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Embrace Your Beauty

We all know that protecting our skin from the sun is a very important part of skin health, but did you know that we also have to protect the “barrier” of our skin as well? Whenever I think of skin barrier, I think of a time in my life that I was completely addicted to Carmex for my lips. The entire purpose of Carmex is to exfoliate the barrier of our lips and offer a little bit of hydration. With continued use you are constantly stripping the barrier of your lips by over-exfoliating, leaving you feeling that you cannot go a day or a minute without your Carmex, which is the culprit not the answer.

More recently I look to my hands. Going back into work at the Medspa this week means constant hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. The top of my hands feel like alligator skin because I have stripped the barrier. They need more than moisture to recover from this.

Many clients come in with a compromised skin barrier. The common things that they tell me are that their skin is super dry and sensitive and they can't find anything that will soothe and make it feel hydrated. They have tried endless thick heavy products and nothing seems to sink in. Well, when you have a compromised skin barrier, nothing will quench the dryness without gently removing the dull dead layer of skin that lives on top. So really, the thought behind the Carmex is spot on... in moderation.

Our skin's barrier is made up of keratinocytes, which are the little bricks that form the protective wall on the surface of our skin. Each little brick holds the skin together and prevents our skin from losing water (transepidermal water loss), which plays a huge role in our skin’s hydration and healthy function. The bricks also prevent “bad” things or aggressors from entering our skin. When our “brick wall” is healthy, our skin appears supple, healthy and youthful. Over time the keratinocytes can become unhealthy; sun, chemicals, pollution, aging and so many other reasons contribute to the build up of keratin. Picture your brick wall cracking, and you keep adding more bricks and mortar but never fixing the underlying issue. This causes your skin to feel rough, red and unhealthy, showing more lines and wrinkles.

The fine line or balance that comes with getting a healthy skin barrier is that some mild exfoliation is needed. One of the best gentle options for exfoliation comes from acids. Alpha hydroxy acids, like lactic or glycolic, gently “eat” away the buildup of keratin while hydrating and soothing. Beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic acid, will encourage the sloughing off of the keratin buildup. This in combination with a gentle physical exfoliation, like a granular scrub, allows your skin to accept hydration and to rebuild its natural barrier function.

For the face, the SkinMedica AHA/BHA cleanser and cream are the perfect combo to remove that layer of dead dry skin.

After you have prepared your skin and removed some of the keratin buildup, it is very important to look for products with ingredients like niacinamides and antioxidants. These will encourage the stimulation of healthy cells as well as restoring the protective barrier.

Pep Up is my absolute favorite for antioxidant protection and its ability to recharge and repair the skin and its barrier.

Redness Relief is my go-to for anyone with redness in their skin along with a compromised barrier. It has an ingredient called niacinamide, or vitamin B3, that keeps your lipid barrier healthy, in turn helping your skin to retain its own moisture while reducing inflammation and redness.

For very compromised or post-procedure skin, TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream is an absolute must for restoring the skin's lipid barrier.

All of Colorescience’s Total Protection products will assist in protecting from the sun and the environment, and maintaining the skin's natural barrier. Even Up and All Calm are the final step in your complete barrier protection for your face. They are actually corrective treatment products that also serve as makeup primers and SPF. The entire line of Colorescience is made to correct, protect, and make the skin instantly beautiful.

We have so many options for helping you keep or repair your skin's healthy barrier functions. Call us at 573-761-2601 to set up a virtual consult to walk you through your best options!

Products to exfoliate and repair your skin's barrier:

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Moisture is one of the key aspects of our skin’s health, and one of the biggest complaints that I hear is that your skin is so dry that nothing seems to help. One of the questions that immediately comes to my mind is: is your skin oil dry or water dry/dehydrated? There is a big difference and some of the time the answer is both.

True dry skin is lacking moisture or our natural oils, usually from over-stripping with a harsh cleanser or living in a climate where the air is very dry. Oil dry skin is very vulnerable to becoming irritated and very sensitive to anything that you apply to it. It commonly looks red and feels rough.

Currently I think of my hands when I think of dry skin. The constant use of antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer has left them beyond dry. A few key ingredients to restore moisture are ceramides, essential fatty acids, and other active ingredients that will restore the lipid barrier. Dermal Repair and Pep UP are wonderful for restoring moisture for dry skin.

