How To Effectively Heal Your Acne

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Even though it’s hard to remember this while you’re suffering – acne is an extremely common skin condition. In fact, it is the number one concern of my clients at Sound Skincare. My own journey with acne actually inspired me to become a skin therapist in the first place; so, thank you for that, acne! Unfortunately for all of us, we are seeing a rise in adult acne. Contributing factors include: excess sebum (oil) production, congestion, excess bacteria, hormone changes, as well as inflammation of the gut and using the wrong skincare products.

Our skin is our largest organ – and it is always trying to tell us something. Are you listening?

Acne is our body’s way of sending a message that one or more of these factors is out of balance and needs remedying. There is no overnight fix for acne, but discovering the underlying issue is the best place to start. Have you heard of the gut microbiome? Largely overlooked in the past, the skin-gut connection is making its mark in skin health studies, and I wanted to share a bit of information with you on this topic. By looking at the link between our gut health and our skin condition, we’re one step closer to achieving healthy, clear skin.


Understanding your gut microbiome is key.

There is a universe full of different types of bacteria and microorganisms that need to exist in our guts in order to protect our immune systems and, ultimately,  our skin. Inflamed skin often stems from an inflamed gut – so, let’s look at a couple of key factors in preventing acne flare ups and improving the connection between our gut and skin.


An effective anti-acne treatment begins with your diet.


In order to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, it’s best to cut down on inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy and refined carbs. Bacteria-destroying antibiotics and other oral prescriptions have also been known to wreak havoc on gut balance, in turn inflaming our fragile skin. Like everything in life, it’s all about balance. Try adding these items into your daily habits:


Omega-3s: These anti-inflammatories help encourage healthy sebum production and are rich in seafoods (salmon, anchovies, sardines, etc.), but can also be found in nuts and seeds. To ensure you’re getting the required daily intake of omegas, try taking a supplement like Bend Beauty (available for purchase in studio).


Probiotics: Promote a balanced gut microbiome by adding fermented foods like: kefir, pickles, miso, kombucha, and sauerkraut to your diet. Take a daily probiotic supplement to help deliver the healthiest strains of bacteria directly to your gut. Your skin will thank you.

Green Tea: Another powerful antioxidant created in nature – green tea contains polyphenols that help reduce inflammation by lowering sebum protection. It also inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, and promotes beneficial bacteria (amazing!).


Vitamin A to Zinc: When it comes to your skin health, the key vitamins to focus on are A, D, E and Zinc. Eating plenty of leafy green vegetables, carrots, sweet potato, fatty fish, eggs, lean meats, beans and whole grains for a nice dose of skin-love.


Don’t forget to treat the surface of your skin with care.


Along with the microbiome, our skin’s acid mantle and lipid bi-layers also work in harmony to protect us from infection and environmental damage, all while maintaining a healthy and functioning barrier. It’s crucial to stop damaging the surface of our skin with the wrong products and treatments. By replacing these habits with a more healing and reparative approach, we can build and maintain a stronger and more balanced epidermis.  


If you focus on your gut and on how you treat your skin, acne won’t stand a chance.


Don’t scrub: If you’ve ever received a treatment at my studio, you may have noticed that I rarely use ‘scrubs’. By avoiding unnecessarily aggressive treatments such as microdermabrasion and over-exfoliating, your skin will repay you by not reacting in as equally a harsh manner (hello, acne). I always recommend enzymes for gentle exfoliation as they help digest dead skin cells and feed nutrients directly into the skin.


Don’t be harsh: when we use harsh, drugstore brands and topical acne prescriptions that dry out the skin, our skin reacts as strongly as you attacked – and the effects are usually as harsh as your approach.


Seek professional advice: Too often, I see clients who are using either the wrong products for their skin type, or they aren’t giving their skin anything at all.  Our skin needs proper nourishment and protection, and someone with expertise (hello!) can help you establish a routine that will help. Professional products are essential for treating acne, as they often have higher concentrated, specifically formulated ingredients that deliver properly into the skin and help you achieve results.


