Monday, March 31, 2008

PETER THOMAS ROTH Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Sunscreen Mist SPF15

Peter Thomas Roth's Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Sunscreen Mist SPF15 is a nice light sun protection that works well for active people who appreciate an easy method of application. This fragrance free sunscreen eliminates the heavy, greasy feeling found in many sun protection products. The benzophenone offers both UVA and UVB protection, an absolute must in sunscreens. This product does not offer many ingredients to benefit the skin in other ways, but this is not necessarily a negative as its light feel will make it a hit. Even though advertisements suggest it is sweat-proof and water resistant, we would like to remind individuals who run, work out, or swim in the sun to always reapply. The comfortable mist formula will help speed up an accurate reapplication process. It is said to be dermatologist, clinically, and allergy tested. While it is not a treatment product, keep in mind there are some great serums that could be successfully applied underneath the sunscreen to give your skin an extra boost.
$28 for 8 oz US/ (237 ml Canada)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sunscreens: Part 2

10 Important Sunscreen Facts
1. Modest sun exposure has positive benefits. UVB rays help the body produce Vitamin D to build healthy bones, boost immune function, help fight prostate cancer, assist in premenstrual syndrome, and provide a healthy outlook on life. A study in 2003 reported most Americans are undernourished in Vitamin D. Having said that, an eight-ounce serving of milk provides 100 IU of vitamin D.

2. The Academy of Dermatology states a sunscreen should be at least an SPF 15. The SPF number system is easy to figure out. Example: Rose feels a burning sensation without wearing sun protection after 10 minutes of sun exposure, her minimum erythemic dose. A sunscreen with an SPF15 will give her 150 minutes of expected protection (SPF15 x10 minutes = 150 minutes) providing she is not swimming and drying off the protection, or working out and sweating off the protection. The maximum exposure is 32 times your minimum erythemic dose, meaning that Rose needs to cover up or get out of the sun after 320 minutes, and stay out of the sun for at least 24 hours.

3. Sunscreens come in a variety of topical creams, gels, lotions, sprays, and sticks for hard to get at places, lips, eyes, nose.

4. SPF only indicates UVB protection, not UVA. UVB rays cause sunburns. UVA rays are the most deceiving. They are not responsible for a sunburn but are the sun's most destructive rays causing skin cancer, and the dreaded wrinkles . . . collagen beware!

5. Most sunscreens are synthesized and are not all compatible with each other, or with other ingredients in the product, so blending is a challenge. These organic, or chemical filters, act by absorbing the UVB and/or UVA energy and the higher concentrations needed to reach higher SPF can make them unacceptable by the skin.

6. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (preferred) are the most commonly used physical sun blocks that block and reflect UVA and UVB. The challenge with these inorganic blocks is to keep the product from being occlusive (too heavy) on the skin. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, may contain benzophenone or oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) and prevent sunburn by absorbing the ultraviolet UV rays.

7. A water-resistant product really suggests you could swim for 20 minutes and still have 50% of the claimed SPF protection. No matter what it says, or means, you need to reapply.

8. Sunscreen is the last product applied - always over a moisturizer, not under. The secret to layer applications is to wait a minute between layers, if you are working with good product you should never feel the build up on the skin.

9. Expiry dates must be followed as the chemicals do break down. Sunscreens are usually kept in warm places during the course of a day causing an acceleration in deterioration.

10. Sunscreen should be used 365 days a year in all weather related activities. It is a fact that snow has a reflection of up to 80% of the sun's rays. Always bear in mind, your skin has a perfect memory. Accumulative exposure adds up to a lifetime of damage if you aren't careful.

Next Posts: Recommended Sunscreens. Check Back!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sunscreens: Part 1

Baking in the sun used to be a favorite pastime during the summer months. The whole process was immersed in a cultural protocol. Arrive at the beach early, stake out your real estate in the sand, find the best angle of the sun, lay out the blanket, slather on a suntan lotion, and get down to the serious business of getting a tan. Ah, it was heaven, . . . until the dotted line was solidly connected to skin cancer. Skin cancer? Who knew that a tan is the body's reaction to the skin being damaged?

