Can spa services offer benefits for Raynaud’s Disease?

Some people experience periods of time when their fingers or toes turn color to white or blue and go numb.  This phenomenon is called Raynaud’s disease and it is fairly common, affecting 5-10% of the population.

What is Raynaud’s Disease?

My typical post cool weather run "trick" when a couple of my fingers turn white and go completely numb."

My typical post cool weather run “trick” when a couple of my fingers turn white and go completely numb.”

Raynaud’s disease is a condition characterized by periods of time when the fingers or toes (sometimes nose and ears) turn color and go numb due to an interruption of blood flow to the extremities due to a vasospasm (Mayo Clinic).  Often they will turn white, sometimes blue, and then red when blood flow returns.  Typically people with Reynaud’s feel numbness in the affected areas during an episode and may experience pain when blood flow returns.  The most common cause of a flare up is exposure to cold, though sometimes people experience the phenomenon during times of stress.

Raynaud’s may be primary (meaning it isn’t due to an underlying cause) or secondary (the phenomenon is due to a condition such as nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.).  According to Mayo Clinic, some medications can also cause the Raynaud’s phenomenon.

The majority of people who experience Raynaud’s symptoms do not report it to a physician, (Raynauds.org) but it is worth noting at your next medical visit as occasionally Raynaud’s disease presents before a more serious disorder.

Nails may turn blue during an episode and over time,  nails might develop ridges related to Raynaud's.

Nails may turn blue during an episode and over time, nails might develop ridges related to Raynaud’s.

Can spa treatments help with Raynaud’s disease?

While I could not find research on spa services and Raynaud’s disease, some services may help with some of the causes and help to reduce some of the symptoms.

  • Deep tissue or orthopedic massage may be able to help people with wrist, arm, and hand injuries (like carpal tunnel) that may be contributing to the Raynaud’s phenomenon.
  • Hot stone massages will likely feel great and boost circulation for individuals who are perpetually cold, but aren’t going to “cure” Raynaud’s phenomenon.
  • If you notice an increase in Raynaud’s phenomenon at times of emotional stress, you might consider regular massage or spa services you enjoy that have been shown to lower stress.
  • If you are self conscious about the way your nails look as a result of Raynaud’s disease (sometimes nails can become “spooned” or develop ridges) a professional manicure and application of a shimmer or glitter polish can help to disguise any nail disfiguration due to the Raynaud’s.
  • Products like Kneipp mineral baths are great to purchase for an at-home spa experience to warm up during a flare-up.  I personally use the Kneipp mineral baths after every cooler-weather run to relax my muscles and bring blood flow back to my hands and feet.

Can spa services trigger Raynaud’s phenomenon?

Spa services aren’t likely to trigger Raynaud’s phenomenon unless you get cold.  It would be wise to let your provider know any concerns.  Options to make sure your hands and feet don’t get too cold:

  • Ask if you can keep your socks on during a massage until the therapist works on your feet (I usually do this!)
  • Ask for an extra blanket on hand in the room.
  • During pedicures or manicures, after a soak in water, ask for your foot or hand to be wrapped in a towel so it isn’t exposed to air
  • Cut the toes off of a pair of old socks and bring them to put on before your nail technician polishes your nails.  While your toes will be exposed, at least your feet will be warmer while your polish dries.  You can cut the finger tips off of an inexpensive pair of “one-size-fits-all” stretch gloves for a winter manicure.
  • After a service like a body wrap or hot stone massage, make sure to have plenty of warm clothes and gloves (especially in winter) or grab a cup of hot tea to hold after your service so you aren’t shocked by a temperature change.

If you are one of many of us who experience discomfort from Raynaud’s, don’t be afraid to speak up when getting a massage, skin care, or nail care service!  Your provider will be happy to make adjustments because he or she wants to make sure you can get full enjoyment and benefit from their work without worrying about your fingers and toes going numb!

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/raynauds-disease/basics/causes/con-20022916

http://www.raynauds.org/

http://www.nailsmag.com/article/82109/what-is-raynaud-s-disease

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721961/

Getting fooled by online tips?

My Facebook and Twitter feeds are often full of health and beauty posts, but not all of it is sound (or accurate!). Pinterest is especially full of health and skincare tips of questionable benefit, or worse, potential for harm.  With so many people posting and sharing information, it is easy to lose sight of what information is helpful, safe, and accurate.

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When reading information online, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the information based on unbiased research (i.e. did a product manufacturer do their own research?)
  2. What is the quality of the research? (How big of a study? Was the study controlled? Peer reviewed?)
  3. Who maintains the website? (.gov is a governmental agency, .org is an organization, .edu is an educational institution)
  4. What resources (if any) are cited with the information?  (journals like the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) New England Journal of Medicine, studies from teaching institutions, research from professional associations like American Massage Therapy Association or American Dermatological Association)
  5. Is there contact information from the author on the site?
  6. How recent is the information? Is there a date when the information or website was last updated readily available?
  7. Does it seem too good to be true?  (If it does, it generally is!)
  8. Are other sites or sources backing up the information?
  9. If you aren’t sure if something you read online is true, you can check it out at www.snopes.com!

