Pineapple is a tropical fruit that originated in Brazil and is now currently found in India and other countries. It presents a wide array of health and beauty benefits, is easy to find, and can effortlessly be incorporated into diets and skin care regimens.
Pineapples are full of important antioxidants that work to prevent cell damage within the body by fighting against free radicals that are constantly damaging the skin. When people include antioxidants in their daily diet, they are working towards preventing several chronic diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, atherosclerosis, and arthritis.
The Aboriginal people of Australia believe tea tree oil has magical powers that promote strength and harmony. There is even a tribal legend about the hidden treasure of the tea tree, which is described as an enchanted lagoon where the leaves of the tree were soaked after falling in, infusing and enriching the waters. The village people would immerse themselves in the natural herbal bath to take in all of the physical and mystical benefits that the waters possessed.
Grown in the wilderness of Brazil, the tree and bark of the bitter almond tree (Prunus amygdalus amara) was used for tanning, while the fruit and nut was used for cooking and frying. In those times, nuts were sorted out and the bitter ones were used for ethenic oils in perfumeries and for the creations of industrial usages. Due to the bitter acid of the nuts and the potential harm of constipation that was caused by the acid, especially in children, trees were cultivated to create a higher percent of sweet-tasting almonds.
Grapes are thought to have originated in Asia, near the Caspian Sea. Historically, grape leaves were used to stop bleeding, inflammation, and pain and the sap of grapevines was used to treat skin and eye diseases. Raisins were used to relieve constipation and quench thirst. Throughout history and in many cultures, grapes were thought to have healing power for all kinds of diseases.
All types of tea – whether white, green, black, or oolong – are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. There are different tea grades, growing conditions, and methods of extraction. Each tea, or extract, has different attributes and applications in skin care.
Cucumber is one the most cultivated vegetables around the world. It is composed of 95 percent water, but also contains ascorbic acid; caffeic acid; vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B12; and folic acid. These vitamins help to soothe skin irritations, reduce swelling, and prevent water retention. Its high water content helps to hydrate the tender skin in the eye region, as well as contract blood vessels in that area. Cucumbers also contain polysaccharides, which are also found in aloe vera, and play a role in hydrating the skin.
When most people hear mention of the aloe vera plant, the adjectives that come to mind are soothing, nurturing, and healing. Yet, despite aloe’s reputation as being beneficial to the body, in late 2015, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added “non-decolorized, whole-leaf aloe vera extract” to the list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
Lavender is a hardy, fragrant shrub that has narrow leaves and grey-blue flowers and can grow to a height of three feet. While the aroma of lavender can be found throughout the entire plant, essential oil can only be obtained from the flower. Originally grown in the mountains of Europe, in poor but well-drained soils, lavender is now grown worldwide. However, the primary aromatherapy producers are France, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Russia.
Vitamin E is a major, oil-soluble, naturally-occurring antioxidant in the body. It is a complex substance that exists in eight different molecular forms and is identified by two types: tocopherols and tocotrienols. There also exists an alpha, beta, delta, and gamma molecular form of both tocopherols and tocotrienols.
One of the most versatile and best-loved oils for use on the skin is jojoba oil. This versatile oil can be used as a gentle and effective makeup remover, cleansing oil, massage oil, or moisturizer, in addition to its use as a shelf-stable carrier oil for herbal and aromatherapeutic skin care preparations. Though other carrier oils have achieved the moniker liquid gold, jojoba oil also deserves to be regarded at this high standard, not just for its elegant golden color, but also because of its rich skin-health benefits.
Milk has been used throughout history to care for the skin. Many people are familiar with Cleopatra’s fabled milk baths and, as it turns out, numerous other noble women throughout history followed suit. These women realized the youth-preserving benefits that milk provided the skin.
