gratuity questions answered

over the years, many clients have asked for guidance when it comes to gratuity given the clinical nature of our work. hopefully, this post will shed some light on the subject.
in general, 20% of the service price is the industry standard for tipping estheticians but many clients tend to leave more or less based on their own comfort level. our estheticians rely on tips to make up about 25% of their yearly income in order to afford living in the bay area.  we tip 20% for restaurants, hair stylist, massage therapist, why not your esthetician that changes your life by helping you clear up your skin?
your tips go a long way to support our therapists who would otherwise be making much more in a traditional day spa setting where they would be receiving 20+% tips on every service in addition to sales commissions on products and upgraded services. estheticians at sS do not receive any commission or percentage of product sales because this type of incentive encourages selling products that our clients may not need.
we appreciate your continued support!

 

FINDING FULFILLMENT IN CHANGING LIVES

 

team sS volunteering at dress for success – we are women, for women empowerment!

hey sS’ers, kim here.  long time since i’ve written a post – i’ve been busy with quite a few big game changing projects in the works!  more announcements about this about all that to come soon, but i wanted to share a little bit about something we’ve been doing at sS that i’m very excited about, and how will inspire you in some way. 🙂

HOW ACNE GAVE ME A SENSE OF PURPOSE IN LIFE
many of you may know my story, that i founded sS after finding the regular ‘spa’ facial world boring. when i was part of the opening team at remede spa (within san francisco’s st. regis hotel) all the way back in 2005, i was at the highest end, 5-star luxury hotel spa in the city. it was beautiful, we had thorough training and regularly had high profile clients. i also had a great work/life flow: my workweek consisted of wednesday to sunday like this: i’d take bikram class at funky door yoga on new montgomery st. at 12noon, get into work by 2pm to have a leisurely homemade lunch, before starting my 3-9pm work shift.

however, i felt unfulfilled with my work.

after i found acne, and saw, with time, how well the work worked, i felt inspired, of service to my community, and finally, TRULY FULFILLED.. because what i was actually slanging now was empowerment to the people – not just short-lived relaxation, a feel good face rub or expensive diamond creams.

fast forward 12 years later (!), it’s now 2017 and i’ve had skinSALVATION for 9 years now. i know that our work is truly life changing and amazing, and i’m ready to layer on the next level of fulfillment, in service to our community.

FULLFILLMENT : THE NEXT LEVEL
in order to do that, i’ve committed to donating a portion of our clinic profits to legit, charitable organizations every month. in years past, my donations were random, but since this january, with the help of my team at sS SF, we’ve been making it a regular + structured thing.

we are also doing our best to create the time and space to physically volunteer individually or as a group, whenever we can.  check out the photo above, of team sS at dress for success just last friday!

HOW WE’VE BEEN WALKING OUR TALK
so far this year, we’ve supported the following charities.  we’ll promise to write more in depth about why we’ve chosen these particular ones, and our personal connection to them.

EMPACT NORTHWEST (international medical crisis support – my best friend, tamara, used to run this org, and is still involved)

PLANNED PARENTHOOD (in honor of mike pence – duh)

ACLU (in honor of donald trump – duh)

DRESS FOR SUCCESS (the team volunteered there this friday, it was super fun!)

UNITED WAY OF GENESEE COUNTY (in support of the flint, michigan water crisis)

AMERICARES

COLEMAN ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

AIDS LIFECYCLE (in support of many friends doing the ride AS I TYPE, like RIGHT NOW!)

RIDE FOR A REASON (to support oakland’s public schools)

LA CASA DE LAS MADRES (a local + kick ass org that provides shelter, advocacy and support services to women, teens, and children exposed to and at risk of abuse and domestic violence)

DALY CITY YOUTH HEALTH CENTER (i grew up partly within the daly city school system, and have very good friends that have served as marriage + family therapists there)

GRATITUDE TO YOU
with your continued support of my business – buying products, coming in for treatments, tipping your sS estheticians (to be closer in line with the hourly compensation rate they’d normally make at standard spas & salons), doing what we tell you to do to clear up and telling all your friends about us –  we can continue supporting our acne-prone community to be healthier and happier – and on a larger, more impactful humanitarian level – these charities, for years to come.

THE BIKE PHOTO

ok so you may have stumbled upon this blog piece from our instagram post, and want to know what’s up with these super pro looking bikers.  they are 3 friends of friends of sS that we’ve allocated our june donations to, to ride the grueling, uber challenging AIDS lifecycle for us, so we don’t have to train like crazy, haha. (if you don’t know about it, participants ride a bicycle from SF to LA over the course of a week to raise money for AIDS research + support). they are now on day 5 of 7, but it’s never too late to send some $$ love their way!

if anything, i’m happy to just raise awareness about this amazing cause, and shine the spotlight on some of the real-life brave riders i know that are doing it.  one of them is an sS’ers sibling, another is an sS’ers best friend, and the other a cool strong-legged friend of theirs!  feel free to support each one of them with this link here, here and here 😀

OUR (acne-safe) THANK YOU, TO YOU!
i like to think that our sS’ers are on the same wavelength as us on these kinds of things, so if you donate your time OR money to any of the charities we tell you about, show us your confirmation (even it’s just one hour, or $5!) and we’ll give you an sS gift as our (acne-safe) high-five to you!

