Collagen Truths

If our skin structures were a high school, collagen would be the popular girl who never misses a party, game day, or the chance to sit on the top shelf in your local health food store. You see her at Whole Foods (in protein powders and supplements), while scrolling Instagram, at Sephora (so many promising lotions, shampoos, eye creams), popping up in wellness sections of fast fashion stores like Urban Outfitters (elixirs, potions) and even Amazon (more of the same, with the enticement of free Prime shipping.) Collagen and her marketing promises are everywhere, but who is she really-and in what form is she truly effective?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, accounting for about a third of its protein composition. (Again, popular!) She’s also one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
We love collagen. We depend on collagen. We’re even starting to understand her better, and question more rumors and marketing gimmicks surrounding her…
Scientifically proven methods that DO work do so by engaging in some heavy lifting beneath the epidermis: stimulating your skin fibroblast cells and allowing for tissue repair. Some excellent (Dermaplus available) tools for producing collagen include:
-Retinoids: Vitamin A derived ingredients not only help to produce NEW collagen at the cellular level, but also DECREASE the amount of collagen breakdown from sun exposure.
-Facial massage: Hi, I do this! Facial massage boosts circulation in the blood stream, strengthens muscle memory and stimulates collagen and benefits your skin’s tissue health. I’m always an advocate for my clients incorporating a little facial massage in their daily routine, even if with your serums or moisturizer.. sometimes the best tool we have is our own hands.
-Vitamin C: Vitamin C contributes to photoprotection as a potent antioxidant, decreases photodamage, and is needed for adequate collagen synthesis. Since vitamin C is notoriously unstable, I recommend opting for highly potent professional grade vitamin C serums, like Dermaplus Vitamin C or slightly more gentle C Plex.-

-SPF: The most important thing to know about collagen is to protect the collagen you DO have at all costs. If you don’t wear sunscreen because you find it a) greasy b) clogging c) not a joy to apply, I highly recommend @dermaplus gel spf 30!
-AHAs: Also help stimulate collagen by increasing collagen synthesis within fibroblast cells. Key for fighting fine lines and wrinkles, and best used in professional peels, or treatment serums like Dermaplus’ Alpha Beta X.
-Laser genesis: this laser works by applying heat to the skin, which removes the damaged collagen and makes our collagen-producing cells more active.
-Microneedling: Uses tiny needles to create a controlled wound to the skin, stimulating the fibroblast cells’ natural healing properties and encouraging regeneration of new, shiny collagen.
Thank you for coming to my collagen TED talk. Until next Tuesday.. Peace, love + SPF. – Esthetician Tess

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Suga Suga

Got a sweet tooth?

SUGAR + SKIN. 🍭🍩🍷🍦
It’s never the sweetest topic of discussion in a treatment room, because hey, we all have our little joys in life… often chocolate and rosé are those joys! In an ideal world, we could have our cakepop and control our breakouts too. I’ll spare you a lecture on why you should go completely sugar-free, but I do think it’s important to understand WHY and how sweets (and yes, even natural sugar-loaded açaí bowls and smoothies) can compromise the skin— so you can make fun, but like, informed choices, in a world full of #national donut, ice cream, cookie, etc. days.
Sugar (whether natural or artificial fructose) has a number of toxic effects on the body because of GLYCATION: when sugar depletes our beloved, valuable collagen (and also has a number of implications for the skin.)
The cherry on top of the sundae (sorry) is sugar’s ability to inflame the skin by breaking down and pulling out much needed moisture, resulting in:
+ dullness
+ dehydration and inflamed acne
+ fine lines
+ a greater susceptibility to pollutants, irritants and sun damage
+ candida overgrowth resulting rashes(rash like breakout), lesions, keratosis pilaris, pustules or flaky texture
At the end of the day, it’s your body, your skin, YOUR dessert menu, but also a matter of protecting your skin as an investment. Serums, skin treatments and facials are all beautiful, important things, but (and I’ll say the thing you already know) *internal* self care is ultimately just as key. Just know it never hurts to take a vacation (or even just a roadtrip for starters) from glycation. -Signed me Esthetician Tess, your dentist, and your mom, probably.

