In the increasingly eco-conscious world, we’re living in right now, the “natural” and “organic” labels allure us from everywhere. Those umbrella terms set against conventional cosmetics became the next thing in the beauty industry.
Having so many options to choose from, can easily get a bit intimidating, especially for someone who’s just starting to transition into a new regimen. Big cosmetics companies, tweaking words on their labels are not making it easier for us either. Thus, when we first start learning about natural and organic cosmetics it’s very easy to confuse the organic and natural with the non-toxic ones.
But, don’t worry – you are not alone. To help guide you on your journey to finding the safest and healthiest products, we made it our mission to delve deeper into the research on cosmetics ingredients. A result of that is this article full of useful information that will put your mind at ease when making your choice. So go ahead and read on to find out:
What do the cosmetics’ labels mean?
How they are regulated?
What is (and is not) known about the possible health effects of cosmetics’ ingredients?
What ingredients to look out for?
What are Hong Hong’ top spas, and nail salons that use organic products?
Natural and organic: what does it mean?
Guide to cosmetics ingredients.
Truth be told, to date there are no internationally recognized standards or regulations for natural or organic cosmetics. As a result, various groups have come out with their own guidelines for what they think these words should mean when applied to cosmetics. Organizations that have attempted to define it include governments, NGOs, retailers, cosmetic producers and as well as consumers. Thus, the words on the label themselves simply may ensure slightly different things depending on the country, and the regulatory agency issuing the certification.
For a cosmetic to be labelled as organic it must be created from ingredients certified as organic by one of the numerous certifying institutions that operate worldwide. For as much as in the case of organic cosmetics their labelling is pretty straightforward, the same thing can not be said about natural cosmetics. Why? Mainly because organizations responsible for regulating the claims made on cosmetics lack a clear legal definition for the “natural” label. This means that cosmetic brands trying to sell their products may market them as “natural” if they fit their own definition. So, if a company considers a product made of non-GMO plant ingredients natural – they’re free to market it as such. They may also add just one natural ingredient to their standard product and call it natural.
What does it mean for us, consumers? That it’s very easy to get fooled by branding so we need to be extra careful when buying natural cosmetics. Best way to avoid this is to always check the label for the percentage of natural and organic ingredients.
Here’s a cheat sheet we made for you that you can use when in doubt about the meaning of different types of labels.
Natural vs conventional ingredients
While more and more people are turning to natural organic cosmetics- many of us still stay sceptical and we have every right to do so.
With the jargon that’s often difficult to understand and all chemicals that aren’t required on an ingredients list, many of us wonder if the new trend is really worth the splurge.
We will here talk more about potentially toxic ingredients versus natural ones giving you all you need to make an informed decision on what’s best for you. Taking the mystery out of cosmetics ingredients, we will show you how to tell them apart so you can choose what feels right for you.
Are conventional ingredients really harmful?
Plastics, formaldehyde, tar and even gasoline or industrial chemicals. Those are some of the ingredients used in conventional personal care products. One thing they definitely do is sound less appealing than the labels of natural products but can we tell if they’re safe or dangerous?
TV, magazines, commercials, social media you name it – we hear all sorts of information about harmful ingredients from everywhere. The excess of that confusing and often deceptive information rises more and more questions regarding the choices we make. On one hand, we have cosmetics companies and different health agencies such as FDA stating that cosmetic products in use are safe, and were not proven to cause any health issues. But on the other hand, we have mass media bringing up scientific research results to question this stance.
So who is right? Is the amount of all the different skin care and make-up products we slather, lather, rub and spray on our bodies every day really something to worry about? Let’s take aside all the buzzwords scaring people away from synthetic ingredients and look at the facts.
The truth about potentially hazardous ingredients
Guide to cosmetics ingredients.
Before we give you a list of the potentially dangerous ingredients that you might want to limit or avoid in your cosmetics, we first need you to understand a few basic things about the scientific research on them. The most important thing about the toxic effects of any kind of substance we need to note is that they’re dose-dependent. In other words, if used in large quantities – everything, even healthy things can have toxic effects. We often associate “organic” or “natural” with other terms like “healthy” or “safe. But an ingredient’s source itself does not determine its safety. For example, many plants, whether or not they are organically grown, contain substances that may be toxic or allergenic. Thus “chemical” doesn’t always mean “bad” and “natural” doesn’t always mean “good”.
Some of the conventional ingredients often get a bad rap thanks to different studies that linked their use to an increased risk for cancer or other health issues. However, experts agree the methodology of the research is weak. A majority of those studies found no direct evidence proving that particular ingredients themselves were the cause of the health problems. The reasons for that are multifold:
Fact no 1.
First of all, amounts of the potentially harmful ingredients used in cosmetics that we buy are very low. But the same ingredients examined in the studies are typically tested in large amounts (or at high concentrations). And there’s no proof that the effects seen with very high doses of a substance would also be seen with much lower doses. Thus, most of those results lack clear-cut evidence proving cosmetics’ toxicity.
Fact no 2.
Secondly, a form of an ingredient used in a cosmetic may be different from the one tested in the study. Similarly, there may be other differences between the way substances were tested in the lab and the way they’re used by consumers of cosmetics (applying to the skin, inhaling or injecting into the blood). As a matter of fact, the research yet gives very little information particularly on the extent to which the ingredients in cosmetics can be absorbed and build up in the body. So there’s no evidence on how much of a particular substance we absorb when applying it to the skin during actual product use.
