My Safe Haven for Skincare (pre, during and post-trip)
Earlier this year, I had my first facial at Echo Natural Beauty in Portland. My only previous experience with a professional facial of any kind was when I was about thirteen and my mom took me to the dermatologist. I remember being in a sterile office with lots of bright lights while I had a facial steam and microdermabrasion. It wasn’t a bad experience, but it was very “clinical” and felt more like a trip to the hospital than an indulgence in self-care.
Fast forward another thirteen years and I was introduced to Echo Natural Beauty. They reached out to see if I wanted to come in for a facial and I was delighted to see that they carry a curated line of natural beauty products (including my favorite: Berlin Skin).
As luck would have it, I had one of the worst breakouts of my life a couple days before my facial. While the timing was convenient from a practical standpoint, it certainly shook my vanity. Meeting beautiful skincare professionals while sporting several angry inflamed zits on my face isn’t exactly a confidence-boosting activity. But, I wasn’t about to let my vanity get in the way of a free facial, so I went.
When I showed up, I was instantly at ease in the small charming space that Echo occupies in the heart of northwest Portland. Jami (owner and esthetician) was welcoming and thoughtful as she gave me a luxurious facial and discussed the needs of my particular skin. A far cry from the fluorescent lighting at my teenage microdermabrasion, the room at Echo had subdued lights, a heated bed/table to relax on and I was nearly lulled to sleep with the scent of natural oils being used during the process. Immediately following my facial, another Echo expert (Paige) gave me a makeover using all natural products and continued to make me feel so at ease. She was empathetic and relatable while still being a wealth of knowledge in a subject I know so little about.
I knew this would not be my last visit to Echo.
A few days before flying to the Philippines, I popped in for a pre-trip facial. (I won’t bore you with the full story, but my skin had been freaking out, seemingly allergic to some unknown ingredient.) Jami pampered me with a soothing facial and prepped me for the trip with some powerful (and travel sized!) products by Dr. Alkaitis. Though the bottles are small, I still have product left nearly a month after opening them since they’re so potent.
The cleanser, toner, soothing gel and treatment oil are individually impressive but also work so well together to create a nourishing cocktail for whatever your skin needs. Most days on my trip I relied on the toner and soothing gel mixed together in the morning and then washed my face with the cleanser at night. I used the treatment oil sparingly because my skin was already so oily in the humid climate, but I’ve been reaching for it more now that I’m home.
I’ll be honest, my skin did not like the Philippines. Not one bit. It was pretty angry the whole trip, but these products were so soothing and fought back. They were easy to use whether I was staying in an urban AirBnb or in a jungle hut. Not fussy, but effective. On my longest flights (sixteen hours!), I fell in love with spraying this hydrating accelerator from Echo on my face to combat the dry airplane air.
After arriving home, I went to Echo for a post-trip facial to help my skin adjust to being home and get some much-needed TLC in the midst of jet lag and sickness. Jami and I chatted about some ongoing strategies for healing my skin, and did I mention that she’s a massage therapist too?! That’s right, during my facial I also enjoyed a calming massage to make the experience complete.
I love that every single facial I’ve had at Echo has been slightly different. They really take time to assess what my skin needs in that moment and customize the service.
I recently mentioned on Instagram that self-care has become part of my strategy for sustainable minimalism, and facials at Echo are definitely part of that. When I care for myself in these ways, I am so much less likely to feel tempted to go on a shopping spree. In this case, styling myself consciously came in the form of a trip to the salon instead of my closet.
The wonderful ladies at Echo have generously offered a discount to Selflessly Styled readers! Take 15% off your entire purchase from Echo with promo code ELLIE15 (valid in store or online until January 1, 2019).