UA-11165431-2 -

The Difference Between Physical and Chemical Sunblock

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Great article about why physical sunblock works better, is healthier for you and is safe for the environment! Copied from

The Right Sunscreen – Cut Through the Hype and Learn What Works

Jason Barbaria

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States each year. There are more than 2,000 over-the-counter sunscreen formulas on the market today. How can you tell which sunscreens are the safest, most effective, and represent the best value for your money? In most cases, the answer comes down to the difference between the two types of filtering ingredients. Chemical or Physical?

The UV radiation in sunlight consists of UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C rays. UV-A and UV-B are both responsible for photoaging, skin cancer, sunburn, tanning, and wrinkling. UV-C is not a factor in skin health, as it is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere and does not reach us in significant amounts. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UV-A and UV-B. This protection can work in one of two ways: chemical or physical.Chemical UV filters work by absorbing UV radiation; Require application 30 minutes before sun exposure; Provide partial protection from UV spectrum; May irritate the skin and eyes; Not regulated for safety by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–some may even be carcinogenic; Not photostable (exposure to sunlight degrades effectiveness); Avobenzone is the most commonly used chemical filter ingredient.Physical UV FiltersWork by reflecting UV radiation; Start protecting immediately upon use; Provide full broad-spectrum protection; Non-irritating to skin and eyes; Safe, as particles do not penetrate the skin; Highly photostable (exposure to sunlight does not change effectiveness). Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the most commonly used physical filter ingredients. Clothing and shade structures also count as physical filters.

How Stable Is It?

One of the most important factors in the effectiveness of a sunscreen formula is also one of the least known to the general public. Photostability is an ingredient’s ability to remain effective after exposure to sunlight. Many people are aware that this is an issue for numerous skin care ingredients, but may be surprised to learn that some active ingredients in sunscreen–a product whose sole purpose involves being exposed to sunlight–are not photostable. In addition, the FDA’s new rules do not require sunscreen ingredients to be tested for photostability. Yet, many consumers expect that their sunscreen will protect them for longer than one hour.

Physical filters such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are photostable. Studies have shown that these ingredients suffer no degradation after more than two hours of sun exposure. However, the chemical filter avobenzone is not at all photostable, and degrades almost completely in less than one hour. Even worse, avobenzone also degrades on contact with other UV filters such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and with metal ions such as iron oxide, which is commonly found in makeup. This goes a long way toward explaining why many consumers experience sunburn even after applying sunscreen as directed.

Health Concerns

Effectiveness is not the only thing to consider in any product being applied to the face or body. Significant health concerns have also been raised about many sunscreen ingredients. Here are some issues to consider.

Avobenzone has been found to generate free radicals beyond acceptable safety levels after sitting on the skin for just one hour, and children and pregnant women have been advised not to use products containing it.  Octocrylene, which is known to act as an endocrine disrupter, is used in many sunscreens as a stabilizer. It can also cause skin irritation. According to the Archives of Dermatology, “Octocrylene appears to be a strong allergen leading to contact dermatitis in children and mostly photoallergic contact dermatitis in adults.”

Chemical UV filters can also have harmful effects on the environment. Octocrylene does not seem to be effectively contained in wastewater treatment plants, and studies in Switzerland have indicated that it accumulates in fish. Oxybenzone, a chemical UV-B filter often used in combination with avobenzone, has been found to negatively impact reef ecosystems and biodiversity.

Physical UV filters, in contrast, have an excellent safety profile. The FDA has long considered zinc oxide to be a safe ingredient for both external use and as a food additive, even in infant formula.

Considering all these factors, physical UV blockers represent the best choice overall. The main challenge in getting consumers to use sunscreens based on physical filters is purely cosmetic: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide tend to feel thick and greasy, and are visible on the skin, leaving a white residue. However, new advances mean there are now an increasing number of sunscreens that use these ingredients in formulations that allow for clear application.
When evaluating a sunscreen, the most important considerations should be safety and effectiveness. Carefully examine the ingredients and make use of all available information to make the best choices for yourself and your family.

