Topics on new techniques, treatments, spa experiences for natural skin care and well-being. Newest treatments and ingredients to achieve spa experiencs at home as well as learning about new spa retreats and what they offer.

Give Your Sweetheart a Sensory Spa Experience at Home

Home is where the heart, head and back are these days. The annual U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Time Use Survey shows that 24 percent of employed people did some or all of their work at home. Women spent an average of 2.6 hours, while men spent 2.0 hours a week doing household chores including housework, cooking, lawn care, and household management. As for leisure activity at home, watching TV occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day). It’s time to turn off the TV and enjoy some luxe wellness in your home! Here’s how you can create a sensory spa experience at home by focusing on and pleasing your five senses.


Sight – color

Warm, organic color tones inspired by nature promote feelings of health and wellness, bringing an outdoor airiness to even small rooms. Color psychology studies have shown the impact color can have on emotional well-being whether it elevates energy levels or relaxes the nervous system. Yellow, a warm color, encourages connection. Blue offers tranquility, harmony and calm. Green is a restful, relaxing, comfort color. For a spa experience the idea is to have one color flowing together in complementary shades, not a mish mosh of contrasting colors. Of course, clear any clutter from eyesight. Add a glow to your skin by cleansing, exfoliating, eating antioxidant-rich foods, and hydrating.


Sound – silence

The World Health Organization has warned that too much noise puts our bodies into a fight or flight mode that increases stress hormones, elevates blood pressure and aggravates skin conditions. Silence however relaxes the body even more so than when playing classical music. Enjoy the peace that silence brings. New brain cells linked to learning and emotion are created after two hours of silence. Communicate without words. Leave any electronic devices behind. Even the anticipation of an email, text or call draws your attention. Consume silence, most of our “aural diets” are overloaded with noise. Consider that it is the silent intervals around musical notes that trigger the most positive brain activity according to neuroscientists at Stanford University. Brain neurons fire in the absence of sound allowing the mind to maintain attention and set memories.


Touch – texture

A soft rug under your feet, warm bath water, plush towels around your shoulders. These tactile touches are felt through your skin and add interest to the intentional space you are creating for your spa experience. Explore the subtlety of touch. Touch soothes and bonds us with others. It stimulates oxytocin, the love hormone. While bathing massage the scalp, use a scrub or body brush to nurture your skin. Acknowledge the pleasure it brings. Moisturize your body using long strokes while applying a natural, organic body cream. Moisturizing is an easy, effective way to relax. Massage elbows, knees, ankles and feet using firm but light circular motions to calm the body and mind. Touch is the best way to regain focus and de-stress.


Smell – aroma

Natural aromas from lavender soap, flowers, or essential oils are some of the options you can use to breathe in the relaxing, romantic atmosphere you’ve created. Smell is our strongest sense associated with memory. Create an unforgettable experience by incorporating aroma in your mix of sensory details. A reed diffuser dispenses a favorite scent naturally. Skin care containing essential oils offers a subtle, fleeting scent to the skin.


Taste Red wine, ginger tea, chocolate

Swish a sip of red wine or ginger tea around in your mouth and savor its distinct flavor. Red wine contains resveratrol, a plant compound that helps relieve stress and is healthy for your heart according to recent studies. Ginger tea is known to relieve stress and tension. You may want to pair your beverage with a piece of dark chocolate that contains 70 to 85% cocoa. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants. It also contains flavanols that protect skin against sun damage. It improves blood flow to the skin and increases skin hydration.


These are just some ideas that can help you create a spa experience at home that celebrates the senses. We think you’ll agree that it’s better than working, doing chores, or watching TV.   (Image: Jonathan Borba | Pexels)

Quick Massage Techniques for Healthy Skin

Touch is the first form of communication we learn as babies. We understand this language through our skin. Our skin is constantly changing through cell renewal. Here are some quick massage techniques for healthy skin that can easily become a part of your skincare routine.  Enjoy luxe wellness at home.

