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The process of detoxification can come in numerous forms, but the underlying goal is to rid the body of toxins to improve its natural processes. Think of the word “toxin” as an all-encompassing term for any substance that impacts a person’s health and body in a negative way. People are constantly breathing in pollutants or ingesting synthetic ingredients that are harmful to their bodies. The following 10 factors should be kept in mind when helping a client with body detoxification or if the client is simply curious.

Delivery of Skin Nutrition: Topical and Internal

Written by Dana Laurie, formulation developer for Pink Horizons Botanical Skin Care

Several skin issues surface because of various factors that include the environment, genetics, and nutritional contributors. Arguably, nutrition plays the largest role in skin health because it is the one factor that individuals have the most control over. Nutrients in the skin come from consuming certain foods and vitamins, as well as the topical application of products. The nutrients people feed their skin are extremely important in maintaining skin integrity over time; without the proper nutrient level, many problems can arise.

Oxygen is the lifeblood of the human body. It performs a number of roles in the body, most importantly among them is converting the nutrients the body consumes into energy. Every cell in the body requires oxygen to function properly, including skin cells. In healthy conditions, oxygen stimulates circulation and respiration, supports cellular energy and vitality, and gives a plump, radiant appearance. But is the air people breathe enough to support the healthy oxygen levels the skin requires?

The eyes are the windows of the soul. They reflect a spectrum of emotions, from the light of joy and surprise to the tears of sorrow and loss. The skin around the eyes tends to be thin and produces the least amount of sebum, priming the eye area for premature aging.

Eye Area Aesthetics

Written by Robert Manzo

Eye area aesthetics is one of the most misunderstood areas in all of facial aesthetics. While most skin care professionals understand the basic issues – which include fine lines and wrinkles, under-eye puffiness, darkness, and the general aging process – the underlying cause and, therefore, effective treatments are often not applied correctly.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage for the Eyes and Lips

Written by Catherine Atzen, L.E., CIDESCO, M.B.A.

The skin around the eyes is sensitive and loses elasticity at an early age, causing it to wrinkle. The lips suffer from dryness and lose their plump, hydrated, youthful appearance; the corners droop; and the skin around them wrinkles as early as pre-menopause. These symptoms of aging can be significantly improved and delayed with high-performing skin care products and massage. Massage stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic circulation.

Eating Your Way to Terrific Skin

Written by Annette M. Tobia, Ph.D. and Alice Marcy, Ph.D.

Eat wisely to look good - it is a mantra worth remembering. Diet nourishes the skin from within and some skin conditions, such as acne and rosacea, requires people to pay even more attention to what is on their plate. Clients might not realize that certain foods and supplements actually enhance skin properties normally achieved with topical skin treatments.

Identifying Core Components in Skin Health

Written by Erin Madigan-Fleck, N.M.D., C.N.H.P., L.M.C.

Nutritional and dermatological research has demonstrated that specific and key nutrients are required to ensure the physiological functioning and overall health of the skin. This factor is well recognized by nutritional professionals, along with the premise that simply consuming a balanced diet may not always ensure optimum nutritional status with anticipated benefits or results. Within the realm of nutritional information, there remains one focal determinant of nutrition that is constant no matter the opinion, philosophy, or mindset.

Essential Waters in the Spa

Written by Cindy Jones, Ph.D.

Distilled plant waters or essential waters are becoming popular in spas. These distilled plant waters can be confusing and go by many names, including hydrolats, floral waters, herbal waters, toilet waters, aqua vitae, and distillates. In the United States, many people call them hydrosols or herbal distillates. Herbal distillates are obtained by distillation in a similar manner to how essential oils are obtained and have probably been used as medicinals or curables for over 5,000 years.

The body is an amazing machine, but it requires the proper fuel to function at optimal levels. Food provides fuel for the body and the type of fuel a person gives their body can mean the difference between enjoying a healthy, vital life or struggling with exhaustion and illness.

There is a tsunami coming and, fortunately, it is not the kind that leaves havoc and destruction in its wake. On the contrary, it is an immense wave of wellness that has the potential to positively impact the nation's health and well-being. Smart businesses and professionals are strategically deciphering how hold the reins when it hits, not standing on the sidelines watching the wellness wave as it passes by. Being an industry focused on well-being, it is important for professionals to understand their role and why they must start thinking about doing more.

The holidays are here and with them arrive an influx of party invitations; party clothes; delicious foods; and the stress of shopping, family, and expectations.

For clients who want to look their best for the holiday season, professionals should encourage them to get out their calendar and plan ahead. They should make their facial appointments well in advance so that their skin is well tended to, clear, strong, and hydrated for the stresses of the holiday.

In a transient, fast-paced, technological, and diverse world, skin care professionals interact with numerous skin types and conditions that have multiple influences, including genetic traits, lifestyle, and current state of health. Professionals must be prepared for the sensitivities and expectations arising from clients and remain mindful of how technologies interact with skin cells.

The 4 Essentials of Aromatherapy

Written by Trish Green, L.E.

The benefits of essential oils in skin care are wide and varied, making them ideally suited for use in many types of facial treatments and for numerous skin types and conditions. What must be clearly understood when selecting essential oils for professional skin care treatments is that not all essential oils are created equal; their quality varies greatly. Therefore, it is vital for professionals to buy their oils from a reputable source.

The Nature of Aromatherapy

Written by Amra Lear, L.E., L.M.T.

