Balance Within, Massage and Skin
Taking care of yourself is more than a luxury


Customized Skin Care For Your Skin





 All Treatments are individually customized for your skins needs, type and sensitivities 

Using cosmeceuticals and medical grade skin care products that will enhance the health of your skin while bringing back that youthful glow and minimizing the appearance of fine lines

You will Love the Results!

Product Lines
Glymed Plus
Organic Color Up Therapeutics


  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Fine lines
  • Brown spots
  • Sensitive skin
  • Hydration
  • Chemical peels
  • Derma-planing Exfoliation
  • Aging skin
  • Menopausal Skin
  • Any other skin care concerns you may have
  • Micro-current & Ultrasonic infused Treatments


All Customized Facials include a luxurious face, neck and shoulder massage.  Enhance your Customized Facial by incorporating ultrasonic and/or micro-current technology.  See additional services and products listed below to increase you benefits and total experience.


Antioxidant Facial 60 mins $99 -$130
This relaxing treatment will hydrate and improve the circulation of your environmentally stressed skin.  If you cant resist being outdoors, your skin will benefit from this herbal remedy procedure created to nourish your cells and saturate your skin with vital hydration.

Age Management Facial dehydrated or challenged skin  60 mins $99-$130
The age management treatment is more that just a facial.  By incorporating gentle acting alpha hydroxy acids with skin balancing ingredients, your skin care technician will mix the relaxation of a facial with the benefits of mildly active ingredients resulting in a more refined, smooth texture.

Acne Management Facial For mild to moderate acne  60 mins $99-$130
Acne is not just a teen age problem and can strike at any age on the face or back.  This clinical facial provides effective remedies for  both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne.  Those experiencing the initial symptoms of acne including uneven complexion, blackheads, and excessive oil will benefit from this treatment.

Rosacea Facial 60 mins $99-$130
Rosacea is an extremely common disease that leads to a chronic acne form disorder of the facial hair follicle and associated oil glands.  Common symptoms of this condition include an increase reactivity of capillaries to heat,  leading to flushing and ultimately a localization of spidery, distended blood capillaries.  The goal of your treatments will be to reduce the inflammation that leads to the flushing and kill bacteria associated with the condition.

TEEN FACIAL  60 mins $95
Teen skin is in the process of morphing into adult skin. This facial is focused on balancing the skin and controlling the oil outflow through this hormonal change.  We will discuss foods that can exacerbate acne as well as how and the best time for cleansing the skin.

Derma-Planing Exfoliation Treatment 60 Mins $130
Derma-planing is a form of exfoliation using a sterile scalpel blade to “shave off” surface dead skin cells. Additional results of this process is the fine “peach fuzz” hairs on your face are also removed, leaving you with the smoothest skin possible. After your derma-planing treatment, we will provide nourishment the skin with hydrating serums and cooling masks to enhance your skin’s radiance.

Youth Enhancing Facial: 90 mins $130 For frail, dryer, menopausal, sensitive skins
This 90 min powerful Peptide Wrinkle Preventive Facial treatment combines the benefits of minerals, amino acids with natural antioxidants, and nutrients for skin health. This combination of the highest therepeutic levels of ingredients commands the skin to prevent wrinkling by slowing the mechanism of facial contraction by relaxing the muscles and firming with active vitamins. Micro-current technology included with this treatment. Your fine lines will virtually disappear! 

Cocktail Lift Skin Care Treatment: 90 mins $130
This 90 minute treatment uses micro current technology making this is the perfect “Mini Lift Treatment".  The focus of this treatment is on the skins connections to the underlying muscles, lines and wrinkles.  This treatment will enhances cellular energy and reeducates the muscles while improving your skin’s texture, facial contours, and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.  The results are a younger looking you!  Maximum results have been clinically proven when home care includes with bt-Cocktail products.  

Enhance Your Treatment With These
Additional Services 

Pumpkin Enzyme Peel $20

Ultrasonic Exfoliation $20*

Micro Current Treatment  $20*  *Combination $36 Add this for the Best Treatment

Face Cupping Massage  $20

Eye Treatments  $10+

Hydrating Hand Treatment  $20

Mitts or Boots $10 ea $15 for both

Chi Machine  $1 Per min



Newsletter Articles 

A Case for Chocolate

Extrinsic Aging

Long Live Cells with Vitamin E

Dermasound TM Elite Treatments

Nutrition Offers UV Shield

Your Skin Tells a Story

Attaining and Maintaining Healthy Skin

An Introduction to Esthetic Chrissy Spears

Invest In Your Skin
Why Choose Quality Skin Care Products? Greg Hagin

The Face of Winter
How to Protect Your Skin in the Dry, Cold Months Barbara Hey

Turn Back The Clock
Address Aging Skin Appropriately

Ultrasonic Skin Treatments

This is a superior alternative to microdermabrasion for all skin types and for patients with sensitive skin.  This ultrasonic clinical skin care treatment uses low frequency sound waves to perform your skin therapy in a unique and highly effective service in a revolutionary way. 

