Monday, June 10, 2013

The Alpha Sphere

The Alpha Sphere is a multi-sensory relaxation chair created by a Viennese artist and perception researcher, Sha. This unique relaxation chair encases its client in rich images, rhythms, color, lighting sound, warmth and vibrations while working on stress reduction, increased creativity and a deep state of relaxation.  The chair assists in harmonizing breathing, loosening tight muscles, resolving body tension, stimulates circulation, and lowers high blood pressure. Extensive tests conducted at the University of Vienna confirmed that this therapeutic chair offers a "clear pattern of deep relaxation" offering a feeling of timelessness and serenity.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Facial Recognition Skin Care App

As if we aren't paranoid enough about aging . . . now you can now track your signs of aging using a new phone ap. My Own Ap, developed by innovative skin health company Own Products, uses facial recognition technology and clinical research to track, measure and analyze fine lines, deep wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.

Once a photo of the face is uploaded, this technology will evaluate the overall needs of your skin . . . and in five to fifteen minutes . . .  you will be notified of the number of fine lines and wrinkles, deep set wrinkles, crow's feet, percentage of total face coverage of age spots/hyperpigmentation, as well as a comparison of your face with other women within your peer group to see how well you are aging.  You will also receive a side-by-side comparison of what you could look like after following a recommended skin care and wellness routine.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Aveda - Mister Chakra

Aveda has launched an interesting interactive website called, Mister Chakra, outlining a sensory journey of all seven chakras and how they are connected to a healthy body, mind and spirit.  Mister Chakra offers wellness rituals which include guided meditations, mantras, breathing techniques, and proper nutrition. Aveda's rituals are created to offer a heightened awareness necessary to heal each sensory center and create a "grounded" healthy balance.  Aveda's Body Balancing Mists and corresponding Aveda spa treatments are recommended to continue to work to remedy the situation.

Monday, June 3, 2013


Lucky Magazine's Score a Trip to St. Lucia
Enter by June 24th
Grand Prize: One winner and a guest will receive four nights for two in the Blu, St. Lucia Junior Suite, four daily breakfasts for two at The Blue Jazz Bar and Grill, one dinner for two at The Blue Jazz Bar and Grill, one Alaia spa credit, two round-trip coach tickets to St. Lucia, one airport/hotel transfers in St. Lucia, one Steamline Luggage, the Editor Series Carry-On Suitcase, one Calypso St. Barth Bellini eau de toilette, one Calypso St. Barth Bellini bougie parfum, one Trish McEvoy Power of Makeup Effortless Beauty Planner Collection, one Trish McEvoy Tapered Blending brush, one Trish McEvoy Cream Blending brush, one Trish McEvoy Precise Eye Lining, one Trish McEvoy Soft Smudge brush, two Scents and Feel Fouta Bayadere and Fouta Solid with Strips in Yellow.  

Friday, May 31, 2013


Crystal Light Sweepstakes
Enter by June 24th  
Grand Prize: One winner and a guest will receive three (3) nights at the Eden Roc Renaissance, in Miami, FL (one room, double occupancy), round-trip coach airfare for two to and from Miami Airport (MIA), and one spa treatment for winner and guest at the ELLE SPA with the specific treatments selected by ELLE. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Cosmo's Luxe Fitness Trip For Two Sweepstakes:
Enter by June 4th 
Grand Prize: One winner and a guest will receive  Luxe Fitness trip to the Fairmount Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Prize package includes a two (2) day, one (1) night stay at the Fairmount Miramar Hotel (standard accommodations, single room, double occupancy) in Santa Monica, California; a sports massage for two at Exhale; yoga class for two at Exhale; one Nike+fuelBand; welcome amenity socks and running maps of Santa Monica; a healthy breakfast for two at Fig; and round-trip coach airfare for two from a major airport nearest winner’s residence. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Guniot - Hydraclean Facial

Guinot's 30-minute Hydraclean Facial uses the patented Thermoclean Electrode designed to deliver noticeable, long lasting results in less than half the time of a standard facial.  This mini treatment offers up maximum benefits leaving the skin clean and radiant.  Instead of using steam to soften the pores, the Thermoclean Electrode "triggers hyper-secretion of the sweat and sebaceous glands to clean the pores and rid the skin of oil and toxins while individually prescribed gel is massaged into the face to deeply penetrate and treat the skin."

The two gels that were specifically created for this treatment are the Universal Cleansing Gel for all skin types and the Purifying Cleansing gel for oily skin.  Clean, radiant skin without a minute to spare.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Eminence - Forests for the Future

Eminence announces a new environmental initiative and a commitment to plant one tree for every active organic or Biodynamic product sold. Their new partnership with award-winning global tree planting organizations like Trees for the Future focuses attention on protecting the planet through forward thinking green practices.

