Author: Amanda Koennecke

An Insider’s Report on our Newest Massage Therapist: Jessi Slavich

As part of our “getting to know you” introduction of practitioners new to Watershed Wellness, we have one of our practitioners (in this case, esthetician Amanda Koennecke) experience a session with the new practitioner in order to share with you what the experience is like. Read on to find more about our newest massage therapist, Jessi Slavich.

By now, we must all realize how saturated Portland is with health and wellness solutions. It’s no secret that we live in a city that prides itself on alternative lifestyles, and with that comes alternative health care. This includes acupuncture, naturopathic doctors, estheticians, and especially massage. How are you supposed to pick a practitioner, with so many options for care?

Perhaps the biggest thing that sets practitioners apart from one another, is the ability to give great customer service. You could be the nation’s top massage therapist with an affinity for Swedish massage, but when it comes down to it–did your therapist carefully listen to your needs? Was the mood in the space a good one, or was it awkward? All of these elements, can quickly change the tone and tempo of the service. Lucky for us at Watershed Wellness, we’re in the business of hiring exceptionally talented practitioners that also happen to be terrific humans outside of work and beyond. Which brings me to my grand point: we hired another practitioner, and we’re super excited for everyone to meet her!

Meet Jessi, our new massage therapist.

Jessi Slavich, LMT

To give you an inside look at the type of treatment Jessi offers, I dug deep and booked a massage with her to bring my research to the public (rough job, I know). Jessi has years of experience with body work, and it was evident in her massage. First, a thorough consultation in which we outlined the kind of work I was needing for that visit, followed by my choice of essential oil to enhance the massage.

The great thing about Jessi’s style of massage?

The focus and intent on what is needed at that very moment. Not just an all over massage with varying amounts of pressure, but a deep attention to what was necessary. Sure, she thoroughly massaged the base of my neck, which always needs work. But my tendonitis issues? She spent a great deal of time in a single spot. One hand, applying very direct pressure, and a wait to see how that muscle would react under her touch. It’s a practice amongst the most talented of massage therapists–pay attention to the muscles, not just relaxation needs of the client.

Good massage work should automatically include a sense of relaxation and well being, if it’s done right. But to have a thorough understanding of the body’s anatomy, to craft a truly unique massage service? Jessi hits all of these points. She even came back into the room with me, post-massage, to physically stretch my body out and teach me how to do these stretches at home.

What a breath of fresh air, to find great customer service and an elevated sense of body work. Get on her schedule before she’s completely booked! 

Solving the vexing problem of winter dry skin

dry skin facial portland winter

The coldest, darkest season of the year is upon us, and with it can come the cold, high winds. Also along for the winter ride? The uncomfortable onset of seriously dry skin. You know the feeling… Parched, stripped, lacking in moisture, desperately seeking relief!

In the winter time, no question is asked more of me than how to take care of dry skin

It’s a feeling we’re all familiar with. Even if you tend to be more on the oily side, you may experience dryness elsewhere such as your hands or your scalp. Your regular face lotion (moisturizer) isn’t quite doing the trick like it did in the summer. Maybe an hour or two after you apply moisturizer, it feels like you didn’t even put any on. Maybe it hurts to smile or open your mouth due to cracks at the corners of your lips. So, in an effort to rid my clients of their dry skin troubles, I’m here to provide as much education as I can on the subject!

To start to understand what’s going on, we need to address two questions…

  • How do oil and water affect the skin?
  • What causes dry skin in the winter? (Or, really, any time of year?)

Let’s start with the first – the impact of oil and water on your skin. It’s crucial to understand that water alone cannot hydrate the skin. Most skin care products on the market contain water, as it’s the cheapest filler to increase volume. But as we know, water evaporates. In fact, water can sometimes LEACH hydration and nourishment from the skin! As an example, consider people who wash their hands 10+ times a day (i.e. service industry workers, hospital employees, etc.). The skin can be extraordinarily dry in these cases! Water slides onto the skin, then is immediately wiped off and left to air dry. The skin puckers from this effect, thus creating a look of dehydration with fine lines.

What if there was a way to trap water in the skin, so it had a chance to hydrate the skin without evaporating so quickly?

This is where oil comes into play!


