Beauty Therapy… It Is Not Called ‘Therapy’ For Nothing

September 30, 2012

Do you ever look in the mirror and think… “help”?

I am not talking about anything serious or life changing… but rather those moments when what you see looks a little more tired than normal, less fresh or more drawn… Too many late nights, over work or maybe too much fun… I had that moment this week when I happened to glance in the mirror… what I saw didn’t fill me with joie de vivre… I looked tired and I realised that it had been a very long time since I had spent any ‘me’ time… maintenance time.

Travelling and working had taken their toll and I had forgotten all the wisdom I have learnt from those very clever French women. French women are fond of their beauty treatments and regular visits to their beauty therapist would never be cancelled. Beauty and maintenance are high priorities for the French woman. I don’t know about you… but I seem to do everything else first… and beauty comes a poor second. Not so much my regular routines that I can do at home but those special treatments we have at the beauty therapist, those that keep our skin in check.

That reflection in the mirror was enough to get me moving… A beauty treatment was in order… something, relaxing, hydrating and beneficial for my skin… Was I asking for nothing short of a miracle? Probably, but I chose to have a SkinCeuticals facial… and it was sublime. I have never used this range before, although my daughters have been telling me about SkinCeuticals for months… I should listen to them, they know what they are talking about. The B5 mask in particular was incredible and that is the one product, for now, that I am adding to my home routine. Mixing it up a little is excellent for the skin… our skin, like all things can become complacent with the familiar.  I left the treatment glowing, feeling relaxed and refreshed and vowing that I would treat myself once a month. I felt that it was money well spent… the sense of wellbeing I felt, taking time out… forgetting about life and its dilemmas… was worth every cent. Therapy but with benefits.

The French woman is different. For her, beauty therapy is a part of life… like exercise… it must be done… and the older I get, the more I realise those women are on to something…

Beauty therapy… Do you see it as a treat or as a necessity? I would love to know… xv

 SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Mask… here

For the complete range… here

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  • OH..sadly it is a treat, but I know that it is a necessity to looking and feeling our best. We all must take the best care of our bodies and soul, but very hard to do when we have our careers, our children and husbands. I appreciate the tip about SkinCeuticals Vicki, you have wise daughters!

    Have a lovely yet relaxing weekend ahead xx

  • Vicki,
    Next time you are in Paris, a friend of mine had a facial with Joelle Ciocco. She’s very expensive but is known to do miracles. But her office is closed the whole month of August … I learned that the hard way this past August!
    I stock up in her beauty products from Colette in Paris …. one of her best product is “Cerat aux fleurs”.
    I have used every single product out there and this is the best to make the skin feel rejuvenated.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  • Jacki says:

    Great Article but the Picture you used has me captivated its lovely, who is it ?

    • Vicki says:

      I don’t know I am sorry… I was a painting that I saw in my local flea market… and the silliest thing is I didn’t buy it… I was so busy clicking away that by the time I returned to that particular spot… it had sold…

  • Mmm I needed this reminder…I’ve let it slip lately, thanks for the Skinceuticals tip too. xxx

    ps I’m in love with that illustration…how beautiful!

  • Anita Rivera says:

    Bonjour Vicki!

    Ahhh….a wonderful topic for conversation this lovely morning.

    I TOTALLY BELIEVE in beauty therapy. I have often jumped back, literally, in horror as I see myself in the mirror on days after which I have been stressed out, stayed up too late or forgot take that important time out for ME.

    I wish that the products you recommend would be sold here in the states so I could just see them. AND I believe that like anything else, once something/someone gets used to the same product, one gets complacent. THAT IS WHY a good facial and HAIR MASK is so essential. Just last week, I tried a hair mask that my mum used to give herself. For me since I have cropped hair, I just used ONE egg yolk, a tsp of olive oil and just enough water to dilute. I put the mask in my hair for about 10 minutes, then washed. YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE the shine and the softness.

    As for my skin, I have been vigilant since the age of 15 to
    -stay out of the sun
    – drink lots of water, none to very little caffeine
    – exercise daily
    – eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
    – exfoliate
    – try, TRY to be happy!

    And thus is the attempt at La Joie de Vivre chez moi.

    It is a pleasure to read your musings my dear. Take that much needed time for yourself REGULARLY. AND….a lavender foot soak does WONDERS as well. TOTAL BEAUTY comes from HEAD to TOE!

