Archive for the ‘Tuesday Tips and Trends’ Category

Skincare: Important for Men Too!

When it comes to skincare, men are a different breed. It turns out that men are the lucky ones in that their skin ages more slowly than women’s skin. Men naturally have more collagen and elastin, which makes for firmer and thicker skin overall. In fact, their skin is approximately 25% thicker than women’s skin! Studies have also shown that men’s skin tends to be less acidic on the pH scale than women’s. When aging signs do appear, they start around the eyes with dark circles, bags and wrinkles. To fight this problem, there are various eye creams on the market that are specially formulated for men.
A regular cleansing routine is very important, since men have larger pores than can clog easily. Men should be sure to use the proper cleanser for their skin type, which is typically more oily due to having high levels of the androgen hormone levels. Vitamin E can also help to heal cuts and redness experienced from shaving. As men age and their testosterone levels drop, their skin tends to become drier and they will have to switch up their cleansing products accordingly. Men should use a good moisturizer and might also want to consider a hydrating mask for a deep clean and added hydration.
One final fact that men shouldn’t ignore is that males over 50 are at the highest risk of developing melanoma. The most important thing that a man can do for his skin is to use a sunscreen early and often!

Trend Alert: Cat Eyes

A recent trend seen on the fall runway shows has been the cat eye, known for it’s trademark extended eyeliner application. It’s actually a classic look taken from the 1950s and 1960s. Colors can range from dramatic black to colorful violets. You can achieve this unique look with a gel, liquid or kohl pencil eye liner, depending on how soft or precise you want your cat eye to be. You might find it easier to start with a lighter pencil for better control and trace with liquid liner after. There are various ways to achieve this look, from dark and daring to soft and smoky. One example of a dramatic looking cat eye is to skip applying the liner to the inner corners of the eye and then extend the line beyond the outer edge of the eye and upwards. Finish off with two coats of your favorite mascara. Couple the look with a bold red lipstick and you’ll look like you just stepped off the runway yourself!

Cool Down! Do you need a cold stone massage?

You’ve most likely heard of hot stone massage, which helps to relax the muscles. However, heat shouldn’t get all of the attention in the massage therapy world. Cold stone massage is also a valuable treatment to consider. While the basalt stone that is used for a hot stone massage is great for retaining heat, cold stone massage utilizes stones made from marble. Marble stones retain cold temperatures quite well since they are naturally colder than other stones, even at room temperature.

While cold stone massage is most commonly used to treat sports injuries, there are many other positive benefits. This treatment is also used as a form of stress and anxiety relief, as the stones redirect the mind’s focus on the body. The cool temperatures used in the treatment also help to reduce swelling, bloating and inflammation while increasing circulation and boosting energy levels. The cold stones can also ease sinus and menstrual symptoms. Sometimes hot and cold stones are used together using the “yin and yang” concept. The combination is said to increase circulation while reducing inflammation and pain. A word of caution: individuals who have certain heart ailments or cold sensitivities should avoid cold stone massage until they have discussed it with their physician first.

Sound intriguing? Maybe it’s time for you to try a cold stone massage for yourself!

Facial Oils: Yes, you can use them!

Moisturizing is part of our daily beauty routine and there are many great lotions and creams available. Have you thought about moisturizing with oil? It almost seems absurd to apply an oil to the face, especially if you have acne prone skin.  Believe it or not, facial oils are quite beneficial and there are different types that can work specifically for various skin types. Yes, the facial oil trend is indeed catching on! They are wonderful moisturizers and give skin a beautiful glow. Jojoba is a common facial oil. Argan oils are known for their anti-aging benefits, since it contains high amounts of vitamin E. Other high quality types of facial oils are camellia, macadamia, and squalane. Facial oils contain essential fatty acids and vitamins which help to hydrate the skin. They should be used after cleansing and can replace your traditional moisturizer for maximum benefits. Use a small amount and your skin will absorb the oil fairly quickly. If you use a little too much, you can simply use a tissue to blot off any excess. and just remember to use less in the future. Makeup can be applied next, but you may find that your skin requires less due to the improved hydration and healthier look of your skin. Lastly, sunscreen is essential since any oil will reflect sunlight.
Don’t be afraid. Try a facial oil and you’ll see why so many people are raving about their improved, glowing skin!

Eat your way to younger looking skin!

You’ve probably got a great skin care routine. You cleanse. You moisturize. You protect with sunscreen. But did you eat your breakfast? Are you eating your veggies? Did you realize that what you eat can directly affect your skin and certain foods can help keep your skin looking youthful? Let’s look at several great ingredients to stock up on and why.

