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The new LOX Slow Beauty Luxury Facial offers ultimate relaxation and floods your skin with wellbeing. Emily Arnold, takes a break from making her way in the world, and discovers a dreamy slow dance of massage, botanical skin therapy and sensory relaxation that seems to last forever.

I had been busy; work had been hectic and I had a full schedule. More than full – a schedule that seemed to be overflowing with tasks, meetings and requirements. Stress and anxiety crept in with the resulting late nights, leaving me feeling tired and wired. I was looking for something, a way to carve out some time for me; to recharge my batteries and reconnect with my inner calm.

LOX had just introduced the new Slow Beauty Luxury Facial and I was intrigued. After many years of believing in and following the Janesce Slow Beauty philosophy I knew this facial was exactly what I needed.

I arrived at LOX excited, wearing my most comfortable clothes and eagerly anticipating what was in store. I was ready to unplug. My skincare therapist, Stephanie, met me in the waiting room and took me through to her room where I got dressed in a soft robe and then was taken to the softly-lit treatment room. Steph started with a brief skin check. Then my facial began.

Nestled deep into the covers of the bed I felt a familiar feeling returning, a kind of relaxation only achieved in moments of complete calm.

I felt myself detach and drift away. It was a complete sensory experience – the floral fragrance of the plant based products, the gentle tickling of the mist as it fell on my face, the soft strokes along my brow, the relaxing music in the background.

Warm oil was swirled around my face with a delicate paintbrush; my neck and shoulders were treated to beautiful aromatic massage. Steph moved down to my feet and applied hot towels, then gave them a gentle massage.

Every movement was slow and deliberate, every part of the treatment was perfect.

I blissed out and drifted off.  A warm compress, followed by yet another aromatic facial massage towards the end began to bring my awareness back into my body.

Steph quietly left for a few minutes to make me a cup of herbal tea and allow me time to wake up.  As I became more conscious I was astounded – my mind was clear, the stress was gone.

This facial beautifully embodied the quintessential values of the Slow Beauty movement, a movement that has been championed by LOX founder, Janine Tait.

Promoting sustainable, glowing beauty from the inside and out, the Slow Beauty movement finds its roots in a plant-based skin journey that nourishes the skin from within with skin nutrition and which works in harmony with nature and the biology of the skin.

No machines, no quick-fixes, no harsh chemicals.
Just plant-therapy, touch and wellness wisdom.
That’s the Slow Beauty way.

‘Slow’ is also about pacing in this luxurious treatment.   “The movements I use in this facial are deliberately much slower than normal facials,” says Stephanie.  “This allows women to really connect with the treatment and gives them the most relaxing, nurturing experience possible.  Most women come to us stressed, but it’s  virtually impossible to feel stressed after this treatment”

I’ll second that.

LOX Slow Beauty Facials provide an intensive boost for your skin using the  botanical Janesce skincare range.  Using powerful, organic plant extracts, Janesce facials are anti-ageing, hydrating and nourishing for skin.

Therapeutic skin massage, warm compresses and fragrant botanical oils make these sensory facials a beautiful treat for the soul as well as the skin.

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  • January 31, 2018

Get your skin on track in the new year with the LOX Free Skin-Health Check-Up. Enjoy 40 minutes with your skincare therapist having a skin assessment, product review and mini-facial and 20 minutes with holistic skin coach, Jenny Barrow, who will educate you about skin nutrition. Emily Arnold put her hand up right away to review this offer and reports back on the experience.

It had been a while since I had paid proper attention to my skin and I was feeling it. I had dry bits around my nose and some congestion along my jaw line that seemed to be a constant battle.

When I arrived at LOX on a rainy Wednesday, the traffic in the city had been hectic and I was feeling frazzled. I climbed the stairs to the Lox reception room and felt the stress immediately begin to ebb away. I had booked this time out for myself, I had nowhere to be, nothing to worry about. For an hour I could unplug.

I hadn’t been sitting for long when Stephanie, my skincare therapist, appeared and took me to a dressing room where I was to change into a beautiful soft robe. I left my phone in the dressing room – my last attachment to the outside world. I was led into Steph’s room where a bed, dressed with a comfortable blanket waited for me.

