Back to School Checklist

Books, backpacks, new clothes, dorm gear…you’re on it! But what about a plan for clear skin? Book a little spa time will send them back looking great!

Teen Facials (for ages 16 and under): When hormones start ramping up, both oil and cell turnover go into overdrive. And it takes time for the skin to figure out what the heck to do with it all. So you end up with is a face full of oil trapped under layers and layers of dead skin cells, A.K.A a fun-fest of bumps, blackheads, and pimples. Our teen facials are designed for the needs of young skin, and include instruction on how to care for teen skin at home.

Express Facials (over 16 years): In your 20s, it’s all about starting good habits that minimize bad ones…like drinking, staying out late, eating poorly, and stressing out over college. Oh the memories! Our Express Facials can help unclog pores, minimize breakouts, and counteract sun exposure that leads to damage down the road.

Waxing: Brows, lips, legs, and more, we specialize in professional hair removal. We use the highest quality waxing products to minimize irritation, along with the utmost sensitivity and discretion during all procedures.

And let’s not forget mom and dad! Now that the kids are back in the books you have a little more time to take care of you! Book a massage and/or a facial for yourself. You deserve it!

Summer Skin S.O.S.

5 Tips for Surviving the Season

Hurray for summer! Blue skies. Longer days. And tons of fun in the sun. But while you’re soaking it up, your skin is suffering. Here are a few tips to minimize sun damage and stay safe all season long.

Hydrate: Inside and Out. Did you know that the average adult loses 2-4 liters of water every day? So obviously, you need to consume more H2O to stay hydrated in the summer. But the water you drink can’t penetrate through the dead skin cell layers of the Epidermis. Try a moisturizing mask and a toner/spritzer to keep your skin hydrated, too.

Change Your Moisturizer. As temperatures and humidity rise, your oil production goes into overdrive. Swap your rich winter cream to a lightweight moisturizer to help keep skin balanced.

Use a Vitamin C Serum. The sun can do some serious damage. In addition to increasing the risk of skin cancer, it breaks down collagen, darkens brown spots, and creates free radicals that wreak havoc on healthy cells. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help filter UV rays and counteract the sun’s negative effects.

Use Sunscreen. Whether you burn or tan, are light skinned or dark skinned, you’re susceptible to sun damage. Protect yourself with an SPF 30 that has both physical and chemical ingredients. And remember, sunscreen does not replace your moisturizer so make sure you’re using both. To learn more about sunscreen, check out our blog.

Treat Sunburned Faces Immediately. To calm a sunburn, use a bag of frozen veggies or put ice in a plastic bag and apply. Don’t put ice cubes or cold water directly on the skin. To prevent peeling, try a soothing aloe mask and extra moisturizer. And don’t pick at blisters or peeling skin or the skin might scar.

Ritual Day Spa’s Bride Guide

HOW TO LOOK YOUR BEST ON YOUR BIG DAY.

If you’re a bride-to-be, chances are you’re using one of those countdown checklists that tell you what to do every month leading up to your wedding. When to buy your dress. When to book the venue. When to find a photographer. But most lists don’t include any schedule on how to get “you” ready for the big day. Until now…

12 MONTHS PRIOR

Get Monthly Facials: Make up artists can cover a lot, but wouldn’t you rather have glowing skin? Getting monthly facials can help correct physical flaws like acne and brown spots so you’ll look your best on your big day.

Change Your Regimen: Your at-home products might be just fine under normal circumstances. But this is your wedding! You need to make sure you’re using the right products to achieve your skin care goals. And there’s no better person to help you chose them than an esthetician.

6 MONTHS PRIOR

Start Shaping Your Brows: Nothing frames your face like great brows. But great brows take time. Since you may need to grow them in or start training them in the right direction, see your esthetician as early as possible.

Get Monthly Back Facials: Most dresses show a little skin. And you don’t want blemishes, pigmentation, or dry patches stealing the show. Back facials can help clear things up so you’ll look flawless from every angle.

