What’s So Important about Skin Hydration?

What’s So Important about Skin Hydration?


Water is the basic substance in our skin and throughout our body that transports vitamins and nutrients to skin cells.  This keeps them plump, healthy, alive, resilient and younger looking.  In order for your skin to protect itself from UV radiation, micro organisms and toxic agents, it must be kept adequately hydrated. Hydrated skin will remain flexible and allow your protective barrier to remain intact. If skin is broken, environmental factors can damage our bodies and cause exacerbated water loss, feeding a cyclical pattern of more damage due to further dehydration.

The primary way one can make sure that their skin is well hydrated is to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water or fluids without caffeine daily.  Caffeine should be avoided as it acts as a natural diuretic which takes fluid away from skin.  Skin hydration is very important no matter what a person’s age or skin type. This is true even if you have oily skin.  Oily skin may have a layer of sebum on the surface, yet could be dehydrated underneath.  This lack of moisture in the skin means it’s protective barrier has been compromised.  The result is skin that is less able to defend itself against irritation, inflammation and an onslaught of bacteria.  So, drink up.

Beyond drinking water, you need to wear a hydrating moisturizer every day.  Many skin types get oilier during the summer.  This doesn’t mean you can skip your moisturizer, it just means it might be time to change your moisturizing formula. Try a lighter formula that focuses on humectants.  These are ingredients that don’t add oil.  Instead they have a special talent for grabbing onto moisture and holding it in the skin. Some of the best humectants include glycerin, glycolic acid, sodium lactate, sodium PCA, aloe, honey and seaweed, but the superstar of all humectants is hyaluronic acid.


The reason Hyaluronic Acid is the superstar is because of it’s amazing ability to hold onto about 1,000 times it’s weight in water.  Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the skin’s dermal layer and gives skin a plump, fresh look.  It supports all those important skin firming collagen and elastin fibers you keep hearing about. It also supplies a medium for water to feed cells as well as support other master cells that are responsible for the manufacture of collagen and elastin.

In skin care products Hyaluronic Acid is made up of very large molecules that have difficulty penetrating the skin.  Studies have shown however, that applied serums containing hyaluronic acid can draw moisture transdermally from the lower layers of the dermis.


Humectants are key ingredients in cleansers, lotions and serums that hydrate the skin by attracting water like a magnet, locking in moisture. Chemically speaking, humectants form hydrogen bonds with water molecules. Humectants are extremely important in keeping skin soft and supple.

Humectants also draw water up from the dermis (the second layer of skin) into the epidermis (the outer layer) and, if humidity is above 70 percent, they can even draw in moisture from the air.  Humectants increase the amount of water that the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis) can hold. This helps repair dry, cracked skin by providing maximum hydration and reducing skin irritation.

Some humectants also encourage exfoliation, by dissolving the glue that holds surface skin cells together. Then they act as a barrier by preventing outside chemicals from making contact with the dermis.


When the weather is dry, particularly in winter or in arid climates, humectants can actually pull moisture away from the skin. Using a moisturizer that contains occlusive ingredients can counteract this loss of moisture.  Occlusives are generally richer in texture and more oily by nature. Occlusives help the stratum corneum retain moisture by creating a barrier layer of lipids.   Emollients help to soften the skin as well as providing this same type of barrier. Lipids are a natural barrier that helps protect your skin against dehydration.  There are ingredients like dimethicone and Shea Butter which mimic the natural lipids your skin should be producing.

Some new ingredients will actually stimulate your skin’s ability to produce more lipids. One such ingredient is a derivative of rosemary extract called ursolic acid, which is also a great antioxidant.


Your cleanser, toner, exfoliant and masque can all contribute to hydration or dehydration depending on your choices.  Choose your cleanser to match your skin type.  How much emollients vs. humectants do you really need?  Alcohol free toners that contain Sodium PCA or Seaweed extracts are great hydrators, without adding occlusive ingredients.  Moisturizers often contain a mix of emollients and humectants.

If you’re looking for the most effective humectant providing products you’ll find them as serum based. A respectable hydrating serum contains the right dosage of hyaluronic acid.  Products that claim 100% hyaluronic acid are just not being accurate.  Since hyaluronic acid is a solid, 100% hyaluronic acid would also be a solid which is very difficult to get into the skin.  You’ll probably find hyaluronic acid listed as sodium hyaluronate.  Sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid and it has a much lower molecular size. This gives it the ability to penetrate skin when applied topically, which is why it works in creams and other potions.


