The Incredible Edible Egg – Or Not. What exactly is in your egg?

So for the last year or so, Scott has really gone on a healthy food / eat local kick. But even before this, we both went out of our way to buy the “organic, free-range” eggs at the supermarket. And wouldn’t you know it, along comes this article that blows the whole healthy egg thing right out of the water. I’ll tell you what, it is getting very depressing reading about what is going on with our food production in today’s world.

eggs

Eggs are one of the most beneficial foods you can eat, and it’s a shame they’ve been vilified for so long in the United States. In the U. S., roughly 280 million birds give us about 75 billion eggs per year, which is about 10 percent of the world supply.

But not all eggs are created equal.

Eggs from truly organic, free-range chickens are FAR less likely to contain dangerous bacteria such as salmonella, and their nutrient content is also much higher than commercially raised eggs.

The dramatically superior nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free ranging, pastured hens and commercially farmed hens.

If you are eating organically, then you have learned how important the diet and care of an animal is to the quality of its meat, and in this case, their eggs. But have you ever thought about what happens to these eggs AFTER they are collected?

You would think that organic eggs would be your best choice when picking them up at the grocery store. However, most states have laws that make them illegal unless all the eggs that are sold commercially are processed in a way that could damage them.

Some states require that all eggs receive a chlorine bath and mineral oil coating before they are nestled into their cartons.

There are vast differences in how eggs are processed and handled, even under the “certified organic” label.

As it turns out, what happens outside the shell is as important as what happens inside the shell, and that is the focus of this report.

Your Egg’s Journey from Hen to Market

Ideally, eggs should be processed the day after they are laid. The USDA requires processing within 30 days of lay. High quality eggs are processed within seven days of lay.

Egg processing involves the following six steps:

  1. Egg collecting
  2. Cooling
  3. Cleaning/Disinfecting
  4. Candling (a measure for assessing the interior quality of the eggs whereby eggs are held up in front of a high-intensity light and visually examined; among other problems, cracks can be identified that necessitate disposal of the egg)
  5. Grading
  6. Packing/Labeling

It is the cleaning process that you as a consumer should be aware of, because in this step, chemicals and contaminants may be introduced that compromise your eggs’ quality.

Why Eggshells are Like Your Skin

Did you know that, like your skin, eggshells are actually a porous membrane rather than an impermeable barrier?

An eggshell contains approximately 7,500 pores or openings. The outer surface is covered with a waxy cuticle (called the bloom when on a chicken egg), sealing the egg and helping prevent bacteria from entering.

Gases are transferred and moisture is lost through these pores.

When moisture is lost, carbon dioxide is also lost, speeding up the breakdown of the egg.[i] Loss of carbon dioxide causes the egg’s pH to increase, which results in thinning of the albumen.

Why is this important?

Because commercial processing regularly destroys this protective cuticle.

As it turns out, it is standard industry practice to wash chicken eggs. Depending on the method of washing, the cuticle can be easily damaged, which leaves your eggs vulnerable to contamination and faster spoilage. The egg industry knows this, so to replace what Mother Nature put there for good reason, they must coat the egg with something—often mineral oil. It’s akin to adding preservatives to processed foods.

Not only is mineral oil a non-natural agent, but it’s a petroleum product that was never intended for you to eat.

Some egg producers use vegetable oil as a more natural alternative.

If you are a culinary talent, you might be surprised to hear that using eggs whose shells were oiled will prevent those “stiff peaks” from happening, because some percentage of the oil seeps into the egg white.

Not all eggs undergo oiling, but many larger producers do, particularly if they are preparing their eggs for long-distance shipment and/or storage.

According to the “incredible edible egg[ii]” website, about 10 percent of all eggs are oiled. I could find no statistic about what percentage of eggs are cleaned in a way that their cuticle has been wiped out, but I suspect it is much higher than 10 percent.

Like your skin, what’s put ON your egg goes INTO your egg. Meaning, whatever the eggshell comes into contact with can cross over this semi-permeable membrane and end up in your scrambled eggs, from chlorine to mineral oil to dish soap — to salmonella.