Dehydrated, or water-lacking skin, can still appear smooth but lines and wrinkles appear more prominent. Think of a grape and a raisin: the raisin is just the grape without all its water. Humectants are products that draw water into the skin, and hyaluronic acid is our go-to for dehydrated skin. HA5 is a product that will deliver instant hydration along with supporting the skin's natural ability to retain moisture, changing your skin back to a plump healthy grape. For some clients that tend to have more oily skin this is enough moisture for daily use, and for everyone else this applied with a little water prior to your moisturizer is a game changer.

Protection is always key in dealing with either dry or dehydrated skin. Colorescience’s EnviroScreen technology uses patented active ingredients, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, that create a barrier preventing free radical formation and oxidative stress, blocking UVA/UVB and blue light damage. All of this, while hydrating and moisturizing at the same time. Total Protection Face and Body Shield SPF 50 are my go-tos to maintain moisture and protect.

Let us help you decide if your skin is dry or dehydrated. We would love to see you for a virtual consult.

Dry Skin Package
Avene Oil Cleanser
Dermal Repair
Pep Up
Total Face Shield SPF 50
Buy Now

Dehydrated Skin Package
Facial Cleanser
HA5
Replenish Hydrate
Total Face Shield SPF 50
Buy Now

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With all this extra time at home, spring cleaning our houses may have taken on a whole new meaning... clean, organized and decluttered is how our homes will come out of this quarantine time. My time was spent helping our oldest daughter remodel her first home. It is amazing what can be done in three weeks, and I am always amazed at the things that my husband can accomplish. I have painted walls, doors and trim, and helped install a floating floor. Different days than my job at the medspa, but so gratifying to see it all come together. I hope that you are enjoying projects and time spent with your family as well.

A little slower pace and time for self-reflection gives us a more meaningful time for body spring cleaning. The winter months leave our skin dry and rough, especially our feet – I have heard countless people say how badly they need a pedicure. Baby Foot foot peel is a fantastic way to remove all the dead layers, uncovering healthy soft feet. Yes, for now you may have to polish your toes at home, but if you are open to the thought, remove your polish and let your nails “breathe”, taking a little polish break. What better time than quarantine time??

Olive oil and sea salt or sugar, with the addition of your favorite essential oil, can make a great at home skin polish. Applied to dry skin, this makes a gommage or a more aggressive exfoliation; the addition of water will break down the scrub and when rinsed off the olive oil gives a nice amount of hydration.

Supracor's Stimulite Bath Mitt is another great way to exfoliate your body at home – it cleans, exfoliates and massages your skin. It needs just a touch of soap to create a foamy lather. Or you can also use it dry, brushing your body with upward strokes toward the heart, stimulating the lymph system and releasing the toxins that produce cellulite. Naturally antifungal and antibacterial, it can be washed/sanitized in the dishwasher, so you will never need another bath sponge that you wonder if it's time to throw away.

Take time to take care of you – take a bath, take a walk, drink your water, or find a great yoga routine that you can do at home. We all want more “time” and we finally have it, so enjoy the slow down. We are taking advantage of this time by thinking of all the ways that we can pamper you when we get to see you again! Until then, we miss your face.

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We have had so many clients reach out to us to see if they could purchase a peel to do at home. It is a great time to be peeling with the stay-at-home order and social distancing, but unfortunately that is not something that we can do. So I just wanted to take a minute to remind everyone why medical grade peels are different, and why they should only be applied by someone who is licensed and trained.

  1. Medical grade peels are a controlled injury to the skin. Without seeing or touching your skin we can’t say that your skin barrier is ready to “handle” a peel. Over-exfoliated or compromised skin can allow the peel to penetrate too deeply, potentially causing discoloration.
  2. How long the peel stays on and if it must be neutralized is a very important aspect of the peel. Some peels will become stronger when in contact with water, and some have the benefits stop all together. Some self-neutralize and some need to stay on for only 2-3 minutes. Timing is everything.
  3. Assessing your skin's reaction: Is it too red? Is this feeling normal? These are all things that come up with even my most seasoned “peelers” and we have the knowledge and eye to know how to help you through it.
  4. A little hand holding is always needed. Taking the time to sit down and review what you can and can’t do while actively peeling, along with what products to avoid, is a very necessary step in getting the most from your peel.