Fact no 3.
Moreover, we still have very little information on long-term health impacts of most cosmetic ingredients. Testing them for harmful long-term health problems such as cancer is very expensive and extremely difficult. Mainly because for most substances that cause cancer, it takes many years after exposure for cancer to occur. Thus, the studies would need to go on for at least a decade or two to see if a certain substance increase the risk of cancer.
Fact no 4.
Last but not least, when testing potentially cancer-causing substances, scientists rely mainly on lab studies using cell cultures and animals. But the bodies of lab animals and humans don’t always process substances in the same way. Thus, a substance that may cause harm to one may not have the same effect on the other.
Avoid, limit or use?
Guide to cosmetics ingredients.
So, what does all of that mean to us? Should we keep on buying, limit or avoid at any cost cosmetics that contain questionable substances?
There simply isn’t enough information to be certain one way or the other. On the whole, there’s no sure answer on whether the ingredients commonly labelled as “toxins” are actually harmful when used in our cosmetics. But many of these concerns are well-founded and such a possibility should not be taken lightly.
The only suggestion we’d like to give you is to trade your fear for some healthy scepticism.
Just because a substance has been linked to a health issue it doesn’t mean it caused it. Nor, does the fact that substance hasn’t been proven to cause a problem to ensure that it is risk-free.
Whether or not we do consider available reports alarming, we can’t negate that living in Hong Kong, our skin is already stressed by the pollution and challenging weather condition. Unfortunately, there’s no way to track all the chemicals from all sources in the environment we might be exposed to every day. Beauty products are just a bigger or smaller but only a part of a whole equation. So, even if you laser-focus on what’s in your beauty and skin-care regimen – there’s no accounting for your overall accumulated exposure. Ultimately, what ingredients in your cosmetics you choose to avoid, limit or use it totally up to you.
What ingredients to look out for?
So far the research into what’s safe and what may not be, give no clear-cut answers on what ingredients to use and what to avoid. But with many chemicals in use that yet lack enough quality data to really understand how safe or risky they are, some people chose not to take the chances. But with yet no concrete evidence of health problems caused by long-term exposure to the cosmetics, how to choose the ingredients use of which you’d rather avoid or minimize?
Particularly controversial are chemicals considered to be endocrine disruptors that can mimic the natural hormone. Acting as estrogen they can raise the risk of certain cancers and affects reproductive organs.
To help you make an informed decision we listed out the major chemicals of concern you can look at first. We explain their potentially hazardous effects, describe how they’re labelled and list out what type of products they’re most commonly present at.
You may or may not decide to avoid them but you DON’T have to. Remember the choice is ultimately yours.
This widely used class of chemicals is used to preserve cosmetics and extend their shelf life. They’re commonly found in makeup (especially eye makeup), moisturizers, hair care and shaving products. You can find them on the label under one of those names: benzylparaben, butyiparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, or isobutylparaben.
Parabens have been linked to a long list of health issues including, cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation. Some studies suggest that they act as estrogenic endocrine disruptors. Consequently, they may mimic your body’s own hormones. This means that these chemicals can ínterfere with the body’s endocrine system: hypothalamus, ovaries, thyroid—virtually every system in the body.
Formaldehyde exposure has been linked to many serious health issues. This known carcinogen can cause breathing issues, damage the respiratory system, weaken the immune system. It can be found in cosmetics (nail varnish, eyelash glue), personal care products (soaps, deodorants, toothpaste).
Its concentration in products is strictly regulated. And at these low levels, the use of formaldehyde is deemed to be safe. Yet, people with particularly sensitive skin may still experience irritation even at these low concentrations.
First of all, they aren’t a single ingredient but a class of ethylene glycol polymers. Those petroleum-based compounds keep products stable and enhance the penetration of other ingredients (both good and toxic ones).
They show some evidence of genotoxicity and if used on broken skin can cause irritation and systemic toxicity. Also, they help traffic funky chemicals across epidermis, including a slug of impurities they’re often contaminated with. Some of those pollutants include ethylene oxide (used to manufacture mustard gas), 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and heavy metals (lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, arsenic).
4. Chemical UV filters
Presence of several chemical UV filters in cosmetics raises concerns over the safety of their long-term exposure. The main reason for that is the fact that they may act as hormone disruptors and skin allergens. Some of the most worrisome ingredients of conventional sunscreens include oxybenzone. Acting like an estrogen in the body it may mimic hormones and disrupt major body systems. Moreover, some studies suggest that oxybenzone penetrates the skin, and increases the production of DNA-damaging free radicals when exposed to light. Thus, it may have the potential to encourage changes in the skin that could lead to cancer.
You’ll find those ingredients in many sunscreens today, including regular lotion sunscreens and makeup foundations with an SPF.
Thanks to its capacity to hold colour and scent in products, this toxic ingredient is commonly found in nail polishes, hair sprays, aftershave lotions, soaps, shampoos, and fragrances. This hormone-disrupting chemical is often linked to breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes as well as birth defects in male fetuses and early menopause in women.
