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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…

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.

Bath Therapies

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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…

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…
How do we achieve healthy skin? Is it just using the right skin care products? Or is it using a sunscreen with a SPF of 30+ every day? It is not quite that easy. Healthy skin begins with a healthy stratum corneum, the outer most layer of skin that serves as a barrier against desiccation and environmental stressors. The stratum corneum (SC) was once thought…
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…

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…
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…
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…
There is no denying that Mother Nature has provided us a bounty of exquisite ingredients that have many supportive benefits for our skin’s health. But what happens to those ingredients when science enters the picture? Science and nature may be at opposite ends of the spectrum, but when the two merge, how does that impact the effectiveness of a skin care formulation? It all comes…
Researchers at the University of Leeds, funded by Cancer Research UK, suggest that people with very pale skin may be unable to spend enough time in the sun to make the amount of vitamin D the body needs - while also avoiding sunburn. The study, published in Cancer Causes and Control*, suggested that melanoma patients may need vitamin D supplements as well. But researchers also noted…
IFT Member Claudia Fajardo-Lira, PhD, Professor of Food Science and Nutrition at California State University-Northridge, explains the facts about antioxidants: Q: What are antioxidants? A: Antioxidants play an important role in overall health. They are natural compounds found in some foods that help neutralize free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are substances that occur naturally in our bodies but attack the fats, protein and…
Understanding hormones and their effect on the skin, from the teenage years to perimenopause and menopause, is challenging for many skin care specialists. Journeying through the roller coaster with many clients can be rough sailing. Understanding the prominent hormones in the body is essential in order to correctly diagnose, treat and prevent hormone related skin conditions. Estrogen and progesterone are the main partners in this…
Aging younger is performing daily housekeeping of your body, which includes drinking the perfect water! We are undergoing a paradigm shift in America from the sickness industry to the wellness industry. Current medical pharmacological sickness industry thinking is based on treating disease and the wellness industry is about prevention and promoting good health. But chronic disease doesn’t just appear out of nowhere; it can actually…
About one hundred years ago humans doubled their life expectancy. This was a monumental feat, given that the number of years the average person was expected to live was a relatively constant number throughout most of human history. Nutrition, modern medicine and technology were mostly responsible for this dramatic change. In 2007, average life expectancy was 80.4 years for women, and 75.3 years for men.1 This…
When contracting the muscles on their faces after a cosmetic procedure around their eyes, the majority of patients and doctors commented that Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA) fared better than Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA). However, while facial muscles were at rest there appeared to be no significant difference between the two, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco wrote in Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery. Even though older Botox…
Like other organs in the human body, water is the primary component of the skin. Over time and with physiological changes and exposure to the environment, we often find the moisture content of the skin declines resulting in dry skin. Dry skin can be so mild we hardly notice it or so severe it leads to a breakdown in the skin structure and integrity. It…
So let us get started with an apology. If you are like me, your aesthetic schooling never educated you on cells. Mine did not either. Your on-going training has led you more into product knowledge and equipment tools-of-the-trade than pure, raw, deep-down at the root skin chemistry. Imagine applying topical products and using equipment that can electrify, scrape, burn, disintegrate and otherwise damage the cellular…
The world of professional skin care provides aestheticians numerous tools to assist in the management of photo aging, acne, pigmentation, dry skin, and other epidermal challenges to improve the quality and preserve the integrity of this very complicated immune organ. The cleanser, serums, creams, peels, microdermabrasion, LED, ultrasound, etc., directly impacts the complex and central world of the Stratum Corneum (SC). How well do you…
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