At the start of each year I choose a "word of the year" to base my intentions and goals around. This year I've chosen "healer" as my WOTY. I've been enchanted with all things related to self-care and natural healing for the majority of my life. My collection of unread alternative health books has grown so high that I would be nuts to ignore this calling to my soul any longer. So I started this month with an indulgent deep dive into my favorite method of self-care, hydrotherapy.
The Greek philosopher, Socrates, famously declared, "the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day." Now I probably know what you're thinking, "but it's not realistic to splurge on a massage every day!" And I'm here to tell you that bathing is the answer. This overlooked form of self-care can lower stress, improve the quality of sleep, decrease muscular and joint pain, improve breathing, circulation and heart health, elevate mood, burn calories, lower blood sugar and boost immune function.
If that's not enough reasons to send you jumping straight into your tub, you can supercharge it even more by adding handmade herbal infusions to your water for skin beautification/purification/re-texturization/hydration or whatever type of "ation" you need.
A perfect example of that is the Queen of Egypt herself, Cleopatra. She ritualistically bathed in goat's milk and honey for the natural smoothing and softening properties they delivered. The legend of her beautiful skin has passed on from generation to generation, timelessly spanning from ancient Egypt to today. THAT is the power of bathing. That is Queen energy. That is self-care. That is attainable. So go ahead and treat yourself like royalty with a healing bath. I'll get you started with an easy Matcha Lavender recipe:
Leave some room at the top of the jar so that once all the ingredients are added, you can mix them together by shaking the jar vigorously.
Add a cup of your herbal salts to the water, grab your favorite beverage to sip on, throw on some inspirational tunes and enjoy your healing bath.
This is just a tip of the iceberg. There are so many powders, salts, milks, florals, clays, oils, etc you can blend to create just the perfect infusion. Let your imagination run wild with the possibilities.
Let's talk about migraines...
Many of my clients suffer from migraines. After one of them recently told me she uses a heating pad on the back of her neck when she gets one, I decided to explain why heat on the neck isn't the answer and what to do instead.
How do migraines begin? They actually begin with a constriction of blood flow to the brain. This phase usually lasts 2-4 hours and is when you may experience that notorious migraine "aura". That is followed by extreme dilation of blood vessels to the brain. So in essence, it's an excess of circulation, not lack of.
Blood flow is increased by heat. So if you're adding heat to already dilated blood vessels, you're actually making it more pronounced. The goal is to reduce the circulation to the head, not increase it. A good way to do that is by using a cold pack on the back of your neck or forehead. You simultaneously want to help redirect that excess of circulation by drawing it away from your head using heat on the lower body. You can do that by putting your feet in a hot water foot bath or take a hot water half bath (with just your lower body submerged) while keeping the cold pack on your neck or forehead.
I've decided to put together an informational packet on migraines and alternative methods that can help. You can request this packet at the studio when you come in if it's something you're interested in having.
This information is meant for educational purposes only. Migraines can be very debilitating so it's important to rule out any underlying pathologies with your doctor if it's something you struggle with.
With all the different exfoliants on the market it can be confusing to know which one is best for your skin type. This post is going to help break it down so you can choose your exfoliant like a skin care expert.
There are two main categories of exfoliants, physical exfoliants and chemical exfoliants. Physical exfoliants use manual particles such as almond shells, jojoba beads or oatmeal to exfoliate the skin. They only exfoliate the very top layer of visible skin. Chemical exfoliants use chemicals that can penetrate the skin's surface to target the deeper layers resulting in more profound effects.
The most common over the counter chemical exfoliants are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) which will be the focus of this discussion. Here's a closer look at each of the most commonly used and which skin type they are best suited for.
Mandelic acid is an AHA from almonds and has the largest molecule of the AHAs, making it the gentlest and least irritating on the skin. This makes it an excellent option for those with sensitive or rosacea-prone skin, as well as for those with darker skin tones, who may be at a higher risk for developing hyperpigmentation from other exfoliants.
Lactic acid is an AHA from milk and has a medium-sized molecule that can penetrate deeper than mandelic acid but still be gentle enough for most skin types. It is especially effective at hydrating, brightening the skin and improving the skin’s barrier function. This makes it a good choice for those with dry, dull or dehydrated skin since it can help to improve the skin's moisture levels while also exfoliating.
Salicylic acid is a BHA from willow bark. It is oil-soluble, which makes it highly effective at penetrating deep into the pores to clear out excess oil and impurities. This makes it an excellent option for those with oily or acne-prone skin, as it can help to unclog pores, reduce the appearance of blackheads and prevent breakouts.
Glycolic acid is from sugarcane and has the smallest molecular structure of all the AHAs. This makes it the most potent at penetrating the skin, providing a deep exfoliation, improving skin tone and texture and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. However, it can also be more irritating, so it's best suited for those with non-sensitive skin.
Hopefully this post will give you more confidence when selecting the best exfoliant for your skin type. And don't forget to use a daily sunscreen when using these exfoliants since they WILL increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. Keep glowing...
