Friday, February 27, 2009


Enter by March 9th, 2009
Grand Prize: One grand prize winner and guest will receive a luxurious 4 day/3 night stay in stylish deluxe accommodations, healthy gourmet cuisine (three meals per day), complimentary bike rental, daily guided morning hikes, awareness walks & tai chi on the rocks, unlimited fitness classes, yoga, pilates, chi ball, fitness boot camp, cooking demonstrations & nutrition, healthy living classes. Approx. value: $4,850.00.


SPA MAGAZINE "Great Spas of the Southeast Sweepstakes"

Enter by March 31, 2009

GRAND PRIZE: Three (3) night stay for two (2) in a Luxury Deluxe Room at Mandarin Oriental, Miami, one Aromatherapy massage per person at the Spa in a Spa Suite, American Breakfast daily, one dinner at signature restaurant Azul, one morning yoga class at the Spa. Approximate Retail Value $2,500

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SOTHYS Hydra-Matt Fluid

Hydra Mat Fluid is an exceptional day cream for controlling the shine of oily/acneic skin. It has the light fluid texture of a cold emulsion (not really a gel and not really a cream) which is loved by anyone with oily skin who dislikes to feel the weight of cream on their skin. It does not use the standard titanium dioxide, kaolin, and/or zinc oxide that are found in most matifying creams. Instead, it uses apricot kernel powder. Unlike the traditional three (titanium dioxide, kaolin, zinc oxide) that absorb oil and water, the apricot powder only absorbs oil, ensuring the skin does not get dehydrated. This product is so much lighter on the skin. It not only provides a matt finish, and controls shine, it contains almond proteins that reinforce the NMF (Natural Moisture Factor) in the skin to make sure the skin is hydrated. Remember, it is important to never allow oily skin to become dehydrated as it will only produce more oil.

The vitamin complement in this product helps to decongest, calm redness, ensure cellular nourishment and elimination, normalize sebaceous secretion, and promote healing and cell renewal. It is also formulated to address the excessive sebaceous secretion and all of the imperfections (comedones, blemishes, uneven color, congestion, etc.) that can accompany it. The big bonus of this product? You may discover your make-up has not melted away by mid morning.

Monday, February 23, 2009

YONKA - Juvenil - Purifying Concentrate For Problem Skin

Juvenil is a great serum for promoting the healing of blemishes, normalizing oil secretions, clearing blackheads, reducing redness and inflammation, and refining pores. Serums have the capability to give the skin the boost it needs because of the their higher concentrations of active ingredients. They are so simple to use, . . . it is a shame they are not used more frequently.

Like most serums, this one is applied to the skin after cleansing and followed with a cream. It is important to wait a minute or so before applying the cream to allow for the serum to penetrate, otherwise the cream will hold the serum on the skin's surface.

The are many ingredients that make this serum such a gem. The lavender oil, an anti-inflammatory, helps to normalize sebaceous secretions, while soothing the skin and promoting healing. Cypress, lime and thyme also pitch in to regulate oil secretions. Rosemary works on the circulation and helps detoxify the skin. The calendula and geranium oils give a necessary calming effect. There is a little lactic acid in the formula, which will gently ensure there is not a build up of dead skin cells to block the pores and cause blemishes. A truly a winning serum if you are interested in clearing your skin from excess oil and the imperfections that often occur with oily skin.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dermalogica’s Sebum Clearing Masque

This mask is great for the acne prone skin. It contains some salicylic acid to encourage the elimination of dead keratinized cells that thicken the skin and contribute to blocked pores, blackheads and blemishes. An oily skin tends to be a little thicker and requires a healthy routine of non-aggressive, non-irritating exfoliation. Dermalogica's mask allows for effective exfoliation without rubbing, or the aggression of grains, which are contra-indicated (not a great idea) for blemished skin.

The kaolin, titanium dioxode and bentonite in this mask give it great absorption properties, but do not to let it dry as it will dehydrate the skin (they are great for absorbing, but will absorb oil and water). Generally, any clay (kaolin, titanium dioxide) base mask is only active when it is wet, . . . so apply, leave on for ten minutes and rinse. The rule that applies here is, "longer will not be better."

There is an abundance of great ingredients to bring the oil and acne under control. These include the anti-inflammatory properties of meadowsweet, healing properties of camphor and zinc, yeast and horsechest nut extracts, along with caffeine to promote circulation and detoxification of the skin. The liquorice and bisabolol will act to calm redness and irritation. The nice mix of B vitamins (essentially for healthy skin) and, of course, the anti-oxidant compliment of vitamin E completes the efficacy of this product.

All in all, a pleasant mask to use. For maximum results, try using the mask more frequently, perhaps 3 or 4 times a week when you feel your skin needs it. Here's to clear and healthy skin.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Acne Vulgaris

Acne Vulgaris is the term given to the most common type of acne. It is an acne that includes comedones (blackheads), pustules (active blemishes), milia (little white bumps), and congestion under the skin. The cause is usually internal but is aggravated by external factors. This is the dreaded acne many adolescents experience as they go through puberty and deal with hormonal changes. It tends to linger for years, reappearing on a monthly basis, just to keep you on your toes. This makes things very difficult as stress plays a major role in stimulating this type of acne.