Even more, a loophole in the law allows companies to disclose it under a broad term “fragrance”. So although widely used, they’re rarely listed on the labels.
Classified as a trade secret, companies aren’t required to list the ingredients that makeup “fragrance” in their products. Not knowing what makes up “fragrance”, this vague term can potentially mean the inclusion of hundreds of synthetic chemicals.
This undisclosed mixture of petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances can be drying and irritating your skin. Also, many synthetic fragrances use phthalates as stabilizators. Some of which have labelled some phthalates as “possible carcinogens”. Thus, they may increase the risk of cancer in animals and humans.
Hong Kong’s spas and salons using natural and organic products
Guide to cosmetics ingredients.
Want to up the game and go all ‘green’ with your pampering? Here’re the top organic & eco-friendly spas, and nail salons that use natural products.
Juggling work with the rest of our busy lives sometimes leaves very little time for anything else. So how can you find the time for yourself to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city?
A brand new nail salon MOKSA opened last month in the heart of Central might be just a perfect place to do it. Boasting a row full of cushy seats and a relaxing interior that was practically made for picture perfect Instagrams, it’s one of the chicest spots in Hong Kong. But this nail and juice bar isn’t like any other: having only natural options in their offer they specialize in a slow beauty, free of the harmful toxins & chemicals.
Read on to find out more about the mind behind the MOKSA – its founder Peishu Nien. In a short interview with Lookdiary, she explains what inspired her to create a slow beauty concept store, how it all started and what are her plans for the future.
We’re simply in love with MOKSA’s natural, slow and sustainable philosophy. But, don’t take our word for it and see it for yourself. Go for their natural, detoxifying manicure or pedicure accompanied by the glass of delicious and healthy juice. A spoiling session like that will remind you the importance of slowing down every so often so you can rest, recharge, rebalance and recalibrate and get back out there again to make it happen!
Peishu: I’ve been on a crazy journey for the last 15 years. Moving from Shanghai, Sydney, Pekin, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai again, to finally settle in Hong Kong, I worked with luxury beauty and fashion brands that had very strong expectations in terms of branding and customer satisfaction. To balance this crazy lifestyle that I’m passionate about I am always making the time to unwind over a good laugh with my friends and colleagues.
First, personalized attention and luxury service. Our organic and sophisticated approach to beauty emphasizes the high end but very well thought through service with a personal touch. We believe in a natural and sustainable philosophy of a beauty inside out that cherishes the slow moments of taking a break to relax. We are very meticulous with our emphasis on organic and natural approach using only eco-friendly products, customized aromatherapy essential oils blend and soft medicine.
Second, a combination of my personality, my passion and my travel experiences. I’ve always believed that you can do anything you want if you set your mind to it, so I tried to make my passion, my work. Luckily for me, it turned out to be the right en vogue because MOKSA embodies what I truly love and what I’m passionate about. Sharing my story, I hope people visiting MOKSA can find something in it that they can take with them for daily inspiration.
Peishu: It’s important for us that our team understands and advocates for MOKSA’s philosophy. Therefore, we follow a very strict protocol that gives our employees a training on our concept specifically, and that ensures they’ll be able to meet our customers’ needs.
Above all, we believe that mutual support and understanding is essential for a good, long-term work relationship. Therefore, having employees that are happy to work with us is the best way for us to ensure the highest quality standards and the top-notch customer service.
Peishu: Striving for a healthy and sustainable nail spa experience we carefully selected only a top quality natural brands. We use Manucurist – a French brand, that specializes in nail treatment, organic, vegan, cruelty-free nail color polishes, and Artisanal providing organic essential oils from France.
Peishu: Open branches in Hong Kong spread our concept. And then why not go beyond the border where the destiny will lead us. We believe that business is like beauty. You have to make it beautiful from the inside in order for the outside to flourish!
We all long for long, thick lashes and a head of voluminous hair. But most of us would rather get rid of the hair anywhere else on our body. We know that hair removal can be bothersome, especially if you still haven’t found the method you’re comfortable with.
If you’re thinking about converting from shaving to waxing, read on because we’re about to make it a lot easier for you.
We rounded up the 5 main waxing tips with do’s and don’ts to ensure a silky smooth waxing experience. Even more, we’ve also done a deep dive in Hong Kong’s waxing scene to find the best places to whip that hair away and finally embrace the hair-free life.
Make sure you check it out before you book your appointment and finally say bye to ingrown hairs or itchy red bumps. Waxing effect lasts way longer and it prevents your hair from growing back the next day like it does after shaving. Try it once and you might never pick up your razor ever again!
While long hair can be more painful to wax, most women unnecessarily worry about their hair being too long and over trim it. Remember that hair must be at least a quarter of an inch in length, for the therapist to remove it. When trimmed too short the esthetician might not be able to grip the hair and wax it off. The ideal length of hair for a flawless wax that’ll give you the least amount of pain is the length of a grain of rice (6mm).
Regularly exfoliate and moisturise the skin to encourage hairs to grow through properly. sloughing away dead skin cells that might be blocking hairs, will result in a more pain-free wax and will also help prevent ingrown hairs.
