Friday, August 29, 2008

MD FORTE Skin Rejuvenation Hydra-Masque

If you are looking for some hydration, want to refine the texture of your skin, lessen the depth of those fine lines, and give your skin a more even complexion, this creamy mask may be what you are after. It offers the exfoliation boost of glycolic and salicylic acids along with the enzyme action of papain from papaya, all of which are more effective if the skin is hydrated, so the combination works well. At first, the exfoliator boosters might seem a little aggressive for a hydrating mask, but they are not, the formulation offers nice results without being too much for the skin.

Retinyl palmitate, a derivative of Vitamin A, ensures emolliency and promotes hydration, especially in the upper layers of the skin. The glycerine is hydroscopic (attracts and holds water) reinforcing the moisture. The Vitamin E offers some anti-oxidant properties and a softening action. There is some clay to this mask giving it a nice consistency, but do not let it dry. Products with clay bases are only effective while moist and once dry may actually absorb water from the skin defeating the purpose. Not for daily use, but a couple of times a week will do the trick.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MATIS PARIS Le Masque Intense Radiance

A pleasant, creamy emollient mask promoting all of the regenerative hydrating benefits of shea butter, not to mention the added boost of EFAs (essential fatty acids) that reinforce the health and well being of the skin cells. Avocado oil has such a great affinity with the skin and offers almost immediate results relieving the tight feeling of dehydration. The formula also includes tamarind extract, believed to be more effective than hyaluronic acid for boosting and holding water in the skin, which guarantees incredible hydrating results. The collagen and glycerin are both hydroscopic, meaning they will attract and hold moisture.

Boosting the hydration of the skin is essential to prevent thickening of the surface layers of the skin, which dulls the complexion and lessens the efficiency of skin care products. It is also essential to minimize the thinning of the dermis and degeneration of collagen, . . . in simpler terms . . . hydration is a key component in the battle against aging. Along with assisting the hydration process, this mask delivers some interesting anti-age properties. Application and removal is easy. Use it more frequently to intensify the result, in fact, if there is a special occasion coming up, try a daily moisturizing mask for the entire week. You will be impressed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Moisturizers and Skin Cancer

I heard that some moisturizers are causing skin cancer. Is this true?

A report was released recently naming four moisturizers that promoted skin cancers in mice. The moisturizers tested in the study were Dermabase (Patrick Labs, Minneapolis, Minn), Dermovan (Galderma Labs, Fort Worth, Texas - a wholesale-only product discontinued in 2006), Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream (Beiersdorf, Hamburg, Germany), and Vanicream (Pharmaceutical Specialties, Rochester, Minn).

It is important to note the mice used in the tests had radiation damaged skin, which may account for the moisturizers' unusual tumor-promoting effect. Lead researcher of Rutgers University, Allan H. Connelly said, " In a 'mouse model' of sun-related skin cancer, frequent application of each product resulted in more skin tumors and faster tumor growth. This was unexpected. We really did not expect to see the tumor-promoting activity of these creams."

"The multimillion-dollar question is, ‘what about humans?’" Conney asked. "The answer is, we don't know. Our study raises a red flag and points out the need for epidemiologists to take a look at people who use moisturizing creams." The Conney team asked Johnson & Johnson to make them a "custom blend" moisturizer without two ingredients previously linked to skin irritation (sodium lauryl sulfate) and tumor promotion (mineral oil). The custom blend, on which Rutgers University and Johnson & Johnson hold a patent, did not promote skin cancer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Moisturizing Masks - Hydration is Vital

Moisturizing masks enhance moisture levels in the skin and diminish fine lines caused by dehydration. It is known that if we boost and protect hydration in the surface layers of the skin we can slow down the transepidermal moisture loss and protect the collagen in the deeper layers of the skin. Hydration is vital.

