In South Africa our summer is in full swing, the days are hot and the sunrays dangerous. While on holiday at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, some of you will enjoy sunbathing by the pool while for other,s the exposure during game drive is more than enough. Here is how to prevent sunburn during your holiday.
1. Keep in mind that the South African sun is very strong and that you should at least half the time that you would normally spent in the sun at home.
2. Always wear a trusted sunlotion with a high SPF factor and re-apply often, especially once you’ve had a dip in the pool (even if it is waterproof). Take special note to cover the arms, the back of the neck and the ears. These areas are constantly exposed, without us even noticing.
3. A hat is a must. A wide rim that covers your face is ideal. If it can cover the neck and the ears, even better.
4. When spending time in the sun, keep an eye on your skin, it will tell you when it’s had enough. Any red spots are a clear indication that you’ve already burned and should move to the shade
Now, it can still happen that even if we do our best, the sun still gets the better of us and we somehow end up getting burned.
Here are some basic tips on how to treat sunburn:
1. Prevent any further exposure. Stay indoors and cover up with loose-fitting clothing when heading outside.
2. Take a pain reliever such as aspirin. It not only eases the pain, but also helps with the swelling and any minor fever that might occur.
3. Drink lots of water and rehydrate yourself. It will help take care of the headache, as well as aiding the skin in its recovery process.
4. Regularly apply a cool, soothing cream in an attempt to keep the skin moist at all times. Taking care not to use strongly perfumed products on your already irritated skin.
5. Take regular, cool showers. The cold water might burn at first, but if you can bear it, it will relieve any discomfort and improve any swelling due to the heat.
A good Spa Manicure should cover all the “must do’s” to make your hands look their best at all times. So what exactly are those “must do’s” and why?
No 1 Preparation – Always start with a good soak. The soak causes the dead skin to soften in order to be easier to remove. Note: Make sure not to soak them for too long as the extra moisture being absorbed will in turn cause the nail polish to chip faster.
No 2 Exfoliating – Getting rid of all the dead skin that builds up on the hands not only makes them look younger, but also feel softer. Very importantly, it also allows any product applied afterwards to penetrate deeper.
No 3 Mask – Feeding the skin, hydrating it and adding loads of minerals. It is the boost that your hands need. A paraffin wax is also a good option, and no, there’s no waxing involved. Paraffin wax, being a byproduct of petroleum, is extremely hydrating and leaves your skin feeling as soft as a baby’s bum.
No 4 Cutting the cuticles and the nails – Both equally important, it gives your hands a clean, fresh and neat appearance. Tip: To make sure that only the needed cuticles get removed safely, push them back with an orange stick and only cut those parts of the cuticle lifting up from the nail bed.
No 5 Buffing and filing – No rough edges get left behind so as to protect the nails from splitting at a later stage. Also make sure that you tell your therapist what shape you prefer as this plays a big role in the overall appearance.
No 6 Painting This is always the final step, the finishing touch being done with one of our stunning colors out of the OPI range. Long lasting results can be expected. Tip: Make sure you have enough free time after your manicure to allow your nails to dry completely, without rushing yourself. You can even replace your jewelry before the therapist starts painting in order to avoid smudging your beautifully manicured nails.
On a day to day basis most of us do not have ten minutes for ourselves, not even to mention time to set aside for some pampering. When visiting us at Elephant Plains, you have the perfect opportunity to do both and even more – the opportunity to receive the right kind of pampering, to suit your every need.
For some of you, being spoiled might mean taking care of the basic things like doing your hands and feet, things that you can actually do at home, but would like someone else to do instead. Try our Manicure, Pedicure or even our African Foot Soother while enjoying the beautiful view overlooking the dry Manyeleti riverbed. If you’re lucky enough, you might spot some elephants or other animals at the watering hole.
Others think of pampering as getting rid of all the stress and tension knots that come with it, preferring a strong massage that really works the muscles. Maybe you are one of those who prefer drifting away to dreamland with a slower, more flowing massage. Whatever your preference we have a unique list of indulging massages to choose from, each one adjusting the pressure to suit your every need. Be a bit more adventurous and give our Heart of Africa Massage a go: the wooden dumbbells give a whole new meaning to relaxation.
Then there are those of you who would like to pamper their skin after it has made its first encounter with the harsh African sun. If your entire body needs some pampering, book in for our Ultimate Body Experience. If it’s just your face that needs some TLC, choose between a 30min and an hour long facial where we make use of the unique range of Decleor Essential oil blends, leaving your skin feeling totally rejuvenated.
No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find the perfect pampering option to suit your every need on our African Health Spa Menu. If not, please ask me. I will most definitely assist in putting together the perfect pampering treatment just for you.
