Do you know what you put on and in your body each day?
Sobering statements: Most American women come in contact with 200 chemicals before breakfast. Babies are born with more than 200 chemicals in their blood (American Red Cross, 2004). These chemicals affect you, your children, and the environment.
How many skin care and body care products do you use each day?
Most of us use shampoo, conditioner and other hair preparations; toothpaste; face wash, moisturizer and eye cream; bath soap, body lotion, anti-perspirant; cosmetics for eyes, lips, facial skin, and nails.
Did you ever read the ingredients on the products you use each day? Can you even pronounce the names like diethanolamine, diazolidinyl urea, benzophenone and butylated hydroxyanisole? After all of my years as an esthetician, I still get tongue-tied.
Why are there so many toxic chemicals used in skin care, cosmetics and other personal care products?
Many products still contain toxic chemicals because it brings down the cost of the item for the consumer. We all want something cheap, right?
Using natural and organic substances is not cheap. Since regulations on skin care and cosmetics are insufficient, many labels will give the impression that they are natural, but are really synthesized in a lab. Many times you'll see one or two natural or organic ingredients within a list of unpronounceable chemicals. Attention Consumer: what value is an organic ingredient if its swimming in a sea of chemicals?
The product you buy is loaded with preservatives to prevent mold and decay, but can be years old by the time you put it on your skin.
A big component of many of your products are preservatives. When you look at the ingredient list and see water as the first ingredient, you'll need to consider that anything sitting in water can mold or decay. Most products are made overseas and are shipped in large shipping containers that are not climate controlled. Shipping is a slow and cheap method of delivery, so products must sit in adverse conditions for a long time. Then these products are picked up from ports and are shipped across the nation in trucks. These products are delivered to large storage warehouses until sold to your local store. Then the products are on your store shelf for an undetermined length of time.
This is why preservatives are used. Strong preservatives are chemically derived and many are toxic over long term use on your body.
Become an educated consumer. Know what you're putting on and in your body on a regular basis. Read your labels, and know the sources of the ingredients. Avoid being exposed to over 200 chemicals all before breakfast!
Need help with a natural, healthy skin care regimen or healthier cosmetics? I'm here to help. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-596-9535.
calm: massage & skincare for women
As the seasons change, your skin care needs change as well. Trees shed their leaves; healthy skin sheds its outer layer efficiently to develop the barrier needed for cooler temperatures. Is your skin healthy?
After summer’s activities (sun, swimming, etc), skin needs some TLC. Tans are fading leaving dull, blotchy skin. Skin feels parched, leaving it exposed to greater wrinkling and irritation. Your professional skin care visit this fall addresses these issues.
To help skin look even-toned, hold adequate moisture and efficiently turn over to reveal new skin cells, I use safe resurfacing treatments made of organic ripe pumpkins, apples and berries. These have high levels of nourishing vitamins (A & C), plus natural sugars and enzymes that remove dead skin cells without harsh chemicals. Results - reduction of fine lines and wrinkles; fading of dark spots; better hydration and absorption of nutrients; clearing and tightening of pores; boosting radiance.
Schedule your visit now to ease your transition into fall.
calm: massage & skincare for women
917. 596. 9535
10 super easy things to improve your wellness right now!
You can improve your wellness throughout the day … even when you are crazed with work, kids and other responsibilities. Here they are;
Try these tips in addition to your regular massage, facial or spa treatment and feel the effect on your wellbeing. If you haven't had a regular treatment in awhile, its easy to schedule online or call me at 1-917-596-9535.
Your daily skin care routine has contributed to keeping our planet beautiful.
I have been notified that your Éminence Organic Skin Care purchases have resulted in the planting of 515 trees. One tree has been planted for every product you purchased!
Every time you purchased, a portion of the proceeds went towards planting a tree to help clean up our air and support the world’s natural resources.
Through calm: massage & skincare's and Eminence Organics' ongoing partnership with award-winning global tree planting organization Trees for the Future, you are rebuilding and restoring our environment one product—and now one tree—at a time.
We don’t give our scalp much thought. Did you know a healthy scalp can keep you looking great?
The scalp is skin that covers your skull, is rich in nerve endings and oil glands to grow and nourish hair. A healthy scalp is crucial to the look, feel and quantity of hair. A healthy scalp also doesn't shed flakes into your hair, or show a crusty, oozing edge as in psoriasis.