The ultrasonic waves provides superior exfoliation, deep cleaning with hydration and moisture penetration.  This unique treatment also intensifies the peeling action of chemical peels for better results than you have ever experienced.

A process called "cavitation" to whirl away dead skin cells and debris gently and safely. With ultrasonic waves you get a superior peel, but without the inflammation of other chemical methods.  Combine this with an enzyme peel for the ultimate results.

This treatment provides your skin care specialist with a new technology for deeper-reaching topical antioxidant treatment. Through a process called sonophoresis, ultrasonic waves creates pathways into the skin through which cosmeceuticals can flow to nourish and help heal at the cellular level.

Better Healing  Your aesthetician can provide "micro-current" therapy as part of a complete skin-treatment to help balance and return traumatized skin cells to normal function.  When a cell has been damaged due to environmental causes, like overexposure to the sun or aging, the cell's electrical current is adversely effected, restricting the flow of nutrients into the cell and waste products out of the cell. This condition makes it difficult for cells to heal. This phase helps normalize the electric current within the cells and promotes healing, cell regeneration and resiliency. The added Micro-current Therapy breathes new life into tired, injured and aging skin.  Post-surgical patients do benefit and accelerate their healing with this complete skin restoring and healing treatment.

The Final Result  Smoother, healthier and younger-looking skin, when used regularly along with an appropriate home care program. In skin care it's important to know that, no matter what the procedure, there are no instant fixes. Long-term results are achieved when this treatment is performed regularly — one treatment can't substitute for a series of treatments. The results are cumulative as your skin benefits from regular care.

Micro-current and Ultrasonic Skincare Therapy is not recommended for those individuals who have a pacemaker, are dealing with epilepsy, currently in a cancer care health program,  or are pregnant. 

Attaining and Maintaining Healthy Skin
An Introduction to Esthetic Chrissy Spehar

Everyone wants healthy, glowing skin, but attaining a beautiful complexion often requires a delicate combination of art and science. That's where skin care professionals come in. Often called aestheticians, skin care practitioners analyze skin types and provide treatment plans to help clients achieve their skin care goals. Working with the top layer of the skin, aestheticians are specially trained and licensed in a variety of techniques and products to tailor treatments for each client's individual needs and desires.

 Why a Professional? Professionals give personal guidance on the latest in skin care maintenance. Central to this specialty is the use of creams, lotions, wraps, clay or gel masks, and salt scrubs. Some technicians may also utilize machines to help deliver high-tech services. Esthetic practice is different from dermatology practice in that it specifically excludes diagnosis, prescription, or any other service, procedure, or therapy that requires a medical license. If you're being treated by a dermatologist, your aesthetician will provide complementary and support therapies. In addition, aestheticians are trained to recognize early signs of many medical conditions, including skin cancer, and will refer you to a dermatologist when such care may be necessary. 

What Is Right For Me? "The benefits of seeing a well-trained, licensed skin care professional on a regular basis are multiple," says Alison O'Neil Andrew, a licensed aesthetician and founder of Atlanta-based Beauty Becomes You, a nonprofit esthetics foundation for the elderly. She says, "General maintenance, correction, and prevention are all offered through the services of an esthetician." Skin care professionals are experts trained in skin wellness, helping clients balance oil and moisture content and achieve a healthy, youthful complexion. A variety of treatments and products are used to protect skin from environmental hazards and combat fine lines, wrinkles, and a dull, uneven skin tone.  

Estheticians are also skilled in managing conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and dry skin, to name just a few. Through specialized therapies and remedies, a skin care professional can help ease the burdens such conditions can cause. 

Furthermore, skin care treatments are wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating. If smooth and healthy skin is your goal our skin care professional will benefit you. 

