The dog days of summer are here and they are coming in HOT! If you’re looking to cool down, a session in the cryosauna in our Wellness & Recovery area will do the trick! In fact, the whole body cryosauna cools down to temperatures around -250 degrees Fahrenheit, which sounds pretty tempting on a 90-degree day.

But of course, cooling down on a hot day is not quite what whole body cryotherapy was developed for (although it’s a nice bonus). Originally developed in Japan in 1978 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the additional benefits have been widely studied and refined since then. Cryotherapy is now offered worldwide to help treat and combat many issues and ailments, both physical and mental.

Simply by immersing the body in extremely cold air for just a few minutes, the body receives a number of health benefits. Many elite athletes use cryotherapy multiple times and swear by its recovery benefits, but even if you’re not an elite athlete there is so much regular cryotherapy can do for your body and mind.

ole-body cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to lower a person’s skin temperature to about 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but because the skin is not in direct contact with the gas there is no danger to the body. Instead, our skin simply reacts to the cold and signals to the brain to send blood to the core of our body to maintain body temperature. Toxins are flushed from the tissues and blood is enriched with oxygen, enzymes, and nutrients, and the nervous system is stimulated to active healing and release endorphins.

If you’re sore from a workout, suffered an injury, or undergone surgery, even one session of whole body cryotherapy can speed up recovery time and reduce inflammation and pain. Studies have also shown a significant reduction in pain and inflammation related to chronic illnesses like arthritis, rheumatism, and multiple sclerosis and chronic skin conditions like psoriasis. Recent studies have also shown that cryotherapy can significantly help migraines, especially localized cryotherapy around the neck and carotid arteries. 

Cryotherapy treatments can even help improve skin’s resilience, increasing collagen and reducing the appearance of cellulite and fatty deposits at the skin’s surface and can help you with weight management as your body burns extra calories to maintain core temperatures (some studies show up to 800 in session). 

While you’re relieving physical pain and discomfort, you’ll get the added benefit of mental benefit of released adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins and a reduction in stress-causing cortisol. The ultra-cold temperatures applied in whole-body cryotherapy cause these physiological hormonal responses that have a positive effect on those experiencing anxiety and depression. One study found that whole-body cryotherapy is actually an effective short-term treatment for both!

And the cherry on top of all of these benefits? Whole-body cryotherapy only takes MINUTES to start feeling the effects and is well-tolerated by most people with minimal risk.

With all the possible benefits, special pricing for Western members, and those hot dog days of summer bearing down, now is a fantastic time to try whole body cryotherapy. If you have a specific condition or issue you’d like to address or aren’t sure if cryotherapy is right for you, e-mail us at info@westernracquet.com and one of our cryotherapy techs can answer your questions and guide you through the process. If you’d like to learn more about all the Wellness & Recovery services at Western, visit westernracquet.com/wellness-recovery

"Sorry you have to look at my skin, it's dry/oily/got acne/etc."  This is by far one of the most common statements I receive when looking at a clients skin during a skin analysis during a facial, especially with first-time clients. Most of the time it has something to do with having pores, not even having blackheads or whiteheads, just by simply having them! 

Let me start off by stating one simple fact. Every single person on this planet has pores. You do not need to apologize by having them! That's like apologizing to the mechanic for having a car that needs an oil change. Please never feel as though you have to apologize for having skin that has pores. Your pores are beautiful! They serve multiple important functions. Our culture has manipulated you into thinking beauty comes from your pores being a certain size, which is simply not true or unattainable. Pore size is determined by your skin type and any conditions you might have and largely that's based on your genes!

Oily skin types tend to have larger pores because of the sebum secreted from your oil glands, which can make pores larger. There is nothing wrong with that. What we do suggest is exfoliating to help keep those pores clean so they don't develop into breakouts, whiteheads, and blackheads.  

Dry skin types tend to have smaller pores because their skin naturally does not produce the same amount of oil as an oily skin type. We still recommend you exfoliate but with something milder like an enzyme versus a scrub. Also adding in an oil-rich serum to give your skin the oil it needs for vibrancy and nourishment. 

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that will affect your pores in a negative way. Your pores are struggling for moisture and the pores shrink to hold in as much moisture as possible. Plus when it comes to doing extractions, removal of blackheads from the pores, it will make that process more challenging. Drink your water and eat water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Also, if your skin is dehydrated you want to be gentle with your exfoliation and use moisture-rich products with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

Lastly, over-exfoliation often seems like a good idea to help with reducing pore size but it is absolute NOT!

