Preparing Your Skin This Winter

Blog by Stacey – Stephanies Group Trainer & Spa Retreat Manager 

Have you been layering up more with jumpers and experienced the cooler winds and morning chills recently? 

In the upcoming winter months, the temperature drops, and we experience low humidity, cold winds, hot showers and use heaters more often which dries the skin out leaving it more prone to sensitivity, redness, dry patches, dehydration and itchiness. Skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis are more prone to flare up as well. I have found my own skin to be drier and areas of itchiness the past couple of weeks so maintaining it at home is important especially since we aren’t able to have access to our regular facials and body therapies! 

It is always a good idea to switch up your skincare routine as the season’s change, especially in Winter has our skin requires a lot more hydration and nourishment. Adding in some extra products or switching to more nourishing products to your routine can ease and prevent these skin conditions. 

Some friendly Winter reminders and tips you can do at home are: 

Drink lots of water

We hear this all the time, but repetition is key when it comes to drinking the good ‘old’ H2O, especially during cooler months, we can sometimes not feel the need to drink water, but it is essential. Keep a water bottle on your work desk, in your handbag or even set a reminder on your phone to take a sip!  Eat wholesome soups and drink warm teas to keep your body temperature up and hydrated. Don’t forget multivitamins and omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acid oils such as fish or krill oil as a daily supplement to keep your skin from feeling dry! 

Avoid overly hot showers

Hot showers and washing your face with hot water (although it’s tempting) are quite dehydrating on the skin and can strip away of its natural protective barriers and oils. Switch between hot and warm while wallowing in the steamy goodness and avoid putting your face directly under the showerhead. I normally suggest to our guests to use a face washer to rinse facial cleansers and product as it is more effective in removing makeup too! Synergie’s Skin newly improved cleansers come with a Gentle X-foliating Cloth that is perfect as a face washer!

Foaming facial cleansers are fab…

Synergie BioCleanse

However, you may want to switch to a Milk or Creamy Cleanser as they are more nourishing and prevents the loss of important natural oils our skin naturally needs in the cooler months. Synergie’s Skin BioCleanse is a luxurious facial cleanser with rose geranium for fragile, dry or sensitive skin types. Designed to gently remove surface pollution, cell debris and makeup without stripping the natural protective layer of the skin. Give it a try, it’s fantastic! 

Apply Lip Balm daily

Payot Hydra 24+ Lip Balm

Our lips are prone to cracking and dryness with the cold weather, using a lip balm daily will keep your lips protected and supple. My favourite is Payot Hydra24+ Lip Balm. This lip balm provides comfort to lips that are dried out and damaged. It moisturises, repairs, heals, restructures and protects against climatic aggressions. A light and sweet fragrance that is also allergen-free. It is also great to have as a necessity in your handbag or car as it doesn’t melt in the heat either! 

Your winter skin needs a little more

Of a boost in so include a face serum and mask into your skin routine! Those vitamin serums in your routine and a sleep mask will do your skin a world of good.  Vitamin B also known as Niacinamide is a vital ingredient for the skin and suitable for all skin types. Synergie Skin’s Vitamin B serum is packed full of Vitamin B3 and B5 and can be used morning and evening after using a gentle cleanser and before applying your moisturiser. There are many benefits to using Vitamin B every day in your skincare routine that will make you want to use this vitamin all year round. 

Synergie Vitamin B
  • Strengthens the skin barrier 
  • Hydrates the skin by preventing transdermal water loss 
  • Prevents pigmentation from forming 
  • Is anti-inflammatory and very healing for breakouts 
  • Reduces redness in the skin 
  • Regulates oil flow 
  • Refines wrinkles and fine lines by stimulating collagen in the skin 

The ultimate indulgent home treatment mask to nourish your skin with Manuka Honey and hyaluronic acid is MasquErase. Using it weekly will help restore your skin’s youthful glow with its potent blend of active ingredients including intense hydrators, marine phycosaccharide, niacinamide and Canadian Willowherb. You are able to allow this mask to activate overnight by sleeping with it on (apply instead of your night cream) and did I mention… it smells delicious enough to eat it? 

Gently exfoliate face and body

Macadamia Exfoliation Cream

Yes, and your body! Using Stephanies la Vie elixir Macadamia Exfoliation Crème once or twice a week allows to remove dead skin cells, brightens the skin and allows your moisturisers to penetrate better into the skin. It is an exotic whipped blend of bamboo, macadamia shells, soothing chamomile and vitamin E that gently and effectively removes dull surface skin cells and refines the skin for a healthy glow! It is one of our Teams favourites and must-haves for the shower. 

