Sunscreen FAQs

Lately there’s been buzz about chemical sunscreens. Many of our clients are asking if sunscreen is still safe. The answer YES! There are different types of sunscreens and it can get confusing. Our expert estheticians are here to sort it out for you!

Woman with hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen on her nose.

What’s the difference between chemical sunscreen and barrier sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreen contains ingredients that absorb the sun’s rays, change them to heat, then release them from the skin. These are sunscreens you’re most likely to find mass marketed and probably what is in your pool bag. I sometimes use an aerosol chemical sunscreen when I swim alone so I can get my back and I don’t plan to stop. We understand clients are concerned right now because the FDA is investigating 12 ingredients used in chemical sunscreen for more information because these ingredients can absorb into the body. The FDA and American Academy of Dermatology still want people to use sunscreen, even chemical sunscreens, during this study.

Physical barrier sunscreens are those that contain zinc oxide and block the rays from getting to your skin. These are the sunscreens we carry from Rhonda Allison because they are tend to be better for sensitive skin and cause less irritation.

Chemical sunscreens are hit and miss causing serious skin irritation for my husband and me, so we’ve both found Zinc Oxide barrier sports sunscreens work best to protect us when running or biking in the sun. Granted, these are thick and don’t absorb quickly…but we’d rather have streaky sunscreen residue on our skin than cancer! Our favorite sport brands for our sensitive skin are Think Sport (available at REI) and Blue Lizard (which we’ve only found online).

What is the difference between Rhonda Allison E-Zinc and Daytime Defence Sunscreens?

Rhonda Allison Sunscreen eZinc vs Daytime Defense
Rhonda Allison offers two sunscreens. EZinc, and Daytime Defense

Rhonda Allison eZinc Protection Cream is a highly protective barrier sunscreen with Zinc Oxide offering a natural SPF 22 for daily sun protection without leaving the skin white or pasty. This is light, quick-absorbing, and may be used day and night. If you travel light like me, you COULD use this as a light nighttime moisturizer for a few days if you’re only packing a carry-on. This is great for people who are a bit more sensitive, oily, or breakout prone. It also has a really accessible price point to make it easier to use daily. Personally, I’m a fan of the eZinc, but it is less protective than the Daytime Defense SPF30.

Rhonda Allison’s Daytime Defense SPF30 is an ultra-refined complex; perfect sun protection providing a continuation of good skin care. Giving skin support to guard against environmental pollution, it glides on skin for soothing moisture protection you will feel all day. Using Zinc Oxide to as a natural sun barrier, this pure and clean formulation protects the skin while providing antimicrobial, antioxidant, and soothing, healing support that is ideal for all skin types.

Whichever type of sunscreen you put on in the morning, it won’t protect you from the sun all day. You’ll still need to reapply regularly and after any activity where you sweat or get wet as these are not waterproof or sport sunscreens.

My make-up has sunscreen, am I good to go?

No! Make-up with SPF and mineral make-up is great for added protection, but if you’re wearing it thick enough for a sufficient application to protect against sun exposure, we need to have a chat about how much make-up you’re wearing!

I see scary stories about sunscreen in my facebook feed, how do I know who to trust?

It is important to carefully select reliable sources when researching health information online and making health decisions. Skin cancer is a serious issue. To get you started on your research for the best sunscreen for you, check out the well-researched sources I used for this post: American Academy of Dermatology and the Mayo Clinic. Want more advice or want to try on some of our Rhonda Allison sunscreens? Stop into the spa or book a facial with one of our licensed estheticians for customized advice.

Rosacea Awareness

April is Rosacea Awareness Month. Many people don’t understand rosacea, which is frequently confused with sensitive skin. According to Shannon Esau of Rhonda Allison, “Rosacea is a chronic and progressive disorder that impacts 16 million Americans. Rosacea will typically present as redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that will come and go. It is a complex condition, with three stages of progressed symptoms.”

More progressed rosacea with bumps and thickening of the skin.

