Karen Keady's clients at Essentials Skin Care & Spa in Sisters know that she can work wonders on skin that takes a beating in the Central Oregon climate. Now her work is being recognized on an international stage.

"Last fall I entered an international Skin Games Competition," Keady told The Nugget." It involved an eight-week series of video diaries with a model, and a case study portfolio, of the treatments and results I had hoped to achieve. I had to send, weekly, a video diary of treatments, results, products used, plus before-and-after shots of my model."

The work paid off: Keady has made the finals of the competition, set for this April in San Ramon, California. In the finals, she will present her case study before a panel of judges.

Keady made the final cut in the category of Age Management, and, since there was no "organic" category, she also entered the Open category.

Her model was Robin Bentz, who is nearing 60. Keady developed a detailed protocol based on Robin's needs and desires.

"Robin and I just had fun with it, and lo and behold...," Keady said.

Oregon has stricter rules than many other states on what can be used for skin peels, which constrained Keady's protocol. Nevertheless, the work was clearly successful - and reflects a growing interest in an organic approach to warding off the effects of aging and exposure.

"More and more people are wanting organic," Keady said. "They don't want to go under the knife; they don't want Botox... I am so excited about this; it validates so much."

The skincare aspect of the project was actually the easy part. Karen had help from her husband, John, and from Sisters film-maker Eli Pyke in setting up and effectively filming the required weekly two-minute video diary.

"It's a slow winter, and I want some excitement," Keady told The Nugget.

And it seems that she's got it.

Essentials Skin Care & Spa is located at 492 E. Main Ave. Call 541-480-1412 for more information.