Skin Care Myths

Sorry for the absence of blog posts lately, but we have been so busy keeping everyone looking and feeling their best this summer with great promotions and treatments; we also have two new fantastic therapists join our ever growing team.
I hope you’ve missed us as much as we have missed talking and informing you on all things going on in the wellness world!
Amidst the constant buzz about new, must-have products, the influx of anti-aging treatments, and skin-care advice from every corner, it’s hard to separate the difference between facts and fiction.
At Novo we pride ourselves on having the most qualified and dedicated Esthetician’s and RMT’s we realize the importance of this to ensure that we provide the best services, the best treatments and the best results YOU want. We are committed to continual learning, with on-going training in all spheres to keep us ahead of the game so that you can instil your trust in us as professionals and in our expertise, so that you know the facts from the fiction.
“I have always been really interested in skin care, having problematic skin over the years inspired me further to enter into a career in esthetics,. The education I received was comprehensive, in-depth and intensive it ultimately gave me the tools and knowledge to be able to successfully treat many skin care conditions and problems.
I never stop learning in an industry so fast paced with new products and treatments being introduced all the time it is imperative that you have your finger on the pulse. Aside from treating my guests aesthetically it truly is an honour that guests trust me enough to work with them on such a personal level and this is what I truly love about my job. I hope I make each and everyone one of my guests feel even just a little more relaxed, a little more confident about themselves or a little less stressed in a world with so many pressures and stresses”
Esthetician manager – Charlotte Barbosa
Below I have debunked some of the most common skin care questions I get asked in the treatment room
Myth #1: You don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day.
Even on a cloudy day, UV radiation from the sun reaches the earth’s surface. So make sure you use sunscreen every day and reapply it every two hours as well as after swimming or sweating.
Myth #2: Toners are the second step in cleansing.
Toners are an important yet misunderstood step in your daily program. You may have heard they are the second step in cleansing: “Wipe your face with a cotton ball soaked in the toner and look at all the dirt it picks up.” What that really means is you didn’t get your skin clean, so it’s time to go back to Step 1: Cleansing your skin. Cleansers cleanse, toners tone or prepare. Toners are not cleansers.
Technically, toners re-acidify the epidermis and prepare the skin for moisturizer. To re-acidify means to replace the skin’s naturally low (acidic) pH which is disrupted somewhat even with gentle cleansers.
Epidermis is just another word for your outer, dead skin, the skin you can touch. So toners help replace the natural acidic state of your skin. Toners are primarily water, so they also superficially hydrate the outer skin.


Myth #3: If a product doesn’t work quickly, move on

It’s crucial to stick to a regimen long enough to see what works for your skin and what doesn’t. “Novo suggests waiting 8 to 10 weeks before you abandon a product and try the next thing”. And keep in mind that not everyone’s skin will respond the same way to an anti-ager. “Most active ingredients do work on everyone—just to varying degrees.


Myth #4: There’s no such thing as too much exfoliating.

Exfoliating is such an essential part of your routine because dead skin must be sloughed off in order for new sebum to secrete from your pores and moisturize the skin. Allowing your sebaceous glands to do their job is the very best way to maintain hydrated skin. It also allows all your other products to work much better. However, exfoliating too much can irritate and dry your skin, and in-turn over stimulate your sebaceous glands causing congestions and breakouts.


Myth #5: My skin is dry (or is it?).

I want to clear up an area of confusion regarding two very different skin types. The misunderstanding surrounds two separate conditions that are thought to be the same: dehydration and true-dry skin.Dehydration deals with surface water loss. True-dry skin reflects a lack of oil. Many people think they have dry skin (because it feels dry), when really they are dehydrated. This distinction becomes very important to make when buying skin care products. True-dry skin = lack of oil. Dehydrated skin = lack of water. You can be oily and dehydrated, but you cannot be both oily and dry. Your oil glands are either producing enough, too much, or not enough oil.

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We work with the best, because we want to give you the best.

About Guinot

Founded in France over forty years ago by well-known chemist René Guinot, the collection of skincare products known throughout the world as “Guinot Paris” began as a focused approach to treating the skin with the now legendary Hydradermie treatment.

