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How soap works

What is soap?

Tres Spa Organic Soap - Harmony

As defined by the FDA, the governing agency in the US, true soap is the alkali salt of fatty acids. That's it. End of definition.

It really is pretty straightforward and anything else is not considered to be soap at all, it would be a detergent. This is the case for soaps and shampoo. Most body and hair cleansers out there are fortified with synthetic chemicals to enhance lather and alter the cleaning process so much to the point they are no longer a true soap at all. They would be treated Very few soaps are true soaps. In fact, beyond handcrafters like Très Spa, I'm not sure if there is any large scale manufacturer of true soap.

How is it made?

Traditional soap is made by combining fatty acids (oil) from either plant, animal, or mineral with an alkali (lye) of either potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. At Très Spa we only use certified organic plant oils and, since we do not make liquid soap, sodium hydroxide to formulate all of our soap and shampoo.

Once the acid and the alkali are combined they begin to react and combine eventually creating a solid block. The chemical reaction of the two is called saponification. The result is a alkali salt or what we all call soap.

How does it work?

There's a lot more going on than just pretty bubbles when you activate your soap!

Soap is a a perfectly balanced yin and yang of hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules. One loves water and the other is repelled by it. This nature is what allows the soap to act as an emulsifier allowing liquids to diffuse together.

So lets say you rubbed a bar of soap against your skin or a bar of shampoo across your scalp and hair when water is present. You need the water in order to get the soap to jump into action and line up accordingly. One end points away from the water and grabs hold of anything but water. So dirt, oil, and any other surface debris gets surrounded on all sides by the soap. Eventually the water comes by and the hydrophilic ends of the soap catch the wave pulling the debris and surface oil away from the surface and down the drain.

No matter what the application is, soap works the same every time.

What happens to your skin after soap

Your skin's top mantle is slightly acidic, balancing between 4+ to 6+ on the pH scale . Soap is slightly alkali dancing between 8 to 10. There is no way to know for sure exactly what the pH is of your handcrafted soap since it continues to change as it ages, but they usually fall in a range that is ideal for cleansing the top mantle of the skins protective layer.

Once the soap passes over the skin, the mantles pH is temporarily adjusted. Don't panic, it will turn back to normal in a short time. In fact, you may not even notice since . If your pH is high you may feel a bit dry. Très Spa Organic Soaps are super-fatted at 5% so that when you use them, your skin feels soft and supple. Less disruptive to the natural balance of the skins mantle.

What happens to your face after soap

The skin on your face operates just like the rest of your body. Likewise, it responds the same to soap, a momentary shift in pH then a re-balancing. Your goal is to keep the pores unclogged and clean while not damaging the balance.

Très Spa Organic Face Cleanser is formulated with exfoliates to help clear out debris, dead skin cells, and unclog pores. They also include more super-fatting than our bar soaps so this will leave a more moisturized feeling. Limiting your face washing to once a day, before bed, should be all you need to maintain a fresh healthy face.

What happens to your hair after soap

Digital StillCamera

When it comes to washing your hair, there are two areas to look at. One is the scalp, which is very similar to the rest of your skin when you wash with soap. The lather carries away the dirt, debris, and excess oil. The other area is the hair shaft. The lather wraps around the hair cuticle then carries away the dirt, debris, and excess oil. While the skin on the scalp reacts much the same as everywhere on your body, the hair follicles also respond to soap. The act of washing the hair temporarily adjusts the porosity of the cuticle by making it softer and more receptive to absorbing nutrients and moisture. Très Spa Organic Shampoo's are specifically formulated with plants that are beneficial in supporting strong healthy hair.

To keep the hair system healthy and stable, we recommend adopting a specific routine to suit your specific needs.

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The Best Way to Remove Makeup

A good daily cleansing routine will help you maintain your skins luster and regenerative abilities. It can help you fight back the aging effects.

Whether you wear a little or a lot, you'll need to remove that makeup every day. If you go to bed with makeup on, you run the risk of causing breakouts from clogging pores. Not to mention the mess you'll make on your pillow case.

