This is the most important aspect of skin care and can very often be miss-diagnosed! We all know the general descriptions for how our skin looks and feels, but let us take a closer look to make sure that we truly know and understand our skin type and condition.
Dry skin: Skin lacking moisture/oil (note it is not skin lacking water although it could improve dry skin)
The skin has a dull appearance and is usually itchy. It can be the cause of diseases such as Psoriasis and Eczema, or because of the air around you: air-conditioning, wind etc. If the cause is external it is easy to fix. Pamper your skin with loads of moisturizer especially designed for dry skin and soon your problem will be something of the past. If it is because of disease, go seek the advice of a professional, as this problem will need to be tackled both from the inside and outside.
De-Hydrated skin: Skin lacking water
If you press your skin upwards with your finger fine lines and wrinkles will appear. This is because water plumps up the skin and gives it a healthy glow. The lack of water leaves your skin “empty” causing it to wrinkle up. The solution is easy: drink your 2L of water a day, every day!
Sensitive skin: Skin that reacts to anything and everything!
It does not have to be red or pale, although sensitive skin usually is. This type of skin needs to be handled with care. It tends to go hand in hand with de-hydrated skin so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and you will be surprised at the drastic change it makes to your skin. My advice will be to go as natural as possible when choosing your skin care range. Your skin reacts better to ingredients that are closer to its own molecular structure and therefore would be less sensitive.
Problem skin: One or two pimples or even five does not make it problem skin!
Problem skin is covered with inflamed pimples, with the focus being on inflamed. The only solution is to seek help from a specialist. This skin condition is usually inherited and needs to be treated as a disease, fighting in from both inside and out.
Oily skin: Shiny skin that goes hand in hand with a view pimples.
Now, your skin can always be oily, which again is inherited. If so, you should keep to matt products and again lots of water. The water is needed to keep your skin hydrated. Where most products will aid in hydration, these ones do not, as its main focus is drying out the oil! Also avoid layering thick make-up, as this will only clog up pours and make the pimples even worse. If your skin is only oily when there is a change in hormones, keep a suitable product to use during this time only.
Mature skin: Prominent lines and wrinkles.
Mature skin is not really a skin type but a skin condition. It comes with age and unfortunately most of the damage has been done many years before we can see the effects on our skin. Keeping your skin well hydrated will make the biggest difference as it plumps up the skin and helps even out the fine lines and wrinkles. As for the rest of the wrinkles, using a product that will improve elasticity is the best way to go. From the very first time you start to see your skin aging, you should start using the products and do not stop! Aging is an ongoing process that needs constant attention.
Sun Damaged skin: Leathery skin with dark spots
The leathery appearance comes from the skin not only losing its elasticity, but also the layers of dead skin cells that build up over time. This is because of the speed at which cells die off, once overexposed to the sun. Piling on the moisture is part one of the treatment. Regular exfoliation is part two. This removes the dead skin build-up and also stimulates the skin, which in turn betters circulation, increasing the amount of nutrition that comes to the skin in order to restore itself. The dark spots are caused by UV rays. In order to lighten the pigmentation, you will need to use a highly active product specially designed to brighten the skin. Once you start using a brightening lotion, remember to always wear an SPF factor, as the active chemicals can cause even more pigmentation.
Remember that prevention is better than cure! The best thing you can do for your skin is to hydrate and protect. Drink your 2L of water a day and always, even when indoors, wear an SPF factor.
With the recent flooding at the lodge, I thought that it would be a good idea to discuss water and its importance to the human body. It is a well-known fact that we would die in a few days’ time without water, but could survive a lot longer without food. This makes sense considering that two thirds of our bodies consist out of water. It must therefore be vital. Of the two thirds, only 2% actually signals dehydration in the body, as the rest of the water forms part of our brain material, blood and lungs.
Typical signs of dehydration – A dry mouth
– Cracked lips
– Constant headaches
– Fuzzy short-term memory
– Daytime fatigue, to name but a few.
Water forms a vital part of daily body maintenance and that is what makes it so important!
1. It forms the fluids that surround the joints to keep us mobile. It also moistens tissues, such as those in the mouth, eyes and nose.
2. It regulates the body’s temperature.
3. It plays a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking your 8 glasses of water a day helps to flush out toxins from your body. This in turn helps ease the pressure on our kidneys and liver.
4. Water aids the breakdown of nutrients and minerals in order for the body to easier absorb these. It is here where I would like to say that all things are good in moderation. Too little water is not good, but too much water can prevent the body from absorbing the needed nutrition as it will flush it all out before absorption can take place.
5. It carries not only nutrients, but also oxygen to the cells.
6. Helps to regulate our metabolism and prevents constipation.
7. When it comes to the skin, water helps us to look younger and healthier. Our skin looks plumped up a glowing when our bodies have sufficient water supplies.
With most of our body functions being dependent on water, make sure that you get your 2l a day and try to get your hands on the best water you possibly can!
Remember, for every cup of coffee or glass of wine (beers and soft drinks also counts) you need to drink an additional glass of water.
My final words of advice: do not just look after your body, but also look after nature. In turn, it will supply some of the most vital supplements we need in order to survive!
Yes, I’m talking about the two of them this month. Those ones, way down at the bottom of your legs. Also unfortunately, very often, at the very bottom of your priority list. The ones that are mostly left neglected, your feet…
Nothing says you look after yourself, like nicely pedicured feet!
It should be basic knowledge to know that your feet are one of the hardest working body parts you have. It carries your entire body’s weight and yet you don’t spend nearly as much time pampering them as you do with the rest of your body. Why not?
