Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not just a footnote

Yes, it's that time again! With raindrops instead of sunshine hitting our toes, we can't seem to get them into gorgeous boots fast enough. And who's complaining? Boots are, after all, a West Coast signature look, whether casual, vampish or somewhere in between.
Of course, fall and winter foot attire is also the perfect excuse to ignore our feet for another couple of months—until the festive season starts and strappy, toe-revealing sandals are pulled from the murky depths of our closets, or (even better) toted home in brand new boxes. Then it's off to the fainting couch when we see what disasters were lurking underneath the safety of our socks...

To help you avoid this annual rite of passage, Spa Utopia would like to remind you that just because you can't see your tootsies, doesn't mean they aren't there. And we're betting that, just about now, they could do with a refresher pedicure. Before we get to our various options (and a really fabulous special), here are a few things you need to watch out for, if you want to maintain foot health and beauty throughout the colder months:

The yukkies. Nasty things that develop when our feet are tucked into dark places include fungal infections of the toenails. The most common of these is known in medical circles as onychomycosis, (and among fastidious females as "that #$*!# toe thing again").  

Onychomycosis loves dark, damp places like running shoes and boots that are worn all day and never aired. The best way to avoid it is to remove shoes and socks whenever possible, and to wear footless pantyhose. A light dusting of powder will help keep your feet dry and discourage fungal growth.

Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is another fungal infection that thrives in dark, damp places and the same preventive measures apply. Both onychomycosis and athelete's foot affect both sexes, although men, being inveterate sock-wearers, experience athlete's foot more frequently.

If you are prone to fungal infections of the feet, we highly recommend Footlogix products, available in our spas and in our online store. #7 Anti-Fungal Cream is perfect for the prevention and treatment of athlete's foot, #7 Extra-Dry Skin Anti-Fungal Foam works miracles on dry skin that suffers from fungal infections, and #7 Nail Tincture is a wonderful toenail fungus prevention agent, with a little spout that reaches right under the nail!

When wishing to prevent fungal infections, it is also important to make sure that the spa that performs your pedicure has proper sanitation procedures. Spa Utopia adheres to the strictest standards of hygiene and sanitation.

Corns and calluses. We're all familiar with these hard areas of skin that develop as a means of protecting the feet from tight and/or rough areas of footwear (or from concrete, sand and rocks for people who love a closer connection with nature). They are best prevented by wearing footwear of appropriate size and shape. If you have a wide toe area, with toes of close-to-even length, you should aim for a square or roundish toe, instead of squeezing your feet into pointed shoes.

A regular pedicure will help keep calluses at bay (but licensing regulations do not permit spa technicians to treat corns). Wearing a corn pad minus the medicated disk, or some moleskin cut to size, can help prevent corns from getting worse, or developing in the first place.

Sweaty feet. While sweaty feet generally run in families (did we really write that?) and can't be prevented, associated foot odour can. Always wash your feet in the morning and dust with foot powder, body powder or corn starch. If you are planning to wear socks, make sure they are fresh ones. If possible, wash your feet again midday and, of course before you go to bed. Letting your feet out for an airing once in a while is a good idea.

To help your feet remain fabulous throughout fall and winter, Spa Utopia offers three pedicures: the Classic Express, Signature, and Exclusive.

The Classic Express 50-minute pedicure concentrates on foot essentials, including detailed grooming of the toenails, cuticles and soles, to promote good health. A light application of foot mousse to hydrate winter-dry feet is followed with CHI ceramic nail lacquer* or a buffing.

Our very popular 60-minute Signature pedicure provides detailed grooming, with a mineral salt exfoliation to reveal fresher skin and promote hydration. This is followed by a relaxing foot and leg massage, and the application of CHI ceramic nail lacquer* or buffing.

The 75-minute Exclusive pedicure provides the same detailed grooming, in addition to the application of alphahydroxy acids to dissolve and remove the dead skin that tends to build up around the sides and on the soles of the feet. Following a special leg treatment and foot-to-knee tension-relieving massage, your feet further benefit from a PerfectSense paraffin infusion mask, before your toenails are treated to CHI ceramic nail lacquer* or buffed.

* CHI ceramic nail lacquer is toluene and phthalate-free and contains anti-bacterial nano-silver.

A PerfectSense paraffin infusion mask may be added to the Classic Express and Signature pedicures (and is included in the Exclusive pedicure). The mask comprises medical grade paraffin, with multiple minerals and 11 vitamins, and invigorating essences of eucalyptus, mandarin, orange, spearmint and peppermint. The mask increases hydration and helps ease tired and achy joints, and is a much-loved part of Spa Utopia pedicures and manicures.