Example: I had a client 10 years ago tell me she was jealous of her sister-in-law's pores and that they were non-existent! I asked her, do you know what her routine was? Her response, "Every morning she went to the kitchen, grabbed a handful of almonds and put them in her blender. When they were halfway crushed she'd take them to the bathroom and use them as a scrub with her cleanser."  This is a terrible idea! Her sister-in-law was actually creating a layer of scar tissue on her skin! The poreless/porcelain look of skin is unhealthy and not natural. 

Why am I telling you all of this? Your aesthetician does not care that you have pores. We love it! It means you are healthy and your largest organ (your skin) is functioning. Do we have products that can help cleanse your pores, minimize the appearance of your pores? Absolutely we do. Do we offer extractions to help cleanse your pores, services to help give you healthy skin? Absolutely we do. We want to help keep your pores healthy and your skin looking your best! 

Please do not hesitate to call to schedule an appointment at Spa Western and we will do everything we can to assist you in you skincare goals, and remember, you are beautiful and your pores are normal (and please, just eat the almonds...don't scrub with them)!

Here we are in September and fall is in the air! The days are slowly losing sunlight. School is back in session. Pumpkin spice everything is popping up everywhere we look and our favorite oversized sweaters are being pulled out of storage. Long summer weekends are a thing of the past but the sun's wrath still lingers on our delicate skin. Dark spots appear on our faces that weren't there 3 months ago. You tell yourself, but I used sunblock, I mean, I mostly used sunblock. Maybe I forgot the sunblock a few times? It’s too much hassle to put the sunblock on. I’ll do better next year. This is me and so many other people I know. We are well-intentioned at the beginning of summer, and then we lose steam when it comes to our personal well-being as the summer goes on.

Of course, there are amazing products that can help like lotions, gels and serums, but at Western Wellness and Recovery we have another tool that can help along with those topical solutions. LED light therapy can help reverse these stubborn sun exposure issues. We have a full-body option as well as an option just your face called the Celluma. Our light therapy services can help with hyperpigmentation, discoloration, or dark spots, as well as boost collagen production which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Light therapy is good for both women and men and can also help with current acne and past acne scarring. And remember all those “fall is in the air” routines we’ve started? That can also include the start of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The sun, which can leave nasty reminders of itself on our skin, also gives us Vitamin D which is essential and mood-boosting. Good news for us, because while we use the LED services to help our skin, at the same time it gives us the Vitamin D we seem to lack during the cold, dark snowy months we endure as Wisconsinites. Better news for us, there is no harmful UV rays with our LED services. This essential vitamin will help sufferers of SAD all while helping to repair our delicate skin.

Keep in mind while our new routines are falling into place we need to continue taking care of ourselves, whether it be with Western’s LED therapies, our immune-boosting cryotherapy treatments or are compression therapy NormaTec. We are here for you all year round for all things Wellness and Recovery.

