Tags archives: organic skincare

“Beauty with Brilliance” Jane Iredale

Introducing Jane Iredale Make-Up “Beauty with Brilliance”

In April we brought in the amazing Jane Iredale make-up line! Many of our clients have already experienced the effects of this magnificent make-up line, but if you haven’t yet please come by the spa and take a peek at our display! We proudly carry the entire line at Scents of Serenity and are happy to provide color matching for our clients! Take a look at our beautiful Manicurist, Kayla! Her before and after pictures enhance her natural beauty without looking over done.

One of the reasons we decided to bring in this fantastic line is because of Jane Iredale’s commitment to providing the utmost integrity to the skincare and beauty industry by providing a make-up line that feeds the skin and is actually benefiting it not clogging the pores. Through that commitment a product line was created that not only looks good and feels good but it is nourishing to the skin. It was equally important to Jane that her line enhance the natural beauty in a woman, rather than trying to make their face conform to the latest fashion trends. Women of all nationalities and ages can enjoy this beautiful line. Jane Iredale’s mineral powders offer foundation, powder and concealer and sunscreen all in one, making it multi-functional.

Why we love Jane Iredale so much:

-Talc free: Because pure mineral pigment is used with no fillers such as talc, Jane Iredale foundations and concealers give exceptional coverage that requires minimal touch-ups.

-Particle size: All minerals have been tested under laboratory conditions. Results show that there are no nano-size minerals in any products.

-Non-comedogenic: Jane Iredale’s foundations form a protective barrier on the skin that allows it to breathe and function normally. Laboratory tests confirm that all of Jane Iredale’s products are non-comedogenic and do not block pores.

-Sun Protection: Seven Jane Iredale products have earned the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation. To earn this seal, a manufacturer must provide scientific data showing that its products sufficiently and safely aid in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.

-Adherence: Jane Iredale minerals bind together upon application so they resist running, creasing and smearing. They can be removed with a cleanser or their special micro-fiber cloth Magic Mitt, which requires only water for effective cleansing.

-Hypo-allergenic & Anti-irritant: Products are safety tested, allergy tested, clinically tested and dermatologist tested to ensure avoidance of any ingredients that may be skin sensitizers. A conscious effort is made to include anti-irritant ingredients in all products because Jane Iredale believes that this can measurably contribute to skin health.

-Use natural preservative: Where preservatives are needed, Janie Iredale uses a combination of natural preservatives, always excluding parabens.

-NEVER tested on animals!

-Vegan and gluten free products available

-Members of the Green Spa Network




Jane Iredale Before and After

Dirty Words

Dirty Words

Dirty Words That Get Under Our Skin

Don’t say those dirty words….

What goes on, goes in: As more and more people are turning to organic alternatives for their dietary choices and the selection of household cleaning products, they are discovering that not only what we put in our bodies, but what we put on them, has a significant impact on our health and well being. Our skin, being our largest organ, is not only impacted directly, but can deliver what we put on topically, straight into our bloodstream. It’s no wonder that the demand for organic skin care products is increasing steadily.

Consider this: Government regulations allow virtually any ingredient to be used in the manufacture of products that we use daily on our skin, hair, and nails, and even in the water we drink.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) establishes the regulations and standards in the United States regarding the manufacture of drugs & food. The problem lies in the fact that many of us assume that the same is done for skin care products. Unfortunately, this isn’t so, thereby allowing some very harmful chemicals to be used in creating the products we use on a daily basis.

In order to ensure that what you are putting on your skin is safe, it’s best to choose organic skincare and avoid and discard any products you may see that contain the following…

Dirty Words that get under our skin (that you should avoid entirely):

  • Parabens
  • Mercury
  • Dioxane
  • Nitrosamines
  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates
  • Nanoparticles
  • Fragrance
  • DEA
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
  • Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40)
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Polyethylene Ethanol

Most of these compounds are absorbed easily by the skin and transported into the blooodstream, yet the body has no way of ridding itself of them. The toxins remain in your intestine and eventually get spread through the body potentially impacting our bodies’ functions and causing damage to organs and body systems.

We are all concerned about our health and well being, which means that it is important that we are proactive in choosing products that are good for our bodies.

Once you have become reasonably familiar with the harmful ingredients (the “dirty words” as we like to call them) that are so commonly used in skin care products, you will learn to recognize the difference between synthetic and natural & organic products.  Becoming a more informed consumer will allow you to make smart choices while shopping for your organic skin care products, and thus protecting your overall health.

We will look at these “dirty words” in greater detail in the next few weeks…in the meantime, check out EWG for more information on ingredients you may be questioning!

What I Learned From Owning an Organic Spa

What I Learned From Owning an Organic Spa

What I Learned from Owning an Organic Spa

Going green….natural living….you are what you eat….eat organic-eat local. All of these mantras sound great, and make great bumper stickers and t-shirts, but they never really reverberated with me until I opened up an organic spa. Now these statements do not merely mean buying organic strawberries, they play a much bigger role in my life, both as a business model and as a method of living.

