Facial gua sha is a form of gentle massage, using a smooth object or stone. It was adapted from the traditional body gua sha massage technique used in Chinese Medicine.
While gua sha bodywork involves vigorous and deeper pressure that’s meant to increase blood flow and Chi to areas of the body in need of healing, facial gua sha uses a gentle but firm, slow pulling of the skin. This benefits the skin by moving lymph and increasing blood flow and blood volume. By manipulating subdermal fascia, it activates and promotes tissue healing. This helps to not only promote overall wellness by detoxifying, boosting the immune system and calming the nervous system, it also greatly improves the complexion! It can help clear the pores, firm and tone the skin, soften lines, lighten hyperpigmentation, and give the skin a radiant glow. With the face carrying over a third of the body’s lymphatic system, facial gua sha can be an incredibly effective tool to promote both overall well being and skin health. Some results are seen immediately while others develop over time with consistent gua sha practice.
The Numerous Benefits of Gua Sha
Stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory systems and boost the immune system – Practicing gua sha regularly helps to move and renew fluids including blood and lymph. This improves circulation and clears stagnation. In Chinese Medicine, stagnation of lymph and blood flow or Chi can be the root of illness. It can also be the root of many skin conditions and signs of aging. The lymphatic system plays an important role in our immune function. It helps the body rid itself of toxins and moves white blood cells to where they are needed for fighting infection.
Calm the nervous system – This gentle massage technique is exceptionally calming and soothing for our nervous system. When we are in a relaxed state, our immune function works more optimally and the body can naturally heal.
Promote collagen production – Stimulating the lymphatic and circulatory systems through facial gua sha can help increase collagen production. This increased collagen helps to fill in wrinkles and plump the skin.
Smooth fine lines and wrinkles – We often hold emotion and tension in our face. This can lead to tissue adhesions and cause lines and wrinkles. When we relax the face through gua sha massage and release tension and tissue adhesions, we can smooth out these lines and release the emotions and tension behind them. The stimulation of the circulatory systems increases blood flow and blood volume and opens up channels for chi flow which also aids in plumping fine lines and wrinkles.
Lift and firm – This massage technique manipulates the fascia, muscles, and layers underneath the dermis which helps to contour and lift the skin.
Reduce puffiness and enhance eye area – Puffiness is usually caused by fluid accumulation due to toxins, or excess salt in the body. Gua sha can help move and drain this excess fluid and help to move toxins out of the body. It is particularly helpful in depuffing the eye area. It can lift hooded lids so the eyes can open wider. Additionally, it helps release tension between the brows softening of any furrows.
Lighten hyperpigmentation – By stimulating blood and lymph circulation, we are aiding the body to repair micro-wounds, scarring and hyperpigmentation
Make skin glow – Moving the lymph and blood detoxifies and brings nutrients and oxygen to the skin, giving it a healthy natural glow and awakening dull skin.
Facial gua sha massage has countless benefits and is a beautiful and nurturing ritual for self-care.
The long days of summer are here and increased exposure to UV rays is something we all need to be aware of. Are you prepared to protect your skin during this time of increased outdoor activity? We hope to offer some helpful solutions for your summer skin that are safe and simple to implement.
Prolonged sun exposure can lead to premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, as well as suppression of the immune system. Covering up, wearing a hat, limiting exposure during peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and using sunscreen are just a few ways to protect yourself while outdoors.
If using sunscreen, it is important to choose a product that is safe for your skin and also has broad spectrum protection, meaning it effectively protects against significant portions of both the ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) ranges of the light spectrum. The Environmental Working Group (EWG)* discovered that 80% of sunscreens on the market offer “inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients.” One ingredient commonly found in non-mineral sunscreens is oxybenzone. This chemical is a common UV filter in sunscreen and can disrupt the hormone system.
Classic vs. Mineral Sunscreen
Another important factor in choosing a sunscreen is classic vs. mineral. Classic and Mineral sunscreens are differentiated by their active sun protection ingredients. Classic sunscreens use chemical (also commonly referred to as “non-mineral” or “traditional”) active ingredients designed to absorb and dissipate UVA/UVB rays, while Mineral sunscreens use mineral (also commonly referred to as “physical”) active ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA/UVb rays. Since mineral actives are not absorbed into the skin these formulas are less irritating to sensitive skin and are also less likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream as “traditional” actives are.
COOLA Mineral Travel Set
At Osmosis, we currently offer COOLA brand sunscreen. COOLA uses as many ingredients as possible that are natural, organic, sustainable and locally sourced. Green, yet still luxurious, each of their high performance products protect and nourish the skin with vitamins and age-defying antioxidants, while remaining free of parabens, paba, petroleum and phthalates. Additionally, they formulate with Plant Protection® rather than Oxybenzone, which allows them to achieve clinically tested, broad spectrum and antioxidant-rich protections while using fewer traditional actives. Better for your skin, better for the environment. COOLA also offers both Mineral and Traditional active based sunscreens, using the healthiest active ingredients possible!
