Watermelon – The New SPF!

Watermelon – The New SPF!

Watermelon – The New SPF!

By: Shannon Martin

August 23rd, 2019


Did you hear that eating watermelon can help prevent your skin from soaking in those harmful UV rays from the sun? Studies have found that watermelon is one of those hidden superfoods. We all know that it’s delicious and refreshing on hot, summer days. Due to the level of water, this fruit contains (92%), it is hydrating if nothing else. This amount of water, also, enables you to feel fuller causing you to eat fewer calories in the process, according to healthline.com

Like all fruits, another benefit of eating watermelon is all the nutrients you’re consuming with it. Antioxidants like vitamin C, carotenoids, and lycopene are really important in our bodies. For our purposes, let’s focus on the reasons they are most important to the skin. 



Let’s break down each nutrient:

Carotenoids are plant compounds that our bodies covert to Vitamin A. Vitamin A and Vitamin C are important for our skin. Vitamin C helps our bodies create collagen, a protein that keeps your skin flexible. Vitamin A helps make and repair skin cells. Rejuvenating the skin like this prevents it from becoming dry.

Lycopene is also considered to be a carotenoid. However, it is not converted into Vitamin A. This antioxidant is what gives red fruits their color. The riper and red the fruit, the more lycopene it has to offer. Watermelons themselves have, on average, 40% more lycopene than raw tomatoes, according to AgResearch Magazine. Lycopene protects us from various diseases – diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers – that are caused by free radicals. The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies says that free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to your cells, tissues, and DNA. They are formed during a natural process called oxidation, or the burning of oxygen by our cells. Lycopene, as an antioxidant, plays a major role in maintaining normal cellular activity. We need antioxidants such as this and Vitamin C to help counter oxidation because in today’s world it’s completely unavoidable. Contaminants like air pollution, unhealthy foods, and sunlight (since we’re discussing the skin), can speed up the process of these free radicals causing a lot of cellular damage and leaving us at risk for chronic diseases.



With that explained, we can see that free radicals, created from our exposure to sunlight and harmful UV rays, will cause skin damage – from sun spots and sunburn and in worst cases, skin cancer. So… when you see that watermelon at a picnic – chow down and dream of all the lycopene (and other antioxidants) ridding your body of those cell-destroying free radicals. Or – just enjoy the sweet treat knowing it has numerous health benefits. But make sure you don’t skip on the real SPF for maximum protection. 



Photo Credit: Shannon Martin

Featured Credit: Quinn Martin


Summer Skin

Summer Skin

By: Ashley Dininny

July 10th, 2019

Finally, Summer has arrived, and we are all more than ready to have some fun in the sun. Whether we plan to head to the pools, catch some rays, or wear our strappy dresses, our skin can take a serious beating come summer. With that said, as summer begins, we need to reevaluate our skincare routine.

Sure, we all know about the importance of using sunscreen, but maintaining healthy skin throughout the summer requires a different kind of attention than it does during the rest of the year. Along with a summer safe skin care regime, I included some smart tips and tricks to aid for a better, beautiful, healthy skin summer.


Physical Sunscreen

An obvious first step to healthy skin in the warm months is sunscreen, but here’s the thing: you should be using a physical blocker, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as opposed to a chemical blocker (e.g., oxybenzone, avobenzone).

Physical Blocker: Physical blockers work as a shield over the skin and absorb, reflect, and scatter UV rays from the surface of the skin.

Chemical Blocker: I was shocked to learn that the vast majority of mass-market sunscreens and tinted moisturizers rely on chemical blockers that break down in sunlight and lose effectiveness after two hours.

Image Skincare Physical Sun blockers:
PREVENTION+ daily hydrating moisturizer SPF 30+
        PREVENTION+ daily tinted moisturizer SPF 30+
        PREVENTION+ daily ultimate protection moisturizer SPF 50
        PREVENTION+ daily matte moisturizer SPF 32+ 


Antioxidant Serum

Another little-known fact: sunscreen only protects against 55% of the environmental damage that causes premature aging. Every single day you should also be wearing an antioxidant serum like Vitamin C to prevent against “free radical damage” like pollution that could make your skin look old sooner. The Image Skincare VITAL C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum is a favorite amongst the skincare community. 

“This comforting serum is an IMAGE bestseller for a reason: It works effectively on all skin types to soften the appearance of wrinkles, support collagen, and protect skin against oxidative damage. It acts as a wake-up call on the skin to fight the visible signs of stress and fatigue that commonly appear in aging skin.”*


Mattify The Look of Your Skin with A Face Mask

Does your skin tend to look oily during the summer? Then add a purifying face mask!

