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Aroma, Natural vs Synthetic

All Scents Are Not Created Equal



There are really only two types of scents.

Natural – those that are extracted from plant material (flowers, stems, leaves, bark, wood, etc…).

Not Natural – those which are synthesized compounds. Personally, I lump those silly oils who call themselves “nearly natural or nature identical into this category since they are made from a hybridized process of plant essence and synthetic compounds. How much of one to the other I have no idea. No one does but the minute you blend a pure essential oil with a synthetic scent, you kind of ruin the point of using nature based and sustainable.

So which one is better?

That all depends on you and what matters most to you. Back in the days before Tres Spa, I loved loved loved the bath shops and the candle shops and all the smelly cosmetic counters with all the perfumes. I would sniff and sniff and sniff to my hearts content. So many smells and such fun names. My personal favorite at the time was Nantucket Briarwood and who didn’t like China Rain?!  I just loved smells and I did not care if it was natural or not, I just liked to sniff. Probably since my eyes were never right from birth, I have always relied more heavily on my ability to smell. If you can’t trust what your eyes are telling you, you have to rely on a back up system for early detection. So my nose took the lead.

With Tres Spa You Have Nature in the palm of your HandsBut then I started my own company,Tres Spa, and I had to make some decisions that would draw lines and boundaries. So, since I have never been known to take the easy path or the most popular one, I decided I would create a company that would not compromise on the commitment to nature. My other love. I mean really, who doesn’t love nature at some level. I was determined to use natural ingredients and create products as close to nature as possible. So I choose essential oils, naturally!

I have never regretted that decision but when I made it, I had no idea what a profound impact it would have on me. Just by surrounding myself with nature, I became more aware and my already keen sense of smell became even sharper. My sense of scent has gotten to the point where I can smell a synthetic fragrance from far away. I don’t know how to put it but the scent is usually strong and very sharp. Like it cuts threw everything and dominates, almost attacking my nose. As a result, I have to hold my breath when I pass by shops that use fragrances and I haven’t entered a candle store in years.I still don’t think we answered the question; Which one is better? 

Remember that series of movies from a few years ago where people started setting up sides and asking “Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?” I’m on “Team Essential oil” and I’d like to believe it is better to be on natures side. It’s not always the easy one but it always feels right to me and as a company it is important to be planet friendly in manufacturing and product design and natural is sustainable. I’m sure others would be quoting science and tossing studies left and right but for me, it just feels like the right thing to do. 

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Top 5 Life Hacks to Get The Water You Need!

Just Can’t Seem To Make It?

Trying to get down the water and you just can’t seem to get it done? You aren’t alone. We all know how important it is to drink fresh clean water every day. Yet, knowing and doing are two different things. If you are like me, you may be struggling with it. It’s time for you to take control and give yourself the water you deserve.

I am not partial to water. I never have been. You see, I was raised with flavored drinks as a kid and that reached into my adult years with soda. Probably one of  the worst inventions that could have ever happened to the human population is soda. There is nothing beneficial in soda and in fact, over consumption of carbonated beverages can cause significant damages .

My Top 5 Tricks

Here are my top 5 hacks to drinking enough water

  1. Start each day with a fresh glass pitcher or jug of water. My goal is to get a half gallon so I have a glass jug that I fill every morning and I use this to drink from all day. 64 ounces is eight  8 ounce servings.  This way I know what the goal is and I can see myself get closer as the water goes down.
  2. Break it up into servings. Easier to tackle a bit at a time rather than think of the whole half gallon. For example: First thing, before my fitness and before my coffee (yes I drink coffee), I down a  full 8 ounce glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon. Double bonus since it is a metabolism booster. I will also sip on a serving of water while I drink my coffee. Then I pour a full glass before a meal and add another during a meal. (This takes care of all my servings and helps curb my appetite) Of course you can always drink more water.
  3. If you find it hard to drink plane water, then try making a really weak tea. When I say week, I mean unbelievably weak.   To flavor a half gallon of water, I would use only three herbal tea bags. Use an herbal tea that you really enjoy and one that has a strong scent like peppermint or spice. This is my personal favorite Organic Herbal Tea: Good Earth Teas Organic Sweet and Spicy
  4. Make a Spa tea. Spa teas are lovely and refreshing. Some of the spas I have been to will even change the water depending on the time of day. Say you want a bright pick me up, how about sliced citrus water. Cooling and soothing, add some cucumber. Try spicing it up for extra kick. Some of my favorites are Mint, Tarragon, Basil, Rosemary, and yes Lavender.
  5. In a pinch or if I am on the go, I will squeeze a tiny shot of water enhancer.  I’ve used Stur Drinks –  Natural Water Enhancer and its pretty good in a pinch and it can travel with you. Hey, it’s not perfect but I’m picking the better of two evils here! Better to get the water in!

Eventually you will become accustomed to just plain ‘ole water. I never thought I could handle it, but now I actually enjoy it now. Just straight up room temperature.


