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Historically it has been one of the most important commodities to humankind, used in everything from food to cleaning products to cosmeceuticals. It is also the sixth most abundant element in the Earth's crust. What is this miracle element? Sodium. Sodium is an essential nutrient that regulates blood volume, blood pressure and our pH, and in the world of aesthetics it has a number of…
Traditionally vitamin K is considered to be a key beauty vitamin, along with vitamins A, C and E. In fact, the discovery of vitamin K was hailed with a Nobel Prize in 1943. It is often used in five percent concentrations in skin care formulations for stretch marks, scars, rosacea and couperose because it improves the elasticity of blood vessels. In my practice, I love…
For years, skin care practitioners have known that regular use of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and other topicals offer effective acne treatments. We have also known that certain peptides, some botanicals and vitamin C can help brighten the skin, even tone and ease pigmentation problems. But combining these and other topicals with specific nutrients – or, in some cases, avoiding certain foods and supplements –…
Minerals are among the most important elements needed by the body. They are directly and indirectly involved in every bodily and skin process. Along with amino acids (protein), minerals are the basic building blocks of every cell in the body. RNA/DNA, the blueprints to each cell, does not function properly without certain minerals. Enzymes will not form nor function properly without the minerals they require…
Today, vitamins and supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry, but few people have even heard of vitamin H. The 'H' in vitamin H comes from the German words "Haar und Haut" which mean "hair and skin." Long known for its benefits to hair and skin, it is no surprise that it has been referred to as the 'beauty vitamin." Otherwise known as biotin, vitamin B7…

Mitochondria

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Skin ailments and concerns can be best addressed when underlying cellular functions and processes are understood. Cellular metabolism at the mitochondrial level can tell us much about how skin changes throughout time and when exposed to different conditions, as well as what is affecting our skin and its appearance. Currently, the skin care industry is engaged in research to determine the best ways to harness…
As our knowledge of the skin and aging advances, the technology that improves our skin evolves. In the 1970s, retinol first emerged into skin care and has since grown into several classes of its own for its anti-aging and acne fighting properties. Also in the 1970's scientists scoffed at the idea of free radicals and their detrimental effect on skin aging, but now a number…
Corneobiology refers to a broad range of experimental studies focused on the anatomy, physiology and biology of the stratum corneum, focused specifically on the horny layer that is very unique to human beings.1 This science encompasses numerous studies that deal with immunology, endocrinology, neurobiology and psychology. Studies as early as 1964 showed that the horny layer membrane was a coherent tissue of cornified cells (corneocytes)…
Stem cells are special cells in the body that provide a continuous source of new cells. Stem cells have two unique features: they are unspecialized which retains the ability of self-renewal by cell division, almost without limit. They also have the ability to become specific cells of a particular tissue or organ. For example, in the intestine, they constantly replace worn out cells that line…
As we all strive for health and longevity, there is a growing interest towards the use of botanical-based skin care products. Plants historically hold the wisdom of the earth and can unite a generation who suffers from nature deficit disorder, to be a little closer to that which is unaffected by commercialism.In the 1950s, the introduction of personal care products came on the scene bringing…
"I will just drink more water." How many times have we, as skin care providers, heard this statement to help alleviate dry or dehydrated skin? The combination of our skin's natural aging process, environmental damage and transepidermal water loss can encourage dryness and/or dehydration. Oily skin can even become dehydrated. "A drink of water" does not always remedy what our skin may be experiencing. There…
It is a vitamin that actually does not fit the standard definition of a traditional vitamin. In fact, it is better classified as a fat – a fat that is absolutely essential to our biological process, but which our bodies do not synthesize. What is this amazing, yet illusive vitamin? It is vitamin F. Perhaps better known as linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid…
“The food you eat can either be the safest form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.” This famous quote, spoken by raw food enthusiast Dr. Ann Wigmore many decades ago, seems truer today than ever. Even as we are continually bombarded with new technologies in health and well-being, there is growing popularity in relying on more natural methods of maintaining good health, both…
The inner-outer body connection is well documented and has been for years. The physical, emotional and psychological condition of the human body has the ability to influence not only the inner functioning of the body, but its outer appearance as well. Nutrients, eating habits and food categories all have an influence on the condition of the skin; and as an aesthetician it is critical that…
Ayurveda (pronounced: are-you-vay-da) is a Sanskrit term. "Ayur" comes from the noun "ayus" meaning life, living or longevity. "Veda" comes from the verb "vid" meaning to know about, to study or science. Thus Ayurveda is commonly translated as science of life or study of longevity. It is the knowledge of what it takes to live a balanced, healthy and inspiring life. Ayurveda originated in the…
When we enter the spa for relaxation and that all important get away from the rush of everyday life we have certain expectations. There is an ambiance that is created within the spa, the soft, relaxing music, the pleasing to the eye décor, and the cozy treatment rooms. There is however the ‘Spa smell’. The luxurious, gentle smell of essential oils that lulls you into…
I challenge you to find even one person who is not familiar with the healing abilities of aloe. Begin asking people and you will hear statements like, "I keep a plant in my kitchen for burns and cuts" or "Many of the products I buy contain aloe." But the healing abilities of aloe go far beyond the comprehension of most consumers. After all, we are…
While chirality is actually nothing new to science and the pharmaceutical drug industry, it is a relatively new concept to skin care. But what do chirally correct ingredients offer the skin and can they provide real benefits otherwise unmatched? In 1847, renowned French chemist Louis Pasteur first discovered the concept of chirality as a graduate student while studying two acids in wine. He observed that…
Stress, that cliché word meaning 'totally overwhelmed,' is now acknowledged as a proven threat to health. "Over 50 percent of deaths in the United States can be attributed to behavioral and social factors [stress]," says psychologist Oakley Ray, Ph.D., of the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University in a study. This and other research implicates stress in causing disease and degradation at the…
Scientists and researchers have come a long way in their efforts to understand the properties and benefits of supplements in skin care. The use of vitamins and other nutrients to hydrate, normalize, protect, heal, condition and beautify the skin appears to be the wave of both the present and the future. Clearly, the internal use of vitamins is one of the most powerful weapons in…
Once upon a time in a far away universe there was a popular principle called "body wisdom – intuition", which meant that our bodies would tell us which foods we needed- as long as we learn to listen. When we were truly present with our intuition and wisdom principle, when our bodies are deficient in a particular nutrient, our desire to eat foods containing that…

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Wellness

AIA Featured School

  • Christine Valmy International School For Esthetics, Skin Care & MakeupChristine Valmy International School...Description: Christine Valmy International School for Esthetics, Skin Care & Makeup offers a quality education in the beauty industry, based on the teachings of the Founder of Esthetics in the United States—Ms. Christine Valmy. Ms. Valmy opened her very first sc ...