Shop Talk

SHOP TALK: Homemade facials at Peppermint Organic Spa

Charmaine Cianciullo mixes natural ingredients to create a facial that's free of harsh chemicals.

For those who espouse an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, a trip to the spa can seem like an illicit act. The good news is that more and more spas offering healthy, back-to-basics options; leading the way locally is Charmaine Cianciullo.

The former model has over 10 years as an esthetician, as well as her own issues with sensitive skin. Charmaine left her job at a mainstream spa a few years ago to dive into the eco-wellness world, and has since developed a loyal Twitter following, opened an online store, launched a popular blog with plenty of DIY videos, and, most recently, opened her own spa in Manotick.

We chatted with Charmaine about what she puts in those blissfully beautifying masks — so if you can’t make it out to Manotick, you can whip one up at home.

Aloe is popular for healing sunburns, and can also work for anti-aging. Charmaine grows her own aloe plant, using the gel in some facials.

Carrot seed oil is also good for anti-aging.

Jojoba oil (pronounced hohoba) is a great moisturizer, and works well to remove makeup (especially for those with sensitive skin).

Walnut husks can be used as an exfoliant.

Pineapple & papaya enzymes are also great exfoliates.

Mango and banana are used for hydrating and helping with problem skin types.

If you’d rather leave the potions to the pros, visit Peppermint Organic Spa. Upon arrival, you’ll be asked if you have any allergies or preferences, and your facial will be custom made ($35 – $65).

As you sink into the facial bed, soft scents and soothing sounds of nature fill the air, sending you into a calm (guilt free!) state.

Peppermint Organic Spa. 6585 Rideau Valley, Manotick. 613-692-0918.

Charmaine Cianciullo uses gel from her own aloe plant in custom facials at her spa.