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All About Extractions

Esthetician Tess popping in with a few notes on extractions— (see what I did there? 🙃) What are extractions? Why do you need extractions? What should be extracted? And what should you expect following a treatment including extractions.🙌🏼
Blackheads are the most common reason for an extraction, a good amount of acne starts with a blackhead. Contrary to popular belief, a blackhead is not necessarily “dirt in the pores” (as many cheesy acne commercials of the ‘90s lead us to believe!) A blackhead is actually a hair follicle or sometimes an oil gland, that has become clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells— which can have a gray or black color when oxidized by air. On the upside, a blackhead can be a GOOD thing (as opposed to inflamed acne)— at this stage it’s easier to control and extract.
Most of us know, and will sheepishly admit to their esthetician when it does happen, that extractions should really be performed be a professional.✋🏼This way the skin can be prepped and the sebum softened— often with steam + enzymes— (pores do not open like a trapped door) and then removed with gentle pressure (using either wrapped fingers or a special disinfected metal implement). Then, high frequency current is usually applied to kill bacteria, calm inflammation and promote healing.🚑
Identifying the TYPES of acne that can be removed, prepping the skin, skillfully extracting the infection, avoiding capillaries, and eliminating lingering bacteria are a few ways to maximize the therapeutic benefits of professional extractions— and just a few reasons to see a @Dermaplus Esthetician. 🙋🏼‍♀️

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Luxurious to apply, a dry skin savior, pretty on your vanity, and MAJORLY popular right now. Slowly dropping a vile of oil on the skin has even become an iconic intro to almost any glowy makeup tutorial on Instagram. The term “Dewy Dumpling” has become a goal amongst radiant skincare lovers. But are we using the right ones + in the right way?
When it comes to oils, I find it can be a biiit of a trigger word amongst clients; it’s usually hate it or love it!
While those who are breakout prone tend to stay away, dryer skin types often enjoy using oils as much as possible— in cleansers, serums, moisturizers and pure or blended oils. A non-comedogenic oil certainly has its place (for most skin types) in your routine. It can provide excellent nourishment in healing the acid mantle (the protective layer that shields us from bacteria, environmental pollutants and moisture loss.) A damaged one can suffer from dehydration, excess oil, acne and sensitivity.
However, as the market explodes with new oils (often beautifully packaged + adorably named), it’s important to understand how they differ:
NUT/SEED OILS (coconut, argan, marula, kukui and sunflower seed) are HEAVIER oils that may clog the skin.)
PLANT OILS (jojoba and squalene) are light, smaller in molecular size + absorbent, providing effective healing without overdoing it. Found in @dermaplus Skin Oil, Chamomile Cleanser + Moisturizer, plant oils are super effective conditioners, and readily absorbed by the skin since the makeup of both jojoba + squalene is so similar to the oil our body produces naturally. (Though olive branch derived, squalene is even produced by the human body already!) This high compatibility with your skin’s own oils makes it less likely to cause buildup/breakouts.
Think of oils as a powerhouse healer, a bodyguard + protective final seal OVER a hydrating moisturizer— just remember ☝️ not all oils are created equal, and the golden Dewy rule: everything in moderation.We can help you find the right fit for your skin type!
-Esthetician Tess