Applying oil, in many forms, is the trick to trapping water in the skin. Not only does oil create a physical barrier on the skin to lock in water and other beneficial ingredients, but oil actually nourishes skin tissue to create a more supple layer that functions smoothly. It makes sense when you think about it. A car’s engine cannot run without oil to lube it up. So how is your skin supposed to function correctly if it’s not lubed up on a deeper level? Try using a facial or body oil. I recommend Eminence’s Facial Recovery Oil for the face, and the Apricot Body Oil for the body. Lightly massage the oil into the skin. The warmth of your hands will help the oil to penetrate more deeply – and it’s relaxing to boot!

If you’re an oil-phobe, and don’t like the idea of an oil slick on your skin remember you’ll only need a few drops for the face and maybe an ¼ tsp for the body.

Oil should be massaged in slowly, so it doesn’t sit on top of the skin. This can be done morning or night, but a nighttime application gives oil a chance to rest and work while our body is in repair mode. Do continue to use your regular moisturizers and lotions, just remember to pick a time to swap those out for an oil application. I like to use my moisturizer in the morning and an oil at night. Others will alternate days: one day they use a moisturizer morning and night, and every other night they use an oil. Easy enough.

Now, the second question, and ultimately what will help us understand our dry skin woes.

What causes dry skin in the winter, or anytime? Lots of skin experts will say “dry skin conditions are caused by a lack of moisture in the air”. This can be true, but it is not a hard and fast truth because it doesn’t apply to everyone. Think about the Pacific Northwest. It’s the wettest corner of the country and we’re still dealing with dryness and dehydration. Our skin is drier in the winter because of the drop in temperature. When it’s cold outside, oil moves at a slower speed or even hardens! Coconut oil is the best example of this–when it’s warm, coconut oil turns to liquid. When it’s cold, it hardens. So if our oil production slows down, our skin loses the ability to hold hydration from water. Tissue becomes less lubed up, and starts to dry out.

See why oil is so important to treating your skin in the winter now?

One of the best things you can do for your dry skin is to get a massage. Facial massage, body massage, it’s all incredibly beneficial. In my treatment room, facial massage is the chief focus of facial services. It makes the skin function optimally, decreases the depth of wrinkles and fine lines, and makes your existing skin products work a little harder and longer within the deeper layers. Combined with warm tea to wash the skin (yes, tea instead of water to wash your face!), and a warm bed to create comfort, you can see why facials will greatly benefit your overall health.

Take a stand against dry skin this winter – and really any season – and jump on my schedule.

Vitamin C, Skin and Collagen: A Story of Necessity

Vitamin C has always had it’s place in an esthetician’s tool belt. Why?

It’s essential for our health on multiple levels. Many know it as a helpful ally in fighting off the ravages of cold and flu season. You may also remember that vitamin C is essential for fighting free radicals, which can cause cellular and physical damage throughout the body including teeth, bones, and blood vessels.

What does this have to do with skin care?

Collagen! That other lovely word that starts with a ‘C’! The component of smooth and strong skin that’s at the top of everyone’s wish list. Here are a few quick things you should know about collagen, to better aid you in it’s importance to skin health:

  • Collagen is a primary building block of bones, connective tissue, and skin
  • Collagen is a hard, insoluble protein that cannot be absorbed through the skin. It must be administered orally or through tissue/muscular injection (as in Botox)
  • Humans are born with a surplus of collagen, more than what we need, and continues to regenerate naturally AND through food and supplement intake
  • Collagen production slows down dramatically after age 25
  • At this point, the collagen that was abundant in our body starts to break down slowly

Now that you’ve conquered Collagen 101, we can begin to make the connection with Vitamin C being the key player in stimulating natural collagen production, and why it’s important to your skin!

Without the presence of collagen, skin begins to take on a dry, thin, wrinkly, less-cushioned appearance. “Smile lines” become deeper. Forehead creases become more prominent. Your jawline starts to sag a bit. The tiny indent by your left upper lip, from using straws all those years? It starts to stick around and never go away.

