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We all love a great facial scrub and mask. Facial scrubs and masks are essential to keeping the skin on our face clean, soft, and even in tone and texture. Facial scrubs and masks are so popular and important, that there are hundreds of products to choose from, ranging in cost from approximately $3 per bottle for a drugstore brand all the way up to approximately $60 per bottle for higher-end name brand products.

Why spend money buying these products when you can make great facial scrubs and masks at home with common household groceries? Most facial scrubs and masks are designed to target one of three primary purposes—cleanse, exfoliate, or soften; so, we gathered the recipes of facial scrubs and masks you can make yourself for each of these purposes.

Lemon & Salt Cleansing Facial Scrub Mask

Cleansing facial masks are made to pull excess dirt and oil out of your pores and remove the top layer of dead skin cells to leave behind a bright look and encourage the growth of new healthy skin cells. When it comes to getting a great, refreshing cleanse from a facial scrub and mask, the best ingredients to use are lemon and salt. The lemon is used as a deep cleanser for taking the oil and dirt off the surface of your face, while the salt uses its antibacterial properties to remove dirt and bacteria that clog your pores deeper down and softly exfoliates the top layer of the face to remove dead skin cells.

What you need:

How to make it:

  1. Wash your hands first.
  2. Combine the lemon juice, sea salt, and water together in a bowl.
  3. Apply and massage the mixture into your face using gentle, circular motions.
  4. Once you have thoroughly scrubbed your entire face, use warm water to rinse off your face.
  5. After the scrub is completely removed from the surface of your face, quickly splash your face with cold water so your pores will close back up.
  6. Use a soft towel to pat dry.

It is important to make sure you do not use too much lemon juice when making this facial scrub. If you use too much lemon juice, the citric acid will irritate the skin and leave it red. When made properly, the lemon and salt facial scrub should leave your face smooth and glowing.

Brown Sugar & Honey Exfoliating Facial Scrub Mask

Exfoliation is the act of removing dead skin cells on the surface layer of the skin. Exfoliation is important because it leaves your face with a smooth and even texture and tone, it encourages the production of new and healthy skin cells, and it allows your other facial products, such as moisturizer or acne cream, to absorb deeper into the skin.

When it comes to getting gentle but effective exfoliation, the best ingredients to use are honey and brown sugar. Honey has both antiseptic and antibacterial properties that are used to cleanse dirt, oil, and other bacteria from clogged pores while gently moisturizing the skin. The brown sugar gently exfoliates the skin to remove dead skin cells and excess dirt and oil from the surface layer of the skin while offering a deep cleanse to remove toxins from your pores.

What you need:

How to make it:

  1. Wash your hands first.
  2. Combine the honey and brown sugar together into a bowl and mix well.
  3. Apply and massage the mixture into your face using gentle, circular motions, but do not apply around your eyes and mouth.
  4. Once you have thoroughly scrubbed your entire face, use warm water to rinse off your face.
  5. Use a soft towel to pat dry.

When made and used properly, a facial scrub made of honey and brown sugar should not only leave your face smooth and even in both texture and tone, but it should also provide a deep cleanse—and combined these results will encourage the growth of newer, healthier skin cells.

Oatmeal, Yogurt, & Orange Peel Softening Facial Scrub Mask

One of the best things about any good facial mask and scrub is the smooth and soft feeling it leaves behind on our skin afterward. When it comes to making a facial scrub that will leave you with the softest skin possible, the best ingredients to use are oatmeal, yogurt, and orange peel. These ingredients combine to make the ultimate facial scrub and mask that will provide a deep cleanse, hydration, nourishment, and exfoliation to leave behind soft and beautiful skin.

What you need:

How to make it:

  1. Wash your hands first.
  2. Combine the ground oatmeal, yogurt, and orange-peel powder together into a bowl and mix well.
  3. Liberally apply the mixture onto your face using gentle, circular motions.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit for approximately two or three minutes.
  5. Use warm water to rinse the mixture off your face with a washcloth or your hands.
  6. Use a soft towel to pat dry.

When made and used properly, a facial mask made of oatmeal, yogurt, and orange-peel powder should leave your skin extremely soft and smooth, thoroughly cleansed, and well-nourished and moisturized.

Homemade facial scrub masks are a great way to maintain healthy skin between spa treatments, but you should also treat yourself to regular professional facials to keep your healthy glow. Contact the licensed estheticians at Brandon Essentials to schedule your next spa facial treatment today!

Why Moms Need To Prioritize Self-Care And How To Start Doing It Now

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, chances are good that you are your family’s “sacrificial lamb” so to speak. You expend all your energy on your family and children and making sure they have everything they could need or want. But what are you doing to make sure you are taking care of yourself? For you to be the best mom you can be, it is essential you prioritize self-care. With every move we make as mothers being judged these days, it's difficult to do just that. No, you shouldn’t feel guilty about making some time for yourself!

Here is why it is so important to prioritize your own self-care as a mother and tips on how to start doing it right now.

It’s Good For Your Kids

That’s right, making it a priority to take care of yourself is setting a positive example for your children. Your kids need to see it’s healthy and normal to put their own needs first and to make sure their tanks are full, so to speak, so they have plenty left over to give to others. If you see prioritizing self-care as making time to spend with friends, then your children will see it is important to have close friendships and make time for them. If you see prioritizing self-care as taking some alone time to read a book, then your children see reading is important to continue to grow their minds. If you see prioritizing self-care as taking the time to exercise a few times a week, then your children see they should also prioritize a healthy lifestyle.

No matter what your image of prioritizing self-care looks like, your children will see that it is important to include fun and joy in aspects of their everyday life. And the better you take care of yourself, the happier and more patient you will be for your children in the long run.

It’s Good For You And Your Spouse

It may be a given that prioritizing self-care is good for you, but it’s good in more ways than simply giving you time to relax and enjoy yourself. When you are prioritizing your own self-care, you are also making for an all-around healthier and happier version of yourself. The healthier you are, the less you will worry about the ever-dreaded mom burnout. And the happier you are, the happier everyone in the family is going to be.

When you are prioritizing your own self-care, you will be able to give more to not only your children but also to your spouse, which will make for a much more meaningful relationship and will eliminate the buildup of resentment.

How To Prioritize Self-Care Now

Okay, so now you know you need to start prioritizing self-care, but that’s a lot easier said than done is what you are probably thinking. It’s true that it can be difficult to put other things aside and prioritize ourselves, but it’s not impossible and it doesn’t have to mean that you don’t have time for everything else that is piled on your plate.

Prioritizing self-care simply means that you take yourself from the bottom of the list and put yourself closer to the top of the list. And if you are one of the thousands thinking “I’m not even on the list” then it is time that you get yourself on that list and close to the top of it right now!

Here are some tips that will help you start prioritizing your time to make room for self-care:

Prioritizing Self-Care Begins With A Mindset Change

Before you can start to prioritize your own self-care, you must decide to have a shift in your mindset and commit yourself to this decision over and over again. Don’t let mom guilt take over. Prioritizing your own self-care is not selfish. It is simply making sure you are keeping your own mind, body, and emotional health at its best, so you can be at your best for everyone else.

Taking care of yourself is something you must do to really be able to care for anyone else! Never apologize for making time to take care of yourself. In fact, celebrate with your children the fact you are taking care of yourself, so they will learn just how important it is for them to prioritize their own self-care as well.

Prioritizing Self-Care Doesn’t Have To Mean A Lot Of Time Is Sacrificed

Just because you are going to be prioritizing your own self-care doesn’t mean you must give up a lot of your time to do so. Self-care can be as simple as taking five to ten minutes a day just to do something for yourself. Many women who don’t have a lot of time to sacrifice for self-care find a lot of joy and relief in taking a few minutes a day to write a journal or waking up a few minutes earlier to make sure they get a nice shower before the day’s endless tasks begin.

Spend Quality Time With Friends And Your Spouse

Spending quality time with your friends and your spouse is one of the best ways to prioritize self-care while also maintaining the relationships in your life. It is important for us to have a strong support network in our friends and our spouse to help us de-stress from everyday life. Try to make it a priority to get out of the house and spend time with these people now and then. At a minimum, you should be getting out of the house with your spouse for some alone time at least once a month, and it’s even better if you can manage more often, like once a week.

Schedule Your Self-Care Time And Don’t Cancel On Yourself

The easiest way to ensure we get something done is to make a clear, well-defined appointment for it. When you schedule a meeting or a doctor’s appointment, you don’t miss it. Scheduling time for yourself should be the same way. Deliberately make room on your calendar to schedule time for your own self-care and then make a no-cancellation policy with yourself.

Prioritizing self-care really is so important to make sure we live happy, healthy lives. Now you know just how easy it can be to make sure you are making time for yourself! To really enjoy some of your newfound "you time", contact Brandon Essentials Spa today and schedule your next self-care appointment! We can’t wait to help you take care of yourself!

How To Improve Your Skin From The Inside Out

We are all always looking for the newest and greatest skin care products to help us keep our complexions glowing, youthful, and beautiful. But truly healthy skin doesn’t start on the outside, it begins from within. Simply put, there are no miracle products available that are going to help your skin more than taking proper care of both your body and skin from the inside out. Follow these easy tips to help make your inner beauty shine through:

Stay Hydrated

As with anything you are trying to improve with your health, water plays a key role in maintaining the health of your skin. When your body is well hydrated, so is your skin, and the more hydrated your skin is the healthier it will appear. When skin is hydrated, it has a fuller, smoother, and overall healthier appearance because the water is flushing out toxins and the skin is naturally being plumped from within. Staying well hydrated also helps reduce the amount of oil on top of your skin, which helps reduce the number of acne breakouts you have. If you are dehydrated, your skin will likely become dry, tight, and flaky as dehydration causes the skin to lose its natural elasticity.

Besides making sure you are drinking plenty of water, you should also green tea. Green tea is filled with polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fight damage to your skin. Green tea is also an anti-inflammatory, so drinking green tea regularly can reduce redness, blotchiness, and irritation to the skin.

Choose The Right Foods

The old saying “you are what you eat” is true when it comes to your skin. If you aren’t feeding your body the right things, then no amount of outside skincare products you use are going to counteract the damaging effects of an unhealthy diet. To keep your skin healthy and beautiful, you must make sure you are feeding your body the right foods. Healthy skin is not only about eating the right foods but also about making sure you are not eating the wrong foods.

Believe it or not, there are some fats that are good for you! Omega-3 fats found in fish, walnuts, and flaxseed oil, nourish, and hydrate the skin and acts as a natural anti-ager. You should also load up on as many fruits and vegetables as possible, as these are filled with vitamins that leave your skin healthy and glowing. Eating foods that are rich in protein is also important as they will promote the growth of collagen and elastin, two of the most critical building blocks of your skin. You should cut down on the amount of dairy you consume, especially if you struggle with acne. You should also stay away from sugar as it can lead to signs of premature aging and disrupt hormonal balance, which can aggravate acne.

Catch Up On Your Beauty Rest

It’s not called beauty sleep for no reason. Getting the proper amount of restful sleep each night enhances your beauty as the skin rejuvenates and repairs itself overnight while you sleep. Experts recommend you get a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Besides making sure you are getting enough sleep, take advantage of your sleeping position to extend the appearance of your skin’s youth. Sleeping on your side or stomach can lead to premature aging, lines, and wrinkles, so it is best to sleep on your stomach each night.

Get Moving

Exercise does wonders for our health and body, both inside and out. Exercise helps flush toxins out of your body and promotes good blood circulation, which then improves your skin by feeding it with plenty of oxygen and nutrients your skin’s cells need. Regular exercise also helps your skin keep its natural elasticity and youthful appearance. The great news about exercise is even if you are not already exercising, it is never too late to start. Regular exercise also helps work as an anti-ager and can even repair the damage that was previously done to the skin, reversing the signs of aging and restoring youth to the skin’s appearance.

These tips are the best way to keep your skin healthy from the inside out, but there are also many benefits your skin can receive from the use of good quality skincare products and maintenance. Contact Brandon Essentials Spa today to schedule your next appointment with one of our professionally licensed estheticians.

