• My Peel Journey: Buh-Bye Melasma (a true story from one of our clients).

    After the birth of my children, my skin changed. Dark melasma splotches would pop up seemingly overnight and no matter what “lightening” products I bought, my skin looked awful. A (probably) well-meaning woman at Sephora looked at me with mercy before showing me heavier foundations to wear in order to mask my uneven skin tone. But I didn’t like wearing so much makeup and I felt like the overall effect made me look much older. In a panic, I Googled someone to fix the melasma problem. After enduring two procedures with her, my skin looked even worse.

    Then, we moved to Boulder and I found Leah. She explained that my skin tone was not a good candidate for the procedures that had been done before and prescribed me a series of peels and products to heal and peel my skin plus a maintenance routine. After only 5 peels over the course of 9 months, my skin looked remarkable. Now, I get ~3-4 per year as maintenance followed by microderm/petite facials 3 weeks later, and get compliments on my skin! Of course, I also bathe in Elta sunscreen and have a serious hat collection to create my own shade year-round. Leah’s approach was kind, gentle, and modern while also taking into account what I was and wasn’t willing to do at home. As silly as it may sound, the peels salvaged and restored my self-confidence. She proved out the motto: skin first, makeup second.

    About Chemical Peels at Leah Nickie Advanced Aesthetics, a MedSpa

    Some people refer to chemical peels as a skin reboot.

    Here’s what they can do for you:

    1. Improve the texture of your skin
    2. Increase the cell turnover rate of your skin
    3. Improve your skin’s ability to hold moisture
    4. Help your skin produce more collagen
    5. Reduce fine lines
    6. Decrease hyperpigmentation
    7. Unclog pores and help clear up acne
    8. Leave your skin smooth
    9. Make your skin softer
    10. Make your skin look more even-toned
    11. Give you a “glow”
    12. Make your skin look dewy
    13. Improve minor scarring

    Who should get peel?

    • Anyone over age 25 (younger if you are struggling with acne or pigmentation)
    • Someone looking to improve skin tone, texture, signs of aging

      Who should not get peels?

      • Someone who is pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding
      • Someone who is taking Accutane or recently discontinued Accutane
      • Someone who is undergoing treatment for cancer

        How to prepare for a peel:

        • Stop using Accutane & Retinol **No Peels for 6 months after stopping Accutane and 1 week after stopping Retinol**
        • Get any brow or facial waxing taken care of a week before your peel. You won’t be able to wax for about 14 days after your peel.
        • No hot workouts 48 hours post-peel (no heated yoga or extreme, strenuous sports)
        • The best effects are from clients who get a series of 3 peels over 3-6 months. As a package, they can be bought for $355 and the effects can last for up to 6 months.

          What if feels like:

          • It ranges from tingly, to itchy, to a little warm. At LNAA we have products and tricks to make it as comfortable as possible and we monitor every second of the peel for performance.
          • It is not painful.

            Can you go back to work afterward?

            • With a wash of Vitamin C and sunscreen on your face plus your eye makeup intact, you can go back to work afterward but you will look shiny -- in Boulder, no one seems to notice.

            How to care for your skin post-peel:

            • We will send you home with a PCA Post Procedure kit that lasts about 5-7 days to nourish and care for your skin with gentle products containing anti-inflammatories and soothing agents for maximum effect and minimal downtime from the peeling that starts 36 to 72 hours after the procedure.
            • DO NOT pull or pick at the peeling skin; this will irritate your fresh, new, glowing skin that is emerging and could lead to discoloration or scarring.
            • Instead, use a baby washcloth or just your fingers and warm water with the PCA cleanser to gently remove the peeling skin that is ready to come off. These wisps of skin usually start peeling away near the nose and mouth first. 
            • Do not use any mechanical or enzymatic facials scrubs, or your Clarisonic  for 10 days
            • Use sunscreen 24x7 to protect your new skin (yes, even on cloudy or stormy days or indoors) OK, you don’t actually have to use SPF when you are sleeping ;-)

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            • Five Easy Ways to Reduce Your Daily Stress

              We all know stress is hard on our bodies and minds in every way. It’s a new year; you’re ready to change up some habits. Time to make some simple changes to affect our stress-load. We did some research and found five things that have a positive impact and aren’t hard to access.


