• Triple Threat

    Ahh… the changing seasons. Winter snow thaws, birds chirp, the sun shines brightly – and pollen flies. This season, many people will itch, sneeze and wheeze their way into spring. Although seasonal allergies plague many adults and kids alike, they’re not solely responsible for these annoying symptoms. Some allergic reactions, such as a peanut allergy, can cause problems and even be life-threatening. Luckily, scientists are busy exploring allergies, immune function and various treatments for these ailments. Last time, I wrote about pollution, which is just one of the four main environmental factors thought to be causing a sharp rise in allergies, along with childhood disease, general allergen levels and dietary changes. Of course, some allergies are experienced year-round and are typically due to mold or indoor allergens like dust mites.

    A Barrier Problem
    What about the rise in eczema? Most children born with eczema outgrow the flaky skin condition, but many go on to develop other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever. Could there be an inherited link? It turns out that, yes, there is in fact a genetic link between asthma, eczema and even peanut allergies. A new series of studies by the University of Dundee in Scotland have uncovered a genetic mutation in the filaggrin gene (a structural protein) that can result in all three of these conditions. According to the researchers, the filaggrin gene defect may be the ultimate factor predisposing an individual to develop eczema, asthma, and now even peanut allergies. In healthy people, filaggrin is converted to natural moisturizing factor (NMF). As the skin cells turn over, filaggrin breaks down into NMF which helps the skin retain water inside the cells. In people with the defective filaggrin mutation, the skin develops dry, itchy patches.
    According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, allergic diseases affect as many as 40 to 50 million Americans, and these statistics appear to be on the rise. While we do not have a cure for eczema just yet, it is important to identify triggers and manage symptoms – without kicking out the cat! Here’s some advice for helping to lessen symptoms:

    • Use products with anti-irritant properties, such as Oat extracts, and apply frequently.
    • Use emollients with ceramides, essential fatty acids and cholesterol to restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
    • Avoid heavily scented products and detergents
    • Spring clean your home- wash linens often and put filters on vents
    • Avoid hot showers, and always moisturize after washing.

    For more information, read the latest report here.

  • Time to get Mad, Mad as a March hare!

    The wonderful British saying “Mad as a March Hare” comes from the observed antics of hares that have long been thought to behave excitedly in March, which just so happens to be their mating season. Anything to get attention, right? When it comes to business and getting attention, you sometimes have to get a little mad, think differently and seize opportunities.

    One area of opportunity that is often missed by many business owners is Public Relations (PR). Gaining PR and media coverage is often easier than you think, especially in your local community. Why is PR important? In business, gaining new clients & retaining them is crucial to success, and effective PR helps you to do that. It is free and it gives you and your business a lot of credibility and stature. It helps establish the identity of your business and it gives you authority, whether you are a tiny, one-room jewel box or a mega full service spa. Media coverage, whether traditional, viral or social, is read or viewed by a large number of people and the landscape has also changed dramatically to our advantage. Media relations now encompasses so much more than magazines, newspapers, radio and TV thanks to social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Blogs), which allow us to engage, interact and listen to the consumer. This is so perfectly poised for our industry, which relies heavily upon personal recommendation.

    So where do you start? With your marketing calendar. This should already be planned out with promotions, events, new treatments and products. Goals such as client acquisition, retention, service and retail sales also should be integrated into the plan. You can then layer your PR plan and the media opportunities around these activities. Build your own media list, gather up every local magazine and newspaper, and jump online to capture the details of all your local health and beauty writers and bloggers. Find out who handles the calendar section of your local newspaper to get your event listed. Build your media kit and draft a press release about your business. Send it, email it, follow up and invite the editor in for a treatment.

    As the Donald (Trump) says: “You can have the most wonderful product or service in the world, but if people don’t know about it, it’s not going to be worth much. You need to generate interest, and you need to create excitement.” So let’s get a little mad, jump up and down like a Mad March Hare and get your business some much deserved attention. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

    To learn more about how to use public relations in your business, catch one of my Guest Speaker events: Put Your Spin on Skin. Being presented at IDI: Boston April 4, Denver April 18 and Houston August 22. Can’t wait to see you!

  • Sensitivity leaving you red in the face?

