How to get glowing skin with skoah
You haven’t lived until you’ve experience a skoah glow-ah.
For my 18th birthday, my two best friends gave me a gift certificate for a quickie facial at skoah. After a quick cleanse, gentle exfoliation, a hydrating mask and face massage, I left with my first ever skoah glow-ah and tub of hydradew mask — a product I STILL keep in my skincare bag today.
Fast-forward 10 years, and I’m a full-blown skoah-holic. I’ve worked for skoah, been a skoah member (What is this? Regular facials!! I’ll tell you more in a bit) and continue to use skoah products in my daily skincare routine. Had I known 10 years ago that I would find a Canadian skincare brand that I love and adore as much as I do skoah, I would have thought I was crazy. But skoah and I have grown together. Since I started getting skoah facials, they have seen me through university, my first “big girl” job, traveling across the world, working with them, and now my blog, A Lush Life. I’ve seen them add new products, grow from one location in Calgary to three, expand to Seattle, Boston, and soon Toronto. Not to mention, expanding to eight locations in Vancouver — skoah’s hometown and where the products continue to be made today!
When I broadened A Lush Life to include skincare and beauty (How could I not when I love it as much as I love food), skoah was one of the first brands I wanted to feature. And, not just because of my long-lasting relationship with them but because the products WORK and the quality of care provided by skoah’s skincare trainers and coaches is top notch.
Those last two terms might have confused you so let me back up. skoah is different from spas you may have had facials at in a few ways. Firstly, they focus only on facials! Yup, they are dedicated to skincare and skincare only. Healthy skin is their goal. Secondly, skoah’s atmosphere is different than other spas. They are a cool, calm, collected “skin gym” compared to a hoity-toity, pretentious space. At skoah you’ll hear songs like David Gray’s “Babylon” (Ok, that was my favourite song on the playlists!) instead of whale music or babbling brooks. You can also get a skin gym membership where you receive regular facials at member-only prices to ensure your skin gets into tip-top shape. And lastly, the facials are not just “spa treatments”, they are personalized skincare workouts customized to YOU. This means no two facials are alike. Your skin care trainer (aesthetician) will begin your facial by asking you questions about your skin, lifestyle and any concerns you might have that day. Then, they will choose products based on your responses and their analysis. The more info you give, the better your facial will be because your skincare trainer will be able to fine-tune your facial to your needs. Skincare coaches (the team upfront) will help guide you in between your facials and make sure you keep your skincare on track. Come in dehydrated one day, and they’ll boost your hydration. Dry skin at your next facial means they’ll make sure your skin receives the oil it needs. The products and facials are adaptable and easy to mix and match to suit your skincare needs — no matter the time of year or stressors in your life that might be affecting your skin.
Arriving at Calgary’s Westhills location, I was excited to receive one of skoah’s signature skincare workouts — the fitskin facial. All of skoah’s skincare workouts include a deep cleanse, exfoliation, extractions and customized masks. Where each facial differs (other than customized product choices) is the type of massage you’ll receive while the masks do their work. The fitskin facial features a luxurious hand and arm massage, the power delves deep into your neck and shoulders, and the man-cial (Not just for men!) works your feet and calves until you’re floating on air. Now those are only the 45-minute facials. The 75-minute facials add EXTRA massage and masks to your treatment. I love the facialicious because it includes all three areas of massage, but the xtreme might be my ultimate skoah skincare workout because it includes a foot scrub too!
My fitskin facial began with my skincare trainer (SCT) Alana sweeping my hair away from my face and massaging my scalp gently until all of my hair was wrapped neatly in a towel for safe keeping.
1) First up in my customized skincare workout was a deep cleanse. Alana did what skoah does best and “kocktailed” two of their cleansers together to get the most benefit for my skin. She mixed kleansing lotion, a soothing highly refined, oil-based cleanser with one of skoah’s newest products, the charcoal kleanser (Tea tree oil and salicylic acid) to treat my combination skin. Both cleansers are soap-agent and alcohol-free.
2) After cleansing, Alana toned my skin with tonik to balance its pH and infuse it with hyaluronic acid for hydration.
3) Toner prepped my skin for skoah’s facial-only exfoliator – the minty mask. A stronger version of the aha mask available on skoah’s shelves, the minty mask gently dissolves dead skin cells with alpha hydroxy acids. It’s infused with peppermint to give a tingly sensation while the mask works its magic.