In 1910, while working in France at a family-owned cosmetic laboratory – mainly for the development of perfumes – French chemist and scholar, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, received a third degree burn on his hand and forearm. Looking for the nearest cooling agent to calm the severe burn, Gattefosse plunged his arm into a vat of lavender essential oil. The burning sensation slowly diminished and, as he pulled his arm out of the barrel, the oil had significantly reduced the appearance of the burn. Gattefosse had discovered, through a misfortunate event, that lavender essential oil not only smelled pleasant in perfumes, but was also a natural healer for the treatment of burns.

Skin Care Dos and Don’ts for Chemotherapy Clients

Written by Julie Bach, executive director of Wellness for Cancer

Proper context is imperative when working with a client who is receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Skin care professionals are not treating cancer; they are working with the presenting conditions of a client and their skin. Presenting conditions can be caused by medical treatments for cancer, side effects from medications, or even nutritional status.

According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, at the time of diagnosis, 50 percent of individuals are nutritionally deficient. Not everything the professional sees during a skin analysis is a result of cancer treatment. When a person's individual ecosystem is in disarray, havoc is wreaked on the skin, hair, and nails.

Hyperpigmentation Care for Oncology Clients

Written by Melissa M. Montalvo, owner of Pink Horizons Botanical Skin Care™

Anti-cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy, target therapy, and radiotherapy, may cause common dermatological side effects, the most predominate of which is hyperpigmentation. Treatment-induced hyperpigmentation from chemotherapy is believed to directly cause a toxic effect on melanocytes. Hyperpigmentation may result from a response to stimuli such as hormones, irritation, and inflammation and may generally be caused by a weakened or disturbed immune system in oncology clients.

Repêchage Professional Skin Care recently hosted a three day oncology training program for skin care professionals that was presented by Becky Kuehn, founder of Oncology Spa Solutions®. The content for the training course was created by Kuehn, who shared her knowledge, compassion, and experience working with cancer patients from two hospital programs that she created.

Movements, Massage, and Pressure Points for Beautiful, Happy Breasts

Written by Melanie Sachs, co-founder of Diamond Way Ayurveda

Though it is often thought of as a women’s disease, men are also diagnosed with and die from breast cancer.  Fortunately, breast cancer death rates have been falling since the late 1980s, especially among women under the age of 40.

Breast Cancer Awareness in the Spa

Written by Hannah Hatcher, L.E., global educator for jane iredale

The skin care industry revolves around health and self-care, therefore, it is only fitting that skin care professionals support breast cancer awareness in their spas at all times during the year.

Finding Beauty in the Balance: Essential Components for Health and Wellness

Written by Erin Madigan-Fleck, N.M.D., C.N.H.P., L.M.C.

By virtue of their extensive training, skin care professionals are confirmed ambassadors of beauty, skin health, and general wellness. The natural health community's impressive impact on the skin care industry is evidenced by the variety of aesthetic product lines that now offer wellness merchandise such as nutrient waters, nutraceutical serums, vegetable facial masks, vitamin supplements, and even collagen candy chews.

10 Things About... Essential Oils

Written by Krista Mckowen, L.E.

Essential oils play an important role in skin care. Because the skin reacts to emotions, the effect of inhalation in the form of aromatherapy can be a powerful addition to aesthetics.


Written by Bella Schneider, P.M.E, founder of Bella Schneider Beauty

While the thought of putting slimy, green seaweed on a client’s face may not sound so appealing, marine seaweed, also referred to as alga, has become the ingredient of choice in skin care today. More than likely, clients have been using it for some time without even realizing it. Everything from facial cleansers and toners to serums and night creams touts some variation of this power-packed species from the sea.

Supplements and Healthy Eating

Written by Dasha Saian, L.E., CEO of SAIAN Natural Clinical Skincare

While supplements and healthy eating are not often thought of as aesthetic staples, they are vital to skin health and overall wellness. Dietary supplements provide nutrients to the body that may not be obtained in sufficient quantities.

Personal Identity Influences on Autoimmune Skin Diseases

Written by Anne C. Willis, L.E., C.M.E., founder and CEO of De La Terre Skincare®

Autoimmune skin disorders are a 21st century phenomenon that is deeply rooted in the way people live their lives. Currently, about 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases, a number that is steadily rising. The role of the immune system in keeping people safe and how it goes from defending to attacking the body is largely due to a lack of sleep, erratic diets, emotional drama, excessive use of stimulants, and most importantly, how people view themselves.

To Think or Not to Think: The Power of Positive Thinking

Written by Michelle D’Allaird-Brenner, L.E., owner of Aesthetic Science Institute

We have long heard of the impact and power of positive thinking. The premise that when you think positive thoughts, you behave in positive ways and positive energy come back to you. The interesting thing is that the majority of people spend more time and energy debating this premise, arguing its validity and doubting its truth, than simply practicing it. Why is it human nature that we focus on the negative and the unlikely than the positive and the possible?

Ayurveda and the Three Doshas

Written by Niika Quistgard, C.A.S., L.M.B.T., , clinical ayurvedic specialist and founder of Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women

The word ‘Ayurveda’ has been cropping up a lot lately, riding into mainstream awareness on the coattails of Ayurveda’s enormously-popular sister science, yoga. Clients are also increasingly interested in Ayurvedic therapies and products.
Like yoga, Ayurveda arose from a rich tradition of ancient Indian health science, abundant with practices to enhance the health, beauty, and longevity of royalty and sages thousands of years ago.

