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Babor's HRS Platinum Cell Reactivating Cream has been replaced by a new and improved formula, Babor HSR Deluxe Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream.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.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Sweet Tooth - Aging Face

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

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

Long story short, . . . watch your sugar intake because all it will do is make you feel moody, act hyper and add age to your appearance. The truth of it is . . . sugar is definitely a sticky business.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Syn-ake Venom vs Botox - Vanity Insanity?

The Year of the Snake or The Year of the Syn-ake? Sny-ake is a synthetic snake venom engineered to mimic actual venom for use in anti-age skin care to help reduce wrinkle-causing muscle cell contractions in an attempt to provide botox-like results without the pain and possible complications of injections.

Syn-ake is manufactured by Pentapharm, a fifty year old Swiss pharmaceutical company, and is described as an anti-wrinkle peptide found in some of the top anti-age products on the market. According to our research, Pentapharm is the largest snake breeder in the world and breeds venomous snakes for the purpose of producing therapeutic and diagnostic products, such as anticoagulants and haemostatics. Their experience led them to investigate the venom of the Temple Viper (distant cousin to the rattle snake found in southeast asia) and its paralytic properties for use in cosmetic applications. They were able to narrow it down to a tripeptide, a combination of three amino acids that when bound together inhibit, or block, the signals to the muscle to contract. Pentapharm's active ingredient won a Swiss Technology Award.

When all is said and done, one very big question remains. Is this a case of 'vanity insanity' or is this a case of brilliant cosmetic science? While we have confirmed its presence in several professional products, our jury is still out on this one. Time will tell. Literally.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity." ~Henry Van Dyke

"A bell is no bell 'til you ring it, a song is no song 'til you sing it, and love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay - love isn’t love, 'til you give it away." ~Oscar Hammerstein, Sound of Music, "You Are Sixteen (Reprise)"

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Telomeres - The Hayflick Limit

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. Frequent, deep exfoliation (AHA peels, microdermabrasion, etc.) works hard at removing more than its share of cell debris stimulating excessive cell division.  The result is smooth, lovely, rejuvenated skin.  However, as with many things in life, too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing. Avoid going overboard on exfoliation. 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, February 11, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year - Year of the Snake

The Year of the Snake slides in on the last blast of the dragon's wrathful fire and all of the challenges that were presented in 2012. What a year!  In Chinese mythology, the snake is known for its self confidence, charm, and elegance. It symbolizes one who enjoys material wealth and appreciates the better things in life. The snake is alert, quiet and secretive, pays attention to detail, focuses on a particular target, is persistent and energetic, and uses its intellect to have a lasting influence on those in its presence. This is the year of the "water" snake where a good balance of determination, motivation and nourishment will be offered to the world of business.  That said, it is important to remember that still waters run deep . . . and while it may look very peaceful on the surface, there is a strong possibility there are dangerous currents running beneath.  

The snake personality is exceptionally skilled in organizational matters and works well as a business manager or entrepreneur. They are devoted to science and technology and the bounty of information acquired through research. The field of skin care and wellness could very well see many doors open to cutting edge new products and high impact ingredients. We will take a look at some of those new products in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Gung Hay Fat Choy!   

Born in the Year of the Snake: 1941-1953-1965–1977–1989–2001-2013
Famous Snake Personalities: Anne Rice, Ann-Margret,  Audrey Hepburn, Christie Brinkley, Elizabeth Hurley, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy, Kim Basinger, Linda McCartney, Liv Tyler,  Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth I, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Sarah Jessica Parker.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentines Day - Chocolate - Ooey, Gooey, Good

Valentine's Day is around the corner offering us all a perfect excuse to immerse ourselves in chocolate. Literally. Eat it, smell it, bathe in it. Ooey, gooey, chocolate. A decadent menu of luxurious chocolate skin care treatments are popping 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? Soon it will be Valentine's Day and complete euphoria is just a bonbon away. Now you can truly have your cake . . . and eat it too.

Valentines Day - For the Love of Chocolate

Knowing sweets are bad doesn't seem to stop us from cruising candy stands and sweet shops . . . some disciplined souls walking away forlorned, others indulging with careless abandon. Then, one bright sunny day, our hearts were lifted with the announcement that chocolate may actually be a good thing. Huh? Chocolate is good for our health? Upon hearing this most welcome news, chocolate sales tipped the scales. The sweet side of heaven opened and was filled with the satisfied and harmonic hum of yummm.