The eyes are most definitely a key facial feature and therefore it is one that must diligently be looked after. A good brow shape might be one of the best things you can do to alter and clean up your appearance, without having to do something too drastic. Here is how to get the perfect shape at home.
Line 1: Using a make-up brush as a measuring stick, hold it from the corner of your nose and past the inside of your eye. Any hair on the nose side of the brush needs to get tweezed.
Line 2: Shift the top end of the brush to the outside of your iris (facing straight forward). This indicates the point that should be the curve of your eyebrow. From here on onwards, the eyebrow needs to thin out.
Line 3: Shifting the top end even further to the side, all the way to the corner of the eye. The brush is now pointing out the end of your brow line. Any hair beyond this point should be removed.
Line 4: Shift the brush horizontally. The beginning and end of your eyebrow should be in a horizontal line.
To tidy up, the hair can get brushed upwards. Any points sticking out can be slightly trimmed. This way you will have perfect eyebrows all day long!
Having clear, sparkling eyes is next on the list to insure a healthy, beautiful facial appearance. Dull, red eyes just take so much away from you. Although there are many different causes, the main reason for red eyes are that they become irritated and dry, be it from a lack of sleep, or dust in the air. The best instant treatment for this is eye drops. For long-term sparkling eyes, get enough sleep, as well as a good daily dose of Vitamin A & E.
Dark circles and puffy eyes are just as unattractive. Because the skin under the eyes are so thin and delicate it does not take much for the blood vessels to become more noticeable – what we know as dark circles. For an unlucky few it’s genetic. If your circles have a bluish tinge, it might be because of an Iron deficiency and a supplement is the only way to fix the problem. The rest of us can aim to support the blood vessels. Cutting out salt and improving hydration will keep them perfectly dilated, thin and flowing. Vitamin C supplements will also help to strengthen the blood vessels, again aiding dilation. Some extra sleep will also help the body to restore its natural balance. Cucumber and cool tea bags are a short term solution. The cold helps the irritated blood vessels to calm down and so improves the appearance.
The final “must do” for your eyes is a good quality eyeliner (preferably liquid and not pencil as these stay on for longer and does not smudge). It brings out your eyes. If you have small eyes, only apply eyeliner to the upper lid. If you are blessed with beautiful, big, round eyes, go ahead and make more of a statement by applying it both on the upper and lower eyelids. As for the mascara, I prefer waterproof just for in case. One coat from root to tip and a second only on the edges. This way they will appear nice and thick, but not too heavy.
Make use of all these tips and you will be sure to reveal not only beautiful, but also well preserved “windows to your soul…”
Trigger points, or muscle knots, mostly go unnoticed until they become unbearable. They are the source of many body aches and pains. But if you know how to work with them, the end result can be pure relaxation and bliss!
Let’s have a look at a few of my favorite Trigger Points.
The first spot is situated right under the back of the skull! The muscles located here are the one’s responsible for keeping your head on your shoulders. Therefore these are prone to taking extreme tension. We add some more tension when we stress about something and this spot becomes one of the main sources of tension headaches. When this area is massaged correctly, it can be deeply relaxing, almost immediately relieving pain, especially on the side of the head, the temples and behind the ear.
The second, being the biggest of all the areas, consists out of the thick column of muscles next to the spine. The majority of this area is littered with knots. One section, stretching from the base of the neck all the way to the edge of the shoulder blade, particularly appreciates some TLC. This is the area that makes you feel stiff and limits your upper body movement, resulting in upper back pain. When massaged the immediate result is a feeling of suppleness, followed by pain relieve.
The third point is a little bit sneaky. When you complain about your entire back aching, myself, as a therapist knows that the true origin of this pain is located in a small little nook formed between the lowest rib and your spine. This sweet spot is loaded with trigger point, once massaged the joint relaxes and the pain slips away.
Spot number four is found at the very bottom of the thick column of muscle next to the spine, right in the pit of the back. This trigger point is exactly where you thought it would be, sorting out pain in the lower back, stretching into the buttocks and even the hamstrings.
The last spot is found very close to trigger point number 4 but somewhat lower, at the top of the buttocks, the perfect spot among spots….. Yet another sneaky, trouble-making trigger point that is experienced as lower back pain. The true cause of this pain is due to the many small nerves that get pinched in this area. It tends to produce a profound and sweet ache when massaged, the pain spreading all the way up the back even into the arm and down the leg.
Next time you visit Elephant Plains Game Lodge, be sure to book an appointment at the African Health Spa. We will make sure that your trigger points won’t trigger any more aches and pains in your body!