Breath Work Infusing Mindfulness into Your Service

Written by Julie Bach, L.E., executive director of Wellness for Cancer

One of the great things about breath work is that there are many opportunities to practice breathing throughout the day. Breath work can become part of any professional’s own self-care practice and client-facing session.

Professionals can incorporate different breathing techniques into their own life and with their clients, before, during, and after sessions. Teach clients that breath work is the first step to developing a meditation or mindfulness practice.

Restoring Well-Being Through Reiki

Written by Linda Bertaut, L.E., owner of Bertaut Beauty

Well-being is a combination of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self-awareness. It reaches beneath the surface to impact the essence or being. It allows people to become in tune with their innate feelings and intuition, which are meant to guide them so that they can feel what is best for them.

How Sleeping Can help clear the skin

Written by Claudia Aguirre, Ph.D., neuroscientist and skin care expert

Imagine going to a big music festival with hordes of people, food vendors, lights, cameras, and stages. Now imagine the cleaning efforts at the end of the festival. It would be quite a feat to clear all the waste from the day’s events. According to new neuroscientific findings, this is how sleeping works. Each night, the brain clears up the daily metabolic waste, which, depending on how active the brain was that day, equates to a large party with the brain at the center of it all.

Aesthetic Nutrition: Essentials for Healthy Skin

Written by Tasha D. Manigo-Bizzell, L.E., L.D.N., C.N.S., owner of Muse Wellness Company

One key function of the skin is using nutrients from food to provide each cell in the body with what it
requires to do its job. While the skin care professional’s job is to provide topical solutions for maintaining healthy skin, it is imperative to understand the connection between how the body is fed and how the skin looks and functions. The following is a list of powerhouse foods every diet should include if great-looking skin is the goal.

Mind, Body and Spirit

Written by Amra Lear, L.E., L.M.T., skin care specialist

Wellness is defined as the state or condition of being in good physical and mental health. Skin care professionals are all too familiar with caring for the well-being of the skin, but how can they cater to the physical and mental well-being of their clients and themselves? This special editorial section presents a number of wellness topics that can be applied in the spa and in the home, including everything from positive thinking and reiki to supplements and deep breathing.

10 Things to Know About Water

Written by Melanie Sachs

Water is very much on the minds of many people at the moment. The West Coast is in its fourth year of drought while much of the rest of the nation is experiencing record rainfall and flood. Nature is offering a reminder of her power and is forcing many to wake up and not take her precious resources for granted.

The Rise of Extremophiles

Written by Mia Hartmann

Extremophiles may be a relatively new term in the skin care industry, but they have been around much longer than many people are aware.

Aromatherapy: How real is it?

Written by Karym Urdaneta

Many skin care professionals have read about aromatherapy. Some of them have experienced it. Chances are that many people know what aromatherapy is because of its undoubted popularity.

Internal detoxification or cleansing has become a popular health concern for clients.

Pumpkin Pie Facial©

Written by Noreen Young, L.E., owner of Noreen Young Cosmetics

Clients tend to love organic products and are always looking for anything with a healthy twist. Refresh their skin with this pumpkin pie-inspired mask for gentle exfoliating and seasonal bliss!

Award Winning Ingredients: Bringing Technology to the Next Level in Skin Care

Written by Mia Hartmann, R&D Chemist at YG Laboratories

One of the most exciting events in the life of a product developer is an event called In-Cosmetics, a leading, global business event for personal care ingredients that highlight the newest innovations in ingredient technology.

Supplements for Skin Health – What’s the Real Deal?

Written by Rachael Pontillo, L.E., founder and author of Holistically Haute™

Clients seem to be asking more questions about different measures they can take to improve their skin, in addition to regular facials and a proper home care regimen. As the trend of integrating wellness and nutrition into the spa continues to grow, and as more nutrition and holistic practitioners, bloggers, and entrepreneurs enter into the mainstream, clients come to the spa equipped with different questions from what they may have asked even five years ago.

Everyone experiences those days of complete and utter exhaustion, whether anything was accomplished or not. As a skin care professional, it is important to be energized and fulfilled because your energy can be transferred to the client. If exhausting days start creeping up more often than not, it may be time to make some simple life changes.

Chemicals linked to breast cancer have no place in anyone’s beauty routine, yet they are found on store shelves across the United States. Due to an outdated and weak law governing cosmetics, carcinogens have not yet been banned, or even restricted, for use in cosmetics in the United States.

In addition to regular mammograms and clinical breast examinations, clients should watch for irregular changes in their breasts by performing regular breast self-examinations. As a skin care professional, it is important to remind clients to stay aware of breast health and irregularities in their breasts. If a client performs a breast self-examination regularly, they will familiarize themselves with how their breasts normally feel so that they are able to spot differences more easily. Clients should look for development of lumps, discharge, swelling, dimpling, and nipple abnormalities.

Breast cancer incidence rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women, followed by African American women, and are lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander women. In contrast, breast cancer death rates are highest for African American women, followed by non-Hispanic white women. Breast cancer death rates are lowest for Asian/Pacific Islander women.

Cancer on the Breast

Written by Noreen Young, L.E., owner of Noreen Young Cosmetics

Last fall, I joined a club that has a lot of wonderful members and absolutely no benefits. My initiation started with a sun spot. It came out of nowhere on my right breast, was round, and the size of a cupcake sprinkle. It grew fast and had a slight, red radius. I was lecturing on the road at the time and was very frightened because I could not get to a doctor. I showed the spot to my friend, an aesthetician, who told me that it was nothing. I then showed it to another professional who also said it was nothing to worry about.

