Stop Acne in its Tracks

You're getting ready for the big night when you look in the mirror and see it- a bothersome break out has appeared! Acne can pop up at any time regardless of your age or skin type. There are several types of acne, and they all have the potential to ruin your day. Read to learn about the most common types, what causes them, and how to prevent your next break out before it happens. 

Hormonal Acne

This is public enemy #1! We first experience this most-common type of acne during puberty. It can appear in many different forms, from blackheads to cysts. Hormonal fluctuations also occur during the menstrual cycle and during menopause. This can result in a resurgence of hormonal acne, which if left untreated can result in deep, permanent scarring. Common treatments for hormonal acne often include retinol and benzoyl peroxide. These chemicals can be quite effective in the right dosages, but sometimes they treat only the symptoms and not the root causes of acne. You may experience a temporary fix only to be plagued by acne again in the near future. 

One of the main hormonal culprits is DHT (dihydrotestosterone). We all have DHT in our bodies, but when imbalance occurs, we may see the results in our skin. Too much DHT can increase sebum (oil) production in the skin (1), which creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

How to prevent it

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Ilike organic skincare products contain 100% organic whole fruit and vegetable pulps which retain their full potency and can help address hormonal imbalances. If you are experiencing hormonal acne during your period or due to the beginning of menopause, PhytoLift products can effectively treat this. These products contain estrogen hormones from plants, which can help balance DHT. These plant estrogens are commonly found in soy, stinging nettle, and pumpkin seeds. Those with problematic bacteria trapped under the skin need a way to draw the bacteria to the surface where the body can naturally eliminate it. Herbal clays such as our Ichthammol and Herbs Mask absorb sebum and bacteria, pulling them out of the skin. Clay masks often seem to increase the appearance of acne on the surface of your skin, but this is temporary and a normal part of the elimination process.

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Diet can also be an important factor in controlling hormonal acne. Did you know that dairy products increase your body's production of DHT? Cow's milk naturally contains many hormones that are great for baby cows, but can wreak havoc in the skin of some human beings (2). Sugar is another suspect. It causes the body to increase insulin production, which can stimulate enzymatic reactions in the body resulting in more production of that scoundrel DHT (3). Check with your doctor to see if trying an elimination diet could help you determine if there are nutritional causes behind your break outs. 

Cosmetic Acne

Thankfully, this common type of acne is very preventable! There's a reason why we always ask our guests detailed questions about the products they use on their skin, in their hair, and even to wash their clothes. Cosmetic acne (and other skin irritations) can because caused by the products that come into contact with our skin. It is usually characterized by smaller, non-inflammatory whiteheads or blackheads. 

How to prevent it

Make sure you always inform your Esthetician and physician when you start using a new product on your skin. Moisturizers, serums, shampoos, and even laundry detergents can all cause skin irritation when first introduced. It is best to choose products that are described as non-comedogenic (that means not acne-causing), with short ingredient lists free of petroleums, dyes, and synthetic fragrances. Make sure to always read ingredient lists thoroughly and check for anything your doctor or Esthetician has told you to avoid. It's also important to cross-check all of your products for ones that contain high concentrations of the same ingredients. Some products, such as retinol, when used in excess can irritate the skin (4). Check with your doctor to make sure you aren't getting more than the recommended dose of certain ingredients. 

Overuse of products can cause them to build up in your skin and clog your pores, causing bacteria to become trapped. Make sure you cleanse your skin well at the end of each day to remove makeup, and include regular exfoliation in your beauty routine (5). Most guests can consider periodic deeper exfoliation such as crystal-free DiamondTome Microdermabrasion, a non-invasive service that gently removes the outer layer of skin cells to resurface the skin. Check with your doctor and Esthetician to see if this is a good option for you.

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Pro Tips for Acne Prevention:

1. Some products only list the ingredients on the outer packaging and not on the bottle, so it's a good idea to save the box panel with the ingredient list on it before throwing the rest away. If you have a reaction, you'll be able to reference the label or even bring it to your doctor. 

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2. Make sure to wash your makeup brushes periodically: foundation brushes should be washed weekly and dried thoroughly if you use them every day. If you use make up only on occasion, toss your products three months after opening. Bacteria can grow in the bottle and live on your skin when you apply your makeup.

3. Sleep on clean sheets, pillow cases, and pajamas. Go to bed with clean skin. This is especially effective for preventing acne that occurs on the chest or back.

4. Don't try a new acne regimen every week- ask your doctor or Esthetician to help you choose one and recommend how long you should stick with it. Your skin may go through a period of adjustment before you can see if the new products have been effective. 

5. Keep your hands off of your face! During the day we touch countless surfaces that are covered in germs- countertops, our phones, door knobs- and then we subconsciously touch our faces and deposit dirt and bacteria onto our skin. Avoid touching your face to keep your skin clean.


