Looking stunning is not down to our facial features, whether we are young, our gender, or how good our make up is, looking stunning is down to that most basic of things, how good our skin is!
There are lots of external factors that can affect our skin before we even start thinking about how we are going to treat it; UV light, smoking, stress, central heating along with what we eat & drink. What we consume will show in our skin and one of the best things we can do for our skin is to drink plenty of water as well as wearing sun protection, stopping smoking, using relaxation strategies and adequately ventilating our living space.
The Chemical Safe Skincare Campaign has claimed that the average woman will introduce up to 175 chemicals to her skin every day, most of them being absorbed into the blood stream. Consequently a build up of toxins can occur. Using natural products, both on the skin as well as around the house, is now becoming more and more popular in the UK, improving general health and our skin.
Cleansing is the best thing you can do for your skin, cleaning off the airborne pollution, grease, oil and dirt as well as cosmetics that have been applied.
A gentle, natural cleanser, suitable for your skin type, that avoids drying out or irritating your skin, so no SLS, SLES, parabens or alcohol.
Following on from cleansing is toning, again this needs to be a natural product with an astringent in as a lot of toners have, which will only dry out your skin. A natural floral water is a great type of toner such as rose or for a more oily skin, teatree or lavender.
Spraying on the toner and then moisturising whilst the skin is still damp, helps to lock in the moisture, especially vital for ageing skins that loose collagen and elastin.
Moisturising helps to support normal skin function and to fight against environmental contaminants. Choose a moisturiser suitable for your skin type made of natural ingredients. By including essential oils, vitamin E & other good natural stuff, it is feeding your skin a healthy diet.
There are two other additions to a healthy skin regime that are easy to miss out, but can make such a difference; exfoliating & a face mask.
Exfoliating once or twice a week can make an immediately noticeable difference by removing the dead skin cells that sit on top of the skin and allowing the younger cells to show through the surface. The action of exfoliating also boosts the circulation in the skin, giving a healthier & more radiant glow and improving the absorption of your moisturiser.
A face mask can both add to & remove things from the skin.
Pick a mask suitable for your skin type, for blemish prone/oily skin, pick one with a clay base that will unblock pores and help reduce breakouts.
For more mature skins, pick a mask that includes vitamins and natural oils to hydrate the skin.
A mask will remove toxins from the skin, but a mask picked approximately for your skin that includes nourishing ingredients as well, such as rose or geranium essential oil, vitamin E or aloe vera to calm & hydrate the skin, can also add something beneficial to the skin.
A regular regime of these things will give you stunning skin over time, whatever your age, gender or environmental factors.
To go a step further, you may also wish to look at other treatments such as dermaplaning which removes the top cells and hairs, giving a smoother canvas to apply makeup onto. Microdermabrasion also removes the top layers of skin using a crystal tip to give a more youthful appearance. Mesotherapy, which is small injections into the skin of enzymes, vitamins, hormones and plant extracts to help rejuvenate & tighten the skin and LED light therapy that rejuvenates skin cells and can improve acne, psoriasis and fine lines.
Looking stunning doesn’t mean looking like a model, it is having healthy, radiant skin that the essence of you, shines through.
Fiona Key is a former Registered General Nurse & co-owner of Me Time, a hair & beauty & nail salon in Worsley
What’s the big deal about CBD
by Fiona Key
Over the last year or two, CBD has become more & more prevalent in a growing array of products. CBD can be purchased in water, shampoo, deodorant, teas & coffees, ice cream and lip balm amongst other things, however, the main way people buy it is in an oil, consumed usually orally as drops.
Anyone that doesn’t know a lot about CBD may equate it with cannabis and think that it is illegal in the UK, however, it is not the same & it is legal in the UK to consume CBD
Cannabis has two predominant components to it, THC, which causes the ‘high’ and CBD.
Our bodies are primed for CBD because the human body is teeming with cannabinoid receptors. Our body manufactures endocannabinoids in order to pass messages concerning functions such as pain, inflammation, memory, appetite and mood. Because CBD is a cannabinoid derived from a plant it can affect our body in the same way as endocannabinoids.
