What’s wabi sabi?
Many people have tried to explain the meaning of the Japanese term wabi sabi but with great difficulty. In the same way that we can’t “catch” or hold onto time, neither can words hold onto wabi sabi’s meaning. Wabi sabi relates to an understanding of natural beauty that dates all the way back to ancient Japanese tea ceremony practices.
The initial idea of wabi sabi stems from the ancient rituals of Japanese tea ceremony where the purity and simplicity of an objects’ natural beauty were honored. Revering the beauty of a handmade tea cup for its uneven glazing and cracks is a basic example of wabi sabi.
In modern times, wabi sabi relates to all aspects of life from relationships to design to beauty. Since all life is constantly changing, honoring life’s impermanence while revering the imperfections in any given situation or item is also considered wabi sabi. A common misconception of wabi sabi is that it connotes carelessness or frivolity, while in fact wabi sabi is revealed and understood only when putting the utmost care and attention into embracing imperfections and change.
Wabi Sabi Aesthetic
Just like tea ceremony masters take impeccable care of their cracked and imperfect tea cups, wabi sabi aesthetic is about embracing the aging process while maintaining impeccable self care and pampering.
When extending the concept of wabi sabi into beauty, wabi sabi honors imperfections such as freckles and laugh lines over perfectly spotless and smooth skin. Wabi sabi natural beauty acknowledges that while skin care is a constant affirmation of self care, obsessing over changing the way we look isn’t.
Wabi sabi aesthetic encompasses self care and pampering alongside the three realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Try adding a little more wabi sabi aesthetic into your self care ritual with a pampering skin care treatment like The Geisha Facial®.
Related blog post:
How Prioritizing Self Care Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
A recent article in InTouch Weekly claims The Biggest Loser winner, Rachel Frederickson, enlisted the use of a far infrared sauna to melt off those prized pounds before the finale’s final weigh in.
The way this works is the far infrared sauna raises the body’s core temperature which in turn raises the heartbeat and burns calories. Dr. Oz is a big proponent of the infrared sauna heat for weight loss. He explains the weight loss benefits of the far infrared sauna on the Oprah Show.
While our clients use our NYC Far Infrared Sauna for weight loss, they also use it for detox and relaxation as well.
Health benefits of Far Infrared Sauna Heat:
- Speeds up metabolism
- Increases detoxification
- Improves cardiovascular system
- Relieves pain (great for achy muscles, joints)
- Aids in weight loss and removal of cellulite
- Benefits skin (great for acne, eczema, psoriasis, rough skin)
- Strengthens immune system
How Does Far Infrared Sauna Heat Work?
The sauna’s infrared radiation utilizes the same electromagnetic spectrum that’s emitted from the the sun without the UV component. The sauna’s infrared radiation penetrates the skin from 1.5 to 3.5 inches heating blood vessels and capillaries to help release toxins through sweat.
The electromagnetic heat emitted from the far infrared sauna directly heats the user so the sauna’s temperature usually doesn’t rise above 130°F. Reportedly, because infrared radiation therapy heats the body from the inside, 17% more toxins are released into the blood stream than when using a traditional sauna.
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What are some benefits you’ve experienced using the Far Infrared Sauna?
Regular massage therapy treatments can help overcome stress and tension, however, not all massages are created equal. Each massage modality targets something different, so it’s no surprise if you’re left wondering: which massage is best?
Whether you need superficial relief, have chronic back pain, or just need to relax your mind and body, chances are there’s a massage therapy more appropriate over another. We came up with some tips to wipe out the guesswork so you can easily choose the best massage for your needs.
Which Massage is Best
If your back is very tense and feels hard and stiff like concrete..we suggest: Reflexology, Hot Stone, or AromaScape Massage.
Since massage works best the body is already relaxed, excessive pounding may do more harm than good when the body is overly stressed and tense. These gentle treatments will help ease the nervous system to help the body relax.
- Reflexology is gentle treatment applied to the feet and legs to restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit.
- Hot Stone Massage incorporates heated cobble stones to induce deep relaxation. The stones are glided over the body and placed at certain points to literally melt away stress and tension. The heat has a calming effect on the nervous system.