Forehead Wrinkles & Heavy Brow
As we age, our scalp ages, too. Weak scalp muscles contribute to horizontal wrinkles on the forehead and make the brow look heavy so that it falls over the upper lids of your eyes.
Note: In searching for a picture to demonstrate this, I was unable to find anything but expressionless foreheads as a result of the reliance on injectables. However, don't be fooled - the common injectable used for foreheads has diminishing returns. It doesn't last long, and after a few treatments, the muscle is actually weaker than when you started. Better to strengthen those muscles.
Summer is hard on scalps
Your scalp is skin, and summer can be hard on your scalp - burned by sun, dried and flakey from chlorine, irritated by perspiration and sea water.
Here's some ways to take care of your scalp
This summer, the Peppermint Scalp Treatment is available to add to any massage, facial or other Calm treatment. It combines a tension-relieving scalp massage with organic peppermint essential oils that purify the skin and tone the muscles of the scalp, leaving your scalp tingling and locks smooth and lustrous.
Summer weather brings greater exposure to sun. Most of you are pretty consistent about applying sunscreen before you leave the house in the morning. However, every summer I see an increase in cases of hyper-pigmentation. The first thing I hear is "...but I wore my sunscreen".
So why did this happen?
1. Failure to reapply sunscreen. The FDA recommendation is to reapply every 2 hours. It may seem excessive at first glance, but think about it. You sweat. You swim. No sunscreen is permanent - it can come off. I can help you make the reapplication process as convenient as possible, even when you wear makeup. Let's talk about your needs and I'll help you find a portable solution.
2. Consuming alcohol. A client came in with hyper pigmentation at the corners of her mouth. After several questions, we found the culprit. She had been drinking margaritas at the beach. Alcohol on the skin causes the skin to react by hyper-pigmenting. It took awhile, but we were able to get rid of the marks with some special treatments.
3. Applying citrus oils to your skin while exposed to sun. This may be in the form of perfumes, body washes or other products with a high citrus oil content. Read your labels!
4. Taking certain types of medication. In addition to birth control drugs (especially when mixed with anti-histamines), the following types of drugs can cause hyper-pigmentation (or other skin problems) of the skin;
antibiotics, diuretics, glyburide, Benadryl, antiarrhythmics, naproxen, acne medications, cancer medications, antimalarials, NSAIDs, Dilantin, amiodarone, antipsychotics, and tetracycline. Sunscreen can help, but not completely.
5. Hair removal. Most times when you go for a typical lip, brow or other facial waxing, the technician rips off the hair, which in and of itself is potentially hyper pigmenting to your skin. Your skin is wiped with alcohol before, after or both. Almost never have I seen sunscreen being applied afterwards. This is why I don't use wax or alcohol wipes and you always leave here with sunscreen. (I use sugaring for hair removal, which is not wax and is much gentler).
6. Being in the sun between 10am and 3pm. So you're probably saying, gee, what's the point of tanning? Yes, exactly. I AM a fan of the health benefits (Vitamin D synthesis) the sun provides, but you don't need to bake for hours at prime burning time to have the benefits. These hours are when the sun is strongest and no sunscreen, no matter how high the number, will protect you 100%. Save your sun time for when the sun is less strong, but still wear your sunscreen. Use a hat, coverup and sunglasses for begin out between 10 and 3.
Try the new Antioxidant Superfoods Facial with ferulic acid stabilized Vitamin C to deal with hyper pigmentation or uneven skin tone.
If you have any questions, or end up with skin hyper pigmentation, contact me for help at 917. 596. 9535. I have many options to deal with hyper pigmentation, including specific facials and treatments. Happy summer!
Superfoods - they're low in calories and high in nutrients. WebMD says that they can lower your cholesterol, ward off heart disease and cancer. But we now know they are also helpful for having clear, glowing skin.
What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put into our bodies. Superfoods have powerful benefits that affect our health, including skin health, which we may not think about until we look in the mirror.
Struggling with acne or dark spots (hyper pigmentation)? Superfoods defend against free radical formation and inflammation, which are underlying causes or aggravators of disease but also hyper pigmentation and acne. Prolonged inflammation also destroys collagen in skin, causing wrinkling and sagging of skin.
