Wednesday, July 30, 2008

European Facial

Europeans take their skincare seriously, not as a luxury, but as a necessity. The European facial is really the basis for any facial, or at least it should be. This type of facial consists of a full consultation, including what you are prepared to do at home, a skin analysis, and a treatment plan. The facial often incorporates the use of machines, as well as a massage, and will generally be offered for anywhere between 20 and 50 minutes. During this treatment the face, neck, and décolleté will be treated. The massage portion will include the upper back, and in some cases, the ears and scalp.

In many esthetic salons, and spas, you will still find those that specialize in facials and treat from the chin up while strongly recommending the same for homecare. Thank goodness with the population traveling more, a world of treatment protocols are being shared, clients are demanding more, and professional estheticians are offering more global services. There is a very good reason why European women seem to have such nice skin. Ooh-la-la . . .

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oxygenating Facials

An oxygenating facial is perfect for anyone who is stressed out. Stress comes with one clear-cut guarantee, . . . if you are dealing with stress, your skin and every other tissue in your body will be dealing with it. In a stressed skin the cells are not getting sufficient oxygen and are unable to detoxify themselves, nor are they able to regenerate. The result is what skin care professionals refer to as an asphyxiated skin. In a younger person it will usually show as toxins sitting under the surface of the skin, like blemishes that have not yet made their debut. In a more mature person the skin is usually tired looking, dull, and lacks vitality.

Most of us have some level of stress in our lives and we could all benefit from a facial directed at boosting the oxygen activity in our skin. It is also a great way to start another series of treatments to benefit from the increase in cell activity which will offer a much more pronounced result with the treatments and products that follow. This presents a perfect time to kick off a new anti-aging regimen.

Most oxygenating facials are designed to boost the cellular uptake of oxygen improving cellular function (detoxifying and regenerating), enhance the circulation (the blood provides oxygen to the cells and carries away waste), and promote detoxification, often through specific massage manipulations, or incorporating lymphatic drainage. An oxygenating facial will give your skin clarity and brightness while energizing your cellular activity. A royal stress-buster indeed!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oxygenating Facials - The Way to Glow

My skin is dull and I can't remember the last time I had that peachy, healthy glow. I have heard oxygenating facials are the way for me to go. Should I just have this type of facial from now on or should I mix it up a little?

Oxygenating facials will certainly help you regain a healthy glow. Whether or not you should change it up depends somewhat on the cause. Someone who smokes, has a poor diet, poor elimination, or has poor health is continually stressing the skin cells and will find a need to keep something oxygenating in their skincare regimen, either facials or home care. If you are healthy and have gone through a temporary disruption in your skin, stay with the oxygenating care until the skin has regained its glow, and then consider addressing the other concerns of your skin. A mask, or serum, would be a great addition to your daily care to help to boost oxygenation. You glow girl!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Are 'Promotional' Facials Really A Bargain?

Great question. A facial should be customized to your needs upon the conclusion of a skin analysis, and a discussion, to make sure your concerns are addressed. A completed client profile provides important information regarding your health (allergies, medications, etc.) life style, previous treatments, and anything that is pertinent to achieving desired results with your skin care treatments and homecare. Certainly, a large part of a facial treatment is to de-stress and relax, but anyone who invests their time and money into this type of service wants to improve and protect their skin, and of course, results must be a part of the program, promotional or not.

Promotional facials, on the other hand, generally offer a one-size-fits-all treatment focusing on a broad-spectrum need, such as hydration. Everyone benefits from these type of promotions (as long as it is offered at a reputable spa), and as an added bonus, they are usually much easier on your pocketbook. The drawback? While these type of facials provide a great service to your skin, they are not focused on customizing your care to address the other important needs of your skin.

There are many types of facials, ranging from basic to advanced cures and exotic traditional treatments from around the world. No matter the type, the focus should always be on whatever will produce the best results for your needs.

Stay tuned for an insider's look at a variety of facials over the next few weeks . . .

Monday, July 21, 2008


(1) Grand Prize: 4 night vacation package for two (2) people, double occupancy to Evason Phuket Resort & Six Senses Spa, Thailand. Package includes: Three (3) Six Senses Spa Cuisine meals per person per night of stay; One (1) Private Consultation on an individual basis per person per stay; Two (2) sixty minute spa treatments per guest per day; choice of daily Holistic Activities. Transportation to and from Evason Phuket Resort & Six Senses Spa is not included and is the winner's responsibility; roundtrip transfers to and from the local airport to the resort (Limousine & Boat) are included. Approximate retail value of Grand Prize is US$10,400.

