Thursday, 23 February 2012

Holistic Anger!

I have a confession to make: I'm writing this whilst my insides simmer away with frustrated anger! Because of this I am afraid that this blog may cause some people to smart and turn away, but I'm o.k with that I think as there is a subject that needs to be aired and sorted out.

Here in the beautiful English isle there has been a division that has arisen over the past century that basically states Holistic Therapists and Skin Care Therapists are two different species and their disciplines should not mix.


My indignation has been fuelled over the past month to the point where I can not stay quiet any more. I have been working in the world of Skin Care and Body Work for the past 12 years, but really all my life as my Mum was a Massage Therapist before she retired, so I believe that I am entitled to say that the Holistic field of work is known to me. The conversations that I have with Holistic Therapists always seen to end up with them asking me why I bother to incorporate Skin Care in with Advanced Clinical Massage; they simply can't imagine why doing a facial for someone would be useful if the client that I am treating has had a history of pain or pathology. It's as if Skin Care Therapy is superfluous and holistic body work is the only thing that matters; it's the pinnacle of understanding and learning.

The Free Dictionary on line states that Holistic means:
a. Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
b. Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts.

The analysis of separation is what I am afraid we will end up with pretty soon and it needs to be halted.

Skin is our largest organ; it keeps us protected, it pumps out the waste that our body doesn't want, it regulates our temperature and basically without it we would be a puddle of body parts on the floor. It's vitally important. However, as it is the one part of us that hits the environment and gets roughed up with clothes and surfaces it has a tenancy to get grumpy. We get dry skin when the heating is taking all the moisture out of the air, our genetics may mean we flare with acne or excema, and we all fight against premature ageing and overgrown eyebrows! So why does the care for this amazing organ have to take a back seat in our world of body care?

I can tell you that I have a neck problem that is my bug bare as it sends radiating pain patterns down through either side of my shoulder blades. It's not nice and it can go apoplectic when I get stressed. I can cope with that if my skin is glowing, my makeup has gone one easily and I know that my eyebrows are not looking like the Amazon jungle; I can face the world looking together and healthy. The pain in my neck and shoulders is my problem and not something that I want the person at the checkout seeing on my face!

My clients come to me knowing that although they may have had backache for 20 years I can still make sure that they are facing the world with confidence in how they look as we treat the pain. 

We judge people within 20 seconds based on they appearance and so it is vital that people who carry pain and pathologies aren't judged simply by that 'pain history'.

Holistic Therapy should be the sum of all parts. Skin Care and Body Therapy. They make one person very happy.

So, for all the therapists that I know who read this blog I challenge you to rethink how you look at Skin Care and the dedicated therapists who put a lot of work into understanding how they can regulate the largest organ of the body.

It's about time that we care for our clients totally and without snobbery; one therapy is not better than any other as they all have the potential to make our clients radiate with glowing skin health and help control the pain they may be going through.

I look forward to reading your comments!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Dermalogica Live! Day 4

Dermalogica in Leatherhead.

Yesterday was the last day of intense brain work with Dermalogica with their four day series in product and treatment training.

We spent the day giving each other a great Dermalogica Skin Care Treatment, taking each other through the full Dermalogica experience:

Face Mapping Consultation
Face Mapping Skin Analysis
Skin Care Treatment
Face Map Prescription
Skin Bar

My skin is looking calmer, hydrated and a lot less stressed after Rachel cared for it in the afternoon. I was treated to an Ultra Calming based facial based around the Ultra Calming Complex and a very hydrating colloidal masque with oatmeal. It felt like a fire hydrant dispelling the fire in my cheeks ... wonderful! 

Yesterday included seeing and trying out a new pressure point based massage, which was a nice routine to learn for any of my clients how suffer from head aches as it works on relieving some of the tension that can commonly be caught up in the forehead area.

For the massage we used some wonderful aromatherapy oils that are part of the Professional Only range from Dermalogica.

Soothing Additive: This is filled with wonderful scents of Lavender, Cypress and Sandalwood, with a dash of Eucalyptus. Ideal for clients with an environmentally sensitized skin, or for those who would like to feel relaxed and soothed, this is a fantastic oil to take away the jangle of life.

Revitalizing Additive: Orange, Sandalwood and Lavender play their roles to the full in enabling me to customize your facial massage when you are concerned with dryness or if you feel your skin concern is premature ageing. It's wonderfully uplifting as well, so can feel calm but ready to go after your session.

Clearing Additive: Skin with excess oil and breakouts can still be treated with aromatherapy and a light pressure point massage which wont cause friction on the skin that can aggravate and acne prone skin. Lavender, Lemongrass, Juniper, Rosewood and Sandalwood not only help sooth and detoxify the skin but they also play a part in decongesting your skin at the same time.

I can customize your Skin Care and Massage sessions with these small but heroic oils. For your massage I can add them in to a base oil or Ultra Rich Body Cream, giving your skin a wonderful treat as well as helping with your concerns that you may have with the skin on your body. As for your face, will, the massage world is my ouster! I can use them neat or mix them with massage cream can carry out all styles of massage, from European, Lymphatic and Pressure Point.

It was a fantastic day to put everything together and see how the core skin care range can really target problem areas for my clients. I am looking forward to showing you all the wonderful products that I learned about, sharing some tips with how to use them quickly and effectively at home as well running through some key ingredients that put Dermalogica ahead of the pack when it comes to true skin health. 

The snow! This was taken from my balcony at 8.30 this morning.
It snowed last night; not much but enough to cause some concern about traveling to Cornerstone Therapies for appointments today. I just wanted to post the protocol for snow and treatment bookings.

If you can't make it, don't worry! I would much rather you cancel and stay safe than risk an accident getting here as we can alway reschedule for another time. On days were it has snowed, I'll call you in the morning between 8-9a.m and confirm your appointment plans and let you know how things stand in my local area. 

I hope that helps! I look forward to seeing you all soon; snow boots and all! 

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Dermalogica Live! Day 3

I spent today filling my head with different ways of mixing up all the professional Dermalogica products to customize your next skin care treatment with me! It was really inspiring to see how many ways I can treat your skin with some really key products and ingredients.

One question that my clients have asked me a lot over the past decade is: 'Why does Dermalogica have a different range of products for my treatment? Aren't the ones I use at home good enough?'

The reason that Dermalogica created their professional products for the 'thinking skin care therapist' is that they believe that your monthly skin care treatments are targeted to your skin concerns as you change through the months and years. The products that I use on your skin in my treatment room are sometimes stronger than you would be able to use safely at home. For example EA35 has a 30% Lactic Acid content and a pH level of 3.5, so although it's a fantastic skin exfoliant within the context of your treatments, it isn't appropriate to have in your bathroom. Also, with the amount of customization and blending that I can do for you to aid your skins health, your bathroom shelves would have to be very strong!!

Your prescribed Dermalogica home care system will not only prolong the benefits of your skin care treatments, it will also enhance your skin and allow you to reap the benefits of looking after your largest organ.

Both your the professional skin care treatment and the corresponding prescribed home care work hand in hand, complimenting each other and bringing your skin to a calmer, more controlled place.

Today saw me mixing botanical mixers filled with hydro-essential botanicals in to cleansers, masques and oil free massage oil. The complexes were utilised in differing zones according to the Face Map consultations. Masques were tailor made to suit the skins concerns by blending some together, layering on top of complexes and then having galvanic work carried on to; all to allow the penetration of the ingredients into the lowest layer of the skin. It was truly inspirational to find out new ways of doing things that I have been up to for the past 11 years.

Tomorrow sees me learning new massage techniques for sensitized skin; a pressure point routine for the face and neck. It will be an interesting day and I'm sure I'll remember some old pointers and enjoy hearing new advice. It will be doubly intresting to hear about Dermalogica's approach to massage after studying with the Jing Institute of Advanced Massage for the past 4 years. I think it's great to get learn from a varried wealth of knowledge.

Product of the day: The Sponge Cloth.
Although This is a retail product, you will see me using it more and more in the skin care treatments. It is made to mimic sea sponges, so it's a fantastic tool to use for clients who experience sensitized skins and find the classic disposable sponges and steam towels too abrasive through out their time with me. A great tool to use at home as well, as it dries to be anti-bacterial, it's washable and it works well to remove all cleansers, exfoliators and masques, no matter what your skin type or condition!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dermalogica Live! Day 2

Today found me enjoying the class room again at Dermalogica's training centre in Letherhead. It was time to get our brains in gear, our ears open to listen and our eyes ready to see how Dermalogica comes together with the fantastic concepts of Face Mapping and Skin Bars!

For those of you who are reading this and have never come across Dermlaogica before, this really is for you. Even if you have used the products for years but would like a refresh, I really think that a good review can always come in handy.

Face Mapping is the way we analyse your skins health by looking at your skin in 14 different zones. Starting with 'Zone 1' on the left side of your forehead and working down to 'Zone 14' on the neck, your skin can be totally cared for as each zone will show different concerns that you may have and want to deal with. It will also show me how great your skin is and how how you can continue to enjoy that through using the best products on the market. The products that you take home will be ones that will be solely chosen for you on the information that I have gained through the consultation and Face Map that I carry out for you.

Face Mapping forms the core of everything that Dermalogica has to offer; from your home care product ranges to the information I need to make your skin care treatment totally customized for you. It should never be missed out and always offered to you, no matter which Dermalogica Skin Care Centre you visit around the world.

My face was mapped today and if mainly showed that I had great skin tone, but I needed to work on my dehydration and sensitivity with out forgetting to treat the blocked pores around my nose and ears. 

The fact that I needed to work on my dehydration and sensitivity together is because the lack of hydration in the skin is weakening my lipid barrier, so I don't have enough of my natural protection against water loss or allergens getting into my skin and irritating it. If I can get my hydration levels up, my barrier can repair and then the skin can calm down.

All this from a six minute skin analyses!

Skin Bar is were it all comes together for you. As your therapist (me!) goes through the products that they think would benefit your skin and allow your skins health to get stronger, you get to try the products yourself. It was so much fun to do today; getting all the products out to play with, trying them with water, seeing the results and talking openly about the skin concerns that we all have. Skin Bar also allows you to get to know the products before you take them home, so you know how and when to use them. This prevents the all too inevitable situation of getting a bit stuck when the bottles hit the bathroom shelf! Plus, with your Face Map you are given a copy of it with the products and times to use it clearly marked down for you, so you can stick it on the bathroom mirror and simply follow your therapist's advice step by step.

Product of the day: Gentle Soothing Booster: Simple pop this beauty under your moisturiser and apply to the whole face or just areas where you feel sensitivity. It will calm your skin and its red raspberry extract will help build up the strength of your capillary walls. Honey also helps bind moisture to the skin, so it will also help hydrate your skin at the same time … a wonderful little helper in the bathroom cabinet.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Dermalogica Live! Day 1

Well, hello! I hope that this finds you all well and that you are not snowed in. We had around 2 millimetres here and it was as if an asteroid had hit! But I love the white stuff and it's always great to see a landscape change over night to one that is mysterious and magical.

Our classroom in Leatherhead. 
This week finds me in Leatherhead in Surrey for 4 days of fun with Dermalogica Live! Dermalogica has a wonderful new training centre in Leatherhead and today it did look stunning in the snow as it is set among rolling hills and close to a small river. But I'm not there for the scenery; I'm there to get back to my roots.

Dermalogica Live is a 4 day whizz through the core aspects of their Skin Health range of products. These are the core products to allow everyone to start their journey to achieve better skin. Although I have been using Dermalogica for 12 years it is great to go and learn about new ingredients that they have added to enhance their range that enable you to ultimately customize your skin care regime at home.

The best thing that I learned today was the fact that they have been able to cross link Hyaluronic Acid, which holds 1000 times its own weight in water enabling your skin to drink moisture in! The cross linking of the Hyaluronic Acid means that it now creates a net over your skin so that it penetrates evenly and effectively. The Skin Hydrating Masque is where you can find this super boost of the good stuff as it has been reformulated and relaunched this month. For lovers of the old version, don't panic, you can still sleep with it on!

Another top tip I would like to share with you is the idea of gently exfoliating your skin 24hours a day. For those of you with stubborn blackheads, dehydration and fine lines, this really is for you! Use Daily Microfoliant (click the link to see the youtube video), in the morning and then apply Daily Resurfacer whilst you sleep.

The unique rice powder based exfoliant that is Daily Microfoilant contains gentle mechanical and chemical formulas that slough off debris, brighten the skin and allow your following products to penetrate deep into the skin.

Daily Resurfacer comes in a handy tin of 35 individually wrapped pouches that contain touch pads pre-soaked in product. Simple unwrap the touch pad, pop it on your finger and apply to congested zones or the entire face, (just avoid that delicate eye area). Leave to dry whilst you brush your teeth and then pop your moisturiser over the top. Simple!

Daily Microfoliant can also be mixed with Special Cleansing Gel to get a super boost cleanse and see the licorice really brighten your skin.

Daily Resurfacer touch pads can also be applied to cuticles to get rid of over grown debris on the nail once you have used it on your face … bonus.

(At this point I would really like to add that if you are on prescribed mediation for acne, please consult your nearest Skin Care Therapist/Dermatologist/Doctor before you exfoliate with any product). 

There where so many other great tips to share with you, but I have another three days to do that, so hang on to your hats and get playing with these fantastic products at home!

Products lined up and ready to go in class today! 
Product I haven't used before but will do now: Body Hydrating Cream is packed with skin munching hydroxy acids that will get rid of my dry winter skin on my legs and arms and leave them smooth and hydrated. It smells fresh and uplifting as it is brim full of essential oils. I will start to use it in the morning and keep my Ultra Rich Body Cream for the night time.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Coughs, colds and sneezes.

There seems to be a plethora of bugs floating around this part of the world. So many people are complaining of coughs that won't go away, running noses that start hurting the skin and bunged up sinuses. In short, people are uncomfortable and feeling horrid.

Well, I thought I would share something with you … not my cold … my 5 key steps for getting through one with a sane mind!

1) When I get a tickle at the back of my throat and feel coughing fits start to infect my life I turn towards the bees and their honey. Honey naturally soothes your throat and a teaspoon of golden nectar will help coat the back of it and hopefully take the itch away. I have quickly cast my eyes over the internet and it looks as if a lot of people claim that honey can offer a natural antiseptic, cleansing and an antioxidant boost to the body. The Manuka honey claims to help heal tissue, which sounds like a great benefit if you have been coughing away and your throat is feeling roar.

2) Running noses and harsh paper tissues can be brutal to the skin above the nose and around the mouth. Be kind to yourself and get some proper kleenex for colds. I can't live through a cold with out the Ultra Balm brand as it's soft, (although I dread to read what they put on them to make them work so will!). Also, get a small stick of Dermlaogica's Climate Control. I make sure I put this on around my nose and lips every time I blow my nose and it acts as fantastic conditioner to the skin. It also helps soothe it and take the redness away.

3) Sinuses are massive cavities around the face that store gunky mucus and its best to get rid of the stuff. Steam is the most gentle way to do this so fill a bowl of steaming water, set it on a table with your head over it. Place a towel over your head to make a steam tent and inhale deeply for 10 minutes. You'll need the kleenex on hand as your sinuses will unplug gently but very effectively! You can always pop some essential oils in if you like. The following Neal's Yard Remedy recipe is lovely:

Mix 4 drops of lavender, 2 drops of lemon, 4 drops of pine, 6 drops of tea tree and 1 drop of thyme into a dropper bottle. Then add 4-6 drops of the mix into a steam inhalation and enjoy.

4) Drink loads of water! I would be lost without my pain killers and decongestants when I have a bad cold; sometimes the drugs just get you through and I am no saint and will not go through pain if I don't have to! But I do find that they are really dehydrating to the body, so I make sure that I drink lots of water. If you don't like the thought of cold liquids, simply boil the kettle and add a slice of lemon, a teaspoon of honey, a stick of cinnamon and a knob of root ginger into a cup with the hot water and you are good to go.

5) Finally, when you are well and feeling in tip top shape again, remember to throw away all the things that you have used whilst you where ill and replace them: chuck the toothbrush, Climate Control, tissues and what-nots into the bin and get a fresh supply! Also launder all bed-sheets, towels, P.J's and clothing that you have been wearing and get a fresh lot out. It's a silly little thing, but you don't want bugs hanging around your house, so get rid of them and start a fresh.

Take good care and I hope you all feel better soon. 

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