The Stress and Beauty Connection

stress and beauty connect by the hormones stress produces causing skin issues

A curated article

As a licensed esthetician caring for and studying skin for over three decades, I knew there had to be a connection between stress and skin issues. I love that Rachael Brown shares the exciting new study proving this to be the case.

In this in-depth Beneath the Surface article, in Beauty Independent, Rachael shares the evolution of stress awareness and what the latest research has shown. 

It’s taken a long time for this awareness to come to the surface and the link between stress and hormones to become recognized and discussed by both consumers and beauty brands.

In my practice I saw women cope with breakout, dehydration, and “tired skin” all triggered by stress.  And when you can reduce the stress, the issues calm down. 

Young women tend to be more stressed. Social pressures, hormones, and now they are constantly attached to electronics and digital messaging. And we knew that hormone production is tied to stress. Skin issues are the byproduct of those two culprits.

Rachael quotes a recent study that confirmed that “63% [of women] spend less time on self-care and 61% feel less attractive when stressed. While 75% agree that feeling bad affects their sense of feeling beautiful.” 

Consumers are looking for real answers, not promises in a very expensive jar. 

It’s an incredible opportunity for businesses and manufacturers to help consumers cope with the issues that stress triggers. Topical products focused on problem management, relaxation techniques, and supplements are all getting involved.

Whether you’re a beauty business or a stressed-out consumer, I think you’ll find her article interesting. 

By Rachael Brown 

June 2, 2021 

Beauty Independent

As the co-founder and president of early beauty e-tailer during the tech-bubble heyday of the late 1990s, Sarah Kugelman’s career was on the upswing, but the tech euphoria soon soured into disillusionment and, which was scooped up by Estée Lauder in 2000, wouldn’t go on to realize the bold ambitions Kugelman had for it.

The extraordinary highs and lows of her ride put considerable pressure on Kugelman, who was wiped out physically and emotionally, and went searching for remedies to the stress that had taken hold of her initially in the fitness and diet arenas and, then, in beauty. “I became interested in how it related to beauty because that was what I was doing. At the time, skincare was dancing around stress,” she says. “There were brands like Aveda and Origins talking about natural ingredients, but not really about lifestyle and holistically what was going on in the whole body.”

Kugelman dove into researching stress to decode the relationship between stress and skin. She learned cortisol, the primary stress hormone, can break down skin structure and inhibit the skin from healing, and histamine, a chemical the stressed bodies release, can stoke rosacea. Ultimately, she identified five symptoms of stressed skin: accelerated aging, adult acne, dullness, dehydration, and irritation. She launched the brand Skyn Iceland in 2005 with a collection of six topical products packed with antioxidants and adaptogens to address the symptoms, and an oral spray with L-theanine, an amino acid known to decrease anxiety.

At the inception of the brand, consumers didn’t grasp the concept. “People were like, ‘I get that I’m stressed, and I get that my skin doesn’t look good, but I don’t know how they are connected,’” says Kugelman. “Somewhere between seven to 10 years later, people started to really get it. It became pervasive in the conservations we were having. I think that’s because of cell phones and social media. There were so many things that were stressing people out all the time, it became a bigger subject people were interested in.”

The subject has certainly caught on in the beauty and wellness industries, partially because they’re increasingly interconnected. Peace, calm, and relaxation are contending with brightening, firming, and wrinkle reduction in the pantheon of results beauty products pledge to deliver.

Whether applied or ingested, formulas are being designed to combat stress or the repercussions of it. Self-care has morphed from an indulgent escape to a therapeutic session.

“If the consumer doesn’t feel good on the inside, they aren’t going to look good on the outside.”

“Stress is the next frontier. It used to be clean,” says Jessica Assaf, co-founder and chief education officer of Prima, a CBD beauty and wellness brand with the tagline, “the science of stress relief.” She continues, “If the consumer doesn’t feel good on the inside, they aren’t going to look good on the outside. The categories are getting all blurry. Beauty brands can do food. Supplement brands can do skincare. There’s a blurriness that’s happening that gives brands more opportunity and space than ever to experiment.”

Kat Bryce, co-founder and global brand VP of Loum Beauty, a skincare brand in the portfolio of the incubator Present Life with the motto, “discover the science of calm,” and products formulated to combat the effects of stress on the skin, describes the market potential of beauty products confronting the damage wrought by stress as “enormous.” “Stress isn’t another category in skincare,” she says. “Stress and stress hormones are underpinning all of the skin problems we are concerned about.” (I added the bold – this is so important!)

In the ingestible segment, Barton Warner, CEO, and co-founder of stress management supplement brand R3set envisions enormous potential as well. He highlights data showing that, after general health, stress and sleep are the two leading motivators for why consumers under 50 years old turn to supplements. “When you look at the category of stress management products, it’s tiny,” says Warner. “There’s a big difference between what consumers are saying they are looking for and what the market is providing them. That’s why I think there will be so much growth over the next period. …”

“Stress is the next frontier. It used to be clean.”

