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Healthy Aging 
January 2013
It seems that as we get older, the year passes even faster.  I often ask myself “where did this past year go?”  Well, again I am asking that same question.  We are starting a new year and it seems in the first few months of the new year, resolutions are made, goals are written down, and we make secret promises to ourselves of being more healthy, taking care of our minds, body, and skin.   Is this the year that you take a stand to make more time for yourself and really nourish the person you are on the inside and out?  With another year passing, I know personally I’ve been looking in the mirror and wondering who is staring back at me...I’ve started seeing the lines, wrinkles, and puffy eyes.  How does this happen?
There are two primary culprits that cause skin aging:  intrinsic and extrinsic agers.  Intrinsic refers to the biological aging that occurs with the passing of time.  Intrinsic agers are less controllable of the two factors, as it deals with genetic programming and physiological decline.  Extrinsic  agers are more controllable factors, such as sun exposure, smoking, sleep, diet and stress—lifestyle factors and personal choices.
Although the skin can repair itself, this ability to recover slows as a person ages.  Collagen, which is responsible for the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin also decreases production with age.  Signs of aging occur when the fibroblast cells that restore damaged collagen fibers can no longer complete the repair.  Is it a loss cause?  Keep reading…
Two of the most valuable age-reversal components to help you prevent further damage and deterioration are retinols and SPF 30 sunscreen.  Treatment programs and home-care regimens that include retinol focus on breaking down the skin, rebuilding, repairing and protecting it are essential.  Antioxidants, such as C-Power from Tu’el also help reverse the effects of aging.  They will help firm, tone, tighten, and refine lines, and give your skin an overall glow.
Lets break this down even more:
20’s  Your skin is usually at its healthiest.  It still has the glow, and its supple and firm.  What do you need to focus on?  You must focus on damage prevention and maintaining your skins health.  Have you heard someone in their 40’s say, “If I knew what I do now back then, my skin would be so much different?”  My advise is LISTEN!!!
30’s  Thirty may be the new 20, but visual signs of aging begin during this time.  Fine lines and wrinkles may start to develop and some discoloration may occur as skin things slightly, and collagen and elastin production begin to decline.  You need to start considering corrective treatments aimed at restoring the skin to its optimum health and activating its own regenerative mechanisms.   This may include regular facials, a microdermabrasion series, and an at-home exfoliation system such as Power Peel from Tu’el.
40’s  As you progress through your 40’s, yes you become wiser and your life starts making sense; however, your collagen and elastin fibers continue to decline, your skin retains less moisture and discoloration may become more apparent.  Acne may once again become a challenge, as some of you are experiencing hormonal change.  At this age it is imperative that you nourish your skin with peptides, antioxidants and eye serums. 
50’s and up...Oh my wise men and women!  At this age, free radicals (they kill healthy skin cells) and environmental elements are officially taking a toll on your skin’s ability to repair.  Expression lines are more defined, elastin and collagen production have significantly declined, hyperpigmentation and sunspots may be more visible, and acne may still be a factor due to hormones.  Collagen treatments are really effective.   Antioxidants are vital in minimizing the signs of aging, internally and externally.  Getting these nutrients naturally from foods is always the best option, but supplements and topicals applied to the skin also are very beneficial. 
Vitamin A: Carrots, kale, spinach, pumpkin, and cantaloupe
Vitamin C: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, guava, and citrus.
Vitamin E:  Olive oil, walnut oil, wheat germ oil, oats, tomatoes.
Are you depressed, thinking there is no use to aging healthy?  Instead of looking at the negative,  lets look at all the education that you just acquired!  You now have some tools to combat these signs.  Remember its all about balance.  Balance in living a healthy lifestyle, balance in properly cleansing and exfoliating to get the most out of treatments you receive.  And if it feels good, kick a 20 year old, I know I’m going to the next time I see one walking around without a care in the world!!
Healthy skin is a lifestyle choice, and I look forward to hearing from you all and formulating a plan designed for you and your skin care needs.
Inner Balance =  Outer Beauty!!
October 2012
It has always intrigued me how our bodies are made.  There are so many maps in our body which contains an array of points connecting to various body parts.  For instance, there are pressure points in our face that connects to our liver, gall bladder, lungs, kidneys, etc.  The diagram above reveals how the body internal organs correspond to specific zones on the face.  Everything is connected.
The beauty industry as a whole is a billion dollar a year industry!  There are some people who go to skin care facilities asking for help in beautifying or reducing the appearance of problem areas on their faces and elsewhere.  Many people see these features as detracting from their outward appearance which can affect their self-esteem, and they deploy methods ranging from cosmetic cover-up to harsh chemicals or surgery to make them go away.  There is a limit
To what any treatment method can achieve if the inner terrain of the body is stressed, toxic, or imbalanced.  For example, vertical lines on the brow reflect stress and tension in the liver, darkness and bags under the eyes indicate weak fire energy of the kidneys, and deep crows feet point to weakened functions of the gall bladder. 