One of the best reasons for splurging for a facial is because this gives you an opportunity to have an expert work with your skin for an hour or more.  This way she can make superior recommendations on which products to choose and how to get the best results for your skin.

You just can’t revive or rehydrate dead cells.  Having a spa strengthened peel is the best way to exfoliate away those dead or very dehydrated cells on the skin’s surface.  This will reveal those younger, fresher, well hydrated cells underneath.  For most skin types, peels are the most productive step of the facial.  Then your skin is ready for steam, super humectants and valuable repair factors that create that extraordinary complexion we all crave.


Glow on the Go

Glow on the Go

Pumpkin Peel‘Tis the season to be busy.   Those holiday parties are right around the corner and you notice that the summer glow you had just a few weeks ago is turning dull and lackluster.  Your lines appear a bit more pronounced…  or is that just your imagination?  You may even be experiencing typical fall breakouts.  The idea of having a facial sounds so appealing, but time is short.  How are you going to squeeze that into your already overbooked schedule?  Introducing…

Glow On The Go

For a limited time only Elizabeth Renee Esthetics is offering the perfect pre-holiday pumpkin peel treatment for only $49. This quick half hour treatment is designed to brighten the skin, soften lines, ease dryness, help even out skin tone and minimize redness and irritation.  With Glow on the Go you’re sure to look and feel radiant, healthy and glowing, just in time for the holidays.

Why a  Pumpkin Peel ?

The mighty pumpkin, when fermented, contains more than 100 nutrients, including collagen building amino acids, skin renewing beta carotene (think retinol)  and moisturizing fatty acids. It’s not surprising that the skin eagerly accepts these nutrients and responds by producing a very happy, healthy glow.

Suitable for all skin types, the fermented pumpkin enzyme offers benefits to both dry and oily skin, producing results in a natural way. This natural exfoliation process removes unwanted debris from pores, enhances cellular regeneration and enables the skin to better absorb active ingredients, such as concentrated serums and moisturizers.

The pumpkin enzymes in Glow on the Go are incredibly useful for the biological processes of skin cells. With a proprietary combination of super fruits, this is the treatment of the future.  Fruit enzymes are gentler and safer than other peels, with superior anti-aging antioxidants that provide healthy benefits for your skin. At Elizabeth Renee Esthetics, our expert estheticians have the knowledge to choose the perfect timing and strength of your pumpkin peel to achieve maximum results for your skin.

The Process

  1. Skin is cleansed and effectively analyzed to determine the correct pumpkin enzymes for your skin type.
  2. A thin coat of pumpkin enzyme peel is applied for 3-10 minutes and gently removed with warm towels.
  3. A hydrating serum is applied using cold ultrasound to deeply moisturize new cells and soothe the skin.
  4. We finish with a few drops of FijiGirl Facial Oil (with retinol & emollients) followed by a protective sunscreen.

Your skin will feel incredibly soft and look impeccably smooth.

Click here to book online.

Better Than Microdermabrasion

Better Than Microdermabrasion

wet / dry microdermabrasion

Do you love microdermabrasion?  Our clients rave about it.  This popular exfoliation technique delivers immediate results to smooth the skin, soften lines and even pigmentation. When microdermabrasion was first introduced we saw results like we’ve never seen before.  This has been the “it” exfoliating treatment for years.  But, now there’s a new “darling” in the world of effective exfoliating spa treatments. It’s called Bio-Brasion. Bio-Brasion is very much like our beloved microdermabrasion, only better. Much better.

What Is Bio-Brasion?

Simply put, Bio-Brasion is an advanced technology treatment for effective exfoliation.  It combines a diamond tipped hand piece with low suction and gentle vibrations to painlessly exfoliate the skin. Infused into this treatment is a special wet / dry microdermabrasion system that pushes hydrating ingredients deep into the skin while introducing skin brighteners and pore clearing ingredients that allows for peak performance and maximum results.

Why is this better than traditional microdermabrasion?

Technically Bio-Brasion is a form of microdermabrasion. The treatments are very similar, but there are a few factors that set Bio-Brasion microdermabrasion treatments apart from the rest.

With traditional microdermabrasion, the particles used are made of aluminum oxide crystals.  These sand like crystals have a few problems:

  • First of all they are messy.  You can get crystals in your hair, in your mouth, on your clothes, in your ears and God forbid you can get them in your eyes.
  • The amount of crystals sprayed on the skin can be hard to control.  This sometimes means uneven or unpredictable exfoliation which could result in prolonged red patches.
  • In some cases the crystals might  get lodged in the pores which could contribute to increased acne flare-ups.
  • The suction used in traditional microdermabrasion can be quite strong. Anyone with weak capillary walls or prone to redness should stay away from traditional microdermabrasion treatments or risk damage to their skin.