First Timers' Fears Getting a skin treatment should be relaxing and enjoyable. During your first appointment, your skin care professional will discuss your skin care issues and goals. You will be asked about your genealogy, lifestyle (stress, exercise, diet), and the products you've used, all of which give the practitioner insight into your skin's current condition. She/he will also visually evaluate your skin, observing it up close and touching it to evaluate tone, texture, and sun damage. Once the practitioner has studied your skin, the two of you will work together to determine a course of action to achieve your goals. This plan will likely include treatments, home care, and follow-up appointments. After the experience, you will likely be relaxed, more confident, and looking forward to your next visit. 

 Education, Homework, and Results In addition,  providing face and body treatments for personal use, skin care professionals educate clients on proper cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating, and stimulating regimens for home care support between visits. Aestheticians may also supply you with information on lifestyle choices, such as nutrition and exercise, to further support your skin health. "Skin changes from season to season, year to year, even when you move from place to place," says O'Neil Andrew. "Conditions arise at different points in your life due to stress, hormones, or other physical changes going on in your body. Your skin care therapist will know what you should use and when to change your program." 

 Types of Treatments The following therapies are popular treatments you are likely to see on an esthetic's menu of services:

- Chemical Peel: An exfoliation process usually used to minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

- Exfoliation: Removal of dead skin cells, manually or using chemical peels.

- Extraction: Proper pore cleansing, the removal of blackheads, whiteheads, and blocked pores.

- Facials: After analysis, cleansing, and preparation, a mask is applied to the face. Therapeutic ingredients vary based on skin type.

- Microdermabrasion: A technique utilizing a machine to exfoliate the uppermost layers of the skin. Used to treat hyperpigmentation and uneven surface texture. In some states, microdermabrasion can only be performed by a physician or by aesthetician who meet certain requirements and/or who are supervised by a physician.

- Waxing: Hair-removal technique. Warm wax is applied to the skin, allowed to cool, then removed. 

Healthy skin is attainable if you set yourself on the right path to achieve it. "Remember that skin care does not have to be complicated or require a myriad of different products," O'Neil Andrew explains. "It just has to be something you do everyday. 

See your aesthetician regularly and take care of your skin daily, and you will always have the beautiful skin you are looking for."



Invest In Your Skin
Why Choose Quality Skin Care Products? Greg Hagin

Over-the-counter (OTC) skin care products are generally less expensive and sometimes more convenient to purchase than professional products available from your aestheticians. But it's important to be a savvy consumer in this choice. After all, paying a cheaper price for something that doesn't produce the results you want--and then doing it again and again in an attempt to find a cheap product that does work-- ultimately does not save you money or time. Cheaper products are generally of lesser value and not as effective as their professional counterparts. An investment in quality skin care products, combined with customized services, can help you achieve your skin care goals and the complexion you desire. 

Establish a History  When receiving a service from your aestheticians, be sure to explain the details of your skin history. Your aestheticians will be better able to provide you with the proper products and services if she knows the following: What are your skin care goals? What percentage of time do you spend indoors versus outdoors? What is your diet like? Water intake? By giving your aestheticians the background and context of life in your skin, literally, the two of you will together create a foundation for moving forward with treatments. 

Rely on Expertise  Because labeling in the United States is subject only to Food and Drug Administration regulation, labels can be misleading, as well as hard to interpret. Your skin care professional knows how to read a label and can explain the benefits, drawbacks, and purpose of the ingredients listed on the label. Because of her/his training and expertise, your aestheticians is vastly more knowledgeable than a clerk selling cosmetics in a retail store. Consequently, you can trust that the information you're receiving is valid, that your aestheticians can recognize effective ingredients versus fillers, and that the professional products you are considering have been well developed and researched. 

Customized Service  Contrary to what OTC brands would lead consumers to believe, our skin and bodies are unique. OTC products rely on the trial-and-error, one-size-fits-all approach. On the other hand, your aesthetician is in the business of providing personalized skin care solutions. The use of professional diagnostic tools like skin scanners, woods lamps, and imaging devices can help specifically identify your skin type, aiding in the development of a plan to achieve your desired result. It is a huge advantage to work directly with your aesthetician to assess the situation, document it, develop a treatment plan, and track effectiveness. Complementing professional products with specified services will produce the ultimate result.  

