen if I went outside (I wasn’t going to see the light of day that day so no worries) but otherwise go to sleep without washing my face.

The peel is just the first step in the process.  The home care is also important as I quickly realized.  I needed a more gentle cleanser than I usually use, the growth factor serum to help speed skin cell turnover, and the arnica therapy to help ease tenderness.

Day 2:  My skin was tight and looked great, no peeling, no redness.  I was able to wear make-up as normal.  I had to wear sunscreen (I should anyway!) and avoid outside workouts.

Day 3: This was a Saturday and the day I started peeling.  Camille and Cassandra were surprised I was peeling, they didn’t know if I would or not (everyone is different).  I had travel plans to go to a concert in Minneapolis but it was Halloween and the show was in the dark so I didn’t care!  I forgot to bring my Arnica Therapy and I regretted it.  I felt like I had a pretty decent sunburn and I just had the growth factor serum as my only moisturizer (stupid) and my sunscreen.

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My peeling on day 3. I peeled most around my mouth and forehead where my skin moves when I furrow my brow or talk).

Day 4: This was a day of regrets.  Remember in the first paragraph, I timed my peel to a period of no outdoor exercise.  I couldn’t help myself.  I LOVE running in other cities.  So I went for a morning run in Minneapolis and enjoyed some wind burn.  Ouchie!  I got an “I told you so” from Camille and a reminder to use my Arnica Therapy when I got home.  I felt heat and stinging on my face like sunburn the ride back, but the arnica therapy helped.  When I took a shower with a milk cleanser, the peeling skin balled up a bit without me forcing it so I GENTLY sloughed with a washcloth and that helped.

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Day 5, no make-up, less face peeling-I did have my “skin beard” later in the day, my pores looked super small and the fine lines on my forehead and my “11s” were less noticeable.

Day 5: When I woke up, I felt like most of the peeling had resolved and I was able to wear make-up to work.  Then I realized under my chin was peeling so I had a pretty “skin beard” that nobody told me about for a couple of hours.  My face didn’t feel hot like it did on Sunday (Day 4).  My forehead was done peeling.

Day 7: Today I was thrilled when I woke-up and washed my face!  I could have gotten away with no foundation, except that my foundation IS my sunscreen for days I’m not outside.  The thing that really blew me away today v. 2 days ago is how much lighter my freckles and sun spots are.  Even a birthmark on my chin is lighter. People at work noticed too.  I’m completely done peeling and I’m ready to go back to using my regular Rhonda Allison skin care products.

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No foundation or powder on, no editing. Natural light this morning.

My take-aways: If you are going to peel, plan to do so when you don’t have to wear make-up or work out for about a week.  If you are someone who gets actual peeling, it is likely going to be worse on days 3-4 (this seems to be the consensus with everyone that has tried the peel and who does peel).  Your skin will likely just look firm on day 2.  Use the post-care!  Rhonda Allison actually requires us to sell a post care kit to every peel client (we sell them at 40% off to peel clients).  The products made a difference in my progress for sure.  The growth factor serum made me peel faster and helped my skin turnover quickly.  When I forgot the arnica therapy on my trip I was in pain!  It really helps to heal skin.  A gentle cleanser is also a must.

This peel is best in a series so I’ll be getting another on in about 3 weeks and I’ll keep you posted!

Curious about trying a peel?  Because this service is more intense, discuss it with your esthetician at your next facial appointment and she will recommend the right one for you.  Peels need to be done within 5 weeks of a regular facial so your esthetician has a chance to evaluate your skin (especially as skin changes with seasons) and determine what protocol is safest and most appropriate for your goals.

 

Check out our fall favorites!

Whether you need jewelry or nail polish to complement your favorite fall sweater, a unique host or hostess gift for Halloween and Thanksgiving gatherings, or want something sweet, spicy and delightful to nourish your skin, we have the perfect fall finds in our gift shop!

  1. Caramel Lovers Rejoice!

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The Backcountry Caramel Body Milk and Triple Shot Caramel Coffee Scrub are retail favorites every fall.  This year we’ve incorporated them into some of our seasonal services.  Don’t forget to stop up at the desk for your complimentary caramel truffle after your services (we know you’ll be craving one!)

2. Zoya Fall Nail Polishes

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These fun colors are available in full size bottles ($9) and mini bottles ($5) and are perfect to complement your favorite fall boots and sweaters!

3. Morphew Designs Jewelry

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Heather, the designer behind Morphew Designs Jewelry, lives in Central Iowa and regularly updates her collection of earrings and necklaces at the spa.  She’s also happy to do custom orders and has a fast turnaround time.

4. Pure Inventions Cranberry Elderberry Drink Mix

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Pro tip! Mix the cranberry elderberry drink mix into hot water and add a cinnamon stick, orange peel and cloves for a delicious and healthy no-cal alternative to heavy holiday punches and ciders.

