Wednesday, December 7, 2016


By Sharlean Windus

Now is the perfect time of year to add topical retinol into your skincare routine. Retinol will speed up the skin's cell turnover rate, combat fine lines, lighten sun spots (hyperpigmentation), reduce acne scarring and will increase collagen production and improve skin texture. 

Retinol is regarded as the top anti-aging product on the market today and is prescribed frequently by
Dermatologist around the globe however not everyone needs prescription strength to get results. Esthetician's sell and recommended retinol as well so consider having a consultation with both a Dermatologist and an Esthetician before making a decision on which level of retinol is best for you.

Who Should Use Retinol?

If you are under the age of 25 you most likely do NOT need to use retinol unless you are struggling with acne. Enzymes, gommage, scrubs and other normal level exfoliants will be sufficient for exfoliation at this age. Remember what happens when you over exfoliate....your skin will thin and sag sooner rather than be vibrant and glowing with the right balance of exfoliation. Anyone with rosacea should avoid retinol as it can exacerbate your rosacea symptoms but otherwise everyone else is potential candidate for this product.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. There is over 40 years of research available to review on retinol. Retinol comes from two sources, one group is called retinoids, deriving from animal sources, and the other is called carotenoids which comes from plants and includes beta-carotene. Retinol can also be synthetically created. Do your research before selecting the right one but my two favorite choices are Skin Ceuticals Retinol 1.0 Refining Night Cream and Epicuren Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Complex however there are several others on the market to choose from. 

How to use Retinol:

Apply a pea sized amount to clean dry skin and massage into the face and neck. Pull the product down onto the decollete for added anti-aging to the area that gets hit most by the sun while driving. You can even apply retinol to the tops of your hands if you see sun spots beginning to appear. After applying retinol, your skin can become more susceptible to sun damage and burn more easily so I recommend using retinol in the fall and winter only.

Try using it every other day for 6 weeks and then go off of it for 6 weeks. This is so you do not over exhaust your cells causing more harm than good. Watch for sensitivity, redness or peeling and pull back on usage if that occurs. You can apply serums and moisturizers over the top of the retinol once it has penetrated completely.

Use Caution:

  • Always use sunscreen after the use of retinol to prevent sun damage.
  • Do not store retinol in too hot or too cold temperatures, it will lower product effectiveness.
  • Use daily or weekly retinol application for 6 weeks and go off for 6 weeks and then back on for 6 weeks and continue the rotation. This gives your skin a chance to repair and wont over exhaust the skin which will cause opposite results. 
  • If you have rosacea or sensitive skin I would NOT use retinol, it will exacerbate rosacea. 
  • Be mindful of other exfoliations you are using along with retinol. This is when working with an Esthetician becomes helpful in deciding what level of exfoliation you need, how many exfoliation products to use and how often to use them.
  • Do not use retinol when pregnant or nursing.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Autumn, the season that teaches us that change can be beautiful!

Soothing Botanical Facial & Aromatherapy Massage $170 reg. $195
This facial incorporates an exfoliation to slough away dryness and bring back a healthy glow to your skin. Also featuring the new Jade roller massage, which improves circulation, elasticity and skin tone combined with a new Phyto Corrective mask by Skincueticals. This new gel masque combines a calming di-peptide, and hyaluronic acid to intensively soothe and replenish skin.
This one hour aromatherapy relaxation massage combines fall essential oils of ginger, orange and patchouli. The unique oil combination creates a peaceful harmony with warming, calming relaxation effects.
Epicuren Cinnamon, Vanilla, & Brown Sugar Body Scrub $75 reg. $90
An aromatic exfoliation with Cinnamon, Vanilla & Brown Sugar will smoothaway rough areas of skin and restore a youthful glow. Finishing with a luxurious Tahitian Vanilla After Bath that combines warm, comforting Vanilla Oil that’s precisely blended with rich, natural emollients to protect against dry skin.
Thai Yoga Massage 90 minutes $125
Thai massage uses passive stretching and gentle pressure to increaseflexibility. The body is compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked in order to clear energy blockages and relieve tension. The therapist uses hands, palms, elbows, knees, and feet to move the client into various positions. No lotions/oils are used in Thai massage. The client wears comfortable clothes, and the massage is performed on the floor on padded mats.
New Massage Enhancements……………………………………………………….
Ensuring our client’s achieve the best possible results when receiving massage we incorporate Young Living essential oil aromatherapy, moist heat packs, and/or ice as needed.
Young Living Essential Oil Aromatherapy : We have our most requested essential oils for you to select from Bergamot, Cedar, Orange, Eucalyptus, Lavender, or Peppermint. In addition to our favorite six essential oils, each month we will feature a unique oil to choose from too! The essential oil chosen will be introduced via inhalation and added to your massage lotion or oil.
Hydrocollator Moist Heat Pack : Moist heat packs are placed on the body to create heat improving soft tissue by increased circulation, relieving muscle pain, spasm and tightness.
Ice : Ice is applied on localized areas to reduce soft tissue inflammation and swelling to temporary reduce pain and muscle spasm.

