Skin Care as Part of Overall Wellness

Kelli Salsman-Horton

With almost 300 days of sunshine each year, indoor smoking at casinos and bars, and thousands working graveyard shifts, it is no wonder why some health and beauty sources refer to Las Vegas as one of the worst cities in the United States for skin health. This is something Dr. Candace Spann of Couture Medical dermatology and plastic surgery confirms. According to her, she sees two to three times the amount of skin cancer patients than she did in New York where she completed her residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. This may be why Life Time Fitness’ LifeSpa senior esthetician Kelli Salsman-Horton says more and more people are treating skincare as part of overall wellness rather than a luxury.

“I did what everyone else was doing in the ‘80s—I was on the beach all the time, I was using Coppertone Women, getting as much sun as I could,” Salsman-Horton says. “There wasn’t a whole lot of education on [skin health] at the time.” But, she adds, now that there is more research and awareness on the matter, preventative care is on the rise.

Salsman-Horton, 41, says that many of her clients come in thinking that nothing can be done about their damaged skin, and they just want to keep it from getting worse. “You can start to reverse a lot of [damage],” she says. One way to do so is by getting monthly facials. Her treatments at LifeSpa combine both clinical, treating clients’ issues such as acne or rosacea, and relaxation methods such as massages. They use brightening, firming, purifying or calming facials along with various seasonal treatments. Each is customized to treat clients’ needs with various treatments including HydraFacials, peels and oxygen treatments. LifeSpa uses a formula by Circadia that works with our bodies’ natural circadian rhythm, defending against environmental damage during the day and repairing at night. According to the Circadia website, the idea is that because skin cell division takes place 20 to 30 times more at night, skincare products are absorbed differently depending on the time of day.

It’s imperative that we take care of our skin. When it comes to being proactive and not putting it off, you are saving yourself a lot of work in the future.–Kelli Salsman-Horton, LifeSpa esthetician

While Slasman-Horton has been able to transform her clients’ complexions with consistent treatments, not everyone can afford monthly facials, which are typically around $100 or more. For those wanting to care for their skin at home, Spann suggests three products to use on a daily basis: an antioxidant, an SPF and a retinoid.

If you can only afford one product, Spann says save for one with antioxidants, which prevent free radicals. Free radicals are unbalanced atoms that steal electrons from the skin-cell membrane’s lipids (molecules responsible for maintaining the membrane’s shape) resulting in damage. Spann suggests SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum ($165) that lasts about six months. Another option is Heliocare ($25), a supplement made from fern extract that naturally protects against free radicals.

LifeSpa at Life Time Fitness Summerlin Location

For SPF, Spann says most people use a third of the amount they should use. A nickel-sized amount should be applied on the face and a shot glass worth be used on the body every day, every two hours, “even if it’s snowing outside,” she says. She suggests 30 SPF TiZO with zinc oxide since the whipped consistency makes for a good makeup primer, and it also works with acne-prone skin. Other options include EltaMD UV Sport or Neutrogena SPFs.

As for retinoids, which encourage epidural turnover and are best known for anti-aging purposes, RoC products are sold over the counter.

Spann says that as we’re living longer and living better, a daily skin care routine has become more valuable and necessary, a sentiment shared by Salsman-Horton. “It’s imperative that we take care of our skin,” she says. “When it comes to being proactive and not putting it off, you are saving yourself a lot of work in the future.”