How to Remove Blackheads

Shannon Smyth3 comments
How to Remove Blackheads #beauty #skincare Blackheads. Simply put - they are the bane of our existence. Our teen years are when our pores become defined, which is dependent on using the right skin care products and using them consistently. How we take care of our face during our teen years determines how large or small our pores will be (mainly just how much they'll hold tightly to dirt and debris as we age), but yet it is during these same years that we seem to lack the knowledge (and motivation) to implement a preventative beauty routine that will save us the grief from our older selves. Oh Marty McFly, why can't time machines be real?! Since I can't turn back time, all I can do now is learn how to properly extract and remove blackheads, and try to minimize just how often those little skin pockets fill up with gunk. If you are younger and reading this, take heed now and do yourself a favor: keep your skin well-maintained. There are a few ways to remove blackheads:
Get a Professional Facial to Remove Blackheads This is your best method for extracting blackheads. An esthetician will use steam directly pointed to your face to help loosen up the hardened oil in your pores. During this time they will also cleanse the skin, exfoliate it with a scrub, and apply a glycolic mask. Once all of that has been completed (and you may or may not be treated to a scalp, arm, hand and shoulder massage - quite the added bonus), the esthetician will cease the steam and use a magnifying mirror to begin locating the congestion in your pores. Once identified, a blackhead extractor tool will be used. This tool has a loop on the end, that when pressed down, will push the loosened debris to the surface. The esthetician will then wipe it away with a tissue. Facials should be done monthly, and while the extraction portion of the facial can be a bit uncomfortable at times, the entire experience is worth it. Check out some of our professional facial reviews: Woodhouse Day Spa Breathe Salon & Day Spa Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont in Aventura Florida Remove Blackheads at Home When you don't have the time or money to have a facial once a month, you can also maintain your pores at home. For this you will need a facial steamer, blackhead extraction tool (one that does whiteheads is an added bonus), magnifying mirror and tissues. Prior to using the facial steamer, you'll want to look at your face in the magnifying mirror. Yes, it can be a bit scary to see your skin so close up...and a bit gross looking at your clogged up pores. However, it is essential to know where the steam should be focused at so that you get the most out of your at-home facial. Next, you'll want to cleanse your skin, especially since you'll be softening the hardened oil in your pores, you don't want to clog them with any more debris. Make sure you fully read the instructions on your facial steamer so that you don't over-fill it or burn yourself. You'll want to have the steamer doing its job on your face for about 10 minutes. Once your steam session has commenced, use the magnifying mirror again while placing the extraction tool over each affected area and gently press down. Do not use your fingers to wipe away the debris, as your hands carry a lot of bacteria and you don't want to further spread it around your face. Instead use a tissue to wipe it away. Once you're happy with your work, cleanse your face again, and use a toner, serum and moisturizer to complete the process. Don't forget to clean your extraction tool as well. You don't want it hanging onto any bacteria when you use it again in the future. Sidenote: While steam from a hot shower also helps to liquifey blackheads, it does not do as in-depth a job like a facial steamer would. However, in a pinch, it is still a good option. Check this DIY Pineapple Strawberry Enzyme Mask, it's a great chemical exfoliant you can make for yourself with ingredients from your kitchen. We also have a great post on 5 Ways to Minimize Pores and the Benefits of a Lemongrass Facial Steam. Now that you have the knowledge on how to remove blackheads, share this post with others so that they can properly take care of their skin as well! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+

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Tips to Stay Stress-Free and Glowing during the Holiday Season

