Many of you will have seen the posts I was putting up last week on our Facebook and instagram about osea island, and I thought I would write a blog about it for you.
Dermalogica have always offered congresses for us, they usually happen around every 3-4 years. Typically they are a huge event where dermalogica stockists from all over the world go to. This one was more for the uk, however the talks were taped and will be d-streamed to other therapists in other countries for training.
Congress is about learning new things such as what’s new in our industry and where it’s going, making new friends and reconnecting with old.
I loved the fact this one was so close to home and only a couple of days away as I have never been away from my kids before.
I have to be honest here, I am not a camper or a glamper so a tent no matter how pretty or big, is to me .... still a tent! Being a dermalogica key account I was lucky enough to get early bird booking and as I sat looking at that screen my finger kept avoiding the tent and the shared room options and kept heading to the most expensive one, a room and bathroom to myself. ( I actually gave up looking at it and went to do something else before adopting my general oh sod it just do it polly you haven’t been away yourself in years) why is it as women and mother’s in particular every time we look to treat ourselves we have an internal battle to “justify” why we are worth it! I mean we work hard, we constantly put everyone in the family before ourselves we spend goodness only knows how much on our kids various things but when it comes to us we are ooh I love that, but I don’t know, I don’t really need it and then we go away and regret the fact we didn’t get/do it in the first place. It’s crazy if anyone need a treat/ downtime, goodness it’s us!
Fast forward to the day I was leaving and My daughter was in bits at me being away for a couple of days meanwhile I was excited and struggling with the idea that i didn’t feel the mother’s guilt because quite honestly I was getting a couple of days to just be me! (And 7 years is a long time to not have that me time away from the clutter and chores of everyday life.)
A short plane ride to Stansted and out to the coach for the hour long journey to osea. This seemed so short as I met Belinda on the coach (who was my first ever dermalogica rep when I set Neroli up and now a stockist) and we had a good natter catching up. It’s testament to how big congress is that I didn’t see her again until Monday night even though we had been keeping an eye out for each other.
And so we arrived and I feel I need to give you a wee run down on this little island as not one person knew of it. (even a friend who has been in tourism over 20 years had to google it) It is in the estuary of the river black water, Essex close to Maldon. It’s around 380 acres and is privately owned by Nigel Frieda (John Frieda’s brother) it’s becoming well known for celebrity weekend parties as it’s not easy to get to however anyone can book and stay there. Until 2010 there was a rehab clinic on the island which Amy wine house and mark Owen from take that stayed at.
The island itself is gorgeous, quaint old buildings with modern touches give a wonderful shabby chic atmosphere. I loved the fact random bicycles were just lying around for you to get on and take a cycle at your leisure.
We got a goody bag on arrival with our lanyard with where we were staying. I was staying in the manor beach house 2 and it was lovely. It had a cosy open plan living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms with their own bathrooms, old 4 poster beds that I had to jump off they were so high and an old fashioned toilet where the cistern and flush are up on the wall. ( these always make me think of my nanny and grandfathers old house in Durham that had an old fashioned outdoor toilet!) The views from the living room were stunning looking out over the water and they kindly put milk in the fridge for my tea habit, many teas (and other things) were consumed while looking at that view!
Our first night started with a beach bbq at the Manor House, a great way to meet people and dermalogica thoughtfully gave each of us a hoodie to layer up and keep warm with. Burgers, Prosecco and sweeties including giant marshmallows to toast made the evening go with a swing. We even had a live singer providing background entertainment.
Monday started early at 6.30 where we had the option of meditation, yoga or Thai chi before the presentations started. I have always been interested to try Thai chi and I can honestly say I loved it. I managed to do it both mornings as the sun rose which was an amazing experience, it’s something I need to add into my life. As I “sat on my legs” watching the sun come up I felt my shoulders go down. A quick breakfast and it was off to the bomb factory for the days line up which included Aurelian Lis the CEO of dermalogica, Tony Durham, Mathew Divaris and Dr Angela Murphy, all hosted by Sally Penford who has been with dermalogica uk as long as I can remember.
I won’t bore you with everything we learned as a quick rundown. social media, why the internet won’t take over the high street, what makes us buy things, the new science and technology in products and why human connection is key. I thought I would bullet point some of the things I thought were interesting for you. ( if you want to know more feel free to catch me in salon)
- by 2020 people will be talking more to bots than their spouse, and AI will take over for customer services
- your skin has a sense of smell
- your body tries not to use its brain as it uses up nutrients that the body then has to replenish.
- the more you see something the more you like it even if initially you didn’t like it
- special cleansing gel was the first cleanser to be used with water and step away from cold cream cleansers.
- dermalogica have to date won 324 product awards
-17% of cancers have now been linked to bacteria as has type 2 diabetes
- you can look 2.5 years younger if you fall asleep quickly
- s epidermidis is a good bacteria on our skin and new product technology will help to keep these stable on our skin
- 5-7lbs of our body weight is bacteria and fungus ( I know it’s a bit gross but still fascinating)
Day one rounded off with Prosecco, street food, Prosecco, dancing and yup you guessed it more Prosecco! Day 2 followed with a great presentation from Sarah Jossell who is an award winning journalist and editor for style supplement on where she sees beauty going and what people are looking for. It was really interesting to listen to and gave me some great ideas for you. We also went over our new pro power peel which is launching in February and Sharon and I are lucky to have ready tried. A final heavier presentation about our evolution and how we are going into the 4th industrial revolution.
Hopefully you have managed to bear with me and read this far I know I am a total geek when it comes to all things skin but I think you will see a massive shift in how your skincare works over the next year or 2 and I’m very proud to work with a company that helps to lead the skincare industry into its next generation.
Another theme that reoccurred over both days and is worth mentioning is disconnection. Interestingly this was something the headteacher of my children’s school touched on at the start of term. Look out for a separate blog post on this there’s some really interesting and scary facts I have to share with you.
I have to end by giving a big shout to my awesome house mate Corina. A lovely lady who introduced me to her friends, helped me get drunk and have some great chats about the trials of being a mum, running a business and all the info we learned. (not while drunk) 2 and a bit days just didn’t seem long enough but a lovely ending leaving the island to a stunning sunset.