SO MUCH GRATITUDE TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU for putting your faith into our process, and allowing us to do the important, life-changing and fulfilling work we love to do.  we very much appreciate the opportunity to make this our everyday, giving us purpose in life 🙂

 

before + after micro-needling for acne scars

many of you are curious to know the results of my micro-needling experience to help reduce the appearance of textural scarring from acne. for a reminder about what textural scarring is and how micro-needling may help it, check out this blog post.

i received 6 full micro-needling treatments from natalie at the center for holistic skin rejuvenation in san francisco. during my initial consultation with her, i expressed that my main goal was to help reduce the appearance of the deep pitted scars on my cheeks where i used to have inflamed acne.

what were the treatments like? each treatment was one hour long. she began by cleansing my face with skinSALVATION charcoal cleanser, which i asked her to use to avoid future breakouts. she used a disposable needle roller on each area of my face for a total of about 10 minutes, which felt comparable to the pain of receiving extractions. after needling, she did full body acupuncture to help with internal issues like stress management, digestion, and hormone balance. i would lay on the table for 30 minutes with the acupuncture needles in, a heater on and relaxing music playing. this was my favorite part and felt like a total treat after the pain of the face treatment. at the end, she used safeguard sunscreen to help protect and moisturize my skin.

my skin felt hot and flushed for the remainder of the day and stayed pink for about 3 days post treatment. during these 3 healing days, i used hydrating cleanser morning and night, safeguard spf and hydrating cream. i didn’t use any other active products and did not apply makeup.

i waited at least 10 days before and after micro-needling treatments to receive extractions or chemical peels from skinSALVATION.

other than reduction of textural scarring, what did i notice? the micro-needling helped break up old scar tissue in my chin that looked like small seeds that we could never extract. i believe that these seeds were trapped so deep beneath scar tissue that they hadn’t been able to come to the surface before. micro-needling helped to bring these seeds to the surface, so i had a little bit of a, “purge” where i broke out. ultimately, this helped me be more clear and have a smooth chin.

am i happy with my results? yes. the reduction of my pitted textural scarring on my cheeks is not as dramatic as i anticipated. i hoped that after 6 treatments on micro-needling, the skin on my face would be flawless and as smooth as porcelain, but that wasn’t my experience. however, i love that:

  1. the scarring on my cheeks is much less noticeable
  2. i was able to bring the deep seeds in my chin up to the surface and get rid of them for good
  3. the acupuncture portion of the treatments helped me reduce overall stress and balance my hormones. my usual painful cramping associated with menstruation was MUCH better when i was receiving regular acupuncture from natalie.

who would i recommend this to? i would recommend micro-needling to people who have raised textural scarring on their skin. this might feel like little bumps on the skin that aren’t acne. if you aren’t sure if you have scarring or acne seeds, ask your esthetician at skinSALVATION.

if you have minimal pitted textural scarring, micro-needling may help you get closer to having completely smooth skin. like many treatments, there is no guarantee that you will have 100% success with this treatment. success depends on your skin type, genetics, natural collagen production, and severity of scarring.

the photos on the left-hand side are from before my treatments and the photos on the right are after 6 treatments, approximately 4.5 months later.

 

 

as you can see from the above photos (especially if you zoom in on them), there is some noticeable reduction in scarring on my cheeks and a reduction in hyper-pigmentation. the pigmentation is most likely lighter as a combined result of the micro-needling and chemical peels that i received during this time at skinSALVATION.

note from kim: keep in mind that this series of micro-needling was performed by an acupuncturist, and not a dermatologist.  acupuncturists are (legally) only able to work on the skin’s uppermost, superficial layers of the skin, rendering much milder results than a dermatologist would (who is legally able to access the deeper, subcutaneous dermal layers of the skin).  dermatologists, being board certified and having access to more aggressive tools and treatments, would likely be able to render more aggressive results.  for example, a dermatologist may employ anesthesia to numb you from the pain of going much deeper, into the dermal layers of the skin to stimulate more collagen remodeling, whereas acupuncturists are really only treating the epidermis, or upper-most superficial layers of the skin.

liesse has yet to explore the same therapy with a different, more aggressive approach, and we will be sure to document and share with you the results of further experimentation as we can!

 

 

the opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal experience. this does not reflect the opinions of practitioners who perform micro-needling.

 

celebrate skinSALVATION’s 9th birthday with us!

skinSALVATION is celebrating 9 years of helping empower people with the tools that they need to get, and keep, clear skin FOR LIFE. we would love for you to join us in our celebration on march 25th from 3pm – 6pm. we will have cocktails, an acne-safe and soy-free noodle bar from mau vietnamese restaurant, and hundreds of dollars of gifts from skinSALVATION, kabuki spa, mateo’s taqueria and more. come hang out with kim and the entire skinSALVATION crew and let’s have a great time!

 

kayla’s morning rituals

rise and shine!

mornings can be rough and for some, nearly impossible! however, it is important to set good intentions each day for internal health as well as spiritual wellbeing. try to call a truce with the sunrise and learn to love it by treating yourself each morning!

to get things going, start with hydration. your body is dehydrated from sleeping, so i find that a glass of water with a squeeze of organic lemon provides optimal replenishment. try heating the water up on the stove for a few minutes, as cold water can be harsh on your system. warm lemon water jumpstarts your digestion, which affects and improves all other body functions.

jam out! put on your favorite playlist to set the good vibes, spark some inspiration, stimulate your brain and produce dopamine! maybe even do a little dance – why not?

or better yet, stretch! doing brief, easy stretches in the morning increases circulation and energy levels. concentrate on your breathing, making them deep and full. this promotes mental focus, self soothes and relieves stress.

finally, ground your thoughts and intentions by envisioning your day and the people with which you will spend it. focus on positive thoughts and intend to be your best self. skip the social media binge and instead write a note to someone you feel grateful for, give a compliment or send a friend the song you’re listening to! love resonates love.

and of course, last but not least, don’t forget to cleanse, ice, tone and apply that spf 😉 if you weren’t awake before, icing is guaranteed to do the trick!

what are some of your morning rituals? share with us in the comments below!