So-Cal Self-Care

I’m currently sitting on a plane back to LA. I took a break from the madness and spent the long weekend with my family in Toronto. I’m writing this while squished in a window seat in the second last row of an American Airlines flight. Two weeks ago I booked a much-needed trip to the Murad Flagship Spa in West Hollywood for a 90 minute facial. Sounds fancy, but its not. The truth is, I haven’t had a facial in over two years and my face needed some TLC.

I am part of a growing group of individuals that suffer from adult acne. It started as a flare-up here and there during that lovely time of the month, which is normal, but then started to become more frequent. It’s the worst! I wear makeup to soften the appearance bumps and hide the scares; I’m really self-conscious about it. I’ve seen a dermatologist, and even taken strong medication to help with the issue, and it did help but not solve it. The medication makes you more sensitive to the sun, and living in California now, its not ideal to be taking those meds. My friend suggested I tried a more natural option to the medication: marijuana. At first I was hesitant, but upon reading more about it I’ve discovered that there’s extensive evidence that cannabis is successful in treating acne. I’ll look more into this blue dream shatter strain and decide if this is the right choice for me to take.

Alternatively, I’ve done everything from take vitamins said to help soothe the flare-ups, cut out dairy (SO HARD!!! I’m a cheese lover, still working on being better) explored household remedies, to trying any skin care product that promises clear skin (like those a friend has tried from the Victorian Cosmetic Institute). Yet to find my sweet spot, I thought I would start fresh and start implementing some healthy routines, see if I can figure out what will work for my skin type. I’ve begun looking into the Korean skin care options as one example coming from this change in my regime, but I wanted to take some more heavy steps too.

One of them is getting a facial every 6 weeks. I chose Murad because the Technician (Alice) came highly recommended, and they offer a full facial assessment to measure the rate of aging by evaluating the degree of sun damage on your skin. Through that, they recommend a line of products to help with any conditions it identifies. Here are a few things I learned on my visit.

When I arrived at the spa I was greeted warmly by their team and immediately lead into my appointment. I LOVED that! In a city where you’re either waiting in a line for a coffee or sitting in traffic, it was great to be served without delay. We stated the session with their youth cam assessment. What it does is analyze your skin and identify pain points. Whether that’s acne, dehydration, fine lines or hyperpigmentation, the youth cam will highlight them and recommend products within their line to aid in healing.

My diagnosis was amazing, if I can toot my on horn! It showed very little sun damage – YES! All those years as a kid running from the sun paid off. I’ll save that story for a later post. What it also showed was that my skin is very dehydrated! It also highlighted some hyper pigmentation, from the acne scares, and of course acne.

This was a great kick off to my facial, and gave my specialist a starting point for my facial. When I got into the room, the facial started as facials do, and it was luxurious!! Alice followed with her own assessment and confirmed all of the concerns the youth cam did. I was treated with three different facials:

  1. Extraction, Extraction, Extraction
  2. Resurfacing treatment (face scrub)
  3. Deep moisturizing treatment (Face mask)

In between my treatments, Alice reviewed my current skincare regime. I came prepared with a list of products that I use daily and nightly and she looked up all the ingredients to see if there was anything that could be irritating my skin or adding to my flare-ups. What she found was that I was applying too many products with Glycolic and Salicylic Acid! It helps to unclog pores, dry and help clear up acnes. But what I was doing instead was drying out my face and confusing my skin, thus producing more oil and possibly clogging pores. In addition to my skincare regime, she also identified ingredients in my makeup that I should avoid! I have provided a link to all the products you should steer clear of HERE.

After my facial Alice recommended some Murad products with the recommendation to go back to the basics. I’ve included what my NEW skin care regime looks like now below. Separate from skin treatments, cleansers and serums, I was also told to consume more water. But instead of drinking it all, ensure to incorporate fruits and vegetables that are rich in water. The theory behind it can be found HERE, in Dr. Murad’s book called The Water Secret. Some of the fruits and veggies are:


  • Peppers
  • Potatoes (who knew!)
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli


  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Mangos
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits=

Overall I loved my experience, and I’ve been using the products for the past few weeks and I’ve seen some differences in my skin, not huge, but this is a journey. Nothing is overnight, and I also have to factor other triggers for my skin, like stress (which I’m experiencing a lot of), hormonal and diet. I will keep you all updated on my progress and what I’ve found has worked for me!

Please share your experiences if you have a similar story!!

XO Lolene

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Photos by Lesli Lolene & Murad