Our estheticians have always loved microdermabrasion and often got great results but because of these considerations, they have had to think twice before recommending it to clients.  Often we would opt out for a milder peel that would involve less variables. The best candidates were those with thick, sun damaged skin and those who were not actively breaking out or had to worry about skin sensitivities.

Our new Bio-Brasion Treatment has solved these potential problems and then made some extraordinary innovations that greatly increase the positive results you’ll enjoy:

  • Bio-Brasion’s diamond tipped heads eliminate the need to use crystals.  There are five diamond tips that each correspond to the clients skin type. and allow for precise and consistent exfoliation.
  • Bio-Brasion uses a lower suction, so you’re not pulling or tugging at fragile capillaries and there is no risk of damage.
  • Unlike traditional microdermabrasion, it’s performed on wet skin which increases skin hydration and penetration of performance ingredients.
  • Bio-Brasion is like three treatments in one.  With each pass over the skin a corrective serum is infused into the skin:
  1. THE PEEL PHASE. The first pass over the skin includes applying a gentle AHA/BHA based foam peel which instantly starts to loosens up dead skin cells, so when the Bio-Brasion hand piece goes over the skin, it works quite effectively at removing these dissolving cells.
  2. THE TREATMENT PHASE. The second pass is more treatment oriented.  Your esthetician will choose either a brightening serum (which is a blend of Vitamin C and niacinamide) that easily penetrates the pores to help correct sun-damage and even skin tone, or a clearing solution (containing antibacterial and pore clarifying salicylic acid) to target excess oil, blemishes and blocked pores.
  3. THE BUFFING PHASE.  As the Bio-Brasion hand piece gently buffs over the skin in the third pass, anti-aging peptides, promote cell renewal, strengthen the skin and reduce inflammation.  This ensures a softer, smoother texture and promotes a beautifully hydrated complexion.

Who should try it?

The good news is, Bio-Brasion is safe and effective for most skin types. I’d still be a little hesitant to recommend it for very sensitive, reactive or allergy prone skins which might do better with a calming treatment such as our Cold Fusion Facial. Just about everyone else will see phenomenal results for retexturizing of their skin with either a Bio-Brasion Ultra Brightening Facial, a Bio-Brasion Ultra Smoothing Facial or a Bio-Brasion Ultra Clearing Facial.

The Results.

Bio-Brasion is especially good for undoing the ravages of sun-damage. It helps retexturize skin into something smoother, more translucent, soft and touchable.

For large pores, clogged pores and problem skin it helps remove debris that fills up the pores as it reduces the appearance of large pores.   The antiseptic portion of the treatment kills acne bacteria which greatly reduces acne flareups.  Combine Bio-Brasion with a extractions and you have a powerful tool for treating problem breakouts and achieving a beautifully healthy, clear complexion.

For uneven pigmentation, Bio-Brasion works especially well when dealing with sun induced hyper-pigmentation. When combined with a light chemical peel you can achieve excellent results without over stressing your skin.  Pigmentation is a difficult problem to deal with.  To make real changes in your skin you should consider a series of weekly Bio-Brasion Treatments, and don’t forget the importance of proper homecare.

We are very excited to bring you this new skin perfecting treatment. Bio-Brasion is an excellent way to retexturize your skin without resorting to invasive medical procedures.  One treatment will brighten, smooth and refresh your skin and can be done alone or as part of one of our Bio-Brasion Skin Correcting Facials. For best results contact Elizabeth Renee Esthetics Skincare Spa to set up a consultation with one of our expert estheticians who will create an effective protocol for your unique skin type.

note: To book our Bio-Brasion Treatment (as a stand alone exfoliating treatment) Online.  Click Here.  Select Medical Spa Services from the drop down menu and choose Bio-Brasion Exfoliating Peel.  For a complete facial including a Bio-Brasion Peel click Facials from the drop down menu and choose Bio-Brasion Ultra Brightening Facial; Bio-Brasion Ultra Clearing Facial; or Bio-Brasion Ultra Smoothing Facial.

Toner Tips

Toner Tips

Applying Toner“Why Should I Use A Toner?”
10 compelling reasons to add a
toner to your cleansing regime.

With today’s skincare regimes getting more complicated you may be looking for ways to consolidate your homecare ritual. It’s no surprise that you find yourself questioning whether or not using a toner is still a necessary step.

“After all, it kind of looks like water.”

“Isn’t a toner going to dry out my skin?”