Try an LED Light Therapy treatment: LED treatments work to heal acne with low-level wavelengths of light therapy that become absorbed into compromised acne skin cells to restore vitality to the skin, thus killing harmful acne bacteria and encouraging healthy skin cell renewal.


Having a proper skin consultation, a healthy routine and improving the microbiome of your gut will undoubtedly help heal your acne. If you’re suffering from acne and need help getting started on the right path, I recommend booking an Essentials Facial with me today. I’ll take the time to do a thorough skin analysis and create a plan customized for you. It’s all about taking a balanced, proactive and holistic approach whenever our skin is trying to tell us something!





The Ancient Secret to Naturally Glowing Skin

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Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz of Gua Sha circulating the beauty industry lately. Or maybe you’ve never heard it at all (Goo-Sha who?!) Either way, this facial treatment is all things holistic as well as beneficial for the skin. I’m not one to jump onto skincare trends, but I absolutely LOVE these results! Read on to learn more about what this treatment is and why you should try it.


What is Gua Sha?

Facial Gua Sha, a gentle scraping technique that derives from Traditional Chinese Medicine, encourages lymphatic flow to move along its pathways in the face and neck (and down through the body) in order to remove toxins, reduce puffiness, and clarify the skin. Using specially carved gemstones (I like jade, rose quartz and green nephrite for their healing properties) to carry out these ‘scraping’ strokes, each angle of the tool serves a special purpose depending on the areas of the face that are being treated. The magic of Facial Gua Sha is that it only requires this tool along with the hands and knowledge of your skin therapist (that’s me!).


How Does It Work?

Why is it so important to stimulate the lymphatic system? Inflammation in the body caused by poor diet and chronic stress or illness creates fluid retention in the face. By introducing Facial Gua Sha, we are able to help facilitate the movement of this fluid (lymph) in order to de-puff, detox, and bring life to the skin. Extra special techniques with the Gua Sha tools also help to lift and sculpt facial muscles over time… literally a natural form of botox! Not only do clients notice that their skin looks more uplifted and glowing, but it is often noted how much lighter they feel after this relaxing session.


Get Your Gua Sha On!

If your current concerns include dull, devitalized, congested skin (but not full blown acne), or puffy eyes and dark circles, then Facial Gua Sha may be ideal for you. This is also the perfect treatment before or after an event (hello brides!) as it leaves you with a seriously glowing complexion while calming the nervous system due to its tension melting effects. Results are noticeable after one session, but with regular maintenance (weekly for 4-6 weeks, then monthly thereafter), Gua Sha provides a youthful, lifted and supple appearance while decreasing fine lines and helping to dissolve congestion.


Because Gua Sha is beneficial to do on a regular basis, these special tools are now available in the studio for home care use in between sessions! Facial Gua Sha is gaining popularity, but I think it’s worth a mention that not all of the online ‘advice’ of how to perform these techniques is accurate. Feel free to ask me the proper techniques to try and I’ll let you know whether this treatment is right for you.


Interested in booking a session? Book online here.

Flower Power: My Top 3 Spring Skin Saviours

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Spring has a remarkable way of showing us that the time has come to shed our winter layers and prepare for a re-birth. Just like new growth emerging from the soil ready to reveal its vibrant beauty, now is equally the perfect time for us to transition and bring our dull winter skin to life; to awaken, renew and blossom.

I am highlighting my top 3 Rhonda Allison ingredients and treatments in use at Sound Skincare this season of rebirth. Although these products are solely for professional use, I believe in sharing my knowledge about why I choose to use specific products and ingredients, so that you can understand their role as you lay blissed out before me.

These items are included in the following treatments:

  • Awake + Revive Facial

  • Spring Renew Peel (for a more rejuvenating treatment)

  • 12 Flower Power Facial


1. Hibiscus Peel

One of my favourite go-to’s for facials is the Hibiscus Peel from Rhonda Allison. Hibiscus acids are considered a second generation alpha-hydroxy acid, which increase cellular turnover, provide antioxidant benefits, and stimulate collagen production. Our skin greatly tolerates these (and other flower acids) because they are less irritating and much more moisturizing (twice as much, in fact) than most traditional AHA’s. It provides skin lightening, healing and moisturizing benefits, making it a great rejuvenator for all skin types.


