Amayori Rituals

Sunday Facial

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Facials Facials Facials, something I’ve tried in so many places from all over the world. Everyone has their own method, technique, products and most important is philosophy. So the question begged to be asked is what is my philosophy? Well its a holistic combination of atmosphere, state of mind, products and LOT of facial massage. I’m not particularly huge on gadget treatments but I do use a couple at home. Another crucial aspect for me is skillful, experienced hand at Extractions! Another reason why I have regular facials to maintain the health of my skin and ensure any underlying congestion is addressed. Generally I go for professional facials every 6-8 weeks however it can be a pricey affair so I do many interim maintenance facials at home. This post delves into how I indulge in at home facials.

Atmosphere: Typically I would also indulge in bath, so water in running in bath with capful of a bath oil (Aromatherapy Associates bath oils are amazing). The bathroom air fills with relaxing aroma of bath oil while I get started with a double cleanse. In addition, a gorgeous soy wax based candle is burning. Cleansing the skin with an oil or balm, taking it all over my face, neck, chest, behind ears and massage. Cup my palm over my nose and take deep breaths as I massage. This helps calms my raging mind, center my energies on the moment I’m about to indulge in.

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To remove the balm or oil, I have warm steaming wash cloth, air it for few second before I slap it on my face to ensure the temperature is not too hot for the skin. Cocoon my face in warm towel before I compress the towel on my face. The warm towel steam’s amalgamation with rich essential oil balm is truly transcending.

Next up, prep for exfoliation. Either physical, acid or enzyme, or combination. Choice is entirely yours! I have a separate post on all types of enzyme and physical exfoliators. Upon schmearing my enzyme exfoliator all over, I will steam my face. Steaming with enzyme exfoliator loosens surface dead skins and making it a whole lot easier to buff it away. Also preps skin for next step which is extractions. Not something I’d recommend to do at home – go to a professional if you don’t know what you’re doing. I typically only limit to extraction for blackheads, whiteheads and spots only if they’re ready to pop.

Skin can be stimulated at this point with steam, exfoliation and extraction – so Pause, Breathe. Mist some rose water. Dry your face and next up is a gadget High Frequency Facial Machine.

fullsizeoutput_435e.jpegHigh Frequency  helps treat and prevent stubborn acne, shrink enlarged pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, decongest puffy eyes, fade dark eye circles, rejuvenate the condition of the scalp and nourish hair follicles for healthier hair growth.

Most professional high frequency machines used in spas, salons and medical offices operate at a frequency of 100,000-2500,000+ hertz (cycles per second). However the machine I have here is only 50-60 htz, which is enough for regular at home use. Also assuring to know with such low frequency it isn’t going to damage especially when it is in DIY spirit.

Basically two types of high frequency with orange (neon gas) used to treat aging, promoting hair growth, tightening pores and skin elasticity and on the other hand is violet gas (argon gas) which is anti bacterial and wonderful for treating acne.  The violet argon gas frequency is typically used in spa’s however for at home function I find the orange neon gas works just fine on spots, pores, elasticity, blood circulation and  promoting overall health of the skin.

Soon after high frequency, I follow with clay or mud mask to tighten the pores after the treatment and continue the spirit of detoxifying and purifying the skin. Leaving it on for no more than ten minutes and I do not let it dry completely. When its completely dry (to a point where you’d need a chisel) you’ve drawn out all moisture from skin too. Taking it off with warm towel, next up is my personal fave step. The step for which I desperately and achingly look forward to a facial.

fullsizeoutput_4395Massage with a light, high linoleic acid carrier oil. The mantra here is firm pressure, no feathery, flimsy, sissy massage, you need firm pressure upward and outward. Following the muscle structure in the face. When hands, palm and fingers are tired, I employ Jade Gua Sha. This is literally the bomb of blood circulation and lymph drainage.

Massage has endless benefits some of which include: promoting blood circulation, lymph drainage (stuff that has toxin build up and makes you look puffy and dull), supports vitality in your skin, pressure point massage particularly fantastic for sinus sufferer like myself, better absorption of products in skin and most important of all it is incredibly relaxing. A good facial massage can put you to sleep (of course when someone else is massaging). To remove oil from skin, followed by another warm cloth compress, followed my misting with rose water again.