I lay back, cocooned in softness. Soft music trickled in, muffled occasionally by the rain on the roof. Steph began gently touching my face, asking me questions about my skincare routine and concerns. I answered, already feeling myself relaxing under her touch. She had some good advice for me when I mentioned I had suffered from dry skin. She understood my concerns about the sun and recommended I started using Janesce Sun Care Lotion as soon as possible for natural sun protection.

She began a mini-facial as the rain lashed against the windows, making me feel cozy and safe. Soft scents floated around me and I forgot the outside world. Steph explained she was doing a simple facial, similar to the routine I do in the morning. Her fingers swirled across my brow, massaging with perfect pressure. I sunk into the experience. I could feel myself falling asleep. At some point Steph gently touched my shoulder, it was time to wake up. My skin felt fresh, hydrated and replenished.

I floated into the relaxation room where Jenny Barrow, the LOX Holistic Skin Coach, met me. I had been looking for ways I could incorporate new ways of nourishing my skin into my life and was excited to talk to her. She began by explaining the Janesce philosophy of Slow Beauty the revolution that focuses on healthy, sustainable nourishment of the body and skin from both the inside and out.

She also explained that Slow Beauty was not about quick fixes but more a long-term approach that dealt with the root cause of skin issues instead of just the symptoms, ensuring beautiful skin for a lifetime. She asked me what issues I had been experiencing with my skin and talked me through some of the ways I could treat them. She had a quiet wealth of knowledge and explained the internal problems that were leading to my dry, flaky skin. She had some excellent recommendations, including the Bestow Twin Skin Essentials.

I had also been dealing with some anxiety and asked if Jenny had any advice around a food/mind connection. She explained the connection between gut health and mood and suggested I incorporate more probiotic foods into my diet. Nothing felt unachievable or overwhelming. These were small steps that would be the catalyst for big changes.

I went back to work feeling refreshed and revived, armed with new knowledge that would help me to nourish and improve my skin. The wisdom and experience the Lox therapists possessed blew me away and left me excited for a healthy, glowing future.

If you are an existing LOX client contact Robyn to book in for your FREE Skin Health Checkup during February. Ph 571 3443 or info@lox.co.nz.

At LOX, our Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, offers two tailored skin-coaching programmes, using a Slow Beauty approach to support you on your unique skin transformation journey.

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  • January 31, 2018

9 Things I Learnt on the LOX Good to Glow Skin Coaching Programme

BY RACHEL HART

The LOX ‘Good to Glow’ 6-week skin coaching programme introduction says it all: we expect too little of our skin.

Until I started my LOX skincare journey, I fitted this description to a tee. My skin wasn’t radiant but I had never suffered from a major skin condition, so I considered myself lucky. My skin didn’t glow, but I wasn’t trying to hide it either.

After six weeks of the Good to Glow skin programme, I realised that I should ask more of my skin and I discovered that adopting a Slow Beauty philosophy was good for my skin and my soul.


Here are my 9 personal take-aways from the Good to Glow programme:

1. Hydration Brings Skin to Life
I didn’t realise that my skin was dehydrated, (apparently this is true of most women) but I certainly struggled with dry patches and flakiness, especially after a run or a swim. The Janesce skin-soaking ritual made it easy to re-hydrate the skin. Dewey, supple skin was one of the first changes I observed and flaky skin is now a thing of the past.

2. Soak, Soak, Soak
If this sounds like a repeat of point 1, it’s because the importance of soaking cannot be underestimated! My Skin Health Coach told me, my beauty therapist told me, my friend told me, Janine Tait told me: soak your skin every day! The morning and evening skin soaking ritual is the foundation upon which the rest of the potent botanical Janesce products build. The soaking drops also make it a beautifully aromatic way to start your day.

3. Skincare is Self-Care
Adopting the Janesce skincare routine gave me some valuable ‘me time’ every morning and evening. It is a beautiful and feminine self-care ritual that I have come to cherish.

4. I Love Facials After All!
Facials scared me: I thought they would be all poking and prodding, pain and redness. Instead, I discovered that LOX Slow Beauty Facials are more like a massage for your face. My love of the deep state of relaxation they induce is matched only by how gorgeous my skin looks and feels afterwards.