Interest in stress-related products is prevalent because stress is incredibly prevalent. According to The American Institute of Stress, stress is defined as “physical, emotional and mental strain or tension.” In data collected by the organization in 2014, around three-quarters of Americans reported they regularly experience physical and psychological manifestations of stress, and one-quarter of Americans reported they live with extreme stress. Money, work, crime, violence, political and personal issues, and worries about the future are major causes of stress.

Not surprisingly, the pandemic exacerbated stress. Last year, the American Psychological Association’s annual survey on stress conducted by The Harris Poll revealed nearly 80% of Americans reported the pandemic was a significant source of stress, and nearly 70% reported heightened stress over the course of the pandemic. With the publication of the survey, the APA sounded the alarm about what prolonged elevated stress was doing to Americans’ mental health. It proclaimed, “We are facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come.” …

In concert with Columbia University neuropsychologist Sanam Hafeez, Loum Beauty conducted a study of women aged 18 to 55 drawing links between beauty and stress. The first-of-its-kind study found 63% spend less time on self-care and 61% feel less attractive when stressed while 75% agree that feeling bad affects their sense of feeling beautiful.

The younger women in the study were hit by stress harder. Seven in ten of them said they feel less attractive when stressed. “At every stage of their lives, calmness helps women feel more beautiful and confident,” emphasizes Loum Beauty in the paper on its study.

If there’s good news on the stress front…

…it’s that members of gen Z who range in age from 9 years old to 24 years old talk about stress openly in manners previous generations didn’t. Not only do they talk about it openly, Hana Ben-Shabat, the founder of consumer insights firm Gen Z Planet, says they seek assistance for it and welcome brands jumping into the discussion about stress with them. She points out, “They are very happy to hear about what solutions could be there for them.”

The focus on stress in the beauty industry comes as beauty trends are being dictated by consumers rather than executives in boardrooms. While the beauty industry may have historically been an instigator of stress with its rigid beauty standards that most people can’t conform to, it’s striving to move away from that rigidity to resonate with broader swaths of consumers, especially younger consumers.

“We used to be aspirational and out of touch. Now, brands want to level with consumers, and they want to be part of their conversation and not above them,” says Assaf. “Gen Z is really taking a stand to say, ‘We are not going to buy the $200 night cream from you just to make us look good. We would love you to understand where we are coming from.’

The conversation we were having 10 to 20 years ago is outdated. It’s really about brands that are positioned to create a life philosophy and way of life for consumers.”

That way of life can be fostered via products, content and practices—and brands are shaping all three to counter consumers’ stress. Product application rituals and meditation protocols are meant to enhance mindfulness along with personal maintenance.

Loum Beauty partnered with Reiki master and holistic aesthetician Julie Civello Polier to devise two-minute meditations to pair with its products. Even music hitmaker DJ Khaled dispensed a guided meditation series to go with his new CBD grooming brand Blesswell.

“Stress and stress hormones are underpinning all of the skin problems we are concerned about.”

Beauty and wellness brands are developing products filled with ingredients intended to battle stress and the impacts of stress. Loum Beauty incorporates marine microalgae it promotes as diminishing stress-induced inflammation.

Malini Amin, VP of business strategy at natural fragrance manufacturer Custom Essence, singles out tried-and-true essential oils such as chamomile and lavender as containing soothing properties suited to stress-busting products.

She says, “Brands can tap into these mood-boosting benefits by carefully choosing the right fragrance to help elevate a destress claim.” R3set’s supplements, which are wrapped in essentials oils for comforting aromatherapy purposes, feature ingredients including valerian root, GABA, and ashwagandha for stress regulation.

Since the federal Farm Bill was signed into law in the United States in 2018 and legalized the hemp trade, CBD may be the most prominent over-the-counter de-stressor on the market. Josh Kirby, chief product officer at Kin Slips, a brand selling sublingual products with the cannabinoids CBD, CBN, and THC, comments the top reasons for cannabis use are almost completely associated with stress. He says, “A cannabis product can’t stop your boss from being overbearing, but you can utilize certain products to improve certain aspects of yourself to prevent stress from being such a trigger.”

With or without CBD, supplements and beauty products vow to offer stress relief without extensive commitment, a key component of their allure. One of R3set’s core consumer groups consists of busy moms who are unable to squeeze exercise, healthy cooking, meditation, and therapy into their loaded schedules.

Warner says, “We definitely educate consumers about other things they can do beyond taking supplements, but they like the fact that there is a very simple thing they can do to care for their stress.”

Consumers also dabble in stress-fighting OTC products to steer clear of pharmaceutical treatments. As a nurse before launching the brand La Parea Wellness five years ago, Samanta Moise saw clearly that stress was sickening people, but Western medicine wasn’t always equipped with proper answers for it.

Assaf supplies an estimate that 75% to 90% of doctor visits in the U.S. are tied to stress, and Loum Beauty figures 35% of dermatology consultations are affiliated with mental health qualms, predominantly stress.

