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How to keep calm and carry on for less on this Christmas, according to a Hornchurch spa owner

Michaela Johnson opened Morrocan Rose salon after having cancer when she was little, She's giving stress busting tips and tricks to remain calme over the christmas period. She's only 24 but has opened her own business. Michaela Johnson opened Morrocan Rose salon after having cancer when she was little, She's giving stress busting tips and tricks to remain calme over the christmas period. She's only 24 but has opened her own business.

Sunday, December 8, 2013
12:00 PM

Guinness is good for you – or at least for your hair. Well, that is according to one Havering spa owner who has given the Recorder the low-down on how to keep calm and carry on for less money this Christmas time.

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Christmas shoppers on Oxford Street in central London.Christmas shoppers on Oxford Street in central London.

Keeping your cool over the frantic festive season is tough even for the most experienced among us, with crowded streets, mounting expenses and the quest to find the perfect present.

Michaela Johnson, who opened Moroccan Rose in High Street, Hornchurch, this year, says that you do not need to spend a fortune to look good and minimise stress this Christmas.

When it comes to lotions and potions, Michaela, 24, knows her stuff, having worked at exclusive spa The Sanctuary in Covent Garden developing products.

Her salon is an oasis of calm, with a warm chocolate and gold colour scheme to help clients relax.

Guinness can help hair damaged by straighteners and curling tongs, according to Michaela. Picture: PAGuinness can help hair damaged by straighteners and curling tongs, according to Michaela. Picture: PA

“Lots of people have more stress around Christmas time,” she said. “There are simple things which don’t cost a lot which you can do to de-stress over the Christmas period.

“It’s really important to take time for yourself.”

Instead of shelling out on expensive products, she says, you can find a wealth of items in your kitchen cupboards that, with a little know-how, will leave you feeling refreshed.

“Olive oil and salt makes a brilliant exfoliator,” she said. “Just mix it together, rub it on your skin and wash it off. It will also leave your skin moisturised.

“Lavender oil is also very relaxing. Put some in your bath and that will go into your skin and will relax you.”

There are also more unusual concoctions that will give you a boost, one of which she learnt while studying beauty therapy at Havering College, Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch.

“We went in one day and there were just raw eggs in bowls,” she said. “You massage an egg through your hair, leave it for a couple of minutes then rinse. It will leave your hair soft and shiny.

“You can do the same with Guinness, which will help your hair if you have split ends or use curling irons or straighteners. Massage it through, then wash it off.”

If the wear and tear of elbowing shoppers out of the way is starting to show on your complexion, just grab and avocado or an egg, Michaela says.

“They really work to brighten your skin. Just use a mixed-up egg like you would a face wash or mash up an avocado and leave it on your face for 10 minutes.

“It gets a bit messy, so do it over a sink.”

While these are ways to combat the external signs of stress, there are also simple steps you can take to ease the stress itself.

Michaela said: “It’s really important to find time to relax – even if it’s just for five minutes a day. If you are stressed, your body is telling you something is not right. Take a breath or switch off you phone, iPad or TV and take five minutes off.”

Michaela believes this is especially important just before you go to bed so as to ensure a good night’s sleep, leaving you ready to face the next day of shopping in a serene state of mind.

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