5. Your Exercise Patterns Can Affect Your Skin
Exercise is great for my body and my mind, but swimming and running seem to irritate my skin. My Skin Health Coach and beauty therapist helped me find products (Avocado and Sesame oil) and methods (a damp cloth and a botanical mist post-run) to ease the effect of chlorine and sweaty workouts on my skin.

6. The LOX Team is Super Supportive
By taking part in a LOX skin programme you become part of their supportive community. Jenny’s regular check-in texts, phone calls, and catch ups made me feel very taken care of.


7. Botanical is the New Black

I have fallen head over heels for the Janesce botanical skincare range. I love that the products are organic and plant-based; I love how they feel on my skin; and I love their effect. My favourite is the avocado and sesame oil, which works both as a cleanser and as a pre-swim skin protector.

8. I CAN Live Without Peanut Butter
My stomach dropped when Jenny Barrow suggested I cut out peanuts – a known skin disruptor that causes inflammation and congestion. I swapped in B vitamin-rich vegemite and, while I do miss my favourite spread, it’s nice to know that I can live without it.

9. Slow Beauty is Like the Slow Food Movement
I have long been a Slow Food advocate and Slow Beauty is much the same. They both encourage resisting quick fixes, instead opting for slow and sustainable lifestyle changes. Long walks, homemade food and a daily commitment to plant-based skincare all work in unison to foster a healthy, happy life.

Did my skin go from ‘Good to Glow’?

I did! I thought radiant skin was only for the lucky few, but after six weeks on the programme and my first facial my lack lustre skin came alive. Skin tones evened out and brightened – I am now enjoying that ‘Janesce glow’. Glowing skin has given me a fresh dose of confidence as I forge my way into my thirties.

Ready to begin your own GOOD TO GLOW programme?

We know that healthy, beautiful skin that glows from within is possible for everyone if they are willing to make some skincare and diet tweaks. If you are ready to take your skin to the next level, this programme is for you. READ MORE

At LOX, our Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, offers two tailored skin-coaching programmes, using a Slow Beauty approach to support you on your unique skin transformation journey.

READ MORE >>

  • November 1, 2017

Falling in Love with my First Ever Facial

When she turned 30, Rachel Hart decided it was high time to start looking after her skin. She embarked on the six-week ‘Good to Glow’ skin coaching programme with Jenny Barrow at LOX Holistic Beauty and discovered that caring for her skin equated to caring for herself. One year after politely declining her first facial – afraid to tempt fate right before her wedding – she booked in for a LOX Signature Facial.
[Spoiler Alert: she loved it!]

Facials for Dummies

A year ago, I was too scared to get a facial. If you’ve been following my Good to Glow skin coaching journey, you already know that before stepping into LOX Holistic Beauty in Greerton, my skincare routine could only be described as…basic.

My Lox Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, has since opened my eyes to the joys of taking care of my skin and, and as part of the Good to Glow programme I am rewarded with, and now ready for, my first ever facial.

Unsure of what a facial actually involves, I headed to YouTube where I viewed a spectrum of videos, from ten-dollar DIY treatments to luxury thousand-dollar truffle-infused experiences complete with limousine transportation to and from the Spa.

I am no fan of truffles but a limo certainly sounded appealing. Instead I hopped into my ageing Toyota and drove myself to Greerton.

First and Foremost a Feel-Good Experience

Stephanie, my LOX beauty therapist, quickly examined my skin, patiently answered my questions and described what was in store for me. I tried to envision the process – cleanse, soak, mist, enzyme peel, steam, massage oil, mask – but no words could depict the deeply relaxing sensory experience that I was about to have.

I was particularly happy to hear that post-facial break outs are not a worry: the combination of Janesce’s organic plant-based products and the high level of expertise of Lox’s beauty therapists ensures that the client’s skin will only end up healthier and more radiant post-treatment. With this assurance, I eagerly changed into a robe and cozied up into the treatment chair where Stephanie wrapped a warm blanket around me, tucked in my feet and reclined my seat.

A Sensory Experience Like No Other

The first sensation that enveloped me was warmth; as someone with perpetually cold feet, I was thrilled to feel utterly warm from head to tucked-in toe. The big blanket, the heated chair and the warm water and lavender-soaked towelette that Stephanie used to cover my face and open my pores allowed warmth to spread over me and send me into a state of relaxation. Stephanie instructed me to enjoy the treatment. “Yes, this will benefit your skin,” she explained, “but the treatment is all about you. This is about having a lovely, relaxing, feel-good experience.”