Essential oils, short for quintessential oils, are highly-concentrated, aromatic liquids that are distilled with either water or steam from the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, or bark of a plant. The quintessential oil derived its name from the fifth Aristotelian element, æther; Aristotle believed that it was made up of heavenly bodies. As this element became extremely popular with medieval alchemists, they renamed it quintessence. They then sought to isolate quintessence and integrate it into their work. Because of its heavenly characteristics, alchemists believed that its intake would rid the body of any illness or uncleanliness. Since then, essential oils have been used for a plethora of reasons, including combating diseases, one of which is breast cancer.

Post Mastectomy: Rehabilitating Range of Motion

Written by Anne C. Willis, L.E., C.M.E., founder and CEO of De La Terre Skincare®

Medical treatments for breast cancer have dramatically improved over the last decade. While these treatments have significantly increased survival rates, they are not without lasting, adverse effects. Cancer patients undergo many changes to their body and skin while receiving medical-oncology treatments. Side effects from chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery put great demand on the body. This demand reduces nutrient resources, lymphatic flow, range of motion, and increases the healthy cell’s exposure to oxidative stress. Though survivorship has increased, the lasting effects of medical-oncology treatments reduce patients’ quality of life and can leave them with debilitating impairments and changes to overall health.

The Gift of Cancer

Written by Jan Ping, Emmy-award winning makeup artist and cancer survivor

Looking back, I can confidently say that my experience with cancer was one of the biggest blessings of my life. Yes, I said it. It is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received and I would not trade what it has taught me for anything.
I have worked as a professional makeup artist in the entertainment industry for almost 30 years. During that time, I have been surrounded by all types of beauty. Being diagnosed with stage II breast cancer 10 years ago completely changed my perspective on beauty. My story is like so many others as I lived a healthy lifestyle and had no family history of cancer. I just did not understand how I could possibly have cancer.

The standard treatments for breast cancer often cause a number of unwanted side effects including nausea, pain, and fatigue. In response, patients have been opting to complement their standard treatments with other therapies that may help to relieve undesirable side effects.

Cheryl Chapman is a pioneer in massage for cancer and mastectomy. A registered nurse since 1965, certified in massage in 1988, she combined her extensive nursing experience of 23 years as an oncology nurse, hospice, HIV/AIDS, cardiac, and postpartum nurse with her wide-ranging knowledge of massage and produced a comprehensive hands-on training program. Cheryl is a breast health advocate, teacher, and national lecturer on breast health.

This October, both skin care professionals and clients will be overwhelmed with pink ribbons in support of breast cancer awareness. As more and more products and companies pop up with pink ribbons, skin care professionals should be aware of the distraction that they can cause. While the pink ribbon was originally designed to draw attention to the women and men who courageously fight breast cancer, it has gradually taken a life of its own. The pink ribbon is starting to take away from the people who struggle daily with this deadly disease.

As different aging processes take over, the need for ingredients and procedures that target loss of volume increases with age. Gradual alteration of the extracellular matrix leads to loss of elasticity, just as changes in adipose tissue distribution lead to structural aging due to lipoatrophy (loss of adipose tissue). This loss of matter and structure, along with reduced skin elasticity, results in sagging tissue and modification of volume; the face creases, deep folds and wrinkles appear, and jowls and ptosis (drooping of the eyelids) advance.

Cutaneous hyperpigmentation irregularities are among the most common concerns and some of the most difficult to treat. Hyperpigmentation irregularities, such as melasma, freckles, age spots, and dark spots, are caused by the abnormal accumulation of melanin in keratinocytes; they are often a consequence of inflammatory reactions caused by pollution or sun damage.

Topical Delivery: Are We There Yet?

Written by Diahne Patnode

Topical delivery platforms in cosmetic formulations can target specific skin layers, improve ingredient stability, reduce the potential for irritation, and enhance ingredient availability to the skin, thus, increasing product performance. These multi-faceted systems have the potential to transform the way cosmetic formulas are put together and drive delivery platform innovation.

O2 - Skin Oxygenation

Written by Diahne Patnode

Oxygen uptake in the skin has been an attractive cosmetic property for many years. Ingredients that imply oxygenation, energizing, and cellular respiration often speak to addressing the impact of increasing the needs of oxygen for all of skin's metabolic processes. Some products claim to oxygenate skin with breathable formulations, non-ROS oxygenating ingredients, while certain products use free radical peroxides which can damage skin.

Beauty Cocktails

Written by Melissa Picoli, L.E., product formulator and consultant at

A glass or two of something delicious and a little naughty can help create a more delightful ambiance for a spa’s party! With a little extra care and creativity, you can go beyond bubbly and wine and wow your guests.

A Fitness Approach to Skin Care

Written by Heather Fowler, L.E.

A good personal trainer will tell you that the key to a healthy and fit body is a combination of a healthy diet and an effective exercise routine. While a personal trainer can put their clients through a series of exercises, perhaps focusing on building muscle or losing fat, a key factor in how quickly and dramatically changes will be seen will be contingent upon a well-prepared and executed diet plan! Qualified personal trainers are sought out by celebrities and top athletes to challenge their bodies to reach the next level of excellence. A personal trainer not only knows how the body works and how to challenge it, but how to implement a proper nutrition plan that will help clients reach their goals. By applying a personal trainer’s approach, skin care professionals can offer a unique approach to treating their client’s skin.