In addition to her stress-addled patients getting sick, Moise struggled with migraines that could be brought on by stress. “I tried a lot of medications, but, once I started down the holistic route, which was yoga, meditation and aromatherapy, it helped a lot,” she says. …

As consumers discuss stress and sift through information about it, they may begin to decipher the multitude of forms it takes and gravitate to specialized products. Brands are already getting more sophisticated about stress. 

Loum Beauty’s Bryce foresees a surge in haircare products that tend to the effects of stress on the hair and scalp. Kugelman imagines at-home tests that measure stress hormones, and brands tailoring products to test findings.

At Prima, Assaf is intrigued by the possibility of delineating various stressors, from social media to environmental pollution, and forging solutions for them from a product and content perspective.

“I would love the next generation of women to think, when they have a skin issue going on, where can I eliminate some of the stressors in my life as opposed to what is the most powerful skincare product I can put on my blemish?” she says, continuing, “One of the stressors that plague us every day is the constant scroll of Instagram.

So, you see wellness brands saying, ‘Yes, we have to be on social media,’ but, every once and a while, we put out a post that says, ‘Reminder, stop the scroll. Go out into nature.’ It’s about understanding that you can go outside of normal brand marketing to give consumers that out. That’s a brand acknowledging stress, and brands are doing this more and more.”

Assaf concludes, “We are trying to normalize stress. Nothing is wrong with you. We are all dealing with this, and here are products that you can get without going to the doctor.” With its products, Prima asserts “a less stressed-out you awaits.”

Judith Culp Pearson is a licensed esthetician, and published author in the field of esthetics. She is passionate about wellness and focuses on creating content and copy for businesses in the wellness sector.

Feeling Stressed?

Feeling stressed? Feeling stress can push you to the breaking point.

If you’re feeling stressed know that you’re not alone…

However, getting stressed over being stressed just makes it worse.  Since April is National Stress Awareness month, lets’ talk about how to de-stress.

Our lives have always had a lot of stress in them, but the pandemic has made it much worse.  And since women tend to juggle more—they may feel it more. The World Health Organization has called stress the epidemic of the 21st Century.  

When you feel stress it triggers cortisol. Cortisol in turn puts stress on your body.  You’ll feel the tight muscles, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, anger, and poor sleep.  All of these in turn trigger more stress.  It’s a vicious circle.  

It’s also something that every one of your clients is experiencing. 

Here are some tips you can use to reduce your own stress and share with your clients.

  1. MOVE!  Get some exercise or do some stretches. Movement helps flush stress from your system. Take a moment between clients to stretch and work out the kinks so you don’t pass stress from one client to the next.
  2. Eat well.  There are really two kinds of eaters. Those who live to eat and those who eat to live. When we choose fresh and healthy, that’s what we get. 
  3. Get plenty of sleep.  Sleep trackers can really help to understand how much quality sleep you’re getting. Electronics deplete your melatonin. Avoid them for 2 hours before bed.
  4. End your day on a positive note. Relax with an herbal tea, a book, puzzle or play a board game with the kids. 
  5. Clear your mind with a little yoga or doing some meditation. Ponder your gratitudes.
  6. Consider taking a supplement or use soothing teas to help manage stress. Ashwagandha, B-complex vitamins, Kava, Rhodiola, Melatonin, and Glycine are some ingredients to include.

And here’s 1 more…

  1. Self-care is important.

Feeling stressed? You might like this article on Stress and the Beauty Connection.

You might also enjoy Managing Coronavirus Stress the Furry Way

Stress impacting your work? You might enjoy How to Embrace Life’s Challenges to Move Forward.

Swinton Park Wellbeing Escapes

How to Destress…Escape to Wellbeing in Beautiful Yorkshire

Embark on world-class wellness in the heart of the beautiful Yorkshire

Escape to Swinton Park for wellbeing
Swinton Park for wellbeing escapes

countryside. Swinton Park is a sprawling 200-acre park that focuses on nature to enhance your wellbeing. Here you’ll find space to breathe, relax and revitalize. Have an adventure, hike the high rolling hills or wander next to a gently flowing stream.

Stay in a yurt, log cabin or self-catering cottage. Or live like royalty at the gothic styled, ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton. Get pampered in the ambiance of a genteel country home.

Wellbeing activities abound…

Fish in pristine streams… rent a bicycle… ride the ponies… or watch falconry, the sport of kings.  Visit their walled gardens, one of the largest in Europe. Try your hand at shooting, or wander in the nearby market town of Masham.

Walk, hike, or cycle. There are over 63 miles of footpaths and bridle paths in the park and beyond.  With 20,000 acres of the private estate, you’ll never be bored.  Explore the farmlands, moors, rivers, forests, and reservoirs. Or the concierge can arrange a car or motorcycle tour if that’s more to your liking.

It’s a great home base to explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park and

River Ure for peacefull wellbeing
River Ure Tranquility

the numerous quaint villages and nearby castles. Here, far from the crowds, it’s easy to imagine yourself in an earlier century.  Here the pace of life is slower, more leisurely.  Even the roads are narrower, encouraging you to slow down.

Stop for the view, meander down a path to view enchanting waterfalls. Tea shops, pubs, and farmer’s markets invite you to pause and browse.  From high escarpments to country lanes where the main traffic is free roaming sheep, you’ll find something unique at every turn.

