Featuring Veronica, Owner of Nourish Naturally
When I first discovered Nourish Naturally, their philosophy intrigued me. They believe in the power of human touch, and don’t use any machines for their facials. They carry a few different skincare ranges to cater for various needs.
Veronica examined my face and discussed the options before starting, so I know that I’m getting what’s best for my skin. She has been in this business for seven years, and her clientele ranges from 11 to 70! There are quite a number of people with eczema, acne, or rosacea who are regular customers. She also sees a fair share of those with psoriasis, skin sensitivities and other chronic skin problems.
While facials are not replacements for medical treatments, they can go a long way in soothing, healing and providing nourishment for the skin. With a nice range of organic and skin-sensitive products here, I think it makes a good starting point.
Remember to use the promotion code at the end of the article for a triple treat – 15% off your first facial, 15% off your first mani/pedi session, and 10% off your first dental and TMJ/pain treatment appointment. With the Christmas and Chinese New Year season upcoming, it’d be best to book your slot early 🙂
Veronica, owner of Nourish Naturally
- How did this all came to be?
It was quite serendipitous actually. I never planned to be in this line. I come from the chemical engineering sector, then went into banking and finance, and then this.
A space became available and we thought, “what should we do with it?”. We then brainstormed and at that time, I was already researching skin treatments and brands because of bad skin. I have tried everything from antibiotics to topical medications, but none of them were long lasting.
When I came across Maria-Galland, I was intrigued by the science of their protocols more than anything else. I am a very science-based person. The massage techniques used by them were developed by physiotherapists and lymphatic drainage professionals. I was sold when I saw the hand movements. It was like a pair of hands gracefully dancing on the face. And most importantly, the results were amazing. That started Nour!sh.
- How has the journey been like for you so far?
Slow and steady – I don’t believe in advertising or marketing. We rely on word of mouth so it’s always a slow start, but having been around for 7 years, it has been nothing but rewarding.
It goes beyond the financial or monetary gains. If I wanted to make more money, I would have stayed in the finance industry. But this brings me satisfaction that money cannot buy.
- What are some interesting things you’ve learned along the way?
The power of human touch and interaction. Whether we want to believe it or not, we are all broken and in some sort of pain. We can always choose to be kind, and a touch makes a whole world of difference.
People come to me, I would like to believe, not just because of the treatments I give, but because at times, we just need a listening ear and a loving touch. Nour!sh (especially at Thomson) is a very special place, it’s like home for many to seek healing and comfort.
- What are your biggest frustrations in this business?
Managing staff – that’s why we are so lean.
- How do you manage work-life balance and self-care?
There is no such thing as work life balance when you run your own business. You are at it every day, maybe sometimes just too much. Never take things too personally, and always be positive. I enjoy reading, dancing and travelling.
- What kind of clients do you find the most annoying?
People who expect miracles, and not wanting to work or change their lifestyle for it.
- What about the most lovable?
Those who appreciate you for what you do. On weekends, I almost never need to bring food to work at Thomson. Clients trickle in with food of all sorts, worried that we don’t have time to eat or buy food! How lovely.
- I was surprised to discover that you were the only person doing facials at the East Coast branch. How do you manage the business all on your own?!
I’m not sure, by God’s grace I suppose. I find this easier than having to manage unpassionate staff.
- What do you consider to be your biggest achievement in this line of work to date?
Seeing that the knowledge and skills I have, actually improves the lives of others.
- What are your future goals for yourself and the company?
We are very contented with keeping this small, niche and personable. It’s difficult to find people who are passionate about health and skin. My aim is to continue spreading the word and bringing some hope, especially to those whose self-esteem and confidence has been affected by bad skin. Because I have been through this, I know how painful it can be.
The next step and dream for me is to get a certification in Functional and Integrative medicine. Although I know a lot about it, it doesn’t hurt to be certified. And better yet, more structured grounding in this area.
- What were the deciding factors when it came to selecting these brands for use in your facials?
The efficacy and safety of products, as well as the uniqueness of their protocols.
- What’s the age range of your clients, and what sort of skin problems do they usually have?
From 11 to 70. All sorts, although I would like to say I specialise in acne and skin sensitivities.
- Where did you train, and what’s their main school of thought?
At Maria-Galland Institute, Singtrain and Bruno Chikly Institute for Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.
Some of the skin care products used at Nourish Naturally
- Why don’t you use machines? Don’t they help to make the face ‘cleaner’?
Because I believe in the power of human touch. Have you seen a king being served by a robot? Machines lack the personal touch and are ‘dead’.
- You mentioned that the most important aspect of a facial is the face massage. Why?
In addition to my above statement – it drains, and brings oxygen and hydration to the skin’s surface. It also improve stretch and tone.
- Can we massage our own face at home, and do you have any good resources to share?
Yes. I don’t have any resources at the moment. Depending on their individual condition, I will teach them to do certain moves at home.
- You only use natural products at Nourish Naturally. What are the benefits to this and are they worth the extra costs, if any?
The range is diverse when it comes to facial products. For anti-aging treatments, we usually use the French skincare range, which may not be entirely natural. However, the results are faster and they are not considered unsafe.
The organic and natural products are used mainly on those with sensitivities and redness issues. We have to understand that being organic does not mean we won’t have a reaction to it. Some organic products contain essential oils or flowers which can induce an allergic reaction, too.
The key thing is to find something that works for you. For us, the best seems to be VMV, which has been tested on the most sensitive of skins, and removes all known allergens in their products as much as possible.
- Are there certain things about a ‘standard facial’ that you don’t believe in, or avoid?
At Nourish, there is no standard facial. I customise all treatments according to one’s needs and budgets. That’s why all facials start with asking one’s history (to see if there are contraindications), needs, as well as budgets.