There are many different types of moisturizing masks on the market with consistencies ranging from cool refreshing gels to rubber-like setting occlusive films, second-skin films, or clay bases. If the hydrating mask is clay (kaolin) based, do not to let it dry on the skin. The clay gives consistency but also has great absorption properties. Letting it dry will actually draw moisture out of the skin and promote dehydration. Clay based masks are only active when moist, so watch the time you are leaving it on the skin and apply it thicker if you want it on longer. A good idea is to use this type of mask while soaking in a bath as the extra humidity will keep it moist longer. Occlusive masks usually contain some type of algae and are used to promote the penetration of the underlying product, or serum, giving more in-depth hydration.

Most masks should be left on the skin for at least ten minutes, although a quick 5 minute thirst quenching application will give the skin a nice boost. It is usually recommended to use a mask once a week, but if you really want to see some incredible results, try masking daily for a week to 10 days even if it is a five minute "quickie" while you make your morning coffee. You will be amazed!

Next week: Reviews of moisturizing masks . . . stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cell Phone Madness - Is This Thing On?

The next time someone says your skin is just radiating, they may literally mean it! New research from Finland indicates cell phone radiation alters protein expression and activity in human skin. In the study, a small area of the forearm of 10 female volunteers were exposed to cellphone radiation for one hour to simulate a similar length phone call. Skin biopsies were collected from exposed and non-exposed areas. The results indicate the exposed skin was significantly altered when compared to the non-exposed skin. (i.e., one protein increased by 89%, the other decreased by 32%.)

The conclusion? Apparently, cell phone radiation biologically alters the skin. Researcher Dariusz Leszczynski said, "even if the changes are small, they still exist." The point is that living tissue responds to cell phone radiation in one way or another, which cannot be a good thing. Further testing is slated for 2009.

In the meantime, you should know . . .
• cell phone users who wear metal rimmed glasses are intensifying the exposure to their eyes by 20 per cent and into the head by 6.3 per cent.
• using a cell phone in a vehicle can accelerate radiation levels by up to 10-fold due to resonance effect.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sweet Tooth . . . Aging Face

Did you know that sugar accelerates the skin's aging process? Say what? Yup, sugar's bad-boy reputation stands steady. Not only does it pack on the pounds and cause tooth decay, sugar is also being blamed for aging skin. Scientists have confirmed that a rise in blood sugar causes inflammation at the cellular level resulting in prematurely aging skin. This is a result of a natural process where sugar in the bloodstream sticks to proteins to form new damaging molecules called, advanced glycation end products, aka AGEs, (how appropriate). The more these proteins multiply, the more damage done. Their primary target is the destruction of the other good-guy proteins, collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for youthful skin. Once collagen is damaged it becomes dry and brittle and much more vulnerable to sun damage. After the age of 35, the more sugar introduced to the bloodsteam, the more AGEs are created. Simply put, . . . the more sugar, the more wrinkles.

Can this aging process be turned around? Fortunately, it is never too late. The body has an amazing ability to repair itself if given the proper tools. New collagen can be built up by minimizing sugar intake, supplementing the diet with at least 1 mg of Vitamins B1 And B6 and a chewable Vitamin C per day (powerful AGE inhibitors), wearing sunscreen every day, eating more fibre and anti-oxdiant rich foods (fruits, nuts, vegetables, green tea), and drinking lots of water.

Long story short, . . . watch your sugar intake because all it will do is make you feel moody, act hyper and look old. Sugar is a sticky business.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Taoist Face Reading

Face Reading (mien shiang) is an ancient, diagnostic technique in Chinese Medicine that examines the general structure of the face to identify health issues and detect other signs of existing ailments.

Facial features, including the size and shape of each feature, lines, shadows, moles and other markings are carefully examined as each corresponds with various organs of the body, i.e., under the eye area corresponds with the stomach, kidney and liver, the chin corresponds to the kidney and bladder, and the lips correspond to the stomach (top lip) and intestines (lower lip).

Other than the wellness issues of forecasting underlying causes of allergies, weight issues, digestive issues, hormone imbalances, and fatigue, Taoist Face Reading is believed to be able to map out the past, present and future. It is an interesting doctrine, as is most of the Chinese Medicine, and worthy of some attention.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Acupuncture vs Acupressure Facials

What is the major difference, other than the obvious, between acupuncture and acupressure facials?

