Back to school: Is Your Child’s Skin an Added Source of Stress?

Going back to school can be an incredibly exciting time – and can also be a time filled with anxiety, insecurities and fear. Especially so for pre-teen and teenagers who are prone to acne. About 8 out of 10 preteen and teens have acne, and it’s consider a normal part of growing up.  Whether it is a mild case or a serious ongoing problem, no one is happy with it, and it can have seriously debilitating social consequences.

We parents do what we can – buying the latest products, reminding kids to wash their face, don’t pick, don’t touch, get your hair pulled back, stop eating greasy foods. Who hasn’t said at least one of those things? And what do kids do? Give you the look, roll their eyes, sigh and say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

The best thing I did for my son when he was 14 was to bring him to an esthetician for a Teen Facial. He wasn’t at all thrilled with the idea, but I told him if he wanted to get rid of the acne that had started on his face, he needed to talk to a professional. (Obviously, he wasn’t listening to my sage advice about washing his face and not eating so many French fries.)

The esthetician welcomed him and explained what acne is in words that he could understand. She simply explained that pores can get clogged up with extra oil, dead skin cells and germs. Germs are bacteria and can spread when touched. Pretty simple. Not his fault; it’s just something that happens and it can be improved without pain or spending too much time on it.

It made perfect sense to him that he needed to wash his skin to clean the bacteria and not to touch it to prevent it from spreading. She recommended a benzoyl peroxide wash and spot treatment for the tough areas. And that was it. From then on, he washed his face, he didn’t touch it and his acne problem was resolved. Sure, he still had occasional breakouts, but he knew what to do to keep it from getting worse. His was a fairly simply case, but it could’ve blossomed into something more severe if he hadn’t had the professional direction from someone other than Mom.

I encourage you to take your teen or preteen to an esthetician for direction and support. Consider giving a Teen Facial as a gift to a niece, nephew, or grandchild; it can really help relieve teen stress and increase self-esteem which is crucial in their defining years.

Wishing you a smooth back-to-school season!

Patti Rice,

Owner, The Spa ~ Los Gatos

Waxing: The Challenges and the Benefits

by Patti Rice

I’ll admit that I don’t know of anyone who actually enjoys having hair ripped out by the roots. But, I still recommend waxing as it is one of the most effective hair removal options available. It can actually reduce hair growth long term and leaves you hair-free for a much longer period of time than shaving does. Now that summer is in full swing, I thought now would be a good time to share some waxing tips and advice.

Because of the difference in hair growth and texture, time of waxing sessions varies from person to person. If you have not been waxed before or it has been several months, it may take a little more time than if you were waxed regularly. Hair needs to be at least one-quarter inch in length to be waxed, so don’t do your esthetician any favors by shaving or trimming before your appointment. Avoid using any fragrances or lotions immediately before your appointment, and plan to stay out of the sun for 48 hours or so after – that skin is tender!

If you are a first time recipient of this lovely service, or if you haven’t been waxed in a long time, you may experience a rash or bumpiness. In most cases, this should subside in two to five days. A topical ointment with aloe and cortisone can subdue the irritation and aid the healing. If you experience ingrown hairs, those can be lessened with the use of specialty products such as Hovan’s Gold when applied topically every day. Also, your skin may not feel totally smooth with the first waxing. Depending on your hair texture, you could feel the next set of growth coming in behind – hair grows in three cycles. This is normal! This will lessen after two to three waxings. Your hair will then begin to come in at the same rate, softer, smoother and usually somewhat diminished.

With the potential of these uncomfortable and unsightly results, I highly advise that if you are planning a special event such as a wedding, vacation or special evening out, you schedule an appointment well before the special event! This will give your skin a chance to adjust to the new procedure and you can plan forward to the perfect timing sequence for your last waxing appointment before the big day. Having a full Brazilian Wax for the first time the day before you leave on your honeymoon is NOT a good idea!

Be sure your esthetician knows if you are using any retinols, glycolics, anti-aging products, or antibiotics such as Accutane, Retin-A, or Tetracycline that might affect skin sensitivity. Be honest! Otherwise you might experience unnecessary skin irritation or even slight tearing. Respect the advice of your esthetician – she only wants the best for you.

A couple tips on how to make it a little less painful: If you can take Ibuprofen, do so before the appointment.   After is okay, too, but why not reduce the discomfort in advance? Do not schedule waxing during your menstruation cycle – many women are just more sensitive during this time. And my favorite – treat yourself to your favorite dessert after your appointment!

Enjoy summer!

Girls Night Out – Spa Style!

It’s not very often, being that we are a Spa, we get the change to throw a big, fun, outdoor party. Mostly our daily goal is to relax and sooth our clients while we help them with their wellness and beauty goals. So, when we do have a chance to step up the energy level a notch, we like to do it big!

To that end, we are hosting a “Girls Night Out” the evening of Thursday, August, 6 at the amazing Regale Winery and Vineyards. (Those of you who were able to attend our anniversary party last year know how very special this location is, and how much fun we have there.) It’s going to be an evening that celebrates wine, women and spa – a chance to have an exceptional time with your friends while being entertained with wine, food, makeup, jewelry, fashion shows, mini spa and hair style services, as well as hair and skin evaluations and guidance by some of the top pros in the business. And, for those who need a little retail therapy, you’ll be happy to find that some boutiques will have offerings available for sale.

The evening is structured to be lighthearted and laid back. We’re limiting ticket numbers to avoid crowding and each tickets includes your first glass of wine and a choice of food entree provided by Talula Bay Catering (yes, delicious.) There will be plenty of complimentary food trays sprinkled throughout the areas as well, because we know food and fun always go better together. Oh, and raffles, everybody loves the products we give away and it is such a thrill for us to hand over a basket full of spa goodies to some lucky attendee, we won’t forget the raffle baskets!