If you are wanting to research a health topic, some good places to start are:

http://www.medlineplus.gov (National library of Medicine)

http://www.mayoclinic.org (Mayo clinic is very supportive of complementary and integrative medicine and research!)

https://nccih.nih.gov (National center for complementary and integrative health)

Teaching institution sites (for example, http://www.health.harvard.edu)

Sites for national health associations like the American Heart Association (http://www.americanheart.org) or the American Diabetes Association (http://www.diabetes.org)

For skincare research and information, check out the links available here:

http://www.skininc.com/education/associations/esthetics/

For Acne and Rosacea: https://acneandrosacea.org/

For Psoriasis: https://www.psoriasis.org/

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.

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

Human trafficking in the spa industry

Following a White House proclamation in 2011, January is recognized annually as Human Trafficking awareness month.  In recent years, organizations like the Polaris Project and government agencies have helped to shed light on how widespread human trafficking and slavery are in America, in big metropolitan areas, affluent suburbs, and quiet rural towns.

The issue of human trafficking is often top of mind for me as a spa owner because facets of this industry have been used as a way to exploit victims of human trafficking and Iowa is not immune.

Fake Massage Businesses

Fake massage businesses masquerade as providing legitimate massage, reflexology, spa, or other health services, but often operate within a network of traffickers.  People I’ve spoken with are shocked to see how openly these businesses are advertised online.  In 2015 alone there were many raids on parlors:

Salt Lake City, Utah

Central Ohio

Houston, Texas

And in West Des Moines, IOWA in 2015, women were found living on bunk beds in a massage parlor that operated long hours 7 days a week including late nights.  Neighboring businesses reported they never saw employees come or go.  After a visit from the fire inspector, the parlor was told they could re-open once they met fire code. A city council member asked police to investigate the business for illegal activity, but police declined.

Licensed Massage Therapists are health care providers who have extensive education in their field.  While some people laugh and tease licensed massage therapists like my colleagues and me about these parlors, it breaks our heart, especially when the people forced to work in places like this may be slaves, even minors.  The reporting and labeling these businesses as “massage” is dangerous to licensed massage therapists like me and puts us at risk for assault or harassment.

It also is unfortunate as it stigmatizes the good work that licensed massage therapists do, making some people less likely to seek services that could truly benefit their health, including pregnant women, cancer survivors, senior citizens, children with disabilities, athletes, and people with high stress levels or injuries.

Nail Salons

In 2015, a series of articles in the New York Times by Sarah Maslin Nir exposed nail salons for human rights violations.  The organization Human Rights First explains more about nail salon labor exploitation.

As a spa owner, I know exactly how much a safe and ethical manicure and pedicure cost.  Quality products that are free from the harsh chemicals common in some high volume salons are expensive (Our cost for a bottle of base coat, top coat and one color of Shellac is $65.85, not to mention all the lotions, scrubs, and disposable tools we give to our clients or toss after a service!)

In order to ensure safety, employees can’t rush through services and need to allow adequate time to clean and sterilize their tools.  The cleaning and tool sanitation time is time they can’t see clients.  If a salon is under pricing services, they will have to make it up in volume which doesn’t always allow for adequate tool or tub cleaning. Nail technicians spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours attending training programs and continuing education so they can provide safe, skilled services.

Basically, my point is that if a nail service is really cheap, something has to give, whether product quality, sanitation (reusing disposable products, not allowing enough time to clean instruments or tubs), or employee compensation.  Often, all three.

Like the fake massage businesses, nail salons are also under investigation.  The New York Times series set off a rush of legislation and investigations in the northeast in 2015 exposing many labor violations.

It isn’t a recent problem for nail salons.  The Huffington Post published an article in 2013 explaining some of the reasons nail salons are easy fronts for human trafficking: Low hour requirements for licensing programs, a predominately cash-based business (easier to launder money), and at least in 2013, they were more under-the-radar than fake massage businesses.

In Virginia, a nail salon is under investigation after human trafficking reports in November

In Connecticut, 23 nail salons were shut down in 2015 for wage and health violations

New Jersey also started cracking down on health and wage violations in nail salons last year.

It is important to note that not all low price or high volume nail salons are engaging in illegal or unethical practices. Nail salons can be an excellent business for people with lower start-up rates and many are operated well by people who are passionate about their career or making an honest living.  However, human trafficking is growing at such an alarming rate nationwide, it is important to know the signs and report any suspicions.   Learn more about the signs at PolarisProject.org.