Jason Barbaria is director of marketing at Dermagenics, a skin care line that includes sunscreen, cleansers, and moisturizers.

The Importance of Cleansing

Sunday, April 7th, 2013
Thorough cleansing, two times a day, clears the skin of excess oil and dead skin cells, makeup and pollution. This important step preps your skin for better penetration of acid exfoliants, serums, and moisturizers.Step 1: Put one pump of cleanser into your hand
Step 2: Apply to the face before adding water

Step 3: Add a small amount of water and massage cleanser into the skin, with firm pressure, for one to two minutes
Step 4: Use two dampened cotton squares to remove the cleanser. The first rinse will make the cotton squares yellowish/ brownish or it will be darker if you are removing makeup. Rinse out the cotton squares and rinse your skin again. Repeat this process until the cotton squares are white after rinsing your skin.Now you know your skin is clean and completely free of make up, dirt, oil, and built up dead skin cells. After this process your skin will feel great, your correctives and moisturizers will penetrate better and less product will be needed.

I am now retailing these cotton squares. They come in 200 count packages and are organic and 100% cotton.

Come by the shop for more information!

The Wonders of Water

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

For Skin Health and More

Shelley Burns, N.D.
Creams, nutritional supplements, treatments, lotions, and potions. We are always looking for the next miracle product to keep skin looking healthy and young. However, there is one essential, inexpensive, and often overlooked nutrient right at your fingertips: water.Just as a car cannot function without oil, our bodies cannot function without water. After oxygen, H2O is the most important component of the body, responsible for 65-70 percent of its composition. And of this, 80 percent is dedicated to the skin.Water is the medium for various enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body. It moves nutrients, hormones, antibodies, and oxygen through the blood and lymphatic systems, and it also helps form the matrix of the skin. Devoid of water, the skin becomes dehydrated, resulting in a dry, dull tone.

It’s likely that the moment a person feels thirsty, mild dehydration has already set in. To keep the complexion looking smooth and blemish-free, drink water upon waking and continue drinking it throughout the day at one- to two-hour intervals. At least six 8-oz. glasses of water should be consumed daily and more if you are exercising, perspiring, and/or in hot weather. Ideally, intake should be between ten and twelve 8-oz. glasses of water a day. One note: Don’t increase water intake all at once, as the kidneys and digestive system need time to adjust. Add one 8-oz. glass every day or every second day.

What counts toward your daily water intake? Just the basics: water and herbal tea. Caffeinated beverages and alcoholic drinks are diuretics that can contribute to dehydration, requiring even more hydration after drinking.

Not only is water important for skin health, it can also play a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking eight glasses of water a day can decrease the risk of colon cancer, bladder cancer, and potentially even breast cancer.

Home Care for Your Skin

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

An Excellent Investment

In today’s rapidly growing beauty world, an estimated 40,000-plus cosmetic and skin care products in the United States are competing for your attention and dollars. You can buy most of these from your local department store, drugstore, or on the Internet. The choices are truly overwhelming. Here’s the good news: You don’t have to sort out all of this information to find the best products for your skin. Your skin care professional can offer you customized suggestions of home care products that are superior to over-the-counter products and that are designed for the unique and evolving needs of your skin, health, and lifestyle.

Every dollar you invest in skin care treatments with your esthetician works harder for you when you support it with the highly specialized professional products he or she offers. Your esthetician is a skilled professional with significant knowledge that helps determine what’s best for your skin. Forty-nine of 50 states require hundreds of hours of training and passage of an exam to gain an esthetics license. (Connecticut does not license skin care professionals.) Nearly three-quarters of estheticians in the United States have received 600 or more hours of training.

Analysis is KeyA major advantage to getting professional advice is that your visit includes a thorough skin analysis before treatment. As well as closely studying your skin, often using special analytic equipment, your esthetician will take a detailed health history from you, asking about skin conditions you have or had, any medications you are taking, and allergies you have. All of this is factored into your treatment. None of this is available when you buy something from a clerk in a retail setting who may be unskilled and disinterested, or when you order from a completely impersonal website. When it comes to your skin, one size truly does not fit all.