Mother Nature, the creative genius with millions of years of research and development history, is an inspiration for technology across a wide array of industries. By mining into the abundant information of biological systems while utilizing nature’s tools and flow of ideas, a path for the creation of new innovation emerges. Biotechnology has a strong presence in skin care advances that is achieved from the distillation of nature’s ideas and principles, which then offers a vast range of solutions.

The following information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The opinions expressed by the author are based on personal experience in healing from depression and offering energy healing treatments to clients. The purpose of this article is to help you feel comfortable addressing and talking about depression – a social epidemic and the strongest risk factor for suicide. While you are reading this article, at least one person will commit suicide and up to 25 more will have attempted. The beauty industry can lead the way in the reduction of depression and prevention of suicide with energy healing wellness packages.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes Known to Improve Skin

Written by Rachael Pontillo, L.E., B. Msc., A.A.D.P., C.H.C.

Wellness is a growing trend in the spa industry. While it began with holistic therapies such as body wraps and hydrotherapy, it has now expanded beyond facial and body treatments and into a full health and lifestyle regimen that incorporates nutrition, fitness, meditation, environmental changes, stress management techniques, and more. Most of these methods can benefit anyone, but there are some that are particularly beneficial for people with inflammatory and other specific skin conditions, as well as to help slow down the skin’s aging process and revitalize the appearance of mature skin. Let us delve into these different diet and lifestyle changes and explore how they can best integrate into an aesthetics practice or spa.

Mind Matters

Written by Claudia Aguirre, Ph.D.

We are in the midst of one of the biggest movements the wellness industry has ever seen. In the beginning of 2014, TIME magazine published an article titled “The Mindful Revolution,” and 2014 has been dubbed the “year of mindful living.” The word mindfulness has been so pervasive in the media and social networks that you would think the biggest buzzword of the year was a newly-discovered concept. Mindfulness is rooted in Eastern philosophy, specifically Buddhism. While Buddhist principles and ideologies have been around for centuries and the word was introduced into the English language over a century ago by British scholar Thomas W. Rhy Davids, there is a new scientific edge to mindfulness that has spurred its popularity in both theory and practice in this day and age.

Detoxifying and cleansing are not new concepts and are often marketed with nutritional diets, juice cleansing, substance rehabilitation, antioxidants, and much more. Cosmetic ingredients can be integrated within anti-aging products with the significance of diminished detoxifying abilities that declines with aging as well as categories to provide balance to the detoxification process from breakdowns that occur from toxic overload. Intervention and continued rehabilitation is available for skin regimen products that promote a healthy, broader detoxification process and protection from toxicity.

As the trend of cross-category sun protection continues, sunscreens are now becoming synonymous with anti-aging.

Bath Therapies

Written by Reinhard R. Bergel, Ph.D.

Hydrotherapy, derived from the Greek words hydro and therapeia, meaning water and healing, is the application of water, either internally or externally, for the treatment of physical or psychological dysfunction. Bathing in water has been considered healing since the beginning of recorded time and across many cultures, from Hippocrates in the fourth and fifth centuries B.C., who used hot and cold water to treat a variety of diseases, to the Romans at the beginning of the first century A.D., who constructed therapeutic baths across their empire, to the Japanese, who have used ritual baths from ancient times to the modern day. The therapeutic use of water gained particular popularity in Europe in the late 19th century, with the development of health spas in areas of natural springs such as Baden-Baden and Bad Ragaz, and shortly thereafter in the United States in similar areas of natural hot springs (Arkansas, California, New York, and Virginia). Although hydrotherapy has been shown to have wide-ranging therapeutic effects and benefits, its use today continues to be limited, largely due to the expenses associated with establishing and maintaining a safe hydrotherapy environment.

Communication is an everyday occurrence in life. We constantly exchange messages, share data, and stay connected via social media and other rapidly evolving electronic means. We must have strong and flexible language skills to get our message across and ensure it is understood.
We know many messages are exchanged across the layers of the skin and by using ingredients to increase our communication competency, we can ensure positive messages are received. So tune in and explore the skin’s communication method – the biochemical language of cell signaling.

Stem Cells: Rising to the Top

Written by Diahne Patnode

In everyday life our skin has to cope with a lot of wear and tear; it is in the process of constant self-renewal to replace the old with the new. It is the adult skin stem cells that are constantly at work for maintenance, renewal, and repair of the skin. As knowledge of skin stem cell function and biotechnology expands, the skin care industry has experienced new discoveries of many types of stem cell technologies; hence, various stem cell culture methods have emerged.

This year has been an exciting one for the skin care industry. Trends, such as multifunctionality, age-defying, barrier-repairing, and hydrating, as well as nature-inspired ingredients that dominated skin care launched in 2013, have continued their strong influence into 2014. They solidified their dominance with the arrival of fresh innovations, new research, and more precise evaluation methodologies.

Earlier this year, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), released its 17th annual multi-specialty statistical data, indicating a 12 percent overall increase in cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2013. According to ASAPS, Americans spent the largest amount on cosmetic surgery since the great recession of 2008.1 More than 11 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed by board-certified plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and otolaryngologists, totaling over $12 billion.

How Does High Fructose Corn Syrup Affect the Skin?

Written by Rachael Pontillo, L.E., owner of Holistically Haute

Inflammatory conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis seem to be more prevalent now than ever. While certain conditions such as acne used to manifest mostly during specific times of life, it, along with some of these other conditions are now seen in all ages starting with children and extending into the post-menopausal years. Despite the many prescription medications, advanced treatments, and ever-developing product formulations, these conditions continue to rise. Why is this?