I personally think that a good pedicure is one of our most basic “must do” treatments. A pedicure forms part of a healthy grooming routine. Now despite the fact that it is part of grooming, it is also a great treat. There are so many nerve endings linked to your entire body on the soles of your feet, that treating them is a source of pure bliss. It causes the entire body to relax and unwind, purely by working on the feet.
So this month I am giving you a few good tips on how to look after your feet, in order to make them feel as special as they are supposed to be!
1. Wash your feet on a daily basis to remove the day’s build up. Remember the small spaces between your toes.
2. A good dry is just as important. Use a separate towel for the feet as fungi that may grow there can stay dormant for up to 4 weeks.
3. Exfoliate! Removing the dead skin is one of the things that make the biggest difference to the appearance, as well as the soft feel of our feet. Use an even rubbing motion over a wide area, without applying too much pressure. You don’t want to over exfoliate, which in turn will make it only worse.
4. Spend some money on a good quality foot moisturizer. Because the skin on your heel is thicker, you need a deep penetrating moisturizer to soak all the way through.
5. Trimming your nails and keeping them nice and short makes them look healthy and will stop them from cracking and thickening.
6. Also remember to softly push back your cuticles.
7. Adding your favourite colour is my final advice. That is the cherry on the top. The icing on the cake! It is summer and a brand new year, so go big and go bright!
Aromatherapy stands for aroma “fragrance” and therapy “treatment”. Although this description is spot on, we also need to understand the smaller details in order to fully understand Aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is a natural therapy where we use volatile plant materials, known as essential oil. When using a plant we can use anything from the berries, bark, nuts, and roots, to the leaves and even the flowers to derive these oils from.
With essential oils, as with most things in life, the purer the better. This means that the oil taken from the plant is not pre-mixed as to dilute the oil and that the oil comes from fresh plant materials. The smell of these oil are not necessarily more potent, but even the subtlest of smell will do the trick. When mixing these oils you will need only a view drops.
Now although we immediately think of massage when it comes to fragrance treatments, it can also be used on its own, by burning the oil in a burner for instance.
The idea is for the senses to do the work. What makes aromatherapy so effective is combining the power of smell with the power of touch.
How it works
By inhaling an essential oil, it gets absorbs through the olfactory system and send to the Limbic Brain, which is the emotional center of the brain. This in return stimulates a specific emotion, depending on the oil you used. Therefore we can state that Aromatherapy also has a psychological effect.
When applied on the skin, it gets absorbed through the hair follicle or the sweat glands. From there the molecule finds its way from the epidermis to the dermis and into the blood capillaries (arteries and veins). It is from here that they move to the right cell receptors, in order to regenerate and balance the affected organ. Depending on the size of the molecule, this effect can last anything from 4 to 24hours after you received your treatment.
It is a softer treatment, as we allow the oil to work and stimulate the blood flow instead of the muscle. Our capillaries are closer to the skin surface and a gentle stroking, flowing movement is just the thing you need to stimulate it. Combined with the fragrant smell of the oils and some soft back round music, you are bound to feel like a new person after your treatment and afterwards, for hours to come…
Deep Tissue vs Sport Massage
A lot of people come to the spa, not knowing the difference between these two massages. Some are disappointed and some are surprised, so today I would like to explain to you in a bit more detail what the differences are between these two massage types.
A deep tissue massage is perfectly explained by its name. The pressure is adjusted to manipulate the deeper tissue layers in the body. The bit that is somewhat confusing however, is what exactly the deeper tissue layers are. It means all the tissue layers that lay on top of the muscle, though not the muscle itself. The therapist works on these layers, but not so deep as to work all the way through like with a sports massage. This type of pressure is still efficient enough to release any newly formed or small knots and to stretch stiff muscles. I mention new or small knots, because big tension knots are caused by a build up over time, or because of injury. This is a job for a specially trained sports massage therapist.
A sport massage is the manipulation of the soft tissue (muscle) in order to prevent or improve sports injuries. The therapist has a broader, more specified medical knowledge and application. She needs this in order to efficiently and safely manipulate the muscles, making sure she does not damage the fragile tissue any further. There is a thin line that exists between working the muscle and causing more injury! It is best to leave this specialized massage form to a well-trained, specialized therapist. If you require a sports massage for an injury, remember to ask the therapist whether he or she is qualified to do so before making a booking.
I hope that you enjoy the treatment of your choice, now knowing what to aspect.
It is almost summertime and that means time for shorts, spaghetti strap tops and spending time in the sun. We obviously want our body’s to look their best!This month I am focusing on one of our most luxurious treatments. The African Revitalizing Body Experience.
I love this treatment for two reasons. Firstly, because it leaves you feeling spoiled and relaxed. The different treatments being blended together into two hours is a definite cause for pure bliss! Secondly and most importantly, the effect that it has on your body. Our skin keeps reproducing new layers of skin on a daily basis. With the heat during the summer months, it looses a lot of moisture, causing the skin to dry out. The dead, top layers of skin now stick to the body instead of pealing, because it is too dry. (Take note that I am not referring to the same kind of “pealing” you see after getting sunburnt!) This is a constant pealing process that takes place without us even noticing. It happens just as fast as the new layers of skin form. With the dead skin cells being stuck to the skin surface, we now also struggle to replace moisture with moisturizers, because the dead skin has lost its ability to absorb.
The African Revitalizing Body Experience quickly sorts out both problems. We start with a good, intense body exfoliation that gets rid of the dead skin cells. Following the exfoliation is an hour long massage with an avocado based body butter. The avocado is extremely nourishing and feeds the skin. Finally we finish off with a body mask. The mask forces the moisturizing body butter deeper into the skin layers, leaving your skin soft, moisturized and refreshed. At the end of these two hours you will be all set for the summer!
So if you are visiting Elephant Plains during summertime, be sure to book and African Revitalizing Body Experience and reap the benefits of a healthy all over glow.