“I like to party. And by party, I mean diffuse oils and take naps.”

Fall is my absolute favorite season. I love the crisp air; I love the beautiful fall foliage; I love bundling up in my warm chunky sweater and fuzzy socks and enjoying a nice, warm cup of tea. And I especially love the scents of fall. I remember from my childhood growing up in the Sussex countryside the smell of the open-hearth fires in the brisk air; of a rainy cool day. Smells like this bring a huge wave of memories and nostalgia back for me.

Unfortunately, this is also a time of the year where temperatures drop, the days are noticeably shorter, the sun’s rays are less and less, and we get the fall sniffles. All of these changes can affect our mood with lots of people experiencing depression and melancholy.

Good news is we can deal with the autumn blues in the most healthy, natural, and delightful way… with the use of essential oils. Here are some ways to enjoy them this fall season:

For the home:

  1. Add aroma to your fireplace by applying ten to twelve drops of essential oil to a dry log. Cedarwood, sage and pine are ideal for this purpose. Let the oil permeate the wood for at least a couple of days before burning.
  2. Refresh the air by adding twenty drops of your favorite oil to a small spray bottle filled with water. Peppermint, juniper berry and ginger are wonderful choices. Shake before use and spray as desired. This natural air freshener won’t irritate your sinuses.
  3. Relax your mind at the end of the day with chamomile, lavender, bergamot or cedar in your bath water or a diffuser.
  4. And talking of diffusers, they help in the kitchen too, and pretty much every room in the house. Clove and peppermint in a diffuser blend work wonders in the hallway and offers a warm welcome at the end of a busy day.

For the office:

  1. A diffuser on the desk containing a blend of spearmint, rosemary and lavender will keep you focused and able to concentrate on the most challenging of tasks. At the same time it keeps the air around you clean and safe.
  2. For better and safer car commutes, lemongrass and sage is best to keep you alert. Dab a few drops on a Kleenex or on your wrists or temples or on the car’s heating vents.

For self-care:

  1. Include an essential oil with any massage — the citrus oils are mood enhancing and lavender is super relaxing. Ylang-ylang and jasmine add a romantic touch. And grapeseed oil is an ideal base oil to use with essential oil blends.
  2. To sooth a headache, use peppermint, chamomile, and lavender.
  3. To hydrate dry skin, use a blend of rose and geranium and apply under your night crème.
  4. For more effective meditation, combine frankincense, cedarwood and geranium.
  5. Finally, with the holidays around the corner, take a blend of lavender and tea tree on board when you fly and dab a little under each nostril. It will keep those winter germs at bay!

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy essential oils and that’s kind of the same thing.

For more wellness tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.” — John Lennon

Ten months and counting… that is how long I have been unable to work, after owning my business and being busy running it for thirty years. Skincare has been my lifelong career and I really enjoy it… and miss it! For me, nothing beats the power of the human touch.

The prevailing emotions throughout this lockdown have been shock, disbelief and fear at the start, then determination to survive somehow. I’m sure, for many reading this blog, it has been a similar experience.

But I am also aware that for many others the pandemic has been a lot worse. While for some it may have brought opportunities and offered a better way forward.

As the saying goes “Same storm, different boats!”

I have experienced many moments of frustration, anger and helplessness. I didn’t always take the best care of myself. I didn’t reach out for support when I needed it. I wasn’t prepared for all the changes.

But as we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I reflect on where I am today, I count myself very fortunate on so many levels.

In the larger scope of things, I am in awe at the way the global health community has worked together to produce vaccines that will save so many lives. I feel so indebted to the doctors, nurses, frontline, and essential workers for their sacrifice and commitment to just keep going.

And I have come to appreciate the gift of time… the silver lining behind the COVID cloud. It has allowed me to do things that I love but could never find time to do more of, things like…

  • Appreciating my health, never to be taken for granted.
  • Reaching out to my wonderful clients who have made continual product purchases and regular calls to make sure me and my staff are okay.
  • Write more, read more, and discover new tools to use in my treatment room for when we reopen the business.
  • More networking, albeit virtually, to expand my business community.
  • Daily/weekly chats with friends and family both here in the U.S. and abroad. The conversations have kept our spirits lifted and hopeful.
  • Regular hikes and walks, in particular with one dear friend along with his dogs, who add to the joy. At the same time appreciate nature and the fresh air during the trek.
  • Meditation and more rest.