The marketing machinery was swift to respond, knowing full well devotees would slowly be tempted to return to the seduction of the sun. Sunscreens and sunblocks were marketed with a fever. Consumers were mislead into believing the hype that the higher the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) the greater the protection, in other words, extended fun in the sun. The truth? The higher the SPF does not necessarily mean improved, prolonged protection. There is not much difference in the protection of a SPF of 15 which blocks 93.33%, and a SPF of 25 that blocks 95 %, or a SPF 30 at 98.6%. It is important to ensure adequate UVA and UVB protection but there is no point to a SPF higher than 30.

SPF is a measurement of protection from UVB rays, not necessarily UVA, so look for both in your sun protection. SPF is a guideline under ideal situations, for instance, if you exercise and perspire in the sun you will have less protection as the perspiration will wash away the SPF. Recent FDA guidelines state sunscreen manufacturers must list active sunscreen ingredients on their labels. They are also prohibited from making claims such as "all day protection", "waterproof", and will no longer permit a product to be called a "sunblock" because nothing blocks it all. Legislation also limits the SPF allowed in a product as a higher quantity of sunscreen is more likely to cause skin reactions and irritation. In Canada, expiry dates and DIN (drug identification number) are required on products having an SPF and each product must go through testing by Health Canada before it can be sold.

The moral of this story? The government watchdogs protect your health while the sunscreen manufacturers protect your skin. One keeps the other honest. It is easier to choose which product is best for your situation, your skin type (fair, olive skin, etc.) and gift yourself with a reasonable amount of time to enjoy the benefits of sunshine, . . . whether at the beach, or on the mountain skiing, without paying the hefty price.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Microdermabrasion is a highly effective lunch hour power treatment ranked one of the top esthetic procedures performed in the United States. This non-chemical, non-invasive treatment offers the most benefits for the least amount of time, with no side effects and no negative downtime (when administered correctly by a qualified professional).

A solo 'face polishing' treatment will greatly improve the skin's texture and produce a smoother and more youthful complexion with a healthy, radiating glow. A series of treatments will gradually restore and refine the layers of the skin and trigger a reported 30% improvement in the skin's elasticity by stimulating the skin's natural bank of collagen. Firmness. Less wrinkles. Immediately following the treatment there may be a slight wind-burned feeling and redness, which will fade within a day. The expected results are noticeable improvements in tone and texture, pore refinement, and a reduction in fine lines.

Post treatment care consists of a steady regimen of moisturizing and sunscreen application. Microdermabrasion is also a great skin rejuvenating alternative for those who are sensitive to Retin-A or AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) based creams that may be too aggressive on certain skin types. This is not a recommended procedure for those who have eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, or cases of inflamed acne. Overall, this is one of the 'good fellas' in the skin care treatment world.

$100- $150 per treatment - Highly Recommended

* If you need assistance locating a spa or salon offering this type of procedure in your area, email us at

Friday, March 21, 2008

BABOR High Skin Refiner Lifting Cream Rich

Babor's nourishing anti-aging cream incorporates specific ingredients to offer a reported 24 hour firming effect for mature, tired skin. This thought provoking formula contains a few powerful lipids, including shea butter, jojoba, and mango seed oil, offering the EFA's (essential fatty acids) needed by the skin cells and important emollient and regenerative properties.

