Beauty, Skin Care, Wellness

Skin Care During Pregnancy

In the third installment of our pregnancy series, we’ll be discussing skin care during pregnancy. It can feel like everything is off limits while pregnant: no sushi, no wine, the list goes on! Luckily, this is not the case with skin care and many of the most common products and services are still completely safe during pregnancy.

The Bad

While most things are safe during pregnancy, there are a few ingredients that should be avoided, the largest being Vitamin A derivatives such as retinol and salicylic acid. There is currently a strong link between these products and birth defects, so they should be avoided, even in small doses. Because of this, services like the HydraFacial are not safe during pregnancy, due to their high doses of salicylic acid. Another ingredient to watch out for is Benzoyl Peroxide, commonly found in acne products, which has also been linked to an increased risk of birth defects.

The Good

Just because some of the most popular ingredients are not safe during pregnancy doesn’t mean you can’t still use effective products. Many women find during pregnancy that hormone fluctuations can cause a myriad of skin issues, from acne to a lack of radiance. Luckily, exfoliating ingredients like lactic acid and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid are 100% safe during pregnancy. The body naturally produces these powerhouse ingredients; therefore they are of no risk to a developing baby. Lactic acid is perfect for removing excess keratin from the skin that can impact the pores and cause breakouts, while hyaluronic acid is a miracle molecule that can absorb 1000 times its weight in moisture, leaving your skin smooth, plump and supple.

There are also many safe professional treatments during pregnancy. The Decléor Aroma Cleanse facial offered here at Designer’s Denn is designed for deep hydration and removing excess debris, resulting in smooth, flawless skin over time. In just one treatment, however, treated skin will feel softer and have a renewed radiance. More medical grade treatments, such as microdermabrasion and the Megapeel are also safe during pregnancy; however, it is very important to communicate with your technician that you are pregnant so they can make sure to use products that are safe for pregnancy during these services. It is also important to note that skin can be slightly more sensitive during pregnancy and so there may be an increased risk for excess redness and reactions, something in which all estheticians at Designer’s Denn are trained. They are happy to find treatments that will only help, not hinder, your skin.


Give our front desk a call today to schedule a facial or stop in to check out our amazing selection of pregnancy safe skin care!

Beauty, Wellness

Massage for Expectant Mommies

Today, in part two of our series on pregnancy and beauty services, we’ll be covering body treatments during pregnancy. With all of the aches and pains involved with being an expectant mother, a soothing massage can be the perfect treatment to make you feel like a million bucks. However, many women worry about the safety of these services. Today, we’re here to relieve any worries you may have.


First Trimestermothers-to-be-photo
During the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through many changes very rapidly and that rings doubly true for your brand new baby. Because of these rapid and vital growth changes, the first trimester also tends to be the most tumultuous time in a pregnancy. Because of this, we advise against any massage or body treatments before you’ve hit the 12- week mark in your pregnancy.

Second Trimester and Beyond
After the 12-week mark, Designer’s Denn is proud to offer a selection of body therapies perfectly tailored for expectant mothers. Our 60 minute prenatal massage features a full body massage to melt away all of your tension and utilizes our unique prenatal table, featuring a belly hole, so you can comfortably lay face down during any stage of pregnancy.

If a beauty-oriented treatment is more what you’re after, our Natural Motherhood Body Envelopment is exactly what you need! This pampering treatment is ideal for expectant mothers or post pregnancy to regain skin elasticity and to tone the skin. Featuring a calming back massage, a firming and toning aromatic balm and a sculpting body mask, you’ll leave with skin that looks visibly younger and more radiant!

Beauty, Wellness

Fall Foot Care

Autumn is here and temperatures are beginning to fall. As sandals and flip-flops get stored away to make room for boots and moccasins, it’s easy to think of pedicures as a thing of the summertime. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth!


Cold Weather Means Dry Skin

The cooler temperatures of fall and winter bring with them dry air that quickly results in dry skin- and feet are no exception! Neglecting your feet can result in a build up of dead skin cells and cracked heels that can take months to repair. Pedicures are one of the best ways to have your feet feeling smooth and supple in no time. Our Signature Pedicure, with its warm paraffin dip for your feet, is our favorite option for dry skin. Don’t have time for the full Signature service? Try a Classic Pedicure with our new Honey Heel Glaze add-on. Both options are available for manicures as well!