- AromaScape Massage combines aromatherapy with massage therapy to relax and calm the nervous system and entire body. Healing essential oils of your choosing are inhaled through vapors.
If you play sports regularly and have specific problem areas…we suggest: Deep Tissue Massage.
Deep Tissue Massage works to release chronic tension with deep palpating and kneading slow strokes and deep finger pressure across the grain of the muscle to rework stiff tissues that lead to chronic stiffness and tension. It’s corrective and therapeutic treatment.
If you work at a computer all day and your shoulders, neck and upper back are chronically sore…we suggest: Swedish Massage.
Swedish Massage uses gentle long flowing movements in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart, thereby increasing blood circulation. Additionally, Swedish Massage increases oxygen flow in the blood, releases various toxins from the muscles, stretches ligaments and tendons, and stimulates and soothes the nervous system. We highly recommend this massage for stress management.
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Rekindle romance by candle light with Maddison Avenue Pure Soy Candles. Let the soothing scents and warm glow transform any room into an instant spa.
Open the look of your eye with Revitalash/ Nouriche Eyelash Conditioner. Lashes will grow longer and lusher for naturally gorgeous eyes!
Give the gift of roses. Naturopathica’s uplifting Rose Geranium Soothing Mist keeps skin dewy soft and refreshed.
For sweet kissably soft lips, treat them with these honey-based hydrating lip balms.
Set the mood: Fill your space with these soothing fragrances to stimulate and uplift the senses.
Alora Fragrances are available in 8oz. and 16oz.
BEST SELLER: Due – Jasmine, cucumber, basil and ylang ylang.
Bimbi – Lavender, chamomile, bergamot and rose.
Caldo – Amber, patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver.
Rosa – Rose
Give the gift of pampering and relaxation!
Shizuka new york Day Spa Gift Certificates are available for any service or amount. Our 6th floor spa is the perfect “serenity retreat” from the hustle and bustle of the city streets below. At Shizuka new york Day Spa, we pay the utmost attention to every detail of your visit so you can fully relax during your stay. Check out our current Spa Deals for relaxing and pamper-worthy specials all year round!
Winter inevitably brings with it the much dreaded cold season.
One physical symptom of the cold that gives away you’re sick (besides a red nose!) is dry dehydrated skin. While we all know it takes time for a cold to subside, there are few things you can do to keep your skin hydrated and healthy while your immune system recovers.
Winter Skin Care Tips for When you Have a Cold
- Cool down: Even though a long hot shower can feel heavenly while the steamy water opens up sinuses and soothes body aches, the hot water can actually strip skin of moisture and dry it out.
- Gently cleanse: Instead of using harsh soaps, instead stick with mild cleansers for sensitive skin. These are usually fragrance-free and gentle on the skin, helping it hold onto its natural oils.
- Act fast: Moisturize skin often, especially after showering. Be sure to moisturize within 5 minutes after showering. Pores are most open at this time making them ready to receive and lock in moisture.
- Protect yourself: Always wear protective clothing to shield exposed skin from the windy dry elements. If skin is left unprotected, flaky itchy skin can develop.
- Regulate the air: Use a humidifier indoors to keep air moist. This will help regulate your skin and sinuses when you come in from the dry air outside.
Need a little recovery time from holiday eating and drinking? Spa treatments designed to warm you up and give you a winter detox cleanse may be just what you and your skin craves post-holidays.
Holiday treats like sugar cookies, heaping cups of hot cocoa, and cocktails combined with late nights can actually dry out your skin leaving it fatigued and craving some serious recovery time. Make haste and rest easy knowing these relaxing –and warming–full body detox spa treatments not only relieve you of that winter chill, but also revive and rejuvenate lackluster skin giving you back your healthy glow.
Far Infrared Sauna – Bask in the warmth of a Far Infrared Sauna while your body heats up from the inside out. Meditate, read a magazine, or just imagine yourself reaping the benefits of hot yoga without the yoga.
Coffee Break Mud Wrap – Let the earthy & energizing aromas of black silt clay and coffee arabica awaken your senses as you cozy up in a heated body wrap that exfoliates while drawing out impurities.