Throughout history, chamomile has been synonymous with healing, purity, and beauty. The earliest use of the herb was recorded in 1550 B.C.E., as evidenced in one of history's most important medical volumes, Eber's Papyrus. Its medical use dates back to medical antiquity when the early physicians, such as Hippocrates, Galen, and Asclepius, made use of it in their natural healing methods and prescriptions. The Egyptians dedicated chamomile to the gods, believing that it emulated the sun and would cure malaria. It was also widely used as a cure for fever, as a main ingredient in embalming oils for its ability to repel insects, and was highly prized as a cosmetic by the Romans. Chamomile is one of the nine sacred herbs of the Lacnunga, an ancient Anglo-Saxon herbal manuscript that was recorded in the 10th century. In medieval times, the petals were used for fragrance ambiance and used during rituals and ceremonies.
Scientific advances in skin care production and new nano-sized zinc oxides have allowed this natural-skin healer and sun protector to show up in a plethora of skin care products that far outshine the goopy sunscreens of yesteryear.
It is no secret that choosing the correct shade of foundation is essential in creating the appearance of a flawless complexion. However, some clients do not realize the importance of wearing the best formulation of foundation for their skin.
A prevalent conundrum that takes many forms, acne is a common skin condition that plagues a great majority of men and women. The term ‘acne’ has been used to describe everything from the occurrence of mild, centralized breakouts to severe, inflammatory conditions that can affect the entire body. Although there is no shortage of publications on acne, there seems to be little information on what skin care professionals can do to help alleviate this common skin condition. As the first line of defense against acne, professionals can suppress the visible signs of this condition with routine cleanings and treatments and professional skin care products.
Women have reigned in the skin care industry as the prominent, key consumers of products for centuries. Product lines based products off the female sector’s desires and needs, creating a plethora of stock keeping units (SKUs) to stock on shelves in stores. In the past, men’s products only consisted of a few SKUs, mainly a shaving cream and an after shave, taking up a tiny residency near the astronomical moisturizers, cleansers, and various other female-oriented products.
The merge of eastern and western thought has brought much balance to American health and wellness. Such a bountiful, positive impact on the aesthetic industry has not been overlooked. Medicines, techniques, and philosophies cohesively united between the East and West allow us to bring the best-used practices, ancient regimens, and worldwide tried-and-true tools into a holistic wellness outlook, benefitting the industry exponentially. As people, we strive for balance; we strive to find a middle ground; we strive to understand, grow, and benefit from those who have walked before us. Therefore, keeping this thought in mind, we can find health and benefit in reestablishing a middle ground and finding balance for the skin.
As the saying goes, “The eyes are the window to your soul.” Turns out, this now famous quote by William Shakespeare was accurate on many levels. Not only do people look to the eyes to gauge a person’s age and energy level, according to a study conducted several years ago, but scientists in Sweden have actually uncovered information that suggests there is also a link between iris structure and certain personality traits.
As skin care professionals, we know the importance of skin exfoliation for healthy cell turnover, a refreshed and clear complexion, and better product absorption, but what about the methods of exfoliation? No one way of exfoliation is perfect for all skin types, but there are many possible alternatives that make it easy to find a method for every client! To make things as simple as possible – there are two types of exfoliators – physical and chemical.
Due to the effects that sun damage has on clients, skin care professionals should all be experts on sunscreens. However, that has not been easy due to the confusing regulations and misinformation that surrounds this category. In this article, what is known about current sunscreens will be clarified along with information on how to safely advise clients about the many myths associated with this category of skin care.
With advances in hair removal options and technology over the years, it is important for skin care professionals, new and seasoned, to understand the options available to clients inside and outside the treatment room, as well as how to market hair removal services year-round.
Throughout time, women have created homemade body creams to smooth, soften, and keep their bodies youthful. Commercialized body creams have only been in the marketplace for the past century. The plethora of options available can often be confusing to clients. As aestheticians, it is important that we educate ourselves in the treatment of body skin care as well. This highly-lucrative market is often overlooked by aestheticians. However, it is our responsibility to help our clients create body skin care routines to exfoliate, slim, fight age, and protect against environmental stressors.
As skin care professionals, we understand the importance of using a day and nighttime moisturizer as part of our regular skin care regimen. But how do we communicate the importance of using such products and their benefits to a client who is looking for a solution to improve the condition and overall health of their skin? How the message is communicated to a client depends primarily on product education and customized personal recommendations based on three key factors to guarantee a winning sale: product knowledge, facility setting, and the type of client.