AgeLess Favorite:
Image Skincare I MASK Purifying Probiotic Mask.

This fortifying mask balances the skin’s natural flora and helps it resist dehydration and imbalance. This deep green mask contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to nourish the skin and fight the look of dullness and signs of damage. Purifying green clay and charcoal help to detoxify and clear away impurities, leaving the skin clean, smooth and refined. *


Don’t Forget Your Lips and Scalp

You’re probably already a pro when it comes to putting SPF on your face and body. But what about those forgotten areas like your lips and scalp?

Ø  For the scalp: Wear a hat. Even on cloudy days, ultraviolet (UV) light can still cause sunburns and damage skin. The easiest way to protect your head is to cover it with your favorite broad-brimmed sun hat or a sporty baseball cap.

  • Don’t have a hat available? Try to walk in such a way that minimizes your exposure to the sun. (i.e., walk on the shady side of the street instead of the sunny side, or choose a path that keeps you beneath the shade provided by trees).
  • Also, you can consider wearing a ponytail, bun, or updo. Unlike hairstyles with a part, these will cover your scalp completely, preventing sunburn.

Ø  For lips: I LOVE the IMAGE MD line, Post-Treatment Collagen Lip Enhancement SPF 15.

Formulated by plastic surgeons for maximum results, this ultra-hydrating polypeptide complex visibly enhances the volume of lips AND diminishes the appearance of fine lines. This product is SPF 15 that provides enhanced sun protection and promotes skin health. Paraben free.*

Ø  Not a Fan of Lip Plumpers: Since the sun is extremely drying, keep your lips soft and smooth by using ORMEDIC Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex. Although this product does not have SPF in it, this lip-enhancing moisturizer instantly infuses lips with soothing hydration while improving the appearance and volume of lip contours. It diminishes fine lines and contains a powerful, anti-aging polypeptide complex that supports collagen in the lips, so they look naturally firm and full. Feels amazing on chapped lips and provides lasting moisture for continued healing.


Cool Off with A Mist

Stash a bottle of face mist in your cooler so you can mist your face and body by the pool or at the Beach. Make your own Soothing Lavender & Aloe Vera mist with the recipe below.

DIY Essential Oil Facial Mist Recipe
What you Need:
Rosehip oil
Aloe Vera
Glass spray bottle
TheraPro Lavender essential oil
Step 1: Fill your spray bottle ¾ with water.
Step 2: Now drop in 7 drops of your essential oil.
Step 3: Add a couple drops of Rosehip oil.
Step 4: Fill the rest of the bottle with Aloe Vera.
Step 5:  Gently shake the bottle to combine all the ingredients.

Keep Eye Cream in the Fridge

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cooling eye cream straight from your refrigerator. You can also try cooling your moisturizer:

Image Skincare VITAL C Hydrating Eye Recovery Gel

This cooling gel formula soothes the delicate eye area and improves the signs of aging with ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid, wrinkle-altering peptides, and nourishing antioxidants. Featuring our proprietary Collagen Recovery Complex, it helps to firm skin, improve elasticity and diminish dark circles and puffiness.*


Image Skincare ORMEDIC Balancing Eye Lift Gel

A cooling gel brings instant relief to tired, puffy eyes and gives lasting benefits by hydrating delicate skin, relaxing crow’s feet and lessening the look of dark circles. An advanced neuropeptide complex promotes healthy skin functions like collagen synthesis and the strengthening of thin, fragile under-eye skin.*


Create A Faux Glow with Airbrush Tanning or Self- Tanner

The Safe way to get bronzed this summer with Airbrush Tanning Service or self-tanner products.At AgeLess Integrative Medical SPA, we offer Sjolie Airbrush Tanning.

Sjolie Bronze Fusion Sunless Tan Gel

Sjolie’s spray tan solution is made fresh from naturally derived ingredients certified vegan by the PETA Foundation. No parabens or fragrances are present. Only FDA approved DHA is used as the active sunless ingredient.


Don’t Scratch Bug Bites

Often, the price to pay for connecting with Mother Nature is a souvenir of itchy bug bites. We know it’s tempting, but—just like your mother told you—scratching makes bug bites worse and can even cause scarring! Instead, try keeping an anti-itch cream in your purse for any surprise insect attacks.

Therapro Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil can create a cooling sensation on the skin; Helping with burning, stinging, and itching sensations caused by bites or stings. Research suggests peppermint oil may act as an antimicrobial, reducing the risk of infection associated with some bites.