But even if you don't wear any makeup at all, you will still expose your face to the daily grime from air pollution, dirt, hand contact, and dead skin cells to name a few. All of this can build up and cause your pores to clog and your skin to look dull and tired.

Just how many times a day should you wash your face? Once, twice, three times?

Once is enough, twice is okay but not required, three times is bordering on an obsession. The main thing is to make sure you are using a cleansing agent that is effective enough to wash away the debris yet mild enough that it wont strip your skin. Your face should feel fresh and hydrated.

We recommend washing with soap once a day before bed and using a toner to refresh in the morning before applying your moisturizer.

What to do about eye makeup

Eye make up can be a great deal more intense to deal with and a bit of a challenge when you try to remove it. It's made to go on and stay on looking fresh all day. It needs to look flawless even though we blink 10 to 20 times per minute. Not to mention the fact that we want a mascara that wont run dark streaks down our cheeks at the first tear. So you can imagine that makeup this long lasting will not be easy to remove.

You could try it with soap but I would not recommend that as my first pick. First, you don't want to get soap in your eye as it may cause stinging irritations. Secondly you should never rub your eye as this pulls and tugs and stretches the skin which is counter productive if you are wanting to naturally fight off wrinkling.

Another option are the litany of synthetic specialized and often overpriced concoctions focused on eye makeup remover. But there may be a better way.

We recommend you give nature a try and use a more planet friendly approach. Use your favorite oil or one of the Très Spa Naked oil or our Hair oil, or just grab your favorite oil out of the kitchen cabinet. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Oil up a cotton round or a fabric cloth

    You can find organic cotton rounds or you may choose to use washable cloths. I would suggest a bamboo or organic cotton.

  2. Gently press to the eye

    You'll want to press the oil to the eyelid and lashes to let it work with the makeup. Give it a gentle wiggle to get into all of the cracks and creases.

  3. Gently swipe down

    With a rolling motion, gently wipe down and out.

  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3

    Depending on how much makeup you have on, you may need to repeat a few times.

  5. Wash face with mild soapy water

    Now that you have liberated your face, it's time to wash away any residual oil and any remnants of makeup left behind.


We are not your Doctor

The Très Spa website may contain articles on science, or medical topics; however, no warranty is made that any of the articles are accurate.There is absolutely no assurance that any statement contained or cited in an article touching on science or medical matters is true, correct, precise, or up-to-date. The overwhelming majority of such articles are written, in part or in whole, by nonprofessionals. Even if a statement made about science or medicine is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms.

The information provided at Très Spa is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). None of the individual contributors, nor anyone else connected to Très Spa can take any responsibility for the results or consequences of any attempt to use or adopt any of the information presented on this web site.

Nothing on Très Spa's site or included as part of any project or product of Très Spa, should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine.

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How to create a steam treatment

My favorite treatment room in the spa is the steam room. I always love to get to the spa earlier than my massage appointment so I can bounce between the sauna and the steam room. If you have ever spent any time in one, then you know the way it makes you feel. Some benefits of steaming are increases in circulation, removes toxins below the surface, relaxes the muscles, relieves stiff joints, releases stress, and opens sinuses. And the benefits of steaming extend to our entire body.

You don't have to have a special room built or invest in expensive equipment to be able to experience your own mini steam treatment at home. All you need is a little heat and a little ingenuity!

Face Steam

Time needed: 25 minutes.

A little steam action may be just what you need to help open those pores and soften any trapped debris. It's also a great way to relax and unwind with some aroma therapy. There are a couple of different techniques you could use to do this. Steam bowl or Towel wrap. Both work well.

  1. Gather up the tools you will need

    All you need is warm to hot water, clean towels – I like tea sized or super soft washcloths for wrapping my face, and a bowl big enough to either soak your tea size towels in or hold your face over for steaming.
    Do you want to add aroma therapy to your steam? Here is where you can really have some fun! What about adding some essential oils or botanical plant matter to your steam.

