Benefits of pumpkin in our diet and skin care products.

Benefits of pumpkin in our diet and skin care products.


Fall is upon us, pumpkin latte, pies, cookies, stews and pumpkin facials! What’s all the buzz about pumpkin?

Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, rich in beta-carotene and many other antioxidants. Research shows it’s beneficial for preventing hypertension and have cancer protective properties.

Fiber in pumpkin can also help lower risk of coronary heart disease. That does not include pumpkin desserts, sorry folks! Add pumpkin chucks to roasted vegetables or pumpkin puree in smoothies. For antioxidant powerhouse add coconut milk, flax and chia seeds.

Pumpkin used in skin care products are packed with fruit enzymes and AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), which increases cell turnover to brighten and smooth the look and feel of the skin. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins A and C to help soften and soothe the skin and increase collagen production that prevents signs of aging. Vitamin E in pumpkin is high in fatty acids, which helps regulate sebum production.

Enjoy the changes of the seasons, incorporate pumpkin in your diet and by all means get your pumpkin facial.

Experience your Pumpkin Radiant treatment today!


Debbie Kho
Owner/Licensed Esthetician

Oh Those Beautiful Eyes!

Oh Those Beautiful Eyes!


What to do with dark, baggy circles under eyes and fine lines?

Let’s start with fine lines, moisturize with a good quality eye cream.  Application: apply cream with ring finger, work cream gently from outer corner in circular motion towards the nose and over over eye lid.  Always gentle when working around the eyes.  Well worth the money investing in a great quality eye cream!

Dark circles…definitely not enough sleep contributes to it. But did you know certain nationalities dark circles are heredity?  Asians, Middle Easterns, Italians and darker skin complexions because low iron count usually contributes to dark under eye circles.  Have your iron count checked.

Under eye bags…sometimes certain medications cause fluid built up, kidneys not functioning at optimal level, traveling, dehydration, all of that may contribute to bags under the eyes.  Solution: use eye cream while performing lymph drainage during a facial will aide in removing fluids and re-hydrate the orbital area.

As always, esthetics is my passion, I love to share my expertise with you all!

Debbie Kho
Owner/Licensed Esthetician/Skin Concierge
SkinSense Spa

Tweens Skin Care

Tweens Skin Care






Most common questions I get from moms’ are: “I had acne as a teenager, how can I help my pre-teen from suffering with bad acne?”

Kids are entering puberty earlier then ever and early on set of acne is also increasing. Kids younger then 10 are seeking medical attention for acne.

We are bombarded with DIY, social media, informercials, and quickie fixes. Parents can help their tweens by reminding them the dos and dont’s of tween skin care. This is new territory to tweens and they need your help.

Mild acne is manageable using gentle cleanser and oil-free moisturizer. I can’t stress enough to seek advice of an expert skin care therapist/esthetician.

Beware of over the counter acne products Benzoyl peroxide and commonly used salicylic acid on tweens as their skin is still soft and gentle. These items maybe too harsh for their sweet skin causing more harm then good, adding to skin irritation and potentially increasing skin sensitivity increasing acne and changing the pH of the skin.

If your tween has moderate to severe acne, dermatologist are quick to prescribe oral and/or topical antibiotics, side effects are stomach upset, dizziness and with girls, yeast infections. Some cases, birth control are prescribed (for girls) to address severe acne.

When all else fails doctors may prescribe Isotretinoin, brand names Roaccutane (formerly Accutane) and Claravis.

Some drugs may have temporary results, but down sides are are birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease, depression and suicidal thoughts. Once the patient is off prescription meds their acne returns.

Experts in the Western medical field say “acne is not caused by dirt, poor hygiene, certain foods, such as spicy & fatty foods, chocolate, dairy or sugar. With my experience, poor diet is key contributors to acne and when working with acne clients to have them cut back on these foods, their acne showed significant improvements. Here is a link of 9 foods that cause acne

The next thing I do is educate tweens and parents on basic skin care and teach them what to look for in skin care products. Tweens’ skin is treated differently then teen or adult skin. Just as female skin is treated differently then male skin, also, different ethnicity skin has certain traits.

I love to be your skin care therapist/esthetician, serving the greater metropolitan area…Portland, Tigard, Beaverton, West Linn, Oregon City, Lake Oswego and beyond!

Tween Facial Special
Address specific skin care between ages 9-12, let’s start your tween on a life long journey to healthy skin together. Includes consultation with tween and parent, facial and closing consult to start the tween on a good regime for their age.
1.5 hours – $89

Debbie Fong Kho
SkinSense Spa, LLC

What does it all mean?  Natural, Wildcraft, Holistic, Eco-Cert and Synthetic skin care products.

What does it all mean? Natural, Wildcraft, Holistic, Eco-Cert and Synthetic skin care products.

Have you seen that on skin care products, wondering what all that mean and which is better for the skin?  If you answered yes, please read on!

It’s good, right?  Not so!  Did you know USDA and FDA actually do not have any standards or requirements for “natural” labeling?  Shocker huh?  Example, vitamin C maybe derived from citrus or produced in a lab.  Obviously the lab wouldn’t be natural to a holistic minded consumer, there are no laws that requires manufacturers to differentiate between natural sources vs. bio-identical laboratory synthesis of natural ingredients.  Unfortunately, deceptive practices occur because less than one percent of natural ingredients actually are.

The definition of natural ingredient may have been derived from a whole ingredient at one time, truthfully, the ingredient was overly processed that the end result structure bears no resemblance to it’s original plant.  Case in point, the ingredient sodium laureate sulfate is a known skin irritant, linked to contamination and organ toxicity according to Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.  However, since it’s original form was coconut oil, it’s allowed to be considered natural.

