Note: This story is part of a sponsored content partnership with Nirvana by Autumn; however, all opinions are the author’s own.
After about an hour that involved double cleansing, a cranberry enzyme, steam, serums and more and a power wash for my face, I felt amazing and rejuvenated. My skin never has looked so good.
“The way you feel right now is why I became an esthetician,” said Autumn Davis, owner of Nirvana by Autumn inside of Burfield + Remington (150 N. Schuyler Ave.) in Kankakee.
Unfortunately, I’ve been doing this whole “skincare routine” thing wrong, and I only just recently started to become serious about taking care of my skin. I’ll admit it — I exfoliate too much.
“First, we’re gonna cut out exfoliating everyday,” Davis told me after I described my skincare routine to her. “Exfoliating too much could explain why your skin is oily and dry.”
That’s why when Autumn offered me a customized facial, I couldn’t refuse. Halfway into my facial, I understood why her business is called “Nirvana by Autumn.” I was able to relax and sink into that transcendent state of being.
Additionally, September is National Self-Care Month. While in our daily lives, a lot of us tend to put the needs and concerns of others first, taking care of ourselves is just as, if not more, vital to our day-to-day survival. Why not start with one thing you carry with you every day? Your face.
“Self-care is probably one of my favorite topics, so much that I dedicated my career around it,” Davis said. “I believe in the power of self-care because it’s how you get your power back. We spend so much time living our busy lives that we forget to make time for ourselves. It’s in those moments of self-care that we can relax and truly appreciate our lives and become better people.”
In high school, Autumn wanted to become a teacher, but she was suffering from bad acne.
“One day, I went to a spa to get an eyebrow wax, and the lady asked me if I’d ever had a facial,” Davis said. “I didn’t know what a facial was, but I signed up, and I fell in love.”
After attending aesthetic school and working at the now-closed Giavanni’s Salon and Spa (formerly in Bradley), to learn the ropes, Autumn then opened Nirvana by Autumn inside of Burfield + Remington in September 2017.
Along with facials, Nirvana by Autumn offers services such as waxing, eyebrow and eyelash tinting and eyelash lifting.
If you’re in the mood for a facial, you’ll have to carve out some time for it. There are numerous steps, and you shouldn’t skip any of them.
“Skin is definitely not one size fits all,” Davis said.
The first step of my facial involved a double cleanse of my face and neck. The first cleansing is to remove any surface dirt and makeup. The second was used to actually clean my skin.
Then came a light enzyme exfoliation application that just happened to be cranberry scented, used along with steam to remove any dead or damaged skin cells to brighten and firm the skin, giving it a radiant glow.
Up next was the ultrasonic machine. I’ll be honest — I developed a love/hate relationship with this tool. While I welcomed the strange, new feeling of water quickly cleaning out my pores, I was quick to dismiss and frown upon the tool when Autumn started using it to work on my nose.
I had a number of very stubborn blackheads I never could rid myself of — until then. Although there was some continuous pinching, the power-wash for my face got rid of the blackheads, and they haven’t returned.
After the power wash came a facial massage. Need I say more? This massage Autumn carefully took her time with, helped to stimulate blood flow, relax my facial muscles and help with product absorption.
Next, a mango-scented mask was applied to help hydrate and restore my skin’s lipid barrier, trapping moisture in my skin to make sure it stays hydrated, before serums such as vitamins E and A were applied with a cold jade roller (that soon warmed on my skin), to normalize my skins natural oils and firm my skin.
The last steps were applying moisturizer, eye cream and sun protection.
“You should always be using some sort of sun protection or sunscreen in your daily skin care routine, whether it’s cloudy, sunny, raining or snowing out,” Autumn told me.
I just recently started using an eye cream and a tea tree toner in my skin care routine shortly after I turned 25. I know I’m only getting older, and I wanted to make the effort to become proactive on taking better care of my skin.
The biggest thing I cut back on is morning and evening exfoliation with a brush when I wash my face, now only using my brush one to two times per week. Over-exfoliating strips the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and more susceptible to wrinkles. I’ve found the new changes to be helpful in conquering my combination skin.
Other tips Autumn offered up everyone can use to maintain healthy skin is drinking plenty of water (I drink 40 to 60 oz. of water per day, which is particularly new for me), have a balanced skin-care routine (I’m well on my way!), wear sunscreen everyday (I still need to find the right one for my skin), eat a healthy diet (this always will be a challenge for me, but lately I’ve been eating much better) and get regular facials every four to six weeks — I definitely will be going back to Autumn for another facial in about a month’s time.
Don’t miss your chance for a skin-changing facial with Autumn. Head to the Daily Journal’s Facebook page and publicly share our video of my facial with Autumn for a chance to win a free, customized, 60-minute facial, valued at $70. The winner will have until Nov. 30 to claim their facial. The contest closes at noon Monday. Appointments can be made by going to nirvanabyautumn.com or by calling 815-507-4099.