Again: Collagen is necessary for strong, healthy skin

Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “What about collagen supplements? Collagen protein powders? Collagen injections?” Supplements and powders are a wonderful addition to your diet. In particular, I really enjoy a brand called Vital Proteins – here’s a link. But those supplements are just that–a supplemental, one time fix for the body. They don’t stimulate production; they just make a one-time deposit to the collagen source.

With Vitamin C, on the other hand, you can get the assembly line of collagen moving within the body, and it’ll continue to work for a long period of time.

Here are a few fun ways to get some more Vitamin C into your life:

Interested in treatment that will incorporate these principles? I am running a facial special this month that is 15 minutes longer than my normal treatment, and specifically packed with Vitamin-C to give your skin the holiday boost it needs.

A trip out to the Oregon wilderness afforded me a massive harvest of fresh rosehips, which i’ll be using as a cleansing tincture through the facial. Pink grapefruit and broccoli sprout-infused products play a big role in sloughing off dead skin cells, and provides a vitamin-rich masque treatment to illuminate the skin on deeper level.

Polish it all off with wrinkle-release facial massage and stress reduction, and you’re guaranteed to be whistling a healthier tune once you walk out of the clinic. Join me!

 

Cultivating healthy skin is simply basic hygiene

hy·giene
ˈhīˌjēn/
noun
conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness.

When sitting down to write this article, I had to really stop and examine a few things, and think about why I chose to take it upon myself 12 years ago to advocate for bright, healthful skin and the practices surrounding it.

  • Why do I consider facials to be a necessity, and not a luxury service like it’s traditionally been considered?
  • How do you educate clients on how vital good skin hygiene is?

What stuck out to me the most in those two thoughts, was the word “hygiene”. Because that, in fact, is what good skin health is all about. Basic hygiene. Healthy skin is a basic hygiene standard, not a beauty standard.

In a society where self-care and strict hygiene practices seem to be normal, when did the cost of great skin only become available to people who had hundreds of dollars to spend at a fancy resort spa? Is it because we think that cleansing and moisturizing, are extravagant steps to take in our daily regimen, and the only time to carve out for those steps is when you’re on vacation and pampering yourself?

Not the case. Skin health is a necessity, because our skin is the largest functioning organ in and our on body, and is directly connected to ALL of the other organs in the body. Good, healthy skin is actually our first line of defense in protecting our overall health.

Now, the second question: how do you educate clients on the importance of this? I’ll make it easy. I’m going to bust out a good ol’ formula we learned long ago in beauty school, and one that I have used time and again as a skin care educator nowadays. It’s the six primary functions of our skin; how it affects the body, and it’s arranged in a cute acronym to make it easier to remember.

PASSER

  • P: Protection. Your skin protects harmful foreign invaders (smoke, pollution, unfiltered sun rays, etc.) from physically entering the body. Also keeps your vital organs locked up and from literally falling out of your body.
  • A: Absorption. Your skin absorbs essential vitamins, nutrients, and botanicals to survive.
  • S: Secretion: Your skin’s way of pushing out oil and sweat combined to form a protective barrier on your skin, making it less susceptible to environmental pollution damage.
  • S: Sensation: Your skin’s way of determining heat/cold/pain/pressure.
  • E: Excretion. Your skin’s way of pushing out excess amounts of salt or toxins that don’t need to be in your body.
  • R: Regulation. Your skin’s way of maintaining your body’s core temperature.

All of these basic skin functions can be compromised due to poor skin health.

Some of the conditions I’ve seen in my career stemming from poor skin hygiene, include:

  • Acne (an inflammatory disease, “zits”/”pimples”, can be caused by poor diet, genetics, environmental stress/pollution)
  • Dry, scaly patches
  • Uneven skin tone; red and flushed in some spots, dark circles under the eyes, even broken blood vessels
  • Yeast infections (yes, on the face!)
  • Sweat or oil gland disorders (producing too much oil, not enough, sweating profusely which can result in uneven skin tone, not sweating enough which can lead to internal infection or disease)

Are all of these conditions treatable? Yes, to some extent. Am I a doctor and able to diagnose conditions? No. But as a skin therapist, am I able to coach you, the client, on maintaining good basic skin health and taking your lifestyle and commitments into account when making recommendations? Absolutely. So, as a skin therapist, I perform facials to promote great health. Facials include cleansing, balancing, and massaging the skin with a variety of cost-effective products and timeless techniques to restore your skin to ultimate health.