At a certain point in life, you may desire to change your look and opt for hair coloring. Even people who have made up their minds to add some color to their hair sometimes do not know how to go about it. Brandon Essential hair stylists are here to share some information and tips to help those considering coloring their hair.

To start, it is imperative to know that there are two main kinds of hair coloring—semi-permanent and permanent. The look you want to achieve will dictate which type of hair color to use.

Semi-Permanent vs Permanent Hair Coloring

Semi-permanent hair color involves larger molecules than the permanent, and it gradually fades out over time, reverting to your original color (although in some cases, especially if your hair was already dyed, some of the semi-permanent color may remain). Fun colors such as purples, blues, greens, etc. are typically semi-permanent.

Permanent hair color, on the other hand, lasts forever and does not fade over time, although the color can appear duller. The reason is that the permanent hair color opens the cuticle, lifting the preexisting color out and depositing the new color. You will also have regrowth that will require routine dying of your hair about every 4 to 6 weeks. Natural hair colors, those people are born with, like brown, blonde, auburn, and black, are usually permanent (although they can be found as semi-permanent colors, which enables frequent style changes!).

Hair Coloring Tips

Now that we are clear on the two types of hair colors, let’s look at the tips that will make the hair coloring journey easier:

It is worthy to remind you that even though formulating the right color may seem like something easy to do or cheaper to do with a store-bought coloring kit, boxed dyes are a one-size-fits-all that is usually too strong and often damaging to your hair. Thus, it is advisable to consult a professional hair stylist to examine your hair type, texture, and current color in a bid to find the most successful solution to your hair coloring needs.

Contact Brandon Essentials to schedule a color consultation with one of our hair stylists to discuss your hair coloring options.

Over the last few years, the market for men’s hairstyling products has really expanded and there are now many new products available, in addition to a wide selection of brands to choose from. Trying to choose the right hairstyling product can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for and can also end in a lot of frustration if you buy products you wind up not liking. Here’s a breakdown of the different styling products available and what types of hair and hairstyles they work best for.


One of the most commonly used hairstyling products is gel. A gel provides maximum hold and a very high shine. Although gel is one of the most well-known and used products, it probably shouldn’t be. Gel tends to flake and leave a residue when touched. However, if you are aiming for a wet and sleek look that will last throughout the day, a gel is probably the best option for you. If you decide you want to use a gel as your styling product, it is important to buy a higher quality gel than the drug store brands, as these are usually the gels that are going to break and flake most easily.


Pomades are a classic men’s styling product that is a mix of oil and wax. They are best for a slick and wet look that you will still be able to restyle throughout the day. Pomades work similar to gel and offer a medium hold with high shine, but are more pliable and don’t have the disadvantages of breaking and flaking throughout the day. Pomade is a great product for a hairstyle that is achieved using a comb. Oil-based pomades are generally less expensive and offer a stronger hold than water-based pomades, but water-based pomades can be healthier for your hair and are easier to wash out.


Wax hair styling products are also similar to pomades, as they are great for hairstyles that require a comb and will provide a medium hold that is pliable and will still be able to be restyled throughout the day. The fundamental difference between wax and pomade is that wax products will leave a low to medium shine. Wax hair styling products can be used for a variety of men’s hairstyles, but it works best for those with straight or slightly wavy hair and disheveled hairstyles.


Creams are the hairstyling product to use if you want it to look like you haven’t used any hairstyling products. Creams will leave your hair with its most natural look as they are lightweight, have a low hold, and have a low shine. They are also one of the healthiest hairstyling products, as they typically contain a conditioning and moisturizing element.


Paste hairstyling products are the most versatile styling products, as they provide medium hold and a medium shine. A paste is thicker than pomade and gives your hair texture without compromising the hair flexibility or creating build-up.


Clay and Fiber hairstyling products are very similar. Both Clay and Fiber hair styling products have a high hold and low shine. Clay products are healthy for your hair because they draw out impurities and nourish the scalp. Clay products also control frizzy hair and are a good choice for men with curly or longer hair. Fiber hair styling products are made from keratin, which is the same natural protein that is found in your actual hair. You can achieve a thicker look with the help of Fiber. Fiber products are a splendid choice for men with short or medium-length hairstyles that are textured and give off the “bedhead” look.  

Men, just as women do, need to take care of their skin on a regular basis. This means a daily skincare regime that you follow every morning or before going to bed. Here are some tips to improve your skincare regime and an easy-to-follow “how-to” for skin care for men.


Most individuals perform their skincare regime in the evenings so that they can wash away the grime of the day before going to sleep. Additionally, part of cleansing your skin requires you to open your pores for a deeper cleanse. This can easily be done during a hot shower. If you typically shower in the morning but prefer an evening skincare regime, splashing warm water on your face will also work. The warm water helps to open up the pore for the effective administration of the facial cleaning products.


Do. Not. Use. Body. Soap. To. Wash. Your. Face.

Sorry men but washing your face with the same soap you use on your armpits will cause dryness and redness and could even be mildly irritating to the skin. Pick up a gentle cleanser and apply a dime-sized amount to your hands and massage it onto your face. Rinse with cool water—the cold water will help to shrink your pores to help protect against collecting excess dirt and oil. Then pat your face dry; do not rub. Rubbing can irritate the skin and pull away essential moisture. Even for individuals with oily skin or acne, washing your face once a day is typically enough, but more than twice a day can over-dry the skin.


Now, this is where most men stop taking care of their skin. It's ok to moisturize, and is in fact, highly beneficial. Your skin produces oil naturally, but an imbalance in the moisture in your skin can lead to excess oil production, or reversely, excessively dry skin, wrinkles, and "flabby" skin. A moisturizer will help to keep your skin firm and well-balanced.

Protect It

It is important to care for your skin on all levels, including prevention, not just treatment. Wear sunscreen prior to spending excess time outside (30 minutes or more) and apply at least an SPF30 sunscreen. You can reduce the number of facial products by finding a moisturizer with a built-in sunscreen and applying it daily.

Trust A Brandon Essentials Facial Specialist

Don't forget to schedule yourself a cleansing facial to help keep your skin looking as good as it can. Contact our spa to take advantage of our specialized Gentleman's Facial designed especially for caring for men's skin.

Massages are known for their ability to help people relax and unwind but did you know that there are different massage options for different issues that can provide results based on why you need the massage? Essentials Spa of Brandon offers about a dozen different massage options – each one to help our clients address specific needs. Read below to see what each massage is best for so you can make the right selection for yourself.

Relaxation Massage

Employing the traditional massage techniques of a Swedish massage, the relaxation massage does exactly that—bolsters your personal relaxation and the relaxation of your muscles. Ideal for those with mild knots or tension in the muscles. The kneading, circular motions, and long strokes of this massage work into the muscle tissue to alleviate tension and associated pain caused by knots or stress.

Best for: First-time spa-goes, mild back or muscle pain, self-treat, general relaxation.

Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massages are for more than just relaxation but for rehabilitation. Focus during the massage is kept on particular trouble spots in order to slowly work away deep muscle adhesions, scar tissue, or muscle tightness. Typically results in greater flexibility and mobility, and requires multiple sessions for optimal results.

Best for: Chronic pain, severe muscle tension, injury rehabilitation

Deep Tissue Massage

This massage uses firm pressure and deep, slow strokes along the length of muscles in order to reach lower layers of muscles and connective tissues to help break up knots or adhesions in the muscles. Greatly improves circulation to carry away the broken-down tissue of adhesions or scar tissue. A deep tissue massage can also help improve mobility and flexibility.

Best for: Individuals with chronic pain or muscle issues, severe muscle knots, or bodybuilders and athletes.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massages employ traditional Swedish massage techniques but instead of completing the massage movements by hands, your masseuse uses heated stones. The heat from the stones is worked into the muscles, deepening the release of muscle tension while increasing circulation to the area, and reducing inflammation.

Best for: Those with more tension or knots in their muscles, joint or muscle inflammation.

Bamboo Fusion Massage

This massage employs the use of a warmed bamboo stick to help apply pressure and heat during the massage. The bamboo is able to penetrate adhesions deep in the muscles better than manipulations by hand. It also helps improve circulation, encourages drainage of the lymphatic system, and provides tension relief.

Best for: Individuals with chronic pain or targeted muscle issues, severe muscle knots, and athletes.

Reflexology Massage

Gentle yet firm pressure is placed over pressure points. Reflexology utilizes specific pressure points on the hands or feet to garner a specific result somewhere else in the body. For example, manipulating the pressure points at the tips of the toes can help to alleviate issues associated with the head or brain such as headaches, migraines, and sinus issues.

Best for: Individuals who do not want a full body massage or wish to target only specific results.

Neuromuscular Massage or Trigger Point Therapy Massage

The massage techniques in these massages are similar to those in reflexology but on the back. Trigger point therapy focuses pressure on select points in the body as well as muscle knots, and by applying pressure in these areas the goal is to reduce pain, pressure, inflammation, or tension in other areas of the body.

Best for: Injury rehabilitation, athletes, or individuals with chronic pain.

Pre-Natal Massage

Prenatal massages are relaxation massages just for the mom-to-be. It is a safe way for pregnant women to enjoy the benefits of a massage—relaxation, minimized muscle pain, reduced tension in the back and hips, and alleviated aches from pregnancy.

Best for: Pregnant women past their first trimester.

Sports Massage

Sports massages focus on the stimulation and kneading of muscles and tendons in a specific area of the body, typically areas that receive repetitive use during a sport or activity or the location of an injury. Helps to improve circulation, increase mobility and flexibility, and reduce pain and inflammation.

Best for: Athletes, active or fit individuals, recovering from sports or accident-related injury.

Raindrop Therapy Massage

Raindrop Therapy implements heat, aromatherapy, reflexology, and traditional massage techniques to promote complete relaxation and mental, emotional, and physical health.

Best for: First time spa-goes, mild back or muscle pain, self-treat/self-care, general relaxation.

Aromatherapy Massage

Essentials Brandon offers aromatherapy to be offered in conjunction with any massage option. Aromatherapy is the use of specific essential oils either in a diffuser or massaged onto the skin to increase the client’s level of relaxation, boost their mood, reduce feelings associated with depression, or relieve muscle tension.

Best for: Enhancing the effects of any massage.

Couple’s Massage

A couple’s massage is essentially a relaxation massage with your partner on a massage table next to you. You each get to enjoy the benefits of a massage—the relaxation and easing of muscle tension—but can also enjoy the added benefits of emotional connection with your partner. Couple massages are a great way for two people to spend quality time with each other.

Best for: Romantic couples, friends, family, or siblings.

Exfoliation is an important part of any skincare routine. When it is done correctly, exfoliation helps remove the dead surface layer of skin cells and leaves behind healthy glowing skin. Exfoliation can also help your skin expel toxins and improve the effectiveness of other skincare products you use. However, you need to avoid over-exfoliation as this can cause skin irritation and inflammation.

Here is everything you should know about exfoliation:

What Is An Exfoliant?

There are many different types of exfoliating products, however, they all generally fall into one of two categories: physical or chemical. Physical exfoliants are the types of exfoliating products most people think of when they hear the word exfoliating. These products use an ingredient that is “scrubbed” over the skin to remove the surface layer of dead skin cells. You want to avoid any exfoliating products that have coarsely ground ingredients as these can cause tiny tears and punctures that damage the skin. Chemical exfoliants use enzymatic properties to slough off the dead surface layer of skin cells.

When Should You Exfoliate?

When and how often you should exfoliate will vary based on the type of skin you have. Generally, it is safe to exfoliate once or twice a week. People with more sensitive skin types should exfoliate only once a week. People with more oily skin may benefit from exfoliating more than twice a week. Signs you can look for that indicate it is time to exfoliate include:

No matter how often you exfoliate, it is important to ensure you are always using a truly mild exfoliating product to prevent further damage to your skin.

When Should You Avoid Exfoliating?

Even though exfoliation is an important part of most skin care routines, there are some situations in which exfoliating is not a good choice. As stated previously, it is important to make sure you are not over-exfoliating as this can damage your skin. Other times you should not exfoliate include:

If you’re not sure if your exfoliation schedule is right for you, ask your licensed esthetician to ensure you are not damaging your skin.

