It Cold Outside - 5 skincare tips for the colder weather

Icy pavements, chilling winds, sky-high heating bills and frosted car windshields are all part and parcel of the winter experience. And here's another seasonal fact: your skin can suffer during the colder months too. Thankfully, al Covo has everything you need to help fend off any winter grooming woes.Or, come in for a Men's Facial Treatment and let me ease the strain.

As the winter months sets in and the weather turns colder, windier and drier, a change in your skin care routine is necessary. Loss of moisture is the most obvious problem for skin in winter cold temperatures and drying winds do their part to lower humidity.

Likewise, conditions indoors are harsh on skin with arid central heating drying it out. Couple these issues with the fact that your skin produces less oil as you age and it's easy to understand how your skin can quickly become prone to dehydration. But there is hope...

1.Keep it clean

The very first thing to consider for your skin during the winter months is how you clean it. Forget about harsh soaps, this will only strip away natural oils and rob your skin of moisture even more. Instead, start and end each day with a mild face wash - your skin will feel clean without the feeling of tightness. Try Neals Yard Remedies Organic Men’s Facial Wash - A refreshing, mild facial cleanser especially formulated for men's skin. Gentle enough for daily use. Removes excess oil and debris from the skin's surface without stripping away vital moisture. More...

The Taming of the Shaving Rash

For many men, razor burn is part and parcel of shaving. Thankfully with a little bit of know-how, and the right products, the post-shave burn can be a thing of the past. Come into al Covo for a Traditional Men's Wet Shave Treatment, to enjoy a double shave (both with and against the hair growth), hot and cold flannels and all these products to leave the skin soft, smooth and feeling good after your shave.

Razor burn occurs after shaving off protruding hair follicles and irregular skin surfaces, and can lead to ingrown hairs, rashes and even infection. However, if you develop smart grooming habits, you can put the days of irritated skin and blood-specked collars behind you.

First of all - a good shave starts before you actually shave.  The area you’re going to shave needs to be clean and thoroughly wet before you begin.  That means washing the area with lots of warm water or (even better) a wash cloth with hot, steamy water, which should be held to the skin for several minutes. Be sure to use a product made for the face - regular soap will strip the skin’s natural oil, drying the skin out. 

Pre-shave oil helps prevent razor burn, and is especially good for those with heavy beards or those prone to razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Apply the oil a few minutes before shaving, but do it gently and don't rub it on. This will soften your hair, make shaving easier and help prevent the razor burn in the first place. Next, thoroughly massage shave cream or gel into the stubble in circular upward motions. More...

5 steps to the perfect men's shave

Shaving while maintaining smooth and supple skin takes a lot more than a splash of water, a hand mirror and a rusty blade - follow these five easy steps to clean shaven heaven.

1) First steam the face with a hot, wet towel to open the pores. Apply a shaving oil in upward motions to the face and neck to loosen the bristles and reduce razor friction. Pre-Shave Oil such as those produced by The Shave Doctor or Neals Yard Remedies Organic, contain skin conditioning Vitamin E and healing Calendula making it especially good for those with heavy beards or those prone to razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

2) Next apply shaving cream or gel to the face, either with fingers or a shaving brush in circular movements, lathering well.  For more sensitive skins, opt for a product that is fragrance free. The Shave Doctor or Neals Yard Remedies Organic Shave Cream are highly recommended and used at al Covo as part of the Men's Wet Shave Treatment. More...

Feed your skin organically with Neal's Yard Remedies

 

Feeding your skin...

There has been much research to show that many of the products that modern day men and women use on their skin is toxic, containing carcinogenic substances that are dangerous for the body and harmful to the planet. Many of these products contain chemicals that help preserve shelf life of product and contain unhealthy chemicals with strong floral or other scents that people have become accustomed to. Almost ALL of these synthetic additives are HARMFUL.

Is all this really necessary? Do we need to use harmful products like mineral oil and parabens on our bodies and on the bodies of our children in order to smell good and to stay hydrated? The answer, you guessed it...Absolutely NOT! More...