The Power of a Single Tree . . . produces approximately 260 lbs. of oxygen per year, absorbs as much carbon in a year as a car produces driving 26,000 miles, helps lower air temperature and helps to prevent climate change, stabilizes the soil and prevents wind and soil erosion through its roots, contributes to the fertility of land through nitrogen fixation and increasing water penetration.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jane Iredale's Partnership with Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta announced a new and exciting partnership with Jane Iredale. The mineral makeup line consisting of more than 400 products will be the resort's exclusive cosmetic brand and will be available for purchase at Rancho La Puerta's Health Centers. Each guest will receive a complimentary consultation upon their arrival at the resort following any spa treatments.

The brand's partnership was a natural fit based on mutual passion for health and wellness and a dedicated commitment to enhance and uplift the lives of others while maintaining sustainable and responsible business practices. Jane Iredale products offer a distinct skin care benefit, designed to enhance the health and well-being of the user.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dermalogica's Dynamic Skin Recovery

Dermalogica has just improved upon one of its top-selling moisturizers . . . AGE smart Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50.  The medium-wight daily moisturizer has a new formula with a higher SPF factor (formerly 30) which comes thanks to advanced Oleosome technology.  Oleosomes are naturally occurring spheres of emollient oils and Vitamin E found in safflower seeds.  They deliver active ingredients directly to the skin's surface and prevent unwanted oiliness or chalkiness in the product.

Dynamic Skin Recovery aims to reduce hyperpigmentation and contains a patented polypeptide which encourages collagen synthesis. The antioxidant white tea polyphenols work to regulate collagen degradation, a licorice root extract acts as a calming agent, and hyaluronic acid and algae extracts help combat fine lines and stimulate natural exfoliation for smoother skin.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum

Jurlique launched the new Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum based on the 20 year old cult favorite, Herbal Recovery Gel.  The new formula aims to revitalize, recover and protect the skin for a radiant, smooth and healthy look.  The Serum contains a blend of fortifying herbal extracts such as Persian Silk Tree and Peach Leaf, as well as a new complex Naturadiance PB18+.

Clinically proven effective, 91% of consumers noticed healthier looking skin after using the Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum every day for four weeks. Participants also saw a noticeable improvement in fine lines, skin smoothness, improved radiance, texture and moisturization.  The formula is free from sodium lauryl sulfate, paragons, PEGs, artificial colors and artificial fragrances.

"As our skin ages, its daily ability to regenerate and renew from the effects of environmental attacks starts to slow down," says Richard Pietz, Global Director of Product Development at Jurlique.  "Our new Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum aids in optimizing this biological to help combat the first signs of aging and promote healthy, radiant skin."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Knesko Skin Launch

Thousand Oaks-based Knesko Skin announced their official launch along with a collection of luxury holistic skin care products. With the philosophy that beauty starts from within, Knesko Skin has reportedly developed a line of beauty products that promote wellness on all levels harnessing the healing powers of gemstones, along with Knesko's line of collagen gel based face masks and eye pads.

"Understanding that we all want to rein our youthful look, my goal is to create a skin care line that is not only effective in revitalizing skin's youthful appearance, but also helps center our inner balance and well-being," said Lejla Cas, President of Knesko Skin.  "Knesko Skin's line of holistic luxury products, allows consumers to look and feel radiant both on the outside and from within."

Knesko Skin's products are designed to combat the signs of aging by balancing skin tone, reducing inflammation, increasing hydration and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and are formulated with jojoba oil, marine collage, hyaluronic acid and ubiquinone.

Monday, May 13, 2013

SpaFinder Last Minute Deals

SpaFinder Wellness recently introduced a brand new service that takes into account our busy schedules. "Last Minute" is a same-day and next-day spa appointment service that offers generous discounts at more than 20,000 spas that are registered with the SpaFinder Wellness’s network.
This type of service is a win-win situation.  Most spas have reported they often experience an average of 30% to 60% of appointment slots left unfilled and this new Last Minute SpaFinder service fill those gaps while helping consumers save big money on professional services.
Last Minute is currently available in New York City, Miami, and Chicago.  In June, Last Minutes services will find themselves through spas located in Los Angeles and Dallas . . . and by early fall, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, Houston will join the ranks.  Smart business all the way around!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Update: Lipstick and Lead

Mother Jones reported the FDA conducted two follow-up studies (2009 and 2012) which resulted in finding "much more lead, up to 7.19 parts per million, in the lipstick samples tested. The image shown here show the top 20 lead-containing lipstick from the FDA's 2012 review of 400 lipstick shades.  Many were shocked to discover that the line of Burt's Bees, who brands themselves as a "natural" product is now owned by Clorox . . . yes, as in Clorox Bleach.

