How To Choose The Right Hydration for the Season

As we reach for different, more hydrating skin care products to off set the dry, cold air of this season, I would like to highlight some skin care ingredients you should be introducing, and point out which ingredients that could be sabotaging your efforts at obtaining smooth clear skin.

Reading labels and choosing clean green products play an important part in maintaining a clear glowing complexion. I realize navigating your way through an ingredient list can be intimidating with so many long and often unpronounceable scientific words. Keep in mind the first 5 ingredients will make up the bulk of the formula. That is most often where the hydrating ingredients will be listed. One bonus of choosing green beauty products, is the labels are much easier to read!

Watch out for ingredients like Phthalates and Parabens as they play different roles in their outcome of how they affect your skin. They both enter the blood stream through absorption of the skin and as a result, are proven to alter hormonal balance in our bodies and act as endocrine system disruptors. Those of you who suffer from acne breakouts close to your period should be extra cautious to choose clean, non-toxic beauty products! When reading labels watch out for Phthalates as they are usually noted on ingredient lists as acronyms like DBP (dibutylphthalate) and DMP (dimethylphthalate). Parabens are usually easier to spot as the word “paraben” will be within the ingredient listed like Methylparaben, and Ethylparaben to name a few.

Another ingredient to be aware of is Propylene Glycol. This is a strong skin irritant, and has been implicated in contact dermatitis. The ingredient can inhibit skin cell growth and damage cell membranes, causing rashes, dry skin, and surface damage. Definitely not what we want in our skin care products if we are looking to promote healthy glowing skin.

Did you know that our skin needs 70% water and 30% oil to maintain its balance? So, what can we do to have happy healthy and balanced skin? Apart from drinking half our body weight in ounces of clean filtered water daily. A great choice to increase water content in the skin is Hyaluronic Acid!  

This is an amazing ingredient to look for in facial products. The name makes it look like it could be really aggressive and irritating, but it’s not. It is naturally found in our skin and has the ability to hold 1000 times it’s weight in water! As we age our cells loose the ability to hold moisture, because our natural stores decline. Applying Hyaluronic Acid products daily will help plump the surface of the skin and soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Adding this to your skincare routine will make your skin feel hydrated, soft and comfortable in the cold winter months. Find this on the ingredient list as Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid.

Providing your skin with ultimate hydration can have positive impact, especially for oily, problematic skin. The belief that drying out the skin’s surface will assist in clearing up acne breakouts, is not the case! Dryness and dehydration can cause your skin to overproduce oil, which in turn, can aggravate problem skin. This condition of dehydrated, tight skin will hold on to blackheads and make them nearly impossible to remove! if you want to get the most out of your facials, and have nice clear glowing skin, it’s imperative to keep your skin hydrated with the right water to oil ratio. Applying the right oils and moisturizers topically, will help to soften skin along with loosening congestion like blackheads, making them easier to remove. When a blemish is left in the skin to fester for too long, inflammation can damage the surrounding cells and stretch out the pore. These two elements combined with time, could leave behind an unsightly scar. Who wants that? Nobody!

I need to talk about coconut oil, ahhh we all love coconut oil. It is super trendy, everyone is using it! Cooking with it, and slathering it on head to toe. It is a fantastic moisturizer for those with severely dry skin with absolutely no risk of developing acne. Read your skin care product ingredient list, as it can be hidden in your products under different names, look for Butylene Glycol Cocoate, Caprylic/Capric/Coco Glycerides, and Cocoglycerides just to name a few.

For those of you who break out, but want all the wonderful antibacterial benefits of coconut oil, look for MCT oil; which stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride. It is the unsaturated version of coconut oil, that is liquid at room temperature. I personally love this oil, it is odourless, doesn’t stain, and absorbs completely with no oily residue. Read the labels as there are some MCT oils that are made from sunflower seed. This is still ok to apply on acne prone skin, but with out the added antibacterial, antifungal benefits. MCT oil in products is labeled as Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride.