As the owner of an organic spa, I believe very strongly in organic living, and of taking care of your body in the most natural way. As a spa owner, there are some key things that I have learned about living organic that have proved important to me:


1. Living Organic Needs to be Natural

The term organic is such a buzz word, and it encompasses so many topics and aspects, that quite honestly, it can be overwhelming. For me, an organic lifestyle has to come naturally and develop ‘organically’. Personally, the journey for me started as a child. Born in a small German village outside of Bavaria, I grew up organic without even realizing it. My Opa would take me out into the forest to pick mushrooms, and my Oma would always be in the kitchen blending herbs, flowers, and tonics. It was common to walk into the house and smell beautiful aromas like Melissa and lavender. My Mom, a licensed Naturopath, instilled a love for the earth and passion for healing early on as well. Little did I realize this was the start of my passion for organic living!

As an adult I became a licensed Massage Therapist, knowing that one day I would open my own practice, which ultimately led to opening Richmond’s only totally organic spa. It was only natural that I carry those memories of Germany with me. In the early stages of planning I knew that if I were to open a spa, I couldn’t just offer organic products as well as traditional products, so I began designing my spa to fit what I envisioned.

That is the key to me. Find what organic means to you, and incorporate it into your life. As a practical example, there is a ‘dirty dozen’ list of fruits and vegetables that floats around, helping you to understand what produce really should be organic and what you can get away with. For that to make sense you need to understand why, or else it can be confusing and annoying trying to figure out what produce must be organic. Some produce that is grown indigenously does not require pesticides because the natural environment has built up natural defenses around that plant, protecting it. On the flip side, you take a strawberry plant and force it to grow in an area it wouldn’t naturally grow, and the environment around it is not prepared to protect that plant, so insects and disease have an open window to wreak havoc.

2. Prioritize What is Important to You

Similar to the different levels of being a vegetarian, there are different degrees to being organic. You may know people that eat organic fruits and vegetables, then go get fast food on the weekends, and there are people that will not eat anything unless it is organic. There are people that try to eliminate chemicals and carcinogenic materials in their water bottles and kitchen items, and there are people that will only buy organic cotton and wool clothing. Making the decision to move your life in an organic direction takes work, and the first thing you need to do is prioritize where you want to make changes, then implement them accordingly.

As a spa owner, my first priority after eating organic is using organic skincare. After all, your skin is your body’s largest organ, so what you put on it plays a major role in your body’s health. As a simple example, look at the ingredients in your favorite perfume or cologne. Surprise, there are no ingredients listed! In many independent studies, it has been found that over 85% of the ingredients in perfume are potentially toxic or carcinogenic.

At the spa, we host essential oil workshops as well as skincare workshops. Ingredients in major skincare contain such ingredients as parabens, phthalates, petroleum, and hydroquinone (which has finally been banned). These toxic ingredients have significant links to cancer, stroke, are known endocrine disruptors, and wreak havoc on your body.

You have to prioritize what is important to you and your health, and then begin to make those changes. That said, you don’t have to jump all the way to replacing your medicine cabinet and makeup counter, but you can make little steps in the right direction.

3. Do Your Research

When I first made the jump from Massage Therapist to Spa Owner, I spent countless hours researching products, equipment, and everything that is needed to be an organic spa. I even looked at what I would use to properly do the laundry, because I did not want the towels that we use for facials to smell like bleach.

As I mentioned earlier, many major skincare products have potentially dangerous chemicals. But understanding what they are, why they could be dangerous, and what an alternative is takes research. Years ago, the sunscreen market went haywire, and companies were racing to bring us higher and higher SPF. Consumers, logical that they are, came to expect that SPF 80 is better than SPF 15. So why would anyone buy an SPF 30? Unfortunately the SPF race was almost entirely a marketing ploy, as anything over a 32 is a waste. Industry experts generally recommend 30-32, and do not support going higher. Understanding what the number means takes research.

4. Have Fun with Organic

Crash diets and fad diets…We have all done one, and we have all probably had the same results. Some immediate weight loss, but you are miserable doing it, and like a tea pot, when you reach a boiling point, you explode and consume everything within reach. The same can be true for other fads such as “going natural” or “going organic”. I’m sure you have seen more and more commercials or products out in the market place that claim they are organic or natural, but be aware, many times there are just a few ingredients that are natural or one or two ingredients are made with organic ingredients. This still leaves many chemical and unnatural ingredients in the products you use or foods you eat. So do your research and dig in and make sure you are really getting what you are looking for in the products you buy and consume. This takes time and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start with something that is important to you. If it is your food, then start there. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce the ingredients than you probably shouldn’t consume or use it! If you are starting to read your labels on your skincare and feel overwhelmed, we can help you! We have some amazing Master Estheticians who would love to go over your products with you and let you know what is and isn’t harmful for your skin. Going organic should not be considered a fad, instead a lifestyle change.

At the spa, after doing my research and finding the products and equipment that I was happy with, I instantly became proud of my spa, and couldn’t wait to share it with my clients. When I create a new service, or highlight a new ingredient line, I am super excited to share it with everyone, and my clients are equally enthusiastic. Every day I meet new clients at the spa from all over Richmond, VA that thank me for introducing them to a cleaner way to take care of their skin, and that is the real enjoyment.