Therapro Tea Tree oil

Tea Tree oil may help prevent bacteria and other microbes from growing in a bug bite and reducing the risk of infection; making it an excellent choice for children who cannot resist scratching.


Prevent Razor Bumps and Burns

Since you’re probably shaving the most during the warm summer months, it’s important to always prepare your skin properly for the sometimes harsh process of shaving. Here are a few shaving-specific tips:

  • Use a body scrub, to gently exfoliate your skin, before starting to shave. Soothing Touch Brown Sugar Scrub
  • Swap out dull blades for clean, sharp razors.
  • Apply a generous amount of shaving cream.
  • Shave with the grain (i.e., the direction in which the hair grows).
  • Moisturize liberally directly after showering.


Slough Away Dry Skin

 Exfoliate during summer, use a scrub on dry skin before you shower. Pay attention to the knees and elbows. Finish with a rich body cream or oil within three minutes after your shower.

Rich Body Cream: Image Skincare Vital C Hand & Body Lotion


Take a Cool Shower

Hot showers after sun exposure further dry your skin. Turn down the temperature. A cool shower after excess sweating can help to keep skin clear.


Drink Plenty of Water

The beating sun can dry your skin and make you sweat more, so keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you’re active, you need to drink at least eight (8) glasses during the day. 

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O2 or Bust! Why This Fan Favorite Facial is For Everyone and How Much The Perfect Skincare Regimen Really Costs

As a teenager in the early 2000’s, my skincare regimen consisted mainly of PondsⓇ makeup remover wipes and using body lotion on my face. At that time, I had no clue that there was even such thing as a facial from a spa. Nearly 18+ years later, navigating through life from retail to corporate, I found myself working in the spa industry, and I’ve had the chance to learn the what’s and why’s to the perfect routine skincare regimen.

When I say a “routine skincare regimen,” I don’t mean washing my face at home, using an over the counter anti-aging cream and hoping for the best (and then trying cream after cream looking for results that you just can’t seem to achieve). I’m talking about making time and budgeting for a routine facial from a professional and engineered product suited for your skin. Trust me, I wasn’t convinced at first but the more I learned, the more I started to understand the difference it made on one’s skin, which is why I could never revisit my 2000’s skincare regimen.

There’s a good reason why the skincare industry is blowing up right now: people want to look their best. And with so many options to choose from, it can get overwhelming. But with a little research and consultation with a professional, you will find what works best for your skin. For me, it’s the Oxygenating (O2) Lift Facial by IMAGE Skincare at AgeLess SPA and a few at-home products that have transformed my skin.

I already know what you’re thinking, “This is supposed to be about a facial and she’s already trying to talk about buying products to use at home,” I can see your eyes rolling. But yes, an at-home product or two is required for your regimen to work. I mean, you don’t stop brushing your teeth at home because you just went to the dentist for a cleaning, right? Skincare works in the same way.

For me personally, I’ve always struggled with rosacea on my cheeks, oily skin in my t-zone (center of my face), light acne underneath my cheeks, and dryness around the outside of my face. But with the help of IMAGE Skincare, I stress less about my skin.

So what exactly is the O2 Lift Facial? See the deets below!

The O2 Lift Facial is suited for any skin type and is designed with a combination of oxygen, plant-derived stem cells, peptides, and concentrated enzymatic botanicals. All of which come together to increase the collagen in the deeper layers of your skin, gently exfoliate the dead skin cells, blast your pores with oxygenating hydration and soothe your skin back to life.

First comes the peel, which is going to soothe your skin, and help to gently remove the dead skin cells. It then works with the masque to increase the collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin.The oxygen and peptides in the masque do make it a slightly more “active” facial than the Signature Facial by IMAGE Skincare offered at AgeLess SPA, so don’t be alarmed by the warm, bubbling sensation that comes with the masque (think of it like champagne bubbles). The more warmth and bubbles you feel, the more it’s getting in there to get all of the junk out of your pores! I tend to feel this sensation the most around the apples of my cheeks where most of my congestion is.

I’m always a little pink on my cheeks after this treatment and for most of the day, but my skin is so clean, smooth, and dewy. I don’t suggest wearing makeup after this facial, as you will want your skin to breathe. And honestly, you will be glowing so much, you won’t even need it. On day two, my skin tone is so even and glowing with hydration and those little fine lines, look a little finer.