The AHA/BHA cleanser and moisturizer are a way to give yourself a great exfoliation and brightening until we can see you again. Use the cleanser with a minimal amount of water, scrub, massage, and leave on as a mask for 5 minutes before rinsing with water. Applying the AHA/BHA moisturizer will continue exfoliating with gentle acids, leaving your skin smooth and glowing.

Don’t forget your daily sun protection though! Even though this is a more gentle option for home use, it still leaves the skin fresh and vulnerable to sun damage.

We can’t wait to get our hands back on our clients! Until then, we miss your face.

Schedule a peel appointment for when we return, or call and register for our Spring Cleaning Retro Peel Party.

Permalink | Categories: Beauty Talk with Brandi


As we all struggle to get through the social isolation of the coronavirus, it is important to remember that we are not at the complete mercy of the virus. We can do things to strengthen our bodies so that we may become more resistant to infection and/or recover more reliably should we become infected. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is part of our daily message at the Genesis Medspa. Things you can do to keep yourself healthier and thus less prone to infection are sometimes obvious, but a brief overview may be of value. These recommendations have been taken from the Harvard School of Medicine and include:

  • Don’t smoke or vape
  • Exercise daily
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Minimize alcohol consumption
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables
  • Sleep 7-8 hours per night
  • Minimize stress
  • Wash your hands frequently

While these may seem straightforward, it is amazing to me how often they are not being followed by clients who then wonder why they are sick! In addition to the above, hormone optimization throughout life has been shown to boost your immune system and maintain optimum infection fighting capability. While the scope of this subject is beyond this brief writing, I would like to share some ways that you can make the odds more in your favor. The BioTe method we utilize has been shown to positively impact your health risks in a very convenient manner.

Many studies have shown that an imbalance of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone will decrease many aspects of your immune response. Proper optimization of these hormones will not only impact your infection fighting response, but will help reduce the risk of getting the other chronic diseases that affect us such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and breast cancer to name a few.

In addition to the above hormones, certain supplements can further reduce your risk of infections:

Vitamin A has been shown to increase the barrier function in your lungs, making you less prone to viral infections. It also boosts the function of white blood cells which help clear infections.

Vitamin D has been shown to have antiviral effects, and was shown in a recent study to reduce the risk of respiratory infections by over 40%.

Zinc and iodine also play important roles. Zinc inhibits virus reproduction in high doses, and iodine maintains thyroid balance, which affects the entire body and immune system.

All of these vitamins and minerals can be found in our A-D-K and iodine supplements. Adding these to your daily regimen will go a long way to enhance your ability to fight off infections. Combine that with a healthy lifestyle and BioTe hormone pellets, and the odds will be as much in your favor as possible! We hope to see you soon at the Genesis Medspa to help you with this valuable service, but until then we can schedule a virtual consult to get the process rolling. Call us at 573-761-2601 to schedule your consultation.

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When you can't make it to the spa for your microderm or peel, we have a great exfoliating routine that you can do at home! Using a basic facial cleanser, AHA/BHA cleanser and AHA/BHA moisturizer you can do a self-exfoliation that will smooth and brighten your skin.

AHA/BHA cleanser combines alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, and jojoba spheres to help physically exfoliate skin, and AHA/BHA cream uses the same gentle acids to exfoliate, brighten, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Use once or twice a week at bedtime and wake up feeling smooth, soft and glowing. It’s my weekly routine – preferably Sunday nights during a hot bath.

  1. Pre cleanse with your regular cleanser, removing all makeup.
  2. Apply a dime size amount of AHA/BHA cleanser to slightly damp skin. Avoiding the eye area, gently rub in a circular motion all over your face and neck to gently exfoliate. Leave on as a mask for 5 minutes and rinse off with warm water. Follow with a cold water splash to close pores.
  3. Dry your skin and apply AHA/BHA moisturizer all over face and neck. If you have very dry skin I recommend using HA5 over the top for a little hydration boost.

You can purchase this kit online or for pick up. Call in your order if you have Brilliant Distinctions dollars to use.

AHA/BHA cleanser and cream duo: Regular: $91 | Sale Price: $68 + free shipping

Duo + HA5: Regular: $269 | Sale Price: $201

Shop here! Use code "stayhome" for special price!

Permalink | Categories: Beauty Talk with Brandi