The New Esthy Handbook: An Essential Guide For Novice or Nervous Estheticians

Summer Read for Beauty Students

Everybody knows that secrets are for surprise birthday parties not skin care information. Transparency is one of the keys behind the popularity of Rescue Rittenhouse Spa.

This same level of transparency has been applied to my new book- The New Esthy Handbook: An Essential Guide for Novice or Nervous Estheticians. Inspired by the numerous questions I’ve received from young estheticians on my blog and my own experiences years ago as a clueless graduate, fresh out of aesthetics school, my book takes the reader by the hand and shares the critical information most important to acquiring a job. Recognizing that today’s employment competition is international, The New Esthy Handbook is written from a global perspective and also provides insight on the rapidly changing demographics and needs of the spa consumer in the U.S. and abroad and the opportunities that abound for the savvy therapist.

Anyone who knows an esthetic or cosmetology student, (or owns a school) should recommend this book. Available for download on

Author and Esthetician, Linda Harding

Staff Pick: Cellcosmet for Rosacea

Rosacea is a frustrating skin condition that begins subtly, with the intermittent appearance of redness along the cheeks and nose. Often one of the problems women face is how to eliminate the buildup of dead cells on the face without causing undue irritation like many other exfoliants are prone to do.

Enter Cellcosmet Activator Gel. This product is one of my all time favorites (perfect for all skin types and pregnant women) because it ever so gently dissolves dead skin making you look as though you’ve had a light peel. It contains no alcohol and is botanically based so sufferers of Rosacea won’t experience redness after applying it. What they will experience is skin that is soft, glowing, super smooth and receptive to whatever product they wish to apply next.
I personally like to give myself a treatment with Activator Gel by smoothing a single pump on to my face and throat, letting it work for about ten minutes and then removing it with a warm wash cloth. Ultra fresh skin!
Oh and did I mention that it comes in a convenient unbreakable pump bottle? What could be better?

Rescue Spa Esthetician, Linda Harding

Trend Spotting

Working in the treatment room at Rescue Spa affords me the opportunity to spot the trends early on. Now this can be a good or bad thing. Some trends are worth following. Others, maybe not so much.

For instance, trending heavily now are sallow skin and rough dry hands. Even though we haven’t been deluged with snow the weather has been less than agreeable. One of the smartest and most economical ways to look perpetually sun kissed is to invest in a self tanner like Dr. Gross’ Alpha Beta Glow Pad. These little alpha hydroxy loaded gems not only gently remove the buildup of dead cells that keep your skin from looking bright but also provide a measured drench of soy proteins which delivers color deep into the skin. You’ll look like you just jetted up from Exuma after a long weekend with your BFFs.

Which leads me to another trend; rough dry hands. I know, it is cold outside and staying smooth and hydrated can be tough. But with the constant movie making in Philadelphia why would you risk running into Bradley Cooper or Terrence Howard with hands too rough to extend for a kiss? I love Get Fresh and their entire line of products for hands body and feet. Get a tiny scoop of sugar scrub and gently massage your hands together for 30 seconds paying particular attention to the palms. Rinse well and slather on a bit of body crème or for really dry hands foot crème. Commit to doing this for yourself before you go to bed each night for just one week. Voila’. Feel the difference.

Spring will be here before you know it and look at you, already on the fast track to gorgeousness.

Rescue Esthetician, Linda Harding

Mad Men Moment

I have oily skin. Despite the fact that my skin is beginning to change it still has a personality disorder which causes it to believe it’s a Fry Daddy, especially in the summer. So it was with great reluctance that I used the Eve Lom cleanser given to me by Rescue owner Danuta Mieloch. It felt so counterintuitive. It comes in a little jar and looks like a Vaseline body scrub?! But when I touched it I fell instantly in love. I am obsessed with this product. I have a very Mad Men moment each time I use it, it’s so wonderfully 1960’s. Joan Holloway would love this product. It makes me want to sit at my Grandmother’s vanity table and apply a full face of makeup just so I can Eve Lom it off. It has to be one of the lightest silkiest most luxurious cleansers out there. And it breaks down makeup like nobody’s business. When I get home at night I’m tired and really not trying to do a lot with a skin care ritual. Eve Lom makes it so easy. You simply massage this product into your skin and watch it liquefy into a light oily consistency. You then press a warm moist cloth to the skin which will remove it easily. Follow this with a cool moist cloth press and you’re done. Use whatever is appropriate for your skin afterwards; for me it’s a spritz of Ayurvedic rosewater and a little Valmont Factor 3 eye cream.