Scents of lavender, orange, grapefruit and rose came in waves as Stephanie applied creams, mist, steam and warm compresses. It was a fragrant and floral fruit salad for my skin. For what seemed like hours, I surrendered to a deep relaxation brought on by the essential oils, intoxicating aromas and soothing massage of not only my face, but my head, neck, arms and hands.

Despite having gone to a dreamy place of complete calm, I noticed that several of the products Stephanie used were the same as the ones I had lined up in my medicine cabinet – the Janesce soaking drops, hydrating mist, sensitive dehydrated concentrate and skin reviver – yet the application couldn’t have been more distinct. Having an experienced therapist spend an hour and a half applying and massaging these familiar products onto my skin was luxurious – much more luxurious, I would argue, and definitely better smelling, than a truffle-infused facial.

What is in an Enzyme Peel?

Some of the products were new to me, but one in particular piqued my interest: the enzyme peel. The concept of a chemical facial peel came up repeatedly in my YouTube research session and seemed an incredibly harsh product to use on one’s face – certainly not the sort of thing I wanted on my skin. It didn’t seem the sort of thing Janine Tait, the founder of LOX and a respected champion of the Slow Beauty movement, would want on my skin either.

Although I was enjoying Stephanie’s calm and quiet treatment style, I piped up to investigate the enzyme peel. Stephanie explained that it exfoliates the skin, softening and removing dead skin cells.

“What’s in it?” I probed.

Stephanie listed a few of the peel’s many potent, plant-based ingredients – rose water, lavender, peppermint, carrot seed oil – before revealing that the active enzymatic ingredients are pineapple and papaya extract.

Of course, I thought, the main ingredients aren’t only natural, they’re edible! Stephanie went on to explain how she saw great results treating any rogue teenage pimples her children experienced with this natural enzyme peel. I relaxed back into the chair and re-entered the quiet dreamy world I was occupying as the creamy pineapple product went to work on my skin.

The Post-Facial Glow

I had lost any notion of time as Stephanie wound down the treatment and quietly left the room, giving me some time to myself to relax. Afterwards I dreamily made my way back to my little change room where a delicious cup of Eternitea and raw snickers bar were waiting for me. It was a perfectly gentle transition back into the real post-facial world.

Immediately after the facial, my skin was moist and clear, but the best results happened in the days and weeks that followed. My skin reached a new height of hydration and looked even, smooth, bright and youthful. The experience instilled in me a desire to slow down my own evening skincare routine, turning it into a mini-facial instead of just going through the motions, keeping up the self-care and skin-love all the way until next month’s facial appointment and beyond.

At LOX, our Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, offers two tailored skin-coaching programmes, using a Slow Beauty approach to support you on your unique skin transformation journey.

READ MORE >>

  • November 1, 2017

A Rose-Tinted Life: My New Daily Skincare Ritual

BY RACHEL HART

After my initial skincare consultation with Jenny, I take a ‘gap day’. I say goodbye to wine and peanut butter with a final indulgence in each and, the next morning, I wake up, open my bathroom cupboard and eye up my pretty little Janesce bottles.

Jenny has written down all my instructions but they aren’t needed. While most meetings these day are fast and furious, hers was quiet and calm which lets me recall her words with ease. I pull bottle number one off the shelf.

Step One: Janesce Rose Soaking Drops

I fill the bathroom sink with warm water and add two-three drops of my delightfully aromatic rose soaking drops. The scent transforms my small bathroom into a mini-spa. I immerse my Janesce soaking cloth, feeling a little like a princess, and press it to my face allowing that fragrant hydration to soak into my skin.

Skin-soaking encourages me to start the day by taking several deep breaths. In contrast to a morning coffee – which, like an alarm clock going off after too many snoozes, makes me feel like I’m already in a hurry – the skin soaking ritual puts me at ease.

As important as slowing down is, the benefits of this gentle step go beyond breathing. The warm water re-hydrates the upper layers of my skin, which will help me reap the rewards out of the skincare products to come. Dry skin is my biggest skin complaint and this topical hydration is invaluable for healing and my skin and bringing out a natural glow.