The More You Drink, The Easier It Gets

Drinking Water becomes naturalNo matter what method you need to use to try and get the water down, eventually you will find you have acquired the taste for plain old fresh water.  Either that or you just get to lazy to fuss with the extra flavoring work and you are hooked on plain fresh water with no tricks.

Mission accomplished!

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How to Meditate Anytime Anyplace

Meditation, Why do it

Tres Spa Meditation Anytime AnyplaceWe do it to balance and strengthen us, mind body and spirit! Now I am not here to talk about new age spirituality or any religious dogma, but the truth is universal and the truth is the act of meditation can have a profound impact on the individual. Spending time centering and focusing and quieting the mind can help us drive down our blood pressure, gain perspective on priorities, and adds to our general feelings of well being. And a focused centered mind that is clear is very powerful. There are many benefits at many levels so no matter what your spiritual belief, you will benefit from adopting a regular meditation practice.

Meditation, What is it?

Meditation is a time to quiet the mind. <period. End of Statement> This practice is as old as time itself and is often closely tied to spiritual practices as well and many religious practices have their own version or ritual practice. But does it have to be spiritual? No. The act of Deep Meditation is to simply quiet the mind.

There is also a form of Meditation that is Mindful. This is when you quiet all other mental noise and think only on the act you are doing. For example, preparing a meal for you or your family. You would focus all intent and all awareness on the carrot you are preparing or the celery you are dicing or the potato you are peeling.  Musicians and artists tend to gravitate to this as well as chefs and athletes. For this particular customer, I told them to strum the cord of G. We can add D and C down the road. 🙂

The other one would be Meditation in Motion. This is when you are moving but you doing more than moving, you become both focused and fluid at the same time. Martial arts is a good example and so is dance or even endurance or body building training.  In fact, athletes tend to phase from one to the other form very fluidly. When I was a marathon runner, I used all three techniques of meditation a great deal.

Meditation, How to do it

Simple! At least it can be. There are lots of ways to go about it and many practitioners who will teach you their ways. Some sessions take longer than others and some have a high level of ritual around it. But the truth is, meditating is as easy as breathing.  At the heart of all meditation practice, that is it: let go of the active dialog in your mind and focus on your breathing. Breath inhale and release exhale. The rest is noise or filler.

Most people think they need to do something special or ritualistic. They have special poses and special pillows to sit on and incense to burn and chimes to ring. You can do this if you want to and I do on occasion. In fact I love the spiritual meditation practices but I don’t have time for that every day.

The real secret in any form of meditation is the Eyes. What do you do with your eyes. Well, for deep meditation you don’t close your eyes you just relax the eyelids and set your gaze to a focal point in the near distance and let it fall out of focus. For mindful mediation, you focus your eyes and your mind on the object you are centering on.

Meditation, Where to do it?

Some people think you need to be in a special surrounding. It often evokes images of nature and the outdoors. Tranquil lakes and flowing streams or big puffy clouds. These are lovely images but I live in the city and I can’t get to the countryside every day. Meditate where you are.  It is splendid to sit under a 300 year old Redwood in the peaceful forest, but I can’t get there every day and  you really do want to carve out at least 10 minutes a day to meditate. Every day!

Two things you learn when running  busy life, leveraging and multitasking! This applies to everyone, even if you are not running your own company or trying to get your business off the ground. To fit my 10 minutes of meditation in on a daily basis, I multitask. We all do things every day that don’t require our mental focus so I use those times to spend time quieting my mind. It’s a form of Meditation in Motion.

Here are a list of ideas of when and where you might be able to fit in 10 minutes of meditation:

  • Riding a commuter train or bus. Notice I did not say driving. You cannot meditate or should not try to when you are operating a ton of powered steel that can kill.
  • Household chores: Washing dishes, vacuuming, dusting, etc……
  • Preparing a meal (this can also be a great time to practice Mindful Meditation)
  • Personal grooming time: Shower, shaving, and any number of activities that don’t require thought.
  • Hot Tub or Bath time is perfect if you are a tub person or you have access to a hot tub.
  • Fitness training: Depending on the fitness activity you could do a releasing meditation or a mindful meditation.
  • Walking or Running: Try doing these on your own and using this time to meditate. You can’t meditate and carry on a conversation. People will notice if you have tuned them out.
  • Waiting for an appointment, get there early so you can meditate before you go in.

There are lots of opportunities for you to create in your day so no excuses. Oh, one word of advice, try no tot pick the time someone is trying to interact with you as a time to “tune out” and meditate! There is always time in you day to meditate for at least 10 minutes. You can choose Deep Meditation, Meditation in Motion, or Mindful Meditation. 

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Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal seems to be a sudden hot tend in the health and beauty industry. Trend or not, let’s hope it is here to stay. Activated charcoal  also known as activated carbon, is a dust like powder that is created from heating charcoal.