Remember: oil removes oil. Eve Lom is very compatible with my skin type and seems to be exactly what it needs.

For all our brides-to-be who are still waffling on your honeymoon destination, please check out my interview in Les Nouvelle Esthétiques magazine with Tracey Archer, Spa Director extraordinaire of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados. This resort has become the go to spot for celebrity weddings.

Esthetician Linda Harding-Bond

Passage To India

The wonderful thing about working at an award winning spa is that you have access to some of the best products and services in the world. The bad thing is that your level of expectation at other spas is very high and you have no tolerance for service that is mediocre.

That however will not be my concern next month. Moontide Consulting aka Linda has been invited to train the spa therapists at the Oberoi Hotels in India for the month of April. The Oberoi Hotel Group has been inducted into the Hall of Fame for luxury and excellence and is ranked by Travel & Leisure magazine as #1 in the world!

I will be training at seven locations including the Himalayas, Agra which hosts the spectacular Taj Mahal, gorgeous Udaipur, site of the James Bond flick Octopussy and Mumbai which I hear is like New York City on steroids. I will take a very serious arsenal of Rescue’s products with me to ensure that I’ll look presentable after the 14 hour flight even if my internal clock is going haywire but I’ll consult with Rescue owner Danuta as well, who has quite a few air miles logged from her frequent junkets to Paris and Poland. My thoughts are to take Biologigue Recherché P50 (of course), mist like crazy with their
L’eauxgenante and layer Valmont’s Hydra 3 serum & cream which delivers 15x the amount of hydration three levels deep into the skin. (This will work while in the Himalayas too because of the cold and high altitude).

Upon arrival, I’ll give my skin a good dose of Valmont’s Renewing Pack and then transition to a daily regimen of their Elixir Eye Crème, Neck and Adaptation which is great for combination skin. Environs’ sun block is also essential.

I miss my co-workers already (there’s no place like home) but I’m very excited to try the Ayurvedic treatments that our Indian cohorts offer and learn something new. I’ll blog as I go along and hopefully return to Philly with a more global outlook and vision for the future.




Linda’s Beauty Bag Must Haves!

“These are the products I can’t live without!” – Esthetician, Linda Harding

Antica Farmacista Diffuser 500 ml in Champagne– Infuses the air with a super long lasting, constant and beautiful scent. It lasts all year!

Me & the Girls Wedding Body Scrub -This vegan exfoliant is created by Sharon Hackney a local entrepreneur. It has the perfect blend of hydrating oils & scrub to leave the skin buffed and touchable. Perfect for parched winter skin.

Intensive C-Boost by Environ-A perfect antidote for hyperpigmentation it can be used alone or blended with a daily moisturizer to add a boost of radiance.

Gel Moisturizer by Environ– Weightless, scentless and wonderfully priced. This is my go to moisturizer for oily or combination skin. Also perfect for men.

Cellcosmet Activator Gel– A soft soothing botanical facial exfoliant that gently dissolves dead cells leaving the skin unbelievably calm fresh and luminous. Love love love!

Avon Bubble Bath– Created in 1928 and still going strong! The best economical product for fat, lush, luxurious, long lasting bubbles.

Oxygen Blast

Have you ever noticed that when you go away to the country, the beach or the mountains, one of the first things you do is to take a deep breath? Yes it can be a sigh of relief for having escaped the rigors of everyday city living or your crazy boss, but for many of us we take that deep breath simply because we can. Oxygen levels are higher in the country, around the ocean and most certainly in the mountains. Oxygen like water is an essential component to our health and the beauty of our skin. And if you live in the city you probably don’t get enough of it.

Rescue Spa has been advocating oxygen facials for years; I personally am a major fan and love the results an O2 facial can bring. Dull dehydrated skin is instantly rejuvenated with a perfect combination of micro-exfoliation and a light Alpha Beta Peel followed by intense hydration with a cool blast of hyperbaric oxygen. Your skin will be plumper, softer, and smoother. Plus we have a solid range of products to support your O2 regimen.

Last year I wrote about Kate Middleton who revealed that she favored oxygen facials for her good looks. I created a facial for the princess in case she decided to pop into Rescue. Kate hasn’t come in yet but since (in my mind) all of our clients are royalty the following products should work just as well for you. Btw, if you have an event coming up O2 is a wonderful facial to get.