Shannon Smyth
Tips to stay stress-free and glowing during the holidays! #beauty #health #wellness When I was in college I often went skiing in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. I always tell myself that one day I'll get back there (but this time to check out the spas in addition to the skiing!) One of those places is Stoweflake Spa and Wellness Center in Stowe, Vermont. Surinda Oberai Cavanagh, Spa Director and Ayurvedic Consultant at Stoweflake Spa and Wellness Center, offers A Girl's Gotta Spa! readers these tips to stay stress free and glowing this holiday season. Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season
  • Begin your day with a large glass of warm or hot water. This is great for hydration and cleansing the digestive system.
  • Before you bathe, generously apply a high quality massage oil (Sarada Ayurvedic massage oil) to your entire body. Use minimal soap. This practice will calm and coat your nervous system, nourish and hydrate your skin and leave you feeling warmer when the cold winds blow this season.
  • Eat your main meal between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. This is when your digestive system is most efficient. This will minimize holiday weight gain.
  • Have warm milk with nutmeg before bed. This is a wonderful evening routine and nutmeg is a very effective sedative.
Facial Glow Tips for the Holidays
  • Make sure you moisturize your face each day before heading out in to the elements with a heavy winter moisturizer or facial oil. This will protect against the drying effects of the winter weather.
  • Take a teaspoon of turmeric in raw honey internally for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
  • Make sure you exercise to the point of breaking a sweat. This will ensure your lymphatic system is stimulated.
Try this at home facial mask to cleanse and exfoliate daily. Simple Holiday At-Home Mask
  • 3 Teaspoons raw honey
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon whole plain yogurt
  • Mix together and apply to face and neck. Leave on for 8-10 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
If you try any of these, let us know how they work for you! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Shannon on G+

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DIY Spice Masks from Rianna Loving

Shannon Smyth2 comments

What was once used solely for herbal remedies and medicinal purposes is now taking on a new twist in the beauty and skincare world. Spices are what Cirque Boutique/Beauty Cirque founder, Rianna Loving is indulging in this winter to help keep skin pristine and hydrated.

Rianna advises to head to the kitchen cupboard (or local spice market) for additional flavor to include in your next beauty mask!

Cayenne Pepper
½ Ripped Avocado
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (if you have sensitive skin, use 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon of raw cocoa powder

Directions: Mix raw cocoa powder and cayenne pepper then blend avocado into mix until the texture is smooth.

Use it to: Increase blood flow and circulation and fight off breakouts. Enriched with vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, antioxidants and additional necessary nutrients to provide a healthy immune and digestive system.

1 tablespoon of jojoba oil
½ tablespoon of almond meal
1 teaspoon of Paprika

Directions: Mix paprika and almond meal in a bowl then slowly pour jojoba oil into the mixture. Blend until all ingredients are evenly combined.

Use it to: Brighten complexion, treat and prevent age spots and protect skin from damaging effects of pollutants and environmental factors. Paprika is also high in Iron and Beta-Carotene, known to aid in preventing wrinkles.

1 cup of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of turmeric
1/2 cup of shea butter

Directions: Apply coconut oil and shea butter in bowl, mix well until smooth then slowly apply turmeric and blend well until all is even.

Use it to: Even out wrinkles and limit stretch marks. It also heals acne and has great anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin is known to have potential anti-cancer properties and is a popular anti-aging ingredient in beauty.

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3 Ways to Brighten Skin

Shannon Smyth
3 DIY #Spa Treatments to Brighten Skin A Girl's Gotta Spa! even from the comfort of her own home. Many days are often spent in the kitchen during the holiday season whipping up treats to delight the palate. Why not take a few extra minutes to create a DIY spa treatment to refresh and brighten your skin? As Irving Berlin says, "May your days be merry and bright!" As cooler weather arrives and brings dry skin in need of a little boost, these easy do-it-yourself at-home spa treatments from Director of Spa Operations at The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, Stacey Parks,will brighten up your winter days and make you feel fantastic for the holidays and to start your new year! For the Face: To enliven and brighten your skin, mix a quarter cup of plain yogurt and 2-3 tablespoons lemon or orange juice. Apply to the face and relax for about 15 minutes. Wash off with luke-warm water to a youthful glow! For the Feet: Detoxify your system and rejuvenate tired feet with this soothing soak. Add a quarter cup Epsom salt, a quarter cup sea salt, and a half cup baking soda to hot water and stir until dissolved. You can customize with your favorite essential oil for aromatherapy and softening, or add juniper berries or green tea to increase the detoxification properties. Soak for 20-30 minutes. Use a dry brush or loofah to further scrub away impurities, and then apply a soothing aloe gel or coconut oil. For the Body: To exfoliate and soothe dry skin, mix 3-4 tablespoons freshly shredded ginger to a quarter cup coconut or olive oil, and a half cup brown sugar. This simple but effective and delicious smelling scrub can be used in the shower and is stimulating and warming, and will leave your skin soft and silky. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+ *Disclosure

