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