BE Services

Retinol: What you really should know...

How does “that woman” get such smooth and bright skin?

Here, I lend my thoughts on RETINOL, a topic that tends to come up often when clients are inquiring about the best "anti-aging" skin room facial tactics to at home treatment care.  Most clients are first exposed to Retinol (and its many forms) in a medical spa or dermatologist office.    

Some believe that it is an amazing age renewal staple, and some tread much more lightly. However, it’s an ingredient to be well-informed about prior to using. It’s often recommended as a “cure-all” power-ingredient, but should it be?    Let's dig in. 

Retinol 101 - What it is?


Retinol, of the retinoid family, is a derivative of Vitamin A. There are many forms, names (retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinal, tretinoin) and percentages available of retinoids and it comes in both natural forms (for example, in rose-hip) and most popularly - synthetically derived forms.

True to it's longevity.... it’s been around since the late 1940s and was a "breakout"  in the 1980s when it hit the market as an anti-aging ingredient.  Later it became a hot item prescribed as Accutane or every teens’ favorite, Retin-A have been highly used by dermatologists for years. 

What It Does

Essentially Retinol plumps and sloughs off skin cells in which effectively “pushes wrinkles up from within the skin."    It works by stimulating and increasing the production of healthy skin cells.” This cell turn over can lead to more even skin tone and a brighter complexion.

Who It's Best For

If you’ve spent a substantial amount of time in the sun, retinol can help you reverse first signs of aging that have resulted from that prolonged sun exposure. The formulations that are widely available today without a prescription are lower in retinol concentration that can be enjoyed by virtually anyone who wants to refine skin texture, battle breakouts and fine lines.

Added Benefits

Retinol "action" can boost your collagen production, leading to a reduction in fewer wrinkles, and firmer skin.” It can even help unclog pores, which is why so many dermatologists recommend retinoids for teens fighting acne.

Retinol VS. Retin-A - What's the difference?   

In short, retinol is the stuff you can by at your local sephora and retin-A requires a prescription from your derm (as does Accutane).

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So why isn't everyone using it?

This is where my experienced, well researched and thoughtful opinion comes in.  There's a few points to debate on the topic of retinoid use.

1.  Retinols are put in so many products.  Sunlight makes products less effective, but most importantly — and we want to make this clear because it’s so, so important — retinol can make you very photosensitive. If you don’t wear sunscreen, you can get burned.  

2.  Many (including myself) Skin Therapists also believe that retinol is overused. “Retinol is useful for people who have genetically challenging acne. However, in my opinion, if you have not had consistent breakout since the onset of puberty, or tend to have pimples here and there, retinols are usually not the answer to your breakout problems.   

3. Worst yet, Retionols used over time or in intense treatments, can thin out your skin or change how the oil glands within your skin work.  

Caution When Using:   Heavy-duty retinoid medications, like Accutane, are so strong that they can cause birth defects and liver issues. Retinoids can can over due your skin, especially if you’re young enough - that you just don't need that heavy of a hitter. 

My bottom line.... 

There are multiple products and specific ingredients that can catalyze a response just like retinoids produce. Retinoids are pretty harsh on the skin and as a formulator, I've included this same byproduct and action through botanical extracts.  I personally do not want to subject myself to treatments I walk away from completely red and peeling. At Beauty Ecology, accurate exfoliating practices at home and services such as professional-strength none invasive peels and  our newest tech skin needling collagen rejuvenation pen - are incredible alternatives that work.    

When to consider stronger exfoliating and cell renewal treatments.

I suggest strong cellular turnover type products for those well into their aging process and in need of a boost. Typically, this would be someone over the age of 35, because its known our skin cell turnover rate starts slowing around 30 years old.


Natural alternative ingredients to look for that can help with cell turnover:

-Vitamin C (we use Vitamin C Esters)  which possesses a superior ability to stimulate growth of the cells (fibroblasts) that help produce collagen, elastin and fosters tissue growth and repair.  Fat-soluble Vitamin C Ester-unlike ascorbic acid, drives deeper and does not go rancid when exposed to air giving it's full potential as an anti-aging agent.

From the Deep Sea:  Marine actives provide concentrates of vital elements in our age-defying skin care products, and are the safest and most effective alternatives available.


-Our active seaweed ingredients (Laminaria + HCL algae complex) testing demonstrated a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles by 35% over a 90-day period. This demonstrates our ability to deliver results comparable to Retin-A and Alpha Hydroxyl Acids without the skin irritation usually associated with those ingredients. WOW, right?!