Some of you may have heard all the hype around skin cycling and wonder, "What is this all about?" Well no more need to wonder because I'm here as your Esthetician to spill the tea. Skin cycling, which was named by Dermatologist, Dr. Whitney Bowe, is a four day cycle that's a very effective way to exfoliate the skin in a way that can help avoid the notorious irritation that can come from using exfoliants such as redness, flakiness and sensitivity (signs that you're disrupting the natural skin barrier). It can help greatly increase the glow of your skin, smooth the skin's texture, help reduce hyperpigmentation and diminish breakouts. So without further ado, here is the breakdown of how to skin cycle.
NIGHT ONE, EXFOLIATE:
Wash, treat the skin with an exfoliant, then moisturize. The key here is to use a chemical exfoliant such as an AHA or BHA based exfoliant. There are a few main different types of AHA's and BHA's which are suitable for different skin types. They are mandelic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid. We'll do a deep dive on the different types of acids on another post.
NIGHT TWO, RETINOID:
Wash, treat the skin with a retinoid, then moisturize. If you have sensitive skin and find that the retinoid is causing flakiness or redness, you can "sandwich" the retinoid by using a first layer of moisturizer, then retinoid, then another application of moisturizer. You may only have to sandwich the retinol in certain areas such as the crows feet area below the eyes and the marionette lines beside the nose and mouth. Pro tip, apply the retinol to dry skin not damp. If you apply the retinol to damp skin it can increase the chances of sensitivity.
NIGHTS THREE AND FOUR, RECOVERY:
Wash, treat the skin with a supportive serum, then moisturize. A supportive serum will include ingredients that help support and repair the skin barrier with anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, niacinamide, resveratrol, ceramides or hyaluronic acid.
As you begin the skin cycling process, you may notice a period of purging if you are inclined to breakouts. The reason for this is because it's increasing the speed of which your skin cells shed which bring the breakouts under the skin to the surface faster.
Have you jumped on the trend of skin cycling? What have your results been? I'd love to hear how it's worked for everyone. If you want to try skin cycling but don't know what products to use, I'd love to recommend some for you. Just shoot me an email or a text and I'll give you my professional recommendations for your specific skin type.
Enter to win a massage
I'm starting this month with gratitude to you. Thank you so much for supporting my small business over the years. It means so much to me to be able to work locally to support my family. Please take this opportunity to win a gift certificate for a massage on either my Facebook or Instagram page. You can enter on either contest post. A winner will be drawn on December 11th. Wishing you joy this holiday season and health into the new year.
We have partnered with some other fabulous businesses to bring you the first annual Twelve Days of Giving. From November 19th-26th you can enter to win 12 different drawings for prizes throughout the community:
Daybreak Spa Studio will have an entry stand under the carport starting on the 19th for those who want to drop by to enter. And everyone who is scheduled for appointments will be able to enter as well.
Good luck to everyone and thank you so much for being a community who supports local small businesses. We appreciate you and couldn't do this without you! Happy holidays.
As many of you know, I just returned from an incredible vacation in Costa Rica. I basked in the sun, surfed the ocean, waterslided backwards into the hot springs, hiked the jungle, ziplined above the cloud forest, stayed at the base of a steaming volcano, came face to face with friendly (and not so friendly) wildlife, AND I brought back Costa Rican volcanic mud to share with you all.
I've created a new facial inspired by the best natural elements Costa Rica has to offer. This purifying facial includes misted sea minerals, a hand-blended coffee and coconut scrub, mango infused face, neck, shoulder, arms and hand massage, and the signature volcanic mud mask that will transport you to your own private jungle escape in minutes. The many benefits of volcanic mud can include:
It's more than a facial, it's an EXPERIENCE. For just $60 you can get your own taste of Costa Rica. I also have plenty of stories I brought back with me from the lovely country if you're interested in hearing more about it. Check out some of the breathtaking landscapes below:
And just for fun, I created a rainforest essential oil diffuser blend to immediately bring the freshness of the jungle to any room in your house. You can contact me to order any of these oils.
Make your next escape at Daybreak:
What does Super Bowl have to do with cupping you ask? A couple of things actually. For starters, did you know that Patriots Linebacker James Harrison spends over $350,000 a year employing specialists who help manage the punishment his body endures? One of his specialists is a massage therapist that uses cupping to reduce muscle soreness. Harrison states, "Before I get treated, I HURT, and after, I feel better." Today he will step onto the field as the oldest defensive player in professional football. He's obviously doing something right.
Secondly, while most of you were getting ready for Super Bowl LII today, I spent the day taking a level 2 cupping class learning specific treatment techniques for common shoulder conditions such as:
Are you interested in trying out cupping for yourself? Awesome! You can add cupping therapy for $10 to any of your massages at Daybreak Spa Studio. Or I have a detox massage that already incorporates cupping into the treatment if you really want to flush your system. Let me know if you have any questions.
It's our one year anniversary.
To celebrate I will be holding an open house on Saturday December 16th from 11am to 2pm. There will be finger foods, complimentary $10 spa vouchers towards your next service, and a grand prize drawing. Come celebrate this milestone with me. Thank you all so much for supporting my little spa studio. You guys are the best!
By appt. only
(Text or call)
(Directions will be given upon scheduling)
Facility License #: COS-FA-10180751
Esthetician #: COS-FT-064308
AAS LMT #: 17977
Medical massage certified
Manual lymphatic drainage certified