Treat Yourself To Regular Facials

Exfoliating is a great way to care for your skin between spa treatments and facials. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still enjoy regular facials as part of your skincare routine as well. If you have any other questions about exfoliation or the products you are using, ask your esthetician during your next appointment! Contact Brandon Essentials Spa online or call us at 813-681-1110 to schedule your next facial appointment today!

Manicures are often seen as a luxury and not as the necessary form of self-care that it is. Manicures provide many benefits for those who get them done and should be performed more regularly than many people may realize. The same can also be said for pedicures—it is important to care for the parts of ourselves that we put through so much during the day. Consider everything your hands and feet do each day. Do they not deserve to be treated well to continue to provide what you need from them and look good while doing it?

Benefits Of Routine Manicures & Pedicures

Routine Manicures & Pedicures Provide a Mental Boost

Professional manicures and pedicures have many benefits and yes, one is that you are provided an opportunity to feel pampered, enjoying this “luxury” while receiving adequate self-care and maintenance. This, in itself, is a benefit—a psychological one.

Routine Manicures & Pedicures Help Keep Nails Healthy

Manicures and pedicures also help to keep your nails and nail beds healthy and strong, growing firm nails that don’t chip or peel. Nails are made up of a protein called keratin, which grows in layers. When not well cared for, keratin can become brittle, peel, or not grow in even layers. When this happens, your nails can look unkempt.

Routine Manicures & Pedicures Reduce Ingrown Nails

Routine pedicures can also help reduce the growth of ingrown nails and the painful side effects and infections it can cause.

Routine Manicures & Pedicures Encourage Cuticle Health

Regular manicures and pedicures also care for the cuticle—the small crescent shape layer of skin that grows at the base of the nail. When not well cared for, the cuticle can split or crack, which can be quite uncomfortable until it heals and leaves the skin open to infection.

Routine Manicures & Pedicures Are An Overlooked And Undervalued Form Of Self-Care

Manicures and pedicures are the fine details of self-care that are often overlooked, but when your nails are not well cared for, they can have a great and lasting impact. A simple manicure and pedicure can ensure you shake with clean, professional-looking hands and always put your best foot forward.

Schedule your manicure and pedicure appointment with us and let our nail specialists take care of the fine details of your self-care and management.

If you find yourself in the category of individuals affected by overly dry skin but don’t want to rely on constant topical applications that aren’t working—you can try some of these tips to help alleviate your dry skin symptoms at the source.

Brandon Essentials Esthetician Says: Be sure you are using your moisturizer properly to combat dry skin.

Check the bottle and ensure it is free of dyes or perfumes and that you are applying it at the right time—like when your skin has been dried out due to your environment (i.e., dry weather, after washing your hands, or after a shower). Throughout the day, reapply your moisturizer as needed.

Brandon Essentials Esthetician Says: Minimize the super-hot showers to prevent your skin from drying out.

Long hot showers can and will dry out the skin. To avoid worsening your dry skin, shorten your showers or reduce the heat. Another consideration is the “hardness” of your water. Hard water can be heavy in minerals that can contribute to dry skin.

Brandon Essentials Esthetician Says: Up your Omega-3 fatty acids intake to help moisturize skin from within.

Your body requires a certain amount of nutrition to maintain proper health. Foods like salmon, walnuts, and avocados are excellent sources of Omega-3s. Omega-3s are “good fats” and they help to contribute to the natural lipids within your body that keep your cells hydrated. Top it off with some water to ensure you are fully hydrated and well-nourished.

Brandon Essentials Esthetician Says: Check the humidity inside and find products to help.

Depending on how you run your home’s AC system, the humidity levels may have the air drier in your home than desirable for your skin. If you have a programmable thermostat that allows you to control the humidity level, set it around 46%. If you don’t, a humidifier in the bedroom may help reach a more ideal level of humidity inside.

Brandon Essentials Esthetician Says: Come talk to us!

If all efforts you are taking are still not enough, there may be more to your problem that requires the skill of an esthetician. Schedule a consultation with us to perform a skin analysis and help you formulate a skincare routine to help reduce or eliminate the severely dry skin you are suffering from.

The never-ending pursuit of perfectly smooth skin and everlasting youthful beauty led to the women’s face shaving craze arising a few years ago. And ever since, experts have been split on whether women should join the face shaving craze. Maybe you have heard that iconic women such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Cleopatra were all fans of women’s facial shaving and now you’re considering starting this trend as well. So, we’ve gathered all the information on both sides of the argument and are going to separate myth from fact, so you will have the truth about women’s facial shaving before you make your own decision.

Will hair grow back faster, darker, or thicker if I shave my face?

This question is always the first fear any woman has when they think about shaving their face. After all, the last thing you want to do is make your facial hair more noticeable in the future. There’s no reason to fear, though. The idea that shaving will make your hair grow back faster, thicker, or darker is nothing more than an old wives’ tale. Shaving does not make any physical changes to hair follicles or chemical changes to keratin, so hair will continue to grow the same way it always has.

Is facial shaving a good way to exfoliate?

Just to be clear, the main purpose and benefit of facial shaving is removing the light vellus hairs women have on their faces. However, an added benefit to facial shaving for women is that it also can act as an exfoliator. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the superficial layers of the skin, leaving the skin feeling softer and smoother, and leaving a more even, glowing appearance to the skin.

Does shaving your face make your makeup go on smoother?

Women who shave their faces often claim it allows their makeup to go on more smoothly and evenly. This benefit is a side effect of the exfoliation benefit of facial shaving. Exfoliated skin is better able to absorb skincare products, including makeup, cleansers, moisturizers, and antiaging products. You should always apply your moisturizer and sunscreen directly after shaving, but don’t apply any other facial skincare products or makeup for at least an hour afterward to help prevent irritation.

Is facial shaving dangerous?

Facial shaving requires you to use a razor against your skin to remove unwanted hair, which means it can be dangerous if it is not done the correct way. Before you begin, always make sure your face is properly cleansed and that you will not be using an old, dull blade. Properly cleansing and preparing the skin beforehand will help prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn. There are many razors available that are designed specifically for female face shaving, so it is best to choose from one of these razors. When you begin shaving, hold your skin taut and shave with the direction of the hair growth so you can get a close shave and avoid cuts. You also need to make sure that you finish with a good moisturizer and sunscreen to protect your skin afterward and avoid irritation.

Facial shaving also is not meant for everyone. If you have active skin care problems such as acne, eczema, impetigo, or cold sores, then you should wait for the problem to be fully healed and cleared before shaving as shaving could further irritate the area and exacerbate the issue.

Is there a professional option for facial shaving?

Yes, there is! If you just aren’t comfortable with the idea of shaving your own face, or if you really want to maximize the benefits of facial shaving, you should consider dermaplaning. Dermaplaning is similar to facial shaving, but provides a deeper and more targeted exfoliation benefit than shaving does. Dermaplaning involves the use of a sharp surgical blade, rather than a razor, and should always be performed by a professional esthetician.

If you are interested in trying dermaplaning or any other skin exfoliating treatment, contact the professional estheticians at Brandon Essentials Spa today. We will work with you to determine a customized skincare routine that is right for your skin. We look forward to helping you look and feel your best!

Eyebrows and eyelashes are essential parts of facial beauty. Nothing adds sparkle to your appearance, like long lashes and ideal brows. Eyebrows and lashes can thin out or just stop growing, unlike the hair on our head. Sometimes, eyelashes and eyebrows become thinner with age or from specific health conditions such as fungal infections and nutrient deficiencies.

There are several remedies for thinning lashes and brows. This can be remedied either naturally or with a brow filling or lash extension procedure. These procedures are commonly offered at spas.

Natural Remedies For Thinning Brows And Lashes

There are several natural remedies for thinning brows/lashes that have shown to be quite effective. These natural ways to thicken lashes and brows are painless and easy to do. Those with particular allergies should take care prior to attempting treatment.


Castor oil works amazingly to help grow lashes and brows back as castor oil promotes hair growth. Made from the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant, it contains anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. Castor oil is not rich only because of its moisturizing effects, but it also contains minerals and fatty acids that help nourish brows and lashes and increases circulation, which is essential for promoting hair growth.

We recommend you wash your eye area to clean off any makeup and gently brush your brows and lashes in order to remove all dead skin cells. Do this with a clean mascara brush. During your bedtime routine, use a clean cotton swab or clean mascara brush, apply the castor oil lightly from the roots to the ends and allow it to sit all night. Repeat this procedure daily.


A well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining optimal physical health. Eating foods high in particular vitamins can help with the growth of brows and lashes. Healthy food intake, exercising, and drinking plenty of water all contribute to a good level of health that ensures not just our brows/lashes, but our skin, nails, hair, and overall wellbeing.

Vitamins for eyebrow and lash growth include:

If you find it hard to get all the vitamins you need, then take a daily dose of a multivitamin to help you get the nutrients you miss.


Dry brushing the brow and lashes every night helps remove dead cells and circulates the natural oil of your hair—which help to keep them strong. You can brush them with a lash comb or a clean mascara brush. This is less time-consuming and the most affordable remedy for thinning brows and lashes.

Spa Remedies For Thinning Brows And Lashes

There are a few ways to fill out your thinning eyebrows or thinning lashes while at your local hair or full-service spa.

  1. Eyebrow Microblading – Microblading is a semi-permanent make-up solution for thin brows. A specialist uses a microblade tool to manually fill in your brows, making them appear to be fuller and well-shaped.
  2. Eyebrow Tint – Tinting your eyebrows may be a solution for some. This method temporarily dyes your brows a darker color, making them appear to be fuller.
  3. Eyelash Extensions – Lash extensions are used to improve the length and fullness of a person’s lash and are a great solution for someone with thinning lashes.
  4. Eyelash Tinting – Like eyebrow tinting, eyelash tinting uses a natural and safe dye to darker the appearance of your lashes.

Contact us to schedule and appointment!

Even though it is unfortunate, injuries can happen to anyone, at any time. Injuries are undesirable, especially because it takes a long time to recover after the proper treatment is done. It affects our daily lifestyle and career, and we have to depend on others to get our regular jobs done.

Fortunately, you can reduce injury recovery time significantly with proper massage therapy. Injury rehabilitation is all about increasing the strength and flexibility of the injured region and bringing it back to its pre-injury state. There are various massage therapies that can release the tension from the injured muscle tissues and increase blood circulation so that the nutrients in the blood help in faster muscle tissue formation and repair.

How Doess Massage Therapy Aid In Fast Injury Recovery?

Massage Improves Blood Circulation

When a certain part of the body gets injured, the blood vessels get blocked, and the normal flow of blood is slowed. Because of this reason, there is swelling and discoloration of the skin. Such injured regions need proper blood circulation so that the injured tissue can be repaired quickly by the immune system. Massage therapy helps in the removal of those blockages faster than letting time naturally take its course. The pressure and stretching of the muscles increase the amount of blood carried to the area. Our blood contains nutrients that are needed for the repairing of injured muscle and tissue.

Massage Techniques Remove Toxins

Due to injury, lactic acid and carbonic acid can build up around the injured muscle tissue, which hampers the recovery time. Typically, they are taken away during regular blood circulation, but during normal recovery, this process is slow and can make recovery quite long. Hence, with increased blood circulation from massage therapy, you can get rid of toxins faster and boost recovery time.

Massage Therapy Leads To Better Muscle Flexibility

Injury is a common occurrence for athletes, and they need faster recovery time to get back to the normal flow of things and resume practicing as usual. For that, muscle flexibility and power are required. Under normal injury recovery, the injured area may heal with time, but the flexibility can reduce significantly unless massage therapy is done during the recovery time. Athletes can return to workouts at the same intensity and perform at their optimal level post-recovery sooner.

Massage Therapy Helps Break Up Muscle Adhesions

When the muscle tissues get disrupted, the secretion of certain chemical substances in the tissues leads to the formation of adhesions (“knots”) that prevent quick healing and block the circulation of blood. Stretching those tight tissues using a proper massage therapy clears off the adhesions, allowing the healing process to shorten.