Say “No” Ingrown Toenails

You are doing so much more than just relaxing at a pedicure; you are helping to prevent future issues for your feet! Pedicures help keep the nails at a healthy length. Nails that are too long or improperly cut can result in lifting of the nail plate and painful ingrown nails.

Do Something for YOU

You may be thinking, “No one sees my feet in the wintertime anyway.” Maybe not, but you do! Nothing cures the wintertime blues better than seeing a fun, bright color or some nail art on your toes. Now’s the best time to try that color you’ve been looking at or finally experience some nail art that might be out of your comfort zone when everyone sees your toes. You deserve it!

Stay Cozy

Spending time at the spa is a great way to escape the cold during the fall and winter months. Relax with a Warm Stone Pedicure! Our nail technicians use warm stones to enhance your pedicure experience with a light massage. Our more luxurious nail services, such as the Signature Pedicure and Manicure include a warm neck wrap and signature drink options, such as hot cocoa and cider, which are sure to warm you up from the inside out.

Most importantly, pedicures and manicures aren’t just about looking good-they’re about feeling good, something that is for every season. Call our Front Desk staff today to schedule your nail services today!

Beauty, Skin Care

Welcome the HydraFacial to Designer’s Denn!

Searching for smoother, clearer, healthier skin? Look no further than HydraFacial MD! HydraFacial MD is the first of its kind, utilizing Vortex-Fusion® technology to gently resurface the skin, purge congestion, and rejuvenate the skin with vital antioxidants and peptides.


HydraFacial MD uses a simple four-step system that can be completed in just 30 minutes, with no downtime, but gives similar results to medical procedures, such as IPL.

Step 1: The Activ-4 serum utilizes glucosamine and lactic acid to gently soften the upper layers of the epidermis and remove dead skin cells

Step 2: Vortex-Peel’s combo of glycolic and salicylic acid effortlessly peels the skin and softens sebum.

Step 3: Vortex-Extraction painlessly removes impactions in the skin resulting in a smooth even finish.

Step 4: Finally, we drench the skin with Antiox+, a serum packed full of antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid-it’s like a drink for the face!


The HydraFacial is great for all skin types and ages; every condition from acne to general aging to hyperpigmentation will benefit. For many conditions, just 1, 30-minute treatment a month is all that’s needed to maintain beautiful skin (with proper home care of course!) If you’re wondering if the Hydra Facial is for you, give us a call and schedule a consult today with an esthetician to determine what’s going to work best for your skin and lifestyle.

Beauty, Wellness

Making Time for Relaxation


In a world where success is measured in dollar signs and overtime, downtime is often not prioritized. However, as money adds up relaxation and peace can still elude us.

Many people do not take the power of relaxation seriously, but the effects of long-term stress can leech into every aspect of your health and wellness. If you’re at all concerned about leading a long, healthy life, reducing stress should be a top priority.


Stress Effects on the Body

Stress affects every single system of the body, some in more obvious ways than others. The body’s response to stress is designed to help you survive perilous situations. Short term this means your body slows a lot of other processes down to focus on one thing: getting you out of danger. As the stressor passes, the body’s functions return to normal. Chronic stress, however, does not allow the body to return to normal. This results in physical symptoms that present themselves in every system of the human body.


Musculoskeletal system: Stress causes muscles to tense up. As the stress fades, muscles will begin to relax but chronic stress results in chronic muscle tension. The effects of this can be felt in sore muscles and tension headaches.

Digestive System: Stress can cause heartburn, ulcers, the feeling of “butterflies, and even vomiting. Stress also can interfere with proper nutrient absorption.

Inches on the Belly: Stress causes the adrenal cortex to release cortisol. Excess cortisol can cause the body to store excess fat around the midsection, adding unwanted inches.

Nervous system: The nervous system (specifically the sympathetic nervous system) is responsible for the fight or flight response, allowing you to flee from possible danger quickly. However, having this response triggered long term puts extra wear-and-tear on the nervous system and can leave you feeling run down.

Reproductive Health: Irregular menstrual cycles are common in those experiencing a lot of stress. Symptoms of menopause can also be more pronounced.

