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.
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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.