Friday, June 18, 2010

Beauty foods for YOUNGER looking Skin

When I was in high school and college, I was in the sun constantly from playing soccer and swimming. All those hours in the sun gave me what I thought then was a beautiful, bronzy tan.

Today I realize the sun exposure just accelerated my skin’s aging process. Truth be told, I did wear sunscreen, but not always as much as a my then Esthetician or Dermatologist would recommend.

When I became an Esthetician I learned , the vast majority of UV light that I was soaking up was UVA. UVA is a major contributor to premature skin aging (think: fine lines and wrinkles) because it penetrates deeper than UVB light and damages skin cells before there’s any visible sunburn.

Even worse, collagen—the fibrous protein that keeps skin firm, youthful-looking and wrinkle-free—begins to decline starting in your twenties!

Now that I’m older and wiser—and not anxious to look the part—I’m wearing more sunscreen to protect my skin from the outside in. And because I’m a Esthetician and do a lot of research to gain knowledge and educate my clients, I've read that science shows eating more of these foods will protect my skin from the inside out.

Keep your skin looking younger—for the rest of your life—with these 4 foods:

Strawberries: Eating more vitamin C-rich foods, such as strawberries, may help to ward off wrinkles and age-related dryness, suggests research from 2007 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin C’s skin-smoothing effects may be due to its ability to mop up free radicals produced from ultraviolet rays and also its role in collagen synthesis. (Vitamin C is essential for collagen production.) You can find vitamin C in a multitude of cosmetics—of which some have been shown to be effective in protecting skin—but why not go straight to the source for a tasty boost of C: red bell peppers, papaya, broccoli and oranges are other excellent sources. (Try these sweet strawberry recipes for better skin.)

Tomatoes: Tomatoes get their red hue from lycopene, a carotenoid that may help to keep your skin smooth. In a study published in 2008 in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, researchers found that of the 20 individuals studied, those who had higher skin concentrations of lycopene had smoother skin. Boost your lycopene intake with fresh summer produce like watermelon and carrots too. (Find tomato recipe ideas here.)

Tofu: Tofu and other soyfoods, such as edamame and soymilk, may help to preserve skin-firming collagen because they are rich in isoflavones. In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, mice fed isoflavones and exposed to ultraviolet radiation had fewer wrinkles and smoother skin than mice that were exposed to UV light but didn’t get isoflavones. The researchers believe that isoflavones help prevent collagen breakdown. (Find tasty 30-minute dinners using tofu here.)

Tuna: Eating tuna—and other omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon, sardines and trout—may help keep your skin looking youthful thanks to the omega-3 fat EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). EPA has been shown to preserve collagen. (Enjoy tuna in Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad and more healthy tuna recipes here.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shield your Skin with Organic Sun Protection

Protect and shield your beautiful skin with the Tropical Vanilla Sun Cream SPF 32 Daily Moisturizer from Eminence Organics.

Shield your skin with the natural paba-free SPF protection of zinc oxide and shea butter in the non-clogging, non-greasy Tropical Vanilla Sun Cream SPF 32 from Eminence that has been clinically tested to increase moisture levels in the skin by up to 250% after just one week! That's 100% more than most competing brands.

Sun drenched skin can lose almost 20% of its moisture content due to sun exposure causing premature aging and sun damage, so quench its thirst with organic tropical nutrients and UVA/UVB/UVC broad spectrum sun protection for healthy, youthful skin from Eminence Skin Care.

One of the cool things about using Eminence Organics is its very concentrated. You only need a small amount then add water (which activates all the active ingredients) and see how far a little bit goes. This is very cost effective and when used correctly products should last about 4-6 months.

Come visit me @ Nova Vita Salon & Spa in Tustin and I will customize a Eminence Organic facial just for you and your skin care needs!