Because professional products are available to you from a licensed esthetician, the law allows higher concentrations of active ingredients in these products. This means you are getting more effective formulations that will likely result in better and faster results. This makes your investment in products and your home care regimen all the more valuable.

The proper home care regimen enhances and maintains the results from your treatments and prepares your skin for further care. It will greatly increase the effectiveness of certain procedures only a professional can provide, such as chemical exfoliation and microdermabrasion. With an esthetician’s care, you have the opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns you might have about your skin. Your routine and products could very well change over time, and only expert care can determine this. (Common causes for reevaluation include the change of seasons or a move to a different climate; changes in your health; and hormonal changes.)

The Labeling GameIf you look at labels on over-the-counter skin care products, you’ll soon realize that it is impossible to understand ingredients without special knowledge. While many products are subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation, the main purpose of this regulation is to ensure minimal safety standards, not to validate product claims or promises. While they may have ingredients that are generally useful for various skin problems, it’s unlikely they’ll have active ingredients that are concentrated enough to make these products effective. It truly is buyer beware when it comes to sorting through product claims and promises. There is little to no accountability for these manufacturers.

To capture your business, manufacturers spend vast sums of money on marketing and advertising to distinguish each given product from the other 39,999 offerings vying for your purchasing loyalty. They are counting on huge numbers of “tryers and buyers” to offset their marketing investment, rather than directly targeting just those consumers who might be a good fit for their products. The cost of this advertising and marketing is built into the cost of the products and, as one observer points out, the packaging may actually cost more to produce than the product itself. Why rely on the trial-and-error, one-size-fits-all approach? Just as you wouldn’t wear someone else’s eyeglasses, you shouldn’t use someone else’s skin care regimen.

On the other hand, your skin care professional is interested in a long-term relationship with you that is based in trust and that depends on your continued satisfaction over time. He or she invested substantially in esthetician training and most likely entered the field with a career in mind rather than just a job.

Think ValueWhile professional skin care products and services may seem more expensive at first, they offer a better value for a few reasons. You will likely need less product per application since the active ingredients are more concentrated. You will achieve better results and gain more from your esthetician visits if you maintain the correct home care regimen. And, you’ll have the confidence in knowing your products have been chosen specifically for your skin, health, and lifestyle by someone with skill and knowledge.

Your skin care treatments should be provided by a properly trained professional. Don’t hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about his or her background, training, and experience– especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. As a member of Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP), your skin care professional has comprehensive details on changing trends and treatments at his or her fingertips, so you’ll be receiving the most current information and care.

My Hair Stylist – Cross Promotion

Friday, February 8th, 2013

I would love to introduce you all to my very amazing hair stylist Amy Bates!  Amy is a recent transplant to Seattle and is now doing hair at Kitty Hawk in Capitol Hill. Kitty Hawk is off the main drag of Capitol Hill with convenient, free parking and a clean, bright, and colorful vibe!

Amy has been doing my hair for quite some time now and, as some of you have seen, she does an incredible job!  Amy is such an excellent stylist and amazing person that I really must share!

Amy Bates has been working with hair for over 10 years. In those 10 years she has owned her own successful salon in BC and has continually enhanced her hair knowledge by receiving education from all over the world. Education is Amy’s touchstone to success and because of this she is on the cutting edge in her industry!  Amy rocks at transitional coloring, Ombré and Balayage techniques. Her hair cuts and colors are personalized to suit her client’s looks, needs and desires! To top it all off, Amy is so friendly and a complete joy to chat with.

In just a few months at Kitty Hawk, Amy has already received some great yelp action:

Amy and I have teamed up to offer each other’s clients a new client special. From now until March 30th, Amy Bates at Kitty Hawk is offering a 20% discount to all new clients who mention The Skin Firm as a referral. So, go get some amazing hair! I’ll look forward to seeing it!