After a wax, your skin will be extra sensitive. Therefore, until everything goes back to normal for at least 24 hours you should avoid common irritants such as tight clothing, products containing alcohol, strong sun exposure, heavy exercise, and excessive perspiration. You should also avoid hot baths or exposure to any extreme temperatures as well as touching, scrubbing or rubbing the waxed area. The proper aftercare will prevent bacteria from getting into the pores and causing an infection.
In case you find your skin a little bit irritated or inflamed soothe it with an oil. The tea tree oil, for example, protects and moisturizes skin, and also works as an antiseptic. Applying it will ward off ingrown hairs and prevent bacteria-related bumps.
Although there’s no perfect time for a wax, some times may be better than others. You can expect to have a higher pain tolerance in the late afternoon as opposed to early in the morning. Get your hair on a growth schedule and book yourself regular late afternoon appointments every four to six weeks (when it grown at least a 6mm).
A good esthetician will be fast (so there’s less pain), hold skin taut so there’s less pulling, and use the right amount of wax and type of wax for your particular hair type and skin.
We’ve all heard once or twice those stories about a botched waxing job or awkward encounter with a therapist. The best way to avoid those less-than-desirable situations and get the job done right is choosing the salon carefully. With so many waxing salons in Hong Kong, it may be difficult to decide which one is best. But we did the work for you and brought you a list of the top trusted salons in Central you can finally wipe that hair off at. Check them out, make your pick and go hair-free!
Gift shopping for the women in your life and not sure where to start?
With so many present options out there, shopping for your loved ones can seem a little overwhelming. Women particularly can be the most challenging type so choosing a gift for them may become even tougher. Getting them something unique that shows that you care is already quite a challenge. Yet, how can you know that they’re actually going to like it?
The truth is that everyone, especially women, secretly love to receive thoughtful surprises and gifts. Note that the key word is “thoughtful”. So skip the cheesy, been-there-done-that stuff in favor of something a little more special.
We know, you might think it’s easier said than done. Especially when the special day bears down on you and forces you to make a quick decision. But worry no more and let us help out.
We’ve searched high and low to find some of the most foolproof gift ideas to spoil your wife, partner, mum, sister or aunt. And as a result, we rounded up 5 unexpected, but sure-to-please gifts that they will appreciate well beyond their special day.
Read on to discover the best gift ideas for the women in your life that will make them feel extra special.
You can never have too many self-care and make-up products. And the truth is – woman love to hoard cosmetics. So even though she swims in beauty products she’ll still love a good self-care gift for a special occasion. Give her the pleasure of trying new things – but let Lookfantastic subscription box do the hunting for her. The monthly shipment of a goodie box will be like a little luxury and it’ll help her identify what she really loves (and sometimes what she doesn’t). After all, we (women) all love beauty novelties and we’d eagerly expand our cosmetic collection with new prey.
With some many types, colors, and versions of tangible things, you may not be able to buy her exactly what she’d like the most. But the truth is that even though women might have different tastes yet they all love a bit of pampering. If you’d like to spoil her but you don’t know what kind of manicure, pedicure, hair treatment, message she likes – we have a perfect gifting option for you that you can be sure she’ll love. A spa day or an on-point manicure – let her decide and get her exactly what she wants with a Lookdiary gift card.
We work with more than 280 carefully selected salons and spas all over Hong Kong allowing your loved one to book appointments for a variety of different treatments all around the city. The choice is big so you can be sure she will find something suitable for herself! Get her the Lookdiary gift cardto make her feel extra special and give her a little moment of indulgence she deserves!
What makes a better gift than a nice bottle of perfume? Fragrances speak to a woman’s heart so they can be the simplest and most rewarding gift to give. Especially carefully selected ones tailored to the personality, as well as to the season of the year perfectly complement the woman and can become a powerful accessory.
But how do you choose the scent that will suit your loved one? If you’re not sure you can match her taste – we might just found you the solution.
With Scent Trunk you can get her uniquely personalized fragrances inspired by her own taste and ideas. Scent Trunk’s subscription will let her discover scents that she truly loves – and will deliver them to her on monthly basis.
If we (women) could, we’d all love to go to the spa every weekend – but the sad truth is that unfortunately only a few of us are lucky enough. Help your beloved one to get the similar feeling by creating her own spa-like experience at home. Get her the luxury of home relaxation with few products that will make her evening more enjoyable.
It’s simple – you can make sure her self-care night in session is right on point by getting her any of those things:
Slip Sleep eye mask and pillowcase. Not only is silk naturally hypoallergenic, but both silk and satin are extremely soft materials, so they cause less friction between the skin and the fabric. Thus, a silk pillowcase or an eye mask can provide major benefits to the delicate skin around eyes and minimize possible wrinkling. Get her either one or ideally both and she’ll love you for it!
If you’re still in doubt – believe us, you can’t go wrong with gifting a sleepwear. It doesn’t get any more relaxing than a cute and comfortable bathrobe or set of slippers. Upgrade her evenings with ones that are made entirely of pure silk. We promise it guarantees a classically stylish look she’ll rest in way easier.
How about giving her a little luxury of a spa making her home smell like one? An essential oils diffuser will help her to calm down and relax after the whole day of running errands around the town. Add up candles to the equation and you’ll get her the most calming setting ever. We promise making home a peaceful sanctuary filled with beautiful scents is a kind of a gift that even the pickiest of people whose tastes run the gamut will love. If you feel like splurging a little bit more – get her a bottle of Champagne and a box of nice chocolates. It doesn’t get more timeless than that and it’ll perfectly complement all those things you just got her.
