Friday, January 29, 2010


Saks Fifth Avenue - The Parker Palm Springs Sweepstakes
Enter by February 8th
Grand Prize: One winner and guest will receive a 5 night stay in a Parker Palm Spring's Villa including accommodations, a $500 spa credit to the Palm Springs Yacht Club, and daily breakfast for winner and guest at either Norma's, the hotel's five-star diner or via room service. Prize does not include air or ground transportation. Approximate Retail Value $5,000.00

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

LUMIXYL - The New Hydroquinone

Move over hydroquinone . . . Lumixyl is the new skin brightening cream on the block. Hydroquinone, the old gold standard for lightening hyperpigmentations (melasma, age spots, freckles, etc.), was forced into retirement when it was banned following clinical tests that confirmed it may cause leukemia with repeated use.

Researchers at Stanford University took this as their opportunity to create Lumixyl as a replacement. Using ground-breaking technology, this synthetic peptide technology (complex of oligopeptides) was formulated to be 40% more effective than hydroquinone. Clinical studies report Lumixyl is safe for all skin types, safe for prolonged use, does not increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun, has no side effects, is non toxic, non irritating, and works on uneven skin tone in approximately 8 weeks. Lumixyl seems to be an obvious choice to boost the radiance factor of the skin and knock it right out of the park. By prescription only.

*Clinical study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology August 2009

Monday, January 25, 2010

Skin Tone and the Perception of Age

The focal point of the anti-aging world has historically centered around skin care that works hard at minimizing wrinkles, facial lines and sagging skin. Anti-aging always meant anti-wrinkle. More recently, however, the focus has dramatically shifted to the skin's tone and coloration, particularly since recent research concluded that the evenness of the complexion plays a critical role in the perception of one's age.

Case in point. A team of biologists in Europe used 3D technology to understand the impact of skin tone and discolorations with respect to beauty and aging. 430 participants were asked to guess the ages of digital images of 169 females between the ages of 11 and 76. The digital images were photoshopped to present healthier and even skin tones. Most were judged to be younger than their actual age. These results confirmed that skin tone greatly impacts a woman's perceived age, and in some cases, actually erred on the side of youth by up to 12 years.

Healthy skin reflects light evenly resulting in a youthful glow. Mature skin, on the other hand, lacks collagen and moisture and absorbs light which visibly translates to a dull complexion giving an older, more aged appearance. In fact, when light hits a rough and irregular surface, the light scatters and actually highlights imperfections. This research is invaluable to cosmetic companies to help 'set the right tone' of the anti-aging movement. Expect to see more effective *primers, *concealers and *foundations on the market that will even out skin tone and present a much more youthful complexion.

*If you have found a great primer, concealer, and/or foundation, please share it with us. Email us at and tell us all about it!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Lighter Side of Beauty - Beauty Enhancing Food

Is it possible to eat your way to beauty? According to the latest beauty trend, beauty-enhancing food and drink products are hitting the global market big time. And, they are being eagerly welcomed by consumers. In 2009, this new beauty trend launched more than 300 products with a whopping 306% sales increase over 2008.

The Japanese are very serious about beauty . . . and more specifically the amazing benefits of collagen. They boast many 'beauty restaurants' offering collagen-rich items and hot pots (nabe) on their menus. Convenience stores on every corner sell a myriad of inexpensive collagen-rich drinks, and a new blend of fruit snacks (mango, pineapple, papaya, cranberry fruit) coated with collagen are being launched in supermarkets this year.

One of the latest beauty food products from Japan is a tasty treat called, Eat Yourself Beautiful. Actually, Eat Yourself Beautiful is a bag of pink grapefruit flavored marshmallows. Yup, marshmallows. Each bag claims to have of 3000 mg collagen peptides per pack and are said to bump up the body's collagen levels, smooth fine lines, tone and firm the skin, plump the lips and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Wow, who knew? It is not terribly surprising that the medical community at large has dismissed these claims saying that, "eating collagen has no more benefits than eating any other protein rich food." Smores anyone?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Enter by January 31st
GRAND PRIZE: One (1) first prize consists of three (3) nights stay in a fabulous THE hotel suite, roundtrip coach air fare for two (2) from the major US or Canadian gateway city airport closest to the winner's home to Las Vegas, NV, Limo Service to and from the airport in Las Vegas, two (2) tickets to a participating show at Mandalay Bay, two complimentary passes to Mix Lounge, Two (2) complimentary Spa passes with a $300 Spa Treatment credit, $300 Gift Card to the Shoppes at Mandalay Place, $50 Beverage Credit at Eyecandy, Autographed Los Angeles Clipper memorabilia and weekend access for two to the private House of Blues Foundation Room. The total approximate retail value of the prize is $2,417

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stem Cell Skin Care

The controversy surrounding stem cell technology is still very much divided. Ethics are at the center of this controversy, as well as the issue of health and safety. Currently, research shows embryonic stem cells are not being incorporated into skin care products because of the obvious difficulties in formulating and maintaining the integrity of live materials. Plant stem cell technology, on the other hand, offers no questionable ethics and lots of exciting potential.