All these activities have somehow helped me preserve myself during these trying times — physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s no surprise that it has improved the appearance of my skin too.

Taking care of your skin goes beyond the products you use or the skin care routine you follow. Practicing self-care is vital to improve your appearance and keep you healthy and radiant, and skin mirrors that wellbeing.

Here’s a few self-care routines, I suggest adding to your day-to-day activities.

  1. Eat well — proper nutrition is essential for healthy skin.
  2. Pamper yourself — light a sweet-scented candle and take a long warm bath, focus on keeping your stress hormones in check. Too much stress makes your body produce hormones like cortisol that stimulate your oil glands to produce more oil making your skin more sensitive, reactive, and prone to breakouts and skin problems.
  3. Meditate — bring more peace into your body and mind. This restore balance to your skin.
  4. Exercise — moving your body every day increases lymphatic circulation, improves digestion, and delivers oxygen to your body. These all help your skin be healthy and radiant.
  5. Practice gratitude — Starting your day with gratitude will lower your stress, help you set intentions to love your skin and the way you look.

When I finally return to work full-time, I will keep doing these self-care routines.

And whatever the future holds, whatever challenges may present themselves, I am determined to make this last year’s lessons a road map to help enrich the journey, proceed with appreciation for everything and to help the less fortunate whose time has not been so kind.


For more wellness and skincare tips, check out my other blogs on Medium or call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701. We offer a virtual consultation, in-salon treatments, and home service facials to our valued clients.

Melt Away The Years from Your Face with Marion Simms’ Anti Aging Clinic

For consumers who want to revitalize their youthful appearance, be sure to visit the anti-aging clinic at Skin Sense Wellness by Marion Simms. To schedule an appointment at Marion Simms’ anti-aging clinic, call (323) 653-4701 or visit www.skinsensewellness.com.
Skin Sense Wellness uses the latest products to reduce wrinkles and aging including epidermal growth factor (EGF) and Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).

What Is Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)?

The anti-aging clinic at Skin Sense Wellness uses epidermal growth factor (EGF) on their clients because it is viewed by many experts as the next frontier in anti-aging.
EGF is a polypeptide that originally was developed to increase the speed of wound recovery. EGF is very effective at stimulating skin cell growth, and it also may boost collagen production. EGF tells your skin cells to behave like younger, healthier cells. When it comes to anti-aging use, EGF is most effective with older clients who may be showing the first signs of aging.

Some of the benefits of EGF for your skin include:

  • Wrinkle improvement
  • Hydration
  • Pigmentation prevention

The process by which the epidermal growth factor encourages skin cell growth also encourages the division of keratinocytes and fibroblasts. This then synthesizes fibrous proteins that improve the elasticity of your skin. Because EGF repairs your skin by stimulating new skin cell growth, it also improves your skin barrier. This allows your facial skin to retain moisture more effectively and leaves your skin smoother and softer.

What Is Adenosine Triphosphate?

Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP is an essential biological and chemical signaling molecule. When it is applied to the face, it shows major effectiveness in reducing signs of aging and improving the smoothness of your skin.
ATP is one of the leading sources of energy for most of your body’s cellular and muscular functions. It increases the levels of proteins in your body, such as elastin and collagen that play a vital role in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Adenosine Triphosphate is often used at the anti-aging clinic at Skin Sense Wellness because a 2006 study showed how ATP is effective at reducing facial wrinkles. The study looked at applying creams that contained ATP with a placebo. It was found that the creams with ATP boosted skin smoothness around the mouth and eye areas. The study concluded that products that contain adenosine triphosphate could be effective on crow’s feet and glabellar facial wrinkles.
Adenosine can boost blood circulation. This increases repair of damaged skin cells and enhances overall cell turnover to encourage even, youthful skin.

Visit the Anti Aging Clinic at Skin Sense Wellness Today!

Skin Sense Wellness uses both Epidermal Growth Factor and Adenosine Triphosphate at its anti aging clinic. If you want to turn back the clock and make your face regain its youthful appearance, visit www.skinsensewellness today or call (323) 653-4701 and learn more about Marion Simms’ anti-aging clinic.

