Spring is in the air … And in your hair!

And so are some common culprits causing frizzy hair and flyaways.  Here are the top causes of the most maddening effects spring weather can have on your hair and what you can do to keep your locks luscious this spring:

Humidity
Humid weather can leave your hair flat and squelch even the most zealous efforts at styling.  No matter what texture your hair has naturally, this isn’t the time of year to force your tresses into an unnatural style.

If your hair is curly, find a “do” that embraces your curls.  If your hair is straight but tends to curl up in humid weather, incorporate loose, light curls into your style.

Consider applying a humidity-resistant product to towel-dried hair for added humidity protection.

Wind
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May – not to mention creating some massive

flyaways! Windy gusts grab at split ends and create the static-y look, and damaged or naturally coarse hair has it worse because they have rougher hair cuticles, giving the breeze something to hold onto.

Windy times call for hair accessories: headbands, ponytails and clips are a must. Also try products specially formulated to tame and smooth unruly tresses while conditioning frazzled ends.

Moisture
April showers bring more than May flowers – they also add constantly changing moisture levels in the air.  The problem?  Frizz is caused by hair trying to soak in moisture from the air, so chances are you’ll end up with a frizz problem at some point during springtime shifts in the weather.

If you find that blow-drying makes your hair look frizzier, gently blot it dry with a towel instead – but don’t rub. Rubbing hair dry can cause further breakage on already weak strands, increasing your chances of frizz. After you’ve towel-blotted, apply an anti-frizz serum or hair gel to your damp hair and comb it through so the product is distributed evenly.

Finally, consider keeping a little product on hand throughout the day to use for smoothing down any strands that may curl up. (You can always toss it in an extra container and keep it in your purse.)

Heat 
Spring’s refreshingly temperate weather can be a cleverly disguised cause of hair havoc.  Why?  Hot air opens the hair cuticle, which leads to split ends, breakage, and duller hair color.  Plus, most hair products make your head feel like an oil slick when exposed to hot weather.

To beat the heat, give your hair a blast of cool air using the “cool” setting on your hair-dryer when you’re almost done blow-drying.  Cold air closes the hair cuticle and seals in the moisture.  Also consider trying a hair serum that protects hair from the elements without leaving a greasy residue.

For more fantastic hair-taming products, be sure to visit the Spa.ology Store!

At Home Body Scrub Tips

It’s that time of year … spring is here (officially as of March 20th) and more skin will be exposed.  Time to get your body ready to be seen!  There are several ways you can prep your skin for the new season … buy a pre-made body scrubmake your own body scrub at home, or schedule a visit to the spa!

For those of you that like to DIY, here are some great tips and tricks that will rival the spa’s final results:

  • First, soften the skin by soaking for ten-ish minutes in a warm tub. Add a relaxing essential oil like lavender, ylang-ylang, or rose-geranium to make it more relaxing.  After your soak, gently pat yourself dry.
  • Place a fluffy towel on the edge of your tub for you to sit on. If you’re using a body scrub, place a quarter-size bit in the palm of your hand and rub it over the skin.  I usually start with my lower legs and work my way up the legs, to the abdomen, arms and chest.
  • Roll up a moist washcloth and gently use it to move the body scrub in small circles, spending at least a minute in each area. If you go too quickly, you don’t get the full exfoliation.  Don’t rub too hard or too long, especially if you’re using an abrasive salt scrub!  If you have super sensitive skin, be sure to use a cream or sugar based exfoliant.
  • Stand up when it’s time to do your backside. Make sure you have steady footing.
  • The back is the trickiest part. Reach where you can, or ask your partner to help. A body brush with a long handle can always make exfoliating the back the easiest.
  • When you have exfoliated the entire body, rinse under the shower with luke warm water … never too hot!  Use the body brush to help remove any excess product from your back.
  • Don’t use a body scrub while the shower is running. The scrub will just be washed away before it can do its magic!

More At-Home Body Scrub Tips

  • A weekly home body scrub should keep your skin smooth.
  • If your skin starts looking irritated, cut back on the frequency of scrubs or try something gentler than salt, like a sugar scrub or exfoliating mitt.
  • Never use a body scrub on your face!  It’s way too harsh.  There IS difference between a body exfoliant and a facial exfoliant. 

reference: Anitra Brown, About.com Guide

Storage Tips for the Bathroom

There seems to be no end to the lotions, potions and fabulous spa products that we always want at our fingertips.  But how do you neatly store it in potentially the smallest rooms in the house?  Jackie McGilvray of DIYNetwork.com offers these simple tips:

Don’t think you have enough space for a shelf?  Think again!  Even a shallow shelf can help alleviate your spa product storage problems.  Bottles and jars only need a few inches of shelf space.  Think about placing hooks on the underside of shelves to hang towels, hand towels and washcloths.