Here on, I begin layering products on skin to wrap up the facial. First up is acid treatment, followed by toning mist. Next up is one more gadget for eyes, from Dr fullsizeoutput_4396Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Pro, a FDA approved device featuring 72 LEDs, with a full spectrum of therapeutic light. Again a tool made for home use to replicate the professional light therapy used in medical clinics. I was extremely dubious about this product however using it for 3mins for last 20 odd days, I’ve noticed a visible difference in skin around my eyes. It’s tighter, firmer and smoother. I don’t have deep set wrinkles, I have fewer lines under my eyes but nothing that is major aging (if you know what I mean). I’ve also noticed when applying eye makeup, my skin near eye is more resilient and not so thin. I will continue using and keep you posted if I see more improvement. So following the light therapy near eyes is a retinol based eye serum.

From here, I finish off routine with an active Serum, treatment cream or balm or oil and hydrate a LOT with water. My choice of products and ingredients can vary for each facial however it is really driven and dependent on what my skin needs.

Also I specifically wanted to call out one more point about which type product I like to use in each category. This topic could be a post in itself however this gives you an indication where I’d like to put my money.

Medical cosmeceutical product vs. Green/natural product

  • Green/Natural – Cleansers, Toners, Masks, Balms, Oils – Typically on the surface of skin, and not much ‘face time’
  • Cosmeceutical (blend of cosmetic and pharmaceutical) or Over the Counter  – Acid Treatment, Serum, Eye Cream, Active ingredients (retinol, aha’s, peptides, etc) – This is deeper penetrating in skin and one which will show more visible results

*Personally I dont use any pharmaceutical product (yet)

There are other types of facials I do as well, which include micro dermabrasion but that facial routine looks completely different. Im curious to know, how do you do your at home facials?

HHW.com

xx

Amayori: Japanese Bathing Rituals

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A new brand and concept surfaced on my radar recently, Amayori Rituals. For many in Japan, bathing is a meditative practice – a time to renew, revive, relax and cleanse the soul. Beyond cleansing the body, the bath is viewed as a time and place to wash away the cares of the day.

Bathing is done in two phases. First, there is cleansing which is usually done in a small shower or with a Hinoki wood bucket before proceeding into the bathtub to soak. Soaking and relaxing in the bath is just that – pure enjoyment.

This is the same experience that Amayori Rituals bring to us with their bathing rituals. Drawing on Eastern wisdom and capturing the beauty and mystique of Japanese bathing rituals, Amayori is not just a line of luxury bath, body care and aromatherapy products, but an experience for your mind, body, and spirit.

Whether it be a bath or shower, bathing is an opportunity to nurture yourself, reflect and have a beautiful moment. Rarely are we alone without external influences. This is the perfect time to take advantage of your solitude. With an intention to relax, experience the beauty of Japanese bathing rituals at home.

 Stop, Relax, Breathe and Connect with Yourself.

I was sent a generous gift by the brand where I received Shower Mochi, Multi use Oil and Perfume Oil. Each product had a different scent profile and products are dreamy, magical and virtually take you to Japan to experience the ritual.

In Japanese culture, presentation is everything. Keeping that in mind, the attention to detail with packaging is wonderful, gorgeous Japanese papers delicately wrapping each box. Whilst each product is housed in black opaque UV protection glass bottle making overall presentation of these products wonderful gifts for just about any occasion. The ingredients, scent and overall experience elevates it to a luxurious self indulging treat.

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Shower Mochi which is basically ‘shower bombs’ that gradually impart its mesmerizing scent profile as hot water and steam come in contact.

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The whole bathroom smells amazing and standing under hot shower as steam wafts of Italian Bergamot Oil, Jasmine Absolute, Yellow Mandarin Peel Oil, and their Natural Essential Oil Blend enthralls me. From a usability and cost perspective, three mochi’s valued at $21 price point, which is $7 per shower sensorial experience. Depending on how long you shower, where you place mochi and how quickly it dissolves in water you can stretch use up to 2-3 times to get most value from each mochi. I reserve this as complete treat to my over worked mind, which sometimes refuses to slow down.

