A Bristol Boutique Offers Seasonal Skincare Tips

All-natural ingredients are a recipe for skincare success


The owner of Zenabelle, Deborah Ventrice is also an Interior Architectural
Designer. Her work in the conservation of building materials ignited a passion to educate consumers about the dangers of toxic chemicals that exist in beauty and personal care products. She consults with clients about safe and natural skin and hair care products at her “eco-chic” boutique. After much demand Zenabelle now o!ers holistic facial treatments. Deborah (and her husband Bob and their dogs Soho and Chelsea and cats Morgan and Minerva) live in Bristol.

It is October: what is the most important step in preparing the face for winter?First take stock of what is in your current inventory of products! The light moisturizer that worked for summer might not be enough for winter. Evaluate all that you have been using over the past few months, because your skin often starts to change as weather changes: humidity levels drop and skin starts to become drier and even flaky. You also start losing your tan so that sun-kissed glow goes away and skin starts to look sallow. Throw out old make-up, which can cause break-outs and eye infections. Eye makeup is not good after six months and face make-up by 12 months.

How does diet play a role in preparing the skin for cold bitter days? 
Make sure you are increasing foods with Omega 3. Great examples - a fish oil supplement, salmon, nuts, avocado. Also flax seed, while high in fat is the best fat for us. Flax actually helps our bodies to burn more fat. It is so good for skin, cardio vascular system, hair and eyes. And of course drink water, water, water which is huge in the hydration of the skin, aiming for a minimum of 64 ounces a day. As the skin gets drier, crepiness appears.

Stop right there. What is crepiness?
Crepiness is when the skin starts to sag and wrinkles appear, which you notice more around the eyes, forehead and in the cheeks.It very often looks worse as the skin becomes dehydrated.

Even though it is now October, is there need for sun block? 
It is not necessary day to day if you are mostly indoors, but on those days when you will be out in the sun for more than ten to 15 minutes, you absolutely need to wear sun block. I think protective clothing is always the best coverage for the skin, such as wearing a hat and sunglasses. ninety percent of aging is caused by sun damage. Only use a sunblock that contains zinc and titanium dioxide. Most sunscreens with benzene derivatives and certain synthetic retinols can increase sensitivities and benzene is a known carcinogen.

How important is the relationship between skincare to hair care? 
The easiest thing to change with your skincare regimen is your shampoo. When you wash your hair, all the chemicals found in traditional shampoos and conditioner wash not only over your hair but over your face and body. Synthetic shampoos strip the hair and conditioners, coat the hair and skin and over time can actually make it more brittle. Initially your hair may feel silky but little by little you will notice your hair becomes dry. Other typical telltale signs are dry ends and an overly oily scalp. Look for a gentle shampoo and conditioner that contains no sulfates, no parabens, no silicones and no synthetic waxes, which you find in most synthetic hair care products.

What is a myth about treating breakouts? 
Do not use drying substances like benzyl peroxide to treat a break-out. In an attempt to heal the skin, drying products signal the body to produce more oil and the break-out will continue and increase. Instead gently cleanse the skin, no scrubbing, use a healing oil appropriate for the skin. To spot treat small breakouts use a healing clay. Wash make-up brushes daily in a vegetable-based dish liquid, and once a week in vodka, which sterilizes the brush without using an irritant like isopropyl alcohol.

What has fueled your passion for opening Zenabelle? 
As a child I had reactions to many products and medicines, which led my mother and grandmother to explore alternatives. Then as an interior architectural designer, working in materials and building conservation, I used to write Material Safety Data Sheets, which identify harmful substances in building products, and I started to realize these same substances were in everything that we are using on our bodies - hair and skin products and even baby products.

What are some examples? 
Propylene glycol is the same ingredient specified for heating and cooling systems, and is found in food products and in many skincare lines. What is it doing to our skin? It is an irritant and associated with allergic contact dermatitis. Another substance to avoid is Bismuth oxy-chloride, which is in almost all mineral makeups, bronzers and blushes. It is a filler and irritant and makes skin look dry and cakey. Instead look for make-ups with zinc, titanium and iron oxides, which are naturally occurring minerals from the earth.

What has personally given you the most satisfaction since opening a year ago?The wide demographic of our customers range in age from 14-80. The women, men and children who now come in are so aware of the importance of using clean and 100% natural products. We have customers who have had severe acne and skin issues tell me they are now finally free of Accutane, steroids or Metrogel by using products that address the issue instead of masking it and suppressing the condition.

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