Experiences abound indoors and out to restore your mind, body, and spirit.

Nourish wellbeing with farm-to-table food.

Choices abound. Savor fine dining at Samuel’s Restaurant. Relax with something more casual at the Terrace Restaurant and Bar. Collect a custom picnic for your day out. Maybe you have a private event in mind. Regardless, you’ll find the food is always amazing.

You’ll enjoy the freshest produce from their garden and the peak of the season’s offerings. Meat, fish, and poultry direct from the estate.  All raised with natural sustainable techniques. Swinton Park specializes in earth-friendly practices for the healthiest farming possible. They care for nature so nature can care for you.

Their cooking school events run continuously and offer something for every age and taste.  Both guests and visitors are welcome to sign up for a half-day, full day, or weekend cooking experience. You’ll go home with ideas and tips that will make cooking fun and a delight for the palette.

Make time for the spa!

The new state-of-the-art spa, built to bring nature indoors, opened in

restorative well being pools
Swinton park restorative wellness pools

July 2017. From the latest in therapy treatments to unique experience rooms, nothing has been spared for your ultimate restoration. Light, air, and water surround you. Though soaring windows, nature’s healing powers comfort you.

Whether your goal is rejuvenation, restoration or fitness, the Spa will exceed your expectations. It blends seamlessly into the historic architecture. At the same time, it reaches out in a modern way to embrace nature and draw it in. Both indoor and outdoor pools invite you to relax. Lounges poolside and on the covered and heated terrace beckon you, year around. Thick snuggly blankets are handy if there is a chill.

The aroma steam room, salt steam room, and Finish sauna will help detoxify and boost your immune system. Or visit with friends around the fire pit of the alfresco sauna.

The eight quiet treatment rooms and skilled therapists will have you feeling renewed… but don’t rush away.  Post-treatment downtime is available in the relaxation room, restful niches, or sleep room with heated waterbeds. Complete peace is yours for the having.

Wellbeing retreats

Escape for a day and enjoy the wellbeing programs or private bodywork sessions. Or slip away and join one of their ongoing wellness retreats.  Swinton Park offers both guests and the locals numerous packages choices.

Come alone, or come with friends. Immerse yourself in world-class wellness in the heart of Yorkshire.

Explore wellbeing now…

To explore all of your options for a fabulous wellbeing adventure visit  Booking direct will always give you the best value. Direct booking is also the way to access all their unique experience offerings.

Rudding Park Spa for Wellness

Rudding Park Spa Embraces Nature for Wellness

Rudding Park specializes in escapes. The sprawling estate welcomes those

Rudding Park luxury hotel, Spa and golf
Rudding Park, Harrogate, UK regency manor house, courtesy Rudding Park.

who come to soak in the restorative waters while they enjoy nature’s healing balm. You’ll find it on the outskirts of the historic spa town of Harrogate. Since Victorian days, the area has drawn visitors with its mineral springs and many beautiful parks. Here they walked, visited, soaked and drank the waters.

The elegant Regency style sandstone manor has long been a popular destination for golf, weddings and holidays. This spring it unveiled its newest expansion, The Spa. It has quickly become the place to escape for guests and locals.

Few spas can claim fully booked days in less than two months. Spa memberships have already been capped and have a wait list. The Spa accomplished both of these and there is good reason for its swift popularity.

Rudding spa embraces nature…

Instead of tucking away, Rudding Park Spa reaches out and embraces

Rooftop Spa gardens embraces nature at Rudding Park
Rudding Park rooftop spa overlooks gardens and manor. Image courtesy Rudding Park.

nature. Window walls, patios, pools, and gardens surround you. Lounge areas direct your gaze outward calming and inviting. As you work out, swim, or soak, the views beyond relax and soothe your mind as well as your body.

Rudding Park Spa uses its surroundings and natural spring waters to create an ambiance of complete wellness.

Hotel guests can access the exquisite indoor pool, sauna and bucket shower. Those who want to enjoy all that the spa has to offer schedule for treatments or packages.  Limiting the number of the packages offered for a full day, morning afternoon or evening means an enhanced experience for guests and a well-being work environment for staff.

The Spa’s mission: “Wellness of mind, body, and soul.”

Every aspect is state of the art… in a peaceful and serene environment. It seamlessly blends amazing cutting-edge experiences into the relaxing historic setting.

Handpicked staff offer the highest quality of service. You’ll drift off into

Couples experience suite Rudding Park Spa
Couples room with copper bath, courtesy Rudding Park.

bliss as skilled therapists work their magic in your bespoke (custom) treatment. But facials, body treatments, massage and more are only part of the experience.

Infinity Pool Rudding Park spa
Rudding Park infinity pool courtesy Rudding Park

Enjoy pools for swimming, pools for hydrotherapy, indoors or outdoors, it’s your choice to take advantage of any or all. Lounge in a steam room or you can relax in the panoramic sauna or herbal steam bath. And, don’t miss the ice shower or tropical rainforest thermal experiences. Each works to restore and soothe your senses.