Ingredients in Tropical Vanilla Sun Cream SPF 32:

• Shea Butter: calming and moisturizing; it is an excellent emollient for skin and naturally occurring sun screen
• Zinc Oxide: astringent and anti-inflammatory; aids in healing skin irritations and blocks UV rays
• Vanilla: calming, soothing; improves circulation
• Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (also known as Octyl Methoxycinnamate): clear liquid compound that absorbs UVB ligh

Monday, May 17, 2010

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

May is Skin Cancer Awareness month so it is my duty as a Esthetician to bring a few important messages to your attention. First and foremost it alarms me to know that 50% of Americans still don’t use sunscreen when one if five people will develop skin cancer during the course of a lifetime.

If you are one of those people or know someone who is, take the time this month to get educated or educate someone and help save a life. I'm not going to lie, I have dabbled in the tanning bed a few times, and I am a beach baby as well. HOWEVER, as I've educated myself not only for my profession but for my overall health I have learned the hard way that the Sun is NOT your best friend.

Do yourself a favor, be responsible about your skin. Get checked by a dermatologist to make sure all those moles, freckles, etc are NOT Skin Cancer. Its a scary thing to think about yes, but it can happen. Wear sunscreen EVERYDAY on your face. I don't care if you live where the sun don't shine, wear it. I love when I have clients tell me oh I never go out in the sun so I don't have to wear it. Yes you do. You drive to work, grocery store, etc...the sun penetrates through the windows in your car. Um yeah you may not "literally" be out in the sun but you are still putting yourself at risk. So be responsible, teach your kids early what the importance of sunscreen and taking care of your skin means. It is our biggest organ and it needs as much protection as possible.

La Roche-Posay recently launched so you can join the cause. For each person that joins the cause, a donation is made to the Women’s Dermatologic Society and Skin Cancer Foundation to help educate people on sun protection. You can also find out information on sun safety and locate a derm near you to get your skin checked.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tips for ALL Skin Types

Most of us all know the basics of skin care: cleanse, tone, and moisturize. But a lot of us don't know why we should exfoliate, use a masque and a serum. Here are some answers to why everyone should incorporate these 3 into your skin care regimen.

Why Exfoliate?

Exfoliation is the key to vibrant skin. Regular exfoliation helps remove the hard keratin layer build-up and brings luminosity and clarity to the skin. For younger skin, exfoliation unplugs pores and keeps the skin clear and smooth. For mature skin, exfoliation is essential to help minimize fine lines, remove dry flakes, and revive sluggish skin.

Why use Masques?

Using a face masque once or twice a week will dramatically increase the elasticity and health of your skin. For instance Eminence Organics Masques contain high amounts of concentrated vitamins and nutrient-rich ingredients. When used consistently, once or twice per week, masque applications allow active ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin giving additional hydration and firming benefits. Treatment masques can be used to control acne, rosacea, dryness or oiliness.

Why use Serums?

Serums are secret beauty elixirs to infuse skin with pure vitamins and herbs. Serums are applied as the last step before moisturizing after your skin has been cleansed and toned. The light liposome base of the serum ensures deep penetration into the skin to impart a healthy glow from within. The active ingredients plump and smooth skin to give it a luxuriously youthful look.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sensitive Skin?? What does it mean...Really?

Ask the Expert: What Does it Mean to Have Sensitive Skin?

By: Celeste Hilling

sensitive skin

I have been told that I have sensitive skin. What does that mean? What type of products should I use?

Most people who say they have sensitive skin actually havechemically reactive skin. That means their skin has a negative reaction to the artificial fragrances, dyes, and preservatives (such as parabens) used in most products. People with chemically reactive skin should steer clear of those ingredients as well as alcohol and benzyl peroxide, which can be drying.

Better options are products with a high concentration of active ingredients because effective formulators tend to avoid an abundance of emulsifiers and fillers that neutralize the active level of ingredients. The key active ingredients for healthy skin include antioxidants, proteins, minerals, and essential elements that not only nourish and treat the skin but also protect it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

8 Foods that Boost Collagen

Orange Vegetables:

Restore & Regenerate

Vegetables that are orange in color, like carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in Vitamin A, which restores and regenerates damaged collagen.