-Red Algae is beloved due to its high water and vitamin content, red algae is a perfect ingredient to help with the exfoliating process.  I use red algae in our skincare products to clarify and balance the skin, bring cellular renewal and for its firming effects.

-Alpha hydroxy acids (our sea flora glycolic peel)

-Marine Criste Extract or “Sea Retinol” is a patented Sea Retinol visibly smoothes wrinkles and creates a radiant complexion.

-Flower Acids are an incredible breakthrough! Flower acids are obtained from the hibiscus flower in South Africa to provide skin exfoliation without the burn. This anti-inflammatory approach is made possible by the fact that it contains pyruvic acid (an AHA) that converts to lactic acid only when it has penetrated into the skin. This allows for a gradual peel “without the burn.”

-Rosehip seed oil is also an excellent source of trans-retinoic acid that may not have the risk of potential irritation that prescription retinoid acid might cause. Rosehip is plentiful in our CBD Skin Healing Booster.


How to properly choose and use retinol.

Before purchasing OTC retinol or getting a prescription through your dermatologist, here are some basic guidelines:

- All forms of Vitamin A break down and become unstable in the presence of exposed light and air, so it’s crucial to purchase retinol that is packaged in opaque containers or tubes, which is why they often come in metal tubes in prescription form.

- Do not apply retinol daily, but rather every other day. Gradual usage is key here so that your skin can acclimate to this active ingredient. If your skin is resilient and shows no signs of sensitivity, thereafter you may apply it once a day. Stop using retinol if irritation occurs with persistent use.

- The best time to apply retinol is at night because exposure to the sun can decrease its effectiveness.

- Use nourishing ingredients to help protect your skin while using this potent vitamin. Our Evoq products are wonderful to use in conjunction (and sometimes in place of) with retinol.

- Always wear sunscreen on a daily basis when using retinol.

The drawbacks of topical prescription retinoids.

- Skin irritation and side effects including: dryness, flakiness, thinning of the skin (if overused), sun sensitivity and redness.

- Filler ingredients such as: stearic acid, isopropyl myristate, polyoxyl 40 stearate, stearyl alcohol, and butylated hydroxytoluene are commonly used in retinoid creams and gels. Though not all ingredients prove toxic, do these align with your skin care philosophy?

- Cannot be used during pregnancy.

- Not suitable for sensitive skin, rosacea or eczema.


As noted, EVOQ BEAUTY brings the most effective and biomimetic ingredients the forces of nature can provide. While I do understand that the medical approach to skin care, it's good to know there are more options for everyday care in the world of vitamin A!  Let's not be so hard on ourselves, and our skin!


XO Kassandra  ** Book online or ping me if you have questions about our incredible skin resurfacing (GLOW) treatments!   

The Healthy Way to GO & STAY Blonde


Ugh - there are so many nuances to doing blonde RIGHT and keeping it healthy.   When highlighting, you're lifting out your natural pigment. 

Also, it's just as important of the quality of lightening system you're using.

Beauty Ecology is knows for our clay protein + marine extract lightening system. The hair is left in better health and avoids breakage - and may I say BRASS FREE? 

The other incredible service we provide is a keratin express add-on to instantly fill the cuticle, bring back shine and both stop and prevent breakage. Time: 10 min

You can do your part at home (especially your blondies) by keeping your hair healthy and strong by following these steps.   

Facial Cupping - Plump & Glow Services at BE

A Modern Skin Health Approach with Facial Cupping

Facial Cupping History - Women from Asia to Europe have been utilizing  negative pressure techniques called facial cupping for facial rejuvenation and youth maintenance for 5000 years.

This gentle and effective treatment of a light suction technique is as an all-natural alternative to a surgical facelift or laser and chemical treatments.

Our current facial clients are loving how it tones the facial muscles and reduces under eye puffiness. It literally give you a lift by improving the blood circulation to your facial muscles. Say good-bye to double chin, jowls and facial bloating!

Instant Benefits Inside - Out

This de-stressing facial treatment increases circulation and nutrients to the skin, increases lymphatic flow, and reduces inflammation.


By increasing blood flow and circulation to the skin, your skin will regain its youthful appearance. Results are seen and felt immediately. Be impressed by its subtle power and incredible results.

Body and Face Metabolic & Structural Benefits

Over time, metabolic waste gets built up in our superficial fascia. When this happens, our superficial fascia can develop restrictions that impede proper flow of nutrients and waste products between our skin, fascia, and muscles. 