Step outside the spa to the rooftop garden complete with its own pools, sauna, shower and sun deck. Skies, gardens and ancient trees surround you. Quiet, peaceful. It’s the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon.

But Rudding Park Spa has even more to offer…

Take time to discover the unique mind and sense zones. Each room offers its own sensory experience so you can savor one or explore your way through all of them.

  • The video wall treats your gaze to picturesque landscapes. Lounge in the

    Visual sense experience at Rudding Park Spa
    Visual room at Rudding Park Spa transports you to tranquil vistas.

    oversize rattan swing and soak up scenes of waves lapping on beaches, wildflower meadows, and expansive mountain vistas. Enjoy it alone or relax with friends.

  • In the relax room you’ll find silence and serene lighting. Unwind as you recline on a sleek comfortable lounge – it’s the perfect place to find peace.
  • In the audio room, snuggle into a quiet niche. Listen to meditation or

    Audio relaxation experience Rudding Park Spa
    Enjoy meditation or relaxing music while you snuggle into a private niche at Rudding Park Spa

    soothing sound tracks on your own personal headphones.

  • The mind room offers a unique setting to stimulate your awareness. Coloring books, puzzles, and books from their spa library allow you to settle and center alone or chill with friends.
Don’t forget your sense of taste…

Many of the spa packages include a welcome beverage and a snack. But should you fancy something a bit more substantial, tasty delights await you at Horto Restaurant. Horto’s name, referring to horticulture, gives you hints as to its kitchen garden inspiration.

Situated right next to the spa reception area, Horto, with its own wall of

Horto pudding Rudding Park Spa
Horto amazing fruit salad pudding. Photo, Judith Culp Pearson

windows, is casual and inviting. During the day, you are welcome in your robe, no need to change. Simply wander over and enjoy the fresh garden, farm to table choices that will please your pallet. This is not the time to skip the Puddings either… they’re amazing!

Plan your escape…

The entire property encourages you to disconnect from your hectic routine from the moment you enter. Go leisurely. Enjoy, savor, de-stress, relax, and enhance your entire well-being. That’s what Rudding Park and The Spa are all about. Because spa packages do sell out, book early to get your preferred dates and the experiences that have you daydreaming. Weekends can be particularly busy.

For the latest in their specials and offerings visit Choose from the Sleeping Beauty Spa Break, Spa and Horto, Escape with Me or Time for 2 and more. So many choices.  Plan now for your own unique, personal escape.


Skip the Boozy Bachelorette – Celebrate with a Bachelorette Spa Wellness Retreat

Escape to a spa for your bachelorette retreat
Getty Images

In the past, brides, as well as grooms, have celebrated their upcoming nuptials with a weekend away partying. But with the growing focus on health and wellness millennial brides are opting for something more low key. A de-stressing bachelorette spa wellness retreat.

If you’re a bride or know a bride, it’s a great way to arrive at the wedding, relaxed, pampered and calm.

It might be just you and your bridesmaids or include some of your best friends. It’s a time to enjoy each other’s company and bond. Find somewhere local or pick a destination location.

Make it personal and include activities you and your friends enjoy.

  • Spa treatments
    • Massage
    • Facials
    • Manicures
    • Pedicures
  • Yoga together
  • Outdoor activities
    • Hiking
    • Horseback riding
    • Water sports
    • Skiing
    • Local walking tour
  • Personal fitness advice
  • Cooking class
  • Wine tasting

If fitness is a goal, find somewhere that offers healthy food choices that taste decadent. If the spa you want to visit isn’t in a hotel, is there a nice one nearby that meets those needs? It’s great to keep the group together for the best bonding and fun.

Some hotel resorts offer a great wedding location. They may also offer a package that will allow you and the girls to arrive a few days early. You can have your bachelorette spa retreat on-site. You will feel pampered, rested and relaxed for your magical day.

Their event planner can assist you with all the details and support services you will need.

Here’s a link to Brides for more ideas.


Wellness abounds at Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls wellness unmatched

Winding your way up the long drive is like driving into a 3-d postcard.

Cedar Falls Manor has always offered wellness
Cedar Falls Manor offers wellness retreat

The 18th-century red sandstone mansion is the essence of beauty. Situated amidst 44 acres it’s a park with its gardens, woods, and lakes.

 Health farm and spa 

Designed as a health farm and spa, Cedar Falls has been offering wellness retreats since 1982. But the “health” tone has changed. Originally, you had to earn your way to the fabulous meals via diet and exercise.

Today’s guests retreat to relax and renew. Most guests are female visiting

Gardens offer a lovely place to walk or relax and unwind in nature
Cedar Falls Gardens

alone or with friends. Every year a high percent of them return for an annual retreat.

The atmosphere is that of a manor home, not a hotel. Built in 1830 it has been completely restored to better than original by local craftsmen. The detail of the craftsmanship is a visual delight. Luxury but deliberately unpretentious.

