Author Archive

How to Use The New Food Guidelines and Get Great Skin

By Guest Blogger | Jun 13, 2011

The USDA recently announced a new way to look at healthy eating. Remember the old food pyramid? It’s gone. They’ve replaced it with the new MyPlate, which balances fruits, grains, vegetables, proteins and dairy all on one plate. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains (I go for all whole grains).
  • Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products.

Take a look at the image above. It makes a lot more sense then the ancient pyramid did, and if you choose just the right types of food, you can help your skin look and perform its absolute best, too. Here what to put on your plate to eat healthy and get great skin at the same time:

FRUITS: Watermelon and papaya contain lycopene, which studies show can help protect skin against damaging UV rays. Red grapes contain antioxidants known as polyphenols—known to help to keep skin from sagging by strengthening collagen. And don’t forget blueberries, plums, strawberries, and blackberries. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that these four fruits had the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food. So they’re super free-radical fighters that protect skin cells from damage and prevent premature aging. And pile up the cherries—acerola cherries contain even more vitamin C than an orange – and C is a super-antioxidant for the skin.

GRAINS: The mineral selenium found in whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and cereals is essential for skin health. People with higher levels of selenium sufferer less damage from environmental aggressors. Be aware, however, that this is only true for whole grain breads, not white flour items. So skip the white pasta, rice, and cakes.

VEGETABLES: Carrots and sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, which gives skin a healthy glow and has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm skin ravaged by the environment. Sweet potatoes are also packed with vitamins B6 and C, potassium, and manganese, so they’re basically perfect for your skin. Also, choose dark leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, and spinach. They are rich in age-fighting magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamins B1 and B2.

PROTEIN: Think about fat—not fatty foods, but fatty acids. They’re responsible for healthy cell membranes. And the stronger the membrane, the better your cells can take in and hold moisture. Fill your plate with proteins like omega-3 packed salmon, mackerel, herring, or sardines. And don’t forget about oysters and shellfish. They contain zinc, which can help break down your skin’s damaged collagen and allow new collagen to form, so your skin looks younger and rejuvenated.

DAIRY: The vitamin A found in dairy products is essential for the health of skin cells. Plus, a low-fat Greek yogurt will also aid in digestion, since it contains active live probiotic cultures. And when your insides function at their best, it shows on your skin.

Do you think about your skin when you choose the foods you eat? Have any quick recipes to share? Share them here in the comments.

—Barbara Salomone, Bioelements Founder and President

HOMMAGE Atelier: A Renaissance of Grooming in NYC

By Guest Blogger | May 11, 2011

When the editorial team at American Spa asked me to report on the opening of the new HOMMAGE Atelier By Julien Farel, my answer was a resounding, “Yes, please!” Something about the mention of straight-razor shaves, personalized treatments catered to the male spa guest, and a brand-new luxurious space was more than enough to pique my interest.

Located on the penthouse space of Julien Farel’s beauty empire on Madison Avenue, the Atelier is an intimate, sky-lit enclave designed to welcome and soothe the guest and provide an escape from the busy New York City streets. From my seat in a plush leather armchair in front of dual flat-screen TVs, the experience began with an offering of slippers, a cocktail, and a discussion of the highly customizable list of treatments. Services include sculpting facials; invigorating straight-razor shaves; neck, shoulder, and head acupressure massages; hand and foot grooming; haircuts with scalp massage; and other male-centric offerings.

For those guests interested in the true royal treatment, signature services include The Ultimate Facial with lymphatic drainage and shave and the Black Diamond Exfoliation, which features cultured black diamonds and silver spheres to exfoliate, detoxify, and renew the complexion. The list goes on with specialized and pre-event grooming packages and barbershop essentials provided by Julien Farel and his elite team of spa and beauty professionals.

The option for me this day was the Ultimate Facial and shave, and it was singular experience, as the HOMMAGE product line seemed particularly well-suited for my sometimes dry complexion. It’s also about setting: the main treatment room is straight out of a James Bond movie set with a view through smoked glass window back at the Atelier floor. And to describe the treatments without a mention of the excellent staff would be a true disservice. The entire team moves deftly through the space with the panache that can only be gained from years of experience working with a discerning clientele who are accustomed to getting the very best. (For more details, be sure to check out the Radar section in an upcoming summer issue of American Spa.)

So this is very simply a call to all modern gentlemen. New York City is now home to a uniquely masculine escape to recharge, reinvigorate, and refresh. Plus, it’s now open for reservations and also boasts a three-tiered membership service that offers priority access to all HOMMAGE Atelier locations worldwide. (Outposts across the Middle East and Asia are scheduled to open throughout 2011 and 2012.) Click here for more information.

