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Category: Natural Health and Beauty Tips

  1. The Benefits of Autumn and Winter Massages

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    Benefits of Having a Massage in Autumn and Winter

    It feels like autumn is almost over and the cold of winter is approaching us faster than we would like. However, with the winter months come a few good things: open fireplaces, bright and frosty mornings, cuddling in woollen jumpers, and a desire to pamper yourself!

    You may be embracing party season with hair, make up and some sparkling manicures, but having a massage can actually help you truly enjoy the winter with a wide range of benefits you may not have initially known about.

    From improving your mood to increasing blood flow, the power of a massage  should not be underestimated! Here, we’ll count down our favourite benefits and why they are perfect in the run up to the festive season. 

    Massages Improve Your Blood Circulation

    Although there’s nothing quite like a brisk walk on a wintry morning, the cold weather seriously affects your blood flow. Lower temperatures actually make your blood vessels thinner which means less blood and oxygen is reaching your heart. This means that your blood pressure and heart rate could increase and, whilst this isn’t particularly dangerous on its own, it could compound issues for people who suffer with circulatory problems anyway.

    A massage can help a great deal in moving blood through the areas where it is becoming congested. In fact, massages will also help your lymphatic system flush out all the waste fluid, so your blood can run more freely, thereby reducing your blood pressure, helping you feel a bit more excited for those winter walks!

    Massages Can Help Keep Your Skin Soft

    Cold weather and harsh winds can take huge amounts of moisture from your skin. Even if you wrap up in multiple layers, you may find yourself with dry skin as a result of both the lower humidity of winter, and the introduction of new materials to your skin (have you got your woolly jumpers out of the cupboard yet?).

    Massages are known to soften the skin by promoting elasticity through the use of essential oils. The natural ingredients in some massage oils will soak into your skin leaving it feel hydrated, smooth, and winter-ready!

    Massages Could Boost Your Winter Immunity

    We all know what its like when the weather changes and the whole office suddenly contracts what feels like the plague. Combine illness with dark evenings and chilly air and you’ve got the recipe for a pretty miserable season. The last thing you want to resemble is Rudolph with a red and chapped nose.

    Although massages can’t take the place of some good old-fashioned medicine, they can help boost your immunity by giving your lymph flow a bit of help. As we mentioned before, the lymphatic system helps push blood around your body, but it also houses white blood cells which are there to fight off infection. A massage can keep all the elements moving so that, if you do catch that dreaded office plague, you can help fight it off with a bit of pampering.

    Massages Will Make You Feel Better!

    Winter can be a very stressful season. Christmas and the new year bring about a wide range of issues that can overtake the festive feeling sometimes. From family gatherings, to busy shopping trips, to school holidays, everyone feels the pressure at some point.

    Although it could be tempting to jet off somewhere warm and leave all your troubles behind, you’d probably miss some of the special things that make cold winter enjoyable. So, if the stress is starting to get too much, why not take a little break to your local spa and enjoy a relaxing massage. Your therapist is likely to have beauty therapist insurance in place which will also give you peace of mind that you can enjoy a range of treatments this winter without worrying.

    Not only a massage help relieve aching, tired muscles, but it will release serotonin and endorphins that will improve mood and give you a sense of wellbeing – at least until the in-laws show up!

    by Katie B - Guest Post

     

    To check out all my Autumn and Winter Warmer massages please click here!

     

     

     

  2. Tips to Help you Choose the Best Facial for Your Skin Type and Skin's Needs

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    Facial bs rf (3)

     Tips to Help you Choose the Best Facial for Your Skin Type and Skin's Needs


    Whether you do at home facials or visit a beauty therapist, the choice of facials available nowadays can be a little overwhelming.  So in this post I will share some tips to help you choose the best facial for your needs.  The list includes some of the most popular types of facials but is not comprehensive as there are so many different types of facials available.

    To help you decide which type of facial is best for your needs first of all you need to know your skin type.

    Sensitive Skin is one that easily reacts (redness, hives, itching) to the ingredients in skin care products and may also react to heat, steam and even the stimulation the skin during a facial.  Sensitive skin often has dilated capillaries, reddens easily and is warm to the touch.  Sensitive skin can be normal, oily, dry or combination.  You need to avoid products with fragrance, essential oils and buy ones which are hypoallergenic.  You will also need to exercise caution with steam treatments and facials such as microdermabrasion.  If in doubt, just test on a small area of skin before proceeding to have a facial on the whole of your face.