White Tea:
Supports Structure

According to research conducted by Kingston University & Neal's Yard Remedies, white tea may protect the structural proteins of the skin, specifically collagen. It's believed to prevent enzyme activity that breaks down collagen, contributing to lines and wrinkles.

Ward off Damage

Blackberries and rasperries scavenge free radicals while simultaneously increasing collagen levels.

Water-Rich Vegetables
Key for Collagen Production

Vegetables like cucumber and celery have a high sulfur content, which is important in collagen production. Collagen can't be produced if sulfur isn't present.

Dark Green Vegetables
Rev up Collagen Production

Rich in vitamin C, dark green vegatables like spinach and kale can rev up collagen production. In topical products, vitamin C has antioxidizing properties that stabilize the messenger enzymes that break collagen dow. It also protects against free radicals to prevent weak collagen.

Creates Stronger Cells

Fish like Tuna and Salmon are loaded with Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Skin cells are surrounded by fatty membrane that protects them. When the cells are healthy, they are able to support structure of the skin.

Blocks aging

Whether sourced from soy milk, cheese, or tofu, soy contains genistein (plant hormones that serve as antioxidants) which prompts collagen production and helps block enzyme, like MMPs (Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are underappreciated players in the skin physiology. MMP are a special subclass of the so-called proteolytic enzymes or proteases, the enzymes whose function is to break down other proteins into recyclable fragments) that can age the skin.

Red Vegetables
Natural Form of SPF

Tomatoes, peppers, and beets contain the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene also acts as a natural sun block, protecting the skin from damage while increasing collagen levels.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Salicylic Acid vs. Benzoyl Peroxide

The two main active ingredients in most acne fighting products out there today are Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid. What's the difference between these two agents? Is one better than the other for getting rid of acne?

Benzoyl Peroxide

What is Benzoyl Peroxide? Benzoyl Peroxide kills the bacterium that causes acne. It works as a peeling agent, thus increasing the skin's turnover and clearing pores. The bacterial count found on the skin is lessened as well since this agent also works to reduce P. Acnes (the bacteria that causes skin breakouts). Benzoyl Peroxide also "dries up" existing skin blemishes. You can find this agent in over-the-counter products in strengths ranging from 2.5% to 10%. Research indicates that products with concentrations over 2.5% aren't much more effective and they're usually much harsher on the skin. Benzoyl Peroxide was one of the first acne treatments to become widely available.

Are there any side effects? When using Benzoyl Peroxide you may experience some initial dryness and irritation. Normally the skin will develop a tolerance to the product after a week or two of use. A small number of people will be much more sensitive to this agent and can suffer some burning, itching, peeling and even swelling after application. It should also be said that Benzoyl Peroxide is a bleaching agent and can cause color loss when it comes in contact with fabric and even hair. Be mindful of this fact when applying Benzoyl Peroxide before going to bed, near the neck and chest, near your hairline and eyebrows, and even when washing the agent off of your face since bleaching can occur.

If the skin starts to feel too dry you should cut back on your use of Benzoyl Peroxide. Excessive drying of the skin can make acne worse. Also, when first starting out with Benzoyl Peroxide, you should begin by using the product on alternating days so that your skin has time to adjust.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxyl acid (BHA) that is derived from the bark of the willow tree. It is a key ingredient in many skin-care products found on the market today. The medicinal properties of this agent have been known since ancient times as a means of fever relief and also as an anti-inflammatory drug. Today, it is used to treat acne, psoriasis, dandruff, calluses, corns, keratosis pilaris, and warts. It works as a peeling agent to treat and prevent acne by causing your skin's cells to shed more easily, preventing the pores from clogging up and allowing room for new skin cell growth. The Salicylic Acid penetrates the oil-filled pores and then exfoliates any dead skin cells that have built up inside. This helps to reduce irritation and inflammation, while also breaking down whiteheads and blackheads. Salicylic acid is available in different concentrations in the various skin-care products available to the general public. The approved range of Salicylic Acid for acne treatment is between 0.5% and 2%.

