Stress Relief and Your Skin

By Sarah Green, Owner & Licensed Aesthetician, CLT – Sakura Skin Spa

Stress. It’s something we ALL face. Some of the people most affected by stress? Moms! Just ask my mom, Patti! It was, of course, my other three siblings that caused her stress and not myself…. (she’s rolling her eyes at this moment, I can assure you, as she reads this!).

Stress affects everyone, and unfortunately sometimes when we need stress relief the most we are unable to do certain treatments or use certain products, such as during pregnancy.

Here are some excellent alternatives for everyday stress relief that are safe and effective for everyone!

  1. Organic or Natural facials. At Sakura we offer Organic Naturopathica or 97 percent Natural FarmHouse Fresh products. Both are centered on attacking stress with their luxurious and aromatherapeutic properties! Safe for everyone, including moms-to-be and nursing clients, help keep your skin in check with a fabulous facial. Facials are a great way to unwind but also to get a results-orientated treatment. One of our licensed aestheticians will help customize a treatment that is perfect for you. Some clients prefer to pick their facial from our very LARGE facial menu also.
  2. At home Naturopathica or FarmHouse Fresh products. They aren’t just for “in-spa!” Create your own peaceful escape within your own home. These products offer bath salts, oils, body scrubs, lotions, and masks to help you slip away into that world of relaxation! Melt away your stress without leaving your own house.
  3. A Fire & Ice facial. This Innovative Skin Care treatment will leave you with soft, exfoliated, and hydrated skin without any worry during pregnancy or nursing. This 18 percent sugar cane glycolic treatment gently, yet effectively, rapidly resurfaces your skin, leaving you with a polished skin. Throw on the rejuvenating mask, and you’re left with hydrated, polished skin. Perfect to do before an event or before tackling grocery shopping with the kiddos, as there is no downtime!
  4. Back Facials. While this isn’t always the best treatment for a woman who is pregnant, this is an excellent stress reliever. This treatment is a full “facial” treatment but for your back! While using warm steam and towels, your Aesthetician will cleanse, exfoliate and massage your back. They then will finish with customized treatment products to help hydrate and protect your skin.
  5. Who doesn’t love- or NEED- a fabulous massage? While we don’t personally offer massage at Sakura, we are proud to partner with Sans Souci massage of Altoona, Wisconsin. Owners Katie and Candace and their staff offer exceptional quality massages with years of experience in treating people in the Chippewa Valley. For our clients who would like to experience a facial AND massage, Sans Souci will send over one of their fabulous therapists to help us create the ultimate spa day! Looking for just a massage? We highly suggest giving these ladies a visit. They will help customize a massage that is just right for you and your needs. They also offer pregnancy massages. (Just ask my sister, Rachel, Katie was a life saver for her during her second pregnancy!)
  6. It is amazing what a little diffused goodness can do for you. We personally use a YoungLiving diffuser and essential oils at Sakura to help greet our guests with a welcoming and soothing atmosphere. I also personally use one in my home. You can find just the right blend to soothe your needs. Essential oils can be exceptionally effective in helping with insomnia, stress, anxiety, and even with those blues we can all get. These oils can be applied topically, ingested, diffused, sprayed, or dropped in a hot bath. Whatever fits your lifestyle and mood!

Finding just the right balance in our lives to help combat stress is so important. So many people view a “spa” day as just an indulgence or just for special occasions, but in reality in can be so imperative to be sure we are taking care of not just our outer appearance, but also our mental well-being. A great spa treatment can do both.

Cheers to a happy, stress free life!


Sakura Skin Spa Summer Skin Tips

By Sarah Green, Owner & Licensed Aesthetician, CLT – Sakura Skin Spa

With summer (hopefully!) right around the corner, it’s time to remember a few easy skin tips that will help keep your skin healthy and glowing all summer long!