Step Two: Hydrating Mist

Leaving my skin moist, I spritz my rose petal mist onto my face. At point-blank range the spritz gives me a shock, but I will quickly learn to spray at a distance and walk into the mist; a much more soothing way of getting the most out of this hydrating mist!

Step Three: Nourishing Skin Reviver

The final step locks in the moisture that the drops and mist have created. Applied to my still damp skin, this light and silky lotion glides onto my skin. There is no residue or heaviness; within moments of applying the skin reviver, it feels as if there’s nothing on my skin at all. My skin feels like my own, but softer, which is a great feeling to have as I head into my day.

Apparently most women have dehydrated skin without even realising it. It’s good to know that I’m not alone, but more importantly, that I can do something about it with this simple ritual.

Evening Cleanser:

My evening routine is the same as the morning but is preceded with a cleanser to remove the pollutants (make-up, car exhaust, sweat and the like) that accumulate on the skin over the course of any normal day.

A Rose-Tinted Life

Between the hints of floral scents that stay with me well into the morning and my new practice of slowing down and caring for my skin, using Janesce immediately makes me feel incredibly feminine. From day one, I know that it will become a daily ritual that I cherish. In under a week, my main skin problem of dry skin and rough patches is gone.

From Good to Glow

After about ten days I notice that my skin feels and looks hydrated in a way that it never has before. This, I believe, is what the therapists at Lox refer to as ‘the Janesce glow’. It brings to mind a Dior ad featuring a dewy-faced Jennifer Lawrence. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t actually look like Hollywood’s biggest star, but I feel like I look like her and, well, isn’t that just as good?

At LOX, our Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, offers two tailored skin-coaching programmes, using a Slow Beauty approach to support you on your unique skin transformation journey.

READ MORE >>

  • November 1, 2017

My First Ever Skincare Consultation

BY RACHEL HART

It may sound absurd to anyone who has seen a beauty therapist before, but I was apprehensive about my first ever skincare consultation. I worried that a beauty therapist would wipe off my makeup, stick me under a stark light and pull out a magnifying glass.

“Oh, this is not good at all,” I imagined her saying, crashing any illusion that my skin, for all intents and purposes, wasn’t too bad.

So, when my warm and welcoming Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, from LOX Holistic Beauty in Greerton invited me into a pretty room with ambient lighting, sat next to me on the couch and smiled, my worries began to ease.

A Warm Welcome to Beauty Therapy

Ahead of our appointment, I filled out a comprehensive online consultation form. The questions demonstrate LOX Holistic Beauty’s truly holistic focus, enquiring not only about my skin health, but also about my general health, lifestyle and diet. It was clear that Jenny had spent quality time considering my responses in order to tailor the six week ‘Good to Glow’ skin coaching programme around my particular needs.

Jenny began our appointment by asking me probing but sensitive questions to get a better understanding of my skin and beauty experience and even shared personal stories of her own journey from stubborn to flawless skin.

Instead of having a strict skincare regimen dictated to me, this felt like more like a conversation. Jenny had designed a skin specific programme around my particular lifestyle and needs. She slowly walked me through what was to become my skincare routine, stopping often to share a story, ask a question and make sure that I was comfortable with the process.

Bestow Beauty Begins Within

There are two components to my new skincare routine, the first of which Jenny refers to as the ‘internals’. She explained that healthy skin starts from within, which is why skin nutrition is hallmark of the Slow Beauty movement.

I was given dietary advice along with two Bestow Beauty products: Bestow Beauty Oil, an organic flaxseed and safflower oil rich in essential fatty acids, and Bestow Beauty Powder, a super-food powder loaded with skin-nutrition goodness.

These two products are known as the Twin Skin Essentials because, together, they provide the key nutrients needed to build beautiful skin.

The Janesce Introduction

Of course, the other half of the equation is the outer layer of the skin, which is where Janesce’s powerful organic, plant-based products come in. Since I currently use nothing more than soap and coconut oil on my skin, discussing products is where my blood pressure started to rise.

