New Year Alms – Beauty Habits

You're about to start a new year, and you're on that mindset of starting new chapters in your life. Why not start by thinking of all the ways you can be good to yourself? One sure way is to weed out those lifestyle habits, foods and beauty products that don’t suit your body and skin and replace them with what’s good for you. Your skin will react and thank you by being brighter, clearer and even more gorgeous than it's ever been before. 

The Ultimate Gift Of Protection- Pour On The SPF 

Winter or summer doesn’t make a difference, when out doors, layer on enough sunscreen; it’s the best way to keep skin youthful. A lot of people are confused about the dosage of the sun protection, let be sure how much to apply in 2014. Fill the hollow of your palm (about ½ teaspoon) with a broad-spectrum UVA & B sunscreen with SPF 50 to coat your face, neck and ears. Apply two coats to finish what you've squeezed out; that's how you make sure you are adequately covered.

Spray Away Dryness

To keep skin moist and supple, spray your cutis several times daily with thermal spring water (I love and recommend Avène Thermal Spring Water). Spritz your face when travelling, on the go, or when stuck in traffic! The water is packed with minerals like selenium that protect against UV damage and soothe your skin.

Exfoliate Regularly

Don't give the surface layer of dead skin cells a chance to build up and create that dull look. Reveal new, fresh skin cells for a more luminescent complexion by scrubbing regularly. No matter what your skin type, you can benefit from exfoliating, but you must be sure to use the right kind. If you have sebaceous skin, you are much more tolerant to exfoliation than someone with rosacea-prone skin. Acne-prone? You, in particular, can benefit from regular exfoliating as it will open up pores as well as help in getting rid of old acne marks.

Don’t Fall For Fads

There are a lot of trendy products out there right now, like goji berry, caviar, gold and snail body secretions packaged in creams. They’re sexy, but not clinically proven. Your focus shouldn’t be on what’s new, but on what works. Don’t jump on things until they’ve been proven. So before you rush out to spend your hard-earned dough on the latest products, do a little research and make sure that the “magic ingredient” will really benefit your skin.

Develop A Bedside Manner

Most people often find it difficult to stick to the anti-aging regimen at bed-time. To avoid missing your evening routine, store your products in a pretty makeup case and keep them on your nightstand. So if you forgot — or are just too tired to apply products at the sink — you can do it easily while in bed.
Suggested Must-Haves:
·      A prescription retinoid cream to fight wrinkles and keep skin youthful.
·      An ultra hydrating prescription moisturizer for that supple soft skin.
·      Lip balm to keep lips plush and moist plump.
·      Foot and cracked heel renewal cream with salicylic acid, as dry tootsies are not attractive by any standard.
·      Vitamin E oil to soften cuticles.
·      Teeth Whitening Strips for that bright smile.

Find A Dermatologist

If you’re looking for an expert opinion on your specific skincare needs, or have nagging skin issues that need to be addressed, it may help to seek out a dermatologist. With so many skin care experts out there, it can be difficult to know which doctor is right for you. Find someone who’s a great teacher and is invested in educating people about their skin.

You Really ARE What You Eat And What You Absorb

Of course, the MAIN secret to glowing, radiant skin is proper nutrition to 'fuel' your body.  What goes in your body reflects on the outer shell of your body.  Eat lots of fats, such as avocados, coconut oil, hemp oil and hemp seeds.  Also indulge in lots of dark RAW cacao powder incorporating it into you smoothies and sweet treats, I’d even suggest having a dark chocolate bar each day.  Dark chocolate is so yummy and actually good for your skin.  Make it organic and as dark as you can!  Yes, RAW dark cacao NOT (cocoa) is high in anti-oxidants and nutrients.  So EAT it and WEAR it!  

Take care when choosing that right supplements and be cautious with your food choices.  Avoid chemical laden and processed foods as well as all the artificial crap the industrial machine is trying to push down our throats. Make it REAL and WHOLE food and Organic supplements. Eat plenty of greens each day such as kale, broccoli, spinach, spirulina, barley, wheat grass, etc.  Do NOT eat GMO's, avoid MSG's and eat as clean as possibly you can.  If you must go out to eat, find an organic restaurant or find a trusted sushi restaurant.  