Below you will note statistics from an post written and published a few years ago clearly showing that some of these cosmetic companies have actually increased the amount of lead in lipsticks over the years instead of finding ways to lessen the hazardous ingredients in their brands of lipsticks.

Truth or Consequences: Lipsticks and Lead

The following is an update on the lipstick/lead controversy. One study found that, "more than half of the 33 brand name lipsticks tested (61%) contained detectable levels of lead - ranging from 0.03 - 0.65 parts per million (ppm)." One third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the US FDA's 0.1 ppm (parts per million) limit for lead in candy. Many say comparing the ingestion of candy with lipstick is not a fair comparison but according to a fact reported by Glamour Magazine (2002), women inadvertently eat about 4 lbs of lipstick in a lifetime.

Although the FDA has not set a lead-limit on lipstick, the following is a list of top brand lipsticks that tested the highest for lead content (2008):
• L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” – 0.65 ppm
• L’Oreal Colour Riche “Classic Wine” – 0.58 ppm
• Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” – 0.56 ppm
• Christian Dior Addict “Positive Red” – 0.21 ppm
Note: Most samples tested were red lipsticks which addresses an important question, . . . is there lead in the red dyes?

Lead is unnecessary as an ingredient in lipstick and entirely avoidable. Case in point . . . 39% of lipsticks tested had no detectable levels of lead. The study showed the most expensive lipsticks not boding well. Dior Addict was one of the most contaminated samples, selling for $24.50 tube while Revlon lipstick contained no detectable lead levels and retailing for $7.49. It is important to note, the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association report, "the average amount of lead a woman would be exposed to when using cosmetics is 1,000 times less than the amount she would get from eating, breathing and drinking." Who do you believe? The best advice is to err on the side of caution and make sure the lipstick you wear is, "legally produced and sold in the U.S. and is not an unauthorized import or a counterfeit cosmetic."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pomega5 - Mother's Day Super Special

Pomega5 is offering a Mother's Day special to all mothers and daughters through Sunday,  May 12th. Visit their website and receive 20% off any purchase up to $150 (use code Mother2013), or 30% off any purchase of $150 or more (use code MyMother3013). All orders over $100 receive free standard shipping in the Continental USA only.

One lucky Mom will be selected from those who make a purchase during this promotion to win a Free Pomega5 "Henri Bendel's Gift Set" valued at $220.  The drawing will take place on Mother's Day and will be announced on their Facebook page.

Friday, May 3, 2013

2013 Earth Day Beauty Awards - Ilike

Ilike Botanical AHA Peel won an award at the 2013 Earth Day Beauty Awards for the best Instant ExfoliantBest Instant Exfoliant. Healing Lifestlyles and Spas had this to say about Ilike's award winning exfoliant, "when you want smooth skin without scrubbing, a chemical exfoliant will do the trick (‘chemical’ refers to the action of natural acids, not toxic ingredients). 

This particular exfoliant combines lactic acid to loosen dead skin cells with brightening and toning lemon oil. We love the addition of hollyhock, a flower that reduces inflammation and soothes the skin during the peel. Its pretty floral scent gives your senses a boost while the peel helps clear away residue so other products can penetrate more effectively." 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Skin Cancer Awareness - Melanoma Monday - May 6th

The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) aims to paint the nation orange this May by asking the public to wear orange in support of skin cancer awareness on Melanoma Monday®May 6.

The Academy is designating the day as SPOT Orange™ on Melanoma Monday® to heighten awareness of the prevalence of skin cancer and motivate people to detect the early signs of this potentially life-threatening disease. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime and, on average, one person dies from melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – every hour.

“The idea behind SPOT Orange™ is to paint the country orange one day of the year – Melanoma Monday – to show a unified front in fighting skin cancer,” said board-certified dermatologist Dirk M. Elston, MD, FAAD, president of the Academy. “Unlike other types of cancer, skin cancer provides visual warning signs that can be detected on the surface of the skin in the form of a ‘spot’ that changes, itches, or bleeds. When caught early, skin cancer has a 98 percent cure rate, which is why it is so important for people to know the warning signs and see a dermatologist for proper diagnosis.”
SPOT Orange™ on Melanoma Monday® is part of the Academy’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign to create a world without skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection, and care of skin cancer.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


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..

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, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Tribute - The Green Scene

It is impressive to see how many spas are modifying the way they do business to become more earth friendly. Many are making a conscious effort to be in harmony with nature. A truly “Green Spa” uses organically certified products and practices ecological management by being energy conscious and making sure they use low energy lighting, recyclable products, phosphate free cleaning products and consciencious waste management.