It’s an excellent gift for those juggling the demands of a life in busy Hong Kong, that often puts the squeeze on the free time needed to plan a menu and shop at the grocery store. Help your loved ones to take the stress out of dinner prep with the neatly packed box, containing all the ingredients and instructions, arriving right on their doorstep.
Can it get more thoughtful than gifting the convenience and pleasure of not even having to leave the house, and yet enjoying the healthy home-cooked meal?
Here and here you can find a the list of all the different companies that provide the meal delivery service in Hong Kong. Check it out and find the one that suits her best.
They have the power to transform the face even with no or minimal makeup. We all dream about them and envy people who can boast of having them. What are we talking about? Of course – long, beautiful fluttery eyelashes!
Fancy a flirtatious gaze, with eyes, next to which it is impossible to pass by indifferently? The range of beautiful and long eyelashes certainly attracts attention and boosts our self-confidence. But… unfortunately, not all of us were born with them.
Luckily for us, it doesn’t mean we can’t boost our mediocre lashes to achieve this look. Nowadays, making it happen became less of a problem. We have lots of tools, products and beauty treatments all designed to get us closer to that perfect look. If it seems like you tried them all yet haven’t found the one yet, you should continue reading because we might have just got you the solution.
When mascara just isn’t doing the job, sometimes you need to go the extra mile to get the lash you’re looking for. Say goodbye to everyday struggle with mascara clumpy lashes and try eyelash extensions. They become super popular – and for good reason!
They come in a wide variety of lengths, thicknesses and curl to suit any look you want, from a bit more than natural to a dramatic, heavy mascara look. Best of all, if properly selected and applied they feel light, natural, they last long and don’t impact even the most active lifestyle.
The convenience of getting the eyelash extensions is definitely an allure but there are several things you should know and consider before you decide to get them.
Before you choose a salon, check its reviews, the experience of beauticians, find out whether they have passed the appropriate trainings, and also pay attention to whether the given salon uses professional products. Choosing the salon carefully you can be sure that we will get skilfully applied eyelashes that look natural and will not damage our natural eyelashes in any way.
Yes, it may seem pricey and it does sometimes get pretty expensive (prices are ranging from as little as $ 220 to over a $ 1000). BUT… except saving you the time it also saves you the money you’d spend on buying eye makeup products. When thinking in the long run you’ll see that often times high-quality mascaras cost no less than getting the eyelash extensions.
We made a list of best Hong Kong salons where you can get you lashes done for less than $ 400. Read on and choose a one that suits you best.
Are you stressed, tired, tense or maybe bloated? Whatever it is, an appropriately selected massage technique can hone in on your problem and lift its weight from your shoulders. If the idea of booking a massage sends you into a spin, worry no more. Knowing that researching all types of massage and finding the right spa in Hog Kong can easily get you a headache, we did it for you!
We summed up all you need to know about 10 different types of massage together with the best salons in Causeway Bay that you can get it at.
Read on, find the right type and the right place to finally rub your problem away!
The method bases its fundaments in the life energy of qi, jing, and yang. Energy circulates throughout the body along specific paths and cumulates in energy channels, called meridians. Those, in turn, are distributed throughout the body and constitute acupuncture points. The skin placed on these paths is energetically connected to specific organs, systems and the structure of the body. If the energy cycle is interrupted, the proper functioning of the organs will be disturbed, which in turn will cause pain or illness. Acupuncture stimulates those points to maintain the level of energy circulation, and thus positively affects our health and well-being.
The list of acupuncture benefits is really long. It promotes the body’s natural ability to self-heal and cures some diseases. Moreover, it reduces muscle tension, combats chronic pain and helps to relax. The acupuncture therapy not only eliminates tiredness, tension, and stress but also avails treatments of pains and injuries. Thus, it’s also a great solution for athletes who seek help in achieving a better form.
Combining a relaxing massage with aromatic scents and essential oils, this type of massage guarantees an unforgettable experience for the soul and the whole body. Thanks to the therapeutic benefits of scented oils used for the massage, the treatment may have various effects. Thus, it can bring a relief to people suffering from many different conditions. The therapist can use all kinds of oils either to relax, energize, reduce stress or restore the body’s balance.
One of the most commonly used essential oils in relaxing aromatherapy is lavender. The soothing scent of lavender that adds to the ambiance will get you an extra relaxation effect and will leave your skin smelling divine for hours afterward.
Performed with a use of warm bamboo sticks of various diameters, rolled on the body with variable strength and intensity, the massage stimulates deep tissue, effectively eliminating accumulated tensions and bringing deep relaxation.
Whole body massage usually starts with the feet. Then, the therapist gradually moves all the way up to the neck and finishes again on the feet. Depending on the part of the body being massaged, poles of different length are used. This process leads to immediate muscles relaxation. At the same time, it stimulates the blood and lymph circulation, consequently alleviating all pains.