Dry brush body massage

A favorite skincare technique used by holistic massage therapist Tayonon Gbala is dry brushing. To dry brush your body, she recommends using a natural bristle brush without water. “Make circular motions on the arms, legs, and back to exfoliate and release toxins naturally. These parts of the body, while not as outwardly visible as the face and hands need attention,” she says. Dry brushing stimulates blood circulation and improves lymphatic functions. Tayonon likes all-natural brushes from Spa Sister and Earth Therapeutics. To reach your back, select a long handle brush. Hydrate the skin after dry brushing with a body moisturizer. To keep skin well hydrated during her tissue body massages, Tayonon applies YASOU hydrating body cream. “I like the natural, vitamin rich ingredients and quick absorption into the skin,” she says.


Face massage

Face massage can be as simple as applying slight pressure with fingers while washing your face with a cleanser or applying a moisturizer to damp skin. But there are techniques that can help you keep your skin glowing. Many people hold tension in their face muscles. Some are concerned about signs of aging. We asked estheticians Nikki Seagrest and Kimberly Rosendorn at Enhance Lash Studio about facial massage techniques you can do at home between professional facials. “Massage brings more blood flow to the surface and increases collagen production making it a natural anti-ager,” Nikki says. Kimberly describes a motion technique for home massage. “After applying product, use your hands with gentle pressure to glide from the inner portion of your face out and upward to give yourself a natural face lift.” They recommend using a jade roller at home to help serums penetrate deeply into the skin. When kept in the refrigerator, the jade roller can help reduce puffiness and inflammation.

Based on skin type, Nikki uses a carrier oil to massage. “Jojoba is great for oily skin since it is most similar to the skin’s molecular structure. Grapeseed is a non-comedogenic oil that can be used on all skin types while Rosehip oil is suitable for drier, more mature skin. Adding essential oils like frankincense, tea tree or lavender enhance the experience,” she says. Like many people, their clients are looking for non-invasive, natural solutions to keep skin healthy.

Whatever technique you use, first cleanse the face and remove any makeup. Rub skin care products between your clean hands before applying. The warmth from your hands improves absorption. You can also try steaming your face with a home steamer to soften pores.



Breath exercises indirectly benefit skin health by providing more oxygen and relieving stress. Tayonon shared this exercise which she uses in her selfcare program. In the morning, to get yourself stimulated start with your tongue at the roof of your mouth and keep mouth slightly open. Rapidly breathe in through the nose three times and exhale through the nose three times for 10 to 15 seconds. Over time try to expand that time to one minute each morning. When you need to relax, inhale four times, hold for seven seconds, then exhale eight times.

Take a few moments each day to get out of your head and into your body. You may discover trigger points, reflexes, over use patterns, where pain originates and pleasure too. The body is good at masking issues but also revealing truths. Use these quick massage techniques and you will become fluent in how touch nourishes healthy skin

Skin Care and Dermaroller Micro Needling

If you want to enhance the absorption of luxe wellness topical skin care products to rejuvenate your skin dermaroller micro needling can be an effective and safe choice. Dermaroller micro needling involves repetitive puncturing of the skin with microneedles to create tiny holes called micro-channels on the top layers of the skin. In healing these wounds, the skin generates growth factors that stimulate the production of collagen and elastin while also allowing topicals to reach deeper into the skin.

Multiple options exist for adding micro-needling to your skin care regime. I favor first visiting a dermatologist’s office to discuss your skin care concerns and expectations. Get their advice for best treatment options for your skin. If your goal is to reduce acne scars and wrinkles through dermaroller micro needling be aware that needle depth and experience using the tool is important. Ask about home use dermarollers for enhancing absorption of your current skin care products. A dermatologist can demonstrate the best way for using a dermaroller to avoid tearing or harming your skin. You can pose questions on micro-needling to physicians at sites like this one, but these answers are not specific to your skin. If you prefer the more relaxed environment of a spa, seek out estheticians who are trained and certified in dermaroller micro needling.

