Ask a Beauty Editor: How to Enjoy the Spa When You Have Sensitive Skin – Yahoo Lifestyle

Ever wanted to pick the brain of a beauty editor? Or get beauty product recommendations from someone who has tried them all? You've come to the right place. In our weekly series, Ask a Beauty Editor, beauty editor Hana Hong answers your biggest skincare, hair care, and makeup questions, all submitted by Real Simple readers. Tune in every Tuesday and submit your own burning beauty questions here for a chance to be featured.
Reader question: What are some good spa treatments for people with sensitive skin and allergic to practically everything? – @iluvbroadwaymusicals
Just wanted to say that I totally relate—my skin is also allergic to everything!
The struggle is real. As a beauty editor, I have the privilege of being invited to facials frequently. Although I'm more than eager to jump on hairstyling events and makeup sessions, I was terrified of anything that involved strangers touching my skin (still am, TBH) because of how sensitive it is.
After many good—and some awful—experiences, I can now say that I've become pretty confident of walking into a spa and picking a treatment that is compatible with my complexion. The key is—and I can't stress this enough—communication.
"Your facialist should be taking the lead in assessing your skin's needs, but it's always a good idea to bring in a list of what you're currently using for skincare, as well as a list of the skin concerns you'd like to address," says Candace Marino, celebrity esthetician known as "The LA Facialist" for her star-studded clientele. Additionally, be sure to list all the medications you're using as there may be contraindications to the treatment due to increased sensitivity, says Loretta Ciraldo MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist in Miami, Fla. "For example, you shouldn't get waxed if you use a prescription Tretinoin in this area."
Once you have an idea of what you want, use this list to reference what questions you should be asking.
Can I have an explanation of both the procedure and aftercare? Is this associated with increased skin sensitivity?
How much downtime, if any, is associated with this treatment?
Will my face look red after the treatment? For how long?
Will there be visible peeling or irritation? For how long? If this happens, what can I apply?
When can I apply my at-home skincare and/or makeup?
Is there any chance this treatment may make me sensitive to the sun?
As for the treatments you should be getting, skincare treatments that are soothing, reparative, and strengthening are going to be best for sensitive skin and those with compromised barriers. "In my practice, we use Biologique Recherche products on our most fragile skin types, as they help to rebuild the epidermis while calming inflammation and working on secondary skin concerns," says Marino.
Dr. Ciraldo doesn't advise TCA or AHA peels above 30 percent, and says to make sure any microneedling needles have a shorter needle length (0.5mm). "I advise getting a gentler 'lunchtime' type peel, preferably with a low concentration AHA that is a buffered product," she says.
And this is a general rule of thumb as your facialist's assessment is more valuable, but for most, suction-based exfoliation (like microdermabrasion) is generally not a great idea on ultra-sensitive skin or for those who have thin skin, broken capillaries, or rosacea.
Marino adds that you should avoid overexposure to heat and/or steaming, which is definitely not ideal for rosacea, melasma, or acne. "Heat induces more inflammation, which is a causing factor to these types of skin concerns," she explains. "While I'm not going to tell someone to never go in a hot tub ever again, I'd keep your skin concerns in mind and keep soaking time to a minimum. Once out, rinse off and apply a good strengthening and nourishing body cream."
If you do opt for a quick steam, never pair it with a spa treatment that involves harsh scrubs. "Heat will increase blood flow to the skin, so facial redness and sensitivity will be aggravated by heat of any kind during a spa treatment," says Dr. Ciraldo. "Also, since heat increases the penetration of topical products, if you have a potentially irritating product like a retinoid or AHA, the likelihood of inciting sensitivity when applied to skin exposed to steam or heat is much greater."
However, sometimes all that communication isn't enough, so confirmation is the last step. At my worst facial, an esthetician told me to "relax" and that "some irritation is natural," despite my face slowly swelling in angry hives. Turns out, she was using a product with milk-derived lactic acid when I had told her I'm allergic to dairy.
My point being, if you have sensitivities to any ingredients, ask your esthetician to show you the ingredient lists of all the products he/she plans to use. You know your skin best, so always advocate for yourself and never be scared of confrontation. If something is burning during treatment, ask for it to be removed immediately.
RELATED: Ask a Beauty Editor: How to Know Your Skin Type
They kept it super real.
From luxurious skincare to must-try makeup to game-changing hair products, this list has a gift for every type of beauty lover at any budget. It truly is universal and gives a high shine on any skin tone without the stickiness.
Venue? Check. Guest list? Check. Seating arrangements? OK, that one can wait. But scheduling out your pre-wedding beauty appointments should not. Think about it: You do not want to walk down the aisle with a…
These are the best face primers for all skin types, including oily, dry, acne-prone and sensitive skin. "It preps your skin for foundation and the rest of your products, and helps your makeup really last and offers skincare benefits, too," says Sadah Saltzman, a makeup artist in New York City. "There are now so many primers that address skin issues that may be causing your makeup to fade away quickly," Saltzman explains.
Dermatologist Dr. Muneeb Shah told Insider skincare hacks like DIY masks, pore vacuums, and at-home mole removals can damage skin.
Seriously amazing stuff here.
For any challenge your skin throws at you.
Keep reading for our interview with the founder.
From futuristic makeup to delicious scents, this month was full of hits. Originally Appeared on Glamour
Fireside cocktails, blustery walks on the beach, and indulgent massages for your winter-ailed muscles.
Let's dive in.
If your skin feels scaly, looks dull, or has bumps and rough patches, follow this dermatologist's advice for smoothing grainy skin texture on your face.
They're going fast.
Loma Spa in Cupertino, California, offers a Transformative AP (Advanced Performance) facial that combines a variety of beauty devices with holistic healing techniques. The facial includes gua sha lymphatic drainage, hot stone massage, myofascial release, stem cells, microcurrents, an ultrasonic eye wand, LED therapy, a cryo stick, and more. The facial is about 80 minutes and costs $320, and $125 extra for the microcurrent step. Insider's Caroline Aghajanian tried the facial on camera by owner Leyen Tran for a discounted media rate. For more information, visit and
"Glamour" WOTY digital masthead
The Uncommon Beauty founder talks unrealistic beauty standards, clean skin care, and the perfect brow pencil.
Victoria Beckham says that Face Halo's reusable makeup remover pads changed the ‘foundation’ of her skincare routine. Here’s where to buy the remover rounds.
The unsung hero of skincare! The post 7 adorable mini humidifiers that’ll revive your (sad) dry skin appeared first on In The Know.
These beauty box subscriptions send you shipments of luxe skincare products, fun makeup products, self-care products and more each month or quarter. With subscription boxes, you can give yourself that feeling each month. Beauty subscription boxes, with products like makeup, skincare products, hair products and more, are especially popular.
There’s something so delightfully voyeuristic about taking a peek at someone else’s holiday wish list (you know, so long as that person isn’t your child or partner). But it’s also a great way to find…


Book an appointment