    Fondly, Anita

  • pve says:

    So often what is necessity is a treat. Taking care to give our minds, our bodies therapy is like breathing. We all need acceptance and then a little self praise…if it is in the form of a facial or a massage, then it is in fact like oxygen.

  • Karen in CT says:

    It’s like “need” vs “want” … hard to define. I use several SkinCeutical products, and like the results. The lack of scent is a plus. “Routine” probably … happy weekend, Vicki

    • Vicki says:

      You are so right… that could be one of the reasons I enjoyed the mask so much… apart from the results… I don’t care for scented products either…

  • LittleRus says:

    You know, I often put other things first, but only when it comes to going out for a beauty treatment – I don’t like them here and feel like I am often paying for things I could have done myself… I found that over the years I made good friends with my skin and can understand its needs better than anyone else. And so my beauty salon is my little bathroom where I mix and match, play with essential oils and all sorts of things – the ones I know my skin will love. I do still find, at times, especially when I am very tired, that I just go with a regular cleanse and moisturise routine, though. But having said that, as far as I know, French women turn this simple thing in a ritual, too, so I see it as a mini beauty treatment in its own rights and enjoy every second of it. :)

  • Great post…Definitely necessity! I just went for my deep cleansing facial earlier this month ( I do a deep cleanse every season change) and have already booked my oxygen facial for end of October. There is something therapeutic about having a facial. Of course one must also take good care of their skin between treatments (something since my accident … that I tend to forget – hence I increase the between season facials).

    When we look good … we feel good – and are able to face the world with a confidence! xo

    • Vicki says:

      And when we are confident… we look good… :)
      It is a cycle… it is just a matter of staying in touch with ourselves and taking the time …

  • Quintessence says:

    I always have the best intentions in this category but not necessarily the consistency required! That being said, SkinCeuticals has been a long time staple in my beauty regime. If you like the B5 mask then you should make the B5 hydrated gel a part of your daily routine!

  • Jess Flett says:

    Beauty therapy for me is a treat but how I wish it were more!! I LOVE pampering my skin but do it way too infrequently. I really want to start having frequent facials but every time I look to I feel sick at the price of them and what I should spend the money on instead. Funnily enough I have a gift voucher for a massage and a facial from Mother’s Day I must use. I feel some pampering coming on!!! I will be sure to check out SkinCeuticals. Thank you for the tip. Have a great weekend. Jx

    • Vicki says:

      That is the problem for us as women, as mothers…w e put everything and everyone ahead of ourselves… That is my way but I don’t know that it is the French way… Even twice a year is better than nothing..

  • Chicatanyage says:

    I have recently been introduced to Skinceuticals by a plastic surgeon. I am currently using th vitamin C serum (not cheap) and the 50SPF sun lotion to protect my skin. I am due to go back for a skin imaging session to see if it has improved my skin. Did not know they did facials must investigate.

    • Vicki says:

      They are really excellent… and seem to be quite rejuvenating… I liked it enough to go back in the future… and buy the mask… :) And truthfully, I am always a little sceptical about the abilities of products and treatments… but this one, I really liked…

  • Brenda says:

    My “beauty routine” in Oz in comparison to the French women you speak of – I am sure you and they would be horrified in comparison.

  • As I have gotten older I do realize that the French have it right! I should be a ritual! This is one that I have never gotten into–unfortunately because you can never go back! I always love your posts–thanks for that! Leslie

  • Penelope says:

    Vicki, I so agree! Two years ago, I found myself wanting to take better care of my skin…you know underneath the makeup. I discovered a wonderful French woman in my vicinity (in the Southern U.S.) who shares her expertise with men, women, and teenagers. With her depth of knowledge in skincare, she has changed my life for the better. I now purchase less products such as makeup, blush, etc and instead purchase a few products that truly improve my skin. Less really is best on our faces!

  • You are right again Vicki it has been too long since I had a facial. I am usually pretty good about taking care of my skin but I noticed a patch of fine lines last night and I literally gasped! Those things just come out of nowhere. The other thing that is really good for everything and what my son tells me is one of the best things you can do for your wellbeing………….a full body massage. I intend to book both today so thank you for the nudge. Much love XX

  • Cathy says:

    I remember that my first facial was a gift from a friend. I sat on that gift certificate for two years waiting for a “special occasion” to use it. But once I used it I was hooked.