Mild rosacea causes some redness or flushing that is exacerbated by certain topical products, improper skin care, some foods, alcohol, drugs, or other triggers. According to the Mayo Clinic, more progressed stages of rosacea can lead to bumps that look like acne, a thickening of the skin on the nose leading to a bulbous appearance, and eye issues. Rosacea is not caused by poor hygiene. It may be hereditary, but people with fair skin with sun damage, people who drink or smoke may be more at risk.

Things to avoid

Rosacea symptoms may be lessened by avoiding triggers. This can include using a sunscreen daily (which you should do anyway), reducing sugar, and stopping smoking. Studies show that alcohol consumption may cause rosacea or worsen symptoms for some people, though it is important to note someone who never drinks can also develop rosacea.

People with rosacea should also avoid “scrubbing” their skin or using manual exfoliation (gritty) products. These can cause irritation which may worsen symptoms. A product like Rhonda Allison’s Mandelic Arginine serum can gently rejuvenate skin without an aggressive scrub.

Managing Symptoms

Rhonda Allison Skincare

In addition to avoiding triggers that can worsen symptoms, proper skincare is essential to treating rosacea. For more severe symptoms, people may wish to seek assistance from a dermatologist.

At East Village Spa, we offer Rhonda Allison professional skincare which has several options to help ease rosacea symptoms.

Sensitive Skin Complex: This serum supports inflamed, irritated, infection-prone skin while providing a high degree of environmental protection. This product also eases facial redness and burning.

Creamy Milk Cleanser: Formulated for sensitive and traumatized skin, gentle with milk proteins to soothe and hydrate.

C-Stem Cell: This complex strengthens skin and protects against environmental stress.

Milk Mask: A cooling, calming, and hydrating mask

Wasabi Mask: It may be surprising that wasabi would be an appropriate ingredient for sensitive skin and rosacea, but this mask purifies and hydrates acne and rosacea-prone skin.

If you have concerns about your skin, you can visit with a licensed esthetician for more guidance, regular facials and proper home care can make a world of difference in your skin health. To book a facial with one of our licensed estheticians, click here.

Resources

Differentiating Rosacea From Sensitive Skin, Shannon Esau, Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals. Available at Skininc.com

Mayo Clinic: Rosacea https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rosacea/symptoms-causes/syc-20353815

American Academy of Dermatology: Does Drinking Cause Rosacea?
https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/rosacea/does-drinking-cause-rosacea

American Academy of Dermatology: 6 rosacea skincare tips dermatologists give their patients:
https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/rosacea/6-rosacea-skin-care-tips-dermatologists-give-their-patients

Resolve to avoid these 3 skin health mistakes

New Year’s Day is always a good time to set goals. People often focus on nutrition or fitness goals, but neglect their skin’s health when creating a wellness plan for the year! We’ll make skin care resolutions easy with 3 common skin health mistakes to resolve to avoid this year.

From Camille Arbegast, Managing Esthetician at East Village Spa:

Resolve to exfoliate properly: That might not mean using an actual “scrub.”

Many people think that to exfoliate you need a scrub, any scrub. But more often than not, a manual scrub is not appropriate for your skin. Some scrubs are really aggressive and will damage your skin. For people with acne-prone skin, scrubs can cause inflammation, spread bacteria and increase breakouts. People think that Clarisonics exfoliate the skin but they really don’t (slightly, but not enough). They’re great for deep cleansing but that’s about it.

A serum exfoliates with acids instead of “grit.” The benefit of using a serum to exfoliate is they will likely have multiple benefits for your skin along with exfoliation.

From Lindsay Crowe, Licensed Esthetician at East Village Spa:

Resolve to stop getting skincare advice from social media celebrities.

People may use the wrong products because of social media influencers. They see what they are using and want to look like them or have their skin, but the products that work for the Instagram or You Tube celebrity may not be appropriate for the person watching the video. That’s a new thing happening in our industry and I have started to see it with my clients this last year… they see it on YouTube and they want it!

For example, you may see someone raving online about a clay mask, but those are only for oily skin or spot-treating blemishes. If someone with normal to dry skin uses that mask, it can lead to irritated dry skin and breakouts.