Anti Aging Clinic Los Angeles * Call (323) 653-4701 - Skin Sense Wellness

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the ever-increasing demands of life. We all experience varying levels at different times and in many situations. Under these circumstances the brain’s hard-wiring system kicks in. When it perceives a threat, the brain signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response. This has been labeled the “fight-or-flight” response and is a normal bodily reaction that is meant to protect us. However, because we now live in a world of nonstop stress most of the time, our alarm systems rarely shuts off!
Without stress management and over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems including a myriad of skin issues.

How?
Hormones, neuropeptides and other signaling molecules released during stressful times may be second only to sunlight in aging the skin. And the really bad news? Women are more prone than men. That means wrinkling, loss of tone and increased levels of sensitivity, particularly as we age.
Additionally, proteins and DNA in the epidermis and dermis are broken down by prolonged periods of stress and this in turn can cause acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema and hives.
Feeling bad about the way we look makes us less social and more isolated. This aloneness diminishes the production of Oxytocin, the bonding hormone.

What to do?
It is unrealistic to imagine we can ever live a stress free life but we can commit to developing coping skills that maintain balance, even at the worst of life’s moments.

Here are some of my favorites:
Getting outdoors and in touch with nature. Hiking, gardening, sitting on a park bench all reconnect us with our natural surroundings.
Breathing deeply and meditating. Not just when we are really stressed but at regular times throughout the day.
Disconnecting from social media for a day or if that sounds unimaginable, half a day!
Changing your mindset. When a challenge presents itself, think of it as an opportunity for personal growth.
Have a supportive tribe so you don’t waste time with negative or toxic people.
Sweat out tension with a workout.
Curl up with a good book.
Watch a comedy.
Play with a pet.
And of course, my favorite, get a massage and a regular facial at SkinSense.

Confucius once claimed: “True quality of life comes from lasting harmony between body and mind.” This is a goal worth aiming for.

A life without humor is no joking matter. We all love a good laugh and the feeling it gives us – and there is a reason – there are true health benefits to a good giggle or hearty chuckle that can be essential to our well-being. UCLA Medical School established a Humor Research Task Force after Norman Cousins managed his pain with laughter therapy and now there is actually an American Association of Therapeutic Humor. Babies begin to smile within the first few weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Children laugh on average 200 times a day whereas adults only 26 times daily. Experts recommend that we get a good 15 minutes of deep belly laughter every day and here’s why.

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Laughter attracts us to one another and in turn makes us more attractive and sociable. Think of the feeling you get from telling a good joke and having people respond favorably.

Laughter is relaxing and relieves stress, tension, pain and conflict and inspires hope. It triggers the release of happy hormones – endorphins that activate the body’s opiate receptors causing an analgesic, calming effect. It also allows us to let go of inhibitions and defensiveness and as a result we feel more connected to each other. It can improve heart health and even help with weight loss.

Laughter can balance cortisol levels and reduce blood pressure too. This hormonal steroid produced in the adrenals helps us cope with stress but when over produced can make us susceptible to illness, weaken our immune systems, and interrupt our sleep.

So let’s consider ways to get a good dose of daily laughter.

Be social with fun people who don’t dwell on the negative.

Smile a lot.

Be prepared to laugh at yourself. It can shift your perspective and very often offer a solution where there was a problem.

Find a good comedy or sitcom and watch with friends.

Try laughter yoga.

The message here is laugh lots and live longer. Exercising those facial muscles regularly will also make you appear more youthful.

As Victor Hugo wisely quoted: “ Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”

Stress Basics and Coloring Books

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the ever-increasing demands of life. We all experience varying levels at different times and in many situations. Under these circumstances the brain’s hard-wiring system kicks in. When it perceives a threat, the brain signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response. This has been labeled the “fight-or-flight” response and is a normal bodily reaction that is meant to protect us. However, because we now live in a world of nonstop stress most of the time, our alarm systems rarely shuts off!

Without stress management and over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems including a myriad of skin issues.

How?
Hormones, neuropeptides and other signaling molecules released during stressful times may be second only to sunlight in aging the skin. And the really bad news? Women are more prone than men. That means wrinkling, loss of tone and increased levels of sensitivity, particularly as we age.

Additionally, proteins and DNA in the epidermis and dermis urn can cause acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema and hives.

Feeling bad about the way we look makes us less social and more isolated. This aloneness diminishes the production of Oxytocin, the bonding hormone. And as I mentioned in my last post, encourages compulsive picking and other bad habits.

