Top skin issues and solutions during the pandemic

Stress, poor diet, lack of motivation for personal care (let’s face it, the Zoom videos are grainy!) are causing lots of skin issues. Providers on the front lines wearing N95 masks all day are faced with raw, irritatied skin. Don’t wait for spas to reopen, it will be awhile before we can safely perform facials. Fortunately, you can do a TON with a great home care regimen. Camille Arbegast, a Licensed Esthetician, shared a few solutions if you’re experiencing skin challenges right now.

Camille Arbegast, Managing Esthetician at East Village Spa
Camille Arbegast, Managing Esthetician at East Village Spa

Solutions for stress-related skin freak-outs

Camille suggests Rhonda Allison’s Mandelic Arginine Serum for a gentle, daily exfoliation to curb breakouts from stress and also help calm rosacea flare-ups.

With weather (slowly) warming up, it might be time to switch to a lighter moisturizer. Camille recommends the Mandelic Au Lait, which is medium weight and has ingredients that also help calm breakouts and reduce redness.

Outdoor must-haves

Socially-distant outdoor activities like gardening, long walks, or supervising kids in the yard, are stress-busting musts for many of us. Rhonda Allison has two great sunscreen options. 1. eZinc is best for those with concerns about breakouts or redness. It is light weight and doesn’t have that sunscreen smell or feel. 2. Daytime Defense is ideal for those wanting to get pro-youth antioxidants.

Beta Green Tea Cleanser is great for AM and PM and one of our most popular clenasers. It has a small amount of salycilic acid to deeply cleanse sweat and dirt without drying skin. For best results with any Rhonda Allison cleanser, start with dry skin (or just put a few drops of water on your fingers) and massage in your cleanser that way first, before adding water. You’ll get a better cleanse and your product will last longer!

The Arnica Therapy is a staple of the Rhonda Allison line and is a natural antibacterial cream. It is great for cuts, burns, wounds, or bug bites.

Medical-grade PPE relief

Our front line medical providers and support staff are heroes. Many of have seen photos of the raw skin caused by wearing N95 masks all day. Camille suggests a 3 step approach to ease pain from the irritation caused by these masks. 1. Rhonda Allison Creamy Milk Cleanser, a gentle and soothing cleanser. 2. Rhonda Allison Arnica Therapy, a barrier for skin before the mask goes on. 3. Rhonda Allison Drops of Essence, a soothing gel for after cleaning at the end of the day to help ease discomfort.

We took her suggestions and created a specially priced Face Mask Relief kit that you can purchase for a front line healthcare worker who is struggling with pain from their mask.

Rhonda Allison Skincare for face mask irritation.

Poor diet, dehydrated skin

Listen, we won’t tell you what to eat in times of stress and I pity the person who gets between me and my “secret” chocolate stash right now. We WILL gently suggest that you increase your water intake. All of those Zoom Cocktail hours and extra coffees are going to take their toll on your skin. Tired of water? Try adding some calorie free, sugar free, caffeine free Pure Inventions extracts to your water. For a delicious “mocktail” mix your favorite drops with sparking water and drop in a few frozen blueberries and a lemon wedge.

Blueberry Lemon mocktail at East Village Spa

We can’t wait to be able to give you professional facials and Hydrafacials again, but don’t neglect your skin while you wait for your esthetician to be able to safely provide services to you. Take control of your skin and start or continue good habits at home now!

Blog contributors: Camille Arbegast is the managing esthetician at East Village Spa, where she’s worked since 2012. Cassie Sampson, BA, LMT is the owner of East Village Spa.

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!

Top 3 reasons to wash your face twice a day

Cassandra Lacina-Griffin has been a licensed esthetician for over a decade and recently I asked her to share with me one piece of advice she wished our guests knew. Without missing a beat, she said “I wish people understood how important it is to wash their face twice a day.”

According to Cassandra, there are three main reasons you should wash your face both in the morning AND before you go to bed. If you exercise or sweat in the middle of the day, you might have to add another cleanse to remove sweat and bacteria.

1: Cleansing prevents excess oil. Sometimes people with dry skin hesitate to cleanse twice daily because they feel that it can be more drying. On the flip side, sometimes people who have oily skin use too harsh of a cleanser which can dry the skin out and cause it to produce MORE oil!  In those cases, Cassandra recommends that you check with a professional to make sure you are using the right cleanser for your skin type.

2: Cleansing removes dead skin cells that build up overnight. Even though YOU are sleeping, your skin is hard at work turning over skin cells.

3: Cleansing in the morning removes the night time serums and chemical exfoliators. Serums and exfoliators do their best work at night when you are resting and not sweating or wearing make-up, but they need to be removed before you start your day, especially before sun exposure or applying make-up.

If you have more questions or would like to get recommendations from a professional esthetician, schedule a facial with Cassandra or any of our great licensed skin care providers here.

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!