Environmentally conscious marketing campaigns are quickly becoming one of the most important movements in recent memory. Earth friendly companies are writing corporate policies based on living in harmony with nature. The organic cosmetic market is on board and growing at a rate of 20% - 30% per year. Unfortunately, with no legislation governing the claims of green companies there is great deal of controversy. The following definition of terms may help to clear up some of the confusion.

"Organic" refers to carbon compounds. Organic labels do not guarantee anything unless they are Certified Organic. There are a few associations working to establish criteria for claims being made, such as BDIH in Germany, AIAB in Italy, and EcoCert in France. EcoCert is the most recognized as it is over sixteen years old and used in over eighty countries, including the European Union. The EcoCert label guarantees that 95% of a product's ingredients are of natural origin, with a minimum of 10% coming from certified organic farming. Companies must also show respect for the environment with good manufacturing certifications, no animal testing, minimum certified preservatives, adherence to the Eco-Charter (recycling) and promote research enhancing plant use in cosmetics.

“Natural” does not imply any guarantees and basically means the ingredients used are from nature’s broad spectrum, including plants, whether grown in organic soil or not.

“Ecological” is also not a certification, but usually means the environment is respected in the management of actives, but does not necessarily mean organic. Ecological products generally require that a minimum of 5% of the ingredients come from organic farming. Certified Organic products are usually ecological too, but not visa versa. There are some ecological brands that promote fair trade and defend the environment, but the ecological branding does not apply to their product ingredients. It is all in the advertising and the implications.

It all sounds rather complicated, doesn't it? Simply put, . . . if using organic products is important to you, look for the certification labels. Mother’s Day is around the corner offering each and every one of us a perfect opportunity to do our best to pay our respects to Mother Earth.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Professional Skin Analysis

What can I expect from having a professional skin analysis done? Is it worth it?

A proper skin analysis conducted by a professional esthetician, or beauty therapist, involves a thorough look at the characteristics of the skin and also includes a client history. This means not only will they look at your skin, they will ask about your health, your ethnic background, your age, your diet, your habits, your life style, if you are (or have been) taking medications, if you take food supplements or vitamins, your skincare habits, even your stress levels, and will take all of this into consideration when analyzing your skin. Some will also incorporate tools, such as magnifying lamps and/or woods lamps, that enable them to see the underlying conditions of the skin.

A professional skin analysis will accurately confirm your skin type and specific conditions. These conditions will include the hydration levels and types of dehydration, the evenness or unevenness of the micro-circulation, circulatory irregularities, the texture, oxygenation, tonus, pigmentation levels, anomalies, blemishes, comedones, degradation levels, and thickness or thinness of the skin. As you can see, the results give a much clearer picture of the needs of the skin.

The esthetician will be able to analyze the information and recommend a results oriented skin care program designed specifically for your skin type. Is it worth it? You bet! A professional skin analysis is one investment that will pay enormous dividends all the way down the road. Highly recommended.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dry Skin Detector - Pore Size

Even though my skin is very dry, my pores look bigger than they should. Am I using the wrong kind of cream and actually stretching my pores making them more visible? How can I shrink my pores?

If you can see your pores, and you have not gone through menopause, you do not have dry skin. The pore size is an indication of oil (sebum) secretion, the greater the amount of sebum excreted by the skin, the larger the pores. A dry skin has almost invisible pores, a normal skin has visible pores but not enlarged, an oily skin has larger pores. Treating your skin too aggressively can damage the skin ( i.e. excessive exfoliation, too strong of product for your skin type, or excessive rubbing) and can dehydrate the skin. A dehydrated skin will produce more oil in a defensive action to try and hold moisture resulting in enlarged pores. Occlusive products that tend to seal the pores can upset the skin balance as can stress, medications, and poor diet.

How to shrink your pores? Many products will claim to do this, but at best they offer an astringent property that has a tightening action on the pores. Some work well, but it is temporary. Microdermabrasion can work wonders on enlarged pores and so can some products that have actual retinol (vitamin A) in them. Be prepared to give your skin a little extra care if you decide to try one of these, and realize it involves a series of treatments. They are definitely not a 'one time fix'. But then, when you think about it, what is?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dry Skin vs Dehydrated Skin