If you know someone you suspect is a victim of human trafficking, you can also contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline 1-888-373-7888

freedomquote

Cassie’s Vegetarian “Neat”loaf Recipe

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and as a vegetarian, I never feel like I’m missing out because I can make a killer vegetarian meatloaf and amazing veggie gravy, then enjoy all the wonderful sides.  For nearly 10 years, we’ve done thanksgiving with friends, typically at least half the group is vegetarian.  In recent years, I’ve started doubling my recipe because it freezes well and the leftovers are great for a week.

If you are trying to cut back meat or are going to have a vegetarian guest at some point this winter, give this dish a try!  Note: This dish requires a food processor, you could use a blender, but I think it would be really tricky.

The finished product (I wish I had a prettier photo, but I'm not a food stylist.  I just like to eat.)

The finished product (I wish I had a prettier photo, but I’m not a food stylist. I just like to eat, and I was finishing the gravy while chasing two very muddy dogs around the kitchen)

Cassie’s Veggie “Neat”loaf

Ingredients:

8 slices whole wheat bread (toasted-I do all at once on a baking sheet, then cool)

2 c. pecans (you can use walnuts if you prefer)

3 large eggs (you can use vegan egg substitute, but I’ll be honest: it isn’t as good)

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 large carrot, peeled

1 celery rib

1/2 red, green, or yellow pepper, sliced (whatever is cheapest)

1/2 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings (if you use plain, add a pinch of Italian seasonings of your choice)

1 1/2 T. olive oil

1 t. salt, other seasonings to taste (I like about 1/2 t. garlic powder)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly spray a loaf pan with oil.

2. Tear up the cooled, toasted bread into the food processor and process into bread crumbs.  Toss in a large bowl.

3. Process the pecans into fine crumbs and toss into the large bowl with the bread crumbs.

4. Process the pepper slices, carrot, and celery until very finely diced and toss into the bowl with the pecans and bread crumbs

The dry ingredients, plus the veggies.

The dry ingredients, plus the veggies.

5. Crack 3 eggs into the food processor and add the onion.  Process together into a frothy mixture.  The onions should be very fine and it should be a liquid.  Pour into the large bowl with everything else.

Blend the 3 eggs and the onion until (for lack of a better word) frothy.

Blend the 3 eggs and the onion until (for lack of a better word) frothy.

6. Add the olive oil and diced tomatoes, plus salt and seasonings of your preference to the bowl and mix well (you might want to use your hands to make sure it is evenly mixed.

7. Pat into the prepared loaf pan and bake covered with foil for 60-70 minutes, remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.

See, looks delicious already!

See, looks delicious already!

Top with veggie gravy (I love the Chicago Diner recipe), BBQ Sauce, or Ketchup.  The gravy recipe takes awhile to thicken once it cools, and I think it is even better the second day.  You can find nutritional yeast typically in the health food section of the grocery store, but I’ve found it in baking sections too.  I usually have to ask.

Fun tip: If you make the dry base for the Chicago Diner gravy recipe, it makes a TON.  I’ve taken extra and bagged it with the directions to give as holiday gifts to my fellow vegetarians.

If you try it, please post a comment and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

Healthy Holiday Cookie Make-Overs: Part 2

Yesterday I shared my favorite healthy holiday cookie, a vegan, gluten free, paleo friendly Pecan Sandy.  Today I’m going to share yummy and healthier version of chocolate bark and buckeyes.  Both are easily customized to your preferences too!

My friend Renae shared with me her favorite monster cookie protein ball recipe.  It was easy to adapt into a protein ball that was healthier, AND to dip into dark chocolate for a buckeye that had lots of protein and fiber, win-win!

Protein Ball Buckeyes

Ingredients:

Ingredients used for the "made-over" Buckeyes

Ingredients used for the “made-over” Buckeyes-I doubled the recipe below and made about 50 buckeyes

1 c. old fashioned or quick oats

1/2 c. natural peanut butter (I use one of the easier-to spread versions like Jif)

1/4 c. honey (local if you can-if making vegan, you can use agave)

1 scoop vanilla whey powder (if making vegan, look for a vanilla flavored vegan protein powder)

1/3 c. ground flax seed/chia seed blend or 1/4-1/3 c. flax or chia seeds (optional)

Dark chocolate for melting and dipping (I used the large dark chocolate bars from Zoet, found at Hyvee)

Combine all above, I found that starting with the peanut butter and honey, then adding the dry ingredients a bit at a time was best. If you can’t quite get them sticky enough to form a ball, add a bit more peanut butter or honey at a time.  You’ll need to mix with your hands eventually.

Roll into balls, then place on waxed or parchment paper.  To be honest, they are delicious at this point without being chocolate dipped.  You can store then in the freezer for a quick protein snack or breakfast this way or continue with the next step.