Here are some super foods to incorporate into your daily routine;
- kale, spinach, any DARK green leafy vegetables
- goji berries
- green tea
- chia seeds
- raw cacao
Even if you haven't enjoyed the taste of super foods before, I have some recipes that will make them go down a lot easier. Remember, in 2 weeks, your taste buds will have adapted and will more readily accept eating these healthier foods.
1 large orange, peeled (I use the peel, try it and see)
1 cup kale or spinach or mix both
1/2 small avocado
1 cup coconut water or filtered water
1/2 cup ice
1 T. lemon juice
pinch of parsley
dash of Hungarian paprika (optional)
Blueberry Goji Smoothie
1 cup blueberries
A few chunks of sliced bananas that have been frozen (I keep them handy to thicken and sweeten smoothies)
1 T. goji berries
A handful of any dark green leafy veg you have on hand
1 cup almond milk
1/2 T. cacao powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
Blend well and drink up! Gives you more sustained energy than coffee, so try it for breakfast. Your skin and body will thank you.
Studies have been done which seems to indicate a correlation between dairy intake and exacerbation of acne. Reduce or eliminate dairy from your diet for a few weeks - its worth a try to see what effect it has on your acne.
Why would dairy worsen acne?
Factors that are thought to contribute are;
- Hormones - non-organic milk comes from cows that have had their milk production increased with injections of artificial hormones. You’re drinking these hormones which can contribute to acne. Even with organic milk, clients of mine have found that cow’s milk is hard to digest.
- Allergies - Your immune system may react to certain proteins found in cow’s milk (not the same as lactose intolerant, that is reaction to milk sugars). The reaction can occur even 72 hours after consuming dairy.
Worried about calcium intake?
Some of my clients are concerned about skipping dairy as they rely on it for calcium. The recommended daily intake for calcium is 1000mg (1200mg for women over 50). There are plenty of non-dairy sources of calcium.
Dark leafy greens contain lots of calcium. Try chard, broccoli, collard greens, kale, and Chinese greens. Like spinach? You must cook it to access the calcium! One cup of cooked spinach has 245mg of calcium, almost equal to one cup of milk. also try almonds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds and sardines.
Here are the stats on some calcium rich foods;
- White Beans: 191 mg in 1 cup canned Creamy and light, these legumes are a great source of calcium and iron . Add them to a pasta dish with veggies, or make your own hummus with white beans.
- Canned Salmon: 232 mg in ½ can with bones (which provides the calcium!) The canning process softens the bones so they easily break apart and are unnoticeable when mixed in with the rest of the can’s contents.
- Sardines: 321 mg in about 7 sardines fillets They also provide a hefty dose of omega 3’s and vitamin D. Try adding them to a Greek salad.
- Dried Figs: 107 mg in 8 whole dried figs. Chop them to put in morning cereal.
- Bok Choy: 74 mg in 1 cup. Stir-fry bok choy with garlic and olive oil for a perfect side dish.
- Blackstrap Molasses: 172 mg in 1 tablespoon. Drizzle some on pancakes, or use it to make brown sugar.
- Kale: 188 mg in 2 cups raw (chopped). Drizzle with olive oil and massage. Add fruit and other beg to make a lovely salad. Try radish and apricots; tomato and black eyed peas.
- Black-eyed Peas: 185 mg in 1/2 cup canned. Goes great with collards!
- Almonds: 72 mg in ¼ cup dry roasted (about 20 nuts). They also contain potassium, vitamin E, and iron. Sprinkle on a salad or make your own almond butter.
- Oranges: 65 mg in 1 medium fruit 11. Turnip Greens: 197 mg in 1 cup cooked (chopped). Sautee them as a side dish
- Sesame Seeds: 88 mg in 1 tablespoon. Use their nutty crunch in a salad, or add to sautéed spinach or turnip greens.
- Seaweed: 126 mg in about 1 cup raw. Seaweed is full of calcium, fiber, and iodine, which helps balance your thyroid. Try miso soup or use as a salad with red peppers, sesame oil and rice vinegar.
Note about vitamin D and calcium:
Remember to pair Vitamin D with non-dairy sources of calcium so it absorbs properly. Your Vitamin D is also available from the sun. Just 10 minutes on arms or legs during non-peak hours (peak hours are 10am - 3pm) will do the trick.