Now the dust has settled and we are left with the cold, dark facts. Not all chocolate is created equal. Not all chocolate is good for you. Milk chocolate, white chocolate and middle-of-the-road candy bars are still loaded with bad things like over processing,white sugar, fat and hydrogenated oil. Milk and chocolate don't mix well since the milk in milk chocolate, "may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate destroying the health benefits of the chocolate." Who knew? Dark chocolate, on the other hand, made with at least 70% pure cocoa powder does offer many notable health benefits. In fact, cocoa from the bean of the cacao plant offers a bountiful antioxidant effect that reduces inflammation (the cause of many diseases), lowers blood pressure, improves blood flow to the brain, helps muscles recuperate from exercise, improves the skin . . . and as if that wasn't enough . . . settles emotions and boosts your mood. Clearly, dark chocolate has earned its rightful place in the superfood category.

Long story short, remember this. Darker is better. Not wanting to rain on your Willy Wonka parade, nutritionists would like to remind you that while this good news tastes great, it is not a license to binge. One full bar of dark chocolate usually weighs in at 450-500 calories, and that quickly adds up. The recommendation? Savoring one beautiful, dark, velvety, luxurious piece of chocolate a day will go a long, long way. Enjoy the moment!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jan Marini - New Beauty Magazine Award

The Jan Marini team just sent notice of their award from New Beauty Magazine. They have been voted "The Best Skin Care System" for three years in a row. Congratulations!

Jan Marini Skin Research wins New Beauty's Beauty Choice Awards for The Best Anti-Aging Skin Care System sold at a Doctor's Office, and an award for the Best Retinol Cream!

"This anti-aging powerhouse has a lot going for it . . .  retinol, hyaluronic acid, collagen-boosting peptides and green tea extract to deliver unparalleled skin benefits." Results reveal an, "immediate and measurable improvement."  More on this next time . . .

ISPA Spa Industry Survey

ISPA conducts a survey each year focusing on five key statistics in the spa industry. The results of their 2012 Spa Industry Study clearly shows the spa industry is growing at a healthy rate in revenues and visits.

~ full time employment rose an estimated 9.3% from 149,200 to 163,100
~ part time employment dropped -4.3% from 134,200 to 128,500
~ contract employment dropped -13.4% from 55,200 to 47,800
~ revenues are up 4.5% from $12.8 billion to $13.4 billion
~ spa Visits are up 4.1% from 150 million to to 156 million
~ prices have remained stable
~ square Footage rose 0.8% from 76 million to 77 million square feet

83% of all spas made changes to their businesses during the economic crisis.  More treatments were added to spa menus including shorter treatments to help clients manage their tight schedules and their shrinking pocketbooks.  It also appears there was quite a significant increase in retail product offerings along with a few changes in the professional skin care lines and products offered.  In this case, change is good ~ it unlocks stagnant businesses and increases creativity to overcome a relatively slow recovery in consumer spending.

Monday, February 4, 2013

2013 Top Spa Trends - Where the Jobs Are

Spa Finder has published a report stating that "the demand for talented spa directors, managers, therapists and aestheticians and diverse wellness professionals and practitioners will simply outpace supply in 2013 and beyond."

Their statistics are hard to argue with . . . "worldwide spa industry revenues grew 20% from 2007 to 2012 (US 73 billion), spa locations jumped 22% (87,000), tourism now employs one out of 12 people in both advanced and emerging nations, wellness jobs recovered more quickly from the recession and are now growing faster than the vast majority of employment sectors, global health club memberships more than doubled from 1999 to 2010 from 50 million to 128 million, yoga and pilates were recently named one of the top ten fastest growing US industries overall."  

The question is . . . would a spa career be a good choice for a solid future?  The answer is a strong affirmative, particularly when the average compensation for 44% of the qualified workforce is reported to be between $40,000 and $80,000.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

2013 Top Spa Trends - Men: From Barbers to "Brotox"

Not that long ago, it was rare for a man to book a spa treatment or a man-icure.  Many spas 'back-in-the-day' offered VIP access through a back door for those brave male souls who wanted to treat themselves, but appreciated the option of remaining in the shadows.  Things changed in the mid 90s when the metrosexual movement kicked up some dust, along with a healthy boost from GQ Magazine, liberating a large percentage of the male population.  Men began to take a genuine interest in presenting a more polished presence. Spas embraced the opportunity to offer services tailored to their new male clients whose eagerness to exchange business attire at the end of the day for a soft, luxurious spa robe was most welcome.

Oh, how times have changed.  Now, at the very least, 30% of the revenue created in spas is now attributed to men, 47% of spas have treatments specifically designed for men, 25% of men in the 18 - 34 bracket have had their nails groomed, indulged in a facial, or have enjoyed a massage.  Male only spas (Nickel Spa for Men in New York City, The Grooming Lounge in Washington, D. C., Absolute Spa at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver, B.C.) are carving their niche in the market and the skin care industry has clearly taken note of at the increase in sales of men's facial cleansers and toners.