Be sure to use your VERTICAL space.  Fill open wall space with floating shelves.  They’re readily available at big retailers, inexpensive and easy to install.  Use large baskets to store extra towels and toilet tissue.

Add character!  Check out antique markets and yard sales for unusual ways to stash your stuff — try bushel baskets, old milk boxes, cookie tins and even tool boxes.  Use Pinterest as your source of inspiration.  (All of the photos in this post were found on Pinterest!)  Many of your friends may have already pinned your inspiration!

Don’t look in the standard places for storage ideas.  Restaurant supply stores sell all types of shelving units and storage containers.  Large plastic bins on wheels that usually store ingredients can be used to hold towels instead.  Cylinder-shaped, stainless-steel containers made for large utensils are also perfect for hairbrushes and combs.  Condiment dispensers — like the kind bartenders use to hold lemons, limes and olives — are handy for storing cosmetics, cotton balls and swabs.

So now that you have plenty of inspiration to tidy up your spa bathroom, be sure to visit the Spa.ology Store to find all of the best products to use at home.  FYI – they make great gifts as well!

Spring Into a New Skincare Routine!

With spring comes warmer weather, more moisture in the air, people become more active, you are outside more and the social calendar seems to fill up really fast.  Spring always feels like a new beginning, so it is the perfect time of the year to make some changes to your routine and prepare your skin for the warmer spring days that are just around the corner!

Start using a sunscreen now … if you aren’t already.  You probably aren’t thinking much about sun protection during the winter and moving into the springtime, because the weather isn’t hot. But the temperature outside doesn’t determine the strength of the sun’s rays, at least not when it comes to sun damage.  Hampton Sun has some great choices for sunscreens … from tanning oils with SPF to continuous mists and lip balms.

Using sunscreen regularly will help your skin to look younger longer. Besides, after a long, dark winter, think of how susceptible your skin will be to sunburn! Get a good sunscreen, with a 30SPF, and slather it on every day. Only choose oil-free, non comedogenic options to avoid aggravating acne conditions.

Choose the right moisturizer.  You have probably been using a heavier, more emollient cream during the dry winter, but now may be the perfect time to switch to a lighter lotion that won’t feel as heavy during the warmer months.  You may also look at moisturizers that have a built-in sunscreen … a great time saver and helps to keep you from forgetting the sunscreen!

Oily Skin?  If you are prone to breakouts, or have oily skin, you should also think about switching your makeup routine. Choosing a mineral powder foundation will be helpful, or a matte finish liquid foundation to help with extra shine. Also, be sure that your sunscreen is oil free.

Re-commit to a daily skin care routine.  Maybe you’ve slacked off on your nightly routine, your weekly mask or using your regular acne products this winter.  You don’t have to spend a lot of time, or buy a ton of products to care for your skin. It just takes a few minutes a day to cleanse, exfoliate (at least once a week), apply topical acne treatments (if needed), and moisturize. A consistent skin care routine is a great foundation for clearer, brighter skin.

It’s always great to take a step back look at your daily routine and assess if you need to make any changes to your skincare time. Spring time is a great time to do that!  Visit the Spa.ology Store for everything skincare related!

Spring 2012 Cosmetic Trends

Spring has sprung on runways and the new trends for spring aren’t just for your clothes … you can also incorporate them into your make up and body care routine.

The most popular color and the “it” color for spring 2012 is Tangerine Tango, AKA Pantone #17-1463 (for all of you color junkies out there).

The “spirited reddish-orange” hue was dubbed the color of the year by the Pantone Color Institute, which singles out one color expected to have a bold impact on fashion and home decor for the next 12 months. Tangerine Tango offers “the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward” according to Pantone’s statement.

Here are some tips to incorporating this color into your cosmetic bag!

  • Pair a red-orange lipstick or lip-stain with neutral eyes and a little bronzer on your cheekbones.
  • Trade in your classic black or brown eye liner for a bold orange eye-crayon. Pair it with nude lips and don’t be afraid to add extra coats of mascara which will help the eye crayon pop.
  • Try a tangerine manicure. Wear it alone or pair it with nail art. Geometric prints are big this spring, and this goes for nails as well.  Orly’s “Truly Tangerine”polish that will bring shine to your fingers and toes!
  • The key to pulling off bright makeup is to focus only on one area of the face. If you want to focus on the eyes, keep the lips simple, and vice versa.
  • And if you aren’t into showing off the tangerine, you can still bring the aroma of tangerine along with you.  Essie’s “Cranberry & Tangerine Smoothie” will soothe and hydrate the skin for silky softness to start the spring season off with plenty of sweet aromas!  Or even try taking an uplifting aromatherapy bath with Pevonia’s organic tangerine essential oil.

Although there are some signs of spring, it’s still a little too early to bring out your favorite sundresses and shorts. However, it’s never too early to start experimenting and shopping for new trends and styles.

