More Waxing FAQs: Your most delicate questions answered!

Our friend Colleen from Star 102.5 and I chatted this week about how it seems like all of a sudden lots of women our age (and quite a bit older) are starting to get bikini and Brazilian waxes regularly.  Colleen invited her East Village Spa esthetician Camille to visit with her on air to share a few pointers with her listeners who might be considering getting waxed for the first time.

We wanted to share the info with you too since we didn’t have time to cover it all on-air. Plus we know that your most burning questions might have been to delicate for a morning radio show. Listen for their chat on the Ken, Colleen, & Kurt show mornings the week of July 7th!

Colleen, Camille, and Cassie in the studio

Colleen, Camille, and Cassie in the studio

Q: Isn’t bikini waxing just for twenty-somethings?

A: Maybe that used to be the case, but we see lots of women who are older, even grandmas, in for regular maintenance bikini and Brazilian waxes!  First of all, hair starts to migrate as we age so while someone might not have felt the need to wax at 22, they might notice more hair creeping further down their legs in their 30s or 40s. Second, women wax for many reasons, whether because they like the look or they like not worrying about stray hairs when they wear a swimsuit.  We find it is popular with busy moms and athletes who feel like they get less irritation from workouts like running and biking without hair.  Shaving is really hard on the skin so many women are just ready to be done with razor burn.

Q: Does waxing hurt?

A: Yes! But we all agree that the more you wax, the less it hurts.  Your skin becomes used to it and your hair grows back finer over time.  A product like the Relax and Wax “no scream cream” applied 45 minutes before a wax service can help dull the sensation. Most of us feel like waxing hurts way less than painful razor burn.

Q: I’ve shaved forever, do I actually need to grow out my hair to wax?

A: According to Camille, you will need at least 1/4 inch of hair for the wax to work (most people can do this in 2 weeks). If your hair has grown 3-4 weeks, you’ll get a better result because the hairs on a different growth cycle will have had time to catch up.

Q: What about my “backside?” Do people really wax that?

A: The majority of people who get Brazilian waxing wax the back side as well. To quote our esthetician Hannah “It looks odd if you wax the front and not the back.”  Camille and Hannah both have been waxing many years guessed that 95% of Brazilian wax clients opt to wax backside during a Brazilian.

Hannah said that first-timers are most freaked out about the backside before their visit, but all of our estheticians agreed it is the easiest spot for them to wax, and the least painful for the client.  Hannah also wanted to reassure self-conscious guests that in 6 years of waxing she has seen lots of rear ends and the space between the cheeks looks about the same on every single woman and this is no big deal for your esthetician.

Q: Do I need to get on all fours if they wax my backside?

A: At East Village Spa, our estheticians prefer having the client stay on their back but bring their knees up to their chest when doing the backside.  They only use the “all fours” or other methods like side-lying for reaching the backside for women who can’t bring their knees to their chest (for example, someone who has had a hip replacement or who is farther along in a pregnancy).

Q: Is the esthetician there when I undress?

A: No, you will have privacy to disrobe from the waist down and your esthetician will leave you with a cleansing wipe to thoroughly clean the area to be waxed. You’ll be able to drape yourself with a towel for modesty while she re-enters the room, but she will remove the towel while she’s working.

Q: Is it weird for the esthetician doing my wax?

A: Camille said this is the number one question her first-timers ask and she has been waxing for years and sees it as a part of her job to help people with skin care and grooming, very much like it is normal for a doctor to examine and treat people. Camille typically sees 10 or more bikini and Brazilian (mostly Brazilian) wax clients each week; sometimes 50% of the services she provides in a typical week are waxing services!  She knows her clients appreciate her fast, safe, and professional services and she’s happy to be able to provide something that helps women.

One of our waxing rooms

One of our waxing rooms

 

For more information, check out the Waxing FAQs section on our website here.

Have other questions about female waxing or ready to schedule? Give us a call at (515) 309-2904 or book online here!

 

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.

 

 

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.

Cassandra’s Peel Experiences

Today we’re featuring guest blogger, Cassandra Lacina-Griffin, one of our estheticians and Rhonda Allison expert. Cassandra has been enjoying our peels and wanted to share her experiences so far to provide information to people who aren’t sure what to expect in regards to peel services and advice for people who are newer to peels and corrective skin care.  Cassandra also shared a collage of photos to show some of the peeling she’s experienced (above).

From Cassandra:

CassandraI developed adult acne when I was 19 and have struggled to find the right products. I have been under the care of a dermatologist for the past few years treating my acne with a topical cream. I’ve to stop using the cream for some time now because it’s harsh and drying.  While on the cream, I’ve been unable to use many of the corrective Rhonda Allison products. I’m love the Rhonda Allison line and said “that’s it I’m done!” No more prescription cream.

