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

Benefits of Teen Facials.

Benefits of Teen Facials.

Beautiful young woman with pink facial mask in spa salon - indoors

Benefits are many for teens in particular, facials will help clean and clear up clogged pores and blackheads. An professional esthetician will re-educate the teen with safe and effective methods, rather then what they learn from social media or their peers.
Reasons for facials are receiving professional expertise to care for their skin properly. That may include which products will work best for each teen based on his or her skin type and they will learn how to care for their skin at home.

Suggested age for teens getting facials.

Depends on when him or her hormones start changing. When their skin becomes easily aggravated causing blemishes and breakouts. It’s best to get ahead of blemishes before they become stubborn cystic acne. Average age is around 13 but some kids may start as early as 9 or as late as 17. Even if problem skin is not an issue, it’s a great time to have a professional educate teenagers how to maintain healthy skin safely.

What is included with a teen facial?

I include a thorough skin analysis and one-on-one consultation with the teen. I always encourage parent participation as the parent is an important process understanding how to work with the teen at home. With that being said a teen facial may include gentle deep cleansing, exfoliation, extractions and a customized mask appropriate for their skin type. Usually will include finishing with a moisturizer.

April Special…
Fresh Face Teen Facial – Prom season just around the corner, this facial is designed with the teen in mind.  Gentle cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, mask and finish with light weight moisturizer.
60 mins $89

Love working with my teens!

Debbie Fong Kho
SkinSense Spa

Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin

Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin

concept of aging and skin care. face of young woman and an old woman with wrinkles

One of the most common questions is:  “My skin is so dry, what should I do?”

This question makes my eyes twinkle!

Is it dehydrated or dry skin?

What is the difference?
Dry Skin
During the winter months when indoor heat and outdoor cold air, lacks moisture, causing our skin to become dry.  #Dryskin lacks moisture on the top (epidermal) layer of skin, over a period of time may cause rough, uneven textured, unhealthy looking skin.  Additionally, skin may become dull, overly sensitive, itchy, noticeable dryness, fine lines becomes more apparent with dry flaky patches of skin.  If this is your skin, make sure to use a gentle exfoliant to remove flaky skin and hydrate with an appropriate moisturizer for your skin.  Why exfoliate?  Exfoliation remove layers of dead skin cells sitting on the surface that creates a barrier, prevents skin from breathing, and skin care products from penetrating.   Over time causes dehydration in the dermis layer.  If acne prone, the layers of dead skin may actually increase breakouts because it’s blocking the skin’s ability to breath.  Makeup application is not able to glide on skin smoothly.  A person may actually look older then their actual age since the skin lacks the hydration.
Dehydrated Skin
Over an extended period of time dry skin may become #dehydratedskin, from the lack of moisture and nutrients underneath the top layer of skin.  Dehydrated skin feels dry, skin may look dull, blotchy, tight, may have deep wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, cheeks, jawline, around the lips and forehead area.  Over a period of time dehydrated skin will break down collagen and elastin which may cause premature sagging skin.
Keep Skin Hydrated
After cleansing and exfoliated skin, apply an appropriate serum for your skin type.  If uncertain which serum is best for your skin, seek an experience professional to diagnose your skin type to recommend the best serum for you.  Apply your serum first, as serums have smaller molecules, it’s highly potent, that’s what you want to penetrate into the dermis for the intense hydration.  Apply an appropriate day or night time moisturizer.

Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between dry and dehydrated skin, I highly recommend seeking an experience professional to show you the difference between the two skin types.  Pair up with your professional to work out treatment plans and home care regime to protect, re-nourish and rehydrate your skin.

March special…Moisture Drench Facial!




The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy defines it as “combination of art and science utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.”

Aromatherapy is extracted oils from flowers, seeds, barks, roots and herbs. While there is not enough evidence to support its effectiveness in preventing illness, but there are clinical studies found to be an effective complimentary therapy to: anxiety reduction, lessens depression and headaches, while others increase energy and healing, boast immunity, improve digestion, aides to more restful sleep pattern and even increase circulation.