Convenience?  It may be convenient to buy skin care products at the drugstore, where one also can pick up other personal care goods and some motor oil. Heck, while you're at it, you can also buy a case of soda and some dog food. But buying decisions shouldn't always be based on convenience. Just because there is a garage nearby, doesn't mean you automatically take our car there. You want to be sure you trust the mechanic and that he is experienced with the kind of car you drive. Another example: if you have a special occasion, you might prefer to choose from the wine selection at a specialty store instead of a drugstore. And many people drive long distances to get their hair done by someone they trust and with whom they have built a relationship.  

This heightened interest in finding just the right professional applies to skin care as well. And when you're talking about something as important as your face, professional expertise far outweighs convenience. Your aestheticians will help you establish a proper skin care regimen and continually assess the changing needs of your complexion, ensuring you're getting the right products and services at the right time. 

Price and Value  Mass-market strategists spend millions on advertising under the assumption they will make it back on sales volume. To maximize profits, producers cut back on production costs, often resulting in cheaper, less effective ingredients and no cutting-edge research and development. You may be paying for the label and not what's inside the bottle. 

Furthermore, while professional skin care products do carry a higher price than OTC products, professional lines are more valuable. Here's why: The brand lines your aestheticians has available are often more concentrated than OTC products, although they may seem more expensive, in the long run, the price difference between the two is not as great as it appears. Professional skin care products are more exclusive because in almost every case, they are better: they have been well researched, they contain higher quality ingredients, and they are ultimately more effective. Choosing professional products will help you achieve your skin care goals more quickly and effectively. 

The Bottom Line  The return on your investment in professional skin care products is much greater than with OTC lines. Generally, professional products are more effective, are made of higher quality ingredients, and have been well developed and researched. 

In addition, because your aestheticians knows you, and because she/he has expertise in product ingredients--and your skin specifically--you can be confident that you're getting a customized treatment plan designed to achieve your skin care goals. 

Investing in quality skin care cosmetics will quickly pay off, helping you achieve the complexion you desire. Professional products and services are worth it, because you're worth it.

The Face of Winter
How to Protect Your Skin in the Dry, Cold Months Barbara Hey

Winter can be tough on skin, but there's much you can do to defend against the assaults of the season. The skin's primary role -- to protect the body -- is ever more important in extreme weather, and in most locations, that means extreme cold outside and dry, over-heated air inside during the winter. Your epidermis must "weather" these drastic fluctuations in temperature, and often the result is chapped, scaly, flaky skin.

Facing the Frost  The biggest wintertime concern is dehydration. In colder climates, you definitely need to increase the protection quotient. "You must over-treat skin to keep it hydrated," says Barbara Schumann-Ortega, vice president of Wilma Schumann Skin Care in Coral Gables, Florida. That means a shift from lighter skin care products used during warmer months to winter-weight products, such as thicker, cream-based cleansers and moisturizers. These will provide stronger barriers against the harsh environment of winter months. And this is especially important for the face. And if much time is spent outdoors skiing, snowboarding, or walking, for example, your complexion needs heavy-duty protection from brisk wind and winter sun as well. 

"People often forget about sunscreen in the winter," says Schumann-Ortega. For regular outdoor time -- a few hours a day -- a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 should be sufficient. But if a winter trip on the slopes or shore is part of the plan, sunscreen with a higher protective factor is needed, even if your time is spent beneath an umbrella. "Both snow and sand reflect the sun," she says, so don't be caught unprepared. Double your efforts to protect the parts of the face particularly prone to display the effects of dryness: The lips and the area around the eyes need a continual shield against the elements. Ask your skin care professional which products are appropriate for your skin type and effective, seasonal moisturizers and sunscreens.

"When it's cold, you lose blood flow to the skin," says Schumann-Ortega. The result is a dry, dull tone. Facial treatments can increase circulation and rejuvenate a healthy glow. But, Schumann-Ortega cautions, be careful with peels and resurfacing treatments during the winter, as they can do more damage than good with skin that's already taxed from the harsh environmental conditions.  

Winterizing the Body  It's not just the face that suffers in the winter. Skin everywhere dries out, and gets that flaky look and uncomfortable winter itch. Hot baths -- a delightful antidote to the chill -- can further exacerbate dry skin. The solution? Add 10 drops of an aromatic essential oil to the bath to moisturize as you soak. (Lavender is particularly soothing to dry skin.) Then apply an emollient moisturizer -- a product that feels particularly thick and creamy to the touch, like a body butter -- geared for extra dry, rough, chapped, or cracked skin. Apply it immediately after drying off, when the skin can most readily absorb the lotion and restore its barrier. If dryness is still bothersome, indulge in a salt rub and full-body conditioning wrap to remoisturize.