There are some key ingredients to help balance the enzymes that degrade old collagen and elastin with the intention of orchestrating harmony in the degeneration and regeneration process. Translation? This symmetry slows the aging process.This protein heavy cream utilizes soya proteins to help the skin deal with deterioration due to hormonal fluctuations, especially when specific amino acids from soya are used. The wheat proteins are an added asset to tighten the surface of the skin. The tried and true antioxidants vitamin C and E help neutralize free radical activity and the Vitamin B5 is essential for healthy skin. While this formulation does not contain any peptides, or hyaluronic acid, Babor selected bee's wax and other ingredients to offer protection to the skin and slow moisture loss.
$110 for 1.6 oz/(50ml Canada)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

GUNIOT Age Logic Cellulaire

Guinot Age Logic Cellulaire has certainly covered all of the bases with just under 100 ingredients, (not counting any trade secrets) and a whopping 19 amino acids which are the worker bees necessary for cellular repair, cellular maintenance, and hydration. The superstar ingredient, ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is a brilliant cell booster that transports energy within the cells to support natural cellular activity.

Guinot has incorporated almost every vitamin into this product showcasing its performance as a multivitamin for the skin. Vitamins C and E are found in different compounds, offering better anti-oxidant capabilities and increasing the bioavailability of these vitamins for collagen production. In order to create collagen and elastin (dermal proteins) there must be a presence of copper, which Guinot has factored into this cream. The compliment of hydrating ingredients along with the hydrolyzed soya will help to diminish and slow down the degradation of the skin. The silicone carriers provide protection and a light soothing feel to the skin. The downside? The fragrance is a little strong at first, but this diminishes quickly. Overall, this cream could have a better peptide content, but with the "kitchen sink" theory, (throw it all in there and something good will happen), Guinot has accomplished the creation of a performance oriented formula.
$125 for 1.6 oz US/ (50 ml Canada)

Monday, March 17, 2008

SOTHYS Secrets

Women 38+ will appreciate not only the result and function of this cream, but the sheer pleasure of its texture and glide. The key active ingredient is 'Tex-OE' from prickly pear, an ingredient that triggers the skin to neutralize the negative effects of stress, or free radical damage, in a couple of hours. This is the normal time frame for younger women to process damage due to stress, but as hormone levels start to change the proteins in the skin responsible for this activity may take up to eight hours. The result? Slow cellular repair, slow regeneration and increased degeneration, all culprits of aging. Sothys Secrets offers a powerful cocktail of anti-oxidants to accompany Tex-OE, including the peel of an apple, peptides to trigger collagen renewal, and iris extract to increase and protect the dermal proteins (collagen and elastin). Marjoram and ylang ylang are responsible for the fragrance and add to the destressing effects of this velvety textured cream. An addictive luxury? In a word, . . . yes.
Available exclusively in Spas and Salons.
Price: $199 for 1.69 oz/(50ml Canada)

Green Light Therapy for Hyperpigmentation

Each color in the light spectrum vibrates at certain frequency provoking a response in cellular activity within the skin. Red light excites the cells, and in doing so, kicks powerful anti-aging and healing abilities into high gear. Blue light possesses purifying and antibacterial properties gifting relief to those suffering from acne.

Green light therapy is said to assist in diminishing pigmentation irregularities, such as age spots and hyperpigmentation, while regulating the melanin production responsible for these and other 'tell-tale' age related give-aways. Most pigmentation problems are caused by two primary factors, the sun and hormones. Why green light? The theory is based upon the fact that melanin absorbs light predominantly in the green-yellow spectrum. Green light is also touted to eliminate redness from chemical peels and bleaching treatments. While Red and Blue light phototherapy are supported by solid research, and are highly recommended treatments with expected results, there is not much supportive evidence as to the final outcome of green light therapy. Some results have been most impressive while others were unpredictable, uneven results. According to research, the jury is still out on this one. Not to worry, there are many other alternatives to effectively improve the appearance of unsightly pigmentation problems. Stay tuned.