The perfect tan does not come without proper care before and after application.  There are four rules to follow when preparing for a spray tan.  When these four rules are applied you will experience a smoother, longer-lasting tan.
#1 Exfoliation
Exfoliation should be part of everyone's health regimen; however, exfoliation before a spray tan is especially important.
A spa-grade exfoliator designed for spray tanning is ideal such as the Sjolie All Natural Sugar Scrub.  Using products containing minimal oils will help to avoid leftover residue which can affect the tan outcome.
Benefits of Exfoliating:
--Removes dead skin cells allowing new cells to absorb color
--Smooths top layer of skin for flawless spray tan application
--Stimulates blood flow helping to promote cell generation
#2  Development
Always take the recommendation of 8-10 hours processing for regular tans and 1-4 hours for rapid tans and do not shower too early or wait too long.  Showering before the recommended development time will increase the chances of washing the solution off before the color is fully absorbed into the skin.
#3 Hydration
Hydration is key to a long lasting spray tan; be sure you stay hydrated inside and out.  Drink plenty of water and use a moisturizing lotion 1-2 times per day.
You should moisturize 18-24 hours before your spray tan session, especially after exfoliation. Moisturizing will help to strengthen the skin and allow for the tan to last longer and fade evenly.
Using the Sjolie Tan Extender lotion at least once a day will improve the longevity of your spray tan.  Tan extending lotions contain a small percentage of DHA which will not only moisturize the skin but also provide a small amount of gradual color to keep your skin looking flawless.
#4  Maintenance
Product usage is essential in maintaining a flawless, lasting tan.  Be sure you are using the proper daily product in your maintenance regimen (moisturizers, cleansers, creams, etc...)
Your sunless products should be...
--paraben-free
--contain zero or minimal sulfates, alcohols or other harsh acidic ingredients
--provide moisture without excessive oils that will strip the tan; water-based is ideal
--contain minimally added fragrance
Here is your perfect spray tan checklist:
Prior to your Session:
--Moisturize the skin with a hydrating body lotion or moisturizer 18-24 hours before the session
--Exfoliate with a spa grade exfoliator 18-24 hours before the session
--Complete your shaving routine 18-24 hours before session and wax no less than 24 hours before
--Schedule manicure and pedicure services 24 hours before the session
Day of your Session:
--Avoid contact with sweat and water until your designated shower time
--Wear dark, loose-fitting clothing to avoid the color transfer and rub off while the tan develops
--Avoid white bedding while the tan develops
--Do NOT wear leggings, silk, closed-toed shoes, socks, tight or white clothing
--Do NOT apply deodorant, perfume, body oils or moisturizer to the skin
--Do NOT touch or scratch areas of the body where the solution has been applied while the tan develops
--Do NOT shower before your designated shower time
After your Session:
--Always pat dry and do not rub when exiting the shower
--Moisturize at least once a day with the Tan Extend Lotion
--Drink plenty of water
--Use a gentle nonacidic body wash such as the Sjolie Body Wash
--Avoid shaving; if necessary, use a fresh sharp razor without a moisture strip
--Avoid chlorine and salt-water exposure
--Avoid excessive activity that would cause sweating
If you're interested in getting the perfect spray tan, schedule your appointment at Spa Western today!

Fall time is the perfect time to start updating your skincare routine and getting back into, or starting, a skincare treatment routine. Some of our most popular services at Spa Western is our chemical peels! All three of our chemical peels target very specific skin conditions and concerns. Don’t worry—I do a skin consultation with all my guests to best determine which peel is best for you and what that will look in terms of a series.

Let’s start with each peel:

Spa Western's glysalac peel is a 30-minute stand-alone treatment or can be added onto any of our facials. It refines the texture of the skin with 20% glycolic and salicylic acids to reveal a more bright and even complexion. The peel helps boost cell renewal, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, and can help the condition of oily, blemished skin.

Our lactic peel is an intense multi-peel combining 50% lactic acid and plant extracts that is a great stand-alone treatment. It helps to even out skin tone and combat the signs of ageing. It also helps promote softer and more hydrated skin while stimulating collagen production, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, and repairing the effects of sun damage.

Lastly is our T.C.Actif peel, which is our most intensive and peeling treatment. It treats the concerns of hyperpigmentation and skin ageing providing excellent results.  It is highly effective in smoothing the skin’s surface texture, diminishing the depth of wrinkles, and stimulating collagen production for a more youthful appearance. The percentage of TCA combined with low pH produces skin shedding and renewal benefits.

Chemical peels are an excellent way to treat the skin concerns you have at a deeper level than at-home products can provide but it’s important to know the contraindications of chemical peels. You can not receive any of the peels if you are experiencing any of the following:

Additionally, it is important to discuss the following as they can affect how your skin responds to any of the peels:

Say hello to beautiful and glowing skin with a chemical peel this fall! As always, healthy skin is beautiful skin and I'd love to be the one to help you reach your skincare goals.

With Mother's Day come and gone and summer around the corner, one of the first things we start to look forward to is summer sunshine. We crave it, love it and cherish it while we have it. In Wisconsin, it can sometimes feel like seeing sunshine is comparable to seeing a unicorn! While it may seem like it's rare and we want to take advantage, it's also important to be smart and prepared. With May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to share a few things to keep in mind to protect your skin from the harsher side of the summer sun.