The romance poets honored the parts of a face, saying “the eyes are windows of the soul” and “oh, lips, you the doors of breath…” It can also be said that these are parts of the face that we closely associate with conventional beauty. They are the images that linger when we remember our loved ones… his eyes, her smile, that look. The eyes in particular tell us so much. The sincerity of the words passing over the lips can often be identified by the story the eyes tell; because they create expression, they are the regions of the face where we begin to see many signs of damage associated with aging.
Do you have the tools and equipment you need to be the best aesthetics professional possible? Are you thinking of starting a practice or are you renovating or upgrading equipment any time soon? The task of building a practice does not have to be daunting. Equipment can make or break your job as an aesthetician. Whether you want a private practice as an aesthetician or work in a resort, day or medical spa, there are many factors to consider when purchasing equipment. What equipment enhances our lives? What makes our job easier and more efficient? What provides the best experience and results for our clients? What you need varies not only from person to person, but state to state, depending on local statutes as well.
Body contouring without the surgery – is it possible? Yes, with advancements in skin rejuvenation, there are a number of effective non-invasive alternatives to body contouring. It simply requires applying what we know to be effective in facial rejuvenation to the body.
For centuries, muds, clays, milks, seaweed, and herbs have been used by Roman, Egyptian, and Asian civilizations as masks to maintain the beauty of the skin, treat its specific concerns, and protect it. The development of modern cosmetics incorporating the latest technology and scientific research has led to incredibly sensorial and effective facial treatment masks to deliver an infusion of active ingredients to the skin.
We live in a high-definition, Photoshopped world, where we are constantly bombarded with images of digital perfection. It is easy to become hypnotized and believe that our favorite celebrities have perfect skin, teeth, hair, and bodies. The truth is they do not. Whew! So how do skin care professionals deal with the clients who want to raise the bar on her their skin’s performance and appearance?
"Hair removal has become an art and a necessity for many women and men. It is no longer considered a seasonal service. It may still be a bit more popular in warm weather months and climates, yet it must be promoted throughout the calendar year. Whether you offer laser hair removal, sugar, threading services, or traditional wax hair removal services, it is extremely important to start marketing your hair removal rituals throughout the year. Men and women want to look great with and without their clothes on! To take advantage of this awareness and necessity for everyone’s needed hair removal rituals, plan to create fresh new marketing strategies that will be consistent, unique, and perhaps just a bit different."
Larry H. Oskin, president of Marketing Solutions
Barrier function can be weakened by three simple (but major) factors: dry skin/cracks, pH imbalance, and high water loss through the skin. Dry skin loses moisture through the epidermis and becomes weaker. If the barrier function of the skin is impaired, the body is vulnerable and the appearance of the skin is undesirable. Broken skin can be cracked, dry, rough, or a rash and this again compromises the barrier function of the skin. It is important to use a moisturizer so that the skin can act as a strong protective barrier for the rest of the body.
Coco Chanel popularized tanning by visiting the south of France, only to return with a darker complexion. Before that, milky skin was the fashion. As aestheticians, our focus must be on the aging effects that the sun has on our clients’ skin. Today, we are using more aggressive products to exfoliate clients’ skin while working actively to help our clients with their anti-aging regimens. These regimens require extra sun protection measures. Our results-oriented focus provides great results, assuming we properly train our clients to protect their vulnerable skin from the sun.
Cosmetics have been an integral part of human cultures for thousands of years, but today the cosmetics industry rakes in over 50 billion dollars each year. The industry has undoubtedly come a long way from the copper and lead ore that the ancient Egyptians used to create the most primitive forms of makeup. Indeed, each year companies offer more scientifically advanced products due to developments in technology, ingredients, and formulas. It is important to understand the history of makeup to really be able to appreciate industry trends of today and the outlook for future trends.
It is no secret the men’s grooming market is rapidly gaining market share. Men are becoming savvy consumers of skin care, seeking ways to look and feel better. According to research, and countless predictions, this trend is only going to gain momentum. Many men are already steadfast to their brands, but others have yet to venture out beyond hygiene products and drugstore brands; therefore, opportunity abounds. It will prove essential for skin care professionals to know which products appeal to men and which will solve specific skin challenges and improve their overall well-being.