    I too love SkinCeuticals and the B5 is great because of the Hyaluronic Acid. For gals on a budget, like I should be (but isn’t that a whole other topic? ), derma e has products with Hyaluronic Acid too.

    Of course every dermatologist and esthetician I have met have told me the same thing: if you do nothing else, wear sunscreen, drink a lot of water and take off your make up every night. Words to literally live by.

    • Vicki says:

      Drinking water literally… as we chat..:)
      In summer i have no problem drinking water but as the weather cools, I can forget… it does make so much difference. I think French women factor beauty into their ‘living costs’.. and consider it essential… they probably go without other things to afford their treatments…

  • hopflower says:

    No need v. want for me. I always make skincare a priority and always have in the past. If there was one thing my English mum taught me: take care of your skin as makeup is only as good as your skin is; take off all of your makeup at night, protect your skin, and drink lot of fluids, although go lightly on alcohol. She was right. I have taken care of my complexion since a teenager, and it has paid off. I get facials at a salon, make facials at home, use sunscreen, wear a hat at all times, use sunglasses, and occasionally use a deeply hydrating mask. Once a week I exfoliate, as too much is not good. Lots of tea and water and fruits and veggies are a plus, too.

    I love taking care of my skin.

  • I do wish I began in my teens, I sat up and took notice at the age of 29. This is when I went to a school of Aesthetics and became a licnesed therapist here in NYC. I have always used FRENCH skin care. Its true what they say…..The french know a thing or two about skin care.
    I am partial. I began repping a line that is formaulated in France by a family owned firm who have been in this business for over 80 years……,but is an American company. I am a stinker about NO aroma in my products… clean medicinal aroma is a must.
    If we take better care of the largest organ on the human body/our SKIN, we would feel better about ourselves and look better as well. It horrifies me when I meet American women who do not even wash their faces, EEEK!
    I share your posts on my blog Vicki and credit to you as well. I love when you post about skin care and beauty.
    Thank you

    • Vicki says:

      I enjoy writing about these topics too Pamela… and I like to have all the feedback… chatting with each other is the best part…

  • Leslie says:

    Great product line! I work in Dermatology and carry several SkinCeutical products, the B-5 Mask included. The hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture (something VERY important for mature skin). Most of their products have scientific data supporting their claims (many OTC products do not contain enough of the active ingredient to actually help). The mask is wonderful isn’t it? :)

    • Vicki says:

      I am happy to hear your thoughts on it Leslie… I loved it and am happy to have a change from my SK-11… I look forward to trying more…

  • KATHYSUE says:

    Funny that you should write this post because, I too, have been looking in the mirror lately and wondering who that woman is that is staring back at me. After spending 2 weeks in your wonderful city of Paris. I found my skin dehydrated, not enough sleep or hydration while busily traveling around and loving every minute.
    I try to use Sundays as my little pampering day. It really helps start the week off right!!
    I will have to check out your new recommendations. I purchased some Lierac cream while in Paris, thanks to your recommendation. So far I like it, we shall see if it creates a miracle for me!!
    Love these post about French beauty and skincare, keep them coming, always wanting to learn more.
    Kathysue from California!

  • I wish I could but with work and study so little time to even look in the mirror. My treat now is buying art supplies … looking outward at nature rather than in the mirror at myself. Hence I get a surprise every time I do .. it’s time to move beauty treatments a little further up the line of ‘to do’ … it used to be important but not so much now … a smile can take ten years off :)))

  • Hallie says:

    Just these past few days I’ve been realizing that it’s time to do something serious about my skin. We Americans devote all our energies to our jobs, families, husbands, houses etc., and let ourselves come last too often.
    I also think we buy too much “stuff” which is less essential to the quality of our lives…well, enough carrying on, yes, if we made ourselves more of a priority, even if that means ten or fifteen minutes we’d feel better. Skin care should be part of life, not a special treat once in a while. The French have it right, because they understand the concept of aesthetics and quality in all aspects of life.

    Self care, feeling good, should not be a treat, we deserve it as a quality of life. And quality doesn’t always mean expensive. I’m so glad you posted this topic Vicki.

    • Vicki says:

      I agree Hallie… it’s not always the expensive products that are essential… Most of my favourite products are by no means the most prestigious or costly… but I love them and I think they help.. Feeling good is imperative..and you are right, we deserve that…

  • hopflower says:

    No need vs. want for me. Skincare is a necessity. It does not have to be expensive; it does have to regular.