From this starting concept, Guinot moved on to develop treatment-compatible products that could be used by clients at home. Today, Guinot Paris skincare and the Guinot professional treatments are available in over 1,000 spas and salons throughout the US and thousands more around the world.

A complete line, Guinot Paris provides a wide range of beauty care, covering three specific categories; face, body and sun. In each category, the company’s philosophy of professional expertise as a guide to product use is an important part of the skincare message.

Fundamental to this is the Guinot creed which points out that every person’s skin is different and is exposed to different environmental and stressful conditions at different times. It is the synergy of professional services and skincare products that results in beautiful skin, for which Guinot Paris is renowned.

Keeping its roots in the spas where its professional treatments began, Guinot Paris has increasingly expanded its retail operation and today is recognized as the leading skincare collection, available exclusively at prestigious spas worldwide.

  • Ethical Beauty Care
  • The products are not tested on animals.
  • To improve skin compatibility, formulas are preserved without parabens and the active ingredients used are from non-GMO plants.
  • The active treatment ingredients incorporated in the formulas are chosen in order to respect the environment;notably by sourcing them from renewable plants. Guinot is conscious of the environment’s fragility and is concerned about protecting it.

About Eminence

Eminence Organic Skin Care was introduced to North America by Hungarian natives Attila and Boldijarre Koronczay in 1996. The Hungarian tradition of skin care is quite unique and, as a result, Hungarian skin care has developed a substantial following throughout the world. Eminence Skin Care began as an effort to introduce the North American market to organic skin care products produced by a reputable and well established Hungarian manufacturer. Eminence began by marketing Hungarian products that have been in continuous production since 1958. In recent years, however, Eminence has changed its Hungarian manufacturing partners and facilities in an effort to provide a broader array of products of ever improving quality and utility. Today, Eminence is the leading provider of organic skin care products from Hungary within the United States. Eminence Organic Skin Care is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and the products are manufactured in Hungary.

Eminence is a leader in green practices within the skin care industry. The company’s ingredient farm in Hungary is completely powered by wind and solar energy and utilizes geothermal heating for the laboratory. Natural compost is used as fertilizer. Planting and harvesting are done manually and chemical insecticides are not used. Packaging is also green and consists of innovative recycled and recyclable materials.

Eminence produces its skin care products with organically grown ingredients. The entire line is free of parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, magnesium aluminum silicate and sodium lauryl sulphate. Artificial colors and fragrances are also absent. Eminence formulations are designed to incorporate the highest possible levels hand-selected herbs, fruits and vegetables. The harvested ingredients are processed for four months in controlled conditions to remove naturally occurring bacteria. Mass production techniques involving heating or hydrogenation are strictly avoided. The products are ultimately formulated utilizing pH 9.5 water with trace minerals drawn from a thermal hot spring lake. Product shelf life is in excess of one year with the use of natural fruit pectin derived preservatives.

The Eminence product range is extensive and consists of over five cleansers, five toners, four exfoliants and peels, eye products, lip products, makeup removers, masks, serums/oil concentrates, moisturizers, sunscreens, body washes, body scrubs, and body lotions. There are at least nineteen specific masks, six serums, three oil concentrates, eighteen moisturizers, six sunscreens, two body washes, three body scrubs, and four body lotions. In summary, the line has exceptional depth. This is particularly true since most products are distinct in terms of key ingredients and physical appearance.

Eminence skin care products are intriguing and inviting in large part because of their fresh scents and colorful appearance. The packaging also adds to the allure as it is earthy yet refined eye catching, yet subtle. I found the various natural fragrances and interesting colors representing a broad spectrum of fruits, berries, and other plant-based compounds refreshingly and pleasantly different.

Eminence’s wide range of products is categorized from lightest (for oilier skin) to richest (for drier skin) for particular applications such as cleansers, moisturizers and serums. The company also has some distinct lines including its portfolio including a Biodynamic Collection and a USDA Collection. Biodynamic refers to a self sustaining method of farming that regards the farm as a living organism. In a sense, the majority of the Eminence line is biodynamic. The company has chosen to tag a few new products with this term, however, including the Bearberry Eye Repair Cream which has shown good results in the summarized results of a non-characterized clinical study. The USDA Collection suggests organic certification by the government. The line consists of a new waterless hand sanitizer called Organic Tea Tree & Mint Hand Cleanser, a hand cream and a moisture balm.