It is thought that when we introduce a new cannabinoid into the body, such as CBD, it binds with these receptors and increases the amount of natural cannabinoids in the body. CBD has also been shown to bind with receptors for serotonin which is our feel good chemical and GABA, which calms the nervous system, increasing the amount available to the body. This could explain why CBD is reported as having calming effects.
A growing number of Spa’s & beauty salons have now also started to offer CBD massages. Because of the effect that CBD has on pain & inflammation, combining it with a relaxing massage, increases the overall effect and can help relieve chronic pain.
Me Time is one such beauty salon that has just started offering CBD massages. A spray is used to dispense the oil in a blend with a carrier oil.
As the volume that the spray dispenses is known, the number of sprays can be calculated for the desired amount of CBD
A major study by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis found that 38% of CBD oils contain less than half the amount of CBD stated on the label. 45% of the products contained more than 0.2% of the legal threshold for THC and, therefore, were technically illegal in the UK.
It is therefore important to purchase the CBD oil from a reputable supplier who has their oils analysed to ensure that both the CBD and THC content are accurate. A reputable supplier will display their lab certificate for each product on their website confirming the test results.
Although research into the effects of consuming CBD (orally or topically) are thin on the ground, the anecdotal evidence from people is hard to ignore and it’s something that definitely may be worth giving a try.
Fiona Key is a former Registered General Nurse & co-owner of Me Time, a hair & beauty & nail salon in Worsley
Light Up Your Life
By Fiona Key
You’ve probably heard of Light Therapy in regards to SAD lamps, for Seasonal Affective Disorder, which use UV light, however there are now Light Therapy Lamps that use LED light at very specific wavelengths from the visible and infrared part of the light spectrum. The skin cells that are energised by the light, function better & can renew up to 200% faster, this in turn accelerates regeneration & repair. Collagen production is boosted, skin hydration improved, redness & irritation calmed and bacteria that cause blemishes are blitzed.
The treatment is non-invasive & there is no pain or down time afterwards, so in other words, you can just carry on with your life straight afterwards. Fantastic when you lead a busy life!
During the treatment, you just lay back & relax! Not bad for something so beneficial. You are provided with goggles to protect your eyes if the treatment is on your face, however, the light therapy can be used on any part of the body.
The best light therapy lamps are ones that combine the different frequencies of light at the same time, rather than pulsating.
One award winning manufacturer is Dermalux. The specific wavelengths of Dermalux’s blue, red and near infrared light have been clinically proven to work best.
Different combinations of the red, blue & near infrared light can help with different conditions & your practitioner will advise on the best combination for your skin. Conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, fine lines & even musculoskeletal pain or wound healing can all benefit from the LED light therapy.
A difference in the skin will often be seen after the first treatment, however for best results, 6 – 12 treatments are recommended.
The allowed age of a client depends on the individual salon & their insurer, however the Dermalux Flex lamp is safe to use on children (allowing for any contraindications) & is ideal for teenagers with acne.
So, why don’t you let the light shine through & give Light Therapy a try? It’s certainly worth a glow!
Fiona Key is a former Registered General Nurse & co-owner of Me Time, a hair & beauty & nail salon in Worsley
Face to Face with Life
By Fiona Key
There’s nothing that shows our life more than our face!
Wrinkles (or crinkles, as my son used to say when he was little) and other lines, spots or marks caused by the sun, dehydration, worrying, acne, the environment, aging etc etc are there for the world to see.
Taking care of our face is more important than people often realise.
Using the right products on a daily basis and having regular treatments such as a facial, microdermabrasion, a non-surgical face lift or light therapy, will help look after your skin, improving the texture & how it feels and keep your skin looking fresher, brighter & smoother for longer.
As a very basic, the soap you use is recommended to be SLS & Paraben free.
SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) causes skin irritation (including scalp, so the same applies to shampoo). Using a soap with natural ingredients will be much better for your skin (or hair).
The International Journal of Toxicology recommends concentration levels of no more than 1% of SLS in products with prolonged use but it can be the cumulative effect that can take its toll on the rest of our body. Some studies even link SLS to a hormone imbalance.
