• Should You Try Collagen Supplements?

    Walk or click into any grocery store these days, and you can’t miss seeing bone broth, Collagen Peptide powder, and collagen-infused coconut bites.

    Fad or something you should try?

    It’s the ingredient of the year for the wellness world. People are injecting it, drinking it, and applying it topically. But why?

    Collagen is a structural protein found in connective tissues -- skin, hair, muscles, bones, blood vessels, about 30% of your body. It’s also the building block of proteins so of course, we’re all talking about it along with the keto and Whole30 trends. By our mid 20’s our bodies aren’t repairing themselves as fast as they used to and our collagen stores naturally decrease by about 1% per year after that. It’s because collagen makes up 75% of our skin keeping it supple, plump, fresh, and wrinkle-free that has us all curious if we can help restore some of that with supplements.

    Three Points of Caution:

    1. Vegetarians beware, it’s made from animal proteins.
    2. Be sure you’re buying the powder or supplements from a credible source that is NSF certified to be sure it’s been checked for contaminants. 
    3. It’s expensive, and many dieticians recommend eating a balanced diet rich in collagen (salmon, steak, chicken) and cutting back on smoking, alcohol, and sun exposure -- all of which affects your body’s natural collagen production -- and all of these are cheaper than supplements.

    You could spend all day reading about it, the science is shaky but there are boundless stories of people feeling like their hair is shinier, nails stronger, and skin more luminous while there are not identifiable downsides to trying it for a month to see if it works for you.

    Overall, it seems there are more questions than answers in this arena for now.

    Here's What We Recommend:

    We recommend collagen-rich treatments that have been scientifically tested, and topicals that we know stimulate collagen and are based on years of independent scientific research. Vitamin C and retinoids are the gold standards for this purpose. Consider investing in treatments that also stimulate collagen production such as micro-needling, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion.


    Resouce References: GoodHousekeeping, Women's Health, Cleveland Clinic, George Washington University Sciences Center.

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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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  • Complement your Collagen Induction Therapy with These Easy Lifestyle Changes

    Collagen is something you might not think of that often (or ever), but it’s important, particularly in people who want youthful, radiant skin. Collagen Induction Therapy, also called microneedling, is one technique that helps; it’s a cosmetic procedure that involves microneedling the skin as a way to treat scarring, acne, and other problems.

    While this type of therapy works for many areas, there are lifestyle choices that complement the results. And you certainly want to do these to protect your investment. So, consider the following:

    Stay away from the sun

    Sure, the sun’s the center of the universe, but it’s a necessary evil…at least when it comes to the skin. Nothing hurts the skin as much as sunlight; therefore, limit it as much as possible. This doesn’t mean you can never go outside, but take appropriate precautions – wear sunscreen or a hat with a wide-brim (or both). But more than anything, stay away from tanning beds; they’re a one-way ticket to aging.

    In fact, studies suggest that the sun’s UV rays are responsible for 80 percent of the visible signs of aging. Tanning beds allow UV rays to penetrate deeper into the skin, causing more damage than regular sunlight. This leads to more wrinkles, crow’s feet, and loss of collagen…not to mention skin cancer.

    Eat an anti-inflammatory diet

    Inflammation is both good and bad. Acute inflammation helps us heal; chronic inflammation leads to tissue damage. One of the ways to protect yourself from the latter is by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. Some anti-inflammatory foods that are plate-worthy include tomatoes, olive oil, leafy vegetables, blueberries, strawberries, nuts, and grapes. Foods you’ll want to avoid include white bread, French fries, soda, red or processed meat, and margarine.

    Get enough sleep

    Sleep is one of those activities we’d all love to do more of. But, alas, life gets in the way. However, when it comes to your skin, it’s important to make sleep a priority. Per the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 18 and 65 should strive for 7-9 hours a night. Seniors require an hour less.

    These tips are all beneficial to your skin and, let’s face it, your health overall!

    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. To schedule one of our services, please call 303-527-0101 or book online.

    Feature image courtesy of Pixabay under Creative Commons 0 license

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  • What You Need to Know About Elta MD Sunscreens

    The best way to protect your skin from sunburn and early skin aging is by applying sunscreen every day—rain or shine. Damaging UVA rays are present even on cloudy or overcast days. Winter is no reason to skimp on the protection, either; snow can reflect up to 80 percent of UV rays. Here in Colorado, we also know that the higher the altitude, the greater the UV exposure. Sitting near windows and driving in the car count as sun exposure, too.

