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Here’s why you should drink water

By Carmelina Karas

The Basics

Water is essential for life. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% of it! We need water for vital organ functions, to replenish ourselves after exercise or while working in a hot climate, and for amazing looking skin. You may have heard that 8 cups per day is sufficient for the average human being. However, when has anyone really fallen into the “average” category when it comes to height, weight, body type, level of physical activity and underlying health conditions? We know drinking water is good for us, so why is it so hard to drink it?

According to Wikipedia, the amount of drinking water required is variable. It depends on physical activity, age, health, and environmental conditions. In a temperate climate under normal conditions, adequate water intake is about 2.7 litres (95 imp fl oz; 91 US fl oz) for adult women and 3.7 litres (130 imp fl oz; 130 US fl oz) for adult men.

Did you know that women need more water than men? In fact, men need over 11 cups of water per day and women need over 15! Feeling thirsty? This is very different than the 8 cups I was brought up thinking that I needed.

Enhancing the Taste

Companies have created flavour boosters to enhance our water, since it seems that “plain water” is boring. Health experts have asked us to add lemon to our water to help detoxify internal organs. Did you know that lukewarm water is actually better for you than cold, as cold water can shock your system? 

The bottom line is, we need to drink more water. I have yet to meet someone who has been hitting or passing their water-drinking goal on a daily basis. Keeping a cup or water bottle by your desk, making sure you are adequately hydrated while at the gym, and choosing healthy foods with higher water contents will all contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle. Your body will thank you and your skin will look amazing!

Summer Essentials

By: Jodee Cave

Summer is finally here and with the heat, humidity and fun it can be hard to maintain your beauty regimen. Whether you’re travelling, swimming or sunning this season, we found some products that you’ll definitely want to take along for the journey!


rainWith the beautiful rays of sunshine summer brings, we also have to deal with the heat, humidity and impurities that are harsh on the skin. Belmondo has just the products to keep your skin looking refreshed and hydrated with their cleanser/toner set, The Rain and After the Rain. These cool and invigorating products gently refresh the skin with natural ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, lavender, aloe and rose. The Rain set is great for those with acne-prone, blemished or oily skin, as well as those who suffer from eczema. The best thing about these products? They’re great for a low-maintenance girl (or guy) as there is no need to wash off so it can be used any time you need a quick refresh.




The Face Effects Perfecting Polisher by Spa Sonic is a great tool when you’re on the run. It comes in a variety of cute patterns including animal print, if you feel like taking a walk on the wild side! The polisher is compact in a handy travelling case, so it can fit nicely in your suitcase or summer bag. Pick your favourite cleanser and pair them together to keep your summer glow all season!






Mia Beauty Tony Ties are perfecting for keeping your messy bun or sleek pony tail intact! They come in a variety of bright colours and patterns. Accessorize your look and use them as bracelets to ensure you always have a tie on hand. Great for trips to the beach, camping or travelling!


Test Divas: Jan Marini Holiday Exfoliator

During the Christmas break, I was lucky enough to test out Jan Marini’s limited edition Pumpkin Spice Holiday Exfoliator.  I loved the smell, although it gave me cravings for a big slice of pumpkin pie after each use.

When I applied the product to my skin, I immediately noticed how soft and smooth my skin felt and was truly glowing (even after the first use)!

I am a big believer in the inclusion of a great exfoliator in my skin care regimen. I’ve tried many brands and formulas, but more often than not, they’re too harsh or drying on my skin which causes flakes and peeling. This exfoliator sets itself apart from others with its unique spherical microbeads, which dissolve in water. It exfoliates and polishes the skin without the harsh abrasives that are common to many similar items in the market today.

I have dark marks and acne scars which make me a bit self-conscious about going makeup free. I love the inclusion of the glycolic acid and proteolytic enzymes, which help to reduce these issues and brighten my complexion. Since including this exfoliator in my routine, I have found that my skin is clearer and I have an overall brighter complexion, I’ve even dared to venture out make-up free and it feels great!

