The Challenge of a New Year

When a New Year is rung in we yearn to embrace the image of our best self. The self we are about to become – now that we’ve been given a clean slate. But this year found us facing challenges we’d never before had to consider.

The cloud of the Thomas Fire darkened the holiday season. We soldiered on, marshaling as much merry as the human spirit would allow. But then came the floods and mudslides, putting the kybosh on our attempts to rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
However, the fallout from these trials and tragedies is the coming together of community. The kindness we show our neighbors – the affinity we feel for strangers who have lost so much.

I was recently in the Post Office inquiring why my mail had stopped for several days. The line was long, only one window open, so the expected grumbling had ensued. Until a woman started a conversation about a friend staying with her because her home had been inundated by mud.

Then the line of impatient patrons turned into a consoling open forum discussing who had been touched by last week’s events and what could be done for them. Empathy and compassion were being handed out in bushel baskets.

When I reached the window I learned my carrier hadn’t been able to get in all week from Carpinteria. But today he’d taken the train into town to insure he could make his rounds. A behind-the-scenes herculean effort so his customers’ lives might continue without interruption.

At Skin Deep we’ve seen clients who almost lost their lives and needed to replace everything, starting with their self-care. Our owner has deeply discounted many of these purchases, and although it’s been an emotional chapter – it’s also been incredibly rewarding to help so many women who have relied on us over the years.
Plus the gratification of seeing our vendors step up once we issued a ‘call to action.’ With their support we’re currently assembling over 50 care bags of deluxe and full size products to include in a community outreach.

Our goal has always been to serve the physical and emotional needs of our clients. To make our patrons feel ‘at home.’ We wish to thank everyone for their continued support – not only of what we do, but also of each other. We are proud to be part of a close-knit community where caring and concern are so vibrantly on display.


The Holiday Season

“From the best Stocking Stuffers and dazzling Holiday Ornaments in town… to the Gift Everyone Loves (The Skin Deep Gift Certificate!)…Skin Deep is a 5 Star Customer Favorite for all the Magical Ways we help you have fun and relax during this busy time of year. As always, the Skin Deep Elves will also wrap your gifts to save you lots of time. After our 37 years, as one customer said the other day when she walked in the door, ‘Ahhhh….some things never change!’ ”
Nina Meyer, Tina Hasche, Gina McKee…The Skin Deep Sisters

Do the holidays fill you with a sense of wonder and joy? Or do they create a nervous pit in your stomach? Because both phenomenon are possible.

Sometimes we’re bursting with warm fuzzies. Other times the carols drive us to distraction and rather than counting our blessings we count how many cookies there are to bake and presents to wrap and parties to attend; so we’re focused on the ‘why can’t I find a place to park’ folly instead of maintaining an attitude of jolly.

Well, the Mayo clinic has some very sound advice on how to enjoy a festive, well-balanced season, which I’ve taken the liberty of translating into layman’s terms:

1) Acknowledge your feelings and be who/where you are. This means: you can’t force merry. That’s just awkward.
2) Plan ahead. Keep all your plans and appointments in your head and your head will blow up. Map out times to shop, bake, visit pals, etc.
3) Reach out to others. Hang with your nearest and dearest or do something more altruistic like volunteering, but one thing’s for sure: connecting with others lifts your spirits.
4) Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect; they don’t even have to be just like last year. Traditions change and grow – just like families.
5) Set aside your differences. Accept your family and friends as they are, because I’m betting NONE of us live up to each other’s expectations.
6) Maintain healthy habits. Overindulgence is often followed by a hearty dose of guilt. So write yourself a hall pass. Next time have a healthy snack before the party; get plenty of sleep and exercise. But don’t beat yourself up – there’s nothing jubilant about remorse.
7) Learn to say no. You can’t do everything. No one can do everything. Most other humans get this and will understand when you tell them your plate is already full.
8) Take a breather. Go for a walk, listen to music, or (my favorite) have a facial or massage. When the carol proclaims: “repeat the sounding joy,” I’m fairly certain the sound they’re endorsing is: Ahhhh.

“Nothing says holidays like a cheese log.” – Ellen DeGeneres

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” – Andy Rooney

“Being a traditionalist, I’m a rabid sucker for Christmas. In July I’m already worried that there are only 146 shopping days left.” – John Waters


The Why and Wherefore of Facial Cleansers

This fall Skin Deep was awarded the Independent’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Place to Have a Facial. Once again our talented, caring estheticians have been singled out for their continued commitment to putting your best face forward.

So I asked what’s the most important element of one’s home care routine? How do we maintain that just-stepped-out-of-the-spa glow? And the journey begins (shocker!) with the first step. Your facial cleanser.

Cleansers primarily remove dirt and debris (evil twins of skincare) from your face. Some D2s are oily in and of themselves, but any dirt that accumulates on skin becomes oily once it combines with sebum. The lipids in sebum support the skin’s acid mantle and maintain its PH while fortifying the skin barrier but once they mix with the dreaded D2s they block pores and wreak havoc – unless you have the right cleanser.