3 MONTHS PRIOR

Start Getting Monthly Massages: Planning a wedding is stressful. And extra stress can take its toll on both your body and your skin. Monthly massages can help alleviate the mental pressure and keep Bridezilla at bay.

Start Waxing: No doubt you’ll want to be hair-free and carefree on the big day. But if you’re not a regular waxer, you need start now to ensure your skin gets used to it. Plus, starting to wax a few months prior helps the hairs sync up so you’ll stay smoother longer. Arms, legs, lip, bikini–we do it all!

1 MONTH PRIOR

Book Your Spa Bridal Shower: Who doesn’t love a little pampering? Ritual Day Spa is the perfect venue to host your friends and family for a bridal shower that’s truly unique.

Pregnancy and the Skin

Not everyone gets the “glow!”

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how pregnancy affects your skin. The baby news may be joyful, but the problems that follow are anything but.

Acne. If you don’t have acne-prone skin, then you probably won’t break out during your pregnancy. If you do, then it often depends on where your normal hormone levels lie. Thus, if you tend to be a little heavier on the androgen side, then being pregnant with a girl can reduce breakouts. On the other hand, being pregnant with a boy can lead to excess oil production and make your breakouts worse. But don’t despair! There are plenty of baby-safe treatments to try:

Yes: Low-dose Benzoyl Peroxide, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Sulfur Masks, Microdermabrasion, High Frequency
No: Accutane, Tetracycline, Retinols, Salicylic Acid

Pigmentation. During pregnancy, many moms-to-be see an increase in pigmentation called Melasma or Chloasma. Caused by a rapid increase in melanin production triggered by rising estrogen levels, these patchy brown spots are usually temporary and can be treated safely with a number of different ingredients:

Yes: Azelaic Acid, Vitamin C, Kojic Acid, Arbutin
No: Hydroquinone, Retinol, Sun Exposure

Eczema/Dermatitis. Pregnancy hormones and increased blood flow will often make your skin more sensitive. If you start to see dry patches or flare ups, try one of these anti-inflammatory treatments:

Yes: Chamomile, Calendula, Coal Tar, Antihistamines, Oatmeal
No: Cyclosporine, Protopic, Elidel, Alcohol, Harsh Detergents

Of course, check with your doctor if any concerns arise.

Spring Clean Your Skin Care Routine

YOUR WARDROBE ISN’T THE ONLY THING YOU NEED TO CHANGE.

It’s spring! Time to box those boots, store those sweaters, and clean those corners. But what about your personal products? Since your skin changes with every season, it’s the perfect time to change your skin care routine, too.

Throw Out Old Products. Most lotions and potions have a one to two-year shelf life, but cluttering your cabinets with products you’re “saving for later” is just not worth it. Bacteria could grow. Expiration dates could pass. And efficacy could degrade. Toss ’em! Like that box of Benadryl that expired in 2010 and those pants that “may fit again one day.”

Switch Your Moisturizer. Dry winter skin caused by heaters, ski trips, and colder climates clearly calls for a heavier moisturizer. But the temperate weather and humidity of spring means your oil production should normalize, and you’ll want a lightweight moisturizer to keep things balanced.

Trade Your Retinol for Peptides. Retinol is the gold standard for anti-aging. But using it during sunny seasons can be dangerous, increasing the likelihood of pigmentation and chemical burns. Spring is a great time to switch to a peptide product that will continue triggering collagen production without the risks of retinol.

Get a Facial. There’s no better way to prep your skin for spring than with a facial. Slough off dead cell buildup, clear out impactions, and get advice on what your skin needs this season.

New You X2

THESE POPULAR RESOLUTIONS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN, TOO.

Efficient? Productive? Multitasker? If these adjectives describe you, then you need a New Year’s Resolution that pulls double-duty. Check out these suggestions below. At face value, they’re clearly good for you. But the kicker is that they’re good for your skin, too.