Begin your day with a serving of low fat yogurt. The vitamin A helps to control acne and provide skin repair. Yogurt also keeps your digestive tract healthy, which is linked to healthy skin, and the protein helps to keep your skin firm. A bowl of steel-cut oatmeal will stabilize your blood sugar and therefore helps with skin healing. Top it off with some berries which are full of antioxidants!

Nuts and seeds are excellent to snack on and offer many benefits to your skin. Almonds and sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, which protects the top layers of your skin. Brazil nuts contain selenium, which is a mineral that helps create fresh, smooth skin. Walnuts and flax seed have Omega 3 fatty acids, which promotes elasticity and helps to smooth wrinkles. Omega 3 also helps to moisturize the skin and reduce inflammation.

You know that fruits and vegetables are important for your overall health. Well, they bring plenty of benefits to your skin too. Avocados are full of the vitamin B complex, which helps circulation and gives your skin a healthy glow. Spinach contains vitamin A and folate, which helps to protect against skin cancer. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin C, which helps with collagen production to help smooth wrinkles. Colorful peppers contain carotenoids, which are antioxidants that decrease skin sensitivity to the sun and improve your overall skin color. Tomatoes are also important, as the lycopene they contain protect against skin damage.

Craving seafood? Salmon is well known for it’s Omega 3 fatty acids and mussels contain plenty of iron, which helps to prevent pale, pasty looking skin. If your side dish contains kidney beans, then you’ll reap the benefits from zinc, which protects against acne and blemishes. How about some edamame? The minerals and protein in soy can help to reduce hyperpigmentation.

With all this healthy eating, you might want something sweet. Good news! Dark chocolate (in moderation) contains an antioxidant called flavonols, and they help to hydrate the skin, as well as improve the texture of your skin, making it firm and supple.

Throughout the day, be sure to hydrate with plenty of water. Try to aim for at least eight glasses a day. Hydration is key to healthy looking skin. Another great beverage is green tea. The antioxidants help to fight free radicals and bacteria. Green tea is also anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce redness.

Have we made you hungry? Well, go ahead and enjoy a healthy snack. Your skin will appreciate the extra nutrition!

End of Summer Skin Care

Only a few more weeks of summer? Say it isn’t so! Yes, summer is winding down and it won’t be long before the air is feeling more crisp and yellow school busses join the morning commute. With that in mind, have you thought about how to take care of your skin before the weather starts cooling off? Here are some simple things you can do.

  1. Exfoliate Chances are, your skin has seen quite a bit of sun this summer. Between the sun’s rays, the heat and even chlorinated pools, your skin might be looking and feeling a bit dry. Regular exfoliation will slough off the dead skin cells that have accumulated and will also help your moisturizer to penetrate the skin better.
  2. Hydrate You may have been using less moisturizer during the more humid summer months. It is now time to replenish the natural oils to your skin by moisturizing and drinking plenty of water. This will give your skin a double dose of hydration.
  3. Reduce Redness Whether your skin is suffering from sunburn or insect bites, try spraying a bit of rosewater to the affected areas. Try our own Classics TX – Rosewater Moisture Mist.
  4. Protect Don’t even think about packing away your sunscreen. Continue using a broad-spectrum sunscreen on a regular basis, all year long!

Hyperpigmentation – Are You Seeing Spots?

Has it happened to you? You look in the mirror and there’s this….spot on the side of your face. Maybe there’s more than one. Where did it come from and how can you make it go away?

Chances are, it’s a form of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is quite common and typically harmless. It is simply an increase in melanin production. This condition can be caused by pregnancy, acne, certain medical conditions and various prescription drugs. The most common cause is sun exposure, which can also darken any existing spots. One form of hyperpigmentation is melasma, which is also known as the pregnancy mask that some women get as a result of the changes in hormones. Liver spots are another type of hyperpigmentation.

You are not necessarily stuck with these spots. There are many treatments available that can reduce or eliminate the discoloration. A well known home remedy is to apply lemon juice or slices to the affected areas, which can bleach away the spots. While the remedy can help, it can also be harsh on your skin. A better alternative would be to treat with creams containing hydroquinone, alpha hydroxy acids, retinols or vitamin c. We offer the PCA SKIN A&C Synergy Serum (pHaze 23) at the Catherine Hinds Store, which is a serum that helps reduce hyperpignmentation. There are prescription strength hydroquinone creams and even laser treatments available for extreme cases. To prevent new spots from appearing in the first place, it is important to use sunscreen. Sunscreen will also prevent your existing spots from getting darker.

If you are bothered by hyperpigmentation spots, you may want to consider booking an appointment for a Vitamin C Facial. This is an antioxidant treatment that will even out your skin tone, help to diminish fine lines, and reduce redness and irritation. This facial is great for all skin types, especially sun damaged and mature skins. Call 781-935-3344 ext. 229 to schedule an appointment. Lose those spots and get your skin glowing again!