Getting the right products for your skin starts with an esthetician so we can talk and map out your personal needs. That’s why our facials and products are customizable, which I love!

Cassie Sampson, BA, LMT, Owner, East Village Spa

Resolve to quit picking at your skin!

2018 was a stressful year and stress translated to breakouts for me. Breakouts translated to stress relief in the form of “picking” my skin to try to do my own extractions. It was a vicious cycle that caused some scarring on my cheek and chin. I work with 7 licensed estheticians, so WHY I felt the need to try to extract my own skin is beyond me. (This is a lie, I did it because it was satisfying.)

Now I’m in repair mode to minimize the scarring. I use Rhonda Allison Perfection Clay to spot treat when I get a blemish to make it easier to extract if I feel compelled to try to do it, and I properly treat my skin before and after. Mostly, I’ve made it a goal to get a facial or Hydrafacial when I’m stressed. The services are incredibly relaxing which helps to reduce my stress and anxiety that causes my blemishes (and my desire to pick) AND they help with the scarring. Win-win.

East Village Spa Facial with Mask

Need help achieving your new year skin health resolutions? We’re here for you! You can book a facial online here. Not sure where to start? A Wellness Facial is a great option for people who are totally new to professional skincare. Want more stress relief with your facial? Book the EV Signature Facial which has all of the benefits of the Wellness Facial, plus lots of extra TLC. If you’ve tried facials before and want something that packs more punch, I strongly suggest the Hydrafacial. It is a game-changer!

You can also stop into the spa and see if one of our estheticians is free to consult with you about the best service or products for your needs. Cheers to healthy skin and a low-maintenance routine designed for YOUR needs in the new year!

Don’t get scammed by diverted beauty products

Confession time: I’ve bought diverted products in a moment of despiration and I KNOW better! A couple years ago, I realized that I didn’t have enough foundation to last through an upcoming trip. Because of my poor planning, I didn’t have time to run to the store that carried the brand, and there wasn’t enough time to have it shipped directly from an authorized retailer. I caved to the temptation: I ordered it on Amazon Prime for 1 day shipping. My foundation arrived and I immediately realized it wasn’t quite right. The label didn’t match the original label. Instead of the shade being printed on the bottle, it was attached with a crooked sticker. It was orange. I’d been fooled. Not only was I out the money for a fake bottle of foundation, I was still out of foundation for my trip.

What does it mean if a product is “diverted?”

Diverted products are not sold through authorized channels. Many people think of shampoo and conditioner, but this is common with skincare and cosmetics too. Some lines are intended only for sale by licensed professionals or authorized distributors. Products sold outside of these channels are likely to be expired, diluted, adulterated, have not been properly stored, and are definitely not gauranteed by the manufacturer. Sometimes, these products contain dangerous additives or ingredients that are not on the label, so you can’t be certain a diverted product doesn’t contain ingredients you are allergic to.

How to spot a diverted product:

If you see a salon or spa brand, or any exclusive cosmetic or personal care product at a drug store, grocery store, or discount clothing and home goods store, chances are it is diverted. This In-Style article offers helpful tips for spotting diverted items, including looking for inconsistencies in the labels or packaging, covering bar codes to make them harder to track (look for bar code stickers or markered out bar codes), and prices that seem significantly lower.

This bottle of hair spray has a telltale sign of diversion: A sticker over the real barcode. Note how old the product and sticker are. This was on the shelves at a Des Moines grocery store today.

Am I getting a better deal at a big box store? 

Many professional quality hair and skincare lines dictate the prices that their authorized distributors can charge. No authorized licensed professionals or distributors are allowed to charge less. Ironically enough, many diverted products cost as much as, or more than, a guaranteed product sold from a legitimate distributor, and you truly can’t know what you’re buying if it isn’t from an authorized retailer.

This bottle of Redken Shampoo sells for $15.99 from an authorized salon, but was on the shelf at a local grocery store with a sticker over the real bar code today for $19.99.

