Happy Self Care Sunday everyone! One of my favorite parts of self care is trying new products. While I do have my own line of skincare and makeup products I love seeing what other companies are doing. I do my very best to not be biased and will most of the time use "prestige" or professional products.
Today's mask comes from a very well known prestige brand, Sephora Collection. I was fortunate to receive a smattering of products from this collection as a part of my Girl Boss Rally gift bag! (For more on that check out my instagram) I am a huge fan of their #Lipstories collection. Their branding, eco-friendliness and price point are all great for a long wearing creamy lipstick. I really enjoyed getting one in my bag and am excited to pick up a couple more next time I shop online. Because of this I was super excited to try this mask.
The packaging is super cute and girly which is a plus for me. It is also very convenient. I can see someone taking this on a trip with them. I usually travel with a hydrating mask when I fly, just in case. But when I flipped it over I noticed something on the ingredient list that made my heart sink. Listed among a multitude of low toxin ingredients (which you know I love) I found the dreaded "fragrance". Now if you know me, you know that this is an ingredient I won't touch in my own products that I have manufactured, because it can be literally anything. I also try to avoid them in my every day life, but for the purposes of my review I will let it slide because from my understanding of the information presented at the breakout session I attended, Sephora Collection is manufactured to European standard.
To get ready for this mask experience I cleansed and toned with my Be Bright collection from Skin Ambition and pat dry with a soft towel. After removing the mask from the package I notice it does have a strong scent, but it doesn't smell chemically, it has a refreshing rose scent. Also, it's pink! I unfolded it and put it on my face and set the timer for 15 minutes while I sipped on some of my favorite flavored water.
The mask felt cold, and very refreshing. I noticed some activity, especially around the forehead, but it was very mild and only lasted a couple minutes. I am happy to report that my super sensitive self did not have a reaction to any of the ingredients in this mask sheet. Not going to lie though, sheet masks always weird me out and make me feel like I look like a serial killer. I stuck it out and removed when the timer went off and massaged the serum into my skin afterward.
While I wasn't expecting miracles with this being an over the counter product, I was expecting a little more than I got. Yes, my skin felt smoother, but it also felt sticky. I ended up being bothered by it and rinsed my face off about an hour later. I noticed some slight improvement on my forehead lines, but not much more than your average moisturizer would do.
Would I recommend this product? That's a strong maybe, it depends on what else you have access to. For the cost it is a good product, but I wouldn't use it professionally. It was a fun experiment however and I look forward to trying more masks in the future.
Melissa West LAc, LE
Hi, It’s Sam from First City Wellness!
You’re now reading the first of a series of blog posts I’ll be making here about general health concerns and tips. Today, we’re going to be talking about good ol’ H2O. More importantly, we’re going to be talking about how you’re not drinking enough of it, and what you can do about it.
To start, a primer on water. You may have heard once or twice in your life that somewhere around two thirds of your body consists of water. That’s mostly true. The average male consists of 60% water and the average female consists of 64% water, spread throughout your various tissues, fluids and body parts. Your brain and heart are 73% water, your lungs are about 83% water. Skin weighs in at 64%, muscles and kidneys at 79%, and even your bones clock in at 31% water! (H.H. Mitchel, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158)
“I get it, I get it,” you say. “So it’s important. What does that mean?” It’s used in your entire body, and when you’re not drinking enough you suffer. It lubricates your joints, it fills the space between and inside your cells. Your body uses it to moves things through itself, and also helps you get rid of toxins and other bad things. Not enough water could possibly be the cause of that headache you wrestle with regularly, why your skin looks dull, dead, or breaking out, why you have some digestive issues or irregularities, or why you suffer from cramps in extremities. Don’t wake up in the middle of the night with a cramp in your calf again!
So how much water should you be drinking? Most experts will tell you that you should take your weight (in pounds) and divide it in half. That result is the number of fluid ounces of water you should be drinking a day. For instance, a 200 lb. man should be drinking 100 fl. oz. of water a day.
“That’s a lot, Sam!” Why yes, imaginary argumentative strawperson, it is. In my personal experience, chances are better than good that you do not drink even close to that amount. I almost never make that quota. But drinking water every day is important for your body to continue functioning in the way that it’s meant to. Even attempt to get closer to that value, and you’ll notice how much happier your body is in no time. You can build up to that value gradually, and I’ve got some pointers for you to continue drinking lots.