Common Allergens and Irritants

Written by Irena James

One of the most dreaded client complaints is one involving a reaction to product. Potential problems can range from simple rashes to full-blown allergic reactions. Skin reactions to product make clients distrustful of future recommendations, leaving aestheticians helpless and frustrated in their often futile attempts to figure out what is happening and why. To complicate matters, symptoms of a reaction to a cosmetic product cannot only start right after the client uses something new, but also after years of using a product with no problems.

When dealing with cancer, risk factors can estimate how high of a risk a person has, but cannot actually predict if someone will develop a certain cancer. Many women and men who have multiple risk factors for breast cancer never develop the disease, and many who develop the disease have no risk factors at all. The following are common risk factors you and your clients should be aware of:

Common thoughts about breast cancer are sometimes old wives tales or myths. Here we dive into the most commonly heard myths about breast cancer. Inform your clients about the truth in these statistics.
Only women can get breast cancer. There are 2,000 new cases of breast cancer in men each year, according to the American Cancer Society. About 450 of those men will die from it. Although male breast cancer only accounts for 1 percent of all cases, it is still possible for men to be diagnosed with it.

There is nothing that causes more grief and dismay to a cosmetic chemist or a formulator than being told which specific preservative to use or being asked to create a preservative-free skin care product. As more brands are joining the “does not contain” movement, the claims regarding preservatives have escalated from paraben-free to formaldehyde-donor free, and in some instances, preservative-free… the scariest claim of all.

The Many Faces of Silicones

Written by Irena James

Over 50 percent of all new cosmetics introduced globally in the last 10 years contain at least one silicone. Slowly, but surely, silicones are becoming one the most valued ingredient categories used in the luxury skin care products. They have become critical in many high-end, high-performance skin care formulations, giving them never-before-seen glide, spreadability, and ultra-smooth application and finish for a luxurious, silky, comfortable-skin feel without any sticky residue.

Skin care ingredient trends have behaved much like fashion trends, with each decade giving rise to particular leanings and inclinations. The 1980s saw an obsession with collagen masks and creams. In the 1990s, we fell in love with glycolic acids, which were then replaced with the organic and natural trend of the 2000s. Over the last decade, an astounding number of ingredients have come in and out of fashion so quickly, that at times, it is difficult to keep up.

Human stem cell science is frequently in the news with stories about how these amazing cells hold promise to treat disease, slow aging and even extend life. There are also stories about how stem cells can be useful in skin rejuvenation, adding an aesthetic benefit to their promise of improving health. Unfortunately, unscrupulous operators have exploited the mystique of stem cells by creating skin products and services that have no proven benefit or real connection to stem cell science. Separating fact from fiction, reality from hype, and products with true merit from those lacking scientific credibility, requires a deeper dive into the world of stem cells.

The Science of Skin: Skin Care from the Inside Out

Written by Tasha Manigo-Bizzell, L.E.

Skin care companies constantly tout various nutrients as the next great thing for skin. But how do these ingredients really benefit the skin both topically and internally? This article focuses on the micronutrients that directly impact its function. The skin’s role is complex, but in order to fully understand how each micronutrient affects the skin, it is necessary to know the skin’s various functions. This includes preventing foreign substances from entering the body; aiding in immune function; protecting internal organs from physical trauma; protecting against ultraviolet damage; regulating body temperature; producing lipids to protect and maintain hydration, thus preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and dehydration; communicating sensations via touch, and excreting waste products and toxins. Another key function is synthesizing nutrients into molecules to provide each cell what it requires to do its job. Many of the micronutrients discussed play a significant role in collagen synthesis. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and comprises roughly 75 percent of the skin’s (dry) weight. It provides the dermis with its structural integrity and gives strength and tone to the skin and other tissues, hence reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Compared to generations before, today’s consumer takes a far more active interest in understanding the ingredients that comprise the products they buy and the manufacturing practices utilized to create them. Beyond the food industry, nowhere do we see more evidence of this practice than in the personal care industry. Recognizing that cosmetic and skin care ingredient lists can be overwhelming to the average consumer, various organizations have created online resources, which allow consumers to look up products and ingredients by name to get an overview of their safety ratings and potential risks. Additionally, numerous advocacy groups have implemented campaigns to educate consumers about specific ingredients that they recognize as particularly harmful.

Surfactants and Emulsifiers

Written by Irena James

Most chemists openly express their concern over how little time is spent studying surfactants in college given their considerable importance in so many industries, especially the skin care industry. According to Perry Romanowski, coauthor of the acclaimed textbook, Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry, “surfactants are the workhorses of the cosmetic industry and all cosmetic chemists would benefit learning the basic principles of surfactant chemistry.” 1 Most often, action ingredients take all the glory for product performance, while the surfactant’s contribution is overlooked and frequently misunderstood by the consumer.

One class of ingredients that continues to offer exciting new options to the world of skin care is peptides. Peptides have been perennial favorites due to their gentle, non-irritating qualities and long-term anti-aging benefits. Because new peptides that promise remarkable benefits are constantly being discovered, it is important for skin care professionals to understand the basic science behind peptides.
Peptides are more than just skin care superstars – they are truly intelligent molecules that naturally play a role in the function of cells, tissues and hormones in the body. That is why they are of interest to many scientific disciplines such as biochemistry, medicine, nutrition, and even psychology.