Cleansers are a staple of skin care. Yet, with multisyllabic ingredients and a multitude of choices on the market, the selection process is anything but easy. It is time to lather up and come clean with cleansers.
Dating back to Ancient Babylon, the first skin cleansers consisted of plant extracts, including crushed seeds and fruit-derived oils, which were used in conjunction with scraping tools to remove surface dirt from skin. Many of these same natural plant extracts are used today to color, scent and protect skin.
Some of the earliest crude forms of soap were made of goat’s tallow and wood ashes to which salt was added to harden the formulation. In the ruins of Pompeii, archeologists discovered a soap factory with bars as evidence of these early renditions.
To many skin care professionals, makeup application represents a form of artistic expression. Working with various colors and textures to compliment and enhance a person’s overall appearance can be a rewarding experience for both the client and the professional. When applying makeup, each step is important to achieving a flawless appearance. Choosing the right foundation for your client is the initial step toward creating an even base. Used to eliminate wrinkles, fine lines or camouflage blemishes, makeup foundation sets the stage for the entire makeup application. It is important that skin care professionals choose the correct foundation based on the client’s skin type using a professional-grade product that will benefit the skin’s condition.
Cellular buildup is a key culprit to premature aging, dehydration and acne breakouts, which is why skin exfoliation at home is an integral practice to maintain optimal skin health. Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are widely used to exfoliate and smooth the skin, but can cause unwanted irritation and are not suitable for sensitive skin types. However, the use of enzymes can be ideal in achieving optimal cleansing and exfoliation of the skin. Enzymes are versatile agents that can be paired with an antioxidant, acid or added into a scrub, to effectively improve the appearance of the skin and help alleviate a variety of conditions.
Hand and feet products are important to any business that wants to earn additional revenue. Our hands and feet are used on a daily basis, causing mild to extreme wear and tear on the skin. The skin on these two extremities may become rough, dry, cracked and could possibly suffer from eczema, psoriasis and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). The misfortunate skin nuances on the hands and feet become fortunate to the business that chooses to sell the right products and treatments that can assist in the varying concerns of its patrons. Hand and feet products are an instant gratification to the client when applied on the skin. Whether these products hydrate, soothe or treat, clients can feel the difference immediately.
The use of facial masks as part of the beauty regimen dates back to ancient Egypt and China when several notable historical women used clays and creams to help purify their skin and preserve a youthful appearance. These women set the tone for what would become an essential part of any good skin care regimen.
Facial masks transcend generations since they can be used to clean up excess oil or acne conditions, maintain skin health, tone, tighten and brighten or simply provide some pampering time.
It smirks, pouts, can be petulant, or even a subtle invitation to play. Our lips frame our teeth and next to the eyes, they are one of the most focused areas regarding what we deem beautiful.
Currently Angelina Jolie is the standard bearer for lips. Thousands if not millions admire her lips and try desperately to imitate them. Her signature pout has been responsible for a dramatic increase in procedures to increase lip volume.
As fashion continues to dictate, there is a vast array of products on the market that can help to enhance the lips in order to achieve the desired result. Whether the pigments are naturally or synthetically derived, there is a product for everyone.
One of the most prevalent motivators among the massage, aesthetics and bodywork graduates I have met is the desire to work in an environment where they have the opportunity to heal others through touch. The art of healing requires more than a pair of skilled hands (or in the case of some modalities, feet). It actually starts the moment you have to decide which products you would like to use during your service. The right products can help turn a good spa service into a memorable experience for your clients. The key lies in knowing where to start. The best paint cannot cover a wrinkle or keep persistent shine away for long.
There is no question that foundation is an integral part of makeup application. Without it, colors never have proper impact or value, and potentially beautiful faces can be compromised by any number of possible imperfections. Foundation is essential to create an even complexion before you can design the right look on the cheeks, eyes or lips.
