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morgan paris all things beauty blog

It's a blog, it's a magazine, it's a 

BLOGAZINE!

Lip Plumping Pathways

September 23, 2020

Moist, luscious, plump lips have been coveted by most women throughout history. Unfortun­ately, most of us are not genetically blessed with these lips. Luckily, skin care science has given us plenty of methods of improving the look of lips.

Aging Lips

Lips often age more rapidly than the rest of our face does. This is partially due to the fact that the skin on our lips is thinner than skin elsewhere and does not contain sweat glands. Without sweat glands, lips don’t have the natural oils that protect skin from drying out.

The thinness of the skin and lack of oil lead to more rapid loss of moisture, leaving a dry and shriveled appearance. Other factors that lead to thin, unsightly lips are genetics, natural aging, UV exposure, dry air, certain medications and smoking.


skin health

September 3, 2020


"Everything is based on cellular function."


Definition of “skin health” as “skin that is naturally smooth, strong, firm, even-toned, hydrated and free of disease.”

We look beyond the surface to what skin should be since all problems in the skin can be traced back to abnormally-functioning cells deep within the skin. 

"Skin, in general, is a living organ. As any living organ like the heart and muscle and the brain, everything is based on cellular function.


Cauliflower Dijon

August 24, 2020


Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cleaned of leaves

1/2 cup mayo

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil cauliflower head in salt water for 10-15 minutes. Drain. Place in pie plate/casserole dish. Mix mayo and mustard and spread over cooled cauliflower. Top with cheddar cheese (pressing into sides). Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.

Growth Factors: The Science Behind Skin Rejuvenation

August 10, 2020

Growth factors play a pivotal role in maintaining firmness and elasticity in your skin. Daily use of skin care products containing growth factors are known to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture. But, not all products containing growth factors have the same benefits. Dr. Rahul Mehta, Head of Research and Development at SkinMedica (a pioneer in using growth factors in cosmetic treatments), explains why growth factors are imperative for skin rejuvenation.


What Are Growth Factors and Why Do We Need Them in Skin Care Products?

Growth factors are natural substances made by skin cells to maintain healthy skin. They are responsible for supporting the repair of damaged skin, making components that provide firmness and elasticity to the skin while helping to maintain skin’s protective functions. They are NOT Growth Hormones! Aging and sun-damaged skin require growth factors to maintain itself. However cells in aging skin make less growth factors than cells in youthful skin. One approach to support the levels of skin rejuvenation is to regularly use skin care products with a high concentration of stable growth factors.


Where Do Growth Factors in Skin Care Products Come From?

Advances in biotechnology over the past decade have created multiple sources of growth factors. They can be derived from several different human cells grown in a laboratory (skin cells, bone marrow stem cells, fat stem cells), extracted from one’s own blood (PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma) or from non-human sources such as snails and some plants. While all cells can produce growth factors, the composition of the growth factor blend they produce is likely to be ideal for the health of cells that produce them.

For example, fat stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help the functioning of fat cells and bone marrow stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help with functioning of bone marrow. Similar logic can be applied to growth factors or growth factor-like substances derived from non-human sources. Therefore, to maintain optimal skin health, ideal growth factors would be produced by skin cells, called fibroblasts, whose main function is to produce the components necessary to support the skin.


Do Growth Factors Really Work?

Several clinical studies, over the past 15 years, have highlighted the benefits of topically applied growth factor products showing improvements in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and discoloration. The studies show that, depending on the quality of skin, good results take 6-12 weeks of twice a day use. The diligence is definitely worth it as the improvement in skin appearance is very impressive! Most studies show visible reduction in crow’s feet lines, under-eye skin texture, and overall radiance. Combinations of growth factors with strong antioxidants tend to show results sooner, typically within 4-8 weeks. TNS Essential Serum provides a combination of stable growth factors (TNS Recovery Complex) with strong antioxidants (APS Corrective ComplexTM) designed to provide this rapid effect. Over 11 clinical studies have been conducted looking at cosmetic efficacy with TNS Essential Serum with results showcasing its ability to improve the overall appearance of skin. These are more studies than any other topical cosmetic growth factor product in the market today.


How Does TNS Essential Serum® Stand Out from Other Growth Factor Products on the Market?

TNS Recovery Complex® is the first topical cosmetic made almost entirely of stabilized human growth factor (93.6%). The growth factors are harvested using a patented process that ensures their stability and activity. Furthermore, TNS Recovery Complex formulation and manufacturing process maintains the stability of active growth factors. Multiple published studies in scientific journals and conferences have verified the presence of active growth factors in TNS Recovery Complex®. Carefully selected antioxidants and peptides present in TNS Essential Serum® complement the benefits of growth factors.

Women and Stress

August 5, 2020

Fifteen million people are under stress in the United States, according to the American Psychiatric Association, and more than half of these are women. Traditionally women were solely in the role of the stay at home family caregivers, but the modern day woman often is in a position of balancing family obligations and her career, affecting the dramatic disproportion of stress between men and women. When under stress for prolonged periods, depression can develop. Even before the 20th century Hippocrates, the first physician, had a name for clinical depression brought on by stress--melancholia. Every year the issue escalates, with more people at increasingly younger age suffering from depression.

So what actually is stress? Stress is the reaction from the body in response to external influences. For many women, stress is inevitable with the environment changing faster than ever before. Stress has significant impact on skin appearance, health and overall wellness, but there are effective ways to manage stress.

There are different types of stress, positive and negative, both of which result in a change in the hormonal balance. Whether the stress is psychological or physical, it all amounts to a universal reaction in the hypothalamus in the brain initiating the production of cortisol steroid, a stress hormone. An example of a psychological trigger is fear, and physical examples include heat, cold, burns or poisoning. When cortisol levels increase, the immune system weakens and makes the body vulnerable to illness and other health related issues, including skin problems.

Stress and Skin

Stress can bring on or exacerbate many skin issues like acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and cold sores. Many people who suffer from these different types of skin concerns, often become so distressed that they become locked in a vicious cycle, where their worries are a stress trigger. This is studied by the field of psychode­rmatology–how the mental and emotional state of a person is correlated to skin health and appearance.

In the medical field, psychode­rmatology has been a growing field as more skin conditions are being linked to the psychological welfare of a person. Stress can cause the flare up of acne breakouts, hives, pigmentation, hair loss and skin dryness. It weakens the outer layer of skin, unbalancing the acid mantle that protects the skin from harmful bacteria. Consequently, cells shrink and the lipids between the cells dissolve making the skin more vulnerable to infection.

Stress and Immunity

Chronic stress or even a stressful event can instigate an autoimmune reaction. When there is a threat, it causes fear. Fear sends the body into a state of shock, which lowers blood pressure, causes hypoglycemia, hypothermia and almost immediately forces the adrenal glands to shoot adrenaline and noradrenaline into the blood. Consequently, the increase in heartrate, breathing and blood pressure forces a rise of glucose in the muscles, converting proteins in the body to glucose. The accumulation of glucose in the body sets the body in preparation to fight, hence activating the immune system and inflammation genes regulated by cytokines.

The medulla of the adrenal glands reduces the stress reaction by stabilizing blood pressure with cortisol, which calms the immune system, heart rate and inflammation. If stress continues for long periods of time, the cortisol production in the medulla exhausts, causing chronic hypertension and a weakened immune system. The disruption in the immune system leads to many issues including arthritis, cellulite, acne and wrinkles to mention a few.

Stress and Epigenetics

Ongoing stress has the ability to damage chromosomes that make up DNA. Telomeres are located at the ends of DNA strands that function as a protective barrier for chromosomes. Recent studies reveal that chronic stress shortens the length and decreases the supply of telomeres. This accelerates aging, but researchers have also been examining the influence of stress on future generations. Scientist Elizabeth Blackburn performed an experiment in 2004 demonstrating that when the mind or body is exposed to severe stress such as a traumatic event, it causes changes in the genes. The ends of telomere chromosomes become shorter and accelerate cell aging. Epigenetics is the science of gene activity and regulation according to C.H. Waddington, who established the definition in 1957.

Epigenetics causes genes to perform functions that they are not typically conditioned to perform, but without altering genetic code. Dr. Yosef Zohar treated patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, including family members of survivors of the holocaust. The family members exhibited fears that were passed on from a previous generation. Ultimately, stress related changes in the DNA were inherited by future generations.

Stress Management

Stress has a powerful effect on the mind and body of a woman, but there are effective stress management methods. There are simple, straight­forward ways of achieving inner balance, peace and lowering stress.

Laugh. Laughter causes the release of endorphins by the brain, which elevates mood, boosts the immune system, and is great for lowering stress.

Exercise. Exercise is another way of releasing tension from the body as well as contributing to improving overall wellness.

Sleep. Women have become quite skillful in balancing all the different aspects of their lives, but often it is at the cost of having a sufficient amount of rest. Sleep deficiency puts great strain on the mind and body. The amount of sleep necessary may vary among people, but an American Psychological Association survey showed that, “adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night are more likely to report symptoms of stress.” Sleeping more is an effective remedy to lower stress.

Deep Meditation. Continuous high stress can provoke illness and make the body susceptible to colds, infections, and diseases by activating genes that work to counter stress. Fortunately, research has shown that deep meditation activates gene activity and is able to alter them on a molecular level. Through meditation, genes that promote health and healing are triggered. Meditation has an anti-inflammatory effect, and it has the power to restore cortisol levels in the body. It promotes inner balance and peace, while helping the mind and body relax. Meditation is one of the most powerful opponents to offset stress.

Probiotics. An unexpected remedy and best known for supporting gastroin­testinal health, when in balance, probiotic “health friendly bacteria” can elevate mood and help better handle stress. As mentioned earlier, stress leads to internal inflammation, which over time can lead to depression. Probiotics also facilitate a reduction of inflammation in the body by sending signals to the brain that stabilize the necessary output of cortisol. They equip the body to better handle stress and correspo­ndingly improve skin and total well-being.

Treating Hormonally Induced Melasma

July 27, 2020

Our body is a very unique machine created from so many links. It goes through trials and tribulations all day, every day. We never think of it because we can’t see the inner battle but when one link breaks, we start feeling a certain discomfort that we oftentimes ignore. This results in a much greater change that is out of our comfort zone.


Stress and thyroid disease have also been identified as contributing causes. These factors impact the melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) which triggers melanoge­nesis. As these imbalances continue, melanin remains in a state of constant over-production, which is why it appears in the form of large, dense patches of discolor­ation, differen­tiating it from smaller, less concentrated age spots. 

Hormones and Pigmentation

Hormonal changes, estrogen and progesterone, lead to a chain reaction in the body. Insulin resistance, uneven heat distribution and high levels of proteins combined with high levels of unmetabolized sugars create a darkening of the skin that results in a stain-like condition called melasma.

The proteins in the skin that are prone to glycation are the same proteins that make a youthful plump complexion. When combined with sugars, they become dark and weak. They also result in wrinkles, loss of elasticity and lack of a healthy glow. For a relatable example, think of cooking. When you’re cooking on a frying pan, the brown residue that is created on a frying pan is similar to what takes place during glycation (protein­+sugars+heat).

Additionally, the stress levels in the body create chaos and release unwanted stress hormones that behave like cortical steroids, confusing the entire chemical exchange in the body. The process becomes not only unsightly but uncomfortable for the entire system.  

Melasma is related to a heated experience in the body and mind. It’s as simple as that. Today, we find sugars in almost everything that makes it easy to have adverse reactions. Birth control pills may also contribute to some darkening of the skin due to the same reasons that include Insulin resistance as well as hormonal domination.  Lastly, studies are showing that nutritional supplements and anti-seizure medication can also contribute to melasma.

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles

July 27, 2020

Ingredients:

4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like the pasta

2 medium tomatoes, chopped, see note (about 12 ounces)

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons cold water

Salt, to taste

Instructions:

Trim and spiralize the zucchini. Cut extra long noodles so that they are about the length of spaghetti. Add olive oil, garlic, and the red pepper flakes to a large, deep skillet. Turn to medium heat. When the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, add the zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles with pasta tongs and cook until al dente — they should be wilted, but still have a crunch; 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the noodles cook any longer or else they will become mushy. As they cook, keep tossing so that all the zucchini noodles have a chance to hit the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Cook for one minute. Use pasta tongs to transfer the noodles, tomatoes, and basil to a serving dish. Leave the liquid in the skillet. Bring the liquid left in the skillet to a simmer. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl then whisk into the simmering liquid. Cook, while whisking until the liquid thickens to a sauce; about 1 minute. Taste the sauce and season with salt. Pour the sauce over the zucchini, tomatoes, and basil. Finish with more parmesan cheese on top and serve immediately.

ENZYME PEELS VS Chemical peels

July 15, 2020

Every skincare routine should include the essential step of exfoliation, which reveals youthful skin beneath dull layers. Exfoliation can promote optimal skin health by clearing the buildup of dead cells, which are a common cause of dehydration, acne, and premature aging. Chemical peels are often used as exfoliating agents, but they can be irritating for some, which is why enzyme peels are such a popular alternative.

Enzyme peels gently penetrate the upper layers of the skin. They rejuvenate and deeply clean the skin without traumatizing the surface. Instead, enzyme peels remove only skin cells that are already dead, meaning they leave behind no telltale redness. They also help improve elasticity and texture for a smooth, glowing complexion.  

BENEFITS OF ENZYME PEELS

Enzyme peels can help with a range of skin issues. They are especially effective for those with sensitive skin who often have trouble finding a peel that is gentle enough. They are also safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women who can’t use chemical peels.

Chemical peels use acids to remove living cells along with dead cells, causing potential damage depending on the strength of the peel. Enzyme peels only exfoliate dead cells and no live tissue. There is no downtime and no irritation with enzyme peels. 