Massage therapy is better and faster for injury recovery and has become an important step towards recovery that even doctors recommend to their patients as part of their injury rehabilitation. We have several massage therapies available at Brandon Essentials Massage and Spa. Massage options like our Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, or Therapeutic Massage can help target and promote healing caused by sports or another injury.

Anxiety is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of adults every day. Massage therapy can help reduce the effects of anxiety and teach individuals better relaxation techniques for when an attack happens.

What Is Anxiety?

It is assessed that 18% (or 40 million) of adult Americans experience the ill effects of anxiety; 10% of these individuals also experience some level of depression as well. Anxiety can impede daily life, causing individuals to lose their job, be more at risk of illness, and become socially isolated.

Even though anxiety can be effectively treated with medications, psychotherapy, or both, these treatment options are not always satisfactory or even accessible to all affected individuals. Psychotherapy isn't accessible to all and without help from insurance, it can be too costly; not to mention the social stigma attached to therapy. Other times, medication is not enough to reduce the stress anxiety causes, and sometimes seeking supplemental care is needed. And why not seek that care as a nice relaxing massage?

One of the telltale signs of a panic attack is constricted breathing. It can be difficult for individuals suffering from anxiety to reach a relaxed state and breathe at a natural pace once their body takes shallow, short breaths. Commonly, the muscles around the rib cage and abdomen have settled into a tightener position than normal.

How Massage Therapy Can Help Lessen Anxiety

Many of the muscles in the upper body are accessory respiratory muscles, and when any of these muscles are chronically tight and shortened (with anxiety, for example), they can restrict normal breathing and disrupt healthy breathing patterns. Massage techniques lengthen and relax these muscles back into their natural, proper position, which improves an individual’s breathing capacity and function.

Massages also teach the individual how to improve their breathing (deep breaths are common during a massage), and the body how to relax. Massage therapy can also improve one’s posture, which can lead to opening the chest area, correcting the spinal alignment, and positioning the rib cage—all of which are needed for optimal respiratory function.

Massage therapy also influences your parasympathetic nervous system, causing your breathing rate to slow and become deeper. This type of breathing is optimal for bringing oxygen into your body and can make the mind feel more relaxed.

During a regular massage (like our Relaxation Massage), a Swedish technique is used called tapotement, which is a rhythmic, percussive stroke. In this type of stroke, when performed on the back, the vibration and shaking it causes can loosen mucus in the lungs and clear the airway for better lung function.

An additional benefit of a regular massage is retraining your mind to recognize what a truly relaxed state is. Typically, with anxiety, an individual walks around in a constant state of stress, even if they don’t realize it. Massage therapy helps to relax your muscles, improve your breathing and posture, and calm your mind. When the body can recognize what true relaxation should feel like, the mind can create a relaxed state to combat stressors before it becomes damaging.

Men think they know everything they need to know about their hair care and hairstyle. After all, they have been wearing it for their entire lives and have survived the good, the bad, and the ugly hairstyle trends that have come and gone. However, most men don’t realize that they are all making the same common mistakes when it comes to their hair care routines. Men could be causing more damage to their hair than good without even realizing it.

Below is a list of the most common hairstyle and hair care mistakes men are making and how to avoid them:

  1. Being too rough on your scalp.

Men are almost always too rough on their scalps when washing their hair. Whether it is from being in a hurry or worrying about not getting their hair clean enough, many men scratch their scalp or scrub their hair too harshly while washing. This can cause damage to your hair follicles, which causes hair loss and slows growth.

The Fix? Gently massage your hair and scalp while washing your hair. This will promote circulation, which encourages healthy hair growth.

Men have the same two excuses for this mistake: “it saves time” or “it saves money”. But shampoo and conditioner are two separate products because they have two different jobs. The shampoo cannot properly clean your hair without opening the pores on your scalp and your hair cuticles to remove the excess oil and dirt. Conditioner is used to close the pores and cuticles to help keep your hair and scalp cleaner longer. It is impossible for a 2-in-1 product to effectively do the job of both products.

The Fix? This one is simple. Make sure you are using separate shampoo and conditioner. You should wash your hair with shampoo first at the beginning of your shower, rinse it out completely, then put the conditioner in and allow it to soak through the rest of your shower, and rinse the conditioner completely out at the very end.

The old saying “less is more” is key here. More products will not make it easier to control your hair. A lot of men wind up using too much product simply because they are making the mistake of putting the product in their hair while it is still wet. When your hair is wet, it is difficult to gauge how much product you have used and the water in your hair can dilute your product, lessening its effectiveness. When your hair dries, the excess product will leave your hair looking greasier and clumpier, the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.

The Fix? At a minimum, towel-dry your hair before applying the product. Ideally, you should gently blow dry it beforehand. Drying your hair first will leave it fuller and make it easier for you to style, and will help ensure you do not overuse the product.

When it comes to choosing a hairstyle for men, there are just as many options as there are for women. A common mistake that men make with their hairstyle is choosing one that does not work well for their hair type or their face structure. This means the hairstyle does not work for them, and it never will! Just because the style looks great on another man doesn’t mean it will look great on you, too.

The Fix? Consult with your barber about the hairstyles that a right for your hair type and facial structure. It is ok to ask for help.

Hair salons aren’t just for women; where else might a gentleman receive a quality haircut? Barber shops were once the standard facility for men’s cuts and styles, but these days, barber shops can be few and far between. Skip the generic hair-cutting big box stores and make an appointment at Brandon Essentials hair salon.

The Fix? Consult with your Brandon Essentials hair stylist about the hairstyles that are right for your hair type and facial structure. Our stylists can also recommend hair products, so you can continue to have salon-fresh-looking hair.

One thing is always for certain during Florida’s summer, and that's the heat! As Floridians, maintaining great skin health can be one of the hardest things to do when trying to juggle the hustle and bustle of the excitement of summer. Even while you're enjoying your summer by toting the kids around to parties and summer camps, making lunch plans with friends, and planning fun-filled barbecue family get-togethers, it's always important to keep skin care in mind. And let's face it, that can be difficult...unless you create a daily routine. Keep essentials next to your sink to help remind you of your routine to make sure you have healthy, glowing skin all summer long.

Ways to Care for Your Skin in Florida's Summer Heat

  1. The absolute most important skin care technique a Floridian can keep in mind is to wear sunblock at all times. You can almost never escape the sun's rays in Florida, so start the day with a great sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher and be sure that it has UVA and UVB protection.
  2. Keeping hydrated is imperative to endure Florida's heat. Start the day by drinking a full glass of water and always keep a refillable bottle with you. This will help remind you to drink water throughout the day to avoid risks like heat stroke and dry skin. Plus, using a reusable bottle will help cut down on plastic waste. Flavor things up by adding your favorite fruits to the water to create a tasty drink that's both hydrating and refreshing. Use fruits like lemon, lime, oranges, and even cucumber (which technically isn't a fruit), which are great for hydration and help keep the fresh flavor in your water).
  3. If you wear makeup, try to keep it as lightweight as possible. Avoid clogging pores with foundations and blushes and remember that heat makes you sweat. You wouldn't want to risk making your makeup soggy by letting it all melt off with your sweat. When it comes to wearing makeup in the Florida summer heat, less is more. Keep only the essentials next to your sink for getting yourself ready in the mornings.
  4. Try to combat the heat by staying cool. Do this by wearing light clothing such as dresses, skirts, shorts, tank tops, and sandals. Also, although lighter colors hold less heat, darker hues combat harmful sun rays (or opt for clothing that indicates it has UV protection).
  5. Always keep your skin clean. Start the day with a light cleanser. Getting used to this in your daily routine will remind you when the day is over to cleanse your skin again before you go to bed. It's important to remember to wash the day's fun off your skin. Keeping harmful things such as salty ocean water, chlorine, salt, and makeup on your skin makes it easy for your skin to be irritated, dry, and cracked. Don't forget to wash these things off frequently to keep your skin glowing.
  6. Be sure to keep sunblock nearby for all occasions during the hot and sunny months of the year. Buy easy-to-store small containers that fit in your purse or pocket. Most sunscreens are only effective for 80 minutes (one hour and 20 minutes), so be sure to reapply every hour or so while outside to keep that protective border from diminishing. If you are active or playing in the water, you can reapply sooner to reduce your risk of sunburn.
  7. If you do end up finding yourself with a sunburn, use a tried-and-true recipe for healing the burn: In a glass (use glass to preserve the integrity of ingredients) bottle, mix one cup of Aloe Vera juice, one teaspoon of pure vitamin E oil, twelve drops of lavender essential oil, six drops tea tree essential oil, and six drops of chamomile essential oil. Swirl ingredients together to combine, and spray on affected areas of the skin.
  8. Exfoliating your skin is also important to minimize ingrown hairs after shaving or waxing, as it also helps your skin better absorb moisturizers. Keep a light exfoliator by your sink for your face and one in your shower for the rest of your body.
  9. The last great tip to care for your skin in Florida's summer heat is to come in to get a facial. Facials help to rejuvenate and revitalize skin and correct any imperfections the inevitable heat may cause.

It's important to always keep in mind the health of your skin. It's what protects our bodies by being a border between our vital organs and the potential toxins in the outside world. Living in a state that feels like it's next to the sun for most of the year, it is imperative to keep up with skincare. By creating these few daily habits, it will be easy to care for your skin all summer long.

Now that summertime is finally here we are all excited for long sunny days on the beach and fun summer parties. But we want to make sure we look and feel our best for all the summer activities on our agenda. We put together a list of some of our favorite spa treatments to help you prepare yourself for the summer.

Waxing Treatments

Many of us wear jeans and long sleeves all winter long and slack when it comes to keeping up with shaving. But when the summer months come along we know we need to do some additional preparation for our bikinis, bathing suits, shorts, and summer dresses. Using waxing treatments at the beginning of the season will make it much easier to deal with unwanted hair all summer long. Brandon Essentials offers waxing services for legs, arms, bikini or Brazilian waxes, back and chest, underarms, and so much more!

Facial Treatments

There are many different types of facials to choose from, and while each type will provide us with different benefits, there are a few that we like the most for summer. If you are looking to refresh your skin from the winter and spring, we suggest trying a Signature Acne Facial which is designed to eliminate breakouts, fade fine lines, and re-hydrate the skin. If you are looking to get that special summer glow before the season begins we recommend the Signature Hydrating and Calming Facial which leaves your skin with a natural looking radiance while concealing defects and giving the skin a much needed hydrating boost And don’t worry men, we know that you want to look your best all summer long too which is why we have a Gentleman’s Facial that has been designed specifically with you men in mind.

Body Wrap Treatments

Body wraps are a great way to relax and moisturize at the same time! A body wrap will cover you from the bottom of your ankles all the way up to your arms and abdominal area. Body wrap treatments can also have additional benefits such as encouraging detoxification of the body, helping the body to look slimmer, and helping to minimize cellulite. These added benefits will vary by client so we can’t guarantee the results for everyone, but we can guarantee that they will leave everyone feeling relaxed and their skin well moisturized and ready to endure the summer heat.

Nail Services

Manicure and pedicure treatments are popular all year, but for the summer months we definitely want to make sure our feet and toenails are ready for our favorite flip-flops and sandals and our fingernails are ready for any summer activity. Freshen up your hands and feet for the summer months ahead!

Hair (Salon) Services

A great haircut always helps us to look and feel our best! And with the long hot days of summer coming many of us want to trim our locks to help us survive the heat. Know that you want a haircut but can’t choose a style? That’s ok – our professional stylists can help you find the perfect summer look and will ensure you get the salon experience that best suits you! Have a special event to attend this summer? Our stylists can help you achieve the best look for your event with our styling services including curling, blowouts, updos, extensions, and chemical hair treatments our stylists have the experience necessary to provide you with any look desired! A conditioning treatment is also a great way to deeply condition your hair and leave it healthier while also making it look shinier and feel softer! We have a number of different conditioning treatments available to suit both men and women and all different types of hair.