Your Organic Eggs May Be Chlorinated or Rinsed in Lye

According to A Guide to On-Farm Processing for Organic Producers: Table Eggs[iii], detergents and other chemicals used for “wet cleaning” eggs must either be non-synthetic or among the allowed synthetics on the National List of allowed non-agricultural substances (205.603 of the National Organic Standard).

These synthetics include:

These agents serve mostly as sanitizers, rather than washing agents.

If chlorine is used at levels over 4 ppm, it must be followed with a clean water rinse at no more than 4 ppm residual levels. Chlorine itself is relatively benign and breaks down to chloride in your body — which is not much different from the chloride ion in table salt.

However, chlorine can interact with organic materials to form highly toxic compounds called DBPs (Disinfection Byproducts), which can be carcinogenic and mutagenic. And eggs are an “organic material,” which bears the question of what chemical interactions are occurring in a chlorinated egg that have yet to be discovered?

Instead of harsh chemicals, the guide cited above recommends cleaning eggs with plain vinegar (mixed with 3 parts water) because it is non-synthetic and quite effective at removing both bacteria and stains on the eggshells (which some people find objectionable).

Some farmers report rinsing eggs very quickly in water, just to dislodge any debris, and believe this is adequate. Others use a dry brushing process — no liquids at all — just a brush, sandpaper, or a loofah sponge.

This dry brushing technique is highly recommended for small producers.

If eggs are rinsed in water, it is very important that the wash water be about 20 degrees warmer than the eggs, and at least 90 degrees F, but not more than 40 degrees above the eggs’ temperature because of the risk of thermal cracking. This proper temperature gradient encourages the contents of the egg to swell and push the dirt out of the pores.

If the water is too cold relative to the egg, the egg can literally “suck in” the washing solution — along with the bacteria in it. Water exposure should be as brief as possible to minimize the potential for contamination, and the eggs dried immediately.

Mineral oil is not listed in the National List of allowed substances.

I think it is unlikely that an organic farmer would choose to use mineral oil, but the regulations are so variable from state to state, and the national guidelines so nebulous, that there is lots of wiggle room.

Scrambled Federal and State Regulations on Eggs

There are different federal and state regulations for egg farmers, depending on what the eggs are intended for.

Eggs that are going to be used in egg products (i.e., those that will be cracked and emptied) are subjected to one set of regulations, and eggs that are sold as “table eggs” or “shell eggs,” which are sold fresh and whole “in the shell,” are subject to another set of regulations.

And then there are state regulations, in addition to federal regulations.

In 1970, Congress passed the Egg Products Inspection Act (administered by the USDA) to ensure that eggs and egg products are safe for consumption. This act imposes specific inspection requirements for both shell eggs and egg products for anyone who sells eggs to retailers (grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.).

In 1972, on-site inspections of all shell egg producers became required quarterly. However, any producer with a flock of less than 3,000 birds is EXEMPT from this act.

Every state has its own specific egg laws, which makes it more complicated to figure out what process your eggs have gone through. Although the USDA does not allow immersion washing (allowing eggs to soak in water), most small producers are not subject to those restrictions.

And most state egg laws do not specify washing methods.

For an extensive list of egg regulatory agencies, you can refer to this USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service “fact sheet.”

Egg Cleaners and Sanitizers

According to the USDA’s publication “Guidance for Shell Egg Cleaners and Sanitizers”[iv]:

“Compounds used to wash and destain shell eggs are potential food additives. Therefore, they are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unfortunately, FDA does not have any published regulations dealing with shell egg cleaning and destaining compounds.”

Leaves it wide open, doesn’t it?

The publication goes on to give some guidelines for egg cleaning chemicals, basically instructing farmers to use substances that are “GRAS” (Generally Recognized as Safe), but these substances are not limited in any way.

Since organic egg producers are interested in producing high-quality eggs, many of them—especially small, local farming operations—have implemented gentle washing methods that don’t compromise the cuticle.

Interestingly, in Europe, Grade A eggs are not washed. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service[v]:

“This practice is a result of research done in the early 1900s that indicated washing eggs before storage resulted in unpredictable and sometimes deleterious results. However, the length of wash time, cleanliness and temperature of the water and the proper use of sanitizers varied widely in these studies.