We have all seen the people who have a healthy glow, and yes, we want to run them over with our car.  But since this is not an option—how do we get that glow?  As we’ve learned earlier, the face’s problem areas usually mirror imbalances in our internal organs, blood, and fluids.  One of the most powerful stressors are the emotions; frequent feels of negativity, anger, and depression trigger the release of cortisol in the body, which makes us look and feel more stressed.  On the other hand, happy, positive emotions promote the release of “happy” bio-chemicals, such as dopamine, and endorphins that makes us look and feel better.  We must find the balance to heal our organs.  By doing this it will promote emotional balance which in turn will improve the appearance and attractiveness of our skin and gives off that healthy glow.  Some of the things I thought were:
1. Nutrition
2. Bodywork (No, I’m not talking about getting tattoo's, but hitting the good ole gym 3-5 days a week).
3. Get more sleep (Make sure that your sleep is not only long enough, but good enough).
4. Visit the spa or get a massage regularly (Woman often think of the spa’s and massages as luxury treats; however, there are also health benefits.  It is a great way to relax your mind and allow your body to have some much needed rest time.
5. Write in a journal (It has been determined that once your write a thought down on paper, your mind no longer has to keep thinking about that particular thought and has room for other things).
What are some of your ideas?  I would love to hear what your suggestions are!  Regardless if you share them or not, lets walk away with the goal of working WITH our skin and not against it.
September 2012
How many of us wish we had a magic pill for acne, weight loss, or to become beautiful? So many clients come to us looking for just that…a one-time facial, a cream or treatment that will make their acne disappear. The truth of it is that everyone’s acne is different and we haven’t found that one treatment that will work for everyone.
Acne is an internal disorder that is expressing on the surface. There are 4 main triggers for acne:
1) Genetics
2) Hormonal imbalances
3) Stress
4) Food sensitivities/allergies (especially dairy).
By the time a client comes to see us, many have already tried most of the market products or have gone to see a Dermatologist. For many people, some of these treatments have worked for a small period of time; however, not everyone is going to respond to benzoyl peroxide, anti-biotics, retin-a, or salylic acid. At About Face we strive to calm down the inflammation and help you stop the cycle of the breakouts.
As Estheticians, we work topically to deeply cleanse the skin, clean out your pores, balance and nourish your skins surface and send you home with products and tips that will help you continue to get results at home.
Some of our clients respond very well to one facial, along with changing their routine at home. We love it when it’s this easy, but sometimes what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next. We are left puzzled and our clients frustrated. When that happens, we are sent back to the drawing board, and this can be very difficult for someone with challenging skin. The benefits of going back to the drawing board are endless. We continue to grow in our knowledge of skin care, and we increase our respect for the way our bodies are designed.
What this means for new clients is that we will work with you to help you achieve your skin care goals, but sometimes it takes more work than we realize. Do we give up?? Absolutely not! Our approach is to discuss your diet, lifestyle, current skincare routine, treatments, and products you have tried in the past that have been unsuccessful and develop a customized plan that includes home care products. We welcome anyone who is dealing with acne to come in for a consultation to discuss their concerns.
And yes, I will continue to search for that magic pill.
May 2012
You say sunscreen, I say protection. Whatever you call it, it’s the most important step in skincare. From preventing premature aging to helping fight skin cancer, sunscreen is necessary. But! Experts say most of us don’t use it correctly. Why? Because sunscreen is dose specific. Even though makeup contains some, it doesn’t usually contain enough. Here are nine essential steps towards effective skin protection:
  1. Wear SPF 30. Under your makeup you need at least SPF 30. My favorite? Tu-el’s Essential Protection Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF 30. Get “broad spectrum” protection. Your sunscreen needs protection from both UVA and UVB. UVA “ages” the skin damaging deeper in the skin and UVB burns. UVA is there is it is daytime, if you are indoors and while it’s raining. It’s in your fluorescent light bulbs, even. And 80% of UV rays still get through the clouds.
  2. Apply sunscreen liberally. When applying, don’t forget the back of your neck, tops of your ears, décolleté, and any other skin that will be exposed, like the back of your hands.
  3. Teach kids to love sunscreen. It’s a healthy habit that can last a lifetime. A large portion of lifetime sun exposure happens before the age of 18.
  4. Be time sensitive. If you can, avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm. That’s when the rays are the most intense.
