Posts tagged #spa

Seasons Change-- Shouldn't Your Skincare?

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If you’re like me, you are sick and tired of all this RAIN!  Where is the sun? Surely the real spring season has to start sometime soon…. Right? Despite how it may seem, the weather is warming up, the days are getting longer and longer, and the cold winter season is behind us. You might even notice some differences in your skin. So, as the seasons change, why shouldn’t your skincare routine?

Over the winter months the dry and cold weather, coupled with heaters running indoors almost constantly, can leave your skin needing some extra TLC.  In winter, our aestheticians recommend using products that focus more on long-lasting moisture. We recommend using a milk cleanser like the Yon-Ka Lait Nettoyant, which doesn’t strip the oils from your skin, giving your skin more of a defense against the drying winter air.

But now that the sun has returned, and the heaters are mostly turned off, these products may not be the best for your skin’s current needs. There tends to be more atmospheric humidity, which your skin responds to. Have you noticed your skin feeling a little greasy? This can be greatly exacerbated by continuing to use those heavy winter moisturizers. Instead, switch to a lighter cleanser and moisturizer that protects against environmental damages, like the Yon-Ka Vital Defense Creme. This prevents the signs of aging caused by exposure to pollution, which increases as you spend more time outside.  

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How about the rest of your body? I find my legs get really dry and irritated during this time of the year.  It could be from shaving more often, but dry dead skin is definitely a struggle. Using a product like a sugar or salt scrub can help to loosen and get rid of dead skin. It also promotes blood circulation to the area, which kickstarts skin cell production. Follow up with a high quality lotion-- our Pearl brand lotions and scrubs are the perfect way to combat dry flaky skin. Or, for a truly luxurious experience, schedule a body treatment. With several options to choose from, you can choose exactly what your skin needs.

Finally, as the weather warms and we all head outside, remember to wear a good SPF sunscreen.  Have questions about your routine? Want an expert opinion? Schedule a Consultation or a Facial today!

Wishing you the happiest spring!

Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Skincare & Beauty.

Stressed About Your First Visit to the Spa? Don't Be!

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Starting your self-care regimen (or even just taking the opportunity to try something new) can be a little overwhelming, especially if you have never been to a spa. At the Pearl, we welcome all, whether you come every week or have never had a massage. For those who are entirely new to the spa scene, or just have some weird questions you’ve always wondered about, we are here to shed some light on the spa experience.

You have scheduled an appointment, and the day approaches.  Leading up to your appointment, notice some of these questions:

  • Where in your body are you sore, stiff, or holding tension?

  • What issues would you like addressed (during your massage/facial/nails/etc. appointment)

  • What is your goal for your appointment?

  • What are your preferences for your service? Do you like to chat, or would you rather have complete silence?

Keep these in your mind or-- better yet-- write them down to discuss with your provider.  This will help you maximize what you get from your appointment.

People often ask, “Should I wear anything in particular to my appointment?” My recommendation is to wear something you are comfortable in to maximize your relaxing experience. Most of our appointments will have you dress down so it’s not necessary to wear anything specific, but it does help to undress and dress quickly before and after. Remember, the spa is a place of relaxation, so anything that might cause you distraction or stress should be left at home or tucked out of sight. We request that cell phones be placed on silent out of respect for other patrons.  Upon arrival, you’ll check in at the Front Desk to fill out any necessary information prior to your appointment.

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Finally, it’s time for your appointment!  Your therapist, aesthetician, or nail tech will ask you some questions. Now is the time to bring up those points from earlier. Holding tension in your neck?  Speak up and let them know! Communication during your entire appointment is paramount-- after all, we aren’t mind readers. If the pressure is too light, too firm, the bed is too hot, your therapist talks way too much, don’t be afraid to speak up and make requests. We won’t be offended. In fact, we enjoy hearing from our clients so we can make their experience truly exceptional.

After your appointment, be sure to drink plenty of water!  Massages can loosen up soft-tissue metabolites and other substances within the body, so drinking more water than normal will help to flush these out of the system. Remember to check in again at the front desk, re-book another appointment, and enjoy the effects of your service!



Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Self-care, Massage & Bodywork, Skincare & Beauty.

