No, this isn’t an article about over-eating.
Instead, it’s how Amy Rudolph, a customer at Skin Care Plus of Geneva, approaches skin care.
“We are so bombarded with toxins from every direction — in our food and practically every product we use,” she says. “So, I try to avoid it as much as I can. What you put on your skin goes right into your system, the same as what you put into your mouth.”
Rudolph is committed to a healthy, environmentally-friendly lifestyle, and she uses organic products whenever possible.
“I like to eat organically, and I also have really sensitive skin,” she says. “I’ve had bad reactions to things in the past.”
The red, puffy and blotchy skin caused by salon and department store brands led her to try organic facials, and she’s been thrilled with the results.
“I’ve had no bad reactions, and people think I’m a lot younger than I am, which is good,” Rudolph says. “I’m aging very well.”
What is organic?
Just as people are eager for healthier diets, more are turning to natural and organic skin care products.
Though not an official designation for skin care, the U.S. Department of Agriculture considers “natural” products to be those that do not contain artificial flavor, coloring ingredients, chemical preservatives or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient. Such products also are not more than minimally processed.
Organic products are produced using sustainable agriculture and without most conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation, according to www.fsis.usda.gov.
Dana Guasta, an esthetician with Ginger Root Salon of St. Charles, says many of her customers are fans of Aveda, a popular line of natural, plant-derived skin and hair products her salon carries.
“They’re nice products because they use a lot of natural ingredients and are concentrated so you don’t have to use a lot,” she says.
Guasta says that natural products are beneficial for a variety of skin conditions.
“This is a very gentle line that is good for clients with acne prone skin,” she says. “There is a light microdermabrasion product which is nice for someone concerned about aging.”
The breakdown of a facial
Guasta’s facials begin with a consultation to determine the client’s skin care concerns and routine.
“I want to know what they’re doing to care for their skin, find out their skin type and their concerns,” she says. “Older clients worry about wrinkles; younger are concerned about acne.”
Aromatherapy is also part of the experience. Guasta offers choices from three categories of essential oils that treat dry, sensitive and oily skin. Choices include tea tree, lavender, lemon grass, bergamot, rose, patchouli and more.
“It’s calming, soothing and it smells yummy,” she says. “People really enjoy it.”
The salon offers 30-minute and 60-minute facials. Both include cleaning balancing, extractions if needed and a hand massage. The longer facial includes an upper body and foot massage. All clients leave with a tinted moisturizer and lip tint.
“No one ever leaves with their face naked,” Guasta says.
Skin Care Plus of Geneva has been in business 20 years and offered organic facials for as long as the products have been available, says owner and facial specialist Joan Kesman.
The salon’s product line is not certified organic, but it uses plant-derived, naturally-based products.
“If you’re using a lot of synthetic chemicals, it’s not good for your face,” she says. “Lots of companies use formaldehyde and petrochemicals, which can irritate the skin.”
The organic and natural products are effective, but less irritating, she says.
“The old adage was to tear down the skin so it would repair itself, but the more you irritate the skin and the more it becomes inflamed, that fosters aging and makes you more prone to skin cancer,” she says. “Organic products don’t tear the skin down.”
When Kesman meets with a client for the first time, she asks about their concerns and goals for treatments, and she also asks about allergies because even organic products can trigger allergic reactions. She also examines a client’s skin under light to determine its condition.
Each facial begins with a deep cleanse, which includes a massage to improve circulation. Kesman uses a non-irritating cleanser that removes dead skin cells and softens the skin for extractions. Following the extraction comes a mask specific to the client’s skin care need and an upper body massage.
“The massage is the best part,” Rudolph says. “What I love is the facial is customized, so it’s always different, depending on the season or the time of the month. Even the massage can change. I feel so relaxed, I don’t want it to end.” kc