harem des sens

Sunday Facial

fullsizeoutput_439b

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.

fullsizeoutput_4398

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

Oui Please – France in a Box

P1030367

A subscription box with a regional French Edge curated by Parisian-born Jessica Barouche, would tickle any Francophile’s soul with joy. Oui Please releases 6 limited edition boxes per year and the contents (full size products) of each subscription box is a secret until it ships! The contents of the box include French apparel, beauty products, jewelry, home and epicure. They offer curated (from Online Shop) and à la Carte boxes. The boxes have a theme per region of France:

image 1image 2

Each box will include a copy of French lifestyle publication, OuiPlease Magazine. Oui Please kindly gifted me a special box with a variety of products from many of their previous boxes. I’d like to think as a special curation for me 😉

P1030370

Now onto exploring each item included in the box – each item is originated from France and has a lovely local artisan and story behind it. 

P1030428L’Attelier Guérande & Les Ladures

L’Attelier is a Brittany based bakery crafts all of their foods in an artisanal manner and uses only regional, organic ingredients. They work with traditional recipes approved by the French pastry and confectionary industry.

Les Ladures is in the heart of salt marshes of Guérande. They design and manufacture to the delight of gourmets exceptional products from organic agriculture.

P1030430Lebon toothpaste Cinnamon/Mint 

The luxury toothpaste is made in France. Lebon toothpastes have 100% natural fragrance, no parabens, no triclosan, no fluorine, no colorings and no saccharin. Not tested on animals. 

P1030432Sothy’s Deep Cleanser Desquacrem

In 1946, Sothys was a beauty institute in Paris, where a list of exclusive customers enjoyed fine French products created by Dr. Hotz, a medical biologist. Sothys is renowned for bringing advanced skin care and expertise to consumers worldwide. This deep cleanser helps to remove stubborn impurities from the skin. 

P1030433Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel with Rose Petals

Most of us are very familiar with Nuxe, founded on the passion for the power of plants and everything they have to offer, Aliza Jabès poured her knowledge as a research pharmacist into a natural line of skin care products. 

P1030439Doux Me Rose Blossom Mist

Created in 2002, and based on the belief that we must take good care of our skin the way we pay attention to our diet by choosing the simplest, most natural and most gentle ingredients possible, in line with a global concept of a healthy and harmonious philosophy of life. The first Ecocert certified organic cosmetics brand, Doux me is responsible for breathing new life into the world of beauty with commonsense organic skin care certified products that are both sensory and feminine. 

P1030438Oliv’ La Claree Radiance Elixir

The olive leaves are harvested in Provence. In Manosque, Les Mees and the Valensole growers prune branches from March to May and form bundles in their driveway olive trees. All of the formulations and packaging take place in the golden heart of “locavore”. All in less than 160 km; Les Mees, Forcalquier, Digne-les-Bains, Prayer, Les Pennes-Mirabeau, La Fare les Oliviers. This anti-ageing dry oil with a delicious perfume of olive leaves, helps smoothing and revitalizing the skin.

P1030437oOlution Glow up Skin Care 

oOlution believes in the need to urgently leave behind the old ways of the XXth century, with its standardization, homogenization and mass phenomena. This brand loves to the question the accepted ways and improvise to make it better.

Harem Des Sens Fabulous Silk Milk

A designer at heart, enriched by her Franco-Algerian double culture and with a passion for Beauty, Nabila Boutrif decided to create what she could not find on the market: modern and upscale cosmetics with an Oriental inspiration, natural, sophisticated and effective all at once. 

P1030435Graine de Pastel Baume de Cocagne Face and Body Butter

Born in 2003, this skincare re-explored the pastel, this tinctorial plant whose leaves contain a precious blue pigment that marked the history of South West France region, Toulouse and the “Pays de Cocagne”. But above all, the ancestral medicinal plant, whose dermatological properties were forgotten!! With a rich and dense texture, this face and body balm intensely nourishes and regenerates the skin. SO far my fave product.

P1030436Pier Auge Body Balm Caresse Agrumes Essential oil of Grapefruit

Founded in 1961 in Monaco, and then settled in Chateauroux in 1967. Jules Pierre Augé gave a unique concept of care which is exists, even today. The Pier Auge products select best local ingredients and artisans to create the products.

P1030442Historiae Perfume Hameau de la Reine Spray 

With its unique fragrance with scents that are simultaneously green, fresh and floral, Hameau de la Reine will take you to the heart of the Queen Marie-Antoinette’s Hameau to live again these great moments of emotion. 

P1030470.jpgMirgiole Sorbonne Gold Plated Earrings

Mirgiole was conceived by designer Raphaëlle Mourey after her travels abroad in Belgium and Latin America. The bohemian collection, named after the designer’s mother, is known for its colorful and playful aesthetic. The designer hand makes her creations, weaving together materials including gold, enamel.

Its wonderful to read, learn and experience all these products of regional France which I would have never discovered from the comforts of my home in Chicago.

HHW.com

xx