Luckily, my Janesce skincare introductory pack was not at all daunting – in fact, it was small enough to fit in my handbag. I got to choose my own scent preference (rose!) and was presented with four tiny bottles that hold only 25 mls each. That these miniature bottles will last two to three months speaks volumes to the high quality and concentrated nature of Janesce. My pack includes soaking drops, a cleanser, mist and a skin reviver as well as a soaking cloth and user-friendly instructions.

Contrary to my fears, my initial consultation was a gentle, welcoming meeting, filling me with excitement around creating space in my life to slow down and cultivate daily nourishing rituals that will take my skin from good to glow.

I Am Excited About…

Paying more attention to my diet and incorporating my two new nourishing Bestow Beauty products. I’m especially hopeful that the Bestow Beauty Oil will slot into my diet more easily than the bag of ground flaxseed that has been sitting in my fridge untouched for months.

I’m excited to have a daily self-care routine and I’m excited that this Slow Beauty approach fits into my appreciation for the Slow Living Movement.

I Am Afraid Of…

Not eating peanut butter! Jenny has promised that, after my initial introduction, I can add my favourite food back into my diet on occasion, but for now, I’m going cold turkey on the peanuts and that is incredibly daunting!

Cutting out wine isn’t a huge deal to me as I’m not a big drinker, but it will make social situations a tad more difficult.

I Wonder…

Will my skin improve? Will I enjoy the process and the daily rituals? Will I be able to live without peanut butter?

I’ll keep you posted…

At LOX, our Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, offers two tailored skin-coaching programmes, using a Slow Beauty approach to support you on your unique skin transformation journey.

READ MORE >>

  • November 1, 2017

BY RACHEL HART

When it comes to beauty therapy, I am a 30-year-old novice. 

I have friends, colleagues and clients in the beauty therapy world – smart women with enviable skin – and, as a writer, I have even interviewed beauty therapists. Yet when it comes to my own skin, I have always shied away from any type of treatment.

MY NO-FRILLS APPROACH OF YESTERYEAR

As I embark on a skincare journey with my holistic Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, at Lox Holistic Beauty in Greerton, I find myself curious about my history of avoiding beauty products.

I cast my mind back to my childhood. Growing up I was a tomboy: I played soccer, jumped in puddles and cried whenever my mother put me in a dress. As I got older, I embraced my feminine side and began to relish dresses, learned to tame my unruly curls (it’s an on-going process) and curled my eyelashes. But skincare remained unchartered territory.

Just last year, Janine Tait generously offered me a complimentary facial as a wedding present ahead of my nuptials in September. I eagerly booked in only to chicken out a couple days later: two weeks before my wedding, I reasoned, is not the time to experiment with my skin!

I’ve always had a no-frills, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ attitude towards my skin.

I am fairly lucky: despite using nothing more than coconut oil, my skin isn’t too bad. I have occasional dry patches, the odd pimple and a few frustrating but supposedly harmless cherry angiomas (pinprick-sized red dots), but generally my skin is fine. I eat well, drink plenty of water and exercise and I’ve always seen this as a sufficient skin-supporting regime.

MY LATE INTRODUCTION TO SKINCARE

When I was offered the chance to write about my experience undertaking a six week ‘Good to Glow’ skin coaching programme with Jenny Barrow at LOX, I jumped at the opportunity. I just turned thirty. Suddenly I have a softer middle, need meditation music to fall asleep and can’t handle more than one glass of wine. I’ve had a great but full-on year, complete with a wedding and a career change.

As I enter my fourth decade of life, I realise that I need to start nurturing myself. I need not only to nourish my body, but also nourish my soul. Beginning with my skin – the barrier between the inner and outer worlds – seems like the perfect place to start.

At LOX, our Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, offers two tailored skin-coaching programmes, using a Slow Beauty approach to support you on your unique skin transformation journey.

READ MORE >>

  • November 1, 2017

Jenny Barrow, our resident Skin Health Coach at LOX, didn’t start out with the glowing skin she has today. Up until recently, Jenny had given up all hope of changing her skin, accepting stubborn acne as her lot in life. Then she walked into Lox Holistic Beauty and her life direction – and skin story – were forever altered.

Jenny’s honest and moving skin story begins in her youth and follows her through times of deep personal loss and transformative growth. In her own words, she describes the personal journey behind her skin transformation and the joy she finds today in helping other women to discover not only beautiful skin, but a beautiful life.