2. 12 Flower Mask

When it comes to this mask’s ingredients, the power is in the numbers! This is the perfect complex of 12 unique flower acids all with their own benefits of brightening, hydrating, calming, as well as providing nutrients, flavonoids and antioxidants. These 12 flower extracts include: rosehip oil, cactus flower, hibiscus, blue lotus, white frangipani, magnolia, rose oil, passionflower, honeysuckle. kangaroo paw flower, banksia flower, red spider flower. These last 3 extracts are native to Australia, and help to impart feelings of kindness, relaxation, strength, and enthusiasm, which I find completes this blend beautifully.


3. Lotus Enzymatic Booster

Aging, dehydrated or sun-damaged skin? I am loving the benefits of this newly added booster to my arsenal, for brightening, smoothing and softening the skin. With powerful ingredients of papain, lotus extract, and L-Ascorbic, this powdered formula is simply added to masks and enzymes to further strengthen and repair. Lotus flower extract has amazing brightening and strengthening benefits due to its ability to scavenge free radicals, papain is a naturally occurring enzyme found in papaya to help digest dead skin cells while L-ascorbic acid is a valuable antioxidant and component of vitamin C that protects the skin against UV damage. Have different concerns? Don’t worry, I have a booster for that. Ask me about the different ones during your next visit!

All of these products are featured throughout the Spring Blossom Facial Series, which are available March-May. Book your Spring facial today!



Get Your Skin Winter Ready

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As we get ready to head inside by the fire during these wet and cold months, it is important not to leave our skincare routines on the doorstep.  Tis' the season where those dry and irritating skin conditions may make an appearance, or sensitivity and redness is at an all time high.  As with all good things, healthy skin requires quality care and commitment, especially this time of year.  Find out what you can do to achieve optimal skin this season without needing to battle your way through the elements.

  1. The first factor you can easily control when it comes to maintaining healthy skin this season is: hydration. I know you’ve heard this plenty of times already, but drinking enough water daily is so important. Our skin is the last organ to receive what we ingest, therefore our skin cells need proper nourishment in order to function. TIP: Do you have fine lines or crépey skin under your eyes? This could be a sign that you are H20 deficient. Try drinking some coconut water or a collagen drink to boost up your daily intake.

  1. While we are on the topic of nourishing from the inside-out, it might be time to consider supplementing the skin (and the body) with an omega-3 supplement. This is one of my favourite products to suggest because its chalk-full of amazing benefits for pretty much any skin concern- acne, aging, sensitive/rosacea, even eczema and psoriasis. The key here is to choose quality over quantity. More specifically, the higher the EPA/DHA content of the omegas, the better. My go-to is Bend Skincare Anti-Aging Formula, because it seriously helps to improve skin hydration, elasticity and skin roughness, while providing antioxidant support. Check!

  2. Exfoliation. Now, you may think think I’m going to tell you to scrub your face off on a regular basis, but the truth is: I am very conservative when it comes to this step. One of the biggest things that stuck with me in my Corneotherapy training is that ‘dead skin cells are not dead until they hit the floor’. Preserving our skin barrier is such an integral part of skin health that too much exfoliation (or the wrong type) can damage our skin long term by removing ‘live’ skin cells in need of nourishment. That being said, exfoliating can still be very beneficial. Although I offer more advanced exfoliation in some of my more corrective facials, enzymes are something I use every single session- they digest dead skin cells without acting abrasive. The fun part? You can use these enzymes at home too. Wear them like a mask once or twice a week, and you’ll be glowing in no time.

