January Complexion SOS

Well, Christmas is fast becoming a distant memory! The Christmas and New Year festivities can take their toll on our complexions, all the overindulgences can leave us with dark circles and bags under our eyes, spots and dehydrated skin. These are common complaints I hear from clients in the salon every January.

Post party skin needs help for fatigue, sensitivity and breakouts. Our change in diet, lack of sleep and too much alcohol leads to increased levels of toxins in our bodies and this has a huge impact on our skin.

So what do we need to do to restore and revive our complexions?

Professional Facial - Many of my clients are a little guilty of neglecting their skin over Christmas, so a good start to January is to resume your beauty regime with a deep cleansing and rejuvenating professional facial. Every clients skin is different with different needs so I tailor a facial from a variety of carefully selected products including masks, exfoliators and serums.

Deep Cleansing - To combat breakouts and sensitivity we need to restore barrier function and brighten the skin. A good deep cleansing routine is needed, this will help slow down breakouts and help get your skin back on track.

Vitamin C - This powerful antioxidant is brilliant at brightening the skin and giving it it's radiance back. It also helps to stimulate the production of collagen, the main protein which holds our bodies skin together. Much needed!

Hyaluronic Acid - This is one moisturising ingredient that is so effective at helping keep the skin looking plump and feeling silky smooth. It can actually hold 1,000 times it's own weight in water.

Serums - These gels have smaller molecules than face creams which means the active ingredient can penetrate deeper into the skin and you will notice a better result in a shorter time. You will also notice that these serums don't sit on the skin like a cream, they are very quickly absorbed.

8 hours sleep a night - I know you've been told this before but 8 hours sleep a night really does play an important part in your daily skincare routine. Skin does most of its repair and regeneration at night, peaking between 11pm and 3am, so we need to help it along a little. Some of my younger clients seem to think it's ok to go to bed with a skin full of makeup but believe me if you want a fresh, clear complexion you need to free the skin of any makeup, pollution, bacteria and dirt before you go to sleep every night. It's quite important to choose a vitamin packed night cream to help in these rejuvenating hours. These ingredients will help nourish and top up the skin with the vitamins lost during the day.

Detox - This time of year I try and encourage my clients to up their intake of fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants. I'm not a massive believer in a detox myself but I do think its a good idea to banish the alcohol for the month of January. The start of the year is an ideal time to re-evaluate your entire lifestyle and consider the changes you might make to make yourself healthier. We all enjoy the odd glass of wine after a long day at work, myself included, so while I agree we should banish some toxins from our lives it's sometimes not sustainable for months on end. I am a believer in eating healthily but being mindful about the bad stuff and enjoying it in moderation. That's not so hard is it?

Water - I know, I know, here she goes again but this is one of the main ingredients our bodies just can't live without! Our bodies are literally made up of 78% water - it needs it! If you're not good with water (I'm not it's so boring) try putting a bottle with a litre and a half of water in it by your sink, every time you pass have a gulp and make sure it's gone before you go to bed. I find it goes down easier at room temperature too - try it.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your January and I look forward to seeing you all in the salon very soon,


The Eyes Say and See It All

Everybody’s eyes have a different story to tell, whether it’s bags under the eyes from the night before or the tell-tale signs of ageing, appearing as crow’s feet and droopy eyelids.

I have many ladies coming into the salon with concerns about their eyes like puffiness, dark circles or dehydration.

Our eyes are so vulnerable to daily assaults. The skin around the eye is much thinner and definitely more delicate than anywhere else. Free radicals break down collagen and elastin fibres which normally keep our skin smooth and firm. The eye area has fewer oil glands to help block out products and chemicals. It’s no wonder the eye area is the first place to show signs of ageing, combine this with decades of squinting from the sun and too many late nights, we lose the sparkle in our eyes.

Dark circles around the eye can be an underlying vascular network of vessels which can slow the microcirculation, resulting in less oxygenated blood, contributing to the dark circles.  We all now know and acknowledge the issues once the damage has occurred, but is it really possible to turn back the clock and prevent these circles becoming any worse?

Whether your main concerns are lines and wrinkles or dark shadows and puffiness, one of the many conversations I have in the salon is that prevention is better than cure. So if we start a good eye treatment and homecare, this will prevent premature ageing of the vulnerable skin around our eyes. Introducing an eye serum or cream will make a big difference.

