Discover why knowing your face will make your life better.

I’ve been working with faces in my holistic skin care practice for the past twenty plus years and I know one thing for sure: most of us don’t understand our own face at all.

It’s a sad thing to realize since so much of our attention and effort goes into making our face and skin look its best.  We apply make up everyday, we moisturize and scrub and we get facials but we don’t take the time to actually understand our own face. In pursuit of beauty, we mostly treat our face as if it was one dimensional. 

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In my book, the face is the most fascinating part of ourselves and by getting to know it better, you can develop a more meaningful relationship with yourself and with your beauty.  One that is based on understanding and deeper self knowledge, not just an on-the-surface, one-dimensional interaction.

You see, your face is nothing short of magical. It’s like the universe of you or your very own, ever-evolving piece of art.  It registers and conveys your joys and sorrows, the state of your health and the level of vibrance of your energetic being. The fact is that your face is a great communicator. The question though is are you willing to listen?

Chinese medicine practitioners and Ayurvedic doctors can read your health like a book simply by analyzing your face. The science of Morphology and face reading has your personality all figured out by the shape of your facial features and markings. It’s amazing!

Of course, I’m not going to ask you to become an Ayurvedic doctor so you can read your face. However, there are a few simple yet profound face facts that everyone will benefit from knowing. Why? Simply because if you understand the workings of your face you will no longer look for solutions to your face/skin problems in the wrong places. You will also gain a deeper appreciation for the miracle of your body.

The state of your physical health is expressed in the quality and health of your skin.

This presents itself through changes in skin texture, temperature and colour. 

For example, a person with a tendency to facial redness and inflammation may be prone to excess heat in the body and tendency for inflammatory conditions of the body in general. An over-acidic stomach is often accompanied by redness in specific areas of the face. I see this with my clients all the time.

Congested skin which lacks luster, looks puffy and is cool to the touch often represents a body which is slow, sluggish and congested with poor lymphatic flow. 

Next time when you experience a flare up of acne or skin redness, take a moment to acknowledge its connection to the internal workings of your body. Your skin is talking. Don’t just try to shut it up by using suppressive skin care products. 

The majority of chronic skin problems need to be addressed from the inside and also supported topically with clean plant-based formulas. No skin care product alone will fix your hormonal imbalance or your digestive issues. So please know the limitation of your skin care product and respond to your body’s signals by addressing the root causes. It will save you a lot of money and time that you spend searching for that perfect skin care product.

The state of your emotional health is expressed through patterns of tension in facial muscles and other tissues.

Lines and wrinkles, sad face, happy face… It is true that emotions which you are most attached to are written all over your face. 

There are a few really smart people out there who have devoted their life’s work to this subject. Dr Paul Ekman is my absolute guru when it comes to the relationship between emotions and the engagement of corresponding facial muscles.

 The gist of it is that every single person engages exactly the same facial muscles to express the same emotion. It doesn’t matter if you are from Paris, New York or a little town somewhere in Africa, when you are angry it shows up in your face in the same way. Of course there is nothing wrong with expressing emotions. The problem arises when you get attached to a particular emotion and feel it over and over. 

Let’s say that you feel very sad and disappointed in yourself, your partner or life in general. You are feeling this way not for a week or two but for the past year or maybe five years… as you know this is not uncommon. Some people feel sad and disappointed about something throughout their whole life.

The depressor anguli oris muscle is engaged in expressing this particular emotion. It runs vertically on each side of your mouth. 

If you are feeling sad and disappointed a lot, eventually this muscle becomes chronically tense. As a consequence a few things will happen: restricted flow of vital fluids (blood and lymph) which will contribute to the lack of proper tissue nourishment and accelerated aging, facial symmetry may be disturbed (more tension on one side than the other) and your lip corners will be turning down and that fixed unhappy look becomes a reality… The ‘marionette’ lines are the consequence of chronic contraction of this muscle.

To sum it up, your body, your thoughts and your feelings are all interconnected. In fact, the pattern of muscle tensions in your face is always involved in determining your emotional state. 

If you don’t like the look that you are seeing on your face lately you may want to spend some time with how you are feeling on the inside. It’s amazing how happiness and internal contentment will immediately light up your face.  And don’t be hard on yourself. We are all a work in progress.