Why get a chemical peel?

July 12, 2020

Glowing skin signifies radiant health, vitality and youth, and helps us face the world with more confidence. So, it’s no wonder humankind across all cultures and regions have been searching for ways to improve the skin’s appearance throughout the ages.

Chemical peels are essential in sustaining and restoring skin health and help restore skin surface and appearance. Peels effectively speed up the process of cellular turnover by shedding the top layer of dead surface cells, revealing brighter, smoother and renewed skin underneath.

Chemical peels are available in a range of intensities with different active ingredients to target various skin concerns - fine lines and wrinkles, acne prone, hyperpigmented or uneven skin as they help build collagen and resurface the skin and assist in getting the tissue healthy.

FYI....The absence of flaking does not mean that peels are not working. Flakes are not necessary for changes to occur within the skin.

Roasted Asparagus With Buttered Almonds, Capers and Dill

July 9, 2020

INGREDIENTS

1 ⅓ pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Scant 1/4 cup sliced (flaked) almonds

3 tablespoons baby capers, patted dry on paper towels (kitchen paper)

¼ to ½ cups roughly chopped fresh dill

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (baking tray) with parchment paper.

In a large bowl or on a work surface, use your hands or tongs to toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Arrange asparagus in the paper-lined pan, spaced well apart, and roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until asparagus is soft and starting to brown in places, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan.

In a small or medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until foamy. Add almonds and fry, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes (reduce heat as needed to prevent scorching). Pour almonds and butter evenly over asparagus.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat over high heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry, stirring continuously, until they have opened up and become crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove capers from the oil and sprinkle over the asparagus. Add dill. Using tongs or two spoons, mix gently to combine, transfer to a large plate and serve warm.

Mac and Cheese

July 9, 2020

 Ingredients:

1 lb box of spiral pasta

8 oz smoked Gouda, grated

8 oz sharp cheddar, grated

4 oz Parmesan, grated

1-1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (Hellman’s)

1 Cup Sour Cream

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 Cup Butter, melted

1 Cup Fresh bread crumbs (Panko also works)

Directions:

Preheat to 350, 325 for glass

Prepare pasta (al dente) as directed on package. While the pasta is cooking, combine all ingredients, except butter and bread crumbs, in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. When the pasta is ready, pour into a colander to drain. Once drained, add to bowl and mix well. Pour into a 9×9 square pan (or other 2qt dish). Combine butter and bread crumbs, sprinkle over top. Bake until golden and bubbly (about 30 minutes).

Digest vs. Dissolve: A Look at Enzymes and Acids for Exfoliation

July 5, 2020

There seems to be some confusion when it comes to the difference between acids and enzymes. The keywords in this difference are dissolve and digest.


Regardless of the form of chemical exfoliation chosen, the benefits cannot be ignored.  The decline of cell regeneration that comes with age slows down the process and sometimes even halts it.


The shedding of corneocytes that used to take a month to turnover now remain glued in place for two to three months longer. This prolonged adhesion can cause a buildup of scaly flaky skin and a compromised barrier, leading to transepi­dermal water loss (TEWL). If bacteria is present, breakouts will also be present, even with mature skin. Broken and dilated capillaries exacerbate the issue, because the self cleansing mechanism breaks down and oxygen cannot feed the cells.


Chemical exfoliation with acids is an effective anti-aging method, but it is not the best option for everyone. For some skin, enzymes are a more logical choice. 

Taking to the Water: Bathing Rituals Around the World

June 25, 2020


Bathing culture has been around for thousands of years.  Bathing rituals have played an important role in culture all over the world to the point of it being a part of cultural DNA, so it makes sense these traditions have carried on throughout time.  Cultures place a high level of importance on bathing, but it’s not solely about health and wellness benefits. Bathing has long been a tradition providing social connection and even entertai­nment.  


The only region in the world that hasn’t dived deep into bathing is the U.S., which has started the last couple of years–but the rest of the world has various bathing traditions that are very sacred.  The sauna in Sweden is a form of connection and it’s done often.  Bathing in the U.K. is slightly different than in Nordic countries, as its origins are Roman. Bath, England has attracted tourists for hundreds of years due to its world-famous natural hot springs.  Japan’s bathing traditions are ritualistic in nature, making them almost meditative.  Russian bathhouses, or banyas, are a place for bathers to gather, and they can be quite party-like. Their saunas tend to be hotter, and they have big barrels of milk and herbs they soak in.  


Bathing rituals is an umbrella term that can refer to a wide variety of concepts within the bathing world, including:

Balneoth­erapy,

Contrast temperature therapy,

Flotation,

Hot springs,

Hydrotherapy,

Infrared saunas,

Saunas, and

Water-based massage


body basics

June 17, 2020

Our skin is the body’s primary barrier and the largest organ. The main function of the skin is to protect the body. Without it, we would evaporate and die. Skin cells never stop growing and dividing. Keratinocytes are the most common skin cells that account for 90% of skin, while melanocytes give skin its color. We realize the desquamation process slows down as we age. We recognize new skin cells replace old ones, but how many skin cells are on our bodies?


Our bodies contain an estimated 19 million skin cells for every inch of your body and 300 million skin cells total. Wow, that is a tremendous amount of exfoliation.


We lose anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells a minute. In 24 hours, we lose around a million dead skin cells that leave a trail of dust. This dust can weigh up to around nine pounds in one year.


Exfoliation is defined as, “the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin using a chemical, granular substance or exfoliation tool.


As we know, there are many ways to exfoliate skin such as physical, chemical and mechanical. Exfoliating allows the surface of our skin to be radiant, smooth, brighter and more luminous. 


Reasons to Get Behind Dermaplaning

June 13, 2020

There are three types of exfoliation: chemical, manual and mechanical. Chemical exfoliation, of course, is referring to peels, whereas manual exfoliation includes the use of an abrasive such as a scrub. There are a couple of mechanical exfoliation methods that are used today, one of the most popular being dermaplaning.

Cell Turnover

The goal of exfoliation has always been to remove dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover. Skin cells turn over every three to four weeks in young skin. With age, this process moves at a slower rate, making monthly exfoliation more important. Exfoliation “tricks” the skin into turning over at a faster rate than it normally would.

To trick the skin, a controlled injury (exfoliation) is created. When the skin is injured, new skin cells are sent to replace the old ones, and collagen and elastin are produced. Loss of collagen and elastin is the biggest contributor to wrinkles. While collagen can be put back into the skin, elastin is too big of a molecule. So, with all the methods of exfoliation that exist, what makes dermaplaning so special?

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a lot like microder­mabrasion, another popular mechanical exfoliation technique. Both mechanically exfoliate the skin, but dermaplaning also removes the vellus hair from the skin. In this method of exfoliation, a sterile, surgical scalpel is used to complete the process. 

Benefits of Dermaplaning

1. Cell regeneration. As mentioned earlier, dermaplaning will trigger the cell regeneration process to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Hyperpig­mentation. Dermaplaning will exfoliate the top layer of your skin, taking off dead skin cells. Therefore, it can help lighten pigmented spots.

3. Immediate results. Other exfoliation processes sometimes take more time to show the results, but dermaplaning shows immediate results.

4. Safety. Dermaplaning is safe for everyone and there is no downtime involved.

5. Smooths rough skin. Dermaplaning is especially beneficial for people with rough, dry skin. The scalpel is effective in smoothing out skin and evening skin tone.

6. Hair removal. If clients are using this for hair removal, it is fine if they only have peach fuzz or vellus hair. It easily removes this hair without any problems.

7. Product penetration. Dermaplaning is good for letting products such as peels, strong serums or skin remedies penetrate deeply into the skin, as results are improved after exfoliation.

8. Mildness. Dermaplaning is a gentle form of exfoliation, and it can be more gentle than a peel or microder­mabrasion for sensitive clients. It is also great for new clients who want to start with gentle anti-aging treatments before jumping into more.

9. Frequency. Dermaplaning is safe to do every three to four weeks, which is the target range you would want to get those cells turning over faster.

10. Catalyst. This is a great catalyst to deeper exfoliation procedures, as it preps one’s skin gently rather than harshly.

11. Makeup. Clients will notice that their makeup will go on better after a dermaplaning service.


Understanding Your Skin

May 31, 2020

The skin is a complex organ, composed of two main layers: the epidermis and the dermis. In addition to being the largest organ of the body, the skin is also one of the most important, protecting the rest of the body from the outside environment.


The outer layer, the epidermis, is comprised of four layers, which are responsible for keeping water in, keeping infection out and helping to regulate body temperature - among other vital functions. The inner layer, the dermis, is composed mainly of connective tissue that provides the strength and elasticity your skin needs to resist stressors. Both layers are vital in understanding and treating nearly all skin conditions and concerns.


A multitude of factors contribute to the outward appearance of your skin: environmental aggressors like the sun, pollution, and the weather; internal aggressors, like diet and hydration; and your own biochemistry, such as hormones and genetic predispositions. Whether you are looking to improve the appearance of aging skin, blemishes, uneven skin tone, flushing or other conditions, the intricate skin system requires a multifaceted approach to treatment.


Human skin is very complex, and creating skincare solutions that work effectively requires precise chemical formulation, extensive knowledge of dermatological bio-chemistry, and the highest-grade ingredients available and that is where Phytomer and it's Brand companies lead.

Anti-aging, Pigmentation and Acne: The SKINNY oN Chemical Peels

May 31, 2020

Peels have evolved a great deal since their initial use. The ancient Chinese used peels thousands of years ago, as did the ancient Egyptians. One of today’s modern peel ingredients, lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid derived from sour milk, often was included in these very early peels in addition to a variety of other substances including herbs, scented oils and—in the case of the Egyptians—ground alabaster stone.

The modern era of chemical peels began in the late 1800s when physicians started experimenting with various chemicals, some very caustic and some less so, to improve facial aesthetics and skin problems such as acne or scars. Many of these chemicals are still used today in various concentr­ations.  After World War I, chemical peels were used to lessen disfigur­ations caused by facial shrapnel wounds.

All peels work by generating “controlled” damage and a “controlled” 

inflammatory response.  Even superficial peels, via inflammatory mediators, will increase collagen formation over time due to the response to wounding. Although these initial changes may be initially experienced in the epidermis, cytokines and other chemical messengers will communicate the biochemical events to the dermis and stimulate collagen formation.


Many skin issues can benefit from peels; especially hyperpig­mentation, acne and acne scarring and aging and for general complexion rejuvenation.


Breaking Down Body Scrubs

May 26, 2020

Scrubs can be luxurious in scent and touch, a treat for the 

senses and the skin

A body scrub is essentially a skin care product used to remove dead skin cells through exfoliation. In the process, it helps increase blood circulation to the surface of the skin, drain lymph nodes and leave the skin feeling cleansed and rejuvenated. With the dead skin cells removed, skin will also be better able to absorb moisturizing body products better.


On a biological level, the outer layer of cells in our skin regularly shed to make way for the healthier new cells underneath. As we age, this process naturally slows down. 


By exfoliating the skin, we help speed the process of removing dead skin cells and bringing healthy new ones to the surface, which can improve skin’s look and texture almost immediately.


Although the ingredients used for a body scrub don’t have to be as gentle as those in a scrub used on the delicate skin of the face, it’s important to remember that any product we use on our bodies is only as good as the ingredients we put into it.


Most body scrubs include some combination of sea salt or sugar, oils and essential oils, and choosing the right combination and type will determine the results.


How we treat our skin and what we treat it with makes a noticeable difference in our overall health and well-being. It’s about taking care of our bodies, from the outside in.


Sensitive Skin 101

May 25, 2020

Various forms for dermatitis, specifically contact dermatitis—a form of eczematous dermatitis that may result from direct irritation of the skin by a substance such as a chemical or an allergic reaction to a particular substance that has been in contact with the skin, injected or taken by mouth.

The three main types of contact dermatitis include

Irritant contact dermatitis—developed when the skin touches an irritating chemical.

Allergic contact dermatitis—triggered by constant contact to a mild irritant over a long period of time.

Contact uticaria (hives)—occurs immediately after the skin comes in contact with an irritating substance.


Sensitive skin is influenced by

Skin disorders—eczema, rosacea, psoriasis or dermatitis

Overly dry or injured skin that can no longer protect nerve endings, leading to skin reactions.

Environmental factors.

Genetics, age, gender, race, etc.


Symptoms include

Immediate reaction/​irritation

Swelling

Dryness, itching, cracking, etc.

A reaction that occurs over a period of weeks or months

Blistering

Weeping

Irritation limited to the site of the original contact or spreads

May be confused with another type of dermatitis


Common allergens consist of

Preservatives

Fragrances

Surfactants

Emulsifiers

Hair dyes

Textile dyes

Metals

Topical medications

Plastics

Rubbers

Adhesives

Antibacterial ointments


anti-aging

May 25, 2020

Humans have had an interest in beauty throughout history. Taking it all the way back to Cleopatra, she bathed in milk to keep her skin beautiful and used coal as her eyeliner. The way society views aging and beauty leads to social, emotional and financial implications. Thus, society is continuing to search for the magic pill or cream to have them wake up looking younger.


What are some main factors or causes of aging

There are intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute to how skin ages. Intrinsic causes are those that are outside of our influence, extrinsic are within our scope of impact. We may not have control over things like our genetics or even hormonal fluctuations, but lifestyle is one of the main causes over which we have power in how skin ages.


What are some top aging myths

Sun damage is a big cause of skin aging, so it is expected that one of the top aging myths is that a higher SPF means stronger sun protection. The truth is that the sun protection factor means how long the skin is protected for and not in fact its strength. The ingredients that are used determine whether the SPF product is stronger or weaker based on whether they provide broad spectrum sun protection.