How aromatherapy is used

Facials – ashwagandha is spicy and woodsy scent, often used to rejuvenate skin and diminish dark circles under the eye. “A staple of Ayurvedic medicine, this oil is prized as an adaptogen and is traditionally used to help increase the body’s resistance to stress,” says Barbara Close, founder and CEO of Naturopathica. Clary sage, neem, thyme, cucumber, juniper and rosemary is ideal for combination, oily and blemished skin. They help to purify skin, reduces oil production and tightens enlarged pores and rebalances the skin. Rose oil softens, hydrates and soothe the skin, while frankincense provides relief to stressed skin. Lavender, petitgrain, ylang ylang, bergamot is highly popular for spa professionals as it is used to calm and relax the mind and body. Grapefruit, lemon, vitamin c and licorice root are natural skin brighteners. These are just a fraction of essential oil blended into skin care products.

Massage – basil helps to soothe and calm, hyssop is healing and soothing, immortelle repairs scar tissue. Kanuka is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, relieve muscle pain and swelling, making it an excellent ingredient in massage oil for sports massage.

Inhalation – eucalyptus oil is widely popular to clear upper respiratory congestion. Grapefruit, bergamot, ylang ylang, lemon, peppermint is often used as an uplift that energizes the mind and body. Melaleuca and rosemary is healing and stimulating, clear foggy thoughts, aid in concentration. Vetiver is earthy and the smoky scent helps with grounding and promote relaxation. There are multiple methods to inhale these wonderful essential oils, using in a diffuser or burner allowing the scent to fill the entire room is widely popular, adding it to steamer during a facial treatment or adding couple drops to a cotton ball, hold it few inches away from your nose and breathe deeply.

Soaking – adding couple drops to a nice warm bath soak is an effective use of essential oils, not only will the warm vapors absorb into your skin to relax you, the oils will make your skin silky smooth.

Few cautions while using essential oils

Proper care should always be taken. Essential oils are highly concentrated so when apply directly to skin may cause burning, stinging or allergic reactions, while others may react with certain medications, or shouldn’t used with certain health conditions. Due to high concentrated levels of essential oils, they MUST be diluted with carrier oils such as: almond, jojoba, flaxseed, safflower, apricot, borage, cranberry, evening primrose, hazelnut, hempseed, coconut, avocado, vegetable, grapeseed or olive oil. Avoid mineral oil and petroleum jelly, as they are byproducts of petroleum, therefore, is not natural rather more harmful. Mineral oil is used in baby oil and lotions because it is inexpensive to product, however will clog pores, prevent skin’s ability to breathe naturally, prevent essential oil absorption and toxins from excreting the body through sweating.

Have fun with essential oils

The rule of thumb for mixing: 1 drop of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil. Always store your mixture in a sterilized glass bottle. Mix your oils with fine sea salt for body scrub, or couple drops in distilled water to use as toner or room freshener, add your scented water mixture to old flannel sheet as a fabric softener in your dryer, or add a few drops to unscented lotion! Unlimited of uses with aromatherapy!

Here are a few of my favorite mixed scents:
Woody/earthy – cedar wood, patchouli and sandalwood
Floral – lavender, geranium and jasmine
Citrus – ylang ylang, grapefruit and bergamot
What are your favorite scents?  Be creative!
As always, if you like it, share it!

Debbie Kho
Your Skin Concierge


Expert Fall Skin Care Tips

Expert Fall Skin Care Tips

As we enter October we say goodbye to summer and welcome the cool, crisp weather and beautiful colors of fall.  Some parts of the country are lucky enough to have an extended “Indian Summer” and other parts get slammed with the first snow!

While some skin types love the cooler weather, becoming soft and silky, others are not so lucky!  Their skin becomes dull, dry, itchy and flaky with the cool temps. UGH! I am one of those!

One common mistake I see is that many push their sunscreen to the back of the drawer because they think they don’t need sunscreen in the fall, right?  WRONG!  Even though it may be cooler, the sun still takes a toll on our skin if we skip protection.