Professional skincare lines like Rhonda Allison, our exclusive skincare line, are only available through licensed estheticians or dermatologists. According to Rhonda Allison:

“Consumers need to be aware that if they purchase from an institution such as eBay or Amazon, their product may be diluted, expired, or counterfeit. Such product may not be safe to use or perform as tested and Rhonda Allison will not take responsibility for the purchaser’s dissatisfaction…these products are considered “diverted” and constitute a high risk to the consumer.”

A quick check of Amazon showed a few Rhonda Allison products, and almost all of these diverted products were priced higher than our products! Some appear to be bottles that are either older designs or not “quite right.”  For example, I found a bottle of Rhonda Allison’s Drops of Essence today on Amazon selling for nearly $50 more than we sell it at East Village Spa. Our product is guaranteed to be exactly what it says, comes with expert advice, and we’ll happily ship it to our clients!

Diverted and seriously overpriced product on Amazon.

If diversion is so bad, how are stores getting away with it?

According to Consumer Affairs, the illegality comes from people within the supply chain diverting the products to stores like big box or online retailers, which is a breach of their contract. For example, if a distributor unethically sells their products, including those that are expired, damaged, or used, to a big box store, they are breaching their contract with the manufacturer. Some individuals sell stolen goods. The products then go to a warehouse where the products bar codes are destroyed or covered to make them hard to track. When a big box store buys diverted products from these unethical operators, this is not illegal, but it is unethical because the retailer cannot guarantee the authenticity or safety of the products.

The only way to reduce this practice, short of passing legislation making it illegal for retailers to purchase unauthorized products, is to educate consumers about product diversion and encourage consumers to purchase directly from their salon, spa, or wellness professionals. This is the only way to guarantee that you are getting what you pay for, and more often than not, you’ll end up saving money. Plus, you will be supporting small business owners instead of online or big box retailers engaging in unethical practices without concern for your health.

The scoop on scrubs

I’m watching the snow fly on October 12th in Iowa. Dry skin season is approaching faster than we’d like. When the weather gets cold, there is nothing better than a warm, nurturing body scrub at a spa or at home in a steamy shower

Why do a body scrub?.

A scrub is a product containing a “gritty” exfoliant like salt, sugar, or ground up materials like fruit pits or seeds, mixed with nourishing and hydrating oils. Scents may be added for extra feel-good benefits. Exfoliating with a body scrub helps to remove dead skin cells, boost circulation to the skin, and leave you feeling cleansed and refreshed. A benefit of removing dead skin cells is that your skin can better absorb hydrating products like lotions or oils. When you get a scrub at a spa, you’ll also enjoy incredible stress-relieving and muscle melting benefits. You’ll lay on a warm table and enjoy not only the sensation of exfoliation, but hot towels and light, circulatory boosting massage.

Depending on the type of scrub you you use and your skin type, you can exfoliate 1-3 times weekly, but don’t overdo it! A gentle exfoliation is sufficient, you don’t need to give your body the power-sander treatment.

What’s the difference between salt, sugar, or other ingredients?

Sugar: Sugar is one of our favorite exfoliating ingredients because it is gentle and a natural humectant, meaning it attracts and attaches moisture to skin. It is the best choice for sensitive skin. This may be a finer sugar, or a larger crystal sugar for different levels of exfoliation.

Salt: Salt is mineral-rich and gritty, making it a popular choice for scrubs, especially for dry heels, elbows, etc.. Using a salt scrub on freshly shaved legs or on cracked hands might sting a bit.

Seeds and pits: Ground apricot pits are a common exfoliation ingredient, along with other natural seeds. Look for these to be powdered, if they aren’t ground finely enough, they can be jagged. We don’t recommend this in facial scrubs.

What are our favorite scrubs?

Camille, our Managing Esthetician, swears by the Farmhouse Fresh Shea Butter Scrubs. Camille’s favorite Scent is Triple Shot Caramel Coffee. “The shea butter is hydrating, you can never get enough of that this time of year. Plus, the coffee scent helps me wake up in the morning!”

Kelly, our Spa Director, loves the Farmhouse Fresh Watermelon Vodkatini Sugar Scrub because it smells delicious and leaves her skin dewy and soft.