First of all, a good toner should be alcohol free. If it feels really cool and tingly when you apply it that’s probably the feeling of alcohol or menthol evaporating the moisture out of your skin. Which will leave your skin feeling tight and dehydrated. All Elizabeth Renee Toners are alcohol free. Next, you need to carefully choose a formula that’s right for your particular skin type. Take a look at

Elizabeth Renee’s Toner Page

where you’ll find a collection of formulas that each have unique properties to address the needs of your personal skin type. That being said… skipping the toner step could be a big mistake. Applying toner is one of the three most basic but important steps that include:

  1. Using a non-drying, detergent free, cleanser
  2. An alcohol free, botanically based, hydrating toner
  3. Rehydrating with a moisturizer or treatment product

Why are toners included in the big three?

Here are ten reasons why using a toner is so important:

  1. It completes the cleansing process by removing left over cleanser, oil, makeup and impurities still on the skin’s surface after you wash.
  2. It provides important water binding ingredients to hydrate your skin.
  3. It balances the pH of your skin, which protects against unwanted microbes that can lead to blemishing.
  4. It aids in the exfoliating process by removing dead surface cells, thus minimizing pores and keeping them clear.
  5. Using a toner helps reduce irritation and calms redness.
  6. A toner helps brighten uneven pigmentation and gives a radiant clarity to the skin.
  7. It provides botanically based nutrients to improve the health of your skin.
  8. It removes impurities like chlorine; sodium and bacteria found in the tap water you use to wash your face. These can dry out your skin, irritate it or contribute to clogged pores.
  9. Toners remove barriers on the surface of the skin, which prevents penetration of those expensive anti-aging serums you paid big bucks for.
  10. Toners create a moisture layer that increases the efficiency of your moisturizer, keeping your skin soft, fresh and well hydrated.

Is Your Skin Dull, Dry & Tired?

Is Your Skin Dull, Dry & Tired?

Not all skin types age in the same way.  While some skin types become sensitive, red and reactive as they age others seem to just loose their pep.  The skin looses it’s vital glow because of diminished micro-circulation.  As this skin type ages it looses pigment and starts to look a bit ashen, while at the same time developing blotchy brown spots of hyper-pigmented areas. These may have originally come from the sun but have been exacerbated by hormone changes.  This skin type may become lax as it loses tone over time.  It also tends to get dull, dehydrated, dry or parched.  Without proper moisture and lipids the complexion can loose it’s fresh, moist, translucent qualities.

While this may sound a bit depressing, there are little tricks you can do to breath life back into your skin.  To make vital improvements direct your focus on circulation.  To do this choose botanicals like rosemary, ginseng, pine and chestnut extracts which enhance circulation. When used regularly they help revive skin’s healthy glow.  Your cleanser should be a light milky, water based lotion that won’t asphiate your skin. Take a moment to gently massage your cleanser in circular motions all over your face, then do some gentle tapping before rinsing it off.  This will activate tiny capillaries to bring in oxygen and important nutrients needed to feed the skin.

When formulated correctly, rosemary extracts (rich in ursolic acid) stimulate the skin to produce more of it’s own natural protective lipids.  This is particularly effective in correcting parched, dry skin and creates a nice, comfortable, radiant glow.

Your skin will greatly benefit from a little extra exfoliation.  Try a mild AHA exfoliating serum in the morning and a skin repairing retinol based serum at night.  These are tried and true formulas that exfoliate away old, dead, dull surface cells and at the same time jumpstart cell metabolism to produce newer, heather cells.  Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for your skin type that has been tested and found to stimulate collagen production, brighten pigmentation and protect your skin from environmental damage.  Vitamin C is important to help keep skin firm and improve your overall skin tone.

When visiting the spa you should look for treatments that also focus on extra exfoliation, brightening Vitamin C treatments, nutrient rich nourishing treatments and a stimulating massage.  You are probably one of the best candidates for regular facial treatments.  When you leave that spa your skin should look fresh, feel moist and revived and have a nice new radiant glow.

For a complete list of products recommended for this unique skin type click on Elizabeth Renee Esthetics’ Skin Type #1.  Not all skin types are the same.  To discover your personal skin  type, how to treat it and get a complete listing of the best products for your skin click on What’s Your Skin Type? by Elizabeth Renee Esthetics skin care or make an appointment with Elizabeth for a Comprehensive Skin Evaluation (listed under Wellness or Integrative when you book online).



Six Steps to Brighter Skin for the New Year

MicrocurrentRight about now you might be feeling like your skin is looking a little tired and blah. You wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, a little shocked that your skin seems to be starting to age, right before your very eyes.  And, just a couple of years ago everyone was guessing you to be… well… way younger than you’re sure you are looking right now. 

