Friday, October 30, 2009

The Power of Pumpkin

Halloween is a perfect time of year to take a closer look at the pumpkin's contribution to the skin care industry. Many interesting specialized products are based upon this beautiful superfood. Other than the natural fruit acids (yes, the pumpkin is technically a fruit), it is high in Vitamins A, C, & E, several B's, potassium, magnesium iron, zinc and copper. Quite the list! In fact, some have said that, "the pumpkin contains one of the richest supplies of bioavailable carotenoids known to man." Bold statement.

In skin care, however, the pumpkin has a unique ability to efficiently exfoliate dead skin cells while cleansing, detoxing and promoting a healthy healing process. It enables other ingredients to penetrate the skin more effectively, works on restoring the elasticity of the skin and offers moisturizing properties that leave the skin feeling silky smooth. Pumpkin skin care is most effective for dull, sluggish skin that screams for nutrition and the return of a long lost radiant glow. There are many great pumpkin products on the market that deserve your attention. It is clear that pumpkins offer so much more than just baking into great pies. Pumpkin power, indeed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MATIS PARIS Le Cou Enriched Neck Cream

Macadamia oil has a great affinity with the skin as the composition is similar to sebum which allows soothing and nourishing hydration properties. It also gives this neck cream a beautiful creamy texture without leaving a heavy feeling on the skin. Other interesting botanical ingredients help promote collagen synthesis and moisture absorption which result in the skin on the neck being revived.

There are even a few ingredients like cecropia obtusa bark extract to help work against the build up of fatty tissue under the chin, otherwise known as the dreaded 'waddle'. The elderberry extract and tannic acid will help fade pigmentations and tone and smooth the skin. This cream is loaded with vitamins A, E, C, B’s and minerals like potassium and copper. It will help provide the necessities for cellular regeneration and repair of the skin, including those oh so important dermal proteins to firm and promote the elasticity of the skin. The polyphenols and vitamins also provide a nice cocktail of anti-oxidants to protect from further degradation (aging) caused by free radical damage. You will see results with this product, especially if you apply from the decolette up the neck and slightly over the jaw line.

Monday, October 26, 2009

ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment for Neck and Bust

Now we are getting serious, . . . toning the skin of the neck and breast at the same time. It is simple and logical; the continual strain of breast tissue helps gravity along as it weakens the tissue of the neck.

This product is loaded with some great botanical oils like sunflower, macadamia, jojoba, and buckhorn, offering nourishment and regeneration while boosting the health and tonicity of the tissue. These oils are rich with anti-oxidants, flavonoids, vitamins C and E, beta carotene, the essential Omega’s 3, 6, and 9, not to mention revitalizing collagen and some essential minerals needed for regeneration and repair. Don't get the wrong impression, with all these oils this treatment cream does not have an oily slick to the product, but instead a soft emolliency that disappears into the skin. The shea butter component enhances the benefits of the oils, being rich with essential fatty acids (EFA’s) Omega 3,6,9, and ensures the restorative properties of this product. This treatment cream also contains Padina Pavonica, an incredible algae that applied topically stimulates collagen production and improves the elasticity of the skin.

There are also a couple of algae extracts that will promote metabolism and regeneration. The iodine content will promote lipolysis (breakdown of excess fatty tissue) and address that extra cushioning that often appears under the chin as we age. If you are sensitive to algae ingredients, this product may not suit you, but for everyone else this product will offer the “wow” factor you are looking for.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Neck's Little Extras

There are little extras you can do to prevent “softening" of the neck line, or to improve an already “softened" neck. They should definitely be considered before resorting to plastic surgery, or the more aggressive medi-spa treatments. If you decide to choose the medical treatment route these little extras will expedite healing, recovery, and enhance the result of the treatment, especially if you treat your neck to a healthy home treatment program.

Mini Home Treatment: Apply a firming mask to the area of the face and neck. Lay a strip of gauze into it with a lifting motion gently pulling it up over the jaw. Let it set. After 10 - 15 minutes, moisten and remove. The gauze will enhance the effect of the mask and give a little extra lift for a special occasion. Most skin care professionals will recommend masking once a week, but don't be shy, incredible results have been noted with masking daily. Make sure to rinse off the mask before it dries, particularly if it has a clay base as it will dehydrate your skin.