The esthetics industry has taught for decades that dry skin lacks oil and dehydrated skin lacks moisture. Dry skin is a type, dehydrated skin is a condition. Dry skin is one lacking sufficient sebum (skin oil). Another name for it is alipic skin (alipic means lacking oil). It can be genetic, triggered by some medications, or occur with hormonal changes, such as those that take place with menopause. A genetic dry skin is generally finer in texture, has almost invisible pores, and is beautiful if cared for and protected. It will not handle the aggressive treatment an oilier or thicker skin tolerates. If dry skin is not looked after, it will react quickly and age much faster than a normal or oily skin type. Part of the role of the lipids and sebum in the skin is to form part of the hydrolipidic barrier (protective barrier), to hold moisture in the epidermis, and slow the evaporation of moisture through the skin's surface. If skin is lacking the emolliency of skin oils, it will feel tight, and in most cases will not only be dry, but dehydrated as well (insufficient sebum to hold the moisture). Providing just water to address the needs of this skin type will do little, and possibly worsen the condition. Products used must provide emolliency, promote the barrier protection, comfort and protect the skin from further moisture loss. Consumers will describe their skin as dry if it feels tight, or flaking, and while it might be dry, in most cases flaking skin is from dehydration. Dehydration (lacking moisture) is a condition that can affect all skin types. You can have dry dehydrated, normal dehydrated, or oily dehydrated skin, but you cannot have a dry, oily skin.

It is important to know what your skin needs, do your research, have a professional skin analysis done and/or visit an esthetician or skincare specialist. The research and development being conducted in skin care, and the products for the skin, are able to address the different combinations of skin care concerns providing they are recommended and used properly. There are many highly competent skincare professionals willing to work with you to address your skincare concerns. If you need a recommendation for a spa or salon in your area, please send us an email. We would be only too happy to send you in the right direction.
  Email address:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Time to get back to the basics. A good skin care routine begins with a proper skin analysis. Here are some of the tell-tale signs of three skin types. Which one are you?

• the texture of your skin is even
• there is an even coloration to your skin
• the pores are visible but not overly enlarged
• the skin looks slightly moist
• T-zone is a little oilier than the rest of the face


• your pores are invisible
• your skin lacks suppleness
• your skin feels tight
• your skin reacts quickly to abuse like weather, harsh products, or lack of attention (likes TLC)
• if you have come through that special passage to post menopause you may see your pores, but the skin may be dry as post menopausal skin does not produce as much sebum as it used to
• dry skin is usually thinner skin
• the texture is usually quite fine unless the skin is dehydrated as well
• dry skin can be beautiful if cared for, but ages quickly if neglected

• your pores are enlarged
• your skin has a sheen to it (even with out a cream) and feels oily, or is dull and feels waxy
• it is prone to comedones (blackheads) or blemishes
• the texture is usually uneven due to enlarged pores and thickening Stratum Corneum

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spa Week - Gift Card Savings

Did we happen to mention that during Spa Week you can buy a $50 Spa & Wellness Gift Card and get a $10 Bonus Card FREE?

This is one of the best deals of the year, so don't even think twice about it.  Just go to Spa Week and get the ball rolling.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spa Week - April 15th - April 21st

Spa Week is a bi-annual (April/October) event where participating spas around the US and Canada will be offering a selection of full length signature services for a deep discounted flat rate of $50.  Considering most spa treatments run between $100 - $200, it's almost financially irresponsible to ignore.

How do you do it? It's simple.  Go to and sign up (it's free) and then take a peek around at at all the listings of participating spas.  Select your  state or province in the directory, browse the area most convenient for you, as well as the treatment options that are offered, pick up the phone and book your appointment.  Don't forget to mention you are calling about the $50 treatments during Spa Week. Then, circle the date on your calendar and enjoy one of the best deals of the year. Your body (and wallet) will thank you for it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Help! Can dermal filler injections be reversed?

Yes, if the dermal filler is part of the hyaluronic acid filler family such as Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane, Prevelle, Hylaform, etc.

Hyaluronidase is a product used to correct, or reverse, the effects of a hyaluronic acid dermal filler should it be necessary. Hyaluronidase is FDA approved and made up of enzymes that will rapidly break down and decompose hyaluronic acid. It is important to note that it does not correct or have any effect on semi-permanent or permanent fillers, which are generally not recommended.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spa Sweepstakes - Southwest Airlines

Enter by March 31st

Grand Prize: Winner and guest will receive a two night stay at Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Trip includes dinner for two at Prado Restaurant, two-50 minute treatments at the world renown Joya Spa, and two $250 Southwest Airlines Gift Cards. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sephyl a.k.a. "The Vampire Lift"

Sephyl has been nicknamed the vampire filler because the product that is used is a vial of blood taken from the patient. The blood is purified to isolate the human growth factors and then injected back into the face to fill in laugh lines, wrinkles, take care of sun damage and other aging related issues. This type of process avoids many of the other concerns around fillers and plastic surgery because it is a natural component, part of the patient's own body, and not a foreign substance. The results generally last for a year or so, and costs somewhere between $800 and $1200.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Parabens are effective anti-bacterial and anti-fungal preservatives widely utilized in the cosmetic industry. The most common parabens are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Their low cost and low incidence of contact dermatitis have greatly increased their popularity amongst cosmetic manufacturers.