Stop Smoking. Next to sun exposure, smoking is the biggest provocateur of premature aging. It asphyxiates the skin, which causes clogged pores, collagen breakdown, wrinkles, and a dull, lackluster appearance. Also, the constant puckering creates vertical lip lines that are impossible to erase.

Eat Better. Carbs and sugar kick-start a process called glycation, whereby sugar molecules bind to protein structures in your skin. This makes them weak and dysfunctional, which surfaces as wrinkles, sagginess, and a loss of radiance. They also cause a spike in blood sugar, which triggers the hormones that stimulate oil production and breakouts.

Quit Drinking. Excess imbibing has been linked to Rosacea, dehydration, and not washing your face before bed–all of which lead to inflammation that can break down collagen, create wrinkles, and provoke acne.

Get More Sleep. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body increases its production of a hormone called cortisol. And when your cortisol levels get too high, inflammation ensues. This can trigger acne and eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. Additionally, the resulting dehydration from too few ZZZZs causes puffy eyes and dark circles.

Take More Time Off. Countless studies have been done on the effect of stress on the skin. And they all say the same thing: stress causes a chemical response in your body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive. So book that extra vacation. Spend a “sick day” at the spa. Your face will thank you!

Seeing Red?

5 TIPS FOR TREATING SENSITIVE SKIN

Everyone loves a sensitive soul. But sensitive skin? That’s a different story. Understanding what causes inflammation is the first step to stop seeing red.

1. Determine If You Are Sensitive or Sensitized. The root of your redness will determine how to treat it. “Sensitive” skin is red due to internal factors like hormones, diet, and DNA. It can manifest in a general ruddy complexion, reactivity to certain products and foods, or varying degrees of Rosacea. And chances are, other family members have it, too.

On the contrary, “sensitized” skin is red due to external factors that compromise the skin’s natural barrier. Daily habits and environmental factors like the overuse of harsh ingredients, product allergies, changing weather conditions, and sun damage can all cause unnecessary redness.

3. Don’t Use “Natural” or “Organic” Products. People with sensitive skin often turn to “natural” products because they mistakenly believe that what’s safe to eat is safe for the skin. But these products have an inappropriate pH for skin that can trigger allergies, creating even more redness and inflammation.

4. Don’t Overuse Harsh Ingredients. Having sensitive skin can make you more prone to other conditions like excessive dryness, wrinkles, and acne. And the typical treatments for these facial flaws can break down the skin’s barrier function. Heavy oils, glycolic acids, and retinols are all off limits.

5. See an Esthetician. Sensitive skin not only looks and feels bad, it can cause all kinds of problems if left unchecked. Effective treatment requires finding the right balance of active and soothing ingredients, and a professional esthetician can help. Book an appointment today.

Aging Gracefully

Skin Care in Your 60s, 70s, and Beyond

Have you ever noticed that skin care after 50 seems publicly non-existent? After a certain number of birthdays, the world stops talking to you. No more products, no more articles, no more advertising. It’s like they assume you stop caring about your skin. Let’s change that!

Everyone ages differently. But certain conditions like dryness, thinness, age spots, wrinkles, and sensitivity are common for most. It’s easy to look in the mirror and think, “maybe it’s too late.” But the key is not to focus on younger skin, but on healthy skin.

1. Cleanse. Cleansing your skin morning and night is just as important in your 70s as it is in your 20s. Choose products that remove oils without stripping your skin. Suffering from menopausal acne? Try a cleanser with alpha-hydroxy acid twice a week.

2. Exfoliate. Your skin is constantly regenerating, but cell turnover slows significantly as years go by. Gentle exfoliation can help speed up the process by sloughing away dead skin and pushing damaged cells up and out. Facing dark spots? Consider a daily spot treatment with hydroquinone.

