The Beauty Business

The team at Sienna Skin Care & Wellness from left: Dr. Alexander Cadoux, Sally Powell and
Debra Smarden. Photo by Claire Fordham

Skin care specialist Sally Powell has been helping women look young and beautiful at Topanga’s Sienna Skin Care & Wellness since 1995. Powell’s clients come from all over L.A., not just Topanga. “I still have many clients who have been with me since the beginning,” she said.

The beauty business has evolved greatly since Powell first completed her training as an esthetician at Lakewood Cosmetology School in 1994. “I’ve continued my education by keeping up on all the latest skin care breakthroughs,” said Powell. “I take classes and webinars and attend seminars and trade shows. It really has been fascinating to see how many great skin care options we have available to us now without having to go
under the knife.”

Your reporter has driven past the Sienna Skin Care & Wellness beauty studio many times and looked longingly at the poster, promising to treat myself to a facial at some point. A glance in the mirror when I thought I saw my grandmother looking back at me convinced me that I needed a facial. And soon.

I booked and paid for a DNA Cryostem Signal Pro Facial, their most popular facial. The pampering began with a gentle cleanse and steam followed by a top-of-the-line micro-current that uses a low level of electricity to lift and tone the skin, followed by lotions, potions, massage, and a magical Cryostem Signal Pro Serum with proteins, nutrients and
vitamins that Powell says help promote new skin cells that are healthier, stronger and younger looking.

Sally Powell of Sienna Skin Care & Wellness has been keeping us beautiful in Topanga since 1995. Photo by Claire Fordham

I declined the chance to purchase a bottle of the serum after the facial imagining it to be prohibitively expensive as these serums often are, but I went back a couple of days later after receiving many compliments on my skin, and I learned it’s a reasonable $39.

“My ex-husband started the business as a hair salon in 1993 and I added the skin care in 1995. Back then we were called Canyon Hair Studio & Skin Care. Once my ex moved the hair side to a different location, I was able to add extra rooms and changed the name to Sienna Skin Care, then Sienna Skin Care & Wellness.

“It became a lot more relaxed in the space without hearing the hair dryers and chatter in the background. Since then, business has really taken off and continues to get better and better.”

Powell was born in Germany, while her dad was in the Royal Air Force. She grew up in Gloucestershire, England. At the age of 23 she moved to America.

“I came on a holiday and never left. I lived in Topanga for many years and absolutely loved living and working here,” said Powell.

Her children, Lily Sienna, 21, and Dylan, 20, both went to Topanga Elementary School. After her divorce 10 years ago, Powell moved to Calabasas and commutes daily to the beauty studio. Happily single for three and a half years, Powell was introduced to “my yummy boyfriend Andrew Williams on my birthday almost seven years ago. The best birthday gift ever!”

Williams is a contractor. “Last summer, when I took my children to England to visit family, we closed up the shop and Andrew completely remodeled the studio,” said Powell. “He is definitely a keeper. The space looks absolutely amazing. I am also grateful to Pauline Young for her expertise with the interior design. Pauline is the owner of Luv & Sunshine
boutique here in the canyon, where she has eclectic home decor sourced from around the globe and also offers design style services.”

Powell shares these beauty tips. “Take care of the inside first. Drink lots of water, small amounts and often so you don’t have to run to the bathroom constantly. Eat healthily from dark leafy greens to healthy fats, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and protect your skin from the sun using a chemical-free sunscreen. Wear a hat and limit sun exposure to early or late in the day when the sun is not as damaging. Do things that make you happy. Keep stress to a minimum and during stressful times, increase your intake of vitamin B. Use good products and get regular facials. You will thank me!”

Powell tells her clients not to be so hard on themselves. “People complain about the slightest little wrinkle. It’s a fact of life that we all age.It doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful. With a little help from us at Sienna, we can slow down the hands of time,” said Powell.

Facials aren’t just for women. Powell has many male clients and offers facials for teenagers. Although one facial can make a huge difference, regular ongoing treatments are sometimes recommended.

“Teenagers need to be washing their skin morning and night, using a gentle scrub a few times a week, and of course, protecting their delicate skin from the sun. I have a wide range of organic products that help teenagers battle teenage acne and some stronger active products when needed.”

Powell says the biggest culprit with teenage acne (other than those dreaded hormones) is diet related. “Sugar being the absolute worst. Even natural sugar found in fruits can spike insulin levels and trigger acne.

I always recommend that if you must have a treat, make sure it’s as a dessert or that you have enough protein in your system so as not to spike the blood sugar. Dairy can also affect many skins, along with fried foods and caffeine. I know it’s not always easy, but I also suggest teenagers find ways to handle stress like going for a run, yoga, meditating, and getting plenty of sleep!”

For when faces and necks need more serious help, Johns Hopkins-trained Dr. Alexander Cadoux joined Powell’s team at Sienna eight years ago. Dr. Cadoux has two successful practices in Arizona and comes to Topanga twice a month offering injectables like Botox, a wide range of fillers, Kybella and Ultherapy. “We are truly lucky to have Dr. Cadoux bring
his fabulous artistry here,” said Powell.

The third member of the team at Sienna is Debra Smardan. “Debra has been with me for six and a half years. When she’s not busy doing facials and waxing, Debra works reception and runs the front desk for Dr. Cadoux. We really couldn’t do it without her.

“I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this great community in Topanga where I get to pamper my clients and make them look and feel their best,” said Powell.


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Claire Fordham

Fordham worked for the BBC, ITN and Sky News in the UK and wrote a weekly anecdotal column for Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper, The Sun. She currently writes regularly for Huffington Post, The Malibu Times and the Messenger Mountain News. See "A Chat with Claire Fordham" on this website under Podcasts.

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