Older egg production books do not recommend washing eggs at all. In the past, it was important to protect the cuticle because refrigeration was not always possible.”

To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate

Despite what you’ve heard, eggs that are fresh and have an intact cuticle do not need to be refrigerated, as long as you are going to consume them within a relatively short period of time.

In other countries, including most of Europe, eggs are frequently not refrigerated.

In the U.S., refrigeration of eggs became the cultural norm when mass production caused eggs to travel long distances and sit in storage for weeks to months before arriving at your superstore. The general lack of cleanliness of factory farms has increased the likelihood that your eggs have come into contact with pathogens, amplifying the need for disinfection and refrigeration.

Not only that, but as a culture, we are rather “germ phobic” here in the U.S., compared to other countries.

So, IF your eggs are very fresh, and IF their cuticle is intact, you do not have to refrigerate them. According to Hilary Thesmar, director of the American Egg Board’s Egg Safety Center[vi]:

“The bottom line is shelf life. The shelf life for an unrefrigerated egg is 7 to 10 days and for refrigerated, it’s 30 to 45 days. A good rule of thumb is one day at room temperature is equal to one week under refrigeration.”

Eggs purchased from grocery stores are typically already three weeks old, or older. USDA certified eggs must have a pack date on the carton, and a sell-by date. Realize that the eggs were often laid many days prior to the pack date.

For cracking the egg carton dates code, click here.

For more information about how to maximize the health benefits of your eggs, please review my earlier article.

Hello, Big Farma

About 95 percent of the eggs produced in the U.S. come from gigantic egg factories housing millions of hens under one roof.

According to the American Egg Board:

  • Prior to World War II, most egg production came from farm flocks of less than 400 hens. By the early 1960s, technological innovations caused a shift from small farms to huge commercial operations.
  • There are currently about 245 egg companies with flocks of 75,000 or more.
  • Of these 245 companies, 60 have at least one million laying hens, and 12 have more than 5 million hens.

You can only imagine how difficult — if not impossible — it is to keep 5 million hens healthy and happy, under one roof… a clucking nightmare!

This is just another reason you should buy from your local organic farmer.

According to Robert Plamondon’s Poultry Pages[vii], the most common sources of dirty eggs are the following:

  • Hens who sleep and poop in the nest boxes
  • Hens who enter the nests with muddy feet
  • Broken eggs (from insufficient nest litter, or too many hens jammed together)
  • Traffic (too many hens coming and going in a small area)

It is much easier to produce clean eggs than to clean dirty eggs.

Preventing dirty eggs is best done through better management of the hens and their nesting spaces, which greatly reduces the need for egg cleaning in the first place.

As the guide states, “Disease prevention in organic systems starts with clean birds.” Your egg farmer should be paying attention to proper nutrition, clean water, adequate housing space, and good ventilation to reduce stress on the hens and support their immunity.

Crowded conditions in factory farms are a major reason why so many commercial eggs have to be bathed in caustic chemicals in order to be “safe” for you to eat!

How Can You Guarantee Clean, Fresh Eggs?

So, how can you tell if your eggs have been washed in chlorine or lye, or in some other chemical, or coated with mineral oil?

You certainly can’t tell by looking at them.

The only way to know if your eggs have been washed or oiled (and using what agents) is to ask the producer — and the only way to do that is to buy from small local farmers you have direct contact with.

It is important to know where your food comes from. And if you don’t ask, they won’t tell you.

The key here is to buy your eggs locally.  About the only time I purchase eggs from the store is when I am travelling or for some reason I miss my local egg pickup.

But finding high quality organic eggs locally is FAR easier than finding raw milk as virtually every rural area has individuals with chickens. If you live in an urban area visiting the local health food stores is typically the quickest route to finding the high quality local egg sources.

Farmers markets are another great way to meet the people who produce your food. With face-to-face contact, you can get your questions answered and know exactly what you’re buying. Better yet, visit the farm — ask for a tour. If they have nothing to hide, they should be eager to show you their operation.

Remember, clean and happy chickens lead to healthy eggs.