And don't forget feet and hands. The feet, hidden by socks and boots all winter long, often go neglected this time of year and need attention, but the most obvious casualties of winter are the hands. Exposed to the elements and the subject of frequent hand-washing during the cold and flu season, hands can turn to rawhide just as holiday parties go into full swing -- not an elegant look for holding onto a champagne flute. 

This is the season to slather hands with heavy, oil-rich cream at night and cover them with gloves. And don't forget feet: they also require the same special care. Consider a moisturizer for them in the evenings and sleep with socks on. In the morning, your feet and hands will feel soft and moisturized. Your skin care professional can recommend appropriate gloves, socks, and a home-care routine for this process. In addition, treat hands and feet to regular spa treatments to exfoliate dead skin cells, and paraffin treatments to replenish and moisturize. 

Relax and Enjoy It  In winter, and all seasons, stress can disrupt even the best skin. "We always ask clients what's going on in life, since adrenaline, holiday pressures, and even joy can have an effect on body chemistry," says Schumann-Ortega. The skin reflects it all. "Some clients may come in after four weeks and they look like a train wreck," she says. So do your best to minimize the effects of stress with exercise, meditation, and proper diet. And don't skimp on the self-care. Schedule time for pampering, relaxing treatments. 

Some final tips: 

- Drink water. Even when there's a chill in the air and thirst isn't overwhelming, water consumption needs to be high to combat the dry air. 
- Avoid products with a high percentage of synthetic ingredients (propylene glycol, petroleum), chemical detergents (sodium laurel sulfates), and artificial colors and fragrances.
- Employ quality skin care products suited to your skin type. 
- Check your medications. Illness and ongoing pharmaceuticals can upset pH balance. 
- Incorporate nutritional supplements into your skin health regimen, such as essential fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, and B vitamins. 

Winter doesn't have to take its long, hard toll on your skin. Ask your skin care professional about hydrating products and circulation-enhancing treatments to ease the long, dry months of winter. After all, spring is just around the corner.



Turn Back The Clock
Address Aging Skin Appropriately
Christine Spehar 

Someone once said, "Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician." The signs of aging are obvious-- wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, age spots, enlarged pores, hormonal imbalances. Yet, we live in an age where skin care is at its most advanced, allowing us to prevent and treat the signs of aging like never before. 

The Problems  First, let's take a look at how the aging process affects our skin, and then hear from the experts about how to combat those effects.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles  There are two types of wrinkles that show up as we age--dynamic wrinkles and wrinkles caused by sun damage or lifestyle choices. "Dynamic wrinkles are often hereditary and are influenced by muscle contraction and relaxation," says Alison O'Neil Andrew, a licensed aesthetician and founder of Atlanta-based Beauty Becomes You Foundation, a nonprofit organization for seniors.  

Sun exposure, overly abrasive products, smoking, poor nutrition, and other unhealthy lifestyle choices can also damage skin. Add to that the skin's own aging process: "The cell renewal process slows down. Fibroblast cells, which are the things that generate collagen and elastin, decrease their production," says Robin Carter, licensed aesthetician and manager of esthetics at Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc., located in Deerfield, New Hampshire. "Also, the skin naturally loses moisture as we age, so it has a tendency to wrinkle more easily the older we get." 

Skin Discoloration/Age Spots  "Sun damage is the biggest cause of skin discoloration or texture changes and can show up as early as the teenage years," O'Neil Andrew says. "The intensity of the damage caused will appear even more, starting in the late thirties. Symptoms include changes in pigmentation, brown discolored spots on the skin, and splotchiness of the skin following a burn." 

Sun exposure can lead to things worse than blotchy skin, however. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States." Be sure to visit your doctor if you see a spot on your skin that has irregular size, shape, or coloring, or if there are significant changes to already existing spots.  

Sagging Skin  As we age, skin becomes less firm and under the weight of gravity, can start to lack definition. "Our skin begins to lose its elasticity as we get older and as collagen production slows," Carter says. "Subcutaneous tissue is responsible for giving our skin a fresh, plump look, and we start to lose some of that padding, particularly on our face, as time goes on. This can cause sagging skin."

Hormonal Changes  While dry skin is a common complaint of maturation, hormonal fluctuations may cause the opposite problem. "Women who are going through menopause experience hormonal shifts that cause the skin's oil to get thicker," Carter says. "This can cause clogged pores that can lead to papules and pimples." 