References:

1. https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/impact-of-testosterone-on-hair-and-skin-2161-1017-1000187.php?aid=59770

2. http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(04)02158-9/abstract

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4565837/

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699641/

5. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/skin-care-habits-that-worsen-acne

 

author: Juliana Burkhart

 

Lash Enhancement Types

There's a lot to know when choosing the right type of Lash Enhancements, and choosing the best kind for you comes down to your personal preferences. Read to learn about your Lash options and their pros and cons. 


Lash Lifting

Lash Lifting is a way to enhance your own natural eyelashes without attaching false lashes. The eyelash artist uses a water-soluble glue to temporarily glue a silicon perming rod to your lashes. Then she applies a perming solution and jet black tint, which sit on your lashes for about 30 minutes. She washes it all of with water, and you're all done!

Pros:

Lash Lifting Before and After

Lash Lifting Before and After

  • These are your own natural eyelashes, with nothing glued or attached to them. If you're fussy about having stuff near your eyes, this is the best option for you.
  • The service is super fast, only about 45 minutes to lash perfection. 
  • Lash Lifting is a very low-maintenance path to the lashes of your dreams. It lasts about 8 weeks, and after the first 24 hours (when you have to keep them dry), there's really nothing you have to do to care for them. 
  • This is one of the most inexpensive types of lash enhancements. A single visit is $100 (includes the Lift plus the Tint), and you'll only need to come in about 6 times a year to maintain it. 
  • Lash Lifting is very safe for your natural lashes due to how infrequently you need to have it done. There's no false lashes to weigh them down, so they stay strong and healthy. 

Cons:

  • Lash Lifting provides the least dramatic change in appearance.  You might not notice them in photographs taken from a distance, but they sure look great, and you won't believe these are your own natural lashes! Try applying a few coats of lengthening mascara like Blinc Amplified Mascara ($26, The W Spa) for an added boost.

Lash Extensions

Your Eyelash Artist carefully separates each lash, and individual Lash Extensions are applied with the safest, highest quality medical-grade adhesive to your individual lashes. Like all body hair, your natural lashes grow and fall out in cycles, about every 2-4 weeks. Your Extensions will gradually fall out with your natural eyelashes. 

Pros:

  • Lash Extensions provide the most dramatic look. You'll notice them from far away and in photos, and it's the best way to get that sexy cat eye "swoop" everyone wants! 
  • With Lash Extensions, you have options. If you're new to them, you might start with Mini Set to see if you like them. If you're ready to go all-out, try the Full Set for even more Extensions applied to your lashes. Lash Extensions are available in different lengths and thicknesses, and a skilled Lash Artist will choose and place them carefully to create the best look for your unique eye.
  • After the first 24 hours, your Lash Extensions are waterproof. You can swim with them, and they retain their shape even when wet. This makes them a great option for beach vacations! If you don't like them, a professional can easily remove them in about 30 minutes. But for the love of your lashes, PLEASE don't try to pick them off yourself or cut them. The results won't be pretty!
  • Lash Extensions are safe for your eyes and usually won't damage your natural lashes. Your Lash Artist assesses the health of your lashes, chooses the correct size and thickness for them, and places them carefully so it's not too much weight for your lashes to support. She may recommend you take a break once in a while, and it's always a good idea to use a growth serum to keep your lashes healthy. We recommend Rapid Lash ($49.95, The W Spa). 
Lash Extensions

Lash Extensions

Lash Extensions Before and After

Lash Extensions Before and After

Cons:

  • Lash Extensions can get pricey. Your initial visit is the most costly- $95-$250 depending on the type and number of Extensions you choose. Refills run between $45-$85, depending on how frequently you come in. If you wait longer between appointments, you may require a higher number of Extensions filled, and the cost may be higher. Volume Lashes cost the most, because application takes longer and is more labor intensive. 
  • Appointments for Lash Extensions can take anywhere from 1-2 hours, and if you want to keep up with them you need to come in every 2-4 weeks. If you're not comfortable laying down with your eyes closed while sharp instruments are near your eyes for this long, you might want to consider Lash Lifting instead.
  • If you touch your eyes a lot or have bad allergies that cause your eyes to water, Lash Extensions may not be for you. Stomach sleepers will find that their lashes fall out more quickly from the friction of the pillow. You'll also need to use oil-free makeups and makeup removers around your eyes. Oil will eat away at the adhesive and cause the lashes to fall out faster. 
  • When applied correctly, Lash Extensions look beautiful, natural, and flawless! But when applied by an unskilled hand, or if the Lash Artist chooses the wrong shape or length of lash, they look noticeably false. If you fail to care for them by gently combing them out with a spooley each morning, they will begin to cross over one another and look odd. 

What do you think? Which type of Lash Enhancement is your favorite?

 

author: Juliana Burkhart

Holiday Gift Guide For The Spa Lover in Your life

Holiday Gift Guide For The Spa Lover in Your life

Your holiday list is a mile long and still growing, with gift needs for everyone from your mom to the bus driver to the mail person. How do you even decide where to start? Lucky for you, we've put together this guide to help you choose a great gift for anyone in your life who enjoys a little "me" time. By the time you're finished, you'll probably need some yourself. 