* If you need assistance locating a spa or salon offering this type of procedure in your area, email us at

Friday, March 14, 2008

Blue Light Therapy for Acne & Rosacea

Narrow band blue light therapy can definitely shed light on the treatment of acne. Initially used to treat jaundice in newborn babies, blue light is now offering a powerful role in reducing the negative effects of acne. In fact, 85% of patients using this type of phototherapy experience success. Blue light has the ability to penetrate (given the right wavelength) the skin deep enough to reduce, and possibly control, acne causing bacteria without damaging the skin. Its purifying and antibacterial properties kill p.acnes, the bacteria that causes acne inflammation, and in doing so, calm and regulate the sebaceous gland. Simply put, bacteria cannot thrive under LED blue light. This color in the spectrum of light therapy produces encouraging results for those who suffer from mild to moderate acne. Affected skin is given the ability to heal 150 - 200% faster enabling the skin to quickly recover and show significant results. In fact, with as little as two, 15 - 20 minute sessions per week, results are visibly noticed within the first two weeks of treatment.

In one predominant study, after a four week period of time the test results illustrated a 60% reduction in 80% of the patients (American Academy of Dermatology). A treatment schedule of 12 weeks may result in remissions lasting for as long as three to eight months. This type of skin treatment is completely non-invasive, painless, and could cut down on the use of those messy ointments and creams. Non invasive, no pain, no downtime, plenty of results. There are a few warnings noted for those with severe forms of acne as this type of treatment may not produce the same positive results. It is important to check with a doctor beforehand. One other note of caution, eyes should never be exposed to blue light and goggles must be worn.

* If you need assistance locating a spa or salon offering this type of procedure in your area, email us at

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Red Light Therapy - One of the Best Anti-Aging Treatments Available

Red Light Therapy is the one of the most efficient, non-invasive anti-aging treatments available. Phototherapy uses an intense red light with the proven ability to biologically alter the skin tissue and heal wounds by stimulating circulation and renewing cells. Studies by NASA have shown that the use of red light on the skin will stimulate the fibroblasts into producing 5 times the amount of collagen. Fibrolasts are responsible for the production of elastin and collagen and maintaining the integrity of the skin. Properly treated in a professional environment, Red Light Therapy, has the ability to easily penetrate the skin and stimulate cell turnover. Since the loss of collagen is one of the main factors in the visible signs of aging, anything to promote its production should be a major priority in a proactive anti-age skin care program.

Red Light Therapy has the potential to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles, tone the skin, refine the pores, stimulate circulation, diminish hyperpigmentation, and reverse signs of sun damage. Its ability to renew skin cells will "bulk up" the skin giving the appearance of a more youthful contour. The downfall? One treatment will not give dramatic results and therefore a series of six treatments is usually recommended in one week intervals. Other timing issues? It will normally take about 14 days to notice a difference and begin to feel a firmer skin as collagen needs time to be created. The cost? The pricing varies in each Spa/Salon but an average price range for one 20 - 25 minute "stand-alone" treatment will cost approximately $75. Highly recommended.

* We can recommend a wonderful DIY Red Light Therapy Machine to use at home and boost the effectiveness of your spa treatments. For more information email us at

Monday, March 10, 2008

Eye and Lip Cream Duo?

What is your opinion of a combined eye and lip cream?

It is true, several companies sell an 'all-in-one' eye and lip cream. There are retail lines (Lancome, Philosophy, Guerlaine, Sisley, L'Oreal) and professional lines (Yonka, Decleor, Darphin), to name a few. Our opinion? The skin around the eyes and lips is completely different. Each require different ingredients. The lips are the transition between the skin and the mucous membrane of the mouth and is full of sensory neurons. They need to be hydrated, protected, and lip products will often increase the blood supply to heighten nourishment, keeping the lips plump. This means the lips will swell a little. This swelling effect is not something wanted in the eye area. Lip products also incorporate ingredients such as peptides to help minimize and/or slow down the degradation of the collagen along the lip line (orbicularis oris muscle) around the mouth . . . you know those nasty little lines we get along the lip. This skin is thicker (like the skin on the rest of the face) than the skin of the eye area.