Enlarged Pores  Though pore size is genetically predetermined, pores can look as if they increase in size over time as skin loses elasticity and pores stretch. Skin may also lose its ability to clear away dead skin cells efficiently, leading to clogged pores. "In this case, it's not that the pore is actually bigger, it is just more visible because it is not as smooth as it should be," says Celia Lang, Palisades, New York-based spa manager and licensed aesthetician for Weleda North America, a natural skin care company.  

The Solutions  Though time will continue marching on, there are ways to help ourselves age gracefully.  

Deep Cleanse  Clearing blocked pores is important for maintaining radiant skin and ensuring the skin is ready for optimal moisture absorption. However, it is crucial to be more gentle with mature skin than with younger skin. Strong cleansers, abrasive scrubs, and extractions should be avoided. A professional skin care practitioner will guide you through the best treatments and products for achieving the deep cleanse appropriate for your skin.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate "Hydration masks are a key to long-term results when addressing aging skin complaints," Lang says. "If you are not properly hydrated, then you can't expect skin cells to normalize or respond to a problem." Following a moisturizing cleanse, your skin care professional may apply a hydrating mask on the skin for several minutes to allow the healing properties to fully penetrate the epidermis. It's especially important to use a moisturizing day cream that contains sun block to prevent further sun damage and dryness. 

Massage/Tissue Stimulation "The massage, often thought as a luxury during masking, is actually an important step," Lang says. "Through massage, the esthetician is warming the blood circulation and gently stimulating the lymph to encourage the body's natural ability to normalize the cycle of skin cell rejuvenation."  

Collagen Enhancers  Your aestheticians can provide serums and treatments to enhance collagen and elastin for younger looking skin. Some collagen-enhancing formulas, like Retin-A or Strivectin, can also be helpful for wrinkles. Products containing known anti-aging ingredients, like Ester-C, green tea extract, or alpha hydroxy acid, are solid additions to a moisturizing regimen. 

Aging is inevitable. But partnering with an aestheticians and staying educated, you are better equipped to make the processes as painless as possible.

Your Skin Tells a Story
Understanding Whole-Body Connection  Lori Ann Griffin

Centuries ago, Eastern cultures mapped and documented the intricate and deep relationship between the skin and the body's organs and systems, noting that the skin displays clues as to what types of stresses or malfunctions may exist and persist internally.

Digestive System  The organs involved include the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, intestines, gall bladder, and liver. The digestive system performs the function of nutritional uptake and absorption, and waste elimination. When this process slows, a backup occurs, which can stress all of the digestive organs. 

Skin Manifestations  Externally, we may notice bloating in the stomach or abdominal region. But less obvious are signs on the chin that may show up as impactions, inflamed lesions, and abnormal capillary activity. 

Eczema or related dermatitis conditions may be worsened along the high forehead and hairline. If the intestinal stress is longer term, wrinkles or lines may appear in both regions. Liver stress can produce puffiness, redness, and blackheads in the glabellar region between the eyebrows.

Reproductive System  Another system of consistent focus is the hormonal, or reproductive, system. Organs involved in this complex tapestry include the uterus, ovaries, adrenals, and testicles, in addition to the pituitary and hypothalamus glands. Hormones are chemical messengers that have a potent effect on the body and are released into the bloodstream at fluctuating levels. 

Skin Manifestations  High testosterone levels can cause or exacerbate acne lesions. This is especially true above, along, and under the jawline. Estrogen dominance often causes pigmentation in the upper lip, cheeks, and sometimes the lower forehead. Declining estrogen causes underactivity of the sebaceous glands, leading to dryness. 

Immune System  This system includes the tonsils, spleen, and lymph nodes, and governs the skin's response to invading foreign material, or perceived threats. It may respond with swelling, reddening, itching, burning, or rash, and the eyes and nose may also be watery and runny. Inflammation of the sinus passages, sore throat, sneezing, and coughing are the most common symptoms. 

Skin Manifestations  Our poor eyes and upper cheeks take the brunt of this assault. Dilated capillaries, tenderness, and pressure, as well as swelling and stinging upon physical contact may also be present. 

Respiratory System  The major organs involved here are the lungs and bronchial tubes. These passageways become constricted with adrenal distress and allergies, or exposure to bacteria, viruses, or smoke. 

Skin Manifestations  The greater cheek area can present with breakouts, excessive capillary activity, flushing, and heat. The undereye area may exhibit half circles of gray, blue, or purplish tones.