    Normal Skin is neither too oily nor too dry.  It is uniform in appearance, has good elasticity, small pores, is usually blemish free and quite rare. Although people with normal skin do not have issues with dry or oily skin, they will still benefit from the deep cleansing, exfoliation and stimulating massage received during a facial.

    Oily Skin tends to have open pores, feels thick and greasy to touch, has normal elasticity and is prone to spots.  Fortunately oily skin tends to maintain its suppleness for longer than other skin types and may appear to age more slowly. People with oily skin should avoid using products containing harsh ingredients such as alcohol as it will strip too much oil from the skin.  As a result the skin then produces more oil.  It would be more advisable to use natural floral water or an astringent such as Witch Hazel. 

    Dry Skin suffers from a lack of moisture or insufficient sebum (oil) production, dehydration and dryness can also occur due to not drinking enough water.  Dry skin can be thin and flaky and tends to age prematurely particularly around the eyes and mouth.  This type of skin will benefit from exfoliation to remove dry skin which can make the skin feel rough and look dull, the moisture from steam treatments and of course, from moisturising products.

    Combination skin is a mixture of dry, normal and oily skin and is the most common skin type.  There tends to be an oily T Zone (forehead, nose and chin) which is greasy and may also be blemished.  The cheeks are either dry or normal.  The tone and elasticity of combination skin will vary.  If you have combination skin you could choose 2 sets of products for the 2 different skin types.

    Once you have identified your skin type, you will need to assess your current skin needs

    Common issues include:

    • build up of dead skin cells which leads the skin to look dull and feel rougher than normal
    • whiteheads, blackheads, spots, pimples, acne
    • fine lines, wrinkles
    • acne scars
    • sagging skin
    • hyperpigmentation - uneven skin tone, melasma and sun spots caused by sun damage

    In terms of the types of facials which are useful for the different skin types and needs:

    All Skin Types will benefit from a classic facial including cleanse, tone, exfoliate, mask, facial massage and moisturise with products suited to your skin type and needs

    Dry, Dehydrated or Dull Skin - facials which include exfoliation to remove dead skin cells, steam treatment and hydrating products.  Microdermabrasion is an excellent facial for removing dead skin cells, however it can be too harsh for people with sensitive skin.  A gentle Fruit enzyme peel mask or Gold facial maybe more suitable for people with dehydrated, dull sensitive skin.

    Oily or Congested Skin - a galvanic facial (desincrustation) is excellent for deep cleansing, steam treatment to soften debris blocked in the pores, vacuum using a small glass ventouse for targeting areas of blocked pores and blue LED light as it helps to kill bacteria.

    Fine lines, some types of hyperpigmentation and light acne scarring will benefit from regular microdermabrasion facials as the top layer of the skin is gently sloughed off during this type of facial.  Specific products for ageing, hyperpigmenation and scarring will also assist.  Note, hyperpigmentation caused by melasma will not respond to microdermabrasion but hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage will.

    In terms of mature skin,  non surgical face lift (microcurrent) will lift and tone the facial and neck muscles.  Non surgical face lifts and Red LED light also stimulate the production of elastin and collagen which both dramatically decrease as we age which causes loss of skin elasticity and loss of plumpnessTherefore non surgical face lift is a useful facial for the very early signs of ageing and also later down the line as a rejuvenating treatment.  Radiofrequency is also excellent for tightening loose or sagging skin.

    If your skin has complex needs e.g mature, dull, combination with some spots (often occurs around menopause years) a combination facial would be ideal.  In such a situation I would suggest microdermabrasion, non surgical face lift and blue LED light using products suitable for mature skin.

     Facial Life Cycle

    Regular full facials every 4 to 6 weeks is ideal.  The only exception to this is non surgical face lift, which ideally requires 1 to 2 a week to start and then monthly maintenance.  A regular facial plus twice daily cleanse, tone and moisturise (with min SPF 15 in the day), a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water will all help to keep the skin in tip top condition.

    In terms of the facials  that I provide here are some suggestions, I also have a Pick and Mix Facial for more complex skin needs.

    Facials All Stockport

     I hope this has been helpful for you.

    Until next time

    Zoe