Another top aging myth that certainly needs some debunking is surrounding quick-fix skin care. The fact of the matter is that an effective topical skin care product will deem to be effective in accomplishing long-term results if used consistently and over time when matched appropriately with the skin needs and concerns.


What is intrinsic vs. extrinsic aging?

Intrinsic aging causes are those that are outside of our influence (i.​e. genetics, hormonal fluctuat­ions). Extrinsic aging causes are within our scope of impact (i.​e. sun care).

Inflammation ranges from skin that easily flushes to rosacea and melasma. Melasma, in particular, is very easily triggered, and one of those triggers is not only sun but heat. 

Chemical sunscreens absorb and neutralize UV rays, so the skin is still exposed to heat which can create a thermal cascade effect leading to increased pigmentation and redness. 

In comparison, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, used in physical sunscreens, reflect UV rays away from the skin keeping skin not only protected, but cooler. This helps keep the sleeping giant, that is melasma, at bay. In addition, physical sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection and can also work as an anti-inflammatory, physical sunscreen for the win.


ensuring product authenticity

May 22, 2020


When products, SkinMedica, Phytomer, Vie and Obagi are sold by unauthorized retailers or sites, these distribution outlets are considered to be ‘diverting products’. Diverted products have been obtained from unauthorized re-sellers and are being sold by unsanctioned sellers. Authentic products are offered for resale only by authorized skin care Medical Spa partners.


The authentic philosophy is based on the fact that Medical Spas adhere to the idea that consumers will benefit most by using authentic products in conjunction with regular consultation and treatments. This ensures that our clients are getting what they need from SkinMedica, Phytomer, VIE and Obagi to sustain a healthy skin care regimen.


Morgan Paris Med Spa cannot vouch for the authenticity, quality, or expiration period of diverted products. Sellers on unauthorized sites are illegally using SkinMedica, Phytomer, Vie and Obagi copyrighted images, trademarks and logos, as well as selling professional products clearly not for resale.


What are the Risks of Purchasing Diverted Products?

Diverted products can be counterfeit, old or expired, diluted or filled with unknown substances. The end result is they may not be safe to use. SkinMedica, Phytomer, Vie and Obagi stands by its products when they are purchased from authorized dealers only.

Faux Experts On The Rise

May 22, 2020


Be aware of people who are not trained in skin health and are selling you products. The beauty industry is rife with fake beauty “experts” who are thriving because of the popularity of the industry and the pervasiveness of online sales and social media. We can walk into any makeup store and sales associates are pushing and selling us skincare without even thoroughly evaluating our skin, like we conduct in a Medical Spa, these associates visually look and prescribe, at that point, our skin is in even more trouble!

Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Blue Cheese

May 21, 2020

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

1 small apple, chopped

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 ½ Tbsp. olive or avocado oil

3 Tbsp. (1 oz.) crumbled blue cheese

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Trim outer leaves and bottoms from sprouts and slice in half lengthwise (quarters if they’re really big). Place on baking sheet. Add chopped apple and diced onion to baking sheet with sprouts. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time, until sprouts are tender and lightly charred on the edges.


Beauty Trends to Watch

May 18, 2020

Trend 1: Lash Love

The more exaggerated the lashes, the better, this spring. Exaggerated lashes are always a way to create a big impact with your makeup looks. Think of layering lashes to build up the intensity this spring. Also, look toward adding a pop of color on the lashes to brighten up the eye look.


Trend 2: Getting Glossy

Gloss was put back on the market thanks to Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel bringing back high-shine cheeks and lips. This helps take makeup looks to the next level. Keep an eye out for eye looks getting extra glossy as well.


Trend 3: Glitter, Smoke and Mirrors

During award season, glittery, smokey eyes could be seen everywhere. The drama and the glitter together make a great combination that will definitely be a big trend. 


Trend 4: The Edge of Glory

This allows any makeup wearer and all makeup artists to show off their creativity. This trend is inspired by creases and liner that have popped up on shows like Anna Sui. This artistic approach to makeup uses bold eyeliner pencil shades and liquid eyeliners to create fun 

designs for the eye.


Trend 5: Neon Colors

Back to the bright look, the eyes will have fun this spring with people wanting to play with bright, neon cat eyes. However, this trend is not reserved for just the eyes. While the creases experienced a lot of fun neon colors, so did the lip when it came to fashion shows.


Trend 6: Grunge Style

Goth and grunge styles are back with many brands stepping away from a conservative look. This year's fashion shows showed models wearing deep oxbloods, vampy burgundies, chocolate browns and black lips. The range of products can include sheer glosses to high pigment lipsticks when it comes to this trend. It really is just all about the grunge. 

Think Hot Topic,  but make it fashion.


Foods For Hydration & Health

May 17, 2020

Healthy skin starts from the inside and radiates outward. When we feed our body healthy food, our cells thank us from how we feel (energy wise) to the way we look. Symptoms and conditions are your body’s way of communicating to you what it needs. To reap the benefits of good health, there are four life-changing food categories that will help the body. 

They are

Fruits

Vegetables

Wild Foods

Herbs/Spices


Fruits are cancer fighters, vegetables flush out acidity, herbs and spices build the immune system and wild foods help us adapt to stress; reaching for these foods transforms from a chore into an opportunity.


Foods with a high concentration of water will hydrate us from the inside. Along with high water contents, these foods are filled with vitamins, minerals and a ton of healing benefits for both our physical bodies and our cerebral emotions. What a win! There is something to be said about when you eat a healthy meal, feeling great as opposed to the uncomfortable sense we have after eating a meal filled with processed chemicals.

Inside-Out/Outside-In Skin Hydration

May 17, 2020

Hydration is an essential part of skin care. Dehydration compromises skin’s immune functioning and causes it to look older and more wrinkled. Skin tissue is constantly being renewed, and depending on the factors produced in the dermis, can be regenerated every 2-3 weeks. Targeted nutrition, both dietary and topical, can dramatically increase the moisture level of the skin. There’s a “nourish from the inside-out and outside-in” story to be told here with skin hydration. Let’s begin by looking at how hydration works in the skin.

The Barrier and Key Players

There are two ways to keep skin moist: by stopping trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), and by adding moisture from the outside with topical skin care products. The ingredients applied to skin can make a big difference in its hydration status, and just as with dietary nutrition, consider good, clean, topical nutrition options for the best results.

The skin’s barrier, often referred to as the acid mantle, holds in water and lipids and keeps bacteria and environmental pollution out. A crucial part of the acid mantle’s success is its pH. The ideal pH for skin falls around 5.5, which is slightly acidic. Skin with higher pH levels tends to be dry and fragile. Although the purpose of this article is to discuss nutrition for skin hydration, the subject really can’t be covered properly without a brief mention of skin pH, and the importance of not disrupting this pH balance by using harsh topical soaps and treatments.

Key nutritional players in skin hydration include certain vitamins, essential fats and antioxidants. The inside-out/outside-in story applies here to skin hydration, as with so many other areas of skin care. If these nutrients are taken in through the diet or applied to the skin, results are increased. To build healthy skin, feed the body the right nutrients and protect it from outside damage.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C an essential component in the synthesis of collagen, and as an antioxidant that helps to fight free radical damage in the skin. In addition to these important jobs, this vitamin contributes to skin hydration and elasticity.

While research is not clear on how vitamin C improves skin hydration, a higher intake of dietary vitamin C has been correlated with less dry skin, suggesting it may have effects on TEWL.


When using vitamin C in skin care routines, it is important to choose the form carefully, as the delivery method can make a big difference in effectiv­eness. Ascorbic acid, the basic form of vitamin C, oxidizes quickly when exposed to air. Better choices include tetrahex­yldecyl ascorbate (the lipid form) or water-soluble sodium ascorbyl phosphate to ensure the vitamin C is delivered to skin without oxidizing.

For delivery of vitamin C from the inside out, it can be obtained in foods such as papaya, bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the most potent lipid-soluble antioxidant for skin hydration. It is an essential part of skin cell membranes and has a role in cell signaling and cell nutrient transport. Therefore, it appears to enhance the penetration and resorption of skin lipids, creating an effective regulatory mechanism for restoring and maintaining the barrier function. Topically applied vitamin E is a moisturizer that helps keep the skin healthy and soft.

Vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms. There are two main categories of this complex vitamin— tocopherols and tocotrienols—and each contains four types of molecules: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Tocotrienols are 40-60 times more effective at quenching free radicals than tocopherols.

Vitamin E has a special relationship with two other antioxidants—vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid. Both vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid are capable of removing the extra electron from a used vitamin E molecule, essentially reactivating it. This capacity to recycle and restore its power makes vitamin E a prominent factor in the skin’s first line of defense against free radicals.

Thus, vitamin E plays an important role in maintaining the barrier function of skin and appears to enhance the penetration and resorption of skin lipids, making it an invaluable nutrient for locking moisture into the skin and preventing dehydration. Good food sources for obtaining vitamin E are nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.

B Vitamins

The B vitamins are a complex and busy group but offer a wealth of benefits for skin, internally and externally.

B3, Niacin. One important B vitamin is B3, also referred to as niacin or nicotinic acid. This B vitamin has three critical roles in the body: converting glucose to energy, aiding in the production of fatty acids and cholesterol, and facilitating DNA repair and stress responses.

As a player on the topical nutrition team for skin hydration, niacinamide (its skin care form) increases the production of ceramides and fatty acids, two key components of skin’s outer protective barrier. With a strong acid mantle, the skin is better able to keep moisture in and irritants out.

Dietary sources of vitamin B3 or niacin include tuna, chicken, turkey and peanuts.

B5 Pantothenic Acid. Vitamin B5 is a component of coenzyme A (CoA), an essential coenzyme required for chemical reactions that generate energy from food (fat, carbohydrates and proteins). It also is involved in the synthesis of essential fats, cholesterol and steroid hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.

On the topical side, B5 contributes to skin hydration via its role in the maintenance of skin barrier function. When applied to skin, B5 converts to pantothenic acid, which works as a humectant by infusing water in the cells, retaining moisture deep within the skin tissues.

In the diet, good sources of vitamin B5 include avocado, lentils, shiitake and crimini mushrooms.

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A is fat-soluble and comes in various forms: retinol, retinal and the various retinol esters. Among other important functions, vitamin A supports cell growth and differen­tiation, which is how it may contribute to hydration in the skin.

In topical form, vitamin A improves hydration in and around skin cells in a number of indirect ways, mostly by supporting healthy cell membrane functioning and encouraging skin cell turnover. In doing so, nutrient transport, waste removal and a reduction in TEWL result. Many forms of topical vitamin A are available for skin care formulations. The main goal is to balance delivering an effective amount of vitamin A to the skin while managing the side effects that often accompany vitamin A application.

Retinoic acid is an effective, bioavailable form of vitamin A, but it causes the most side effects. Retinols are also effective but must undergo a transfor­mation to retinoic acid when applied to the skin. Many skin care ingredient manufacturers have developed technologies such as encapsulation to lessen the side effects while improving delivery. The least harsh, yet less effective forms are retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, retinyl palmitate and retinyl proprionate.

Dietary vitamin A comes from sweet potatoes, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, dairy, fish and meat. Liver also is an excellent source of vitamin A. While foods rich in beta carotene supply vitamin A, only a small percentage is converted.

Fatty Acids

Certain dietary fats, referred to as essential fatty acids, are essential because the body cannot manufacture them, so they must be included in a diet to avoid deficiency. These fats fall into two categories: omega 6 and omega 3 .


This is a case where the “inside-outside” story is powerful, as chronic inflammation triggers a vast number of inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, eczema and acne. Although inflammation is not the same as dehydration, it contributes to a higher need for water in our cells and decreased cell membrane function. Conversely, when the body is deficient in both types of dietary fatty acids, skin cell integrity suffers and barrier function is reduced.

A dietary deficiency in these fatty acids results in a characte­ristic scaly skin disorder, increased epidermal turnover rate, weak cutaneous capillaries that rupture easily, decreased wound healing, and increased TEWL leading to dry skin. Topically, fatty acids are key players in skin hydration, but the best delivery vehicle is from the diet.

Omega 6 fatty acids provide hydration in the skin by maintaining epidermal homeostasis, meaning they balance the flow of fatty acids in and out of cell membranes. The most noteworthy 6 fatty acid used in topical formulations is gamma linolenic acid (GLA) from borage and evening primrose oil. GLA is one of the most effective agents for the treatment of skin disorders and for the maintenance of healthy skin. Studies show it is beneficial for the treatment of skin conditions including dry skin, eczema, inflammation, wounds and dermatitis. Dietary 6 fats come from vegetable oils such as palm, soybean and canola.

Omega 3 fatty acids support the skin cell membranes of the epidermis, allowing for nutrient transport in and out of the cell, as well as the removal of waste. An intact skin cell membrane is better able to hold onto water, thereby increasing hydration in the skin. Preferred sources for topical skin care include algae and other marine plant sources. Dietary 3 fats are found in fatty fish and fish oil, flaxseed and walnuts (in much lower levels).

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Many antioxidants and phytoche­micals benefit the skin. Research has found that the daily consumption of 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin increases skin hydration, skin elasticity and superficial lipids. However, when dietary intake was combined with topical application, the hydration status improved 20%. Lutein and zeaxanthin are nutrients found in dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach.

An Important Combination

Combining dietary and topical nutrition for skin health is especially important for skin hydration.  Consume a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables every day and take care when choosing sources of nutrition for skin. Clean diet and skin care on the inside = healthy, glowing skin on the outside.

Realization of Hydration

May 17, 2020

Considering the skin contains around 64% water, why is the cosmetic industry so obsessed with hydration and what does it really mean? Unless you have atopic dermatitis, hyperthy­roidism, ichthyosis or at the very least diabetes, dry skin is not the common symptom or even category everyone imagines.

