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Antioxidants for Skin Health

Beautiful skin with a radiant glow has long been coveted since the days of Cleopatra.  Achieving beautiful skin is really about making it healthier, so it functions at a higher level from the inside out.  There is much we can do naturally to heal, correct and protect our skin especially with the use of time-tested antioxidants applied topically.

Why Antioxidants?  Our skin is constantly bombarded by the damaging effects of oxidation, the biggest of which is caused by the sun.  Other examples include stress, a poor diet, smoking and environmental pollution.  It starts when free radicals, unstable molecules that are missing an electron, rob nearby molecules and cause mutated cells that don’t function correctly.  In the skin, oxidative stress causes the underlying supportive collagen and elastin to become brittle and weak leading to wrinkles and an aged appearance.  Oxidation causes inflammation, disease and can also lead to cancer.

What are Antioxidants?  Antioxidants come in the form of vitamins, minerals and enzymes and carry an extra electron they freely give away to combat the damage of oxidative stress.  Internally, it is wise to eat a whole food diet including antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables daily for proper cell function.  For the skin, topical antioxidants in the form of vitamins A, C and E have been long been advocated by leading Dermatologists as “Cadillac” ingredients to include in daily regimen due to their ability to repair damage and protect the skin.  Each antioxidant affects cells slightly different and they work synergistically together.  Some examples include:

Vitamin A – Retinoids improve both aging and acne conditions by increasing new cell turnover to exfoliate the skin from the inside, out.  This powerhouse ingredient stimulates new collagen production, reduces fine lines and wrinkle formation, improves circulation and lightens brown spots.   V

Vitamin C – L-Ascorbic Acid is the most potent and stable form known to strengthen the skin.  Vitamin C plays a critical role in collagen formation, reduces inflammation, promotes healing, lightens hyperpigmentation and provides additional protection from harmful UV rays.

Vitamin E – D-Alpha Tocopheryl is an important oil-soluble antioxidant that scavenges free radicals, moisturizes and is very healing.

Mandelic Acid – Derived from almonds, this acid is known as a gentle exfoliant that is pH balanced.  It is both antiseptic and antibacterial, reduces inflammation and has healing and protective qualities.

Resveratrol – Derived from wine extracts, resveratrol has a firming effect on the skin, decreases inflammation, stimulates healthy regeneration and brightens.

CoQ10 – Acts as an antioxidant inside the cell membrane, regenerating, assisting in cell growth, contributes to the production of energy.

Are all antioxidants created equal?  Just as a can of peaches is not the same as a sun-ripened organic peach, there are major differences in skincare products.  To really get the benefits, it is necessary to use a product formulated to remain stable, be potent enough to work and with a delivery system to get deep enough into the skin to make a difference.

At my spa, Sea Glo Spa and Boutique located in Homer, Alaska, we strictly use and retail professional-only cosmeceutical products including naturally clinical, USP and charily correct formulations.  It is our goal to achieve the best value for our clients while delivering the most predictable and honest results.

Revive Depleted Summer Skin – By the end of summer our skin can look dull, feel a little rough and show some signs of sun damage.  Fall is a perfect time to turn to the rejuvenating antioxidant benefits from pumpkins and apples!  What a great time of year to replenish the skin with pumpkin enzymes that gently exfoliate for a radiant polish while infusing much needed nutrients into the skin.  We’re pairing pumpkin with apple wine extracts to tighten, firm and brighten the skin for noticeable results!

All of our skincare protocols at Sea Glo Spa are customized for each client based on skin type, health history and desired results for the best outcome.   A thorough skincare consultation is the first place we start with each new client. Please visit our website to browse our full time of products and services at  For an appointment, or to speak to a therapist, please call us at (907)235-4800.  We look forward to serving you!

Lash Extensions – What you need to know!

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3430 Main Street Suite A
Homer, Alaska  99603

What are lash extensions?  1) single fiber polyester thread-like materials are applied to individual eyelashes to create a fuller, longer, glamorous appearance 2) a common addiction in the 21st century Lashes, lashes, lashes! They are everywhere. When you see someone with “movie-star” lashes, these most likely are not the lashes they were born with. Instead, these are probably the most popular beauty addiction of 2012—eyelash extensions. This is a quick solution to give you those long, thick lashes that you’ve always dreamed of. But, as with every addiction, there is always a downside. If you are interested in this quick-fix highly addicting service, you will find that there are some important things you should know before you trust just anyone to apply your lashes.

Xtreme Lashes trains stylists properly
Xtreme Lashes trains stylists properly

1)Brand/Ingredients: When deciding which spa, salon, or lash stylist to use, make sure you inquire about what brand of eyelash extensions and products they use. The products you should ask about include the adhesive, primers, eye makeup remover, under eye gel patches, and the actual lashes themselves. Are the products made in the United States? What brand are they? Do they have a list of ingredients in the products? If the receptionist can’t answer these questions, find another place to do your lashes with a reputable brand. Because of the popularity of lash extensions, many salons are now importing the cheapest products from foreign countries. These inexpensive products do not have their ingredients listed and tend to have potent fumes which can cause an uncomfortable stinging sensation during and after application. One example of a brand that has a complete list of ingredients and is made in the United States is called “Xtreme Lashes”, the global leader in the eyelash extensions world. Their quality products are effective and developed by a nurse. They come with a complete list of ingredients and are safe and non-irritating to your eyes.