Eat A Skin-Saving Breakfast

Make the first meal of the day contribute towards your skin. Almonds are a great choice; they contain essential fatty acids, which help put the brakes on inflammation that accelerates fine lines, sagging and blotchiness. Not feeling like a nut? Salmon, tuna and halibut are good choices.
NOURISH your body and skin from WITH IN!

Sweat That Body

Make sure you get plenty of daily exercise, and enough exercise to 'sweat' out the toxins that clog your pores. Yoga, Pilates and a simple cardio routine at least 3 times per week will be sufficient. Develop healthy pass times biking, surfing, dancing etc. get that blood pumping through your body and skin to achieve a healthy glow. 

Sleep Enough To Nurture Your Beauty

You have always heard, "get your beauty rest".  This is so very true... you  can sleep your way to beauty.  Sleep plays an important role in activating our cells to work properly.  It is only during hours of deep sleep that our bodies are reset to run smoothly the next day.  Our cells can only properly repair them selves during our sleeping life.  Get your zzzz's, at least 8 hours of sleep each and every night.  You may also want to set one night a week to count your 'blessings' early. Try going to bed at least by 8:30 one time per week every week and waking at your normal time, 6 or 7 a.m.  

Zen Your Skin

High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravate conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Controlling stress keeps your skin calm — but that's easier said than done. Taking a 10-minute time-out to apply a facial mask and relax on your bed can works for some. Another trick: Ban the 'Berry’ and ‘iphone’. Turn off your cell phone after 8 at night. Every little bit helps!

Again, there is NO magic wand to wave to throw beauty your way.  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, you just need to nurture your inner beauty to let it radiate on the outside!

Have A Happy New Year!!!!


Holidays Special: Raising Curtain On Eyelash Drama

Long and curly eyelashes are considered a beauty gift bestowed by nature on to a few genetically lucky among the female species. 
When your lashes are distinctively lengthy and curled up your eyes appear larger and more eloquent... Don't they? ...In fact the rise of the artificial eyelash industry is a growing testament to that. High octane lashes are one Aphrodite feature most women crave, yet only an exiguous are blessed with. These are some of the reasons why long and luscious lashes are considered one of the seven desiderate beauty traits. Thanks to innovations of science and advances in cosmaceuticals now we can all attain this coveted glamor feature. A few weeks of application of AminoGenesis LashGenesis serum coupled with a good mascara and voila you can be an instant glam diva! AminoGenesis LashGenesis is a natural eyelash growth promoting serum with a unique amino acid formula that helps you grow naturally long lashes in as little as 3-4 weeks. For added drama - using an eyelash curler can further enhance the curl, adding more drama to the lash line.

Why Don’t My Lashes Grow Like Twiggy?

Hair grows and rests in cycles. The active phase is very short for eyelashes, about 30 to 45 days, compared to two to six years for scalp hair. This is why eyelashes stay short. The resting phase during which the hair follicle is dormant lasts about 100 days for scalp hair, but is much longer for eyelashes, eyebrows and other body hair. If the quality of the hair is weak, lashes break down and look shorter in some people and in some they stay intact and long. Since lost hairs aren't immediately replaced, it may seem as if they aren't growing at all.

How does LashGenesis Work?

Your eyelashes are grown by the tiny hair follicles on your eyelids. Eyelashes are made mostly of various protein (like keratin) and water. These proteins are made of tiny building blocks known as amino acids. LashGenesis uses the exact and optimal combination of these natural building blocks to stimulate your lashes to grow thicker, longer and stronger. Just like adding nutrients or fertilizer to your plants at home, LashGenesis uses natural eyelash "fertilizers" to achieve dramatic results.

Are there any side effects? 

No! Many prescription and over the counter eye lash products use strong, "drug like" ingredients that in some cases cause discoloration (known as tattooing) to the eye lid or the whites of the eyes. LashGenesis is made up of safe proteins called amnio acids , these gentle ingredients are the same nutrients your eyelashes are made of. LashGenesis simply supplies more of them spurring amazing lash growth! Please Note: any product that is used around the eyes can easily get directly into the eyes. Try to avoid this, and if any irritation does occur when using LashGenesis, discontinue and consult your physician.

How soon will You see results?

One of the most amazing aspects about LashGenesis is how quickly it works. In clinical studies performed in a physicians office, photographic evidence showed remarkable increase in eyelash length, thickness and density in as little as 14 days. However, the most dramatic results occur when LashGenesis is used twice daily on an ongoing regular basis.