5. Pumpkin for your skin

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Pumpkin is a popular skin care ingredient because it contains vitamin A, which soothes and softens skin, and antioxidant rich Vitamin C. Our Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt Mask includes pumpkin puree and our Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Cleanser is a best-seller.  Both are suitable for many skin types, but ask your esthetician if you aren’t sure.

6. Hot Spiced Rum

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Farmhouse Fresh Butter Rum Sugar Scrub is a year-round favorite, but the Spiced Rum and Bunny Slippers Cozy Candle is a new product just in time for crisp fall evenings. Also perfect as a hostess gift for Halloween or Thanksgiving gatherings!

East Village Spa Proudly Using Rhonda Allison Skin Care!

We have slowly integrated Rhonda Allison skin care products into our facial services this summer, and we are ready to make a full switch in August.  The new clients and long-time facial clients who have tried these products with us love the line as much as we do, but we know many of our clients have questions, so we’d like to answer them here.

Q: Why switch now when you’ve used Derma E so long?

A:  Our clients and estheticians weren’t getting the desired results with Derma E and we wanted a line that offered faster, more dramatic improvements.  Derma E doesn’t offer professional strength products that we can use to add additional refining or potency our facials, but Rhonda Allison has a wide array of products our estheticians can use to customize and enhance their facials to strengthen and refine skin.

Q: How did you choose Rhonda Allison?

A: For months, Camille and Cassie have been consulting with other estheticians and spa owners, researching product lines and ingredients, and having discussions with skin care companies.  Rhonda Allison kept coming out on-top as far as reputation for results, ingredient integrity, and customer satisfaction.  Once we started trying their products and meeting with their educators, the choice was clear.  The clients (and spa employees) who have already made the change with us have affirmed this choice.

Q: Why is the change taking so long? 

A: The Rhonda Allison line is HUGE because it is very customizable.  Our estheticians have been doing training independently and with educators from Rhonda Allison.  The break-room looks like a college library!  Breaks have been spent reading ingredient books, studying products, and taking notes.  In August, Rhonda Allison educators are visiting the spa to provide hands on training in their more intensive products.  It has been really exciting, but time-consuming, to become experts.

Q: Will you continue to carry Derma E?  Will you be having a clearance sale?

A: No.  We will discontinue all of our Derma E products, but you can still purchase them online through the manufacturer and at health food stores.  We will be providing free facials and donating the rest of our Derma E inventory to the women residing at the Beacon of Life Shelter in Des Moines to help them with their unique skin care needs.

Q: What about your Farmhouse Fresh facial products?

A: We will continue to carry the Farmhouse Fresh line as an alternative line.  We love their products for the Farmhouse Fresh Hydrating Back Facial and for the 30 minute Express Facial.  We’re creating a fun and whimsical package that includes the Farmhouse Fresh Back Facial AND a 30 minute Farmhouse Fresh mini facial with our new skincare menu.  These products are also ideal for people who are just looking for a fun facial without making a big change in their routine or skin (i.e. our out-of-town guests).

Q: When can I get a facial with Rhonda Allison Products?

A: Now!  Camille and Cassandra are fully trained, Hannah will be offering Rhonda Allison Facials starting later in July, and Cammie will be offering them in August.  Lydia will no longer be offering facial services as she prepares for her move to California this fall. She hasn’t trained on Rhonda Allison due to her moving plans, but she recommends any of our other excellent and experienced estheticians.

Q: I liked Derma E because it was natural.  Is Rhonda Allison Natural?

A: Yes.  Rhonda Allison is known as a leader in natural, scientific-based skincare.  Read more here.  The website is a wealth of info about ingredients.

Q: Will your facials change much other than the products?

A: You can still expect a super-relaxing experience.  You’ll notice more active ingredients (meaning you might feel them working…this is GOOD!)  Our facials are also getting longer due to the nature of the professional-use-only products used to refine and improve skin.  We’ll be incorporating more relaxation techniques into the treatments due to the longer time the products require to work.  Yay!  We will adjust prices September 1 as needed for the longer services and better quality ingredients, but we will honor all gift cards purchased prior to September 1 for the old price (so stock up on gift cards now!)

Q: What about peels?

A: We typically don’t suggest peels in the summer due to sun exposure post-peel.  We are taking a temporary hiatus from peels until our estheticians are trained in the more effective skin refining procedures from Rhonda Allison in August.  We’ll be ready to help transform your skin this fall!  Click here for the Rhonda Allison before and after photo gallery!  We won’t be offering all of the services in the photo gallery (due to licensing and regulation) but you can expect amazing results.

Book your facial now and request the Rhonda Allison line!