Pro Tip: For the ultimate hydration boost, always apply oil, serum, or moisturizer on top of moist skin! Using a alcohol free toning mist makes this an easy thing to do. Just spray and work quickly before the mist evaporates, and apply your first layer of hydration. I recommend applying the lightest texture serum to the heaviest cream.

One last thing on oils, you only need a 1-4 drops! You would need less if your skin is oily, more if your skin is dry. Using too much of a good thing can sabotage your beautiful complexion, so use oil sparingly.

I hope this helps you find comfort in the cold dry winter months ahead. Please contact me if you have any additional questions! I’m here to help!

Yours truly, Mei-Lana RHN

Sculptural Face Lifting Massage will make you Sparkle like Megan Markle 

I heard a rumour months ago… that Megan Markle and many celebrities have been using Sculptural Face Lifting Massage to achieve a princess worthy glow for years. This treatment is now available at Glow with Mei!! 

I’m convinced that if it wasn’t for Meghan Markle announcing to the press that her secret to maintaining her youthful complexion, was Sculptural Face Lifting Massage, than this type of treatment wouldn’t be so popular today. With Meghan having been an actress prior to her now being a part of the royal family, it all makes complete sense to me.  Most actresses prefer holistic alternatives to invasive surgical lifting procedures to keep their appearances up, as they need to keep all their face muscles in working order to accentuate strong facial expressions. Crucial for their Oscar winning performances.

Sculptural Face Lifting Massage has been dubbed as “nature’s answer to botox and filler” The facial fitness achieved strengthens muscles, to lift the face and correct it’s form and remove unnecessary sagging. This technique is taught by Yakov Gershkovich, a leading specialist in the field of facial aesthetic’s in Israel and a recognized authority on natural rejuvenation and facial manipulation worldwide. 

He is the god of face massage! This massage technique works the muscle tissue, ligaments and bones from the chest up to the forehead, bringing increased blood circulation, which provides the dermal layers with oxygen and nutrients. This is a deep tissue massage and with the inclusion of intra-oral (Buccal) massage where the cheek muscles are massaged simultaneously, inside and out from within the oral cavity. 

With continuous application of this massage technique, you will see muscle tone and elasticity be restored. Skin becomes smoother with the natural production of collagen, which reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and improves skin texture. The natural shape of the face becomes more defined, lifted, with a more youthful appearance, as well as releasing muscle tension.

When we look good we feel good. There is an interconnection between the way feel and how we look. Some believe that a build up of negative emotions are stored in our muscles over our lifetime, which can have an impact on how we look.  Sculptural Face Lifting Massage works on a much deeper level.  By working out the kinks in the muscles and facial structure, it can provide an enormous emotional release, improve overall health and wellbeing. 

If your ready to sparkle like Meghan Markle, try this one of a kind Face Lifting Massage for yourself! Book your treatment today! http://glowwithmei.com/appointments.html 

Yours truly,

Mei xo

What is CBD? Why You Need To Use It For Healthy Skin

Ready to dip your toes into the CBD oil trend? By now, we’ve all become aware of the fact that there are healing properties in medicinal cannabis. It’s a hot topic right now, it’s everywhere. But what exactly does it do? And more so, what can it do for your skin?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. Not to be confused with the other compound extracted from the same plant, THC, the psychoactive component that gets you stoned. One thing you need to know is that, CBD will NOT get you high!

Let me start by sharing with you why I started using CBD products. I have mentioned in other blog posts about how I’m a night owl and how I ALWAYS have to force myself to go to sleep at a reasonable time. It almost feels like I get a second wind at night and find it hard to wind down, even after I drink my sleepy tea! At one point, My doctor even prescribed sleeping pills, but I chose not to take them to avoid feeling groggy and who wants to take prescription meds if you don’t have to right?!