I decided to start doing the RA peel for acne. Chemical peels are great to help clear up acne and refine the pores also to help with scaring or hyper pigmentation. The peel Camille and I chose to use on my skin is a bit intense. There is a strong burning/tingling sensation but it doesn’t last long. I started out slow and I’m working my way into stronger peels.

After receiving several peels, I have realized in my peel process that it is best to take extra time after the appointment. My second peel stung a bit longer than the first but after drinking some water and sitting for 10-15 minutes I was fine. Plan ahead before you book a peel. Your skin will not peel with every application but the deeper the peel  the more your skin will peel. Another thing is that the deeper the peel the longer it takes your skin to peel. So plan ahead so that you don’t have any major events or parties while your skin is peeling.

I have found it beneficial to not wear makeup while my skin is peeling. It just allows me to apply extra recommended soothing creams and the cucumber spritz as needed. The hardest part of the peel process for me is avoiding picking the peeling skin. It is the worst thing you can do after a peel! I know you may want to “help” the peeling along but it is best to just leave it. You may end up peeling to much causing it to be even more tender and red or causing scarring. If you are treating acne with a peel be aware it’s completely normal for the skin to purge. Trust that it will heal up quickly revealing soft, fresh, glowing skin!

EastVillageSpaFacialsIf you’d like to learn more about peels and you already have an esthetician at East Village Spa that you’ve seen in the last two months for a facial, give us a call to schedule a peel.  If you haven’t been in to an esthetician at the spa or it has been over 2 months, book any facial (Wellness, EV Signature, or even our express 30 minute facial) for them to assess your skin and goals to help you determine a peel plan that will be safe and effective for you!

Click here to schedule your next facial online to get more information about our peel services!

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.

IMG_3663[1]

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.

IMG_3715[1]

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.

 

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!

The Spa Newbie Gets a Facial!

We put our intern, Alyssa’s next spa service to test out to a vote and by a close margin, our Facebook fans (and ALL of our estheticians!) suggested she try our EV Signature Facial.  Here’s what Alyssa had to say!

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Spa Intern Alyssa relaxes during her first ever Facial at East Village Spa

Spa Intern Alyssa relaxes during her first ever Facial at East Village Spa

The votes came in and I was chosen to try the EV Signature Facial Experience.  The past few years I started to struggle with dry skin and am constantly having to apply moisturizer.  I’m secretly happy (I guess not so secret now) that this is what was selected by all of you!  I have always wanted to get a facial, but never knew where to go.

Never having a facial before, I was not sure what to expect.  Camille used a light on my face to see what problems were going on that can’t be seen by the naked eye.  She was able to adjust the treatment specifically towards my skin care needs.  She used a Clarisonic for a deeper clean and to make the skin more receptive to the products.  I also had steam, which helped to detoxify the skin and soften pores for easier extractions.

Not only did this facial include attention to my face, but I also received treatment to my arms, hands, face, neck, and feet.  Camille explained each process with me and it was nice to understand why.  With this, I was able to understand what type of home care I needed to use.

Camille explained whether you have sensitive or problematic skin, facials are great for deep cleansing and exfoliation.  They stimulate new cell growth for a fresher, younger look.  She recommends to come in every 3-4 weeks so your estheticians can monitor your skin changes and adjust at home care accordingly.

The arsenal of products that Camille, Alyssa's Esthetician, chose to use on her skin.

The arsenal of products that Camille, Alyssa’s Esthetician, chose to use on her skin.

After receiving the facial, I noticed that my skin appears much healthier looking, more moisturized, which made the expression lines on my forehead less defined.  The treatment left my skin feeling very smooth and silky.  I highly recommend the EV Signature Facial Experience.  I’m a believer.  It was truly what my skin was looking for.

Be sure to check out my next blog when I will be spending the day as a Massage Therapy Student at the school where Cassie teaches!

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Are you inspired to try a facial?  Click here to book your own EV Signature Facial Experience and meet with one of our skilled and relaxing estheticians.

5 things your esthetician wants you to know about summer waxing

I was recently chatting with one of our estheticians about leg waxing and how it just isn’t the kind of service that provides the instant gratification clients want and expect.  As is often the case, the topic snowballed into a list of things we wish people knew about summer waxing to make their wax experience better.