It’s not all candles and aromatherapy and $350 face creams and painting egg whites on your face!

There’s a rhyme and a reason to what we do, and it’s a very holistic health approach that seems to resonate with the relatively common desire to improve self care habits. Next week, I’ll be rolling out a few ideas on how to maintain your skin, and I’ll be listing some of the lifestyle choices that can lend a hand in keeping those skin health results long-lasting. Prefer to speak about it in person as well?

Get on my schedule and let’s continue the journey together.

Organic Skin therapy for spring – renewal and detox

 

With a promising season of lush greenery and fresh blooms around the corner, spring will present us with an opportunity to engage the tradition of renewal. It’s a time to watch the natural world emerge, and to help ourselves do the same. In Portland, spring will bring back the lilacs and cherry trees, filling the city with color and a heady floral fragrance.

Also relevant this time of year: the need to detox and start thinking about an active spring and summer season ahead

In order to take full advantage of what the warmer seasons have to offer (more hiking, swimming, boating, gardening, picnicking, trips to the farms and farmer’s markets…), you’ll need to be in your best physical shape and health.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what makes me feel healthy, and some small steps I can take to modify my normal routine in order to ease into better habits. As a skin therapist, that means many things to me. Diet, exercise, and general self-care are my top priorities, and it’s always a reflection of my esthetics practice here at Watershed.

“What does being a skin therapist, or facials, have to do with your overall health,” you ask?  

A lot, actually. What if I told you I could actually detox or aid you in a personal cleanse just by giving you a facial?

It’s simple, really. Lymphatic drainage, a common form of massage and routinely touted in Eastern medicine as a necessary component, works to move stagnant lymphatic fluid that carries toxins and waste to the lymph disposal system, which detoxifies the body.

A number of noticeable benefits, like reduced puffiness, leaner jawline, and more energy, are just some of the ways in which lymphatic drainage is important. This type of massage, combined with natural skin care products and a variety of in-house concoctions, are all carefully designed to give you your best looking skin ever.

Sounds like a great start to spring, right?

Here are some other small steps I’m recommending for a rite of renewal.

  • Throw away your old spices and clean out your pantry. The desire to make clean, healthy dishes is a great way to kick start good routines, but not with 1-2 year old spices. Restock your ground ginger, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika, and all other goodies to ensure a healthy pantry.
  • Stretch in the morning. The minute you wake up. Even if it’s just for five minutes, it’s better than not stretching at all.
  • Switch up your daily water intake. Add some herbs or citrus fruits to encourage good circulation and better hydration. Buy a new water bottle or thoroughly clean the current one you’ve got.
  • Clean off your feet and give them a good rub before you go to bed. Clean feet in a clean bed, along with a foot rub, will ensure relaxation and no grime from walking barefoot around the house. If you’re feeling spry–rub some tea tree or oregano oil on your feet before bed. 

Last but not least, I’ve designed a Spring Detox Facial as my seasonal facial, available in a 60 or 90 minute** version

In addition to the classic serums and masques from Eminence, you can expect:

  1. Sparkling water infused with fresh lemon slices and vanilla-scented black tea, for cleansing the skin. This concoction will serve up refreshing antioxidants and polyphenols with a caffeine kick to revitalize. Lemon and sparkling water provide a cooling, invigorating tonic.
  2. Lavender aromatic steam towels, to promote relaxation.
  3. A detoxifying lymphatic massage to aid in waste elimination through the skin, combined with a relaxing facial massage to follow.
  4. An arctic berry polypeptide cream, to finish with true radiance.

**The 90 minute includes a detoxifying menthol-camphor foot treatment and an ice compress application at the end of the treatment. Feels truly amazing.

Make an appointment on our website for a Spring Detox treatment.

 

You might want to try pairing it with a check-in with one of our Naturopaths, a series of Acupuncture treatments or a therapeutic and relaxing massage. Treat yourself right as we move into spring!

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Kind of Beat-up: An Hour with Lisa Marie White, LMT.