Stress Effects on the Brain: When stress first hits you actually may feel more focused thanks to the fight or flight response. This state of awareness though becomes taxing on the brain long term and can lead to a foggy feeling. Studies have also shown that long-term stress can actually cause changes to the brain’s structure and function. The hippocampus, responsible for memory and emotions, is physically smaller in people that have been under long periods of acute stress. Also, cortisol has been known to actually hardwire people’s brains differently to be in a constant state of fight or flight.


Now, that might all seem rather scary, luckily, you’re not powerless to stop the effects of stress. There are many proven methods that will help you to feel calm and in control.


Ending the Cycle

If you have five minutes….

You’ve probably been told at least once in your life, just take a few deep breaths. While it may seem silly, science has proven that deep breathing is our bodies built in relaxation mechanism! Slow, deep breathing stimulates the systems in the body responsible for calming us down. Studies have shown deep breathing not only helps calm you down quickly, but it also can help lower blood pressure, regulate the pH of your blood and improve symptoms of asthma. In fact, some studies have actually shown that deep breathing changes the way your body works on a cellular level. Now that’s some relaxation!


If you have a half an hour…

Relax with a cup of tea! Turn off all the electronics, find a cozy place to snuggle into, and slowly enjoy a cup of hot tea or tisane (herbal tea.) The simple act of slowly sipping a warm beverage relaxes the body, however some teas have compounds that actually induce relaxation. One herbal tea, chamomile, has been shown to reduce symptoms in mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder. If you have allergies to any members of the daisy family, such as ragweed, it is best to enjoy chamomile with caution, as there have been reported cases of allergic reactions. If you’re concerned, it is always best to check with your medical provider before adding anything new into your dietary regimen.


If you have an hour…

Yoga is a great way to relax body and mind. Coupled with deep breathing, yoga helps to relieve muscular tension and is wonderful for getting your body into shape without too much strain. While any sort of yoga practice is great for relaxation, certain poses are better than others. Attending a yoga class (either in person or through an app on your phone) is a great way to learn more!


If you have two hours…

While many people view them as luxuries, facials and massages are amazing for both relaxation and revitalization. These spa services help in a number of ways to relax the body and mind. The most obvious way is that a typical massage or facial lasts for at least one hour, couple that with the time you take in a relaxation room prior to the service, you’re looking at least 90 minutes of time reserved simply for you to relax. Not only that but human touch helps release dopamine, which naturally makes you happier. Plus, after a facial you look great and your skin will thank you for it! The Decléor Signature Facial offered at Designer’s Denn, features a luxurious back massage, facial massage, aromapressure, as well as hand paraffin. Another wonderful option is the 60 Minute Signature Massage, a full-body experience featuring foot paraffin and warm stones. If you’re really feeling stressed a 90 minute option is available as well.

Beauty, Skin Care

Basics of Good Skin Care

Cleansers, toners, serums, ampoules, exfoliants…the list goes on and on!

Nowadays, the market is saturated with different types of beauty products, all promising to work miracles. While many of these products do just as they claim to, there are many more that leave you let down when you aren’t magically 20 years younger overnight! While this is great for the beauty industry’s revenue, it leads to confusion and mistrust for the consumer!

So, where to go from here?

While there is no possible way to review every skin care product on the market, there are a few tips and tricks to help you figure out what’s what.

First off, what steps are actually necessary for good skin health?

While the exact products you’re going to use are going to vary based on what you’re trying to treat, the following is true for every single skin type.


A Good Cleanser

A good cleanser is formulated to remove dirt, excess oil, pollution, and make-up from the skin while still leaving the skin at its proper pH of around 4.7, so that the natural protective acid mantle can remain undisturbed. As a general rule of thumb, if your cleanser leaves your face feeling extremely tight, it may be too stripping. For more dry skins, a creamier cleanser is necessary so less vital oil is removed and for more oily skins a foaming cleanser.