If you’re ready to have a special spa day to prepare for your summer fun contact Brandon Essentials today at 813-681-1110 to book your next appointment! Don’t forget to ask about the Spa Packages we have available so you can combine all your favorite services into one day!

Skin is one's mirror of lifestyle. Healthy living habits result in healthy skin. Unfortunately, there are chronic skin conditions one can be faced with that require more intense health habits.

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is one chronic skin condition that usually affects the face, chest, and back (but can spread throughout the body) and is worsened by inflammation. It is rosy in color, appearing as broken blood vessels or pimples.

Inflammation worsens rosacea by causing an imbalance that our bodies try to combat. Inflammation comes from poor nutrition (such as high intake of sugar, caffeine, and processed foods), alcohol use, and even stress; all factors of which cause higher temperatures in our bodies. In trying to bring the system back into balance, capillaries near the skin's surface dilate to help blood flow and cool the body down.

This constant expansion and reduction of capillaries causes them to be damaged or broken, leaving room for bacteria to manifest beneath the skin. The bacteria that grows under the skin is the cause for the blemishes and outbreaks.

How A Spa Day Can Help With Your Rosacea

Aside from correcting your diet, which will not only help your body feel better but look better too, you may also consider spa treatments to help clear up rosacea. Spa professionals are trained to treat the entire body and not just the affected area.

Your heart is the most important organ to sustain life, therefore you need to focus on its health. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind. Try one or more each day to relax, destress, and ultimately reduce your risk of heart disease.

  1. Meditate. Try to clear your mind of the clutter that is clouding your thinking and causing stress. If only for a few minutes a day, try to empty your thoughts on to a piece of paper and then close your eyes and focus on only your breathing. With each breath in, think of one word you want to keep (examples are relaxation, serene, and clarity), and with each exhale, think of one word you want to get rid of (examples are stress, frustration, and difficulty). This will help welcome calmness into your life and quiet the unwelcome clutter.
  2. Hang out with a friend. Plan to do something you both enjoy, whether it's painting, cooking, dancing, or playing games. Getting your mind off of stress will let the “feel-good” hormones to enter your brain and let you feel happy and reduce cloudy thoughts.
  3. Listen to soft music or nature sounds. Rarely do we hear either of these things when dealing with work or home stresses, so taking a few minutes a day to escape the harsh sounds of everyday life can help reduce stress just a little at a time.
  4. Laughter is the best medicine! Think of what makes you laugh; what makes you laugh so hard that you can’t think of anything else and do that! Go to a comedy club, watch your favorite funny movie, or look up funny videos on the internet.
  5. Slow down each day. Even if it's as simple as walking through the house to get to another room; just slowing down will help you realize that life isn't about getting to the next task as fast as you can. Be present exactly where you are. Think of what you're doing and be mindful.
  6. Take time to enjoy a drink you love. Pay attention to the flavors and your taste buds' reactions to them.
  7. Read anything that interests you. What are you curious about? What makes you feel connected? Whether it's a magazine article, a book, or a brochure on a favorite country, read anything that makes you feel good.
  8. Exercise! Go for a walk or turn on your favorite music video and jump around the house. Turn up the music to get the best exercise. You can even turn down the music to a softer style and do some stretching or yoga. Get your blood flowing, either way.
  9. Light a candle in your room. Let the aroma fill the house. Breathe it in and focus on the scent. Let all other thoughts quiet from your mind.
  10. Get a massage. This is probably the best way to unwind. Let someone else soothe your muscles and help you relax. Massage therapy promotes mental and physical relaxation, which can help moderate your blood pressure and improve your body's circulation. Our luxury spa offers several massage options aimed at total body and mind relaxation.

Your posture is defined as the way your muscles and bones are aligned. The importance of good posture cannot be overstated; your posture is related to your health, your appearance, and can even be linked to your success.  However, having a healthy posture is not as common as you would think. Many activities, such as sitting, lifting, sleeping, and standing, can all affect our posture.

How we sit is a major contributor to poor posture. Many people have jobs that involve sitting at a desk for 6 to 8 hours a day while staring at a computer screen. Few individuals remember to break up the monotony by stretching or going for a brief walk while on break. If you aren’t sitting while at work, you are likely sitting on your commute to and from work, or when you get home and are relaxing from a long day. Bad sitting postures can affect the shape of the spinal cord, leading to back pain, and with time, other serious complications. The way we sleep, stand, and lift things also plays a role in determining posture. More recently, technology has affected our posture as well. People commonly roll their shoulders forward and bend their neck while texting, browsing social media, or reading an eBook.

Massage Therapy is beneficial in reviving good posture habits. It does so in the following ways:

Massage Therapy Helps Relax Tense Muscles

Massage Therapy helps to relax tense body muscles through the use of mild pressure and long strokes along the back, neck and shoulders. During a massage, knots in your musculature are worked out and the muscles are no longer constantly tense. When the muscles are not forced into a contracted state, they are not pulling down on your spine; enabling you to comfortably straighten your back into a healthy posture. Deep tissue massages more effectively reduce severe muscular tension through a series of deeper penetrating strokes.

Massage Therapy Helps Reduce Pain

People usually experience pain in their lower back, neck, and shoulders as a result of a slouched posture. Massaging helps to stretch these sore muscles, so they do not feel overworked. Massages also help to push toxins out of the muscles, where they are carried away in the bloodstream to be disposed of as waste. With fewer toxins, like lactic acids, your muscles will begin to feel much healthier, and you will notice less pain.

Massage Therapy Improves Breathing

Did you know that bad posture affects your breathing? Not convinced? Try this: Sit on a chair and bend over, letting your hands rest on the floor. Do you find breathing easy? Probably not. Poor posture limits the movement of the lungs and diaphragm, thus stifling breathing. A massage, however, will help to ease the upper body muscles, improving your posture, and clearing out any breathing obstructions.

Massage Therapy Helps Reduce Risk Of Arthritis

With regular massage therapy, the danger of getting arthritis is also reduced. A common form of arthritis, Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the cartilage present between two bones in a joint wear off, causing the bones to rub against each other. The result is intense pain and swelling around these joints. Research has shown that poor posture is one cause of OA. Massage therapy often involves stimulating the muscles and joints to increase circulation in the treated area. Better circulation around your joints helps to keep the cartilage healthy.  

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to aid health conditions by inhaling them. Essential Oils can be derived from a variety of plants and are used to give aid in health issues. The easiest way to use essential oils is by Aromatherapy. The process of aromatherapy usually involves a diffuser to dilute the potency of the essential oils. This helps spread the aroma throughout an area at a safe level. Some essential oils can pose a threat if inhaled at a stronger potency but are safe to breathe in if diluted by water or carrier oils. Here are a few of the many benefits of aromatherapy, which can be added to your relaxation massage.

  1. Some health problems that can be improved by aromatherapy are: stress, depression, memory loss, physical wounds, headaches, insomnia or sleep problems, immune system issues, pain, and indigestion. Being that there are many essential oils, they are all used for different things and should be used with caution.
  2. People who suffer from stress can benefit from aromatherapy when essential oils that contain relaxants are inhaled. The compounds found in lemon, lavender, peppermint, bergamot, vetiver, and ylang-ylang essential oils have been proven to ease stress and bring a more pleasant mood.
  3. Aromatherapy has been proven quite effective to eliminate feelings of depression, as well. If patients who suffer from depression aim to avoid pharmaceutical intervention and side effects that come with them, aromatherapy is a fantastic alternative (when paired with counseling as well). Common essential oils used for treating depression are peppermint, chamomile, lavender, and jasmine.
  4. Aromatherapy is an immense help to patients dealing with memory loss. Conditions such as Alzheimer's can be slowed down by the help of aromatherapy. Even people with little-to-no memory complications can benefit from aromatherapy by boosting their memory even further. The most common essential oil for combating memory issues is sage oil.
  5. Essential oils have another side to them that may help stimulate the body's natural healing process. Some essential oils have antimicrobial properties that help keep the body protected from infection while healing from surgery or illnesses. Besides healing wounds, some essential oils can even reduce the symptoms of certain skin conditions, like psoriasis and eczema. Aromatherapy for healing usually includes essential oils such as lavender, calendula, rosehip, and buckthorn.
  6. Aromatherapy can also aid in pain relief. The leading essential oils that help alleviate headaches, body aches, menstrual cramps, and arthritis include lavender, chamomile, clary sage, eucalyptus, juniper, and peppermint.
  7. Indigestion is another popular focus for some essential oils used in aromatherapy. Citrus essential oils can help ease constipation and bloating while helping speed up metabolism so that food is digested at a faster pace and not letting it cause painful indigestion.
  8. Even the immune system can benefit from the use of essential oils. The detoxifying properties found in some essential oils (such as lemon, thieves, peppermint, lavender, and valor) can help the stimulation of blood flow and the release of harmful bacteria being held in the body. Some may also help fight insomnia, helping you get the sleep you need to recharge and boost your immune system naturally.

As always, do your research when looking to use essential oils for aromatherapy at home, and let a professional be aware of any other conditions (such as pregnancy) before you start an aromatherapy regimen.

Exercise and stretching is important for the body to maintain flexibility, mobility, and proper circulation in the muscles and tissues at a minimum. This holds true for the muscles of the face. By working your facial muscles, the increased circulation will improve the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to your cells (leading to clearer complexion and brighter, firmer skin) while taking away toxins and minimizing their effects on your skin.

How does one exercise their face? With facial yoga (also known as facial exercises). Performing the following facial exercises daily can help you see long-term improvements to your skin in just a few weeks.

The Brow Raiser

Helps: Lift the Brows

The Cheekbone Lift

Helps: Define Cheekbones

Fish Face Suction

Helps: Tighten and Perk Cheeks

The Jaws

Helps: Tone Jawline

The Puffer Fish

Helps: Tone Around Mouth

The Eye-V Leaguer

Helps: Under and Around Eyes

The Deep Thinker

Helps: Define Cheeks and Reduce Sagging


Helps: Smooth Brow

The Giraffe

Helps: Tighten Neck and Jawline

How Relaxers Work

You may not know it, but our hair is full of protein links and bonds that allow our hair to have body and structure. Relaxers work along with these proteins in our hair to breakdown some of the links of protein - allowing for our hair to gain a smoothed and straightened shape. Relaxers open up the cuticle layer to penetrate our hair through our hair’s cortex. This process unfortunately weakens hair, but with the right steps taken before, during and after relaxing, you can still have healthy and strong hair!

Read More: What Does Relaxing Your Hair Do?

Types of Relaxers

There are two different relaxers you should look into before deciding which one your hair stylist should use: Lye relaxers and No - Lye relaxers. Lye relaxers are known to be better for your hair fibers because there are no mineral deposits left on the hair after the formula is applied. Lye relaxers allow for a form of "healthy breakage" which allows your hair to regain its natural strength and elasticity while having your hair relaxed. No-Lye relaxers are known for being easier on the scalp and would be better recommended by your hair stylist for those with a sensitive scalp. Although on the downside, no-lye relaxers don't provide your hair that healthy amount of moisture like the lye relaxer formula does.

Read More: Do THIS Before Your Essentials Brandon Relaxer Appointment

How Often Relaxers Should Be Done

After you've had your hair relaxed, it is suggested that you wait 8 weeks before you go for your next relaxing appointment. Relaxing treatment must be applied to new hair and cannot be reapplied to the same hair that was once relaxed before. A minimum of 8 weeks before the next relaxing appointment allows for new hair growth and any hair relaxing appointment made before that 8-week mark could cause more damage to the hair - hair breakage especially.

Some clients prefer to use the "stretching" method when it comes to hair relaxers. This is when a client will wait longer than 8 weeks, possibly 10 - 12 weeks before their next relaxing appointment. Stretching during the relaxing process does have its benefits, but most relaxing formulas suggest that they be reapplied every 8 weeks.

Preparing for Relaxer

Preparing your hair for relaxed is essential and must be done for best results. As mentioned before, relaxer targets hair proteins and if your hair lacks protein, this process can be damaging if not harder to do without those proteins. Our other blog article, "Do THIS Before Your Essentials Brandon Relaxer Appointment" goes into depth on what should be done to prepare your hair for this treatment.