Mens’ Facials & Skin Maintenance

Many men never overcome the initial feeling of trepidation that goes hand-in-hand with booking their first professional facial in a spa or salon. After all, deep-cleansing, toning and moisturising, all have their place in banishing skin nasties and ensuring healthy, good-looking skin, but the fear of a beauty treatment and women's dominance put them off. Will they be seen as a pansy? Can they talk to their friends about it? Is it something they can do as a man? Can they talk to other men about it?

These trepidations have been turned around by the growth in men's grooming - now openly visible in the high street, on adverts, in the gym, and now in the bathroom and supermarket with dedicated men's ranges. Men's skin and hair is different to ladies, and products now are manufactured specifcally for the male thicker skin and tougher hair. Want to catch up with this trend? Want to be a modern man, looking younger and feeling fresher? Want to turn heads in the street again? Catch someones eye in the bar?

You can come into al Covo, a unique one-client suite, offering privacy, discretion, and a weath of men's products, all created by a man, and male therapist, Steve. Come into the suite and experience a treatment and learn about men's products and what they do to your skin and your hair. And if you don't have the courage still to experience it, you can bring the suite to your very own bathroom with al Covo’s Male Grooming five-step DIY facial guide. Buy your facial skin care maintenance products here if you can't yet face a men's facial at this moment in time!

Step One: Cleanse

Foaming cleansers are great for achieving a ‘deep clean’ feel. Try a product that targets oil and blocked pores. To make it even more effective either steam your face pre-cleansing or place a hot towel over the face for a few minutes to gently open the pores. Either way, this allows the cleanser to penetrate the skin, removing more impurities. The Shave Doctor or Neals Yard Remedies Organic options are available here.

Step Two: Exfoliate

Mimic the effects of microdermabrasion with a good quality exfoliant, but be careful not to pick a product containing harsh grains, which can lead to scratching and aggravation of the skin. Scrub up to gently slough away dead skin cells with my Pomegranate or Mandarin and Black Pepper Scrub.

Step Three: Tone

To tone the skin, tighten the pores, control shine (leaving skin matt) and hydrated, then a quick spritz of a toner is all that’s needed. It removes & controls excess oil that contributes to blocked pores and breakouts. It's great after shaving and helps overcome ingrown hairs.

Step Four: Facial Masks

Facial masks help to correct imbalances in the skin, so choose according to your skin type and don’t forget that you can use a mask for oily skin on the sebum-prone areas, and use another one on a different area if you have combination skin.  Volcanic mud naturally draws out excess oils. Sea minerals strengthen, soften and moisturise skin. I offer Power Berry Mask, Frankincense Mask, a Rose Mask and a Chocolate Mask.

Step Five: Moisturise

Select a moisturiser based on your skin type (oily, dry or combination). Men’s skin tends to be on the oilier side, so it’s best to go for an oil-free moisturiser. Apply liberally and take a look in the mirror and bask in your newly glowing, refreshed skin. The Shave Doctor's moisturiser.

Learn, feel and see the difference a younger face can make to your standards. Catch up with the trend. Have a chat to Steve about facial skin care maintenance products or book a men's facial today!

A men's facial here includes more than that, with dedicated products designed to make you feel and look younger:

al Covo's skin maintenance treatment can incorporate:

Relax and enjoy exceptional Facial Skin Maintenance by Steve in Southampton. Ring or email Steve now to book.

Click here to learn about Neal's Yard company and its products in videos, look or buy the full range of Neal's Yard Remedies Organic products from my NYR webshop.

Suggested treatment times:

Treatments

Session Time*

Price**

Facial Skin Maintenance Treatment 40 mins £35
+ Facial Mask - Frankincense, Power Berry, Rose, or Chocolate. +20 mins +£20
+ Eyebrow, Ear & Nose Waxing or Trimming +20 mins +£15
+ Men's Traditional Wet Shave +40 mins +£25
+ Indian Head Massage +30 mins +£25
+ Back Massage +30 mins +£20
+ Men's Manicure or Pedicure +40 mins +£25
+ Men's Manicure & Pedicure +70 mins +£40

 

Using Essential Oils at Home and Work

There are a many great ways to take advantage of the benefits of essential oils, many of which you can apply yourself at home or at work. If you want to learn more, why not book onto my aromatherapy training course either here in Southampton or on a weekly retreat in teh Andulcian hills!