Drink filtered or purified water when possible: Water from the tap is easy to get, but it comes into contact with pipes. Which means it picks up odd contaminants along the way, namely heavy metals. Your body will get rid of these most of the time, though buildup isn’t very good for you. However, depending on where you live, your water may have other more troublesome things in it. Oregon City, for example, has a LOT of metal in the water, thanks to out of commision mill. Filter your water. Your body will thank you. We have an awesome filter here at the clinic that makes alkaline, ionized water. I'll write more about that in a future post.
Don’t drink your water too cold: Ice water is delicious, but it’s hard to drink lots of quickly, and frankly it’s not the best way to ingest. Water that is significantly different from your own body temperature doesn’t assimilate into the body quickly. Your body has to waste energy bringing that water up to a temperature that it can work with. It’s not ever going to be the death of you, and you don’t have to drink warm or hot water, but ice water is something you should avoid when possible. Lightly chilled, or room-temperature, is perfectly fine.
Don’t nuke your water: Imagine that you’re trying to make tea, and don’t have access to a kettle. Don’t just pour water into a cup and microwave it. That trusty science oven works by vigorously vibrating the molecules in the food you’re cooking. This vibration actually warps the shape of the H2O molecule structure, almost completely killing its absorption rate in the body. It’s not going to harm you, but this altered water is going to go right through you without doing any good! Always heat water by more natural means.
I’ve heard more than once “but I don’t particularly care for the taste of plain water.” Yeah, I can see why. There’s nothing interesting going on there. However, you can put things in there to make it taste better! If you know me, then you know I’m a Wellness Advocate with doTERRA essential oils. Their oils are Certified Therapeutic Grade, and are third party tested into oblivion to make sure they are perfectly safe to ingest. This means you can add extra flavor, and extra healing and cleansing properties with them. Try a couple drops of lemon oil. Lemon tastes and smells excellent, and aids in cleansing toxins from the body. Wild orange can uplift your mood, and grapefruit (maybe my favorite for water) can aid in appetite regulation as well as detoxification. Need to keep your immune system strong? Try just two or so drops of On Guard in your water. It can help you feel better if you feel like you’re fighting something. Take it every day and enjoy how much less you get sick. Upset stomach? A little DigestZen in your water can help clear that up. There’s always something that you can put in water that will work for you.
As I always say, when ingesting essential oils, make sure your drinking vessel is a glass. NO PLASTIC! Drinking out of plastic bottles or cups is mostly fine (I’m sure you can find plenty of reading on that subject), but essential oils can leech very harmful toxins out of plastic. Glass, earthenware (like mugs) and stainless steel are all fine vessels. Just please do me a favor and don’t drop it in your Crystal Geyser.
That was long-winded wasn’t it? Thank you for reading about water for better health. This is the first in a series on health and general lifestyle tips for the betterment of your self. If you want to know more about adding essential oils into your life, feel free to contact me directly so you can ask me questions and even set up a consultation. You can also visit my affiliate link here, to shop now directly from the source:
Take care, and stay hydrated!
Happy December Everyone!
I cannot believe that 2015 is almost over! I hope that each and every one of you had a special Thanksgiving and are having a great time celebrating the season! There are so many amazing things on the horizon for First City Wellness that we can't wait to share with you over the next month!
I am excited to announce that the official brand transition will begin on December 16, 2015! For the rest of December please pardon our dust as we make room for our new furniture and fixtures! We will also be closing later this month to spend time with our family for the holidays and to redecorate the clinic.
Holiday Hours and Closures:
Friday, December 18th: Closed
Saturday, December 19th: 10:00am-4:00PM
Monday, December 21: 5:00pm-7:30pm
Wednesday, December 23: 10:00am-3:30pm
Thursday, December 24-Sunday, December 27: Closed for family time
Wednesday December 30: 10:00am-2pm
Thursday December 31-January 4, 2016: Closed for painting and redecoration
Sorry for any inconvenience and have a Happy Holiday Season!