Dr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, Mercola.com. You can learn the hazardous side effects of OTC Remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his Report Page. http://www.mercola.com/js/citation.js


[i]Fresh Farm Eggs—Marketing and Regulations” (Agricultural and Natural Resources Fact Sheet #511), Washington State University Cooperative Extension for King County 

[ii] American Egg Board (AEB)

[iii] Fanatico, A and Keupper G. “A Guide to on-farm processing for organic producers: Table eggs” 

[iv]Guidance for shell egg cleaners and sanitizers,” USDA Regulations and Policies, Food Safety and Inspection Service

[v] Fanatico A. and Conner B. (2009) “Small-scale egg handling,” National Sustainable Agricultural Service (ATTRA Publication #IP348/346) 

[vi]Storing eggs differs in Europe, America” (May 6, 2009) 

[vii] Plamondon R.  “Egg quality/egg washing” 

Eva Kerschbaumer, ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare – 17 Brilliant Avenue – Pittsburgh, PA 15215 – (412) 782-3888 – www.esspa.net

Jamie Oliver strikes a nerve – TED prize = food education

I am not sure how I found the link to this (I get over 300 emails every day about all kinds of things that direct me to all kinds of different stories, links and websites) but for some reason, this particular video grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Most of us recognize Jamie Oliver from TV (I think he is the Naken Chef guy). He is kind of the anti-Gordon Ramsey. I always liked his “down-home” charm and the way he carries himself (very approachable) so I was intrigued to see what he could possibly be up to that would win a TED prize.

For those who don’t know, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The global TED Conference, held annually in the spring, is the heart of TED (there are other TED conferences held on a regional level). More than a thousand people now attend, the event sells out a year in advance, and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter pieces of content, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn’t work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole.

So back to Jamie Oliver and his “wish”. I think the best way to describe it is to take a moment and listen to Jamie explain it himself. Please, please, please – I implore you to indulge me and listen to this short video. It is filled with information that is absolutely essential to living a healthy life and helping others do the same. I wanted to bring this to your attention because as much as we care about making people look and feel great, ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare can only do so much “exterior” work. Facials, Massages, Manicures, Pedicures, Etc. are all great things that (when properly applied) can help you really be healthier. But if you are constantly filling your insides with pounds of foodstuffs that are not healthy (or in some cases 100% synthetic), then everything that we can do to help you on the outside is being undermined from the inside BY YOU. It just doesn’t make sense so I was enthralled when I saw Jamie’s video and very pleased to hear that he won the 2010 TED prize.

Here is the video of Jamie Oliver’s prize winning presentation:

I have to tell you that beginning around June of 2009, I really was not feeling well AND I was putting on some extra pounds and adding some inches to my waistline. The problem was (and still is) that I LOVE TO EAT, and I have always been able to eat everything and anything I wanted at any time without worrying about gaining any weight (I was a good althelete with a high-metabolism). So beginning that summer, overnight I decided to stop eating red meat and highly processed foods like pizza, pasta, deserts and fried foods. After talking to some knowledgable people, I fine-tuned this new diet to include 100% locally-raised, grass-fed beef and lamb from Pittsburgh area farms, cut out almost all chicken, eat fish and seafood when I am out at restaurants and started making smoothies out of everything I could get my hands on. BTW – the next post I will do will include me making a smoothie because anyone can duplicate my process and it works incredible well.

The result of all of this is that I lost about 20 pounds (I now weigh less than I did when I was 18) am back down to a 33 inch waistline and (most important of all) I feel more energetic and healthier. Added bonus, I don’t eat out as much and I spend a lot less on food (Since I basicaaly am throwing everything into a blender and drinking smoothies everyday).

So, once again in case you missed it, I urge you to watch Jamie Oliver’s TED video and make a promise to yourself to change the way you think about (and eat) the food you are putting in your (and your kids) mouth. We are definately going to start including more of these types of tips and strategies in our Spa Experiences because our mission is much more than just looking better, the mission at ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare is all about BEING better.

