In my Facial Room “Pamper” is a Dirty Word…..


Why?  Because when do we pamper ourselves?  When we feel like we’ve done something to deserve it, and want to reward ourselves.  Even clients who receive a facial as a gift will save it for a special occasion or until they feel they have a good excuse  to use it. I hear it all the time when I ask my new clients what brought them in for a facial.  They tell me things like they’re celebrating the kids going back to school after summer vacation, a promotion, or they just finished their thesis. The list goes on, but too often it sounds like they feel they must justify what they are doing.  Look up the word “pamper” in the dictionary and here’s what you’ll find:

  • From  to treat or gratify with extreme or excessive indulgence.
  • Merriam-Webster: To treat with extreme or excessive care and attention.
  • Coddle, overindulge, spoil.                                                                             

 You see where I’m going with this?  If you view getting a facial as excessive indulgence, you will feel guilty  every time you have one. You’ll think of it as a “guilty pleasure” that you must justify.  This belief could not be more wrong, and here’s why:

Most people know that a facial in a spa is an extremely relaxing experience.  We play soft music, dim the lights, use relaxing aromas and massage techniques that are soothing and nurturing.  To the uninformed, this might seem like “pampering” , but the fact is, all of these techniques are used in an effort to improve the skin by helping our guests escape and recover from stress.  We know stress damages every organ in the body, and the skin being the largest of the organs it suffers as well.  And because it’s on the outside of the body, the skin is often the last organ to receive the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.  

According to Dr. Ellen Marmur in her book “Simple Skin Beauty” a 2004 study found that the white blood cells of women under high psychological stress aged more rapidly than those in a control group who were not under stress (page46).  Stress can also exacerbate a number of skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, acne, psoriasis and alopecia. 

An article I recently read on webmd ( explores the theory that  the mind and skin are intimately intertwined and many skin disorder may be rooted in our psyche. There is even a new  field of study experts are calling “Psychodermatogy” that addresses the impact of an individual’s emotion as it relates to the skin, which combines traditional medicine with complimentary medicine and relaxation techniques.  The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami has conducted studies showing  that test subjects mood and activity levels improved, as did all measures of their skin condition including redness and itching, after receiving massage. 

The beauty of understanding the mind/body component of stress is that the effects of all the relaxation experienced during a facial helps improve the skin as well as all the organs of your body.  I don’t call that pampering, I call it wellness, and one should never feel guilty about scheduling a wellness appointment (at least once a month)….and please, no dirty words!!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joni
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 12:57:06

    Excellent post, Judy….as so true!!


  2. ;ois watson
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 13:41:10

    good job judy love you


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