Hot Stone Massage – Stones are heated up and rubbed along the body to melt away any and all tension. Combine a Hot Stone Massage with an Infrared Sauna session and a Coffee Break Mud Wrap for the ultimate NYC winter spa treatment package.
AromaScape Massage – Healing essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Juniper berries, Geranium, and Lavender are used together with warmed stones to take your body and mind on a relaxing journey through the senses.
For split or cracked nails, cut tiny strips from a tea bag. This will act as a band aid while your nail grows out. Cover the nail with a clear polish or top coat, place the strip on the crack and cover with another layer of polish. This will seal the crack, allowing you to add a layer or two of your favorite polish over it.
Nails, hair, and skin are primarily made up of the protein keratin. When a diet lack lacks protein and proper vitamins weak or brittle nails can develop. To strengthen nails take B vitamin supplements daily and be sure to include healthy sources of protein into your diet. Expect to see results in three to six months (the time it takes for a new nail to grow).
To prevent already weakened nails from incurring additional damage, opt for an LED Gel manicure or pedicure instead of regular polish. LED gel firmly adheres to the nail’s surface, shielding it from incurring further damage from the environment.
Further prevent your manicure from prematurely chipping by wearing gloves when washing dishes and gardening. Also, moisturize hands and feet daily to keep skin and cuticles supple and soft.
The holidays can bring with it unwonted stress, causing you to look tired even if you’re not! This happens because facial muscles store tension much like muscles in the body do, so a tired expression can actually start to feel “normal” for your face.
The next time you’re feeling zapped of energy or just need to revive a tired face, try this spa technique (offered in all Shizuka New York Spa Facials) to wake up tired facial muscles and go from Grinch to jolly St. Nick in no time!
At Shizuka New York, a facial massage is incorporated into each facial treatment to help stimulate collagen production and new cell regeneration. It also “wakes up” tired facial muscles making you look more awake by increasing blood flow and bringing oxygen to the skin.
A facial massage works wonders to relax overactive muscles and softens the expression so you APPEAR AND FEEL refreshed.
How to give yourself a Stress-Busting Facial Massage:
Start by applying a moisturizer, cream, or essential oil such as lavender to your face…
1. Begin at the cheeks. Use your fingers or knuckles to draw big circles around your cheeks, be sure to always push the skin upward.
2. Using upward strokes, firmly rub the skin from the mid jaw to the cheekbone. Apply pressure to the cheekbones for a few seconds.
3. Massage smile lines by starting from the corners of the mouth and ending at the corners of the nose.
4. Using your fingertips, apply pressure to the brow bones to lift and open the eyes. Apply light pressure around the eye sockets and out to the temples and up to the forehead.
5. To plump lips, use forefinger and thumb to pinch upper and lower lips to stimulate blood flow.
6. To end, drain lymphatic fluid from the face to the collarbone. Place fingertips under the eyes on either side of the bridge of your nose. Gently apply pressure in a long flowing motion across the under eye area to the temples, down the side of face (along sideburns), and down the neck to the collarbone.
Foot reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to areas of the feet, using specific hand techniques, to relieve ailments and keep the body aligned and balanced.
Japanese reflexology is a derivative of Chinese reflexology with only a few modifications. Japanese reflexology differs from massage in that it works to activate nerve endings whereas massage is pressure applied to the body’s soft tissues and muscles.
With reflexology, areas of the foot are mapped out to correspond to certain organs and bodily functioning. Trained massage therapists apply precise pressure to these areas together with specific and correlating hand movements. As a result, the entire body will feel rejuvenated and awake.
Upon stimulating the nerve endings in your feet, the corresponding body parts get stimulated too. Some opt for “walking reflexology” by wearing sandals with stones, rubber prongs, or wooden pegs. These sandals can be worn for as little or as long as possible to stimulate and massage nerve endings in the feet.
Though reflexology sandals are a convenient way to wake up your feet, it doesn’t compare to the precision and relief a skilled therapist provides during a foot reflexology session.
NYC Spa Gift Certificates make the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list.
Our Shizuka New York Day Spa online gift certificates are available for any of our popular NYC Day Spa services or dollar value. Browse our new holiday designs to find the best fit for your recipient!