While the post-O2 Lift Facial glow is something I look forward to, remember my corky dentist analogy from above? As much as I would love to tell you this facial is the “cure all” to my skin type, it is not. So my esthetician recommended that I use an IMAGE Skincare moisturizer and cleanser.

The items she chose for my skin type were the IMAGE Skincare Vital C Intense Moisturizer, because of it’s potent kick of vitamin C to help with my rosacea, and it’s time-released hydration formula to give my skin hydration throughout the day and night. The IMAGE Skincare Ormedic Balancing Cleanser, because of gentle formula that soothes and balances skin with ingredients like aloe and organic green tea.

These products combined, along with O2 Lift Facial, help prevent breakouts, and help win the battle against my oily/dry skin. Trust me when I say, I understand that it can seem costly to maintain a regimen. So to help break down the idea, I get one of these facials twice a year, and I purchase these two products every six months or so (a little bit goes a long way!).

So how much does this perfect (and simple) skincare regimen really cost?

  • The O2 Lift Facial is $100.00 x 2 = $200.00 per year
  • The Vital C Intense Moisturizer is $62.00 x 2 = $124.00 per year
    • Using twice a day, that’s .17 cents per use for the year
  • The Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser is $29.00 = $58.00 per year
    • Using twice a day, that’s .08 cents per use for the year

That’s $382 a year for ALL of my skincare essentials. Think about all those products you go through so fast because they’re either not working or you simply just don’t like the product; it probably adds up to more than that. I’m so relieved that I know exactly what I need and don’t have to play guessing and hoping games at drugstores and beauty stores on what might work for my skin. With the O2 Lift Facial, cleanser, moisturizer, and a little help from a skincare professional, I’m able to put my best face forward because of the products and services that work for my skin and budget.

I can tell you right now, you don’t have to stop here, but sticking to the basics will definitely help your skin if your budget is tight. However, there is always the option to do seasonal facials or upgrade your facials to a Stem Cell Facial or HydraFacial, and incorporating other products into your regimens like serums and retinoids, but your esthetician will be able to guide you through all of the products suited for your skin type.

I hope this helps, dear friends! Wishing you and your skin happiness!


Ready to for an appointment? Inquire about one today! Click here for an appointment in Horseheads, NY, and here for an appointment at Tioga Downs Casino Resort.

– Amy Gessi

There Are No “Happy Endings” Here…

We were inspired by the ‘me too.’ movement and the article, 22 Brutally Honest Confessions From A Massage Therapist from Buzzfeed to shed light on what happens during a massage. We take great pride in the professionalism provided by our service providers and we expect the same from others who visit us for a massage or any other service. It’s time we educate others on what happens during a massage at our spa, increase awareness of the inappropriate behavior that may occur at other spas, but is not tolerated at AgeLess SPA, and protect our massage therapists from the inappropriate behavior.

Massage may not be for everyone, but often times we hear reasons why people won’t get a massage, and we realize their reasons tend to stem from the lack of education of massages. One of the most common responses we hear is how people think they’re going to be touched. This is why it’s important to note every single one of our massage therapists completed an intensive massage curriculum and are licensed to treat pain related concerns. A massage therapist’s mission is to help improve your quality of life by preventing or decreasing pain using a variety of massage modalities; not give a “happy ending” (if you know what we mean).

Additionally, based on the article from Buzzfeed, it’s clear some people perceive massage therapists as someone who would give them a “happy ending.” However, many of these occurrences are from the eyes of massage therapists across the pond where the culture is different, but we are aware it can happen anywhere. It’s not often one of our massage therapists experiences a client displaying inappropriate or suggestive behavior during a service, but in the event, it does occur, our massage therapists are expected to stop the massage the moment they realize a client is acting inappropriately, leave the room, and alert management.

So, what happens during a professional full body massage by a licensed massage therapist at AgeLess SPA?

First, your massage therapist will consult you on your needs (e.g., neck pain or lower back pain) privately in the massage room. After the consultation, they will step out of the room so you can undress to your level of comfort, and lay face down under the blanket on the massage table. It’s important to note that you stay under the blanket at all times except when your therapist is working on a certain area, like the back or legs, and will appropriately drape the blanket to expose those areas.

After a few minutes of getting settled, your massage therapist will come back in to make sure you are comfortable, and the massage will begin. Typically massages start at your neck and end at your feet, featuring hot towels and/or heating pads, but it depends on what you talked about in the consultation and your massage therapist’s unique modalities.