Moisture and Aging

We all start out with dewy, bouncy, young skin, never feeling the urge to slap on a moisturizing cream. After the age of 23 or 25, dead cells no longer self-exfoliate as well as when we were children. Dead cells build up with what I like to call “the redundant cuticle.” These dead cells, which are still attached to the epidermis, are smaller than the living cells underneath. This imparts that tight, dry feeling and leaves the person with the perception of dry skin. Most people will put a moisturizer on it, and the oils in the product break the dry, tight tension. We might think we are moisturized, but we are just greased.

In fact, the very word moisturizer is a misnomer invented in 1962 to sell and market beauty creams. If properly formulated, creams can be excellent delivery systems for lipid carrying nutrients, but water is not one of them. Creams can maintain hydration levels, but only if the skin is in hydration homeostasis already.

The Importance of the Matrix

The matrix of the skin is that jelly-like fluid, mostly hyaluronic acid, sugars, salts and chondroitin sulfates. Real hydration is when this matrix is thick and bouncy by virtue of intercellular water retention bound by essential fatty acids. As we age, this matrix of the skin gets thinner and thinner. The skin can become chicken-like and crepey.


Peptides

May 17, 2020

Peptides are not only the building blocks of proteins, and nearly all living tissues, they also are an important category of ingredients in today’s skin care products. A peptide is comprised of two or more amino acids in varying sequences, with new commercially available peptides consistently evolving. Peptides can be used to address a myriad of conditions, and they work in different ways to improve the health and appearance of skin.


Proteins are crucial to every cellular process in the skin, and they decline as aging accelerates. At the root of these all-important proteins are the building blocks of life—amino acids. Of these amino acids, there are 20 that are particularly important to human biology, each performing a different, very specific function. When linked together in various sequences, they form chains (referred to as peptides), providing a variety of results within the skin.


Collagen is the most vital protein to keep the skin firm, smooth and youthful. As we age, collagen production decreases. Studies show that collagen production in individuals 80 years and older decreased by nearly 70% when compared with skin samples from people aged 18 to 29 years.


That said, the most effective way to reduce the signs of aging is to encourage the skin’s collagen production. This is where peptides come into play. When peptides are paired with a vitamin A, specifically retinald­ehyde, it forms a powerful, pro-youth combination that stimulates cellular regeneration while simultan­eously strengthening the skin.


Lip Plumping Pathways

September 23, 2020

Moist, luscious, plump lips have been coveted by most women throughout history. Unfortun­ately, most of us are not genetically blessed with these lips. Luckily, skin care science has given us plenty of methods of improving the look of lips.

Aging Lips

Lips often age more rapidly than the rest of our face does. This is partially due to the fact that the skin on our lips is thinner than skin elsewhere and does not contain sweat glands. Without sweat glands, lips don’t have the natural oils that protect skin from drying out.

The thinness of the skin and lack of oil lead to more rapid loss of moisture, leaving a dry and shriveled appearance. Other factors that lead to thin, unsightly lips are genetics, natural aging, UV exposure, dry air, certain medications and smoking.


skin health

September 3, 2020


"Everything is based on cellular function."


Definition of “skin health” as “skin that is naturally smooth, strong, firm, even-toned, hydrated and free of disease.”

We look beyond the surface to what skin should be since all problems in the skin can be traced back to abnormally-functioning cells deep within the skin. 

"Skin, in general, is a living organ. As any living organ like the heart and muscle and the brain, everything is based on cellular function.


Cauliflower Dijon

August 24, 2020


Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cleaned of leaves

1/2 cup mayo

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil cauliflower head in salt water for 10-15 minutes. Drain. Place in pie plate/casserole dish. Mix mayo and mustard and spread over cooled cauliflower. Top with cheddar cheese (pressing into sides). Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.

Growth Factors: The Science Behind Skin Rejuvenation

August 10, 2020

Growth factors play a pivotal role in maintaining firmness and elasticity in your skin. Daily use of skin care products containing growth factors are known to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture. But, not all products containing growth factors have the same benefits. Dr. Rahul Mehta, Head of Research and Development at SkinMedica (a pioneer in using growth factors in cosmetic treatments), explains why growth factors are imperative for skin rejuvenation.


What Are Growth Factors and Why Do We Need Them in Skin Care Products?

Growth factors are natural substances made by skin cells to maintain healthy skin. They are responsible for supporting the repair of damaged skin, making components that provide firmness and elasticity to the skin while helping to maintain skin’s protective functions. They are NOT Growth Hormones! Aging and sun-damaged skin require growth factors to maintain itself. However cells in aging skin make less growth factors than cells in youthful skin. One approach to support the levels of skin rejuvenation is to regularly use skin care products with a high concentration of stable growth factors.


Where Do Growth Factors in Skin Care Products Come From?

Advances in biotechnology over the past decade have created multiple sources of growth factors. They can be derived from several different human cells grown in a laboratory (skin cells, bone marrow stem cells, fat stem cells), extracted from one’s own blood (PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma) or from non-human sources such as snails and some plants. While all cells can produce growth factors, the composition of the growth factor blend they produce is likely to be ideal for the health of cells that produce them.

For example, fat stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help the functioning of fat cells and bone marrow stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help with functioning of bone marrow. Similar logic can be applied to growth factors or growth factor-like substances derived from non-human sources. Therefore, to maintain optimal skin health, ideal growth factors would be produced by skin cells, called fibroblasts, whose main function is to produce the components necessary to support the skin.


Do Growth Factors Really Work?

Several clinical studies, over the past 15 years, have highlighted the benefits of topically applied growth factor products showing improvements in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and discoloration. The studies show that, depending on the quality of skin, good results take 6-12 weeks of twice a day use. The diligence is definitely worth it as the improvement in skin appearance is very impressive! Most studies show visible reduction in crow’s feet lines, under-eye skin texture, and overall radiance. Combinations of growth factors with strong antioxidants tend to show results sooner, typically within 4-8 weeks. TNS Essential Serum provides a combination of stable growth factors (TNS Recovery Complex) with strong antioxidants (APS Corrective ComplexTM) designed to provide this rapid effect. Over 11 clinical studies have been conducted looking at cosmetic efficacy with TNS Essential Serum with results showcasing its ability to improve the overall appearance of skin. These are more studies than any other topical cosmetic growth factor product in the market today.


How Does TNS Essential Serum® Stand Out from Other Growth Factor Products on the Market?

TNS Recovery Complex® is the first topical cosmetic made almost entirely of stabilized human growth factor (93.6%). The growth factors are harvested using a patented process that ensures their stability and activity. Furthermore, TNS Recovery Complex formulation and manufacturing process maintains the stability of active growth factors. Multiple published studies in scientific journals and conferences have verified the presence of active growth factors in TNS Recovery Complex®. Carefully selected antioxidants and peptides present in TNS Essential Serum® complement the benefits of growth factors.

Women and Stress

August 5, 2020

Fifteen million people are under stress in the United States, according to the American Psychiatric Association, and more than half of these are women. Traditionally women were solely in the role of the stay at home family caregivers, but the modern day woman often is in a position of balancing family obligations and her career, affecting the dramatic disproportion of stress between men and women. When under stress for prolonged periods, depression can develop. Even before the 20th century Hippocrates, the first physician, had a name for clinical depression brought on by stress--melancholia. Every year the issue escalates, with more people at increasingly younger age suffering from depression.

So what actually is stress? Stress is the reaction from the body in response to external influences. For many women, stress is inevitable with the environment changing faster than ever before. Stress has significant impact on skin appearance, health and overall wellness, but there are effective ways to manage stress.

There are different types of stress, positive and negative, both of which result in a change in the hormonal balance. Whether the stress is psychological or physical, it all amounts to a universal reaction in the hypothalamus in the brain initiating the production of cortisol steroid, a stress hormone. An example of a psychological trigger is fear, and physical examples include heat, cold, burns or poisoning. When cortisol levels increase, the immune system weakens and makes the body vulnerable to illness and other health related issues, including skin problems.

Stress and Skin

Stress can bring on or exacerbate many skin issues like acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and cold sores. Many people who suffer from these different types of skin concerns, often become so distressed that they become locked in a vicious cycle, where their worries are a stress trigger. This is studied by the field of psychode­rmatology–how the mental and emotional state of a person is correlated to skin health and appearance.

In the medical field, psychode­rmatology has been a growing field as more skin conditions are being linked to the psychological welfare of a person. Stress can cause the flare up of acne breakouts, hives, pigmentation, hair loss and skin dryness. It weakens the outer layer of skin, unbalancing the acid mantle that protects the skin from harmful bacteria. Consequently, cells shrink and the lipids between the cells dissolve making the skin more vulnerable to infection.

Stress and Immunity

Chronic stress or even a stressful event can instigate an autoimmune reaction. When there is a threat, it causes fear. Fear sends the body into a state of shock, which lowers blood pressure, causes hypoglycemia, hypothermia and almost immediately forces the adrenal glands to shoot adrenaline and noradrenaline into the blood. Consequently, the increase in heartrate, breathing and blood pressure forces a rise of glucose in the muscles, converting proteins in the body to glucose. The accumulation of glucose in the body sets the body in preparation to fight, hence activating the immune system and inflammation genes regulated by cytokines.

The medulla of the adrenal glands reduces the stress reaction by stabilizing blood pressure with cortisol, which calms the immune system, heart rate and inflammation. If stress continues for long periods of time, the cortisol production in the medulla exhausts, causing chronic hypertension and a weakened immune system. The disruption in the immune system leads to many issues including arthritis, cellulite, acne and wrinkles to mention a few.

Stress and Epigenetics

Ongoing stress has the ability to damage chromosomes that make up DNA. Telomeres are located at the ends of DNA strands that function as a protective barrier for chromosomes. Recent studies reveal that chronic stress shortens the length and decreases the supply of telomeres. This accelerates aging, but researchers have also been examining the influence of stress on future generations. Scientist Elizabeth Blackburn performed an experiment in 2004 demonstrating that when the mind or body is exposed to severe stress such as a traumatic event, it causes changes in the genes. The ends of telomere chromosomes become shorter and accelerate cell aging. Epigenetics is the science of gene activity and regulation according to C.H. Waddington, who established the definition in 1957.

Epigenetics causes genes to perform functions that they are not typically conditioned to perform, but without altering genetic code. Dr. Yosef Zohar treated patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, including family members of survivors of the holocaust. The family members exhibited fears that were passed on from a previous generation. Ultimately, stress related changes in the DNA were inherited by future generations.

Stress Management

Stress has a powerful effect on the mind and body of a woman, but there are effective stress management methods. There are simple, straight­forward ways of achieving inner balance, peace and lowering stress.

Laugh. Laughter causes the release of endorphins by the brain, which elevates mood, boosts the immune system, and is great for lowering stress.

Exercise. Exercise is another way of releasing tension from the body as well as contributing to improving overall wellness.

Sleep. Women have become quite skillful in balancing all the different aspects of their lives, but often it is at the cost of having a sufficient amount of rest. Sleep deficiency puts great strain on the mind and body. The amount of sleep necessary may vary among people, but an American Psychological Association survey showed that, “adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night are more likely to report symptoms of stress.” Sleeping more is an effective remedy to lower stress.

Deep Meditation. Continuous high stress can provoke illness and make the body susceptible to colds, infections, and diseases by activating genes that work to counter stress. Fortunately, research has shown that deep meditation activates gene activity and is able to alter them on a molecular level. Through meditation, genes that promote health and healing are triggered. Meditation has an anti-inflammatory effect, and it has the power to restore cortisol levels in the body. It promotes inner balance and peace, while helping the mind and body relax. Meditation is one of the most powerful opponents to offset stress.

Probiotics. An unexpected remedy and best known for supporting gastroin­testinal health, when in balance, probiotic “health friendly bacteria” can elevate mood and help better handle stress. As mentioned earlier, stress leads to internal inflammation, which over time can lead to depression. Probiotics also facilitate a reduction of inflammation in the body by sending signals to the brain that stabilize the necessary output of cortisol. They equip the body to better handle stress and correspo­ndingly improve skin and total well-being.

Treating Hormonally Induced Melasma

July 27, 2020

Our body is a very unique machine created from so many links. It goes through trials and tribulations all day, every day. We never think of it because we can’t see the inner battle but when one link breaks, we start feeling a certain discomfort that we oftentimes ignore. This results in a much greater change that is out of our comfort zone.


Stress and thyroid disease have also been identified as contributing causes. These factors impact the melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) which triggers melanoge­nesis. As these imbalances continue, melanin remains in a state of constant over-production, which is why it appears in the form of large, dense patches of discolor­ation, differen­tiating it from smaller, less concentrated age spots. 

Hormones and Pigmentation

Hormonal changes, estrogen and progesterone, lead to a chain reaction in the body. Insulin resistance, uneven heat distribution and high levels of proteins combined with high levels of unmetabolized sugars create a darkening of the skin that results in a stain-like condition called melasma.

The proteins in the skin that are prone to glycation are the same proteins that make a youthful plump complexion. When combined with sugars, they become dark and weak. They also result in wrinkles, loss of elasticity and lack of a healthy glow. For a relatable example, think of cooking. When you’re cooking on a frying pan, the brown residue that is created on a frying pan is similar to what takes place during glycation (protein­+sugars+heat).

Additionally, the stress levels in the body create chaos and release unwanted stress hormones that behave like cortical steroids, confusing the entire chemical exchange in the body. The process becomes not only unsightly but uncomfortable for the entire system.  

Melasma is related to a heated experience in the body and mind. It’s as simple as that. Today, we find sugars in almost everything that makes it easy to have adverse reactions. Birth control pills may also contribute to some darkening of the skin due to the same reasons that include Insulin resistance as well as hormonal domination.  Lastly, studies are showing that nutritional supplements and anti-seizure medication can also contribute to melasma.