Be careful when choosing eye products. Inappropriate products such as baby oil as an eye makeup remover and petroleum jelly can accumulate in the tear ducts and cause eye bags. The lighter weight eye formulas really can reduce this risk.

Here at Universal Therapy my main aim for an eye treatment is to rehydrate the skin around the eye area, helping to increase dermal volume and helping to stop puffiness. The lifting and firming treatment is also a firm favourite in the salon and is great before a night out! Here’s just a few of the treatments I have to help you:

  • Swissdermyl Eye Complex Serum
  • Crystal Clear Wide Eye Treatment
  • Microcurrent Lift and Repair Treatment
So if you have any concerns or questions or would like to book a consultation for a treatment, please do call the salon or email me.

Till next time,

Penny x 

Dry and Dehydrated Skin

As we approach the winter months, you will most definitely notice a change in your skin. Central heating, air con, car heating and the mixed weather we are experiencing all contribute to unhappy skin.

Dry skin can be mistaken for dehydrated skin. It's an easy mistake to make if you don't know what you are looking for! Knowing the difference can have a huge impact on your skin.

Your skin may feel tight and you may think that it is dry and use a richer moisturiser to combat the dryness, but, it could just need moisture! Dehydrated skins don't always need oil, it could need an application of hydrating products and help from some water intake.

You will notice when your skin becomes dehydrated, it becomes not only tight but it also loses the plumpness because of a lack of moisture in the skin cells. You will also notice fine lines will appear and your skin becomes grey and dull in appearance.

Dry skin lacks oil, can become flaky and rough to the touch and can be quite sore. Again it can be grey in colour. Dry skin also tends to absorb make-up straight away into the skin and it can look very dry and your foundation can look patchy and uneven.

Differences between Dry and Dehydrated Skin

  • Dry skin is lacking in oil
  • Dehydrated skin can be lacking in moisture
  • Dry skin is a skin type like oily, normal or combination
  • Dehydrated skin can be oily at the same time
Characteristics to look for in dry skin

  • Lacks oil
  • Flakiness
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Rough dry patches
  • Ageing
Characteristics to look for in dehydrated skin

  • Lacks moisture
  • Feels tight
  • Peeling skin
  • Fine lines
Dehydrated skin can be caused by our lifestyle such as smoking, drinking alcohol, central heating or air conditioning.

My advice for dry skin

  • Cleanse twice daily using a creamy cleanser
  • Avoid alcohol based products as these will leave your skin feeling sore and tight
  • Exfoliate twice a week to remove any dry, dead skin cells. This helps any serums and moisturisers you use absorb
  • Use a good moisturiser and don't forget to use a moisturiser containing a sunscreen, yes even in the winter!
My advice for dehydrated skin

  • Exfoloate according to your skin type
  • Use a hydrating mist spray during the day, they really do help especially in centrally heated and air conditioned offices
  • I would recommend one of my hydration face masks
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Lastly, always use a moisturiser, twice a day to keep your skin protected and hydrated
If you have any issues with your skin or its appearance, why not take a look at my website and browse through the facial treatments available. If you are unsure what skin type you have and which treatment is perfect for you, please do give me a call on 01295 669104 to arrange a free consultation.

I hope this blog has been of interest to you and has answered any questions you may have about dry and dehydrated skin. 

So till next time ...

Penny x

Ridiculous, Post-adolescent Acne at 30!

Having had hardly any spots as a teenager, it was a massive shock to realise I had become one of the many 30 somethings who were suffering with what we now call late on-set acne. Remembering this has prompted me to write about the effects as well as the different foods and medicines which can cause this skin disease.

In my 30's, my husband and I ran a dance event business together. We had a massive outdoor event planned in the summer of 2007, we were running up and down the country and the stress levels were almost unbearable. I kept pushing on and like anything stretched to the limit, something had to give. In my case it was my skin.

Yes I had had the odd spot now and again but this was different. Massive boils appeared along my jawline and then a few weeks later on my forehead and cheeks. I learnt to live with it for many months, it was so difficult to treat, for a long time nothing seemed to work! I was prescribed an antibiotic from my GP which didn't make any difference at all. At the time I was also on the pill but thinking about planning my first baby.

I was at my wits end! It's not just unsightly, acne is actually painful. Running my hands over my face and feeling the terrible boils made me feel so unhappy. I didn't want to go out and socialise, even going to the gym became miserable. The persistent acne was making me feel even more stressed!