  2. Boil water

    Here is where you can really have some fun! What about adding some essential oils or botanical plant matter to your steam? Why have just plain water when you can spruce it up a bit, maybe even with a bit of Spruce! Place a couple of drops of essential oils or about a 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of plant material in a bowl and pour in the boiling water.

  3. Wrap or Hover Choose one

    If you decide to Wrap – simply submerge your towels in the herb infused water to soak it through. Wring out excess water, now lay back and wrap the towel around your face. I also like to drape my neck and décolleté. If your towels get cold or you want more time, you can reheat them in the microwave.
    If you decide to HoverPlease make sure to close your eyes before you hover over the bowl! While the steam is rising, hover your face over the bowl and cover your head with a towel big enough to create a tent over you and the bowl, trapping the steam inside.

  4. Rest for 20 minutes

    It takes a little bit of time for the steam to soften your skin so spend at least 20 minutes steaming. Once you are done, you could follow with a cooling mist or simply moisturize.

Hair Steam

Lock in hydration with a little steam action. A good steam will amplify your deep condition and help you support soft strong hair. Steam heat also can help with scalp circulation and encourage growth. If you have damaged hair or scalp, you may want to try this once a week but no more than two times. Too much water can actually dilute your natural defenses and turn around to weaken your hair. It's a good example of too much of a good thing is not so good.

Time needed:15 to 30 minutes

  1. Start with moist hair – Steam comes for heat and water so you'll want to start with damp hair. For a water steam, either wash your hair with our Organic Shampoo or dampen your hair with one of our planet friendly Hair Hydros.
  2. Add Botanical Power – Mask, Oil, or Infusion. Coat your hair with the nourishment of your choice from root to tip.
  3. Cap it to activate – In order to create heat you need to wrap or cap your hair under some form of protection that will allow heat to build a little. Personally I like towels when my hair is short because they still let air in and out but you could use a shower cap. This is what I use under the towel when my hair is long. It's the only way to make sure the heat and the treatment gets to all of my hair.
  4. Steam it – 20 minutes is all you really need for all the magic to happen. A little more or a little less is fine.
  5. Unwrap – Unwrap your steam treatment and either rinse out or wash out the mask, oil, gel or botanical. If you opted for a water only infused steam treatment then you really do not need to wash it out. In fact you can just dry your hair, style it and go.

Body Steam

It's hard to replicate the steam room at home, even harder to replicate a sauna. My recommendation is to head out to the spa for this. You can always purchase a day pass to just use the facilities. Some of the most common benefits of steam rooms are reduces stress, relaxes muscles, improved circulation which reduces blood pressure, helps purge toxins, and softens skin which helps the skin repair itself naturally. Turns out, there are some things you can do at home that emulate the benefits of a sauna.

Personally I found that there is nothing better than a lovely shower or a scrumptious bath to make me feel amazing inside and out. I have tried several of the at home treatments and I have found nothing better than a simple bath with Très Spa tub treats or a soothing shower with an organic soap and an added bonus of one of our amazing body scrubs.

  • Steamy Shower – The easiest and least time consuming of any of the at home sauna solutions is the shower. To make it even more spa quality and to make you feel like you are at the sauna, I recommend you use the Invigorate Aromatic mist to add the opening aromatic essential oils, alternatively you could use one of the fizzes as a shower fizz. Just remember to step carefully as it may make the shower floor slippery. To use the mist, simply spray a washcloth and hang it in the shower where the heat and steam can get to it but it is safe from the water stream. You don't want to wash it down the drain. You could also spray the shower curtain.
  • Steam Bath– This is my favorite treat. A nice long warm bath with aroma therapy works wonders for you Mind, Body, & Spirit. Start out with a bath that is as hot as you can handle since you want to be able to stretch out and relax for 20 minutes. I add the milk bath for the essential fats in the coconut milk and the minerals in the salts for skin nourishment, detoxification, and muscle relaxation. I use the bath fizzies for additional minerals, skin softening, and aroma therapy. I really doesn't get any better than this! You can find all of the ones I use in our bath collections line.
  • Sauna Suit – These are suits you wear. There are a couple of types out there. One looks like silver jogging suits with elastic cuffs so the only parts that stick out are your feet and hands and your head and neck. The other is made of neoprene. They work by trapping in heat causing you to sweat and simulating a steam sauna. Typically used to reduce but what you really lose is just water. The benefit for the skin is the same as spending time in the spa. These suits can be used over and over again as they are easy enough to wash. This is what I use when I want to do a herbal body mask.
  • Wraps – These are isolation or full body wraps that people may use to target a specific area of the body. Typically used to reduce but what you really lose is just water. A full body mineral wrap is an amazing treatment you can get at a spa but not one easy to replicate at home. It involves covering your body head to toe in a body mask then covering that with a wrap. I've had treatments that used warm wet organic cotton and ones where they used something like a saran wrap (not very planet friendly). Both work but I have never tried to even try to attempt this on my own. I save this treatment for a visit to the spa. You could do it, but why bother? Why not just indulge yourself with a spa day?!
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What a toner is and why you should use one