I had a friend tell me about her experience with taking CBD at night to relieve her anxiety and help her sleep. I gave it a try, and wow I have to say, it works AMAZINGLY for me! I take it an hour before I want to get to sleep and it results in the best “sleeping beauty” type of sleep and arising feeling super refreshed, not groggy at all the next day. LOVE LOVE.

Shortly after my positive experiences with CBD began, Seaflora Wild Organic Seaweed Skincare, (the line I use in my treatment room) launched their topical CBD products. I was stoked!

In the beauty industry, topical CBD has proven to be a very useful ingredient as it’s anti-inflammatory properties and essential fatty acids help to prevent oxidative stress on the skin. It offers a lot of the same properties as retinoids, but unlike retinoids, does not cause excessive flaking and inflammation as the skin acclimates to treatment. This renders the addition of CBD in beauty products to be much more therapeutic as well as age-defying.

Research suggests that CBD can reduce the occurrence of acne breakouts! It has the ability to limit and regulate sebum production, preventing excessive amounts of oils mixing with dirt and pollution which creates and initiates acne. This research by Olah et al., 2014, suggests that CBD prevented human cebocytes (the cells that produce sebum) from producing too much sebum. (1)

There’s more…CBD has pain killing properties! This makes topical application of CBD great for post workouts, sprains and strains and arthritis. It also reduces swelling and inflammation. So I needed to try this out for myself and I started testing them on my sore muscles after my hard workouts and I have also taken the Seaflora CBD oil to my massage therapist to use on me. I find CBD works great! Yay! I feel the difference, I recover faster from my work outs and my massages are elevated to a even more therapeutic, tension relieving treatment.

Speaking of therapeutic, be sure to only buy CBD products from trusted retailers to ensure quality and efficacy. Purchasing CBD products from a convenience store or gas station is risky as you could be purchasing fake, potentially toxic CBD that is not safe for you, or anyone for that matter. CBD in Canada must come from a licensed producer registered in the country to be considered legal. Seaflora Skincare only purchases CO2 extracted CBD Isolate, from Organic Hemp from local Licensed Producers. CBD isolate, which is CO2 extracted has no chemical residue and is used because it offers the most potent and bioavailable penetration when applied topically.

Here are the reported skin benefits:

  • Improved moisturization
  • Improved skin barrier
  • Skin soothing/anti-inflammatory
  • Antipruritic
  • Acne/oil control
  • Treating psoriasis/atopic dermatitis
  • Enhanced skin repair and cell regeneration
  • Anti-aging effects
  • Stronger hair follicles and overall healthier hair
  • Reduced stress, anxiety and their direct effects
  • Improved skin health and appearance
  • Reduce the appearance of dark spots

Sounds like we have a superhero, multi-use product to add to our medicine cabinets! Right?

Yours Truly,
Mei-Lana Chow RHN xoxo

My Top Beauty and Lifestyle Secrets Revealed

I just celebrated my birthday last week. While some friends and I sat down for my celebratory dinner at a restaurant, the waitress approached. While chatting among our selves, the waitress overheard it was my birthday, asked my age and gasped upon finding out I had just turned 42. She then proceeded to to ask “What your secret to looking so youthful?” This got me thinking that I should be more transparent with all of you about my lifestyle and skin care routine. With that said, I have become inspired to share with you my personal top secret beauty tips!

I have been blessed with the knowledge and expertise on how to treat my own skin issues that come up and also to have multiple products on hand that I trust will do the job I expect them to do.

In line with my natural approach to skin care, I like to use a spiked Jade face roller, and massage my skin thoroughly everyday. I also use my Oxylift device and like to apply a raw honey mask three times a week. The combination of these these three routines has been keeping my skin in pretty good condition so far. Prevention is key when taking a more natural approach to aging gracefully.

Below I go into depth with what my nightly routine really looks like. This is my routine, and it works for me. During your next facial, we can discuss how you can adopt the same type of routine with the right treatment products customized just for you!