Spa You Soon,

Scott Kerschbaumer

ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare

Celebrating 8 Years of Spa Success spent with some Walt Disney Institute Training

First allow me to say on behalf of my wife, and ESSpa Kozmetika CEO, Eva and all of team-members and other stakeholders – THANK YOU (times infinity) to every single one of our guests who have visited our spa (in person or virtually via our website) over the last 8 years. It is because of your generousity, friendship and trust that ESSpa Kozmetika has been able to grow and continues to innovate and lead while staying true to our traditions.

To celebrate 8 years of operating a (we think) successful business, Eva and I decided to spend the anniversary of our original opening date (02/02/02) with an intensive, all-day educational training seminar with a group of executives, cast-members and facilitators from the Disney Institute. These incredible people generously shared their processes, programs and protocols (plus a little magic) that the Walt Disney Company uses to create the best customer experience on planet earth.

What does this mean to you. It means that Eva and I and our entire team of spa professionals will not rest on our laurels or our international awards. We are not satisfied with being named the “Best in Pittsburgh” or even the “3rd Best Spa in America”. It means that Eva and I will go to unusual degrees to ensure that every time a guest walks through our doors (or calls us on the phone, or visits our website) WE will exceed their expectations.

So, as we say thank you for helping us achieve 8 years of growth and success, we also say to all who are listening – “wait til you see what we are going to do tomorrow.” To reinforce our feelings about this, I invite you to watch the short video below.

Sincerely hoping to exceed your expectations every day – Scott Kerschbaumer

Tour the spa remodeling project with Esspa owner Eva Kerschbaumer

Right, so every year we close ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare for the first week to make a few improvements to our spa. To many, with only 5 days available in the middle of winter, you might think that the improvements would be minor little fixes. To those who know us, well lets just say we are a little bit crazy – because we basically blow up the entire place and build entirely new additions to our spa……..each and every year. And to really make us (and everyone who help us) go absolutely nuts, we do this all in 7 days or less (this year we started work on January 4th and reopened for business on January 11th) AND we really don’t write down any concrete plans (I do plan things out in my head but I hate writing things down – because I am king of the procrastinators and a little bit lazy). And besides, like I keep saying to my builders, as long as they keep finishing on time what the ideas in my head are, why do I need to waste time writing things down?

So take a moment and watch this lovely video as Eva takes you on a tour of the storm before the calm as we remodel ESSpa Kozmetika into Version 8.0.

Remodeling the remodel at ESSpa Kozmetika – Pittsburgh’s Top Day Spa

Two weeks ago we completely gutted and remodeled our pedicure area during our week-long New Year vacation. The finished result was a beautiful room complete with glass mosaic tiles; a vintage fireplace mantle; a 12 foot high, dry-stack stone chimney and deep, colorful, sari-like cushions. Everything was perfect………except one small thing. The dimensions of the “stadium seating” area were off just enough to make it next to impossible for the pedicure specialists to comfortably polish our spa guest’s feet. So what do we do. Other places might try to “band-aid” the problem by using recliners or extra pillows or such. But that is not good enough for ESSpa Kozmetika. So Sunday night, beginning at 5pm, our crew of dedicated construction professionals from Krain Construction will arrive en masse prepared to completely rebuild the pedicure seating area in such a way to make everyone (both guests and staff) able to enjoy our pedicures as much as possible. You might ask why the crew is showing up to start work at 5pm on a Sunday. The answer is that we are opened for regular business hours on Sundays from 11am until 5pm. And considering that we will reopen for our regular business hours at 10am Monday morning, Sunday night is going to be one long, stressful yet ultimately rewarding moment in time.

I will film it for you as I am sure that Eva, Chris “The Englishman” Bladen (our good friend and helpful handyman [and financial guru]) and the Krain crew will provide hours of exciting action and commentary for your entertainment.

So check back soon and see how this most recent project turns out – there are lots of moving pieces and everyone has a theory of what exactly we should do so it really should be an interesting night.

Cheers,

Scott and Eva Kerschbaumer

Happy New Year + Out with the Old & In with the New @ ESSpa Kozmetika

 

Hello All. 2009 turned out to be our best year ever and as tradition would have it, ESSpa Kozmetika will be temporarily closing our doors from January 1st until January 10th to give our Staff some well-deserved time-off and allow us to continue to add to already unique and welcoming physical plant.