Most importantly, when getting a massage, you need to communicate with your therapist. They need to know if it’s too much pressure or not enough, and if you do or don’t like the particular modality they’re using, so don’t be afraid to kindly speak up at any point during the massage. You are in control of your body and they need to know your needs and feelings to make you feel relaxed and refreshed. This how you will get the most out of your time, money, and overall wellness experience.

It’s our mission to give you the wellness experience you deserve, but we can guarantee you won’t find a “happy ending” here. However, if you’re looking for help with lower back pain, tension headaches, muscle soreness, relaxation, or anything else massage can help with, our licensed professionals will gladly assist you and work on helping you feel your best.

AgeLess SPA Goes Green

At AgeLess SPA, we not only care about your overall wellness, but we also care about the overall wellness of the environment. That’s why we created our “AgeLess SPA Goes Green” program, which kicks off on Earth Day (April 22), in an effort to help eliminate waste in the environment. The best part? This is an opportunity for you to not only join in on our efforts but to save a little money! Simply bring in your empty Image Skincare bottles or containers to any AgeLess SPA location in the Finger Lakes region and you will receive 10% off the total of your next Image Skincare purchase.

Here’s how it works:

  • Once you’ve used up the product in your Image Skincare bottle or container, give it a rinse and bring it into any AgeLess SPA location
  • Bring in as many Image Skincare bottles or containers to receive a 10% discount on the total of your next Image Skincare purchase that day
  • We will accept any Image Skincare bottle or container regardless of where you purchased it
  • We will then take all of the bottles and containers and recycle them!
  • It’s that easy!

So if you love Image Skincare and the environment as much as we do, we encourage you to go green with us and bring in those Image Skincare bottles!

Be sure to take a picture or selfie and tag us in it with #AgeLessSPAGoesGreen! We’ll be reposting your pictures!


How The Founders of AgeLess SPA Adjust to Daylight Saving Time

Ahh, it’s that time of year again where we spring forward and lose an hour of sleep, which makes it hard to adjust to our day. But what if we didn’t let Daylight Saving Time (DST) ruin our routine while we adjust to the time change where it feels like we never get back that hour of sleep until we set our clocks back in the fall?

The founders, Michael and Michelle Cilip, of AgeLess SPA don’t let Daylight Saving Time affect them at all, though, and they can’t really have those kinds of hiccups with running a small business that is growing at an exceptional rate. So how exactly do they not let Daylight Saving Time get the best of them? The answer is quite simple.

The Cilips follow a certain trick that they got from SomnoMed, which includes making a plan, regulating your sleep pattern, staying conscious of your physical activity, creating an environment to sleep in, and avoiding the clock when it’s time to sleep. Find out more details below on how the Cilips follow this simple trick!

According to SomnoMed, the first step to do is plan on starting your adjustment to Daylight Saving the Saturday before Daylight Saving Time. This means to modify when you wake up and go to sleep by 15 minutes increments until Daylight Saving Time occurs. Once DST occurs, you will just have to wake up at your usual time or earlier, and already feel adjusted, as noted by SomnoMed.

The second step to follow is regulating your sleep pattern, according to SomnoMed. It’s important to make sure you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. SomnoMed also suggest taking a nap for at least 20 minutes if that is an option for you and does not affect your sleep pattern at night if you are feeling very tired and feel you need more sleep.

The third step to follow is to have at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like walking outside when the sun is still out, about three times a week to help you sleep at night, according to SomnoMed. However, it’s important that this exercise takes place in the afternoon and not the evening before you go to sleep to not completely mess up your sleep pattern, according to SomnoMed.

The fourth and one of our favorite steps is to create a sleep environment you genuinely enjoy being and sleeping in, according to SomnoMed. It’s important to make sure the your room is dark and you have tools to drown out the outside light and noises. SomnoMed suggests using ear plugs, a white noise machine, or an eye mask. Additionally, SomnoMed suggests keeping your room between 60-75 F for a comfortable temperature to sleep in. And mostly importantly, SomnoMed suggests unplugging from the social media world and anything that has to do with electronics an hour before bed to unwind before you go to sleep (we might have to make this a habit for the rest of the year and not just for DST!)

Lastly, we know this may be hard for some people who tend to look at the clock, but SomnoMed suggests avoiding the clock and if you are unable to sleep then pick up a book or journal (not your smartphone or electronic device) to help you relax your mind to help you sleep.

The Cilips find this trick from SomoMed to be quite effective and they swear by it for when it’s time to start getting ready for a time change, so we hope this also helps you with your overall wellness needs!

Find more in-depth details on ways to adjust to Daylight Saving Time from SomnoMed here.