Sophia’s Winter Skincare Regime

Hi everyone!  My name is Sophia and I am one of the estheticians at Zazen. I’ve noticed that a lot of clients are coming in with dry, flaky skin and wanted to share some of my tips for soft, smooth skin this time of the year.

Cleanse – My regime starts at night. I cleanse my face with Hylunia’s Cleansing Lotion which is great for my sensitive skin because it does’t irritate or dry my skin out.

Night Moisturizer -While my face is still slightly wet, I apply a small amount of Hylunia’s Night Treatment.  It has a high concentration of Vitamin A that stimulates cell renewal and the hyaluronic acid hydrates and softens while I get my beauty sleep.

Exfoliate – In the winter, I  try to exfoliate less, maybe once a week. I like to use Eminence’s Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant. It’s a gentle scrub that exfoliates and removes impurities to brighten skin and shrink pores. My face is so smooth after I use it.

Day Moisturizer – During the day, I like to use Hylunia’s Ultimate Anti-Oxidant Treatment on my face right after I cleanse. It’s a great anti-aging moisturizer that can be worn underneath  makeup.

Hydrate – I also drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

Nails – Can’t forget my nails! I always apply cuticle oil to moisturize my cuticles and strengthen my nails. I like using Zazen’s Cuticle Oil.

Once you get into a routine, you will have soft, glowing skin through the winter. And an added bonus, the products I’ve mentioned are all organic, so it’s really good for your skin.

Do you know what’s in your products?

Beauty Ingredients to Avoid

Foods with bad-for-you ingredients aren’t the only things we should avoid. The same is true for some of our favorite face washes, lotions and body scrubs. Here are some common culprits to be on the lookout for.
by Rona Berg (Spa Magazine)
beauty ingredients, makeup to avoid

Artifical Colors

  • WHAT IT IS: FD&C or D&C colors are made from coal tar derivatives.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: Listed by the EPA as human respiratory toxins, they are also considered allergens and skin irritants.
  • LOOK FOR: Colors from natural sources like annatto, beets, carrot, chlorophyll, and minerals like iron and mica.


  • WHAT IT IS: Banned in some countries, this is a skin-lightening agent known to cause DNA damage and liver cancer.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: It can cause serious skin irritation, swelling and thick skin.
  • LOOK FOR: Kojic acid, licorice extract (glycyrrhizinate) and soy proteins.


  • WHAT IT IS: Parabens are synthetic preservatives (like propylparaben) found in creams, lotions and makeup.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: Though controversial, recent studies have shown that parabens can mimic estrogen in the body, and have been linked to breast and ovarian cancer.
  • LOOK FOR: Paraben-free


  • WHAT IT IS: Sulfates (like sodium myreth-sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate) are harsh detergents found in cleansers and toothpaste.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: At even low-use concentration, they can cause skin and eye irritation as well as penetrate deep into the skin.
  • LOOK FOR: Castile soap, yucca extract, soap bark extract and coco glucoside


  • WHAT IT IS: Toluene (a.k.a. methyl-benzene) is a solvent in nail polish that helps create a smooth application.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: Inhalation can irritate the respiratory tract, and cause headaches and insomnia. Stored in fat tissue, it may lead to developmental delays or attention deficit in children of women with chronic exposure.
  • LOOK FOR: Toluene, formaldehyde or DB-free

*Source: Spa Magazine

Did you know that approximately 60 percent of topical skin care products are easily absorbed into our skin and often into the bloodstream? This is why it is important to check the ingredients in products before you purchase them. Don’t just look at the cool packaging or the enticing aroma.

DIY Home Beauty Recipes: Strawberries

Strawberries are refreshing and delicious to eat. They are packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, vitamin K that are good for the body. But did you also know that strawberries make great skincare treatments? These berries make great masks for the face and scrubs for the body. They contain salicylic acid that gets rid if dead skin cells to reveal  a brighter complexion. All you need are common ingredients found in your kitchen.

Strawberry and Honey Face Mask

1 strawberry

1 teaspoon of honey

1 bag of green tea

Mash the strawberry in a bowl using a fork until it gets to a lumpy consistency. Add honey and green tea. Apply all over a clean face and leave on for about ten minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Strawberry Sugar Scrub

1 large strawberry

½ cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of olive oil

Mash the strawberry with a fork. Add oil and sugar. Don’t stir this too much or the sugar will all dissolve. Rub onto legs and arm or all over the body. Leave on for about one minute and then rinse. You can also gently rub this on the lips as well.

These treatments are so easy to make and smell so yummy!

Sensitive Skincare Tips

There are many people affected with sensitive skin including myself. My skin can easily get irritated, blotchy and break out from certain products and services. For example, I cannot get my eyebrows waxed, tweezed or threaded or I will break out from it. I have experimented with products such as Oil of Olay (normal skin), Dermalogica ( for sensitive skin) and some all-natural skin care products which left my skin irritated, red and dry. I discovered this organic skincare line called Hylunia that is great for all skin types including sensitive skin. I fell in love with this line not just because it does not irritate my skin but it is also safe, green and vegan friendly. Their products are free of parabens, preservatives and alcohol, all of which can irritate sensitive skin. A key ingredient that most of their products do carry is Hyluronic Acid which is a powerful humectant that is effective in retaining moisture in the skin. I have listed below the Hylunia products that I use daliy that also contains Hyluronic Acid.

Cleansing Lotion – Gentle, super-hydrating cleanser for all skin types (I use daily am & pm)

Natural Fruit Acid Exfoliant – Facial scrubs irritate my skin but the fruit acids in this product unclogs and refines my pores and eliminates dead skin cells without any irritation. (I use this every other day underneath the moisturizer)

Super Moisturizing Night Treatment – Making the most of the night hours when the body naturally recuperates, this serum hydrates, nourishes, protects and rejuvenates skin while you sleep. (I use this about 3 times a week)

Ultimate Anti-Oxidant Treatment – I love this product and use it daily as a moisturizer. It combines all of the most potent vitamins, antioxidants and anti inflammatory agents into one product.

Along with these products, I recommend that you drink plenty of water, exercise, quit smoking, eat a balanced diet and wear sunscreen to maintain healthy, beautiful skin.



Spring Cleansing

While you are getting ready to do some spring cleaning around the house, remember that this time of year is the perfect time to do some spring cleansing for the face by getting a facial. Getting a facial is a great way to refresh your skin from the dry harsh winter to reveal glowing skin for the spring. Besides glowing skin, there are many other benefits to a facial.

A basic facial typically includes deep cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, facial massage, facial mask, applications of toner and moisturizers.

Benefits of a Facial:

– deep cleansing and exfoliation unclogs pores

– regulate the immune system

–  aids in detoxification

– aids in stress relief

– improves circulation and stimulate the skin

–  slows down premature aging

– reduces puffiness and sagging in the face


Many people are unaware of these benefits of getting a facial. It makes your skin look great but also makes you feel good on the inside. I usually tell my clients to get a facial monthly. But try to get a facial four times a year, usually as the season changes.

Owner/Esthetican/Nail Tech,

Tien Balan