Give the gift of a pampering spa day or a deluxe salon treatment like our Eyelash Perm. Check out our Spa Gift Certificate page for more popular treatment suggestions such as The Geisha Facial® and Spa Package deals such as the Total Spa Package.
Spread some holiday cheer with everyone on your list with a Shizuka New York Gift Certificate!
Aside from the fact that lavender is highly calming and soothing; the main reason why lavender is positively first-rate is because of its potent acne-fighting properties.
Lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic—meaning it disrupts and stops the growth of bacteria that lead to acne and skin infections.
When included in facial cleansers, toners, and moisturizers like those in the Shizuka New York Skincare System, lavender offers a botanical-based alternative to purify and balance acne-prone skin.
Lavender also soothes and heals inflammation.
If you have a scrape or burn, or even dry or itchy skin, skip rubbing alcohol and dilute lavender oil with warm water and carefully apply the mixture to the wounded area. It will disinfect the skin and generate new skin faster for quicker healing and less scarring.
In addition to its antiseptic properties, lavender calms the mind and body and soothes nerves like nothing else. Add a few drops of lavender oil to your bath water for a relaxing and delightful soak before bed.
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Soaking in a tub of hot mineral water relaxes the body and soothes nerves, and is also believed to heal diseases, as well as common aches and pains.
Balneotherapy, or treatment of diseases with baths, has been enjoyed by Japanese for centuries as evidenced by the thousands of onsens or bath houses that exist there. Traditionally, most onsens occur outdoors on top of naturally occurring hot spring water reserves. Outdoor onsens allow the visitor to have a quiet soak while communing with nature with views of mountains, forests, or the sea.
Japanese and foreigners alike flock to onsens year-round as places of refuge from a hectic city life, a way to spend quality time with family and friends, or just to feel rejuvenated by the water’s active mineral content.
You can create your very own onsen experience at home by adding onsen bath salts to hot bath water. Salts can be purchased at any Japanese grocery store or market and may be lightly scented to resemble a region’s onsen experience.
Read our related blog post for more bath ideas: The Art of the Bath
Don’t forget, Daylight’s Savings is right around the corner which means an extra hour of beauty sleep awaits!
It’s the perfect time to rethink your bedtime routine for a more restful and naturally beautifying sleep. While you sleep, your skin is actually undergoing a deep restorative process, expediting the skin’s natural healing and rejuvenating process. When you’re sleep deprived you’re more likely to wake up with under eye bags or a tired complexion. So the more restful your repose, the better the morning will be for you AND your skin!
Here are some tips to help promote a more restful (& beautifying) slumber:
- Light an aromatherapy candle at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. This will ensure the essential oils have enough time to warm and permeate the air. Let the soothing scents guide you to dreamland.
- Lavender is a popular aromatherapy scent due to its calming and soothing properties. Mist your face, pillow, and/or eye mask with a lavender mist before going to bed.
- For a dull or tired complexion try using nighttime serums to promote cellular renewal:
Apply Shizuka New York’s Nighttime Anti-Aging Repair 1 & 2 to clean skin on alternating days. These products work together to even out skin tone and texture while targeting fine lines and wrinkles.
- Anti-Aging Night Repair 1 contains retinol and Vitamin C to retexturize and brighten skin while you sleep.
- Anti-Aging Night Repair 2 contains a powerful blast of vitamins, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid to smooth, plump, and firm skin.
- Target sagging skin by using Plant Stem Cell Serum (signature product of the Natural Face Lift Facial). This potent product utilizes active plant stem cells to plump and firm skin.
- For tired eyes, try a firming eye cream such as DCL’s AHA Revitalizing Eye Cream to moisturize and firm the fine skin around your eyes.
What’s your restful bedtime routine?
Back in 2010 Shizuka appeared on ABC News Now to demonstrate The Geisha Facial® on a segment called “Bizarre Beauty Secrets”. The segment also included other services (NOT sponsored by Shizuka) such as the Fish Pedicure where tiny garra rufa fish literally nibble the dead skin off your feet.
Since the show aired, we’ve received plenty of phone calls asking about this pedicure, but our spa never has nor ever will offer Fish Pedicures—sorry!