LisaMarieSelfieIt’s Saturday, January 9th, and the clinic is warm and toasty. Ladd’s Addition is grey and wintery-looking, but the neighborhood still bustles with people and business no matter the time of year. Inside, I’m washing up, and then I’ll sip on some tea while I wait for my massage with Watershed Wellness’s newest LMT, Lisa Marie White.

Coming out to greet me, she’s all smiles, not to mention seeming to be a tiny little thing. But I know better. Some of the strongest massage therapists I’ve encountered looked liked they weighed a buck-ten, if that. I’m in for a therapeutic session; I can tell. The best kind of “beat-up”.

Before we step into the treatment room, I level with her. “Look, before we get started, I just wanted to ask you a few questions about your massage practice, so our clients can get a sense of what to expect from the new addition to our crew. Have you got a minute?” She laughs, taking a seat across from me.

Lisa Marie’s approach to massage therapy comes from a healing place, one that actually started out in the field of nursing.

As it turns out, she became frustrated as a registered nurse and the western medicine system in general. Needing a change and wanting to do even more for the physical health of people, she sought out her path in massage therapy. She counts heat application as the number one pre-and-post massage advice, noting that heat application helps circulation and to cradle the increased blood flow that happens during and after a massage. Five years into her practice now, I’m excited for what lies ahead for her in her time at Watershed.

On the table, I’m facedown, disrobed, and ready to rock. I’m also sustaining an ankle injury, which she’s going to treat with some topical drainage and heat application. Her touch is a strong one (called it!), and almost echoes that of a physical therapist.

No messing around here, she’s treating you for your body aches and pains AND getting you to relax at the same time.

She’s also mindful to ask if the pressure is comfortable, and can adjust to my liking at any time. Strong hands, warm bedside manner, and some tips for stretching and appropriate water intake after my massage. She hits all the notes of a successful practitioner in a single hour-long treatment.

The Finale: When I asked her what she loved most about massage therapy, her answer was quick and assured, without hesitation. “I really love being able to support people in finding their best health. Reconnecting people to their better self. It’s my passion.”

Beautiful, and accurate. Welcome to Watershed Wellness…we’re happy you’re here. Don’t waste any time – get on her schedule today!

 

Three Eminence Products to have in your skin care arsenal this winter

Big news in the skin care department here at Watershed Wellness!AK Eminence Award

Last week, I had the opportunity to represent Watershed Wellness at the bi-annual regional training for Eminence Organic Skin Care, our in-house product line. In addition to new product education and discovering new tips and techniques for taking care of our clients, Watershed Wellness received an award for “Greenest Spa Initiatives”.

Out of all of the places that carry Eminence in Oregon and SW Washington, Watershed Wellness is greenest and most sustainable!

So, what does that mean exactly?

Watershed Wellness is at the forefront of sustainable practices, and we’re always mindful of ways we can reduce and conserve. Small things, like using washable glassware, filing paperwork electronically, using natural detergents, and biking or carpooling to work really make a difference. Our clients appreciate it, too, as most of them are also aware of their carbon footprint. This is one of the reasons we originally decided to partner with Eminence–not only are they the highest quality of organic skin care available, but the company prides itself on finding “Earth-friendly solutions in every aspect of our business.” For more information on Eminence’s policies, check out https://eminenceorganics.com/us/green-company.

I’ve been at Watershed Wellness for over six months now, and it’s been great to be here! My facials are carefully crafted to suit the needs of your skin, and clients love the practically-edible potions and lotions that directly target their skin conditions. There are three products, however, that consistently sell out. They are the best-selling items in the house, and for good reason: they deliver INSTANT results.

Watershed’s Top Three Eminence Products

1)Bamboo Firming Fluid

After you wash your face and before you smooth on your moisturizer, there’s an important stBambooFirmingFluid 1157 HRep to be taken, and it’s one of the deepest, most effective products you can use outside of the treatment room to get great results. Serums are those lipid-based products that directly target skin conditions, and should be used daily in between cleansing and moisturizing. The Bamboo Firming Fluid is a concentrated form of a serum, and only one pump delivers a Retinol-based treatment designed to firm and plump the skin.