My personal favorite are the Body Bliss custom Aromatherapy Blended scrubs. The sugar crystals are finely ground (so they don’t fall everywhere in the shower) and it is super rich and hydrating so a little goes a long way. I like using the aromatherapy app to customize a scrub recipe for things like muscle aches, sleep, or more. What is a body scrub like at East Village Spa

Curious about booking a body scrub? We offer a fun and therapeutic aromatherapy body scrub. First, you’ll meet with your massage therapist or esthetician to use our custom aromatherapy app to create a perfect essential oil blend for your needs. Your therapist will blend your recipe into a nourishing antioxidant and vitamin rich oil base. She’ll then use a milk and sugar blend to gently exfoliate your skin and boost circulation during the service. You’ll be treated to heavenly hot wet and dry towel compresses to remove the scrub and ease sore muscles. As a special gift, you’ll get to take home a jar of scrub in a matching essential oil blend to turn your shower  into a mini-spa retreat.

Book a scrub and see for yourself how wonderful they are, especially when the weather gets cold. I recommend adding an additional 30 minute back massage or 30 minute facial on for extra TLC, you won’t regret it!

Hydrafacial FAQs

We’re so excited to offer exciting new Hydrafacial technology to our spa guests (and honestly, we’re super pumped to use it on ourselves!) Hydrafacial is quite different than a normal facial, but like all of our services, we want to make sure that our guests still have a relaxing and stress-relieving experience. Camille Arbegast, our managing esthetician and spa Hydrafacial Trainer has answered some of the most common questions our guests have.

Hydrafacial at East Village Spa

Q: What is Hydrafacial?

A: Hydrafacial is a corrective treatment to address any kind of skin concern such as fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, and oily/congested skin. The treatment process removes dead skin and painlessly extracts congested pores while infusing hydrating, firming serums into the skin. There is no downtime or “peeling” process with a Hydrafacial like there is with chemical peels.

Before and after with a booster designed to plump skin and diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Q: I have oily/acne-prone skin. Is Hydrafacial good for that?

A: Yes! Hydrafacial helps to balance oil production and the pH of the skin. During the treatment, the skin is exfoliated with a glycolic/salicylic peel solution and then extractions are performed with a suction technology to painlessly remove impurities. If you find traditional extractions painful, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more comfortable Hydrafacial extractions are! At the end of your service you can look at the canister and SEE the debris removed from your skin!

Hydrafacial suction gently extracted this large, painful pustule from my shoulder. By the next day it was completely healed.

Q: How long is a treatment? Is it relaxing, it looks kind or medical…

A: Our most popular Hydrafacial services are 30 or 60 minutes long. While at some clinics, Hydrafacial is a quick in-and-out but as with any of our services we value giving our guests an opportunity to relax and de-stress so we’ve incorporated the TLC you’ve come to expect from our treatments.

For those wanting a more abbreviated session, the 30 minute “Classic” Hydrafacial is a good option to start with. This is a great service for any skin type or for people who are just curious about what the Hydrafacial is all about. For those wanting more TLC and more corrective focus on fine lines, hyperpigmentation, or acne, the 60 minute “Deluxe” Hydrafacial is perfect. In addition to the Classic service, you’ll receive a Hydrafacial “booster” serum to focus on your specific concerns or extended extractions if needed. This service also incorporates LED light therapy. Your esthetician can also incorporate either a Rhonda Allison Mask and hydrating hand treatment or gentle lymphatic drainage. The 60 minute option gives your esthetician a greater range of treatment possibilities and flexibility.

Q: Will I get instant results? 

A: You’ll notice instant firmness and a radiant skin tone after just one treatment. While there are no “quick fixes” the Hydrafacial is our most powerful tool yet. We recommend a Hydrafacial once a month to receive the maximum benefit and visibly reduce pigmentation, acne, and fine lines and wrinkles. If you have more corrective skin goals, your esthetician can recommend a customized series of Hydrafacial services or Hydrafacial services combined with Rhonda Allison Peels.