So, a big “cheers” to summertime, laughter and friends. After all, they’re some of the best stress relieving therapies of all!

(For event details and tickets go to: http://thespaoflosgatos.com/Girls_night_out_spa.html)

A special thanks to the businesses taking part in creating this special event:

  • Talula Bay Catering
  • NuFace
  • Jan Marini Skin Research
  • Jane Iredale Makeup
  • Kismet Boutique
  • Time Out Clothing
  • Lauratas Jewelry
  • Kerastase Paris
  • AQUA Hair Salon
  • Regale Winery and Vineyards
  • Rendezvous Wine Bar

GNO_spa-style

A Spa Gift Card for Father’s Day?

Though many people consider the gift of spa for women, when it comes to men this wonderful gift option is often overlooked.

Long gone is the time when day spas were considered women-only territory. Men have caught onto the wide range of benefits from both skin and body therapies and realize that the effects gained by regular spa visits help them greatly with things ranging from feeling sharp for the big meeting to a better swing on the golf course.

No longer considered just “pampering,” as proven time and time again by qualified studies, spa treatments are a perfect way to take time out for yourself (whether male or female) while enjoying the benefits of services focused on individual needs and goals. The “tough it out” attitude of many men can get in the way of their scheduling a massage to relieve aches and pains or disperse built up stress. Often times, a spa gift card is the only way to get them to take the time needed for themselves.

We’re pleased to be in an industry that helps people feel and look better and take special pride in being able to help people feel their best physically and mentally. So, if you’re having trouble deciding what might be a great gift for the special man in your life, we hope you’ll consider The Spa. We have a full line up of services design just for them! (Visit http://thespaoflosgatos.com/formen.html to check them out.)

FATHER”S DAY IS SUNDAY, JUNE 21st
http://thespaoflosgatos.com/GiftCards.html

Are “Instant” Anti-Aging Results Possible?

Visible anti-aging results in as little as 5 minutes? We were skeptical. We at The Spa ~ Los Gatos have a “prove it to us” attitude when it comes to products and non-invasive procedures that claim to have “instant” result that are impressive and readily apparent. We carry the most well-researched and respected brands because we want them to produce results, not empty promises.

So, when the NuFace representative was given some time to show us their Trinity Pro model, which is a device that uses microcurrent technology to lift and tighten the muscles of the face while deeply infusing the skin with nutrients, we were excited and exceedingly pleased with the results. They were quite impressive after only 5 minutes!

We found using the Trinity Pro is not uncomfortable at all, the device is affordable, well made, simple to use and the results are surprising. And, much like the results you see when working out at a gym; with constant use at home the resulting benefits remain longer and look even better.

We have adopted this great little device. (If you have an event that you want to look particularly well put together for in the evening, a morning spa service including microcurrent in the hands of one of our well-trained estheticians WILL make a difference.) And, we’re very excited to offer the same version we use in the treatment room for you to take-home. (The Trinity Pro device that we are offering you as a retail purchase and using in our services is a bit different than the models you can find online. For the same price as the regular Trinity model, the Trinity Pro has more amperage and offers a longer warranty.)

The NuFace website has some detailed pages, with videos, on how it works and how to use it. Take a moment to see how simple it is for yourself by visiting https://www.mynuface.com/blogs/how-to-use/17252688-the-5-minute-facial-lift.

Or, better yet, ask one of our estheticians to explain and show it to you. We think you’ll fall in love with it just as we did!

The Anti-Aging Powerhouse Everyone Should be Using

by Patti Rice, Owner, The Spa ~ Los Gatos

As the owner of a well known day spa, I am often times asked, “What is the most important thing you can do to help your skin stay younger looking?”

There is an extraordinary variety of products, technological breakthroughs, and treatments employed in the battle on aging skin, but I would have to honestly say the number one thing you can do is use sunscreen. Yes, that simple. Preventing damage caused by the sun by using a powerful, effective sunscreen is the singular most important anti-aging habit you can cultivate.

These days there are some excellent choices in facial sunscreen; it’s no longer necessary to have a nose covered in glaring white zinc oxide.  Now you can choose from a variety of SPF levels, tinted lotions, physical blocks, and luxurious smelling options – for both men and women. (Yes, it is just as important for men to use sunscreen as it is for women.) I cannot stress it enough – get a good quality sunscreen and use it every day. Every single day – rain or shine. My personal favorite is Jan Marini’s Daily Face Protectant, SPF33.  Smells wonderful, luxurious feeling as you put it on and is actually provides a very nice base for make up. It is my husband’s first choice as well. Many people also like the Epicuren line as it is all-natural and feels nice (not greasy or heavy) on the skin.

For those of us who already have sun damage (I do, from growing up in Santa Cruz – where baby oil for the skin and lemon juice for the hair were standard beach supplies), quality skincare products at home are powerful tools to help reduce the visual effects of damage already done.

With so many product lines to choose from – drug store brands, department store lines, professional brands at spas and skin care stores, the latest fads touted by celebrities – it could be a full time job figuring out which one would work best for you. My recommendation is to stay away from fads and trust well-established, researched professional lines. The cheapest choice isn’t always the best value.  The most substantial difference between professional skin care and drug/department store lines is the percentage of the active ingredients. The professional lines usually cost more because there is a much higher level of active ingredients and this usually ends up being a better value because you actually use less and get better results.

By all means, get outside and enjoy the day, but please remember to make sunscreen a part of your every day skin protection ritual!