Parabens, however, have been named in a heated controversy since a study was released in the U.K. linking parabens to cancer. According to the study, parabens were found in breast cancer tumors and a study further established that parabens may mimic estrogen when absorbed into the skin and bind to estrogen receptors, may influence estrogen levels, and may accumulate over time in body tissues. It is important to note that it has never been established that parabens were the cause of the breast tumors that were tested.

In 2007, a French study revisited the controversy and volunteers applied parabens to the skin’s surface continuously over a 36 hour timeframe. It was found that these repeated applications obviously increased quantities of parabens on the skin's barrier for the first 24 hours, however, there was no cumulative effect 36 hours later. What does this mean? This study concluded that parabens do not accumulate in the skin after 36 hours and therefore do not accumulate in the body's tissues.

The FDA declared that parabens in the concentrations found in skin care products pose no logical risk to consumers. The European Union took a hard look at parabens and declared them safe to use. There are many alternatives to consider when buying skin care products, but do not worry, what you can count on is that more tests are being conducted and the educated war for increased awareness rages on . . . thankfully.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spa Sweepstakes - PepsiCo & Marriott Hotel Sweepstakes

PepsiCo Breakfast Sweeps and Laguna Marriott Spa & Resort
Enter by March 29th, 2013
Grand Prize: One winner and guest will receive a chance to win a trip to the Laguna Marriott Spa & Resort in Dana Point, California, including round-trip coach air transportation from an airport nearest the winner’s home within the continental U.S. to Orange County, CA, one double occupancy executive suite for three nights, winner’s choice of either one whale watching excursion for winner and one guest or one dolphin safari, two 60-minute Swedish massages, two 60 minute Spa Signature Facials, unlimited yoga and fitness classes and $1,000 spending money which can be used toward ground transportation. Approximate Retail value $11,000.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Green Tea and Skin Care

There were interesting results revealed during a study of 40 women in a research project. All the women in this particular study had moderate photo-aging (damage to the skin resulting from a lifetime of sun exposure). Each were given a combination of 10% strength green tea cream and 300 mg. twice daily of a green tea oral supplement. At the conclusion of eight weeks the investigative grading of skin biopsies confirmed "significant improvement in the elastic tissue content."

As with most skin care products, those made with green extracts depend on the competency of the manufacturing company and the research their products are built upon. There are concerns that when green tea extracts are formulated into a skin care cream, or lotion, the polyphenols (the nutritional antioxidants) oxidize when exposed to air. Not a good thing. Hence, the jury is still out on this one. There are considerable amounts of research being conducted on the power of antioxidants and their great contribution to our health . . . and there are those who are certain that science will prove that green tea extract's antioxidant abilities will reign supreme. Tea anyone?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Clover Power - In Honor of St. Patrick's Day

Red clover (trifolium pratense) is a wild, perennial herb commonly grown in meadows throughout Europe and Asia, and North America. It is a phytoestrogen (mimics and supplements the body's own estrogen hormones) and a powerful antioxidant containing four primary isoflavones (plant based chemicals that produce estrogen like effects in and on the body) present in soybeans - daidzein, biochanin-A, formonetin, and genistein.  It is said to reduce symptoms of menopause, have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties capable of reducing inflammation and softening the skin, increase the synthesis of collagen and elastin, heal infections and skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema, and improve blood circulation to nourish the skin. 

Tocopherol, a type of vitamin E, is present in red clover offering great antioxidant properties. Red Clover, a source of vegetable/herbal estrogen, is often used for menopausal women who are experiencing hormonal imbalances that greatly contribute to adversely altering the skin and hastening the aging process, i.e., wrinkles, dryness, age spots, lack of elasticity, hair loss.  It is also a source of many nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorous, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C. 

Warning - the estrogen phytochemicals found in red clover are generally unsuitable for women diagnosed with breast cancer as well as those who are pregnant or breast feeding.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spa Sweepstakes - Vdara Hotel & Spa, Las Vegas

Vdara Hotel & Spa
Enter by March 31, 2013
Grand Prize: One winner will receive a Las Vegas vacation package that includes hotel accommodations for a two night (consecutive) stay in a panoramic suite (double occupancy) at the Vdara Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas, a $50 daily breakfast credit at Market Café Vdara or in-suite dining (for two days), a $50 daily drink credit at Bar Vdara (for two days), a $200 Spa & Salon Credit, two tickets to ZarkanaTM by Cirque du Soleil at the ARIA Resort & Casino, and limo transportation to and from Las Vegas airport. Approximate Retail Value $1,410

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Botox Warnings: Real vs Fake