 

MY SKIN STORY

By Jenny Barrow

A Stubborn Case of Teenage Acne

My earliest memory of teenage-hood is marked by pimples. I turned thirteen and overnight, pimples appeared on my face, chest and back.

At first it felt like a rite of passage, visible proof of the monumental changes I was going through. By fifteen though, I had had enough and my typical teenage pimples had evolved into severe acne. The persistent poor state of my skin at this fragile age wore me down and began to interfere with my confidence and happiness.

Eventually I saw a skin specialist who swiftly wrote me a script. Hesitantly, my mother filled the prescription. She was wary of a medical solution but aware that more than my skin was at stake: the acne threatened my wellbeing and the core of who I was. The acne on my chest and back cleared and my face improved dramatically. Though the medication had no physical side effects, I wasn’t happy with how the medication affected my mental and emotional health. After six months I stopped taking the pills and the acne came back.

Living with Acne, Moving On with My Life

By sixteen, acne still plagued my skin but I was finding my feet. Surrounded by supportive family and friends, I had started to love the woman I was becoming and was excited about where my future might lead. Acne was my unwelcome companion, but I learnt to push its existence out of my mind and move on with my life.

Before I knew it I was at university, and my life was beginning to take shape. Deep down, a small part of me was hopeful that reaching my twenties would mean leaving not only my teenage years behind, but my acne as well.

Television Advertising + Supermarket Solutions

In my early twenties I began making purchasing decisions for myself. With television advertising as my only guide, I made my first skincare purchase from the supermarket in the hopes of clearing my still present acne. No result. I didn’t spend much time feeling sorry for myself – I accepted that acne was my lot in an otherwise great life, so I tucked the problem to the back of my mind just as I had done in my teenage years.

Despite a strong resolution to not let it ruin my life, small things still saddened me about my skin. I married a wonderful man yet I wouldn’t let him touch my face. Deep down, I longed for him to stroke it tenderly.

Discovering My Passion For Wellness

In my mid-twenties, my husband and I moved overseas. I spent this exciting new period of time delving deeper into discovering who I was by exploring not only new career possibilities but also my own life and what I wanted it to encompass.

During this time, I developed a passion for wellness. I was fascinated with the links between physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health and wanted to pursue this passion. Our move overseas had prompted my own personal wellbeing journey.

A Dream Threatened

As part of my move towards holistic health, I came off the contraceptive pill. When my period never returned, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS). My husband and I experienced fertility challenges and, unsure if we would be able to start a family, my body, mind and soul were pushed to limits I didn’t know existed.

My skin issues paled in comparison to what my husband and I were going through yet I was pleased to discover that, for the very first time, my skin started to improve ever so slightly. I had drastically changed my diet, moving back to the nourishing foods of my childhood and steering well clear of anything in a packet. I chalked up my skin changes to this new way of eating. This was the beginning of learning to listen to my body and working with – not against – it in order to heal.

Homecoming + Tragedy

Upon our return to New Zealand, I was determined to be kind to myself. That included continuing my healthy diet, but it also meant finding a job that fuelled my passion for wellness. I ended up in a dream role combining administration, with meal planning and cooking. I had cultivated a life centred around wellness and self-love. This new foundation was vital, as my life was about to be shaken to the core.

Then tragedy struck. In 2011, my younger sister died suddenly. I went through a phase of immense grief and began to challenge and question the ways of the world.

I came out the other side of this grief craving a slow and simple life. It wasn’t easy, but I had found deep reserves of strength and positivity within myself and my inner circle of support. I remained positive in the face of challenges and continued to love myself through whatever was thrown my way.

A Miracle Baby

We call her our miracle baby. In 2011, I became pregnant despite still not getting periods. I was over the moon, and it was just the boost I needed to further examine how I was fuelling my body. I intensified our whole-foods journey, making changes slowly and sustainably. With this renewed focus on what nutrients were entering my body, I saw, for the second time, a slight improvement in my skin – but I thought it might have been the pregnancy hormones!