Hydration: Just because we tend to sweat more during the summer doesn’t mean that our skin is hydrated. Be sure to keep up with an appropriate moisturizer for your skin. The other part of hydration is keeping your body hydrated, as this will in turn help keep your skin radiant and glowing. Drinking plenty of water also helps purge impurities from your skin and body, which is very important in skin and overall health.

Exfoliation: With summer sweat come clogged pores! Our skin naturally turns over every twenty-eight to thirty days, and so exfoliation year-round is important. However, in the summer we tend to sweat more, which can cause excess buildup of oil, makeup, and other debris in our pores. Using a gentle scrub or a product like our Sakura Clarify Pads with 7 percent mixture of salicylic and glycolic acids help to flush your pores of unwanted debris while exfoliating the top layers of your skin to help rid your skin of excess pigment and blemishes, and leaves you with a gorgeous glow. Treatments like the HydraFacial, Fire & Ice, or traditional relaxing facials are excellent—and summertime safe!—ways to help maintain that exfoliated glow. Chemical peels are not recommended during summer months as clients cannot sweat during the peel process and must keep their skin protected from the sun. In our limited summer months there are many other treatments that will still allow us to enjoy our (finally!) beautiful, warm weather while still giving us excellent results!

Sunscreen: Sunscreen is important to use throughout the year, even in winter months, as we are constantly bombarded with harmful rays causing damage to our skin. Sunscreen will not only help prevent sunburn, which as we all know is no fun, but it will also protect you from the damage the sun causes to our skin. An excellent way to prevent premature aging of the skin and excessive pigmentation is to use sunscreen anytime you are going to be outdoors. Driving or running errands still exposes us to these harmful rays. We carry two Naturopathica organic sunscreens. Our Lavender SPF 30 is a hydrating cream with micronized zinc oxide to help guard the skin from UVA/UVB damage. Lavender calms irritation and soothes the senses while Macadamia Seed Oil conditions the skin. The Naturopathica Lavender SPF 17 is a nourishing moisturizer, also with micronized zinc oxide to guard from UVA/UVB, Turmeric Root, which helps prevent sun spots, and the calming Lavender. Both provide enhanced daily broad-spectrum protection from sun damage for healthier, younger-looking skin.

I also love using our Revisions Intellishade, a tinted moisturizer with an SPF 45. I use this as my makeup but also get the benefit of sun protection daily. For me this has made a huge difference on my skin as I am very prone to pigmentation. Not all makeup SPFs are created the same! Just because your makeup has an SPF in it does not mean you are getting adequate coverage. Do your research! Using a proper makeup or tinted SPF moisturizer is an easy way to apply daily protection without thinking twice.

Other excellent serums to protect your skin are a Vitamin C and/or a Green Tea Polyphenol (GTP) product. Vitamin C and GTP protect our skin from free radicals (sun, chemicals, pollution, etc.) that break down our cells and cause damage and premature aging. When applied, Vitamin C acts much like a seatbelt. It’s constantly protecting our skin from these free radicals. GTP acts much like an airbag, which instantly destroys free radicals when they land on our skin before they have time to do damage! Together these two products are an excellent addition to your skin routine. Not only will they help to prevent future damage, they will help repair damage that has already been done to the skin.

Summer can be harsh on our skin, but with a few simple “skin rules,” you can enjoy the gorgeous weather without making your skin suffer the consequences!


Natural Remedies for Summer Fun

By: Michael J. Court

Growing up, I always loved getting outside once the snow and ice cleared. I could not wait to start riding my bike, playing ball, and getting into whatever kind of trouble I could muster. Inevitably I would find myself getting cut, bruised,bleeding, or bit by some type of “blood sucking creature”!  As a result, I would usually go to my mom, and she would go into our first-aid cabinet and get some type of remedy.

Over the years I have come to use more natural remedies to handle non-emergency-type problems that have come up for my family. I have put together a partial list of products that I consider to be essential to any home that wants a more natural first-aid kit. I recommend and give them to my patients.