It’s time to start adjusting your skin care for fabulous fall skin

Humid temps, sweat, chlorine, heavy sunscreen and saltwater may have done a number on your skin from the summer – now that it’s fall it is time to start repairing the summer damage and prepare your skin for the winter by making a few adjustments to your products and routine.

** Depending on your skin type, if you are naturally on the drier side, switch to milky, creamy, soothing cleanser rather than soap or gel cleanser.  This hydrates your skin while gently cleanse at the same time.  If you are on the oily or acne side a gentle gel cleanser without alcohol or witch hazel is ideal.

** Use a gentle exfoliant more frequently to slough off dead skin cells for a healthier glow.  When using a product to exfoliate remember – always be gentle with your skin and avoid exfoliating around your eyes.  Let your skin care therapist take care of that area.  If you use an at home exfoliating brush make sure to be EXTRA gentle.  For those troubled with acne, use the exfoliating brush with extra care, as not to increase irritating breakouts and spread the acne bacteria.  FYI… exfoliate your puckers for smooth silky lips.

**  Change out your summer moisturizer, add a more hydrating moisturizer and invest in a nice, nourishing serum for added protection for colder temps.  This provides a barrier to prevent water loss and has the benefit of adding hydration at the same time.

** Winter is about PROTECTION, PROTECTION, PROTECTION! – Save your skin from harsh wind, sun (yes, I did say sun!) freezing temps and high indoor heat that will suck the moisture from your skin.  Load up on lip balm, lather up your entire body with lotion – even your hands!  I always get a few chuckles but it’s just as important in the winter, so I repeat… SUNSCREEN!

By making small changes to the products you use regularly and your skin care routine you will keep your skin hydrated, glowy, healthy and youthful while you enjoy the change of the seasons!

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What is Hyperpigmentation – and How to Get Rid of It?

What is Hyperpigmentation – and How to Get Rid of It?

Age spots, liver spots, freckles, sun spots and pregnancy mask are all terms that are used to describe the symptoms of hyperpigmentation.  Your skin contains melanocyte cells that produce melanin which gives our skin its color.

When our skin produces too much melanin this leads to hyperpigmentation of the skin.

Hyperpigmentation affects men and women of all ethnic groups.  It’s most common in middle age and beyond.

There are a number of things that can cause hyper-pigmentation, including:

  • Overexposure to the sun
  • Tanning beds
  • Birth control or hormone replacement therapy
  • Post inflammatory
  • Freckles for fair skin types
  • Heredity
  • Hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy
  • Acne scarring
  • Certain medications such as antibiotics, hormone treatments and anti-seizure medications
  • Addison disease

One very important note – always have uneven moles checked out! These could be signs of a far more serious condition called melanoma (skin cancer).

So how do you go about getting rid of these spots?

There are many treatments available, but not all of them are effective, and some may even make the condition worse!

  • Getting a prescription for topical application which contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) that exfoliates the skin quicker than it’s normal process.  That comes with it’s own set of side affects and may not always be effective.
  • Nonablative professional procedures such as deep skin peels, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy which targets only the dark areas are used under strict supervision with a trained physician or laser skin resurfacing.  All very aggressive, very expensive and again not always the best choice for all skin types and may lead to scarring.
  • Spa treatments are a very popular option for majority of the population.  There are many very effective options such as microdermabrasion, Oxygen Fusion facials and more natural skin lightener products.  Your results will be best with an experienced practitioner.
  • Over the counter remedies are often money down the drain – they usally the come in a very low dosage and without direction of a professional, they can cause skin damage.
  • There are also many “DIY” remedies but for the same reasons as the OTC remedies these are not usually effective and are often dangerous.
  • As a licensed esthetician, I recommend a professional, non-aggressive treatment that is tailored to your skin type and takes into account other factors including your current skin care regimen and other skin issues that may be present.

After successfully getting rid of hyperpigmentation, it is now important to focus on preventing the condition from returning. The easiest way to do this is limit exposure to UVA/UVB rays, tanning beds and have good sunscreen protection.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call me at 503-307-3833