              1. Get real about your YESs and NOs. Full body yes? Great! Do it. Not so much? It’s a no.

              2. Plan ahead. Getting places, day-snacking, outfits. Take out some of the decision making and intensity of your day. We’ve started leaving 5 minutes early to get places. It gives you a chance to breathe, to notice, to arrive before you jump into what’s next, or to maneuver through the ever-growing Boulder traffic and still arrive on time.

              For day-snacking, we’ve been keeping healthy bars, baggies of mixed nuts, and an orange or apple in our handbags. Nutrition without sacrifice when we’re getting hangry. 

              Simplify your AM routine by sticking to a tight rendition of your personal style and only wearing things that make you feel great. The rest of it? Donate pieces to Dress for Success or the Disabled Veterans. Fewer choices, more time to breathe. And, no, your co-workers don’t remember what you wore this week, or last week, so push those variety excuses aside.

              3. Walking meetings. We’ve been making an effort to exchange at least one break-room phone call or co-worker meeting for a walk-n-talk version.

              4. Hydration. We live in a high desert. Your body and especially your skin (!) need water all day long. Plus, being dehydrated saps your energy and can make you feel falsely hungry. One of our favorite tricks to enjoy water more is to add a splash of bitters in them. We especially love Dram Apothecary and Cocktail Punk, or the good old-fashioned Angostura (most liquor stores now carry bitters).

              5. DIY Spa Night. Every Sunday, we’re each known to lock ourselves away in our bathrooms for about an hour to prep for the week ahead. Exfoliate, face mask, Dry Brush, deep conditioning hair mask, hot shower, body scrub on elbows and knees (Trader Joe’s makes a great lavender one!), shave, finish with a body-oil-body cream combo slathered generously everywhere, GM Collin Nutrivital rich cream mixed with 2 drops of Odacite oil for facial and neck skin.

              Cheers! Happiest New Year everyone.

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            • 7 Minute Holiday Makeup -- The Full Story

              While professional makeup artist and local coach Cindy K Cruz showed us how to polish off our look in seven minutes (really), she also pointed out that it’s the glowing skin underneath that saved our model (Isabelle) from feeling like she needed to go heavy-handed with her makeup. We certainly agree! (see the video here)

              Foundational, fresh skin (with a skosh of medical science) that glows without any makeup at all:

              • Facial with either microdermabrasion or dermaplane
              • If you’ve never tried it, wait until you see the dramatic difference.
              • A light touch on filler and/or Botox
              • Eyelash and eyebrow tint + RevitaLash, RevitaBrow
              • A simple, effective skincare regime that you will stick to no matter how tired you are (cleanser, eye cream, serum, sunscreen are the basics)

                  Cindy’s 7-Minute Holiday Polish (Makeup) Look

                  She was emphatic about two things when we collaborated on this.

                  1. The right face serum to work with your skin, and help makeup stay in place. (Cindy used G.M. Collin Hydramucine Optimal Serum on Isabelle)
                  2. Eye Patches. Bright and tight in 20 minutes (we like to keep a stash of G.M. Collin Instant Radiance Anti-Aging Eye Patches for times like these)


                    • Apply a good, effective concealer well-matched to your skin tone under the eyes, under and beside the nose, and on the inner and outer corner of the eyes plus on any blemishes. Work in with a good brush or pat with your fingertips. She is a Mac makeup fan for concealer (not a paid influencer or affiliated in any way, she just loves it).
                    • Smooth in a dime size of G.M. Collin Mineral BB Cream so as not to hide your beautiful skin but instead simply even out your skin tone.
                    • Smoosh in a neutral eyeshadow shade and line your upper eyelid in a tonally matched shade staying very close to your lash line. For a little oomph, use a brighter color eyeshadow on the outer corners, and on top of, the liner to the edge of your pupil.
                    • Add a pop of natural blush to your cheeks.
                    • Use your favorite no-mirror-required lipstick and top with a plumping gloss like G.M. Collin Lip Plumping Complex.
                    • Extra credit: If you want some light bounce on the tops of your cheekbones, but don’t want to look like you have strobes on your face, pat 2 drops of Odacite oil in your palms, warm and thin by rubbing your palms together, and pat lightly onto the tops of your cheeks.
                    • Done and done!