Monday, August 8, 2016




One Hour Relaxation Aromatherapy Massage &

Himalayan Superfruit Facial $150 reg. 190

Himalayan Superfruit Facial
An exotic blend of Goji, Pomegranate, Acai, and Bilberry creates the perfect solution for all skin conditions. A refreshing enzymatic fruit puree dissolves lifeless cells while their seeds gently buff them away. These deliciously aromatic super fruits are packed full of vitamin C, minerals, proteins, and age-defying antioxidants to leave the skin looking smooth and vibrant.

One Hour Relaxation Aromatherapy Massage
{refreshing basil lime or cooling peppermint}
Relax and de-stress with a one hour aromatherapy massage infused with essential oils. Chose from the herbaceous aroma of basil and the wonderfully light and uplifting aromatic scent of lime to encourage feelings of positivity and calm or peppermint that creates cooling sensation on the skin while invigorating the mind and senses to inspire a sense of peace.
Epicuren Guava Nectar Invigorating Scrub & 
Hydrating Body Glow Wrap $125 reg. 145
Escape into this calming tropical ritual while your skin takes on a hydrated, healthy radiance. Your journey begins with with lymphatic simulation fromdry brushing followed by a refreshing scrub of sea salts, Polynesian white sand, and guava fruit. Then relax in a cocoon of warmth as your skin soaks up the reparative benefits of natural minerals, healing aloe, and pure coconut milk while receiving a mind clearing, nourishing pressure point scalp massage & foot massage. Then shower off and conclude this soothing experience with Guava Nectar Hydrating Body Emulsion, leaving you stress-free and perfectly smooth. {75 minutes}
Epicuren Guava Nectar Invigorating Body Scrub $75 reg. 95
Immerse into summer state-of-mind while your skin takes on a hydrated, healthy radiance. Your journey begins with lymphatic simulation from dry brushing followed by a refreshing scrub of sea salts, Polynesian white sand, and guava fruit, then shower off. Complete this experience with the tranquil essences of Sandalwood, Water Lily, Grapefruit, and Guava Nectar Hydrating Body Emulsion, leaving you relaxed with sense of complete indulgence! {45 minutes}
Ensure your skin is silky smooth……
Book and receive $100.00 of waxing services in June, July or August and receive a complimentary 2oz Epicuren Afterbath. Limit one per customer. Pick up your waxing punch card upon first service.
Sun Screen ~ Let’s talk protection for my skin!
Sunscreen should be worn year round no matter your skin type or your age protecting you from skin cancer and progressive aging. At Classique Spa we have over 10 professional sunscreens and sun blocks to select from enabling you to not only protect your skin but also ‘treat’ your skin.
The Skin Cancer Foundation* facts about photo aging:
· Up to 90% of the visible changes attributed to aging are caused by UV radiation from the sun
· Degradation of collagen and elastin fibers
· Breakdown of connective tissue causing wrinkles& fine lines
· Hyper pigmentation
Electromagnetic radiation that emits on the earth from the sun in the form of ultraviolet A and B rays are invisible to the human eye however the effects on the skin can be very visible to the human eye.
The difference between UVA and UVB rays:
Ultraviolet A absorbs to the deeper layer of the skin (dermis) is responsible for skin aging and damage versus Ultraviolet B absorbs more on surface layers of the skin (epidermis) causing sunburn. Both rays can contribute to skin cancer.
Let’s talk protection for my skin! Sunscreen and SPF
Sunscreen having a combination of UVA/UVB filters provide complete coverage “broad spectrum”. UV filters can be either chemical or physical. Chemical UV filters stop UV damage by absorbing the UV rays, however some chemicals can also absorb into the skin possible causing irritation. Physical UV filters stay on the top of the skin and protect by absorbing and reflecting the sun’s rays. In the past these type of UV protectors could give a white and caulky appearance to the skin.
Sun Protection Factor is related to the measures ability of the product to protect the skin from UVB rays. Example SPF 15 should allow a person to be in the sun 15 times longer than they would normally be without sunscreen. Clearly this would vary depending on the skin type and could also create a sense that it’s OK to be in the sun because they are protected. However SPF does not represent the UVA ray level of protection.
Professional sunscreens are different than market level sunscreens as they can provide a number of secondary actions for skin treatment like:
· Mattifying effect to dry up excess oil
· Contain additional ingredients for moisturizing, hydrating or aging
· Can include tinted color to give your skin that special glow
· Waterproof options for swimming and sports
· Sheer options for a lightweight feel
Top two staff favorite picks this month are….
Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50
For all skin types, even the most sensitive, seeking a light-weight, non-irritating sunscreen, and first to the market to provide mattifying fluid withtransparent finish, unique shake and apply action to assure even distribution of active ingredient, high SPF and UVA protection, all-physical, broad-spectrum formula (paraben-free).
Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
For all skin types, even the most sensitive, seeking a light-weight, non-irritating sunscreen, and film-less tint adaptable to all skin tones, boost radiance for a more even, luminous complexion, contains transparent Zinc Oxide, the UV filter spanning the full UVA/UVB spectrum, non-comedogenic without chemical filters.
Lots of helpful information at The Skin Cancer Foundation at!
Schedule Your Spa Service Today
Don’t wait! Schedule a relaxing summertime spa service today or
share the experience with someone special by giving a gift certificate!
Book online or call 206.216.9800!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Skincare For The Eye Area
By Sharlean Windus

