As the publisher and owner of Spa Inc., it would only seem reasonable that I would enjoy many visits to the spa. That, however, is far from the case. As it turns out, my husband goes for treatments far more often than I do. I wonder at this every time I see his expertly shaped toenails.
I do travel frequently for business and have found this is the best time to work in a spa visit. The hustle and bustle of travel, meetings, and trade shows is perfectly complemented by the soothing effects of a spa treatment. It keeps me fresh while on the road.
Popi Bowman, Managing Editor
In some ways, I’m incredibly lucky – people rarely guess my age. But “luck” has more to do with how I eat and treat my body than my genetics. In my teens I was introduced to Ayurveda by my parents, who did yoga before most people knew what it was. Mindfulness was part of my early training, growing up in a household where meditation was one of my daily “chores.”
As a result, I equate spa time with “zen” time – a necessary part of a balanced life. Whether you can afford to go to the spa weekly, monthly or once a year, there are a multitude of self-care techniques we can all incorporate into our lives. The products you use on a daily basis are as important as the food you eat and the air you breathe – because, after all, anything we put on our skin might as well be eaten.
I’m opinionated about this topic because my skin is hyper-sensitive. At one point the only thing I would use for moisturizing is olive oil in the shower (and I can swear by it, because my pregnancy left zero stretch marks!), and I rarely wear makeup because it usually causes a multitude of issues. Dry, oily, you name it – I have it. Pigmentation, freckles, rosacea – when I walk by skin care vendors, their eyes light up. I can’t count how many times people have asked, “Are you blushing?” No, this is me. Pink, like a poppy.
Jana Manolakos, Contributor
I’m both a girlie-girl and a tomboy. I’m also a former martial artist and a writer who loves sniffing, touching, prodding, probing and generally trying to get a handle on this precious world of ours. Until I became a Test Diva, I usually didn’t do anything beauty-related other than Olay foaming facial cleanser, followed by a dollop of moisturizing cream on my face every morning. I’ve done this since time immemorial, so that should give you a clue to how old I actually am. I had a few facials years ago but didn’t feel any better after – and the aesthetician irritated me. Put it down to a bad experience from which I never really bounced back. So I looked to my furthest extremities and discovered that I enjoy having pretty toe- and fingernails, but I also love hiking, gardening and other activities, so I rarely get mani-pedi treatments. I did notice that when I hit menopause, my skin started to loosen. I see my wrinkles as badges that I earned for laughing, loving and living well.
Andrea Green,Marketing Coordinator/Account Manager
Hi, I’m Andrea and I have dry, sensitive skin.
Now that that’s off my chest, let me guide you through my skin journey. I live in a small farming town where, growing up as a tomboy, I spent more time outside than indoors. I was never worried about what I was putting on my skin. My mom is a nurse and her skincare routine consisted of water, a cloth and putting some Olay on at night. Of course, following in her footsteps, I had a very simple skincare routine: washing my face with water and a cloth, and that was it. Fast forward to the past few years, and I’ve discovered a hidden passion for the health and wellness industry, especially skincare. I’ve always had very sensitive, dry skin, which made me reluctant to try new products. I’ve spent years searching for the right products that would help my skin flourish, and Spa Inc. has definitely led me to the light at the end of the tunnel. Today, I love to try out new products, and I follow a simple but effective routine each and almost every day.
My morning routine is still to simply wash my face with a cloth and water, but my night routine includes a small amount of cleansing cream followed by one of my favourite serums. The final key is putting a natural balm on my lips to make sure they don’t dry up overnight.
Guest Test Diva
Amanda Lewis, Marketing Coordinator
From skincare collector to minimalist to Test Diva. My relationship with my skin is always evolving and I love where I am right now.
In my twenties, I worked as a Sales Ambassador for department store beauty brands. I tried oodles of products, was trained on all sorts of opinions about skincare, and ended up developing a beauty philosophy that I believed in. By the time I hit my thirties, my bathroom cabinet was nearly bare. I only used the products I trusted and didn’t change things up much. I’m becoming a Test Diva as I take my first steps into my forties, and I must say, I’m loving the process of experimenting with my new skin.
As a working mom, taking the time to cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and protect are among the few indulgences I don’t skip. I may run errands in men’s sweat pants, but my skin underneath is always pampered.
My favourite little pleasures include tinted sunscreen, the satisfying feeling of freshly-applied serum on my cheeks, smooth toes and elbows, and dryer-hot towels after the bath.
Gabrielle Cole, Editorial Intern
As a teenager that’s tight on time and money, spa visits are not a regular occurrence in my life. My eyes were opened to self-care the day I celebrated my 12th birthday at Glama Gals Kids Spa in Ontario. We were treated to facials, mani-pedis and even soft, fuzzy bathrobes. Since then, I’ve developed an interest in my skincare routine and giving myself a little bit of a spa experience at home. This “at-home spa experience” usually consists of taking time to clean and moisturize my face, listening to music as I do my hair or relax with a good book, and using products with so many different scents that I’m essentially a botanical garden by the end.
On top of using a mainstream face wash and toner – which remove dirt and balance your skin’s pH levels, respectively – I like to use serums in my routine to make sure my skin is as healthy and glowing as it can be. I’ve particularly been loving the Nourishing Facial Oil from Moor Spa that’s packed with powerful ingredients and balances the oil production on my face. As an intern at Spa Inc. magazine, I explored the concept of skincare even further and learned about many new ingredients, brands and products that I’ll be sure to include in my routine in the future.
To keep my acne-prone skin clear, I like to experiment with different products from face soaps to face masks and add them to my routine as they come and go. My favourite ingredients to keep an eye out for are rose oil and tea tree oil because of all their benefits in terms of refreshing the skin and keeping it clear. My sensitive, combination skin always made me wary of trying too many products or having too many steps in my skincare routine, for fear of drying out my skin or unintentionally causing even more breakouts. But what I used to see as an obstacle, I now see as an invitation to find the products that result in my skin being at its best.