                        Now, do as the French do and walk out the door, not thinking about your hair, makeup, or clothes again -- confidence is electric, wear it all like you mean it and don’t fuss. Have fun.

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                      • Microcurrent Facials: What They Are And How They Work

                        A microcurrent facial is occasionally referred to as a “natural” facelift. It’s a procedure that helps erase the appearance of wrinkles and other fine lines. It firms the skin, as well, which improves circulation and cellular activity, tightens pores, and eases puffiness. The end result is skin that looks healthier, fresher, and younger. But, how exactly does this process work?

                        This type of facial involves micro-currents (hence the name). It uses electrical currents that are very low in voltage (so low that they mirror the electrical currents of your body). These currents reach the skin on a cellular level and initiate a repair process by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. The currents also tone the face, which is why some people refer to this procedure as “microcurrent toning.”

                        Of course, some people hear the word “current” and assume that means “pain.” However, the current employed in microcurrent facials is so low that there’s no bite or sting. Many patients actually feel a tingling sensation that may lead to an overall relaxing experience.

                        The entire procedure takes around an hour, but may go as long as an hour and a half. There is no recovery afterwards, though some people experience slight redness, and the results are typically noticeable immediately. Some people notice a glow or an uplift, while others see that the contours of their face are suddenly more pronounced.

                        Microcurrent facials add up – this means that better results are achieved with more sessions. Usually, it’s recommended that people begin with around a dozen treatments over the course of a six-week period followed by a less stringent maintenance schedule. Those who are interested in simply looking their best for an upcoming event (such as a wedding) can benefit from a single session. However, without follow up, the initial results only last for a few weeks.

                        A microcurrent facial is for anyone who wants to improve the appearance of their skin, but those with medical conditions should refrain from this type of procedure without first consulting their doctor. People with heart conditions, for example, should avoid treatment as should those who are pregnant. If you have epilepsy, mental implants, or are prone to skin irritation, you should avoid it, as well.

                        Microcurrent facials are all the rage and for good reason. If you’re interested in learning how this procedure can benefit you, contact us! At Leah Nickie Advanced Aesthetics, we offer a relaxing and pleasurable experience while providing education on all things skin care. Our lines reflect our belief that environmentally responsible products can and do provide the very best for our skin, our bodies, and our planet. To schedule one of our services, please call 303-527-0101 or book online.

                        Featured image courtesy of Unsplash under Creative Commons 0 license

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                      • The Benefits of Dry Brushing

                        If the only dry brushing you engage in involves combing your hair when it’s void of moisture, it’s time to think outside the bathroom cabinet. Dry brushing actually has nothing to do with the hairs on your head; instead, it involves brushing your skin.

                        Sure, you may be thinking that you have enough to do already – your beauty routine is all filled up. And, until hygienic activities are automated, your regimen will stay jam-packed.

                        But, there are plenty of reasons to make room for dry brushing. Some of these include:

                        An increase in circulation

                        Circulation isn’t something we think about, at least not until we fall over because we stand up on a leg that’s fallen asleep. However, poor circulation can lead to another c word: cellulite. Dry brushing won’t eliminate cellulite entirely, but it will help by breaking down the toxins your skin harbors.

                        Stimulation of the lymph system

                        Dry brushing stimulates your lymph system, the system in your body responsible for removing fluid from tissue, transporting white blood cells, strengthening the immune system, and aiding the digestive system. Stimulating the lymphatic flow detoxifies the skin and rejuvenates its cells. 

                        Shedding of dead skin cells

                        Skin is full of dead cells (yes, even your skin). Dry brushing helps the skin shed these cells, which leaves your appearance glowing. It releases toxins – as mentioned above – and helps the body run like a better-oiled machine.