    Seasonal changes can bring about allergic flare-ups as well as increase your skin sensitivity. Since sensitized skin is a reflection of your environment, lifestyle and physiology, it can affect just about anyone. The changes in temperature, along with increasing pollution, pollen and even stronger UV rays, can all aggravate our skin. At this time, take notice of the changes in your environment and make some modifications to ensure they don’t get the best of you and your skin heath.
    Seasonal allergies are reported to affect at least 20% of the population. In fact, the combination of pollution and allergies may be the reason behind the increasingly rising number of people suffering during this season. Recent news reports have been downright ominous. A recent study has shown that children who grow up on farms were less likely to have asthma and other allergic sensitivities than children living in cities. Another study found that pollution can cause more heart attacks in a population than cocaine use!

    In this day and age, you want to shield yourself against the environmental aggressors that can wear you down, especially if living in metropolitan areas. Skin can not only become dehydrated and cracked, but it can also grow susceptible to harmful bacteria and allergens that make their way into your body. Not to mention, pollution has been linked to accelerated skin aging. While you want to treat inflammation and the accompanying redness, you may want to shield your skin with barrier-repairing ingredients as well as neutralize the appearance of redness on the skin.

    Some key ingredients to shield your skin:
    • Natural green minerals to counter redness commonly associated with sensitized skin conditions
    • Oat extracts for anti-irritant properties
    • Ginger as anti-inflammatory
    • Yeast extract to stimulate oxygenation of the skin and improve circulation
    • Anti-oxidants including vitamins and botanical polyphenols
    • Broad-spectrum sun protection

    Interested in learning more about skin sensitivity? Check out my upcoming events in Chicago and Toronto.


  • march is national women’s history month

    Jane WurwandDuring the month of March, I challenge you and invite you to share your story as a working woman whether inside or outside of the home. What messages and lessons did you get from other women in your life? What obstacles have you faced? What objectives and goals keep you up at night? What was your Mother’s deepest wish for you, and how was it expressed? What is your deepest wish for your own daughter? And, were you raised by, or are you yourself, a “Tiger Mother”?

    As you know, our company is all about education. And in an even deeper sense, our dedication to education means social change for women. As such, I am excited and proud to report that more than 400 Dermalogica stockists – including skin treatment centers, spas and salons – are hosting in-store consumer events to raise awareness and dollars for FITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship). FITE, as you know from reading our site and blog, is the new women’s initiative which will help a minimum of 25,000 women around the world start or grow a business. Consumers and companies can participate in many ways, starting with purchasing a Dermalogica product which has been tagged for the cause!

    Featured entreprenuer Sophea Chum

    But it’s not just about our campaign. So please share with us your story. We’d like to post as many of these stories as possible to our blog, in the newly-created “Comments” area. We’ll publish as many of your responses as possible. In honor of National Women’s History Month, I am committed to making this blog an interactive forum, so please – I want to hear from you!

    Meanwhile – if you’re shopping for Dermalogica, snap up a product with the FITE promotional sleeve, redeem the product code, and help a woman get her business rolling!

    And attend a FITE event near you (check the locations here) – who says a good cause can’t be fun?

  • Spring Clean… Inside and Out!

    As temperatures start to rise and we shed those layers of winter clothing, we are often led to a renewed commitment towards improving our health and wellbeing. Capitalize on this by sharing tips with your clients about how they can Spring Clean their skin and body – not just their closets! Create fact sheets for a clean diet & lifestyle, map their skin and adapt their seasonal skin care routine by offering “Spring into Your New Skin” treatments that feature deep cleansing or detoxifying body therapies. If you have clients who begin new fitness regimens and diets, encourage them to receive a renewing body or skin treatment instead of rewarding their good work with a naughty, red velvet cupcake!

    Here are some healthy tips for you to share with your clients:

    • Kick start the day and boost the immune system with freshly squeezed or juiced fruits and raw vegetables. Organic, green, leafy vegetables, carrots and berries are packed with nutrients and immediately recharge and energize the body to promote glowing skin.

    • Forgo that cup of joe and switch to antioxidant herbal teas like Rooibos, a red tea from South Africa that is packed with antioxidants.

    • Take up the morning ritual of dry body brushing before you shower. Doing so exfoliates, increases blood and lymph circulation and helps expel toxins through the sweat glands to internally clean the skin and body.

    • The stress, sleep and weight relationship are strongly connected. Massage a calming aromatherapy blend into the lower spine, across the shoulders and into the scalp as part of your night time habit to de-stress and gain better quality sleep.

    • Get back your glow and banish dull winter skin by incorporating daily exfoliation to your regimen if you haven’t already. After cleansing thoroughly, apply a resurfacing serum beneath your daily moisturizer with SPF.