Wellness unmatched 

Cedar Farm doesn’t see themselves as a hotel with a spa. Instead, the focus is the health farm. Wellness abounds. Lots of nature to lure you out for a round of golf. They offer a 9 hole 18 tee golf course. The natural features make it fun and challenging for all levels of golfers. The golf course is complete with its own cabin to cater to the needs of the golfers.
A diversity of outdoor opportunities to encourage you to stretch and move:
  • Body conditioning

    The outdoor pool is open all summer for guest exercise
    Outdoor pool for exercise and restoration

  • Pool (summer only)
  • Pilates
  • Country walks alone or organized walk
  • Photography in the gardens or terraces
  • Tennis court
  • Golf

    Yoga and Pilates in the former ballroom
    Yoga and Pilates room


Or head to the gym to work out. Need some help? Your personal fitness trainer will guide you into the right moves.
Too cool for outdoors? Relax in the indoor hot tub, pool, and conservatory.

The focus is wellness and relaxing restoration.

Forget business. Lounge in your lovely plush robes and slippers. You are welcome to wander throughout the home and to the pool, spa or conservatory. No need to get dressed until you are ready for dinner.

Indoor spa offer wellness year around
Indoor Pools and conservatory


The spa is first class with a wide diversity of treatments and facilities. Enjoy its friendly caring approach and superb guest services.

Guests can relax and enjoy a beverage in the spa lounge
Spa lounge and beverage bar

  • Beauty treatments
  • Body treatments
  • Body wraps
  • Facial treatments
  • Hot stone therapy
  • Hairstyling services
  • Manicures and Pedicures
  • Spray tanning
  • Natural therapy treatment
  • Mother-to-be treatments
  • Men’s specialty treatments
Natural therapies are a unique twist. Their goal is to help you feel better about yourself inside. Back problems, headaches, depression are all dealt with. Likewise work-life balance, stress reduction, re-energizing and nourishing your spirit.
Guests can come and spend a health spa day, or opt for overnight packages. The Spa Stay package includes your room, meals and their most popular treatments. The Spa Overnight package includes your room and treatments of choice – build it yourself.


For small groups of up to four, they have the option of the South Lodge. It is self-contained and includes full access to all the facilities of the main house.
Groups can also reserve the spa for their private use in the evenings. It is a great option for a special event and to experience a sampling of what Cedar Falls Spa offers.
The Spa features Clarins and Espa products. Treatments are very popular. Advanced booking is strongly recommended.


Oasis of Tranquility is designed for enhancing wellness
Oasis of Tranquility

Take a break and visit the Oasis of Tranquility. This quiet zone is designed in the style of a Turkish Hammams. Enjoy sumptuous decor and lounging beds. Salt lamps, the furnishings, and aroma help you switch off and restore. Beware – this is a technology free zone. No phones or other devices allowed.

Dining is a healthy indulgence.

Meals here are healthy choices prepared to gourmet tastes and enhanced by views of nature
The dining room offers soothing nature vistas and healthy food choices

Lunch is a tempting buffet. Traditional afternoon teas, cakes, and pastries will tempt you. Want something more than coffee or tea? The bar is open with offerings for your pleasure.

After you change from your robe and slippers you can enjoy an amazing dinner. Enjoy the exquisite food while you relax with stunning garden views from its generous windows.
Dinner a three-course foodie’s delight. Savory rich Venison Terrine, Five Spice Sea Bass Fillet, and seasonal specialties. The menu brings you the best of fresh local produce and regional offerings. Be advised… desserts are decadent.
After dinner relax on your own or join other guests for an evening talk in the drawing room at nine pm. Guests enjoy a wide diversity of wellness and local topics. After the evening talk, things go quietly. In its rural setting, it’s a serene tranquil spot for a great night’s sleep. Snuggle into that comfy bed and let your stress dissipate and your body renew.

Fishmore Hall SpaShell

 SpaShell at Fishmore Hall

Fishmore Hall has brought the unique SpaShell concept to the historic

Fishmore Hall is located outside market town of Ludlow
A mile from historic Ludlow is the restored manor Fishmore Hall

market town of Ludlow. Tucked just a mile down the road from the edge of town, Fishmore Hall is a lovely Georgian manor.

The property owner, Laura Penman, lovingly rescued this elegant home and restored it. The bedrooms are contemporary, the en-suite baths luscious. The result is warm, welcoming and delightful.

Adding a spa

When I visited the property last

Part of the back gardens were prepared for the spa with minimal disruption to guests
Part of gardens prepared for spa

Fishmore Hall Dining with view of spa gardens

August they were excitedly awaiting their new spa.  The spa is a real bonus as the nearest existing spa is 26 miles away.

As with any hotel, remodeling or construction can be a challenge. It can interfere with the guest experience. Noise, mess, workers. Ms. Penman wanted to add a spa but didn’t want to impact her guests.

She met Alistar Johnson of Spa Creators UK, Ltd. at a trade show.  With over 20 years of designing, developing and managing spas he offered a brand new concept. SPAShell. It solves many problems.

SpaShell project

The project includes five years of total management to assure its success.  With over 20 years experience, the SPAShell business model has proven successful. It allows properties to add a revenue stream with strong ROI. The facility itself increases the asset value of the property.

