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!


Massage during Pregnancy: Great for You and for Baby!

By Danielle Wagner, licensed massage therapist, Refined Touch Massage

Massage Benefits during Pregnancy

Are you expecting? Experiencing any aches and pains? Massage during pregnancy can help greatly with pain relief during a time when most medications should be limited. It also encourages relaxation and increased circulation, which can help with reduction of swelling. Massage therapy also assists hormone regulation, helping with depression and anxiety (including post-partum depression). Massage therapy during pregnancy helps to address the inflamed nerves that often lead to sciatic nerve pain and tension in the low back and legs from increased uterine pressure.

Massage Is Good for Baby Too

Receiving massage during your pregnancy doesn’t just benefit you. Babies can sense and respond to the mother’s level of stress. Massage is great at lowering your stress level, and lowering the stress level in the mother also helps keep baby stress free. Massage therapy is a great way to take time for you and also connect with baby. Many mothers love to have their stomachs massaged. This is referred to as “baby’s first massage” and can be done during a massage session after you’ve completed your first trimester.

Massage Helps Prepare You for Delivery

The benefits of massage continue through your delivery, as having regular massage during pregnancy has been associated with lower complications during childbirth. Massage during pregnancy helps to prepare the body for childbirth by increasing range of motion and elasticity in joints and muscles used for delivery.

Pregnancy Massage Precautions

A pregnancy massage is a little different than a regular massage. When you receive a pregnancy massage, the therapist uses cushions or pillows to support the pregnant body. We use side lying positions to make sure that you are completely supported. Tables that provide a hole for the abdomen can cause uncomfortable stretching of the uterine ligaments and should be avoided.

There are a few precautions to take into consideration. If yours is a high-risk pregnancy, you have experienced pre-term contractions, bleeding, preeclampsia, are experiencing severe swelling, severe headaches, or have had previous pre-term labor and pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), you should speak to your doctor before receiving a massage.

It is safe to receive massage during the first, second, and third trimester of pregnancy. Please remember that excellent communication is a must for any therapeutic massage to be effective.

To schedule a massage, contact Danielle today at

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!


Delicious Organic Facials

Did you know you can get a facial here in Eau Claire in which all the ingredients are organic? In fact Sakura Skin Spa offers two organic facial product lines. The skin spa was founded in 2013 with the goal of providing “highly educated and passionate skin professionals to help clients achieve their desired skin results safely and effectively.”

Sarah Green, owner, spa director, and licensed aesthetician, explains why she chose to use organic products. “Organic products were always something I wanted to bring in from the beginning. My brother-in-law, Dr. Aaron Arfstrom of Apex Chiropractic, has been a huge influence on my knowledge of how important it is to use products that are good for us and don’t cause more harm.”

Green describes the two main benefits of using organic products: 1) “Many clients who are very sensitive can have reactions to skin care products that have a lot of chemical additives. Organic products give them an option for quality skin care.” 2) “It’s also great for women who are pregnant or nursing and want to use only pure products. They don’t have to sacrifice their skin when going organic or natural.”

Sakura Skin Spa offers two organic product lines: Naturopathica and FarmHouse Fresh Naturals.

Naturopathica Many of this company’s products

Many of this company’s products are certified by Ecocert, which is one of the oldest independent organic certification groups. The review process to receive the Ecocert seal of approval includes scrutiny of sourcing, manufacturing, and packaging. Ecocert looks for products derived from renewable resources that are produced in environmentally friendly ways. Their seal also requires at least 50 percent use of natural ingredients.

Naturopathica seeks to source from local farmers, promotes recycling with all product containers, and is a majority woman-owned company. They test all products for allergy and skin sensitivity, do not use animal testing, and their products are made in the United States. For a full list of what they do not use in their products, go to

Sakura Skin Spa offers several choices of organic facials using the Naturopathica products, including the Pure Results Facial, the Vitamin C15 Brightening Facial, the Soothe and Restore Facial, and even a Men’s Rebalancing Facial. Green says, “Our

Green says, “Our Naturopathica line is purely organic, and their ingredients smell phenomenal as well! They have been some of our most popular facials since we introduced the line in 2014.”

FarmHouse Fresh Naturals

This company has its own farm in Texas and uses some products from other local farms to provide from 90 to 99.6 percent naturally derived ingredients. They are paraben, phthalate, and sulfate free, as well as “cruelty-free,” meaning no animal testing is used for their products. In fact, the company works to rescue all kinds of animals—dogs, bunnies, horses, turtles, and donkeys—at their ranch. Almost all (99 percent) of their products are vegan and gluten free.

FarmHouse Fresh has a broad selection of what they call “Farm to Spa Treatments,” seeking to provide the freshest product possible with reduced irritations, less redness, and “lessened signs of aging.”

Sakura Skin Spa serves up a hearty menu of FarmHouse Fresh organic facials, including Peat Purity Vegetative Calming Facial, Coffee and Cream CoQ10 Complexion Perfection Facial, Wine and Chocolate Me Time Transformative Facial, and the seasonal Perky Pumpkin Radiance Boosting and Firming Facial.

“I would say our FarmHouse Fresh natural facials have really caught our clients’ attention!” Green says. “All of their products smell almost too good to be true! It’s been really fun adding in their awesome products to the spa. With product names like Pumpkin Dirt Mud Mask and Sundae Best Chocolate Mask, which smell as amazing as they sound, who could resist?”

For more information visit them at 4210 Southtowne Drive, Eau Claire, go to, or call 715-514-3548.