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Bath and Body Products

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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.

Because of this, more aggressive protocols and therapies can be used on the body. Even clients with sensitive or thinning facial skin can tolerate body treatments they could never withstand on their faces. In many cases, more aggressive treatments mean better results.
Among the most popular spa body treatments are body peels, body scrubs, body wraps, hydrotherapy and endermologie. In more clinical settings, many medical spas are doing more aggressive treatments with laser technology and body sculpting.
There are many therapeutic ingredients available for body products and therapies today – some new and innovative and some as old as Cleopatra. In fact, it is well known that Cleopatra bathed in sour milk to exfoliate her skin. The active ingredient in sour milk, lactic acid, is a well known, modern day skin exfoliant. Body peels that utilize lactic acid are extremely effective at exfoliating dead skin, stimulating collagen production, reducing sun damage, softening and smoothing. Lactic acid is very safe and an ideal ingredient to use in body peels because of its low risk of toxicity, a concern that is important to address when treating large areas of skin.
Honey is another time tested ingredient that is effective in many different body protocols. It is used in many different body products such as scrubs and wraps of its high content of skin friendly enzymes. Honey is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients and when combined with sugar crystals gently exfoliates and hydrates the skin.
Detoxifying body wraps are among the most popular spa treatments today. Wraps contain a variety of ingredients but some of the most effective contain seaweed and algae. There are literally thousands of varieties of such ocean vegetation and each one has nutritional and chemical profiles that can provide unique benefits. Seaweed and algae have a well-deserved reputation for soothing and detoxifying. In fact, the first algae were discovered by Hippocrates, the father of medicine in the early 1900s. It is believed to have been first developed into a spa therapy in France around that same time period. Its therapeutic properties for the body are well documented. It is known that exposure to protein rich algae helps restore the body's natural chemical balance. Human plasma and seaweed have the same mineral composition which allows for better assimilation of this nutrient rich ingredient. When algae are applied with the heat of a wrap it results in the absorption of trace minerals and ions such as magnesium, potassium and calcium sulfates. Seaweed is also very effective in reducing the appearance of cellulite and aiding in detoxifying the skin.
Aloe vera, in a gel format, has properties similar to algae and seaweed, and can also serve as an effective wrapping product.  It is a good source of zinc and contains gentle plant acids that can help smooth and soften rough, dry skin. The natural salicylates in the aloe vera plant may also prevent or minimize the development of ingrown hairs making it an effective ingredient in post waxing products. 
Including caffeine and caffeine like substances in wraps may have a beneficial effect on the appearance of cellulite. Such compounds, chemically referred to as xanthines, have been shown to improve the metabolism of fat and may, at least temporarily, improve the unsightly dimpling, cottage cheese look that is so concerning to many clients are concerned. Adding xanthine-rich coffee powder or ground up green tea leaves or is a good way to incorporate these kinds of ingredients into a therapeutic body treatment protocol.
Mud bath therapy has been practiced for much of recorded history and has long been prized for its detoxification properties. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics give detailed descriptions of the appropriate use of mineral-rich Dead Sea mud and mud baths. These types of materials have measurable microelectrical properties that allow them to literally magnetically attract poisons from the skin. These can be especially beneficial for the client who is dealing with comedones, rashes or psoriasis breakouts.
Consumers are rapidly becoming savvy about the ingredients in their body products. Body washes containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are extremely effective because they exfoliate, soften and promote cellular renewal. They are especially effective for treating issues such as keratosis pilaris and skin challenges resulting from environmental assaults. The use of AHAs in body products also inhibits the formation of ingrown hairs, so are great pretreatments to waxing.
Organic shea butter is an ideal base for body moisturizers as it does not occlude the skin; instead, it promotes optimal hydration when blended with fatty vitamins that communicate with the skin's own natural moisture factors. It is best to avoid moisturizers that contain waxes, mineral oils artificial fragrances and perfumes as they can clog pores and create allergic reactions or skin sensitivity. Instead, look for body products that feature key ingredients such as jojoba oil, squalane, sunflower seed oil, aloe and essential oil blends that contain therapeutic and medicinal properties.
Layering and combining several of these techniques may result in more therapeutic benefits. For example, combining seaweed and algae rich wraps with hydrotherapy mud baths have been to shown to yield amazing detoxification benefits. Similarly, combining a sugar scrub body treatment followed by a lactic acid honey wrap provides enhanced exfoliation and moisturization.

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