4 Natural Ways To Treat Allergies

As most allergy sufferers know, an allergy attack can make your life miserable. During a typical nasal allergy attack, you may experience sneezing, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, malaise, shortness of breath and a headache. Before resorting to prescription or over-the-counter medication, though, consider the following natural ways to treat allergies.

1) Fish

Eating fish may curb your allergies. Fish contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), that reduce inflammation in the body. This is important because an allergy attack is essentially inflammation triggered by your body's immune system. By eating fish and other foods rich in omega-3s, you'll have an easier time managing your allergies. It's important to note that different types of fish have different levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, herring, and trout all have high levels, making them an excellent food for allergy sufferers.

2) Spa Treatments

Spa treatments also help with allergies. A relaxing massage, for instance, can lower your stress levels and, subsequently, promote proper hormonal balance in your body whereas aromatherapy can relieve sinus congestion and other common symptoms associated with allergies. Some spas even offer salt therapy treatments for people suffering from nasal allergies, skin allergies, and asthma. Additionally, many spas like the use of oils while treating their clients. This is a positive because essential oils can be formulated to be highly therapeutic, and will help you relax if your body has been particular high-strung due to allergies.

3) Bee Pollen

Assuming you aren't allergic to it, consuming bee pollen can increase your body's resistance to allergies in several ways. First, it promotes a healthy immune system by exposing your body to small amounts of new, harmless microbes. Second, it has anti-inflammatory properties that rival common drugs like naproxen and phenylbutazone. Third, bee pollen contains antioxidants that fight allergy-triggering compounds. Start by eating 1/4 teaspoon of bee pollen daily and gradually increase your dosage as needed.

4) Saline Nasal Rinse

Finally, rinsing your sinuses with saline may reduce the severity and frequency of your allergy attacks. Nasal allergy attacks are triggered by the presence of pollen, dust or other airborne allergens in the sinuses. Your body thinks these allergens are trying to invade it, so it responds by producing inflammation. A saline rinse, however, will flush allergens, irritants, and debris from your sinuses, thereby reducing the risk of an allergy attack while allowing you to breathe more freely in the process. As a side benefit, research has shown that saline rinses can shorten the duration of a cold infection.

Unlike antihistamines and other allergy medication, the natural allergy treatments discussed here don't have adverse side effects. Nonetheless, you should consult any new treatments with your primary care physician.

What Self-Massage Can (And Can't) Do For You


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We've all experienced it - tight, achy muscles, tension in the neck or back areas, and painful cramps. Muscles that are over-worked, tense or even stretched can cause pain in so many areas of our body. A natural reaction to the pain is to massage the area. Self-massage helps to work out the cramp or tension, but there are many other benefits, too.

Destress

When the job becomes stressful, or kids are dancing on your last nerve, soothing strokes with your hands or self-massage tools can promote a feeling of calm and well-being. Try using your fingers to gently rake across the corded muscles of your neck while simultaneously moving the head from side-to-side. This relieves tension in the neck and helps you relax. Use some coconut oil mixed with a drop of lavender essential oil and rub onto your feet. With your thumbs, press into the arch of your foot, sliding your thumbs upward along the arch and over the bed of the toes for instant stress relief. You could also place a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot over it for a great self-massage.

Energize

Instead of coffee or other caffeine in the morning, try an invigorating self-massage. Use coconut oil mixed with a drop or two of peppermint essential oil all over your body. Try quick, short strokes over your arms, down your legs and trunk. Be sure to use your knuckles to knead your lower back quickly. This type of massage will promote blood flow and oxygen. This helps you to shake off sleep and get ready for your busy day. The smell of the peppermint oil opens nasal passages and allows a cooling feeling to invigorate you.

Detoxify

Self-massage has another important health benefit - it helps you to detoxify. Think about it. Your skin covers your whole body, making it your largest organ. When you use self-massage daily, you are promoting blood and oxygen flow, which allows the built-up toxins in your body to be released. Your skin purges the body of these toxins, helping you to stay healthy and feel great.

 

While self-massage has many health and mental benefits, you can only do so much on your own. For a more relaxing and significant health-promoting experience, try a professional, full-body massage or similar spa treatment.

Posted on June 19, 2018 and filed under Massage & Bodywork, Healthy Living, Self-care.