Inci List: Mochiko (sweet rice flour) and Rice Ferment Filtrate (Sake), Organic Citrus bergamia (Italian Bergamot) Oil, Jasmine Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Absolute, Citrus reticulata  (Yellow Mandarin Peel) Oil, Natural Essential Oil Blend

As for the inci list, its as clean, simple and effective as it gets. Nothing negative or cautionary to say.

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Speaking of mind refusing to slow down, I have difficulty unwinding and going to sleep. My thoughts, to do lists, idea for upcoming projects, grocery list etc just does not stop. Before you say it, No I cannot meditate. Doing elaborate skincare routines and relaxing rituals helps me unwind. Which brings me to next product which is Dreams of Gion Perfume Oil. Every night I take ten deep breaths of this peaceful and tranquil blend of Wild Lavender, Mandarin, Ylang Ylang, Rosemary. Whilst its no miracle to convert me to instant sleeping beauty, it sure diverts my mind to gorgeous sensorial experience than thinking of to do’s and other lists.

Inci List: Organic Camellia Oil, Citrus Junos  (Yuzu) Oil, Citrus Reticulata  (Green Mandarin) Oil, Lavandula angustifolia  (Wild Lavender) Oil, Cananga Odorata Genuina  (Ylang Ylang Extra) Oil,  Natural Essential Oil Blend, Rosemary CO2 Extract

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All their Aromatherapy Perfume Oils have a base of Camellia oil and wonderfully curated blends of essentials oils. I was also provided with samples of other oils, and whilst I still haven’t steered away from Dream of Gion the scent profile and inci list for others is as follows:

Ambrosial Ofuro: Organic Camellia Oil, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Endl. (Hinoki) Essential Oil, Monarda fistulosa L. var. menthaefolial (Mondara) Essential Oil, Hedychium spicatum  (Ginger Lily) CO2, Michelia Champaca (Champaca) CO2, Natural Essential Oil Fragrance, Rosemary CO2 Extract

Hinoki Onsen: Organic Camellia Oil, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Endl. (Hinoki) Oil,  Jasmine Sambac (Jasmine) Absolute, Aniba rosaeodora (Rosewood) Essential Oil, Citrus reticulata (Red Mandarin) Essential Oil, Natural Essential Oil Blend, Rosemary CO2 Extract

Geisha Ritual: Organic Camellia Oil, Organic Citrus bergamia (Italian Bergamot) Oil, Jasmine Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Absolute, Citrus reticulata  (Yellow Mandarin Peel) Oil, Natural Essential Oil Blend, Rosemary CO2 Extract

Zen Morning: Organic Camellia Oil, Organic Citrus aurantium (Sicilian Blood Orange) Oil, Citrus aurantium v Amara (Egyptian Bitter Orange) Oil, Mentha arvensis (Japanese Mint) Oil,  Piper nigrum (Black Pepper) Essential Oil, Natural Essential Oil Blend, Rosemary CO2 Extract

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The addiction to this oil is truly what has me devoted to this brand. The versatility, magnetic scent profile, clean inci list and pump packaging has me going gaga. The site claims it can be used as body oil before or after shower, bath oil (few drops in bath), and hair oil. I’ve used it all ways except bath, because the temperatures are too warm to soak in bath. However trust me to experiment more, used as face oil and mixed with my MV Organic Jojoba oil as well. Smelled amazing and instantly absorbs in skin. Moisturized skin well and no noted congestion. The scent doesn’t linger for long.

The inci list is simple and straight forward which encourages its versatility. Surely the price point would ache a bit at $110 however you get full 100ml. So the range of purposes and the price would work but still on luxe spectrum.

Hinoki Onsen: Coconut Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Organic Camellia Seed Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Endl. (Hinoki) Oil,  Jasmine Sambac (Jasmine) Absolute, Aniba rosaeodora (Rosewood) Essential Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Red Mandarin) Essential Oil, Natural Essential Oil Blend, Rosemary CO2 Extract

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All in all, I definitely recommend giving this brand a go. It certainly is a luxe treat to unwind and detach from all cares and stresses in the world. Have you tried this brand? Tell me about your experiences.

HHW.com

xx