Skin City is Now Booking Through Vagaro!

Dearest Clients,

Due to a variety of limitations imposed upon us and on you by MindBody, we have switched platforms! Starting June 20th, we will no longer be booking any appointments through MindBody. Please make all future appointments in Vagaro!

We are excited to enjoy all the new features offered by Vagaro, including:

  • A better mobile app
  • An overall cleaner booking system
  • The ability to book multiple services at once
  • The option to book through Facebook or Yelp
  • Text or email reminders for appointments
  • Waitlist option for appointments - be the first to know if a slot you want opens up!
  • A more inclusive loyalty rewards system

The Points System

Another major benefit resulting from this transition is that through Vagaro, we are now able to condense many of our features, such as the Perkville points system. All customer loyalty points will now be tracked through Vagaro. Your points will be visible each time you check out, which means they'll get used more often! We've already transferred your points over, but there will be slight changes to the points system from now on.

The basic system will remain the same. You will still receive one point for each dollar you spend in the salon, on products or services. You will then be able to exchange those points for a flat percentage discount, applicable to any of our services or products, rather than for specific services. In order to stay competitive in this increasingly expensive market, we've had to curb some of our offerings and will no longer be able to offer discounts at our previous rates - this has been done to avoid raising our service prices. This change has also been made in an effort to include more of our clients in our loyalty program, as our previous redemption system was more specific and limited. We are grateful for your loyalty, and will be implementing service-specific discounts on a bimonthly basis in the future - watch for our newsletters!

How to Register with Vagaro

In order to complete your client registration through Vagaro, all you'll have to do is accept our email invitation, arriving Monday, June 13th, and create a login for yourself, as well as enter the information we weren't able to transfer from MindBody, including your birthday (if you'd like a birthday discount!) and your billing information. It is our policy to have billing information securely stored for each of our clients in the event of a late cancellation, and this information will be required to book appointments in the future!

What we have transferred: your contact information, your appointment and purchase histories, your accumulated Perkville points (if applicable) and any prepaid services (if applicable). 

We thank you for your patience and understanding in this first half of 2016 with our renovations, new website, and new booking system. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. It's been an exciting beginning to our 20th year in business, and we look forward to celebrating all these transitions with you.

With love and gratitude, 

Skin City


Sticking to a Skincare Routine

It’s that time of year. Making resolutions, commitments and declarations to being a healthier, more productive version of yourself!  We all know that consistent action = quickest and “best” results.  This holds true if those actions are the right actions!  To support you with achieving the goal of healthier skin, I’m sharing a couple of guidelines with you.

Professional skin care treatments/facials DO make a difference in achieving healthier, vibrant skin.  We have access to active ingredients at higher strengths, technological modalities and wisdom gained from experience working with various conditions that you don’t have at home.  Each treatment we do is designed for YOUR skin THAT day. Secondly, what you put on your skin at home every day is even more important.  Every home-care regimen should consist of four core elements.

1. Cleanse

Proper cleansing is the important first step in caring for your skin.  They wash away dirt, sweat and pollutant, which when left on the skin will contribute to clogging, breakouts and build-up. Soaps will strip your skin of too much moisture and leave a residue.  Cleansers that are too harsh, leaving your skin feeling tight and dry, are compromising your skin’s natural barrier (which we’ll get into in the “nourish” step).  Sometimes people consider a toner to be a second step of the cleansing process, but it’s really not.  Toners can serve many useful functions, such as: hydrating, absorbing oil, mildly exfoliating, brightening and/or fighting bacteria.

2. Exfoliate

Exfoliation comes in many forms: physical, enzymatic and chemical.  Your skin may benefit from one or all of these methods, which take the form of scrubs, masks, retinoids or alpha and beta hydroxy acids.  The function of an exfoliant is to slough off dead skin.  Why?  It reduces build-up of dead skin and oil, which can lead to blackheads/clogged follicles, worsening the chances of breakouts.  It brightens your skin.  How?  Hyperpigmented skin cells (dark spots) left to sit and cement keep those dark areas dark; keep them moving up to the surface and off the skin and your skin will appear brighter. Exfoliated skin is more receptive to other nutrients and moisture you introduce into your skin.

3. Treatment Serum (solution)

Treatment Serums may seem superfluous, however they are essential to retaining and maintaining healthy skin. This is where you are getting active ingredients in potent doses to repair and regenerate the skin, improving numerous skin conditions.  A serum may contain peptides, vitamins or plant stem cells to stimulate production of new collagen, repair damaged cells and lessen hyperpigmentation for “aging” skin.  If you are healing acne the ingredients may be antibacterial, reparative and anti-inflammatory.  If you don’t have major skin concerns perhaps you just need some extra hydration or antioxidant support to maintain healthy skin.  Not all serums are created equal.  Much of what you get over-the-counter in drug and department stores isn’t using the best quality or quantity of ingredient to be effective.  Skin City selects products for their high quality and efficacy.