Stem cells are the most important cells in the skin. Their self renewing properties, along with the extraordinary potential to divide and transform into other types of cells, offer more specific functions addressing a myriad of health concerns. Skin care products using stem cell technology have origins in the plant world. Since certain species of apples have the ability for self repair and long-term storage capabilities, their resilient stem cells became the object of enthusiastic studies. Scientists in Switzerland found a rare apple tree species, the Uttwiler Spätlauber, that produces a remarkable apple with the unique ability to stay fresh for up to four months after harvest, while others would have shriveled and perished. Further investigation found their stem cells could stimulate human stem cell growth, protect stem cells from UV radiation, replenish the skin and reverse the effects of aging on the skin. The extract called PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica is based on the apple's "callus cells" which are cells that form when the plant is wounded. This extract has shown significant reduction in wrinkle depth after two to four weeks of use by 8% and 15% respectively.

The Uttwiler Spätlauber tree is endangered and the Swiss are doing their best to turn things around to protect the species, but in the meantime (and in the name of beauty, of course) chemists have figured out how to create the cells in their labs. High science, indeed. Keep an eye out for the serums and creams utilizing this beautiful blend that showcases the exCELLent adage, "an apple a day keeps aging at bay."

Friday, January 15, 2010


DREAM SPA MAKEOVER - Enter by Jan. 29th
Grand Prize: One winner will be chosen to receive an all-expenses-paid seven-day retreat at Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment—one of the country's top destination spas in Boyton Canyon, Sedona, Arizona. Included are airfare, accommodations in a Spa Casita, all meals (excluding specialty drinks and alcohol), 14 spa treatments, and all destination spa amenities and activities. Approx. retail value $4,600

Your experience will also be highlighted in Spa Magazine's July/August 2010 issue so you can share your wellness journey with other readers! All you need to do is click on the link, choose one of Mii amo's "journeys" below, read the descriptions on their site and write in 200 words (or less) why you would like to win the contest. Sharpen your pencils 'cause you've got to be in it, to win it!

• Healthy Body in Balance Journey
• De-Stress Mind, Body, and Spirit Journey
• Spiritual Exploration Journey
• Rites of Passage Journey

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hayflick Limit Theory of Aging - Life Extension Technology

Exfoliation brightens the complexion, refines the texture of the skin, minimizes pores and fine lines and promotes circulation for better cellular nutrition. Exfoliation is a good thing. We all know, however, too much of a good thing is not a good thing at all. Deep, frequent exfoliation (microdermabrasion, AHA peels, etc.) that works hard at removing more than its share of cell debris stimulates excessive cell division. That is not a good thing and should be avoided. Seriously. Moderation is the key to a healthy skin care program. But, there is something else . . .

The Hayflick Limit is worthy of serious consideration. During the early 1960s, Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead theorized that since human cells are finite there is only so much cell life and division to go around. Cells can only divide a certain number of times before the division stops and they become senescent (old, sluggish, dying). Senescent cells are dysfunctional, slow, enlarged, interfere with younger cells, and build up the pigment responsible for age spots. The skin of older people has approximately 33% times the senescent cells, and as a result, their skin is more fragile, blotchy and wrinkled.

Aging is a fact of life. It can be graceful or it can be dreadful. The choice, as with most things, is up to each individual. There is a visible need to reduce the rate of cell division to live longer. The bigger question is what on earth can be done about the Hayflick Limit? Avoid excessive exfoliation. Eat properly. Understand the profound health benefits of antioxidants. Maintain a healthy body weight. Exercise. Minimize stress. Use appropriate skin care. Be careful about UV exposure. Live a moderate lifestyle.

The Hayflict Limit is directly connected to the shortening of the telomeres. Telomerase is an enzyme that offers restoration and health to the telomeres. This is exciting life extension technology. Is it time to catch the youth train? Not quite, but the train is definitely on the track.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Telomeres and Telomerase - Life Extension Technology

Is science is on the verge of winning the war on aging through cellular immortality? Big question . . . one opening doors all the way down life's hallway. A Nobel Prize was awarded last year (2009) for research in Telomeres and Telomerase Enzyme Research. Telomeres are aptly described as life's little time keepers - clocks that regulate the aging process. They are little caps (yellow dots in the picture) attached at the end of every strand of DNA, fittingly described as the plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces. Each time a cell divides, telomeres shorten. Once the telomeres are too short, cells become sluggish and ultimately unresponsive. They no longer divide. The youth generating duplication process comes to a close and the degradation process results in the loss of elasticity, volume depletion, and negative changes in the skin texture. Telomerase is a natural 'bodyguard' enzyme that provides protection to the telomeres by offering a deeper stability in maintaining its health and length. Once the telomerase is activated telomeres will continue their youth-keeping activity and literally turn back time. This is what some call the "immortal cell theory."

