Sunday, October 21, 2012

Detox & Destress!

Originally posted on September 26, 2012

Fall is an excellent time to try our Siddha Body Detox & Massage treatment! This is my favorite service because it’s effective, relaxing, and great for muscle & joint pain. The circulation boosting products used make this a must-do when the weather changes.

Siddha Medicine originated in southern India and is believed to be one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It is similar to Ayurveda in that it uses diet and lifestyle to maintain balance in the mind and body. The Body Detox & Massage treatment uses herbs and oils to stimulate the lymphatic system, lungs, and skin.

Your treatment begins with a dry brushing to remove dead skin cells and promote lymphatic drainage. We’ll then press a warm compress of herbs onto your skin. This compress includes clove stems, eucalyptus leaves, ginger root, rosemary leaves, and allspice berries. It is heated and dipped in a blend of sandalwood and jojoba oil to ensure that the infusion of herbs seeps thru onto your skin. This powerful blend stimulates circulation and calms the mind. You’ll be wrapped for about 20 minutes to keep your muscles warm & your pores open while you absorb the infusion and enjoy a head and scalp massage. After the wrap, you’ll receive a short full body drainage massage. This uses long, soothing strokes to push fluids thru your circulatory system.

You can expect your treatment to take about 75 minutes, but please feel free to add on more massage!

Lisa's Waxing Tips

Originally posted July 17, 2012

Summer is here and more and more of us are turning to waxing – a relatively quick way to go hair-free and worry-free for about the next month or so.  Going bare down there is an increasingly popular option these days, too, but things can get hairy if you don’t take care of your sensitive skin pre- and post-wax.

So, how do you take care of the skin before and after waxing?  These tips will help minimize the pain and take care of your skin.

Pre-Wax Pointers:
  • You need at least 1/4" hair growth. Any shorter and the was won't be able to grab it, but if it's too long, it may cause you more discomfort during the procedure.
  • You might want to pop some ibuprofen or acetaminophen 30 – 45 minutes before your appointment.  It won’t take away all the discomfort, but it could definitely help take the edge off.
  • Try to make your appointment no closer than a couple of days before or after your period - your body is more sensitive during this time.
  • Be clean for your appointment. 
And lastly,
  • Breathe! Your natural reaction will be to hold your breath and tense up. If you can just pretend to relax and breathe through it, you'll actually be in less discomfort. 

Post-Wax Pointers:

Next 24-48 hours

  • Take a shower instead of a bath
  • Use a cold compress to help soothe the area
  • Use only gentle cleansers and moisturizers
  • Use tea tree oil, lavender oil, antibiotic ointment or hydro-cortisone cream to calm the area
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes to help reduce friction
  • Go in a hot tub or swimming. Heat, chlorine, or salt may irritate or sting.
  • Go tanning. This goes for both natural sun and tanning beds. You don't want a sunburn, believe me!
  • Exercise vigorously or engage in sexual activity. Friction on the skin can cause it to become inflamed.
  • Use product with harsh chemicals, perfumes or dyes. 
  • Touch freshly waxed skin, this can encourage irritation and breakouts.
48 hours+
  • Feel free to return to your normal activities!
  • Exfoliate using a product specifically designed for waxing after-care such as Get the Bump Outta Here.
  • Try to gently tweeze out ingrown hairs after you shower or bathe. Resist the temptation to pick. If ingrown hairs are not remedied with gentle tweezing, use of regular exfoliation and the correct products, then it's a good idea to go back to see your esthetician, who is trained to extract stubborn hairs.

Waxing may not be for you if you are using Retin-A, Renova, Differin or Accutane. These medications can weaken your skin, and tearing may occur. Also, if you have diabetes, very sensitive skin, sunburn, sexually transmitted diseases, skin conditions, or contagious diseases, your body may be more prone to infections.