Here are some of the things that we will be working on during the break:

Adding a new treatment room.

Remodeling and repainting existing treatment rooms.

Upgrading all equipment in all treatment rooms.

Remodeling and upgrading the pedicure salon.

Upgrading our technology with the addition of new, high-speed computers, new phones and other new equipment to enhance guest relations and improve your ESSpa experience.

And there will surely be a few other additions that you will just have to keep an eye out for when we reopen next week.

Thank you again for a very successful 2009 and here is to an even more enchanting 2010.

Best Regards,

Eva and Scott Kerschbaumer

ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare

17 Brilliant Avenue, Aspinwall, PA 15215, (412) 782-3888

www.esspa.net

Animoto.com

On Saturday, December 4th – ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skin Care & Spa welcomed Cynthia and her mom and her Aunt to our spa for 4 hours of relaxing, pampering and a healthy break after the excitment of meeting and practicing with the Super Bowl Champion Steelers at their facility on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Cyndie is an amazing, sweet and gracious young lady who has been fighting lukemia. The KidsWish Network received Cydie’s wish to meet the Pittsburgh Steelers and sent her and her family to visit Pittsburgh and spend the weekend with the team and enjoy a wonderful trip together. We are honored that KidWish selected ESSpa Kozmetika as the place to send Cyndie and her family after meeting the team to relax and enjoy the rest of her trip to Pittsburgh. It was a very special treat for us to meet someone of Cyndie’s caliber and we send to her and her family our most sincere wishes for a long and happy life and for a very Merry Christmas and even Happier New Year. Thank you KidsWish and God Bless you Cyndie.

Sincerely,
Eva and Scott Kerschbaumer
ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare

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ESSpa Kozmetika Spa to open at Midnight on 11/27 – for Black Friday BOGO Sales Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)Nov 21, 2009 – “The 3rd Best Spa in America” will offer deals from midnight until 2 a.m. and from 9am until 8pm to accommodate customers throughout the big shopping day.

PITTSBURGH (ESSpa.com) — For some Black Friday shoppers, 7 years of opening at 4 a.m. just wasn’t early enough, so ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Spa has upped the ante.

The nationally-known skincare establishment announced it will open its Aspinwall location at midnight after Thanksgiving Dinner and start the shopping all-nighter with its iconic Cardapalooza Buy One Get One Deal and a host of other special Gift sales.

“Black Friday is our biggest single sales day of the year,” said Eva Kerschbaumer, Founder, CEO and Esthetic Director for ESSpa Kozmetika. “This will be our 7th year for our Black Friday BOGO Event and every year we have seen more and more customers taking advantage of these special deals so this year we’re really pulling out all the stops for them to save and live healthy.”

For the past 6 years, ESSpa Kozmetika has opened its doors at the crack of dawn on Black Friday. This year, Eva and her husband Scott will open the doors at 12 Midnight to provide this unique healthy BOGO opportunity to more people than ever before. “We asked our guests what they would prefer,” said Scott Kerschbaumer, COO and Director of Marketing. “We set up an online poll and responded to our customers’ request to open earlier than past years. Beginning at 12:01am, when someone buys a Gift Card, we will give them an additional 100% Bonus Gift Certificate.”

According to the Spa Owners and customers of previous Black Friday Events, There are no limits to how much (or how little) a customer can spend. If someone buys a $1000 Gift Card they will receive a $1000 Bonus Certificate.

ESSpa Kozmetika will offer other special Gift Card BOGO deals on Black Friday when the spa opens for regular hours at 9am. The Kerschbaumers also said that the first 25 customers will also have the ability to purchase Buy One Get One Free Spa Club Memberships.

ESSpa will continue to have additional sales throughout Black Friday that will extend until the close of business at 8pm, such as 50% and 30% Buy One Get One Free Bonus Certificates for purchasers of standard Gift Cards..

And another new offering this year designed to leverage the social networks of its clients, this local spa will also provide 4 complimentary Gift Invitation Cards, to everyone who buys a Gift Card between Midnight and 2am.