Eye creams are designed to hydrate gently so as not to trigger puffiness, or provoke a reaction in this delicate, thin area. Yes, improving circulation is desirable, but not to increase it. In the eye area we are more interested in something that will decongest and remove any puffiness. Of course, re-enforcing the dermal proteins (collagen and elastin) is important, but only when taking into consideration the specific target area.
Note: Ingredients for eye products should be ophthamologically tested.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

In Honor of International Women's Day - Beauty Personified

Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take 'no' for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have the compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give.
They are the true meaning of BEAUTY.

Friday, March 7, 2008

SOTHYS Active-Contour Age Defying Cream

Active Contour Age Defying Eye Cream celebrates a wise combination of plant extracts that improve the micro-circulation, decongest, hydrate, soothe, neutralize free radicals and promote tissue repair. Its creamy texture is great for protecting the eye area and preventing, or slowing down, the signs of degradation, in other words, . . . aging. Prevention is always hard to see, but if you start using a simple high quality cream like this at the first signs of any fine lines you will have given your eye area the much needed protection it requires. It does not offer the extra ingredients to deal with perimenopausal aging, but is a nice eye cream. The pump bottle delivers a little too much cream at a time; half a pump is more then adequate for both eyes. A commendable eye cream worthy of a recommendation for the 25 to 40 age group.
$46 for 0.5 oz US
$52 for 15 ml Canada

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

DERMALOGICA Intensive Eye Cream

Dermalogica’s Intensive Eye Repair is a great multi-tasking cream offering an abundance of unique active ingredients specifically targeted to the special needs of the eye area. It has been carefully formulated to keep the skin healthy while working hard to maintain the integrity and function of this fragile skin. This cream has great healing regenerative properties, work-horse antioxidants to neutralize free radicals, ingredients to prevent puffy eye lids, super hydrators, and powerful botanicals to soothe and decongest the eye area. Dermalogica incorporated a selection of plant extracts and vitamins that work together to aid circulation and help strengthen the eye's delicate tissue while allowing the skin to do its job of repairing and regenerating itself. What more could you want? This praiseworthy product is easy to recommend to those who are 25+. Someone who is 45+ may want something more age appropriate.
$45 for 0.5 oz US
$55 for 15ml Canada

Monday, March 3, 2008

PEVONIA The Evolutive Eye Cream

Pevonia has formulated a thoughtful cocktail of ingredients to combat the delicate task of effective eye care. The Evolutive Eye Cream contains several heavy hitter ingredients that address hydration giving a softer, smoother, and more youthful appearance. It's texture has been designed to ease the application process around the fragile eye area. Pevonia has included antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals while protecting the oh-so-thin skin around the eyes from further damage while reinforcing the skin's natural integrity. A sun block has been added for UV protection to shield one of their superstar anti-oxidant ingredients that becomes neutralized in the sunshine. Antioxidants and sunshine don't mix. A low concentration of AHA promotes exfoliation, accommodates penetration of the other ingredients, and has water binding abilities. While we did not find much in the way of promoting collagen and elastin activity, we would not hesitate to recommend this cream.
*Caution: Nut Allergy Awareness - Contains Hazel Nut Oil
$46 for 0.7oz US
$53 for 30ml Canada

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Urban Luxury: The $62,000 Question

Guerlain has created the most world's most expensive lipstick. KissKiss Gold and Diamonds retails for $62,000. The 18K lipstick case is adorned with 199 genuine, conflict-free diamonds weighing in a 2.2 carats, highlighted with rubies and emerald. The creators, Olivier Echaudemaison and Herve Van Der Straeten, describe their lipstick as, "powerful and unimaginable, unique and desired, obtainable and unobtainable all at the same time." They go on to say that the lipstick creates, "curiosity and longing." Huh? The lipstick is refillable and can be engraved with a name or message. Well, . . . wow. The $62,000 question? Why? Perhaps the engraved inscription should read, s-e-l-f -i-n-d-u-l-g-e-n-t.