Archive for the ‘Spa’ Category

Crazy for Cranberries! Antioxidant Rich at Home Skin Care Ingredient

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

By Jenna

Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We’ve already covered pumpkin, now it’s time to get the best anti-aging skin care from an age-old seasonal ingredient: the cranberry. At home skin care treatments cover many bases by hydrating, tightening and moisturizing. When it comes to natural skin care, cranberries are great because they’re chock-full of antioxidants and safe for any skin type. The best part about using cranberries in your at home skin recipes? You can make them work in anything from a cleanser to a masque to a gommage. Love them or hate them, these seasonal berries are a must to incorporate into your skin care routine.

Source: flickr user Muffet

Why do we need antioxidants in our skin care regimen? Every single day, our skin is under attack from pollutants, UV rays and more that cause free radicals. These free radical molecules are oxygen molecules that have lost an electron—and they’re out to steal yours to make up for it. Free radicals can cause skin damage including wrinkles, redness, pigmentation and lines. To combat free radicals, antioxidants come in and supply missing electrons, ultimately preventing damage and slowing down the aging process.  Cranberries will help rejuvenate your skin and are rich in Vitamins A, B3, B5 & C helping in collagen production. Because of the vitamin A and C content, cranberries will help increase cell turnover rate, while Vitamins B3 and B5 will provide moisture for your skin. Cranberries also are acidic, so they’re great for oily skin. This at home skin recipe for a cranberry cleanser is fabulous for any skin type and will leave you soft and glowing.

Cranberry Cleanser

  1. Puree ½ cup of cranberries
  2. Add ¼  teaspoon of honey or uncolored castile soap

Mix the blended cranberry, honey (or castile soap) together. It’ll be a little soupy, so make sure you have towels available. It helps to do this in the shower, because the mixture can get a little messy, plus the steam will help open up your pores before application. Rub into your skin in small, upward circles for about 2 minutes then rinse off with warm (not hot) water. Follow up with a moisturizer and you’re set for the day. Remember, cranberries are acidic, so they’ll also act as a toner for your skin, just don’t forget your moisturizer! If you don’t want the mess, you can always choose an already made creamy cranberry cleanser that’ll do the trick.

At Home Pumpkin Skin Care Recipes Perfect for Fall

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

By Jenna

You have to love fall and Halloween time because of the exciting costume ideas, the colors of the season and the beginning of the holiday season. One of my favorite fruits of the year is the pumpkin. It’s the perfect fall symbol, an amazing color of orange, it’s tasty—and it’s fun to carve. Fall is one of the BEST times to make your own at home skin care treatments because of the tasty delights and seasonal goodies that come around. What’s better is that natural skin care is always a great choice for you. Clear your appointments and save some time to pamper your skin with the tasty treat of pumpkin with these easy at home skin care recipes.

Source: Flickr user Elana's pantry

There’s always that really icky part of carving a pumpkin, and it’s when you cut open the top and have to clean out the mucky insides. Naturally, you’ll throw it away or use it to make pie—totally justified, by the way. Before you decide to ditch the gross insides, stop, drop and save it! An at home skin treatment awaits! Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A, C, E, Zinc and Beta-carotene, not to mention loaded with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). This makes it a very useful exfoliator that gets rid of dead skin cells naturally and, with some added extras, it becomes an antioxidant rich moisturizing masque. Take the pumpkin pulp and get your blender ready, that pumpkin puree is about to make your skin very happy.

Pumpkin Scrub

  1. Take about 5-6 teaspoons of pumpkin pulp and throw it into your blender.
  2. Push the button and get a puree-paste.
  3. Mix in 3-4 teaspoons of brown sugar
  4. Optional-add a teaspoon of pumpkin seed oil or lemon juice.

Mix ingredients together and apply it to your face and gently scrub in small, upward circles for a couple minutes. Rinse with water to remove. This at home skin treatment will slough off dead skin cells gently and naturally.

Pumpkin facial mask

  1. Take 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree and add 1-2 tablespoons of honey
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of milk (regular for oily skin or buttermilk for dry skin)
  3. Optional-add plain yogurt to mixture
  4. Spread paste onto your face and keep on for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Rinse off with water.

*Be sure to make your mask thick enough that it’s not dripping off your face.

Both of these at home skin care recipes using natural pumpkin will leave your skin smooth and glowing. It’s a festive way to help get the most out of the seasons with the nature around you. Have fun with it, let the kids carve away and just remember, the pumpkin guts are going to a good cause. J

Do It Yourself Skin Care – Avocado Facial Mask and Sugar Body Scrub

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Source: Flickr User LukalsntLuka

As we’re preparing our skin for the season change, our wallets may notice just a little bit. In this state of the economy, being creative with resources is the best way to get more bang for your buck. If there are a few extra minutes on hand, take the time and do some at home skin care. For a quick and effective way to revitalize your weathered skin, turn to your kitchen cabinet for the best ingredients. An at home facial mask or exfoliant is simple yet extremely effective. Yes, having a good skin care routine is important to use every day, but the more that we can with natural skin care do to nourish our skin, the better. At home skin care recipes can also be fun projects to do with your kids and girlfriends.

