Monday, Jul 22, 2019

Skin relief

Summer officially began five days ago and will last 93 days, and the temperatures outside are soaring, so-much-so that it feels hotter than the mercury reading. Compounding the heat problem, I already feel like I’ve had too much sun exposure during spring and what’s supposed to be the milder temperatures. Armed with the knowledge that the sun is one of the biggest culprits in rapidly aging the skin, I sought the advice of skin care and massage therapist Carlethia Thurston for recommendations for relief for my skin, considering it’s the largest organ of the human body. And the fact that if you don’t have and maintain a skin care regimen, as you age, it will definitely show – especially on the face.

Thurston, the spa manager at Amber Spa at the Warwick Paradise Island, recommended treatments with vitamins whose main function in skin care is to protect against sun damage, as taking care of the skin should be an essential part of a health routine. Ensuring your skin gets enough vitamins guarantees that it looks healthy and youthful, delaying the onset of aging.

With that said, Thurston recommended Amber Spa’s Vitamin Power facial – an anti-oxidant combination of vitamins A, C and E which supports the microcirculation of the skin and reverses the damaging effects of environmental ultraviolet radiation and pollution; the Anti-age Treatment for the body – a full body treatment that helps prevent premature skin aging and accelerates skin regeneration through their Swiss firming and toning techniques; a keratin manicure which promotes nail strengthening and is skin-nourishing; and a Silky Milk pedicure that is soothing and hydrating.

Dual therapist Lynn Evans, my go-to person at Amber Spa, when Thurston isn’t administering a treatment herself, was tasked with giving me treatments from head to toe to help with relief from the effects of the sun, taking care of the excess oil on my chin, as well as what she termed the “sun-kissed” looks on my cheeks, forehead and nose, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

According to Evans, the vitamin A, C and E focused treatments would aid in helping to prepare and repair my skin which she said had caught so much sun, that it made me look like I was “blushing”. And as I would be going back out into the sun, which is hard to avoid, the treatments, she said, would help by fortifying the skin to fight against future sun damage.

We began with my body treatment, the application of their Silky Milk Mud Masque which was slathered on my entire body from shoulders to feet. I was then enrobed in cellophane and laid on a heated bed and was then snugly topped with sheets before Evans added the heat from an infrared lamp to assist the nourishing vitamins to penetrate into my skin. The treatment lasted approximately 40 minutes. After the treatment did its job, Evans gently removed the excess masque with warm towels, before applying the Silky Milk Cream which she said helped to lock in the moisture that my body had soaked up.

My entire body felt deliciously soft and smooth, and the treatments had just begun.

According to Thurston, the sun is actually responsible for 85 percent of a person’s aging. She has said everyone wants to look younger, but that in order to maintain youthful, healthy skin, people need to start a proper skin care regimen at least by age 25 to ensure they do all they can to combat the intensity of the sun.

To take care of my “sun-kissed” or “blushing” face, Evans did a double cleanse. She pre-cleansed my face with Mila Cleansing Milk to cleanse and clarify my skin as it easily removes make-up, impure particles and any products that may have been on my face. She followed that with the two-in-one Vitamin Cleanser, a delicate, gel-like cleansing lotion that left my face refreshed with a pleasant clean feeling. The toner in the two-in-one also helped to restore my skin’s pH balance (the balance of acid and alkaline) so that it would accept all the vitamin goodness that Evans was going to bestow on me.

Evans then applied the exfoliating enzyme which works on a cellular level to remove dead skin (skin sheds every 28 days and the dead skin should be removed) from the damage done by the sun, and unclogs the pores for fresh, new skin to accept vitamins A, C and E from the ampules and the masque. Any whiteheads or blackheads Evans came across were removed during the extractions process before she applied the Mila d’Opiz Vital Cream which assists the skin in looking younger longer. It’s a light, fruity cream that activates the skin’s own functions and supports the self-protection of the skin towards negative environmental influences. In other words, it brings improved relief to my skin, and increased the ability of the upper layers of the skin to retain moisture. My face drank it up. The smooth cream penetrated into my skin immediately.

Evans reminded me that vitamin C is good for maintaining the cell structure.

“It’s supportive and concentrated, so once it’s in the skin you can’t rub it off; it penetrates.”

She then applied gauze to my face on top of which a vitamin C masque was applied. As the masque hardens, the gauze allowed Evans to make it easier to remove, and not have to resort to using, as she said ––– “1,000 towels to remove it.” Evans said the masque is washable, but that it takes a lot of washing to remove it from the skin once directly applied.

Evans gave me a massage with the Q10 cream, applied an eye-refining cream and followed up with an SPF 15 moisturizer.

My face was practically glowing – but this time in a good way. With the “blushing” (I tend to develop a red blush to my skin when I’ve had too much sun) gone from my skin, my tone had evened out, and the skin on my face felt and looked firmer and tighter.

From head to toe, I felt amazing and the manicure and pedicure were just icing on the cake to a fabulous day of much-needed pampering – but necessary – body treatments.

The keratin manicure made short work of softening rough, dry, peeling cuticles. As I don’t apply nail polish, Evans said the keratin treatment was perfect for me as it strengthens the nails.

We went with the Silky Milk pedicure to condition the skin on my feet, which works the same on the feet as on the body, because let’s face it – we all want soft feet, no matter our age.

The Mila D’Opiz Swiss line is well-known for its anti-aging properties which meant my head-to-toe treatments made use of the plant extract, the fruit extract, the natural, the holistic, and the hyaluronic acid.

As summer has just begun, Evans’ advice to people concerned about their skin care, is to stay hydrated, to cleanse and tone twice a day, and to not overdo their skin routine with harsh products.

She said she finds that her skin gets irritated in the summer and she opts to use a soft cleanse and tone, and a light moisturizer in her daily routine, with which she is consistent.

Evans works with the Mila D’Opiz line but she’s also a fan of it because it is botanical and allows the skin to accept it really easily and not leave the user’s skin feeling greasy. And she stresses that a little goes a long way.

The therapist personally likes the Collagen Optima Cream, the perfect 24-hour-care for dehydrated, sensitive skin that she says keeps the skin looking young, fresh, and firm and is considered a modern “multi-purpose” item that preserves the skin’s moisture balance. She also uses the day lotion with SPF 15 and the Mila Naturals Moisturizer which she said is awesome.

“I’m fairly dark-skinned, and I don’t have an acne problem, but my skin looks dull sometimes, so when I know I need to rejuvenate my skin, the Q10 Cream is my go-to for that. And the Mila Night Cream because I don’t like going to bed feeling heavy so that is the perfect moisturizer and I love it.”

Shavaughn Moss

Lifestyles Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Shavaughn Mossjoined The Nassau Guardianas a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor.Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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