facial recovery oil2) Facial Recovery Oil

In Ayurvedic medicine, sesame oil is life. It heals, banishes bacteria, nourishes the gums, delivers powerful doses of zinc to the skin….the list goes on. Eminence came up with a formula that includes sesame oil, clary sage, ylang ylang, rue, olive oil, and sage leaf. Together, these key ingredients nourish, detoxify, heal, calm, and rejuvenate the skin. Yes. All of that. This product will replace your moisturizer in your daily routine, and also doubles as a fantastic treatment for tired-looking eyes. Great for every skin type, from the acne prone to aging. Use the Facial Recovery Oil at night if you’re oily or acne prone to replenish and balance the skin (also lightens acne scars!), or use it day and night to heal and illuminate your skin if you tend toward normal/combination/dry skin.

3)Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant

StrawberryRhubarbDermafoliant_4_HR 3In this day and age, people are addicted to exfoliation. The feeling of perfectly buffed, smooth skin is desirable, and speaks of a person who loves to feel CLEAN. This product is a powder-based exfoliant, tha
t has an infinite shelf life (which means it doesn’t spoil). It has to be mixed with water or cleansers to be activated. At $48 retail price, my last bottle lasted me 18 months. This makes the Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant the most cost-effective product this line has to offer. As the name implies, this exfoliant contains strawberry and rhubarb, which are packed with antioxidants and gentle astringent factors. It also contains chickpea flour, rice bran, and lactic acid. Not only is it a physical exfoliant, but a chemical one as well. Gentle, can be mixed with a cleanser for a 2-in-1 action, and lasts forever. What’s not to love? And it’s for every skin type!

Next time you stop into the clinic, please play with Eminence testers that we have in the waiting room, please ask for a sample if you’d like to try something out at home.

Smell, feel, and use the products. If the old saying goes “you are what you eat”, then it’s definitely a good thing we’re using organic fruits, herbs, veggies and spices on our skin! When you’re ready to schedule your next facial, you’ll have a jump-start on your regular skin care routine, and I will be happy to answer any and all questions you might have about these products!

Instant gratification solutions for today’s common skin concerns

“Will This Get Rid of My Wrinkles?”

In my line of work, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned point blank question from a client to whip me into focus.

Clients don’t want long, involved answers on how to take care of their skin. We’re living in a world where instant gratification and shortcuts are favored over involved routines and lengthy solutions. Skin care is no exception to this. Clients want an answer, and they want it NOW!

I’ve got a list of solutions for you, after many years of trials and tribulations in the treatment room. They’re not the only solutions, but they are one of many solutions that will make sense. Let’s get right to the point.

What are some of the most common point blank questions I get from clients?

Q. “How do I get rid of wrinkles?”

age corrective masque
Hyaluronic Acid. That’s exactly what Botox is–except, we all know that Botox is an animal by-product, which can’t be absorbed into the skin, hence why it’s injected. Lucky for us, organic or natural skin care companies have found a way to derive hyaluronic acid from plants. HOORAY.

Retinol alternatives are also a fabulous solution.

 

Q. “How do I get rid of zits?”

Probiotics, and being mindful of your internal health. Probiotics balance the internal bacteria that can cause acne. Find probiotics in yogurt, or special probiotic supplements. Better yet, come in to see one of our fabulous Naturopaths or our Nutritional Therapist for a consultation to discuss this vital aspect of skin health.

Q. “Does using cucumbers on your eyes to reduce puffiness really work?”

YES. In fact, you should pack your entire face with fresh cucumber every once in awhile. Cooling, naturally firming properties help lift and tone the skin, while reducing inflammation. We all know that inflammation is the chief cause of acne, right? So, it’s great for all skin types.

I’m actually offering a cold cucumber pack free with any facial for the entire month of August. Come try it out!

Q. “How do I make my dark undereye circles go away?”

Reduce your alcohol intake, don’t smoke, don’t rub your eyes when you’re tired, and get some fresh air. Dark circles are a result of lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, and rubbing your eyes could dislodge the tiny muscles under your eye, causing excessive wrinkles and sagginess (which could highlight your dark circles).