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles

July 27, 2020

Ingredients:

4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like the pasta

2 medium tomatoes, chopped, see note (about 12 ounces)

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons cold water

Salt, to taste

Instructions:

Trim and spiralize the zucchini. Cut extra long noodles so that they are about the length of spaghetti. Add olive oil, garlic, and the red pepper flakes to a large, deep skillet. Turn to medium heat. When the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, add the zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles with pasta tongs and cook until al dente — they should be wilted, but still have a crunch; 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the noodles cook any longer or else they will become mushy. As they cook, keep tossing so that all the zucchini noodles have a chance to hit the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Cook for one minute. Use pasta tongs to transfer the noodles, tomatoes, and basil to a serving dish. Leave the liquid in the skillet. Bring the liquid left in the skillet to a simmer. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl then whisk into the simmering liquid. Cook, while whisking until the liquid thickens to a sauce; about 1 minute. Taste the sauce and season with salt. Pour the sauce over the zucchini, tomatoes, and basil. Finish with more parmesan cheese on top and serve immediately.

ENZYME PEELS VS Chemical peels

July 15, 2020

Every skincare routine should include the essential step of exfoliation, which reveals youthful skin beneath dull layers. Exfoliation can promote optimal skin health by clearing the buildup of dead cells, which are a common cause of dehydration, acne, and premature aging. Chemical peels are often used as exfoliating agents, but they can be irritating for some, which is why enzyme peels are such a popular alternative.

Enzyme peels gently penetrate the upper layers of the skin. They rejuvenate and deeply clean the skin without traumatizing the surface. Instead, enzyme peels remove only skin cells that are already dead, meaning they leave behind no telltale redness. They also help improve elasticity and texture for a smooth, glowing complexion.  

BENEFITS OF ENZYME PEELS

Enzyme peels can help with a range of skin issues. They are especially effective for those with sensitive skin who often have trouble finding a peel that is gentle enough. They are also safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women who can’t use chemical peels.

Chemical peels use acids to remove living cells along with dead cells, causing potential damage depending on the strength of the peel. Enzyme peels only exfoliate dead cells and no live tissue. There is no downtime and no irritation with enzyme peels. 

Why get a chemical peel?

July 12, 2020

Glowing skin signifies radiant health, vitality and youth, and helps us face the world with more confidence. So, it’s no wonder humankind across all cultures and regions have been searching for ways to improve the skin’s appearance throughout the ages.

Chemical peels are essential in sustaining and restoring skin health and help restore skin surface and appearance. Peels effectively speed up the process of cellular turnover by shedding the top layer of dead surface cells, revealing brighter, smoother and renewed skin underneath.

Chemical peels are available in a range of intensities with different active ingredients to target various skin concerns - fine lines and wrinkles, acne prone, hyperpigmented or uneven skin as they help build collagen and resurface the skin and assist in getting the tissue healthy.

FYI....The absence of flaking does not mean that peels are not working. Flakes are not necessary for changes to occur within the skin.

Roasted Asparagus With Buttered Almonds, Capers and Dill

July 9, 2020

INGREDIENTS

1 ⅓ pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Scant 1/4 cup sliced (flaked) almonds

3 tablespoons baby capers, patted dry on paper towels (kitchen paper)

¼ to ½ cups roughly chopped fresh dill

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (baking tray) with parchment paper.

In a large bowl or on a work surface, use your hands or tongs to toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Arrange asparagus in the paper-lined pan, spaced well apart, and roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until asparagus is soft and starting to brown in places, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan.

In a small or medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until foamy. Add almonds and fry, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes (reduce heat as needed to prevent scorching). Pour almonds and butter evenly over asparagus.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat over high heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry, stirring continuously, until they have opened up and become crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove capers from the oil and sprinkle over the asparagus. Add dill. Using tongs or two spoons, mix gently to combine, transfer to a large plate and serve warm.

Mac and Cheese

July 9, 2020

 Ingredients:

1 lb box of spiral pasta

8 oz smoked Gouda, grated

8 oz sharp cheddar, grated

4 oz Parmesan, grated

1-1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (Hellman’s)

1 Cup Sour Cream

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 Cup Butter, melted

1 Cup Fresh bread crumbs (Panko also works)

Directions:

Preheat to 350, 325 for glass

Prepare pasta (al dente) as directed on package. While the pasta is cooking, combine all ingredients, except butter and bread crumbs, in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. When the pasta is ready, pour into a colander to drain. Once drained, add to bowl and mix well. Pour into a 9×9 square pan (or other 2qt dish). Combine butter and bread crumbs, sprinkle over top. Bake until golden and bubbly (about 30 minutes).

Digest vs. Dissolve: A Look at Enzymes and Acids for Exfoliation

July 5, 2020

There seems to be some confusion when it comes to the difference between acids and enzymes. The keywords in this difference are dissolve and digest.


Regardless of the form of chemical exfoliation chosen, the benefits cannot be ignored.  The decline of cell regeneration that comes with age slows down the process and sometimes even halts it.


The shedding of corneocytes that used to take a month to turnover now remain glued in place for two to three months longer. This prolonged adhesion can cause a buildup of scaly flaky skin and a compromised barrier, leading to transepi­dermal water loss (TEWL). If bacteria is present, breakouts will also be present, even with mature skin. Broken and dilated capillaries exacerbate the issue, because the self cleansing mechanism breaks down and oxygen cannot feed the cells.


Chemical exfoliation with acids is an effective anti-aging method, but it is not the best option for everyone. For some skin, enzymes are a more logical choice. 

Taking to the Water: Bathing Rituals Around the World

June 25, 2020


Bathing culture has been around for thousands of years.  Bathing rituals have played an important role in culture all over the world to the point of it being a part of cultural DNA, so it makes sense these traditions have carried on throughout time.  Cultures place a high level of importance on bathing, but it’s not solely about health and wellness benefits. Bathing has long been a tradition providing social connection and even entertai­nment.  


The only region in the world that hasn’t dived deep into bathing is the U.S., which has started the last couple of years–but the rest of the world has various bathing traditions that are very sacred.  The sauna in Sweden is a form of connection and it’s done often.  Bathing in the U.K. is slightly different than in Nordic countries, as its origins are Roman. Bath, England has attracted tourists for hundreds of years due to its world-famous natural hot springs.  Japan’s bathing traditions are ritualistic in nature, making them almost meditative.  Russian bathhouses, or banyas, are a place for bathers to gather, and they can be quite party-like. Their saunas tend to be hotter, and they have big barrels of milk and herbs they soak in.  


Bathing rituals is an umbrella term that can refer to a wide variety of concepts within the bathing world, including:

Balneoth­erapy,

Contrast temperature therapy,

Flotation,

Hot springs,

Hydrotherapy,

Infrared saunas,

Saunas, and

Water-based massage


body basics

June 17, 2020

Our skin is the body’s primary barrier and the largest organ. The main function of the skin is to protect the body. Without it, we would evaporate and die. Skin cells never stop growing and dividing. Keratinocytes are the most common skin cells that account for 90% of skin, while melanocytes give skin its color. We realize the desquamation process slows down as we age. We recognize new skin cells replace old ones, but how many skin cells are on our bodies?


Our bodies contain an estimated 19 million skin cells for every inch of your body and 300 million skin cells total. Wow, that is a tremendous amount of exfoliation.


We lose anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells a minute. In 24 hours, we lose around a million dead skin cells that leave a trail of dust. This dust can weigh up to around nine pounds in one year.


Exfoliation is defined as, “the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin using a chemical, granular substance or exfoliation tool.


As we know, there are many ways to exfoliate skin such as physical, chemical and mechanical. Exfoliating allows the surface of our skin to be radiant, smooth, brighter and more luminous. 


Reasons to Get Behind Dermaplaning

June 13, 2020

There are three types of exfoliation: chemical, manual and mechanical. Chemical exfoliation, of course, is referring to peels, whereas manual exfoliation includes the use of an abrasive such as a scrub. There are a couple of mechanical exfoliation methods that are used today, one of the most popular being dermaplaning.

Cell Turnover

The goal of exfoliation has always been to remove dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover. Skin cells turn over every three to four weeks in young skin. With age, this process moves at a slower rate, making monthly exfoliation more important. Exfoliation “tricks” the skin into turning over at a faster rate than it normally would.

To trick the skin, a controlled injury (exfoliation) is created. When the skin is injured, new skin cells are sent to replace the old ones, and collagen and elastin are produced. Loss of collagen and elastin is the biggest contributor to wrinkles. While collagen can be put back into the skin, elastin is too big of a molecule. So, with all the methods of exfoliation that exist, what makes dermaplaning so special?

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a lot like microder­mabrasion, another popular mechanical exfoliation technique. Both mechanically exfoliate the skin, but dermaplaning also removes the vellus hair from the skin. In this method of exfoliation, a sterile, surgical scalpel is used to complete the process. 

Benefits of Dermaplaning

1. Cell regeneration. As mentioned earlier, dermaplaning will trigger the cell regeneration process to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Hyperpig­mentation. Dermaplaning will exfoliate the top layer of your skin, taking off dead skin cells. Therefore, it can help lighten pigmented spots.

3. Immediate results. Other exfoliation processes sometimes take more time to show the results, but dermaplaning shows immediate results.

4. Safety. Dermaplaning is safe for everyone and there is no downtime involved.

5. Smooths rough skin. Dermaplaning is especially beneficial for people with rough, dry skin. The scalpel is effective in smoothing out skin and evening skin tone.

6. Hair removal. If clients are using this for hair removal, it is fine if they only have peach fuzz or vellus hair. It easily removes this hair without any problems.

7. Product penetration. Dermaplaning is good for letting products such as peels, strong serums or skin remedies penetrate deeply into the skin, as results are improved after exfoliation.

8. Mildness. Dermaplaning is a gentle form of exfoliation, and it can be more gentle than a peel or microder­mabrasion for sensitive clients. It is also great for new clients who want to start with gentle anti-aging treatments before jumping into more.

9. Frequency. Dermaplaning is safe to do every three to four weeks, which is the target range you would want to get those cells turning over faster.

10. Catalyst. This is a great catalyst to deeper exfoliation procedures, as it preps one’s skin gently rather than harshly.

11. Makeup. Clients will notice that their makeup will go on better after a dermaplaning service.


Understanding Your Skin

May 31, 2020

The skin is a complex organ, composed of two main layers: the epidermis and the dermis. In addition to being the largest organ of the body, the skin is also one of the most important, protecting the rest of the body from the outside environment.


The outer layer, the epidermis, is comprised of four layers, which are responsible for keeping water in, keeping infection out and helping to regulate body temperature - among other vital functions. The inner layer, the dermis, is composed mainly of connective tissue that provides the strength and elasticity your skin needs to resist stressors. Both layers are vital in understanding and treating nearly all skin conditions and concerns.


A multitude of factors contribute to the outward appearance of your skin: environmental aggressors like the sun, pollution, and the weather; internal aggressors, like diet and hydration; and your own biochemistry, such as hormones and genetic predispositions. Whether you are looking to improve the appearance of aging skin, blemishes, uneven skin tone, flushing or other conditions, the intricate skin system requires a multifaceted approach to treatment.


Human skin is very complex, and creating skincare solutions that work effectively requires precise chemical formulation, extensive knowledge of dermatological bio-chemistry, and the highest-grade ingredients available and that is where Phytomer and it's Brand companies lead.

Anti-aging, Pigmentation and Acne: The SKINNY oN Chemical Peels

May 31, 2020

Peels have evolved a great deal since their initial use. The ancient Chinese used peels thousands of years ago, as did the ancient Egyptians. One of today’s modern peel ingredients, lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid derived from sour milk, often was included in these very early peels in addition to a variety of other substances including herbs, scented oils and—in the case of the Egyptians—ground alabaster stone.

The modern era of chemical peels began in the late 1800s when physicians started experimenting with various chemicals, some very caustic and some less so, to improve facial aesthetics and skin problems such as acne or scars. Many of these chemicals are still used today in various concentr­ations.  After World War I, chemical peels were used to lessen disfigur­ations caused by facial shrapnel wounds.

All peels work by generating “controlled” damage and a “controlled” 

inflammatory response.  Even superficial peels, via inflammatory mediators, will increase collagen formation over time due to the response to wounding. Although these initial changes may be initially experienced in the epidermis, cytokines and other chemical messengers will communicate the biochemical events to the dermis and stimulate collagen formation.


Many skin issues can benefit from peels; especially hyperpig­mentation, acne and acne scarring and aging and for general complexion rejuvenation.


Breaking Down Body Scrubs

May 26, 2020

Scrubs can be luxurious in scent and touch, a treat for the 

senses and the skin

A body scrub is essentially a skin care product used to remove dead skin cells through exfoliation. In the process, it helps increase blood circulation to the surface of the skin, drain lymph nodes and leave the skin feeling cleansed and rejuvenated. With the dead skin cells removed, skin will also be better able to absorb moisturizing body products better.


On a biological level, the outer layer of cells in our skin regularly shed to make way for the healthier new cells underneath. As we age, this process naturally slows down. 


By exfoliating the skin, we help speed the process of removing dead skin cells and bringing healthy new ones to the surface, which can improve skin’s look and texture almost immediately.


Although the ingredients used for a body scrub don’t have to be as gentle as those in a scrub used on the delicate skin of the face, it’s important to remember that any product we use on our bodies is only as good as the ingredients we put into it.


Most body scrubs include some combination of sea salt or sugar, oils and essential oils, and choosing the right combination and type will determine the results.


How we treat our skin and what we treat it with makes a noticeable difference in our overall health and well-being. It’s about taking care of our bodies, from the outside in.