  •   “But my skin is way too sensitive for a cleanser! I can only use water to wash my   face!” I hear this all the time. Unfortunately this is actually only making sensitivity issues even worse! Water pH changes depending on where it comes from and in some places is more alkaline and in others more acidic, a too alkaline or too acidic water is going to have similar effects as a too harsh cleanser!
  • “Humans went ages without washing their faces, it isn’t natural and is bad for you!” -Another statement estheticians face regularly when recommending home care. But what is important to remember is, our ancestors lived under very different conditions than what we currently inhabit. While it is steadily improving thanks to recent environmental efforts, our air is incredibly polluted. Water alone simply cannot remove many of these pollutants that can cause impurities in the skin. Combine that with the use of make-up (which also must be removed with a cleanser) and simply using water can be disastrous for skin health!

Recommended Products: For normal to dry skin, try a cleansing milk like Decléor Cleansing Milk. If you like a cleanser that foams a little, try DM Skin Care Botana-Gel Cleanser. For combination or oily skin try Botana-Gel or Decléor Purifying Gel.


An Exfoliant

This is one of the more commonly missed skin care products that are so vital to skin health. The skin naturally sheds dead skin cells constantly, but where do these dead skin cells go? Some skin is shed and enters the air and your environment around you, but much stays on your skin. Overtime, these dead skin cells can begin to pile up resulting in, best-case scenario, dull skin and, worst-case scenario, a breakout. While cleansing the skin removes some, it does not remove all. As long as you don’t exfoliate too often (which will disturb the skin’s protective acid mantle) exfoliating won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin. However, there are different types of exfoliants and certain ones are better than others, depending on what you’re treating and what your skin is like. They fall into two categories:

  • Physical Exfoliants: physical exfoliants are the type that most people are familiar with. Using natural or synthetic abrasive ingredients, physical exfoliants remove dead skin cells through friction and then are simply washed away with water. These are good for most skin types, except for sensitive and acenic skin types. These scrubs should not be used more than 1-2 times per week!
  • Chemical exfoliants: probably the most feared exfoliants, chemical exfoliants use either acids or enzymes to dissolve or eat away at the dead skin cells. Some are formulated to go deeper into the skin, past the dead skin cells, to help repair the skin but these are typically stronger peels done with either your esthetician or a dermatologist. Chemical exfoliants are thought of as being harsh on the skin, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth! Because they very gently dissolve the dead skin cells, they’re actually less harsh on the skin than the friction from physical scrubs. Chemical exfoliants can be used by anyone with any skin type, however certain acids are better than others for certain skin types. Depending on the delivery method, some acids are used daily while some, more intense acids should only be used 1-2 times per week.

Recommended: For a physical exfoliant, try Decléor Double Radiance Scrub or Carita Lagoon Scrub. For a chemical exfoliant, try Decléor Prolagene Lift Peeling Gel or DM Skin Care Retinyl Enzyme Treatment.


A Good Moisturizer

While most people I encounter are aware they should be using a moisturizer, most are not aware of what constitutes a good moisturizer versus a bad one- oh and there are bad ones! The first step is deciding if you need more oil or water in your moisturizer. Water based moisturizers are ideal for more oily or acenic skins that have plenty of oil, but need to replenish their water balance and oil based moisturizers are lipid rich and better for drier skins. So, yes, even the oiliest person can use a moisturizer and can actually improve their oiliness with the hydration received from one! One ingredient to watch out for is mineral oil a cheap, pore clogging-lubricating agent used in many less expensive moisturizers. Seeing this ingredient should be a red flag that it probably doesn’t contain the highest quality ingredients (although seeing it extremely far down on the list isn’t too problematic for drier skins.)

Another big skin offender to look out for is denatured alcohol, which is extremely drying and irritating to skin. Look for moisturizers high in humectants (which attract water from the dermis to the epidermis) such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. It’s also worth mentioning that many moisturizers contain exfoliating acids, such as lactic and glycolic acid.

Recommended: All skin types will enjoy the hydration of Decléor Hydrafloral Cream. For combination to oily skin try DM Skin Care Dermal Renewal Gel or Decléor Shine Control Oxygenating Fluid.

Well, there it is! The basics of good skin health, not quite as confusing as you thought, right? Top all of those off with a good daily SPF and you’re on the road to beautiful skin for life. And remember, a good esthetician can advise you in what products are good for your skin in particular by looking at and feeling your skin to use their expertise to discover what your skin is longing for.


All recommended products can be purchased at Designer’s Denn Salon and Spa. Check back here soon for a post on the more advanced steps in skin care: serums, masks, and professional treatments!