It’s officially spring, and even though it’s fairly chilly in Toronto, it’s a good time to look at your skincare routine and start transitioning it for the new season. Which is why I snapped up the invite for a facial at Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris at the Shangri-La Hotel. “Now is a great time for a facial, to repair any damage from the winter season and to prep for spring,” says Alex Weisseneder, senior esthetician.
What she recommends getting your skin set for spring:
Exfoliate, but not too often. “People often over-exfoliate. Twice a week is good. If you over-exfoliate, you’ll strip the skin of its natural oils and your skin will become excessively oily, which could cause more breakouts.”
Book a facial to get your skin glowing. One customized to your skin, as I had done at Miraj Hammam Spa. I have combination skin, so while my forehead was dry (I’m guessing from lots of sun exposure as I was just in Vegas and California) but the T-zone can get oily, so my esthetician chose the products to target my skin’s needs.
Lighten up on your moisturizing cream. The heavier, richer cream you’ve been using for winter can be replaced now with one that is a lighter formulation, that is thinner in texture and oil-free. Some people are more sensitive to the weather changing, so pay attention to what’s working and not working for you during this transitional period.
Besides the skincare benefits of enjoying a facial at the spa, Miraj is one of my faves in the city for its top-notch spa services but also its cozy lounge area. I’ve tried several treatments here, including the Thai massage. A couple of hours here is a nice way to get away from the chaos of the city and recharge mentally for the busy spring season ahead.
March 28, 2017
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED FOR ENTRIES. Congratulations to Maria T., the winner of the complete Refresh Botanicals line! (Maria, check your email for more details about your prize, enjoy!)
You know I couldn’t leave the beauty-loving readers of the blog out in the cold without a superb holiday giveaway! (If you haven’t been keeping on top of reading the blog, well, you should be, haha, and I’ve currently got giveaways when it comes to Norman Hardie Winery in partnership with Wine Country Ontario’s 12 Days of Christmas, Elmwood Spa aaand Sport Chek! But you’d better enter those pronto as they end soon!)
As you may know, I’m a big fan of Refresh Botanicals (and I’m an ambassador for the line). I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and find my skin feels smoother and more hydrated, and I really love the really clean cucumber-y scent of it (I find so many skincare products have potent fragrances that give me a headache, but not this natural line). Another benefit of the line? Of the seven products in the line, you can travel with four of them in your carry-on since they’re 100 mL or smaller, and as someone who travels at least once a month, I love any beauty goodies I can just throw into my carry-on as I pack last minute like a madwoman (I try to travel without checking a bag as often as possible).
And because I want a lucky reader to start off the year with a refresh to their routine, I’m giving away the entire Refresh Botanicals collection to one of y’all. The collection includes the Facial Toner, BB Cream, Night Restore Complex, Eye + Face Makeup Remover, Foaming Facial Cleanser, Intensive Serum and Daily Facial Moisturizer (the collection is valued at $148).
Ready for a refresh to your beauty routine? Here’s how to enter! (Note: this giveaway is open to Canadian residents only.) You can enter in four different ways (each way counts as one entry, so go ahead and enter in each of the four methods!):
1. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and mailing address (it just makes it quicker for us to send you the prize if you provide me with your address off the bat). Please put “Refresh Botanicals” in the subject line.
2. Twitter: Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:
Win the @refreshbotanicals natural skincare line from @healthswellness? Yes, please! #refreshswellness Enter here: http://bit.ly/1PlbWHn
3. Like the Health and Swellness PAGE on Facebook (at the top of the page) and then leave a comment on the photo of this Refresh Botanicals giveaway — tell me which product from the collection you want to try the most and why.
4. Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness) and in the photo for this giveaway, tag a friend who you’d be happy to have win this giveaway if you don’t win it yourself!
The prize is valued at $148 and the giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 30, 2015. Please note that this giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. The winner will be chosen at random. If I cannot reach the winner within five days, another winner will be selected. The winner’s name will be announced on the blog once confirmed with the prize winner.
Good luck! Here’s to a refreshing new year to each of you!
December 23, 2015
A big part of this blog revolves around how I approach life. I think balance in most everything is key, and I think it’s important to be good to yourself (and, sure, for me sometimes that means eating ice cream or a doughnut, but it also means going for a run with a girlfriend so we have time to work out and catch up). A refreshing routine in which you put yourself first and treat yourself well; now I don’t always succeed at this, in fact, I typically feel like I”m running on empty, but then I make sure I keep it in check by then pausing to get that balance back into my life by, for example, skipping that party because a night in is really what my mind and body needs.
My beauty regimen is another way I look to treat myself. Yes, I do get many products to test out, but not for a second do I take it for granted. The girly girls and beauty junkies reading this should related to how you’ll always have the tiniest squeal of joy when you pull that luxe lipstick out of your handbag and touch up your lips, or how good it feels when you catch a whiff of your own favourite perfume.
Most recently, it’s been a skincare line, Refresh Botanicals, that’s been rewarding me daily. The natural line is based out of Toronto and is 88% organic, so it feels good to know it’s local and free of harsh chemicals. What struck me most about the line when I first tried it (and indeed one of the things I love most about the line) is the clean, fresh scent it has; cucumber is the scent I sense first and foremost and instantly makes me feel as though I’ve escaped to a spa. Because I’m often running late and rushing out the door, I typically slap on my skincare as fast as I can, but since I’ve started using Refresh Botanicals, at night I take the time to apply it with care and try to imagine I’m getting a soothing facial as I massage the product into my skin. I know it probably sounds really corny, but those two extra deep cleansing breaths as I do this helps me calm my mind, which is often just set to go, go, go!
So far, my three favourite products include the following (and I’m soon testing out the toner and makeup remover, too).
Refresh Botanicals Daily Facial Moisturizer, 100 mL, $18.99. This product is free of artificial fragrances, oils and alcohols, and is 99.7% natural or naturally derived. I have combination skin, but with the cooler temps now, I thought this might not be hydrating enough for the dry skin I can get, but it’s worked well for me. While it has a light texture that absorbs quickly, it’s still rich enough to keep my skin hydrated.
Refresh Botanicals Intensive Serum, 50 mL, $23.99. This contains fig fruit extract and grape seed oil to help diminish fine lines, and also a proprietary Aquacell complex that includes watermelon, apple and lentil extract, that reduces fine lines within two hours and boosts intracellular water by 85% within two weeks. I doubt it’s apparent to others, but I think I see a subtle difference in my skin’s suppleness (and even if only I can detect it, well, that’s worth it in itself because it makes me feel good from the inside, right?).
Refresh Botanicals Night Restore Complex, 50 mL, $23.99. Like all of the line’s products, this is free of parabens, gluten, petroleum and animal by-products. It feels deliciously cooling going on, and it also boasts the same Aquacell complex as the Intensive Serum. My skin, which often feels parched and tired (because it is…) has definitely had a little boost since I started using this at night.
Oh, and last two things: I like the simple white and green packaging and love that these three products are 100 mL or 50 mL as I can easily travel with them.
I’ll be incorporating a few more of the Refresh Botanicals line into my routine soon. I’m particularly keen on trying the Eye & Face Makeup Remover.
October 30, 2015