In honour of Valentine’s Day – or better yet, Galentine’s Day! – we thought it would be a great time to chat self-care with Gretchen Oppenheim, our favourite skincare expert. Gretchen is the owner of Wildflower Beauty Bar, a Port Moody-based spa specializing in holistic esthetic services. Here’s a peek at our conversation…
TSA: Gua sha massage and jade rolling are both getting a lot of buzz right now as simple, yet very effective, techniques to add to one’s skincare routine. Can you tell us the main difference between the two?
GO: Jade rollers, in general, are great tools for a quick de-puffing and gentle, daily detox of the face. They are great tools for those who are new to face massage or for acne prone/irritated skin types. When used properly they encourage the flow of lymph fluids to help drain excess water and metabolic waste out of the skin. Jade rolling is quick, easy to do, and only takes about 1 minute per day.
Gua Sha boards are more versatile tools. They help with de-puffing and detoxing the skin but they are especially useful tools for lifting, contouring and smoothing out wrinkles. A good gua sha routine should take about 7-10 minutes and best done at least 3x per week.
(Not familiar with gua sha massage? Gretchen has some great how-to videos, including this one!)
TSA: What does your personal daily skincare routine consist of?
GO: My morning routine consists of a gentle cleanse, 1-2 serums, a quick jade roll and a final layer moisturizer. All in this takes me about 2 minutes. My evening routine is the same except 3x/week I swap out the jade rolling for a few minutes of facial gua sha. On those evenings I use a plant based hydrating elixir alongside an oil based serum in place of my other serums and moisturizer so I have a nice glide for my facial gua sha massage.
TSA: What are some of your go-to self care indulgences, skincare or otherwise?
GO: Baths and lots of facial massage. I’m currently obsessed with baths and often do facial gua sha while I’m bathing. I also never compromise on my skincare. I don’t use many products at once but I make sure everything I’m using is appropriate for the season and how my skin is feeling.
TSA: Being so closely looped into the skincare sector, what’s a current trend that you personally find most surprising?
GO: What surprises me most, and what I’m so happy to see, is how quickly the beauty sector has shifted to more holistic ways of managing skin. Skincare trends have leaned towards aggressive treatments – peels, lasers and harsh topicals. Now we’re learning to look at the body as a whole unit, each part functioning to support another. The skin is no longer viewed as a separate entity from the rest of the body to be shed at will but as a part of the body that must be nurtured from the inside out. For example, peels and aggressive laser treatments were all the rage a few years ago but in the wake of those treatments there is a call to rebalance the after effects caused to the skin. We’ve learned that over exfoliation, aggressive ablation and harsh topical treatments cause the skin to become weakened and depleted. The skin is your body’s shield. If constantly stripped away, it becomes vulnerable and moves into an emergency response state making new skin quickly to protect the body, eventually resulting in weak, depleted skin. With holistic minded skincare we concentrate on feeding and nourishing the skin so it can continue to function at its best. This results in radiant, vital skin that is sustainable for a lifetime.
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Thanks Gretchen! And, if you are looking to kickstart your own self-care routine, we highly recommend booking a treatment with Gretchen. Insider tip: Our team loves the Lift and Glow Gua Sha Facial Treatment and the Revita-Infusion Facial. 🙂