A Life Changing Leg Waxing Session

Strangely, it was a leg waxing session in Auckland that really changed the course of my life and skin health. My beauty therapist and I were both passionate about the emerging Slow Food movement. We discussed wellness and nutrition and compared notes on how it felt to return to a whole-foods diet. I gave her some recipes I had developed that were gluten, dairy and refined sugar free, and in return she showed me the next step on my path by introducing me to the Bestow Recipe Books.

I devoured these amazing books and went to work on my kitchen leaving no drawer unturned as I rid my kitchen of all things processed. I began cooking like mad and made vegetables the hero of our meals. My husband and two-year-old daughter were the perfect guinea pigs. I wouldn’t have dared say it aloud, but there was a sliver of hope that this might also help my skin.

With Bestow as my guide, I became incredibly passionate about slow food. My husband and I moved from Auckland to Tauranga in the hopes for a slower, simpler life. I didn’t look for work straight away in Tauranga, so I had plenty of time to throw myself into studying nutrition.

Straight To The Source

My admiration for the Bestow philosophy led me to LOX Holistic Beauty, the home of Bestow and Janesce Skincare. New to Tauranga, I was looking for a new clinic for beauty treatments and, as a fan of Bestow, LOX felt like the best fit.

One day my therapist, Jan, gently asked me about my skin. I was fascinated that the conversation didn’t solely centre around topical products but also involved a discussion about the food I ate.

My Journey Towards Glowing Skin Begins

Encouraged by Janesce skincare holistic approach, I agreed to give their plant-based organic skincare range a shot, coupled with Bestow skin nutrition blends and further skin-specific changes to my diet. Even though I was eating a really healthy diet, I was deficient in certain skin nutrients and there were foods in my diet which, unbeknownst to be, had been aggravating my acne.

I see things in black and white, so when my therapist said to do something, I did it. When she said to avoid a particular food, I followed that advice too. For me, there was no grey area, no ‘just this once’. I followed my programme to the tee and was rewarded with change straight away.

Within a week my skin began to look more subtle, wrinkles plumped out and started to disappear. The Janesce Skin Soaking ritual made a huge difference and it all seemed too easy. The time I spent on myself during my skincare routine was not only improving my wellbeing, it was actually changing my skin! The acne was still there but the surrounding skin became healthier.

With the addition of internal changes and supplementation, my skin’s redness disappeared after a few weeks and the acne began to clear. My skin was still congested, but I no longer had the angry-looking pimples that had plagued my skin for years.

Persistence and Dedication

Most skin clears up after four months of the Janesce + Bestow programme, but my skin, which had been deeply congested for 15 years, took eight months to clear. But when it cleared, it really cleared! I still get the odd pimple, but this is a far cry from the woman who, upon waking, would immediately feel her face, searching for pimples and wishing them away.

My skin is now soft, clear and has the trademark ‘Janesce’ glow. It’s the skin I always secretly dreamed of having, but didn’t think was possible. I am grateful everyday for the wisdom and support I received on this skin transformation journey.

From Client to Coach

Through my personal experience at Lox Holistic Beauty, I ended up meeting founder, Janine Tait, an influential figure in the beauty industry, Janesce educator, Bestow founder and champion of the Slow Beauty movement. I was inspired by who she was and what she stood for and secretly hoped to be part of her team. As our relationship grew, I expressed that I had recently moved to Tauranga and was looking for work in a wellness-related field.

I started working for Janine in 2014, filling a variety of needs in her multi-faceted business, and my Skin Coaching role evolved as I have sat, literally, side by side with Janine. She has taught me so much about holistic skincare and my nutrition and teaching background have played an important part in my role as Janesce educator, and Skin Health Coach.

Helping Others as a Skin Health Coach

It is natural for me to share my skin story in my role as Skin Health Coach at LOX. It is encouraging for others – beauty therapists and clients alike – to hear that change is possible, that beautiful skin can be achieved – even against great odds. I love merging my organisational skills with my love of food and nutrition alongside my passion for skin health and wellbeing. I count it a blessing to share in the journey of others, walking alongside them as they fulfil their desire for beautiful skin and a beautiful life.

As for my journey, I love looking after my skin and continue to cultivate a life that is slow and simple.

At LOX, our Skin Health Coach, Jenny Barrow, offers two tailored skin-coaching programmes, using a Slow Beauty approach to support you on your unique skin transformation journey.

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  • October 30, 2017