Confessions of an Aesthetician

Answers to some of the most common sk in care questions.

How often do I really need to get a facial?

-For glowing healthy skin, every 4-6 weeks is best. As we age our skin cells natural sloughing process slows, making the skin look dull and allowing those dead skin cells to pile up in the fine lines and wrinkles. A good facial normally includes some type of enzyme or other mechanical exfoliation. Enzymes are usually plant based, and just as enzymes in the stomach help to digest food, enzymes on the face help digest dead skin cells. Also your esthetician can carefully extract any blackheads or blemishes that may be lingering in your pres. And don’t forget my favorite part, the facial massage. Makeup artist Gucci Westman, who can be found backstage prepping models for Oscar de la Renta and Jason Wu, is a devout practitioner. “For early morning shows when everyone’s puffy and not quite awake, facial massage is like coffee for the skin. Everything comes to life,” By relaxing muscles and connective tissue, massaging the face softens expression-induced lines around your eyes, lips and brows, helps expel acne-causing toxins and de-puffs and brightens the eye area.

Which is better Microdermabrasion or Chemical Peels?

– This question depends on a couple of different factors, what results are you trying to achieve, how much downtime do you have, and how much aftercare are you able to commit to after the procedure. Microdermabrasion uses either a fine spray (or some systems now use a diamond tip and are crystal free) to mechanically remove the top layer of dead skin cells. There is very little to no discomfort, no downtime with the exception of some temporary redness that is easily covered with a mineral powder afterwards, instant glow and no peeling or flaking. Chemical peels (depending on their strength) can involve a burning sensation when applied, and redness, and peeling that can last from 3-7 days. Usually an aftercare routine is recommended to protect the skin, and people who are “pickers” are warned not to pick and pull the skin off. I do a thorough consultation with every patient discussing the risks and benefits of each treatment before deciding which one to do.

Are the products sold at my Aestheticians office really better than the drugstores?

-Short version? Usually yes, and you can see this difference in a few different ways. One is to flip over your beauty products and look at the list of ingredients. Just like with food labels, the ingredients are listed most to least. In most products sold at Skin Care Professional Offices, the active ingredients are close to the top, are usually of better quality and also frequently they are more concentrated so you use less, so the products you think cost more, don’t really because they last twice as long.

What’s the most important thing I can put on my face?

-Using a spf every day will pay off in the long run. It takes ten years for the damage we do to our skin to show in your skin so I always tell people it’s never too late to start. Also when starting a skin care regiment it will protect the work you’re doing.

What’s the next important thing after sun protection?

– I tell people to pick something for anti-aging, Retinols, Antioxidants or Growth Factors. Retinol and Antioxidants have been around for a long time and they are known to help keep the skin healthy but Growth Factors are an exciting new field and some of the best new products are incorporating Swiss Apples Stem Cells, to promote tissue regeneration that helps repair skin that is aging. Growth Factors can mimic young skin’s ability to support rapid healing and rejuvenation of tissue.


Miss Popularity 2013

I came across this from a fellow blogger an liked it so much I wanted to share her healthy lifestyle routine, I pretty much do everything on the list, and am kinda jealous I didn’t write it 😉

Miss Ella Said

pathAccording to WordPress my most viewed post for 2013 was:

I’ve changed a few things to that routine. See the items in RED below as additions and changes.

  1. This is still true. More so in the winter in Edmonton. I use coconut oil to cook, and as a facial moisturizer at night and on my body day and night. Coconut oil has found a place in my heart, my kitchen cupboard, and my bathroom vanity. I use 100% pure organic virgin coconut oil. It’s important that you source a brand that is virgin and organic. I use this as a face and body cream, straight up. At times I will apply a small amount to the tips of my hair. I also use coconut oil as the main oil when cooking. I use the Nutiva brand. You can find it almost anywhere. I buy mine at Planet Organic or

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New Years Resolutions


 I know it’s corny, and a lot of people don’t make them or people say “they just set you up for failure”. But I love New Years resolutions. Even if I don’t do all of them. Last year I really wanted to do a pottery making class, inspired by my friend Zach’s anagama and his gorgeous pottery. I googled it, read a book about it, looked for classes (the closet was an hour away and I just never made the time to do it…) . So what? There’s always next year. I did however try Stand Up Paddle Boarding and fell in love with Yoga SUP. Every year I say I’m going to try to learn a new language. I never have so I actually omitted that one last year…

 This year (so far) I have four resolutions, which I think is a good number, do able. Especially since the first one is going to be a project…

  1. Feng Shui my house.

       I have always been interested in Feng Shui and have been reading more about it and the

       first step is to declutter, which sounds like a great project to start off January.