Your sacred face

There also is a sacred aspect to your face and head. This is the seat of the vital energy points. In Ayurveda these are called marma points and in Chinese medicine acupoints.

These points are located all over the body (we have a few important ones on our face and head) at anatomical sites where veins, arteries, tendons, bones or joints intersect. They are also said to be the points of connection between our physical and the subtle energetic bodies. These points are connected to specific organs and sights of the body. For example the marma points located on the scalp are connected to the brain and also to the other organs.  

Ayurveda says that, through skilled marma point stimulation we can have an impact on hormonal balance, eye, ear and nose health, emotional balance, memory function, we can relieve headaches and strengthen general vitality of the person. These are just a few examples.

What I have observed in my work is that, through working with the face, people can experience not only states of deep relaxation but also safety and a deep sense of wellness. 

If mindfully acknowledged, the face can also be understood as the entry point or a gateway to deeper self knowledge, the starting point of communication with self.  

As a skin and facial therapist whose practice is devoted solely to treatments of the face I can wholeheartedly say that receiving a deeply nurturing face treatment is a powerful medicine both for you and your skin. The effects of such treatments can be seen on the outside and are definitely felt deep within. 

Now that you are a little bit more familiar with the true nature of your face, please, spend time with it. Touch it. Observe it. Not with your critical eye but with the an eye of wonder and exploration. 

Before you book your next facial and let someone else touch your face, make sure that they too see its magic. Don’t be shy to ask questions to make sure that they are well trained in the holistic arts of face work and that they understand the complexity and dynamic nature of your face. 


Is Bacteria The Next Big Thing In Beauty?

This is a great article by Candice Batista of The Eco Hub . Candice has asked me few questions on the subject when she was writing this piece. Big thank you to Candice for including me! Here it is:

If you follow any good health blogs you’ve probably read about the importance of gut bacteria, sometimes referred to as the microbiome. It’s probably one of the most important things for optimal health. I’ll be talking more about gut health in the coming months.


Now when it comes to skincare, new research is showing that the skin’s very own microbiome is super important to its health as well. Is Bacteria The Next Big Thing In Beauty?

Our microbiome is taking a beating thanks to our obsession with flawless skin and we can’t discount the pressure that social media puts on all of us to try to attain skin that does not need a filter.

If you live in the real world, you know it’s almost impossible to live up that.

We’ve been told for so long that we need to scrub, peel, exfoliate and mask our faces until they burn. But the reality is, it’s doing more harm than good because we are disrupting the skins delicate ecosystem.

Magdalena Tomczak is a Holistic skin + Face therapist at Woman Divine Skincare, she says, “Our body, the skin included, is a dynamic, ever-changing organism which constantly interacts with and is affected by the environment, the food we eat, the emotions we experience. Your skin may look perfectly healthy today and may be irritated tomorrow because of all the complex life dynamics it takes part in all the time. Your skin expressing how you’re doing is a natural and necessary occurrence. It’s an essential aspect of our body’s signaling system. If you learn to pay attention to your skin signals and behaviours in a positive manner it can become your best guide to self-care and skincare. It’s a reflection of your health, both physical and emotional, the expression of your body’s wisdom. Yet, we continuously find new ways to prevent skin from expressing and communicating.  Peels, excessive scrubbing, micro-dermabrasions actually hurt our skin. They mess up our skin’s precious microbiome.”

The takeaway here is that we need to let the healthy bacteria that exists on the skin thrive and with 70 percent of Canadian women reporting sensitive skin, there is no better time to start.

Cultured foods as many of you know have unbelievable benefits for the gut, things like Kefir, yogurt, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi etc. are fabulous.

So when it comes to the skin, is this just a fad?

Science is proving there is truth behind the results.

So how does the microbiome work?

“There are plenty of these invisible guys roaming around. So I’ll say you better keep in good relationship with your microbes. The fact is that you are an ecosystem. This ecosystem is made of trillions of organisms (microbes) and includes bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These microbes live in colonies (communities) inside (eg. Your gut flora or your mouth flora) and on the surface of your body (eg. your skin micro-flora or microbiome).  Your ecosystem is unique, complex and ever-changing just like other ecosystems in nature.