At Très Spa, we valued the true purpose of what a toner should be for everyone; a tool to help support fresh healthy faces. When formulated correctly a toner can help you maintain glowing soft skin. They don't need to be abrasive or drying. There is no need to use harsh alcohols that leave you feeling dried out and stinging.

A toner formulated the Très Spa way will leave you feeling clean and fresh. You should feel nourished and hydrated. This is the third step in our 4 Steps to a Healthy Glowing Face is the toner.

Cleanse

Years ago toners were typically designed to address acne and oily skin conditions but the newer generation of toners, like the one's Très Spa creates, are changing the tide. Our formulations do not have the synthesized astringents typically found in other toners. We use the botanical hydros that serve multiple functions. The plants have natural astringents and other therapeutic properties that come together to give the toners the ability to cleanse and soothe at the same time.

To use one as a cleanser, simply mist a cotton cloth or swab and wipe it over your face.

Try it instead of the traditional soap and water. Works great for outdoor adventurers who may not have access to water since you wont need any to activate the toners cleansing affect.

Nourish

Toners supply a ready source of bio nutrients to the skins surface making them instantly nourishing. The fine misting nature also makes them very refreshing and soothing.

Hydrate

Because they are water based, they offer an instant hydrating sensation. But this does not replace the need for a hydrating oil or cream. Water based products tend to fade rapidly so even though you get the immediate hydration, you will want to follow it up with a robust hydrating oil that has the day long staying power. For Très Spa, that would be our Defiance! face cream or any one of our custom blended Face Oils.

Pores appear smaller

Tres Spa in Harmony with Nature Neroli-flowers

It wont shrink your pores, nothing will, but it can minimize their appearance. Keeping your skin clean and clear of debris makes skin appear smoother. Stimulation through exfoliation can help you maintain clear skin pores.

Clear skin always has the appearance of fine skin with a luster or glow.


We are not your Doctor

The Très Spa website may contain articles on science, or medical topics; however, no warranty is made that any of the articles are accurate.There is absolutely no assurance that any statement contained or cited in an article touching on science or medical matters is true, correct, precise, or up-to-date. The overwhelming majority of such articles are written, in part or in whole, by nonprofessionals. Even if a statement made about science or medicine is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms.

The information provided at Très Spa is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). None of the individual contributors, nor anyone else connected to Très Spa can take any responsibility for the results or consequences of any attempt to use or adopt any of the information presented on this web site.

Nothing on Très Spa's site or included as part of any project or product of Très Spa, should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine.

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How to make your face mask

No matter which mask you use and no matter which wetting agent you choose, these are the same steps you will follow to mix, apply, and remove your fresh face mask. If you want some ideas or inspiration, read our Mineral Mask Mash Up article. You can also find additional information in our FAQ for Tres Spa Facials

Get it together before you start:

  • Clean Towels – to pat dry with in the end
  • Tools and accessories – You'll want a bowl, a brush and some kind of wash cloth
  • Wetting agent – What ever you plan to make your mask with, you'll want that ready on the side.

