Many of you trying to conceive are well-aware that I believe diet can dramatically impact your overall health and fertility potential. What about other things such as the type of moisturizer you use on the face? It seems harmless since it’s applied topically rather than ingested. Well, that may not be entirely accurate. I enlisted the help of Marissa, the medical esthetician at Ola Holistic Healing Spa, to get some answers on what ingredients can impact your fertility potential.
What is your background, Marissa? Can you tell us a bit about Ola Holistic Healing Spa?
I have been an esthetician for 9 years now and first studied in NY. I went on to pursue medical esthetics and have practiced many modalities as it relates to skincare. Last year I took an Oncology Esthetics course and it changed my life! Now, I practice holistically and it feels great.
Ola came about because of my desire to help those going through medical treatment for cancer, among other things. I have a great passion for education and want everyone to know you can use chemical-free, organic skincare and still see amazing results.
In your opinion, what are the top three ingredients someone should avoid when trying to conceive?
Retinol: It can thin the skin, enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation just to name a few. Granted, there are retinols that are more gentle than others and they are made in different strengths, but when TTC-ing and during pregnancy, the fewer the chemicals, the better.
Hydroquinone: This is a tyrosinase inhibitor (think melanin blaster and lightener) and is very strong. Other countries have banned this product for many reasons including toxicity and allergic reactions. Research is currently being done to decide how caustic this product is. Some case studies have even shown the liver never rids of this product. When someone is undergoing the IUI or IVF process, the amount of medication is already over-taxing the liver.
Chemical peels (includes glycolic acid, salicylic acid): While great for some clients, those trying to conceive should avoid them. There are plenty of natural, chemical free ways to exfoliate the skin and great products that will regenerate collagen and reduce pigment.
Why does it matter what type of skincare you use while trying to conceive?
We want to keep the body as pure as possible! Many consumers don’t realize what they put on their faces can have an effect internally. More and more research is finding links between different products and its effect on the body, and sometimes a woman’s ability to conceive.
When someone is on a medicated cycle, meaning clomid, letrozole, Gonal-F, etc. are used, how do these drugs change the skin?
Because hormones are being affected, the skin will surely see some changes. You may be one of the few lucky ones who are not impacted, but chances are you may have some blemishes appear along with inflammation. Another side effect may be pigment changes to the skin like hypo (lack of or lighter areas) and hyper pigmentation (darker areas). These side effects may dissipate once the hormones return back to their normal state, and some may need the use of products to create evenness in the skin tone.
What are the three most important items any woman should use in her skincare routine?
Eye treatment: We do not have oil glands around/under our eyes so we must use a product to help keep the area free of fine lines and wrinkles.
A great serum: Serums pack a great punch with having a lower molecular weight and being able to get nutrients into the skin faster and deeper.
Exfoliant: You want to choose one that’s not too aggressive, but still effective. Leaving good bacteria on the skin is great for nourishing it and keeping it healthy, but too many dead cells on the surface will create a barrier that won’t let your serums and other products through.
How is the Everyday Holistic Therapies Program offered at Ola different than a regular facial at a spa?
Because we practice holistically, we pay attention to the whole body from the inside out. When we meet and perform an analysis, we can decide what treatment should be performed that day. From the way we analyze the skin and body to the services we perform, you may see small similarities, and some noticeable differences. We offer gemstone therapy, abdominal packs (great for weight loss), topical hydrotherapy and much more. Beyond that, the skincare we use is much more organic than most. It is free of chemicals and rich with herbs. It only takes one visit to see the difference!
When Marissa is not busy educating others on a holistic skincare routine, she can be seen helping out around the office at Inner Peace. Some of our patients have already seen a huge improvement in how they look and feel after receiving skin therapies from Marissa. Unfortunately, Ola Holistic Healing Spa is now closed.