I spent my holiday break in Jamaica (let the jealousy sink in for a moment) and while I was away, I spent a lot of time in the sun, sand, and salty waters. The holiday exfoliator was an excellent tool for cleansing and polishing the damaging days off my skin.

This product was a great travel companion and shouldn’t be reserved for just the winter weather. If you are looking for an exfoliant that is gentle yet effective on your skin, I would wholeheartedly recommend this product.

Marini Holiday Exfoliat#255

ESSIO Q&A: Holiday Scents and Aromatherapy


By: Lindsay Grummett

I recently came across a product with a VERY cool concept. ESSIO is an aromatherapy diffuser that will turn your shower into a spa!  You simply clip it onto your shower pipe (no tools needed!), pop in a scent pod and wait for the essential oils to envelop you.

Shower Head

I sat down and talk scents with ESSIO’s marketing manager, Jared Van Lehn, who filled us in on everything from holiday aromas to how they develop essential oil blends. Make sure you join the conversation and comment below!

What are some of the benefits of aromatherapy? 

While Western medicine has greatly reduced the presence of infectious disease, the subtler areas of wellness, such as mood and energy-balance, require a more integrated approach of which aromatherapy may be a part.  Studies show that specific botanical aromas (derived from phyto-essential oils) have both physiological as well as psychological impacts and benefits.

Inhaling the essential oils of Lavender and Chamomile, for instance, has been practiced as a mild sedative for hundreds of years across Western Europe. It’s worth noting, too, that the essential oils used in aromatherapy are generally anti-microbials.

Christmas is a very scent driven season with smells like sugar cookies and Christmas trees filling the air. What are some of the most popular holiday scents? How can they affect a person’s mood?

The most popular holiday aroma is peppermint. The sharp, fresh fragrance is derived from menthol, a naturally occurring botanical compound which tricks the brain into believing that cold air is being inhaled. In an energetic context, peppermint is stimulating, exciting, and builds optimism and anticipation.

The smell of pine needles and sugar cookies may indeed trigger Normal Rockwell-esque reminiscing. Even more remarkably, because the holidays are marketed with these aromas, someone who never had those experiences may still associate the aroma of candy canes, Christmas trees and gingerbread with feelings of wistfulness, yearning and sentimentality.

How does ESSIO develop their essential oil blends?   

The process of developing the blends is difficult and requires skill and constant experimentation.  The particular equation is developed based on what we want the blend to accomplish. Blends fall primarily into one of three groups: stimulating, sedating, or balancing.

Master aromatherapeutic blenders are called in to come up with the initial concepts for the blends, then to actually implement the formulation. This is challenging from a formulation standpoint because ESSIO does not use any synthetic elements. This means that we must choose essential oils which naturally produce the effects we want.

What is your favourite scent (not just including the ESSIO blends)?

Hmmmm… I think I’m going to have to go with the classic peppermint.  For me it is so revitalizing, and refreshing and powerful.  Plus, peppermint has a nostalgic effect for me.  It takes me back home, back to family and loved ones, and all these happy memories as a kid.  Especially around the holidays, the first thing I think of are candy canes.

Does your company have any holiday scents that work with your ESSIO shower diffuser?

Every ESSIO blend is ideal for the holidays. UNWIND, which blends upbeat citrus with spicy patchouli, is great for busting holiday stress. CLEAR, with holiday favorites nutmeg and peppermint, brushes away distractions, perfect for setting priorities and making New Year’s Resolutions. BREATHE, which also contains peppermint as well as cedar and eucalyptus, to decongest sniffles. ESSIO has six revitalizing blends for the shower.

Tell us your favourite scent in the comments below! 

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The ESSIO Starter Kit 


 Pod Blends

Spa Inc.’s November Beauty Blitz Contest

You’ve probably seen us tweeting about our November Beauty Blitz contest for the last few weeks and we’re happy to say it starts TOMORROW!

How do you win? Good question!