Skin Care Before Dermaroller Micro Needling

Use a skin cleanser that thoroughly removes impurities including oils, lotions and dirt. Fresh, clean skin improves your complexion and readies it for the micro needling process. Keep your skin well moisturized as dermaroller micro needling can dry the skin temporarily. Immediately before the process, clear off any lotions, makeup or sunscreen. You don’t want impurities entering the exposed skin layers. Never use a dermaroller on inflamed skin or active acne. Wait until the condition has cleared.

Skin Care Afer Dermaroller Micro Needling

Dermaroller micro-needling will cause skin to redden. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Hydrate with a moisturizer that won’t irritate the skin. Be sure to use products you trust that contain healthy nurturing ingredients. Avoid toxic ingredients and chemical peels. Hyaluronic acid from botanicals will hydrate and help reduce redness. Moisturizers containing vitamins A, C and E support the skin in its effort to generate collagen and elastin. These vitamins’ anti-inflammatory abilities can help skin heal after dermaroller micro needling. To avoid potential infection, leave skin bare. Wait 24 hours for micro channels to close before applying makeup.

Micro needling will boost the absorption rate of topical products. Choose your luxe wellness products carefully. Check with your dermatologist or trained aesthetician on what products and ingredients are best for you.

Scientific research and dermatologists’ observations show that micro-needling can repair the structure of skin by building collagen and elastin. It can also normalize skin cell function, treat wrinkles, pigmentation problems, and scars.

Tayonon Holistics: Why You Should Be Dry Brushing

Dry Brushing involves a gentle scrubbing down of the entire body with a soft but firm brush to remove the thin layer of dry dead skin.  It’s an ancient technique that has resurfaced today and has existed in different cultures for centuries as a beauty and health practice. Each culture has its own preference on incorporating ingredients and style to this technique.   All of them are AMAZING with similar and beneficial end-results. The treatment is known to enhance circulation to the lymph and digestive system as well as hydration to the skin when you apply moisturizer after the brushing.

Today we are speaking with one of our favorite wellness partners Tayonon Gbala of Tayonon Holistics to ask her some question about Dry Brushing and why we should do it.

YASOU: Hello Tayonon.   Thank you for speaking with us today about Dry Bushing but first can you give us a short overview about what you do and what services you offer?

Tayonon:  Your very welcome, it’s always a pleasure to share. I am a business owner, entrepreneur, and a holistics massage therapist. I am an expert in my field of self-care and personal well-being with 18 ½ years of professional experience under my belt.  I take an integrative approach to my work. I teach and facilitate awareness. My services center around guidance on how to connect my clients deeper sense of awareness to healthful action. The service offerings are based in traditional western style massage therapy, body treatments, aromatherapy, guided breath work, meditation and Asian body work. One on one education, implementation and life integration of daily self-care practices and regimes. More specifically Swedish, Myofascial, and Deep Tissue Massage, Aromatherapy massage, essential oil consultations, Japanese Shiatsu pressure point work, table and floor Thai massage and programs.

YASOU: You have a lot of experience that’s why we wanted to speak with you. We have been wellness partners now for about three years and we have learned so much from you about what wellness means and the connection of it to health and beauty.   With all that said. Why is Dry Brushing important?

Tayonon:  Dry brushing is important for many reasons. The most important is that your skin is the largest organ in your body and is responsible for a significant amount of our body’s daily detoxification process. Dry brushing your skin improves the process of toxin removal, it increases blood circulation and helps your skin absorb nutrients. Dry brushing on a regular basis sets your skin up perfectly to receive proper hydration. Properly hydrated skin equals healthy skin.

YASOU: What are the health and skin benefits of it?

Tayonon: The health and skin benefits of regular dry brushing are vast,  a few of the best benefits in my opinion are improvement of internal body functions like digestion, kidney function and rejuvenation of  your nervous system that promotes stress relief. The Skin benefits are brighter, smoother exfoliated skin with a reduction in the appearance of cellulite and the removal of dead skin cells that promotes cell renewal bringing forth fresh newly regenerated skin.