2) Proper Sanitization Practices: It is important for any spa to be clean, but when you have someone working around your eyes, it is imperative that the workstation, the stylist’s hands, and the utensils have been properly sanitized. Notice how the spa has been taken care of. It is clean? Ask the stylist how they sanitize their eyelash extensions implements. Do they use acetone or another proper sanitizing agent to clean the tweezers before every client? Is there hand sanitizer at the workstation to ensure that the stylist is properly sanitizing their hands before working around your eyes?

3) Training : You may have noticed that there are many “lash spas” or “lash lounges” popping up on every corner. The state of Washington requires that the lash stylist either be a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist. Beyond that, there are no other regulations for applying eyelash extensions. This means that any esthetician or cosmetologist can attempt to do this procedure without any training whatsoever. Be sure to ask about the stylists’ training. Did they get trained and by whom? How long was the training program and was it a “hands-on” program or did they learn by viewing a video? There are many salons out there that are offering their own “lash training” to other estheticians in order to make more money. The problem is that these people have never been properly trained in the first place. Xtreme lashes offers an intensive hands-on training program where the stylists are required to pass their level one class, in order to purchase and use the Xtreme products. Some Xtreme stylists are “Directory Certified” meaning that they have completed an advanced two day training course in addition to their level one training program. To be safe, look for a spa/salon with Xtreme stylists who are “Directory Certified”.

4) Experience: In order to do eyelash extensions properly, the stylist must have a great deal of practice before charging for their service. How many full sets has the stylist completed? How many years has the spa/salon been in business? As was stated earlier, any cosmetologist or esthetician can perform this service. You want to make sure the person you trust has experience before they work around your eyes.

5) Service Time: While many lash places tend to boast that they can do the service more quickly than others, this is NOT a good sign. The process of applying a full set of lash extensions should take between 2 and 2.5 hours. The process of doing a quality lash fill should be at least 1.25 hours. When the stylist has been trained in the proper technique, they isolate each individual natural lash while they meticulously apply an extension. At this point, the stylist must maintain the isolation for enough time for the adhesive to dry and for the lash to not stick to the neighboring lash. When stylists go too fast, the lashes tend to stick together and look messy and clumpy with adhesive.

6) Cost: Be careful of places offering very low priced lash extensions. If it’s very cheap, then most likely you are getting what you paid for—cheap, messy, extensions that will end up damaging your natural lashes. Reputable and quality brands, such as Xtreme lashes, are costly and this is why spas that use their products must charge more. As stated earlier, many places are getting their products at low prices and then rushing through the application to save time and money. This is why they can charge next to nothing for their service. Look for a good deal, but some things ARE too good to be true.

7) Liability Insurance and a Valid Business License: Do you want someone to work around your eyes who doesn’t carry liability insurance? Make sure that the lash stylist carries their own insurance, or that they are employed by a spa that has adequate insurance coverage. In addition, most insurance claims are invalid if the stylist isn’t working with a valid business license (in the State of Washington, this would be a “Cosmetology Shop License”).

8 ) After care products and instructions: When you leave the spa with your new, gorgeous extensions, it is important that you properly take care of them. This will help you get the most of your lashes so you can go longer between eyelash fills. Does the spa carry after-care products that you can purchase to take care of your lashes? These products would include oil-free eye makeup remover and lint free swabs so you can properly clean your lashes and your eyes, which is very important for your eye health. Some spas even carry special eyeliner and mascara that is compatible with the extensions. Xtreme lashes has formulated its own liner and mascara which is perfectly safe to use with the extensions. It is also important for you to be instructed to not get your lashes wet for 48 hours after the initial application. Some spas will give you a complimentary disposable lash wand so you can properly groom your lashes.

9) Good reviews: Check out the spa’s reviews! While there are some fake reviews on the internet, you can get a good idea of a spa by the number of Yelp and City Search reviews. Look for trends in all of the reviews, rather than a just paying attention to a single positive or negative review.

10) Individual lashes on individual lashes: How are your lashes applied? Many spas are getting a very thick look quickly, by adhering more than one lash on each one of your individual lashes. This creates too much weight on your natural lash, will cause your natural lash to fall out, and will eventually cause permanent damage to your hair follicle. The other problem with this is that since there is not an individual lash on each lash, it is impossible to properly do a fill. The only thing that the stylist can do at this point is to simply stack more lashes on the mess, creating more of a mess. Because of this improper and damaging application, some spas are requiring a complete removal every other fill and then they start “fresh” with a new set. If you are going to a spa that “stacks” your lashes, you will eventually permanently damage your own lashes.