Eventually I made up my mind to come off the pill and also my stress levels reduced. Over the next six months the acne disappeared.

Why does it occur?

Chin acne has been recognised as a combination of hormonal changes prior to menstruation. Our skin can produce higher levels of sebum causing oily skin, reduced pore size at the time of ovulation, less resilient skin barrier, changes in the skin and bacteria can all lead to breakouts in adult woman.

Many dermatologists claim chronic stress has been identified as the primary cause of adult acne. One friend of mine had acne and after being away on holiday for a month and totally de-stressing, found her acne just disappeared.

Other causes include:-

  • Discontinuing with birth control
  • Change in skin care regime
  • Side effects of medication
  • Polycystic ovaries - particularly when acne is combined with excessive hair growth.

I was also reading recently, diet has also been linked to acne. Food which read high on the glycemic index, such as white bread and cakes, and dairy can exaggerate acne. But there are also positives links with food. A diet rich in the anti-oxidants found in fruit and vegetables can help, also pro-biotic and anti-inflammatory foods.

Treatment for acne and spotty skins

Acne is a skin disease and belongs in the hand of a skin dermatologist if the condition is really severe. But if you are suffering with an oily skin type and spot, you can be treated by a beauty therapist on a regular basis and you will see a massive improvement in your skin condition and appearance.


With a range of specialised facials to suit all kinds of skin types and conditions at my salon, one treatment for oily, acne prone skins is the Galvaderm Facial. With regular application, High Frequency can keep acne away long after expensive medication and treatments have failed. High Frequency gently cleanses the skin of the acne-causing bacteria and unwanted toxins whilst making the skin more receptive to acne lotions. The results can be extremely dramatic. Even after the first few treatments.

Crystal Clear Microdermabrasion

Exfoliation is one of the most important skin treatments. It helps maintain the skins natural glow, assists in the treatment of certain skin conditions and keeps the complexion looking healthy. Without exfoliation skin care products are treating old skin cells, meaning that you are unlikely to experience much benefit from your skin care routine. Microdermabrasion also helps oily, spot prone skins. People who have acne scarring also see massive benefits from this treatment.

For more information, please do give me a call at the salon and we can arrange a free consultation.

Until next time, 

Penny x

Growing Old Gracefully!

Embrace your skin – whatever your age!

I’ve been sat here thinking about what to write about for our first blog in a while, and one of the main topics I’m asked about in the salon as a beauty therapist is skincare and the ageing process. What I recognised early on in this profession is that we need a new approach to beauty.

My goal is to help men and women navigate their way through the confusing messages sent out in the media about skin care. I believe we need to approach the ageing process with kindness, not invasive treatments and surgery.

I’m not saying we have to say no to botox or fillers if that’s what’s going to make you happy but what tends to happen in the end is people have too much work done and instead of everyone thinking, “Wow she looks well, what’s her secret?” they end up saying, “She’s had that plumped out and that frozen out!” and you get all the wrong attention. The whole look will end up looking like, what I’ve called for many years now, the plastic fantastic look!

Role models of today for me are people like Dame Helen Mirren. She’s now 68 years old but when you look at her on the red carpet you can’t help but admire her for her inner beauty with no botox fillers or distorted facial features. She looks amazing. She must have a fantastic home beauty regime and regular salon beauty treatments. I would love to follow in her footsteps! It’s so nice to see such beauty and such glowing healthy skin in this day and age.

We need to see the aging process in a different light. Our faces are a map of our lives. Our facial muscles are working over-time, all-day, every-day, forming fine lines and expression lines on our faces and each one tells a story. Let’s embrace this, embrace our age instead of trying to cover it up and worry about it. They say beauty lies within, I think that’s so true.

A healthy glowing complexion is the secret to feeling good as we mature. If you are feeling down about how your skin is performing and feeling it could be down to a few different reasons. Stress plays a massive part in the health of our skin, different medications can play a large part in the drying out of our skin and of course the menopause can cause skin change.

Fear not! There are a number of wonderful treatment for all kinds of skin concerns here at Universal Therapy. I’m happy to give you a free skin consultation to recommend the perfect course of treatments for you, both in salon and at home, and don’t forget that the treatments are also all about giving you some “you time” helping you to relax and combat stress. Something you can start doing today though is drink more water to hydrate your skin from the inside! Try at least 2 litres a day for the next month and let me know how you get on!

I’ll be back soon with another blog, I’ll cover some of your skin care and beauty issues in more detail. If there’s anything you’d specifically like me to talk about, do get in touch.