YASOU:You have created a dry brushing treatment for YASOU skin care called “Nero” Dry Brushing treatment can you tell our audience about it?

Tayonon: YASOU! (YASOU in Greek means “a toast to your health”) This treatment is a toast to your health and a celebration of your skin. Nero is the Greek word for water meaning to restore moisture. The “Nero” dry brushing body treatment  was designed to detoxify the body, boost your immunity, rehydrate your skin and reduce stress. This service consist of a full body dry skin brushing technique, a hot towel compress that soothes and cleanses your exfoliated skin. Next your skin will have a swedish massage treatment applying YASOU hydrating body cream which will quickly be absorbed into your skin on a cellular level. This application will thoroughly rehydrate your skin and set in your body’s relaxation response significantly reducing stress in your mind and body that will last long after your treatment.

YASOU:Why did you create this treatment?

Tayonon:  I created this treatment to teach and encourage my clients to implement and integrate the healthful practice of dry skin brushing and hydrating your skin as a home care routine. In addition I recommend receiving a professional treatment seasonally and making it a staple of your seasonal wellness regime. This promotes an ease of health in your mind & body during the transitions from one season to the next.

Lastly, I want to express how important water is to the proper function of our bodies and to life itself. Regularly replenishing your water through drinking fluids, eating hydrating foods and using topical water based products like YASOU skin care can help your body replenish the daily loss of water it experiences. This is very important because if water is not replenished adequately in our bodies it can cause dysfunction and damage to your health.  Replenishing the water in your body makes a tremendous difference in whether or not you experience OPTIMAL total health

YASOU: Can you please give us info. on how someone can book an appointment with you to have the “Nero”  Dry Brushing Treatment?

Tayonon: You can book and receive your “Nero Dry Brushing Treatment” at the private boutique office of Tayonon Holistics located in the Chicago neighborhood of River North 820 North Orleans St., Chicago, IL 60610 or at Serenity Acupuncture located at 503 Madison Ave., Oak Park, IL 60304

Please call or email for your appointment 630-235-8954

YASOU:  Thank you Tayonon for speaking with us today and for all you do.  We love you!

Top 3 Facials You Need to Try

Summer brings longer, brighter, hotter and drier days all of which can impact your skin. To get some relief and keep your skin glowing, try some of the new facials that can soothe, cleanse, soften and hydrate the skin no matter what your age or skin type. Facials can help detour damage to your skin now and into the future. It’s important to find a licensed aesthetician who will assess the condition of your skin, make recommendations, and customize treatments based on your skin type and personal objectives. Seek out a comfortable and relaxing place for your facial. It should be a good sensory experience. Ask if a soothing face and neck massage is included.

Hydra Facial
The hydra facial offers deep cleansing, exfoliation, and extraction. Impurities and dead skin cells are removed. The skin is quenched and nourished with nutrients including hyaluronic acid, anti-oxidants and peptides that give the skin a healthy glow. It’s a soothing experience with no-side effects such as redness or tingling. The glycolic/salicylic acid peel is gentle to the skin. A collagen-rich serum supports skin elasticity and hydrates while firming skin and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Anti-Aging Facial
We all want to age gracefully. Anti-aging facials are a preventive measure for people in their late twenties through their forties. Such facials nourish and hydrate the skin. They focus primarily on exfoliation, deep-pore cleansing with extraction, moisturizing, and may include enzymes, anti-oxidant serums, chemical peels, and scrubs to brighten the skin and reduce wrinkles. “Paying attention to your skincare now will help you avoid more costly and invasive procedures later in life.”

The Brightening Facial emphasizes evening out skin tone. It targets hyperpigmentation and uses Vitamin C and other strong anti-oxidants to support the skin’s natural defenses. Topically applied masks and acid treatments are used.