Traditionally, women relied only on their liquid, powder and cream foundations to cover imperfections and give the illusion of perfect, even skin tone. Unfortunately, issues like texture, oil control and longevity were much more difficult to tackle with foundation alone. For even the best paint cannot cover a wrinkle or keep persistent shine away for long.
In the health and beauty industry, specific cares for eye moisturizing and treatment is not a ploy by cosmetic companies to try and sell you more product and gouge your pocket-book. In some instances, depending on the product's active ingredient profile and stated package claims, some may not be as effective as others. Eye area treatments are developed for a reason and they should be cared for in a specific manner, depending on the results you want to accomplish; keeping in mind the client's age, sensitivity and appearance that may include puffy eyes, milia (small white lumps) or dark circles.
In professional skin care, beauty extracts have become virtually indispensable. For beauticians, they are a means of demonstrating their competency. Nothing emphasizes your professional expertise more than the quiet snap of an ampoule neck and the subsequent application and working in of the precious liquid. No other skin care product can claim to have such an immediate effect and to treat clients to such a delightful experience as the active concentrated formula.
Spa equipment can help excite your clients, increase your profit, and keep your clients coming back for more. In today’s industry, it can be very difficult to keep a long-term client; which is why providing them what they are looking for is a key to success. New modalities and equipment will not only expand your services but increase your worth to your clients. You are important to your client because you boost their self-confidence and make them feel beautiful. Products alone are sometimes not enough, which is why professionals consider purchasing equipment.
Sensitive skin care is an important topic for the professional aesthetician. Why? Because sensitive skin is very common in today's population – plus it is a condition that can be quite challenging to recognize and treat. For example, some people do not care for their skin properly or they use harsh products. Usually, this results in some sort of irritation or dryness that leads individuals to think that they have sensitive skin. So then, what is sensitive skin? This condition is difficult to define. However, in general terms, sensitive skin can be defined as skin that is easily irritated and the results can range from mild to severe.
For many years cellulite was considered to be a disorder of fatty tissue. It was frequently attributed to anatomical variations in fat distribution between men and women. A host of other causes were suggested, including excessive amount of both intracellular and intercellular fluids and faulty lymphatic drainage. Here are the facts as we know them today. So-called cellulite is a condition seen only in women. It is characterized by a disorder of the connective tissue that retains the adipose tissue in compartments in the subcutaneous portion of the skin, that is, in the layer above the muscles and below the dermis.
Throughout history, the ways in which a society feels about the pursuit of healthy, beautiful skin is a direct reflection of their culture and climate. Many varied uses of skin care products have been documented throughout history – from the Egyptians through the modern day U.S. The cultural reasons for the uses of different types of products are fascinating and the use of products as "toners" has a long history. Although multi-step skin care regimens were not truly marketed until the 1960s, the use of a cleanse, tone and moisturize routine became common around the 1930s in the U.S.
Hair removal was not born yesterday! Actually, it dates as far back as 30,000 B.C. but it was not as painless as it is today by any means. Handheld objects such as sharpened flint stones or shells were used by cavemen to remove hair, and most of the time just as much skin as hair was removed along with it. Ouch!
It was not until the 1880s when King Camp Gillette had invented and then introduced the famous Gillette razor that has been modified but still around today.
Hair removal creams, also known as depilatory creams, dates back to 4000 B.C.
An important first step in discussing moisturizers is establishing a clear understanding of what a moisturizer actually is. Several terms tend to be applied when discussing the merits of particular moisturizers. First, is the term hydrating, which means to provide water; contrasted with the term humectant which in skin science means to keep water from evaporating or helping the skin to absorb moisture. Based on these factors, a moisturizer would basically be a product that keeps the skin moist. But in any discussion regarding moisturizers, the terms dryness and dehydration come into play, which people also tend to confuse. Dry skin lacks lipids such as fats and ceramides and dehydrated skin has lost water.
The history of makeup dates back nearly 6,000 years when the Egyptians wore henna and khol; the Chinese used beeswax and other natural ingredients to stain their nails; and the Persians wore makeup of natural origins to prevent harming their skin. Makeup has undergone tremendous change throughout the centuries; however, what has remained the same is the need for healthy, natural cosmetics.
