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Erica Cornwall

High-frequency skincare alchemist, Diana Ralys, has a different bag of tricks than your average esthetician: she creates radiance with natural ingredients, reiki, passion and love.

The skincare expert felt disappointed in the ingredients and/or efficacy of most of the products she tried, which inspired her to create her own concoctions. Then, her house was destroyed in a fire, which left her husband with second-degree burns. She treated him using her own non-toxic, 100% natural, water-free, small batch elixirs, which she quickly realized worked for both severely damaged and everyday skin. Those products have become the basis—along with energy work and more—for the skin and body treatments offered at her membership-based Santa Monica space, Radiance Wellness Spa.

I, personally, swear by Diana’s treatments, so I sat down with her to learn more about her methods and get some skincare tips:

Erica Cornwall: Why did you create water-free products?

Diana Ralys: I don’t use water as a base in my products for few reasons:

First, water molds quickly, so it requires heavier, chemical preservatives. Second, water molecules are large and only penetrate the epidermis, which amounts to the two top layers of the skin. It’s the dermis—which is below the epidermis—that holds collagen, elastin and melanosites. That’s where we need to deliver active skincare ingredients in order to affect new healthy cell production. (For example, high-quality aloe vera juice molecules are smaller and can penetrate about seven layers deep.) Lastly, water does not have beneficial properties when applied topically to the skin. My products contain 100% active ingredients. No one should pay for water infused with some active ingredients. 

EC: How do you recommend people care for their skin at home?

DR: Your everyday routine must involve skincare products that are right for your skin type and behavior. Self-care should also include mini facials with exfoliation and masks once or twice a week. There are myriad beauty tools available on the market: I, myself, use a rose quartz facial massager, an LED/Infrared light and a micro-needle dermal roller to stimulate the tissue and promote product penetration.

EC: How important is drinking water and eating healthy to your skin?

DR: It depends on an individual lifestyle. Exercise, caffeinated drinks, spicy food and alcohol will require extra water consumption to balance hydration in the body. 

Food is fuel for the body to build new cells. We are what we eat—literarily, so I recommend avoiding highly processed foods if you want beautiful skin. Allergies, sensitivities and/or intolerances to certain foods are another factor. As a side effect, people can experience skin behaviors like acne, eczema, psoriasis, redness, discoloration, swelling, hives or rosacea. Only treating the symptoms—with chemical peels, lasers and prescription medications—can take a lifetime and be very frustrating. That’s why I studied nutrition and got certified as a “Holistic Drugless Practitioner.”

Lastly, there are food categories that provoke inflammation in the body: dairy, gluten and processed sugar are big ones. Many of my clients report that their skin issues disappear after adjusting their diet, even they’re only avoiding dairy around their monthly menstrual cycle. 

Sugar causes glaciation, which shows up as brown spots. I recommend a plant-based, vegan diet with green vegetable juice and super food smoothies for optimum health. 

EC: How do you incorporate reiki into your treatments?

DR: I started using reiki back in 1992. Energy healing has played a huge part in my life since then. From helping my kids with minor discomforts to miraculously healing larger issues, it remains my primary tool to help with everything.

Eventually, I incorporated reiki into my professional practice. Besides offering sessions with crystals and aromatherapy at the spa, I also infuse it into my skincare products and facials. Everything in universe is connected by energy. We are energetic beings, as well.

As humans, we experience positive and negative emotions (like anxiety). Medical professionals agree that many diseases are caused or triggered by stress. Can we find and surgically remove stress from our bodies? No, we cannot. It’s not in our physical cells; it is energy. So, it makes sense to work with energy to heal traumas and stress. I have tremendous success using reiki to help my clients heal their physical bodies, emotional discomforts and skin issues.

EC: Can you tell us a bit about Enkidu meditation?

DR: The Enkidu light machine is an audio-visual device that’s designed to take you into a deep meditative state by combining three therapies: light, sound and brainwaves. I have been meditating for many years. It’s the best way to balance energy centers (or chakras), clear the mind, lower stress and heal. I can choose a session in the Enkidu machine and all these therapies work at the same time to give me the benefits I desire.

EC: What is the benefit of infrared sauna usage?

DR: Our full-spectrum infrared treatments are unlike any other saunas out there, including other infrared saunas. Infrared technology heats your body’s internal core temperature, allowing your body to sweat and detox from the inside out. Our booths are full-spectrum, which means that they utilize near, mid and far rays. Having those extra wavelengths allows for the different functions and specialized results. We have 6 pre-set functions: Anti-Aging, Weight Loss, Pain Relief, Body Detox, Relaxation and Cardio Health.

EC: A percentage of all sales of services and products goes to the DRSH Cancer Fund. Please tell us about that.

DR: My husband lost his father, mother, sister and brother to cancer. I have strong compassion for every person who has ever had or currently has the disease. Two-percent of total sales are contributed to our DRSH fund to give complimentary services to those affected by cancer.

EC: What is the most difficult skin care case you have faced and how did you overcome it for your client?

DR: In my 14-year experience as a skin therapist, I’ve had numerous serious cases. A few years ago, when my house burned to ashes, my husband got second-degree burns on his feet, hands and face. Using only a few of my products, I was able to heal his skin in only eight days. After that experience, using the same combination of products, I helped to heal a chemical peel burn, recover skin from severe laser resurfacing damage and even speed up the healing process after skin resurfacing surgery.

My most recent successful story was when client came to me with raw skin patches on her face that were not healing for six months. After only one facial treatment with oxygen infusion, LED light therapy, Jet serum infusion and reiki, my client's skin healed overnight. After a few days, no one could even see where the spots had been.

EC: What is your personal health routine or ritual? 

DR: Personally I follow 99% vegan plant based diet. 1% non-vegan is when I travel or eat out, there might be ingredients used in food preparation that are not vegan. I meditate regularly, mostly daily with few exceptions. My daily routine starts with freshly made green vegetable juice followed by superfood smoothie. My clients were asking for our recipes, so my daughter Kristina and I wrote and published the book "Cheers to Health". I love spending time in nature. Favorite physical activity is walking and hiking. Of course I use only my own skincare products daily and receive facials at my spa. Try to use infrared saunas several times a week. Through all my daily activities I practice self-love.

EC: Explain the integration of balancing physical, emotional and spiritual needs for your clients?

DR: Seeing, feeling and treating body as a whole unit is my vision. No one can truly feel 100% healthy without being healthy in their physical body, mind and spirit. Stress and repressed emotions can cause physical health issues, including the skin appearance. And it goes both ways. Toxins in the body from pore eating habits or consuming recreational drugs or alcohol will affect body physically, spiritually and emotionally.

EC: How do you measure your own health and happiness?

DR: I am not about perfection. I don’t even own a scale to check my weight. I look in the mirror and I say, “Diana, you are beautiful; I love you!”

When I am not able to sleep well, my patience is lacking and/or my skin looks tired, I know I need to detox my body, clear my mind and heal my energy. Our natural state of being is healthy, happy and loving.

EC: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” – what is your personal process?

DR: For me, to “Live The Process” means living the life I suggest others live—walking the talk, in other words. There is always a way to learn something new, to evolve into a new level of consciousness.

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