Is there really such a thing as Anti Aging?

This is a universal topic in the beauty can I slow the signs of aging in my skin? There are ads for potions and creams and procedures of every kind that promise to return your youth to you via your skin instantly, some with minimal results, some with no results and all results are temporary. Sadly it is mostly just hype and advertising to sell something that's not likely to deliver on it's promises. The path to slowing the signs of aging of skin is a multi pronged one and there is no one size fits all solution. Best of all, the ultimate result is up to you!

As a licensed skin care professional I do not describe my skin care practices as 'anti aging'. There is a very good reason for that, inevitability...I cannot reverse what is going to happen naturally to every single human being alive...aging. We are all going to age and so is our skin. Even plastic surgery, fillers and Botox can only do so much and all of it is temporary along with ultimately being quite damaging to our skin. In the end plastic surgery for the purposes of 'anti aging' often actually defeats it's original purpose by creating more inflammation in the skin which speeds aging rather than slowing it. The side effects of procedures like Botox and fillers is that they accelerate damage in the skin with repeated use. Have you ever seen pictures of someone who has done a lot of Botox which can create a 'frozen effect' until finally their skin begins to droop? Not exactly anti-aging! How about a face lift that leaves smooth areas on the face surrounded by 'draped skin' over time...again a result that is less than desired and serves to emphasize aging rather than the opposite. This is not to say that plastic surgery can't be of tremendous help to an individual who needs reconstruction after grievous injury or to repair a birth defect or the many other very helpful ways it can help restore an individual and their life to wholeness again. I am talking strictly about voluntary submission to procedures simply for the purpose of 'looking younger' that I believe do far more harm than good in the end. The good news is that we all have the opportunity to make the best choice for ourselves and you should always do what is in your long term best interest!

I describe my professional skin care practice as working with clients to create skin health which in turn creates skin vibrancy and when coupled with consistent effective professional skin care and healthy products for skin care along with good daily habits such as drinking adequate water, consuming skin nourishing food and using a really good probiotic if you have digestive issues creates an environment where skin aging can be slowed in a natural way that does not inflame the body or the skin. When you have luminous glowing with health skin at ANY age it catches people's eyes including your own! Health that radiates from the inside out is the true beauty and when your external glow comes from inside, it's not only visible, it's undeniable! 

The secret of youthful skin begins with YOU and what you do for and to your skin. The first and most important way to preserve your skin is to protect it from damaging sun exposure everyday. It's great to get your Vitamin D naturally and you should do that with the sun but do it in a healthy way. Protecting your skin from excessive sun damage is the number one way to improve your ability to retain skin integrity over the long haul. Sun damage will eventually translate to thinner more fragile skin that loses it's elasticity as well as skin that is heavily pigmented and wrinkled, all of which are aging in appearance. The standard for achieving healthy Vitamin D production in the body naturally is being in the sun before 10 am and after 3 pm no longer than 15-20 minutes without sun protection to absorb the sun's energy which then converts to Vitamin D in our bodies. Sunburns are very damaging to our skin and only one can have long term consequences way down the road. Skin cancer prevalence is at an all time high and skin cancer removal can be quite disfiguring if it's serious enough to require surgery. It makes sense to do what we can to protect our skin from developing what can be a deadly condition. Be sure to have your skin checked yearly for skin cancer, early detection can be a life saver. I had a precious client who developed melanoma after a lifetime of being outside in the sun with no protection. It saddens me to say she succumbed to the cancer as by the time the melanoma was diagnosed it was quite advanced. It left me with a mission to let my clients know how important it is to protect yourself by incorporating sun protection into your daily regimen and getting checked by a doctor regularly.

Another helpful way to work towards slowing signs of aging is to engage in a positive fulfilling things with people you love, spend time with people who stimulate you and pursue happiness everyday in some way that recharges your batteries even if only for a few minutes, like meditating or taking a walk for example. Disconnecting from the constant stream of communication and information much of which is negative in content from our televisions, social media, texting etc, is very healthy for us. When you consider all the time we devote to all the different aspects of our life, too often the one thing we think we can't devote time to is a few minutes of positive action that will greatly increase our satisfaction and happiness in life. Change that and you may find you've changed everything in a very good way! Once you've treated yourself to some down time I predict you'll find 'imbalance' in any form deeply dissatisfying. Good can turn the tide the very moment you decide to do things differently!

Great skin occurs internally and externally, the two are synergistic and symbiotic. If you are what you eat well then surely your skin is the reflection of that internal investment in every way. If you give your skin no support externally through good skin care products for cleansing and hydration it will reflect that neglect over time with dull lackluster appearance. Partnering with a skin care professional who will give you useful and practical information as to what to do to give your skin good healthy care and support is important. And it's important to be as consistent with your skin care as you would be with anything that enhances your health. A thorough consultation with a licensed skin care professional can help you find the products and regimen that fit into your daily life and will help you improve and maintain your skin for life. It's really never too early to begin or too late to start taking proper care of your skin.