4. Nourish/Protect

After doing all these good things to your skin, you want to finish by nourishing and protecting your skin’s barrier.  Our skin has a barrier, which protects it from being compromised by outside elements (this includes products not best suited for YOUR skin, sun and other environmental exposure/pollutants).  A compromised barrier puts your skin’s immune system at risk as well as depletes it of essential water and oil moisture.  The right moisturizer will give you the proper balance of moisture along with calming, replenishing, and rejuvenating benefits.

Sunscreen will protect your skin from a myriad of damaging effects, such as free radicals, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. A sunscreen containing zinc is preferable due to its healing properties as well as its method of deflecting the sun.  Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and disperse it in the skin; side effect is that it retains some heat.  Physical sunscreens (zinc and titanium) sit on the outside of skin and deflect the sun (skin not absorbing UV rays / NOT retaining heat).  So if you have any inflammatory skin conditions: acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, a PHYSICAL sunscreen is going to offer you the best protection.

The types of products used for each step will vary depending upon the needs and condition of your skin. Here are a couple of examples a core skin care regimen:

Dry, Mature skin:

  • Cleansing Oil (cleanse)
  • Triple C&E (a.m. treatment serum)
  • Refiner (p.m. doubles as exfoliant and treatment serum)
  • Redensifier (doubles as active serum and deeply hydrating nourishment)
  • Solar Shield spf30 (nourish/protection)

Acne-prone, oily:

  • Pore Clearing Cleanser (cleanse)
  •  AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (exfoliant)
  • Balancing Lotion and/or Clarifying Treatment (doubles as exfoliant and anti-bacterial treatment serums)
  • Soothe & Defend Hydragel (doubles as treatment serum and moisturizer)
  • Solar Shield spf30 (nourish/protect)

These are a couple examples of a core regimen.  The beauty of skin care is that it’s an art AND a science. We are all unique individuals and with our own unique skin.  Two people with an acne condition may have different skin types and have other conditions to be addressed. For example, not every acne-prone client is oily; they may need a more nourishing cleanser (Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse) and the additional support of an antioxidant/anti-aging product (triple C&E serum) and/or anti-bacterial, de-clogging mask (Cooling Sulfur Mask) to achieve the best results.

We, at Skin City,  are the alchemists.  Let us do the job we LOVE to do!  You don’t have to figure it all out on your own.  We are here to support you in putting your best face forward and feeling good in your skin.

Skin City has some great cost-saving ways to jumpstart your New Year’s commitment to healthy skin, with a deeply discounted series of Signature Plus Facials and purchases on multiple products. These discounts allow you to stock up on your core products or add new specialty products to boost and accelerate results, while feeling like you’re giving yourself a treat.

As you start 2016 with great intentions of being consistent, making healthy choices and taking daily steps to reach your life goals I invite you to pause every now and then and celebrate the accomplishment of waking every day as the perfectly beautiful YOU!

Wishing you a vibrant 2016!

Winter Tips for Dry Skin

Winter weather is a challenge when it comes to taking care of your skin, especially if you’re prone to dry skin. ‘Tis the season to switch up your skincare regimen. and winterize your routine. 

Here’s how:


While furnaces, and fireplaces keep you toasty and warm, they do suck moisture out of the air, and that can lead to dry skin. Invest in a humidifier to fend off itching, cracking and flaking. Or try using a more hydrating skin moisturizer.


Now’s the time to switch to a cleanser with added oils and fats. These can compensate for the moisture that winter strips away. Antioxidant Hydrating Cleansing Mousse, Botanical Cleansing Oil and Multi-Vitamin Purifying Face Wash will make excellent cleansers for the winter time.


In winter, oil-based moisturizers do a better job than water based formulas at protecting against moisture loss. Nutriment Blue Oil is a great option for defending lipid depleted skin. A couple of drops in your daily moisturiser or used alone will help defend the skin against winter dryness.


Applying moisturizer more frequently will help keep skin looking more supple all winter long. Always moisturize immediately after washing your face. The sooner you slather, the more water you’ll trap in your skin’s surface cells. Spritzing Lira Hydrating Mist before applying moisturizer will also help increase your skin’s hydration. For best moisturizing results, try our Calming BioLipid Repair Creme (this month’s featured product) or Continuous Moisture Creme.


Summer is over but that doesn’t mean the sun is no longer harmful. Exposure to UV rays contributes to wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer even in winter. Make sun protection an absolute essential if winter sports are your thing.


When you’re layering up this winter, remember that certain synthetic fibers, such as acrylics and some wools, can irritate dry skin. Opt instead for skin friendly layers of natural, breathable fibers like cotton and silk, then remove layers as needed to keep your body from sweating and overheating.

Preventing Hyperpigmentation

At the first skin care trade show I went to after becoming an esthetician (mid­90s – looong time ago!) I distinctly remember getting super excited about a new Vitamin C product. My skin looked brighter, felt smoother and was overall more radiant. So began my love affair with Vitamin C! It has remained one of my favorite ingredients to use on my skin and it’s a top recommendation for most of my clients – as it addresses so many skin issues. Hands down I get the most positive feedback from clients who start incorporating a Vitamin C product into their regimen.