Sensitive Skin 101

May 25, 2020

Various forms for dermatitis, specifically contact dermatitis—a form of eczematous dermatitis that may result from direct irritation of the skin by a substance such as a chemical or an allergic reaction to a particular substance that has been in contact with the skin, injected or taken by mouth.

The three main types of contact dermatitis include

Irritant contact dermatitis—developed when the skin touches an irritating chemical.

Allergic contact dermatitis—triggered by constant contact to a mild irritant over a long period of time.

Contact uticaria (hives)—occurs immediately after the skin comes in contact with an irritating substance.


Sensitive skin is influenced by

Skin disorders—eczema, rosacea, psoriasis or dermatitis

Overly dry or injured skin that can no longer protect nerve endings, leading to skin reactions.

Environmental factors.

Genetics, age, gender, race, etc.


Symptoms include

Immediate reaction/​irritation

Swelling

Dryness, itching, cracking, etc.

A reaction that occurs over a period of weeks or months

Blistering

Weeping

Irritation limited to the site of the original contact or spreads

May be confused with another type of dermatitis


Common allergens consist of

Preservatives

Fragrances

Surfactants

Emulsifiers

Hair dyes

Textile dyes

Metals

Topical medications

Plastics

Rubbers

Adhesives

Antibacterial ointments


anti-aging

May 25, 2020

Humans have had an interest in beauty throughout history. Taking it all the way back to Cleopatra, she bathed in milk to keep her skin beautiful and used coal as her eyeliner. The way society views aging and beauty leads to social, emotional and financial implications. Thus, society is continuing to search for the magic pill or cream to have them wake up looking younger.


What are some main factors or causes of aging

There are intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute to how skin ages. Intrinsic causes are those that are outside of our influence, extrinsic are within our scope of impact. We may not have control over things like our genetics or even hormonal fluctuations, but lifestyle is one of the main causes over which we have power in how skin ages.


What are some top aging myths

Sun damage is a big cause of skin aging, so it is expected that one of the top aging myths is that a higher SPF means stronger sun protection. The truth is that the sun protection factor means how long the skin is protected for and not in fact its strength. The ingredients that are used determine whether the SPF product is stronger or weaker based on whether they provide broad spectrum sun protection.


Another top aging myth that certainly needs some debunking is surrounding quick-fix skin care. The fact of the matter is that an effective topical skin care product will deem to be effective in accomplishing long-term results if used consistently and over time when matched appropriately with the skin needs and concerns.


What is intrinsic vs. extrinsic aging?

Intrinsic aging causes are those that are outside of our influence (i.​e. genetics, hormonal fluctuat­ions). Extrinsic aging causes are within our scope of impact (i.​e. sun care).

Inflammation ranges from skin that easily flushes to rosacea and melasma. Melasma, in particular, is very easily triggered, and one of those triggers is not only sun but heat. 

Chemical sunscreens absorb and neutralize UV rays, so the skin is still exposed to heat which can create a thermal cascade effect leading to increased pigmentation and redness. 

In comparison, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, used in physical sunscreens, reflect UV rays away from the skin keeping skin not only protected, but cooler. This helps keep the sleeping giant, that is melasma, at bay. In addition, physical sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection and can also work as an anti-inflammatory, physical sunscreen for the win.


ensuring product authenticity

May 22, 2020


When products, SkinMedica, Phytomer, Vie and Obagi are sold by unauthorized retailers or sites, these distribution outlets are considered to be ‘diverting products’. Diverted products have been obtained from unauthorized re-sellers and are being sold by unsanctioned sellers. Authentic products are offered for resale only by authorized skin care Medical Spa partners.


The authentic philosophy is based on the fact that Medical Spas adhere to the idea that consumers will benefit most by using authentic products in conjunction with regular consultation and treatments. This ensures that our clients are getting what they need from SkinMedica, Phytomer, VIE and Obagi to sustain a healthy skin care regimen.


Morgan Paris Med Spa cannot vouch for the authenticity, quality, or expiration period of diverted products. Sellers on unauthorized sites are illegally using SkinMedica, Phytomer, Vie and Obagi copyrighted images, trademarks and logos, as well as selling professional products clearly not for resale.


What are the Risks of Purchasing Diverted Products?

Diverted products can be counterfeit, old or expired, diluted or filled with unknown substances. The end result is they may not be safe to use. SkinMedica, Phytomer, Vie and Obagi stands by its products when they are purchased from authorized dealers only.

Faux Experts On The Rise

May 22, 2020


Be aware of people who are not trained in skin health and are selling you products. The beauty industry is rife with fake beauty “experts” who are thriving because of the popularity of the industry and the pervasiveness of online sales and social media. We can walk into any makeup store and sales associates are pushing and selling us skincare without even thoroughly evaluating our skin, like we conduct in a Medical Spa, these associates visually look and prescribe, at that point, our skin is in even more trouble!

Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Blue Cheese

May 21, 2020

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

1 small apple, chopped

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 ½ Tbsp. olive or avocado oil

3 Tbsp. (1 oz.) crumbled blue cheese

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Trim outer leaves and bottoms from sprouts and slice in half lengthwise (quarters if they’re really big). Place on baking sheet. Add chopped apple and diced onion to baking sheet with sprouts. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time, until sprouts are tender and lightly charred on the edges.


Beauty Trends to Watch

May 18, 2020

Trend 1: Lash Love

The more exaggerated the lashes, the better, this spring. Exaggerated lashes are always a way to create a big impact with your makeup looks. Think of layering lashes to build up the intensity this spring. Also, look toward adding a pop of color on the lashes to brighten up the eye look.


Trend 2: Getting Glossy

Gloss was put back on the market thanks to Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel bringing back high-shine cheeks and lips. This helps take makeup looks to the next level. Keep an eye out for eye looks getting extra glossy as well.


Trend 3: Glitter, Smoke and Mirrors

During award season, glittery, smokey eyes could be seen everywhere. The drama and the glitter together make a great combination that will definitely be a big trend. 


Trend 4: The Edge of Glory

This allows any makeup wearer and all makeup artists to show off their creativity. This trend is inspired by creases and liner that have popped up on shows like Anna Sui. This artistic approach to makeup uses bold eyeliner pencil shades and liquid eyeliners to create fun 

designs for the eye.


Trend 5: Neon Colors

Back to the bright look, the eyes will have fun this spring with people wanting to play with bright, neon cat eyes. However, this trend is not reserved for just the eyes. While the creases experienced a lot of fun neon colors, so did the lip when it came to fashion shows.


Trend 6: Grunge Style

Goth and grunge styles are back with many brands stepping away from a conservative look. This year's fashion shows showed models wearing deep oxbloods, vampy burgundies, chocolate browns and black lips. The range of products can include sheer glosses to high pigment lipsticks when it comes to this trend. It really is just all about the grunge. 

Think Hot Topic,  but make it fashion.


Foods For Hydration & Health

May 17, 2020

Healthy skin starts from the inside and radiates outward. When we feed our body healthy food, our cells thank us from how we feel (energy wise) to the way we look. Symptoms and conditions are your body’s way of communicating to you what it needs. To reap the benefits of good health, there are four life-changing food categories that will help the body. 

They are

Fruits

Vegetables

Wild Foods

Herbs/Spices


Fruits are cancer fighters, vegetables flush out acidity, herbs and spices build the immune system and wild foods help us adapt to stress; reaching for these foods transforms from a chore into an opportunity.


Foods with a high concentration of water will hydrate us from the inside. Along with high water contents, these foods are filled with vitamins, minerals and a ton of healing benefits for both our physical bodies and our cerebral emotions. What a win! There is something to be said about when you eat a healthy meal, feeling great as opposed to the uncomfortable sense we have after eating a meal filled with processed chemicals.

Inside-Out/Outside-In Skin Hydration

May 17, 2020

Hydration is an essential part of skin care. Dehydration compromises skin’s immune functioning and causes it to look older and more wrinkled. Skin tissue is constantly being renewed, and depending on the factors produced in the dermis, can be regenerated every 2-3 weeks. Targeted nutrition, both dietary and topical, can dramatically increase the moisture level of the skin. There’s a “nourish from the inside-out and outside-in” story to be told here with skin hydration. Let’s begin by looking at how hydration works in the skin.

The Barrier and Key Players

There are two ways to keep skin moist: by stopping trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), and by adding moisture from the outside with topical skin care products. The ingredients applied to skin can make a big difference in its hydration status, and just as with dietary nutrition, consider good, clean, topical nutrition options for the best results.

The skin’s barrier, often referred to as the acid mantle, holds in water and lipids and keeps bacteria and environmental pollution out. A crucial part of the acid mantle’s success is its pH. The ideal pH for skin falls around 5.5, which is slightly acidic. Skin with higher pH levels tends to be dry and fragile. Although the purpose of this article is to discuss nutrition for skin hydration, the subject really can’t be covered properly without a brief mention of skin pH, and the importance of not disrupting this pH balance by using harsh topical soaps and treatments.

Key nutritional players in skin hydration include certain vitamins, essential fats and antioxidants. The inside-out/outside-in story applies here to skin hydration, as with so many other areas of skin care. If these nutrients are taken in through the diet or applied to the skin, results are increased. To build healthy skin, feed the body the right nutrients and protect it from outside damage.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C an essential component in the synthesis of collagen, and as an antioxidant that helps to fight free radical damage in the skin. In addition to these important jobs, this vitamin contributes to skin hydration and elasticity.

While research is not clear on how vitamin C improves skin hydration, a higher intake of dietary vitamin C has been correlated with less dry skin, suggesting it may have effects on TEWL.


When using vitamin C in skin care routines, it is important to choose the form carefully, as the delivery method can make a big difference in effectiv­eness. Ascorbic acid, the basic form of vitamin C, oxidizes quickly when exposed to air. Better choices include tetrahex­yldecyl ascorbate (the lipid form) or water-soluble sodium ascorbyl phosphate to ensure the vitamin C is delivered to skin without oxidizing.

For delivery of vitamin C from the inside out, it can be obtained in foods such as papaya, bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the most potent lipid-soluble antioxidant for skin hydration. It is an essential part of skin cell membranes and has a role in cell signaling and cell nutrient transport. Therefore, it appears to enhance the penetration and resorption of skin lipids, creating an effective regulatory mechanism for restoring and maintaining the barrier function. Topically applied vitamin E is a moisturizer that helps keep the skin healthy and soft.

Vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms. There are two main categories of this complex vitamin— tocopherols and tocotrienols—and each contains four types of molecules: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Tocotrienols are 40-60 times more effective at quenching free radicals than tocopherols.

Vitamin E has a special relationship with two other antioxidants—vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid. Both vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid are capable of removing the extra electron from a used vitamin E molecule, essentially reactivating it. This capacity to recycle and restore its power makes vitamin E a prominent factor in the skin’s first line of defense against free radicals.

Thus, vitamin E plays an important role in maintaining the barrier function of skin and appears to enhance the penetration and resorption of skin lipids, making it an invaluable nutrient for locking moisture into the skin and preventing dehydration. Good food sources for obtaining vitamin E are nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.

B Vitamins

The B vitamins are a complex and busy group but offer a wealth of benefits for skin, internally and externally.

B3, Niacin. One important B vitamin is B3, also referred to as niacin or nicotinic acid. This B vitamin has three critical roles in the body: converting glucose to energy, aiding in the production of fatty acids and cholesterol, and facilitating DNA repair and stress responses.

As a player on the topical nutrition team for skin hydration, niacinamide (its skin care form) increases the production of ceramides and fatty acids, two key components of skin’s outer protective barrier. With a strong acid mantle, the skin is better able to keep moisture in and irritants out.

Dietary sources of vitamin B3 or niacin include tuna, chicken, turkey and peanuts.

B5 Pantothenic Acid. Vitamin B5 is a component of coenzyme A (CoA), an essential coenzyme required for chemical reactions that generate energy from food (fat, carbohydrates and proteins). It also is involved in the synthesis of essential fats, cholesterol and steroid hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.

On the topical side, B5 contributes to skin hydration via its role in the maintenance of skin barrier function. When applied to skin, B5 converts to pantothenic acid, which works as a humectant by infusing water in the cells, retaining moisture deep within the skin tissues.

In the diet, good sources of vitamin B5 include avocado, lentils, shiitake and crimini mushrooms.

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A is fat-soluble and comes in various forms: retinol, retinal and the various retinol esters. Among other important functions, vitamin A supports cell growth and differen­tiation, which is how it may contribute to hydration in the skin.

In topical form, vitamin A improves hydration in and around skin cells in a number of indirect ways, mostly by supporting healthy cell membrane functioning and encouraging skin cell turnover. In doing so, nutrient transport, waste removal and a reduction in TEWL result. Many forms of topical vitamin A are available for skin care formulations. The main goal is to balance delivering an effective amount of vitamin A to the skin while managing the side effects that often accompany vitamin A application.

Retinoic acid is an effective, bioavailable form of vitamin A, but it causes the most side effects. Retinols are also effective but must undergo a transfor­mation to retinoic acid when applied to the skin. Many skin care ingredient manufacturers have developed technologies such as encapsulation to lessen the side effects while improving delivery. The least harsh, yet less effective forms are retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, retinyl palmitate and retinyl proprionate.

Dietary vitamin A comes from sweet potatoes, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, dairy, fish and meat. Liver also is an excellent source of vitamin A. While foods rich in beta carotene supply vitamin A, only a small percentage is converted.

Fatty Acids

Certain dietary fats, referred to as essential fatty acids, are essential because the body cannot manufacture them, so they must be included in a diet to avoid deficiency. These fats fall into two categories: omega 6 and omega 3 .