Activated Charcoal and Tres SpaYou see it all starts with a substance like peat, coal, petroleum, wood, or coconut shells (our favorite sustainable charcoal).  The charcoal is then heated or otherwise treated to increase its absorptive power, or to put it another way, to activate it.  At Très Spa we use activated charcoal from the planet friendly coconut shells.Check out our Organic Face Cleanser!

So why is it so popular?

Activated charcoal has an amazing adsorption ability. Adsorption is the adhesion of molecules to the surface. Remember the heating of the coal, what happened was the action caused .the charcoal to create gaps or “pores” of voided space. these internal spaces give the activated charcoal the ability to attract and trap chemicals. With the charcoal trapping the chemicals, they avoid getting absorbed by the body. The toxins can then be flushed out of the system. The ability to flush toxins out without Tres Spa Organic Face Cleanser Coal & Kelpcausing a burden to the liver and kidneys is key to the internal (and even external) benefits.

Taken Orally or Ingested

Internally activated charcoal has been used for a variety of things from life saving prevention of poisoning, to relieving gas, From  preventing hangovers to lowering cholesterol. It can be used to brighten the teeth and makes an excellent water filter. I have used a charcoal water filtration system in my home for years and I love it.

So what about topically?

Can activated charcoal help the skin when applied topically? Yes. It has been shown to be very helpful in relieving the skin from spider bites or other bites by creating a paste and applying it to the skin. Wait then rinse clean. You could do the same with acne outbreaks.

But to what extent is it beneficial in your daily beauty regime? Maybe not as significant as internal but still beneficial enough to consider it. The biggest drawback of topical activated charcoal is the fact that it is a mess to deal with. It will stain if you aren’t careful  and it can be a mess as it coats every surface with jet black coal. This is unfortunate as you can only imagine what a wonder it would be covering us head to toe? Full on body detox mask! But I digress.

To be really effective, charcoal needs more than a split second to work its magic. So some of the treatments in our daily beauty routines work better than others. There may be some benefits to using activated charcoal in our body soap bars, but more so in our body scrubs, facial cleansers, or masks. Since these products tend to get a longer exposure time.

We are not your Doctor

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

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

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

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The Mighty Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera for Skincare

Tres Spa Aloe Vera for Skincare

Aloe Vera is my favorite skincare ingredient I love Aloe Vera. The plant has always fascinated me since I was a child. It was the one succulent my mother could grow without killing. Unfortunately, she did not inherit my grandfathers natural gardener gene. As a child I remember this strange pointy plant that did not look like anything I had seem outside (I grew up in Michigan). It was always the same color and it looked like it hardly grew, yet despite my mom chopping off tips every time we had a scratch, it never seemed to shrink. Beyond the sticky goo that worked as a salve under my bandage, I had no idea what the power was in this wondrous green monster plant.

It wasn’t until years later that I would really start to understand this miracle plant.

Grow Your Own

Aloe Vera is a plant that I believe everyone should grow for themselves! They are easy to care for and it can grow in a pot inside your home quite easily. Just a little bit of light and water and you are good to go.  I started with a tiny one in a frog that was a gift from one of my fabulous customers. From that tiny plant I now have three going. Since I live in California, I plan on transferring one to the outdoors to be grown for eating.

What Can You Do With Aloe Vera?

Aloe Vera for Skincare Tres SpaLots! Inside and out, Aloe Vera is a highly nourishing wonderful plant. You can eat them and you can use it on your skin. It is wonderful!

Aloe Vera is rich in the following: Vitamins, Minerals, Sugars, Enzymes, Lignins, Amino Acids, Anthraquinones, Saponins, Fatty Acids, Salicylic Acid. Now, I’m not going to go into details on this. But it is interesting to note that the simple green plant has about 100 different high value compounds that aid in internal and external healing.

For skincare – snip a bit off the leaf and either squeeze it out and apply the gooey juice or slit the leaf and apply it to your skin. Add some fresh squeezed aloe juice to one of our Face Masks for amazing healing therapy benefits.

For eating – if you have a big leaf, you can slice the green outer layer away and eat the inside. Try adding it to your smoothies and juices. Or, make a Raw Vegan version of Sushi (you do have to rinse it very well to do this). Personally I’ve never been able to grow my Aloe plants big enough.

Can I Find It In Très Spa, Products?

In the beginning of  Très Spa, I had added it to a couple of product formulations but I stopped. Why would I do this considering how much I love the plant and all of the clear benefits? Well it all has to do with preservation. Once the leaf has been “juiced” it must be preserved and I truly believe that this wondrous plant should be enjoyed unaltered and fresh. When it ages outside of the natural state, it starts to lose its wonderful nutrients. So it is at it’s peak when you pick it fresh. And considering how agreeable it is to growing indoors, it’s a plant that can be enjoyed globally no matter what your garden space is outside or your seasonal growing conditions.

Perhaps, if I could ever find Aloe without preservatives added I may consider adding it back in. For now, I encourage you to grow your own.

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