Eminence offers a collection of powdered sunscreens called SPF 30 Sun Defense Minerals. These products are similar to other powdered mineral sunscreens but also contain naturally derived vitamins and bioflavonoids. Sun Defense Minerals are packaged differently than most powdered mineral sunscreens and have a user friendly applicator.

Eminence products are eye catching; even the samples look intriguing with products of various colors visible through clear plastic. Using the products on a daily basis is a unique slice of the spectrum of skin care experiences. Each product has an entirely natural complex and balanced fragrance with a true sense of freshness. The fragrances are, generally, transient and of moderate intensity. Using the products is, in a certain way, reminiscent of consuming some of the produce from which the products are derived. Citrus Exfoliating Wash balances physical exfoliation with gentle cleansing in a refreshing and nondrying way. Sugar Plum Oil-Free Revitalizer moisturizes well while remaining light and thus is a good choice for combination skin. Blueberry Soy Night Recovery Cream performs very well as an overnight moisturizer. It hydrates well without irritation or heaviness.

Eminence products are produced in small batches. As such, different batches have slightly different colors and, potentially, very slight differences in fragrance. Eminence packages much of their offering in clear jars. As I’ve discussed before, customers like jars even though they are not always the best choice for products. With Eminence, however, the texture of many of the products is simply not conducive to packaging in pump containers. Additionally, clear jars allow the plant derived product colors a forum for full expression.

In summary, Eminence Organic Skin Care is an attractive and colorful brand that appears to be rapidly expanding in North America. The products are truly unique and, generally speaking, interesting, pleasant and effective. Eminence continues to do an admirable job promoting its product offering and appears to have an exceptionally bright future.


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Sun Safe Summer

Summer is here and as the weather is getting warmer, the sun getting brighter and the day’s getting longer and as most Canadians know after our long cold winters there is no better feeling than sun on your skin, it releases feel good endorphins, it is the best source of vitamin D – which to be fair living in cold ol’ Canada we need, but being safe in the sun is key!  Every time that our skin is exposed to sunlight, the UV radiation causes microscopic photo-damage. This damage has a cumulative effect on the skin, adding up as we get older and contributing greatly to the aging process.


The most important product in your bathroom cabinet which is guaranteed to help slow down the ageing process, keep your skin bright and youthful and most importantly protect the biggest organ in your body is a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen.


The sun emits two different ultraviolet (UV) rays that reach our skin: UVA and UVB. While UVB rays are responsible for burning the skin, UVA rays damage it on a deeper level that can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. It also attacks collagen, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. It’s important to look for a sunscreen that protects you from both forms of radiation so look for “Broad-Spectrum,” “Multi-Spectrum” or “UVA/UVB” on the label.

Charlotte Barbosa our Esthetician Manager and Skin Care specialist says:

“I always highlight the importance of using a sunscreen EVERYDAY come rain or shine, even if this is the only product being used on your skin, it is the most important. I always want to educate my guests and highlight the many benefits of incorporating this step in your daily routine the key is to make it a habit, just like brushing your teeth

Often people have concerns about using a sunscreen whether it be that it feels sticky, too greasy, causes break outs or irritates the skin. At Novo we have all bases covered we have formulas so light you forget its even there, we have options for all skin types including oily, natural /organic options, make-up/cover up options, you name it, we’ve got it.


As always the Novo team are here to give advice, tips, and recommendations so please come down and visit one of our skin care specialist to get all the know on protecting your skin this summer . As always we offer free skin analysis consultations using state-of the-art technology to give you the best recommendations for both treatments and products.


Below are some tips from the Novo team to keep you sun safe this month!
Sun Safety Tip1: Check the UV index before going outside.
Sun Safety Tip 2: Reduce sun exposure between 11am-4pm, the suns rays are strongest at this time.
Sun Safety Tip 3: Wear a wide brimmed hat most cancers occur on the face and neck so wear a hat and put sunscreen on your face, ears, chin and neck
Sun Safety Tip 4:  Wear sunglasses – sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection can prevent eye damage.
Sun Safety Tip 5: Sunscreens need to be applied liberally and evenly over all exposed areas.
Sun Safety Tip 6: Apply sunscreen before going outdoors and reapply often.