Use of rolling movements supports the removal of toxins from the body, which are the main cause of cellulite. As a result, it helps in shaping the body ( especially buttocks, thighs and waist) and thus, a perfectly supports slimming therapy. Moreover, bamboo sticks that are rich in silicon compounds, act as strong piezoelectrics. Rubbing and rolling them on the skin leads to the creation of energy potential, giving the patient a powerful boost of energy. Massage therefore also relieves the body from fatigue.
The technique originates from ancient China, and its use dates back to 5,000 years ago. By compressing, massaging, and stroking receptors on the foot, it unblocks the energy flow zones of the whole body. It eliminates pain and tensions in particular areas or organs, and thus puts the body into a state of relaxation and activate self-healing.
With an estimated 100,000 – 200,000 exteroceptors in the sole of each foot, feet are among the most nerve-rich parts of your body. Different areas on the feet correspond to different parts of the body. Thus, by compressing a specific point on the foot, we can affect the organ that is associated with the receptor. Physical abnormalities within the receptor, like bulges or pain, may indicate that the corresponding organ does not function properly. Thus, by identifying them foot reflexology can help to detect latent conditions.
The massage stimulates the circulatory system that brings along multiple positive effects. Through better circulation, more oxygen gets into the organs. The skin releases excess heat accumulated in the body. Hormones and metabolites are more efficiently transported between tissues and organs. Moreover, through massage, we remove accumulated toxins and metabolic products from the body, improving the functioning of the nervous system. In the result, foot reflexology effectively eliminates stress and pain, especially migraine headaches as well as spine and joints pains.
Performed with a use of basalt stones of volcanic origin, that are heated to about 60 ° C, and have remarkable temperature-maintaining properties, this massage strongly warms and relaxes tense muscles.
It bases its fundaments on the wide effect on thermoreceptors found in the patient’s skin and the theory of energy flow through the body. Energy centers in so-called chakras, located in the immediate vicinity of one of the endocrine glands. The stones are arranged in accordance with the maps of the distribution of energy points and moved along the meridians, i.e. the channels connecting the points. In this way, the flow of energy is improved.
Moreover, in a result of the consensual response to stone’s heat, the temperature of the massaged area and the secondary dilation of the blood vessels increases. This reaction thus influences the increase of the volume of the vascular bed. As a result, it inhibits functions of the limbic system and reduces the general nervous tension. Thus, accompanied with the right atmosphere, use of essential oils and appropriately selected music the treatment has a soothing effect on the patient.
Most noteworthy, hot stone massage relieves all kinds of muscle pains and nervous tension pains. It supports the circulatory system, improving its functioning, restores efficiency to damaged organs, and at the same time promotes rest and regeneration. Thus, except for putting you back on your feet, regaining energy it also increases your body’s exercise capacity.
By applying pressure it aims to drain fluid and warm up limbs lifting the muscle up and away from the bone to get the blood flowing.
It improves poor lymph circulation and thus prevents the occurrence of diseases caused by its stagnation. As a result, it eliminates swellings and shortens the resorption time of bruises and hematomas. It also helps to remove unnecessary metabolic products. Thus, it aids detox treatments and recovering process after infectious diseases or steroid therapy. Moreover, it helps to accelerate metabolism and supports slimming processes. As a result, the treatment is popular among people who wish to lose weight.
It’s a special form of a massage, designed to stimulate the lymphatic system. It involves compressing and rubbing the skin through the use of specific techniques and specialized movements to push the lymph fluid accumulated under the skin. Lymph is a light aqueous liquid that cleanses the body’s tissues and plays an important role in the immune system. The lymphatic facial massage stimulating its flow improves the lymph circulation and avails the process of removing toxins from the skin cells.
Performed appropriately and regularly raises the level of skin elasticity, prevents the formation of wrinkles, eliminates swelling and prevents visible signs of aging (skin sagging). Through stimulation and regeneration of facial muscles, it helps to maintain a proper face oval and skin firmness. It improves the overall appearance of the face skin, reduces dark circles under your eyes and makes your face appear younger and more radiant.
Performed in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, the treatment involves only delicate massage techniques, and no aggressive, or fast movements. It provides the much-needed support for a body going through major changes, helping future mothers in the preparation for birth.
It is a moment of mental rest and biological renewal for tired joints, painful and excessively strained muscles. The treatment reduces the formation of..
Anyone who ever been to Hong Kong (especially during the summer) knows that the weather here can turn all your efforts to look good into a beauty nightmare. It’s no secret that if there’s one thing that unites all Hong Kong woman it is their common enemy – the humidity. It gets our hair frizzy and impossible to manage, wrecking our dream of flawlessly sleek and shiny look.
If you’ve already tried everything but still wasn’t able to battle this nasty nemesis –worry no more! Luckily for you, we found a solution to fix your frizzy hair.
Brazilian Blowout is an alternative to a daily use of a straightener or undergoing chemical straightening treatments. Using keratin it creates a protective protein layer around the hair shaft that eliminate frizz and smooths the cuticle. Originally, the method was developed in Brazil, for women battling effects of hot temperatures, high sun exposure, and very humid climate. However, taming and smoothing brittle, unruly hair is not it’s only benefits. The treatment aims to rebuild hair structure, nutrition and smooth out dry and damaged hair, thus, also ensure healthy regeneration.
Read on to find how it works, to whom it’s intended and where you can get it done in Hong Kong.