11) Choosing the proper length and diameter of lash: While it would be wonderful if everyone could choose exactly what length and thickness they desired, it is simply not a healthy choice for your natural lashes. Because lash extensions are applied to each individual one of your natural lashes, the stylist should only apply an appropriate length and diameter lash to your lash. For example, if you have very short, thin lashes, it would not be good for your lashes to apply a very long and super-thick, heavy lash. Your real lashes simply cannot support the length or the weight of that type of extension, and this may cause the clients’ own natural lash to be pulled out prematurely. You may walk out looking fine, but will notice that over the next couple of days, your lash extension will droop, twist, and probably fall out….sometimes taking your real lash along with it. On the other hand, if you have long, strong and thick natural lashes…..the stylist can put long and thick extensions on without any problem at all.

12) Style and Design: When the lash stylist is trained with a reputable lash training program, they are instructed to design the lash extensions in a way to enhance the clients’ natural beauty. These training courses spend a good deal of time training the stylists on how to deal with various shaped eyes and what will look the best. For example, in the Xtreme course, the stylists are trained to use at least three to four different lengths of lash extensions for each client. A client should never have the same length used all the way from the inner to outer corner of the eye, as this doesn’t look flattering to the natural eye shape.

13) 100% Guarantee: When calling around and trying to find a good lash place, ask about their policies. Be sure to find a spa that will stand behind their work, one that really wants you to be happy, and truly care that you are satisfied in the long run. What hours are they available? If you have a “lash emergency” will there be someone who can fix your lashes? Do they offer a guarantee on their lash work?

In conclusion, you can see that there are many questions to ask before entrusting a lash stylist to apply extensions. Do your research! You will find that eyelash extensions can be beautiful AND safe when applied by a well-trained lash stylist.
Welcome to your new addiction…….

Karen Shealy, Esthetician and Xtreme Lash Stylist
Karen Shealy, Esthetician and Xtreme Lash Stylist



Do Professional Products Really Matter?

Pharmaceutical vs Cosmeceutical Skin Care


Whats in your Skin Care?

Big words, Big difference! Pharmaceutical vs. Cosmeceutical….

Ever wondered what the difference is between pharmaceutical & cosmetic grade skin care products? This is something I talk with my clients about regularly because it is what really matters.  I get asked ALL the time about different products….Arbonne, Avon, Mary Kay, Ava Anderson, Lancôme, Oil of Olay, Cindy Crawford’s line, Proactive, Dead Sea lines to name just a few.

Cosmeceutical– Cosmetic quality is what is found in department, drug and grocery stores as well as those sold through home based parties.  These include the big and expensive brands and the cheaper ones. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows cosmetic grade products to contain up to 30% bacteria. This is why makeup packaging tells us to throw away any unused product every 90-180 days. And 95% of the skincare industry is cosmetic quality and unregulated by the FDA. Cosmetic companies are not required to register their products with the FDA, while cosmetic products are subjective and do not reflect or require scientific testing.  They are designed to be sold to the large population without any training and therefore cannot be active enough to make changes beyond the top layer.  They may smell good, feel good and even have some of the same ingredients, but at a much lower percentage that won’t make much of a difference.  The bottom line is these non-professional products cannot cause reactions that would pose risk and liability to manufacturers.

Pharmaceutical – This grade is used only in professional products because there are ingredients that can most definitely make your skin react. These products are designed to penetrate deeper into the skin, actually reaching into the cell structure to repair damage and “reset” energy levels for example.   The skin layers are actually restructured into pretty layers and the dermis, where our collagen and elastin live, is thickened.  This effect will smooth the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.   For this reason only professional products are sold by estheticians, dermatologists, medical doctors, and plastic surgeons. Pharmaceutical grade skin care products are FDA regulated. The FDA requires that pharmaceutical grade products be 99.9% pure ingredients. Products must contain 0.1%, or less, of bacteria. Only 5% of the skin care industry is under the regulation established by the FDA and considered pharmaceutical grade skin care products.

As an Alaska licensed esthetician (skin care therapist) it is my stance that pharmaceutical-grade skincare products must be used on a consistant, daily basis in order to achieve real, noticeable and lasting changes.  With effective delivery systems, these products are able to penetrate to the lower dermis where collagen, elastin, melanocytes and healthy new cells are made.  It is here that healthy changes must be made.  This is why I endorse the lines I sell at my spa including:  Rhonda Allison Clinical Skincare, Only Yourx ,Bio-Therapeutics, Reprechage and HydroPeptide.

As a professional esthetician, it is my pleasure to provide free consultation services to those seeking quality skincare recommendations.  It is my goal to become a team player with those wanting real results.  When you are ready to see and feel a REAL difference please call the spa at (907)235-4800.

We look forward to serving you!

Karen Shealy
Esthetician/Makeup Artist/Wellness Coach
Sea Glo Spa and Boutique
3430 Main Street Suite A
Homer, Alaska 99603

Open Tuesday – Saturday 10a to 6p

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