We are thankful

The first time I got a massage, I was 24 and had just gotten injured at work. I booked a 30 minute massage on a whim to try to help. I literally had no clue what to expect, I even kept my tank top on under the sheets. That massage was so incredible that when I was done, I knew that I needed to help people feel that way too. Within a year, I enrolled in massage therapy school.

Our team is so fortunate to do what we do, and Thanksgiving is always a time to take a step back and really reflect on how grateful we are to be in the spa profession. I asked the crew at East Village Spa to share their favorite part of their career and why they are thankful to be in this line of work.

Brandi: My favorite part of being a licensed massage therapist is making space for others in a compassionate way. And, I am thankful for my co-workers!

Jamee: I am thankful for being able to help people move past challenges that are holding them back from leading their best lives. I would normally be begging people to let me treat them, but now I get to make a living doing this!

Kanika: Being a cosmetologist, esthetician, and massage therapist, I am thankful for the gift of human touch. My career cannot be completely taken over by a robot, computer or technology.

Becky: I like that I never stop learning! I love helping educate my clients and myself. I’m thankful that I get paid to hang out with friends at work!

Jennifer: I love building trusting relationships with clients. My favorite part is getting to see them again and again. I am grateful for the community that therapists bring, they share knowledge and information.

Hannah: I really enjoy the process of talking to my client and listening to what is going on, then helping to put all the clues together. It is like doing a puzzle, but you are still “working.”

Molly: I’m thankful for being able to build relationships with co-workers and regular clients. I love getting the chance to educate and help clients with skincare needs. Oh, and I LOVE doing extractions!

Cassandra: I enjoy getting to know my clients. I learn where I need to travel, eat, and other fun stuff! Also, I get to play and have fun. I say play, because I get to use all the nail polish colors at the spa, not just the few I have at home. Plus, we get to mix things like masks in the facial room and get to test out and play with all the new products.

Camdine: I love getting someone back to what they love doing (running, biking swimming, chasing grand kids) following an injury or surgery. I’m thankful for a job where I can help people get back to “normal” life when dealing with an injury like frozen shoulder. One of the best compliments I can get is someone telling me they can do something without pain anymore or they don’t have to take pain meds or muscle relaxers to get through the day.

Lindsay: I love customizing things to meet someone’s needs so I get to do something different almost every treatment or service.

Conny: I get paid to be relaxed!

Kelly: I am thankful to work with like-minded people who happen to all be amazing. I love my team.

Cassie: I’m so thankful I found a career where I can be my true self and I get to see other people reveal their genuine personality too. Every day I work with caring people and witness incredible acts of kindness and compassion. In our stressed-out world, we get to see people at their most relaxed. It is truly a gift.

Visit a wellness provider who lives his or her career, I promise you’ll notice the difference! Click here to book your appointment with any of our incredible licensed massage therapists, estheticians, and nail technicians.

The value of professional skincare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Too good to be true?

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

Ready to learn more? 

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

 

My first Rhonda Allison peel: 7 day journal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Are acne treatments contributing to superbugs and tips for mild to moderate acne.

A widely circulated article in the Wall Street Journal published this week discusses the risk of creating superbugs with traditional antibiotic acne treatment.  Doctors are finding that the antibiotics that were once effective are no longer helping and the doctors quoted fear that prescribing antibiotics for acne will open teenagers and others up to developing other serious conditions like drug-resistant MRSA.

From our experience, people aren’t always clear on the causes and types of acne, plus there are lots of myths surrounding acne treatments and causes.  This article from the Mayo Clinic offers great advice on the different types of acne and when to seek medical help for yours.  It also offers tips on preparing for your appointment with a dermatologist.

Unfortunately, you can’t just hope for better skin, you need to make changes to your routine and possibly lifestyle.  For mild acne, you might evaluate your day-to-day routine.  A few ideas include:

  • Cleaning your phone with antibacterial wipes daily to avoid spreading oil and bacteria
  • Changing your pillowcase every couple of days
  • Washing your face morning and night with an appropriate cleanser for your skin type
  • Get a facial from a licensed esthetician (not just the advice of a sales person behind a cosmetic counter!  Usually these are not trained estheticians) for advice and help unclogging your pores safely.
  • Using a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type (yes! Even people with oily skin need hydration, but a gel or acne-specific cream may be best)
  • Try a mask or spot treatment like Derma E’s Exfoliation Mask or Farmhouse Fresh’s Pajama Paste Mask
  • Exfoliate weekly with a product like Derma E’s Microdermabrasion Scrub or Farmhouse Fresh’s Sand your Ground Mask (which doubles as a scrub and clay mask but do not OVER exfoliate and do not exfoliate  skin that is irritated or has open areas.

For more moderate acne, in addition to all of the above:

  • Try regular facials for deeper cleansing and help with deep pore extractions in a way that won’t scar skin
  • Try a series of light chemical peels
  • Reduce stress, especially if your acne flares up when you are under stress
  • Visit a dermatologist

For severe acne, visit your doctor or dermatologist for recommendations.

We know acne can be frustrating and believe me, some of us at the spa have battled painful scarring acne before so we can empathize with the frustrations.  If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to speak with a licensed esthetician or your doctor for advice or a referral.

Don't hesitate to reach out to a professional for help if you are struggling to manage your acne at home!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for help if you are struggling to manage your acne at home!