Keratin is naturally produced in the hair follicles, it is the main building material of the hair shaft, called the hair’s cortex. The keratin fibers are interconnected with crosslinked sulfide bonds, thanks to which the hair is elastic and elastic. Keratin also forms part of the outer coat of the hair to provide the hair with shine and resistance. Therefore it’s lack leads, among others to the opening of hair scales and as a result to split ends. When our hair becomes dull, brittle, excessively falls out – it may mean that they lack this ingredient. The reasons for losing keratin are many: atmospheric conditions, UV radiation, hair coloring procedures, as well as everyday stylization. The treatment is recommended for anyone who has dry, brittle, damaged or dull hair, often difficult to comb it with, unnaturally inflated.
Brazilian Blowout effectively diminishes frizz, seals the cuticle, and provides armor against any external damage. Not to mention, an insanely glossy mirror-like shine after getting the treatment done, your hair will be hydrated, less frizzy, and more resilient to styling.
It works great in all types of hair – curls, waves, straight, thick or thin. The treatment can be carried out (in contrast to other methods) on colored or damaged (by chemical treatments, dying, or bleaching). It’s recommended for people with hair prone to “drizzle”, dry, fried and frizzy look that is difficult to manage.
Personalized effect. Do you want to tame the frizz but not necessarily get rid of your curls? The treatment can be tailored to your hair type and desired effect. Thus, straight or curly you can still get your hair smoother and more manageable.
No down time. There’s nothing better than leaving the salon and immediately getting back to your normal life. Unlike after other keratin treatments, with Brazilian Blowout, there aren’t any restrictions as to what you can and can’t do. Thus, you can go ahead with your normal routine, wash your hair, tie it in a ponytail, and trim it.
The effects of the treatment should last up to 4 months – possibly longer if you don’t wash your hair too often and remove shampoos that contain sulfates and chlorine. After that time when your hair returns to its natural look you should start thinking about getting it redone.
To put the battle with brittle and unruly hair behind try taming Hong Kong frizz with Brazilian Blowout. Here is our pick of top hair salons in Hong Kong where you can get it done. So go ahead, book yourself an appointment and finally enjoy the effect of tamed frizz!
Do you feel that your skin looks grey, tired and completely devoid of vitality? Are you looking for a way to regain the glow and the healthy look of your skin? Read on to find out everything you need to know about body steaming treatment. It’s a procedure that will put you in a state of relaxation and make your skin smoother, more elastic, cleansed and moisturized.
The use of body steam treatments goes deep in history. For centuries people practiced it for relaxation, medicinal or ritual purposes. It improves the overall immunity, helps in the treatment of recurrent colds, respiratory diseases, system circulation and in ailments and rheumatic diseases. But its benefits don’t end there. Body steaming reduces muscle tension, perfectly moisturizes and regenerates the skin, as well as cleanses the body of toxins.
Our skin is damaged by sunlight exposure, wearing synthetic fabrics, bathing in chlorinated water and constant contact with hundreds of chemicals. Hot steaming helps to rejuvenate our bodies and neutralize the effects of aging processes.
Additionally, body steaming is perfect for people who need a rest after a busy day at work. The hot steam has a soothing effect on our senses, it calms and relaxes our bodies. Thus, the steaming session often constitutes an introduction to a massage or it precedes other beauty treatments.
Anyone who has spent some time in a steam room will immediately see the benefits. Moisture helps skin to look refreshed and dewy in the short term so you’ll see first results even after the first session. To know more about the actual process of body steaming treatment read its quick review by Kristy Or. She went to Chill Steam and shared her experience on honeycombers. You can find the full article here.
“I felt a general sense of calm, my muscles had relaxed and my skin appeared to have brightened.”
“if you’re looking for a natural and unique way to detox and relax, Chill Steam is a fun treat to enjoy with friends and definitely it’s worth experiencing”
To naturally protect itself, our skin produces sebum that keeps it lubricated. When the sebum together with the dirt and bacteria gets stuck in our pores, it causes breakouts, blackheads and skin irritation to appear. After exposing your skin to hot steam, you begin to sweat and, as a result, your pores open up. Consequently, this helps to clean your skin from the sebum stuck in the pores. Therefore, by preventing pores from clogging, bod steaming keeps your skin clean and free of breakouts and infections.
2. Avails anti-aging
Body steaming triggers a “thermoregulating” response causing skin blood vessels to dilate and leading to an improved blood flow throughout skin cells. Consequently, improved blood circulation leads to more nutrients and oxygen being delivered to skin cells. As a result, the skin gets a healthy glow that makes it feel great and look less wrinkly. Even more, sweating helps to transmit nutrients and minerals in the skin, thus it can aid building healthy collagen structures. Moreover, it helps to combat the dull and discolored look of the skin by stimulating new skin cells production. It does so through softening the surface layer of dead skin cells that make the exfoliation easier. As a result, it reveals the new skin layer and thus, encourages faster skin cell turnover.
Sweating (whether it be from exercise or from a hot steam) causes your skin to open up skin pores. As a result, the body is able to release toxins at a faster rate. Most noteworthy, body steaming causes the skin to sweat a lot more than usual, thus it becomes a great natural way of removing waste products from your body.