Melt chocolate squares in microwaveable bowl about 30-45 seconds at a time and stir each time until just melted.image2

Drop a ball into the chocolate and roll until it is covered, then remove with a spoon and place onto the wax paper.  Do this until all protein balls are covered in the dark chocolate, stopping to re-soften the chocolate or add more squares as needed.

Place into fridge to harden faster.

Store in fridge or freezer, depending on how quickly you’ll eat these.  (Warning, it might be pretty quick-I had to tell my husband to back-off because they were so good).

The finished protein buckeyes, ready for sampling at the Promenade (unless my husband finds them first).

The finished protein buckeyes, ready for sampling at the Promenade (unless my husband finds them first).

While these protein buckeyes do have more fiber, nutrients, and protein than regular buckeyes, do note they are certainly not low calorie and are ideal for active lifestyles or a grab and go breakfast replacement!

Be sure to visit the spa this Friday for the Holiday Promenade to sample these and a few other holiday cookie healthy makeovers! 🙂

A Healthy Twist on a Classic Holiday Cookie: Pt. 1

I’m a sucker for holiday cookies, candies, bars, you name it.  I also love finding recipes for healthier versions of said treats to find  perfect recipes to please diverse crowds, from those who love decadent desserts to people who are vegan, gluten free, or have other dietary limitations.  This year, I decided to make several healthier versions of classic holiday cookies to serve at our Holiday Promenade event, along with recipes, to inspire others to be creative.

Sometimes my experimentation leads to hilarious cookie fails.  Last night one of my cookies had maybe one-too-many healthy substitutions and was deemed by my taste testers as “So bad that if you serve this at Holiday Promenade, you will RUIN Holiday Promenade.”  My husband even asked if I made it with potatoes. This explains why my dog that eats anything in sight didn’t try to get the pan off the counter.  And I just thought he was being good!

To save our Promenade guests from fails or substitution headaches, I’ll only be serving really yummy treats taste-tested by my picky friends made with easy-to-fi
nd ingredients.  This is one of my long-time favorites: Healthy Pecan Sandies.

Pecan Sandies (Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo, Possibility of being raw)

Ingredients:

IMG_3882

1 c. pitted dates

2 c. chopped pecans (use raw if making this as a raw cookie)

zest of half an orange.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.  Process pecans in a food processor until finely ground.  Add pitted dates and orange zest.  Process until the mixture starts to pull away from the side and makes a coarse “dough”

image1

image2

Pecan Sandy cookie dough after it has been processed

Roll into walnut sized balls on prepared cookie sheet and press a pecan half into each while flattening slightly.  They can be placed close together as they will not spread while baking.  Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms brown slightly.  Cool before eating (or they’ll fall apart!)

image3

Pecan sandies ready for the oven (they look the same coming out of the oven!)

To make a raw version, make sure you purchase raw pecans (easy to find in health food stores or Trader Joes) and don’t bake your cookies, but prepare them and freeze in a single layer so they hold their shape.  Eat out of the freezer as they’ll crumble as they warm to room temp if you haven’t baked them.

Stay tuned for more healthy holiday treats recipes this week!

Massage Therapy Benefits Veterans and Active Duty Military

East Village Spa wants to make massage therapy accessible to military personnel and veterans so we offer a specially priced massage therapy treatment year round with their needs in mind. The “Military Massage” is a 60 minute massage designed for active and veteran military personnel facing diverse physical and emotional health needs related to service.

Our Military Massage is also priced at $70/hour, which is a reduced rate from our usual $85/hourly massage rate.  This reduced rate is our “Thank You” to those who serve, and we hope this allows for more frequent visits as the benefits of massage build over time.

Common proven benefits of massage therapy correspond to concerns shared by many military personnel due to the nature of their work.

We are thrilled tmassageo be able to offer a massage service just to active and veteran military.  The first massage will include a detailed health history and a chance to visit with your massage therapist about your treatment goals, whether general relaxation, stress relief, specific injuries or areas of pain that you’d like focus on.  Your massage therapist will discuss the best pressure, massage therapy techniques, and self-care to help you achieve your goals.  He or she can also refer you to a colleague within the spa for different techniques or may refer to outside providers as needed.

For testimonials of how massage therapy can provide relief to wounded military personnel, click to read this article from Massage and Bodywork about CAUSE (Comfort for America’s Uniformed Services) and wounded warriors receiving massage therapy as part of their treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center.

To schedule a Military Massage, click here and go to our online booking, select “Military Massage” for special pricing or call (515) 309-2904. If you are comfortable doing so, please note any specific injuries or illnesses at the time of booking so that we can research and be prepared for your appointment.  Your therapist will guide you to the best massage treatment options for your sessions.

 

 

 

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.

IMG_3704[1]

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.