Melissa West LAc, LE
Normally I try to keep my blog posts very positive, but I have to say something about this issue. Over the past few weeks I have seen a photo shared over and over again on friend's feeds of a Daith Piercing on a woman's ear touting relief from migraines. Today alone I saw it on my feed four times and even a local news station is covering it now. Here is a link to one of the articles I've seen floating around Facebook: https://drupalsites.purchase.edu/journalism/index.php?q=node%2F49
I feel like as a health care provider trained in auriculotherapy (Ear acupressure/acupuncture) I needed to offer my $0.02 for the integrity of the medicine I hold very dear.
Most people who have seen me as a provider know how much I enjoy utilizing the microsystem of the ear. It is almost magical how using the ear points can release those happy little neurotransmitters. It is a clinically proven system that has helped millions of people around the world.
While I am in no way against piercings or using the ear for other benefits rather than looks (I even have Swavorski Ear Seeds on my own ears for stress relief at ths very moment!) I am incredibly skeptical of this so called "alternative treatment" for migraines. There are many reasons for this; the first is the lack of research on the topic.
There are no studies cited and no "proof" offered other than the body piercer who claims it works and the other people who were interviewed for the article. This article claims that this piercing is the "same concept as acupuncture". That statement alone inflamed me more than almost anything else. Acupuncture is a field that requires many years of study to scratch the surface of and while I mean no disrespect to any body piercer, they are incredibly ill-qualified to state that something works like acupuncture.
My second issue comes down to point location. According to Wikipedia: "A Daith piercing is an ear piercing that passes through the ear's innermost cartilage fold, the crus of the helix." In Chinese Medicine and auriculotherapy this part of the ear corresponds to the large intestine, not the head. Unless it is a gut issue that is the root cause of your migraines then the chances of this working are pretty slim. There is actually no system of ariculotherapy that I or any of my colleagues that I spoke to are familiar with that has a point that could be even loosely related to a migraine.
The third issue I have is with the type of metal used on the piercing. Depending on the type of headache the type of metal used makes a huge difference. I use silver mostly for headaches because of its calming effects. Gold and Surgical Steel both activate the tissue and can cause more harm than good.
Finally, scar tissue is something that one needs to be aware of with any body modification. Creating scar tissue blocks qi and blood flow and can once again create even bigger problems. I have found this a lot clinically with digestive issues and tongue piercings.
My advice to anyone seeking out an alternative treatment for their migraines to please go to someone who knows what they are doing. When I treat people for headaches with acupuncture I expect near immediate results and I get them. Nothing beats getting auriculotherapy or acupuncture at the right location for your unique presentation so please seek out a trained professional. We would love to see you here at First City Wellness, but if you are not in the area of this clinic I recommend searching www.tryacupuncture.org to find a qualified acupuncturist near you!
Ok I am finished on my soapbox for now.
Melissa West LAc, LE
Our clinic is not the only place that is getting a makeover! Our treatments are being updated too! As of today all of our skincare services have joined the Beautypuncture® family of treatments! Use this handy guide below to choose the perfect treatment for you. Still stumped? Call (503)764-7375 or Email Melissa and she will be happy to help you!
How do I choose which treatment is right for me?
We can't wait for you to come join us for one of our new luxuries! However, if you are pressed for time don't forget about our Beautypuncture® Little Luxuries express treatments!
We look forward to helping you find your best skin here at First City Wellness!
Melissa West LAc, LE
72 Days and Counting!
First off, Happy Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day everyone! We are 72 days away from our grand (Re)Opening and are so excited to tell you about what we've been up to! New furniture and fixtures have been purchased and are beginning to be installed. Below is our new makeup station with daylight mimicking LED lights for optimal color matching!
While visiting family for the weekend we also discovered this great piece at the ReStore and are going to shine it up and put it in the lobby!
Another exciting thing is that we began using a brand new practice management system called Acusimple. You can start using it right now to schedule appointments and more features will be available soon. You can access the patient portal here:
If you have any questions at all about the clinic's transition and makeover, don't hesitate to contact us! We love hearing from you and look forward to helping you to find your best health!
More updates coming soon!
Melissa West LAc, LE
Melissa West LAc, LE is the founder of FCW. She has a passion for holistic health and beauty.