I have always had ready a healthy, live aloe vera plant. It has been used for centuries and is widely known for its healing qualities. Aloe can be used as a pain reducer for just about anything from burns and sunburns to insect bites. Pure aloe works best, especially the mucous after you cut the leaf and apply it to any of the above maladies. It has a soothing and pain-numbing effect.

Another topical agent I like, especially for hard to heal wounds, is wheat germ oil. Natural non-rancid wheat germ oil contains whole food vitamin E for the healing of skin tissue. It is essential that you use wheat germ oil that is pure and has not been exposed to air too long. If left in the presence of oxygen or exposed to heat or light, it will denature the effectiveness. That is why I like the perles from Standard Process. It comes in small perles that can be opened with a pin when they are needed.

Another product is colloidal silver (from Life Silver). You can safely apply the liquid or gel to any cut, infection, or insect bite. Colloidal silver has the unique ability to kill pathogens and reduce infections. In fact, some researchers have found silver to be so effective that they are putting it on dressings and sutures to prevent infection. Water-soluble silver works best and is non-toxic.

Another unknown first-aid product is fulvic minerals. I likeit to treat stubborn fungal infections, insect bites, and bad cuts that will not stop bleeding. Fulvic minerals come from decayed matter that has been processed over hundreds of years by organisms in the soil. It is safe and non-toxic for external and internal use. It is important that it be stored in a dark glass container, in that it will leech out of plastic. I prefer using Optimally Organic brand.

Ever been exposed to too much sun and get a slight case of heat stroke?  This can be a serious problem, so do not mess around, get help immediately if necessary. For those cases that do not require medical attention, an old remedy by Dr. Royal Lee may help. He found that many cases of over-exposure to the sun resulted in an over-production of vitamin D. This resulted in too much calcium getting trapped in the bloodstream. This usually results in symptoms quite frequently seen in heat stroke. Dr. Lee found that by supplementing with Cataplex F you could quickly normalize the blood calcium imbalance. He also found it very effective in helping to protect against infections that thrive in a low calcium environment.

None of these remedies take the place of appropriate medical attention when needed. When a home remedy will do, give it a try!

Dr. Court graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1989.  He received his Naturopathic degree in 2010 from the American Naturopathic Medical Institute.   He is one of 500 doctors who have received the Advanced Clinical Training (ACT) from Ulan Nutritional Systems (UNS), and is the only ACT graduate in the Chippewa Valley.  Dr. Court lectures on topics relating to regaining your health through natural means.  He is an instructor for UNS, training other doctors in Nutrition Response TestingTM technique.



Moisturizer Matters

It’s winter, and your face has been sending you the signals that it needs some care. Staying in tune with your skins changing needs and choosing moisturizers carefully can make a big difference in your skin’s health.

Moisturizers should provide both humectant and occlusive protection to skin. Humectants draw moisture from the atmosphere to the skin, and occlusives form a seal on the skin to lock existing moisture in. Dr. David Simon, co-founder of Ayurvedic spa The Chopra Center, suggests, “Don’t put it on your skin if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth. Anything you put on your skin will be absorbed within 20 to 30 minutes… into the tissue layers of your body.”

Dry Skin
Symptoms: skin feels tight after cleansing, may start to flake and tends to wrinkle.

Treatment: seek a moisturizer with heavier occlusives such sesame, avocado, or almond oils or butters.

Sensitive Skin
Symptoms: skin gets blotchy in cold wind, blushes easily.

Treatment: ingredients like coconut oil, lavender, German chamomile, or olive oil will provide anti-inflammatory, soothing properties.

Oily Skin
Symptoms: larger pored, thicker skin that tends to be prone to breakouts.

Treatment: eliminating all oils or occlusives isn’t necessary and can even be damaging to skin. Instead, look for lighter moisturizers with emphasis on humectants and stimulating emollients such as safflower or sunflower oils.