facial peels

Acne Treatments at Spa Sophia

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Acne, while essentially harmless, can be very hard on your self-esteem. Some of Spa Sophia's own estheticians have struggled with acne, and we have seen the miracles good acne treatment can perform for skin as well as mental wellbeing. That's why we're also an acne treatment spa. Want to know what Spa Sophia's recommendations for acne treatment are? Read on!

What is Acne?

Acne is the buildup of oil and dead skin cells in hair follicles, leading to bumps and inflammation of the skin. Acne is most commonly found on the face, back and neck.

What causes Acne?

Acne is caused by an overproduction of oil in the skin, irregular shedding of skin cells and a consequent build up of bacteria. It's usually genetic. Acne can be worsened by certain other factors though. The biggest one is hormones, such as those in puberty, pregnancy and contraception. Medication and diet can also play a role. Dairy products and products with a high glycemic index can worsen acne. Fatty foods and chocolate however, have never been proven to cause or worsen acne. Direct contact with oily substances, certain cosmetics and skin friction with clothing and objects can also worsen acne.

Acne Treatments at the Spa

There are several acne treatments available at Spa Sophia. They can really increase the appearance of your skin by reducing acne scars and acne. If you come in for the first time we'll always give you a complimentary professional consultation. These are the acne treatments at our spa:

Chemical Peel

facial peel los angeles spa sophia before after venice abbot kinneyChemical peels, also known as facial peels, are a popular acne treatment. They consist of an application of acids on the facial skin, causing it to peel afterwards. Spa Sophia only uses all natural acids. Chemical peels have been shown to reduce acne by 40 to 50% after 4 to 6 peels. On top of reducing acne, chemical peels also reduce the appearance of acne scars. Results last up to several months, after which peels at regular intervals can provide good acne maintenance.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a more gentle version of dermabrasion, and doesn't require any numbing medicine or downtime. It's an exfoliating procedure, where tiny crystals are sprayed on your skin to peel off the outer layer. Microdermabrasion leaves you with a more even complexion, less visible scars, and reduced visibility of acne. We recommend getting multiple microdermabrasion facials for more dramatic results. Three to four sessions get the skin to a good basic level, and one microdermabrasion per month maintains these results.

DNA CryoStem Facial

The DNA CryoStem Cell Facial is Spa Sophia's latest facial and also functions as acne treatment. It's a highly exclusive treatment where your skin will be exfoliated and then treated with cryogenically preserved stem cell serum. This treatment decreases the appearance of fine lines, scarring and acne. You skin cells will essentially be supplied with younger, flawless skin cells that improve the older, existing cells around them. This process continues for up to 6 days after treatment. A set of at six treatments over two months is recommended to reach all the layers of skin.

Over the Counter Acne Treatments

Aside from spa acne treatments, there are also effective over the counter acne treatments. Topical retinoids are probably one of the most effective. Retinoids speed up cell turnover and increase the shedding of dead skin cells, which over time can really improve the structure of your skin. For over the counter retinoids (often called Retinol) it can take up to several months before results start showing. Prescription retinoids (often called Retin-A) book quicker results, but since retinoids can be quite harsh on your skin, it's recommended to slowly ease into it. Spa Sophia's favorite Retinol based acne treatment is s Epicuren’s Retinol Complex. Purchase it at the spa or through our webshop.

Want to book a free acne treatment consult and book a facial? Call Spa Sophia at (310) 564 6676, email us, or book an appointment online.

Skincare in Your 20s

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A good skin care routine requires a little bit of discipline, but most of all: educating yourself. Luckily Spa Sophia is here to help you with that. Skin care in your 20s shouldn't be the same as skin care in your 50s. So what is the best skin care routine for each age group? We'll tell you! Starting with skin care in your 20s...

Skincare in Your 20s Should Be About Prevention

In your 20s skin care should mostly center on prevention, so you won't have to correct damage caused by your habits later on. That means no smoking and applying lots of sunscreen. Smoking decreases the body's ability to produce collagen, which leads to premature wrinkling. Read more about collagen here.

We hope we don't have to elaborate on the importance of sunscreen, but if we do, read this article. Get a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and make sure it's broad spectrum. Then apply it every day. Even when it's overcast. Even when it rains. Epicuren's X-treme Cream Propolis Sunscreen SPF 45+ or Jurlique's Sun Lotion SPF30 are great options. Adopting these habits only will already make you 10 times less wrinkly in the future.

twenties skin care 20sAntioxidants

Antioxidants are part of the skin aging prevention plan, since they protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can inhibit your body's ability to produce healthy skin cells as well as cause many other health issues. Free radicals are all around us in things like gasses, radiation (such as UV) and food. Antioxidants battle these free radicals, so invest in skin creams rich in vitamins and antioxidants. We recommend Epicurens Cxc Vitamin X Complex. For more recommendations on antioxidant skin care products as well as information about free radicals, read this article.

Cleanse

In your twenties there's lots of partying, we get it. That's why a very important part of skin care in your 20's should be cleansing. Wash your face every morning and every night. Gentle, fragrance free cleansers or face washes are the best, especially if they're also moisturizing. We recommend Jurlique's Soothing Foaming Cleanser or Epicuren's Apricot Cream Cleanser. And no matter what you do, never go to sleep with make-up on, ever. Your skin does most of its restoring at night.