Hydrafacial before and after treatment for sun damage.

Q: Is special pricing available?

A: Yes! If you purchase a series of 3, you’ll get the 4th half price. If you purchase a series of 5, you’ll get the 6th FREE! These pre-paid packages make it easier and more affordable to enjoy regular Hydrafacial treatments.

You can book your Hydrafacial with a licensed esthetician who is Hydrafacial Certified online or call us at (515) 309-2904 to see if Hydrafacial is right for you (hint…it is!)

Updating your winter skin care

After a few weeks of 60-degree “winter” weather, I think we can’t complain about the cold and wind we’ve experienced the last few days. I personally can tell I’m due for a change in my skin routine. My hands are cracking and my lighter moisturizer just isn’t cutting it for my face.  Our Managing Esthetician, Camille Arbegast, shared some tips for changing up your skin and body care routine to account for colder, dryer temperatures and less time in the sun.

HYDRATE YOUR SKIN

Camille shows off her winter favorites from Rhonda Allison

Rhonda Allison Ultra Hydration Cream: This is by far our #1 best selling product when the weather gets cold and windy. This moisturizer uses the purest form of Hyaluronic Acid which can increase the skin’s moisture by 300%. The best thing about this moisturizer is that it doesn’t feel super heavy and leaves the skin feeling nice and smooth.

Rhonda Allison Cucumber Spritz: This product is great all year round, but in the winter when skin tends to feel “tight” from dryness, especially in stuffy offices, a mist of the cucumber spritz throughout the day will help you feel more hydrated. Plus, it is a good way to perk you up in the middle of a work day!

Rhonda Allison Drops of Essence: These hydrating drops are a healing, heavy serum that will help to soothe chapped winter skin with high concentrations of lavender and geranium essential oils. They can be effective for skin burns (including wind burn), cold sores, and even help with the appearance of scars.

REVERSE SUMMER DAMAGE

Two powerful serums, ChronoPeptide A and C-Stem Cell help to reverse summer damage.

Winter is the perfect time to brighten skin and reverse pigmentation that may be lingering from the summer’s sun exposure. We  have two concentrated corrective serums to power treat pesky dark spots:

Rhonda Allison ChronoPeptide A uses the purest form of Vitamin A to brighten, strengthen, and firm the skin without the irritation found in some commonly prescribed vitamin A products.

Rhonda Allison C Stem Cell is a 20% Vitamin C serum that not only helps lighten pigmentation, but increases hydration, reduces redness, and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

DON’T FORGET YOUR BODY!

Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze: This mask is for more than just feet and is one of our best-selling spa products. Brush on this hydrating, soothing mask on dry hands, elbows, knees, heels, wrap with plastic wrap, socks, or gloves, and let let it gently exfoliate and hydrate dry skin. We incorporate this into our signature services and many of us personally use this product. You can wash it off or put it on before bed for an overnight miracle fix for dry skin!

Farmhouse Fresh Shea Butter Scrubs: These are the most hydrating body scrubs we carry. Unlike salt scrubs which can irritate dry, cracked skin, shea butter scrubs are gentle, not TOO abrasive, and will leave your body feeling hydrated like you’ve just applied lotion. We carry 3 delicious scents. Camille recommends a weekly full body exfoliation. These are also great to help prevent ingrown hairs after a wax.

CND Solar Oil: Cuticle oil is important year round, but in the winter, dry cuticles can become painful and picking at your cuticles and nails can lead to infection. Apply a few drops of CND Solar Oil after your shower or before bed to keep cuticles soft and help you resist the temptation to pick!

Stop into the spa anytime to ask our front desk for advice on the best hydration products for your needs or click here to book yourself a hydrating body scrub or facial at the spa!

 

 

Breaking Out: Before and After

I’ve been lucky to have decent-enough skin for the moderate effort I put into it. I had some pimples as a teen, but definitely not acne. I have the rare hormonal breakout and my skin definitely shows signs of sun damage and aging, but I think I’ve been fortunate. Recently, a ton of changes at once caused my skin to freak out in a painful way.