At home facial mask

One of my favorite fruits to eat is by far the avocado. Not just because of the taste but because of the amazing benefits it offers as a food. Avocado is a great source of potassium, vitamin K, dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin B6, iron, and vitamin C. It’s also amazing for your skin because of its natural emollients and is extremely nourishing. It’s naturally hydrating and because of its nutrient composition, also soothing and has anti-aging properties. It’s no wonder that women all over the world have been using avocado as a staple skin care item. By making an avocado, banana and honey mask your skin will be super soft and hydrated. The banana and honey are also amazing at home skin care ingredients that you can mix and match to meet any skin care need. Banana’s are also very nourishing and revitalizing. Honey can draw out impurities, soothe and soften the skin. You’ll need:

1 avocado – mashed

1 banana – mashed

1 teaspoon honey

Optional- plain yogurt or essential oils for added benefits

Source: Flickr User Threelayercake

Mix together in a small bowl until you have a smooth paste. Apply to your face and neck with your hands and leave on this mixture for 15-20 minutes. To take off, rinse your face with cool water. If there’s any left over’s, use it for someone else or keep it for the next day in your refrigerator.

At home body scrub

Body scrubs and body brushing are excellent ways to increase your cell turnover rate for helping to achieve gorgeous skin all around. Lucky for us, making an at home body scrub is very easy and of course amazing for your skin. Exfoliating sloughs off dead skin cells to help increase cell turnover rate and keeps our pores from clogging refreshing your skin. For this scrub, use in the shower and take the time to rub the mixture in little circles on your entire body.  My preference is to use the sugar from experience because it’s softer. You’ll need:

2 cups kosher salt or sugar

1 cup of olive oil

Optional – essential oils, almond oil or grape seed oil in place of the olive oil.

Mix the two ingredients together with a spoon and stir until combined. If you’re using essential oils, add a few drops of the oil of your choice to make it smell better. Keep mixing until they are combined. You’re all done! Take your newly made scrub and rub a dub-dub those dead skin cells away. For extra credit- If you’re a coffee drinker and have your left over coffee grounds from the coffee pot, this is an amazing cellulite treatment. After scrubbing, put the coffee grounds on the cellulite areas and gently rub into your skin. Keep on for 5-10 minutes then rinse off. This way you’re working more areas than just one with an at home skin care recipe that’s multi-functional.

Detox Spa Treatments: Japanese Enzyme Bath

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Wood shavings are a key ingredient in a Japanese enzyme bath

Photo by Dravir.B

This past weekend a girlfriend and I decided to try a Japanese enzyme bath at Willow Spa in Santa Monica. It sounded unusual, and was something new even for me (a beauty professional and self-professed spa junkie). I have experienced many different types of spa treatments all over the world, and some have been strange and usual, but nothing prepared me for this. The Japanese enzyme bath is a dry bath made up of wood shavings, rice bran, and fruit and vegetable enzymes. The combination of the ingredients generates a tremendous amount of heat so when you step in it’s very warm and toasty. As my therapist Yuki was burying me in a large pile of hot dirt and wood chips, I couldn’t help but call out to my friend “I’m having a very LA moment right now!” I mean, where else would people pay to be buried in what is basically a large, hot pile of compost?

All kidding aside, I was very curious to see what the whole experience was about. It is a detox spa treatment, and I am always game for a little detoxification. When we arrived at the spa we were treated to a warm foot bath with fresh rose petals and grapefruit slices and a pampering foot massage. They also gave us a shot of an Akatsuki Enzyme Drink (very thick and sweet tasting, but supposedly a good internal complement to the external enzyme treatment we were about to receive). The enzyme drink is made from fermented vegetable and fruit extracts and contains over 400 enzymes. Enzymes are essential for good health, but apparently many of us suffer from an enzyme deficiency. Learn more about how enzymes work here.

While our therapists massaged our feet they described what was going to happen next and warned us about the smell. As we approached the treatment room we quickly understood what they were talking about – it smelled like garbage. With our bathing suits on, we stepped into the dry bath mixture and they proceeded to cover us fully from the neck down (like when your big sister buried you in the sand at the beach). It starts off warm, but after a while you start to feel very hot. The therapists come in and check on you every 5 minutes and give you water to drink through a straw and blot your face with a cold compress to help keep you cool. The maximum time for a heat treatment like this is 20 minutes. We both stuck it out for the full time, but we had to pull our hands and feet out after a while because we were getting too hot.

I must admit, as strange as the experience was, there was something very comforting and relaxing about the way the treatment made me feel. After our 20 minutes were up we proceeded to take showers to wash off all of the dirt. This is no easy task, I assure you. After our very long showers we were taken to a massage treatment room and received lovely Thai massages. As we left we were instructed to drink lots of water to hydrate and to help the detoxification process. We were also told to eat lots of protein, (but not meat) and fresh fruits and vegetables. We took that as an opportunity to treat ourselves to sushi.

The Japanese enzyme bath treatment made my friend feel relaxed, but it made me feel more energized. I am in the process of moving which has left me in a constant state of exhaustion, and when I arrived at the spa I felt drained and tired. After the dry bath, I felt more awake and relaxed at the same time. I’m not sure if it actually detoxified my body (I’m not sure how I could know that), but it did have an instant effect on my energy level and feeling of well being afterwards. We both had a nice glow to our skin too.

If you are interested in getting this type of detox spa treatment, you may have to travel. According to Willow Spa, they are one of 2 spas in the United States that offer the treatment. There is also a location in Northern California called Osmosis. Otherwise you’ll have to visit Japan.

What’s the strangest spa experience you have had?