I do this routine once a week: In the evening, after I wash my face with Seaflora Sea foam Cleansing concentrate, I mist my skin with Hylunia’s Colloidial Silver and Lavender toner and quickly apply my special blend of oil called Clearly Radiant. This locks in the moisture from the toner. I then proceed to do the facelift massage moves, I sometimes use additional Rosehip oil or MCT oil for added slip. These moves help to tighten and tone my facial muscles and release negative holding patterns that cause wrinkles. Then I do a quick pass all over my face with my Oxylift hand held device. This uses high frequency technology to increase circulation, oxygenate the skin, which brightens and tightens the skin surface. If I have a blemish I would spend more time in that area, and repeat going over the area everyday with my Oxylift until it’s gone. By the time I’m done, all that hydrating oil has soaked in. To finish, I apply my cream of choice and then roll my face with my spiked Jade face roller.
Three times a week: in the evening, I apply a raw unpasteurized honey mask to my freshly washed, toned skin. I whip the honey to stimulate circulation and make it tacky, then in areas of concern (like wrinkles and blemishes), I pump the honey. This helps to release fine lines, smooth the surface and clean out my pores. Honey is full of antioxidants and vitamins which makes it an excellent face mask. It is an anti fungal and anti bacterial humectant which means it helps to disinfect the skin while hydrating by holding in more moisture. I leave the honey on for 10 to 20 mins and wash off thoroughly. I apply Hylunia intensive repair eye cream, either Seaflora Sea Therapy recovery Facial Gel or Hylunia Beyond C complex, top that with Hylunia Ultimate antioxidant cream and GWM Clarifying face oil. To finish, I use my spiked Jade face roller. The occlusive nature of the roller enhances the absorption of products and stops the evaporation of all the layered products.

I like to use my spiked Jade roller everyday to enhance absorption of my products, depuff my eye contour, brighten my complexion, tone, increase circulation and improve lymphatic drainage. Sometimes I also use my jade roller in the morning as well. I ALWAYS wear sunscreen. No matter what, if it’s overcast or sun is shining, doesn’t matter. I think this has had a huge impact on protecting and maintaining my
over all glow 🙂

When it comes to my lifestyle choices, I know I need to work on on getting enough sleep, I’m a night owl. I probably get about 6 hours or less, sleep every night. Getting good quality sleep is crucial to a glowing complexion. I really need to work on this! Good thing I have taken meditation on as a new venture! I have been using the Insight Timer app daily, which I think is helping strengthen my mind and also making up for the hours of sleep I have lost.

I try to get a sweat on everyday, this not only helps to keep me healthy, it helps to keep my skin clean and clear. I prefer to do yoga and/or Pilates everyday. When you sweat, it helps to clean out your pores and hydrate the skin.

Just like when you want to loose weight and start working out. Diet is the most important part!!! As is diet is the most important part in achieving healthy luminous glowing skin!
I have always been very good with my diet and food choices. This might be the reason I have been able to get away with not sleeping much! I focus on eating a whole foods diet, choosing lean organic meats and plant based protein, lots and lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, choosing natural spices and herbs to season my food and avoiding processed junk, although I will never give up Miss Vickie’s plain potato chips! Balance is key here!
I supplement with Omega 3 and 6, choline, marine collagen, digestive enzymes, Vitamin B complex and probiotics daily.

Over the past years I have defiantly been drinking too much red wine, so I have made a point of significantly reducing the amount I consume now. I had a dry January, cutting out alcohol for the month drastically improved my skin. Now I drink lots and lots of tea. Herbal teas are much more hydrating and have a number of health benefits. My favourite’s are Kukicha, green, horsetail, dandelion and nettle tea’s. I didn’t realize just how much my nightly wine was dehydrating me and dulling my overall glow. Mentally and physically.

SO there you have it! This is my new normal and it’s allowing me to be the healthiest version of myself and keeping my GLOW in tact! I hope that with me sharing all my beauty and lifestyle tips it will encourage you to do the same!