Time needed: 40 minutes.

We recommend you do this twice a week but who does that? We don't even do it. Truth is we all find the time whenever we can. Hopefully, by keeping it simple, you will have the opportunity to carve out 30 minutes at least once a week to pamper your face.

  1. Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the powder into a dish

    You can use a bowl or a cup, just pick something small enough and deep enough to hold the powder and the wetting agent and still have room to stir. When I travel, I usually use the hotel room water glasses. At home I have a charming silver bowl. Tres Spa Face Mask Step 1

  2. Add a bit of your wetting agent

    Start out with just enough to get things just wet. You can always add more if you need to. If you add too much liquid you can add more powder and refrigerate the leftovers for your next facial (as long as your next facial is in a couple of days). The more delicate the wetting agent, the shorter the shelf life so you never want to make up so much you can't use it in one application. For this exercise I used simple water in the interest of time. Tres Spa Face Mask Step 2

  3. Mix thoroughly

    You want to make sure you mix it all the way through. Break up any clumps of clay and if you are using pureed plants make sure you have really blended them well. Incorporating all of the mineral mask. Tres Spa Face Mask Step 3

  4. Get the right consistency

    Personally I like to have my mask at about the consistency of pancake mix. You can have it thinner if you want but I like to have a thicker mask that wont dry as fast. After all I have to sit with it for at least 20 minutes. If you are using pureed plants in your mask, expect it to be a bit thicker and it may have a lump or two. Tres Spa Face Mask Step 4

  5. Brush on

    I like to use a brush to apply my face mask. You can use your fingers, it's what I did for years. But I do like the smooth even application of our fan brushes. Tres Spa Face Mask Step 5

  6. Wait 20 minutes to let the mask work it's magic

    Keep your face statue still while you wait. Wiggling you face to much creates cracks in your mask and the skin wont get a nice even coverage. I do not like to let a mask dry for very long. 20 minutes is more than enough time to let the plants work their magic.
    If you find your mask is drying then spritz your face with a bit of fresh water. Just enough to re-moisten but not enough to get it wet and runny.
    While we recommend not talking, you don't have to just sit there during your mask time. You can get up and do things around the house. Or waist your time in social media. Just remember to keep you face statue still.

  7. Rinse your face mask off

    You can do this over a sink if you want. I have done it this way but I usually make too much of a mess splashing the water up to rinse. I've used a washcloth to help but I end up scrubbing to hard and I usually find bits of dry clay in my hair afterwards. I find it's best for me to just step into a shower. Since I like to apply the mask all the way covering my whole face, neck, and décolleté  area I end up with a good amount of clay to remove.
    If you have the time, you may want to add a steam towel step here. Just mist a clean tea towel and heat it in the microwave, while it is warm, wrap it around your face leaving the nose clear to breath. Lay back for a minute or two until the towel loses it's heat.
    You may have some small amount of redness or pink color after your rinse but this will fade shortly after. If you leave your mask on for too long or scrub a bit too aggressively it may take longer for your skin to cool off. Tres Spa Face Mask Step 6

  8. Seal it up and lock it in

    The last thing you need to do is finish off your facial with a refreshing spritz of a botanical toner. The toner helps make sure you have removed all the mask remnants as well as helping top cool off your skin. Then lock it in with one of our amazing moisturizers.

The end result, your skin will have a glow and feel as soft as silk to the touch. Freshly exfoliated and renewed.

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We are not your Doctor

The Très Spa website may contain articles on science, or medical topics; however, no warranty is made that any of the articles are accurate.There is absolutely no assurance that any statement contained or cited in an article touching on science or medical matters is true, correct, precise, or up-to-date. The overwhelming majority of such articles are written, in part or in whole, by nonprofessionals. Even if a statement made about science or medicine is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms.

The information provided at Très Spa is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). None of the individual contributors, nor anyone else connected to Très Spa can take any responsibility for the results or consequences of any attempt to use or adopt any of the information presented on this web site.

Nothing on Très Spa's site or included as part of any project or product of Très Spa, should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine.