News

  • A New Year’s Resolution for the Healthiest of Skin!

    With the holiday and New Year celebrations taking their toll on our skins, now is the time to talk damage recovery with your clients. Here’s to a New Year’s resolution for the healthiest of skins!

    1. When your clients look in the mirror and their skin is shouting “I’m tired!” give it a great pick-me-up by using a skin brightening microfoliation containing Rice Bran Powder, which will create a fantastic luminosity to the skin. Follow with a 10 minute “super skin feed” using a multivitamin face masque. Once the masque is removed, apply a skin firming booster. The organic silicones in this type of product act like an invisible “support tight” over the skin and the mesh-like base also creates a super canvas for a great make-up application.

    2. Since alcohol is so dehydrating to the body and makes the skin more sensitized, make sure your clients carry a calming mist in their bag. This will not only add much needed hydration to the skin’s surface but it will also calm and reduce the redness. It can be easily spritzed over make-up.

    3. When nights out become mornings after and skin looks dry and dull, treat it to an overnight, oil-based serum to replenish lost lipids and moisture and rebuild collagen. Apply in the evening and let the essential oils work with the body’s own circadian rhythms to leave skin silky soft and luminous.

    4. How to handle the tell-tale dark circles around the eyes? In Chinese medicine, shadows under eyes are indicative of stress on the kidneys and liver (which makes sense after lots of parties and late nights). You can’t instantly get rid of dark circles, but helping the body detox, rest and revitalize through good nutrition and exercise will all help greatly. For a temporary quick fix, use products that contain anti-inflammatories and optical light diffusers, which are often combined in a light concealer make-up base and act as a multitude of ‘microscopic mirrors’ that deflect the light and decrease shadow lines.

    I wish you a happy and wonderful New Year!

  • Holiday Season Skin Survival

    Heather HickmanHow to have fun AND ensure your skin makes it into the New Year in one piece!

    I hate to be the one to break it to you, but only Rudolf can carry off the “red nose” look with any semblance of finesse. So, if your clients are suffering from glowing noses and rosy cheeks this winter, it’s time to provide a few home truths and crusade for party season skin survival.

    A good place to start is triggers and tripwires that may be the root cause of redness and sensitivity; here are a few main ones that you may come across this holiday season:

    1. Alcohol: Although we know it is not the cause of Rosacea or sensitivity, alcohol, especially in excess, dilates blood vessels, making a red face look redder. In a survey of 700 Rosacea suffers published in the “Rosacea Review,” certain alcoholic beverages saw a higher percentage of redness occur after consumption; these include beer, red wine, vodka and tequila… so maybe skip the shots? Also try turning down the “one for the road” (or “road soda” as they’re known in my circle) and alternate drinks with a tall glass of water. And don’t forget your designated driver!

    2. Diet: If you pig out this season, remember that heavy meals put a strain on your system in general, especially your digestive system. This will result in a higher blood flow to the digestive system, and in turn, a higher residual blood flow to the face. Smaller meals spread throughout the day will help to avoid the strain. And remember: Simple Carbohydrates. Are. Not. Your. Friend! They enter the bloodstream quickly, causing hyperglycemia. This rapid influx of sugar into the bloodstream is a potent vasodilator.

    3. Smoking: Strange things happen to some people at parties, a couple of glasses of wine and they’re outside having a sneaky cigarette giggling like teenagers… you know who you are! Smoking has so many adverse effects on the skin it’s hard to know where to start, but skin dehydration is one of them as well as the depletion of Vitamin C and how this affects collagen production, and of course collagen supports the capillaries. Find an alternative. Have a carrot, chew a matchstick, dance a holiday jig, just don’t do it! If you’re a committed smoker, it’s never too late to quit… New Years’ Resolution… pinky swear?

    Now before you start posting comments about me being the “Queen of the Party Poopers,” I’m not saying don’t have fun this holiday season – far from it – I’m just saying do it in MODERATION, your skin will thank you for it in 2012!

    Happy Holidays!

  • Cold Weather and Skin – a Dangerous Combination!

    Sharon MaxwellAre you suffering with that winter itch, the kind where you want to just scratch your skin off?! The skin becomes dry and irritated as we face wind, central heating and low humidity. The harsh weather can strip the skin’s natural protective barrier, creating gaps in the outer most Stratum Corneum layer, allowing water to escape (dehydration) and irritants to get in (sensitivity). The dry environment may be responsible for the itchy sensations, as the inflammatory response kicks in and releases histamines. It can exacerbate inflammatory skin diseases such as rosacea, eczema, ichthyosis, and psoriasis, which suffer an impaired barrier function. Just like the eyelids, the skin on the lips is extra thin and sensitive, which can suffer greatly during the harsh winters, resulting in dry cracked, sore lips. The winter dryness looks bleak, but what can we do to alleviate these symptoms? Try this:

    • Back to Basics – start with a creamy, soap-free, acid balanced cleanser, a hydrating spritz with humectants, and a protective moisturizer with SPF15-30.
    • Supplement with a hydrating serum or masque that includes a high dose of Hyaluronic Acid (which holds 1000 x its own weight in water).
    • Target sensitized skin with calming complexes such as oats, Bisabolol, Ginger and Red Hogweed, which reduce those uncomfortable sensations.
    • Treat skin while you sleep with a peptide serum rich in Argan Oil that provides fatty acids, plant sterols, Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid to reinforce the barrier lipid layer.
    • Reduce the temperature of your bath and shower, use bath oils, and apply body moisturizer immediately after your shower (within 3 minutes).
    • Do not over bathe, over strip, and be too harsh with the skin. Treat it gently and with respect!
    • Avoid licking lips, as digestive enzymes and bacteria in saliva can damage the lips. Use a nourishing lip balm with Shea Butter and Avocado.

  • Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful!

    Holly SherrardOh the weather outside is frightful… at least in the Canadian great white north! Chapped lips, flaky skin, dehydration and sensitization are all symptoms people face when the temperature drops. When clients seek our advice to treat their winter skin, it gives us the chance to create insanely great treatments and alleviate uncomfortable skin conditions!

    So what can you do during a winter skin treatment? Start by offering clients a warm drink upon arrival, such as an herbal tea or mulled cider in celebration of the holiday season. Heated neck pillows, which soothe muscular stress from holiday shopping bags and alleviate cold winter chills, are perfect to get clients relaxed. They may also enjoy changing into a heated wrap, robe and slippers before climbing into a warmed bed.

    During the treatment, we must always customize according to what skin conditions we see – skin treatments are not one-size-fits-all. When it comes to exfoliation for example, consider your options. Professional exfoliation removes dull surface cells and prepares the skin for optimal penetration of active ingredients. Mechanical exfoliants remove surface flakes, while chemical exfoliants, such as Lactic Acid, have multiple effects such as increasing hydration and decreasing pigmentation.

    For skin that is sensitized, use ingredients such as Red Hogweed, Oat Kernel and Ginger to reduce inflammation and redness. To reinforce the barrier lipid layer, look for Colloidal Oatmeal, Evening Primrose and Borage Seed oils.

    Massage techniques will vary according to clients’ needs and wants. Although a deep, stress-relieving massage may feel wonderful on a dry, aging skin, a sensitized skin will benefit more from Chinese Acupressure. No matter the method of massage chosen, keep in mind the physiological and psychological benefits of touch – decreased stress and anxiety, positive effects on brain waves, breathing and immunity and pain reduction. Our touch is the perfect gift for a client to receive.

    Body treatments should include ingredients like Ginger and Wasabi, which have warming and anti-inflammatory properties and plant oils like Olive and Grape seed to minimize evaporation of water, which can lead to body chills.

    We never want a client to feel like they have simply been steamed and creamed with lotions and potions, so it is important that we leave them with home care advice to maintain excellent results from the treatment. Be sure they know about these important steps for at-home treatment of their skin:

    • Dry body brushing is one of the best ways to remove dead, dry skin cells, improve lymphatic circulation and increase cell turnover. This technique should be done daily in the direction of lymphatic flow.

    • Shower once every other day and use warm (not hot) water. Use mild cleansers only on necessary areas, and minimize the length of time in the shower or bath. While skin is still wet, apply conditioning oils such as Vitamin E, Grape Seed, Olive, Kukui Nut or Apricot Seed Oil to prevent water loss. Follow with a rich moisturizer with conditioning ingredients such as silicones, Shea Butter, and Evening Primrose Oil.

    • For clients experiencing dryness and dehydration on the face, ensure they use a mild, acid-balanced cleanser. Layer hydrating ingredients onto the skin such as a toner enriched with Hyaluronic Acid, a serum or concentrate to minimize inflammation, a moisturizer and daylight protection.

    • Drinking plenty of water will maintain hydration levels internally; however it does not always solve epidermal dehydration.

    When the holiday bustle leaves our clients feeling overwhelmed or stressed, make your environment delightful and ‘let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!’

  • IDI International Congress: Shed the Red

    Dr Claudia AguirreI had the pleasure of heading over to Scandinavia this fall to present an IDI congress on all things red…that is, inflammation and some of the diseases associated with it. Covering Sweden, Finland and Norway, I spoke about sensitive skin, eczema, rosacea and the inflammatory process. We had such a great turn-out at all locations and the students were amazing. Not to mention, I got to experience Sweden’s medieval Gamla Stan, Norwegian fjords and a traditional Finnish sauna!

    Everyone was so welcoming and eager to learn more! What a great market. I hope to visit back soon and continue to help IDI provide the best education a skin care therapist could ask for.

  • Promotions to Get Your Clients in the Holiday Spirit!

    Don’t you just love the gift giving season, when your til has the chance to ring in ‘merriment’ as the holiday shoppers spend, spend, spend! To capitalize on the good fortune this season brings, why not consider running one or more of the following promotions or incorporating some of these ideas?

    The Gift Giving Tree: Create a gift tree to encourage clients to purchase products for themselves during the month of December, and to book in for (paying) treatments during the high gift voucher redemption season of January and February. Decorate the tree with different colored envelopes, each envelop containing a ‘gifted special offer.’ A client can choose a colored envelope after they have made a retail purchase, the color is based according to their retail spend. For example:

    Green: $50 – $100 purchase = $20 add on value. Example: free eyelash tint or eye brow wax when having skin treatment

    Red: $100 – $150 purchase = $25 add on value. Example: complimentary exfoliation upgrade with a 60 minute skin treatment.

    The envelopes can contain a voucher for a treatment and/or add on booked in the New Year (Jan and Feb). Be sure to make note who received what color envelope so that in the New Year you can contact them to encourage they use it!

    Gift Vouchers: Buy 2 gift vouchers with a combined value of $200 or more and receive a complimentary 30 minute skin treatment.

    Special Offer: Receive a complimentary $50.00 gift voucher towards your next treatment/product purchase when you purchase one of our Holiday Packages. Example of a holiday package:

    Ready to Party: Valued at $250.00
    • 45 minute skin treatment
    • 30 minute body exfoliation
    • Spray Tan
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Eyelash tint
    • Eyebrow wax

    In the Mood: Welcome your client with a warm drink, perhaps hot chocolate and a marshmallow or a warm herbal tea with a ginger bread person. If it’s an evening treatment, consider offering hot mulled wine and mince pie. Have some fun and bring some festivity into your center, perhaps you could consider renaming your treatment rooms over the holiday season e.g. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh or Cinnamon, Clove and Ginger.

    Holiday Themed Treatments: Standard treatments or packages on your menu can be renamed for the holiday season to match the theme. For example: All Wrapped Up (body wrap), Prancer the Pedicure, Holiday Rock (hot stone massage), etc. Incorporate essential oils such as Clove and Cinnamon in your oil burners or body treatments, or burn holiday season scented candles in the treatment room to create the holiday mood.

    To Give is Better Than to Receive: Have a wall of Christmas stockings, each associated with a local charity. Every time a client receives a treatment in the month of December or makes a product purchase, you will make a donation to the charity of their choice (for example, 5% of the value). Your clients can also make a personal donation of a product, gift voucher, or a monetary donation as well.

    New Year, New You Treatment: To accommodate all the New Year’s resolutions to get fit and look after yourself better, have something that caters for the entire well being of the body such as a skin treatment focused on hydration, exfoliation and rejuvenation, a manicure and pedicure, body exfoliation and massage, eyelash tint with brow shape and waxing.

    Good luck and best wishes for the Holiday Season!