Yikes! I have never had breakouts this bad, this was actually a bit painful.

I recently cut heavier bangs and switched shampoos. I’ve increased the amount of  sweat, gross lake water, heavy duty sport sun screen, and dog-slobber my skin sees. In hindsight, skin-rebellion was a sure thing.

To be fair, I should have gotten bad breakouts long before now considering the gross things I do to my skin!

My breaking point came the day laying down for a massage became too uncomfortable with the breakout on my forehead. I asked our esthetician Cassandra to overhaul my Rhonda Allison home care routine. She’s struggled with breakouts off and on and has lots of empathy and experience in treating them. She looked at what I was doing, subtracted a few products, and added some more. Surprisingly, she INCREASED the moisturizing I was doing.

My recommendations from Cassandra, which I followed pretty well (though sometimes used my BB Creme as my SPF.) I kept the image of the instructions on my phone to have handy while I got ready am/pm. The only fairly pricey product was the Mandelic Arginine and I decided it was worth the cost for the results.

Instead of masking just once, I used the wasabi mask twice in the week per Cassandra’s suggestion. She was right…it does start off a bit hot and tingly but it cooled off quickly and I think it really kick-started the healing for me the first night.

My first time using the Wasabi Mask. It was a bit toasty for a few minutes!

Within a couple of days the pain was gone and the hardest thing was not picking! I admit that I picked one area, which you’ll notice in the “after” image, but overall, I was thrilled with my results in a week of being very diligent with the home care. Too often we hear people say they don’t see results, but then they confess that they only used half of the recommended routine, or only did the routine for a couple of days then gave up.

In typical business-owner fashion, I decided to look on the bright side and see my skin “freak out” as a test of our professional advice and products and be glad I could document my progress for others who might be struggling. I tried guessing at a routine on my own for a few weeks, but it wasn’t working even though I was using good products. That’s where a licensed, professional esthetician comes in. Obviously what worked for me won’t work for everyone and I’m honestly surprised things cleared up so quickly.

After photo, totally smooth skin (minus the spot I couldn’t resist picking) just over a week after I started my home care.

If you are struggling with a breakout, or you have a history inflamed and uncomfortable acne, we have a few facial services that can be helpful in kicking off the healing when partnered with a good routine at home. The key is to stick to the advice and keep in touch with your professional esthetician. Want more information or to schedule? Consider starting with the “Clear Results” facial for true acne or the Wellness Facial for occasional breakouts.

5 “Awkward” summer issues to mention to your spa provider

We’ve all been there, you show up for a spa service and realize you are wearing your stinky sandals, or you spent a day at a pool party and got some extra sun a couple of days before your massage. The good news is it is fine, and expected, for our guests to mention these and other common summer issues to their provider BEFORE the session so we can make accommodations!

Stinky Feet Situations:

If you are worried your feet are not as fresh as they could be and it is going to bother you so much that you can’t just relax, it is fine to mention it to your provider before hand! While you’re getting ready, they can prepare some hot towels with tea tree oil to freshen up your feet so you can relax into your session! Other spas and massage therapists are likely to have solutions as well.

Plantar Warts:

Tell your therapist if you have plantar warts, especially because some rooms are pretty dark and we don’t always see them. While plantar warts are not super likely to spread between people in a massage situation, we don’t want to spread on your feet and we know they might be painful to massage. Your therapist can also do deep compression work on your feet or hit reflex points through a sheet over the immediate area (assuming it isn’t painful) so not to worry, you’ll still get a great foot massage and we promise we won’t be weirded out! (Get more info about plantar warts here.)

Post-sun flaking skin:

Summer is the season of “bonus exfoliation” in massage treatments. Dry, sun-exposed skin will sometimes ball up as we massage the back, but fear not because we have a solution. Once this starts, we’ll add some extra oil to the back and buff it with a dry towel, this usually takes care of the layer of dead skin so we can get back to massage! If you suspect this will happen, let us know in advance so we can start the session this way and your massage can have a better flow to it. If you have big pieces of peeling skin or a serious burn, that is different. In that case, it is best to reschedule your massage with plenty of advanced notice or ask your therapist to avoid the area.