Book here:

Kitty Hawk’s Website:

Brazilian Waxing 411

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

The 411 on Brazilian Waxing  Book Now

By Amy Stewart

A Brazilian Wax removes all hair between your belly button and the small of your back, with or with out a shape on top. So, take everything off, or some popular shapes to try are a triangle, strip, or a heart.

Pre Wax
Please allow at least three weeks of hair growth for less tweezing and and a longer lasting Brazilian.

Do not trim before your waxing service. Trimming is included in the service to ensure proper length. Plus, you are paying to have the hair removed, why would you want to fuss with it before hand?

To reduce pain and swelling during the service, take an ibuprofen 20 minutes before your service.

For best results and for little pain, schedule your Brazilian wax according to your cycle. For your comfort, it is best to get waxed one week to two weeks after your period. Testosterone and Estrogen are high at this time which increases your tolerance for pain. Also, the hairs are stronger and are therefore less likely to break, giving you longer lasting results.

Keep in mind, it is do-able to get a Brazilian wax while on your period. Sometimes a Brazilian has to happen when it has to happen. Romantic events are impending, flights to sunnier places are booked or it’s your only free moment for weeks! Just be mindful that it may add a bit more pain to the service at an already uncomfortable time of the month. Always be sure to wear a Diva Cup or Tampon.

A hot shower or bath before your waxing service allows hair follicles to loosen and is hydrating to the skin. Be sure to moisturize immediately following your shower to lock in hydration.

Post Wax:
Skin may feel sore and swollen. This is normal as the hair follicle is inflamed and skin has experienced mild exfoliation. Treat by applying an ice pack and taking a dose of ibuprofen. Wearing loose fitting underwear, or skipping underwear, will reduce irritation in the first day after your wax when skin is sensitive.

It is not uncommon to experience ingrown hairs with any type of hair removal. Be it applying hair removal cream, shaving, or waxing. Often times those who experience ingrown hairs see a reduction with waxing. That being said there is still a possibility of ingrown hairs if proper care is not taken.

To prevent ingrown hairs, wash and gently exfoliate the area in your next shower (ideally that night or the next morning is okay). Following your shower apply Whish Flawless. Whish Flawless is soothing and great at preventing ingrown hairs. Next, condition the skin by applying a natural body moisturizer. All products should be free of artificial fragrances and dye as these ingredients can irritate the skin.

Maintaining healthy skin is key. Every week, 2-3 times a week, exfoliate and treat with Whish Flawless and moisturize every time you shower.

Finally get your Brazilians no more than 4 to 6 weeks apart! To stay on a 4-6 week schedule, you are welcome to pre-book your future appointments when checking out at The Skin Firm.

Book Now

Fall Newsletter

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

First I would like to thank you for your business this summer! It was great to work with you and your support contributed to making my first four months in business a success! And don’t forget, if you enjoyed your services here

please spread the word! It means so much to me to have your referrals as I am starting out. As a thank you, you will receive $15 off a future service for each person that you send in to see me.Fall is among us and, so far, it has been incredibly beautiful. The sun is still out most days, but it is cooler and the air just feels of fall! I love it!

Pumpkin is the perfect beginning to celebrate Fall and replenish dry, summer Skin!

Here is a reminder about how great pumpkin is…

•it contains the highest content of naturally occurring Vitamin A and Beta Carotene over any other fruit (yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable).
•it is often referred to as “nature’s natural collagen”.
•it naturally protects your skin from ultra violet rays due to its high zinc content.
•it helps remove toxins that are stuck deep in pores and neutralize free radicals.
•it provides powerful antioxidant support that helps prevent certain cancers.
•it is extremely rich in minerals, oleic, linoleic and phytic acids, niacin, magnesium, lysine, protein, potassium, fiber, and vitamins B, C, E and K.

