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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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