Are you interested in having your hair relaxed or finding out more information on hair relaxing? Essentials of Brandon: Full-Service Luxury Spa offers hair relaxing treatments to help you reach your hair goals! Schedule your appointment by phone (813) 681 -1110 or request one online.

Looking to get your hair relaxed but not sure what a relaxer does to your hair? I've got that information here for you! Here's some professional insight on what it means to relax your hair from a Brandon Essentials Stylist!

Relaxing your hair allows for a more manageable hair type that gives you a more straightened look. The hair relaxing formula breaks down even the tightest of curls and alters your hair texture to that smooth silty look. Hair relaxing is frizz proof and is usually used by clients who have curly, hard to manage. For 6 to 8 weeks, clients will experience straight hair. Although hair relaxing is unlike any other permanent straightening method because it requires touch ups as time goes on.

READ MORE: What You Need to Know About Relaxers: Inside Tips from A Brandon Essentials Stylist

If you are looking to get your hair relaxed, it is highly suggested you have it done by a professional. Stylists, like the ones at Brandon Essentials, have worked with all different hair types and know how to tend to your hairs needs. The relaxing process calls for stripping your hair of its nutrients while adding others in along the way. A stylist is going to know how to cater to your hair specifically and give you the best, most healthy and damage preventing look. Hair stylists also have top of the line products that are proven to work. A Hair relaxing treatment, if done wrong, can cause for severe damage to your hair and entrusting that process with a professional at Essentials of Brandon is definitely the way to go.

What are the different types of hair relaxers?

There are two steps of different hair relaxers: Lye based, and No-Lye based. Here at Essentials of Brandon, we are one step ahead of you on this one! Our blog "Which is a Better Relaxer? A Lye - Based or a No-Lye Relaxer?" dives into this topic to help you choose what is best for your hair type!

Read More: Do THIS Before Your Essentials Brandon Relaxer Appointment

Pros and Cons of Using Hair Relaxers

Like anything in life, there are pros and cons to this hair treatment. Below we have those listed out for you to help navigate if hair relaxing is right for you!



Is Getting a Relaxer Right for Me?

This decision is completely up to you! Having your hair relaxed is a process and is something that will need to be kept up with for the best results. Extra attention will need to be applied to your hair if you choose to have your hair relaxed. Deep moisturizing and conditioning, drinking lots of water and using leave-in conditioners are all suggestions hair stylists at Essentials of Brandon will give to you if you choose to have your hair relaxed. Over time, hair relaxing could cause damage, but it is all about how the client takes care of their hair and the route they choose when relaxing (Lye based/ No-Lye based).

Are you interested in having your hair relaxed or finding out more information on hair relaxing? Essentials of Brandon: Full-Service Luxury Spa offers hair relaxing treatments to help you reach your hair goals! Schedule your appointment by phone (813) 681 -1110 or request one online.

It's well known that our skin reflects how well we take care of ourselves. Aside from eating a variety of healthful foods, staying away from smoking, and keeping hydrated, we also need to make sure we are helping to regenerate new cells from an outside approach. Luckily, there is an easy way to help skin to do this—exfoliation.

How Do You Exfoliate?

Skin cells live on the surface for only a short amount of time, while constantly regenerating. When new skin cells form, they push dull dead skin cells to the top, outer layer of the skin. This not only makes the skin look dingy, but the buildup of dead skin cells can also force the production of oil, which clogs pore and leads to acne and blemishes. When you exfoliate the skin, you're helping to remove the excess roughness along with promoting the production of new skin cells.

Exfoliation is the process by which the skin is cleaned, usually more vigorously than a gently cleansing and often with the assistance of an exfoliation tool, such as a soft-bristled brush or textured gloves. Exfoliation can also be done through chemical measures, such as a chemical peel or facial.

How Often Should You Exfoliate?

Regular exfoliation helps the skin look fresh and healthy, smooths out the surface of your skin, regenerates skin cells, dislodges blackheads, and helps to increase blood circulation. By exfoliating once to twice a week, you can achieve healthy-looking skin and avoid acne.

There is such a thing as exfoliating too often. Over-exfoliation can cause skin irritation, inflammation, acne, and advanced aging. When you exfoliate too much, you get rid of the skin's natural oils that help to protect against dryness. When your skin is constantly faced with dryness, it will counteract this by over-producing these oils, which can then lead to excess acne. The inflammation caused by constantly removing the skin's protective barrier will result in loss of elasticity of the skin, making the skin look like it's aging faster.

Be sure to know if you have sensitive or combination skin before you decide to exfoliate more than once a week. Sensitive skin may only need it once a week so as not to irritate the skin. Combination skin may handle exfoliation up to twice a week, as your skin may have a higher buildup of dead skin cells.

Professional Skin Care & Exfoliation with An Essentials of Brandon Facial

If you are unsure how to properly care for your skin type, including how often you should exfoliate and which products are best for your skin, then a consultation and a facial with one of our estheticians may be what you need to sort out your skin. If you prefer a more DIY approach, here are 3 Simple At Home Exfoliating Scrub Recipes to try.

Massage therapy gives countless benefits across all ages and lifestyles. From easing stress to slowing disease, massage therapy is often sought after by seniors, as they can benefit from its wide range of advantages. Plus, it's an incredible holistic alternative or supplement for prescription drugs and expensive medical treatments.

For seniors seeking massage therapy, many look for relief from the common side effects of aging.

How Massage Therapy Helps Seniors

Massage Therapy Helps Seniors Sleep Better

As one ages, it can become more and more difficult to have healthy sleep patterns. Massage therapy acts as a natural sleep aid, helping to regulate blood pressure, relaxing the body and fighting insomnia, thus making it easier to sleep soundly. With better sleep, one may ultimately experience a heightened immune system.

Massage Therapy Helps Seniors Relax

Stress and anxiety do not simply go away with age, in fact, they can become more of a problem for seniors. These conditions are greatly relieved when treated with massage therapy. By massaging the muscles of the back, shoulders, and neck, tension is reduced, helping one to feel a significant amount of relief.

Massage Therapy Helps Seniors Relieve Pain & Increase Muscle Flexibility

Massage therapy can reduce pain and increase flexibility in seniors. Muscle tightness, pain, and soreness are put at ease through a massage. A reputable spa will help one's muscles achieve more flexibility, making everyday activities easier and pain-free.

Diseases that are often associated with aging, such as osteoarthritis and Alzheimer's, have been proven to slow or improve with the help of massage therapy. After receiving regular massages, pain and stiffness can be improved for seniors who suffer from OA. Studies that focus on people who suffer from diseases like Alzheimer's show that massage therapy produces a relaxation response and helps decrease expressions of agitation.

Essentials Massage Therapy For Seniors In The Tampa Bay Area

Massage therapy is an incredible relief from the most common side effects of aging. Many seniors turn to a relaxing and healthy alternative when it comes to their health.

Exfoliating your skin regularly is insanely good for it! Unfortunately, many cosmetic products that promise to exfoliate your skin and make it glow are also the same products that are made by companies that use harmful chemicals that often cause you to go looking for a different product to counteract the damage that was done while using said products. The ingredients used in such products can be more harmful than beneficial to your skin, causing micro-tears, dry skin, irritation, and inflammation.

Luckily, it's fairly easy to create your own exfoliating scrubs at home that you can use twice a week to keep your skin free of excess dead cells and improve a glowing appearance without the harmful stuff. Below are some main key ingredients you will need when making your own facial scrub.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great ingredient for skin. It is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, a great moisturizer, soothes inflammation to combat acne, and it can ease irritation on the skin.


Sugar is a great exfoliator. Its small grains are gentle enough to exfoliate the top layer of the skin without creating micro-tears. It is a natural humectant (meaning that it draws moisture from the environment to retain for your skin), helping to keep your skin hydrated and free from itchy dryness. It is also a natural source of a glycolic acid called alpha hydroxy acid (or AHA) which helps to encourage skin cell regeneration, keeping the skin looking younger and fresh. When using sugar as a skin exfoliator, be sure to follow up with a sunscreen to avoid damage to your skin.


Oatmeal is rich in antioxidant properties (meaning it helps counteract the deterioration of cells in the body), it helps reverse skin damage caused by pollution and harmful UV rays. Oatmeal is also a great ingredient for people with eczema and psoriasis because it helps to calm itching and inflammation.

Here are some simple recipes for exfoliating facial scrubs that you can make at home. Remember to exfoliate up to twice a week as not to disturb the natural oils your skin creates to protect itself, but to gently slough off the thin layer of dead skin cells and pollutants. Enjoy!

  1. Oatmeal Scrub for Dry Skin
  2. ¼ Cup uncooked oats
  3. 1/8 Cup honey
  4. 1/8 Cup coconut oil

Process oats in food processor to a coarse texture (not powder-like), then transfer to a bowl and add in the honey and coconut oil. Mix with spoon and apply to a clean face, massaging gently into skin and leave on for 5-10minutes before washing off with cold water.

Combine lemon juice and coconut oil in a bowl together. When fully combined, add honey and whisk together. Add the sugar and mix until fully combined. Use gentle circular motions and stay away from open wounds (lemon may sting). Leave on skin for 7-10min and rinse with cold water.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and apply gently to skin for one minute. Let set on skin for 10min and rinse with warm water.

To download and print these recipes, click here.

With men naturally growing more hair in areas that are difficult to shave, what can they do to tame this unwanted hair? Waxing services are not just for women! There are specialty waxing services designed specifically with men in mind. These services will be performed with the highest discretion and will be between you and your professional stylist only—as it should be.

What types of waxing services are available for men?


One of our most popular services for men is our waxing service for back and shoulders. Men often have thick hair that grows on their back and shoulders—that is often itchy, uncomfortable, and causes excess sweat. Even if no one else sees your back, men often choose this service for their own convenience and comfort!


Another popular service for men is our waxing service for your chest. This service is tailored to fit your specific wishes as it is understandable that some men like to keep a little chest hair while others don’t want any at all. No matter what your preference, our professional stylists can work with you to achieve your desired look!


The shape and style of our eyebrows has grown increasingly more important for both women and men over the years. Sure, you can try to pluck them yourself, but it hurts and takes forever to do. Our men’s eyebrow waxing service is designed to help you keep your eyebrows nice and full while also giving them a manageable look and shape while taming any stray hairs.


Our men’s waxing services for arms and legs are very popular and important to men who are involved in the fitness and athletic industry. Our estheticians can help you get rid of the unwanted hair so you can maximize your performance!


We understand many men enjoy having some body hair; however, you still can use men’s waxing services to make sure that hair is kept only in the areas you choose and at the length that you want it to be! Call to speak with one of our estheticians and discuss options that will suit your specific needs today!

Overall, body image perception among adults is overly alarming. These fears are primarily assumed to come from within the female population, although more and more men are admitting to their own fears as well. Research conducted by the University of the West of England actually reveals that just as many men have anxiety about body flaws or imperfections. From this research, 80.7% of the 397 men surveyed talked badly about their appearance—their weight, lack of hair, or having too slim of a frame; while only 75% of the women said similar things about their own appearance.

But what does all of this have to do with a day spa? Well, helping our clients feel great about their overall wellbeing is one of our top priorities. We also provide services to help reduce the anxiety that men and women feel about themselves. One such service is our massage options.

Did you know humans are social creatures and can benefit greatly from another’s touch? Research has shown that, of the body’s senses, touch is one of the most powerful aids towards physical and mental health. Even if you only get an occasional massage, you can still enjoy the benefits of a massage.

Massages provide benefits across the board, regardless of your body type. Getting a massage can:

Many describe getting a massage as a way to “let go” or “get lost” in the comfort a massage can provide. This is more than just a relaxed state; a massage can provide true phycological benefits by helping an individual to release the negative thoughts or concerns that they may be harboring and to dive deep into the therapeutic aspect of the massage. Enjoying a massage, especially regularly, can help you reconnect with your body and learn to experience it in a more positive light.

Have you had excessive pain or trouble when trying to lift your arm? Have you recently undergone a shoulder injury that you can’t seem to shake off? It is possible that you may be suffering from frozen shoulder (also known as adhesive capsulitis).

