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From Wannabe High School Arts Teacher, To Esthetician: Learn More About This Spa Owner’s Unusual Route To Esthetics And Business Ownership.

Kayla Nelson, co-owner of White Elm Spa in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada shows how sometimes life has better plans for you than you have for yourself.  She gives us the lowdown on some of the best skincare products on the market today, according to Kayla, and passes on some of her best non-invasive tips for delaying the aging process.

This is a five-minute read, packed with skin-loving goodness you won’t want to miss. 

1. Tell Us About Yourself, What Do You Do?

I’m Kayla, a licensed esthetician with over 8 years industry experience. I specialize in both skin treatments and body sugaring — though I love providing a variety of services!

I own White Elm Spa in Winnipeg, Manitoba with my business partner Gabriella. Together, we strive to offer our clients as many local and natural products and services as possible.

When I'm not running my business or providing esthetic treatments, I enjoy relaxing outside with my husband, my dog and my cat, playing in my garden and fussing over my houseplants.

2.How Did You Get Started As An Esthetician?

After graduating from high school, I wanted nothing more than to become a high school art teacher. But boredom set in within two years of attending university and I started skipping class to go home to paint and draw.

Soon enough, painting on canvas, or my walls, became old, so I decided to start painting on my nails.  Which sparked a flame in me, I didn’t know I had.

Nail art became all I could think about. This is when my husband (then boyfriend) suggested I try taking the esthetics course at MC College in Winnipeg.

The second I walked into the classroom, I knew I had found my calling.

3. What Are Your Top 5 Favorite Skincare Products Now, And Why?

1. Ormedic Balancing Bio-Peptide Crème by IMAGE

This has been my go-to night cream for years.  It smells like a creamsicle and leaves my skin super hydrated without feeling thick or greasy. It’s also packed with antioxidants to help fight premature aging.

2. Create Botanicals Cleansing Oil by a Local Winnipeg Esthetician

This magical oil is the creation of a local Winnipeg esthetician, and it’s packed full of skin nourishing oils. I use this in the morning, and in the evening, to help melt away old makeup, dirt and sweat.

3. Ageless Total Resurfacing Masque by IMAGE

I use this product three times per week, and I look forward to it every time. It’s a blend of AHAs and BHAs that not only help to even out skin tone and texture, but also helps to fight acne at the source.

4. Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturizer, SPF 32, by IMAGE

This SPF smells like candy and doesn’t leave me feeling greasy. It doesn’t leave a white cast either. Need I say more?

5. Iluma Intense Brightening Serum by IMAGE

This serum helps to calm my eczema and soothes freshly treated skin. It also helps to lighten any spots my pimples leave behind!

4. How Did You Hear About Fraîcheur Ice Globes? How Do You Include Them In Your Services?

I first heard about Fraîcheur Ice Globes on Instagram, through an influencer.  I was enamored with how gorgeous they looked, and my inner magpie needed these pretty globes.

I kept looking through all the color options and finally landed on a pair of beautiful purple ones. Which I intended on keeping for myself, but once I started using them, I knew my clients would fall in love with them too.

So I brought them to work and began using them on my clients after peels and dermaplaning appointments to reduce redness and irritation. Clients now ask for the “cold things” during their facials!

5. Tell Me Some Of The Funniest Myths About Skin Care That You Have Heard From Clients.

One I get ALL THE TIME about Dermaplaning Treatments is that some clients believe that they are going to grow a beard after the treatment! If that were the case, I would be out of a job.

6. What Three Products Should Everyone Include In Their Skincare Routine?

1. SPF

If you’re only going to use one skincare product, make it SPF. Protecting the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays will do more for your skin than any serum or mask ever could.

2. Oil or Cream Cleanser

I like to double-cleanse my face daily, using an oil, or cream cleanser for my first cleanse and then following up with a second cleanse, using a foaming cleanser.  I find the initial oil, or cream cleanse, helps to break down the sweat, oils, and makeup — which is all then removed entirely using the foaming cleanser. 

I believe that fully cleansing the skin this way helps your other products work more efficiently, and it’s something everyone should include in their skincare routine.

3. Vitamin C Serum

Environmental damage and free radicals play a huge part in premature aging. Fighting back with antioxidants like vitamin C can help protect against damaging UV exposure. Everyone can benefit from including some vitamin C serum in their skincare routines.

7. What Do You Think About Celebrity Skincare Lines? Have You Tested Something?

I tend to stay away from celebrity skincare lines. I prefer to buy from skincare lines that have been formulated by skincare professionals. However, there’s no judgement on my part, if you really like a celebrity and want to support them, I say go for it. I’d just recommend that if you do want to purchase celebrity skincare lines, make sure you do your research first; and make an educated decision about the products you use on your face.

8. Any Tips For Women Around Age 30 For Their Skincare?

Being 31 myself, I believe prevention is key. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to prevent premature ageing before the signs of ageing start popping up!

If you make sure to apply an SPF, and keep your skin hydrated, you’ll always keep your skin firm and nourished. Most people forget to apply sun protection to their neck, chest and hands and that’s usually the first place you will notice signs of ageing. So my tip is to pay attention to those areas when applying SPF and moisturizer.  And if you have any left over, give your hands a nice treat as well.

9. How Has The Pandemic Situation Affected Your Business Lately?

The town of Manitoba, where we’re located, has been shut down a total of three times since the pandemic broke out, and it has taken a toll on all small businesses. While we’re all doing our best to support each other during these tough times, some businesses just couldn’t keep their heads above water and had to close their doors for good.

Having to keep on our toes and make sudden changes every time we close our doors has been difficult for our staff and our clients.

10. What Services Do You Offer At Your Salon?

We offer manicures, pedicures, Fraîcheur Ice globes facials, natural & holistic facials, vagacials, dermaplaning, chemical peels, body sugaring & waxing, lash lifts and lash and brow tints.

We love to learn about new and upcoming treatments, so we are always looking to increase our service repertoire.