Telomere technology is anti-aging skin care's tipping point . . . the little things that make a very big difference. Since telomeres are present in plants and animals sourcing telomerase enzymes becomes a much easier task. There is no doubt we will all be hearing much more more about the telomere's anti-aging philosophy of divide and conquer.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2009/2010 - Top Five Spa Trends

"The Intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein

2009 turned out to be a year of unrelenting stress. The American Psychological Association revealed that eight out of ten people say the state of the economy is a "significant cause of stress." A cornucopia of ongoing stress. Thankfully, spa and wellness communities are always investigating new ways to tackle the negative effects of tension, anxiety and constant worrying. Consequently, it is never a surprise that each year one of the most prominent spa trends has something to do with transforming stress and increasing well-being.

What is the new stress reduction trend? Mindfulness. Mindfulness uses meditation to offer insight, transformation and healing. The practice is centered around being fully awake and engaged while "paying attention with intention and without judgement." Mindfulness teaches us to be fully present in all of our experiences and get back our focus instead of living a life of avoidance and distraction. It acknowledges fear, stress and confusion instead of pretending they don't exist. It shows that through peaceful observation of each experience, (physical, emotional and mental) we can gain a balanced approach to our lives with a deeper appreciation of our daily living. In short, out with denial and in with awareness. Mindfulness helps to end fretful thoughts (and there are plenty of those) by filling the mind with positive thoughts of gratitude. After learning to be mindful, we learn one very powerful thing . . . reality doesn't bite.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009/2010 - Top Five Spa Trends

The smart part: Skin care aficionados rejoice! The trend this year is 'science-specific' skin care. Since science is now able to mimic and replicate the natural functions of the skin (biomimetic) we can all look forward to innovative and smart skin care, intelligent ingredients, avant-garde products. Target, treat, prevent. Regenerate, repair, renew. Biotechnology, pentapeptides, biopeptides, targeted delivery systems, nanotechnology, neurocosmetics, phytochemicals, etc., and now, . . . stem cell technology (more on this later). Boil down all the buzz words and what do you get? Science at its beautiful best.

The responsible part: Organic skin care gained vast popularity over the past few years. Statistics made it crystal clear that consumers love environmentally conscientious products. During the organic movement's rise to fame, many eyebrows were being raised over several corporate claims of products being 'natural, organic and certified organic' when many simply do not meet organic industry standards. Enter the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). They have launched a "Coming Clean Campaign" to examine companies that flaunt organic claims but don't meet the proper criteria. The OCA is raising its voice and demanding "more stringent regulations to heighten the integrity of the organic movement."

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009/2010 - Top Five Spa Trends

Social media is the new powerhouse of word-of-mouth marketing. Social Networks, Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter's Tweets, and the mighty You Tube. Facebook boasts 350 million users worldwide (100.5 million in the US) to Twitter's 58 million. Demographics show women between the ages of 25 - 54 are eagerly sharing their opinions online . . . both good and bad. This past holiday season found 28% of consumers were clearly influenced by social media and purchased products recommended by consumer or expert reviewers.

This global phenomenon has opened many doors in the spa industry. Ad-Ology revealed that, "57 % of 18 to 24 year olds and 48.5 % of 25 to 34 year olds say social media influenced their choice of a hair salon or day spa." Spa Finder announced that in early 2010 they will launch a new application that will allow anyone who owns an iPhone to "pinpoint a spa nearest you." With 26 million iPhones sold and 27 million people accessing a social networking sites from mobile phones . . . well . . . you get the picture. Talk about the ability to reach out and touch someone. Online booking tools are available from individual spas or trustworthy companies like SpaFinder and WaySpa (partnered with Spa Magazine). Spas are inviting clients to visit them online to familiarize themselves prior to their appointment, which is a perfect way to personalize their relationship. Inviting dialogue and chatting on Twitter helps build trust and deliver what their clients really want. The power of social media on commerce is immediate and unmistakable. Social media truly is the holy grail of increased brand awareness, brand monitoring and brand reinforcement.

Friday, January 1, 2010


We wish you a very peaceful,
joyous and prosperous New Year!
One year older, one year better.