What to do?
It is unrealistic to imagine we can ever live a stress free life but we can commit to developing coping skills that maintain balance, even at the worst of life’s moments.

Here are six of my favorites:
Getting outdoors and in touch with nature. Hiking, gardening, sitting on a park bench all reconnect us with our natural surroundings.

Breathing deeply. Not just when we are really stressed but at regular times throughout the day.

Disconnecting from social media for a day or if that sounds unimaginable, half a day!

Changing your mindset. When a challenge presents itself, think of it as an opportunity for personal growth.

Have a supportive tribe so you don’t waste time with negative or toxic people.

And finally, my new favorite, get out your colored pencils! Adult coloring books are all the craze right now. They can relief stress and anxiety as well as reconnecting you with your inner child. Check out “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book” or “Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book”. They are great fun and thoroughly engrossing.

Confucius once claimed: “True quality of life comes from lasting harmony between body and mind.” This is a goal worth aiming for.

Real Simple magazine has just published a very interesting article on skin cancer. Primarily focused on Squamous cell carcinoma, (SCC), and Basal cell carcinoma, (BCC), the publication quoted some pretty alarming statistics about these close cousins to Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, SCC makes up about 20 per cent of skin cancer diagnoses in America, and BCC accounts for almost 80 percent, making it the most common form of skin cancer for both men and women.

The good news is that these cancers tend to grow slowly so as long as you go for regular (at least once a year) check-ups with your dermatologist, you are very likely to catch any problems in the early stages before anything becomes difficult to remove and requires extensive surgery.

Most often Moh’s micrographic surgery is used to remove trouble spots. This is where one thin layer is removed at a time until the tissue shows no sign of containing any cancerous cells. This is done as an outpatient procedure and once the tissue is clear, the procedure is complete. The great news is that Moh’s surgery is 98% successful. Once the site has healed there is very little sign that anything was ever amiss.

It really all starts with early sun protection and regular self examinations at home every month. The occurrence BCC’s and SCC’s has risen significantly in women under the age of 40. Indoor tanning is the biggest culprit but also incidental sun exposure on a daily basis. (Running errands, driving, walking short distances.) Another factor is the misconception that a covering of tinted moisturizer or make-up with an SPF15 will do the trick. Not even close. An SPF of at least 30 is an absolute must, regardless of weather and climate, and make-up, tinted or full, needs to be applied on top. Don’t forget the ears, back of the neck and chest. Very high SPF’s can irritate the skin and don’t offer a significant amount of extra protection but up to factor 45 works well and if you have sensitive skin, try a physical block that only contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
It is very easy to mistake these skin cancers for pimples, so here is what to look for. Painful or itchy lesions, pimples that erupt, bleed, heal and then return. Crusty patches that look like dry skin, are waxy or pearly in appearance, growths with elevated borders and indented centers. Bear in mind that no matter what your race or skin color, you have upwards of a 40 per cent chance of developing one of these cancers by the age of 65. And they do reoccur.mole checks

The other advantage of regular check-ups is that it will allow the dermatologist to keep an eye out for melanoma as well. All this scary stuff is so preventable. Always keep a large brimmed hat in the car and when driving, wear lightweight gloves to protect the hands and a sun-proofed scarf to protect the chest. Any time something looks suspicious, don’t wait to get it checked. It is worth that extra doctor’s visit to be on the safe side.

We are all familiar with commercials that show startlingly beautiful models with perfect bodies and flawless skin. Most of the time we are aware these images promote an unattainable standard of beauty but there is danger in the representation that this is the  only type of beauty that is desirable. Dangerous because for all women – young and old – this can seriously affect their self esteem and unrealistic because  there is no preordained standard of beauty, especially the cookie cutter version of the commercial world. In reality, beauty is everywhere. It is diverse, interesting and individual and an essential part of our humanity.

At SkinSense, this beauty starts with the skin. The skin is the backdrop, canvas and stage on which all our features and our body image are projected. We also appreciate that when we are counseling a client it is important to create a safe and comfortable environment for sharing concerns and expectations. We are all our own worst critics and our role as skin care professionals is to listen before we start coming up with solutions and recommendations. With the advent of social media we are all even more aware of how we look. In fact according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, increased photo-sharing has resulted in a higher demand for rhinoplasty, hair transplants and eye surgery, also injectables and Botox.

