Archive for the ‘Skincare’ Category

The (Many?) Benefits of Arnica

As a self-proclaimed clumsy girl, I have come to rely on the healing power of arnica, which I discovered a few years ago while researching a story. It has long been used to help alleviate swelling and heal bruises quicker, and I can personally attest to its effectiveness. But I had no idea, until I read a recent article in The New York Times, that it is also being used among within the fashion crowd for other reasons. According to the article, models and other designers are ingesting the herbal supplement in order to stay slim and have clear skin. But not everyone thinks this is a good idea. According to one doctor who was interviewed for the article, taken orally, arnica can cause irritation and toxicity for the gastrointestinal system and the kidneys. To read the full article, click here.

What are your thoughts on this debate?

Tea Time with Ole Henriksen

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Ole Henriksen, owner of OLEHENRIKSEN Face/Body Spa in L.A. and the creator of his eponymous skincare line. Upon meeting Ole for the first time, there are two things that are evident immediately: 1. He loves what he does for a living. 2. He has amazing skin.  We chatted for almost an hour about everything spa (his line is now being sold on QVC), and Ole’s enthusiasm for this industry (and for life in general) is contagious. He also dropped off some products for me to try out. So, while watching the Emmys last night, I applied the Feel the Difference Perfecting Mask, which contains African red tea to firm and hydrate the skin. After 10 minutes, I removed the mask, and I must say, my face definitely felt more hydrated than normal. I plan on adding this mask to my weekly skincare regimen. To learn more about the benefits of tea in skincare products, check out November’s In the Mix column.

Learn the ABCs of Skin Cancer Detection

With summer drawing to a close, there is no better time  to survey the damage the season has caused to your skin. It’s also a great time to remind your clients that they, too, should be scheduling yearly check-ups to determine whether any questionable spots could potentially be skin cancer . Here, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and fellowship-trained Mohs skin cancer surgeon Kenneth Mark, M.D. shares the ABCs of skin cancer detection with problem signs to consider when evaluating moles:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border Irregularity
  • Color Change or Dark or Multicolored
  • Diameter Greater Than 5 to 6mms

While the only way to know for sure if a troublesome spot is skin cancer is to visit a qualified dermatologist, you and other spa staff members are in a great position to encourage your clients to get checked.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Proposes New Sunscreen Regulations to go into Effect Next Year

Choosing a sunscreen used to be easy. You’d simply look at the SPF and call it a day. Now we know that not all sunscreens are created equal. Products that protect against ultraviolet B (UVB), the rays primarily responsible for causing sunburn, will not necessarily protect you and your clients from skin cancer or premature aging. Fortunately, the FDA is shedding light on the situation to clear up any confusion related to the effectiveness of sunscreen products and ensure that they’re both labeled and manufactured properly. One of the proposed regulations is that sunscreen products with SPF values higher than 50 will simply be labeled SPF 50+. This is on account of the fact that the FDA doesn’t have adequate data proving that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide any additional protection than SPF 50 products. What do you look for in the sunscreens you choose for your clients? For more information on the proposed regulations, click here. Also, be sure to check out “Here Comes the Sun” in our latest issue.

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

Help Shield Your Clients From Summer’s
Harmful Rays with Sun Safety Apps

Although no one needs to remind me to stay out of the sun, I know I’m an exception to the rule, a rare breed who seeks shade over sun any time of the day.  However, for those who crave the sun’s rays, there are now a number of apps from, a mobile app superstore, to help protect them from getting burnt to a crisp. Share these apps with your summer-loving clients, and their skin will thank you for it…

Sun Safety (Free for iPhones) – this skin-cancer prevention app provides current weather information for any U.S. city, in addition to useful up-to-date sun exposure danger information with advice on how to protect yourself and your family from skin cancer.

UV Index (Free for Androids) – this app is a simple and easy to use way of getting the UV index for the day. It functions for all U.S. states and territories. By simply entering a zip code or city/state combination, it provides the color-coded UV index.

