There are things I don’t think about as a woman with a dark complexion. When it comes to sun exposure, sure, I know too much is bad for you but I’ve always been of the opinion, ‘My people are from Africa. We drink up the sun.’ So I never paid much attention to protecting my skin. That is until I had a conversation with a skin care specialist, who is also a woman of color and she clued me in on some pretty important information about our skin.
Each month I feature a different wellness business. For the month of May, I am featuring Ambiance Skin Care Salon & Day Spa right here in Long Beach, with a spotlight on a vet in the wellness field and a font of diverse knowledge, Skin Care Therapist, Valarie Fleming.
Valarie has over thirty years of experience doing therapeutic massage, facials, and other spa-related treatments. We sat down for a chat within the chic and inviting front room of Ambiance, where she provides private consultations and treatments on Mondays.
As a wellness writer, it’s always a treat to speak to holistic-healthcare practitioners and get their take on keeping themselves and their clients well. After giving countless treatments over the years, Valarie sees herself as an “instrument” through which healing passes to her clients. Her goal for her clients is one that is shared by many sincere wellness practitioners, that her clients leave feeling better than when they arrived. “It may sound cliché but that’s how I feel,” she said.
For Valarie, health and healing have been a major focus all her life and she grew up with the notion that “your thoughts are what you are.” Hence, keeping a positive mindset is foundational to good health.
But what about keeping good skin?
Well, here’s the low down from Valarie on taking care of darker complexions:
- Thinking of laser surgery or chemical peels? Know that dark skin reacts differently to those treatments than skin with less melanin. You can expect to scar.
- Scars are made worse and longer lasting by sun exposure. So if you have scars on your face due to acne or what have you, be sure to protect your skin by wearing a hat, sunscreen, or makeup (better still, makeup with sunscreen).
- Blackheads immediately scar dark skin so see that they are extracted as soon as possible.
- If doing the extraction yourself, ALWAYS wash your hands and cover your fingers with a tissue so as not to cause further scarring or clog your pores.
- Skin “would much rather be hydrated than drier.” So if you have oil-prone skin and are thinking, ‘I just need to dry up some of the oil then my skin will be clearer.’ Stop! Put the astringent down! By stripping your skin of oil you are only making it work harder to produce more moisture, which just leads to continued clogged pores and frequent breakouts. Instead, Valarie recommends that you find a product that moisturizes as it tones.
As a sufferer of severe acne during adolescence, I was nodding my head in vehement agreement when she shared that last tip. I shared with her how I thought that if I could just dry out my skin enough then the acne would clear up. She commented on how many people incorrectly think that is the case.
After speaking with her, I started putting her advice to work right away. For example, the other day it was such a beautiful morning that I decided to enjoy my coffee and yogurt outside sitting in the sun. But then I recalled the advice she gave me about sun exposure making scars worse and I ran back inside the house and got my hat.
It’s never too late to start taking better care of your skin.
To learn more about Valarie’s services, which include facials, extractions & peels, and bodywork, call her at (562) 355-0754 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And to learn more about the numerous skin care and bodywork treatments offered at Ambiance Skin Care Salon & Day Spa or to find your favorite skincare products, visit them at 3946 E. 4th St., Long Beach, CA 90803. You can also find them online at ambianceskincare.com or call (562) 621-1121.
The storefront is utterly enticing; you could spend hours in there cooing over the awesome product lines. Or you can make an appointment and indulge in the serene treatment rooms as you get pampered and beautified by skin care experts. They provide massage, facials, waxing, lash extensions, and more!
Treat yourself and check them out!
Valarie P. Fleming
Skin Care Therapist
Ambiance Skin Care Salon & Day Spa
3946 E. 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90803
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© 2019 Tamara Jefferies.
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