Global sun care is heading toward a record high in sales, totaling approximately $1.3 billion by the end of 2014. We should all feel very proud of ourselves. Our endless preaching and nagging to family, friends, and clients about the dangers of sun exposure for the beauty and health of their skin has apparently paid off. According to Euromonitor International and various other market research companies tracking sales and growth of designated skin care categories, we finally got through to them.

Working in an industry that focuses primarily on caring for others may, at times, cause you to neglect your own personal well-being. This may affect the ability to perform at an optimal level in the treatment room. As paying customers, your clients deserve the best services from professionals who are alert, energized and focused. It is essential that you take a moment to indulge in healthy habits that will prove beneficial to your overall wellness. Here are a few things that you can implement into your daily activities to help get you started.

Promoting Wellness for Earth Month

Written by Shelley Lotz, L.F.T., C.S.B.A., author of Green Spas and Salons

The Physiology of Skin of Color

Written by Christine Heathman, C.M.E., L.M.T.

People with skin of color will soon make up the majority of the United States. This will have a significant impact on the practice of professional skin care. Generally, lighter shades of skin have been the dominant skin type in the United States. This is the skin type that the majority of skin care treatments are currently based on. However, these traditional facial, body, and skin care treatments often fail to meet the needs of your clientele who has dramatically changed over the last decade. Darker skin responds differently to chemical and manual therapies than lighter skin. Aestheticians must understand these differences. Inappropriate treatments or products are a recipe for skin disaster; therefore, it is imperative for the skin care professional to understand the physiology, anatomy, and histology relating to all skins of color.

Over the last couple of decades, antioxidants have risen from humble beginnings to being a part of some of the most sophisticated applications in cellular protection. Well established as the darlings of our industry, they are often featured as the magic bullet of anti-aging formulations. According to Mintel, “Antioxidants are the most popular ingredients in today’s skin care.” Examples of antioxidants at work are everywhere. Some of the most intricate claims in skin care today are derived from the vast activities of both natural and synthetic antioxidants.

Speaking the Legal Lingo

Written by Irena James

If you have ever sold an anti-aging product or a product for acne-prone skin, chances are that, at some point, you have broken the law. Not because you sold these products, but because of the claims you made and the statements you used while closing the sale would most likely have been deemed as drug claims by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Some of the first definitions aesthetics students are required to recite are those of a cosmetic and a drug. While it may seem like an unnecessary exercise, understanding these definitions is of utmost importance because they can have enormous implications in countless aspects of the skin care industry, from product line and manufacturer selection to marketing and branding efforts.

Beauty From the Inside Out

Written by Deni Dale, electrologist

The aesthetics industry consists of skin care professionals all over the world who use their talents to keep their clients happy, smiling and beautiful. Many of the treatments provided by skin care professionals primarily focus on the various skin regimens and services that help the external, or outer, part of the body. But what about everything that goes on inside of the body? There are many things that your clients can do to benefit themselves internally. From proper nutrition to living a positive, stress-free life, here are a few things that will help kick start your client’s inner beauty.

Enhance the Skin’s Natural Sun Protection

Written by Erin Ferrill, L.E.

As skin care professionals, we are absolutely committed to caring for our clients’ skin in every way possible. This commonly includes recommending that they incorporate sunscreen into their beauty routine every day to avoid damage caused by rays of the sun. While we can agree on the importance of including sunscreen in an at-home regimen, research shows there may be other ways to enhance the skin’s ability to protect itself from sun damage, even sunburn. Clients should still be instructed to wear an effective sunscreen (even on cloudy days), but by recommending that clients incorporate certain foods into their diet, they can get a powerful boost in their skin’s natural sun protection factor for even more age-defying results. While many of the findings referenced are preliminary, they show the great promise that lies in using natural methods to enhance the protection provided by sunscreen.

The good ol’ days provided simpler times when it was enough to tell your client that their product contained hydrating honey, soothing aloe, cooling cucumber, and revitalizing carrot extract. Relying on anecdotal properties of ingredients, while failing to understand or interpret the scientific data behind ingredient activity and product performance, can put an aesthetician at a serious disadvantage in today’s fast paced, information-laden climate. Even if we are able to wade through the data provided, keeping up with the latest information can become a full time job. Most people have neither the time, nor the expertise that is required, to dig through all of the complex research and correctly interpret the studies.

Basic Product Concepts

Written by Irena James

We have come a long way since the first vanishing creams promised to protect the skin from the elements such as chapping winds and sooty breezes. Today’s consumer expectations of product performance and benefits have become more complex than ever and product developers are responding to these expectations by formulating multifunctional products as well as targeted, specialized treatments for specific areas of the skin. New scientific discoveries in medicine, biotechnology and cellular biology are providing numerous applications for skin care launches. Through tireless research, ingredient manufacturers are offering novel solutions to every biochemical phenomenon of aging, cause of dryness, sensitivity or acne. Formulas are becoming more holistic in their approach to treating skin imperfections, while at the same time, targeting and even promising to augment surgical procedures, such as injectables.

10 Things About...Superfoods

Written by Julie Bach, L.E.

Superfoods are the richest and most potent foods containing life-giving and life-supporting nutrients including antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, fiber, phytonutrients and enzymes. Superfoods not only increase the vitality and energy in your body, they also deeply nourish and heal the body at the cellular level. With so much of skin health based on your gut health, it is no secret that superfoods help you glow from inside-out.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) promotes inflammation which may lead to disease – and inflammation is not always visible or felt. It is no longer good enough to avoid the damaging food influences; you must repair the damage that has already occurred. Here are a few of the everyday foods that your client may be unaware are superfoods and can easily be added to their daily routine.