Every Friday, we’ll be asking our #BeautyBlitz question of the day on Twitter. Follow us, reply to the question and your name will be entered into a random draw to win one of our amazing prize packs with products from HydroPeptide, ilike organic skin care, Sahara Tea, Trind, EmerginC as well as a copy of our fall issue.

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We’ll be giving away one bag in week one, two in week two, etc. So don’t worry if you miss the first Friday, you still have lots of time to win!

We’re also having a giveaway on our Facebook page that’s exclusive to spa industry professionals.  If you own or work at a spa, you can enter for a chance to win one of four fabulous spa prizes:

  • (1) Margaret Dabbs gift basket (retail value: $240.00)
  • (2) Trind spa retail start-up packages ($900 retail value)
  • (1) James Read Stunning Sunless Tanning kit (retail value: $225.00)


Don’t miss your opportunity to take home some awesome spa swag, find us on Facebook and Twitter today!

Labour Day Saviour: Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain

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By: Lindsay Grummett 

Nothing says long weekend more than a trip to the cottage and that’s exactly where my boyfriend, Mason, and I headed this past weekend. Unfortunately, our plans of a lazy day in Wasaga Beach were cancelled when the storm clouds rolled in and the rain began trickling down.

We were running out of other ideas when my mom finally said, “Head over to Blue Mountain. It’d be a great day for the spa.”

“The spa” is Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain, an award-winning retreat nestled in the serene forest at the base of a mountain. Okay, we use the word “mountain” pretty liberally here in Ontario – it’s not the Rockies, but it’s beautiful and you can ski down it, so that should count for something, right?

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On the road to relaxation!

I hadn’t been to Scandinave Spa for a few years and was excited at the thought of going back.  The spa offers hydrotherapy, using hot and cold water to release endorphins and improve circulation among other things.

After a short drive, we arrived at our destination, grabbed our bags and walked to the main building after crossing a small bring along the way. Once inside, we were greeted by a sweet attendant who explained the rules and showed us the change rooms.


Mason’s still a little uncertain about the spa.

Guests pay for a day pass and are given access to the outdoor environment that includes a Finnish sauna, eucalyptus steam room, hot baths, cold plunges, and more. The spa is open all year and since my last visit was during the dead of winter, I was interested to see how a summer daytrip would compare.

When we were finally ready, Mason and I headed outside and slowly entered one of the baths being cautious of the water’s heat.


Instructions on how to use the baths.

“Wow, this is amazing,” he said after a few minutes and I couldn’t agree more.

We waded along the edges and made our way to the waterfall to let the warm water massage our muscles. After about 15 minutes, we got out and walked a few steps to the cold plunge before hesitantly stepping in.  (Note: Learn from my mistake – hesitation should be avoided and will only extend your discomfort)


This is my I’m pretending I’m not cold even though I’m FREEZING face!

Next, we went to the eucalyptus steam room which is circular in shape and has three levels of seats arranged along the wall.  We found a spot to sit near the left of the entrance and took deep, heavy breaths of the thick air. The room smelled similar to Vicks VapoRub and had the same effect – clearing out the sinuses and opening up the lungs. This was Mason’s favourite spot in the spa and we found ourselves back in the room at least 5 more times over the next 4 hours.

We also made use of the hammocks (built for two, of course), lounge chairs, and relaxation room – with our favourite hangout being the hammocks tucked into a little pocket of forest. A cozy ambiance was created with soft spa music and the scent of campfire wafting from the chimineas (outdoor fireplaces) located around the property.

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Spa guests relax near the fireplace reading books and taking naps.

These outdoor lounge areas are an added bonus of attending the spa in the spring and summer, but in the end I had no seasonal preference – the spa is perfect on a cold winter’s night or an overcast summer’s day. Although I didn’t mention it earlier, this was Mason’s first time stepping foot in a spa and I don’t think it’ll be his last. At the end of our visit he suggested we make another trip to Scandinave Spa in a few weeks, but this time we just have to get massages. Who can argue with that?


Our final picture of the day. We’re so awesome at using the camera!