One of the most popular cosmetics solutions to heavy, caked-on makeup, clogged pores and inadequate coverage is mineral foundation. Mineral foundation has virtually taken over the market as demand for healthy, natural beauty products continue to grow.
Summer is upon us, and so is the season of self-tanner and sunscreen. You will sell and recommend these products to your clients and use them yourself, but have you taken the time to educate yourself on what ingredients are in them? Having the knowledge of how the active and supplemental ingredients that is in these products work, can help you to instruct your clients and recommend the correct retail products to them. Your clients will appreciate the education and the background that you can give them about the products that they will trust to take care of their skin this summer.
Spring has arrived and with summer right around the corner, now is the time to place more emphasis on body care and treatments. Often, the skin on the body is overlooked with more emphasis being placed on facial care and services. However as skin care professionals, we recognize that the skin on the body is the largest detoxification organ and should be treated with the same amount of care that you would afford the face.
The skin on the body differs significantly from the skin on the face. The skin on the body tends to be four to five times thicker than the skin on the face.
It is common for clients to have not one but multiple skin concerns. And for many, skin discoloration ranks high on the list. This skin dysfunction is not only unsightly, but it inevitably contributes to premature aging and requires targeted care. Commonly referred to as hyperpigmentation, these discolorations are often darkly pigmented spots that appear over previously clear areas of the skin. Caused by multiple factors, effective treatment and long-term control with a result-driven solution is an in-demand request.
What About Tanning and its Contra Effects
In the 1920s, cultural influences shifted as French designer "Coco Chanel" popularized tanning as a symbol of health, well-being and an upscale social status.
Serums have a fundamentally different function than creams. Serums are meant to penetrate and interact with the skin where as a cream is meant to form a protective barrier on the skin.
A true serum is thinner in viscosity, has a smaller molecule which delivers nutrients or other active ingredients. If properly formulated serums fulfill their intention and interact with the skin in a fundamental way. As a general rule, most serums are water soluble. When using serums in a daily regiment, it is important to acknowledge that there can still be a benefit derived from the addition of a cream as a protective barrier.
Does a man's skin contrast enough to require different treatment? Yes and no.
Men typically have a thicker dermis and epidermis, higher sensitivity, produce more sebum, and have larger pores than women. Their pH is also more acidic, and they tend to form a greater number of deeper facial lines and hyperpigmentation issues. Additionally, men continually battle a number of skin challenges as a result of shaving (including ingrown hairs, dryness and razor burn).
While many of the products and treatments we use today still work on men's skin, those specifically designed for men will be more effective – simply because the formulations and levels are more targeted.
Of all the skin conditions that lead consumers to seek treatment, acne is, by far, the most common. A chronic, inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous units (hair follicles and their sebaceous gland), acne affects between 40 and 50 million people in the U.S. alone.1
Today, countless products and therapies exist to treat acne, the largest sector of which is topical treatments – both prescription and over-the-counter. Yet, few products succeed at eliminating acne. This is because most exist to address acne symptoms rather than the multiple causes of the disease. Unless each of these factors is addressed, acne symptoms will reoccur.
Women today are well informed and have become increasingly critical and demanding. We are more and more aware of our health and beauty. Not only do we place high demands on the things we allow on our skin, for our customers fast and effective results are also very much among the top priorities. Exfoliating skin peels can meet these demands – they are an innovative way to substantially improve the quality of the skin and promote extraordinary skin rejuvenation so that unwanted blemishes, lines and wrinkles, irregular pigmentation and impurities are effectively diminished.
The use of peeling techniques to exfoliate the skin has a time-honored tradition.
Many plants have effectively been used on skin for generations. For example, horse chestnut extract has been used in Europe for hundreds of years to treat varicose veins and fragile capillaries. thanks to modern science we now know why it is effective. It contains beta-aescin and many flavonoids our great grandparents did not know about.
During the 20th century many companies in the beauty industry started to use more affordable and consistent synthetic ingredients in their formulations. Yet, my experience leads me to honestly believe that natural, organic plant ingredients are better for our skin than their synthetic twins.