Mini Exercise: Apply cream gently from the center of your chin towards your ears then down the sides of your neck. This will improve the nourishment and detoxifying action of the blood and lymph. Take the pads of your thumb and rest them under your chin, with your mouth closed try to open your mouth with your thumbs providing the resistance, hold for a few seconds then repeat a few times. You will feel a little tightening in the muscle that covers the neck - the one that tends to relax a little too much for our liking. Repeat the same action again, only this time hold your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Hold and repeat as before. You should feel tightening again, but, in a little different place on the muscle (platysma). Now, use the same positioning of the thumbs, but this time open your mouth open and try to push it closed using your thumbs, . . . hmm another sensation of tightening. This little bit of aerobics for the neck takes a couple of minutes and is a great way to apply a serum or cream, or fill in time at a red light. This is a great "waddle-buster."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Neck Care

A waddle is cute as long as it is not referring to someone’s neck. The neck area is often forgotten when cleansing and applying protective treatment creams until one day we wake up and panic at the lines and loose skin on our neck. The neck area gets a lifetime of abuse from sun, clothing, and being forgotten. The area just under the chin usually escapes the glare from the sun as it is shaded by the chin, but the sides and lower portion suffer dearly. The pigmentation that occurs on the sides of the neck from photo damage (sun) is enhanced as this area is also where we often put perfume, . . . a definite 'no-no' for sun exposed areas.

Muscles that contribute to the firmness and contour of the jaw begin to age and relax causing a weakening in the tonus of the neck. Many women over time develop an increase in the adipose (fatty tissue) just under the chin contributing to the weight, or heaviness, of the neck area and loss of jaw definition. The texture and color of the skin becomes uneven, ruby points and skin tags may develop (especially along the base of the neck), all of which can be improved with some well deserved attention.

The neck area should be treated as automatically as the skin of the face. Cleansing, toning, regular exfoliation, mask application and a cream should be applied to the neck daily. If you are serious about slowing, preventing, or repairing damage to the delicate skin of the neck there are many specific products to care for this area, not to mention treatments that can do wonders. There are incredible serums, masks, creams, light treatments, microcurrent treatments, even exercises all to be considered before invasive procedures. Stay tuned . . . reviews to follow.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Be Aware and Beware

Troubling news is being reported from the world of wellness communities and medical spa treatments. As a result of a sweat lodge ceremony in Sedona, Arizona almost two dozen people were hospitalized. Sadly, three died. More than 50 attendees paid up to $9,000 to attend a multi-day program run by self-help guru, James Arthur Ray, author of "Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want." Although authorities have not determined the cause of the deaths, one of the leaders of the ceremony passed away due to multiple organ failure. Many of those hospitalized were suffering from illnesses caused by severe dehydration and kidney complications.

An otherwise healthy woman is on life support after receiving a carboxytherapy treatment in a medical spa in Florida. This type of mesotherapy treatment injects carbon dioxide under the skin to improve the appearance of cellulite and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

While we cannot go through all the recent reports, we can offer a few suggestions. Be careful. Don't beleive everthing you read. Do your homework. Trust your instincts. Always make sure that a medical procedure is being performed by a medical professional with a sturdy background. Be aware.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Island Outpost Sweepstakes
Grand Prize: 4-Night/5-Day Stay for Two People at one of Island Outpost's most hip Jamaican hotels - Strawberry Hill Hotel & Spa (a signature mountain oasis), The Caves (poised on the limestone cliffs of Negril's scenic West End), or Jake's (designed cottages near a secluded fishing village). The prize also includes a 'Special Welcome Amenity' and one 60-minute Spa Treatment per person. Approximate Retail Value $2,500.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

SPA WEEK PROMOTION - Oct. 12th - 18th

Is the economy getting you down? Are you cutting back on non-essential services in your personal life? It's unfortunate that during a time of major financial cutbacks, when stress is at an all time high, services that help reduce stress and restore health go straight out the window. Well, hold onto your heart monitors everyone, we have great news for you.