(Even more disturbing is that a number of cleaning products have levels of SLS as high as between 10-20% and in extreme cases over 30%)
Parabens, such as methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben mimic oestrogen & have been linked in some studies to breast cancer and reproductive issues, including early onset of puberty and reduced sperm count.
So reading the ingredient on products to make sure they don’t include any nasties in, is the best thing to do to find the best products for our skin and for us generally, as a lot of brands include the word “natural” in their name but still include SLS’s &/or parabens.
For our daily routine, a cleanser or face wash, specifically for the face is the best thing to cleanse with, followed by a toner, which could just be a natural floral water, and then a moisturiser. Having essential oils added into the product can give additional benefits.
Using an exfoliation sponge daily is also beneficial, along with a weekly facial scrub to help exfoliate & get rid of patchy dry skin.
In addition to our home beauty regime, there are some other things at the salon that can help.
A salon facial is a lovely relaxing & practical treatment to get.
A good salon will choose products for your particular skin type eg, dry, acne, sensitive. Your facial will include cleansing, exfoliating, a face mask, toning & moisturising. Make sure the salon is using natural or clinically proven products. Essential oils included in the products can additionally benefit your skin as well, as different essential oils can benefit different conditions eg Niaouli to encourage healthy blood circulation within your facial skin and remove bacteria from your skins pores, Patchouli detoxifies with natural wheat proteins to control sebum levels and regulate oils to dryness levels, both useful for spotty/acne prone skin. Rose is good for mature skin and skin prone to hot flushes, to naturally calm skin reddening
A good beauty therapist will also recommend at the end of your treatment, the sorts of products you could continue to use at home to maintain the benefit.
This is a step up from an ordinary facial & involves the trained beauty therapist using a small mechanical device that exfoliates & micro resurfaces the skin, sweeping away the outermost layer of dead skin cells from the epidermis.
It can reduce age spots, minimise blotchy skin colouring, reduce acne & superficial scars from past injury, smooth wrinkles, reduce oily skin, improve skin texture and generally rejuvenate skin, particularly sun damaged skin whilst improving overall skin health.
Your face is also cleansed, toned & moisturised as in a facial.
Your face may look slightly red for a couple of days after the treatment, but you will then have a brighter complexion.
Non-Surgical Face Lift
This is a way, by using a machine, to contour & lift the face & jowls
The trained beauty therapist passes a paddle over the facial skin & jaw to give cheek definition, lift and tighten the neck and facial jowls. It is non-invasive & for treatments such as the Strawberry Lift, it can give instant results. Other similar treatments take 6 months to achieve the full result due to the skin healing taking longer to give the toned & defined look.
The pain-free treatment helps reduce fat cells and works to form new collagen, lifting and tightening the skin with longer lasting results.
A medically certified Light Machine can treat a variety of conditions as a stand-alone treatment eg acne, rosacea & redness, wounds & scarring, Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis but it can also be added after other treatments to enhance the effect eg microdermabrasion, microneedling, or to calm the skin after a treatment eg with waxing or semi-permanent makeup.
The treatment involves exposing the skin to low levels of this beneficial light energy from the visible and infrared part of the light spectrum which energise cellular functions to stimulate various cellular processes with therapeutic effects. Skin cells that are energised function better and regenerate faster which in turn leads to younger, healthy and radiant skin.
Our face is on show for a lifetime, it deserves to be looked after and it’s never too soon to start.
Fiona Key is a former Registered General Nurse & co-owner of Me Time, a hair, beauty & nail salon in Worsley
by Fiona Key
Salons are traditionally the domain of women, but all that is changing!
As men up their game in their quest to look less “thrown together” & more “carefully put together”, more & more men are entering the mysterious world of the beauty salon.
Men are now learning that their skin requires more attention than a quick wash with soap & water.
There are lotions & potions to apply, to cleanse, exfoliate, tone & moisturise both at home & in the salon. No longer are facials just for the ladies, men are realising the benefits to them as well, firstly to their skin & then to their mind. The time relaxing whilst having a quality facial allows that space, quiet & relaxation that can feed your soul as well as your skin.