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Nightly Skincare Routine

Nightly Skincare Routine

Attention: skincare junkies.📣 Tess here with an important note on your nightly skincare routine.
So! You’ve invested in your homecare— We’re talking Masks! Serums! (shout out to @Dermaplus‘ Alpha Beta X + BPO Spot!) Moisturizer! Possibly Retin-A! Jade rollers! A silk pillow case if you’re fancy like that.. but one of the biggest (and free) ways to maximize your entire routine and skincare toolbox is actually a matter of WHEN you apply the above. When it comes to PM skincare, timing really is everything.💤
Dermaplus pro-tip📝: Apply your skincare EARLY in the evening priority every evening— and be mindful of how you can introduce your nightly products early on, even if traveling, working out, or getting home late. Research shows that the natural repair processes of the skin happen when the sun goes down. Your skin’s stem cells are like little night owls in the epidermis– they do their best work at night, and are responsible for creating new skin cells. Hence, why you’re better off giving them a little boost by applying your nighttime products sooner, rather than later.🕙
By having a nightime skincare routine, you’re already winning. The skin actually functions differently in the evening, and your PM hours are a prime window for maximizing the benefits of your treatment products for several reasons:
+ The water content in the cells are the lowest due to transepidermal water loss (your skin is thirsty + craving hydration)
+ Your skin’s protective barrier function is decreased, so there is more permeability (again, a golden window of opportunity for product penetration.)
+ DNA repair and renewal is active (aka your skin is ready to receive nutrients, and thrive!)
+ You reduce the liklihood of wasting your skincare on your pillowcase.

Kick off your bedtime skincare routine before dinner, or as soon as you step foot in the door. Make it the FIRST thing you check off your evening to-do list, a way you trigger your body’s wind down clock, remind yourself that you and your skin are a priority, and allow your sweet skin cells to work smarter, not harder while they put in the OT. Good night, and good luck, sleeping beauties!👸🏼 – Tess

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Top Skin Tips from our Esthetician Tess

Top Skin Tips from our Esthetician Tess!

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Obagi Reveal Event


Into Flawless Skin!

Refresh – Renew – Rejuvenate your skin at the Obagi Reveal Event!




Repair your skin with the Obagi Nu-Derm transformation system.

  • See your skin with a special UV filter camera to view your sun damage and learn how to repair.
  • Skincare consultation by our Nurse
  • Save 10% on Obagi Nu-Derm system!
  • Complimentary Laser Genesis with purchase or Nu-Derm system ($250 value)
  • Free gift with purchase
  • Obagi Rep here to answer questions

Learn more about Obagi here and see the results for yourself!

Email now to book this Special Event!


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We are thrilled to introduce a brand new
Facial to our already incredible menu of services:


This DELUXE Facial includes THE WORKS!
The FACIAL PLUS is our DP Signature Facial with the addition of Ultrasound.
Ultrasound technology works to provide a gentle, deep exfoliation, clearing out pore congestion at deeper levels. It also aids in product penetration, repairing cells, and lifting skin by micro current and stimulating collagen production. In addition, the FACIAL PLUS includes an incredible molding jelly mask which forms to your skin to promote plumping and hydration.

This truly is the ultimate treatment if you are in need of a more in-depth facial! Gentle exfoliation and deep absorption of our active ingredients for lifting, deep nourishment and rejuvenation!

This treatment utilizes the “Ultrasonic Spatula” throughout the Facial in many different modes to perform:

  • Deep exfoliation & softening of debris and congestion from ultrasound and ultrasonic pulses.
  • Aids in Extractions.
  • Infusion of Dermaplus Customized Serums deep into the skin.
  • Negative Ion infusion for Free Radical neutralizing, resulting in healing of environmental and sun damaged cells.
  • Micro current for lifting and toning.



Call 415-885-6192

To book this new treatment or enhance your existing appointment!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Dermaplus has a new, incredible at-home treatment to add to your  skincare routine!  It’s super easy and results are instant!MESOSTAMP Serum Infuser!

MESOTHERAPY, aka- the MESOSTAMP or MICROCHANNEL MESOTHERAPY is the newest skincare enhancement available in the beauty industry right now. This treatment is so effective, that many celebrities are jumping on board with using this tiny device because the effects have been remarkable! It was recently used on Kim Kardashian and as seen here below…The Mesostamp is a small device that delivers our specialized serums and active ingredients by penetrating to deeper layers of the epidermis.