(1) Grand Prize: Luxurious accommodations at the Inn and Spa at Loretto for 4 nights/5 days. Massage treatments for Two at The Spa at Loretto. Unwind with our signature Elemental Massage - a gentle, relaxing Swedish style massage that improves circulation and vitality. This massage includes the use of the Spa's exclusive, home-made aromatherapy blends used for centuries to improve overall health and relieve tension. Select from our custom crafted blends: Earth, Fire, Water, Air or Spirit. A Day of Adventure for Two. Enjoy all that Santa Fe has to offer in beauty, nature and adventure. Select one of these activities: Guided hiking in Sangre de Cristo Mountains; Whitewater Rafting down the Rio Grande; Southwestern Cooking Class; or Geo-catching (GPS guided). Adventure Activities provided by Santa Fe Mountain Adventures! A special welcome amenity of refreshing beverages Round trip transportation from ABQ Sunport to Santa Fe via Shuttle Daily resort fee and valet parking Approximate retail value of the prize is $1,979.00

Thursday, July 17, 2008



ENTER BY JULY 31ST (Canadians Only)
One (1) Getaway to Willow Stream Spa for 2. Return economy class tickets for two people traveling together to Calgary, Alberta from the major Canadian airport closest to the winner’s home as determined in the sole discretion of the Sponsor. 5 day full-size car from a rental agency of the Sponsor’s choice. One deluxe room for two people at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel for 4 nights. This accommodation includes breakfast each morning; one (1) 60 minute treatment per person per day at the Willow Stream Spa. $1,000 CAD in spending money for the winner (VALUE: $6,500)

One (1) Grand Prize: (i) round-trip coach airfare for four (4) from the major commercial airport nearest the winner’s primary residence serviced by AirTran Airways to Bradenton, Florida, (ii) one two-bedroom hotel unit for three (3) nights at Tradewinds Resort in Florida's Gulf Islands, (iii) one (1) meal for four (4) at the ‘BeachHouse’ and ‘SandBar’ Restaurants (up to $75 at each location) and (iv) one (1) day passes for four (4) people to the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. The Approximate Retail Value of the prize is $2,814, depending on the exact itinerary.

One (1) Grand Prize: A Trip for two (2) to the Ceiba del Mar Spa Resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Trip package includes roundtrip, coach-class air transportation for two (2) from a major airport near winner's home (determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion) to Cancun, Mexico; four (4) nights accommodations (single room, double occupancy); and ground transportation between airport and hotel. Approximate Retail Value $3,500. TWELVE (12) FIRST PRIZES: A gift bag filled with beauty products, specifics determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Approximate Retail Value: $400. ONE HUNDRED TWENTY (120) SECOND PRIZES: $100 gift certificate to retailer of Sponsor's choice. ONE HUNDRED (100) THIRD PRIZES: a gift certificate for Crest® Whitestrips. Approximate Retail Value: $24.99.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


If you are looking for a gentle, soothing lotion to refresh and soften your skin, . . . Credentials Azulene toner is one to consider. The combination of several plant extracts offer soothing properties along with the decongesting characteristics of ivy, and mild toning action of arnica and witch hazel, this toner has great efficacy.

The cucumber helps to brighten the complexion and combined with the shepherd's purse (pellitory extract) and the rose water base this lotion helps to lock moisture into the skin. All of these components will to ensure the skin is prepared to receive the benefits offered in the products that follow in any at-home skin care program. After use, make sure to rinse well. No artificial fragrances or color.

Monday, July 14, 2008

INSTITUT DERMED Antioxidant Protective Toner

Institut Dermed's Antioxidant Protective Toner is a great example of how beneficial a toner can be. While doing its job rebalancing the pH of the skin after cleansing and preparing the skin to facilitate penetration of the serums and creams that follow, it also offers an incredible defense against free radical damage.

This formula contains anti-oxidants like vitamin C, uric acid, antioxidant enzymes like L-glutathione, and Spin Trap (molecules that make anti-oxidants more effective and productive) creating a solid defense against stress and all types of aging. The geramium provides de-stressing properties, and along with aloe vera and allantoin, soothes and promotes hydration. Witch hazel has been added for its slight astringent properties and the ability to help minimize redness and fragile capillaries. The alcohol content is rooted from jasmine which is non-drying and functions as a preservative. The overall benefits of this toner will boost the results of a good skin care regime and offers an added bonus of a mist applicator making this product a pleasure to use.

Friday, July 11, 2008

YONKA Lotion - Normal to Dry Skin

You can always count on YonKa for sourcing some nice plant extracts to meet the needs of the skin. The lavender and cypress botanicals will ensure a soothing, anti-inflammatory, de-stressing action. The rosemary will also aid circulation, improving cellular activities. The refreshing 'scent and sensation' will have you looking forward to misting your face and neck with this lotion.

This alcohol free lotion will reinforce the essential superficial hydration of the skin, especially if you apply your day or night cream while the skin is still moist with the lotion. The plant oils give great emolliency to the skin making it a favourite for normal to dry skin types, although it will probably feel too much for a more oilier skin.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

PEVONIA Problematic Skin Lotion

Pevonia's Problematic Lotion is gentle enough to use on all skin types, which is a blessing when trying to address blemishes. Unfortunately, it is not just the teenager with oily skin who gets to endure breakouts; they even affect the baby boomers going through the early stages of menopause. Pevonia created this lotion to address the infection of blemishes without the use of alcohol, which is very dehydrating. Great news for all concerned.