  1. Be a better friend. I have been very busy this year finding the love of my life, getting engaged and nesting with him, and along the way have neglected a lot of friendships… From Birmingham to Japan to right here in my sown city. Reconnect is going to be a big theme for me this year.


  1. Focused Meditation. I am going to do a study and meditate on each chakra for 40 days, starting with Muladhara (the root chakra) and working my way up.  According to Subtle Body Medicine, chakras are energy centers or “wheels” as chakra means in sanskrit, in the body, each one relates to different physical, emotional and mental nature. I have always been fascinated with chakras and learned about them in my Yoga teacher training. 40 days always seems to be a symbolic number, signifying a time of change or preparation.


  1. Start painting and/or making pottery. I have never thought of myself as being artistically inclined, I can’t draw a straight line, whatever I’ve tried has never been “good”. But earlier this year I met a woman who made art just for herself, she said she gave away most of it to family and friends and participated in one or two small art fairs, but she didn’t care what people thought about her art, she just did it because she enjoyed it. I know at 31 that shouldn’t be some huge revelation to me, but it was. I realized I never tried painting or drawing because I was afraid it wasn’t going to be good enough or people would judge me and here she was telling me, basically forget that, create if you want to. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


So what are your resolutions? 

Conscious Consumerism


Where I live in Florida is a popular vacation destination, with many adorable communities stretching along a road called 30A.  A mere 2 miles down the road from me is what I consider to be my favorite, Rosemary Beach. I love the design of the cottages and the green parks, also it tends to be less crowded than the other little cities (re: Seaside’s Farmers Market can be a nightmare unless approached on bike). The squares of Rosemary are lined with shops and restaurants and one of my favorites is a store called Pish Posh Patchoulis. This awesome little boutique carries some of the best and most unique range of quality skin care products, hair care, fragrances and to die for plush pajamas. Let me state that part of the reason I am an Aesthetician is that I am a product junkie, and this store is like Christmas for me. Especially because a lot of the lines they carry are more focused on natural and organic products.

All fall I have been searching for a perfect red-berry shade and I spotted it at Pish Posh Patchoulis a few weeks ago. They carry a line called ILIA, an organic cosmetic company that focuses on lip care.  I purchased “Lust for Life” (love the name because I’m an Iggy Pop fan). It is a gorgeous berry/red shade. It’s also a lip conditioner and fells silky smooth on. This brand ILIA walks the walk in addition to talking the talk. The products are 85% organic, cruelty free ( I love urban decay cosmetics because on their packaging it says “We don’t test on animals, how could anyone? ”) the lipstick came in a recycled aluminum container and packaged in a easily recycled cardboard box.  Another BIG plus- the products are made right here in the U.S of A! The cost of my lipstick : $26. Not bad for a quality lipstick. Conscious Consumerism means putting your money where your mouth is, and I’m happy to find another cosmetic line I can support.

My Favorite juice for healthy skin and hair


I recently (finally) remembered to get my juicer back from my moms house, I have been going a little juice crazy and I found this juice on pinterest and love it, it’s mild and a good “beginner” juice. A lot of the super green juice recipes can take a bit of getting used to… Just sayin’ but this one with cucumber and apple is mild and sweet, omit the lemon if you need to (I added small amounts at first and worked up because I honestly am not a lemon fan.)

Since cucumbers are 96% water they make the perfect juice veggie. They hydrate skin with valuable nutrients. When applied externally, the astringent properties in cucumbers draw out dirt and cleanse the pores and reduce puffiness around the eyes.  They are very high in silica which gives you strong hair, nails and skin.  The potassium in celery juice helps to regulate body fluid and stimulate urine production, making it an important help to rid the body of excess fluid. Often after few days of drinking celery juice your face and neck look slimmer and you lose bloat.  Ginger has antiseptic properties and keeps the skin clear and blemish free. Apples are loaded with beta carotene and apple peels are particularly rich in polyphenols which offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection to slow aging of skin.


  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 apple
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 lemon


Wash all veggies and fruit. leave skin on if organic. Lightly peel or wash with a fruit veggie wash to remove pesticides if not organic.

Juice the cucumber first, followed by the apple, ginger, lemon and celery.

Drink plain or pour over ice and enjoy your cool refreshing cucumber juice !