The same can also be said of having a massage. Time away from the outside world to relax & feel those aches, pains & tense muscles melt away, refreshing the spirit, calming yet energising the body. The health benefits gained from a massage cannot be underestimated, helping with things such as anxiety or headaches & can also engender caring, comfort or connection.
Apart from the physical aspect of a massage, the aromatherapy oils often used, can also have different effects, such as boosting the mood (jasmine), calming the nerves (sandlewood) or uplifting (bergamot)
Less relaxing, but more grooming for men is waxing. These days chest or back waxes are becoming more commonplace to smooth all that skin that gets more exposed during the summer.
Add to that a spray tan or sunbed tanning to add a touch more colour.
Eyebrow waxes are also no longer the preserve of the ladies, men are now getting them tidied up as well.
The other growing area of men entering salons, is in manicures & pedicures.
No longer are men happy to expose their digits with dirt under their nails & raggedy shaped nails but are having their nails shaped & cuticles tidied, sometimes even electing for polish as well. Men can even now adopt the trick of the ladies by having builder gel nails to lengthen their natural nail.
For those men who have ventured into the unknown world, Well Done! Enjoy the treatments. For those men that haven’t plucked up courage yet, give it a go! It really isn’t as scary as you think! Other men have been in before you & salon staff do not blink a tinted eyelash at a man walking into the salon. Booking on line removes the initial step & you can peruse at your leisure the various treatments available, messaging the salon to ask any questions, so when it comes to your appointment time, all you have to do is relax & enjoy it.
By Fiona Key
It’s a well know fact that our mood is positively enhanced when we walk in green spaces such as a forest or in a garden. We become connected with nature in a way that is a natural tonic for our mental health, the combination of exercise & being at one in a natural environment, boosts our endorphins, making us feel happier.
We can also utilise parts of the natural world to give us a positive effect at home or in a salon, by incorporating things from nature into our lives.
Here are some examples of natural things that can be incorporated into our daily lives.
Preparations, whether they be for your body eg moisturisers, fragrances, or for around the house eg room sprays or candles, are better when made incorporating essential oils rather than manufactured chemicals.
Essential oils are derived from plants, so therefore come from nature. There are many different plants that are used to derive different scented oils & each one has its own benefit to us when used. Rose or Jasmine oil are particularly good for when you’re feeling down & help lift your spirits, so a great application would be a massage with a rose or jasmine oil blend or a balm/roll-on incorporating the oil to apply to pulse points.
Sea Buckthorn is a great natural cleanser, exfoliation & can heal the skin, so is great in a cleanser or moisturiser.
Ylang ylang, as well as being helpful for depression, anxiety, stress & anger, is also an aphrodisiac! It can be used in a massage or the massage blended oil could be added to a bath. Could be a good start to a romantic evening!
Bergamot is a good essential oil for getting an uplifted effect & when blended with Eucalyptus, can refresh, invigorate and refocus the mind.
When having a massage with an essential oil blend, the senses of smell & touch are both affected and with the sound of soothing music as well, it can be a thoroughly relaxing & beneficial experience.
Dead Sea & Himalayan Salts
The waters of the Dead Sea have been renowned for their therapeutic effects since ancient times. They are unique in that they contain 27% of various salts as compared to 3% in normal sea water, with high contents of Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium and Bromides
Within Dead Sea Salt, the Magnesium plays an important role for combating stress and fluid retention, slowing skin ageing, and calming the nervous system.
Calcium is an effective mineral at preventing water retention, increasing circulation, and strengthening bones and nails.
Potassium within the body, energises and helps to balance skin moisture. Potassium is a crucial mineral to replenish following intense exercise and so make Dead Sea Salts ideal for use after exercise and strenuous activity.
Bromides act to ease muscle stiffness and relax muscles.
Sodium is important for the lymphatic fluid balance (this in turn is important for immune system function).
All these wonderful minerals, help to give Dead Sea Salts their wonderful curative properties and make them a wonderful salt for baths and skin preparations.