Novo Team Signature

Well cared feet never go unnoticed!

Well cared feet never go unnoticed. Keep them healthy and beautiful with regular pedicures and scientifically formulated products.

Footlogix®: Scientifically formulated foot care productswith DIT*


very-dry-skin-formulaVery Dry Skin Formula (moisturizes and restores very dry skin with daily use. Recommended as part of a daily foot care routine for all Diabetics).




dail-maintenance-formulaDaily Maintenance Formula (for normal to dry skin, daily moisturizing product, to maintain healthy feet).




cracked-heel-formulaCracked Heel Formula (moisturizes and heals extremely callused, thick, cracked skin).




peeling-skin-formulaPeeling Skin Formula (effective anti-fungal agent, provides relief of peeling skin on the soles and between the toes cause by Athlete’s Foot or fungal infections).




* DIT = Dermal Infusion Technology®

We Love our Men

Last month we celebrated all the moms, thanking them for their love and kindness; with Father’s day just around the corner we want to show our gratitude to all the wonderful fathers.

At Novo Spa we have everything covered, from deep tissue massage to deep cleansing facials, gentlemen’s pedicures to manicures all in an atmosphere where they will feel comfortable and relaxed.


Men are now finally realizing what women have known for years, they see and feel the benefits of taking time out to relax, unwind, de-stress, and re-charge; they realize the necessity rather than the luxury, the therapy rather than the pampering. Research suggests that men account for 35% of Canadian-spa goers and this is only on the increase. At Novo Spa we love to open our doors and reach out to men with treatments specifically designed for their specific needs.

Massage is always a popular treatment for men for the obvious physical purpose, relief of muscle aches and pain, reducing stress, and increasing sleep. Different and varying techniques such as trigger point therapy, myofascial release all can help get to the root of the cause and help relieve the tension and feel like you can take control of your body again.

Heat Therapy
Heat rooms have a long tradition in many cultures from Turkish baths to Native American steam lodges. Like massage, heat is associated with the relief of muscular stress from bad posture, sports and work related injuries. A good sauna before a deep pressure massage will make for a more effective treatment.

Men’s skin is very different to that of women’s; that is why treatments and products must be specific and customized. Aside from the fact that men shave, which often causes sensitivity on the skin, their skin is a lot thicker with higher oil production and collagen density, different texture and hydration. All these differences in the skin result in differences in the treatment too.

At Novo Spa we recommend the following specific male skin care grooming products.


MenCleansingGel G


Facial Cleansing Gel (Gel Nettoyant Visage)

Key Ingredients

*Menthol: refreshes.
*Allantoin: soothes.
*Witch Hazel extract: tones.
*Bioecolia: restores cutaneous flora balance.



MenExfoliatingGel G


Facial Exfoliating Gel (Gommage Peau Nette)

Key Ingredients

*Jojoba microspheres: exfoliate, moisturize and soften.
*Silica grains: exfoliate.
*Birch extract: purifies and tightens the pores.
*Glycerin: moisturizes and softens.



MenAfterShave G


Moisturizing Soothing After Shave Balm (Baume Après-Rasage)

Key Ingredients

*Vitamin E: anti-free radical and antioxidant.
*Sepicalm (Lipo Amino Acids, Potassium, Magnesium):soothe, soften, antiirritation.
*Menthol: refreshes.
*Witch Hazel extract: astringent, bacteriostatic.
*Natural Plant Emulsion: moisturizes.



“You will feel great when putting on our robe and slippers, come take a break from city living and get your energy back at our urban retreat!”


Best Wishes

Novo Team Signature

Body Skin Care

Exfoliate your body:

Often we forget to give our body the same attention we give to our face, but chances are if your skin is dry or oily on your face the same will be said for your body, Exfoliation is key to help remove all the impurities that accumulate over time, turning the skin opaque and dull. That is why exfoliation becomes an indispensable task to improve its appearance.

To exfoliate the body is a beauty ritual that must be performed at least once a week if you want to keep it impeccable, supple and radiant. With exfoliation, the dead skin cells are removed providing a deep cleanse and allowing moisturizing products to penetrate much better; resulting in a smoother dermis. Also, exfoliation reactivates blood circulation that helps combat cellulite and the “orange peel” effect.