  3. Lastly, it is worthwhile to take a good look at your serum/moisturizer selection. Have you used moisturizers and felt it made your skin worse? Or perhaps you have a heavy cream that you layer on but it still isn’t doing anything for you? Does your skin feel tight, itchy, or inflamed in the morning or after the shower? Without going into too much detail, the chances are likely that you have either dry OR dehydrated skin. Don’t be fooled- there is a huge difference between the two! A few easy tweaks in your skincare routine could make a huge difference overall if you seek out the proper advice from your skin therapist.

4 Reasons You Need A Facial This Fall

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With the Labour Day weekend now behind us, it is generally a time when most of us settle back into our routines.  It is also a time to consider getting back on track with our skincare regimens if summer plans have derailed some (or all) efforts.  As we shift into this warm and cozy season, learn why you need to get on the facial train this Fall with these helpful tips:

 

1. Our skin has different needs each season.  Just as our bodies crave more warm and hearty foods in the Fall/ Winter, and light and refreshing foods in the Spring/ Summer, our skin has a similar process: It has a life cycle of about 30 days, and usually requires different ingredients in order to keep it functioning optimally year-round.  Regular facials are essential to determine how you should go about your new skin routine, so if you’ve been using that same cleanser or moisturizer for the last 5 years, perhaps it is a good time to reevaluate!

 

2. Reduce post summer acne breakouts.  Ever wonder why your skin seems to feel flawless in the summer, only to sometimes come back with a vengeance in the Fall? There’s a long-held myth that the sun improves acne conditions. Although it certainly appears to, what is really occurring is suppression of the immune system and therefore a reduction in redness in exchange for a tan.  Don’t be confused: this may seem like it is helping, but not only has it decreased the healing process that is crucial for a breakout, it has exposed your skin to more long-term UV damage.  The solution?  Depending on the severity of breakouts, you may either need a consult, or a deep cleansing facial with some LED Light Therapy to get you back on track.

 

3. Repair and Rejuvenate. Whether you did some summer travel, or simply had too much sun exposure, these can be exhausting for the skin and often results in sluggish, dull, and dehydrated skin, with possible discoloration/sun spots.  The key here is to kick-start the rejuvenation process in order to reveal fresh and radiant skin.  Pumpkin is nature’s richest form of vitamin A, and is not only nutritious for the skin, but it encourages healthy cell turnover, and supports collagen formation leaving you glowing and hydrated.  Apple wine extracts also give skin a boost of nutrients and hydration, while offering firming and antioxidant support.  Fall wouldn't be complete without the bounty of beautiful ingredients (and aromas) like these.

 

4. Prep your skin for the holiday season. Fall facials are not only an important step in bouncing back from the previous months as mentioned above, but it is also the perfect time to take care before the upcoming holiday season.  Depending on your skincare goals, most results don’t happen overnight (Although this would be nice, a quick-fix is hugely unrealistic and full of empty promises).  Give yourself the proper care in the Fall, with a series of monthly treatments so that your skin doesn’t suffer doubly later on.  Go on.. slide into those holidays confidently and beautifully! 

 

4 Summer Skin-Saving Tips

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Tofino is no doubt a beautiful place to be in the summer, with a bounty of different activities. Although we can sometimes get stuck under a blanket of fog on even the warmest of days here in our little town, it is important to be mindful of proper skin care during these months. Here are a few tips to keep in mind this season:

  • Wear a physical sunblock vs a chemical one. The difference here is that not only will your skin absorb the ingredients of a chemical SPF, but it will also absorb the harmful UV rays rather than rebound them. 
  • Avoid using coconut oil as sun protection. There are many myths claiming that a variety of oils have natural SPF in it, and this is simply not true.  Not only will it increase your chances of sunburn, but studies prove that using coconut oil on the skin long-term actually starts to breakdown the skin barrier leading to a whole new category of issues.
  • Spend a little extra time cleansing at night.  With the change of season our skin tends to produce more oil, while sweat and sunblock can clog up our pores. 
  • Going traveling? Ensure you have some extra hydration in your carry-on such as a hydrating mist or a hydrating serum like hyaluronic acid.  When we explore new climates, our skin can be slow to adapt to new surroundings, not to mention the oxygen depletion from a flight!