Use on their own in the bath for a detoxing 20 minute soak, or 2-3 drops of an essential oil can be added as well to them.*
Many believe that Himalayan salt is the purest salt that can be found on the planet, having been enveloped in snow and ice for a millennia it was protected from pollution and preserved in a pristine time capsule, inside the Himalayan mountains.
Amazingly Himalayan Pink Salt contains 84 minerals and elements that can be found in the Human body, readily absorbed into your skin, the Himalayan Salt is a wonderful detoxifier aiding the transfer of toxins.
Course Pink Himalayan Salt looks as good as it feels & gives a beautiful softness to bath water, that will have you indulging in bath time.
Himalayan Salt Lamps are another good way of receiving the benefits from the 84 minerals & elements. Warming up the salt they help to improve mood, the salt crystals produce negative ions improving the quality of air you breathe, they increase positive energies in your surroundings, help to reduce asthma symptoms, help to boost energy levels, are said to improve headaches and generally create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere.
Himalayan Fine Salt can also be used to add to food
Course Himalayan Salt & Dead Sea Salt can be also combined together for the bath, or as a body scrub helping to exfoliate the skin.
Himalayan Massage Balls can be used in a massage, giving the added benefit of the salt on the skin as well as the essential oils used in the massage.
Himalayan Salt Stones are also effective as a natural deodorant, doing away with the potential of receiving chemicals incorporated in a lot of manufactured deodorants that have been linked with breast cancer, not to mention the plastic involved in manufactured deodorants.
Bringing the outside in to our homes or work space is also good for us both psychologically & has physical benefits.
The 1989 Clean Air Study was a project led by NASA in association with the ALCA to research ways to clean the air in space stations. Its results suggested that, in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants may also provide a natural way of removing toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air.
A different study in 2004 also showed that the micro organisms in the soil of a potted plant remove benzene from the air, and that some plant species themselves also contribute to removing benzene.
Examples of plants that were found to remove Benzene, Formaldehyde & Trichloroethylene were the English Ivy, the Bamboo Palm & the Peace Lilly.
Taking a more natural approach & incorporating natural elements into our lives can have a really therapeutic effect on our mind, body & soul and bring the outside in.
In our busy stressful lives, these are some of the small, simple things that can be done to naturally connect us in a positive way to the natural world.
Fiona Key is a former Registered General Nurse & co-owner of Me Time, an Eco-Friendly Hair, Beauty & Nail Salon in Greater Manchester
*Most Essential oils should not be used in pregnancy
By Fiona Key
We are often so busy nurturing our relationships with other people, that we forget to nurture the relationship we have with ourselves!
For a lot of people, their relationship with themselves is not an easy one, stemming from a difficult childhood or a lack of positive nurturing relationships with other people & the consequent feelings of inadequacy & lack of self esteem.
Feelings of shame, self loathing & not being good enough affect our self worth & ability to love the person most prominent in our lives, ourselves!
Through believing that we don’t deserve very much, we accept relationships that don’t treat us very well & this reinforces our self belief.
At some point in our lives, we have to decide that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
We have to start the sometimes long journey to looking out for ourselves, being kind to ourselves & yes, loving ourselves.
By starting to change how we view, think & feel about ourselves, we also start to impact on our relationships with other people, but most important is the change we can make on our own outlook on life & ultimately our own happiness when we start to accept ourselves as we are & to love ourselves.
Here are some suggestions to make a start on your journey to loving yourself.
- Healthy Lifestyle
Looking after your own health is easier said than done if you’re surrounded by others making demands of you, but you are no good to them if you fall ill and quite frankly, anyway, you deserve to be healthy!
You deserve to have a reasonable amount of sleep, to eat a healthy, nutritious diet and to have time to exercise. Negotiating with others to enable you to be able to achieve these things might be something you could do to improve things for yourself
2. Me Time
We all need time & space on our own to collect our thoughts, allow ourself to be inspired, meditate, zone out or just plain recharge. Making some time for ourselves is a gift we can give ourselves each day, whether it be a walk in the park, reading a book or going to a salon for a massage or having our hair done. Try & plan something enjoyable into each day. It’s your reward for being you. You deserve it!