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DIY Spa Treatment: Banana Purifying Bath with Honey and Yogurt Recipe

Shannon Smyth
DIY Spa Treatment #recipe Can't make it to the spa? Here's a DIY spa treatment from Nirmala Narine, host of Veria Living's Nirmala's Spice World, made from ingredients found in your kitchen...and that I dare you not to lick off! Ingredients: 4 tablespoons coconut milk 1 tablespoon plain yogurt 2 tablespoons honey Pulp of one ripe banana (the riper the better) Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg Directions:
  1. In a small warm bowl, add all ingredients and mix.
  2. Set aside while you fill your bathtub with warm water.
  3. Massage the mixture onto your body in circular motion, until you’ve used it all up.
  4. Soak in tub for 15 to 20 minutes
Your skin will feel smooth and moisturized...and it is possible that you may feel a bit hungrier post-treatment taking in those delicious scents! Check out the video for more in-depth instructions: Nirmala's Spice World can be seen in the U.S. on Cablevision/Optimum (Channel 164), DISH Network (Channel 218) and Verizon FiOS (Channel 162) subscribers (or check your local listings.) Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+

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At-Home Spa Treatments from Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Shannon Smyth1 comment
spa facials at homeAs the summer season is finally upon us, Josie Feria, Director of Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau, shows you how to bring luscious Lapis Spa treatments home and get rid of dry, unseen skin just in time for the warmer weather! Pre-Summer Body Exfoliation Simulates Spalicious Body Scrub Skin softening natural all body exfoliating treatment
  • Ingredients:  ½ cup olive oil, ¾ cup fine sea salt and drops of your favorite aromatherapy oil. Keep in mind the oil selected should be specific to treatment goal – citrus is energizing – lavender relaxing – peppermint stimulating
  • Place all items in a bowl and blend together
  • Next, step into the shower and moisten the body – apply the blend by hand in circular motion or for increased exfoliation apply with loofah mitt or body brush
  • Rinse off thoroughly.  Skin will feel smooth and soft and supple. For further hydration apply body lotion directly to moist skin
Pre-Summer Facial for Extra Dry Skin Skin softening avocado mask for combination or dry skin
  • Ingredients:  ½ avocado, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
The avocado and coconut oils work as an instant skin softener as the baking soda works as a mild exfoliator
  • Place all items in bowl and blend well togetherat-home-pedicures
  • Apply the mixture to your face and leave on for 10-15 minutes
  • Rinse off with warm water
Foot Scrub for Dry Feet and Heels Simulates Foot Rehab Pedicure
  • Begin by soaking feet in ¼ cup baking soda to reduce inflammation and cleanse feet thoroughly for 10 minutes
  • Using a wet pumice stone rub heels thoroughly yet gently to remove dry callous
  • Next, apply coconut oil to feet
  • Finally, wrap feet in plastic and cover with soft socks for 30 minutes. The plastic and warmth will help the oil to soften the skin.
Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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DIY Exfoliating Face Mask

Gail Lewis4 comments

DIY Exfoliating Face Mask My favorite beauty treatments are those that I can create myself with ingredients from my own kitchen.  Creating my own beauty treatments makes me feel good about what I am putting on my skin because I know exactly where the ingredients came from and I know that they won't harm my skin.