Getting Manageable Summer Hair

Originally posted June 27, 2012

With Miss Rachel

Our hot & humid summer is officially here! With so many festivals, patio dates, and beaches to get to there's no time to fuss with frizzy, poufy hair. Luckily, our keratin treatment is here for you. At Spa Soak, we use the Coppola Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment, which can reduce frizz by up to 95%! 

Keratin is the main component of your hair. Dryness or breakage can create gaps in the hair cuticle, which can lead to kinks and frizz. Our treatment infuses the hair with more keratin, filling in these gaps. The result is smoother, more manageable hair. It won't change your natural texture, and it can even be used on colored hair.

You can expect to be with us for at least 90 minutes while your stylist applies the product and seals it in with a flat iron. Then she'll help you choose the appropriate aftercare products for your hair type. Afterwards, you'll want to avoid washing your hair for 3 to 4 days. Then you'll enjoy no-fuss hair for 2 months or longer!

The time and cost depend on how long your hair is, so give us a call for pricing and availability at 773-395-9000.

Massage 101: Sports Massage

Originally posted June 6, 2012

Ah, June. The sun is shining, the beaches are open, and everyone is outside spraining and straining things. It's pretty common knowledge that keeping fit all year and stretching can help prepare your body for summer's adventures, but a lot of people don't know the benefits of sports massage. Whether you're training for the marathon or just getting a softball team together, sports massage can help prevent injuries and possibly even improve your performance. We do this with a combination of Swedish massage techniques, assisted stretches, trigger point therapy and Shiatsu.

Our regular spa sports massage is a great addition to any workout. There are also a few specialty sports massages: 
Pre-event sports massage preps you by loosening and stimulating the muscles. We recommend keeping this short, because your muscles will relax if we go on too long. 
Post-event sports massage is focused on recovery. We work slowly to reduce spasms and inflammation, and to move fresh fluids through the tissues. 
Rehabilitative sports massage addresses sports-related injuries. This usually includes some deep tissue techniques.

Whatever your fitness level or sport is, we've got you covered. Give us a call at 773-395-9000 to add us to your routine.

Spring Cleaning for Your Skin

Originally posted April 11, 2012

As the season changes, we need to do some spring cleaning for our make-up, brushes, and skin care products. Angie has some great tips for bringing your make-up drawer up-to-date. 

This is a good time to check for expired make-up. Anything that has changed color or consistency needs to be replaced. Remember that mascara needs to be replaced more often than other products - about every 3 months.

Your brushes may need some attention, too. Brushes should be cleaned about once a month to prevent bacterial growth. Use a mild soap & water, then reshape them and let them air dry. To maintain them, spritz them once a week with either a brush cleanser or rubbing alcohol.

Skin care products also follow the color & consistency rule. If it's changed, replace it. Give them a sniff test, too. These products have a shelf life of about 1 year, so anything older than that should be tossed.

For your face, we recommend a deep cleansing facial as a great jump-start to prepping your skin for the summer months. Your esthetician can evaluate your skin and tell you if you need to make any changes to your Bioelements regimen to keep you glowing til fall.

Massage 101: Deep Tissue Massage

Originally posted March 14, 2012

Today Constance answers our most frequently asked massage question: What is the difference between Swedish and deep tissue massages?

In our experience, many clients schedule a deep tissue because they like a lot of pressure, but it's not always necessary to do so. The pressure used in these services is a matter of your personal preference. You can have a very firm Swedish or a lighter deep tissue. These treatments are also not differentiated by technique, as many therapists use the same types of strokes in both. What really sets them apart is the goal of the session and how the strokes are applied.

Swedish massage is great for general relaxation, stress relief, and increasing circulation to flush out metabolic waste and bring fresh, nourishing fluids into your muscles and connective tissues. This is usually accomplished with long, soothing strokes.

A deep tissue massage is used to work out your problem areas. If you're experiencing persistent tension or pain, restricted movement, or you're feeling the effects of altered posture, chronic pain, injury or illness, then deep tissue is for you. Your therapist will slowly work through the layers of muscles to get to the source of your aches & pains. They may employ shorter strokes, use their thumbs and elbows, and approach the area from different angles. This helps them release restrictions in your connective tissues, knots, and scar tissue.