How can I tell if the Botox I am receiving is the real and not fake?  
1.  Allergan, a US based pharmaceutical company,  is the only company with FDA approval for Botox . . . nothing else will do.
2. Botox, aka onabotulinumtoxinA is a sterile, vacuum-dried, purified botulinum toxin type A
3. It is NOT the same as (or comparable to) any other botulinum toxin product.
4.  Always ask to look at the vial of product before allowing anyone inject the product into your skin.  Look for an Allergan hologram foil stamp which will light up across the label  - wiggle it back and forth and you will see it.  No hologram, no injection! 
5. Check the expiry date to make sure product is not outdated.
6. Make sure you watch the product being opened from a sealed box.
7. Choose a reputable physician or board certified dermatologist/plastic surgeon.
8. Never, ever buy Botox online (black market Botox/bootleg Botox) and have it injected by an unqualified individual.
9. Beware of anyone advertising low prices and rock bottom deals for Botox injections. There are no 'cheaper' alternatives to Botox.  If the price is too good to be true . . . run in the other direction.
10. Do your homework.   

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Fire Facial - A Hot New Trend?

Beauty therapists in China are using open flames during a fire facial, or flame facial, to stimulate cell regeneration in the war against wrinkles and sagging skin.  During the treatment, a trained therapist places a towel soaked in alcohol, along with a secret ingredient, and lights it on fire. Obviously, the intent is not to burn the skin, but instead target a specific region (in this case the eyes) with a blast of heat used to activate the properties of the elixir and give the entire process a real boost. In our strong opinion, the treatment (called Huo Liao) is far too dangerous to even be considered seriously. Hopefully this treatment will not be coming anywhere near North America anytime soon.

Friday, March 8, 2013

In Honor of International Woman's Day

Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take 'no' for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have the compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give.
They are the true meaning of BEAUTY.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thalgo Eye Massage Mask

Thalgo, widely known as a leader in marine based skin care launched a unique anti-aging Eye Massage Mask highly effective in targeting wrinkles, eye puffiness, and dark circles.  Each 30 minute treatment menu offers a programmable series of movements prescribed to address each client's needs that include . . .
• Temporal Pressotherapy Massage - massages the temples and temporal points with acupuncture pressure utilizing four different types of air pressure to help drain, decongest, relax and plump the eye area resulting in an overall anti-fatigue effect.
• Massage Digito-Pressure - massages the eye area and acupuncture points located around the eye area using air pressure with four types of digito-pressure massages used keeping the eye area relaxed and anti-stressed.
Massage by Dynamic Vibrations - stimulates the eye contour area with ten different modes of rippling and pulsing movements, helping smooth fine lines and reduce dark circles.
• Music Therapy - four different calming musical tracks carefully chosen by Thalgo to impart a peaceful relaxation experience during each treatment.
• Thermal Diffusion - gently warms and cools the eye area to improve lymphatic microcirculation and improve absorption of ingredients offering a feeling of relaxation and well-being.

Thalgo has also released three new eye care products, Collagen Eye Roll-On, Hyaluronic Eye Patch Masks and Silicium Eye Cream to compliment their line and work with the Eye Massage Mask Treatments. Call any Thalgo professional for an appointment and indulge. Email us for a list of Thalgo spas and salons in your area.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Q &A: Manicure and Pedicure Spas - Sanitary Safety

Q. How do I make sure to avoid any potential risks related to services at nail and pedicure spas?

A. There are a few things we can suggest to help alleviate any safety concerns you may have. Did you know spas are required to keep cleanliness and sterilization logs customers can review upon request? Other than that, make sure to take a careful look at the condition of the spa, check for a valid license and ask about their sterilization policies. After all, it is your right to insist upon an ultra clean environment. Cleanliness is directly proportionate to the end result.

• Insist on brand new nail files (single use) before your manicure - reusing files from client to client is not OK.
• Foot baths are to be cleaned after each customer by a government approved solution for 10 minutes to eradicate any debris, microbacteria, or fungus that might be lurking in the bath or on the screen.
• All stainless steel utensils are to be sterilized after every use and are repackaged and labelled as sterilized. Nail tables are also to be disinfected between each client. Sterilization techniques vary, but generally include the following . . . germicidal soak, high temperatures and medical grade steam.
• Do not shave or wax your legs 24 hours before a pedicure treatment.

If you always make sure to follow these few rules, you can continue to enjoy spa services wherever you choose. The basic rule is, if in doubt, turn around and walk out!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Spa Sweepstakes - Florida Travel Life's Cheeca Lodge Spa

Florida Travel Life's Cheeca Lodge Spa
Enter by March 31st, 2013
Grand Prize: One winner and guest will receive a 3 night/4 day resort package to experience Islamorada (purple island) offering a luxurious oceanfront accommodation where you can indulge in mind, body and spirit. It also includes a dinner for two in one of three restaurants, breakfast each morning in Atlantic's Edge, two-90 minute massages, one sunset cruise for two, and one day's poolside cabana rental. Approximate Retail Value $3,012

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BABOR HSR Deluxe Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream

Babor's HRS Platinum Cell Reactivating Cream has been replaced by a new and improved formula, Babor HSR Deluxe Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream. This line of products uses a front-line ingredient defense against aging with an incredible product called HSR® Telovitin. Long story short, this ingredient plays an important role in extending the life span of skin cells while effectively delaying the aging process. As we said with the Platinum Line, so far, so good. 