Are there any side effects? The most common side effect is dryness, though this is normally very mild. If the skin appears scaly however, you should apply a light oil-free moisturizer following the application of the product containing Salicylic Acid. The skin can also become irritated for some who use products with this agent. If you experience some mild irritation after using Salicylic Acid you should use the product less frequently. If the irritation is severe or continues even with infrequent application you should stop using the product completely.

Some products don't work well with Salicylic Acid, leaving the skin excessively dry or irritated. These products should be avoided and include harsh soaps/cleansers, alcohol-containing preparations, other acne treatments containing peeling agents (resorcinol, sulfur, tretinoin, or Benzoyl peroxide), drying cosmetics or soaps, medicated cosmetics, and other topical skin medications.

The Verdict

Both Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid work effectively as a way to treat and control mild to moderate acne cases. They both work as peeling agents and have similar effects on the skin. The main different between the two agents is that Benzoyl Peroxide works as an antiseptic, though those same antiseptic properties makes the peroxide more aggressive and harsher on the skin. Different skin types will react differently to both acne fighting agents so it is really a person choice here. I personally as an Aesthetician recommend Salicylic Acid over Benzoyl Peroxide.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Why I prefer Electrolysis over Laser

Let's face it....we all have hair in places we can't control or want. And these days waxing is great and fast but most of us want something PERMANENT done to our lovely hairs in places we can't stand. I've fortunately had the opportunity to try both Laser and Electrolysis.

I started doing Electrolysis about 6 years ago @ Spa Gregories by my favorite Karen Lunzman. I wanted to do my eyebrows because being an Italian and brows...not good. So for about a year, every week, Karen would *zap* my lovely hairs and shape my brown line. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I don't have the shadow that was always there and all the hairs that she zapped are PERMANENTLY removed. Electrolysis is a more guaranteed form of hair removal.

So a few years after I decided to try laser for my underarms and bikini. Um waste of money for ME. Everyone is different, for instance my best friend benefits from it far more than I did. Don't get me wrong the shadow that would come under my arms is gone and the hairs are a lot finer but after almost two years of treatments...I still have hair. See unfortunately with laser RESULTS are NOT always GUARANTEED. Lasers work best on people with dark hair but with LIGHT skin. For Electrolysis RESULTS ARE GUARANTEED it kills every follicle the Electrolysist treats.

I highly recommend Spa Gregories to get Electrolysis done. They have 3 awesome Electrolysists however I highly recommend, Karen Lunzman.

Wishing you all a awesome day!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mineral Make-up lines I LOVE!

I absolutely LOVE mineral make-up and as an Esthetician I highly recommend it for all of my clients. I am not going to lie I have used MAC make-up for years and I LOVE their eye colors, liners, etc. HOWEVER, for my skin and for everyones skin I highly suggest mineral makeup.

Two lines that I support and promote as much as possible:

SmoakShop: (Model Shanna Moakler's line)

Due to the fact that mineral make-up is non-comedogenic, which means it does not block the pores of the skin but instead allows the skin to breathe, mineral makeup is very appealing for those women with sensitive skin. So for those women who suffer with rosacea, dryness, acne or other skin ailments, utilizing mineral makeup permits them to take advantage of a skin-friendly product which will not exacerbate their problems. As well, the prime ingredients used in mineral makeup are, unlike most makeup, inorganic, which means that bacteria and microbes cannot live in the makeup and infect the skin. The fact that the ingredients are inorganic also means that no preservatives need be included and that the makeup will have a long shelf life, so long as reasonable care is taken to apply the makeup with clean brushes.