Excretory System  The elimination system is also very important. In this system, the kidneys, bladder, colon, veins, and skin do most of the work. This fine-tuned orchestra removes bacteria, waste product, and toxic materials in an effort to protect the health and lives of our cells. 

Skin Manifestations  Kidney stress may lead to hot, red, or pigmented upper ears. Bladder stress can deepen lines across the center of the forehead. And colon stress can contribute to cracked, pigmented, or dehydrated lips. The upper chin area can see an increase in micro-comedones and irritation.

Nervous System  No system will suffer more from disharmonies than our central nervous system. The vast array of nerve fibers, residing mostly along our spinal column, sends and receives signals to and from the brain. Many organs and glands are affected by stress, but the adrenals are often the first to respond. 

Skin Manifestations  On the face, this may manifest as sweatiness and increased oil production over the brows and along the top bridge of the nose, with blotchy red patterns and heat on the lower neck and center of the decollete regions. Eczema is heightened around the base of the neck and may leave a long-term mask of hyperpigmentation. 

Cardiovascular System  The cardiovascular system is tricky because it deals with not just the heart's function, which is chiefly to pump blood, but also because of its connection to the circulatory system, which delivers nutrients, water, hormones, white blood cells, and oxygen to every cell in the body. 

Skin Manifestations  When blood pressure levels fluctuate, blood-capillary dilation on the sides of the nose and nostrils can often be observed. Enlarged pores and hard comedones are also seen on the nostrils and tip of the nose when cardiac edemas and other cardiac diseases take hold. 

Partnering for Health  Skin health can provide insight into whole-body health. Work closely with your aestheticians to determine how best to treat the manifestations, and discuss prevention techniques as well. Remember, your skin care professional is not qualified to diagnose conditions, but your skin may be providing clues to what's going on internally. And you may discover that your aestheticians is an essential part of your care team. 

Article Courtesy of ABMP


Long Live Cells with Vitamin E
Antiaging Inside and Out

A good skin care regimen is comprised of an antioxidant-rich diet and vitamin/mineral supplementation that includes vitamin E -- an essential key to a healthy complexion. Vitamin E is unique in that it's not one vitamin, but a family of eight fat-soluble antioxidants, including four types of tocopherols and four types of tocotrienols -- alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. Alpha-tocopherol is the most common and most potent form of vitamin E.

This important nutrient works to prevent aging by prolonging the useful life of cells in the body. By protecting and strengthening the cell membrane, vitamin E wards off free radical attacks caused by sun exposure and also helps combat disease. This protection is further intensified when combined with vitamin C. Vitamin E also helps in the formation of red blood cells, protecting them from destructive toxins and cell damage, which also helps prevent skin cancer.

Vitamin E-rich foods include wheat germ; almonds, peanuts, and walnuts; safflower, corn, and soybean oils; and green leafy vegetables. For supplementation, the recommended daily intake of vitamin E is 400 IU. Be aware that high doses of vitamin E (1,200 IU daily or more) can be toxic and cause oxidative damage.

It is imperative that when taking the supplement orally, it is in the natural form, designated with a "d," and not synthetic, designated as "dl." Mixed tocopherols--meaning a combination of alpha, beta, gamma, and delta--are easily absorbed and a good choice, especially in skin care products.

Topical creams and oils containing vitamin E promote healing, protect cells from free-radical damage, and reduce itchiness--very helpful in treating conditions such as sunburn and eczema.

In addition to contributing to healthy skin, vitamin E has many other beneficial properties, including slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease, decreasing oxidative stress associated with asthma, alleviating arthritic conditions, decreasing PMS symptoms, and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Article courtesy of ABMP

Extrinsic Aging
Cheryl Staurowsky, LE, PCA skin® advanced educator, since 2003. 

Everyone’s skin ages in its own unique way. Much of the inevitable part of facial aging is driven by a person’s DNA and is considered intrinsic. Fortunately, 85 percent of the visible signs of aging can be directly attributed to extrinsic causes that are preventable, and can often be corrected, even if the damage has already been done. Making informed decisions about sun exposure, diet, exercise, smoking, and regular use of skin care products is key to staving off skin aging. Knowing the primary offenders and learning the best ways to protect you and your patients puts healthy, younger-looking skin within reach.