When asked why someone in a turkey-dinner-induced coma would visit a dayspa at Midnight, Mr. Kerschbaumer said “When you can come out to a local dayspa at Midnight, spend $100 and walk out with $420 in Free Bonus Certificates, that is a deal worth staying up for!”

Indeed it is.

For More Information Contact:
Scott Kerschbaumer
ESSpa Kozmetika Organic SkinCare
17 Brilliant Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
412-401-4219 cell
412-782-3888 spa
http://www.esspa.com
news@esspa.com

Why get a treatment @ ESSpa Kozmetika?

So a friend of mine recently took a trip to New York and her friends decided to make a stop in one of the many salons that line the streets of Brooklyn. Her friends frequent these places because they are quick, always have an open seat and are very inexpensive. That raised the question, why come to ESSpa?

At a quick in-and-out salon, the focus is not really on your relaxation or your enjoyment or your health, but rather about performing the service as quickly as possible. At the end of the day, these places sole focus is on squeezing as many people through their chairs as possible – its all about volume and turnover. At ESSpa Kozmetika, we are first and foremost honest and I would be lying if I said we were not interested in making a profit. But that is about the only thing we have in common with 99% of the other establishments in the beauty industry.

Lets talk about our Unique Selling Point (or USP as my husband likes to call it). From the day we opened, I have always approached the treatments that we offer at ESSpa Kozmetika as part of a healthy lifestyle. 7 years ago, the idea that spa treatments should (or could) be part of a personal preventative health maintenance program was not nearly as hip or fashionable (or even clearly understood) as it is today – especially in Pittsburgh. Now, after walking the walk and leading by example and opening our doors, tables and treatments to everyone regardless of age, gender or position – the industry has begun to look at ESSpa Kozmetika as what the definition of a successful and sustainable dayspa should be.

Rest assured that we are dedicated to making your entire spa experience something that you will happily remember – regardless of whether you visit for a simple eyebrow wax or six hours of rejuvenating transformative treatments! Even though our focus is on your overall health, the atmosphere of our spa is the complete opposite of clinical or typical. Huge trump d’olie murals and actual storefronts with real cedar roof shakes, leaded glass windows and heirloom furniture from my husband’s family help to create a soothing, stress-free environment that bekons you to come in, sit down, linger and enjoy a cool glass of lemon water or choose from our selection of herbal teas or fresh fruit – both before and after your treatment. Our technicians work very hard to make your treatment as healthy and as relaxing as possible, whether it is a Swedish massage or a body waxing. At ESSpa, our team prides themselves at getting to personally know each of our guests – and it is our goal to make our treatments accesible to every member of your family. All of our treatments are individually customized to focus on your needs and desires on the day of your treatment because we understand that everyone’s skin and body has unique requirements that might change with age, environment and the seasons. We also work hard at staying “green” with all of our products for treatments and retail…something that you will not find anywhere else, an achievement recognized by our membership as a Founding Seed Spa of The Green Spa Network (one of only 12 such establishments in all of North America and the only member in the State of Pennsylvania.

Our team has definitely proven themselves over the past few years. Even within the last 12 months, ESSpa Kozmetika has been named “The 3rd Best Spa in America,” as well as Pittsburgh Magazine’s “Best Organic Spa” and “Best Skincare.” In honor of this, we have recently introduced 7 new treatments that I would like to share with you:

7. Hands and Feet are often the most overworked and overlooked when it comes to our personal care. So first up is our MojiToes Pedicure. This exceptional treatment utilizes a steaming bath of muddled mint, sugar, fresh limes and aged, Caribbean rum in addition to all of the other organic scrubs, masks, paraffin and other lotions and potions to create the perfect pedicure. When researching nail services you need to be very careful. For instance, our base manicure and pedicure both include a heated, aromatherapy-infused paraffin treatment as well as a relaxing massage. Double your pleasure and have a Mojito Manicure as well for a total of $120 (for both). If you don’t have time for the full Duo, call (412) 782-3888 and ask about our Express Petite Nail Treatments.

