I am SO excited about this blog post, and I am thrilled that so many of you messaged me with your skincare questions. I know a ton of women (including myself) who struggle with their skin. It’s either too oily or too dry, you’re noticing fine lines developing or dark lines under your eyes. Hormone changes in pregnancy can wreak havoc on your skin (ask my hubby how my face, back and chest looked during my first pregnancy.. I had large welts ALL over, it was awful). 

I recently visited The Sanctuary Day Spa in Waterloo, ON for a Mother’s Day gift to my mom. It was heavenly! While I was receiving my incredible Age Summum Anti-Aging Facial, I was asking my Skin Specialist, Olivia ALL about skincare. I was overwhelmed with how educated she was, and she clearly had a passion for educating her clients – no question was too much. 

For those who haven’t visited The Sanctuary Day Spa (they have four locations – click here to find the closest one to you), I highly recommend doing so. They focus on providing the latest skincare and wellness advancements, and the therapists at The Sanctuary Day Spa are extremely well versed when it comes to everything skincare and wellness.

While I was there, I tried the amazing Age Summum Anti-Aging Facial which uses dermabrasion peeling, pro-collagen and hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of fine lines. It was heavenly, and I love the results. I also tried their signature body treatment called the Magnada Ritual. It incorporated dry brushing (if you haven’t tried this, you need to) with soothing massage. The treatment aims to exfoliate, increase circulation and release fatty deposits which aids in flushing metabolic waste. It was AMAZING! My mom and I finished with a pedi.

Skincare can be so overwhelming. I constantly hear different terms used in the product world, and I never know which are actually going to make a difference and truly  work. Well, Olivia my incredible Skincare Therapist has all of the answers below!

1. What is your advice for a 20-something who is just beginning to pay attention to her skincare regime?

Start off small. Your staple items should start with a great cleanser, exfoliant and moisturizer. When you get comfortable using these items on a day-to-day basis, you can start adding in treatment type products like serums, face masks and AHA’s.

Proper hydration to the skin is key to preventative maintenance. Another very important thing for young people to understand is that their eyes start aging quickly! Even in your 20s, it’s beneficial to look into using a hydrating eye cream. Remember, everyday sun exposure is the quickest way to age yourself if you’re not protected. Wear an SPF of 25+ EVERYDAY! 

2. What is the best type of skin care product (or regime) for under eye bags and circles? Think – That dreaded eye puffiness in the morning!

 The foods we eat can wreak havoc to our faces, especially to the under eye. High sodium intake throughout the day will lead to water retention. You may notice the under eye is really puffy the morning after a salt binge (chips before bed, anyone)?

The best way to prevent puffiness is by drinking lots of water to flush the body of toxins, apply a soothing eye cream, and perform some lymphatic drainage massage techniques. Using your ring finger, lightly sweep or tap outwards from the corner of the eye to release lymphatic fluid. Do this gently about 10-15 times when applying your eye products.

As far as products go, you’re best pairing is a serum topped with an eye cream. Great on their own, but together make a dynamic duo. The type of products will depend on your skin type and specific concerns. 

3. What ingredients should we be using for fine lines and wrinkles? What are some things to consider? 

Peptides are fantastic when it comes to stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, which give that skin a bouncy, plump appearance. Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient known to hold 1000x it’s weight in moisture, talk about a plumping affect!

Vitamin C/ L-absorbic acid is a great antioxidant. They have the ability to mildly exfoliate the skin, protect against oxidative stress, brighten and increase collagen and elastin in the skin.

With that said, a true superhero ingredient for fine lines in my opinion is Retinol. It’s a powerful exfoliant, not only rejuvenating and increasing cellular turnover, but it stimulates growth hormone which allows collagen and elastin to thrive. Start small though, as Retinol is an active ingredient that can irritate the skin if it’s used too often or when the concentration is too high to start.

4. What is the best type of product for age spots or sun damage?

Sun spots are a very difficult issue to reverse. Unfortunately, when it comes to major correction, you’re best off looking into various corrective treatments. This would include chemical peels, intense pulse light, micro needling, etc.

Some favorable ingredients for brightening are lactic acid and vitamin C, or any tyrosinase inhibitors. With proper concentration, these ingredients can definitely reduce the appearance of sun spots, but for complete results, your best outlet is to start a skin treatment plan with your skin therapist. 

5. What do you recommend for facial inflammation/overall puffiness? 

If you’re someone who suffers with inflammation, chances are you may have pink/redness tones to the skin, or have difficulties with skin irritation. This may be a cause of rosacea, eczema, dermatitis  or other underlying issues within the body. Sometimes this can be addressed with skin treatments depending on severity. I would seriously consider consulting your physician or skin therapist for a customizable treatment plan. 

6. How often do you recommend professional facials?

For someone who is serious about skin care and addressing specific issues, I’d recommend a facial treatment every 6 weeks. Paired with home care, you can really tackle issues such as intense dehydration, fine lines and wrinkles, acne, certain types of rosacea, skin sagging, etc. It is so important that you use professional skin care products on a daily basis recommended by your skin therapist (esthetician) or dermatologist to ensure the best results. 

7. What’s the most powerful ingredients for preventing wrinkles before they have formed?

 Hyaluronic acid is one of my favourites due to its plumping and intense hydrating properties. Hydration is imperative to preventing fine lines and wrinkles. Keep those cells quenched, and you’ve got yourself a strong barrier defense against aging and external stressors (oh, and sunscreen always). 

8. How does pregnancy/hormone changes affect your skin? 

Some women can develop a  short term hyperpigmentation (dark patches) affect known as a “melasma mask”. If this is what you’re struggling with, the good news is that most cases are temporary, and typically these patches fade after pregnancy. Another commonality amongst women post birth, is hormonal acne.  Remember, it’s not you, it’s your hormones! 

9. Any suggestions on makeup products that are natural/organic?

Jane Iredale is the cosmetic line we carry at The Sanctuary and we’re all obsessed! They have all natural products, everything is made cruelty free, and they’re mineral base foundations are great coverage. Also, the products are excellent for sensitive skin types, acne, rosacea, and oily skin. They also provide a SPF 25 in their pressed and loose power foundations.

10. What is your advice relating to under eye coverage for women with fine lines to prevent creasing/accentuating the lines?

Start with an a eye cream to keep the area hydrated. Then use a primer around the eyes. Your concealer or foundation shouldn’t feel too heavy, or “cakey”, this is when the lines are accentuated. Finish with a loose powder to set the product in place.

11. What is your advice for getting rid of Keratosis Pilaris on the back of the arms? 

 In my experience, the best thing for KP is dry brushing 1-2 daily. This will exfoliate the built up skin and keep everything smooth. Keep up with this on a consistent basis or else you won’t notice results. When you’re done with the brushing, apply a nourishing and hydrating body cream

Thank you so much to The Sanctuary Day Spa for providing an incredible spa experience, and a big thank you to Skin Therapist, Olivia for sharing her knowledge in this blog post!

The Sanctuary Day Spa Waterloo is offering $10.00 off when you mention “I saw Sanctuary on Honestly Alexandra!” certain exclusions apply. Enjoy, girls!

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