9 Essential Tips for the Perfect Spray Tan

A good airbrush tan can make you feel and look like a million bucks-it's better for you than baking in the sun, and it gives you all-over color without tan lines. But we've all heard horror stories of spray tans gone wrong, and no one wants to be the unlucky recipient of a bad tan. So how do you make sure you get a great tan and keep it looking that way as long as possible? Read on for our professional tips!

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1.Scrub scrub scrub...

Only the top layer of your skin gets sprayed, so if you don't exfoliate to expose brand new skin cells, you're only tanning old cells that are going to slough off sooner. But don't use oil-based salt or sugar scrubs! Oils stick to your skin and prevent airbrush pigments from absorbing into your cells, making your tan uneven and blotchy. Instead, use an exfoliating mitt or loofah when you're in the shower. Exfoliating before will also help prevent build up of excess pigment on the skin, which can turn into the dreaded orange color. We love Vita Liberata Organic Airbrush Tan because it contains pigments that neutralize orangey tones and give you that golden goddess glow. 

The W Spa's own Stefani Papazaharias tanned by Mary Kate

The W Spa's own Stefani Papazaharias tanned by Mary Kate

2. Step away from the booth!

If you're looking for the most natural, maybe-she's-born-with-it tan, hand-spraying is the only way to go. Booth sprayers coat your skin with way too much pigment and apply the same amount of spray all over, so you end up looking like you've been painted. Go see a real human being with years of experience, who will talk to you about what you want and customize your look. Ask what brand of tan they use- we only use Vita Liberata Organic Airbrush Tan because it's safe for our bodies, safe for the earth, and gives the most natural olive tan. Never orange, never streaky- that's what we're going for!

2. Wax before you tan.

When you shave or wax, you open the pores of the skin, making them more vulnerable to attracting the airbrush pigment. Pigment gathers in the pores and can leave a speckled appearance on your skin. Waxing should be done at least a few days before you tan. Don't wax after your airbrush tan either- this will literally strip the tan off of your skin!

3. Nails first.

Viter Liberata Professional

Viter Liberata Professional

Schedule your mani/pedi at least a day or two before your tan. If you get your nails done after tanning, the time you spend soaking, scrubbing, and filing can remove the pigment from your skin. 

4. Come bare.

Remove makeup and deodorant with an oil-free baby wipe before your tan. They create a barrier on your skin that airbrush pigment can't penetrate, so you won't get tan in places where you leave them on.

5. Keep it loose!

Wear or bring loose-fitting clothes and flip flips to wear after your tan, and you might want to skip the underwear. Tight clothes can rub on the skin and remove pigment before it has a chance to develop, leaving you with tan lines. Best to bring dark-colored clothes and flip flops- airbrush pigments should wash out of clothing easily, but better safe than sorry.

We recommend Whish Body Butters for smooth moisturizing after a tan.

We recommend Whish Body Butters for smooth moisturizing after a tan.

6. Don't dry out.

Stay away from lotions and oils before your tan, but after you tan, slather them on generously to keep your skin from getting dry and sloughing off. This is probably the most important step to make your tan last WAY longer! Use a moisturizer than goes on smooth and absorbs quickly. Lots of rubbing- even if it's to apply moisturizer- can still remove your tan. Remember to stop moisturizing at least two days before your next airbrush to keep yourself oil-free for the new application.

7. Don't get wet.

Wait at least 8-10 hours after your tan to shower to give the pigment a chance to develop and absorb into your skin cells. When you do finally shower, the top bronzer will wash off and you'll be left with a golden glow that will last up to 10 days. If it's raining the day of your tan, bring an umbrella to keep from getting drops on your freshly sprayed skin. You can make your tan last even longer by avoiding swimming in chlorinated water and taking excessively hot showers. Both can cause your skin to dry out faster, and like we said before, dry skin= faster fading.

8. Give yourself a pat-down.

While you have your tan, avoid rubbing your skin dry with a towel. Instead, gently pat the skin dry. No exfoliating after your tan! This includes loofahs, sugar scrubs, AHAs, BHAs, retinols, and waxing. 

9. SPF is a must!

Airbrush tans do not contain any SPF, so you still need to wear sunscreen. We repeat: just because your skin looks darker now does not mean you're impervious to sun damage! Moderate or even mild sun exposure can damage and dry out the skin, shortening the lifespan of your tan.  

 

 

author: Juliana Burkhart

Yes, You Still Need to Wear Sunscreen.

Yes, You Still Need to Wear Sunscreen.

We hear a lot of reasons why people think they don't need to wear sunblock. Here's the science behind how sunscreen protects us, why your moisturizer with SPF isn't enough, and why it's so important!

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things...SUMMER 2017

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things...SUMMER 2017

With so many lotions and potions and other goodies to choose from, it wasn't easy picking our Favorite Things. Whether you need a gift for someone special or you just need to treat yo'self, here's a few of our top picks for Summer 2017.