—Klint Callaghan

Signing Off: Aries

By Guest Blogger | Apr 7, 2011

“Aries like to be busy, active, and engaged. They are not ones to just sit back, lounge, and relax. Rather, they are the clients who will schedule a plethora of activities and are extremely happy if they can enjoy a range of treatments, classes, and exercise sessions during their stay. They are more focused on the short term rather than long term and like to experience immediate results. Consider this when helping them choose their services, explaining to them which ones may require more of a commitment to notice benefits. They are direct and appreciate that quality in other people. Aries rules the head, muscles, and adrenal glands, areas of the body that may be more stressed in natives of this sign.”—Stephanie Gailing

Stephanie Gailing, MS, CN, is a professional astrologer and nutritionist with more than 16 years of experience. The author of Planetary Apothecary: An Astrological Approach to Health and Wellness (Crossing Press, 2009), Gailing writes “Signing Off,” a monthly column for American Spa that gives guidance on using the stars to cater to clientele. To check out Gailing’s blog, click For further Aries insights, turn to page 120 of American Spa’s April issue.

Signing Off: Pisces

By Guest Blogger | Mar 1, 2011

“Sensitive Pisceans oftentimes like to escape from the harsh realities of the world. Going to a spa offers them a healthy refuge where they can find the peace, enchantment, and relaxation they seek. Because they usually put other people first, a visit to a spa can help them to balance their energies, accepting care and pampering from others. As they see union where others see separation, the Fish appreciate a holistic approach to healthcare and wellness. Therefore, it’s natural for them to honor the connection between mind, body, and spirit. The Fish swims toward treatments that feature water, whether it be baths, steam treatments, or thalassotherapy. Pisceans are very connected to their sensitive soles, given that their sign rules the feet. Therefore, pedicures also rank high on their spa to-do list.”—Stephanie Gailing

Stephanie Gailing, MS, CN, is a professional astrologer and nutritionist with more than 16 years of experience. The author of Planetary Apothecary: An Astrological Approach to Health and Wellness (Crossing Press, 2009), Gailing writes “Signing Off,” a monthly column for American Spa that gives guidance on using the stars to cater to clientele. To check out Gailing’s blog, click For further Piscean insights, turn to page 104 of American Spa’s March issue.

What has been your most effective retail strategy?

By Guest Blogger | Feb 17, 2011

“It’s all about the client and listening to his or her needs and concerns. When we match the client with the perfect products, the results are unparalleled. Our best-selling products are mineral based, as everyone prefers to be natural when spending time in the great outdoors.”—Sarah Welles, spa director, The Ranch Spa at The Ranch at Rock Creek (Philipsburg, MT)

Look for more retail strategies in our upcoming issue of Shelf Life in the March issue.

Get a Preview of IECSC New York’s Show Floor

By Guest Blogger | Feb 16, 2011

The International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference (IECSC) is coming up and will take place March 6-8 in New York City at the Javits Center. Here’s a glimpse at some of the unique offerings that will be available on the show floor. Click here to register today.

3000BC @ HOME
Booth: 344
Earn 25% commission on sales and be your own boss. This modern skincare business combines Facebook, ecommerce with social selling, FDA-approved skincare, amazing training, and personal service. We are set apart with the Skin Scope, an amazing diagnostic tool.

Brushes by Karen/ColorStrokes Cosmetics
Booth: 834
Private Label Brushes: More than 500 cosmetic brush styles are stocked for immediate availability or can be custom made to your specifications. Collections include 100% synthetic, cruelty free, vegan brushes that are super soft and gentle on sensitive skin. Your company name can be printed on the handles at no extra cost.

Booth: 332
DUO is the synthesis of GENETIQUE and REVIVE. CELMONZE’S GENETIQUE unlocks nature’s miraculous DNA code to longevity and self-regeneration while CELMONZE’S REVIVE empowers skin’s vital cell stability. Combined, the powerful DUO delivers a potent youth-extension beauty solution that’s long lasting.

Booth: 313
The Dermelect brand is wholly focused on creating universal, targeted solutions that leave women beautiful as well as beautifully informed, confident, and with an elevated self-esteem. The range is broken down into eight anti-aging categories: wrinkle treatments, skin solutions, lightening and brightening, lips, décolleté, total body, eye care, and nails/hands.

Michael Marcus
Booth: 637
The Michael Marcus Cosmetics collection is a botanically based palette of brilliant colors, hues, and shades customized to complete every woman’s individual style and can be worn by women of all ages and skin types. Michael Marcus is carried in department stores, the Four Seasons hotel chain, and the top echelon of spas and salons. Celebrity fans include Marcia Cross, Mya, Izabella Miko, Paula Deen & Deborah Norville, to name a few.