3. Smooth. The key to creating a smoother-looking complexion is moisturizing. Consider double-duty formulations that contain a humectant (to draw in water) and a sealer (to prevent it from evaporating). Incorporating retinols and antioxidants like coenzyme Q10 and vitamins C and E can also help minimize skin imperfections by increasing collagen production.

4. Protect. Sunscreen use can significantly slow the signs of aging, so slather up. It’s important to use a product with broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher every day. And see your dermatologist if you experience any rough patches, pimples that don’t heal, or bumps that bleed easily.

To Peel or Not to Peel? That is the Question.

(OR QUITE POSSIBLY THE ANSWER)

When I ask people to tell me about their skin care regimens, the one step most often missing is exfoliation. Everybody understands the importance of cleansing, moisturizing, and sunscreening…but exfoliating? Why bother? Well, exfoliation is probably the most important thing that you can do to keep your skin healthy.

Teens. When hormones start ramping up, both oil and cell turnover go into overdrive. And it takes time for the skin to figure out what the heck to do with it all. The result is a face full of oil trapped under layers and layers of dead skin cells, A.K.A a fun-fest of bumps, blackheads, and pimples. Exfoliation helps keep dead skin from building up so pores remain open, oil flows freely, and no bacteria can grow.

20s-30s. College, jobs, kids…the 20s and 30s truly define the term, “stress.” And with stress comes hormonal fluctuations that create an unbalanced ecosystem of oil production alongside dehydration. Additionally, our busy lives often lead to a lack of self-preservation. Exfoliation can help our products penetrate better in order to protect healthy cells from environmental damage.

40s-50s. As our skin ages, cell turnover slows way down. What used to take 21 days now takes 35 days or more. Meanwhile, time has left lots of dead, damaged skin cells sitting around making pores look larger, sun spots darker, and fine lines less “fine.” Just like a snake, we need to shed that outer layer to reveal the beautiful skin beneath. Exfoliation triggers the underlying tissues to produce new, healthy cells so that old, damaged cells will take a hike.

What are my exfo options?
From at-home scrubs and enzymes to in-spa peels and microdermabrasion, there are many options to choose from. All options come in different formulations and intensities, so let your esthetician pick the best one for you. It just might be the answer you’re looking for.

Friendly Fare

Eating Your Way to Better Skin.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “you are what you eat.” Sure…we get it. Eating well and drinking lots of water lead to a healthier body. Not a lot of argument needed. But what some of us don’t realize is how much food affects our skin.

Try These:

Salmon. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fishes like Salmon help combat inflammation that can break down collagen and elastin. They also strengthen the cell membranes, allowing the cells to hold more moisture for a brighter, plumper, and more youthful complexion. Can’t stomach this seafood staple? Try fish oil supplements instead.

Kale. Kale is one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that absorb and neutralize the free radicals created by UV rays. It’s also rich in Vitamin K, which helps diffuse dark under-eye circles. Plus, just one cup gives you your entire day’s requirement of skin-firming Vitamins A and C.

Dark Chocolate. This sweet treat is rich in cocoa flavanols, plant compounds that help protect your skin from UV damage, fight free radicals, and increase blood flow. Dark chocolate also helps reduce stress hormones that can lead to collagen breakdown (wrinkles) and excess oil production (acne).

Avoid These:

Dairy. Lactose intolerance isn’t the only side effect of your love affair with dairy. While yogurt, milk, and other items have plenty of health benefits, certain hormones in dairy products may stimulate the overproduction of oil that can lead to clogged pores and pimples.

Sugar. Cake. Cookies. Alcohol. Certain sweets kick-start a process called glycation, whereby sugar molecules bind to protein structures in your skin. This makes them weak and dysfunctional, which shows up on the surface as wrinkles, sagginess, and a loss of radiance.

Gluten. Oh sigh…how I love my bread. But high glycemic-index foods have been linked to both acne and wrinkles. First, they cause a spike in blood sugar, which triggers the hormones that stimulate oil production and breakouts. Second, just like sugar, they trigger collagen breakdown through the glycation process discussed above.

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