For spa indulgence and clinical results, ask me about the Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Refresher Treatment today! This fall favorite, smells like pumpkin pie, will polish the skin, stimulate collagen activity, and leave skin feeling smooth and toned.

As the weather cools down, this may be the best time to try waxing, for a few reasons. Cool weather facilitates clearer skin for those who tend to break out after waxing. Also, since it is cooler out, long pants, and less swim suit occasions, facilitate the ability to allow hair to grow! And by the time summer rolls back around, hair growth will be thinner and easier to manage. Plus, you can time waxing with your fall/ winter get-a-ways to sunnier places!

Fall Specials: October 1st 2012 thru November 17th 2012

10% off Pumpkin Refresher Facial
When booking a Pumpkin Refresher Facial online, use Code: PUMPKFF

20% off a series of 3 Pumpkin Refresher Facials. The series of 3 is for one person. This series can be purchased online:

10% off any new waxing service.
Want to try a Brazilian, Full Face, Full Leg or Back Wax?
When booking online, use code:NNWW1010 – Limit one per person.

20% off “Family Vacation” waxing packages:
2 Bikini Waxes: $56 (normally $70)
2 Brazilian Waxes: $104 (normally $130)
2 back waxes: $48 (normally $60)
1 Back Wax and 1 Bikini Wax: $52 (normally $65)
1 Back Wax and 1 Brazilian Wax: $76 (normally $95)

**Waxing services must be booked together and by 2 different people. Want more savings for your friends or family? 20% off waxing packages are good for 2 or more people booking on the same day.
When booking online, use code: FVFV2020

All appointments can be made online through our website :

Or by calling: (206)973-9164
Please mention which offer you would like to book!

I am available Wednesday thru Saturday. Please note, I will be out of the office for skin care and waxing appointments November 21st thru the 24th. Last day to book these appointments will be Saturday, November 17th. So please book accordingly. Get your brows or bikini in order, freshen up your skin, or just come in to relax before family arrives, before you cook your heart out, or before leaving on your fall vacation!

Sylvia Rose, LMT, will be available for massage on her regular
days and on mine! She is there to help ease aches, pains and stresses during what can be a hectic time of year! By appointment only, please call (206)973-9164.

Thank you, and I hope to see you soon!
Owner & Esthetician

The Skin Firm
4501 15th Avenue South
Suite #103
Beacon Hill
Seattle, WA 98108

Treating Ingrown Hairs and Bumps

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Whish- Flawless is now available at The Skin Firm! This product is so amazing. It feels very soothing after a brazilian, or any other type of wax, and is awesome at preventing ingrown hairs.

Use Whish- Flawless as step two of three to create healthy, post wax, skin!
Step 1: Exfoliate in the shower. Use a small amount of natural body scrub. The Skin Firm sells a lovely Bamboo Body Scrub, by Rhonda Allison.
Step 2: Dry skin and apply Whish- Flawless. Flawless is a smooth gel that can be applied with the fingertips.
Step 3: Moisturize with natural body lotion or body butter.

For more info:

Rhonda Allison Skin Peels

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Skin Peels are such a wonderful tool to treat so many different skin conditions; including, acne and acne scarring, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles and aged, dull skin, and even Rosacea. Skin peels are also great for anyone who just needs extra exfoliation in order to achieve a beautiful and flawless complexion.

Since skin peels are so important, I decided treated The Skin Firm/me, to an 8 hour Rhonda Allison skin peeling course. What a amazing information! My favorite was seeing and hearing the journey’s of so many clients who participated in the Rhonda Allison 90 Day Challenge! It is so great to see the change between red inflamed, scarred, acneic skin, or unevenly pigmented skin be turned around into skin that anyone would be so proud of!

Rhonda Allison skin peels use ingredients are so effective and cutting edge. They offer a skin peel for every skin type and every life style. They can be done once or twice annually for maintenance, or in a series to help correct the skin of acne, hyper-pigmentation, and more!

I can not wait to get clients set up on skin peels. I would love to enter the Rhonda Allison 90 Day Challenge, and WIN!