Adding a little tangerine to your style regimen is a great way to give stuffy fall wardrobes a breath of fresh air, and by the time spring rolls around you will have mastered your new spring/summer look.  As always, be sure to visit the Spa.ology Store for these and other tangerine hints.

Spa.ology … all things SPA for you at HOME!

Source: Jimena Herrero, www.utahstatesman.com

Aromatherapy 101 . . .The Power of Scent

The scent of a rose, a freshly baked cinnamon roll, mint tea brewing or an orange as it’s peeled — all of these are distinctively delightful and all come to us thanks to herbs, flowers and fruits.  When you stroll through an herb garden or open a bottle of herbal lotion or shampoo, the fragrance is often what most captures your attention and imagination.

WHAT is AROMATHERAPY?  Aromatherapy is an ancient therapeutic art of blending essential oils distilled or extracted from aromatic flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.  These essential oils can have a broad range of therapeutic effects and actions on the body.

Our sense of smell is powerful, yet under-appreciated.  Rudyard Kipling wrote, “Smells are surer than sounds and sights to make the heartstrings crack.”

peppermint

However, most of us aren’t very attuned to how important our sense of smell is — studies have shown that most people consider smell to be the least valuable of the five senses.

Researchers are now finding that essential oils have measurable effects on both the body and the emotions. Use the suggestions in this blog to help you get reacquainted with your all-important sense of smell.

  • Adding eucalyptus to a steaming pot of water and inhaling the steam helps combat a bacterial or viral sinus infection.
  • Adding peppermint to an unscented lotion or cream will soothe muscles and ease away pain.
  • The essential oils of many herbs, such as peppermint and chamomile, are used to cure indigestion.
  • Rosemary and bay laurel stimulate the mind and particularly help memory. One simple trick is to sniff a few leaves when studying for an exam or trying to memorize anything important. Then, sniff them again when you need to recall the information.
  • When you’re looking for a way to stay awake, make “energy” salts by adding a few drops of peppermint to a couple tablespoons of rock salt (available in grocery stores) in a small, lidded container. Open the container and sniff as desired.
  • If you’re having trouble sleeping or simply need to relax, place a drop or two of lavender oil on your sheets to send you off to dreamland. (Because the oil may leave spots on your sheets, mix the oil with a little water in a small spray bottle, then spritz the sheets.)

chamomile

It is important to remember that essential oils are very potent. They are far more concentrated than herb teas or tinctures, so be careful with how much and how often you use them. Do not take essential oils internally without the guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Keep essential oils away from your eyes.

As a general rule, don’t apply essential oils directly to your skin undiluted. However, some oils are perfectly safe to apply to your skin — for example, lavender oil on burns or insect bites and tea tree oil on pimples.

As always, be sure to visit the Spaology Store to see all of the aromatherapy and fragrances available!

SOURCE: Kathi Keville, The Herb Companion

Romantic Spa Night . . . at HOME!

Valentine’s Day is almost here!  Have you gotten the perfect date night planned with your “someone special”?  Spa treatments are always a great option for a romantic gift!  But, if you are not near a great spa, or are watching your wallet, you can create a romantic spa night at home!  Spa.ology is here to help …

It’s easy to turn your bathroom and bedroom into a private oasis for that special occasion. Choose the best blend of spa products, music, lighting and foods that appeal to each other’s senses for a welcome retreat from the busy world.

Gather your most romantic supplies: candles, massage oil, salt or sugar scrub, soft music, towels, freshly cut fruit or hors d’oevres, chocolate and wine are some of the items you’ll want to get started.  Chocolate scented oils, candles and body scrubs are a favorite at Valentine’s Day!

Focus on the senses:  Use ALL of your senses as a guide.  The sense of touch will be stimulated, so soothe your sense of sight and sound with soft lighting, an uncluttered space and soft music.  The sense of taste can be stimulated with your favorite foods and wine of your choosing.  Don’t forget the sense of smell – your products and candles need to have similar scents so they don’t compete with each other.

The little things:  Prepare your hors d’oeuvres in advance and chill the wine.  Remove any bedding that is not washable in case your massage oil stains it.  Clear space on a dresser for supplies and food.  Remove distracting clutter from your “spa”. Be sure to use your fluffiest, softest towels.

Get the romance started:  Plan to start the spa night with a hot shower or bath. Use a salt scrub on one another to relax muscles and exfoliate. This will involve the sense of touch and complement the spa theme. Rinse the scrub and wrap in fluffy towels to keep the muscles warm. Each partner can provide a massage for the other. Serve hors d’oeuvres and wine after the massages.

Spa.ology hopes that these simple ideas will inspire you this Valentine’s Day and remember … everyday can be Valentine’s Day with a little creativity and care!