  • Bonjour Vicki. Sorry to report I have been forgetting my French roots, here in the American Wild, Wild, West. I have not been indulging in too many facials or spa treatments in the last few years. I have always protected my skin, though, thank goodness. Ok. Time to get back on track. Have just ordered your wonder mask. Will let you know if my husband still recognizes me in a couple of weeks… Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  • Hi Vicki, I have just discovered your blog and just love it and subscribe by email so I don’t miss any posts. I, too, love that painting! My sister had such fair skin and knew early on she would never get a tan so she just never went out in the sun. Now in her early 60’s she has such beautiful face skin. I have always called her the Breck girl. Me….not so much! But I try. I do love my monthly hair treatments though at the salon. It is an afternoon each month that I can’t wait for. Would love if you told us some of your inexpensive facial secrets that you do. xo Lynn

  • Jennifer says:

    I’ve been a fan of Skinceuticals for years but hadn’t heard of the facials. I use the B5 and their C currently but I’ll check into their facials.
    Your post reminds me of a funny quote by Hellen Gurley Brown.

    On the subject of mirrors, “you have to treat them, even at home, like alligators. Don’t SURPRISE one”.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Pamela Terry says:

    Pedicures, haircuts, and my signature perfume.
    Necessities, all.

  • Anita Rivera says:

    Thank you kind friend, for coming to my post. Connecting well with other human beings is also therapeutic, that is FOR SURE!! Anita

  • Hallie says:

    Ha ha Veronique – very amusing, I think I’ll try the mask as well – does anyone think that microdermabrasion is good or are peels just as effective?

    • Vicki says:

      I haven’t had it but some really like it…

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Hallie, the nice thing about microdermabrasion is that you won’t shed all over the place as one typically does after a chemical peel but the effects are short lived and slightly addictive – you just want to get that freshly “scrubbed” yet soft and dewey feeling again and again. If you can avoid the general public for few days or are terribly confident (think Samantha in “Sex & the City) a peel is a wonderful therapy.

  • I definitely see it as a treat and need to start seeing it as necessary! I am not happy at all anymore when I see my reflection! Very tired eyes and and everything else! It’s getting a little better now that my daughter and her husband moved out for good! I’m getting to bed earlier…before we stayed up talking and watching tv and having too much fun! It’s become a priority to get in the bed earlier and that has helped but I am most definitely going to try one of these facials! I’ve only had one in my whole life anyway! That’s ridiculous! Glad you shared this!

  • Samille says:

    Love your blog Ms Archer. It gives me a little slice of France all the way back here on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. I am due to give birth in a few weeks and if it is a girl I adore the name Francesca – which means ‘from France’. I little bit of trivia for Francophiles! Samille x

  • Lee says:

    I know exactly what your talking about…after a couple of years caring for someone who is very ill I looked in the mirror (well I have several times), last week and thought exactly the same. I still have a lot of stress right now but I plan 2013 to be the year for “me” and I will start it off with both a facial and a massage.

    Thank you for reminding me that its ok we women can think about ourselves and I also know several French women who care for their skin just as you have described.

    Lee :)

  • Hi Vicki,
    Beauty therapy? A special treat for sure and a regular necessity, alas… Only a wife + a mother + a working woman knows how sweet, cozy, neat a facial can be. Then hair dresser and you are in Heaven. Oh my! Right now I am thousands miles away from this … So now we know that Heaven should be full of shoe stores ;-)+ skin care specialists.

  • Rose says:

    I used Guerlain products for years which is from France simply because my son’s friend knows a rep for the product and it did wonders for me for 10 years. I no longer get these perks so I tried Dr.Perricone’s products which seem to work nicely. And more affordable. But,honestly,I prefer the Geurlain skin products.

    I’m getting up there in age and I try to take care of my skin. I use the Clarasonic machine to cleanse and I have not tried this SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Mask. I do have sensitive skin. Do you think it will work fine.

    I agree,the French woman do know how to take care of themselves. Unfortunately, A widow living on a social security check leaves me on a tight budget but I hate showing the signs of age. I will try and save up for this product and let you know the results.

    Thank you for sharing. Hugs,Rose from Florida!