- What are the most popular products sold at Nourish Naturally?
- VMV’s red better flare up balm
- Suki’s balancing day lotion
- World of Beauty Shantala Oil
- Exfoliating Foaming Cleanser
- VMV Superskin Toners
- I see that your mani/pedi also offers natural and organic options. Does this make a big difference?
This is the biggest difference – all our polishes are at least 3 free. Most are 5 free. This means that when you enter our doors, there is no smell of chemicals. These harmful chemicals can enter our bloodstream and bring about endocrine disruptions.
- What’s your own personal face and skin care routine like?
It’s very simple. Clean, scrub, tone, serum and moisturiser. Never leave home without sunscreen!
- Why do you think applying sunblock on a daily basis is one of the most important steps in face and skin care?
That’s because the UV rays have a lot to do with skin cancers and aging cells. Photo-aging is very real, especially in a climate like ours. For clients with rosacea and psoriasis, UV radiation can worsen the condition. In fact, it activates the onset of rosacea at times.
- Sunblocks are one of those skincare products that mostly seem to be filled with chemicals. Do you have any recommendations?
Yes without a doubt, they are the one thing that a lot of people with sensitive skin find difficult to tolerate. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the key ingredients for reflecting those nasty rays, and we don’t quite have other substitutes. Zinc Oxide is a lot more tolerable so if you find yourself sensitive to most sunscreens, opt for zinc oxide only sunscreens.
- Eye creams and toners are a bit more of a grey area when it comes to daily face care. What are you thoughts on them? Are they necessary in a daily or a weekly routine, and why or why not?
Toners are not exactly a grey area. Cleansers can be fairly harsh in order to remove dirt, oil and grime, making the skin more acidic or alkaline than it is. Our skin has an optimum pH of 5.5. Hence, toners are important for re-balancing the pH of our skin, and preparing it for absorption of moisturisers and serums.
- What’s your general philosophy on health, wellness and skin/body care?
You are what you eat. Exercise, move and smile a lot.
- How do you go about maintaining this on an everyday basis?
My faith plays a big part in how I lead my life. Discipline when it comes to eating. I tell my clients, if you don’t prepare your own food, you will be very tempted to eat random foods sold outside, which are not as healthy. I bring my lunch almost every day, and I choose my food consciously.
- Do you consume any non-natural/non-organic products or food in your own life? Or are you ‘natural all the way, facials and beyond’?
No. Actually I don’t believe in having everything organic. In fact, it has become almost like a fad and in Singapore, and it costs a bomb to go organic. Preparing your own food is the surest way to ensure you know what goes into it.
- Do you have any basic or special face and skin care tips to share? I’m all ears!
Exfoliate and drain! In our climate, exfoliation is extremely important. Massage and draining brings life to your skin.
- What other aspects of life do you think contributes to poor skin health (especially for the face)?
Lack of exercise, excessive sugar, and low fat diets.
- Your favourite quote that represents your approach to life and why?
You are what you eat! Being positive and being kind makes a world of difference too. You never know how bad a day someone else is really having.
You are what you eat
DEALING WITH PROBLEMATIC SKIN & AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS
- What sort of skin problems do you see often or deal with a lot, and how do you go about helping these clients?
Acne, eczema, rosacea. I conduct in-depth consultation on history, lifestyle and food choices. I also use products that calm the mind and body.
- Do you think that your facials are more equipped to help such people, as opposed to other places?
I can’t really comment on that, but we take pride in ensuring that we know what we’re doing. And we have the skills and knowledge to deal with redness and skin that is undergoing a lot of stress.
- For a face therapist, what added certification is required to advise clients on skin problems of an autoimmune nature?
There is no real certification required in Singapore, but knowledge is key. You can learn by reading widely, on top of attending courses. My background in the sciences as well as lymphatic drainage treatments help.
- Are there overlaps to certain problems, and to the way they should be treated? For e.g. eczema and psoriasis?
The skin is one of the three largest organs to be affected by the gut. While mistreatment of the skin can have adverse effects directly, it never results in eczema or psoriasis. So in most cases, these problems are caused by an imbalance of the gut, and requires attention both in terms of what you eat and what you apply. Sunscreens, cleansers and Vitamin C are key to treating sensitive conditions.
- Have you ever encountered people with the same skin problem (e.g. psoriasis), that have required a totally different face care approach?
Yes, because every individual is unique. Knowing the history is of absolute importance.
- How does lymphatic drainage massage work?
In a nutshell, it brings about balance to your nervous system, which has an impact on your immune system. It stimulates fluid movements and drains toxins.
- I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that you share the space with Nourish Dental. How are they different from other dentists, especially in terms of dealing with chronic pain?
I am not aware of other dental clinics that specialise in this area. It is a very niche area. Each consultation for pain can last between 1 to 3 hours because it involves detailed history taking and manual therapy, before diagnosis and treatment options.
Dr Chiong has a special interest in Orofacial Pain as well as Sleep Dental Medicine, and holds fellowship and accreditation with four Royal Colleges. He is also a board member of the European Sleep Academy.
People in pain are also frustrated and confused, and at times unable to fully explain their pain until the right questions are asked. We have successfully treated many patients who felt hopeless about their situation. Basically we take all patients whom other clinics have not been able to diagnose or treat. We are fully equipped with the latest in technology for treatment, and manage a wide variety of conditions.
*Note: This interview is meant for educational purposes, and is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding new treatment protocols.
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- For More Insight:
- A to Z of skin diseases (article on British Skin Foundation): https://goo.gl/GVgge3
- Skin care: 5 tips for healthy skin (article on Mayo Clinic): https://goo.gl/8dcHGH
- Best Sunscreens And Sunblocks To Use In Singapore’s Weather (article on Cleo): https://goo.gl/V9avoR