Suction creates space, allowing for the dermis to make new choices with regards to nutrients, drainage, and repair. Our facial soft-tissue is arranged in a series of concentric layers: skin, subcutaneous fat, superficial fascia, mimetic muscle, deep facial fascia, and facial nerves, parotid duct and the buccal fat pad. And in cupping massage, the layers get de-compressed a bit; just enough to make a difference.

How does it work?

* Suction tubes designed for the face are used to rhythmically and gently vacuum tissues of the face and neck.

* The suction created, lifts, tones, and plumps muscles. It relaxes facial muscles and plumps the lines father time has etched on your face.

* It moves toxins and stagnant blood out, and ushers new nutrient-enriched blood and fluids in, to detoxify your face; thereby repairing and nourishing your face.

* Its deep invigorating action increases elastin and collagen; preserving our youthfulness. It reverses gravity’s effects on your face; giving a youthful glow.

* It gives your face a lymphatic drainage and increases circulation, resulting in a clearer, cleaner, more even complexion with beautiful- healthy color.

 Results & Benefits You Can Expect:

– Relaxes tension in facial muscles, easing expression lines
– Improves blood circulation for color and even tone
– Plumps wrinkles and facial lines
– Lift Sagging Face (cheek-lift, eyelid-lift, jowl-lift)
– Tones up and evens out the jaw-line
– Facial glow as fresh nutrients brought to the epidermis
– Tighten pores
– Drains stagnant fluid to ease puffiness and reduce edema
– Increases collagen production for youthfulness
– Improves elasticity to tighten loose skin
– Soften and reduce scar tissue
– Clear Acne
– Tighten ‘loose’ veins that appear red on skin surface
– Reduce headaches and migraines
– Relieve sinus issues
– Increases lymphatic drainage around the face
– Enhances absorption of face products you use
– Loosen rigid muscles of TMJ

Schedule the Treatment ...Plump n Glow. 


For more information about our integrative skin therapies and cupping, please contact us for a free consultation or to make an appointment. 
30 Minutes: $45
Add On Focus Facial: $20

Book Online Here

Salon: 612.824.7611

Text: 612.386.4044

BE Well.    xo

The #1 KEY Ingredient to Heal Frizz & Damage (to have & to hold)

hair keratin

There is a fundamental relationship with your hair and essential amino acids.  

When left untreated, it undermines both your hair color and the cuticle integrity.  

But, when nurtured and treated right…. It can be a game changer! 

Don’t go it alone.  

The overwhelm of TOO MUCH OF EVERYTHING is real -- especially when it comes to walking the Sephora or Ulta beauty isles.  

Don’t waste your money on one trick ponies like shine serum based silicones. They actually hover and pull out your hairs natural moisture content.   
It’s really fundamental.

The Long and Short of it.

No matter what texture and type of locks you have --  fuller, youthful and longer lasting color are all part of every woman’s  #HAIRGOALS!

If bodacious, thick and shiny locks do NOT come naturally to you, the right ingredients and strategic salon services can be game-changing.

Get the quick cliff notes on exactly what to do when it comes to creating your most healthy and happy hair relationship. 

Dull. Destroyed. Devitalized.  

Topic at hand?  


Are you IN?
Fundamentally, shiny and more youthful hair starts at the root…..”aka” your nutrition and the steak on your plate.

Or OUT..
Shinier locks are also a direct reflection of how harsh, synthetic (silicone cheap cover-ups) or chemical laden your home products are.

Another key catalyst of breakage prone and dull hair is from harsh professional chemical services. (See how we address this below).

Perfect Hair Strand Check.

If you have the following strand checklist covered, then no need to read further.

  • Flexible movement and bounce
  • Vibrant color that shines
  • Concealed split ends
  • Strong
  • Thick and full of body

And If not…..Stop and REFLECT as we DELIVER HOW TO GET IT.

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Does your hairstylist have your best interest in mind (and cuticle)?

Hair cannot repair itself, so we have to put back in what was taken out.  Your hair’s condition is paramount and always comes first.   

At BE, we’ve re-engineered your color and home care essentials to keep your hair healthy, shiny and in top condition.

Traditional Hair Color + Amino Acid Degradation
Aside from toxic chemicals and off-gassing fumes harming our health, the traditional components in hair color such as ammonia (and tricky silent substitutions) severely depletes the hair’s delicate integrity and ability to hold your hair color.   

Color Conditioning Technology at BE
When I pioneered our professional color services at Beauty Ecology over 8 years ago, I sought first to remove deplenishing ammonia and peroxide altogether and replaced it with gentle marine enzymes - keeping your hair free of damage.

What happens when your FIRST LAYER of DEFENCE is compromised?