Exfoliate & Peel

Exfoliating your skin once to twice a week is a great thing to do for skincare in your 20s. It keeps your skin soft and evens out your complexion. See our personal favorite exfoliating products here. If you suffer from severe breakouts or acne, consider a chemical peel, also known as a face peel. They are deeper than regular peels or scrubs and book great results. For more information on peels go here.

No Hardcore Anti-Aging Products

Products that promise to increase cell turnover, collagen production or elasticity are not necessary for skincare in your 20s. Not even those with anti aging ingredients that actually work. You already have great cell turnover and collagen production. On top of that anti aging products are expensive, and in your 20s could do more damage than good. They can cause irritation, inflammation, and a thinning of the skin. The latter will actually make your skin age faster, since it becomes more susceptible to UV radiation.

Those are our recommendation for a skin care routine in your 20s. Want to know what to do in your 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s? Keep an eye on this website! And no matter what age, facials are always great for your skin. Book one now, or make an appointment by calling (310) 564 6676 or emailing us.

4 Anti-Aging Ingredients That Really Work

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Anti-aging creams are plentiful, but sadly not many of them have been proven to cause any long term effects. We have seen first-hand the miracles of a good facial and skin care regimen though, and want to help you find products with anti-aging ingredients that work. So before you buy any more expensive anti-aging creams, read about our 4 anti-aging ingredients that work, really!

1. Retinoids

We've already gone in depth about retinoids in one of our previous posts, because retinoids are one of the few anti-aging ingredients that work according to scientific research. Retinoids increase collagen production and cell turnover and unclogs pores, which gives you a plump skin that is smoother and brighter.

What to Buy

Prescription retinoids are the most effective, but derivatives such as Retinol, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro and Renova also work, just more slowly. Anti-aging creams with these ingredients may take up to 12 weeks to show results. One of Spa Sophia's favorites is Epicuren's Retinol Complex, you can buy it at our web store or at the spa. If you decide to start with retinoids allow your skin to adjust though, as retinoids can dry out skin and cause irritation. Last but not least, don't layer retinoids with benzoyl peroxide or alpha hydroxy acids because they will cancel out the effects.

2. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's)

Alpha Hydroxy Acids are natural acids found in fruits and dairy. They work as an exfoiliant by dissolving the glue that holds dead skin cells together, exposing new, fresh skin. This leads to decreased skin discoloration, smoother skin and smaller looking pores. Repeated peels can even improve skin structure. That's why Spa Sophia offers a Facial Peel, and also includes peels in many  facials. You can even buy a Facial Peel package for repeated peels.

What to Buy

The AHA anti-aging ingredients that work are usually listed as glycolic, malic, citric or lactic acids. Our favorites are Epicuren's Clear Glycolic Face Peel 5%Glycolic Lotion Face Peel 10%, Glycolic Lotion Face Peel 5% and Pumpkin Apple Spice Peel.  Do a peel once to twice a week, depending on how sensitive your skin is. Don't buy cleansers with AHA's though. The acids won't be on your skin long enough for a peel to have effect.

3. Anti-Oxidants

Anti-Oxidants don't really remedy aging skin so much as they prevent skin from aging. Anti-oxidants protect your body from free radicals: molecules that cause cell damage and aging. For more in-depth information on what anti-oxidants are and how they work, check our article on Anti-Axodiants.

What To Buy

Vitamin C, green tea, vitamin E, ferulic acid, phloretin and coenzyme Q10 (sometimes listed at CoQ10) are a few powerful anti-oxidants. In terms of products, Spa Sophia recommends Hylunia's Anti-Oxidant Vitamin Mask and Ultimate Anti-Oxidant. The best way to go about including anti-oxidants in your skin care regimen is to just use a combination of different ones. You can also get anti-oxidants through your dieat by eating fruits and vegetables. Make sure you store your anti-oxidant products in a dark, cool place, because warmth and sunlight can make them decay.

4. Sunscreen

More than 90 percent of wrinkles, dark spots and loss of skin elasticity is caused by sun exposure. We've already gone in depth about the do's and don'ts of sunscreen in our Sunscreen & Sunblock article but we can't emphasize it enough: Wear sunscreen. It's one of the best anti-aging ingredients that work. Sunscreen won't repair aging skin but it will stop your skin from aging, or prevent aging altogether.

What To Buy

Get either a sunblock or broad spectrum sunscreen, and put it on every day before you step outside. Get one with a minimum SPF of 30, and realize that make-up or lotions with sunscreen in them are usually not strong enough. If you spend the day outside, re-apply your sunscreen every hour. Check out Spa Sophia's recommended sun protection products here.

These are the anti-aging ingredients that work according to science thus far, but that doesn't mean there aren't others out there that have potential. Epidermal Growth factor has some mixed yet positive research results, and Hyaluronic Acid has been shown to draw an amazing amount of moisture to your skin, which is always good. Also realize that while most beauty products on the market may not cause long term anti-aging benefits, they may still improve the way your skin looks and feels for the day!

Check out Spa Sophia's Facials to jumpstart your skin transformation and get a consultation on what skin products are best for you.