An intensive night moisturiser

Synergie Skin Hydrolock

If you find your skin is drier in the winter use your summer moisturiser during the day, and changeup for a richer moisturiser at night. A rich facial moisturiser, Hydrolock, is designed to repair and combat dry, ageing skin. As skin ages or is subjected to environmental extremes, additional hydration and repair is needed to replenish and restore surface imperfections and moisture levels. Active ingredients such as hydrolyzed algin, lecithin, organic olive squalene and oat beta-glucan have amazing benefits for the skin such as: 

Hands are prone to dryness

More relevant to our circumstances now with sanitising and washing our hands regularly and now into the cooler months, quite often can lead to eczema, dermatitis, cracked skin and dry spots. 

Lapis Body Cream

After continued washing of hands, use a nourishing hand or body cream and at night before bed, apply some cuticle oil to your cuticles to keep everything nourished and protected. Your hands do a lot after all and they deserve some TLC!  If you prefer a non-greasy hand cream but has active ingredients, Stephanies la Vie elixir Lapis Body Crème can be used for the hands and body! It is infused with uplifting citrus notes of grapefruit and orange and restores softness with aloe vera, shea butter and calendula extract. 

Body Moisturiser or Balm

Beaute Balm

A body moisturiser is just as important as a hand cream and your facial moisturisers. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and protects all our internal organs so the least we can do is keep it healthy too! If you prefer the non-greasy texture, the above Lapis Crème is perfect. I love something a little more nourishing, 

Stephanies own signature spa body collection, la Vie elixir Beaute Balm Concentrate,  is seriously addictive it should come with its own warning. Its versatile indulgent hydrating formula provides optimum results for nutrient-rich skin, hair and lips. The smooth beeswax formula has been carefully combined with the age-proofing benefits of carrot oil, sunflower oil, macadamia oil, sweet orange and lavender. This multi-purpose balm can be used for all over body hydration, as a massage medium, a rich bath treatment, or an intensive therapy for calloused feet and hands. Keep it in the fridge during Summer for an instant cooling effect and repair for sun-baked body’s! 

Wear Sunscreen daily

Synergie Uberzinc

Even when it is cloudy or cold, UVA rays still penetrate through the skin into our dermal layer causing premature ageing so opt for a chemical-free sunscreen to protect your skin. Did you know approximately, according to Cancer Council Australia, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70? If you don’t like wearing sunscreen, zinc oxide is an amazing mineral for the skin being inflammatory, healing and protecting from UV damage and is found in our famous Synergie Skin Uberzinc, containing 21% zinc oxide offering a broad spectrum UVA and UVB solar protection. It is your number one anti-ageing product that is hydrating, non-comedogenic and has added pure green tea for its potent antioxidant properties. It is so popular that they even have one for the body – perfect for guys too who work in the sun all day in the sweats as it doesn’t rub off! 

At Stephanies Luxury Spas we love helping you achieve amazing results for your skin and body at home and our Stephanies Skin Experts are here to assist you. We will continue to provide all our Stephanies Spas lovers a personalised phone or video consultation and a customised prescription especially for you! 

Or if you like, book a much-needed treatment now that our Bulimba and Vintage Spa has reopened. Or you can call or fill out our Stephanies digital WAIT LIST form for any one of our day spas. We are excited to announce Sofitel, Noosa and Clear Mountain will be open from the 13th June.  

If you would like to purchase any of the above products, you can purchase in our Stephanies ONLINE SHOP or email us on synergieskin@stephanies.com.au to BOOK your FREE virtual skin consultation or to place your personal Synergie Skin ORDER.  

Our Head Office in open Monday to Friday and our best way to contact us is vial 1300 DAYSPA (329772) 

SELF CARE ISOLATION INSPIRATIONS WITH STEPHANIES

Blog by Stacey – Stephanies Group Trainer & Spa Retreat Manager  

Practising gratitude and tuning inward. Find calmness, clarity and peace in mind, body and soul daily. Be still. Find your joy. Give back to yourselves during this time for you have fought battles of your own to lead you to this very moment.  

Continue to just be...

Please pour a cup of healthy tea and enjoy reading our Stephanies Self Care tips to nurture your mind body and wellbeing.  