The treatment, also known as “Dr. Fish” is banned in NY State primarily for sanitary reasons. Because the fish are very much alive, it’s nearly impossible to fully sanitize the water in which they swim (and produce bio-wastes!) And then there’s the matter of the fish themselves. It’s just as impossible to sanitize the fish between treatments. So while it may seem unlikely, the fish can actually become vehicles to spread fungal infections and other diseases between other customers.
When it comes to pedicures, we recommend keeping it clean and simple. A good exfoliation and thorough callus care will slough any and all dead skin away. Next time you need a good scrub, reconsider sticking your feet in a fish tank, and opt instead for a pedicure treatment like our Bamboo Scrub Pedicure.
In Japanese SHIATSU means “finger pressure” (“shi” means finger and “atsu” means pressure).
During a shiatsu massage treatment, therapists apply varied, rhythmic pressure across precise points along the body, while rotating and stretching limbs and joints.
These points are called acupressure, or meridian, points and correlate to specific organs and body systems. By applying pressure to these points, shiatsu massage aims to remove any energetic blockages to alleviate pain and discomfort.
These blockages disrupt the body’s vital energy balance, or ki. Stimulating ki jump starts the body’s natural healing mechanism to eliminate fatigue, improve blood flow, fortify the immune system, and promote overall well-being.
Shiatsu massage enables ki to flow more readily bringing relief to the mind, body, sore muscles, and ligaments.
If you suffer from these ailments, then shiatsu massage may be right for you:
Lower back pain
Insomnia/ sleep disorders
Shoulder and neck pain
Tips for an optimal shiatsu massage treatment:
- Avoid heavy meals beforehand.
- Relax before the massage. At Shizuka NY, you can request a complimentary Far Infrared Sauna Session with any shiatsu massage.
Veria Living TV has a new show: Naturally Beautiful with host Nitika Chopra!
Check out the debut episode where they discover and share beauty secrets from around the world.
Look out for Shizuka at the 17:46 mark. She talks about her revival of a Japanese beauty secret: nightingale droppings!
See the full episode here >>
We can all agree that relaxation reduces stress. Taken a step further, stress-reduction techniques can also aid in the reduction of certain skin ailments like acne, dry skin, and even fine lines and wrinkles. Everyone can use a little anti-aging R&R every now and then.
Read on for Japanese-inspired ways to relax & rejuvenate your mind and body.
1. Drink tea: For centuries the Japanese Tea Ceremony has been regarded as a much cherished encounter between the host and guests to, for the time, forget all stress and simply enjoy a peaceful and tranquil tea time together.
The next time you drink a cup of tea, engage in mindfulness from preparation to sipping that last drop. You’ll turn tea time into your own personal relaxing tea ritual.
2. Light a candle: When lit, Japanese lanterns made of stone or paper, bring much significance to ceremonies and celebrations. A burning candle is placed in the center to illuminate and bring warmth to the lantern.
Enjoy instant warmth & â€ªambiance by burning â€ªâ€Žorganic soy candles. They burn clean and smell extraordinary. For a â€ªâ€Žspa effect, burn the candle for at least 30min. to fully warm the essential oils–then relax as the pure fragrance fills the room!
3. Listen to water: The Japanese character for water (sui or mizu) is: æ°´ , represents the flowing nature of life.
If you ever need help â€ªâ€Žrelaxing, try listening to the sound of â€ªâ€Žflowing â€ªâ€Žwater, from a fountain or at the beach. The â€ªcalming sound will help any stressful thoughts “flow” away.
4. Commune with nature: Many natural elements are revered in Japanese culture, such as koi (symbol of fortune and courage) and sakura blossoms (symbol of the ephemeral nature of life). Every year when sakura trees are in full bloom, many people gather to enjoy hanami, or picnicking under the trees.
Whether it’s observing fish gracefully swimming in a pond or sitting under a blossom-filled tree; immersing yourself in nature can be calming and reflective.
5. Take a bath: In Japan there are many active volcanoes and because of this onsens, hot spring resorts or bathhouses, are very popular all year round. People journey to onsens to escape their hectic city lifestyles and relax and feel rejuvenated by the waters’ healing minerals.
The water in hot springs can reach 110 degrees F, so it’s an ideal place to sweat it out and detox. Aside from creating your own relaxing bath soak, you can also enjoy a good sweat by using a far infrared sauna.
