I’ve always been something of a health nut, perhaps that’s even more obvious these days what with all these resolution type posts showing up here. Some examples from my youth: asking lots of questions during my check up visits to the doctor, looking up any symptoms I was experiencing in our copy of the merck manual, eating healthfully, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and generally taking care of myself have all been part of my MO since I can remember. Since I got a serious sunburn as a kid, skin care has been a priority for me. I was born with dry, sensitive, and fair skin so the importance of taking extra care has always been readily apparent. Imagine my pleasure in learning just how much Joe Pilates was into the importance of healthy skin! (So much so that I’m busy sewing my own clothes for exercise since I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find fashionable items in natural fibers that are reasonably priced and accessible given my lack of time for clothes shopping.) Anybody who’s even glanced at the archival photos knows that Joe Pilates was into exposed skin, but his biographers uncovered more than a casual interest in nudist communities which I found interesting. As an aside on that topic, anybody else out there found that once you’ve skinny dipped there’s no going back? Yes, vacationing in Europe is a a bit more liberating, I think. It would seem that for Joe, keeping the skin free of clothing was important. He encouraged every client to scrub with a coarse brush and take a cold shower after their workouts, to exfoliate and then close the pores. Interesting, eh? Compare that to the contemporary practice of hermetically sealing ourselves in plastic exercise-wear that stays on from home to studio and back again, or sometimes all day – ick! I’m compelled to point out that we may have lost a valuable element of the master’s approach to a healthy lifestyle. Back to skin, skin was the point of all this. In 2004, I had the good fortune to make friends with a lovely lady who shares my passion for health and our most superficial reflection of that good health: beautiful skin. Today, I introduce Shelley Brooks:
I didn’t have acne until my mid-twenties. It was then that I got an unsightly case of constantly occurring acne around my chin and jawbone. For 2-3 years, I tried everything to no avail. When I bought my Pilates studio, I noticed that there was also an aesthetician’s office in the same building. I quickly introduced myself and my luck changed for the better. Apart from ridding my face of blemishes, Shelley became a lifelong friend and a small- business-owning buddy. For years, I saw her monthly for a facial, but pregnancy and being a mom have cleared my calendar of that monthly ritual. I’ll be back eventually, but these days I’ve been keeping my skin (mostly) clear with the tricks and tools that Shelley and others taught me during my first bought with breakouts over a decade ago.
Shelley is passionate about helping folks who have struggled with skin problems and she is always learning new techniques and finding new materials to use. In 2005 Shelley met Elina and that was a game changer for both of us. After years of searching, Shelley had finally found a line of products that exploited the powers of nature without compromise. For my part, I had found a constant source of practical information and the necessary supplies for my own personal obsession of caring for my skin. In short time everybody on Shelley’s client list had enjoyed dramatic improvements from using and being treated with Elina’s products. Shelley’s facials and Elina’s products are a potent combo.
Having completed a class on the topic shortly before our meeting, Shelley was the one who pointed out to me that my breakouts were related to my hormone levels. Within a year of meeting her, my wild and wacky hormone levels brought me to my acupuncturist. (Years ago, my interest in TCM were ignited by my studies of t’ai chi chuan and I’ve been receiving support from that ancient tradition ever since). The relevant point here is that these days I use what happens on my face as one indicator of what is going on with my hormones and it was Shelley who taught me how to apply that holistic approach to caring for my skin. Shelley is the sort of person who looks at the whole picture which is a wonderful gift in a practitioner of any kind. But in the highly superficial world of skin care, when so much focus is placed on what literally floats on the surface of our bodies, Shelley’s whole-body-whole-person approach is refreshingly profound.
After having sent many folks for treatments with Shelley, I’ve come to realize that not everybody is looking for her brand of profoundly transformative skin care treatments. Some folks are just looking for some good smells and a relaxing massage. Shelley offers that for sure, but the smells are never the same because our natural world and our natural bodies are never the same. I personally love being enveloped by the scent of the soothing herbal tea that Shelley uses to clean the skin between the different treatment applications, but I don’t expect it to be the same. Since the products that she uses always reflect the seasons it’s not realistic to anticipate the same scent every time you visit Shelley, but I always looked forward to a new stimulating experience. If you are the type who likes the same thing every time, you’ll have to find something else about Shelley’s treatments to keep you coming. I’m betting that the beautiful glow of your skin will be enough.
I’m compelled to point out that even if you are only able to receive a facial occasionally, it makes good sense to find a practitioner who has extensive training and who uses high-quality, natural ingredients. An aesthetician can employ more potent methods with all sorts of cool tools, and their products often include more powerful ingredients than the ones that we use in home every day. Also, there is a lot to be said for having the eye of an expert with all their high tech tools within reach. They can see and do more than we can alone in our bathrooms. And those are just a few reasons why a good corrective facial is more than just an indulgence.
If you don’t live in our neck of the woods, Shelley has shared a few tips for your home skin care regimen.
A good skincare regimen is based on good habits. Here are the things to do every day:
Wash your face at night (morning too), but especially at night to give your skin a clean slate for its nighttime regeneration.
Wear a zinc-based sunscreen, because the sun shines everyday.
Apply eye cream from the outside of eye inward, avoid tugging or pulling around the eyes.
Eat a healthy diet, drink lots of water
Hydration is key to healthy skin, here are some tips for keeping your skin hydrated:
Don’t use soap to cleanse, use a facial cleanser. Soap will dry out your skin.
Always wear a daily moisturizer.
Don’t pick at breakouts. It will cause the spreading of any infection under the skin, not to mention scarring.
PS, if you are local and reading this post inspires you to visit Shelley for the first time, let her know that and she’ll give you an introductory %20 discount off her services.