Coppertone MyUVAlert (Free for iPhones) – Providing sun protection information for the entire family, it offers UV index forecasts, custom sunscreen reapplication reminders, and individualized product recommendations.

Handy Weather for Blackberry (Free for Blackberrys) – this app provides weather forecasts, including humidty, temperature, wind, pressure, UV index, and more, for more than 40,000 preset cities.

A New AAD Survey Reveals It’s All in the Family
When it Comes to Indoor Tanning

Although I grew up with a sun worshiping mother, I turned out to be an SPF-loving shade-seeker. That’s not necessarily the norm though. According to the results of a new survey by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), a large percentage of Caucasion teen girls and young women who use tanning beds are following the example set by their own mothers. Indoor tanners were more than twice as likely to have a family member who used a tanning bed (65 percent) compared to those who tan outdoors (28 percent). In fact, indoor tanners were four times as likely (42 percent) to note that their moms also use tanning beds as opposed to respondents who were not indoor tanners (10 percent). “Mothers who tan indoors are not only putting themselves at risk for skin cancer but they also may be putting their daughters at risk,” says dermatologist Ellen S. Marmur, MD, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. “The survey shows how influential mothers can be on their daughters’ behavior, and that is why it’s critical for mothers to set a good example by not tanning.”  Needless to say, mothers don’t always know best.

May Marks the Beginning of National
Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is National Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness Month. With just a few days left in April, you might want to give some thought as to how your spa can spread the word. More than one million people are diagnosed each year with skin cancer. It’s not all that surprising when you consider that it’s one of the most common types of cancer. Wanting to make sure its clients don’t go undiagnosed, Spa Walden (Aurora, OH) is offering a free screening with board-certified dermatologist Amy Kassouf, M.D. on May 9. Screenings will be scheduled every 10 minutes from 10am to 2pm. What is your spa doing to spread the word about prevention and early detection?

Spa Gregorie’s Day Spas & Salons Offer Guests a Skintervention With a Monthly Facial Club

Encouraging your clients to adopt a new skincare regime isn’t always easy. Old habits die hard, as they say. However, Spa Gregorie’s (Del Mar, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita , CA) has come up with a way to make it a bit easier thanks to the Skincredible Monthly Facial Club. Starting in May, the spa is offering complimentary skin evaluations to address individual skincare concerns. The Skintervention appointments are available for a full week at each Orange County location. Once clients have their tailored prescription, they are invited to join the spa’s monthly membership club. For $99 a month, members enjoy one monthly professional-grade facial, two complete homecare kits valued at $240, 20 percent off all additional skincare purchases, upgrades, and more. It’s a great way to help your clients put their best face forward and keep them coming back for more.

Dr. David J. Goldberg Offers
Tips on Controlling Rosacea

April is Rosacea Awareness Month, and in light of this, celebrity dermatologist David J. Goldberg, M.D., is addressing the needs of the more than16 million Americans who suffer from this facial skin disorder by recommending several products and treatments to help clear up this condition, such as:

• Laser and Light Therapy. Dr. Goldberg suggests the Nd: YAG laser to treat visible blood vessels associates with rosacea because it is less likely to cause bruising. Combined with a pulsed dye laser, which helps with superficial redness, the results can be very effective. Also, red light emitting LED treatments decrease inflammation. He recommends all three combined done in a series of monthly treatments for optimum results.

• Dysport. Known primarily as a wrinkle relaxer, Dr. Goldberg uses it to inhibit the overactive blood vessels, which lead to flushing.

• Redness Releif Products. Products created to reduce the signs of rosacea abound on the market, but Dr. Goldberg suggests ones containing ingredients such as jojoba and vitamin B-3, which suppress inflammation and also soothe the skin.

According to the National Rosacea Society, patients with this skin condition can also improve their chances of clearing up their skin by identifying and avoiding lifestyle and environmental factors, such as exposure to extreme weather and the sun, stress, spicy food, and alcohol. Early diagnosis is key in treating this disorder, so be sure to share these tips with your clients who suffer from rosacea.

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