The gist of it is that you absolutely need a healthy ecosystem in order to be healthy. Your skin needs a healthy microbiome to be healthy and to look its best.  When your microbes are ‘happy’ their communities live harmoniously, in balance and life flourishes.

They also do an amazing job at protecting you from invaders from the outside, other organisms which may cause disease and create havoc in your system or in the health of your skin. Peels, micro-dermabrasion, excessive exfoliation as well as antimicrobial soaps, toxic skin and body care products all disturb your precious skin microbiome and are causing a lot of damage to your skin. They also strip the natural oil that our skin produces (sebum). Sebum feeds the beneficial bacteria which live on our skin and produce immune-boosting fatty acids.

Stripped skin is in a vulnerable state. Unwelcomed micro-invaders from the outside can now penetrate. The natural order of microbial colonies previously living in harmony has now turned into ‘Gangs of New York’ and everyone is competing for dominance and skin problems arise.  Sebum also softens, lubricates and prevents the skin from premature aging. Without it, your skin can no longer protect you from the trans-epidermal water loss.  Dryness, dehydration, more lines, and wrinkles are the consequence.  So as you can see, what started as a ‘beauty’ treatment or product, turns out to be very unhealthy, skin damaging and quite frankly doesn’t add to our beauty at all, ” adds Magdalena.

So skincare that contains a good probiotic can be very beneficial to you. Good quality oils can support the microflora living on your skin.

In her new book Beyond Soap (which I am reading now) Dr. Sandy Skotnicki writes that “On its own, the skin is better equipped to fight wrinkles, stave off aging and act as armor that protects the body from infection. Every time we slather, spread, hydrate, or soften the skin, we nudge the skin away from its healthiest natural condition.”

The book is very well-written and looks at how we are damaging the microbiome of our skin by applying hundreds of ingredients by way of lotions and potions and make-up. How we strip off our natural oils only to spend a fortune on trying to replace them. And how we’re giving ourselves dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, and acne by irritating our skin from all these ingredients and also by over-washing.

When we spoke with Magdalena, she echoed this, saying, “Did you know that organic, great quality oils when applied topically, feed and support the microflora living on your skin? Yes, they do! The micro-organisms actually use oil as food and then change it into very beneficial fatty acids. Quality oils infused with organic herbs will nourish the skin and give it radiance. You know how you like that squeaky clean feeling after you wash your face? Well, it’s not good for you. You just disturbed your microbiome and stripped your natural oil barrier. Oil cleansing is so wonderful at removing pollution from our skin and it protects the microbiome. Facial oils and serums infused with herbs are perfect for daily skincare. These are truly great choices to support your skin function. Skin care products are here to do just that, support your skin function. Not to interfere with or suppress the skin function but to gently support it.”

So it seems pretty obvious to me that many modern beauty products are actually harming our skin and the vicious circle of modern skincare in which we believe we need more products to soothe and heal irritated skin, but in actual fact, we prolong the irritation.

There is no such thing as a miracle cream.  Your gut microbiome and skin microbiome are actually in constant communication with each other.

Skotnicki says to choose a gentle pH-balanced cleanser and only use it once a day. She also says that a 10-step regime is not ideal for everyone as layering products can actually lead to more irritation and if you are cleansing then exfoliation you are stripping the skin leading to redness and irritation.

Now we are not saying to never exfoliate again, just make sure to pick products that work with your skin, not against it.

Last year scientists at the University Of California published a report after conducting a study on the skin’s microbiome and came up with an innovative microbial treatment for eczema, a disorder characterized by red, itchy, inflamed skin.

This kind of research is illustrating that scientists are able to identify specific strains of bacteria that are required to balance the skin and help people suffering from extreme skin conditions like eczema.

We know that prebiotics and probiotics are good for us. We also know that you are what you eat, food and stress play a major role in how your skin looks and functions.

The quality of the food matters too.

I love this quote from Magdalena, “Like it or not, there is no magic skincare bullet. We are funny creatures though, always looking for shortcuts. I hope that the use of probiotics in skincare does not become another latest fad that will disappoint those looking for a quick fix.”

I have to agree, clever marketing can lead us away from the true nature of the situation.