There are a couple of important things to keep in mind regarding these therapies. The first is that deep tissue work is slower than Swedish in order to be effective. This may mean that we are unable to provide a full-body massage in the time allowed. If you would like a full-body treatment or if you have multiple trouble spots, we recommend booking a longer session and communicating this to your therapist.

The second thing to remember is this is your personal fully customized massage. There are no cookie cutter treatments at Spa Soak. If our style or pressure isn't working for you, please tell us! We want that feedback. It's your input that ensures you get the right massage for your body, and turns a good session into a great session.

Winter Skin Care

Originally posted January 13, 2012

We asked Devon what we could do fr our dry, windblown winter skin. Here are her tips for brightening and moisturizing our sad, flaky faces!

When it comes to winter skin problems, the biggest complaint we hear from clients is about dryness. From tight, parched cheeks to flaky scales around the brow line; even the oiliest of skins can suffer from the feeling of dry skin.

When diagnosing skin types and conditions the one thing that is important to understand is that there is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dry skin occurs when the skin is not producing as much of the natural oils which keep us looking supple and young. The moisture content in skin will inevitably reduce with age, producing a thinner texture and tone. This results in a tight and uncomfortable face that spotlights fine lines and dullness.

Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is generally more of a skin condition than a skin type. The most obvious culprit of dehydration is a lack of water intake. Other things that create a dehydrated surface include: ineffective (or non-existent) exfoliation, strong chemicals in skin care products, and environmental conditions.

The best way to combat dehydrated skin is to start with a good professional exfoliation through a facial and  follow-up with an advised at-home routine. Many times the most effective course of action is to have a professional chemical peel, which provides a fresh surface for the esthetician to work with.

Visiting the spa for a facial is the first thing to do before making any decisions about combating dryness or dehydration. Our most popular facial at Spa Soak, Oxygen, helps combat dry and lifeless skin. This relaxing and effective service infuses the skin with natural ingredients and anti-oxidants.  It is an invigorating jump-start for dry sluggish skin. If you’re feeling prematurely aged, congested, or clogged, Oxygen will also boost tone and texture making you look-and feel-younger.

Winter doesn’t only attack the skin on our faces. Many of us suffer from cracked, bleeding, and painful skin on our cuticles and thumbs. Seeing a nail technician for a manicure and paraffin treatment will help ease the dryness, but we would like to share an at-home remedy with you.

Every night before bed try putting Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment on the cracked areas and covering with a bandage. Within two nights of treatments it should clear up for you.

We’ve had somewhat of a mild season but in Chicago it could get nasty at any second. Once the forced air heating begins to blow you will start to feel--and see--the negative affects it has on your skin. Take some time to see a professional and most importantly take care of yourself; drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep.

The professionals at Spa Soak are committed to helping you achieve your skin care goals and making you look your best during all seasons.

Relax & Restyle

Originally posted May 23, 2011

Thanks to everyone who came to our Relax and Restyle event on May 20, 2011.  We had a fantastic turnout and everybody had a great time.
The night was filled with wine and appetizers, as well as free eye brow waxing.  However, the most important part of Friday night was our lovely guests.  You always make the evening one to remember.  We also had one special guest, Zondra Hughes, that came and interviewed Erin for her accomplishment with Tulle Boutique and Spa Soak got a shout out too!  Check out the article!
These events would not be anything without our amazing clients that come and support Spa Soak and Tulle Boutique.  Some clients such as: Nikki Gross, Colleen Glascott, Amy Batti, & Renee Mehl to name a few, brought a guest and received a $20 gift certificate!  So please come and enjoy yourself, and don't forget to bring a friend to recieve your gift certificate next time!

Thanks again everyone, and keep your eyes open for the next Relax and Restyle Event!