Hydrate and Nurture your body:

Body skin hydration is essential at any age and in every season. Irritability, flaking and lack of flexibility of the skin are very common symptoms for those with dry skin, making it imperative to moisturize on a daily basis. Also with the passage of time the sebaceous glands are less active and the skin loses the ability to retain water, so it dries more easily. Heating, air conditioning and sun are external factors that facilitate water evaporation.

Moisturizing is essential for the skin to:

  • Nourish and lock in moisture.
  • Helps contribute to the regeneration of cells.
  • Moisturize and hydrate.
  • Provide essential vitamins and minerals for healthy skin.

Novo Spa encourages guests to follow a good skin body care regime at the spa or at home, and our recommended products are:


Guinot Body Care

Easy Body Scrub G


Gommage Facile (Smoothing Body Scrub)




guinot body L


Longue Vie Corps ( Vital Body Care)




Eminence Organic Body Care

BlueberrySoySugarScrub Pro_6in_HR G


     Blueberry Soy Sugar Scrub




HoneydewBodyLotion_5in_HR G


Honeydew Body Lotion




StoneCropBodyLotion_8oz_5in_HR G


Stone Crop Body lotion




CoconutFirmingBodyLotion HR G


Coconut Firming Body Lotion




CinnamonPaprikaBodyLotion_5in_HR G


Cinnamon Paprika Body Lotion

Just A Few Minutes Of Meditation May Reduce Stress, Study Finds

If there’s one mental practice that’s stood the test of time – and rigorous laboratory tests – it’s meditation. Mindfulness meditation in particular has done a good job of proving itself effective in reducing stress and depression, improving attention and cognitive performance, and even increasing grey matter density in the brain. But the question would-be meditators always wonder is, “how much do I have to do?” According to a new study in Psychoneuroendocrinology, just a little mindfulness training goes a long way, at least when it comes to quieting the mind in stressful situations. And for most people beginning a meditation practice, that’s not a bad place to start.
Mindfulness is a mental practice used to focus attention on the present moment, rather than on the usual “chatter” that’s going on in our heads. It also helps a person learn to not get caught up in his or her thoughts, but instead simply to acknowledge them and let them go. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) at UMass, has described mindfulness as paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment, curiously and non-judgmentally.
“More and more people report using meditation practices for stress reduction, but we know very little about how much you need to do for stress reduction and health benefits,” said lead author J. David Creswell. So he and his team from Carnegie Mellon University set out to determine whether low “doses” of mindfulness might have an effect on the stress response.
They divided participants into two groups: One group had three consecutive days of 25-minutes sessions of mindfulness training, in which they were taught to focus on the breath and to pay attention their experience in the present moment. The other group, who served as controls, was taught to analyze poetry, in an effort to boost critical thinking skills.
At the end of the respective training sessions, the two groups had to do two stress-inducing tasks: Completing speech or math tests in front of “stern-faced evaluators.” The participants rated their perceived stress levels during the tests, and gave saliva samples so the researchers could measure their levels of the stress hormones cortisol.
The people who’d gone through mindfulness training found the speech and math tests to be less stressful than those who had been trained in critical thinking. The cortisol reactivity was also higher in the meditators than in the control group.
What’s interesting is that while perceived stress levels were low, cortisol production was higher – this may be because practicing mindfulness takes some effort, at least at first. “When you initially learn mindfulness mediation practices, you have to cognitively work at it — especially during a stressful task,” said Creswell. “And, these active cognitive efforts may result in the task feeling less stressful, but they may also have physiological costs with higher cortisol production.”
The team is next going to explore whether long-term practice may make mindfulness more “automatic,” and have the effect of reducing cortisol levels. Given past research on experienced meditators, that’s probably a pretty good guess. And there are many other benefits that come with meditation, especially when it’s practiced over the years. Stress reduction may be one of the first ones that people notice, but others – less depression and rumination, and more self-awareness and satisfaction – may follow.

Mother’s Month Tips: For pregnant and new mothers.

Moisturizing is a must for pregnant and new mothers!