With the main topic of this newsletter being about hyperpigmentation, I thought I’d talk a little bit about how to support those of you grappling with this issue through the use of antioxidants. We all know that antioxidants are good for the skin, but you may be wondering why and what is an antioxidant? There are these things called free radicals in your body which are unstable molecules that attack healthy skin cells causing oxidation, which in turn causes damage to your body’s organs (remember the skin is your largest organ). Antioxidants prevent or slow down this cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. They are fantastic healers, which can be found in vitamins, and minerals contained in healthy, whole foods and in topical skin care products. Vitamins C & E, ergothioneine and zinc are just a few of the many super antioxidants that help to heal and protect our skin. Vitamin C protects skin from oxidative stress caused by UV light, and when combined with Vitamin E their power is increased by four times making them a dynamic duo in preventing sun damage. 

Vitamin C is also a tyrosinase inhibitor, decreasing melanin formation (dark spots and patches). Since sunscreen only blocks 55% of free radicals produced by UV exposure, Vitamin C is a MUST in your arsenal for sun protection. Unfortunately ingested Vitamin C is eliminated before getting to the skin, so for the skin to benefit from this ingredient it must be applied topically. Ergothioneine is an energizing antioxidant (found in mushrooms) with anti­-inflammatory benefits, brightening the skin and interrupts the aging process aggravated by sugar and alcohol. Zinc is a key part of our skin’s defense system, affecting every skin condition: acne, hyperpigmentation and aging. This soothing and anti­microbial mineral applied topically not only provides you with excellent sun protection (our Lira Solar Shield contains 18%!!) it’s also healing.

You can find these powerful antioxidants in the following products at Skin City: Triple C&E, Lira Bio Hydra C, Antioxidant Defense Complex (contains 18 antioxidants!), Lira C4 Retinol, all sunscreens, Lira’s Solar Shield being our esthetician’s favorite. Ask your esthetician to recommend the best one(s) for your skin.

Nutritional sources of these vitamins and minerals: Vitamin C: leafy greens, citrus fruits, strawberries, papaya and broccoli Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, chard, asparagus and avocados Ergothioneine: mushrooms Zinc: oysters, crab, lobster, chicken, lean beef, beans and chickpeas.

What is Hyperpigmentation?

by Brigitta Melendy

Hyperpigmentation is a common challenge that Skin City clients are concerned with.  One question we get frequently is “How did I get these brown spots on my face”?  Of course there are a variety of factors that come into play here – hormones, acne, overall health, stress levels, sun exposure, medications, all of which create free radicals.  Free radicals attack the DNA of each and every cell in our skin.  The best antidote for fighting free radicals is ingesting and applying antioxidants topically (see ESTY chat for more on antioxidants). Regardless of age, skin condition or ethnicity, free radicals underlie every skin problem, from wrinkles, loss of firmness, and age spots to surface dryness, dehydration, redness and acne flare-ups.  Therefore, everyone needs protection from free radicals. For me to truly understand ‘how’ to correct an issue, it is important to know ‘how and why’ the issue occurred.

Here is a breakdown of the process of hyperpigmentation:

The epidermis (outer skin layer) is primarily made up of skin cells which create a protective layer. Approximately every eighth cell is a melanocyte. Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin – an action that occurs in the deeper layers of the skin. This is a natural and necessary process as pigments give us skin color and also provides a unique defense system against UV radiation.

Let’s further break down the pigmentation process:

  1. First a trigger (such as UV exposure) sends a signal to melanocyte-stimulating hormones that the skin is in need of protection. This activates the enzyme tyrosine.
  2.  After tyrosine is signaled, the melanocyte cell receives a message to produce pigmentation (melanin).
  3. As excess melanin is produced, and dispersing of these pigments is interrupted, hyperpigmentation forms. This creates deposits of color that stay indefinitely unless treated.


Luckily there are a number of ingredients that help support the skin and control hyperpigmentation. These include:

  • Retinols – a form of vitamin A that is available in different percentages depending on levels of intensity.  ‘Breaks-up’ pigment to prevent solid patches of hyperpigmentation
  • Bellis perennis flower (daisy flower) – a gentle, natural brightener derived from daisies.
  • Arbutin (L) – a natural plant-based derivative of hydroquinone (HQ) with tyrosinase abilities. This is a great alternative for those with sensitivities to hydroquinone.
  • Kojic acid – derived from Japanese mushrooms, it works to effectively inhibit melanin synthesis.
  • Lactic acid (L) – this AHA has natural brightening abilities, works to smooth skin and improve texture.
  • Azelaic acid – a grain- and yeast-derived compound, it helps normalize disordered cell growth, provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support, and helps effectively treat acne-related post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • SUNBLOCK, SUNBLOCK, SUNBLOCK!!! – I cannot emphasize how important a PHYSICAL block is.  A PHYSICAL block is mineral based (not chemical) and provides full spectrum protection.  Full spectrum means it blocks out both UVA and UVB rays.  The best ingredient is 10%+ Zinc or Zinc Oxide.  Pay attention to the percentage of Zinc in your SPF product.


Supporting the skin’s overall health is essential. The goal is to maintain optimum health, or restore it to optimum health so it may properly control pigmentation.  A truly comprehensive skin care strategy, especially one focusing on aging skin, should combine antioxidants to attack free radicals directly.