Here’s to growing old gracefully!

Penny x

Brrrr… looking cool this winter

Winter is here, and it is probably set to stay for a while if we’re honest with ourselves.  Chances are you already have the heating set on timer, you are wrapped head to toe in your favourite winter warmers and a hot toddy is never going to go unwanted, right? But along with some winter treats it can really throw our hair and skin into a frightful state.

But that needn’t be the case, not if you understand how to look after your hair and skin during the winter months.  These top tips will have you glowing in no time.

Pucker up 

The cold weather and biting winds can wreak havoc on your lips.  Chapped lips can become rather painful.  So make sure you use a moisturising lip balm such as Vaseline or Carex. Try to avoid licking your lips as this can make them even drier.

Quench your thirst 

It can be all too easy to drink less water in the cold weather.  But don’t let that be the case.  Your body and skin still needs plenty of H20 so don’t forget to drink lots.  And of course, be wary of too much alcohol, as well as giving you a sore head it will really dehydrate your body.  If you don’t fancy ice cold water at this time of year then opt for herbal teas and sugar free juices but do all you can to quench your body’s thirst.

Enrich your skin 

Your skin needs moisturising daily, and even more so during the winter months.  Central heating and harsh weather conditions can really dry your skin out.  You should also be feeding your skin with lots of goodness.  Help to fight those pesky colds and flu bugs with vitamin c, spinach and avocados.  Stock up on plenty of fruit and veg over Christmas and keep your body glowing.

Condition your hair 

The central heating can really dry out your hair, and can make frizzy hair a nightmare to handle.  Make sure you use a decent conditioner on your locks to keep them luscious this festive season. And, if your hair is feeling really rather desperate might we suggest a hot oil treatment?

Reduce the amount of alcohol, fatty foods, fizzy drinks and late nights you have over the festive period.  Be good to your body and it will be good to you in return.  It will also make that January detox even easier.


Hair today, gone tomorrow

Unwanted hair can be more than just an annoyance at times.  It can be very distressing.  Electrolysis is the only recognised and proven method of permanent hair removal, which is why we at Universal Therapy are championing electrolysis.

Our chosen brand is Apilus.  Guaranteeing 100% permanent hair removal.

How exactly does it work?

Well, electrolysis works by destroying the germ cells that are responsible for hair growth.  A fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle and current is then given to the hair.  This is different depending on the area that you are having treated and the hair type.  So, if you have darker and thicker hair in a certain region of your body then you will probably need a stronger current or more treatments.

Apilus is state of the art technology that uses a computerised electrolysis machine to target only the germ cells. Protecting the skin at all times and preventing new hair growth.

If you want permanent hair removal then look no further.  At Universal Therapy we are here to talk you through the technology, how many treatments you will need and how to look after your skin post-treatment.

You really don’t need to live with unwanted hair any longer.  Unwanted facial hair can really reduce your confidence and make you feel unfeminine.  But it ought not to, and you should not have to suffer unnecessarily.

Why not contact us at Universal Therapy today and book your consultation today?

Take that first step in ridding your body of unwanted hair.

Are you prepared?

It is holiday season, the kids are finally off school and the countdown to your holiday is on.  But forget the kids for a second.  What about you.  Are you ready?  By ready we don’t just mean have you bought enough sun tan lotion, located all your passports and printed your tickets.  No, we mean are you beach ready?

A holiday is all about looking and feeling good.  So, in order to get you in the holiday mood why not head to the Universal Therapy salon and let us pamper you?

Nothing will get you in the mood for relaxation faster than a Swedish massage? Relax and unwind whilst we de-stress and calm you.  Designed to improve muscle tone and drain toxins, you will leave feeling as if you are floating on air!

Or what about a back cleanse treatment? Our Crystal Clear back treatment uses natural sea salts to gently exfoliate your back.  So you will be ready to jump into that bikini.

And, in order to get you looking summer ready why not opt for a wax?  From a full leg wax to an eyebrow and a bikini wax, you won’t need to worry about unwanted hair.  Nothing will make you feel more confident on the beach than a wax…

Except for a spray tan.  Our Sun Junkie spray tans are so natural looking that people will think you have been on holiday for weeks already.  Having a tan before you head off on holiday means that you will have bikini confidence from the moment you step off the plane.

So, why not pick up the phone and book some summer holiday treatments with us today?