While it is ok to apply make-up or eyeliner after LashGenesis has completely absorbed, the company does not recommend using other eyelash growth products in conjunction with LashGenesis. Other products may interfere with the effectiveness of LashGenesis or cause undesirable results or irritation.


Sophia Loren’s Mediterranean Beauty Esoteric

Sophia Loren is one of my most favorite screen sirens from 60’s. She was stunningly beautiful in her hay-day, and still today she is a vision of grace. I always wanted to know Ms. Loren’s supple skin delphian. After some digging and pressing I found olives and multitude of olive oil bottles fueling the Italian diva’s radiant skin.

Sophia’s Mediterranean diet ensured that she was able to include at least two tablespoons of the stuff in her food every day. Research has shown Olive oil contains a compound known as oleocanthal, which has been found to stop the activity of two specific enzymes (Cox-1 and Cox-2) at the heart of inflammatory conditions in the body in a similar way as ibuprofen and other NSAIDs. About 1.75 ounces (50 grams) of olive oil in your daily diet equals roughly 10 percent of the recommended adult dose of ibuprofen. Because of this anti-inflammatory action olive oil can be helpful for different types of common inflammatory skin conditions including psoriasis and different forms of dermatitis including atopic dermatitis (chronic eczema), contact dermatitis (allergic eczema) and seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff).

Sophia routinely used to rub a small amount into her skin to keep her complexion glossy and moisturized. She even added a few capfuls into a hot bath for a nourishing skin soak.

Recent studies have showed that olives and olive oil are packed with antioxidants that help to boost the body's built-in defense against free radicals, molecules that become damaged by sun exposure and other environmental hazards. Free radicals damage healthy cells, and lead to cancerous cell formation. They also lead to loss of collagen and elastin, two components in the skin that keep it looking young. All these actions make olive oil a good choice in the battle against cancer and fighting the effects of premature aging.


Sensational Stem Cells In Skincare

Stem-cells not only have the power to cure diseases, but they also have the potential to enhance your skin and kick father Time’s butt”, is the slogan that has been inspiring the cosmetic industry into rolling out new product lines using stem cells and growth factors, plus mega revenues made during the process has kept the bandwagon roller coasting and prime talk through the grapevine. The consumers, encouraged by promises of younger looking skin, have lapped up stem cell research in beauty ever since, which of course couldn’t have been possible without mega marketing from the industry. But for those of you who need a little peace of mind when it comes to what you slather on your face, don’t rely on the glossy ad magazines and do some serious reading. I recently did a post on cosmecuticals with plant-derived stem cells in Jeddah beauty Blog with a promise to explore the animal derived stem cell products soon. So, Here I am with the controversial subject — Skincare Products Enriched With Animal Derived Stem Cells.

Bankable Sources Of Human/Animal Stem Cells

If you're into skincare, chances are you're also in a state of confusion. Because as exciting as new developments in anti-ageing are, if you want to get your head around what to use and why, you probably need to get your head into a science book, too. To get you all up to date with the bamboozling beauty subject stem cells in skincare we have to begin right at the beginning of it all — what are some of the common sources of human/animal stem cells?

·      Human, sheep and bovine placenta
·      Umbilical cord blood
·      Human bone marrow, blood, skin, ova and more recently fat cells

Biggest Hype Placenta Derived Stem Cells
The popular placenta derived stem cells used widely around the world have their root in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) techniques, where the placenta is considered a powerful and sacred medicine.  TCM holds the placenta as a ‘full of life force’ organ offering those who consume it ‘jing’ energy only obtainable at birth and consuming placenta is comparable to “drinking from the fountain of youth”.

In search of the proverbial fountain of youth, a more advanced way of using the afterbirth for adults was conceived of in South Korea back in 2008. RNL Bio, a bio-technology venture based in Seoul has been advertizing cosmetic creams from human stem cells obtained from placentas since more then five years now. The incorporation of these placenta derived stem cells in youth imparting products doesn’t stop in skin creams, the homosapian desire to stay young has also created the bizarre trends of drinking liquefied placenta and of getting placental extract injections among the aged. Putting dried placenta powder into empty vegetable capsules, known as placenta encapsulation, has also been very popular in recent years.