This is no time to 'throw in the towel' where aging is concerned. Longevity is at an all time high and the quality of that longevity in my opinion is far more important than anything else.  We never tire of looking our best at any age...what's qualifies as your personal best will be determined more by the quality of your life than a ticking should be encouraged to know that 'anti aging' is an outdated and unrealistic concept whereas healthy vibrant living that is reflected in more than just your face is possible every single day while embracing  the universal life experience of aging! 

Here's to vibrancy that resonates from your head to your toes and in your heart!!

Cindy.....Spa Joli Belle

Sensitive or Sensitized...there's a difference!

The difference between having Sensitive skin versus Sensitized skin is that you are born with sensitive skin and you develop sensitized skin! The one thing that both types often share is a compromised barrier that leaves the skin vulnerable to visible damage such as pigmentation, dehydration, irritation and redness.

If you naturally have sensitive skin you've probably already noticed a number of things about your skin. You've probably noticed that when it comes to doing things to your skin, less is better. You've also likely experienced a reaction or two to products or even professional services. Your skin may redden or feel irritated easily as well. You may have to avoid sun exposure without protection at all times as a sunburn is very painful and it may take your skin a bit longer to recoup when your skin is sensitive. You may also avoid skin care because you think your skin is too sensitive and can't handle it. Just so you know...In the hands of the right skin care professional you can get help to not only identify triggers but also learn about products that will benefit and improve sensitive skin without discomfort or irritation.

If you have 'sensitized' skin it has happened over time as a result of repeated exposure to an irritating substance, product or any number of other skin sensitizers such as suntanning. The skin is our body's largest organ and like other organs in our body is vulnerable to cumulative damage. Sensitized skin is typically triggered when the skin is repeatedly exposed to a substance in the environment or a product that eventually irritates leading to a redness, breakout or a rash that may last for some time. Sensitized skin can develop pigmentation in areas where it is repeatedly irritated as the skin's protective response when it senses the skin is vulnerable is to send lots of melanin to an area it considers 'wounded' hence the development of an area with darkened skin patches.

Often both types of sensitive skin can be dry due to the poor barrier function not binding water or moisture very well to the skin. There are a number of things you can do to minimize the reactivity of sensitive skin. First, if irritation is fairly constant do an elimination skin care regimen. Use only the mildest purest cleanser and moisturizer and a sun protection product that contains physical sun protection ingredients only, no chemicals, to allow the skin time to heal. Sometimes just limiting what goes on the skin will resolve the issue. It will be important to carefully vet all the ingredients in any products used on the skin.  If your sensitizing agent is airborne you may have a tough time isolating just what it is or avoiding it.  Avoid scrubs of any kind on a compromised barrier and be diligent with sun protection.

 As a skin care professional I've dealt with a variety of sensitive skin types with real results. It's important for you to share with any professional skin therapist you have services with exactly how your skin has reacted to products and/or environmental stresses in the past in order for them to properly evaluate the best course to take with your sensitive skin! You may want to see a professional to have your skin assessed and any products you are using on it checked for potential irritants. Here at SJB we use only an organic Holistic medical grade skin care line that has products safe for use on the most sensitive of skin which leaves us confident that we can help your sensitive skin be healthier, hydrated and less irritated!

You can schedule a consultation appointment using the Book Appointment tab if you have questions on how best to identify and handle your Sensitive or Sensitized skin and you'd like to speak with a skin care professional!

The Myth of Exfoliation

We've all heard that we need to 'exfoliate' our skin on a regular basis and there are a zillion products over the counter and used by professionals that will achieve that goal. Even I must admit that until I met the Doctor who created my skin care line I too believed that acids, abrasives and micro-dermabrasion were the gold standard in skin care. I learned new and stunning information after attending a class back in 2013 that completely revised my understanding of how our skin works and what exfoliation does to it. While this new information challenged everything I thought I knew about skin care, it also explained the 'why' of many issues that had puzzled me in my skin care practice when it came to exfoliation. To say that what I learned changed the course of how I practice skin care professionally would be an huge understatement. Add to that my good fortune to have the opportunity to put my new knowledge to work with my fabulous and always ready to experiment clientele and boy have we have achieved some very impressive results! So let's talk exfoliation...

Exfoliation is a natural function of the skin. Skin cells on the epidermal surface dry out and flatten over time and eventually slough off and are replaced by new plump ones. This happens in young skin approximately every 30 days and as we get older it stretches out to 45-90 days. The thinking behind the old way of exfoliating was that you apply a substance that loosens the bond the skin cells have to the surface and viola, new skin cells emerge and our complexion is once again dewy and fresh and the more frequently the better. Here comes the reality of exfoliating with acids, harsh abrasive scrubs and micro-dermabrasion and I'm willing to bet you are NOT hearing this kind of information everywhere....

