Esthetician Q & A!

Dear esthetician: Sometimes I have breakouts and they get white and nasty. I cannot get through my day with the growth on my face getting ready to explode! Is there a way to do safe extractions at home where I will not scar myself but also be effective?
Thank you, Crazy home pimple popper.

Dear crazy home pimple popper,
You have asked a very common question. And yes, there is a safe and effective way to extract at home. Any good professional will tell you that doing extractions on your own should be avoided as much as possible and you should come in for a facial once a month so we can help you out. Please follow this rule of thumb! Leave extractions to the professionals! Now we all know that time is of value and sometimes these little pests show up over night, literally, and life has to happen that day so what do you do? I’m going to ease the pain for you a little so you can live another day.

Extracting is always better right out of the shower because the skin is soft and makes extracting easier. It’s better to extract with your fingers rather than a tool to avoid possible scarring or bruising. Make sure you cleanse, and if possible, exfoliate your face inside the shower. With two tissues wrapped around your fingers and using the sides of your fingers not the tip you will want to get a little further than right next to the blemish. Then spread the skin slightly apart and while pushing your fingers together try to get slightly under the blemish instead of right on top. This will help extract everything from inside the pore. Release fingers and reposition often until everything is extracted.
After everything is up and out, use a solution preferably with salacylic acid and possibly witch hazel to cleanse the area around and on top of your new friend (aka, nasty white puss growth). This will also help to kill any bacteria that could potentially spread on your face and create new lovely puss filled bumps. Follow up with a spot treatment such as Rhonda Allison’s blemish spot treatment or Glo’s post blemish serum, healing gel. Make sure to apply products until your new found friend has totally healed.
Another word of advice is to make sure you do not do any after extraction picking. Peeling or trying to do more extractions in a healing blemish can cause scarring and even pigmentation. Please leave it alone to heal.  Follow the esthy advice on extracting and be sure to see your favorite skin care therapist once a month for more extensive extractions.

Writer: Emmy Munnis, Ambiance


Fuel Up for (Swim) Competition

Swim meets are not like other sporting events, making it more challenging to FUEL UP. They often start early in the morning with swimmers participating in many events of varying distances, multiple times during the long day. It is important that your intake during the competition helps your hours of training. This philosophy can help all competitors in and out of the water.

So, how do you keep your energy go up without slowing your body down?

DO recognize that what really matters is how well you have fueled your body in the days and weeks and months leading up to the competition. Just like you train your muscles to the demands of your stroke and your mind to be competition ready, you should be practicing good food and hydration strategies all season long. Good nutrition is most important during training to provide signals to muscles to adapt to training demands and improve the ability to store fuel within muscle cells.

DON’T think that there is a magic secret or super-food that will make you swim faster on competition day. Nothing you swallow or eat on the day of competition will turn you into an Olympic medalist.

DO plan to bring tried and true snacks to your competition. Snacks should be easy to digest, like applesauce or pretzels versus foods that take a while to digest such as nuts or energy bars high in protein and fat.

DON’T eat or drink foods that are new to you. Competition can bring out the “belly butterflies” in everyone so don’t add to the nervous tummy food or drink that is new.

DO plan a hydration strategy. Keep a water bottle near and drink water throughout the day. If competing outdoors, alternate drinking water with a sports drink that contains about 6-8% carbohydrate.

DON’T fill your water bottle with a protein shake or high-sugar drink like a smoothie. High intakes of protein are not needed during competition and can lead to dehydration.

DO keep food portions small during the competition.   Small bites are easier to digest, so pack your snacks in small plastic bags like: small saltine crackers, 15 mini-pretzels, 2-3 energy blocks not chews, orange slices, and banana bites

DON’T get so hungry that you overeat. Slow and steady fuel is better than a big lump in your stomach. Eat small amounts of food more often to avoid hunger.

DO be mindful of food and drink that contain caffeine. While a small amount of caffeine (100 to 200 milligrams) can make you more alert, higher amounts can make you jittery and anxious.
DON’T forget that caffeine can be found in many foods such as coffee-flavored ice cream or yogurt, soft drinks, and chocolate.

You’ve worked hard all season and pushed yourself. As a result of your discipline and effort, you have developed a solid training base and all your work should pay off. Don’t let the little details derail you. FUEL up correctly and GET READY TO GO!


Suns Out, Grills Out

Summer is right around the corner and that means firing up the grill. Imagine the vegetables and meat sizzling on the grill while you’re outside in the warm weather conversing with friends. Just the thought of warm breezes and the delicious smells inspire us to create a meal that is both healthy and delicious. In the summertime, we are able to buy more fruits and vegetables that are in season and will go perfectly with something fresh off the grill. Now is the time to start thinking about ways to incorporate some fresh fruit and vegetables into summer lunches and dinners.


