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

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…www.davidsuzuki.org

EWG.org 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 EWG.org 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

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!

Simple Tips for Healthy Lips

Simple Tips for Healthy Lips

What to do to ensure healthy lips?

Exfoliate!  You can use a soft toothbrush or facial towel, facial exfoliant or DIY sugar scrub to gently remove dry skin. 

Healthy Lips

Don’t lick lips as that will dry them puckers up even more!

Apply and re-apply a nice rich lip balm throughout the day.

Find a lip balm with SPF.  Lips get pigmentations and sunburn.

As we age we develop fine lines and wrinkles around our mouth, when you moisturize your face, use your moisturizer around lip area too.

Avoid biting your lips as that may break the delicate skin, causing lips to crack and invite infections.

Avoid ingredients like petroleum…Why?

Petroleum and mineral oil products provide a coating without any nourishment. Therefore, lips remain dry without it. Weird huh? I used to have chapped, cracked, bleeding lips in the winter while using Chapstick or vaseline. Now that I exfoliate every few days or when my lips feel dry, I also use Naturopathica’s nourishing Honey Vanilla lip balm, now I never have the problem as I used too.

Keep your lips in good condition by…gentle exfoliation, nourish, protect and smiling to keep them puckers beautiful!