Booth: 419
A scientifically formulated skincare regimen exclusively for men, RAW uses the power of raw organic minerals, plants, and cutting-edge biotech ingredients, offering the ultimate regimen to rejuvenate men’s skin. This promise will immediately be evident in the form of younger, healthier, and more refined-looking skin.

Rhonda Allison
Booth: 419
The Rhonda Allison Difference lives up to its commitment to bring skin to its optimal potential for health and beauty with its cutting-edge cosmeceutical skin care line using ingredients such as retinols, EGFs, peptides, AHAs, botanicals, and stem cell technology, an expansive Pro Back Bar, and extensive education and training.

For more information about the show, visit

—Compiled by Tina Kassimis, Marketing Director

What has been your most effective retail strategy?

By Guest Blogger | Feb 15, 2011

“At Manea Spa, we incorporate many of our signature skincare products into our treatments. Therefore, guests have an opportunity to experience firsthand the effect of bamboo gently buffing the face or an invigorating pineapple mask that envelops the body. Afterward, it is easy to encourage clients to purchase a product and return home with a little taste of our paradise.”—Kamala Nayeli, spa director, Manea Spa at Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa (French Polynesia)

Look for more retail strategies in our upcoming issue of Shelf Life in the March issue.

What has been your most effective retail strategy?

By Guest Blogger | Feb 10, 2011

“Retail mix is important, as spas cater to a mix of clients that they might see once as a resort guest or those that are regular local clients. Guests look to the spa to carry products used in treatments but also want to be exposed to products that complement the services they experience. Key products are certainly those the guests are exposed to in treatments and are used to maintain the results achieved. From there, you can offer items that are perfect for your clients’ children, gift items, and apparel that rotate regularly. Not every guest or client will buy a product from this category, but it certainly allows for a more diverse and fun shopping experience each time they visit.”—Tessa Kienow, spa director, Solitude Spa at Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa (Teton Village, WY)

Look for more retail strategies in our upcoming issue of Shelf Life in the March issue.

What has been your most effective retail strategy?

By Guest Blogger | Feb 8, 2011

“Our most effective retail strategy has been training, training, and more training. We strive to make sure that each of our staff members has good knowledge of our retail products to better answer our guests’ questions. This allows us to create an atmosphere of expertise, which translates to the guests and with them becoming more willing to listen and purchase. We also teach the front desk staff how to become more aware of our guests’ interests and concerns through active listening skills. We teach them how to create a relationship with guests by really listening and making solid product recommendations to address their wants or needs.”—Michael Simmons, director of rooms and spa, The Spa at Keystone Lodge (CO)

Look for more retail strategies in our upcoming issue of Shelf Life in the March issue.

Skincare Solutions: What is an Environmental Aggressor?

By Guest Blogger | Jan 31, 2011

I throw the phrase “environmental aggressors” around a lot because Bioelements creates formulas that are designed to counteract them. But every once in a while, someone will look at me with a puzzled expression and ask, “Who in the world are these environmental aggressors?”

Well first off, they’re not mean-spirited humans on a nasty environmental mission. But they are skin destroyers that will make your clients look older than they should. Let’s take a look at the worst of the worst:

  • SMOKE – This goes for cigarette smoking, and to a lesser extent, second-hand smoke. It chokes your skin’s tissues, causing blood vessels to constrict, which leads to wrinkles, sallow tone, rough texture and I’ll say it again…wrinkles!  Seriously, I can’t repeat it enough – smoking is one of the most preventable skin agers, and one of the worst environmental aggressors.
  • UV RAYS – No matter if it’s summer or winter, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are there. The skin’s epidermis is literally paper-thin, so UV rays can pierce through it easily. UVA rays (the ones that cause premature aging) penetrate the deepest, all the way to the dermis, where blood vessels and nerves are found. Who knew?
  • POLLUTION – There are just some places where you can actually see the pollution. Remember that grimy-looking air during the Beijing Olympics? But you don’t have to see pollution for it to harm to your skin. Clogged pores and a dull complexion will tell the story.
  • STRESS – Skin stress can come in different forms. External stress from harsh weather or overly-strong product usage can redden and irritate. Internal stress—work, family, relationships—can show up as blotchy patches or overall sensitivity.

So, now that I’ve told you about the environmental villains, what about the heroes? Protect your clients’ skin during the day with a UVA/UVB sunscreen (try Bioelements’ SPF 50 FaceScreen), and a topical antioxidant serum (like Urban Detox) to fend against smoke and pollution. To combat the effects of smoke, nothing beats quitting (click here:  As for stress…when you figure out the answer, let me know. In the meantime, try Stress Solution so at least the skin can cope!

Do your clients do battle with any of these environmental aggressors? Share your comments here.

—Barbara Salomone, founder and president of Bioelements Professional Skin Care

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