Apples are the ideal afternoon snack and avocados will go perfectly with a salad that you can make for either lunch or dinner. There are also a variety of spices that can give your food a powerful punch of extra flavor. Basil paired with tomatoes provide a slightly minty and peppery taste to your meals. To keep your snacking on the healthier side, buy some red cherries that can be found in the produce aisle, usually near the other seasonal fruits. There are many different types of cherries to choose from. Cherries start arriving in grocery stores around May, so keep a look out the next time you are at the store!

An easy and delicious treat to make with a grilled steak is fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers tossed in olive oil, vinegar, a splash of salt and a hint of pepper. Some people like to add an onion for more crunch and flavor. As a child, I would not eat tomatoes or cucumbers, but when my mom made this delicious salad I couldn’t help going back for seconds! It is important for your whole family to make meals containing vegetables that will promote better health for them as they get older. Make sure that this summer is a healthy one!

Once the kids are out of school, they might start bothering you for food if they get bored. Provide for them a healthy snack instead of something like ice cream. Apples and peanut butter are a perfect combination that will make your kids full and satisfied. Grapes will also be in season this time of year. An easy way to make grapes a “cool” snack is stick them in the freezer until they are frozen solid. It feels like you are eating ice cream because the grapes are cold and sweet. Like cherries, there are many types of grapes. Involve your kids in an experiment to see which grapes taste better frozen and which taste better left in the refrigerator.

Now what about that grill that is sitting outside in your backyard just begging to be used after being cooped up all winter? Not only can your grill be used for meats, but it can also be used for vegetables! Making a kabab of vegetables is an easy way to give your meals some color and a wide variety of nutrients. Think of vegetables based on their colors and which colors work well together when you think about your kabab. Greens, reds, and yellows are a good match and they taste even better together, and zucchini and onions can also add variety.   Zucchini and squash taste amazing coming right off the grill paired with fish, chicken, or steak. Just thinking about it is making me hungry!

There are many fruits and vegetables that will be easily available to you because of the changing of the season. If you are just starting to buy more fruits and vegetables again, don’t be afraid to experiment. Not everyone is going to like the same things, but use the things they do like to make sure everyone is eating healthy this summer. Find what you and your family like and add those foods to your meals. To learn more about what a summer meal plan could look like for you, contact Tracy Granberry at ext. 297. Your summer body will thank you.

By Saige Huene, Nursing Student, Azusa Pacific University

Preventative Maintanence Tips

By Donn Cushing, Facilities 

Spring has sprung and it’s time to think about a little spring cleaning. One of those household items that is often overlooked is the refrigerator. Some of us may even have more than one. Your refrigerator is a large consumer of electricity, and an excellent way to improve its efficiency is to clean the coils.

The condenser coils are either on the back side of the refrigerator or on the bottom, behind the grill. When you pull it out, away from the wall, be sure to unplug it to prevent the possibility of shock.

Note that if your refrigerator is only a few years old, you probably have a “never clean” condenser and, you guessed it, that means it will not need cleaning. Check your owner’s manual to be sure.

If the condenser coils are on the bottom front, then follow these five steps:

  1. Unplug the refrigerator.
  2. Remove the grill.
  3. Use a refrigerator coil brush such as a PM 14×15, although you can get away with a long, thin vacuum tube attachment.
  4. Vacuum up all the dirt and debris that is swept from the coils that have fallen on the floor.
  5. Replace grill and plug the refrigerator back in.

If the condenser coils are on the back of the refrigerator follow these four steps:

  1. Unplug and pull the refrigerator away from the wall.
  2. Wipe with a cloth or use a soft brush to clean the coils; you may also use a vacuum brush attachment.
  3. Vacuum up debris that has fallen to the floor.
  4. Plug the refrigerator into power and push it back in place.

There you have it, a simple task to help your refrigerator operate more efficiently and save you a little money.


Psyched for Exercise

Have you ever struggled to get yourself to the gym? Have you ever challenged yourself harder in the weight room? Your mindset, as simple as it sounds, can affect how hard you train. By understanding your mindset, you can learn how your mind is either hindering or encouraging you to engage in physical activity.  Most people think that “motivation” and setting goals are all that is required to achieve your fitness aspirations. This may not be the case. For example, getting yourself to the gym may be hard, but once you are there, do you train hard and efficiently? Or are you someone who does the same routine exercise every day and do not achieve the results that you desire? Do either of these mindsets sound like you? If you fall into the latter, would you like to be more self-motivated to go to the gym and to increase your endurance in the weight room?

I am not implying you are not already working hard to reach your goals. I am here to educate you that your body can get accustomed to the same workout if you do not continually progress and challenge yourself; whether in reps, weight, tempo, etc. The human body can do great things, but sometimes your mindset can get in the way of your progress and can be detrimental to your success and obtaining the results that you expect. Here are my quick tips to help you remain motivated in the weight room.