Cut yourself some slack.  Part of this is just the time of year.  The cold weather, a lack of movement on your part (a lot of us hibernate in the winter) and dull overcast days can affect your circulation, which is an essential ingredient for healthy complexions. All of this can be a bit depressing and affect your resolve to fix the problem.

Well now, it’s resolution time, so that means it’s time to recommit to having younger looking, glowing skin… and you can do it too!  You just have to motivate yourself and plan to create your best complexion possible.

Here are my six essential steps for a brighter skin:

  1. Have a facial.  This will get the ball rolling. Your complexion will look brighter and fresher and it can take years off the look of your skin.  A qualified esthetician will become your personal guru, guiding you towards skin care nirvana.  She will help you take the guesswork out of deciding which is the best strategy for improving your skin.  A brightening facial should wake up your skin, stimulate healthy circulation, exercise and tone slack facial muscles and help correct pigmentation problems through vitamin rich corrective peels.  My favorite Elizabeth Renee facial for dull, tired skin is our  BioLift Brightening Facial.  This facial focuses on brightening the skin through multiple layering of Vitamin C exfoliants, masques and corrective serums. It uses warm ionization for better penetration and skin sculpting microcurrent to tone and give your skin a nice lift.  Click Here to Book a Facial Now.
  2. Choose a brightening AHA.  A facial scrub is great for at-home exfoliation for many skin types but only minimally addresses the issue of skin brightening.  Glycolic and Retinols work better but, for optimal brightening start alternating your scrub with a corrective AHA serum that contains lactic acid (or salicylic acid for problem skin) and you will see a smoother, well hydrated skin with a lessening of pigmentation stains. Getting Even is an effective AHA blend with lactic acid that also includes botanical brighteners (like licorice root extract).  You might also enjoy BOOST which is a nifty little Lactic Acid serum that can be added directly to your scrub to boost it’s exfoliating and skin brightening capabilities.
  3. Time to get moving.  Movement stimulates circulation which in turn brings needed nutrient in to feed your skin. Try adding a 20 minute walk to your daily routine.  If the weather’s bad, try walking the mall.  It may sound a little hokey, but it’s cheap and easy to do, and it works.  A little burn creates a wonderful glow.
  4. Start using a toner.  I know.  They look like water and you’re not quite sure if they’re important or why you should use one.  Toners do more than rid the skin of excess dirt and makeup after cleansing.  The most compelling reason to use a toner is because the right toner removes the residue left on your skin from the tap water you used to wash your face.  When clients come in for a facial and they are not using a toner I can tell instantly.  All that chlorine, fluoride and sodium left on the skin after washing makes your skin look dull and lifeless. Check out Elizabeth Renee Toners.
  5. Invest in a Vitamin C serum.  The most effective way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C for your skin is through the use of a serum concentrate.  Vitamin C is a great ingredient when put in moisturizers or cleansers, but to ensure you are getting the proper amount, you need to turn to a more potent formula which can only found in a serum.  Why Vitamin C?  During the day especially, you are exposed to free radicals in the environment which contribute to aging. Vitamin C interferes with these damaging skin stressors.  Vitamin C is a also a great brightener for the skin.  It helps even pigmentation and lighten post-breakout stains.  Regular use even helps reduces blackheads.  Finally, there have been multiple studies showing that Vitamin C boosts collagen production, making your skin firmer and softening lines.  It’s important though to choose the right version of Vitamin C.  Choose a gentle (no sting) formula based on magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.  This stable form of Vitamin C stays fresher (and more active) longer.  Elizabeth Renee Esthetics’ C & E Antioxidant Serum has been our top selling serum for years.  It’s because clients experience visible results.
  6. Get your beauty sleep.  I feel that this has been my nemesis. I have to keep reminding myself that skin repair happens at night while I’m sleeping. When you sleep your skin goes into repair mode. This is why those expensive repair serums work best at night. Sleep also boosts chemicals (cytokines) which improve your immune system, keeping your skin healthy and less vulnerable to inflammatory skin agers. Getting a good night sleep means less baggy eyes, less red blotchy skin, and better cell replacement for stronger, firmer skin.  Shoot for 7-8 hours nightly.  Want glowing healthy skin… then sleep on it!   

So, are you ready to take action?  Want to feel better and look younger? We’d love to here from you.   Click below to share this on Facebook and write a post to let us know how your progress is going. We’re happy to respond, offering you our experience and support.