Forcing exfoliation using any of these methods does two things, it does indeed force the removal of the surface skin cells, even the ones who weren't ready to 'retire' just yet. In forcing cells that were not ready to slough you create 'gaps' in the surface of your skin, your protective epidermal layer.  The 'gap' I refer to occurs because the new skin cells that are to replace the ones that were prematurely removed have yet to reach the surface. Hence the description, 'forced exfoliation'. This leaves our skin vulnerable to more invasive sun and environmental damage which in turn then increases the potential to develop skin irritation, hyper-pigmentation as well as compromise your barrier.  And trust me, you NEED your skin's barrier as intact as possible! 

Almost everyone equates pigmentation with skin that looks aged. In addition to increasing the skin's vulnerability, that acid, harsh abrasive or microdermabrasion has also inflamed your skin to accomplish it's goal of removing skin cells. This generates a process in our skin where our natural intrinsic renewal mechanisms stop doing their 'daily' renewal work and rush off to repair the 'damage' caused by the acid, harsh abrasive or microdermabrasion. This repair process has 4 phases and if the process is interrupted yet again with another exfoliation before completion guess what happens? You got it, you are right back to square one of the repair process. So constant daily or weekly acid, abrasion or micro-dermabrasion type exfoliation methods leaves your skin in constant 'repair' mode rather than 'renewal' mode and those are two very different processes in the skin. To sum it up,  the normal repair processes that renew and keep your skin and it's structures like collagen and elastin healthy and strong must divert to concentrate resources on repairing specific areas where exfoliating damaged our skin. If you are aggressive enough with your skin eventually it will develop pigmentation which is the skin's response to repairing an area it considers 'wounded'. And it goes crazy trying to protect that vulnerable spot! And the craziest thing of all is that we repeatedly do this to our skin because we think it's good for our skin! Did you know that Cellular inflammation internally and externally is the second biggest aging factor after cumulative unprotected sun exposure! We accelerate the aging effect when we essentially 'attack' our skin repeatedly through exfoliating harshly and excessively.  I know you get the craziness of this outdated skin care logic!! As they say...knowing is half the battle!

While it is true that our skin's turnover rate slows as we age, as do many other bodily functions. the really great news about our skin and bodies is that science now shows we can stimulate both to do a more efficient job of healthy aging throughout our lives with the use of products that nurture and nourish rather that damage and deplete it! Through the use of non inflammatory skin care products and facial treatments you are truly are never to old to rejuvenate your skin in a healthy and natural way that will leave everyone wondering what your 'secret' is and bring out your skin's best potential! Of course we are all inevitably aging so there is no stopping that process no matter how much we wish we could, that's where you see the face that's been so Botoxed or Filled that it looks cartoonish and unreal and that isn't the least bit healthy. I'm talking about doing what we can to naturally slow down the aging process in order to be, look and feel as vibrant as possible for as long as possible! Is there a good and safe way to exfoliate? There is! Using an enzyme that only removes the dead skin cells is great for the skin and won't harm your skin and will make it look brighter and fresher and feel smooth and soft. The key is never too often or aggressively and always very gently. Of course never use anything harsh or aggressive on a sunburn or other skin irritation.  Be good to your skin and preserve it by being gentle with it!! As a skin care professional I have access to incredibly sophisticated medical grade products in the Osmosis skin care line that create and encourage natural exfoliation in the skin from the dermis up...the way our skin was designed to do it while nourishing the skin to it's healthiest and most vibrant potential!

  This discovery about the damaging effects of exfoliation were as a result of Dr. Johnson (creator of Osmosis Pur Medical skin care products) observing many years ago as the owner/operator of Medi-Spa's, that his clients skin did not improve as expected even when using what is still today considered cutting edge technology, things like lasers and state of the art acids for example. He decided to find out why. His journey led to his making amazing scientific discoveries about the skin and how it functions that were truly ground breaking and revealed that modern skin care was creating more aging through the use of methods that were well meaning, but very misguided . In fact he discovered that current inflammatory skin care practices were actually advancing aging on the very skin it was supposed to be preventing premature aging in! Dr. Johnson got rid of the Medi-spas and got busy creating the skin care line he has today. Once I learned the science behind this radical approach to skin care, how current exfoliation standards and products were causing more problems than they solved, I immediately ceased using any and all the acids and peels began approaching skin care as an internal AND external issue. Osmosis products are synergistic when applied externally and taken internally. This new information I had and Dr. Johnson's skin care line revolutionized my skin care practice as powerful tools I could utilize to create healthy vibrant skin from the inside out without harming a client's skin to achieve change. I've never looked back. Neither have my fabulous, always ready to experiment clientele who have taken this fantastic journey with me only to end up with really fantastic results and skin they love! 