There are many wonderful options and identifying what type of skin you have can help determine your perfect match. (Ask your esthetician after your next facial and she’ll guide you to a delicious choice.) Selections often include active ingredients such as antioxidants, exfoliation agents, wound healers and vitamins.

The key? Some cleansers are gentle while others are downright aggressive. Harsh cleansers can result in sensitivity and inflammation while gentle cleansers help avoid itching, flaking, tightness, redness and discomfort. Milder cleansers also leave the skin barrier function intact.

Or you might opt for cleansing oil with high lipid content if your skin is dry, aging or particularly sensitive. These also dissolve makeup brilliantly but it’s wise to include exfoliation (at least weekly) to insure you don’t leave any residue behind.
And it’s crucial to rinse thoroughly. Rinsing is a key component in preparing your face for all the wonderful elements to come. The almighty H2O is almost as essential applied externally as it is when gulped internally.

But let’s save our “All Hail Water!” lesson for another day.


In The Mood

At Skin Deep we help everyone find their best look. Be it high fashion or breathtakingly natural, we strive to match your external image with both your personality and your life’s goals.

We know each individual is unique and therefore what’s perfect for Amy may not be suitable for Alma. However, there’s one surefire technique that enhances every appearance.

Nope, not lipstick. Nope, not even glitter gloss. It’s a good mood. Whether it’s a skip in your step or a mischievous wink – we’re all naturally drawn to happy people.

And there’s a significant reason we find people in a good mood attractive. According to a new study at the University of Warwick: “Moods may spread from person to person via a process known as social contagion.” And this contagion can work in both constructive and destructive ways.

A friend, family member or even a co-worker who comes in with a cloud over their head can pass along a bad mood to you. And have you noticed how quickly that dark mood spreads throughout the office?

Fortunately, this study found the opposite is also true. One person can make an entire workplace happier. Maybe that’s where the term ‘infectious smile’ originated because it turns out a smile can pass from one to another and create a friendly chain of smiling faces.

Sometimes life throws so many hurdles and trials down upon us we can’t imagine accessing that most important of all beauty aids: a happy countenance. But if we find someone who’s already sunny – chances are we’ll absorb that lighter mood from them.

So as fall unfurls cooler weather why not avoid catching another cold and opt for catching a grin? This season spread a little cheer – after all, it’s contagious.


Beauty and Your Sleep

Our first hint that sleep is synonymous with looking good was probably when Sleeping Beauty dozed for 100 years and awoke even more breathtaking than before. Sleep deprivation is the original Wicked Witch causing a range of unpleasant effects which include irritability, cognitive impairment and depression.

Whereas getting enough sleep is our Fairy Godmother bestowing an array of benefits that include energy, positive attitude and a heartier immune system. And can we talk about its magnificent impact on your appearance?

Sleep fights bags under the eyes and wards off wrinkles, we all know that. But did you know lack of sleep causes weight gain? According to a University of Leeds study the average waistline of those sleeping six hours a night was 1.2 inches larger than those who slept seven to nine hours. Tired and chubby? Not exactly win-win, is it?

Getting a full night’s slumber also allows collagen proteins released during sleep to repair and strengthen damaged skin cells. And you can maximize beauty rest by using a satin or silk pillowcase as those fibers reduce tangling of the hair and minimize friction on the skin. And less friction means slower development of fine lines and wrinkles.

It turns out consuming alcohol before bed both erodes sleep quality and contributes to dehydration, meaning it’s more likely you’ll awaken with puffy eyes. So if you do imbibe we recommend doubling down with a big glass of H2O to counteract those less-than-glamorous effects.

Of course Sleeping Beauty didn’t get a chance to wash her face, but we know going to bed without doing so can clog pores, increase breakouts, irritate the eyes, and restrict your skin’s ability to ‘breathe.’

So the magic spell? Snoozing for seven to nine hours dispels dark circles, wrinkles, and excess weight while encouraging a smoother, lovelier complexion. Hmmmm. Or should I say: Zzzzzzz.



Washing Your Face – Just Right!

If there’s one step in a beauty routine that’s absolute – it’s washing your face. But there are a few myths about this deceptively simple procedure.

At some point some well meaning soul, Grandma perhaps, told you to wash your face with hot water as it ‘opens your pores and allows for a deeper clean.’ Sorry. That heat is drying and potentially irritating to sensitive skin. You want something just above luke-warm. As Goldilocks so succinctly said: not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

Next: Choose a cleanser suited to your skin type. We are each individual flowers and our petals need personalized attention. The key to removing makeup, dirt and environmental debris is motion and time. Massage cleanser in circular motions into your face for up to a minute. And when using an exfoliant – please, Please, PLEASE scrub gently. The exfoliant itself takes care of the deep cleaning – no need to add brute force.

Now hopefully you haven’t bought into the adage that if hot water opened your pores, cold water will close them. When it’s time to rinse off don’t change the water temperature. But do remember to rinse your whole face because leaving soap debris behind? Leads to breakouts.