The best mineral makeups contain a number of ingredients designed for the purpose of improving the well-being of the skin. These may include a broad spectrum of UVA and UVB sun protection, as well as zinc, magnesium and some anti-inflammatories. For women who complain of oily skin, mineral makeup can provide an excellent solution. The usual chemical-based applications are very oily, due to the oils they contain. These oils cause a lot of issues, especially in women with an oily complexion. These issues can be avoided by using mineral-based makeup, since no oils are used in their manufacture.

So the benefits of mineral makeup over traditional cosmetics are quite significant. Mineral makeup does not damage the skin with damaging oils and chemical additives. It does not block the skin's pores or provide a breeding ground for bacteria. It usually includes beneficial ingredients to guard the skin from the sun’s harmful rays and to feed and nourish it. And it provides the wearer with a healthy and natural aura. So it is little wonder mineral makeup is flying off the shelves.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Welcome to 2010!

Happy New Year to all! I cannot believe its already 2010! Its also the time of year when our skin decides to change and get flaky, dry, chapped, etc. And no matter how much moisture we put on our skin whether its lotions, moisturizers, etc it still doesn't seem to help.

As an Aesthetician I get clients who constantly are dry during this time of year and being that we live in California one day can be 40 degrees and the next day can be 70 degrees. Our skin goes into shock when this happens and the barrier of our skin tends to well..."freak" out.

Tips for winter months:

1. The first thing you need to do is cut out the hot showers. I know this is what you look forward to during the winter after working and coming home through the cold rain, sleet or snow; however, this is bad for your skin. Long, hot showers strip skin of its natural moisture. Instead, take a short lukewarm shower, pat dry and apply a moisturizer containing humectants, emollients and occlusives. Avoid moisturizers with alcohol and fragrance during the winter as they can dry skin more.

2. Heating your home is also a problem for skin during the winter months. Central heating systems rob air of moisture, which can have adverse effects on skin by making skin dry, flaky and itchy. Purchasing and using a humidifier can help reduce the damage to skin done by winter heating systems. If possible, turn central air as low as possible to keep the air in your home from drying out.

3. Do not forego the sunscreen in the winter. The sun is still strong in the winter and your skin still needs the protection that you give it during the summer months. Furthermore, if you live where there is snow on the ground for much of the winter you especially need sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun reflecting off the snow and ice.

Suggested Skin care healers:

1. Hyaluronic Acid: Such as Epicuren's Moisture Surge, Arcona's Hydrating Serum, etc

*Hyaluronic acid binds moisture to the skin. Can be mixed w/ a moisturizer to add more Moisture*

2. Lip Balm: Epicuren's Tea Tree Oil SPF 15 Lip Balm

3. Lots of water!

4. Try some of these home made masks that help with dryness!

Nourishing mask for dry skin: mix 1 oz of cucumber juice, 1.5 oz of vegetable oil and 1 oz of lanolin cream. Apply on your face and throat for 10-15 min, then rinse the mask with warm water or herbal extract. Follow with your moisturizer.

If you have dry skin and tendency to pigmentation, mix 1 tea spoon of honey, 1 tea spoon of cottage cheese, 1 tea spoon of vegetable oil and 2 g of boric acid. Apply the mask on your face and throat for 15 min. Rinse it with warm water or herbal tea. Follow with your moisturizer.

Rejuvenating masks: grate 1 piece of squash, add 1 tea spoon of ground oatmeal and apply the mix on your face and throat for 15-20 min.
You can also apply slices of raw squash on your face and throat for 20 min. Rinse both masks with raw milk.

Anti wrinkle mask for dry skin: grate some cabbage and boil it in milk until the cabbage becomes very soft. Apply the mask for 20 min on your face and throat.
For very dry skin mix 1 table spoon of boiled cabbage, 1 raw egg and 1 table spoon of vegetable oil. Apply the mask for 20 min.