Whether it is from lack of sleep, squinting, or the ever-ticking clock of aging we all worry and fret over the appearance of the skin around our eyes; crow's feet, dark circles, and puffiness are the most common concerns. The tissue around the eye is the thinnest on the body, five to ten times thinner, and therefore it will show the first signs of aging.
It is important to treat this delicate area differently with a specific eye treatment. However, before treatment is started it is best to decide on the outcome. Does the client want to reduce eye circles, smooth fine lines or reduce puffiness?
Exfoliation and aesthetics simply go hand-in-hand. Aestheticians have been using exfoliation means in the form of chemicals, enzymes and scrubs for decades and have an understanding of skin biology that allows them to recognize the characteristics of healthy skin at any age. Exfoliation is a critical process in skin rejuvenation and the maintenance of healthy skin. Regular exfoliation can help improve skin appearance, smooth the texture of the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promote a more even skin tone by visibly reducing the signs of hyperpigmentation.
The word "hydration" or "hydrating" has been a buzz word in both the cosmetic and aesthetic field for decades. We have had hydrating creams, serums, and treatments for as long as I can remember. We know that HYDRA or HYDRO refers to water – but in our field, it has taken on so many connotations as to be compared to the mythical Greek monster Hydra – the beast with many heads!
Before we define the actual meaning of hydrate, let us look at a similar word that is actually a complete misnomer – the word "moisturizer."
Cleansing is perhaps the most necessary step of a facial procedure. Without the removal of oil, makeup, dead surface cells, as well as the buildup of dirt and debris, all of the remaining steps in a treatment would have a diminished effect in making the skin look and feel great. It is for this very reason that many skin therapists perform the cleansing step twice at the beginning of a treatment; at first to clear the area of any residual matter that may be sitting on the surface, and again to insure a more thorough cleansing of the underlying epidermis.
In 2005, I traveled to Thailand for an international wellness summit and the opportunity to train with traditional healers. Thai foot and hand therapies are rich in history and they reflect the engaging customs of the region. Common courtesy should be used in any society but in Thailand it plays a key role and is a refreshing shift from the animated protocols of the western spa. Thai people live more in the moment with infectious enjoyment and services given with great respect and hospitality. This is reflected in the ritual of foot bathing that is customary before every treatment.
The manufacturing of vitamin D stimulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our intestines. Calcium is necessary for muscle contraction and bone development of our skeletal bones and teeth. Calcium is also very important in the transmission of nerve impulses through our central nervous system. Phosphorus is a main component of ATP (adenosine triphosphate); which is manufactured by the body through the food we eat and the oxygen we breathe. ATP is energy and it maintains and repairs all our body's cells. The American Medical Association (AMA) now recommends 10 minutes of direct sun several times per week to obtain vitamin D levels.
Tweezers, the earliest known method of hair removal, have evolved little from the clam shells used by the Neanderthals. Julius Caesar tweezed his facial hair multiple times per day, inspiring men of the time to copy his style in a new forum, the barber shop. Women copying Queen Elizabeth I plucked their eyebrows completely off and removed their hairline to the middle of their head. The basic idea of grasping hair and removing it from the follicle remains the same. The materials used to make tweezers have changed from prehistoric shells to high tech stainless steel and today there are a variety of styles designed for specific types of hair removal.
For thousands of years, people have sought out the therapeutic benefits of sea water therapy. Thalassotherapy; stemming from the Greek word for sea, thalassos, is a term coined to describe the usage of sea water for therapeutic purposes and preventative measures based on the belief that immersion in sea water revitalizes, heals, and cleanses the system.
The sea holds an abundance of natural, pure resources. Seaweed is a concentration of sea water and acts as a lifeline to our bodies. Healthy human blood, lymphatic fluid, and extra cellular fluid all contain a similar mineral makeup to sea water.
Humans have used a variety of facial masks for centuries. Some of the early accounts of facial treatments include the use of river clay, mud, and fruit being applied to the face for beauty purposes.
The Egyptians were known for placing a lot of importance on their outward appearance and royalty often used various beauty techniques including face masks. It appears that the first face masks were made from different types of clay. Cleopatra is supposed to have used Dead Sea mud from the ocean to treat her skin twice a week.