Capillaries dilate when exposed to the hot steam room, so blood can flow freely and easily through the whole body, transporting oxygen and leaving you feeling refreshed. Adding essential oils to the body steaming treatment turns it into a relaxing aromatherapy experience. As a result, after such a session you will feel rejuvenated, content and considerably less stressed. Moreover, hot steam positively impacts the body’s production of cortisol (a hormone that regulates the level of stress). As a result body steaming helps to heal your mind, relax, and improve your focus.
5. Relieves tension
Hot steam soothes your nerve endings and also warms and relaxes your muscles. Due to the exposure to high temperatures, it can minimize joint pains, arthritis, migraines, and headaches. Hot steam can penetrate deep into muscle tissue, consequently effectively helping in muscle recovery. As a result body steaming can be a perfect remedy for the post-workout Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness (DOMS).
More and more people are practicing it, including celebrities whose young looks we envy. What are we talking about? Face yoga. Madonna, known for her perfect face condition, a minimum of visible wrinkles has been using it for 20 years. Her yoga master, Eddie Stern claims the best way to preserve a young look is … a relaxed face.
Probably a lot of us also feels like we could use some help turning back the clock, right? Why not instead of relying solely on professional anti-aging treatments – try something different!
Face yoga benefits
What is it?
Face yoga is a kind of face gymnastics that aims to restore the skin’s firmness, improve blood circulation, eliminate toxins, smooth and prevent wrinkles, and as a result, lighten the skin and rejuvenate it.
First of all, face yoga is based on a holistic system of techniques derived from yoga and Ayurveda. It combines elements of meditation, reiki and massage techniques. Its scope includes face exercises, face massage, acupressure, and relaxation. Most noteworthy, speaking of facial yoga, the most important thing we should know is that it is a natural weapon in a fight with wrinkles. The face has over 50 muscles that can be practiced just like any other. Face yoga techniques are designed in a way to exercise them. First increasing muscle strength, and secondly stimulating the production of collagen and elastin in the middle layer of the skin.
Thanks to regular training, face muscles increase their volume and their tension improves. The first effects can be seen after 2-3 weeks – the skin is visibly tense thanks to the natural lifting. Importantly, the exercises can be performed at any time and almost anywhere – in front of the morning toilet, in the car while standing in traffic, in the evening while watching TV, and even at work in front of the computer monitor. All you need to do is spend a few minutes on exercises that help keep skin firm and alleviate the effects of aging.
How does it work?
It’s primarily work with face and neck muscles. In total, we use 57 muscles, thanks to which we say whether we blink, but also express emotions. Muscles that we do not exercise with age lose their strength and firmness, which affects the appearance of wrinkles on the face. Wrinkles, as we know, are the result of repetitive movements of muscle contraction for many years. Exercises of facial muscles work in the same way as muscles in the body. Thanks to specially developed techniques, we increase their strength, thanks to which we slow down the process of losing muscle mass. The skin combined with facial muscles, thanks to strengthening their strength and firmness, looks smooth and youthful for many years. By slowing down the process of muscle tissue degradation, muscles retain their firmness for longer, and this translates into slowing down the process of wrinkle formation.
How to start practicing facial yoga?
If face yoga is new to you, before you start individual exercises, take a few lessons with an instructor who will explain how to do the most important exercises to avoid hurting yourself. In addition, as a professional, he will assess which parts of the face require the most intensive training and which exercises will help to overcome imperfections.
Once you’ve mastered the basic techniques and information about yoga, there’s nothing that prevents you from starting independent exercises. At the beginning, however, it is worth to do them in front of a mirror to control muscle movements – this will avoid possible bad habits in the future. Remember to always exercise carefully and without hurry and keep moderation. Too often raising eyebrows, wrinkling the forehead and smiling may work the opposite and deepen wrinkles!
Does it sound like something you’d like to try?
Above all, remember that no matter what you should never forget about proper skincare. Our faces are constantly exposed to UV radiation and moderate degeneration of skin cells. To avoid or restore the damage caused by it oftentimes a visit at a professional clinic is necessary. For that reason, consult an expert and together choose the right anti-aging treatment for your skin.
Yes, Central is full of nail salons but with so many options how do you choose the right one? Depending on your choice, your manicure’s price and quality can differ enormously. Don’t gamble on it and think it through before you pick the one.
Good news! We made it easier for you, and prepared a guide to the best, budget-friendly options for getting your nails done in Central Hong Kong. Scroll down to see our pick and prices.
It last for about five days with no chips. Very easy to take off. Takes only a polish remover and cotton pads to remove it. Has no negative affect and might even help to prevent nails splitting or breaking.
It’s a hybrid of a gel and traditional nail polish, cured and hardened under UV light. It’s less hard than gel nails and lasts about two to three weeks with no chips. Removing it doesn’t require a visit at a salon. You can take it off on your own, using cotton pads soaked with acetone, aluminium foil and cuticle pusher. (Using a wrong technique can cause peeling or breakage problems so make sure you do it properly or book an appointment.)
Can be applied on natural or fake nails. Allows extending the length of the nail and sculpturing its shape in a similar way to acrylic manicure. It lasts two to three weeks with no chips. Can be removed only at a salon (gel needs to be sand away with an electric file before the acetone-free remover can be used). Improper application or removal can damage nails so make sure you chose skilled technician and keep your nails hydrated.