The camphor it contains will promote healing while the azulene and chamomile extract offer anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits. Camphor can be a little drying for some, but for most, the other hydrating components will counteract any drying effect. If you need more hydration, boost it with a serum or your cream choice. Circulation is improved thanks to the witch hazel that helps to detoxify, tone down redness, and improve cellular nourishment . . . excellent for all skin types.

Along with the blemish addressing ingredients, Pevonia's lotion maintains the skin's hydration while promoting exfoliation with salicylic acid. This prevents the build up of dead skin cells that contribute to new blemishes and will add a look of vitality for those thicker dull mature skin types, not to mention improving the absorption of active ingredients. A great non-aggressive lotion that can be applied all over the face with a mist applicator or with a cotton pad. S-m-o-o-t-h . . .

Monday, July 7, 2008

Astringents, Toners and Lotions

Astringents, toners and lotions have a primary role to refresh, rebalance and restore the pH of cleansed skin. They do not cleanse the skin but complete the cleansing process by removing impurities, excess oils, or any remaining residue left from cleansing (including the trace minerals left behind from the water used to rinse the skin).

For years, the industry referred to astringents as those containing alcohol, and toners and lotions for those that did not. All three terms are now being used interchangeably. No matter what they are called, it is a shame these little gems are often forgotten in a skin care routine. In reality, they should be thought of as water boosted with great active ingredients. The non-alcohol containing products also boost the hydration of the skin. Day cream should be applied while the skin is still moist with toner to lock in the moisture of the toner. As an added bonus you will need less cream.

Lotions will also aid the absorption of beneficial ingredients of the products used after them. They have been created to hydrate, normalize sebaceous secretion, provide emolliency, soothe, address hyperpigmentation, strengthen capillaries, improve circulation and exfoliation, just to name a few possible benefits. Some have mist applicators, some can be reapplied over your make-up to refresh throughout the day, and others should be applied on a cotton pad (hint: if using a cotton pad moisten it with water first, squeeze out the excess water then put your lotion on the pad and apply - you will use less product as the pad will not soak up all of your lotion.) No matter your preference, watch for some winners chosen for review in upcoming posts.

Note: There is an exception to offering the above benefits. Those that contain alcohol (usually it is ethanol) must be used in specific trouble areas as they are too aggressive to be used all over the face.

Friday, July 4, 2008


One (1) Grand Prize is available. The Grand Prize consists of a five-day/four night trip for winner and two (2) guests to the Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa in St. Lucia. The Grand Prize travel package includes: three (3) round trip coach-class tickets from the major U.S. gateway city airport closest to the winner's residence (in Sponsor's sole discretion) to Hewonarra airport in St. Lucia; ground transportation to and from the Hewonarra airport in St. Lucia; three (3) standard hotel rooms (single occupancy) for a four (4) night stay at the Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa in St. Lucia; one (1) spa treatment (designated by Sponsor) for Grand Prize winner and each guest in the hotel spa (three [3] spa treatments total), all meals and snacks; unlimited juices, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages; daily schedule of activities and entertainment programs made available by the resort; and all resort taxes and gratuities. The Approximate Retail Value ("ARV") of the Grand Prize is $6630.

One (1) Grand Prize: one standard room (double occupancy) for three (3) nights at a top-rated spa resort in North America and the Caribbean as evaluated by the 2008 Condé Nast Traveler Spa Poll, round-trip air transportation (economy class) for two (2) from the major commercial airport nearest the winner's primary residence in the United States or Canada, and hotel transfers. The approximate retail value of the prize is $3,000, depending on exact itinerary.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

SOTHYS Double Lightening Serum

Sothys has created a great serum to address hyperpigmentation. There are two sides to the product's container, one offering a serum to use in the morning and one offering a serum to use at night.

The morning serum (white side) incorporates ingredients to inhibit the enzymes needed in melanin production, chamomile extract to block melanin production, white tea extract and vitamin PP (niacinamide) to slow the transport of melanin to the skin cells, as well as MSH-Control™ to disrupt the melanin production. It has a light, quickly absorbed texture that is easy to use.

The night serum (navy side) is formulated to promote the exfoliation process offering an immediate action by removing darker surface cells, stimulating cell renewal to promote newer, healthier, and less pigmented skin cells faster. Again, an easy non-irritating serum that promotes the absorption of the morning serum and is simple and pleasant to use.

If you are willing to invest the time to use a serum in the morning and at night, are patient for the cell renewal to take place, and of course, protect your skin from UV rays, the results will be apparent without any aggression to your skin. It can be used to treat each pigmented area, or used all over for those who appreciate lighter, brighter complexions. What a duo!