This is a case where the “inside-outside” story is powerful, as chronic inflammation triggers a vast number of inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, eczema and acne. Although inflammation is not the same as dehydration, it contributes to a higher need for water in our cells and decreased cell membrane function. Conversely, when the body is deficient in both types of dietary fatty acids, skin cell integrity suffers and barrier function is reduced.

A dietary deficiency in these fatty acids results in a characte­ristic scaly skin disorder, increased epidermal turnover rate, weak cutaneous capillaries that rupture easily, decreased wound healing, and increased TEWL leading to dry skin. Topically, fatty acids are key players in skin hydration, but the best delivery vehicle is from the diet.

Omega 6 fatty acids provide hydration in the skin by maintaining epidermal homeostasis, meaning they balance the flow of fatty acids in and out of cell membranes. The most noteworthy 6 fatty acid used in topical formulations is gamma linolenic acid (GLA) from borage and evening primrose oil. GLA is one of the most effective agents for the treatment of skin disorders and for the maintenance of healthy skin. Studies show it is beneficial for the treatment of skin conditions including dry skin, eczema, inflammation, wounds and dermatitis. Dietary 6 fats come from vegetable oils such as palm, soybean and canola.

Omega 3 fatty acids support the skin cell membranes of the epidermis, allowing for nutrient transport in and out of the cell, as well as the removal of waste. An intact skin cell membrane is better able to hold onto water, thereby increasing hydration in the skin. Preferred sources for topical skin care include algae and other marine plant sources. Dietary 3 fats are found in fatty fish and fish oil, flaxseed and walnuts (in much lower levels).

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Many antioxidants and phytoche­micals benefit the skin. Research has found that the daily consumption of 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin increases skin hydration, skin elasticity and superficial lipids. However, when dietary intake was combined with topical application, the hydration status improved 20%. Lutein and zeaxanthin are nutrients found in dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach.

An Important Combination

Combining dietary and topical nutrition for skin health is especially important for skin hydration.  Consume a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables every day and take care when choosing sources of nutrition for skin. Clean diet and skin care on the inside = healthy, glowing skin on the outside.

Realization of Hydration

May 17, 2020

Considering the skin contains around 64% water, why is the cosmetic industry so obsessed with hydration and what does it really mean? Unless you have atopic dermatitis, hyperthy­roidism, ichthyosis or at the very least diabetes, dry skin is not the common symptom or even category everyone imagines.

Moisture and Aging

We all start out with dewy, bouncy, young skin, never feeling the urge to slap on a moisturizing cream. After the age of 23 or 25, dead cells no longer self-exfoliate as well as when we were children. Dead cells build up with what I like to call “the redundant cuticle.” These dead cells, which are still attached to the epidermis, are smaller than the living cells underneath. This imparts that tight, dry feeling and leaves the person with the perception of dry skin. Most people will put a moisturizer on it, and the oils in the product break the dry, tight tension. We might think we are moisturized, but we are just greased.

In fact, the very word moisturizer is a misnomer invented in 1962 to sell and market beauty creams. If properly formulated, creams can be excellent delivery systems for lipid carrying nutrients, but water is not one of them. Creams can maintain hydration levels, but only if the skin is in hydration homeostasis already.

The Importance of the Matrix

The matrix of the skin is that jelly-like fluid, mostly hyaluronic acid, sugars, salts and chondroitin sulfates. Real hydration is when this matrix is thick and bouncy by virtue of intercellular water retention bound by essential fatty acids. As we age, this matrix of the skin gets thinner and thinner. The skin can become chicken-like and crepey.


Peptides

May 17, 2020

Peptides are not only the building blocks of proteins, and nearly all living tissues, they also are an important category of ingredients in today’s skin care products. A peptide is comprised of two or more amino acids in varying sequences, with new commercially available peptides consistently evolving. Peptides can be used to address a myriad of conditions, and they work in different ways to improve the health and appearance of skin.


Proteins are crucial to every cellular process in the skin, and they decline as aging accelerates. At the root of these all-important proteins are the building blocks of life—amino acids. Of these amino acids, there are 20 that are particularly important to human biology, each performing a different, very specific function. When linked together in various sequences, they form chains (referred to as peptides), providing a variety of results within the skin.


Collagen is the most vital protein to keep the skin firm, smooth and youthful. As we age, collagen production decreases. Studies show that collagen production in individuals 80 years and older decreased by nearly 70% when compared with skin samples from people aged 18 to 29 years.


That said, the most effective way to reduce the signs of aging is to encourage the skin’s collagen production. This is where peptides come into play. When peptides are paired with a vitamin A, specifically retinald­ehyde, it forms a powerful, pro-youth combination that stimulates cellular regeneration while simultan­eously strengthening the skin.


Lip Plumping Pathways

September 23, 2020

Moist, luscious, plump lips have been coveted by most women throughout history. Unfortun­ately, most of us are not genetically blessed with these lips. Luckily, skin care science has given us plenty of methods of improving the look of lips.

Aging Lips

Lips often age more rapidly than the rest of our face does. This is partially due to the fact that the skin on our lips is thinner than skin elsewhere and does not contain sweat glands. Without sweat glands, lips don’t have the natural oils that protect skin from drying out.

The thinness of the skin and lack of oil lead to more rapid loss of moisture, leaving a dry and shriveled appearance. Other factors that lead to thin, unsightly lips are genetics, natural aging, UV exposure, dry air, certain medications and smoking.


skin health

September 3, 2020


"Everything is based on cellular function."


Definition of “skin health” as “skin that is naturally smooth, strong, firm, even-toned, hydrated and free of disease.”

We look beyond the surface to what skin should be since all problems in the skin can be traced back to abnormally-functioning cells deep within the skin. 

"Skin, in general, is a living organ. As any living organ like the heart and muscle and the brain, everything is based on cellular function.


Cauliflower Dijon

August 24, 2020


Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cleaned of leaves

1/2 cup mayo

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil cauliflower head in salt water for 10-15 minutes. Drain. Place in pie plate/casserole dish. Mix mayo and mustard and spread over cooled cauliflower. Top with cheddar cheese (pressing into sides). Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.

Growth Factors: The Science Behind Skin Rejuvenation

August 10, 2020

Growth factors play a pivotal role in maintaining firmness and elasticity in your skin. Daily use of skin care products containing growth factors are known to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture. But, not all products containing growth factors have the same benefits. Dr. Rahul Mehta, Head of Research and Development at SkinMedica (a pioneer in using growth factors in cosmetic treatments), explains why growth factors are imperative for skin rejuvenation.


What Are Growth Factors and Why Do We Need Them in Skin Care Products?

Growth factors are natural substances made by skin cells to maintain healthy skin. They are responsible for supporting the repair of damaged skin, making components that provide firmness and elasticity to the skin while helping to maintain skin’s protective functions. They are NOT Growth Hormones! Aging and sun-damaged skin require growth factors to maintain itself. However cells in aging skin make less growth factors than cells in youthful skin. One approach to support the levels of skin rejuvenation is to regularly use skin care products with a high concentration of stable growth factors.


Where Do Growth Factors in Skin Care Products Come From?

Advances in biotechnology over the past decade have created multiple sources of growth factors. They can be derived from several different human cells grown in a laboratory (skin cells, bone marrow stem cells, fat stem cells), extracted from one’s own blood (PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma) or from non-human sources such as snails and some plants. While all cells can produce growth factors, the composition of the growth factor blend they produce is likely to be ideal for the health of cells that produce them.

For example, fat stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help the functioning of fat cells and bone marrow stem cells are likely to produce growth factors that help with functioning of bone marrow. Similar logic can be applied to growth factors or growth factor-like substances derived from non-human sources. Therefore, to maintain optimal skin health, ideal growth factors would be produced by skin cells, called fibroblasts, whose main function is to produce the components necessary to support the skin.


Do Growth Factors Really Work?

Several clinical studies, over the past 15 years, have highlighted the benefits of topically applied growth factor products showing improvements in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and discoloration. The studies show that, depending on the quality of skin, good results take 6-12 weeks of twice a day use. The diligence is definitely worth it as the improvement in skin appearance is very impressive! Most studies show visible reduction in crow’s feet lines, under-eye skin texture, and overall radiance. Combinations of growth factors with strong antioxidants tend to show results sooner, typically within 4-8 weeks. TNS Essential Serum provides a combination of stable growth factors (TNS Recovery Complex) with strong antioxidants (APS Corrective ComplexTM) designed to provide this rapid effect. Over 11 clinical studies have been conducted looking at cosmetic efficacy with TNS Essential Serum with results showcasing its ability to improve the overall appearance of skin. These are more studies than any other topical cosmetic growth factor product in the market today.


How Does TNS Essential Serum® Stand Out from Other Growth Factor Products on the Market?

TNS Recovery Complex® is the first topical cosmetic made almost entirely of stabilized human growth factor (93.6%). The growth factors are harvested using a patented process that ensures their stability and activity. Furthermore, TNS Recovery Complex formulation and manufacturing process maintains the stability of active growth factors. Multiple published studies in scientific journals and conferences have verified the presence of active growth factors in TNS Recovery Complex®. Carefully selected antioxidants and peptides present in TNS Essential Serum® complement the benefits of growth factors.

Women and Stress

August 5, 2020

Fifteen million people are under stress in the United States, according to the American Psychiatric Association, and more than half of these are women. Traditionally women were solely in the role of the stay at home family caregivers, but the modern day woman often is in a position of balancing family obligations and her career, affecting the dramatic disproportion of stress between men and women. When under stress for prolonged periods, depression can develop. Even before the 20th century Hippocrates, the first physician, had a name for clinical depression brought on by stress--melancholia. Every year the issue escalates, with more people at increasingly younger age suffering from depression.

So what actually is stress? Stress is the reaction from the body in response to external influences. For many women, stress is inevitable with the environment changing faster than ever before. Stress has significant impact on skin appearance, health and overall wellness, but there are effective ways to manage stress.

There are different types of stress, positive and negative, both of which result in a change in the hormonal balance. Whether the stress is psychological or physical, it all amounts to a universal reaction in the hypothalamus in the brain initiating the production of cortisol steroid, a stress hormone. An example of a psychological trigger is fear, and physical examples include heat, cold, burns or poisoning. When cortisol levels increase, the immune system weakens and makes the body vulnerable to illness and other health related issues, including skin problems.

Stress and Skin

Stress can bring on or exacerbate many skin issues like acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and cold sores. Many people who suffer from these different types of skin concerns, often become so distressed that they become locked in a vicious cycle, where their worries are a stress trigger. This is studied by the field of psychode­rmatology–how the mental and emotional state of a person is correlated to skin health and appearance.

In the medical field, psychode­rmatology has been a growing field as more skin conditions are being linked to the psychological welfare of a person. Stress can cause the flare up of acne breakouts, hives, pigmentation, hair loss and skin dryness. It weakens the outer layer of skin, unbalancing the acid mantle that protects the skin from harmful bacteria. Consequently, cells shrink and the lipids between the cells dissolve making the skin more vulnerable to infection.

Stress and Immunity

Chronic stress or even a stressful event can instigate an autoimmune reaction. When there is a threat, it causes fear. Fear sends the body into a state of shock, which lowers blood pressure, causes hypoglycemia, hypothermia and almost immediately forces the adrenal glands to shoot adrenaline and noradrenaline into the blood. Consequently, the increase in heartrate, breathing and blood pressure forces a rise of glucose in the muscles, converting proteins in the body to glucose. The accumulation of glucose in the body sets the body in preparation to fight, hence activating the immune system and inflammation genes regulated by cytokines.

The medulla of the adrenal glands reduces the stress reaction by stabilizing blood pressure with cortisol, which calms the immune system, heart rate and inflammation. If stress continues for long periods of time, the cortisol production in the medulla exhausts, causing chronic hypertension and a weakened immune system. The disruption in the immune system leads to many issues including arthritis, cellulite, acne and wrinkles to mention a few.

Stress and Epigenetics

Ongoing stress has the ability to damage chromosomes that make up DNA. Telomeres are located at the ends of DNA strands that function as a protective barrier for chromosomes. Recent studies reveal that chronic stress shortens the length and decreases the supply of telomeres. This accelerates aging, but researchers have also been examining the influence of stress on future generations. Scientist Elizabeth Blackburn performed an experiment in 2004 demonstrating that when the mind or body is exposed to severe stress such as a traumatic event, it causes changes in the genes. The ends of telomere chromosomes become shorter and accelerate cell aging. Epigenetics is the science of gene activity and regulation according to C.H. Waddington, who established the definition in 1957.

Epigenetics causes genes to perform functions that they are not typically conditioned to perform, but without altering genetic code. Dr. Yosef Zohar treated patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, including family members of survivors of the holocaust. The family members exhibited fears that were passed on from a previous generation. Ultimately, stress related changes in the DNA were inherited by future generations.

Stress Management

Stress has a powerful effect on the mind and body of a woman, but there are effective stress management methods. There are simple, straight­forward ways of achieving inner balance, peace and lowering stress.

Laugh. Laughter causes the release of endorphins by the brain, which elevates mood, boosts the immune system, and is great for lowering stress.

Exercise. Exercise is another way of releasing tension from the body as well as contributing to improving overall wellness.

Sleep. Women have become quite skillful in balancing all the different aspects of their lives, but often it is at the cost of having a sufficient amount of rest. Sleep deficiency puts great strain on the mind and body. The amount of sleep necessary may vary among people, but an American Psychological Association survey showed that, “adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night are more likely to report symptoms of stress.” Sleeping more is an effective remedy to lower stress.

Deep Meditation. Continuous high stress can provoke illness and make the body susceptible to colds, infections, and diseases by activating genes that work to counter stress. Fortunately, research has shown that deep meditation activates gene activity and is able to alter them on a molecular level. Through meditation, genes that promote health and healing are triggered. Meditation has an anti-inflammatory effect, and it has the power to restore cortisol levels in the body. It promotes inner balance and peace, while helping the mind and body relax. Meditation is one of the most powerful opponents to offset stress.