1. Often, your first wax, or your first wax in a long time, won’t get you the baby smooth results you are expecting.  Why?  Because of the growth cycles of your hair.  Especially if you have been shaving, your hair is on different growth cycles.  For example, if you regularly shave your legs but grow it out for a few weeks for a leg wax, you’ll still feel stubble from the hairs on a different cycle that were too short to catch in the wax.  It will also seem like hairs are growing back sooner after some waxes because of the hairs that were on a different cycle are growing, not the hairs that were removed.

This has nothing to do with the skill of your esthetician,  and everything to do with how our bodies work.Your best bet for super smooth, hairless skin?  Regular waxing without shaving between visits.  Or letting your hair grow out a long time before waxing.

leg wax

2. Where a woman is in her cycle will affect how much her wax will hurt.  The week before your period many women are the most sensitive.  Often we’ll hear someone say one of our esthetician’s waxing is more painful than one of our other esthetician’s waxing. But then the next guest will say the exact opposite.  In the hands of a skilled esthetician using the same high quality wax and proper techniques, the level of pain variance is likely due to where you were on your cycle, not the esthetician.

Because women who wax regularly typically come in about every 5-6 weeks, they will hit different points of the cycle so back-to-back waxes might feel entirely different due to the variance in pain tolerance, blame mother nature, not your esthetician!

3. If you are planning a body wax and a massage, plan them on different days.  We’re talking leg wax or back wax here…  It seems like a good idea to save time by booking a leg wax right before a massage, or a massage right before a back wax, but saving yourself a second trip isn’t worth the potential discomfort.  Your massage therapist doesn’t want to introduce products and oils into a freshly waxed area and irritate already inflamed skin.

Likewise, your esthetician would prefer not to wax over an area that has just been massaged because it isn’t ideal to wax over skin that has been introduced to oils…plus the sting of the waxing usually takes away from the benefits of the massage!

4. Keep freshly waxed skin clean!  That means not going home and putting on your oldest hockey pads to play a game after a chest wax, not getting a leg wax the night before you plan to spend a day swimming in a lake, and not waxing your brows and lip right before going for a run.  This can introduce bacteria into freshly waxed skin and cause infection and irritation.

On that note, if you come for your wax right after a workout and plan to put on the icky workout clothes you came in, you’re asking for an unpleasant skin reaction.  It is best to have clean skin for your wax and clean, breathable clothes to put on after.  We have had to turn people away for this very reason…we value your safety!

5. Please don’t fib on the wax intake form.  I have heard people say (outside of the spa) that they don’t admit to using medications like Retin A or Accutane because they know they’ll get turned away for a wax.  The risk of omitting important information is that your skin can burn and tear.  Even if you haven’t applied or taken the medication for a few days, this can still happen.  Even if you’ve been fine previously during a wax while using these medications, a burn or tear can happen and can be serious. This is not something your esthetician is willing to risk and it is not fair for you to put them in that position by not disclosing risk factors. Tweezing, shaving, and other hair removal techniques are safer for some people.

browwaxIf you have never had a wax before or have questions, click here for answers to our frequently asked questions.

To book your wax online, click here.

Are your products doing what you THINK they are?

We all want to get a great value, but I’m amazed by how many friends, family members, and clients are not getting the results they should from certain products or treatments, but are reluctant to change.  Here are a few I’ve caught recently.   I’ve really been re-thinking a few of my own product choices lately too.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Moisturizers with SPF

I read an article online recently quoting a dermatologist who recommends sunscreen only as opposed to facial moisturizers that include sunscreens.  It made really good sense, actually. I had always felt fine knowing that my beloved Derma E BB Creme has SPF 25.  BUT…the dermatologist argued that for sunscreens to work, they have to be applied liberally to the skin. I only dot the BB Creme where I need help evening my skin tone.   Many people who use moisturizers with SPF only dot them where needed and certainly don’t apply heavily under make-up.  This is fine for walking from Gong Fu to the spa, but not for prolonged sun exposure.  I need to invest in Derma E’s facial sun screen in addition!

Hand Cream for Nails and Cuticle Care

For dry skin on the hands, hand cream is a must, but most lotions are too heavy to do much to help dry cuticles and peeling nails because the molecules are too big to be effective.  A cuticle oil with smaller molecules is more appropriate as it will absorb quicker to moisturize dry cuticles can even penetrate through nail polish to hydrate nails underneath.  Clients who complain that their Shellac chips after a few days of wear but refuse to use an oil designed for cuticles that can penetrate through gel polishes because they believe their thick hand cream can do it all won’t get the results they want.  Fortunately, a mini bottle of Solar Oil is less than $3 and will help keep nails from peeling underneath Shellac and will work wonders on dry cuticles and overall nail appearance.  Partner the cuticle oil WITH your favorite hand cream for the rest of your skin, you’ll be looking like a hand model in no time.