3. Appreciate Things
Instead of having a tendency to think negatively about things, live in the here & now, appreciate things you are doing, people you are with, the place where you are. Really notice things & enjoy them.
Keep a notebook by your bed & write something down each evening that has been good from that day. Enjoy looking back every so often at all the positive things that have happened to you. Revel in your achievements. Notice that you are a worthy person.
4. Kind People
Surround yourself with people who are kind to you, have a positive outlook & give you positive messages. Try & avoid people who are negative about life & about you. Remember that any negative opinions they have about you are just their opinions & just because they think something doesn’t make them right!
When we can respect ourselves, be kind to ourselves, make time for ourselves & notice ourselves, we can finally start to love ourselves.
Fiona Key is a former Registered General Nurse & co-owner of Me Time hair & beauty salon in Worsley
How to Detox for a New You!
By Fiona Key & Hayley Hobson
If you’ve decided that 2019 should bring a healthier ‘you’ then you might want to start the process with a detox! It can bring many different benefits to your body and your mind.
The body has its own natural detox systems, such as the liver, your sweat & urine, these are some of the ways that the body naturally gets rid of waste toxins, but there are other things we can do to give it a boost and with some careful planning & determination, these good habits can be incorporated into our normal day to day living.
The obvious reason to do a detox is to loose weight, however, there are many other benefits to it as well.
One of the first major health benefits you’ll see after detoxing is that you will have more energy, by cutting out sugary foods and caffeine which can cause energy crashes.
As detoxing helps get rid of waste toxins, it also purifies the toxins that your body may not be able to keep up with. In order to give the vital organs that are responsible for waste removal a rest, getting rid of the waste toxins will also aid your internal organs run more efficiently.
Detoxing can help boost your immune system, so your body will be more protected from illness, also absorbing the nutrients such as vitamin C faster, which is great for the immune system. Removing waste toxins from your body will also help the digestive system to work better which can help with bad breath. If your breath gets worse whilst detoxing then it is just your body adapting to the changes being made.
If you don’t maintain a healthy diet then it will appear in your skin, so eating a healthy balanced diet and drinking around 2 litres of water a day will not only help to clear your skin and also detox it at the same time, but will also help in regulating your weight as well and giving your body the nourishment it needs to be healthy.
If it is a clear, more healthy mind, with a better memory that you’re after, then a detox could also be for you, it is taking care of your mind as well as your body. Certainly reducing sugar intake and increasing water intake will make a big difference to you mentally as well as physically.
It’s important to drink lots of water
Achieving shinier hair is another part of detoxing, a build up of toxins in your body can prevent the nutrients in your hair from getting where they need to be, resulting in your hair being dry, brittle and broken. Detoxing may also stimulate the hair growth.
Another benefit of detoxing is that it can help slow down the visible signs of ageing by reducing the amount of toxins that contribute to the skin damage that comes with growing older.
Apart from eating a healthy diet & drinking plenty of water, other things you can do to detox are sitting in a sauna, as it causes you to sweat out some of the waste toxins in your body. However, your skin could get worse before it gets better so if you break out during a detox it is normal.
Take a detoxifying bath for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. This can help clear all the pollutants from the pores of your skin. Detoxing bath salts are available to purchase.
Use a dry body brush, brushing towards your lymph nodes to help drain the waste toxins from your body. As well as detoxing, it helps improve circulation, reduces cellulite & puffiness, improves muscle tone, removes dead skin cells and encourages skin cell renewal.
Use a detoxifying cleanser which is natural, chemical free and pH balanced on your skin daily, this will cleanse your skin and help get rid of the dirt, oil and makeup off your skin.
You can apply a clay detoxifying face mask. Using a clay mask will help detox the skin by attracting the impurities out of the skin and pulling them to the skins surface.
Treatments available in a salon include professional detox facials, massages and wraps, giving the additional benefit of relaxation, improving the circulation system and lymphatic drainage, lowering stress levels & can help reduce chronic pain
Where ever you manage to detox, make it part of 2019 for you!
Fiona Key is a former Registered General Nurse & co-owns Me Time hair & beauty salon in Worsley. Hayley Hobson is a Level 4 trained beauty therapist working at Me Time.