Flaxseed mask soothes dry skin and helps if dry skin is peeling. Also flax seeds help dry skin to absorb the moisture. Take 1 table spoon of flax seeds, add 1 glass of boiling water and boil it until it thickens. Apply the mask on your face for 15 min and rinse it with warm water or herbal tea. Follow with your moisturizer.

Nourishing anti wrinkle mask for dry skin: mix 2 table spoons of cottage cheese with 2 table spoons of vegetable oil. Apply the mask for 15-20 min.

Honey masks nourish your skin and erase wrinkles, but they are not recommended if you have red capillaries on your face.
Mix 2 table spoons of honey 1 table spoon of olive oil and heat it ( on steam bath ) until the mask becomes more fluid. Apply the mask on your face, cover it with a gauze cloth and leave it for 20 min. Rinse it with warm water.

If you have red capillaries on your face, wet a cotton towel in raw potato juice and apply it on your cleansed face for 30 min. You can also drink 2 oz of fresh potato juice 3-4 times a day before meals.
Honey mask for dry skin for winter time: mix 2 table spoons of honey, 1 yogurt ( not sweet ) and 1 tea spoon of grated grapefruit peel. Apply the mask on your face and throat for 15 min. Wash it off with cool black tea and follow with your moisturizer. Honey will absorb the toxins, yogurt will sooth and nourish your skin and grapefruit peel will help with your skin elasticity.

Mask for very thin, dry and withered skin: mash 2 peaches, add 1 tea spoon of lemon juice. Apply on your face and throat for 15-20 min. Wash it off with warm water and follow with your moisturizer.

Mask for very dry, whithered and peeling skin: mix 1 raw egg yolk with 1 table spoon of warm vegetable oil and add a mix of 1/2 tea spoon of water and 1/2 tea spoon of lemon juice. Apply 3 layers of the mask on your face and throat. Wait until the first layer dries a little bit before applying the next layer. Rinse the mask with warm and then cool water. Use it 2-3 times a week for 4-6 weeks.

Soothing and refreshing mask for dry skin: mix 2-3 table spoons of grated melon, 1 raw egg yolk and 1 table spoon of sour cream. Apply the mask for 20 min on your face and throat. Wash it off with warm water. Follow with your moisturizer.

Excellent anti aging mask for dry wrinkled skin: mash 1 persimmon ( it is a gresource of iodine and beta carotene ) and add 1 table spoon of cream or milk . Apply the mask on your face and throat for 15-20 min. Wash it off with warm water. Follow with your moisturizer.

This great extract will help with very dry and irritated skin: take 3 table spoons ofchamomile and add 1 glass of hot milk. Let it sit for a few minutes. Take a cotton towel, hold both ends of the towel and put the middle of the towel into the extract, squeeze it a little bit and apply on your face starting from your chin, then your cheeks and your eyes and your forehead. Leave a hole for your nose and connect both ends of the towel. Keep it for 20 min. Rinse your face with water.

The tomato mask will lighten and tone up dry skin. Mash 1 tomato and add 1 table spoon of sour cream. Apply the mask for 20-30 min.

Great potato mask for dry wrinkled skin: boil 1 potato, mash it and add 1 raw egg yolk and 1 table spoon of milk. Apply the mask on your face and throat for 20 min. Wash it off with warm water or herbal tea.

Nourishing anti wrinkle mask for dry skin: boil some beans until they are soft. Mush the beans and add 1 table spoon of vegetable oil and 1 table spoon of cream. Apply the mask on your face and throat for 30 min. Wash it off with warm water.

Excellent nourishing mask: mix 1 part of cottage cheese, 1 part of olive oil and 1 part of milk. Apply the mask for 20 min.

Do not throw away mandarine peel when you eat mandarines or tangerines. Save it, let it dry on the air and grind it in your coffee grinder. This powder is a great base for revitalizing and nourishing masks for dry skin. Mix 1 tea spoon of the powder with 1 raw egg yolk and 1 tea spoon of sour cream. Apply the mask for 20 min on your face and throat. Wash it off with warm water and follow with your moisturizer.