Probiotics. An unexpected remedy and best known for supporting gastroin­testinal health, when in balance, probiotic “health friendly bacteria” can elevate mood and help better handle stress. As mentioned earlier, stress leads to internal inflammation, which over time can lead to depression. Probiotics also facilitate a reduction of inflammation in the body by sending signals to the brain that stabilize the necessary output of cortisol. They equip the body to better handle stress and correspo­ndingly improve skin and total well-being.

Treating Hormonally Induced Melasma

July 27, 2020

Our body is a very unique machine created from so many links. It goes through trials and tribulations all day, every day. We never think of it because we can’t see the inner battle but when one link breaks, we start feeling a certain discomfort that we oftentimes ignore. This results in a much greater change that is out of our comfort zone.


Stress and thyroid disease have also been identified as contributing causes. These factors impact the melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) which triggers melanoge­nesis. As these imbalances continue, melanin remains in a state of constant over-production, which is why it appears in the form of large, dense patches of discolor­ation, differen­tiating it from smaller, less concentrated age spots. 

Hormones and Pigmentation

Hormonal changes, estrogen and progesterone, lead to a chain reaction in the body. Insulin resistance, uneven heat distribution and high levels of proteins combined with high levels of unmetabolized sugars create a darkening of the skin that results in a stain-like condition called melasma.

The proteins in the skin that are prone to glycation are the same proteins that make a youthful plump complexion. When combined with sugars, they become dark and weak. They also result in wrinkles, loss of elasticity and lack of a healthy glow. For a relatable example, think of cooking. When you’re cooking on a frying pan, the brown residue that is created on a frying pan is similar to what takes place during glycation (protein­+sugars+heat).

Additionally, the stress levels in the body create chaos and release unwanted stress hormones that behave like cortical steroids, confusing the entire chemical exchange in the body. The process becomes not only unsightly but uncomfortable for the entire system.  

Melasma is related to a heated experience in the body and mind. It’s as simple as that. Today, we find sugars in almost everything that makes it easy to have adverse reactions. Birth control pills may also contribute to some darkening of the skin due to the same reasons that include Insulin resistance as well as hormonal domination.  Lastly, studies are showing that nutritional supplements and anti-seizure medication can also contribute to melasma.

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles

July 27, 2020

Ingredients:

4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like the pasta

2 medium tomatoes, chopped, see note (about 12 ounces)

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons cold water

Salt, to taste

Instructions:

Trim and spiralize the zucchini. Cut extra long noodles so that they are about the length of spaghetti. Add olive oil, garlic, and the red pepper flakes to a large, deep skillet. Turn to medium heat. When the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, add the zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles with pasta tongs and cook until al dente — they should be wilted, but still have a crunch; 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the noodles cook any longer or else they will become mushy. As they cook, keep tossing so that all the zucchini noodles have a chance to hit the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Cook for one minute. Use pasta tongs to transfer the noodles, tomatoes, and basil to a serving dish. Leave the liquid in the skillet. Bring the liquid left in the skillet to a simmer. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl then whisk into the simmering liquid. Cook, while whisking until the liquid thickens to a sauce; about 1 minute. Taste the sauce and season with salt. Pour the sauce over the zucchini, tomatoes, and basil. Finish with more parmesan cheese on top and serve immediately.

ENZYME PEELS VS Chemical peels

July 15, 2020

Every skincare routine should include the essential step of exfoliation, which reveals youthful skin beneath dull layers. Exfoliation can promote optimal skin health by clearing the buildup of dead cells, which are a common cause of dehydration, acne, and premature aging. Chemical peels are often used as exfoliating agents, but they can be irritating for some, which is why enzyme peels are such a popular alternative.

Enzyme peels gently penetrate the upper layers of the skin. They rejuvenate and deeply clean the skin without traumatizing the surface. Instead, enzyme peels remove only skin cells that are already dead, meaning they leave behind no telltale redness. They also help improve elasticity and texture for a smooth, glowing complexion.  

BENEFITS OF ENZYME PEELS

Enzyme peels can help with a range of skin issues. They are especially effective for those with sensitive skin who often have trouble finding a peel that is gentle enough. They are also safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women who can’t use chemical peels.

Chemical peels use acids to remove living cells along with dead cells, causing potential damage depending on the strength of the peel. Enzyme peels only exfoliate dead cells and no live tissue. There is no downtime and no irritation with enzyme peels. 

Why get a chemical peel?

July 12, 2020

Glowing skin signifies radiant health, vitality and youth, and helps us face the world with more confidence. So, it’s no wonder humankind across all cultures and regions have been searching for ways to improve the skin’s appearance throughout the ages.

Chemical peels are essential in sustaining and restoring skin health and help restore skin surface and appearance. Peels effectively speed up the process of cellular turnover by shedding the top layer of dead surface cells, revealing brighter, smoother and renewed skin underneath.

Chemical peels are available in a range of intensities with different active ingredients to target various skin concerns - fine lines and wrinkles, acne prone, hyperpigmented or uneven skin as they help build collagen and resurface the skin and assist in getting the tissue healthy.

FYI....The absence of flaking does not mean that peels are not working. Flakes are not necessary for changes to occur within the skin.

Roasted Asparagus With Buttered Almonds, Capers and Dill

July 9, 2020

INGREDIENTS

1 ⅓ pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Scant 1/4 cup sliced (flaked) almonds

3 tablespoons baby capers, patted dry on paper towels (kitchen paper)

¼ to ½ cups roughly chopped fresh dill

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (baking tray) with parchment paper.

In a large bowl or on a work surface, use your hands or tongs to toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Arrange asparagus in the paper-lined pan, spaced well apart, and roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until asparagus is soft and starting to brown in places, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan.

In a small or medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until foamy. Add almonds and fry, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes (reduce heat as needed to prevent scorching). Pour almonds and butter evenly over asparagus.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat over high heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry, stirring continuously, until they have opened up and become crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove capers from the oil and sprinkle over the asparagus. Add dill. Using tongs or two spoons, mix gently to combine, transfer to a large plate and serve warm.

Mac and Cheese

July 9, 2020

 Ingredients:

1 lb box of spiral pasta

8 oz smoked Gouda, grated

8 oz sharp cheddar, grated

4 oz Parmesan, grated

1-1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (Hellman’s)

1 Cup Sour Cream

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 Cup Butter, melted

1 Cup Fresh bread crumbs (Panko also works)

Directions:

Preheat to 350, 325 for glass

Prepare pasta (al dente) as directed on package. While the pasta is cooking, combine all ingredients, except butter and bread crumbs, in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. When the pasta is ready, pour into a colander to drain. Once drained, add to bowl and mix well. Pour into a 9×9 square pan (or other 2qt dish). Combine butter and bread crumbs, sprinkle over top. Bake until golden and bubbly (about 30 minutes).

Digest vs. Dissolve: A Look at Enzymes and Acids for Exfoliation

July 5, 2020

There seems to be some confusion when it comes to the difference between acids and enzymes. The keywords in this difference are dissolve and digest.


Regardless of the form of chemical exfoliation chosen, the benefits cannot be ignored.  The decline of cell regeneration that comes with age slows down the process and sometimes even halts it.


The shedding of corneocytes that used to take a month to turnover now remain glued in place for two to three months longer. This prolonged adhesion can cause a buildup of scaly flaky skin and a compromised barrier, leading to transepi­dermal water loss (TEWL). If bacteria is present, breakouts will also be present, even with mature skin. Broken and dilated capillaries exacerbate the issue, because the self cleansing mechanism breaks down and oxygen cannot feed the cells.


Chemical exfoliation with acids is an effective anti-aging method, but it is not the best option for everyone. For some skin, enzymes are a more logical choice. 

Taking to the Water: Bathing Rituals Around the World

June 25, 2020


Bathing culture has been around for thousands of years.  Bathing rituals have played an important role in culture all over the world to the point of it being a part of cultural DNA, so it makes sense these traditions have carried on throughout time.  Cultures place a high level of importance on bathing, but it’s not solely about health and wellness benefits. Bathing has long been a tradition providing social connection and even entertai­nment.  


The only region in the world that hasn’t dived deep into bathing is the U.S., which has started the last couple of years–but the rest of the world has various bathing traditions that are very sacred.  The sauna in Sweden is a form of connection and it’s done often.  Bathing in the U.K. is slightly different than in Nordic countries, as its origins are Roman. Bath, England has attracted tourists for hundreds of years due to its world-famous natural hot springs.  Japan’s bathing traditions are ritualistic in nature, making them almost meditative.  Russian bathhouses, or banyas, are a place for bathers to gather, and they can be quite party-like. Their saunas tend to be hotter, and they have big barrels of milk and herbs they soak in.  


Bathing rituals is an umbrella term that can refer to a wide variety of concepts within the bathing world, including:

Balneoth­erapy,

Contrast temperature therapy,

Flotation,

Hot springs,

Hydrotherapy,

Infrared saunas,

Saunas, and

Water-based massage


body basics

June 17, 2020

Our skin is the body’s primary barrier and the largest organ. The main function of the skin is to protect the body. Without it, we would evaporate and die. Skin cells never stop growing and dividing. Keratinocytes are the most common skin cells that account for 90% of skin, while melanocytes give skin its color. We realize the desquamation process slows down as we age. We recognize new skin cells replace old ones, but how many skin cells are on our bodies?


Our bodies contain an estimated 19 million skin cells for every inch of your body and 300 million skin cells total. Wow, that is a tremendous amount of exfoliation.


We lose anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells a minute. In 24 hours, we lose around a million dead skin cells that leave a trail of dust. This dust can weigh up to around nine pounds in one year.


Exfoliation is defined as, “the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin using a chemical, granular substance or exfoliation tool.


As we know, there are many ways to exfoliate skin such as physical, chemical and mechanical. Exfoliating allows the surface of our skin to be radiant, smooth, brighter and more luminous. 


Reasons to Get Behind Dermaplaning

June 13, 2020

There are three types of exfoliation: chemical, manual and mechanical. Chemical exfoliation, of course, is referring to peels, whereas manual exfoliation includes the use of an abrasive such as a scrub. There are a couple of mechanical exfoliation methods that are used today, one of the most popular being dermaplaning.

Cell Turnover

The goal of exfoliation has always been to remove dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover. Skin cells turn over every three to four weeks in young skin. With age, this process moves at a slower rate, making monthly exfoliation more important. Exfoliation “tricks” the skin into turning over at a faster rate than it normally would.

To trick the skin, a controlled injury (exfoliation) is created. When the skin is injured, new skin cells are sent to replace the old ones, and collagen and elastin are produced. Loss of collagen and elastin is the biggest contributor to wrinkles. While collagen can be put back into the skin, elastin is too big of a molecule. So, with all the methods of exfoliation that exist, what makes dermaplaning so special?

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a lot like microder­mabrasion, another popular mechanical exfoliation technique. Both mechanically exfoliate the skin, but dermaplaning also removes the vellus hair from the skin. In this method of exfoliation, a sterile, surgical scalpel is used to complete the process. 

Benefits of Dermaplaning

1. Cell regeneration. As mentioned earlier, dermaplaning will trigger the cell regeneration process to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Hyperpig­mentation. Dermaplaning will exfoliate the top layer of your skin, taking off dead skin cells. Therefore, it can help lighten pigmented spots.

3. Immediate results. Other exfoliation processes sometimes take more time to show the results, but dermaplaning shows immediate results.

4. Safety. Dermaplaning is safe for everyone and there is no downtime involved.

5. Smooths rough skin. Dermaplaning is especially beneficial for people with rough, dry skin. The scalpel is effective in smoothing out skin and evening skin tone.

6. Hair removal. If clients are using this for hair removal, it is fine if they only have peach fuzz or vellus hair. It easily removes this hair without any problems.

7. Product penetration. Dermaplaning is good for letting products such as peels, strong serums or skin remedies penetrate deeply into the skin, as results are improved after exfoliation.

8. Mildness. Dermaplaning is a gentle form of exfoliation, and it can be more gentle than a peel or microder­mabrasion for sensitive clients. It is also great for new clients who want to start with gentle anti-aging treatments before jumping into more.

9. Frequency. Dermaplaning is safe to do every three to four weeks, which is the target range you would want to get those cells turning over faster.

10. Catalyst. This is a great catalyst to deeper exfoliation procedures, as it preps one’s skin gently rather than harshly.

11. Makeup. Clients will notice that their makeup will go on better after a dermaplaning service.


Understanding Your Skin

May 31, 2020

The skin is a complex organ, composed of two main layers: the epidermis and the dermis. In addition to being the largest organ of the body, the skin is also one of the most important, protecting the rest of the body from the outside environment.


The outer layer, the epidermis, is comprised of four layers, which are responsible for keeping water in, keeping infection out and helping to regulate body temperature - among other vital functions. The inner layer, the dermis, is composed mainly of connective tissue that provides the strength and elasticity your skin needs to resist stressors. Both layers are vital in understanding and treating nearly all skin conditions and concerns.


A multitude of factors contribute to the outward appearance of your skin: environmental aggressors like the sun, pollution, and the weather; internal aggressors, like diet and hydration; and your own biochemistry, such as hormones and genetic predispositions. Whether you are looking to improve the appearance of aging skin, blemishes, uneven skin tone, flushing or other conditions, the intricate skin system requires a multifaceted approach to treatment.


Human skin is very complex, and creating skincare solutions that work effectively requires precise chemical formulation, extensive knowledge of dermatological bio-chemistry, and the highest-grade ingredients available and that is where Phytomer and it's Brand companies lead.