Net Net:  Your cuticle provides the first layer of defense for your hair.

Strand Anatomy
Your hair is made up of the cuticle (outer layer), cortex (middle layer comprised of protein), and the medulla (the center).

The Mane Appearance to Shine
When undamaged, your cuticles lay flat like tiles on a roof and your hair appears shiny.

On the Flip Side….When in Lack of Keratin
When damaged for too long and deprived of what it needs, it can never fully recover. Double the assault, It loses the capability to hold moisture, resulting in frizzy, dry, brittle hair -- as well as the inability to holding a curl and taking longer to dry.


Surviving the Split (ends) & Creating Your Best Happy Hair Relationship

Co-collaborate with our professional BE color team with an end-of-summer Keratin Therapy Session!  

Experience the Benefits with our Keratin Express Add-on to your next hair color!

To Have and to Hold

  • Prolongs hair color and tone
  • Gives fine hair more visible volume and bounce
  • Keeps hair outer layer on lock-down
  • Helps hold and lock in moisture
  • Keeps hair flexible and less prone to breakage  

Get ALL your questions asked about Keratin Services HERE.

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A Proven Non-toxic Deodorant that works! A no pit-fall that smells refreshing, is safe, and a "sure" solution.

Hey lovely!

Go no further and START HERE.  Remember this?  
 A pre-millennial, of course.....

I (much like you), was at a loss of mineral salts just "NOT WORKING " in performance, let alone the slew of other natural brands that simply hide chemicals or claimed that there are just a "little bit" of the potential harmful ingredients.  

You've maybe hunted the "DIY" online communities of skin care crafters to the leading brands - concoctions - leaving you with a weird residue, yellow pit-stains and a by-product that actually made you smell worse.


Toxin overload!  

A fury of potential toxic ingredients promote the increase of breast cancer and other negative health issues by seeping into our skin, adipose tissue (fat) and bloodstream. 

Get the DEETS on why Evoq Pureoderant has been our TOP SELLER @beautyecology Organic Salon for over 6 years.  

Formulated by workin' women, for the workin' woman.   


Aluminum is the active ingredient in most antiperspirants, and it functions by forming a precipitate that physically blocks sweat glands.  

The reason chemical companies put aluminum in anti-perspirants is to “dry out sweat by injecting aluminum ions in the cells that line the sweat ducts. When the aluminum ions are drawn into the cells, water flows in; the cells begin to swell, squeezing the ducts closed so sweat cannot get out,” according to the Julie Gabriel, The Green Beauty Guide

Infertility to Breast Cancer

From infertility-causing ingredients to toxic chemicals linked to Alzheimer’s and breast cancer, antiperspirants host ingredients that are directly absorbed into the skin.

Common Toxic Antiperspirant Ingredient Side Effects

  • Aluminum Compounds (Aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine) – Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, skin irritation
  • Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl) –  Endocrine disruption, environmental toxin, cancer, reproductive disorders, premature aging, immune toxicant, allergen
  • Phthalates – Cancer, birth defects, infertility, allergen
  • Proplyene glycol – Skin, eyes, and lungs irritation, reproductive and fetal neurotoxin linked to kidney and liver damage, enhanced skin absorption
  • Silica – Possible carcinogen if contaminated with crystalline quartz, skin, eyes and lung irritation
  • Steareths – Endocrine disruption, developmental/reproductive toxicity, skin irritation
  • Talc – Non-reproductive organ system toxin, possible carcinogen if contaminated with asbestiform fibers
  • Triclosan – Antibacterial agent banned in several countries due contribution to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, endocrine disruption, muscle weakness, skin, eyes, and lung irritatio



Suited for men and women alike, our botanical-packed, top-selling Pure-odorant provides 24 hour protection without parabens, phthalates, or aluminum. Organic Aloe soothes while a concentrated blend of powerful organic essential oils deodorize, fight off bacteria, and calm irritation.

Evoq Organic Pureoderant

Natural Pureoderant Key Benefits: 

Contains remineralizing properties that form a protective block on skin to prevent odor­ causing bacteria.

An antibacterial humectant that moisturizes and soothes skin.

Combats free radicals and prevents inflammation, including irritation, and ingrown hairs.

*Aqua (Water), *Potassium Alum (Mineral Salts), *Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar Gum), *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, *Hyssopus Officinalis (Hyssop) Extract, *Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Oil, *Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Seed Oil, *Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, *Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove Bud) Essential Oil, *Essential Oil Aromatic Blend.

*Curated with organic, wild­craft, and food­-grade ingredients

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