What is frozen shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is the thickening, scarring and shrinkage of the joint capsule that can lead to the loss of motion in your shoulders. Symptoms like stiffness and pain can also come about from a frozen shoulders. The longer the shoulder goes untreated, the longer the symptoms will remain. Symptoms can last up to about 2 years if left untreated – thus it is very important to seek treatment if you find yourself struggling with shoulder pain.

Massages are a great way to alleviate the pain that you may go through with a frozen shoulder and they can even begin to alleviate symptoms if the correct massages are done professionally. The massages may be uncomfortable at first and it’s important to know that one massage will not treat frozen shoulder for good. Regular massages and muscle therapy are required to regain motion without pain from frozen shoulder.

Certain massages are better for some compared to others. It is important to know which massage is best for you and your pain. The following are examples of massages that you can undergo with a frozen shoulder to help treat the pain:

Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage consists of soft strokes on delicate areas of the body and rough strokes on tougher areas of the body. This kind of massage is popular for those suffering from frozen shoulder because it is known for easing muscle strain. A Swedish massage normally lasts anywhere between 60-90 minutes. While there will be pain during the massage due to your shoulder, it is important to relax and not tense up for the benefit of both you and the masseuse. The masseuse will most likely use oils and lotions to help make the massage more comfortable and relaxing or even play soothing music for ambiance.

Deep Tissue Massage

Frozen shoulder can result in intense pain and what is better than to combat intense pain with a deeper, more intense tissue massage. A deep tissue massage applies far more pressure than a Swedish massage and those with more severe conditions of the frozen shoulder should seek this massage for best results. Deep massages can leave healthy muscles feeling sore, so it is important to note that you may be in more intense pain in this type of massage. You may want to agree on pain tolerance and what amount of pain is bearable for you when seeking a masseuse for this kind of massage when undergoing a frozen shoulder.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy is known as a remedial massage that can reach tender muscles and trigger points throughout your body. This kind of massage therapy can reduce inflammation and serve as a great solution for muscle stiffness. When searching for a masseuse for this kind of massage therapy it is important to search for a well-experienced therapist who understands this kind of therapy and how to use it to best treat frozen shoulders.

Heat Therapy Along with massage therapy, heat therapy—like that implemented with a Hot Stone Massage—is a great aid used to enhance recovery time. Heat therapy, also known as thermotherapy, uses the application of heat to encourage circulation within your blood vessels. Heat therapy is an excellent way to relieve the pain from frozen shoulder post-massage therapy of any of the massages listed above. Heating packs or steamed towels are the most common material used when undergoing heat therapy, your masseuse will understand which is best for you for treatment of your frozen shoulder.

There is nothing softer than your hair right after a salon visit for a cut and style. How do they do it? It’s so soft, shiny, and even has the right amount of volume and shapes your face just perfectly—why can’t you ever get it to do that yourself?

While getting that salon look and feel may seem out of reach, here are a few tips to help you get your hair just the way you want it every time.

  1. Check your shampoo. Having the right kind of shampoo is vital to the health of your hair, which in turn has a great influence on how easy it is to style. Salons implement clarifying shampoos to help remove any product or product build-up in a client’s hair. These should only be used occasionally because it does strip your hair of everything but if its been a while since you’ve used one, it is step one to getting that salon styled hair.
  2. Follow up with a good conditioner. There are tons of products out there and there is such thing as conditioning your hair incorrectly. You need to pick a conditioner that is right for your hair type. If your hair frequently seems dry or frizzy, you need a better moisturizing conditioner than you may be using. If you have oily hair, a regular moisturizing conditioner is fine, but apply it to your ends where your hair will be at its driest.
  3. Use stylist-like skills when drying or brushing your hair. Does your stylist ever roughly dry your hair after washing it or brush it out roughly? No? Then you shouldn’t be either. Softly squeeze out water from your hair to properly dry it—don’t rub the towel roughly against your hair—and use small and light strokes when brushing out your hair. This helps minimize breakage and frizz and maximize its softness.
  4. Pick up styling products. Pay attention to what your stylist uses when working on your hair—or ask and purchase them directly from your stylist. If you love the way your hair feels when the stylist does it, you’ll need the products they use to accomplish it.
  5. Invest in quality styling tools. Salon styled hair often comes with an equivalent bill—so using subpar or cheap styling tools will likely produce similar looking results. Opt for professional styling tools, especially ones for using heat to accomplish a particular styling look. Quality grade products help provide a quality grade result—and don’t be afraid to YouTube a few techniques on using your styling tools to their fullest to get your look just right.

Styling your own hair is usually your only option between salon visits—going every day to the hair salon isn’t typically an available option for most. Achieving the salon-perfect look is possible—just takes time, practice, patience, and the right products to get the finalized look.

The Facts About Men’s Spa Usage:

Many spas offer treatments such as massage, facials, and manicure/pedicures designed specifically for men; so, the men are not receiving the same spa services as women.

So, you’ve decided to try a men’s spa service for the first time, what next?

For most men, a first-time visit to a spa is more intimidating than it should be. After all, the purpose of the spa visit is to help you relax, relieve stress, and care for yourself. Many men are intimidated simply because they do not know what to expect or how they should act during a spa visit. This guide will help ensure you are completely prepared for your first visit to a spa, and that it surely will not be your last visit.

            First, let’s cover the DON’TS:

Here are some of the DO’S:

DO unplug. In today’s world, it may seem more stressful to turn your phone, computer, or tablet off and unplug. But you want to be able to fully focus on your experience and not be worried about any external stresses that could arise. Use this time as your time to escape!

There's no doubt that massages are extremely beneficial! They help stimulate blood circulation, encourage relaxation, heal muscle strains and injuries, plus a multitude of other amazing factors. But, did you know that getting massaged alongside your significant other can do all of this and so much more? Couples who massage together experience a stronger bond and, thus, a stronger relationship.

Couple's massage helps increase the feelings of affection. Besides relieving muscle tension, massages help release the body's “happy chemicals” like oxytocin (also called the “love hormone”). In releasing this “love hormone” alongside your partner, you may feel a sense of closeness and connection. Life has a tendency to keep us busy and often leads to somewhat of a disconnection with our partner. A couple's massage helps by keeping both parties occupied by the same activity, one that they can come together afterward and share the feelings of the love hormones.

Sharing experiences helps couples learn new things about each other. This can help the couple grow in their relationship overall. By experiencing things together, conversations are encouraged and ideas are shared; you may even learn something new about your significant other. The memories you make will be ones you hold near to your hearts and be a bonding instrument.

Encouraging relaxation and intimacy in a novel experience is a great way to help a relationship flourish and share physical closeness. Relaxing your mind and your muscles can help you feel less anxious and more excited. What better way to get physical with your partner than when you're both feeling a rush of endorphins and stimulation?

Having said all the above, it's no surprise that getting a massage together can help couples take a step away from everyday stress and find peace in being present. Relaxation helps people to find ways to enjoy each moment as it is lived, and when you can do this simultaneously with your partner, it can be the most fulfilling gift for your relationship.

Having your hair relaxed is a treatment that cannot be done as well by your stylist if your hair is not properly prepped. With the advice provided by stylists, this article is a guide of some things you should do before attending your hair relaxing appointment.

The Week Before Your Appointment

The weeks before your appointment there are 3 things you must do to prepare your hair for your relaxing treatment.

Use a protein packed wash and conditioner to deep condition your hair

A high protein conditioner will give your hair strength and stability for the relaxing treatment. This step is very important because the strength of your hair will enable your hair to hold that smooth and straight condition long after it has been relaxed. Clients are also suggested to use a moisturizing leave-in conditioner to help restore that protein and moisture balance in their hair.

If you have just removed extensions and have an appointment to get your hair relaxed this step is very important for you! Once hair extensions are taken out, your hair can begin to tangle and have a matt texture to it while being washed. IT is recommended that anyone who is getting their hair relaxed after having extensions braids their hair into 6 to 8 box braids the week before treatment.

Do not irritate your scalp

The week before relaxing your hair it is suggested that you be fairly easy on your scalp to prepare for the chemicals in the relaxing formula. Refrain from scratching or itching your scalp the week before your appointment. Keep your hair in a simple and easy to manage style that is not going to require you to pull or comb through your hair. If hair does need to be combed make sure that it is combed into 4 sections with a wide-toothed comb. This form of combing does not irritate the scalp and keeps the skin calm. An irritated scalp during the relaxing process has a higher chance of being burned or damaged by the relaxing treatment.

Seal the moisture into your hair

The week before your appointment, it is suggested that throughout that week you seal and moisturize your hair multiple times. This provides for that strength and stability that your hair is going to need when being relaxed. This also allows for protein build up in the hair, so your hair is not left fragile after the relaxing treatment.

The Day of; Before You Go to Your Appointment

On the day of your appointment, there are also a few to do’s before you can get your hair relaxed. These few things you must do to your hair allow for your hair to take the relaxing formula to the best of its capability and provide an easier appointment for both you and your stylist.

Part your hair into 4 or more sections

This helps your stylist find new growth in hair that has already been relaxed before and also helps to keep your hair separated so you and your stylist are sure that all parts of your hair are receiving the treatment. You can use clips to keep hair separated before and during the treatment.

Detangle each section of hair

This step is ESSENTIAL to the treatment. Relaxer cannot be applied to knotted or tangled hair – the formula will cause larger tangles when the hair is being washed if they are not detangled beforehand. Your hands or a wide-toothed comb can be used to help detangle your hair. Salons may be on a time crunch due to other clients’ appointments and may not be able to detangle your hair as thoroughly before your treatment.

Use oils to protect your scalp

Pure olive oil, coconut oil and castor oil are all great options for protecting your scalp before using the relaxing formula.

Keep your hair line and the perimeter of your hair protected

Oil or hair grease should be applied to your hairline, perimeter of hair and ears to protect them from the chemicals.

Protect previously relaxed hair

If you have had your hair relaxed before, it is important that you protect that pre-relaxed hair. Do this by applying oil or condition to the previously relaxed parts of your hair. Are you interested in having your hair relaxed or finding out more information on hair relaxing? Essentials of Brandon: Full-Service Luxury Spa offer hair relaxing treatments to help you reach your hair goals!

Whether the holidays are approaching, a special date (like a birthday or anniversary) is coming up, or you want to give a special thank you—what do you give to the most important woman (or women) in your life? Be she your mother, sister, wife, or grown daughter, a spa day package is less cliché than you may think and more about giving her a gift she likely won’t provide for herself—“me time”.

Here are 5 reasons that make a spa day the best gift for the woman in your life:

  1. She will get pampered

Women, especially busy moms, deserve a little pampering now and then. When you are treating your mom or mother of your children with a spa day, you are making her experience pampering at its finest. It could be a mini facial, a 30-minute massage, body wrap, deep tissue massage, restorative facial, a simple pedicure, or a combination of some or all the above. With either of these treatments, she will feel rejuvenated.

If she has been complaining about neck or back pain or has a health condition that causes her pain, a spa could provide relief to her soreness. Massage therapy is one of the most effective and natural remedies for alleviating muscle pain, treating numbness and tingling, and joint inflammation.

A massage therapist at the spa will create a tailor-made therapy session for the gift receiver. The experts use a combination of light, moderate, and deep pressures to treat their aches.

Let your mom enjoy a youthful appearance with a facial. Like many other mothers, she likely reminds you that you are the cause of her grays and wrinkles. Give her the gift of an anti-aging facial to help her look and feel younger. You can choose from several treatments for your mother to restore a more youthful appearance including an ageless mani-pedi and cut and color salon service. She is definitely going to love you for this one.

Don’t just schedule a spa day – schedule one for two! Together, you can relax and bond with each other. As she is being given special treatment, you can catch up on life, share some laughs, and reminisce the old times. This would make her forget about her day’s worries and focus on what matters the most – the love and bond that you share.