Body methods
o Perfume – dissolve in alcohol or oil and apply as a perfume
o Tissue or Handkerchief – add drops and sniff when required!
o Inhaled as a vapour – breath deeply with a towel-covered head over a bowl of hot water with a few drops of oil
o Massage oil – al Covo’s speciality! Applied to the skin and hair for absorption in the most relaxing and stimulating way
More...

Choosing Massage Base Oils

Base, or Carrier Oils, can be full of nutrients and vitamins, and are ready to massage into the skin and hair. My guide below shows you the properties of each base oil. Use them as they come, or add Essential Oils for extra goodness! All are available to buy in the suite or buy almond, grapeseed and rosehip oil online.

al Covo offers massage treatments and training, including aromatherapy training, in Southampton. Visit www.alcovo.co.uk or call Steve on 07968065885 or 02380639913 for more details.


CHOOSING MASSAGE BASE OILS


Almond Oil: Light, almost odourless. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, D, E, protein, and a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. Protects, nourishes and calms eczema irritation, dryness or inflamation. Excellent hair and skin conditioner, as well as helping reduce muscular pain and tightness. More...

Reducing Calorie Intake - Best Breakfast Choices

Why "break the fast"?


To kick start your metabolism! Your body has been resting overnight and in the morning needs an energy boost and some hydration to get you going for the day!
Eating breakfast has many benefits, including improved concentration.
Cereals are
• High in fibre
• Low in sugar
• Fortified with vitamins and minerals More...

5 Natural Antibiotics that Destroy Superbugs As Nature Intended

Antibiotics are perhaps one of the most used drugs in the world. We take it for many health problems, from bacterial infections to viral diseases. These drugs have been greatly revolutionised in the modern arena and have saved thousands of lives. Nevertheless, we know too well that antibiotics do have negative effects too. Mass produced by pharmaceutical companies with little regard to the fact that regular use of these drugs may lead to both short and long-term health consequences.

Natural antibiotics are a different thing. The way nature intended it. You really don’t have to always rush to the nearest pharmaceutical store just to get yourself an antibiotic that has the potential to do harm as well as good. Perhaps, in your kitchen, you already have some of the best antibiotics in the world! Here they are:

Garlic   
Garlic is one of the best, natural antibiotics widely available today.  More...

Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, commonly called heartburn, is a common condition wherein acid leaks out of the stomach into the oesophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest. Other symptoms include bloating, unpleasant taste in the mouth, flatulence, and difficulty swallowing. Many people experience occasional episodes of acid reflux and sometimes, over-the-counter medications or simply letting it subside is the best way to deal with acid reflux. However, some people experience it too often. If you are experiencing recurring symptoms of acid reflux, undergoing treatment is necessary.

Often, acid reflux is caused by the inability of the oesophageal muscles to contract after swallowing food – allowing the acid from the stomach to come up to the oesophagus. But what causes these muscles to contract poorly? Experts blame it to obesity, binge-eating, lying down after meals and eating lots of processed foods.

Medications are only going to relieve the symptoms and not totally the cause of your acid reflux. If you are looking for long-term solutions that involve no side effects, you better try the following natural remedies:

1. Increase your intake of digestive enzymes
Cut back on your consumption of processed foods.  More...

About the author

Steve from AlcovoBorn in Worcestershire, and educated to second (Masters) degree in Geography, I worked in a corporate company before being inspired more fully into well-being from travels to the Eastern and Tropical countries of the Philippines, India, Kenya, the Maldives, Mauritius and Mozambique.

I gained an understanding of spas, treatments and clients along my way, and have developed this into my own practice, al Covo, to which I welcome you warmly. I pride myself on al Covo's warmth, peaceful aura, hygiene and thoroughness.

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