Facial Aging  One cause of the appearance of visible skin aging is a degradation of the skin's extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM is a complex framework that supports and protects the cells of the dermis. A strong ECM must be present to shore up the skin's outer appearance and health. The ECM is made up of structural proteins (collagen and elastin), adhesive proteins (laminins and fibronectin), glycosaminoglycans (GAG), and proteoglycans. A network of collagen fibers gives strength and structure to the skin, while elastin fibers give the skin the ability to stretch and return to its original shape. The GAG that surround this structure are: Hyaluronic acid, heparin sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, heparin, and dermatan sulfate. Hyaluronic acid, the most extensively studied GAG, can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water within the matrix, making skin healthy, plump, and youthful-looking. 

Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) enzymes are a main player in the breakdown of the ECM. MMP, such as collagenase, elastase, and hyaluronidase are responsible for the destruction of spent ECM components. Although a small amount of these enzymes are necessary for healthy skin, an over-production occurs in response to external damaging factors, predominantly UV exposure. Wrinkling, laxity, enlargement of pores, and loss of elasticity are exaggerated due to this ECM breakdown. More active melanogenesis and visible vascularity are also common as a direct result of UV exposure. 

The Dark Side of the Sun  Unprotected sun exposure has been directly linked to collagen degradation, skin laxity, hyperpigmentation, and most importantly… skin cancer. UV radiation is particularly damaging to the skin because it has been shown to not only increase levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a particularly destructive free radical, but it also depletes the skin's own natural antioxidant defense system. This makes the skin vulnerable in many ways as a result of sun exposure.

It only takes one-tenth the amount of UV exposure to activate MMP enzymes as it takes to cause sunburn. This means that way before you think you have had any damage from the sun, you are already breaking down the critical support structure of the skin. Through time, pollution, and ultraviolet exposure, these MMP enzymes are slowly degrading the ECM.

The inflammation from UV exposure is also responsible for stimulating the melanogenesis process that leads to hyperpigmentation. This process causes melanin-containing melanosomes to be deposited in parasol-like configurations over the nucleus of each affected keratinocyte to protect its DNA from potential mutation. This mutation is what leads to skin cancer, which accounts for 50 percent of all cancers in the U.S.

An Ounce of Protection  To avoid the negative effects of sun exposure, it is critical to use broad-spectrum sun protection products on a daily basis, not just when participating in outdoor sports or activities. UVB rays do diminish slightly in the winter months, but UVA rays are constant throughout the year and penetrate through windows and clothing. This fact illustrates why year-round daily use of sun protection is the ultimate in age defense. Using enough sunscreen is also important. Research states that an individual should use approximately one ounce of sunscreen to cover their entire body.

Antioxidant Defense System
To sufficiently protect skin from the damaging free radicals triggered by UV exposure, topical antioxidants should be added to every patient's regimen, in addition to daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen. Some useful UV protective antioxidants to include are:

Green Tea – Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a powerful polyphenol found in green tea that is responsible for much of its excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-prevention benefits. Research has shown that EGCG is able to reverse the immunosuppressive effects of UV rays, quench hydrogen peroxide radicals, and cause the destruction of skin cells that could potentially develop into tumors. EGCG has also been shown to inhibit lipid peroxidation and prevent the formation of nitric oxide, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen.

Resveratrol – Research has demonstrated that application of resveratrol prior to UVB exposure suppresses the production of hydrogen peroxide radicals and lipid peroxidation. Resveratrol also inhibits the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), a protein complex that contributes to the formation of malignancies.

Genistein – This polyphenol is derived from soybeans and effectively increases the activity of the skin's natural antioxidant system. Genistein's ability to prevent lipid peroxidation and free radical production and its inhibition of cell mutation and DNA damage makes it an important part of any anti-aging regimen. Additionally, studies highlight genistein's ability to prevent both the short- and long-term effects of UV exposure, including erythema, skin cancer, and visible photoaging.

Ergothioneine – This antioxidant is relatively new to the skin care industry, but its antioxidant benefits and its ability to increase the protective action of traditional antioxidants such as L-ascorbic acid, make it an excellent addition to skin care products. Studies have shown that ergothioneine reduces several forms of free radicals, including hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radicals, singlet oxygen, peroxynitrite, lipid peroxides, and nitric oxides.

Caffeine – This ingredient is capable of reducing UV-induced free radicals, including hydroxyl radicals, hydrogen peroxide, peroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen. Research also indicates that topical application of caffeine can reduce UV-induced skin cancers by forcing damaged skin cells into apoptosis (cell suicide).

Silybin – Milk thistle-derived s

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