Get to know your skin, seek help from a professional and remember less is always more

Read this article on The Eco Hub HERE


It is surprising to me how many people still believe that BEAUTY is a vanity issue and a frivolous pursuit. And then I think, but of course, they understand BEAUTY completely different than I do, different than my holistically inclined fellow humans.


Ayurveda says that BEAUTY is the highest level of health (oh, how I love this!). The person who is glowing with vitality and radiance is beautiful. This has nothing to do with the surface coverups but rather is all about transformation through self-discipline, self-love and mindful living.

BEAUTY in holistic realm reflects the QUALITY of LIFE. It is about making conscious choices every day in regards to food we eat, the thoughts we entertain, the exercise and movement... and of course our skin care and self care practices. It is a commitment to oneself and to life itself.

When you go about beauty in the holistic way, you soon discover that it is liberating and that there is no need to chase after trends any more. The whole world can be running after the latest and the greatest and you are chill. Trends come and go and you are doing your own thing every day and your pursuit of BEAUTY has actually been transforming you and your life in the most wonderful and meaningful ways.

Thank you for reading,


Introducing the Marina Featherstone Exclusive Art Massage Experience.

There are few wonderful therapists around the world I have been lucky to connect with in the last couple of years. They are on my bucket list of 'treatments to experience by the best in the field'. I wish I could bring them all to Ottawa for you to meet because I know that they have something extra special to offer. I am thrilled to tell you that we will be hosting Marina Featherstone ( at the top of my bucket list:))  at Woman Divine July 18 & 19 and you will be able to experience her exquisite body massage.

Since this is a special 'pop-up' visit and Marina will be at WD Studio only for 2 days we have just a handful of openings for her beautiful treatments. So don't wait too long if you would like to have this experience because the appointments will fill up fast.

You can book your appointment with Marina Featherstone RMT by phone: 613 2167676 or by email:


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Are you happy in your skin?


In my life, I have met gorgeous women who wholeheartedly believed to be ugly. I also met many who by societal standards were 'unattractive' yet were confident and totally comfortable in their own skin, which made them 100% attractive and beautiful. Moral of the story: 'perfect' features don't necessarily guarantee happiness and feeling of satisfaction with oneself. Seeing oneself as BEAUTIFUL is a FEELING and INNER KNOWING. Examine, observe and let go of all that self-destructive non-sense that you believe which continuously brings you down... You are magic! 



We can say that Spring is finally here. Yayyy!!! I am loving longer days, warmer temperatures and no more snow…Personally, it was a strange winter so I am very happy it’s gone.

I thought it would be a great time to share a few tips for your body and skin care as we welcome Spring because every season is unique and we ought to approach it as such.  

If you are already paying attention, you can surely recognize the distinguished feelings both in body and mind that come with Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

It actually is very important to pay close attention to the relationship between our body and the environment we live in. 

When we do, we quickly notice that even if we love all seasons there is always that one that brings our physical and emotional challenges to the surface.

For example, if you are by nature prone to overheat and your skin has a tendency for redness, you may not feel your greatest on a very hot Summer day. If you are always cold and your skin is dry you will probably not love very cold winter months. 

This of course is very simplified but the gist of it is that ‘like increases like and opposite heals’. 

If nature presents you at a given time with qualities that are already very high in your physical and emotional makeup you will want to work to bring balance through diet and daily practices which pacify these qualities. 

We are part of the environment and nature’s rhythms bring us along if we are ready or not. The moral of the story is be ready! From now on, let’s look to transitional time between the seasons as time for personal renewal. 

As seasons change we need to let go of what’s not needed and make space for the new. Breathe in fresh air and breath out the old. Clear our house and closets … you probably already know this and already do this:) 

But there is more and going along with nature’s rhythms rather than against them will bring greater ease to adapt to our environment and will also bring greater health, the skin included:)

When Spring arrives, snow melts, earth thaws and becomes saturated with water (I should know, I just got water in my basement… bummer:( ) and plant life awakens beneath the ground. 

This is a beautiful process of life awakening (except for the water in my basement) but the strong presence of this quality in the environment makes it challenging for some of us.