A spa day isn’t just meant to fix your appearance or alleviate the pain, it also helps you relax. In fact, there are a number of spa treatments that can release stress and anxiety. Whether it’s a facial, body massage, body wrap, or even a manicure, any such treatment would help her relax. Such treatments can even help her improve sleep and contribute to a strong cardiovascular health. Now think again, wouldn’t the women in your life love all these benefits? Give her the gift of a spa day then!

Women lead busy lives and if there is a way to multitask to help us stay healthy and have great hair—why not try it?

This is no trick—and not only will it save you 15-20 minutes in the shower (and help preserve some water), but it will also help you maximize your deep conditioning treatment! When our bodies are hot, we lose the heat through our pores, and the most amount of heat lost is from our heads. It's why we wear caps in the winter and always put a cap on a baby—to help moderate our body temperature.

So, what does that mean for deep conditioning your hair and working out? Well, when you work out, your body warms up and heat escapes through your scalp. This heat opens the pores of your scalp and the cuticles of your hair, which can allow for deeper penetration of your deep conditioner.

Before your next workout, apply your favorite deep conditioning mask to your (dry) hair after getting dressed in the appropriate workout gear. Using a wide-toothed comb, work the conditioner from your roots to your ends and then braid it or pull it back into a bun. This allows for more control of your hair over loose strands.

Head to the gym and take part in your usual routine for the day—with exception of any workout that may require you to lay on the floor. If you go to a gym, it would be poor gym etiquette to leave the conditioner on the floor, so bring along a towel to lay down for protection.

When your workout is complete, you can shower at home or the gym—just don’t shampoo your hard-earned deep conditioning. You’ll see improved results of shinier and healthier hair if you exercise while the conditioner sits.

Getting your hair relaxed but not sure which relaxer to use? Here’s a list of the pros and cons of both Lye-based and No-Lye based relaxers to help you decide!

Lye Based Relaxer


The “healthy breakage” that Lye-based relaxing formula is definitely the biggest perk of this product. When your hair is relaxed, valuable proteins that allow your hair to have that strength and elasticity are taken from your hair. Lye-based formula is able to replenish that to leave your hair healthier through the relaxing process.


No-Lye Based Relaxer


**All chemical relaxers can be potentially harmful y causing scalp burns or hair loss if not used correctly


The choice between the two types of relaxers is completely up to you! Your stylist can help you make a decision based on your hair type and scalp sensitivity, but the stylist will never choose your relaxer for you without informing you on the type of relaxer being used. Based off of the pro’s and con’s all in all, if you have sensitive skin No-Lye based relaxer is the right product for you. Although, if you do not suffer from sensitive skin or are not as easily burned, your stylist would most likely recommend Lye based relaxer because of the many benefits it offers your hair. Are you interested in having your hair relaxed or finding out more information on hair relaxing? Essentials of Brandon: Full-Service Luxury Spa offers hair relaxing treatments to help you reach your hair goals! Schedule your appointment by phone (813) 681 -1110 or request one online.

From a young age, we learn boys and girls begin to mature at a different rate, with girls becoming more mature much more quickly than boys do. But does the same thing apply to men and women aging and growing old? We took a look at how men age differently than women, and why they age differently.

Men’s Hormones Last Longer

It is well known that the primary hormone in women is estrogen and the primary hormone in men is testosterone, however both men and women do carry both hormones, with women simply carrying more estrogen and men carrying more testosterone. When it comes to aging, women’s levels of the estrogen hormone begin to decline much earlier and much more quickly than men’s levels of the testosterone hormone do. This quicker decline in hormone levels is the reason that men seem to age much more slowly than women do. Women’s estrogen levels begin to decline around age 40 or 50, whereas men’s testosterone levels do not begin to decline until around age 55 or 60.

Men Literally Have Thicker And Healthier Skin That Age Slower

Men have the clear advantage when it comes to signs of aging in their skin. A man’s higher testosterone levels help make their skin about 25% thicker than a woman’s skin is. These higher levels of testosterone and thicker skin also cause men to produce more collagen, elastin, and sebum (oil) – which means men have an advantage with the most important components of firm, glowing, healthy, and youthful looking skin. Testosterone also stimulates the growth of facial hair in men which can help protect their skin from the damaging effects of the sun and air pollutants.

As we previously discussed, men’s hormone levels decrease later and at a slower rate than women’s hormone levels decrease, and this causes women’s collagen and elastin to break down more quickly, causing premature lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and discoloration.

Men Experience More Hair Loss And At A Faster Pace

When it comes to our hair, men lose hair much more than women do overall, and at a much quicker pace than women do. It is natural for both men and women to lose some amount of hair and thickness to their hair as they age, but men tend to experience pattern baldness whereas women simply experience a thinning of their hair on the top and crown of their heads. Women’s hair loss will rarely progress to total baldness, whereas complete baldness is not uncommon in men. Approximately half of all men will experience some level of hair loss by the time they reach age 50, and about 80% of men show signs of male pattern baldness by age 70.

Women Live Longer

Another advantage that women have over men in the aging process is that their lifespans tend to be longer than men’s. According to the CDC, the average life expectancy for men in the U.S. is 76.4 years of age, while the average life expectancy for women in the U.S. is 81.2 years of age. There are many different speculations as to why women live longer than men ranging from women being able to manage and handle stress better, to women getting more regular health checkups, to men experiencing higher rates of mortality from cancer – but no matter what the reason may be, the World Health Organization agrees that women outliving men is the trend worldwide.

Whether you are a man or a woman, Brandon Essentials is here to help you make the most of your skincare routine and preserve your youth. Contact us today for a consultation with a licensed professional esthetician and develop a personalized skincare routine to meet your needs!

Whether you’ve gotten hair waxed before or this is your first time, there are a few key things to routinely be aware of beforehand, to make the best out of your waxing service experience.

Observe your skin

Especially the areas you wish to have waxed.

Let it grow!

Wax is meant to grip hair so that it may release from the skin. When the hair is too short, the wax cannot get a good grip, and when the hair is too long, waxing may be painful. A good rule of thumb to ensure that the hair is at optimal length (about ¼ inch), is to grasp it between your fingers.

If you find that you’re grasping your skin as well, the hair is not long enough. Let the hair grow for some time (usually around 3-5 days) before your scheduled waxing session.

Time your exfoliation and moisturization.

Exfoliation is great for keeping dead skin cells away and preventing ingrown hairs; however, it is not a friend of waxing. Exfoliating too close to a waxing session takes off a protective layer of skin that will be removed by waxing. Avoid exfoliation for a week before the waxing session to avoid a painful experience.

Moisturizing, on the other hand, is more imperative to help relax the skin in the days leading up to waxing. Remember to skip the moisturizer on the day of the waxing appointment, as it could coat the area, making the hair too slippery for the wax to grip. Moisturizer could also clog the pores after waxing. It’s best to avoid applying moisturizer to the skin for about 24 hours surrounding your waxing appointment.

Cleanliness is always a good thing.

Keep your skin as clean as possible, especially the sensitive areas. Use a mild soap to cleanse the areas that are to be waxed, and after they dry you can follow up with wiping the areas with rubbing alcohol to ward off any excess bacteria or moisture. Waxing opens the pores of the skin and leaves them vulnerable to infection, especially in areas that stay warm or damp. Keeping these areas as clean as possible can help to avoid infection. Waxing doesn’t have to be painful! Keep these few key factors in mind when making an appointment to get waxed, and your experience will be the best it can be.

What do psychologists say about treating yourself? The answer: not only is it okay, but it’s also healthier.

If you were to spend money on a new dress, a spa day, or a fancy dinner, would you feel guilty? Are you embarrassed to admit you spent a couple of hours getting a facial and manicure instead of doing chores? Well, you shouldn’t be!

A 2020 study (published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin) says that permitting ourselves to indulge in short-term enjoyment is just as vital to our wellness as putting effort into bigger, long-term goals.

Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” What does this have to do with mental, physical, and spiritual wellness? It means that you cannot be effective as a worker, partner, friend, or parent if you fail to spend enough time maintaining the equipment you use. In this case, “maintenance” means keeping yourself healthy, happy, and energized enough to meet your goals.

As adults, we are taught that we need to be unselfish and pay more attention to big goals than to our own enjoyment. While it’s okay for children to do fun things and ask for new toys, adults should be more serious. We’re told to focus on moving forward in our careers, or on affording a nicer home—not on the short-term pleasure of play or sensory enjoyment. Although responsibility is an important part of reaching happiness and fulfilment, recent research indicates that short-term pleasure is just as much a key to happiness.

The study, by Dr Katharina Bernecker and Dr Daniela Becker, found that a stronger ability to indulge in short-term pleasures (called a person’s “hedonic capacity”) is positively correlated to their overall satisfaction with life.

The first part of the study was conducted by interviewing subjects about how much and how well they allow themselves to participate in and enjoy short-term pleasures. They were asked questions about how effectively they’re able to do something fun while letting go of stress—and also about whether thoughts of what they “should” be doing manage to butt into their relaxation. For example, if they spend a few hours going to dinner with friends, how often will they have guilty thoughts about an unfinished work task?

Next, the researchers asked their participants to answer questions about their overall well-being and life satisfaction. Then, they used statistical models to compare the sets of variables, helping them to understand whether “high hedonic capacity” or “low hedonic capacity” is better for wellbeing. This data was analyzed in conjunction with each person’s scores for pursuing long-term, responsible goals (self-control, et cetera).

The study’s results were obvious: yes, people who put effort into their long-term goals are happier as a result. But the ability to let go and treat yourself to short-term enjoyment is just as critical to happiness.

What does this mean in terms of day-to-day decisions? The answer is different according to each person’s tastes and circumstances. Maybe one person would enjoy taking an extra few hours per week to exercise, while another person would think that’s punishment instead of a reward. Maybe indulging in food looks like “extra calories” for one person, or an “expensive restaurant” for another. Some people feel that a cheap rental property in a nearby city makes for a nice, low-key weekend vacation, while others would rather spend extra on upgrades. Most people would probably agree that spending a little time and money on a relaxing spa day or a trip to the clothing boutique is worthwhile, too. The amount of money spent isn’t the important thing; it’s more important to remind yourself, “My relaxation is worth investing in.” Whatever your self-indulgence looks like, don’t feel guilty. As long as you treat yourself in moderation, it’s good for you. So, take President Lincoln’s advice about good maintenance to heart, and treat yourself to something that will make you feel great—contact Brandon Essentials to book that massage, facial, or manicure appointment you have been putting off.

A massage makes the perfect gift for many reasons! When it comes time to present your gift, there are a few things you can do to make your massage gift certificate more presentable than just a printed paper or gift card and have a little extra meaning. Massage gift certificates are a versatile gift and how you present it to the receiver can increase the impact of the gift.

Get A Massage Certificate From A Professional

Aside from an exchange between spouses, massage certificates are best distributed by a professional. This helps to ensure that the receiver not only gets the ultimate relaxation from a proper massage, but also the experience and the atmosphere that help to further their relaxation. One of the main benefits of a massage gift certificate from a spa is the “permission” to indulge that a receiver often denies themselves.

Provide Some Background For The Gifting Reason

If the person you are gifting a massage to has had massages previously or goes routinely, they likely understand your connection between the massage certificate and themselves. If being gifted a massage is something new, accompany the gift with an explanation. Say something like, “I know you have been busy/under a lot of stress lately and thought being pampered would help alleviate that some.” Or whatever your reason for gifting a massage.

Spruce Up The Delivery/Gift Presentation

Gift cards and gift certificates may be excellent gifts; however, the unveiling is often not as glamorous as a wrapped present. You can make your gift card/certificate for a massage a little more special by creating a gift basket with other presents relating to pampering like essential oils, candles, bath bombs, wine, chocolates, etc. Another idea is to put your massage gift card in a small box that is wrapped or a seasonal appropriate greeting card.

About Essential Spa’s Gift Cards & Certificates

Essentials Spa of Brandon has gift cards available for purchase in any dollar amount and they can be applied towards any of our services, products, and gratuities. We also have certificates available for each type of massage we offer as well as certificates for full spa days. Paper gift certificates expire one year from the date of purchase. All gift cards and gift certificates are non-refundable and non-redeemable for cash.

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