Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Spring Skin For Bodies!

Last week we took a look at how you can slough off the shadows of winter and brighten your skin so that you can smile with confidence as Springtime roles round. Today are back in the bathroom and carrying on the theme by having a good look at how Dermalogica can help you combat dry skin on the body so that you can prep yourself at home before showing off arms and legs this year as we shed some of the clothing layers!

Body therapy products are a small line within Dermalogica, but I really like the way that you can mix and match them to make a fully prescribed routine at home. With just a few products you can have glowing, hydrated skin that you will love showing off in the sun.

The best body rituals that you can do at home follow closely the routines that we encourage for your facial system; cleanse, exfoliate regularly, and daily hydrate. Boosters in the shape of mineral salts and oils can be added when need them to carry away the aches and pains as well.

Wash It Away

Conditioning Body Wash is a rich botanical based, soap free, cleanser for the body. I personally use it Ultimate Buffing Cloth as not only do I end up using less as the cloth foams it up and allows it to go a long, long way, but the cloth also gives my skin a gentle topical exfoliation, helping to keep on top of ingrown hairs after waxing and getting me ready for my moisturisers. The Conditioning Body Wash is also a great smell to wake up to! Tea Tree, Lemon, Rosemary and eucalyptus gets me ready for my day without being too much.

Slough It Off

I need ease of use in the bathroom, and although if I am dedicating a rare couple of hours to a 'spa session' at home I mix things up and create a real sense of escapism, I need things in sqweezy bottles that I can use without thinking. For me, Exfoliating Body Scrub is the best of both worlds. Not only does the smell emanating from the Lavender, Orange, Sandalwood and Rosemary oils relax my senses but the as the scrub part is made up from oilve, date and fig that has been pulverized into powders, it doesn't scratch my skin. My skin is delicate and needs a lot of TLC, but I find that if I use this twice a week the dull skin cells are sloughed off and I don't get itchy dry patches on the front of my legs and the backs of my arms.

Skin Food

Many of my clients like a bright smell in the mornings, but don't want to have a heavy scent at night when applying their body creams. I shower twice a day; after work in the treatment room it's great to refresh before the evening sets in. So I use, and suggest people also try, two different body creams. Body Hydrating Cream is a great morning light weight lotion that harnesses the scents of Lavender, Patchouli and Orange, which works really with the Conditioning Body Wash. It also has a slight exfoliating property with Lactic Acid, and Hydroxy Acids that are naturally derived from Sugar Cane and Apple. (Since using this in the mornings I've found that the bumps on the back of my arms and the back of my legs where my clothing rubs the skin have decreased ten fold.)
In the evenings I go for a richer cream that really feeds the skin in the form of Ultra Rich Body Cream with long lasting properties that help heal the skin after a long day at work. Evening Primrose and Hyaluronic Acid delivers maximum hydration to my skin and the fact that there isn't any essential oils means that I can either enjoy no scent or I can mix in my own oils, such as Stress Relief Oil, depending on my mood. It also means that super sensitive skins can enjoy maximum hydration without being worried that essential oils will kick off allergies or itching.

Treat Your Skin

With the season being in such flux it is very important to take time out to look after your body. I do find it odd that people spend so much time on their facial routines, but when it comes to their body they seem to not want to look after it. Massaging creams and oils into the skin not only connects us with our inner selves but also reminds us about how beautiful our shapes and curves are - there is not a single straight line in the human body! If we want to feel confident about how we look, our skin is what we should be looking at, just as much as out diets and exercise. If we have dull skin around knees, elbows and feet as well as dry patches on the front of our legs of course we won't feel confident when we bare all on holiday.

Enjoy time in the bathroom, start playing, mixing and making your body ritual your own.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Spring Skin

Spring is very much upon us. It's been so nice to spend the weekends in the garden and finally start clearing up after the floods and rain. The grey clouds have parted to allow us to see the sky above them, allowing the sun to smile down and warm us a little. It's been a very pleasant week to shake off the shackles of a long cold water.

Spring is a great time to not just clear the window boxes and greenhouses, but also to refresh your skin care rituals. So, whilst you are planning your window cill jungle of fresh salad, take time to consider how your skin has changed since last September and how you can care for it.

In this blog I have a few tips and tricks for you from my skin care product line of choice; Dermalogica. As healthy, hydrated radiant skin is the look that my clients and I strive for, I hope that we can unfurl some ideas for you to create a skin care ritual that helps achieve your skin care goals.

Wash It Away

Every canvas needs to be cleaned and prepped before it can receive treatment (or paint)! That's why I think that 'Spring Skin' needs a special spring clean with a great cleansing routine. It's time to shed those dead, dull skin cells that clog the skin and make it look sallow and reveal the beautiful radiance underneath!

Pre-Cleanse, for me, is the most under-rated product in the Dermalogica brand. If people skip one element of their skin care at home, for some reason they opt to cut out this part - the most important. I have long believed in the double cleanse for the skin, both day and night. Pre-Cleanse is an oil based product that loves water! The Olive and Apricot oils with Kukui Nut binds to oil debris on your skin - like makeup and sweat - and then when you massage it with wet finger tips it lifts all of it off your skin to be washed away when you rinse. Why put up with lingering foundation and lip gloss when you can have breathing, happy skin?!
The second part of the double cleanse is your cleanser. As you have washed away the oil based debris, you can then use your water based cleanser to clean your skin! For fresh skin that glows with health, this offers a great way to get the last bits of sleep off in the morning, garden soil from the day or pollution from the office. Always check with your Dermalogica Skin Care Therapist that you are using the correct cleanser for your skin, as you can always ask for a Speed Face Map when you are with them in the treatment centre.

Slough It Off

Exfoliation is so much more than horrid, gritty, thick, goopy creams that you have to paste on and then feel half your skin scratch off when you get an old face rag to wipe it off! Technology has come a long way and I am so pleased that there are now efoliants that you can use every day, twice a week, that you can gently massage in, leave on or rinse off. Your Face Map will show you which one is best for you, but I think exfoliation should be seriously seen as something that you do twice a week to help your skin regulate and hydrate, allowing your skin to always look glowing with health.
There are two types of exfoliation; mechanical and chemical. Both offer great skin health and shouldn't be shied away from.

Mechanical - This simply means that you are exfoliating your skin with your hands! Skin Prep Scrub for example has corn cob in that expands with water, so when you massage it over damp skin, the corn expands and plumps up; lifting the dead skin away from the face and revealing the skin under the dead cells. It's fantastic if it is recommended for your skin and you can use it up to three times a week.

Chemical - I see many people look white with shock when the word 'Chemical' comes up in conversation, but Alpha and Beta Hydroxies like Papain and Bromalaine simply come from Papaya and Pineapple. You can pop Gentle Cream Exfoliant on cleansed skin and you enjoy 10 minutes of peace as it does it's thing, rinse it off and reveal beautifully textured skin.

Combine the two ways of exfoliating and you have Daily Microfoliant. If I was on a desert island and had to choose one product, this would be mine - I am a true fan! Each morning I use this in the shower to prep my skin so that my moisturisers can sink into my skin with out any barriers and my makeup goes on smoothly. It's great!

Skin Food

Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque is fantastic after the winter blues. I love it for it's rich consistency and the fact that it doesn't dry on the skin, also it is packed full of vitamin goodies. After a few months of wood burners, open fires, central heating, cold mornings, wet weather and basic environmental assault on the skin, this offers super charged relief and repair for the skin.
But if you are feeling a little parched and want something a little more hydrating, Skin Hydrating Masque could be your preference. With bitter orange and cucumber it helps to soothe, hydrate and calm the skin, which is perfect after dog walking in all the environmental elements.

Finishing Touches

Don't forget to finish off your Spring Skin with hydrating protection. Make sure that you are using a moisturiser that suits your skin's needs. If you want Super Rich Repair, you'll be using a wonderful rich cream that helps with parched skin after the winter assaults. But if you want a medium weight cream, Skin Smoothing Cream is always a wonderful, easy choice that can be used day and night with great hydrating properties from Aloe and Silk Amino Acids help improve the skin's texture.

Treat Your Skin 

The world outside our windows is changing, so why would we expect out skin to stay the same as the seasons role by? We plant different seeds and nurture our plants at different times of the year, so we should do the same for our body. We react just as much to the climate as any other living thing on the planet, so make looking after your body and your skin a priority.

Dermalogica Skin Care Treatments are second to non. We have access to use the Professional Range, which can boost your skin's health and we can keep track of how you're doing with your home care routines as the seasons change. I think it is vital to keep your skin healthy and happy during the seasonal changes as it can put a real stress on your largest organ.

I look forward to seeing you in the treatment room for your next skin care treatment and catching up with all your skin concerns and offering you some easy ways to take care of your skin at home between treatments.

Enjoy the seasonal shifts and embrace the changes!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Top It Up

I am constantly being asked by my clients how much therapy I receive and I always feel very blessed when I can honestly say that I have hands on treatment each week from another therapist. So today's post is a very personal response to the 15 people who asked me this one question last week, and I hope it helps you see therapy in a new light as well!

I love treatment; I think that it enables me to function fully and happily in my body. Everything from one-to-one pilates, yoga, massage, shiatsu, skin care treatments, osteopathy and haircuts. They all work wonderfully to help me help you. After 14 years of working I can honestly say that I haven't had a work related injury and I personally think it's because I take care of my body well - it's my working tool! My husband pays a lot for his work gear in the IT world, so I do the equivalent for my work.

Therapy is a bit like a gas station. You happily drive yourself around in your body, doing this and that, going from one place to the next, but you run out of gas, so you have to go to the nearest gas station to fill up otherwise you'll stop in the middle of the interstate. The best way to keep a car going is if you never go lower than a quarter tank full. So treat your body the same way as your car; keep it constantly topped up and fill it with the best gas you can afford.

I see different types of therapy simply as different types of gas station. Sometimes I go to see my Osteopath each week for a month to iron out my ongoing neck issue, but then I won't see him for a while after he has worked his magic as Pilates and yoga may be releasing it for me on a more active level.

I need haircuts and skin treatments to keep me looking at my best, and that helps with my own confidence and so I can take on the world and do amazing things! Also, if my skin is red, itchy, angry and painful I will be uncomfortable and in a constant state of inflammation, which is no good for anyone.

I realize that this constant topping up for me is quite high, but as all therapists will tell you, the gas runs out quickly when you're doing 20 treatments a week, (which is my own personal limit).

My pit stops are personal to my energy flow, but I would encourage you to work out your output and match it with the input.

The one thing that I get irritated with is when therapists don't make time to get treatments themselves. Not only does it seem a bit odd to me that they will encourage their clients to make regular visits for time on their couch, but won't do the same for themselves, but I also think that they loose the sense of experience.

I have had the dubious pleasure of lying through two really quite awful facials this month. I wanted to see what was out there, who was doing what and the level of experience that was in my town. Not only did it reassure me that the treatment I offer my clients are top notch, they also gave me new ideas on how I could improve, what I could change and thoughts started to role. Everything from clean sheets, (my pet hate is when I am offered to climb onto a couch with sheets that have been there for goodness knows how long), treatment procedure and product sales came into view and if I hadn't made the financial and time commitment to go out there and just experience it I would never have changed and moved forward.

The fantastic treatments I do get from my regular therapists keep me on my toes! They always set the bar so high that I have to totally engage with my work on a daily basis to keep mine going skyward. Without their pace setting I couldn't do what I do, which is offer amazing treatments with measurable results.

It's great to ask your therapist when the last time they were on the couch was. See what they say! It's quite telling and will show you how important they see therapy in their own lives. It's a big challenge, but one they may need.

This week's challenge for you then is to work out what you need. Do you need to join a meditation group at your local church, synagogue, temple or yoga studio to refill your spiritual depletion? Do you need cranial sacral treatment to help rebalance your spinal fluid? Is massage the gas station you need to visit or will you fill up on an awesome skin car treatment?

It takes time and money, and this may mean that you need to take a look at your diary and budget, but it's worth the investment of both. If you need to change going out three times a week to once or twice, then maybe that's not such a bad thing? Work this out for you, but I hope my personal journey can help you along your way.

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