If you are of a constitution that is prone to stagnation, water retention and heaviness you may want to be particularly ready for Spring. Time to cleanse is here for everyone but if you have many of the earthy and watery qualities in your body and mind, you will need some extra self-loving and discipline to go through it smoothly.

This is what you maybe experiencing as Spring arrives:

Feeling blue, depressed, unmotivated, lazy                                                                                          

Your skin may look dull, congested, puffy, stagnant, lack of luster                                                      

Your body may feel heavy, puffy, more cellulite shows up, water retention, extra weight, general lymphatic congestion.

If you are experiencing a few of the above (not a great feeling) there is lots you can do to get over the hump. 

The suggestions bellow are great for any constitution to follow this time of the year but the earthy type must apply itself very well.

There are few very important things to know before you begin.

Movement is of the essence! You will want to make a conscious commitment to move your body, especially if movement does not come easy to you. Not negotiable!

This is also the best time of the year to cleanse. It does not need to be complicated. 

Here are suggestions related to food: 

Remove dairy, flour products, sugar and all heavy meats and go easy on salt. 

If you normally include a lot of nuts in your diet, go easy on nuts at this time of the year. 

Coffee… let go if you can:)

Add plenty of bitter, astringent and pungent foods… greens and sprouts, dandelion greens, radicchio, arugula, endive… broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, garlic, onion.

Berries, blueberry, strawberry, apples and pears as well as dried fruit will be good choices now.

Barley, buckwheat, rye and millet are good grain choices for Spring.

If you are experiencing a lot of stagnation and congestion and would like to let go of some weight, sip hot water throughout the day.


Wake up by 6am:)

Good to start your day with gratitude.

Drink a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon.

Dry skin brushing every morning before your shower, will make you feel awake and light and will encourage healthy lymph flow. Use natural bristle brush. None of that synthetic stuff please. 


Movement: yoga, walk, dance or anything that you like and gets you moving.

Few minutes on a mini-trampoline every morning provides excellent support for the lymphatic system (especially if you are prone to water retention and lymph stagnation). You will be very pleased with the results!  You can buy an inexpensive mini trampoline at Walmart.

But this is the one I love:

There are so many practices which can enhance your health and beauty… don’t want to put you in the overwhelm lol

How you eat is as important as what you eat, so sit down and take your time. Favour foods which I have already listed.

Eat a light breakfast.

Have your hot water handy throughout the day and sip.

Lunch should be your biggest meal of the day.

Small dinner no later than 6pm.

In bed by 10pm.

Ending your day with meditation or breath awareness practice or journaling would be ideal. Actually, best to do all of them:)


If you will apply all of the above your skin should be feeling pretty good already. But we can make it feel even better!

A good facial will be of great benefit now. You know where to get one:) I do keep busy so please plan ahead.

I will include more lymph drainage, more stimulation and more detoxification in your treatments at this time of the year. We want to bring lightness, brightness and softness back to your skin after the long cold winter.

There will be more clay and Spring specific herbs to help us achieve this. Kind of like what you will be doing with your body and your diet at home.

You can add a few minutes of self-face massage to your skin care routine at home. This works wonders!

I am not much for scrubbing but a very gentle exfoliation can be beneficial now. If you live in a very sensitive skin... skip it.

You may need to adjust your skin care routine and products you are currently using.  We can chat about this if you’d like.

Good gentle clay mask 1x a week will help with detoxification and exfoliation….

To sum up, free flow, releasing excess and stagnation, movement and lightness are what we are going for. You want to make sure that all channels of elimination are working well.

If you are constipated and congested in your respiratory passages you must address the issue. No free flow can happen if you are pooping every other day and if you are full of mucus…. I can make suggestions and recommend holistic doctors to help you.

If fresh juicing is something that you want to explore I recommend Pure Kitchen. They offer organic fresh pressed juices which are delicious. I recommend green juices from their menu, preferably with a little bit of ginger to warm things up. As a boost, their Healed juice with turmeric is my favourite:)

I think this is it for now. If you apply these suggestions, you will feel an improvement in how you feel and you will experience that healthy glow. You will also prepare your body for a smooth transition into the Summer season and you will become more in sinc with nature's rhythms.  And that's always a good thing!

Have an amazing Spring and may you feel light and bright!