The Best Skin Care Tips From The Swankiest Wellness Spa (In Pittsburgh)


I wrote a post a few months ago about skin (The Diary of Acne Prone Skin).

If you’ve read it already, you’d know that I’ve struggled with pretty aggressive acne for years. I now know that it is most likely a result of an antibiotic that I was on for THREE YEARS (I know, I can’t either).

So while I’m on a desperate mission to heal my gut & in turn heal my skin (if you’re interested in this idea, check out the book I’ve linked at the end of this post), there are definitely ad-ons that I can be doing to help.  So I decided to get a facial. I’ve been reading a lot about facial-lymph-node draining and chem-peels so I decided to seek out the best of the best facial.

I got more than what I was expecting. The saint that performed my facial gave me a TON of really great advice that makes a lot of sense to me. So I’m sharing the deets with you guys!

Ditch The Abrasive Tools

I always thought that my Clarisonic was doing me a favor by scrubbing my skin clean… Turns out, it’s not. Anything super abrasive is just stressing your skin out, drying it out and potentially spreading more bacteria.

Your fingers work just fine. The reason, however, everyone assumes that you need more than just your fingers is because they don’t give them enough time to work.

She suggested washing with a FOAMING face wash for TWO passes. The first, to clear all of the surfacey dirt, makeup and oil. The second to really clean out your pores. Doing this also stimulates your skin, encouraging blood flow. So the longer you massage, the better.

Serums Are Your Friend

I never dabbled in serums before because a) I have oily skin and I assumed that they were only going to add more oil to my sheen complexion and b) because they’re expensive. HOWEVER, they’re pretty necessary. After you cleanse your face as discussed, you should use a toner to balance your PH and then use a serum before moisturizing.

Why? Because if you have a bacterial infection all over your face like I do (AKA acne), it needs to be treated. A good vitamin C serum will help to boost your skin’s immunity and in turn, boost it’s chances at fighting off acne.

Serums are also great for moisturizing. Unlike your average moisturizer, a serum penetrates your skin and locks in moisture. Your average face lotion is surfacey… As it should be… Think about it, your lotion contains broad spectrum SPF (or at least it should) that you don’t want to go inside of your pores. You want it to stand it’s guard on the outside. So serum it is. I got:

Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten + Firm Vitamin C Serum, 1 Ounce

Up The Water, Lower The Sugar

This may seem obvious. Or maybe not. But regardless, it’s important. I don’t eat any refined sugar (cue hair-flip emoji), but I DO eat a lot of fruit. And while I have a firm stance on the fact that naturally occurring sugars are different from other sugars, it is still sugar for bacteria to feed on.

And while I also drink plenty of water, it is worth drinking even more. And being conscious of the timing of my water consumption. For example, first thing in the morning is an essential water drinking time. Think of yourself as a beautiful flower that needs watered first thing in the morning. After 8+ hours of fasting and dehydrating, you need it. (Be sure to tongue scrape first… Trust me. See this post for deets.)

Another essential water drinking time is before a workout. The saint that performed my facial suggested to drink one whole glass of water right before you work out. Do this INSTEAD of using moisturizer on your gym skin.

Lymph Drainage

& last but definitely not least; lymphatic drainage. I am pro blood circulation and getting stagnant areas of your body moving, but I never really considered your face being one of those problem areas. However, we hold a lot of tension in our face; opening up space for stagnant crap to collect. It’s important to drain out the lymphatic build up to reduce inflammation and help to promote new cell growth.

You can do this at home with one of those fancy Clarisonic facial massagers (seen below) or you can opt for a facial and have it professionally done.

Clarisonic Smart Profile Uplift 2-in-1 Cleansing & Micro-Firming Massage Device

Other than using a chemical-peel exfoliant verses an abrasive one and spritzing rose hip oil on your face like it’s your job, I think that’s about it! I really took a lot away from my first facial experience and I hope, by default, that you did too!

The chem-peel I’ve actually been using:

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, 30 Packettes

For my Pittsburgh readers, I got my facial at Evolve in Shadyside… Ask for Olga, HIGHLY recommend.  I got the Acne Diffusion Facial and I added on Dermaplaning (do it).

Finally, I wanted to link a book that has changed my life. If you are an intuitive eater and/or you are dealing with any sort of inflammation issue or auto-immune issue, YOU NEED THIS BOOK.





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