This month we are featuring our COOLA Mineral Travel Set, which includes a quartet of COOLA’s bestselling luxury mineral sun care must haves, all in TSA approved carry-on sizes! These high-performance products protect and nourish the skin with vitamins and age-defying antioxidants, while remaining free of undesirable chemicals. All in a reusable, travel-friendly and limited edition COOLA travel clutch! Order yours now just in time for Summer!
*EWG provides information on sunscreen products from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) sunscreen guide reviewed more than 1,700 SPF products like sunscreens, lip balms and moisturizers.
Since 2007, they have found a dramatic increase in the availability of mineral-only sunscreens, doubling from 17 percent of products to 34 percent in 2016. Sunscreens using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide tend to rate well in their analysis: They are stable in sunlight, offer a good balance between protection from the two types of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) and don’t often contain potentially harmful additives.
Oxybenzone is a common UV filter in sunscreen. It is a hormone disruptor and allergen. Sampling by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection has detected it in the urine of 97 percent of Americans. Despite emerging concerns, the sunscreen industry continues to rely heavily on oxybenzone as an active ingredient: it was in 70 percent of the non-mineral sunscreens evaluated for this year’s guide.
Do you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? Using PHYT’S Certified Organic and Natural Skin Care products, offers a non-toxic option to conventional chemical based cosmetics. PHYT’S helps to prevent signs of aging, rejuvenate cells and makes you look radiant and feel great. Choosing PHYT’S Certified Organic Skin Care products not only takes care of your body, but promotes the sustainability of our planet for future generations.
At Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, we are proud to have partnered with PHYT’S for over nine years. This Certified Organic and Natural skin care line from France, with a 45 year history, has never used synthetic ingredients in their cosmetic formulas. What sets PHYT’S facials apart is their unique patented method using glass ampoules for their packaging. This method insures the freshness of the contents of each ampoule without the use of any synthetic preservatives. Once the ampoules are opened the contents are just as fresh and active as the day they were created. With respect for the environment in all manufacturing stages, PHYT’S offers not only Certified Organic, but effective products to create a perfect harmony with one’s skin. Under the control of dermatological testing for efficiency, PHYT’S Bio-Active ingredients from nature offer excellent proven results, without the harmful effects of toxic chemicals. When receiving any PHYT’S facial at Osmosis, you will experience a beautiful concentration of products rich in vitamins, minerals and Certified Organic – plant extracts, essential oils, cold pressed carrier oils to treat your skin and bring radiance balance and pure relaxation. Visible results based on science and nature. Book your appointment today. Trust your face into the expert hands of our PHYT’S trained aestheticians.
Osmosis esthetician, Azja Light, traveled as a guest of the PHYT’S US Distributor to the production facility and training center of our exclusive French skin care line, PHYT’S. She received a week of training in the origins, facial techniques and uses of these outstanding products.
We have an amazing new facial to enhance your spa experience. The Repair and Revitalize Facial is a 75 minute treatment featuring exciting new products from Naturopathica.
Your skin will be expertly cleansed and a gentle refining glycolic peel will be applied to ensure superior results. The Wrinkle Repair Collection will follow and contains the latest and most effective active ingredients: 15% L-Ascorbic Acid, Argan Plant Stem Cells, Matrixyl® synthe’6® Peptides and a Tri-Retinol blend. Powerful and non-irritating, the regenerative properties of these ingredients work together to reduce fine lines and wrinkles while improving skin tone and firmness. We have also included a “Five Minute Face Lift” utilizing the NuFace handheld microcurrent device to enhance product penetration and visibly lift and tone the skin. You will experience a complete neck, shoulder and face massage with a nourishing facial oil followed by the application of a new professional mask called the Revitalizing Marine Mask. Customized to the specific needs of your skin, this mask is a fortifying treatment that blends micronized French seaweed with healing Zinc minerals, clarifying Kaolin Clay and nutrient-rich Aloe Vera botanicals to detoxify, stimulate, firm and nourish the skin. While you rest with the mask, you will enjoy a luxurious foot treatment. We complete your experience with a brightening treatment and the perfect moisturizer to send you off looking and feeling your best. More exciting news…the Wrinkle Repair Collection is available in our boutique to take home so you can continue the fabulous results from your facial.
The rain has arrived and our brilliant green landscape has returned here at Osmosis. This is a great reminder of the abundant life-energy surrounding us every day. But did you know that the same substance that maintains that life-energy in plants is also good for our skin and body?
Chlorophyll is the green photosynthetic pigment found in plants and allows the conversion of sunlight into usable energy. Research studies in humans have found that chlorophyll supplementation can decrease damage to DNA by carcinogenic substances, effectively deodorize and cleanse the digestive and urinary tracts, and strengthen the blood. Chlorophyll has been compared with human blood by researchers because of its similar molecular structure and is referred to as the “blood” of the plant. So now is the time to add those green leafy vegetables to your diet. The greener the better.
It is a hot-topic at our spa, how stress affects the mind and body and how we can improve health by providing services and an environment that reduce stress. It is important to remember that our skin is also impacted by stress and can appear tired, dull and lackluster. In addition to this, the skin becomes imbalanced and shows more pore congestion, surface dryness and aging.