Foot or nail fungus:

Let your therapist know before the service starts. While people with a healthy immune system have better luck avoiding person-to-person infection from a fungus, people who are pregnant or who have certain health concerns may be especially susceptible to infection so they will want to avoid the area or work with gloves. If you are booking a nail service but have a nail fungus, your nail technician can complete all of the service safely except that if you want polish, you will have to bring your own or purchase a bottle of polish and any base or top coat you wish to have used for the safety of other guests. Unfortunately, a pedicure can’t cure a fungal infection. Learn more here.

Mystery Rashes:

If you have a rash that is more than on just one small area of the body away from where your therapist or esthetician will be working, please reschedule your service. If you have poison ivy, you definitely need to reschedule! The risk of transmitting poison ivy to your therapist and to many clients they see is too great. Please give as much notice as possible and believe us, we’ll thank you for rescheduling. Click here for our blog post on poison ivy.

Whew, see, that wasn’t so awkward, was it? It is important to have an open dialogue with your massage therapist, esthetician, and nail technicians. They are experts at what they do and are eager to help you feel comfortable, but they need good communication and feedback from you to make that possible. Ready to schedule a visit? Click here!

 

6 reasons our skin ages, and how we can help!

Guest Blogger, Licensed Esthetician, Nail Technician, Cassandra Lacina-Griffin

Aside from the passage of time, there are other key factors in how our skin ages. Our esthetician, Cassandra, shared some of the top reasons skin shows signs of aging and how the Rhonda Allison Minus 10 Facial helps to slow or reverse the aging process.

1. Reduction in collagen, antioxidants, and barrier function (skin’s ability to minimize moisture loss):

1% of collagen is lost naturally every year. The decreases in hormone levels impact cell renewal and elastin strength. The foaming peptide cleanser, Chronopeptide A, and peptide 38 used in the Minus 10 Facial provide firmness and minimizes wrinkles. The loss of the barrier function, or the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture, causes dry, dull skin. Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids and Drops of Essence Hydration Drops used in the Minus 10 Facial support the barrier function by adding moisture and healing benefits to the skin.

2. DNA Breakdown:

Causes for DNA breakdown can be smoking, pollution, toxins, UV radiation. Our body is always repairing DNA damage; however sometimes it goes too far and as a result the cells kill themselves. The Rhonda Allison eye and lip renew serum and Peptide 38 serum assist in preventing DNA breakdown.

3. ATP Energy Deficiencies:

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is an energy source for cellular and muscular functions that is produced in the mitochondria. ATP is what makes out bodies run similar, to how a car uses a battery. Studies have shown that near the age of 60 our ATP ability is half. The Mandelic Arginine peel is used to increase cellular energy and stimulate collagen.

4. Glycation:

Glycation is a process by which sugar molecules attach to proteins and lipids, hardening them and causing them to lose their collagen and elastin strength and elasticity. The AGEless serum in the Minus 10 Facial is an anti-glycation product.

5. Inflammation:

Increase in inflammation is stimulated by UV radiation, stress, and pollution. The milk mask provides inflammation support in the Minus 10 Facial with cooling and calming effects. Sheer tint moisturizer or Daytime Defense SPF 30 help prevent future inflammation from UV radiation.

Cooling eye globes help to reduce inflammation and “cool” the feeling of the more active products.

6. Loss of volume and the extracellular matrix

When skin loses volume and when the extracellular matrix that provides structural support to skin start to decline, skin starts to appear loose or sallow in areas. Chronopeptide A and the Hibiscus Peel in the Minus 10 facial help to provide support and increase volume.

The Rhonda Allison Minus 10 facial addresses all of these causes of aging (except for reversing the passage of time, of course!) In addition, it is an incredibly nurturing service so you’ll appear instantly younger as your stress levels dissipate and your facial muscles relax! We recommend the Rhonda Allison Minus 10 facial in a series of 3 services a couple weeks apart for best results. Want to learn more or schedule your service online? Click here!