    One of my favorite sunscreen lines that we carry at Leah Nickie ADVANCED AESTHETICS is EltaMD. Its highly effective, zinc-based products help prevent sunburn and decrease the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun (especially when used with other sun protection measures). It is widely recognized as the number one brand of physician-dispensed sunscreen in the U.S., and has a 25-year history of developing and manufacturing wound care and skin care products used in burn centers and hospitals.

    All of EltaMD’s products are recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation as effective broad-spectrum sunscreens. They are formulated with zinc oxide, a natural alternative to skin care products laden with chemicals, and one of the healthiest ingredients available to protect our skin. EltaMD products made with this natural mineral are very gentle and safe for post-procedure skin, as well as for children six months or older.

    Because zinc maintains its protective ability in the sun, it is more photostable than some chemical ingredients that may degrade. Moreover, zinc reflects and reduces the broadest range of UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) ultraviolet rays.

    One extremely effective EltaMD product is the UV Physical Broad Spectrum Sunscreen. Its only active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—two of the best sun protectants. It is lightly tinted, providing moderate coverage for those with medium to light skin tones, and is ideal for everyday use. With no parabens or fragrance, it is perfect for sensitive and normal to dry complexions. It even contains additional antioxidants to help absorb free radicals generated by sun exposure. This sunscreen is water resistant for 40 minutes, so be sure to reapply throughout the day if you’ll be outdoors, sweating, or swimming.

    All EltaMD sunscreens are formulated with transparent zinc oxide, are noncomedogenic (i.e., won’t clog pores), safe for sensitive skin, fragrance-free and paraben-free.

    The earlier you begin incorporating sunscreen into your daily skin care routine, the happier you will be with the results. I am confident we have a sunscreen that will work with your skin type and lifestyle. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.

    Feature Photo Courtesy of Pixabay under Creative Commons 0 License

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  • Do You Need a Serum?

    Is a serum part of your skin care routine? It should be! Facial serums are lightweight treatments that deliver active ingredients deep into your skin. In fact, we carry more serums than any other product because they are the ultimate powerhouse of any skin care item. There is a serum available for every skin type and condition, including clearing acne, smoothing wrinkles, calming redness, and hydrating skin. These are often pricier than other products, but don’t let the cost intimidate you. Read on to learn more about these powerful and beneficial facial products.

    Serums vs. Moisturizers

    Serums and moisturizers both deliver hydration to skin, but what’s the difference between them? Unlike creams or lotions, most serums are water-based (with the exception of oil-based serums, which are appropriate only for dry skin). Serums are also formulated without petrolatum or mineral oilmoisturizing ingredients that prevent water from evaporating. Furthermore, they contain fewer lubricating and thickening agents, which can clog pores.

    Serums are much lighter in consistency and texture than moisturizers. Because they have a higher concentration of active and corrective ingredients, they tend to be more expensive than moisturizers—but they are well worth it!

    If you have mature or extremely dry skin, however, you probably can’t get away with using a serum alone. For you, we will usually recommend using a serum layered under your regular day or night cream.


    Active ingredients in serums include peptides, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, retinoids, and plant and marine extracts—some of the most potent anti-aging ingredients available in nonprescription products. Since serums tend to be more lightweight than creams, they’re able to penetrate more deeply into skin, delivering these active ingredients to do their job ASAP!


    Serums containing Salicylic Acid, like our Essential Oils Complex, can be used to spot treat blemishes and reduce oils in the T-zone. This product contains a unique blend of essential oils and .5% Salicylic Acid that also do an excellent job in preventing ingrown hairs.

    How to Apply Serums

    1. After cleansing your face as part of your daily regimen, apply a pea-sized amount of serum to your finger and pat it evenly all over your skin.
    2. If you have oily skin, a serum may provide all the hydration you need. For those with dry skin, follow your serum with a hydrating moisturizer.

    Serums pack a powerful punch. From anti-aging properties to clearing acne to leaving skin hydrated and glowing, these potent products definitely deserves a spot in your routine. We would be happy to further explain the benefits of adding a serum to your skin care routine—contact us to set up a complimentary consultation today.

    Featured photo courtesy of Pixabay under Creative Commons 0 License

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