VIP O2 Cleansing Milk
This “antipollution” cleanser eliminates impurities, calms the epidermis, brightens and unifies the complexion. Ultra light, it is ideal for urban dwellers, frequent travelers and stressed devitalized skin.

Masque VIP O2
A layer of this masque around the eyes to help eliminate dark circles from stressful city living and late nights. This oxygenating and moisturizing “antipollution” treatment restores radiance to stressed, asphyxiated skin. It is ideal to soothe sunburn too- leave it in your fridge and slather on.

Crème VIP O2
Apply this moisturizer morning and night. It has a lovely opalescent quality which is lovely on lighter skin tones. This is the perfect antipollution oxygenating cream for immediate healthy skin. Highly recommended for tired, devitalized skin that’s seen too much jet travel and not enough sleep.

Fluide VIP O2
I love this product, it’s a go-to and perfect for every skin tone. The unique formula contained in this serum traps oxygen at the surface of the skin, creating an environment that stimulates the epidermis’ natural functions. This is a flagship and runaway favorite at Rescue as it makes skin lustrous and taut.

If you normally book a classic facial, this will be a nice change for you. I think you’ll love the results.

Esthetician Linda Harding


Men Want to Look Good

Everybody knows that men want to look good too. Most of them don’t want to have a big deal made out of it, but it’s on their mind (don’t let them tell you otherwise). Nor do they want to spend time with a complicated regimen. For most guys three products is the limit, and that includes shaving aids.

Guys need to get facials. Period. Back in the days of Mad Men (and before) when a straight razor shave
was de rigueur, barbers would use a number of hot towels and soothing serums/tonics to condition the
skin. They would extract ingrown hairs and perform a stimulating facial massage before tapping on a light moisturizer. Often there was a manicurist on site as well. And a boot black stand in the corner of the shop ensured that the man was totally groomed from head to toe. Even though men today may be more inclined to rock Nikes than Florsheim and use an electric or disposable razor they still need their skin tended to. Often they’ll have challenges with either razor bumps or blackheads on their nose. If your man is ethnic he may have issues with hyperpigmentation as well. These may all be resolved by using an effective regimen with consistency. Begin the process with a facial.

The best time to introduce your man to a facial is before a major event like a wedding or a class reunion. Most men can be enticed to a spa if they feel there’s a “legit” reason. I tell all my female clients to make a date night out of it too; it’s less intimidating that way. After their first facial they’ll be hooked.

The men I’ve performed facials on love Biologigue Recherche P50 lotion for its ability to reduce ingrown hairs and blackheads and improve the luster of their skin. Environs’ Gel Moisturizer is always a major hit because it hydrates without oiliness and has virtually no scent. In addition their Ionzyme products pack enough serious punch to address issues of hyperpigmentation. With the plethora of quality product lines at Rescue including Anthony Logistics, and Cellmen by Cellcosmet no man will feel neglected.

Esthetician Linda Harding,


Ethnic Skin 2012

Hyperpigmentation. It’s like an unwanted, unexpected guest. It especially loves to visit folks with Ethnic Skin and stay a long time. And it doesn’t discriminate. It loves women and men. If your skin tone ranges from golden to black, if you are of Asian, African, East Indian, Hispanic, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or Native American descent you have probably experienced hyperpigmentation or dark marks at some point in your life. As an African-American it took me years to learn exactly what I can and cannot do to my skin to avoid hyper pigmenting it. As an esthetician I have also worked on a lot of different ethnic
skin types and I will tell you that the experience is invaluable because ethnic skin is generally not a topic extensively addressed in esthetic schools and requires an expanded depth of knowledge.

I believe that having melanin (black or brown pigment) in your skin is like having curly hair. Just as you would seek out a stylist who specializes in working with your unique hair type, it is advantageous to find a professional who understands your skin. There are just too many variables involved and often the same regimen which may work perfectly for someone with blond hair and blue eyes is the trigger for causing damage and hyperpigmentation on a darker skin.

If you have ethnic skin you should be treating your skin very gently for every step of your daily regime; no aggressive scrubbing picking or squeezing. No “over the top” peels. If you are a man and experiencing hyperpigmentation around your beard and throat area from shaving there are steps which can be taken to help control this development. I am in love with the Environ line of products which can be customized to correct many of the flaws often found with darker skin tones.

Make it a point to begin 2012 with an updated regimen which takes your skin tone into consideration. A little tweaking may result in skin that is more radiant, free of dark marks and more wonderful looking than you could ever have imagined.

Esthetician Linda Harding,