-See it in action!-

Sterile 24K Gold-plated titanium fine needles with a glass reservoir allows solutions to access deep into the epidermis through microscopic channels, with little to no irritation, maximizing absorption up to 100%!

MESOSTAMP treatments effectively improve the appearance of aging skin, hyper-pigmentation, acne scars, enlarged pores, dull/tired-looking skin, and fine wrinkles. It instantly moisturizes, plumps and rejuvenates skin. It is safe to use around the eyes, lips, chest, hands and other areas of the body.

This MICROCHANNEL MESOTHERAPY – is similar to Micro-Needling, though it is a much shallower needle depth, focusing only on the superficial layers of the skin and enhancing product absorption for an extra boost to your home care treatments!We recommend Mesostamp to be paired with Dermaplus Vitamin C or Cplex in the reservoir for ultimate results! One of our highly knowledgeable Estheticians can help you decide which DP serum infusion would best fit your skin type, targeting specific issues.

FOUR easy steps to use the MESOSTAMP:

  • Clean, exfoliate the area to be treated.
  • Unscrew the top of the glass vial.
  • Put a few drops of your serum into the vial and screw the top back   on. (not too tightly, allow air flow)
  • Tilt head back. Using moderate pressure, pat skin surface with needle head until solution is fully used. Rub the rest in. Follow with Soothing Collagen Facial Blanket if desired.


  • The quality of the solution mix that is being used with Mesostamp is very important! Make sure it has no harsh chemicals, perfumes or alcohol in the blend.
  • Post-treatment redness is normal.
  • Always use sun protection on treated area.
  • As with any needling tool, after multiple use, needles will get blunt. For personal use Mesostamp is meant to be used up to 8 times, and then replaced with a new one.
  • To clean Mesostamp: rinse needle head under running water to prevent product buildup around micro-needles, soak in alcohol and air dry.


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Nutrition and Skin

If I have acne, why should I change my diet, aren’t facials and good products enough? 
Many times, that’s all you need, but when dealing with persistent acne whether teen or adult that won’t resolve, you have to look at food and lifestyle. 

First, let’s review normal skin function.  Our face has 3 layers of “skin”, the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. 

Let’s focus on the epidermis because that’s what we see in the mirror every day. The epidermis is 5 layers deep and the deepest layer, the stratum basale, is where the skin we see every day comes from.  Keratinocytes, merkel cells and melanocytes(pigment) are produced in this layer and slowly rise to the surface taking 2-4 weeks.  This process is continuous and once they reach the surface, they die creating a layer of dead skin which then sheds.  

Good skin care, good products and treatments support this process, poor diet interferes with this process.

So what foods or conditions cause problems?  
Dairy is a big offender, it causes elevated calcium levels which impairs zinc metabolism. We need zinc, it accelerates new skin cell growth necessary for clear skin while reducing the swelling and inflammation from acne. What to do? Eliminate dairy from your diet for 2 weeks, if skin improves its dairy, if not, look for other causes. Can’t live without, try eating goat or sheep dairy products and/or eat lots of oysters, they are super high in zinc!

Next up, diets high in sugar and grains, these foods cause “sticky” skin cells.  When skin cells stick together they don’t shed normally causing blocked pores that result in pimples. To get rid of “sticky cells” eliminate grains and sugars from diet for 2 weeks. This includes alcohol as well, wine has the most sugar of any alcohol and tequila the least!  After 2 weeks, re-introduce those foods one at a time and you’ll find the culprit, it’s almost always sugar!!!

Conditions like “Leaky gut”, poor gut bacteria, nutrient poor diets and stress cause either inflammation or sticky cells or both. Stress is unique in that it causes inflammation, sticky cells and increased testosterone production leading to increased oil production and more breakouts. 

When persistent acne remains a problem, think diet and lifestyle.

Need help with persistent acne? 
Good products, good treatments and a simple nutrition consult to put you on the path to clear skin and good health.

-Nancy, Nurse/Nutrition Consultant

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