Daily Exfoliation Cleansers:

You only need to exfoliate 1-2x/week with a good exfoliation product like Derma E’s Microdermabrasion Scrub.  Daily cleansers with plastic beads are not doing enough to exfoliate, some drug store scrubs that are promoted for daily use are far too harsh due to the jagged edges of the abrasive ingredient.  Even a good quality exfoliation product should not be used more than twice weekly.

Callus removing tools

Many people mistakenly believe that metal blades to shave or scrape calluses are the most effective way to remove them, but in reality, these harsh tools actually can damage skin leading to scarring and harder calluses as the skin works to repair itself.  In many states, including Iowa, Credo Blades (metal callus razors) are  illegal in nail salons so if you see one, RUN!

If you have hard calluses that are bothering you, the safest way to soften them is to use a gentle foot file like the ones we give you during your pedicures at the spa regularly in the shower, but not TOO aggressively.  Products like Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze can also gently soften calluses.  Our calluses do serve a purpose in protecting our feet, especially for runners, walkers, and people who like to wear sandals or walk barefoot, so it is important to leave some callus!

Epsom Salt Baths:

We are total advocates for baths with Kneipp aromatherapy salts or Epsom Salts (even the drugstore epsom salts!) but you can get too much of a good thing.  Some people mistakenly believe that salt baths soften the skin, but in truth, they can be quite drying, especially when combined with the hot water.  If you take baths regularly, either add a softening agent to the bath in addition to your salt like a light bath oil (almond or jojoba) or the Kneipp Skin Soft Almond Bath, or be sure to rinse the salts off briefly after a soak and apply a good moisturizer.

Spring clean your skin with Clarisonic and the perfect mask

Season changes are the perfect time to take a look at your skin care.  Often changes in your skin, like increased oil or dryness act like nature’s reminder to re-evaluate your routine!

One of the best ways go deep clean your skin at home is to use a Clarisonic brush daily.  The Clarisonic Mia (available for retail at the spa) cleans 6x more than your hands alone.  The Clarisonic Smart Profile that we use in our EV Signature Facials cleans 11x more than your hands. Many of our employees shared their thoughts on their Clarisonics:

Katie: “I love my Clarisonic because I get a deeper cleanse which makes it so my products can penetrate deeper in my skin so I can receive maximum benefits from them.”

Lydia says: “Once a week I like to do an “at home facial” and adding the Mia to my routine is important for a deeper clean because it’s hard to do a proper steaming at home so this is a great way to get the job done.”

Cassandra says: “I use either the sensitive or acne brush every evening. It helps keep the acne under control and really keeps the blackheads away. I love using it at night because I can feel and see that all my makeup is off!

Teresa: “I have the Clarisonic Smart profile. I use it almost every day. I love the way it’s made my very sensitive skin feel and look. The timer and change of pressure with this particular model is very helpful for me. Definitely a Smart purchase!”

Cassie: “I thought the Clarisonic would feel like a chore to use, but because you can keep it in the shower (the charge lasts awhile) it is really easy to use and it is great for helping remove post-workout grime and post bike-ride dirt and dust.  Strangely, I also feel like the gentle vibrations over my sinuses when I use the Clarisonic have helped me stay sinus-infection free for the first winter I can remember in 15 years.”

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Adding a weekly mask to your skin care routine is also a great way to deep clean pores.  I asked Camille, our treatment manager and Licensed Esthetician which masks are best for which skin types.

  • For sensitive skin, she recommends the Farmhouse Fresh Pajama Paste to soothe, tighten, even, and hydrate skin.
  • For maximum age-defying, she recommends either the Farmhouse Fresh Chocolate Sundae Best mask which infuses skin with coQ10 to lift, firm, and tighten, or the Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Mask which uses Glycolic Acid to gently exfoliate the skin, refine pores, and firm skin.
  • For a deep pore cleanse, choose the Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt mask which is great to unclog pores, or the Farmhouse Fresh Sand Your Ground mask which doubles as an exfoliation treatment.

Lydia, a Licensed Esthetician, suggests that you wash your skin, then apply your mask and leave on 10-15 minutes and remove in the shower.  The steam and shower water will make it easier to loosen the mask.  The easier and more hassle-free, the more likely you will be to stick with it.

masksOne more great way to deep clean your pores for spring is to book a facial with a licensed esthetican.  In addition to a cleanse, mask, steam, exfoliation, massage, and hydrating treatment, estheticians can also manually extract pores, a gentle way to help unclog pores without causing scarring or infection.  To learn more or to schedule a facial at East Village Spa, click here!