The turnkey concept comes complete with the spa and five years of total management. What truly makes it unique is the construction.  All off site!  Construction includes top end materials expected in any high-end spa.  But manufacture is done in a modular format.

Exterior of SPAshell at Fishmore Hall

The spa location is prepared and groomed simultaneous with construction.  Then they load the spa pods onto lorries (trucks) and deliver. Completion of set-up is usually about two days scheduled for minimal impact to hotel guests.

SpaShell facilities

Both one and two story designs are available. This single story spa has four treatment rooms. Each pair of treatment rooms opens to create a double room for couples services.

Each SpaShell treatment room has an en-suite shower and can be opened to create a couple's duo
SpaShell Treatment room

You will find all the expected amenities. Inside are a steam room, sauna, shower, locker room, reception and the treatment rooms. Outside is an outdoor Cedar wellness pool, lounge area. There is also an oversize hammock for snuggling. For the adventurous, there is a stimulating bucket and monsoon drench.

The SpaShell relaxation room offers guest views of nature and a cozy place to relax
SpaShell Relaxation room with view of cedar spa in background

A wide diversity of massage, facial, manicure and pedicure services.  They feature Elemis products and equipment. Packages also include Afternoon Tea or lunch and beverages from the highly rated restaurant.

The Spa nestles in the gardens next to the manor.  Here spa-goers enjoy lovely views across Shropshire’s rolling hills. There is a strong sense of serenity, relaxation, and privacy to enjoy the amenities. Built of natural materials, the spa blends beautifully into the countryside surrounding it.

SpaShell Cedar Spa gives guests a great evening retreat in a quiet relaxing setting
Cedar spa at night with Shropshire view in background

Since opening in late 2016, the spa has become popular with locals as well as guests. It has exceeded Laura’s hopes. Guests are now choosing to stay at Fishmore Hall to enjoy the spa.  Lunch and tea guests view the spa just outside the windows and are scheduling their own visits.

Spa Creators UK, Ltd. plans on

Drench Shower

offering SPAshell to boutique properties across the UK and Europe. For more information on SpaShell or Spa Creators, visit their website:

Experience it yourself

To see and experience the Spa for yourself, visit   Arrange for a great room, fabulous food, and a delightful relaxing spa experience. Booking directly with Fishmore Hall will assure you the best value for your pounds.

Plan to spend several days… there is a lot to see and do in this beautiful area. Watch for my upcoming blog – what to see and do in Shropshire.

Here is a video on SPAshell with views of the spa at Fishmore Hall.

Cowshed Spa… you have to see this

Spa in a Cowshed?

In planning a recent trip to the UK, I came across a spa called  The

Cowshed Spa at the St. Moritz
Cowshed Spa at the St. Moritz

Cowshed Spa.  This I had to see.  Was it in a barn?  I was in for a delightful visit and a few surprises.

Cowshed Spa is actually a chain of spas. The very first spa opened at Babington House, Somerset, UK in 1998… in the old cow shed. Since then they have stayed true to their vision to offer beautiful spas. Cowshed products are organic based and designed to be effective.

In addition to Cowshed spas, they are also located in the Soho group chain in the US, the UK and Europe.

Cowshed Spa, Trebetherick, Cornwall

I visited the Cowshed Spa in the lovely San Moritz hotel in Trebetherick in

Cowshed St. Moritz retail and reception
Cowshed Spa, San Moritz retail and reception

Cornwall, UK. A beautiful, coastal location, it teems with tourists during the summer. When the crowds die down, the locals book again. They have the enviable position of little to no slow season.

Cowshed calls themselves “sociable” and for good reason. Beautiful and elegant, the mood is relaxed, friendly and social.  You’re invited to come with friends, have services, visit and make new friends. They’re famous for detail manicure-pedicure area invites chatting and visiting.

Purposeful with a bit of whimsey

Treatment and product names are whimsical… Udderly Delightful, Udderly

Cowshed St. Moritz Mani-Pedi area.. come, visit, relax
Cowshed Spa, St. Moritz Mani-Pedi area.. come, visit, relax

Gorgeous. But don’t let the names fool you.  Each product meets a purpose.  All have high levels of essential oils for therapeutic results. Botanicals come from their own gardens.

Seven different mood blends focus on client’s needs and the goal of the therapy.  Tired, try Knackered Cow.  Stressed – Grumpy Cow. In a well, playful mood – Horny Cow.  The list goes on.

Dirty Cow, Grubby Cow or Mucky Cow wash skin clean and leave it conditioned.

The treatment menu is impressive.  Face, body, hands feet, waxing and a variety of packages. Men get their own special attention treatments.  The Udderly Gorgeous treatments were the most unique.  Indulgent, relaxing, pampering and designed for clients that are 12 weeks pregnant or more.

They have taken every need of the pregnant client, and their safety, into consideration. Furniture, cushioning, positioning. After the first trimester, Moms-to-be may have services until the big event.