Spa Week is here again. This week participating spas in Denver, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Boston, Detroit, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Virginia Beach and Toronto, Canada will be offering a selection of full length signature services for a deep discounted flat rate of $50. That's right, $50. Considering that most spa treatments run between $100 - $200, it's almost financially irresponsible to ignore. So go ahead, book yourself a relaxing, stress-busting massage, or facial, and save big time. In our opinion, Spa Week is seven glorious days dedicated to guilt free, affordable luxury. And that, friends, is music to our ears.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall and Winter Skin Care "Switch-Ups"

Ah, . . . winter. Colder temperatures, cooler air, and depending on where you live, the possibility of rain and/or snow. When this happens we turn on our furnaces, start to use the heaters in our cars, and cover up for warmth. All of these things greatly affect our skin. The cooler temperatures cause a drop in the humidity leading to increased moisture loss, and the dry warmth of the furnace pitches in to finish off the job by robbing your skin's moisture levels. Sitting in your car with the heater blowing may feel warm and toasty, but it puts your skin into panic mode.

It is normal to have moisture move through your skin and evaporate from the skin's surface to some degree, but when the skin loses too much moisture it responds with defensive actions. For instance, oil production increases in an attempt to trap more moisture as it plays a large role in holding, or linking, moisture in the skin. The surface layer of the skin begins to thicken in an attempt to lessen the moisture loss. The result? A thicker, duller complexion with more dehydration lines, accentuated existing lines, and a definite feeling of tightness. If that is not bad enough, dehydrated skin is more susceptible to free radical damage accelerating the aging process. Do your skin a favor. Pay attention to your skin care and "switch it up" to products that will offer the best protection for the colder weather.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mesotherapy Facial Treatment

A large percentage of those seeking a more youthful appearance are making very different choices when it comes to plastic surgery. The data clearly shows a very definite move away from invasive procedures and toward non-invasive (or minimally invasive) cosmetic enhancements. Dermal fillers and Botox are largely responsible for this trend.

Enter Mesotherapy. Europeans have popularized injectable Mesotherapy treatments for treating aging skin for decades. Mesotherapy is well known to effectively treat cellulite for a smoother, firmer appearance to the skin on the body. Recently, it is gaining speed as a treatment used to rejuvenate lackluster, sagging skin on the face, neck and hands. The treatment includes multiple injections just under the skin (meso layer) with one of a variety of special formulations consisting of vitamins, minerals, vital amino acids, natural extracts, nucleic acids, and coenzymes. These injections rejuvenate the cells and create activity, which in turn, stimulate the production of the body's own collagen and elastin.

Results are generally seen after the first treatment, but most medical professionals will recommend treatments repeated every second week for 10 weeks, followed by a consistent maintenance program. This treatment is not for the faint of heart. Each treatment will run between $200- $400 per treatment. It is not FDA approved.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Win a trip for two at LaSource Spa in Grenada
Enter by October 14th
Grand Prize: One winner will receive a trip for two to LaSource Spa in Grenada. Prize includes, round-trip coach airfare tickets from the major commercial airport nearest winner's primary residence in the United States to Grenada; one standard hotel room (double occupancy) for seven nights, all food and beverages, and one spa treatment per person per day. Approximate Retail Value of the prize is $5,500

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dysport - The New Botox?

Dysport (Medicis) is the new alternative to Botox (Allergan). In fact, Dysport is made from the same botulinum toxin as Botox. FDA clearance was recently granted to Medicis, famous for their two great dermal fillers, Restylane and Perlane. Dysport is said to be "faster acting" with a greater "spread" giving a more natural appearance and requiring fewer injections. Dysport has the ability to last up to a few months longer than Botox since it contains less protein which is more difficult for the body to break down. Botox, on the other hand, is recommended for a smaller, more specific localized area.

The downside? A big one. A human one. As always it is terribly important to select the right professionals with the proper credentials. Since the injections go deeper and the botulinum has a paralytic effect, there is a critical need for precision to avoid the potential that the drug may spread to nearby muscles and cause unwanted side effects in neighboring areas. The professionals who administer these injections really need to know their stuff. Make no mistake . . . there is no room for error.

Dysport (Medicis) vs Botox (Allergan) is going to be an interesting boxing match to watch. It is aptly being described as," the biggest feud since the Hatfields and the McCoys." Well said.