All Skin Types

I’m getting super spotty, especially on my forehead, since moving to Napa … I’m naturally outdoors much more and even though I’m wearing SPF, I’m still noticing a lot of sun damage. Help!

Thank you for your question about dealing with sunspots and the great outdoors. We’ll start with prevention and finish with how to reduce them.  Using a high-quality SPF, meant for the face, is imperative. Assuming you already do so, it is important to note that it needs to be a separate product from your moisturizer (refer to my previous blog post on 2-in 1 products). On days when you do not apply makeup, you should reapply SPF every one and a half (1.5) hours for best protection. On makeup days, I suggest mineral-based cosmetics, so that you can reapply periodically throughout the day. One of my favorite brands is MineralFusion.

It’s not surprising that your forehead would take the brunt of the damage, as it is a high point on your face. The nose and tops of the cheekbones are where most people suffer from hyperpigmentation (sun spots). These areas warrant extra attention when applying sun protection.

If you’re lucky, you wear hats well! Wide brimmed hats are a girl’s best friend on sunny days, as they can protect your face, shoulders, and back of the neck area.

As for the sunspots that you have accumulated already, you can reduce the appearance of them in several ways that I’ll list out:

It is important to pull out any medication that you may be using and look for the word “photosensitivity.” Commonly used hormonal drugs, like birth control, can cause your cells to become extra sensitive to the sun. The reaction can be on the epidermis or the dermis. Epidermal damage is easier to remove than dermal, and an experienced Esthetician may assist in determining which one (or both) you have. Furthermore, dermatologists are also an option.


*The final results of peels and lasers are very similar, and you can decide which one you prefer, based on time and cost.

What should I do after I get a sunburn? 

The best thing is to immediately ice your skin, as much as possible. Apply aloe vera leaf gel, if you can find it. Otherwise, store-bought aloe in a bottle will do. Soon, we’ll be launching our Botanical Boosts which will help a lot, stay tuned for those!  

If the sunburn is serious, I always suggest going to a dermatologist to be on the safe side. Sunburns are nothing to mess around with and over time they do cause skin damage, freckles, wrinkles and in a lot of cases, skin cancer. Tanned may look sexy now, but it’s temporary, and you’ll end up spending a lot of money to repair your beautiful skin. Use sunscreen!

How often should I exfoliate my skin? What is the best way to do it? 

It’s good to exfoliate because it removes dead cells from the surface of the skin. It helps get rid of dry and dull skin. When you exfoliate, it keeps your pores from being clogged and leaves your skin smooth and refreshed. When you have clogged pores they can become blackheads and pimples. Exfoliation speeds up cell renewal allowing for glowing, healthier skin. You can exfoliate with a manual scrubs, serums, and/or toners. Chiara Polish is a great manual exfoliant for the face and body. It contains salicylic acid and cornmeal to effectively break down surface debris and dissolve congestion. Chiara Infusion is a serum for the face, and it works extremely well to kill bacteria and dissolve milia and blackheads. An added benefit of the Infusion is that it doesn’t make your skin flaky. Chiara Tonic is an antibacterial facial toner, and Chiara Tonic II has a cult-like following. Tonic II smells like cherries and quickly gets rid of bikini bumps and unsightly ingrown hairs on men’s beard area.

Is there really a difference between men’s and women’s skin care products? Or should all men just use women’s products?

Short answer: Yes and no! In my humble opinion, there should not be a difference other than scent, bottle type, product name, and color. Using moisturizer as an example,  we wanted our Simplified Facial Moisturizer to be gender-neutral, so we kept the cream a white color, added a natural blend of herbs for the scent and had numerous men test the texture for post-shave feel. Then, we selected an airless bottle to make it easy for men and women to travel with in-flight and to toss into a gym bag. Men can certainly use women’s products, but after doing our research, most men prefer not to use things that look “girly.”

Can I do facial if I’m pregnant? 

Absolutely! The Esthetician should have plenty of bolsters and pillows to make you comfortable, as well as product knowledge to provide an ingredient-safe experience. You’re encouraged to ask your doctor for a list of pregnancy-safe ingredients, and your Esthetician can easily compare them with their offerings.