                        It invigorates your day

                        If you’re able to fit dry brushing into your mornings, you may find that it’s a great way to revitalize your day. It stimulates the skin’s nerve endings and pumps up the nervous system. This helps you feel fresh and rejuvenated.

                        It helps your skin absorb nutrients

                        Dry brushing helps eliminate clogged pores (chances are, some of yours are clogged). This allows your skin to absorb nutrients more readily. This absorption, naturally, comes with even more benefits, including healthier skin, younger looking skin, and skin with better elasticity.

                        So now that you know the benefits, how does dry brushing work? It’s simple; just take the following steps:

                        • Work on dry skin (before bathing)
                        • Use circular, upward motions and smooth strokes
                        • Start at your feet
                        • Avoid sore areas – any skin that is sunburnt, inflamed, or sensitive
                        • Take a shower immediately afterwards – this helps wash away the dead skin cells

                        Your skin is the body’s largest organ, and it demands a little TLC. Dry brushing is one of the easiest ways to give it the attention it deserves!

                        At Leah Nickie Advanced Aesthetics, we offer a relaxing and pleasurable experience while providing education on skin health and skin care concerns. Our skin care lines reflect our belief that environmentally responsible products can and do provide the very best for our skin, our bodies, and our planet. We offer tips on dry brushing and so much more. To schedule one of our services, please call 303-527-0101 or book online.

                        Photo courtesy of Pixabay under Creative Commons 0 License

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                      • Caring for Your Skin While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

                        Skin care isn’t something you may think about when pregnant – you’re plenty busy developing a human being, thank you very much. But pregnancy (and breastfeeding) can change the skin. With the body full of hormones, this is expected. The madness going on inside? That translates to the outside, too.

                        So, how do you care for your skin during these nine precious months and the breastfeeding year(s) that follow? It might be easier than you think. Consider the following:


                        Some of the regular rules of skin care always apply, whether you’re pregnant or not. Staying adequately hydrated helps your skin look and feel your best. Without enough water, the skin compensates through oil production. This can cause acne, irritation, and dry patches. It can also make wrinkles more evident. So, drink up! If you’re pregnant, you’re already going to the bathroom every minute, anyway.

                        Avoid certain products and procedures

                        There are some ingredients that don’t mix well with pregnancy or breastfeeding. Anything with hydroquinone, for instance, should be avoided – this is a class C drug and not recommended for use in pregnant or nursing women unless absolutely necessary. Other things that should be avoided include: Retinol, electrolysis, elective cosmetic surgeries, strong acids, aggressive treatments, and essential oils. The latter is hit or miss, with some essential oils believed safe and others posing more of a risk.

                        The less harsh, the better

                        Pregnant and breastfeeding moms know to be careful about what they eat and drink, because what they ingest, their child does, too. But it’s easy to forget about the skin. The skin is largest organ and, in many ways, the largest sponge: it absorbs what you put on it. Unfortunately, this includes toxins and chemicals.

                        Don’t skimp on sunscreen

                        According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnancy makes the sun’s rays even more dangerous. Some studies link ultra violet radiation to folic acid deficiencies (something that’s especially vital during the early stages of pregnancy), but it can impact your skin directly, too. Not only does it make you more likely to burn, but pregnant women are highly susceptible to chloasma. This is a condition where brown spots appear on the face. It’s so common in pregnant women that its moniker is “the mask of pregnancy.” Not surprisingly, it is activated by sun exposure.

                        Taking care of your skin during pregnancy or breastfeeding doesn’t need to involve a lot of extra effort. These tips are effective ways to keep your skin looking optimal and feeling fabulous.

                        At Leah Nickie Advanced Aesthetics, we offer a soothing and pleasurable experience while providing education on skin health and skin care concerns. Our skin care lines reflect our belief that environmentally responsible products can and do provide the very best for our skin, our bodies, and our planet. For new and expectant mothers, we provide guidance for basic skin care while pregnant and breastfeeding, help address skin-related pregnancy issues, and provide relaxing, pregnancy approved facials. To schedule one of our services, please call 303-527-0101 or book online.

                        Featured photo courtesy of Pixabay under Creative Commons 0 license

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