Practitioner Spotlight: Neva Osterloh

neva facial

You may recall that back in August, Neva joined the Portland Healing Space Family. She's a Licensed Esthetician/LMT and has helped build an herbal skin care service at PHS. We sat down with Neva to learn a little more about her:

How did you come to be at Portland Healing Space?

I have a passion for herbal medicine, and last November I attended an awesome herbal medicine conference at NUNM called The Portland Plant Medicine Gathering. It was there that I met the incredible Danielle Lombardi and we started talking about herbs, skin care, massage and offering herbal skin care at Portland Healing Space. Over the next few months, we worked out all the details on the skin care services we thought clients at PHS would love, and now here we are! I couldn’t be happier about the response we’ve gotten so far, for both our product line, Evan Healy, and our treatments.

It's interesting that you're a massage therapist and an esthetician; both work with the skin. Did you start out as a massage therapist and then learn to be an esthetician? What made you decide to incorporate these two fields together in your practice?

I began my journey as an Esthetician! I had been torn between which education to tackle and which passion to follow first, esthetics or massage, but I had suffered through my teen years with very reactive, rosacea skin and honestly, in the beginning all I wanted was to be able to help myself after years of discomfort. I had tough experiences at a young age with aggressive products and well-meaning Estheticians that unfortunately exacerbated my skin issues. So, naturally I wanted to learn everything I could about the skin, its physiology, and how to bring comfort and better understanding to others in their struggle. Since then, I’ve learned so much about inflammation, hormonal representations in the skin, lymphatic drainage, and the magic that herbal healing can provide. My love of being an Esthetician brought me back to my passion for massage because I didn’t want my treatment and connection with my client to stop at the face. As an LMT/Esthetician, I am able to treat and address the concerns of my client as a whole rather than in parts. I’m so grateful everyday for being given the opportunity to do so.

What is your favorite part about doing facials?

My favorite part of giving a facial is the connection I’m able to make with my clients. There is a special trust required to allow someone to touch and treat your face. My practice isn’t about harsh peels or looking ten years younger, it’s about earning the client’s trust and encouraging confidence in their own self-care. My clients need to be made to feel comfortable with my experience and the information I am giving them, but also trust that a less aggressive approach is always the best approach. We need to be kind to our skin and patient rather than frustrated with it during moments of fluctuation. That’s what I am here to help facilitate, and I love it!

What are your favorite Evan Healy products?

Every single Evan Healy product is made with such beautiful intention and love (not to mention stellar ingredients) that it’s difficult to choose! Right now, I’d have to say the duo of the Argan Intensive Serum and Wild Carrot Nourishing Eye Balm are two I must have! The organic and hand-pressed argan oil in the Argan Intensive Serum is rich in nourishing vitamin E and comes from an incredible, self-governed women’s cooperative in Morocco. It is beneficial for so many skin types and conditions, but is especially ideal for softening fine lines and reducing the appearance of hyper-pigmentation. It uses a special blend of essentail oils; the Frankincense alone is known for healthy cell regeneration properties, improving elasticity, and reducing inflammation! Beyond the effects when applied to the skin, the aromatherapeutic properties are vast, and delicious! As for the eye balm, it’s hydrating and protecting powers are all delivered in a super convenient applicator. Immortelle and wild carrot are my latest obsessions in herbal skin care, both very healing and reparative; they are perfect for more delicate skin around the eyes.

What are the top three tips/advice you would give about taking care of our skin?

  1. Always wash and treat your skin at the sink rather than in the shower! The average shower water temperature is too hot and can be detrimental to the health of the skin in many ways, AND it wastes so much more water tending to your face while the shower is running.
  2. Drink loads of water! I’d say about 8 out of 10 of the clients I see have skin troubles resulting simply from being dehydrated. Our skin is our largest organ but it receives hydration last! And if you’re a coffee drinker, be sure to balance out your coffee with an increased water intake to avoid the often dehydrating effects of your morning cuppa!
  3. What you put ON your face/body is as important as what you put IN your body! A large amount of what we apply to our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. It literally becomes a part of our being. We should all be as aware of the health of our topical products as we are the health of the food we eat. Organic, non-gmo, sustainably-sourced, locally grown, cruelty free…all of the healthy buzz words we look for in the grocery store, should apply to our skin and body care as well as our diets.

What is Portland's best kept secret?

Portland is one giant herb garden! The next time you walk through your neighborhood keep an eye out for a variety of mints, lavender, yarrow, rosemary, Queen Anne’s Lace (wild carrot), lemon balm, sage…they are everywhere, their medicinal properties are vast, and we should all be thankful to live in their presence!