    • Vicki says:

      Rose, perhaps you could get a sample of the mask before buying it? Often the big stores are quite generous with samples… Just explain that you wish to try before buying… If you decide to buy any of the products I would check the prices on Amazon.. I find it is generally discounted a little…:)

  • Hi Vicki,

    Having a good plan is good for all of you. I calendar in everyweek a (DIY I’m a licensed manicurist and esthetician) spa day and apply a mask and do a manicure and pedicure. Here are some things you might like to do on a regular night time basis as the weather begins to get dryer for our skin.

    ~ Use a gentle exfoliate on your face, neck and the top of your hands every night
    ~ Add an oil (vitamin e, olive, or other favorite) then use a rich but light cream lotion over the oil to seal moisture during the night
    ~ Use a mask twice a week (ex. Sunday and Wednesday evenings)
    ~ Don’t forget your hands (nails, and cuticles) and feet (heels, toes and cuticles) using a q-tip dap a little oil and follow with lotion

    It takes a week to form a habit. Sip some green tea and know all is well with your world at these divine moments you’ve carved out just for “you”.

    • Vicki says:

      Great advice and plan Bette… putting time in the diary is an excellent way to make sure we don’t neglect ourselves… Then there is no excuse…:)

  • Oh how sad, I see Beauty Therapy as a luxurious dream. Even just the thought makes me a bit weepy. Your post has me realise just how much I need some nurturing. My dear friend Rosa keeps asking me to book in for a day spa with her, yet every time I think about it so many other things that we need (yes really actually need) come to mind and I back out.

    Actually now thinking about your post further I see it’s not about the “cost” perhaps I’d better think on this a little more. Why can’t I ever pamper myself??

    thanks Vicki

    • Vicki says:

      That is a very real dilemma for women… Why do we put ourselves behind every other priority… because surely, as we are so vital to the smooth running of life, we should nurture ourselves first?? Perhaps this is a great follow up post? I shall have to ponder a bit… but I do wonder why some of us women can’t pamper ourselves…

  • Melanie says:

    Beauty treatments are most certianly a necessity and should never be relegated to the special treat department! Not only will you look better, you’ll feel so much better for taking the time to treat your skin. Don’t forget it’s the only skin you get! I’m a beauty therapist and it saddens me that so many women consider visits to the salon or spa a “treat” and not a part of their life. If you haven’t had a facial in the last 6 weeks – book a facial tomorrow and go and enjoy! Your skin will love you for it. x

  • Thanks for the reminder Vicki…must organise to have a facial asap. Skinceuticals is wonderful…haven’t tried the mask but will on your recommendation. Merci beaucoup.

  • Had one of these moments today as I pulled down the mirror on the visor in my car to check myself before going in to a restaurant for lunch. When did my neck turn from smooth to resembling an old lady? Was it there yesterday or had it appeared overnight? I hope the therapist can work a miracle as I definitely need one. Will make my appointment ASAP. Thanks for the reminder Vicki. Sally-Ann x

  • Christina says:

    I changed my beauty routine in my early twenties and it is part of my daily life. You develop a routine that you don’t even think about what need to be done and it is so simple. Same for the body and hair.

  • Teddee Grace says:

    Who can afford it?

    • Vicki says:

      Very few in these financial times… it is a question of whether beauty therapy is considered a necessity or an indulgence. The French consider it the former…:)

  • Hallie says:

    Thanks Cathy, I just have to get over my fear of a scar or the pain…

  • Nicole says:

    What a good reminder for everyone to look after themselves and spend some ‘me’ time.
    I love to have a soak in the bath with various oils/salts/bubbles, and I actually make a date with myself to fit it in. Even if its just a handful of sea salt, a dash of almond oil and some essential oil. Once a week, just seems to keep me stress free.
    Its so easy to just think ‘O I’ll do it tomorrow’, but in my experience, ‘tomorrow’ always gets put off for another day. The French are v. wise.
    On the skincare front, I’ve just rediscovered cold cream. Seriously, I massage it in every night, tissue it off, add eye cream and thats it. My skin has calmed down so much, its soft, clean, not irritated and just ‘feels’ right. After all the money spent on various lotions, potions and creams…all I should of done is go back to cold cream.

    Have a good day vicki,

    Nicole from NZ.

  • Sweet Freak says:

    SkinCeuticals… c’est noté for my increasingly common “help” moments! Merci, Vicki!

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