EAT HEALTHY MEALS & EXERCISE 

Eating, drinking water and exercising well can have an impact on how you feel on a daily basis. If you exercise in the morning, eating at least an hour before your workout can assist in fuelling your body to improve your workouts and may also allow you to work out for longer periods or at a higher intensity. 

Eating and drinking water after you exercise is just as important, to help your muscles recover. Keep in mind portion sizes for meals and with snacking well in between meals with food choices such as: Yoghurt and fruit, an energy bar, fruit smoothie, wholegrain crackers and dip, can also help in reducing naughty cravings. We are not saying do not have chocolate, but everything in moderation!
I’m not personally a big eater so my favourite is having a blended fruit or vegie smoothie in the morning before my workout and recovering with some protein and good fats such as eggs and avocado on wholegrain toast afterwards.
In between meals, I would snack on either some fruit and nuts, an energy bar, peanut butter and celery sticks or rice crackers with some tuna. 

 
We have chosen some popular exercises to do at home and Apps suggested by our spa teamfor you to reach your fitness and wellbeing goals:

Exercise                         App
Yoga                               Down Dog 

Pilates                            Pilates Anytime 

Aerobics                        Daily Cardio Workout 

HIIT                                Interval Timer 

Calisthenics                  Madbarz 

Strength Training         SWEAT 

GO ON A 24-HOUR SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX 

When was the last time you had a social media free day? Yes I know it pretty hard to do at them moment! But, having a digital detox from social media every now and then allows us to cleaour minds, become more present with ourselvesour wants and needs and spending quality time with our close ones. A digital detox doesn’t have to be permanent; you can set an end time whether it be 24 hours, a few days or a week. It just must be long enough to rewire your brain and break you from the ritual of checking your phone regularly.

Some benefits to a social media detox can be

  • Having more free time 
  • Experiencing less anxiety 
  • Having restful and undisturbed sleeps 
  • Enjoying your morning with your family or fur children
  • Practising mindfulness and being more aware of your body and mind

Let your friends and family know that you are having a detox from social media – this will help you successfully achieve your digital detox and not only will it make you more accountableit can inspire others to do the same.

Andra Chamtim has some great tips on how to social media detox the right way: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/g30681374/social-media-detox-tips/ 

LIGHT A NAPALI CANDLE 

Napali Beach St Tropez Candle

Who doesn’t love a beautiful soy and coconut triple scented candle? Healthy clean candles can form a huge part of any relaxation ritual and sometimes helps switch your mind off from whatever the day has thrown at us.
Aromatherapy candles that use quality essential oils can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and stress and induce quality sleep. 

Napali Collection is handmade in Australia, and their triple scented fragrances are absorbed into luxurious soy and coconut wax to form the perfect candle to your surroundings.
My favourite must be Mykonos – Sea Salt & Amber with fragrance notes of rockmelon, bergamot, sea spray and hibiscus. This scent really reminds me of being by the ocean and soaking up the sun and immersing myself into the sea… it is so refreshing! 

With up to 80 hours burning time, you are brought back to your relaxation haven once again…
 

If you want to try our beautiful Napali candle collection, please Shop and light a Napali candleWe have some great offers in our spa shop.
https://stephanies.com.au/product/Napali 

PRACTISE DEEP BREATHING 

Just breathe.
When was the last time you were aware of your own breath and took a deep meaningful breath? 
We breathe in and out all day without  noticing but did you know breath work is one of the biggest tools to combat stress levels, anxiety, reduce pain and high blood pressure?
We always guide our clients totake three deep breaths in, upon commencing their spa treatments to relax them into their experience and on completion of their Stephanies spa ritual.
 

Deep breathing is an intentional practice and can be incorporated into your daily routine. You can intentionally set some time aside in the mornings during yoga and meditation, during stressful situations throughout the day or while lying in bed when you’re about to drift off to sleep. 

Routine: 

>>> Breathe in calmly, through the nose, filling your abdomen and chest, for 5 seconds (or longer, not exceeding 7 seconds). Hold this breath in for 3 seconds. Slowly and gently release the breath through the mouth for 5 seconds (or more, whatever is comfortable.)  breathe out through a slightly parted lip or “O” shaped lips. Repeat this 5 times, or even better, continue for 5 minutes. <<< 

Important tips: Deep breathing should be slow and gentle. Remember to fill the abdomen, not just the chest. A simple way to make sure you are doing this is to place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest. Breathe deeply and make sure your hand on your stomach is rising. Try to be aware of your breath, heartbeat and to release tension from your body. Sometimes it’s easier to lie down or sit comfortably in a chair.  

