Facial

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?

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xx

DIY Aromatherapy Facial

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We’ve been to spa’s or heard of various Aromatherapy treatments. One of which is the aromatherapy facial, which got my attention. These facials are known to soothe the skin and relax your mind. With the use of essentials oils based on your skin type, the scents from these lush oils induce relaxation to a stressed mind. Different essential oils are suited to different types of skin such as:

  • Dry Skin- cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, jasmine, lavender, lemon, myrrh, patchouli, roman chamomile, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, ylang ylang
  • Oily Skin- bergamot, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, helichrsum, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, orange, patchouli, peppermint, roman chamomile, rosemary, sandalwood, tea tree, ylang ylang
  • Normal skin/Combination skin- geranium, chamomile, lavender, orange, ylang ylang petitgrain, palmarosa.
  • Sensitive Skin- geranium, jasmine, lavender, chamomile, neroli
  • Mature Skin- clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, helichyrsum, lavender, lemon, myrrh, orange, patchouli, rosemary, sandalwood, ylang ylang.

While the above list is commercial, I was once advised that take a deep breath and have a good sniff at these oils. Based on that, listen to what your body signals. Your body and mind will react to the scent either in a pleasant way (wanting more) or simply gross you out. This exercise will determine what your skin/body needs. I haven’t looked back since and truly believe in this method. At home aromatherapy facials have shaped up as follows:

Cleansing – Makeup RemovalRodial Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Water to remove my eye makeup and whatever is left on cotton pad I swipe across my lips and rest of face. Then follow with Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and gently massage all over my face. Once the balm is all over my palms, I cup them and inhale deep breath. Wipe with warm wash cloth.

Cleansing – Skin Nourishment – Followed with Rodial Stem Cell Super Food Cleanser and again massage away to glory. Dip my hands in ice cold water and shock my skin with varying temperatures. Now I don’t know if this would be recommended however I know I thoroughly enjoy it.

Steaming – Next step of temperature shock is boil a pot of hot water, add a few drops of essential oil, hold a towel over my head and let my skin steam away. In an ideal spa environment, this stage will be followed by extractions but I’m a chicken when I do it over myself.

Exfoliating – Instead of extractions, I use grated almond shell (nourishes and gently exfoliates) with orange rind (vitamin c) mixed with whole cream milk (lactic acid) and gently massage all over my face. Wash it off with regular tap water.

Alternatively I use PMD after steaming. Will post a separate review on that.

Mask – Back to wonderful smells and injecting hydration in skin I smear Una Brennan Rose Hydrating Mask all over and let it sit for 15-25minutes. If I fall asleep I guess I stop there if not…here’s how I continue

Toner – Spritz Pixi Glow Tonic, very refreshing and smells wonderful

Moisturizer – Followed with Dr Scheller Lavender Night Moisturizer, since it has water content skin will absorb immediately and then follow with

Facial Oil – Estelle & Thild Oil – Rose scented goodness!

Understandably,  to some this could be sensory overload or a simple assault on senses but to me this is perfection!

xx

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Face Oils Edition – Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate

P1000749I’ve read endless blog posts on this product raving how darn fabulous it is etc. Now for what I’m about to say many would disagree as I’m on other side of fence with this one, the other side being the not so positive review. Having said that, it’s not negative either. Please allow me to elaborate….

When I’m perplexed why a product din’t work for me as other reviewers experienced, frequently it’s because of an expectation gap. So I take a step back and review what the brand claims and take it from there. Kiehl’s claim to regenerate, repair and replenish skin. They have also marketed this product as night time facial. Love the concept period.

Were my results that of a night time facial? Ermmm depends what kind of facial. If it’s simply hydrating and maintenance then yes. But if the facial that claims dramatic results on my skin, I’d say no.

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I picked up 2 samples (2ml) from Kiehl’s store and each of them lasted me more than week (overall test period 3 weeks). It’s not like I’m tossing oil and balsamic dressing on my face, I need just a few drops. Thank you Kiehl’s for generous samples.

I HATE the fact that the website does not present full list of ingredients of the product. All I could see on the website was Evening Primrose Oil, Lavender Essential Oil and signature Kiehl’s ingredient called Squalene. Sure they all sound great, but what else do you have in there?

Overall to conclude my rant, it’s nice but not ‘WOW where da hell have you been?’ I guess The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil makes me feel that way. Would I purchase it? Depends on many factors such as: is the TBS Vitamin E oil out of stock and I need oil, perhaps. If its discontinued then yes.

xx

HHW.com