The skin around the eye area is delicate and quickly shows the signs of stress, lack of sleep and dehydration. As an Esthetican, I work diligently to assist my clients in achieving good skin tone, boosted levels of hydration and a just an all around bright looking eye area. Enjoy a sampling of my favorite tips to light up your eye area.

1. Never pull or rub the skin in the eye area. 
Use a gentle eye makeup remover or a professional quality cleanser to gently remove eye makeup. Look for my post next week on my favorite eye care products!

2. Always use an eye cream. 
Eye creams are typically formulated to penetrate the skin differently around the eye area so using a facial moisturizer is not enough if you want to see results. A good quality eye cream will work well but it will not do everything and you will need to prioritize your eye area goals. Some eye creams are plumping or hydrating, some are firming and toning and others are resurfacing or exfoliating. I personally like to use two different eye creams but depending on your age, the condition of the skin around the eyes and what you want to accomplish, you may only need one product to achieve results. Think of eye cream not only as a corrective measure but also as a preventative measure in protecting the eye area skin health and vibrancy.

3. Get as much sleep as your body requires. 
Sleep deprivation shows immediately in the eye area. Everyone's body is different and the amount of sleep you need will vary but if you have a poor night's sleep then try doing an eye mask to brighten up the eyes for the day. If you are having sleep challenges like getting to sleep or staying asleep, seek out a Naturopathic Doctor who can help support you holistically in achieving a slumber night's sleep.

4. Stay hydrated.
It is amazing to me how quickly eye area dehydration lines disappear when you get the correct amount of water you need. Try drinking a small glass of water in between your coffee or other daily beverages you like to consume. I love to boost my water with a squeeze of lemon or lime when I need to feel refreshed or a drop of peppermint essential oil when I need digestive support.

5. Reduce salt intake and sleep elevated.
If you are experiencing puffy eyes, try reducing your sodium intake. If you are not currently sleeping slightly elevated, try a larger pillow so that the fluid around the eyes can drain properly and not build up overnight. 

6. Apply a cold eye mask.
I always love putting a little eye cream into a small glass dish, placing the dish into the freezer for a few seconds and then applying the cold eye cream to my eye area. Its quite refreshing when you need that special at home eye enhancement.

7. Book a professional eye treatment.
Most spa's will offer an eye treatment service if you are already receiving a facial. This is a great way to give your eye area that special attention when you need it most.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Everything You Need to Know About the Sun

Everything You Need to Know About the Sun
By Dr. Tamara Dickson 
 It is nearly impossible to get all necessary Vitamin D from dietary sources.  All dietary sources of Vitamin D are animal products like milk, fatty fishes, cod liver oil, egg yolks because Vitamin D is actually a hormone that the body must make, not a vitamin. This poses a problem for people who abstain from eating animal products, all other dietary sources of vitamin D are foods that have Vitamin D added and it is not always added in a form that the body can easily use.  

UV-Beta sunlight exposure to skin is needed to turn the pre-hormone dehydrocholesterol into D3, the active form of Vitamin D that the liver can use. It is later processed through the kidneys. UVB rays are reduced by clouds (impairing Vitamin D synthesis greatly for those in the NW), pollution and will not travel through glass. Generally, the best time to catch UV-B rays is midday (10 am-3pm) when UV-A to UV-B ratio is almost equal. This is important because more skin malignancies are caused by UV-A rays. Unfortunately, the UV-B rays are most responsible for sunburn, too, so how does one keep a balance? 