-Urban Balance, Andrea Watkins 

LISTEN TO BEAUTIFUL MUSIC 

Music can be uniquely linked to our emotions and can be an extremely effective tool in relieving stress and encouraging more calmness and joyWe are so grateful to have beautiful relaxing music that plays throughout all our spas that aids in relaxation when spa treatments are in progress.
I regularly listen to music in the car on my way to work, in the spa itself, on my way home, while cooking dinner and even when I’m showering sometimes!
Find your preferred genre of music that relates to your current emotions or if you want to feel a certain way, set a playlist and be still. Feel your emotions and feel them change and flow. Spotify is an excellent app to discover different genres of music, artists and songs. 

My top Spotify Playlist picks for relaxation are: 

  • Evening Acoustics
  • Stress Relief 
  • Peaceful Piano
  • Yoga & Meditation 
  • Peaceful Meditation 
  • Relaxation Massage 

CALL A LOVED ONE 

Who are you thinking of lately? Be sure to pick up and call your nearest and dearest family and friends. This is a gentle reminder to reach out to them during this time, even if it is just to check on them and ask “how are you doing?”. 
I think we can all admit that we may have a handful of people that we can reach out to and now is the best time as any, to do so.
Skype, FaceTime, House Party and Zoom Apps are wonderful ways for staying in touch virtually and keeping the connection. Why not do a dinner date just to be in the same room as each other, not physically, but presently? Cook a meal together with your cameras facing each of you in the kitchen, pour a glass of wine and sit down and enjoy your meals! 

We can find very creative online ways to connect and share our lives with our loved ones to let them know we are thinking of them. 

PREPARE A BATH TIME RITUAL 

If you don’t have a bath, even a mindful warm shower will do wonders.
When you start noticing you’re beginning to tired or overwhelmed, with life or a situation, you can set yourself up with your own spa moments with a bath or spa shower time ritual to bring your emotional temperature down. This is a great self-care routine to wash away daily stresses and help us reset a bit. 

Epsom salt-based baths are good for relaxing muscle tension, along with essential oils that can help aid in different states of emotion. If you do not have a bath, find an essential oil-based shower gel to mindfully massage into your skin. Stephanites Naked bath salts contain aalchemy of Epson Salt, Celtic sea salt and beautiful quality Essential oils.

While you’re taking your bath or showerlisten to some soothing music and light a Napali candle while you explore your surroundings using all your five senses, feel, see, smell, taste and touch. 
I like to unwind by reading a book as well and sip on Stephanites iced Red Delicious tea from la Vie elixir collection which is perfect to be made chilled as it is made from organic dried apples! 

Mindful Bathing and Bath Soak blog: https://stephanies.com.au/blog/2020/03/mindful-bathing-and-bath-soaks/ 

SHOP and have a Bath with Stephanies la Vie elixir Naked Bath Soaks: https://stephanies.com.au/product/la-Vie-elixir 

SPEND TIME IN YOUR GARDEN 

Connecting with Mother Nature and the Earth can be so grounding while caring for our plants and flowers. With the practice of gardening, you can cultivate a healthy mind, regain your inner balance and immediately feel calm. There is something special about planting a seed with intention, or touching soil that is so transformative and if you’re gardening outside, you will also increase your vitamin D levels simply by being outdoors. It is a great way to boost your mood and improve mental health as it has been used as a way of therapy for depression. 

Tips for mindful gardening: 

  • Unplug your phone or leave it indoors 
  • Walk barefoot – notice the earth, feel the soil, smell the air 
  • Study a flower or a plant – notice what flowers or plants are already in bloom, look around you 
  • Pause before you begin – take slow, deep breaths and connect with the world around you 
  • Be grateful and present – notice how the soil feels, take a moment to appreciate Mother Nature 
  • Set intentions – place the seeds or plants in the ground with intention “may you grow and be healthy” 
  • Water lightly – listen to the sound of water hitting the earth and nurturing your plant. 

CUDDLE YOUR PET 

How many of us love coming home after a long day at work and being greeted by our loving, happy pets? For many of us, interacting with our loved animals is the ultimate therapy to a stressful day but many of us remain aware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of cuddling up to our furry friends.
Studies have found that:

  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets 
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations 
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine hormones, which calm and relax 
  • Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without 
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30% fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets
     

Pets can also fulfil the basic human need to touch as it has very therapeutic effects and can also ease loneliness, make you have healthier lifestyle changes, add structure and routine to your day and reduce anxiety and stress levels. 

