Five months in…wow, this has flown by. I really feel like I have such a better understanding of my skin and I can identify immediately when something feels “off”. Now that I have a solid skin care routine down and have weaned down my products to about 5 or 6 ones that are working specifically for me, I feel like I am in much more control. The best comparison I can give is that its similar to when you eat a consistent, healthy diet and then you randomly eat junk one meal – you feel it right away. Its like your body has become so accustomed to a healthy, positive way of eating that the reaction is much stronger when you put something unhealthy in your body. For my skin, I can now tell when something unhealthy has gone either on my skin or into my body. There is a great example of this below in this week’s Q & A section.
Left with these goodies – oil capsules + clear mask, both for in-flight wear and hydration!
The beginning routine of our treatments has quickly become my favorite part as it is so relaxing. I have my towel robe on and I’m cozy tucked under the blankets on the treatment table. Mara always starts with an evaluation (it’s amazing how well she knows my skin by now and can immediately identify if something is “off” and we get to the root problem quicker as she’s more familiar with my lifestyle). After the evaluation comes a cleanser and exfoliant. This is my favorite part because she spends a good amount of time – about 10-15 minutes – cleaning my skin (with warm wet towels to wipe in between) and exfoliating. Instead of using hot steam like you may see in other facials, Mara uses a cold prep for extractions. This exfoliant is a blend of a clay mask, pre-cleansing oil and glycolic acid. It feels incredible on my skin and when she is finished, I feel squeaky clean. There is truly no better feeling!
This week we spent a good bit of time on extractions as my skin has been breaking out a bit lately, which is very abnormal for me. We concluded that it’s a combination of hot, humid weather here in Boston and a change in diet. I have increased my protein intake a lot in the past 3 weeks (from virtually nothing to 75+grams/day) and she thinks the sudden increase has thrown my system a bit out of whack. I am adjusting that protein number back down so I’ll be interested to see if it alters my skin again in the next month or so. Following the extractions, she put a thin later of Vitamin-C serum.
Mara then proceeded with a hydrating mask – she says this will help calm my face down a bit. Pumping in the hydration with the electricity will help repair these cells from the inside out. This, in combination with less protein and more water, should have my skin feeling back to normal in no time. We ended with a spritz of hydrating mist, followed by some lotion and sunscreen. Its important to note that we always end with sunscreen, yet I always feel so refreshed and dewy when I leave. It doesn’t even feel like I have any product on my face.
Monthly Q & A
Q: I noticed a few weeks ago that these little bumps appeared on my chin. They don’t develop into anything but they came out of nowhere and are bothering me! What are they and what should I do?
A: This time of year, humidity could be the culprit. Sweat sits on your skin and it doesn’t evaporate because of the humidity. Be sure to use facial wipes immediately after working out and to drink a lot of water. If you are not working out as much as you typically do, your skin could be hanging onto the stress. Another factor could be diet. You mentioned that you have increased your protein, but have decreased your vegetable intake. Any sudden change like this could certainly be causing these bumps. Remember, the skin is an excretory system so if toxins cannot be released, they get clogged.
Q: Are extractions good or bad for you? I’ve heard mixed reviews.
A: Extractions can be a great choice for part of your skin care routine when done properly. Here in the spa, I prepare the skin to be extracted by properly cleaning the skin, exfoliating the skin and loosening the pores. I also wear gloves to avoid any spread of bacteria. This is why we harp on not picking your face at home – you are much more likely to pigment the skin and create a bigger problem. Leave the extractions to the expert!
Q: I’m pregnant. Can I get a facial?
A: Absolutely! With all of the change in hormones that come with being pregnant, this is actually an ideal time to get facials as you skin can feel out of whack. Just be sure to let your estetician know that you are pregnant, however, as there are certain products that we do not put on pregnant women’s faces. For example, I would never do an electrically charged mask on a pregnant woman. Also, I tend to stay away from most essential oils as they are not regulated by the FDA and can penetrate directly into the bloodstream.