Within 10-15 minutes of sun exposure at the ideal times, the average fair-skinned person can synthesize up to 10,000 units of Vitamin D, which is 2-3x greater than the average daily supplementation. It can take an African-Americans up to 60 minutes to make the same amount due to how increased melanin pigment in the skin slows the absorption of UV-B rays. So, I suggest applying sunscreen after your initial 10 minutes of sun exposure so you can synthesize your Vitamin D. Darker skinned individuals can wait up to 15 minutes longer. 

Some advice about sunscreen:

-Re-apply sunscreens often. Recent FDA regulations have moved to change labeling such as "water-proof" and "sport-proof" because they mislead consumer into thinking they have more protection than they have. 
-Stick to SPF ranges 15-50. Any SPF above 50 has been shown to be no more effective than a 50 and often contain harsher chemical additives. 
- Chemical additives to avoid are oxybenzone- a synthetic estrogen and retinyl palmitate- a possible carcinogen.  
- Look for active ingredients zinc, titanium, avobenzone or Mexoryl SX. These substances protect  skin from harmful UV-A radiation and remain on the skin, with little penetrance into the body.

Dr. Tamara Dickson
Naturopathic Family Medicine
4411 Fremont Ave N
Seattle WA 98103
Phone: 206-683-4495
*Contact Classique Spa for a complimentary consultation where one of our licensed Estheticians will select a sunscreen that's right for your skin type. 206-216-9800

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Right Lotion - No Stick, No Shine, No Stink

The land of lotions can be a tricky one to navigate. So, we've broken it down for you. You can find any ol' lotion to slather on, but we recommend something that doesn't stick, shine or stink.

The Problem: Lotion Woes

1. No Stick:  Lotion as An Adhesive
We've all been there. It's a hot day, you're wearing a skirt, and you lotion up because your legs are so, so dry. Then, somewhere, somehow you're forced to sit on a leather chair. Before you know it, your perspiration has created a chemical reaction and your leg lotion and the chair are one. You're bound to that black leather until you can think of a graceful way to become nonstick. Classy.

2. No Shine:  Lotion As Crisco
This is the tale of the lotion that leaves you looking like a greasy mess. Sure, it might be hydrating, but it gets on your clothes, your friends, and your mother. You might as well have slathered on mineral oil, because your skin refuses to absorb this lotion. Your mom thought you knew better.

3. No Stink:  Lotion As A People Repellent
You don't want something so potent that people know you took the elevator to the 4th floor--3 days ago. You also don't want a lotion that reminds people of a retirement home or of their dead aunt. That would just be sad. Your beauty products should not cause depression in others.

The Solution: Epicuren After-Bath

So, what's a dry body to do? Is there a lotion that doesn't stink, hydrates, and stays with your skin all day, every day? Yes.

Yes there is.

Let me introduce you to Epicuren After-Bath Lotion. This stuff replenishes and hydrates your skin while providing an enzyme vitamin protein complex and antioxidants. Epicuren offers an assortment of fresh scents for this lotion (which we have) but we also carry their unscented version. The After-Bath Lotion is what we use in all our massage sessions and in a variety of of our premier facials. It's our go-to body lotion at Classique Spa and we absolutely love it!

Plus, Epicuren doesn't test its products on animals, it's paraben free and it's super safe for pregnant women and sensitive skin. Our entire staff has used the lotion, so if you want first hand reviews, we'd be more than happen to share our two cents.

Happy Hydrating!

image credit: ReadyMade

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More on Reiki

A Reiki session can help create a sense of relaxation, peace, and well-being. It's an energetic type of bodywork that involves light touch and addresses body, mind, and spirit. Now, we realize this might sound a bit too unscientific for some of you left brain folks. So, we did a little digging and found that Reiki can actually help lower blood pressure and reduce your hear rate.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed a small study revealing a "significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure and heart rate in the Reiki group that didn’t appear in the placebo group or the control group." Studies like this seem to indicate that Reiki creates an important effect that isn't caused by suggestion.

Consider giving Reiki a try to see if it's a good fit for you and your well being.

60 Minute Reiki Session: September special: $45

{regularly: $60}

Valid through September 30th. Must use within 6 months of purchase Maximum of three gift certificates per person, per special.
Image credit: via Brittainie on Pinterest