Q. “Does wearing makeup clog my pores?”

If you wear it to bed, yes. No one should be wearing makeup to bed, when it’s been coated in the dirt and debris from your daytime activities. Most cosmetic lines today offer high quality makeup free of parabens, mineral oils, and fillers. Almost all face makeup now includes SPF. So, no worries on wearing makeup during the daytime hours, and wondering if it’s causing your breakouts. What a time to be alive!

Q. “Can you recommend a product to pick up at a drugstore? I’m on a budget.”

No. You’re on a budget? Your skin isn’t on a budget! In fact, it’s the only skin you’ve got! It’s entirely possible to purchase a few key items and slowly build your arsenal of effective products. Also, high end products are meant to be diluted or used very sparingly. Spend $40 on a cleanser that’ll last you 3+ months, versus a $10 cleanser that lasts you a month. The math is real.

cnc
Filled with shelf preservatives, dye, and man-made chemicals. Retails at $5.50
cleansers
Filled with effective, active ingredients sourced from plants. Retails at $38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear some more of your basic skin concerns or questions. There’s a good chance someone else has the same question you do. Get in touch with me and let’s see if we can’t get to the bottom of these issues.

Wrinkles, Collagen loss, and other repairable skin issues

FullSizeRenderThis last weekend, I went to Vegas for a weekend of intense skin care education.

The International Esthetic Conference and Spa Convention is the largest spa conference in the nation, showcasing hundreds of product lines, advanced education, demonstrations, and networking. Watershed’s in-house product line, Eminence Organic Skin Care, was one of the largest exhibitors there, with 6 classes total as well as live demonstrations at the booth.

Armed with new knowledge and some hot new massage moves, here are a few things I picked up.

Did you know?

After the age of 30, the skin loses an 1/8th of a teaspoon of volume every year!

Your skin’s volume is comprised of collagen, adipose (fatty tissue), and hyaluronic acid. Optimal levels of all three give your skin the bounce and luminosity many of us enjoy.

So, what happens when your skin loses the ability to retain all three components?

Collagen and adipose are hard to replace naturally (read further), but lucky for us, hyaluronic acid is replaceable. Look for cleansers, masques, and serums that contain hyaluronic acid that can easily be absorbed into the skin. Eminence’s Firm Skin line contains acai berry and naturally occurring hyaluronic acid derived from marshmallow root.

When combined with a professional facial massage, prime absorption occurs, expression lines are softened, and facial muscles are relaxed. In addition to hyaluronic acid, regenerative stem cell technology has proven to rebuild the skin’s fatty tissue and helps us to retain useful hydration.

Look for products containing natural Retinol alternatives using tara tree and chicory root–these ingredients will be your biggest line of defense in helping to re-up your natural collagen content. Eminence boasts a huge line of these products, including the Bamboo Age Corrective Masque, the Monoi Nighttime Body Lotion for face and neck, and the Bamboo Firming Fluid, among others.

Did you know?

how-your-smartphone-is-affecting-your-mind-and-body-science-text-neck A lot of your wrinkles and expression lines are the product of your poor posture!

Think about it. The way that you scrunch your shoulders when you’re stressed, the way you hunch over at the computer, the way you’re constantly tilting your neck down to look at your smart phone? These little things will eventually contribute to unwanted wrinkles.

When your shoulders and back are tense, your face holds more tension. That’s where the “worry lines” and furrowed brows appear. When you’re tilting your neck to check out emails on your phone, you’re contributing to premature neck wrinkles. Unintentionally shrugging or hunched over at your desk, poring over work documents? You’re creating creases and lines on your chest/décolletage.

What’s the remedy for this?

FullSizeRender (1) Upper body massage during a facial works wonders.

We’re not just talking about a light circular movement with fingertips. We’re talking neck stretches, pinching and rolling the facial muscles, sliding the hands into the upper back to release tension, using the hilt of the hand to pressure-release the forehead lines, and pressure point work at the base of the neck to fully relax the entire body and allow premium facial products to do their best work when applied during massage.

It’s amazing to discover that the healthiest skin comes from being relaxed and supple from simple, timeless facial massage techniques.

After a weekend of advanced skin education, and the excitement from being surround by other enthusiastic skin therapists, I’m excited to treat your most concerning skin conditions this summer. Here’s to perfect skin texture, ultimate sun protection, and learning the tricks to take care of your complexion outside of the treatment room!