The Fruit Acid Facial relies on the many natural acids contained in fruit. When mixed in scrubs and cleansers these acids deliver many benefits to the skin. Lemon brightens. The malic acid in apples exfoliates. Pineapple and papaya may be mixed into an exfoliating paste. A cranberry-enzyme peel may be used for extraction. Fruit acid-infused facials cleanse, hydrate, and improve the skin’s tone and texture.

The teenage years may be over but many adults still have breakouts. Fruit enzymes along with antioxidants and hydrating agents offer a deep cleanse to reduce the appearance of blemishes and redness. Another fruit acid facial is the Alpha Hydroxy Acid facial that relies on AHA acids derived from fruits and flowers. Formulated into a cream and applied topically AHAs are known for nourishing skin.

Reverse the Sign of Time Facial
By the time you’ve reached your fifties, sixties and older your skin begins to thin. If not well cared for throughout the previous years dry, dull skin with lines and wrinkles may be the first thing you see when looking at yourself in the mirror. The Reversing Sign of Time facials can help soften the appearance of aged skin. However, it may be a longer and more expensive process than during the anti-aging facial years.

Contouring facials strengthen the face muscles using a tool that can help define features such as cheekbones. LED facials use special lights to stimulate cell regrowth and diminish spots. Laser toning energizes the skin, evens out pigmentation and texture, and stimulates long-term collagen production. Microdermabrasion is a non-surgical option for what some describe as an “instant facelift.” A tool used buffs away the surface of the skin stimulating collagen production and cellular renewal. It leaves the skin soft and minimizes the appearance of skin damage. The Botinol Line Defense Facial provides a Botox like effect, using a combination of peptides with Vitamin A. Fine lines and wrinkles are relaxed without the use of needles.
Your aesthetician will recommend how often treatments are required to keep your skin healthy and rejuvenated.

While doing our research we uncovered some interesting, nature-focused facial products being introduced for facials. Here are a few of them.

• Hungarian massage techniques that boost circulation with hot & cold herbal masks

• Skin purifying treatment with essential tea tree and white thyme oils to diminish spots.

• Pleasant aromas and antioxidant infusion products made entirely of fruits, herbs and vegetables.

• Moisturizing and plumping skin with algae masks.

Don’t forget your home skincare after having your facial. Apply SPF to protect skin from sun damage, add a cellular day cream in the morning and a cellular night cream at bedtime.

Our next blog post will cover skincare tips for brides. If you or anyone you know is getting married soon please come back and read it. The tips are applicable

A Spa Day For You and Your Skin

With so many different Spa Treatments to choose from it can become overwhelming. There are treatments to simply unwind and relax at popular resorts, to wellness clinics or day spas. Deciding what you want your end results to be can help you determine which treatments may be best for you.

Today we are going to focus on our top four spa treatments for your skin. You can choose to do all four in a day or incorporate one or more in your spa day. Either way they will enhance your health, beauty and well-being!

1) Body Exfoliation Treatment
An exfoliating treatment is practiced upon the entire body and prepares the skin for better re-mineralization. The combination of massage and exfoliation facilitates hydration, removes dead cells from the skin and essentially speeds up the skin renewal process. It is only when you exfoliate, that your skin can allow its healthy cells to surface, further reducing fine lines and wrinkles. This treatment will also have your skin feeling incredibly soft. It can also have a detoxifying effect on your entire system. We also recommend that you ask to have moisturizer applied to your body after this treatment.

2) LED Light Therapy Facial
This facial treatment uses three different light modes – red, blue and white.
Red light modes on an LED light therapy mask are the most universal LED light because they stimulate collagen production. They may also reduce inflammation, promote circulation and target your skin’s oil glands to reduce substances that can cause chronic acne if your skin is acne-prone.

Blue light modes on an LED light are known for antimicrobial effects because it causes the development of oxygen radicals that kill the bacteria specific to acne without damaging surrounding healthy skin. The great thing about using blue LED light to treat acne is that it doesn’t cause any dryness or peeling.

White light modes on an LED light therapy mask have the longest wavelengths and therefore goes the deepest into the skin. The white light is used for a variety of skin rejuvenating effects, including tightening and toning the skin, healing acne scars, erasing sun damage or dark spots, and reducing inflammation.

LED facial masks, also known as Color Light Therapy, use UV-free specific wavelengths to boost collagen production, promote circulation, treat existing acne, kill bacteria, and accelerate skin recovery. By harnessing the natural power of LED light, these facials may create remarkable skin rejuvenation effects that last for weeks.

Make sure to have your face cleansed before your treatment and moisturize after your treatment!

3) Paraffin Treatment for Hands and Feet
Paraffin is a soft, liquid wax—plain, or juiced-up with essential oils. Because of its heat-conducting and moisture-retaining properties, the ingredient is most commonly used to hydrate, soften and relax dry skin, or prep hands and feet pre-mani or pedicure. The result is soft, moisturized skin devoid of cracks or dry patches. We love it!

4) Thalassotherapy Treatment
This treatment is therapeutic utilizing seawater, seaweed, and other natural elements from the sea (i.e., salt scrubs, algae wraps, etc.). The name comes from the Greek word thalassa, meaning “sea”). It is the medical use of seawater as a form of therapy.

Thalassotherapy has the capability to improve a number of conditions, including aches, pains, migraines, stress, chronic disease, and skin problems. Increasingly, people are turning to thalassotherapy for its anti-aging treatments. It has become a favorite treatment for cellulite reduction and muscle toning both for its effectiveness as well as its calming approach. The causes of cellulite are generally attributed to poor blood circulation and a build-up of toxins, so an overall thalassotherapy treatment can release these agents while providing other benefits. Some spas offer this treatment but to receive a “true” thalassotherapy treatment you need the use of sea water and marine based products for health and beauty. The only sea water spa we found which was classified as a thalassotherapy spa center in the United States was at Gurney’s Inn in Montauk, New York.

Giving yourself a spa day is not just about a day of fun and pampering. It’s really about giving yourself a day of wellness, offering your mind, body, and skin immediate health benefits!


How LED Light Therapy Revitalizes Skin

It’s no longer a question of whether but how LED light therapy revitalizes our brain and body. We’re excited because it’s a natural, noninvasive, non-toxic way to enhance the look and feel of your skin while boosting energy and imposing calm. Scientific research supports the benefits of LED light therapy. It’s been likened to a sense of well being similar to that derived from meditation.

What makes LED light therapy effective? The simple answer is that the skin absorbs particles of light elevating a cell’s ATP. For those who have forgotten their anatomy class, ATP is the energy molecule within a cell. For skin health, the light stimulates the production of collagen and elastin on a cellular level. Various colors of light emitting diodes (LEDs) are used to relax brainwaves and recharge the body.

We didn’t want to rely on product reviews and reported celebrity use. Instead we culled through some of the scientific research including from NASA. We then talked with Yvonne Hedecker, Co-Founder of Light Health Research, LLC, who manufactures a personal phototherapy system that uses LED light to create energy in the body. Yvonne was an early adaptor of LED light technology and has watched the industry grow from skepticism to enthusiastic support.

YASOU Why are people drawn to LED light therapy now?

YVONNE: It’s a calming, relaxed experience. Demand is coming from those who embrace natural, effective solutions. People are using it for healthy skin, hair, hands, feet and nails. Also to improve sleep, increase energy levels and reduce stress. Hospitals use it in neonatal care units and for healing wounds.

YASOU Where is LED light therapy offered?

YVONNE: To try it out some people go to a medi-spa or a dermatologist’s office to receive treatments that are usually 30 minutes long. When I started in 2007, I provided sessions in my office with a large, very expensive machine. We developed a personal use compact machine that weighs six pounds called DreamSpa™. It’s professional grade with 300 lights including blue turquoise, red and infrared that are programmed at appropriate frequencies for different effects.

YASOU What’s the process?

YVONNE: There’s no pain or heat involved. I recommend people stay hydrated, rinse their face with water, and keep their eyes closed throughout the session. The lights pulse creating a particular range of biophotonic waves that relax the brain and stimulate cells. Even when focused on the face, hands, and feet there’s a systemic effect. Daily use is fine. The effect is cumulative. You can start at any age and reap benefits.

YASOU Is there maintenance or aftercare involved?

YVONNE: I use an all natural moisturizing cream once a day, that’s all.

YASOU What is it about LED Light Therapy that keeps you committed to it?

YVONNE: Our bodies are filled with light. It’s how cells communicate and regenerate. It’s a safe, natural way to enhance energy, beauty and well being. That’s something I want to share with people everywhere. It’s a natural way to be healthier and enjoy life.

Yvonne gets asked lots of questions about DreamSpa™ and LED Light Therapy. She’s included a FAQ page and additional information on the Light Health Research website if you want to know more.

Why Add Massage to Your Skin Care Regime?

Massage feels good so you may think you are simply indulging yourself. However, massage has a variety of health benefits. Two primary benefits for the skin are how massage increases blood flow and decreases stress. The pressure applied during massage infuses the skin tissue with circulating blood. The increased flow of blood nourishes the skin and gets it glowing.

Blood flow also supports the lymphatic system, which drains toxins away from cells making room for nutrients to move in. A dull complexion may become brighter.

People like massage because it is often relaxing and soothing. When a person’s stress level is reduced, particular skin conditions such as rosacea can be relieved and may occur less often. Studies show that massage can help relieve depression and anxiety by reducing a person’s cortisol levels.

What to look for
Not all massages are alike. The amount of pressure, movements and techniques can vary. Oils, aromatic essences and lotions may be used. Some massages rely on stimulating acupressure points to activate the body’s energy flow. Some may rely more heavily on rubbing or manipulating muscles. Reflexology uses hand, finger and thumb techniques to stimulate areas on the feet and hands. Tayonon Gbala, a licensed massage therapist and owner of A Balanced You in Chicago, takes a holistic approach. She offers massage as a platform and pathway to total wellness>

If you want massage to be a part of your skin care regime consider the following:

– Identify any problem areas with your skin and express those to your masseuse. (For serious skin conditions discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor.)

– What style of massage and techniques will the masseuse use?

– If you are concerned about products used on your skin ask about ingredients.

– Will they personalize your massage to benefit your skin care type?

– Is the masseuse state certified? Some hold dual licenses as massage therapist and aesthetician.

– You can also learn self-massage techniques and make it a daily practice.

If you like using oil or lotion with massage Gbala offers three essential oil blends including Lavender and Sandalwood for calming and centering, Eucalyptus and Orange blossom for awaking and brightening, and Ylang Ylang and Grapefruit for emotional balance. She also uses YASOU Body Cream that contains extra virgin olive, coconut, and jojoba oil with other natural ingredients that are good for the skin.

Self massage techniques
Begin your self-massage in a quiet place. Rub body parts with your fingertips, thumbs, or palms. A short kneading motion in circles or back and forth will work. Begin gently and increase pressure to a level that is comfortable for you.

Face massage
On your face, use gentle upward strokes towards the ears, around the eyes and lips. Use circular motion on the cheeks and forehead.

Hand massage
For your hands, soak them first in warm water. Begin with strong circular strokes as if you are washing your hands. At the base of each finger gently pull outward to the fingertips. With the thumb, rub the palm of the hand in circular motions. With the palm down make long strokes with the thumb between the bones toward your wrists. Another hand massage technique is to position one of your palms upward and use the other hand to press the palm-up fingers back toward your wrist. Hold for several seconds. After massaging your hands apply YASOU’s vegan hand cream to hydrate and soothe them

Limb massage
Use long up and down strokes on your limbs and circular motions on your joints. If they are dry with rough spots apply YASOU body cream to moisturize.