This morning my sister greeted me at her door with bright, glowing, soft skin sans makeup.  And since my sister is a walking  beauty encyclopedia, I had to know what got her skin looking so amazing.  Turns out it was her own concoction of coffee grounds, honey and lemon. The coffee grounds exfoliates the skin, functions as an anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants.  The honey is a really great  moisturizer and leaves skin feeling soft and supple.  The lemon brightens skin and minimizes the look of pores while getting rid of oil.  I applied the exfoliating mask to my skin and left it on for fifteen minutes.  When I was ready to remove the mask, I applied a bit of water to my face and gently massaged my skin in a circular motion to exfoliate with the coffee grounds, then rinsed my face.  The mask rinses away easily and cleanly.  My face immediately felt softer and smoother and it looked great.  It was clearer and brighter and best of all the mask took about two minutes to make and all of the ingredients can be found in the kitchen. Have you tried making a DIY mask at home? I'd love to hear your recipe! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Watch our reviews on YouTube. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!     *Disclosure

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DIY Coffee Grounds Exfoliating Body Cleanser

Gail Lewis
Last month, thanks to my beauty guru of a sister, I was introduced to the amazing exfoliating properties of coffee grounds, which I of course just had to pass along to you, our awesome readers.  And today, thanks to a serious case of boredom, I have found a way to make the Coffee Grounds Scrub even better, by combining it with my Crabtree & Evelyn Naturals Verbena & Sage Deodorising Shower Foam.  I am absolutely in love with these shower foams, which unfortunately were discontinued, but I have been able to find them on Amazon (as I seem to be able to do with a lot of other hard to find beauty products).      By combining the coffee grounds with the shower foam, I not only created more of a paste version of the scrub that was a lot less messy, but I also created an exfoliating body cleanser, as well.  As I mentioned above, the Crabtree & Evelyn Naturals Deodorising Shower Foams might be a bit tough to find as they have been discontinued, but I am sure the scrub would work just as well with most other shower foams.  Happy cleansing and exfoliating at the same time! Have you tried our DIY Coffee Scrub yet? If you know of a great shower foam, please let us know! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Watch our reviews on YouTube. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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DIY Face Spritzer/Makeup Refreshing Spray

Gail Lewis1 comment
This past summer I had the opportunity of traveling to the city of Cebu in the Philippines to shoot a show for Fashion One Television. While there I was fortunate enough to work with an amazing makeup artist by the name of Beatriz Lopez.  Beatriz is a  London based freelancer, who provides makeup and hair styling for a broad range of clients from fashion and advertising to private commissions. Fully certified in all aspects of makeup, including special effects and body painting, she is also experienced in styling natural and synthetic hair.  Bea is just downright super talented and I absolutely loved my hair and makeup whenever she worked on me on set, so I was readily accepting of any beauty suggestions/tips she was kind enough to offer.  The instructions for creating Beatriz Lopez's DIY Face Spritzer/makeup refresher are as follows: Combine the following ingredients in a small spray bottle that is bag size (100ml)
  • 95ml of spring water
  • 1tbsp of pure aloe vera gel
  • 6 drops of lavender pure essential oil or 6 drops of sweet orange/orange/mandarin pure essential oil
  • 1-4 drops of virgin olive oil (or coconut oil) - depending on how dry or oily your skin is (if very oily-leave out)
Give it a good shake and you have your very own face spritzer. Beatriz suggests throwing it  in your bag and spritzing whenever you feel like you need a quick pep-me-up, some hydration when you need cooling off... or you can even use it to freshen your makeup. One word of caution: she does suggest that if the spritzer is going to be used on sensitive or very fair skin which will directly exposed to sun - it may be best to only use one drop of the orange oil or completely eliminate from the ingredients as it may cause photo-toxicity. You can find out more about Beatriz Lopez by visiting her page at Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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