Cowshed St. Moritz, Therapy Room
Cowshed St. Moritz, Therapy Room

Post-delivery treatments are also available to help the new mom de-stress… and get her skin back in condition.

When you are visiting Cornwall, London, Somerset, Oxfordshire, or near a Soho property, relax and have a little fun at the Cowshed.


Relax, Renew, Revitalize at the Ginger Tree

Relax, Renew, Revitalize at the Ginger Tree

Ginger Tree offers holistic health and beauty
Ginger Tree Clinic

The Ginger Tree sits amidst the most beautiful, serene area in England. The Yorkshire Dales.  Ginger Tree is a short 1.5-mile drive from Richmond. It attracts visitors and locals from across the area. Peaceful, quiet, secluded, it prompts relaxation.

Aske Stables

Ginger Tree is located in an impressive Victorian building. Originally built as the horse stable for a nearby mansion. Walking in the stone paved courtyard, you expect the clatter of hooves.

Aske Stables renovated into a business park with all the amenities and a gorgeous view
Aske Stables now a business park with amazing views

Renovations took place in the late 1990s. They retained the gorgeous stone exterior. Insides were redone to meet modern needs. State of the art, eco-friendly Ascot Stables opened in 2000. Now over two dozen companies call it home.

A place to escape

Ginger Tree owner, Kathy, selected Ascot Stables for the tranquil setting. She loves the relaxing gardens and ample parking.

Aske Entry and Courtyard diverse businesses get to enjoy this amazing architecture every day
Aske Entry and Courtyard stunning and serene and ample parking.  It has great proximity to local towns.  It was a winning decision and her clients love it.

Kathy is an escapee of London’s hectic pace. She brought her extensive training and skills to the peace of the Dales.

Pamper yourself with a massage, facial or body treatment. Stay groomed with natural nail care. Enlist her as your makeup artist for your special event. She even helps with hair. Here you will find what you need.

Kathy is a strong believer in natural and organic. Products must be at least

Ginger Tree Treatment Room for holistic beauty
Ginger Tree Treatment Room

70% natural and organic ingredients.  To treat the unique needs of each client she maintains diversity.

  • Environ  – physician developed therapeutic skin care for dramatic improvement.
  • Pink Boutique –  handcrafted organic aromatherapy.
  • Neal’s Yard -organic skin care.
  • Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup.
  • SpaRitual – eco-friendly vegan nail care.
  • Advanced Nutrition Program – supplements for beauty from the inside out.

Customized therapies encourage you to relax, renew, rejuvenate.

Wellness Center

Ginger Tree reception area with original fireplace now used as decor
Ginger Tree Reception with original fireplace

Her vision has been for a total wellness center. In September 2016 this came to fruition. The Ginger Tree facility expanded.

It now includes:

  • homeopathy
  • Yoga
  • pilates
  • reiki
  • reflexology.

Locals are lucky to have such a well thought out holistic center nearby.  It is the trend of the future, today!

7 Tips to enhance your visit to a spa

tip 1 Use those resort amenities to enhance your spa visit
Take advantage of resort amenities is a key tip to spa visiting

7 Tips for Your Spa Visit

There are different ways to visit spas. Here are some tips to help you enjoy it to the maximum.

You can go in for a service. You can spend the day. Many hotels have spa’s on-site. This may mean you can spend the day at the spa, then wearing the lovely robe they provide, wander back to your room to freshen up.

Tip #1: Check out what facilities the spa or day spa has that you will be

Tip for your spa visit, know what amenities are available to you
Relaxation room with cedar spa in background

able to use. While we think of water and showers associated with spas, not all facilities have them. Some are only available to the person who is spending the day as opposed to a single service. You need to know this.

Tip #2: What are you going to be doing after your spa appointment? Plan your visit around this. You will most likely have no makeup and messy hair when you finish. Some treatments include a scalp massage and you may have residual oil in your hair. It’s well worth the disarray. But, if you have social plans either make sure they have a place you can restore yourself, or take a hat. I strongly recommend a hat! It’s a great travel accessory.

Tip #3: All spas should be collecting at least basic medical and skin history information about you. They need to know about any sensitivities that you have. If you tend to have sensitive skin, select non-aggressive treatments. Go for soothing and calming. They need to know what medications you are on, any implants you may have, or if you’ve had Botox or line fillers.

Tip #4: Speak up. Your therapist wants you to have the best possible

Another tip is locating where you can freshen up after the treatment.
Finding a facial room with en-suite shower is a great spa tip

experience. Let them know if you are uncomfortable, hot, cold, the pressure is too much or if a product is uncomfortable. Don’t just endure. They want you to be happy, but they can’t read your mind.

Tip #5: Wet floors can be slippery. Use the slippers they have provided you.

Tip #6: Some shower systems can be a mystery. If you can’t figure out how to turn their’s off and on, don’t hesitate to ask. Every time I travel, I run into one I’ve never seen before.

Tip #7: Be a good spa guest. All spas want this to be a relaxing experience. Turn OFF your PHONE. No phones are allowed in a spa. Guests who don’t follow the rules may be asked to leave. Relax, enjoy your visit, disconnect from the world outside.

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