This new line of products is offered in two textures -  Ultimate Aging Cream addressing normal/combination skin with wrinkles and loss of elasticity and Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream Rich for dry skin in need of a richer consistency. Both contain high impact ingredients, including vitamin B5 needed for the health of all skin cells, the powerful anti-oxidant vitamins C and E, macadamia, sweet almond oil and avocado for emolliency, essential fatty acids needed for the health of the cell membranes, shea butter to promote cell regeneration and healing, aloe for hydration and nourishment, and last but certainly not least, a few powerful peptides to reinforce the collagen and elastin. Need we say more?

If you are looking for an easy routine to slow down the aging of your skin, as well as to minimize the fine lines, improve the radiance, hydration, texture and tone, this may well be the product you are looking for. Your skin will feel different almost immediately and after about 14 to 21 days you will see the improvement in your skin . . . all you have to do is apply this beautiful cream twice a day. No wonder their catchphrase is, "stay younger for longer."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cosmetic Surgery Growth

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a 5% increase in 2012 with14.6 million procedures.  Interestingly, minimally invasive treatments using botox, fillers and chemical peels accounted for approximately 90% of the total procedures, coming in at 13 million procedures.  Botox treatments rose 8% (6.1 million), along with microdermabrasion.  Fillers rose 5%, laser hair removal treatments rose 4%, and chemical peels rose 2%.  Facelifts dropped by 2% to 1.6 million procedures and and breast enlargements dropped 7% to 286,000 procedures. 

Globally, cosmetic surgery grew by 10% to $6 billion in 2012 and is projected to reach $6.3 billion in 2013. The Asian market is expected to grow by 14% and the European market by 6.6%.  Not surprisingly, the  U.S. ranks #1, Brazil #2, with Italy ranking as Europe's largest cosmetic surgery country, followed by France and Germany. There are changes are in the wind.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Spa Sweepstakes - Live with Kelly & Michael

Enter by: February 24th, 2013

Grand Prize: Winner and a guest will receive a luxurious 5 night, 6 day package in the St. James's Club Morgan Bay All-Inclusive Resort in St. Lucia in the brand new Tranquility Spa Suite.  Prize includes airfare and one spa treatment per person, per day.

Details: Select a winner in each of the 24 categories, submit your answers to win one of 4 two year Netflix Memberships. A grand prize winner will be selected from a pool of winners who answered all 24 categories correctly after the official winners are announced on February 24th at the 85th Annual Academy Awards.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Intensive Resurfacing Peel by Murad (4 piece)

Intensive Resurfacing Peel by Murad (4 piece) - Murad's Age Reform line. Murad's exfoliation treatment offers the benefits of glycolic (an AHA - alpha hydroxyl acid), salicylic acid (a BHA - Beta hydroxyl acid) along with a mechanical exfoliation of bamboo. This combination ensures smoother skin, diminished depth of wrinkles and fine lines, pore refinement, a radiant complexion. The exfoliation action will trigger cell regeneration and lead the way to a newer, healthier skin. Some products that offer BHA peels can be too aggressive on the skin, but in this case, Murad has included Xanthan gum to counter any irritation. Hyaluronic acid and algin (from brown algae) are powerful hydrators and are included in the formula to ensure skin hydration coupled with the efficiency of the AHA, which is more effective on hydrated skin.

It is important when applying active products on your skin to counter any possible irritation, or inflammation, as these are stressors on the skin and indicate free radical damage. This product offers a cocktail of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients that will ensure healthy resurfacing and renewal of the skin. These include vitamin C and E, from different sources along with licorice extract (improves the appearance of dry and damaged skin) and other anti-inflammatory botanicals. These ingredients will not only brighten and renew your skin, but will boost those great serums and creams you apply and amp up the penetration.

Calling All Product Testers . . .

Calling All Product Testers . . .

We are expanding our group of skin care enthusiasts to join our team of Product Testers.  We provide free skin care products from a variety of companies in exchange for opinions, ratings, and reviews during a six week period of time.

If you . . .
. . . love skin care
. . . have a good understanding of good skin care vs bad skin care
. . . have experience getting facial treatments
And, if you
. . . are organized
. . . good with paperwork
. . . want to try and rate quality skin care "on the house"
Write us an email with a short description of your current skin care products, what you like and don't like, and we will get back to you.