Dealing with Acne Vulgaris can be a definite challenge, but it can be controlled and overcome. Do not be tempted to use products that are too strong in an attempt to short cut the healing process. Try to use products that will normalize sebaceous secretions, decongest the skin, soothe and heal. Often a local application (affected area only) works best as products that dry and heal blemishes are too strong for general application all over the skin. Exfoliation will be beneficial, but do not rub over active blemishes (pustules). If there are only a few of these gems, work around them. If you have several pustules try using an exfoliating product that uses enzymes, AHAs or BHAs, where rubbing the skin is not necessary.

There are some great decongesting products that help detoxify the skin and eliminate blemishes under the skin's surface. These products can be in a serum, cream or mask format. Be sure to always use a day cream, which is needed to protect your skin, help to balance the secretions, normalize your pH (acid mantle that controls the bacteria on your skin) and promote healing. Stay tuned . . . suggestions for some effective products to follow.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Acne Cosmetica aka Acne Picea

Acne Cosmetica, aka Acne Picea, is an externally caused acne where inferior cosmetics, or skin care products, are the big, bad trouble makers. It can be caused by other environmental influences, such as jobs that require wearing a face mask . . . i.e., nail techs that deal with the dust from nail drills, or pedicurists who use electric files, or dental assistants. Those who work in a dusty environment, or around deep fryers, (like those in the local fast food kitchen) may also be prone to this type of acne.

Acne Picea consists of mainly comedones (blackheads), and can appear on a normal to oily skin. You need to be sure the products you use are not occlusive on your skin, dehydrating, or too strong for your skin type, as this will trigger dehydration and increase oil secretion. Also, check the foundation you use to be sure it is not blocking your pores or feels too heavy on your skin. Gentle regular exfoliation will generally offer great results, along with deep cleansers, decongesting masks, and light protective day creams. Spa treatments could include professional peels, microdermabrasion, and deep cleansing treatments with extractions.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ooey, Gooey, Good!

Valentine's Day is a perfect excuse to immerse yourself in chocolate. Literally. Eat it, smell it, bathe in it. Ooey, gooey, chocolate. A decadent menu of luxurious chocolate skin care treatments have popped up in spas across the nation. Beauty experts claim the fatty cocoa butter hydrates and softens the skin, the cocoa bean husk acts as a gentle exfoliant to break down harmful free radicals, and the caffeine stimulates the circulatory system and firms the skin. Oh, and get this, . . . there is an anti-cellulite treatment using chocolate. Just sounds wrong, doesn't it?

Spas offer whipped cocoa baths (mmm), chocolate facials, body scrubs, massages, and pedicures. During your spa visit, chocolate treats are served alongside the treatments. Go ahead, indulge. Here are a few facts to ease your conscience. High quality chocolate has twice as many anti-oxidants as green tea and has more flavonoids (anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant) than any other anti-oxidant rich food, including wine or blueberries. Wow, who knew? And, (brace yourself), Vitamin A, B1, C, D, & E, Iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Phew! I mean, really, who cares whether it is one of the best kept beauty secrets around or not? It's Valentine's Day and complete euphoria is just a bonbon away. Now you can truly have your cake and eat it too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Acne, Acne, Acne . . .

One or two blemishes is not really an indication of the 'dreaded' acne. Acne is a fairly broad condition that includes different types of skin blemishes and various causes and triggers, such as a genetic predispostion, hormonal fluctuations, stress, environment, UV exposure, skin care products, procedures, and lifestyle (i.e. diet, sleep, smoking, alcohol). Some types of acne are considered to be caused internally while others are external.

Treating or caring for the different types of acne varies on whether you are trying to heal a few blemishes, or treat a general condition. The more that is understood about the cause of the triggers for the breakouts, the better the results that can be achieved. There are some incredible treatments and products to help heal and redefine an acneic condition. These range from specialized facials,light therapy, microdermabrasion, (not for pustular acne), desincrustacian, high frequency, to homecare products. Some minor changes can often rectify the condition, for example, using a different day cream to protect the skin from the environment, or incorporating specific serums or lotions into your routine. It goes without saying that healthier lifestyle habits will also make a big change in the skin, such as not smoking, keeping the skin hydrated, getting sufficient sleep, eating a balanced diet, etc.

If you are considering a change to an acne care line, . . . do your homework. Be careful not to jump into harsher, stronger products that may only irritate your skin and worsen the condition. Some examples of caring for different types of blemishes that are part of the acne family will be posted later this week . . . stay tuned!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Escape to Health Valley Sweepstakes
One entry per day until June 30, 2009
Grand Prize: One trip for winner and one guest to Red Mountain Spa, St. George, Utah. Trip includes 5 days/4 nights hotel accommodations, one 50 minute Spa Treatment each for winner and guest, three meals a day each for winner and guest, one outdoor recreation activity per person and roundtrip coach class airfare for two. You gotta love those red rocks! Total retail value of grand prize package $7,500.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Win Fitness Magazine's $5,400 Spa Getaway to Canyon Ranch
Enter by February 26th, 2009
GRAND PRIZE: One grand prize winner and one guest will receive a three-night, all-inclusive stay at CANYON RANCH Tucson, AZ or Lennox, MA spa, which includes three gourmet meals daily, fitness classes each day, use of the fully equipped spa complex, guided hikes and biking excursions, one daily selection of lectures and cooking demonstrations, a Personal Program Advisor to custom-design your stay, Health & Fitness Assessment and $390.00 per person allowance toward spa, sports & integrative wellness services. Total retail value of grand prize package $5,400.00.