In the early 1990s, I was fully immersed in the corporate culture where working under highly stressful conditions was a motivator and considered part of the job. Stress came with the territory of being in a management role and working excessive hours. After working a normal 12 hour day, my husband and I were on our way to the company Christmas party when our car was struck in the rear while waiting at a red light. The unexpected jolt was significant and actually broke the seats in which we were sitting. From that point forward, I became acquainted with a neck injury. I later found out it was a whiplash injury and a herniated disk at C5-C6, which caused significant neck pain, headaches, and radiating pain for months on end. Some days were worse than others and at one point I was bedridden for three weeks.


Written by Rachael Pontillo, A.A.D.P C.H.C., B.S., L.E.

The spa and wellness industries are at an all-time high since businesses are now able to reach millions of potential clients at little to no cost with social media campaigns. With the click of a mouse, a consumer can learn about the amazing experience her favorite celebrity had using a far-infrared sauna; watch a video about manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) or self-massage on YouTube; or view a Facebook post about how her friend was able to fit into pre-pregnancy skinny jeans after having a body wrap.

Re-Train Your Brain:

Written by Bruce Baltz

Massage therapists and aestheticians generally choose their profession to help others and to have an opportunity to give back. At times, we forget to take care of ourselves and do not pay attention to the signals that our bodies send. When we are first learning our craft, we are bombarded with new information deemed important by our states, governing bodies, and/or associations. During this time, our goal is to learn the required information and pass the necessary tests to be able to work in our field of choice.

Chamomile is the name given to several species of herbs with fine, feathery leaves and daisy-like flowers. There are two plants most commonly distilled for their essential oils including Roman chamomile (Chamaemeleum nobile or Anthemis nobilis) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). The therapeutic and psychological properties of their respective oils, while not identical, are quite similar.

I was recently completing an application for an association in which I had been inducted. One of the last questions on the application asked me to list my favorite hobbies or the things that I like to do in my free time. I responded by listing that cooking, cleaning and taking my children to their extracurricular activities were among the top of my list. When it occurred to me that this was probably not the response they were looking for, I realized that it was all I could come up with. I would love to have hobbies that include taking long walks in the park, reading non-fiction novels, and enjoying a glass of wine in front of a crackling fire – but that is not even close to my reality.

Eucalyptus has a smell that we all love and recognize. Whether you have experienced its fresh, uplifting aroma in the steam room or simply used a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water to clear your sinuses, the smell simply takes you back to your childhood. Using eucalyptus in your spa treatments can bring your client back to that moment in time when they first experienced its clean, lung-clearing aroma.

There are hundreds of varieties of eucalyptus that produce an essential oil. However, the most common form of the oil used in aromatherapy is eucalyptus globulus, distilled in Australia from the beloved gum tree. Other widely used forms that are commonly distilled for their essence include the narrow leaved eucalyptus (eucalyptus radiate), used for viral infections, and lemon-scented eucalyptus (eucalyptus citriadora), a cooling, antirheumatic oil.

How often have you been told to take a deep breath? You may have even muttered it to yourself once or twice. Generally, an individual can go months without food or several days without water, but only minutes without air. Basic survival aside, breathing has a variety of different effects on the human mind and body that are beneficial to your overall health and wellness.
Many cultures have long known that deep breathing is a natural and simple form of relaxing and cleansing the mind, body and soul. Touted by original yoga practitioners as the source of life, breathing has become an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle.

It is an exciting time to be in the skin care industry. Aesthetics technology is finding new techniques and ingredients to improve the skin; the industry itself has grown so much that many different specialties that were once tiny niches have expanded into major aspects of aesthetics. Holistic skin care continues to gain popularity with skin care professionals each day. Once believed to be less effective than conventional and medical aesthetics, holistic skin care products and practices have greatly improved and now boast results that are comparably dramatic and may be even longer lasting than conventional practices.
Though holistic skin care has gained popularity among aestheticians and consumers alike, regulation has not quite caught up with this rapidly growing trend. Therefore, there is still a great deal of ambiguity and confusion regarding terminology, efficacy, ingredients, labeling and shelf life of holistic products.

Lemon and lemongrass are two fresh, clean and lively oils recommended for use in the spa. Lemon, with its fresh, sharp citrus smell combined with the strong, lemony and more herbaceous aromatic fragrance of lemongrass creates a wonderful uplifting aroma each time the client enters the spa. Together, they certainly provide a clean aroma and a gentle boost to start the day.

Originating in Asia, lemon made little impact in the world until the middle ages when it found its way to Europe. This oil gained popularity when it was issued to sailors on board in an effort to counteract the effects of scurvy. Lemons grow today throughout the Mediterranean, though Florida and California are the largest producers of the oil.

Posture plays an influential role in many ways. It is critical to maintaining your health and physical appearance, two factors that can have a dramatic effect on your life.
I typically start my weekends strolling through the farmers market first thing in the morning. One particular morning, as I wandered through the crowd, I remembered that my latest column needed to be completed over the weekend. Suddenly, it occurred to me that my entire study group and column content was currently walking all around me. A vast selection of ages, genders, genetics and postures were all within arm’s reach. Immediately inspired, I quickly found an empty bench and began to take notes.