And now for our special:

Since party season is just around the corner and strappy shoes
are a must—even on the coldest of nights— be sure to keep your feet
looking great all winter long!
Or, plan a pedi-party with your BFFs!
Get 4 Signature Pedicures for the price of 3.

PLUS, receive a free litre of Rosemary Mint Body Lotion.

Total value: $380. + $39.98 = $419.98 (plus tax)

Special Price: $285. (plus tax)

SAVE 33% or $134.98

Don't miss out! Watch for our Tuesday morning eBlast...

Pictured Ballentine boot courtesy of The ALDO Group Inc.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beautiful, healthy skin. What does it really take?

One of the questions we frequently hear from guests of
Spa Utopia is How do I best maintain the appearance of my skin between visits? So we thought we'd provide a few insights...

Although it would be nice, a beautiful skin doesn't just "happen." Nor does a regular professional facial ensure that your skin looks its very best at all times. Skin, just like the rest of you, relies on daily attention—and that means feeding it, from the inside and out.

One of the very best things we can do for our skin is to make sure we eat and drink healthily, and that means plenty of fruits and vegetables. Purified water is the best beverage for glowing skin—at least four glasses a day. (It's not necessary to drink eight glasses of water a day unless you live in the desert, or work out enough to cause ongoing sweating.) Fruits and veggies contain a number of healthful vitamins and phytochemicals that help support the structures of the skin. Green tea too has been shown in many studies to help the skin look its very best. (In addition to sipping green tea, you might consider brewing a cup, letting it cool, then using it as a spray to refresh your skin.)

Are you getting enough iron? Vitamin C? Protein? All these are essential to maintain the skin's support structures.

Having a perfect skin also depends on what you apply from the outside. Keeping the skin clean is very important, so never skip on your nighttime cleansing routine, however tired you are. Be sure too, never to skip your daily application of sunscreen. This could be a mineral sunscreen such as Jane Iredale.

The general rule is cleanse, tone, moisturize/treat at night when removing makeup, and again in the morning to remove built-up oils. If you wear more than one coat of mascara, or waterproof mascara, you may benefit from using an eye makeup-remover, which will ensure you don't pull on sensitive skin around the eyes.

The array of professional skincare products/treatments formulated for specific skin types is broad, and you may want to ask a Spa Utopia Skin Care Therapist what is best for you. Today's skin care products are constantly evolving as researchers learn more about the skin's structure and ability to renew itself. Most treatment creams and lotions available at Spa Utopia work at the cellular level to ensure your skin looks its very best. Today's skin preparations are targeted not only to skin "type" but also to the skin's degree of maturity. As we age, the skin's supportive matrix—consisting of elastin and collagen—needs to be replenished, and this can, to a degree, be achieved with professional-quality creams, lotions and serums.

It is also important to make sure that you use products formulated specifically for the eyes and lips, as these areas have finer skin and different needs from other areas of the face, neck and décolleté.

Although a regular facial is essential for healthy-looking skin, you can do a lot to improve skin's texture and quality with targeted treatments such as exfoliants and masques. While it's not necessary to exfoliate every day, a weekly exfoliation will encourage the lower "fresher" cells of the skin to regenerate faster. A twice-weekly masque will help keep the skin hydrated.

Does your skin suddenly look less dewy? Are you breaking out? It could be that you simply need a change of skin care products. Like the rest of you, the skin sometimes gets tired of the "same old, same old" and benefits from something new. Just as a new exercise routine or dietary change can work wonders on your well-being, so a change of nutrients applied directly to the skin can improve its appearance.

Did you know that physical activity such as a brisk daily walk greatly enhances the appearance of the skin? When we become physically active, the blood pumps faster around the body, enhancing delivery of all the nutrients needed for a glowing, dewy look. In addition to providing oxygen to the skin, the blood also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from the cells of the skin.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, be sure to de-stress regularly and to get at least seven hours' shut-eye. Stress can wreak havoc on the loveliest of skins, causing dullness and a haggard appearance, and a lack of sleep can actually prevent the skin from properly renewing and replenishing itself, as these processes take place during sleep.

Of course, a regular professional facial, designed just for you, is something you cannot forfeit if you want to maintain a beautiful skin. The application of professional quality and strength skincare products is essential to keep your skin looking fresh and clear, with that all-important glow. We recommend that you have a professional facial once every six weeks to maintain your skin at the peak of perfection!

This week, Spa Utopia is offering the following skin-enhancing special, just in time for fall.

Sorry! Special is sold out.

75-minute Designed for U Exclusive Facial
regular price: $139 plus tax.

Special: $97.39 plus tax (a saving of 30% or $41.70!)

You will also receive 15% off professional Comfort Zone and DerMed products prescribed by your Spa Utopia Skin Care Therapist during your treatment.

(But hurry, only 100 available at this special low price...)
For more details, please watch out for our

Wednesday morning eBlast!