Holistic is the philosophy and practice of healing the physical body, mind and the spirit at it’s highest level of wellness.  How does holistic relate to skin care?  The skin, largest organ, is an actual live and breathing organ, the skin performs many functions, either work side by side or depend on the functions of the vital organs.  While many working in the skin care industry considers holistic is simply using natural and/or organic ingredients.  The use of holistic skin care goes deeper than just dealing with the skin.

The Eastern holistic practice such as Ayurveda and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) is: the skin is a reflection or indication of internal health.  Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, sensitive skin, rosacea, etc…begins internally.  Treating just the skin is short-term without addressing the root cause, with that we may never come to a resolution.  The meaning of holistic with skin care maybe using ingredients such as herbs, plants, phytonutrients and essential oils.  Preserved by using ingredients with fewer toxic reactions.  This may seem straightforward, rather the FDA and USDA have little to no regulations regarding ingredients in skin care products.


clarify-rebalance-frontend_thumbEco-cert was introduced in 2003, the first certification body to develop standards for “natural and organic cosmetics”. The specification was drawn up with suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, consumers and development organizations.

Eco-cert supports and guides over 1,000 companies in more than 80 countries with their certifications, by gaining trusts of consumers, becoming the leader in Organic Cosmetic over 70{d0e9dd2b7f7f77c6b9439fde6e913c4a7d9a2a38e49608c4a07ac89b301b8ed5} of the market.

Eco-cert standards uses ingredients derived from renewable resources, manufactured with environmentally friendly processes. Eco-cert checks for parabens, phenoxyethanol, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and color, animal ingredients and whether the packaging is biodegradable to recyclable.

Minimum of 95{d0e9dd2b7f7f77c6b9439fde6e913c4a7d9a2a38e49608c4a07ac89b301b8ed5} of ingredients come from natural origin and must come from organic farming.

On site audit is performed once a year by an Eco-cert auditor.pexels-photo-27982-medium

Harvesting plants from their natural environment.  It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they are found, yet not limited to the wilderness.  Generally only the branches, flowers, seeds, and leaves are removed with respect to the remaining plant and the living plant is left with minimal harm.  If the plant is completely removed than the seeds of the plant takes it’s place where the plant was removed.

Skin care products absorbs into our blood stream within 26 seconds! Be your own CSI of skin care ingredients, before applying anything on your body know where it came from. Synthetic skin care products may have most of these ingredients which contains petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, chemical preservatives, extremely harsh detergents, synthetic additives, alcohols, artificial coloring and fragrance, highly toxic and maybe tested on animals. In some cases they are known to contain carcinogenic material.  Over a extended period of usage may cause or increase skin sensitivity.

Be aware products that only lists only their Key Ingredients.  FDA and USDA allows skin care companies to label their products “Natural” if they have a few plant based ingredients, herbs or essential oils but the remaining ingredients are highly toxic.

Here is a link to Dirty Dozen ingredients in cosmetic chemicals to avoid and it’s harmful side effects… Skin Deep (Environmental Working Group) was launched in 2004, that compares over 61,000 skin care products in it’s database, tests and rates them for potential health hazards.

EWG Skin Deep have an app to download as you are out shopping for skin care products.

Here are few tips I share with my clients…

  • Don’t purchase the biggest size jar, bottle or spray even though it’s at a cost savings, because in order for the item to retain it’s integrity it has high levels of artificial preservatives for shelf life.
  • Jar items…always use a clean skin care product spatula to scoop from, never dip your fingers into a jar. Oils and dirt from our fingers/fingernails increases the deterioration of the product causing the cream to separate or go rancid.
  • Spent $75 on a 1oz facial cream and how to prevent it from spoiling? Scoop enough in a separate clean glass container for the bathroom, keep the bigger jar in the frig.
  • Does the product have a pretty color such as pink, red, blue, etc…? If so, the coloring is artificial, most likely from a toxic source. Our eyes are more attracted to a pretty colored item vs. clear or white item and skin care companies are very aware of that.
  • Is the item perfum scented? The reason a skin care item is artificially scent is to disguise or distract from when an item has gone rancid.

I, understand all this is overwhelming, do not stress going through all your products, do the toss and replace!  It’s expensive!  Finish up what you have, than your next purchase, check in with me or use the Skin Deep site or the EWG app.

Skin care is so my passion and I love the education piece of esthetics.

Hope this has been helpful to all!

Debbie Kho
SkinSense Spa, LLC
Owner/Licensed Esthetician

Mothers’ Love

Mothers’ Love

Love your mama, as they love you unconditionally.
Smile often as it is an unbreakable bond between a mom and child.
Hug, hug and hug…because it’s never enough hugs for us mommies.
Love between mom and child is magical, can’t be bought or borrow.
Mommy’s love lift us up when we feel low.
Love from our moms are transparent, for when we cry they also shed tears.
Mom’s love is sweet, gentle, soft, yet oh so powerful.
Nothing is more beautiful or special then a mother’s love.
Moms make sacrifices we know nothing of, until we become moms ourselves.
Moms teach us wisdom…silently, in action rather then words.
Strength of a mother’s love is unjudgemental…perfection, heart-felt, calming, giving and loving.
Mom’s touch so irreplaceable and cherished.

Remember her scent, the twinkle of love in her eyes, her smile, sweet laughter, and the warmth of her gentle loving touch. Hug your mom often and tightly. Tell her everyday how special she is and how much you love her.


Mother’s Day Special….
Complimentary Age Defense Hand Treatment with your choice of any facial treatment.
(savings of $40)

Debbie Kho
Owner/licensed esthetician
SkinSense Spa