4) While the minty mask was on, Alana massaged both my arms and hands with skoah’s sweet love body kream. Scented with cinnamon and vanilla, and packed with 30% shea butter. I still smelled hints of this kream as I drifted off to sleep later that night (I can’t lie, I may have also caressed my arms and hands to see how soft and relaxed they still were too!)
5) Once my minty mask was softly removed from my skin with a refreshing hot towel, Alana began her skin analysis and asked if I was ok with extractions. Knowing, I had a few blackheads that needed removing, I gave her the a-ok and she did a phenomenal job extracting what she could and leaving what she couldn’t so not to damage my skin. This is part of skoah’s mission in a skin care workout: Know you’ll leave with glowing skin, but true results take time and dedication! Some of those deeper, pesky blackheads might need some coaxing on your part through regular exfoliation and hydration at home to be able to be safely extracted during your next facial. This goes for pimples and acne too!
6) Before applying my customized masks, my SCT Alana swept cotton pads soaked in skoah’s turbo tonik over my skin to rebalance the pH again (Important for the masks to work properly) and because turbo tonik contains anti-bacterial ingredients — just in case any pesky oil escaped her grasp!
7) Alana had noticed during her skin analysis and gathered from our conversation at the beginning of my treatment that my skin was dehydrated (aka feeling tight) and would benefit from the hydradew mask, which happens to be skoah’s most popular mask. It’s made with glycosaminoglycans (from vegetable skins and 10x more hydrating than aloe vera), hyaluronic acid, sea kelp algae — all extremely hydrating ingredients that support collagen and elastin production too. Alana also showcased her kocktail-ing and customization knowledge when applying my masks because she had added a dose of kalm down mask in with the hydradew. This was to reduce the redness from my extractions (My skin has a tendency to do that) and add some deep hydration courtesy of kalm down’s highly refined olive oil, vitamin E and shea butter (They won’t clog your pores!).
8) After a simply blissful face massage to guide the mask’s ingredients deeper into my skin, Alana removed what hadn’t absorbed with another hot towel and began the workout’s final steps — kind of like stretching at the gym!
9) First up was a serum (My favourite skin care step). For me, Alana chose again to kocktail the skin boost serum and gold serum together to get the most benefit for my skin. Skin boost serum contains hyaluronic acid and plant polypeptides and is oil-free, while gold serum contains even more peptides for anti-aging and saccharides to prevent water loss and boost your skin’s protective barrier. Tapping the serum into my skin woke it up from it’s peaceful rest and made sure all the peptides in the serums activated. It was time for my skin to get to work!
10) Next was the eye kandy kream, applied over my eye bones (The heat from your skin draws the ingredients upwards) to fight dark circles and fine lines, lip dip to make sure the skin on my lips was taken care of too, and then face skotion 30 as a moisturizer to lock in all the moisture from the masks and serums and provide SPF as I drove home.
Once the moisturizer was applied, Alana unraveled my hair from it’s towel and began skoah’s signature bedhead inducing scalp massage that will leave you wanting more. After the last tug on the ends of my hair, I almost asked if I could stay for a nap!
If my facial play by play didn’t convince you to book in for a facial, maybe this last skoah tidbit will. The majority of skoah’s products contain a special blend of 11 plant extracts to calm and soothe the skin. Seriously, it does wonders. From working at skoah, I know the 11 extracts as BLAGGOCEMIS (Haha!) but let me break it down for you.
Bearberry extract – Anti-bacterial and improves skin’s clarity
Linden extract – Fights free radicals and softens
Arnica – Soothes
Ginkgo bilboa – Soothing and fights free radicals
Green tea extract – Fights free radicals
Oat extract – Moisturizes and soothes
Calendula extract – Soothing and fights free radicals
Echinacea – Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial
Mimosa extract – Anti-inflammatory and soothing
Ivy extract – Anti-bacterial, firming and soothing
St. John’s Wort - Soothing and fights free radicals
In addition to these 11 plant extracts, skoah’s products contain sulphate-free cleansers and paraben-free preservatives. They’re also all vegan and gluten-free!
So, if I haven’t given you enough reasons to become a skoah-holic yourself, here’s one more…