The companies involved with the placental encapsulation process so far, have refused to guarantee results with placenta capsules or any other placenta products and remedies.
Some of the reported side effects of the ingested placenta have been:
·      Mild headaches (a lower dose is recommended to solve this problem).
·      Stomach cramping or abdominal pain (as a result of improper storage of capsules).
·      Diarrhea, loose stools or constipation (may be caused by the high levels of iron in the capsules).
·      PUPPPs rash returning after 3 days of consuming capsules.
·      Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) sufferers feel less relief (due to the high level of relaxin hormone in the placenta, which is the cause of PGP).
·      Unexplained lack of milk production.
·      Emotional symptoms similar to PMS.

Big hype yet no guaranteed results or proven studies showing efficacy and/or side effects of these products is the main reason why these products are still controversial and have not become full on mainstream.

Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells
Stemage Skincare is a company started by a surgeon affiliated with the Washington University School of Medicine, which uses stem cells from anonymous bone marrow donors. Kathy Ireland has been their spokesperson and venture partner. In an interview with the Forbes Magazine recently the supermodel-turned-supermogul has professed her love for the three-step product line, as she had been searching for a skin care product that met her high standards and Stemage has finally come through for her. They have a small batch of users reporting satisfaction as efficacy of the products and no true clinical trials backing all the claims.

Oocytes The Ethical Stem Cells:
On the brave-new-world end of the stem cell spectrum, there's new buzz-brand Lifeline, who is incorporating human stem cells derived from unfertilized eggs into their skincare concoctions. The non-embryonic stem cells in Lifeline stem cell serums are derived from unfertilized human oocytes (eggs), which are donated to the company from several IVF labs and clinics in California. So far they have enjoyed great media lime light and popularity among consumers. Clinical trials are still clearly missing.

Fat Derived Stem Cells:

Liposuction may yield more than just a leaner figure – it can potentially produce stem cells for tissue reconstruction and this my friends is the latest and biggest hype in the stem cell industry currently.
U Autologous, is the latest range of anti-aging lotions and potions named by Forbes as one of 2012’s top fashion and beauty start-ups. Unlike Lifeline and other stem cell product lines, it sources the cells from each patient’s own fat tissue, which has generated a lot of interest in the research circles. If you’re intrigued you can get more info on their parent company American CryoStem’s website. I am definitely captivated with the idea, as we are talking about autologous stem cells here — derived from your own body not taken form someone else. After some digging up this is what I uncovered…

How does the process work?

Roughly two ounces of stem-cell-rich fat are removed from the hips or abdomen via liposuction at the office of a participating cosmetic surgeon, then “safely stored in cryopreservation tanks” for a monthly fee. Stem cells isolated from this fat are multiplied in a lab culture until they begin to produce abundant growth factors, which are then incorporated into individualized face creams that can be made to order for as long as the stem cells are banked.

The price for this personalized product is high—more than $3,000, versus $190 for a Lifeline serum—but is it more effective? - I would say intuitively that it makes a lot of sense that your own growth factors would be more biocompatible with your skin than something that’s generic. But, no formal studies have been done yet, that could put an efficacy seal on the procedure.

How Good Is The Evidence?

There is a very obvious paucity of real data on topical creams that claim to impact stem cells so far. The results of U Autologous clinical trials so far have received “wow” compliments form the participants. Studies with 19 patients who applied the product on one side of their face and their normal skin care on the other showed that the U Autologous–treated sides had less wrinkles, better skin texture, less sun-damage pigmentation, and less redness, after eight weeks, biopsies confirmed an increase in elastin levels in the dermis.

So Far, So Amazing, But There Is Another Concern We Need To Tackle Here:

Among the molecules produced by stem cells are cytokines, which are responsible for healing damaged cells and promoting cell division but can also affect cell shape and metabolism—meaning that they also might be able to stimulate tumor growth in predisposed individuals. The studies that have looked at stem-cell products and growth factors haven’t shown that as a risk in any trials so far. What’s reported is just an improvement of skin health, and its natural defenses and abilities being magnified. We haven’t seen any negative structural occurrences in the skin, but it is something companies working with stem cells need to continuingly to look at.

Bottom line: If you were to look at the array of stem cell based skin care products on the market, you’d quickly become confused and overwhelmed because they all hold the promise of the “Youth”. Which one is better than the other? No one knows! Each of the “stem cell” products currently available contains a different type of stem cell line: animal, plant, or human stem cells. But which of these types of stem cells is truly effective in producing real, long-term, definitive, results? The proof…will be in the clinical results…where are they?