We'll start with a few facts about skin cancer from The American Academy of Dermatology that you may not know or are great reminders:

So where do we go from here? Well, here are some steps to take to lower your chances:

  1. Sunshine rays are at their strongest from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. so find activities indoors or seek shade during those hours.
  2. Wear protective clothing if you are going to be outdoors - hats, long sleeve breathable shirts, and sunglasses.
  3. Apply sunscreen on your kids as well as yourself! Sunshine or clouds, make sure to wear it daily.
  4. Generously apply sunscreen! Look for broad-spectrum, water-resistant with spf over 15 and under 50.  Anything over 50 contains unnecessarily added chemicals and does not provide any extra protection. Broad-spectrum will provide protection to UVA and UVB rays.
  5. Apply sunscreen daily; every 80 minutes is usually the recommended amount of time depending on the activities outside. Follow the instructions on your sunscreen bottle.
  6. Apply sunscreen on all exposed skin; that includes top of the head and anywhere there is exposed skin like ears, back of neck, lips, and feet (the most common areas to burn that you forget to apply).  One shot glass is a guide of how much you should apply for the full body for an adult.
  7. Avoid tanning beds AT ALL COST! We provide Sjolie Sunless airbrush spray tans at Spa Western and bronzers that will give you color. We have our LED Bed that help provide the extra benefits many look for with the tanning beds without being harmful to your skin.
  8. Perform regular skin checks on yourself and visit your dermatologist yearly.  If you notice anything that looks different, it's not an overreaction to schedule an appointment. Skin cancer comes in all forms and it's better to be safe than sorry.

A few final notes: no tan is a safe tan. A tan is your body's way of protecting itself. Over time the injuries to your skin weaken its ability to protect itself, resulting in premature aging,  hyperpigmentation (age spots/brown spots), increased sensitivity, and increase your risk for skin cancer, including melanoma.

To learn more about skin cancer and how to protect yourself, CLICK HERE.

If you're needing to shop for sunscreen, no need to look any further than Spa Western! We have your sun needs all taken care of with our variety of Epicuren sun protection. If you have any other questions please stop in and Danielle and I can answer all of your questions!   

 

Skincare doesn’t just entail creams and serums, facials and fillers, it is a whole lifestyle/wellness approach. Think of your skin as a roadmap to what is happening internally—it is a guide to where you may need to do some tweaking or areas of your body that may need some attention. When you come to Spa Western for one of our skin treatments one of the first things we do is a skin consultation.

Never underestimate the power of a good skin consultation—it is a great place to start to find out your skin type, conditions, discuss your lifestyle and where in your skincare journey needs to be adjusted. One of the first places I like to start with my clients is discussing hydration levels and diet. One of the biggest things that many people are missing is the variety of fruits and vegetables which give you the proper balance of vitamins and nutrients your skin needs to be at it’s prime.

A go-to I recommend to my clients is a cold pressed juice, or my favorite, a freshly made smoothie. It is important to know that with smoothies there is two types, a snack and a meal. The difference between the two types is the number of ingredients you incorporate into your smoothie which increases the caloric intake and the nutrition you receive.

A perfect example of a snack smoothie that has many skin benefits is from Western Fuel Bar: Berry Boost Smoothie.

The main key ingredients: strawberries, acai, and blueberries. I love this one as a boost of beauty for your skin and I’m going to break it down:

Strawberry—High in Vitamin C and antioxidants to fight free radicals that cause premature aging. Contains sugar but it is natural sugar, so your body knows how to break this down. Ideally, you want to buy organic as this is classified in the category “dirty dozen”.

Acai—Highest fruit with antioxidants, great for diabetics who want fruit but need low sugar, we carry it in a powdered form, so it can be added to other smoothies easily but for at home use, I suggest buying the frozen packs from Sambazon in the freezer section of the grocery store.

Blueberry—High in antioxidants, proven to help with several skin conditions if consumed daily. One of my favorite berries, this is something you will also want to buy organic when possible.

I am not a nutritionist, dietician or a doctor so as always, make sure you consult your doctor before making any major health changes. What I do have is a passion and knowledge for skin and how it functions and what it takes to be at it’s prime. A healthy diet is a perfect place to start to see a difference in your skin, then we can start approaching your skin from the outside.

Skincare is fun and there are so many components of what healthy skin looks like for every individual person. This is just a great place to start, healthy skin from the inside out. I love to talk about skin and making small, healthy changes to see a big impact so if you have any specific questions please feel free to come say hi and we can talk skin!

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