Pregnancy can affect the skin of women in different ways. It is especially important for expectant and new mothers to maintain a regular regimen of skin care before, during and after pregnancy.

Sun exposure can affect more severely than normal. Moisturize your skin regularly and apply a high SPF sunscreen to prevent further sensitivity.

Avoid using products that irritate your skin as well as hot long baths. In special, avoid products with vitamin A, retinol and some essential oils.

During pregnancy it is very common for women to experience changes in their skin. Although many of these changes are normal and harmless, some may be uncomfortable and need special treatment. It is always best to consult your doctor if you notice any changes or discomfort to your skin that does not disappear within a few days.

Guinot Moisturizing Sources for pregnant and new mothers (formulas are preserved without parabens and the active ingredients used are from non-GMO plants)

Applying moisturizer twice a day provides the hydration needed during pregnancy. Use on both face and neck

Long Lasting Moisturizing Cream (Crème Hydra Beauté)

Key Active Components:

  • Hydrocyte liposomes: Liposomes are microspheres used in pharmacy as a means of penetration. Their uniqueness is a structure similar to that of cell membranes, which gives them extraordinary properties.
  • Hydrocyte liposomes are loaded with water hydrating the epidermis, whilst providing a non-stop source of hydration to the skin.
  • Shea butter (softens, forms an anti-evaporation film on the skin, nourishes)
  • Trace elements (energize and activate)
  • Phospholipids (rebuild the intercellular bonds)
  • Allantoin (soothes, softens, encourages cellular regeneration)
  • Vitamin E (hydrates, anti-free radical, antioxidant, moisturizes)
  • UV filters (protect against UV rays)

Use in conjunction with Moisture Supplying Radiance Mask (Masque Hydra Beauté).

Creme Hydra Beaute G
Hydrazone All Skin Types

Intensive hydrating moisturizer.

It hydrates to a deeper level. Use if Long Lasting Moisturizing Cream (Crème Hydra Beauté) is not sufficient for your needs.

Key Active Components:

  • Hydrocyte liposomes (see description above)
  • Hydrastructurine (long-term hydration)
  • Hyaluronic acid (holds the moisture)
  • Olive wax (softens skin)
  • Vitamin E (combats the formation of free radicals)

Use in conjunction with Moisture Supplying Radiance Mask (Masque Hydra Beauté).

HydrazoneAST G
Moisture Supplying Radiance Mask (Masque Hydra Beauté)

A hydrating repairing mask is just what the skin requires during pregnancy.
Use for 10 minutes twice a week after exfoliating.

Key Active Components:

  • Hydrocyte liposomes (see description above)
  • Shea butter (softens, forms an anti-evaporation film on the skin, nourishing)
  • Hydrociline (moisturize)
  • Olive wax (emollient action)
  • Hyaluronic acid (keeps in moisture)

Use in conjunction with Long Lasting Moisturizing Cream (Crème Hydra Beauté) or Hydrazone All Skin Types

Moisture Supplying Radiance Mask G
Note: A Novo Spa Skin Care Advance Therapist should always be consulted; they can recommend what is best suited for your skin type and condition.  Book your free consultation and skin analysis with our certified skin care specialists.

Help to Save The Planet, One Tree At A Time!

World is changing, as it does companies and their vision towards planet conservation and improvement of quality of life. That’s why, Éminence has done an addition to its green philosophy, which means that, for each Éminence product purchased, will plant a tree in developing countries. The initiative is called Forest for the future.

By choosing Éminence as your skin care brand, you can help to rebuild depleting forests and restore the environment! Simply by purchasing an Éminence productyou can make a difference – the power of a single tree is astounding:

  • One tree produces approximately 260 pounds of oxygen a year
  • One tree absorbs as much carbon in a year as a car that drives 26,000 miles
  • One tree lowers air temperature and helps prevent climate change

Since they have begun that initiative, Éminence is proud to say that already have planted the equivalent of 775 football fields (over 3’000.000 trees to date)

As you know, Novo Spa is an Eminence’s partner, and we have made our contribution with ¡3951 trees planted! and we look forward to help planting many more!

Novo Spa supports this initiative because we not only care about your health, but the whole planet wellbeing.

¡Click here and do your part!