Scalp massage
Boost blood flow to your scalp and reduce dandruff by massaging your scalp. Rub your fingertips in small circular motions around the scalp and ears.

Foot massage
Begin a foot massage with clean hands and feet. Sit in a comfortable position with your foot on your thigh. With both hands rotate the foot at the ankle. For the sole, put one hand on top and the other on your sole. With short strokes rub your hands across the foot back and forth. Gently stretch your toes back.

Whether you go to a professional or perform self-massage, learning how to relax and improve blood circulation through massage is a step toward well being and healthy skin.

Interview with Tayonon Gbala of “A Balanced You Holistic Massage Therapy”

At YASOU natural skin care we believe that “Health = Happiness=Beauty.” To achieve this you need to look at your beauty regime in a big picture sort of way. That is why we are thrilled to have Tayonon Gbala of A Balanced You Holistic Massage Therapy spend some time with us to talk about what this all means!

YASOU: Hi Tayonon! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be speaking with you today on how “A Balanced You” connects to Health, Happiness and Beauty. Can you tell us about what A Balanced You means and why it’s important?

Tayonon: A Balanced you means to me bringing proportion, physical equilibrium and mental/emotional/ spiritual steadies to my clients through practicing the art of Holistic Massage Therapy. Cultivating balance is tremendously important because it translates to a longer health span and quality of life.

YASOU: What got you on the path to wellness and starting “A Balanced You “?

Tayonon: What got me on my path to wellness and starting A Balanced You was I was going through my own personal holistic health transformation. I researched finding the right personal trainer for me and made health and fitness my first priority. In the 3 years I’ve been in business I have maintained a fifty pound weight loss.

YASOU How long have you been a Massage Therapist and what is different about Holistic Massage Therapy from regular Massage?

Tayonon: I have been a Massage Therapist for 15 years. What’s different about Holistic Massage is having an open-minded perspective; training and learning more than just western style massage modalities. Learning for myself, applying and teaching my clients that massage therapy is one facet of the greater landscape of being well and whole. The focus is on proving the most effective combination of Massage, Breath and Asian bodywork. Incorporating YASOU hydrating body cream into my signature deep Swedish massage further deepens and empowers my clients’ wellness landscape.

YASOU: We all know how important exercise and eating the right food is for ones well being. Is what we apply on our skin part of a wellness regime?

Tayonon: Absolutely! What we apply to our skin is equally as important as what we eat. Optimal health and vitality comes from the inside out. The combination of exercise, eating healthy and applying nourishing YASOU natural skin care is the way to optimal health.

YASOU Does having healthy skin affect one’s mental health?

Tayonon: Yes! Health and vitally are shown through the skin, and when your skin is healthy and vibrant, it directly affects a positive mental self-perception and attitude.

YASOU: If you had one tip to help us get on a path to a more balanced lifestyle what would that be?

Tayonon: The best tips I can offer to help you kick-start your path to balance is to be curious and educate yourself. Ok that’s two tips but I think you need both.

YASOU: Tayonon thank you so very much for partnering with YASOU natural skin care and for chatting with us. We really appreciate it. Before letting you go can you please give us your info and mention a few of your services. I have tried you’re signature massage and your Thai Massage and love them!

Tayonon: I’m so glad you enjoyed My Signature Deep Swedish featuring your amazing YASOU Hydrating Body Cream, and the Thai massage. One of my favorite services I offer is called PR&R- Pause (Breathe) Relax (Stretch) Restore (meditate) it’s a session of Breath work, Zen-Shiatsu stretching and Meditation practice. The session provides my clients with the tools to create their own daily grounding and centering practice. This service acts as a foundation for building the framework of a balanced life.

Thank you so much YASOU Skin Care From A Balanced You.

FEEL, BE, & GROW For more info please visit my website at

YASOU: It was really a pleasure. Remember Love Your Self, Love Your Skin. YASOU!