Transform your water into a cool cup of bliss with these refreshing spa water recipes!
Spa water is a term given to water that’s been infused with fruits, choice vegetables, and herbs. The infusion gives water a tasty and refreshing dimension with added vitamins, allowing for better hydration (& a tasty serving of fruit to boot!)
At Shizuka NY, we offer a delicious spa water blend for clients to enjoy before and after treatments. We infuse purified water with berries and citrus fruits for some positively nourishing refreshment.
Slice and add ingredients into a pitcher of water and let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour or just add ice!
Here are some sumptuous flavor combinations that will make your water sing:
Lemon & Mint: fresh & cooling zing.
Cucumber, Lemon, & Ginger: highly refreshing & a good palette cleanser.
Raspberries & Lime: sweet & tart.
Blueberries & Orange: soothing & refreshing.
Lime, Orange, & Rosemary: calming & sweet.
Pineapple & Strawberries: sweet & tangy.
Watermelon & Cucumber: cooling & subtly sweet.
Lavender & Strawberries: soothing, highly aromatic, & crisp.
Related Blog Post: DIY Summertime Detox Tips from Gary B.
Related Blog Post: Happy National Iced Tea Month!
Botox isn’t just for wrinkles anymore.
The anti-aging injectable is gaining popularity as a pain management option for Chronic Migraine sufferers.
Last month, a 60 second TV commercial debuted promoting the benefits of BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA) as a treatment option for adult Chronic Migraine sufferers. Chronic Migraines are severe headaches that occur at least 15 days a month, each lasting at least 4 hours a day.
If you suffer from this debilitating condition, consult a headache specialist for the best treatment plan, as Botox injections are just one of many.
You can download a free Migraine Diary from mychronicmigraine.com to track your headaches. This detailed log will help you and your doctor make informed decisions about a treatment plan.
Related Blog Post>> Botox for Migraines
Summer is all about being outside; whether it’s building sandcastles on the beach, picnicking in the park, enjoying a backyard barbeque, or just basking on a some stepsâ€”outdoors is the place to be!
While the warm sun feels wonderful on your skin, it can really dry it out (even if you’re in the shade!), eventually leaving your skin starving for some nutrient-rich moisturizing.
In the name of summer and all things relaxing, we came up with a list of our most popular “sun repair” spa treatments that will heal and soothe sun drenched skin, providing deep hydration and relief (& will prepare you for some more fun in the sun!)
For the Face:
- The Geisha Facial - The Geisha Facial has received a lot of press due to its much lauded ingredient, Uguisu no Fun or Nightingale droppings. But many forget is that this is a full service facial including a hydrating camellia oil facial massage and antioxidant-rich Green Tea Collagen mask. The mask works to reduce signs of aging by encouraging further collagen production and saturates the skin with free radical fighting antioxidants.
- GentleWaves® LED Facial Rejuvenation – This facial incorporates specially coded LED lights that promote a process called photomodulation in the skin. Much like photosynthesis in plants, the LED lights work to stimulate and promote healthy skin production.
- Naturopathica’s Natural Face Lift Facial - Combined with ultrasonic and microcurrent technologies, this high performance treatment uses Naturopathica brand products including Plant Stem Cell Serum (a powerful antioxidant blend) to deliver deep hydration and gently firms and tones the skin.
For the Body:
- Coffee Break Mud Wrap - This 50min heated treatment uses a natural body scrub that includes Black Silt Clay and Coffee Arabica to exfoliate and draw out impurities. It also includes Indian Sarsaparilla and Shea Butter to clarify skin and seal in moisture.
For the Hands & Feet:
- Espresso Mud Pedicure -This sensually invigorating pedicure uses a mud mixture to exfoliate and deeply hydrate your feet. In addition to nail and cuticle care, and buffing/color; this treatment includes added moisturizing and light massage.
- Sakura Pedicure & Nagomi Manicure – These are our signature manicure and pedicure treatments that include the most pampering and nail care. We use the natural harnessing power of ingredients like Crystallized Honey, Rice Bran, Sake-Kasu, and a handmade and chemical free Yuzu Massage Cream to fully exfoliate and deeply hydrate the hands and feet.