Acupuncture involves the application of filaments (needles) piercing the skin at specific points, and in some cases, manipulating them into position. It must be performed by someone specifically trained in the field of acupuncture. Although the procedure may lead to visible results, it may not be the most pleasant process for those sensitive to touch. One time treatments yield short-term minimal results, therefore, a series of 8 to 12 treatments are needed for longer lasting results. Acupuncture works on the concept of balance, the yin and yang, which gives the skin an overall healthy glow, stimulates collagen, and minimizes fine lines.

Acupressure, on the other hand, is generally more pleasant and easily worked into a facial treatment. The theory of the meridians and acupressure points follows that of acupuncture without the application of needles. Acupressure involves the application of pressure on specific points to address detoxification, regeneration, elimination, improving energy flow, and enhancing the well being of the client and skin. It also requires specific training, but not the years of study required for acupuncture. Many estheticians incorporate some acupressure in their massage, some have been trained on specific points to address specific concerns, while others have been trained extensively enough to offer acupressure treatments designed to compliment the skincare plan and address the concerns of each client. For best results a series of treatments is recommended, 2 or 3 times a week for 10 to 12 treatments, depending on the desired outcome.

Acupuncture and acupressure can both offer results, however, acupressure is more common in the esthetic industry. Acupuncture is more popular in the para-medical, or medical field, and is most often used to address conditions or injuries that are more critical than aging. There are also some machines on the market that offer light therapy in combination with pressure point massage which intensify the results dramatically.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lymph Drainage

My esthetician told me she includes lymph drainage in my facials. What does that do?

Some beauty therapists will be trained to do lymph drainage or to incorporate some of the movements into their massage. This type of massage is not deep, it does not involve very much pressure at all, and for those accustomed to a deep kneading massage this will feel like nothing. It is an incredible method of detoxifying the tissue as it promotes the movement of lymph through the lymph nodes to be detoxified. Lymph relies on the motion of the body for its movement and can easily become sluggish. It is responsible for nourishing and cleansing the cells not reached directly by the blood. Lymphatic drainage movements must be carried out in a specific order and pattern with little pressure, or the treatment is useless. It is a very beneficial modality for skin that needs to be detoxified or that is prone to edema (swelling). The lymph drainage massage may probably not be memorable, but the results will be.

Friday, August 8, 2008


1 winner will receive a 7-night stay for 2 at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, TX, including spa and fitness allowance ($1,068 per guest); lodging (based on double occupancy); 3 healthy meals per day; unlimited access to fitness and activity classes ($3,557 per guest); and taxes and gratuities. Total approximate retail value of package, $11,420.18.

One (1) winner will receive a 6-night stay for two (2) in a suite at Jade Mountain, Soufriere, St. Lucia (approximate retail value, $7,500); taxi transportation for two (2) to and from Hewanorra Airport or George Charles Airport (approximate retail value, $200); breakfast and dinner for two (2) daily (approximate retail value, $1,050); and 6 spa treatments per person (approximate retail value, $1,200). Total approximate retail value, $9,950.

One (1) winner will receive a spa vacation package from Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Scottsdale in Scottsdale, AZ. Prize includes hotel accommodations for two (2) people for seven (7) days and six (6) nights (single room, double occupancy; approximate retail value, $2,694); one (1) spa treatment per person per day for seven (7) days (approximate retail value, $2,506); and a $100 food voucher per person per day for seven (7) days (approximate retail value, $1,400). Total approximate retail value, $6,600.

1 winner will receive an 8-day, 7-night stay for 2 at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. Prize includes accommodations for 7 days (Saturday to Saturday), all meals, snacks, and beverages, access to all facilities, over 50 fitness classes a day, evening programs, and scheduled transportation to and from San Diego International Airport (approximate retail value, $6,000); 3 spa treatments per person and 1 hands-on cooking class per person (approximate retail value, $500). Total approximate retail value, $6,500.

