I arrive at Pure + Simple nervous. The last time I had a facial I was 15-years-old. My brother bought it for me as a gift for me as a birthday gift, and for such a young girl it was pure luxury. I remember walking out and my friend telling me I was “glowing”.
This time, my skin has been through 10-years of toxic make-up, sun tanning and an orgy of cocktails and champagne. I’m a little nervous.
I fill out a form describing my skin as “oily with large pores”, and would like my results to be “not irritated” with a smiley face.
A woman with porcelain doll-like skin comes out and guides me into the room. I tell her I haven’t removed my make-up and she replies “Don’t worry, that’s my job”.
She leaves the room as I get down to my skivvies and crawl under the warm blanket.
For the next 90 minutes I am a princess.
My make-up is removed, warm towels are placed on my face, my skin is massaged, oiled, prepped and primed.
I love that everything being rubbed into my skin is natural, non-toxic and without the strong fragrances that irritate my allergies and my skin.
Since I do the “deep pore cleansing” facial, there is a short extraction period that is a little painful. I question the benefits but trust the expert hands working my face, and know that either way it’s better than the work I tend do on myself at home (I loathe my giant pores and blackheads and cannot leave them alone).
Luckily, after the process my face is calmed and soothed and feels great.
I walk out a little red in certain spots, but with major blackheads out of my face and my skin as soft as silk.
I’m also told to drink more water, which isn’t a surprise as this came after my wine and pizza themed weekend.
All in all, I’m ecstatic about the results and as the days wear on the redness disappears and my face looks fresher than it has in years. Two weeks later, I'm still happy with the results and can't wait to go back.
This time I won’t wait 10 years until my next appointment.
Q&A with Kristen Ma, founder of Pure + Simple:
Q: What inspired you to start a line of natural skin care products as well as a spa?
A: I had acne for years and was frustrated with how nothing would help my skin clear up. Luckily, my mother has always appreciated a more nature, alternative approach and I after exhausting conventional options, I started to use chemical-free skincare. It was amazing! Feeding my skin and being gentle on it was so effective and also helped diminish my pitted acne scars. This was combined with a more healthy lifestyle and diet, which is so important for long-term beauty. Because of this change in how I looked and felt, I wanted to offer a natural option to others.
Q: What does your daily skin care routine consist of?
A: Are you ready for this? Its extensive. AM - cleanse with Pure + Simple's Sensitive Cleansing Milk tone with Holistic Vanity's Immortelle Skin Tonic hydrate with the Pure + Simple Collagen Elastin Plus Serum moisturize with Pure + Simple's Skin Softening Moisture Lotion nourish with Holistic Vanity's Comforting Camellia Oil protect with Pure + Simple's mineral make up (in creme)
PM - cleanse with Pure + Simple's Sensitive Skin Face Wash (its a gel) tone with Holistic Vanity's Immortelle Skin Tonic hydrate with the Pure + Simple Collagen Elastin Plus Serum moisturize with Martina Gebhardt's Aloe Vera Cream nourish with Holistic Vanity's Comforting Camellia Oil treat the eye area with Pure + Simple's Brightening Eye Cream
Q: Can spa treatments using toxic products do more harm than good?
A: Yes, I stripped my skin with professional peels for years when had acne and it cause skin damage, inflammation and contributed to my scarring.
Q: Are drastic treatments, like chemical peels and botox harmful?
A: Botox is a toxin that causes atrophy to our muscles, so I am definitely wary of absorbing this into my body as well as there are risks involved with this. Chemical peels can also be harmful to your skin, but it depends on the concentration and PH to know how likely injury can be.
Q: What do you recommend to women looking to establish a more natural skin care regime?
A: I think its best to come in for a consultation one-on-one with someone that can assess what suits your skin, preferences, budget and lifestyle.
Q: How do you apply Aryuveda to skin care?
A: Ayurveda is the science of healing - its similar to Chinese Medicine and is the sister science to yoga - so it must be applied to skincare in a holistic way. It not only encourages us to eat, exercise and move through our lives in a way that supports our bodies and skin tissue but also includes the emotional component to beauty, such as stress. I see its effectiveness with acne especially. It also is a philosophy built on the idea that we are all unique beings and that we must choose our skincare, foods and behaviours based on our constitution (doshas). This means doing away with blanket recommendations and tailoring yoru skincare regime to your skin and body type - there are different oils and substances that are used to traditionally treat different doshas.
Q: What other factors affect our skin beyond what we put on our face and body?
A: There are so many! Our diets, sleeping patterns, stress levels, relationships, water-intake, the weather.... the list goes on. Really, our skin is reflection of our internal health, and all of the factors that influence of total body health will support or deplete our skin.
Q: What is your beauty philosophy?
A: I believe that beauty is health. When someone radiates with wellbeing and balance - their skin glows, their body is strong and their hair shines. They also beam with zen energy - and that is so attractive.
Q: What Is your favourite treatment at Pure+Simple?
A: Oh, this is a hard one. I love our Urban Renewal Facial - it combines a full facial with two treatment masks with a arm, leg, face and scalp massage. You walk out of it feeling like a new person.
I want to give away a copy of Kristen's amazing book to your beautiful readers who have been following this series! Please leave a comment below with your favourite natural beauty tip and I will pick a winner by the end of the day on Monday!