A true European herbal facial

A true European facial will conclude with a finishing mask of clay or moisture to lock in everything.

by Beata George — 

The goodness of Mother Nature is very much embodied in the plant life that graces this earth. Herbs and flowers have amazing cleansing and healing powers.

European health spas have a long tradition of using raw herbs with therapies to achieve the most effective healing and beautifying results. In the European tradition, an herbal facial is not a simple slather and rinse.

A good European facial takes at least two hours. It starts with an enzymatic peeling mask to exfoliate and remove dead skin from the face and neck. Next the client’s face, neck, shoulders and chest are massaged with aromatic oil. Surrounded by steam, organic calming essences fragrant the air. Essential oils like lavender, rose and tea tree are used as aromatherapy for stimulation or relaxation.

Stress is not good for skin, so relaxation is usually key. However, sometimes people need stimulation to plump up collagen, nature’s connective tissue that keeps wrinkles from forming.

In the next step, the herbal mask is applied; the client’s face is wrapped in special gauze that gives the herbs extra penetrating power. Since the skin is very absorbent, toxic elements are never used. Mineral oil, propylene glycol and perfumes made from petro-chemicals are ingredients that should never be used in a facial. They may be less expensive, but are unhealthier in the long run.

A good herbal mask is a combination of about 15 European herbs. When mixed with warm water, herbs unleash their healing and detoxifying powers. They draw out impurities embedded in the pores, and then replenish the skin with vitamins, minerals and proteins. An herbal mask may include the following:

Flax Seeds (semen linis) are rich in lecithin, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for soothing eczema, ulcers, acne, inflammation of the skin and mucus membrane and dry, chapped skin.

Horsetail (herba equsetum) is rich in mineral salts, silica and vitamin C. It helps improve skin tone, elasticity and resilience of the skin’s connective tissue. Its anti-bacterial properties improve acne vulgaris, rosacea and saggy skin.

Marshmallow (folium althaeae) is rich in lecithin, natural enzymes, flavonoids and minerals. It soothes inflammation and has softening effects on the skin.

At this point in the process, No-Tox can be added to the regimen. No-Tox is a homeopathic formulation, not a neurotoxin like Botox®. Whereas Botox has a short-term effect of muscle-freezing to disable the skin from creasing, homeopathic formulations work to stimulate collagen production.

The homeopathic No-Tox preparation makes use of both collagen and elastin, just as Mother Nature does. The formulations are made by the Italian company, Guna. They are prescription only, and must be administered under medical supervision.

A true European facial will conclude with a finishing mask of clay or moisture to lock in everything. The final result is supple, silky and glowing skin.

 

Beata George, originally from Poland, ran a highly successful spa in Canada before moving to the United States. She has a diploma in Bio-Energy Therapy, is an esthetician, an internationally certified aromatherapist and a registered Polarity Therapist. 602-992-1199.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 6, December 2008/January 2009.

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