  1. It is best to be more intrinsically motivated as compared to extrinsically motivated. When you are motivated to do something from within, you will continue to do it regardless of the reward at the end. Example: do NOT workout to eat a cupcake. Instead, workout to experience pride, success and an “I earned it” moment.
  2. Only YOU determine the direction and intensity your workouts will take. No one else can determine this,
  3. Humans are motivated to fulfil 3 basic needs: to feel competent, to feel autonomous, and to feel a social connectedness. If you can achieve these 3 needs in the gym by 1) being comfortable with exercises, 2) learning how to do the exercises with proper form, and 3) developing relationships with others around you, then these tips can help you stay and be more motivated in the gym!

If you are interested in training with Sarah, please contact her at 909-625-6791 ext. 415.

Writer: Sarah Gomez

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Spring Clean your Exercise Routine

With warmer temperatures and longer sunny days, spring is the ideal time to reboot your exercise schedule and “spring clean” your routine. Most of you have been working hard in the gym since committing to your New Year’s resolutions, right? If you have lost your motivation and have seen little change or progress towards your goals, you are probably ready for some fun and fresh exercise changes to reinvigorate and revive your workout. Let’s get ready to try just a few changes to your weekly routine to help jump start you into the spring season.

#1 Your favorite running trails are calling!

Suddenly, indoor classes seem uninspiring. If you’re bored, get outside! Get off the treadmill once or twice a week and take your cardio outdoors. Exercising outdoors may improve energy levels and decrease stress to a greater extent than working out inside.

#2 Bring a Friend or get a Trainer:

Did you know that more than 40% of participants drop a fitness program shortly after it begins if they attend on their own? But working out with a friend or Trainer, the dropout rate decreases to 6%? Why? You are definitely more accountable and excuses are harder since someone else is relying on you. It’s also a lot more fun. You push yourself harder and bring structure to your schedule and workouts and many more benefits!

#3 Change the routine!

If you do spinning, which is predominantly a cardiovascular activity that is focused on the lower body and core, try yoga. Yoga poses will strengthen your upper body, reverse the postural imbalance of the forward flexion associated with cycling and open up your hips for a more mobile body (and will make your cycling classes more productive!).

And if you do yoga, try resistance training. Throw in some dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, etc., anything to add in external resistance to your workout.

If you do Floor Pilates, try High-Intensity Interval Training or a Small Group Class.

Pilates can lack a metabolic component so adding some high-intensity interval training will boost metabolism, increase aerobic capacity, and aid in weight management. If you mostly do High-Intensity Training, Try Foam Rolling. Foam Rolling is an inexpensive, super-versatile piece of equipment that can help you with everything from recovery, warm up, working out the knots in your muscles, to sculpting a set of abs. In other words, if you aren’t already using one, you’re missing out on some serious benefits!

The possibilities are endless. Inside or outside? Yoga or cycling? In the end, the best thing is that you don’t have to choose just one.

*Mention this Blog and receive a 30 min Free Consultation with Nurys and learn how to “Spring Clean” your exercise program. Contact Nurys at extension 309.


Writer: Nurys Saldana, MS, CPT

Begin your summer waxing now!

Did you know that Ambiance Day Spa and Salon offers a variety of skin care services including waxing? Not only do the skin care specialists focus on eyebrow shaping and removal of unwanted body hair, but we also offer services such as bikini and Brazilian waxing. There are some benefits to starting your waxing before the bikini season starts. Below are a few reasons to start now.

Preparing your skin:

The skin can become irritated especially for the first time waxer. Whether its face, legs or bikini area, waxing causes a small but temporary trauma to the skin – leaving it red and irritated for up to 24 hours later. It’s better to do a test run before you actually want to be in a bikini and see how your skin reacts to waxing. Don’t worry, there are methods and topical creams that can be applied to help alleviate any irritation. The more you wax, the more your skin will get used to it. Your skin will eventually become less irritated and will take less time to calm – unlike shaving, where you can be irritated every time and even days afterwards. Thus, it important to wax early; don’t wait until the day of or before you need to be in a bikini!

Less hair: 

Because waxing pulls the hair from the follicle, as opposed to cutting it off at the skin with shaving, it weakens the hair and prevents all the hair cycles from growing in all at once. When left just to wax, the hair becomes more sparse and easier to pull from the follicle. This is fantastic because it will ease the pain from waxing if you are adamant about coming in within the proper timeframe, thus preparing you for bikini season. The less hair you have, the less time it will take to wax and the easier your waxing experience will be.

Knowing your skin:
When you continuously wax, your skin will get used to it. If you are a first-time waxer, you need to know how your skin will react and what to apply before and after waxing. This way, when bikini season comes around, you will be prepared for when is the best time to wax according to your own hair growth and how long it takes for any minimal redness to disappear. Also, due to the hair follicles being exposed, we recommend different do’s and don’ts including no swimming for 24 hours. With this information, you will know how to plan your beach trips and vacations before the summer starts!In the end, waxing is overall a great option because there is a reduction in skin issues than what happens with shaving. Bikini or Brazilian waxing is not only convenient but less maintenance than your typical daily or weekly shaving. You are hair free, clean and ready to go! The best time to start is now.

Writer: Emmy Munnis, Ambiance