The Underappreciated Magic of Underarm Waxing

You may prefer to let hair grow in the winter, or maybe you shave daily... whatever floats your boat, underarm waxing is my absolute favorite area to wax. Especially in the summer, it's an easy & affordable service that will leave you feeling luxurious & smooth and ready for many confident high fives. 

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First things first! Put down your razor! Hold off shaving for 5-7 days before your scheduled waxing appointment. It will be well worth the wait. Lightly exfoliate the area in the few days leading up to your service. This helps prevent ingrown hairs and skin irritation by ensuring dead skin cells don't accumulate in your hair follicles after waxing. 

What to expect:  Your esthetician will cleanse & dry the underarm area and possibly apply corn starch to dry everything so the wax adheres nicely to the hair but NOT to your skin. Depending on your hair growth pattern, it may take one or more passes of small sections to remove all the hair from the roots. A calming herbal emulsion may be applied afterward to soothe any redness. We use a unique blend from Yonka Paris which contains essential oils and extracts that are soothing, healing, and antimicrobial. Avoid extremely hot water or sweaty activities for a day or two after your wax to avoid irritation. 

How to maintain your new stubble free underarms: Use a gentle cleanser and wash cloth to exfoliate a few days post wax. The hair will slowly grow back as new soft hair instead of sharp cut Fred Flintstone stubble. People often think hair grows back thicker after shaving. While this IS a complete myth, the reason it seems to be true is that shaving cuts the hair off mid-shaft. The mid-shaft is usually darker and thicker, so your grow out tends to appear thicker and more "stubbly," whereas hair that grows back from waxing is quite fine and soft. To avoid getting impatient and shaving, try pre-booking your summer under arm waxes 3-4 weeks apart. You can always reschedule if your fuzz hasn't filled in by then. Waxing is most effective when hair is about 1/4" long or about the length of your eyelashes. 

Now go out and enjoy your razor-free summer! 

Be well,

Karen

5 Skincare Tips to Bring you into the Light

The daffodils are blooming and winter is wrapping up-it's time to think about summer! This is the best time of year for us pale Oregonians to prep our skin for the sunshiny days ahead. I'm so excited even writing this, I think I'll pull my wool socks off and put on my short shorts to keep writing.  Oooweee--my legs are chalky as all get out. 

#1 SCRUB! 
Chill out and have a steam, then indulge in a head-to-toe sugar or salt scrub followed by a massage with Organic Sacred Earth massage cream. The steam helps loosen all the layers of dead skin, then you slough it away with a scrub. Finally, hydration with a delightful 20-minute lotion application by a massage therapist.  I like to add a 30-minute massage to my scrub when I've got the time to reach extreme wet-noodle-like status. 

#2 FACIALS & PEELS
There is no better time of year to get a facial and/or peel. This time of year is great because the sun is further away than it is in the dead of summer, so there's less risk of sun damage after a short lunchtime peel or extra exfoliation.  A series of peels will be the most effective for smoothing fine lines & hyper pigmentation. If you can start before spring, you should be able to get a few peels in before summer. 

#3 ADJUST YOUR MOISTURIZER
Most people need to change up their skin care seasonally. It's time to check last years supply of sunscreen for an expiration date, because it looses its effectiveness. You may need a lighter day time moisturizer as well, since you wont be getting blasted by indoor heating and blustery cold wind. Your skin retains more moisture in the spring & summer. My favorite (as a 35-year-old seeking to stay naturally youthful)  is Yonka Elastine Jour, but you can get a good recommendation for your skin type from your Esthetician at The Pearl. Skincare consultations are always free.

#4 FIND A HAT!
The time is nigh! You need a hat.* Something that folds up that you can fit in your purse or bag is ideal. Go find one you like, and NEVER leave it behind from May - September.  You can thank me in 20 years ;). You will avoid so many burns and so much sun damage this way (*In addition to your uva/uvb sunscreen, of course). 

#5 WAX IT.
Smooth as an Easter egg, soft as a cherry blossom, slick as a raincoat! Ladies & Gents, do you have any hair on your spring chicken bod that you would like to be free of? Personally, I don't mind letting it grow for the winter, but in the Spring it feels pretty lovely to de-fuzz. My favorite is the lesser known under-arm wax. It's amazing because it leaves no shadow, for WEEKS.

Images courtesy of flickr and are licensed for commercial reuse