  5. Apply and reapply. Spending the day outdoors? Bring extra sunscreen to reapply every few hours.
  6. Take care with SPF. If you find that you’re still getting burned or tan, try a higher SPF or apply more frequently.
  7. No clouds, still sun! Even in Vancouver where the skies are often gray, you still need to wear sunscreen — every day.
  8. It’s Anti-Aging! Think of Sunscreen as Anti-aging not anti-burning. If your immune cells aren’t under attack from UV they can do the job of healing and repairing your skin from past damage, making you look younger!
Happy sun protection!
Why Get a Facial?
March 2012
You would be surprised at how many times I hear this question asked. Here are some examples of reasons you should consider giving me a call:
  • A facial provides proper analysis of your skin and correct product recommendations
  • It includes exfoliation which refines your skin’s texture allowing better product absorption
  • It is Anti-Aging by combating the negative effects of sun exposure and incorrect product use
  • Stress Reduction-
    • Stress is quickly rising to number 1 in the premature aging process (sun exposure is #2)
    • Stress is a rosacea trigger
    • Stress lengthens wound healing by up to 30%
    • Stress shortens the life span of your skin cells
    • Stress increases your cortisol levels triggering inflammation in the skin — weakens the skins barrier—increases dryness and sensitivity
    • Stress aggravates acne- increased inflammation
    • Stress makes every skin condition worse
    • Women are more susceptible to stress aging
  • Education
    • We explain how to care for your specific skin type and conditions you may be experiencing. We also discuss diet and how it can affect your skin.
Skin Care
February 2012
Right, so many of you ask what is the most important product you need for proper skin care. I always answer that if you aren’t currently using SPF that we start there. The longer answer is that I start with cleanser, if you are not cleansing properly your whole routine will be off. Then the right exfoliant, followed by serum(s), moisturizer, eye/lip cream. Once a week I recommend a good scrub of your whole body. Seems overwhelming but really with 10 good products, some of which can do double duty, it’s not all that daunting.
Here is my list of the 10 basic skin care essentials that everyone needs in their bathroom. I guarantee that most of you probably have many more than that, studies show the average is 14 but in order to simplify your routine and allow you to clean out the old, inappropriate and unused products here is your go to list.
1. Cleansing milk, gel or oil
2. Herbalizer or toner
3. Exfoliant; can be scrub, enzymes or aha’s like glycolic
4. Serum
5. Moisturizer
6. SPF
7. Eye/lip cream
8. Mask
9. Body scrub
10. Body lotion
Now that’s not so hard is it?
January 2012
I know. You’re sitting on the edge of your seats pondering this amazing little thing we call exfoliation. What is it? How does it work? And why should you bother?Simply put, exfoliation is the process that helps get rid of dead surface skin cells. Normally this might seem… gross.  But when the result is fresh, gorgeous, glowing skin, you gotta love it. Go exfoliation!Regular exfoliation not only leaves your face feeling and looking silky smooth, it also increases your skin’s ability to absorb moisture, reduce fine lines, lighten hyper pigmentation and diminish acne. Sounds good, right? So here’s where you come in: the great exfoliation machine needs your assistance. There are many ways to exfoliate and they’re all pretty great.
Here are my faves:
ScrubsWe’re not referring to the drugstore scrubs with apricot kernels and beads, we’re talking about pulverized pumic and diatome algae. A scrub should physically and mechanically remove dead skin. It’s a great treatment for home care in between facials unless you have active acne or exceptionally sensitive skin.  My pick: Tu’el’s Peeling Cream.
enzymes your dead skin is made up of protein. And the best way to break it down? Enzymes, like papaya and pineapple. It’s an exceptionally gentle and effective exfoliation for all skin types.  I now include an enzyme treatment in all of my facials.            
Alpha Hydroxy Acids/Beta Hydroxy acids these are derived from naturally occurring fruit sugars like grapes (tartaric), milk (lactic), citrus (citric), apples (malic) and sugar cane (glycolic). AHA’s work by dissolving the intercellular “glue” that holds your dead skin cells together, which helps increase cell respiration and turnover. We fancy Glycolic Acid (sugar cane) because it has the smallest molecular weight of all AHAs. This makes it very effective for anti-aging and acne treatments. We mix enzymes and glycolic in our treatment rooms. Our pick for home use: Glyco-A-Gel from Tu-el’s.
Microdermabrasion Attention ladies: this is a professional treatment, only. It’s a gentle “sand blasting of the face” using aluminum oxide crystals. So why do it? It provides a superior exfoliation that refines the surface of the skin. Microdermabrasion also promotes the production of new cells and stimulates collagen networking to help improve skin texture. Hands down, this is one of my favorite professional treatments.  I just ordered my steamer and will be working toward acquiring this machine to add to my services. Now that you know all about the exfoliation thing, how do you know what’s best for you? Honestly, what you use and how often you should exfoliate depends completely upon on your skin type and your skin care goals.  Make an appointment today, and we’ll talk about exfoliation as well as its important friends, hydration, and sun protection.
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