If you wish to adopt a friendly animal who deserves a loving home, just like our founder Stephanie has with her beautiful rescue dogs Bailey, Sasha and Faith her lovely cat. 

Visit https://www.awlqld.com.au or https://www.rspcaqld.org.au/locations/brisbane 

UNWIND WITH LA VIE ELIXIR HERBAL TEA INFUSIONS 

Unwind with a bespoke collection of tea blends using only the finest tea, herbs, flowers and fruit sourced and hand-picked from around the globe. Professionally made by an artisan master tea blender and herbalist, our Signature spa tea has a focus on wellbeing and is served in all our Stephanies® Luxury Spas to our treasured guests. As always quality is of the utmost importance and only freshly milled herbs are used, harvested by hand with a sickle and shade dried, allowing butterflies and insects to fly away, preserving biodiversity. 

Prepare your la vie elixir tea: Infuse 1-2 teaspoons of loose leaf in a teapot. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes or for desired taste.

Choose from:

Red Delicious – Apple pieces, Ascorbic Acid & Natural Acerola, Citric Acid, Natural Sweet Apple Flavour. Can be enjoyed hot or chilled. 

Just like eating a red delicious apple, this smooth tasting tea is the perfect sugar craving antidote. Great to drink at any time while providing a great boost of vitamin C. Makes a delicious apple ice tea, just add mint. 

Soul Soothe – Lemongrass, Passionflower, Skullcap, Lemon Balm & Lavender.
A soothing herbal beverage for the mind and soul. An ideal accompaniment to our modern lifestyle, especially during and after a long day as a part of your home spa ritual. 

Spa Mint – Spearmint, Alfalfa & Calendula.
Relaxes, restores and aids digestion. Refreshes the breath naturally and is delicious as a cold drink. Perfect tea blend to enjoy after any spa experience, good as an after-dinner mint refreshment too. 

French Tea Party – Black Tea, Lavender, Rose Petals, Mallow Flowers, Mango & Bergamot.
This is a beautiful, sophisticated tea bouquet that embodies true romance and style. It is great to drink any time of the day. An ideal Spa High Tea Party delight. 

Shop and pour your next cup of healthy la vie elixir herbal teas:
https://stephanies.com.au/product/la-Vie-elixir/Tea-Infusion-Large-Collection 

READ A BOOK 

One of the most effective ways to give back to ourselves is through knowledge and development. Reading a great book can help us learn, understand and makes us more knowledgeable! Not to mention the vocabulary expansion and thinking skills we develop from it as well. 

 “Reading a book, and taking the time to ruminate and make inferences and engage the imaginational processing, is more cognitively enriching, without a doubt, than the short little bits that you might get if you’re into the 30-second digital mode.” – Ken Pugh (President of Haskins Laboratories) 

 10 ways reading benefits us and why we should cultivate a good reading habit 

  • Sharpens your mind 
  • Increases your vocabulary 
  • Improves your memory and focus 
  • Enhances imagination and empathy 
  • Strengthens your writing abilities 
  • Enhances your imagination 
  • Boosts your sleep 
  • Lower levels of stress and tension relief 
  • Helps with depression and dysthymia 

FIND A QUIET SPOT TO MEDITATE 

meditation on mountaintopMeditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect thoughts, where it can also increase awareness of your own breath and surroundings. Meditation can be performed anywhere mindfully. In most places, people like to practice in a quiet place in the comfort of their homes, during a yoga class, in an open space such as a park or even sometimes temples.
During isolation, an ideal place that we can incorporate meditation is in a quiet place of your home – find a room, balcony or veranda that has some natural light and allows for some fresh air to flow through.
How to meditate for beginners

  • Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion. 
  • Close your eyes. We recommend using one of our la Vie elixir Eye Pillows if lying down. 
  • Make no effort to control your breath; simply breathe naturally and feel your sensations flow through your body for a minute. 
  • Now, focus your attention on your breath and how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, ribcage and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If you mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.

Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and the try it for longer periods  

References: 

We hope you found this BLOG helpful. Look after your loved ones, stay at home and try to adapt your mind, body and family into this unprecedented time that our world is experiencing. Please show your appreciation and gratitude to all our wonderful front-line service provider and those very special healthcare workers. 

 

Till our next Stephanies Blog, stay well. 

 

Stacey