At SkinSense, we work with doctors who we can confidently refer to when clients ask about these procedures but equally as important, we offer extensive customized facials and body treatments that utilize the latest in electrotherapy and cosmetic chemistry that guarantee results for every skin condition without causing trauma or using extreme measures.

In 1900, the average life expectancy of a woman was 48 years and a man, 46 years. Currently, the average life expectancy of a woman is 78 years and a man 75 years. My point being we are all living a lot longer and need to maintain our skins to stay youthful, competitive in the work place and in society. This is not vanity. It is a healthy choice. People notice good skin – it exhibits confidence, well-being and self acceptance. Our form of photoshop takes longer but it is sustainable. It celebrates the authentic self and that is beautiful. It also guarantees great selfies!

Marion Simms_03We are all punishing critics when it comes to our own bodies and appearance, particularly as we age. Remember those days when we could jump out of bed, shower, grab breakfast, slap on some make-up and be on our way to work in thirty minutes? The older we get it seems to take longer and longer to make ourselves look presentable in the morning, so I thought I would share a few tricks that I use and that clients have shared with me to enhance and speed up the process.

1. Early morning  mask treatments – when you first get out of bed, splash your face with tepid water and apply both an eye and face mask. (Keep the eye mask in the fridge for extra de-puffing benefits). Then you can go about your normal early morning rituals and be getting a mini facial at the same time. 15 minutes is all it takes. You might even want to dampen your hair and apply a mask if you are planning to wash it.

2. Lash and Brow tinting – tint lashes and brows every month to save using mascara and eyebrow pencils.

3. Have a fast way to deal with hair on the days you have no time to style – hats, hair pieces and hair ties are all great accessories to have on hand. Also having an manageable cut that matches your hair type – straight or curly – saves having to fuss or curl.

4. Select what you are planning to wear the night before including accessories.

5. In a real crunch, shower the night before and even make your breakfast smoothie.

6. Keep make-up simple. Moisturizer, mineral powder with SPF, and lipstick. You can always embellish later in the day.

Like many things in life, being beautiful and confident every day and at any age takes planning.

IMG_0499I have been part of the skin care industry for a long time. When I first trained as a facialist, the products and protocols we learned were a lot less sophisticated than they are today. Even though we had botanicals and essential oils to work with and some of the electrotherapy that is still being used currently, the ingredients were not as advanced and the machines not as various or highly calibrated.

I have a lot more tools in my tool box these days which makes my work even more rewarding than ever. My favorite anti-aging stars include peptides, ATP, oxygen, stem cell extract, hyaluronic acid  and the old favorites, Retin-A, collagen and elastin. Ultrasound and microcurrent have also reaped great benefits for many of my clients along with galvanic and high frequency that work with even the most sensitive of skins. It is all about getting the skin, by stimulating its natural physiology and chemistry, to produce new cells, amino acids and proteins in larger quantities over longer periods of time than is normal with intrinsic aging. In other words, younger looking skin that defies our chronological age!

Good news indeed. What this requires however, is a balanced and judicious approach to just how much stimulation you subject the skin to and who is advising you about the different methods. Constant abrasion with lasers, aggressive topicals and peeling agents creates too much trauma, can damage the skin and increase sensitivity and pigmentation. Protocols have to be mixed and alternated in order to achieve optimum results and we have a  lot of ‘smart’ skin care formulas today that can send messages to cell receptors in the skin which makes aggressive topical treatments unnecessary. WE need to respect the skin as a fully functional and self regulating organ. For example, using microcurrent and galvanic electrotherapy with oxygen, peptides and hyaluronic acid during the summer months, coupled with anti-oxidant serums/cremes and sunscreen at home can prepare the skin for winter peeling protocols that would repair sun damage AND boost cell production.

One final and very important tip: avoid any products that combine any form of Retin A with sunscreen. ALL Retin-A products (this includes, Tazarac and Differin) must only be applied at night.

Take a look at what you have in your bathroom and on your next spa visit, review your home care routine with your facialist. Effective skin care requires discipline, planning and commitment – it is a habit that has to be repeated every day at home and every month at the spa to reap the rewards. Luckily, the rewards show up much more quickly today because of the technology and expanded knowledge we now have about the anatomy and physiology of the skin. And other people will notice the improvement in your skin too – I promise!