Daily Regimen

  • Inside Beauty: Are Wellness Tonics Making You … Well? (Includes a recipe for a Turmeric Toddy)

    The idea of a tonic to help you feel better isn’t new but what seems to be entering our collective conscience is a tighter connection between the products we use on, and in, our bodies and their effects on our outlook and appearance. As the year winds down many of us look to improve something or simplify a part of our lives. For us, that means looking at ways to slow down and nourish our skin and emotions from the inside out. A popular way to do that is to buy, or make, a “wellness tonic.”

    Wellness tonics (sometimes also called health tonics, herbal tonics or immunity tonics) typically contain vitamins and minerals thought to protect cells and kick up the immune system. They’re also sometimes made with adaptogenic herbs — ingredients that can help optimize the body’s energy production and help the body adapt to stress. Herbalists in China, Egypt, Greece, and India have built their botanical knowledge over centuries, developing TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and the Ayurvedic principles still used today, and are often offered in the form of a customized tonic. They’re effective enough that you should check with your doctor about medication interactions before diving into a habitual tonic.

    Popularity aside, focusing on what building blocks you’re offering your body to create the basis of great skin is always something we can get behind. So, yes, wellness tonics might just do something great for your skin, and better yet, your mind and body.

    According to a Whole Foods blog post in 2017, popular and accessible wellness tonic ingredients might include:

    Fresh or dried turmeric. Historically used in Ayurvedic medicine for a variety of conditions. Western studies show turmeric may help support heart, joint, and skin health. Probiotics. Studies show this “friendly” or “good” bacteria may support the immune system and digestive system. Apple cider vinegar. May support digestive health.

    Fresh or dried ginger. Historically used in Asian medicine to settle the stomach. Western studies agree that ginger can help support digestive health.

    Reishi mushrooms. Known as the “mushroom of immortality” in Chinese medicine, the fungus may help support aging cells.

    Baobab. A fruit native to Africa, the dried powder is often added to drinks and is packed with vitamin C.

    Elderberry. Researchers funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health are currently studying Elderberry’s antioxidant effects.

    Adaptogenic herbs like tulsi and ashwagandha. May help the body bounce back from stress. All of that aside, we’re proponents of things that naturally make you feel better, which of course affects your skin.

    An article about tonics in The New York Times from a few years ago included this from Chef Jessica Koslow and it is indeed warming and lovely -- especially when it’s cold outside. “Ask your body what it needs and know when it’s satisfied,” says Jessica Koslow, the chef-owner of the wildly popular Sqirl restaurant in Los Angeles. “That’s the mantra.”

    When she broke her ankle a few years ago, Koslow says she went looking for “anything to help this lady who stands in the kitchen all day.”

    She found turmeric, a native rhizome of India known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and incorporated it into a healing elixir.

    “I enjoyed it so much that I played around with a recipe for it that I could serve daily at the restaurant.” For the new year, she created a new tonic — a take on the traditional hot toddy, and what she calls a “healthy, digestive sleep aid.” Others might just call it delicious.


    Chef Koslow’s Healthy Digestive Sleep-Aid Elixir aka The Turmeric Toddy Tonic

    6 cloves

    2 cups apple juice

    ½ teaspoon ground ginger

    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

    ½ teaspoon ground turmeric ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    ½ teaspoon cardamom ghee, optional (recipe below)

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Place the cloves on a baking sheet, and bake for 5-7 minutes to release essential oils. Set aside.
    3. In a small saucepan, warm the apple juice over medium-high heat.
    4. Add the cloves and ground spices to the juice and let come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and let the mixture steep for 5 minutes.
    5. Strain out the spices before serving.
    6. Stir in the cardamom ghee, if using, and enjoy.


    Cardamom Ghee

    ¼ cup ghee

    ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

    1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the ghee.
    2. Once the ghee liquefies, add the cardamom. Turn heat to low and let steep for 3-5 minutes.



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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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            • 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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