1 winner will receive a 6-day, 5-night stay for 2 at The Resort at Singer Island in Singer Island, FL (approximate retail value, $3,325). Prize also includes a $100 food credit per person per day ($25 for breakfast, $25 for lunch, and $50 for dinner; alcohol is excluded; total approximate retail value, $1,200); 1 (50-minute) spa treatment per person per day (total approximate retail value, $1,560); and taxes. Total approximate retail value, $6,085.

One (1) winner will receive a spa vacation package from Adler Thermae Spa Resort in Tuscany, Italy. Prize includes accommodations for two (2) people for five (5) days and four (4) nights, breakfast and lunch daily, access to the World of Thermal Waters ADLER Aquae, access to the ADLER Fit fitness world, participation in sports and fitness programs, and all other ADLER inclusive services. Total approximate retail value, $1,754.20.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Facial Massage

What are the five classical massage manipulations mentioned in the Signature Facial post?

No matter if it is a hand, facial, foot, or body massage there are different manipulations used to achieve different results. Most beauty therapists use a structured massage format and will vary it depending on the needs of the client and the result they are after. Almost every massage will include the five classical massage manipulations, used in different rhythms, different pressures, different depths and different order depending on the client’s needs, tissue condition, therapist and the goal of the treatment. Some are gliding manipulations to soothe, relax, aid circulation and help the body to detoxify, while others are kneading, vibrating or tapping movements done to stimulate circulation, stimulate and detoxify deeper tissues, improve tonus, and promote cell regeneration. The movements can be done with finger tips, whole fingers, or the entire hands, depending on the area being treated. The pressure applied will depend on the goal, depth of tissue being treated and the comfort of the client. Five classical massage manipulations, . . . five more reasons to visit your beauty therapist on a regular basis.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Signature Facial

Signature facials are special treatments created by spas to represent their calibre of work and help clients remember the incredible treatment and care they received at the spa. They usually include a few little extras like a hand massage, paraffin treatment, scalp massage, back massage, special massage, foot massage, to name a few. It will also give the esthetician an opportunity to complete a skin analysis and advise the client on the best course of action for her skin.

The facial may have an exotic name and the protocol and massage will support the theme of the treatment and/or the theme of the spa. There will be some form of exfoliating deep cleanse to prepare the skin for the application of the serums and products that will follow. The massage will offer the five classical massage manipulations and may include some pressure point or lymphatic drainage as well. It may include a special type of mask, or possibly one customized for the treatment, finishing with a day cream and perhaps a touch of make-up depending on the spa.

A signature facial may not be the most advanced facial care the spa offers as it will not be that specific. It may not be the quick fix facial either, but it will be the one recommended to new clients to start with. Why? When you do not know which facial you need for your skin, the signature is always a good place to begin. Generally speaking, knowing reputations stand on these treatments, . . . signature facials are rarely disappointing.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Rosacea Facial

Facials specializing in the care of rosacea are becoming quite popular as more and more women are being diagnosed with the condition. It is usually diagnosed in the early thirties and is more common for individuals that have fair skin, blush easily, are prone to fragile capillaries, or had acne in their late teens or early twenties. The early stages are diffused redness with visible capillaries, and if not cared for, will worsen in time to acne rosacea. The skin thickens unevenly and is easily over stimulated. There is no cure for the condition so it is important to care for, and protect, the skin to prevent the advancement of the stages.

Rosacea facials will incorporate soothing, gentle care. Exfoliants will usually be enzyme or AHA based as there can be no rubbing on the skin. Depending on the stage of rosacea, massage may be contra-indicated as you do not want to stimulate this skin. There will be no steam and extractions are nearly impossible without causing more damage. Harsh treatment is most detrimental to this skin condition. High Frequency can be used to ease circulation as well as deal with blemishes if they are present. Light therapy treatments have shown incredible results. Home care must play a supportive role as well as provide daily protection to prevent the condition from worsening. Soothing, refining texture, calming, strengthening capillaries, and healing are the focus of the rosacea facial.