Mineral Makeup: Are you getting what you’re paying for?

Mineral makeup is everywhere nowadays. They are not cheap either. Makeup artists, celebrities and even dermatologist highly recommend them. Foundation, bronzers, blush, eye shadows and even lipsticks are sold as mineral makeup. The great benefit of mineral products are that they do not contain pore clogging oils. They are perfect for sensitive skin as they are much less likely to cause skin reactions than other makeups on the market. Mineral foundations even offer a small amount of sun protection since ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are natural sun blocks. (Note that you still need an actual sunscreen in addition to mineral makeup.) Zinc oxide is also anti-inflammatory which helps to reduce irritated or easily irritated skin.

With all of these benefits, how can you go wrong? Simply put, you must be read ingredient labels to ensure you’re getting what you are paying for. Many consumers might assume that mineral makeup products only contain mineral ingredients. While this was intended to be the case when mineral powders were introduced to the market in the 1970s, that is not always the case now. Be sure to check ingredient labels since not all mineral makeups are the same. True mineral makeup will have a very short list with ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica, and iron oxides. Other ingredients, that can irritate sensitive skin types, are excluded. Some of these other ingredients are preservatives, parabens, mineral oil, chemical dyes, and fragrance. If you see a long ingredient list, then chances are it’s not a true mineral product. For example, liquid mineral products, such as a cream foundation, will contain more than just mineral ingredients since it’s simply not possible to create a liquid product with just minerals. Liquids require other ingredients mixed with the minerals. So, if you are looking for a true mineral makeup product, especially if you have sensitive skin, you may be better off sticking with loose mineral powder foundations.

What are your thoughts on mineral makeup? Have you found one that works for you?

Adding a Sensory Touch to Spa Therapy

Imagine you’re on a secluded beach. The waves of the ocean are crashing behind you in a rhythmic beat. The air smells of sea salt and a faint scent of jasmine in the distance. As you sip your cucumber infused ice water, you feel the warmth of the sun surround your body, while fully relaxed on your cushioned chair. Adding to this blissful setting is the rejuvenating effects you’re getting from your soothing facial. Wait, is this the description of someone having a facial on the beach? Not quite. The point is that the client is brought to this special place through their five senses. Adding even a few small touches that stimulate the senses can make a world of difference to a client! Here are a few ideas to help you enhance your basic spa treatments and create a unique, sensory experience for your clients.

  • Touch Apply simple acupressure and touch therapy techniques. Offer a foot bath or scalp massage during a facial. Provide a warm neck roll, high-thread count sheets, plush towels or robes. Another nice option using touch, is to create a space in the waiting area where clients can test out various products.
  • Taste Offer various teas and even chocolate. Display sliced fruits and cucumbers on a tray for clients to add some flavor to their ice water.
  • Sight Use dimming lights in the treatment rooms. Take advantage of the array of calming earth tone paint colors available. Be sure to have an organized space, and this includes the reception desk and waiting area. First impressions are important! Display flowers, candles, and relaxing images such as oceans or other nature scenes.
  • Sound A great new option being used at some spas is giving clients the option to connect an iPod to the room’s sound system. This completely blocks outside sounds and lets the client focus on the experience itself. Relaxing music is a popular choice of many spas, but the sounds of nature is great option. What better way to create that beach image than hearing actual waves crashing.
  • Smell We all know that aromatherapy is important for a good spa experience. A spinoff to this idea is that spas will create their own “signature scent.” They will also offer products that use the same scents so that clients can take their experience home with them.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much effort to make clients feel like they are receiving a five star treatment. Try a few of these ideas and your happy clients will surely come back for more!

Sweeten Up Your Skin Care Routine with Honey

Honey has been referred to as liquid gold because of all of it’s health benefits. Honey is just as amazing for the skin when applied topically, as it has been for centuries. Honey is an organic product that does not contain chemicals and or preservatives. In fact, honey has a very long shelf life on its own and will probably outlast all of your current skin care products.

The natural sweetener nourishes the skin with nutrients that include vitamins B and C, amino acids and minerals. It has antibacterial properties that helps to speed healing and prevent infection, making it a great choice for acne prone skin. Honey is a humectant, which means that it attracts and locks in moisture and helps skin to glow. It does this without drying or oily effects, which makes it beneficial for both dry and oily skin types. Last, but certainly not least, honey has natural antioxidant and anti aging qualities. Younger looking skin sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it?

It’s no wonder there are so many skin care products on the market today that contain honey. You can even make your own honey based face mask at home. Check out some of our products that contain honey as a top ingredient and see the delicious results for yourself!