When you’re ready to dry that beautiful canvas (after all, your face IS a work of art) do so gently with a clean towel. Rubbing leads to irritation, over stimulation of oil glands and even wrinkles. Adding a toner to your routine will not only remove residues in the water (like chlorine) it also brings skin back to its normal moisture level – so it’s ready (some might even say eager) to absorb your moisturizer.

(And for the ultimate in a cleansing regimen consider the Yon-Ka Eau Micellaire Cleaning Water to remove eye makeup gently and thoroughly – while preventing eyelid infections.)

Just remember no matter how much fun you’ve had – don’t go to sleep without taking a moment to clean and protect your face. So the next time you want to go out and play, you’ll have a lovely complexion on display.


Summer Essentials

What is synonymous with summer? Block, right? No, not blockbuster – I’m talking sunblock. This time of year it’s more essential than ever to take care of our skin.

‘Wonder Woman’ – arguably this summer’s biggest blockbuster – definitely uses sunblock. (All that skin showing, plus living on an island? She’d be crazy not to.) So let’s take a page from Wonder Woman’s playbook; only while she’s protecting the world we’ll protect our epidermis.

Here are some key tenets to remember:

• Only Broad Spectrum protects from both UVA and UVB rays.
• Experts advise applying sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outdoors so it can bind to your skin otherwise effectiveness is decreased.
• The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a minimum SPF of 15, applying about an ounce to your body, with a nickel-sized dollop applied to your face.
• High-SPF products (more than 50) tempt people to stay in the sun too long but do NOT provide additional protection. The FDA has called these higher value SPF sunscreens “inherently misleading.”
• Experts caution against sunscreens and blocks that include pest repellent – those chemicals can be dangerous to your skin and health.

At the Deep we offer lots of options, depending on your skin type, to keep you safe and ready to enjoy summer sunshine. With moisturizer and without. We also offer a wide assortment of exfoliants for both face and body – because when you exfoliate before basking you insure a lovely, even glow.

And if all of this is just too scary we can help select a self-tan product that recreates the rosy warmth of the sun. Without any risk whatsoever.

Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) declared: “I will fight for those who can not fight for themselves.” I’m pretty sure our skin’s long-term health is exactly what she was talking about.


Foods for the Skin – Two Sides to Every Story.

Our best skin-care lines integrate essential ingredients with cutting edge technology (for example Yon-KA is 98% natural). But we mustn’t forget that while our skin loves botanicals delivered topically – a large part of its care (and feeding) is good nutrition.

I.E. you are what you eat. Choosing the right foods can change your skin for the better. So here are 5 fruits (and a beverage) that deliver serious results.

Water (always a big, dang deal) makes up a large part of our anatomy. The average adult human is 50-65% water, but the percentage of water in infants is much higher, usually around 75-78%. And who has better, sweeter, plumper skin than babies? No one, that’s who. Sooooooo – it follows that drinking lots of water is our number one beauty tip.

Antioxidant-rich berries are rich in Vitamin C, which protects our skin from damaging free radicals and slows down aging. Berries can also help eliminate toxins to keep skin clear. Mangoes get into the act by boosting our immune system with abundant Vitamin A. They can even ward off acne and produce a more even complexion.

Mature skin needs moisture and hydration, which is why you should grab a banana. Those golden beauties are high in potassium, which helps skin appear softer and more youthful.

Citrus added to water or tea can reduce the dark spots left behind by blemishes and also produce more glowing skin. And, following another long standing motto: an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and it’s also a great source of malic acid which helps renew skin cells.

Sure wish there was an acronym to help remember these, but I doubt WBMBCA will roll off the tongue. We could try shifting the order to: WABBMC? Not terrible. Just sounds like a bad case of the hiccups.


Beauty and Skin Deep

Beauty and Skin Deep are practically synonymous. So we’ve kept our eye on the story of Beauty and the Beast during its rise to cultural phenomenon. First came Disney’s 1991 animated ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and this month the live action version smashed box office records and crossed the $400 million mark in less than a week. Proving audiences were ready for a brainy, feminist heroine – much like Emma Watson, the actress who plays Belle.

Emma Watson, a noted advocate for gender equality, requested a few changes from the original. “My Belle is very practical. In the animated movie she wears these little ballet shoes and I knew they had to go,” she said. “If you’re going to ride a horse and tend to your garden and fix machinery, then you need to be in proper boots.”

That same practical influence shows up when Emma selects her makeup. She believes products should be beautiful, highly functional and long lasting.

Which is why Emma’s long been a fan of Jane Iredale products. Emma shared, “Finding a good, natural eyeliner took me like, six months, but I found one! Jane Iredale does an amazing liquid eyeliner and she has one in a dark brown, which I prefer to black on my skin tone. The Jane Iredale Clear Brow Gel is also very good.”

We’re thrilled to now offer Jane Iredale Natural Mineral Cosmetics – The Skincare Makeup here at the Deep and we’re not surprised it’s developing lots and lots of new fans quite quickly. Long time loyal followers of the line are also happy to know they can now conveniently find the line at Skin Deep as well. Stay tuned for our Premiere Launch Event for Jane Iredale in May!