6. Continuing on a theme, our Fresh Steaming Greens Wrapless Body Wrap is just what the doctor ordered to recharge tired, sun damaged skin. The great thing about this “wrap” is that we don’t wrap you at all. After a thorough full body dry brushing, you are covered in a rich sea-based mud mixed with fresh-brewed, organic green tea and fresh-picked mint. Then we cover you with our exclusive Steamy Wonder Tent (your head remains uncovered so you only your body gets the heat benefits) that provides soothing, aromatic heated steam to open pores and allow greater penetration of all the essential nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. This is simply an incredible treatment that you cannot get anywhere else. Add a Citrus Exfoliating Body Polish (total for both only $180) for the ultimate body rejuvenation.
 
5. One of our more effective “high-tech meets tradition” Facial services is the MicroSonic Stimulating Skin Scrub. This enhanced treatment can be scheduled as a stand-alone “express” treatment (perfect for a quick pick-me-up) or added on to one of our “traditional” facial treatments for the most dramatic results. The technology behind this therapy utilizes an ultrasonic oscillation greater than 24,000 pulses per minute to quickly and painlessly  “vaporize” the dead cells of the epidermis, clearing the way for deeper penetration and greater absorption of enhanced serums and nutrient-laden toniques, masques and tinctures.

4. Few things are as quick to deliver positive health benefits as a Therapeutic Massage Treatment at ESSpa Kozmetika but almost all of our hour long therapies are available for under $100 (and you actually get to stay on the table for a full 60 minutes, unlike many spas where an “hour” massage is really only 50 minutes). We have a massage for any budget. And now, we are proud to introduce the incredibly soothing (and very difficult to find) Therapeutic Bamboo Massage. This relaxing and relieving therapy uses polished, organically harvested bamboo to relieve pain, clear away stress and soothe stiff joints. Ask around about the training other therapists have received in Bamboo Massage – as our specialist Dori comes to us from Canyon Ranch with specific certification in this unusal modality.

3. Anyone is more than welcome to visit us and enjoy a complimentary skincare consultation with no further obligation or purchase necessary and then relax in our very private, very quiet relaxation sanctuary. Hey THAT is a FREE Treatment. All you have to do is call (412) 782-3888 to schedule (limited appointments available).
2. Perhaps the most interesting treatment (and one of the most ancient) is our new Black and Gold Facial. This “treatment of queens” is itself an upgrade to our ultimate facial treatment by incorporating a 100% pure 24 karat gold mask (each guest gets a new, never-used gold mask that you may take home with you) to help soothe tired skin, balance tone and texture, lock in moisture and important nutrients while acting as an antiseptic barrier to shield your skin from pollution and other environmental stressors.

1. And last but certainly not least is our brand new Pore Refining Blueberry Facial Peel. Where other spas might commonly use a harsh glycolic or chemical acid to peel away layers of your skin (leaving your face red, sore, flaky and irritated), this natural treatment uses organic, boidynamically grown and harvested blueberrys, raspberrys and blackberries to thoroughly slough away the outer statrum corneum (epidermis) leaving you with a smooth, glowing, dewey, “fountain of youth” countenance. Ask to add this peel to any of our facial treatments and enjoy the most incredible of results without any kind of invasive surgery, injections or “down-time”. But be forwarned, this peel does have a bit of a kick to it when used at its most undiluted concentration.

I invite you to try each and every one of these amazing treatments (or stick to your favorites)!

Spa You Soon,
Eva Sztupka-Kerschbaumer
ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare
17 Brilliant Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
(412) 782-3888
www.esspa.com

The Best Staff in the Day Spa and Salon Industry

What makes ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare so successful and keeps our guests both happy AND coming back again and again? It is a combination of many things but at the end of the day IT comes down to one very important thing above all others. IT is our TEAM. Comprised of professionals from all over the reiong, country and the world, our staff is absolutely the BEST in the business. Our team of highly-trained therapists exceed the highest expectations and would be welcome additions at any spa in the world (in fact, many of our therapists have come to us from some of the most well-known spa resorts in the world). Therapists come to us because Eva takes the time to teach them her unique and ultra-effective Hungarian methods and because we have created a fun, friendly atmosphere where the best in the world can thrive without stress and a corporate mentality. I invite you to watch this short video that includes only a few of our great employees. AND to them, Eva and I say “THANK YOU!”

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