Proper diet, along with a skin care routine designed for your particular type of acne, will help you control acne. I’m always here to help - call 917. 596. 9535 or email me at email@example.com
Happy Earth Day! Blessings to God's remarkable earth - I'm grateful for all the bounties the earth provides.
Traditional spas require large amounts of water, chemicals and disposable items. As a spa practitioner dedicated to clean living because of its benefits for health, it made sense for me to offer services and run my studio in ways that respect the planet as well as my clients' health and well-being.
My commitment to environmentally responsible spa practices includes;
Organic, pesticide-free, cruelty-free massage and skincare products. My massage oil, skin care and makeup suppliers (The Jojoba Company and Eminence Organic Skin Care) have long histories of using sustainable farming and green practices. In the past year I've replaced facial waxing with Alexandria Sugaring, a gentle and natural way of removing hair with a professional blend of sugar, lemon and water. This method also doesn't require the use of strips, which are made from petroleum by-products.
Non-toxic treatment tables. Comfortable, sturdy American made massage tables from Oakworks in Pennsylvania, which do not contain toxin-emitting PVC found in foreign made tables. These massage tables contain only 100% CFC-free foam, and stand on either sustainable bamboo or metal bases.
Environmentally friendly linens and laundering. Bamboo (a highly renewable source for making fabrics), microfiber (which dries quickly and has a long life) and organic cotton (which uses no pesticides in growing) make up my sheets, and robes. I launder full loads so as not to waste water, and Nellie's All Natural Detergent that is biodegradable, nontoxic, and free from fragrances, dyes and chlorine. My Energy Star appliances ensure conservation of electricity.
Minimized disposables. Disposables are only used when necessary to protect the health and safety of my clients, avoiding unnecessary landfill. Glass and metal are used as treatment bowls and drinking cups to avoid landfill-clogging plastics. Bags are recycled paper or biodegradable. All sheets and towels are fabric and are laundered, rather than plastic or paper that has to be thrown away after each use creating more waste.
Reduce, Re-cycle and Re-use. All cardboard, glass, plastic and paper is recycled. All records are electronic and stored safely in the "Cloud". Paper receipts are only provided upon request - all others are emailed. All packing materials for shipping are reused from boxes I receive.
Environmentally conscious delivery - Shipping boxes and packing materials are re-used. Eminence Organics sends my items with corn pellets that disintegrate in the rain. I even maintain an old-fashioned MilkBox outside the studio for my local clients to be able to pick up their products when out for walks or on the way to work. Monthly newsletters are emailed, and I only do postcard mailings twice per year. The birthday cards are now postcards, so no more need for envelopes.
I hope this gives you an idea of the earth-friendly way I run the studio, and that it inspires you to look around your home and office to see where you can make some changes. If we all make small changes, the effect will be dramatic. Need some ideas or resources? Check online or feel free to call me at 917. 596. 9535.
Happy Earth Day!
Lips are the first to show signs of aging because the skin of the lips is so thin. It doesn't secrete oil like other parts of our skin. Add irritants like spicy or salty foods, vinegars, alcohol, chemicals from lip care products, licking our lips, and smoking, and you end of with dried out lips with wrinkles around them. Not very kissable, nor very comfortable to walk around with. Here's my tops 3 suggestions for winter lip care.
1. Protection - Use emollient and occlusive lip balm without the chemicals. Emollient means "moisturizing" and an occlusive forms a protective barrier. You might think to reach for Vaseline, but this and most other lip balms are petroleum based. Petroleum will dry out the lips, plus add unnecessary chemicals that you end up licking all day - yuck. Make sure your moisturizer covers all the way to your lip line to minimize the lines that can form around the lips.
2. Exfoliation - non-acid, natural exfoliators are best. The easiest way is to use your microfiber pad or, my favorite, to take some organic sugar, add organic jojoba, scrub for a minute then rinse well and follow with protection.
3. Avoid smoking and applying chemicals - The lines around lips are caused by Smoking causes dryness but the puckering is a constant folding of the skin which make permanent creases (think of a paper you fold then try to unfold - the crease doesn't go away). In lipstick, avoid silicones, artificial dyes, lanolin and synthetic fragrances (marked as "fragrance" on the label - they're not required to list what's in it). Opt for natural or organic lip glosses with a tint.
Questions? I'm always here to help! 917. 596. 9535 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for Calm Living
Health and beauty through massage and organic skincare