 I now practice what I refer to as 'transformation' skin care. If you want to transform your skin I can show you how by providing you with professional skin care care and home skin care recommendations that will support your goals. And I can do it without burning, wounding or inflaming your skin but rather through naturally 'stimulating' your skin to do what it was created to do with amazing effectiveness utilizing skin care products and services that truly do...transform skin! 

 If you have questions about how the kind of skin care I practice can benefit your skin  please contact use our Book Appointment tab to book a skin care treatment or consultation appointment! I love working with clients to help them achieve the healthiest most vibrant skin possible for them and I'd love to help you love yours!

Everything you always wanted to know about Brazilians...

A Brazilian wax service is not the kind of service you want to go 'cheap' on in this licensed skin therapist's opinion! This is one of the most requested services and getting it right is so important for so many reasons! Let's demystify Brazilians...

The skill of the person performing your waxing service is perhaps one of the most important aspects of your wax service and if you've ever had a bad experience you'll likely agree! The second most important aspect is that your service should be as sanitary as possible! Does your waxer wear gloves at all times? They should! Do they use a wax stick only once? They better! Do they know what kind of wax to use and where? I would hope so and so should you! Do they look for contraindications for a waxing service? That's a big one and hopefully you'll be in the hands of a professional who'll tell you the truth if they don't think you're a candidate for Bikini/Brazilian waxing! There is so much more to Bikini waxing than just 'dropping your drawers'!

An experienced and prepared Brazilian waxer will have a variety of waxes to effectively remove all types of hair. It's equally important that the proper wax for where the hair removal service is being performed is used. In any case of Brazilian waxing it should be non negotiable for you that your waxer wears gloves and I encourage you to walk away from a professional who doesn't or refuses to even after being asked to do so!

It's also important that you and your waxer have a discussion prior to your first wax service about what kind of wax you want. You need to be very specific as you don't want more or less than the desired amount of hair removed. You should expect to fill out a form asking a variety of questions that may seem personal but is very important information for your waxer to know BEFORE your wax services begins. And you should always feel comfortable asking questions or giving feedback during your service!

When you have a Basic Bikini or Extended Bikini wax you may wear a disposable panty if you so desire that can be held to the side as the waxing progresses. This is not the case with Brazilian waxing. If you are shy this may not be the service for you. You will need to remove your underwear and your waxer will need to access all your private areas to complete a Brazilian wax. You will assist by helping to pull the skin taut, your waxer will guide your hands in assisting, and you will have to assume a variety of positions during your service. A magnifying light is used during the service to check for strays and fine or light colored hair in order to be sure they are removed too. These are routine elements of a wax in the bikini area and if any of this makes you uncomfortable you may want to reconsider!

The hardest question to answer with regard to Brazilian or any Bikini waxing service is 'how much will it hurt'? Pain thresholds are completely subjective and what one person nearly faints from another can practically fall asleep during! The optimal outcome is that your waxer is fast, efficient and knows their stuff to minimize pain while maximizing the speed of the service without compromising quality! And always go with your 'gut', if something makes you uncomfortable about a place, or the cleanliness factor is lacking, or the waxer doesn't inspire confidence right off the bat, don't stop asking questions until you get the answers you seek and if you don't get good answers, by all means go somewhere else!

Here at Spa Joli Belle I perform many waxes every week and have extensive experience and training with all kinds of waxing including Brazilians. I use the highest quality of wax available and have a formula appropriate for every kind of hair and every location that hair is removed. I am quick but very thorough and have fantastic skin prepping and soothing products that I also sell for home use to help you keep the skin in the Bikini area hydrated, soft and healthy and eliminate ingrowns!

At your first appointment you'll fill out a form that we will go over together to determine if there are any contraindications to your requested wax service and it's important that you provide complete answers for not only your safety, but for optimal wax results. Although in my experience I have never had a wax service with complications, full disclosure about the potential risks of waxing in such a delicate area is nonetheless very important for you and your waxer to go over before your wax service begins to insure you are making an informed choice! If you wax regularly it's important to keep to a schedule as this will help over time to weaken the hair so that it eventually grows in finer!

I hope this helps you to understand a bit more about Brazilian waxing! I am always happy to answer your questions should you have them, for your convenience we have a contact form on our 'About Us' page, send us your question and we'll respond just a soon as we can!

You can quickly and easily book your waxing appointment by clicking on the Book Appointment tab! 



Spa Joli Belle 

1110 W Avenue L-12 Suite 1A Lancaster, CA 93534