Posts in Skincare
Just Like Honey. It's a reblog, 'cause she said it so well.
 

The blog The Beauty Arcana recently blew my mind. It's SO good. I connected with Claudia from the site and she gave me permission to repost her article on the benefits of honey, specifically manuka honey. Oy-l will land at Remedy on Friday of this week. Come in and book the updated Earth and Honey facial and check out some new beautiful skin care products! XO

"Ashwaghanda. Astragalus. Camu Camu. Moringa. Mucuna. Tonic herbs. Vitamin IV drips……and Honey?  Is it possible that in our earnest pursuit of optimal health and wellness that one of the simplest, most potent and also least understood superfoods is already in our kitchen pantry, hiding in plain sight?

Yes, honey is that staple that has been used for thousands of years and whose nutritional benefits have been recognized since Cleopatra, the Greeks and by both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. We use it for it’s all around good guy reputation as a healthy alternative to white sugar. It is so ubiquitous that it seems that we have taken if for granted and kind of forgotten about it.

Until now. The use of honey as both a supplement and in natural, luxe skin care is experiencing a kind renaissance in the beauty industry. But beauty seeker beware: not all honey is created equal. There is a significant difference in quality between the stuff you find in the supermarket in the squeezable bear bottle and the premium, dark colored Manuka variety from New Zealand that we find in health food stores.

So this leads us to ask: what’s all the buzz about?

Good grades

If you are the kind of person that still looks at calorie counts then you might want to stop reading right now and give honey a pass. If you are also one of those people categorically against any kind of sugar -in all of its forms- we feel you. But if you are more concerned with the nutritional profile of a food and achieving superhero status then read on. Honey may not exactly be low calorie but who cares– it’s all about the nutrition, micronutrient profile and what a particular superfood has to offer in terms of the beauty arcana.   Your basic supermarket (but still raw) honey variety will contain at least 2% minerals, vitamins, pollen and protein.   That’s already pretty decent for a something mainly used as a simple sweetener. Vitamin content generally consists of B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and certain key amino acids. Minerals present include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. But here we must emphasize that not all honey is created equal. Just as there are different grades of olive oil, so there are vastly different grades of honey. Said nutritional goodies will apply to at least araw version of honey; not the processed, bastardized versions of ‘table honey’ that is basically devoid of any health benefits and will only serve to elevate your blood sugar levels. When it comes to honey, it seems you do get what you pay for and reading labels and sourcing it is critical to ensuring you are getting the real thing. In essence, local, raw, unpasteurized, honey stored in a glass container is what we should be on the lookout for.

Enter Manuka

From the coastal regions of New Zealand comes a specific brand of honey so prized that it has led to a recent rash of hive/honey heists that authorities can’t seem to keep up with. New Zealand’s bees are being stolen and traded by organized crime syndicates seeking to profit from skyrocketing honey prices. “It doesn’t matter if it’s beekeeping or meth, this is just the new gold rush,”Laurence Burkin, apiarist manager atThe True Honey Co in Dannevirke, north of Wellington, and himself a victim of hive thefts, told Reuters.

photo via thebeautyarcana.com

photo via thebeautyarcana.com

But exactly what is Manuka honey and why all the fuss? Firstly, Manuka honey is only produced in New Zealand from bees that feast on the native Manuka bush. With Manuka honey the magic is in the fact that while regular honey offers good nutritional benefits, those in Manuka seem to be amplified. For example, the known mineral content of honey is measured in its conductivity. Manuka honey has a much higher than normal conductivity, meaning that its mineral content is about 4 times that of regular flower honey. We say known because the complexity of this honey is still being studied and whose complete micronutrients profile and strength is not completely understood- not by far.

What we do know is that like all honey, Manuka honey is anantibacterial powerhouse, with medicinal grade internal and external applications that are being sought after more than ever before.

The blossoms of the Manuka flower happen to contain an antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal (MG), which remains highly bioactive once worker bees have transformed the nectar into honey. While other honeys can lose some of their antimicrobial capacity when exposed to light or heat, Manuka, thanks to MG, continues to work its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory magic even when sterilized for medical use. In other words… it is remarkably stable stuff whose nutritional benefits don’t seem to easily degrade. Any casual Whole Foods shopper will have no doubt noticed the UMF, or Unique Manuka Factor found on the labels. This is code for the quantity of the MG content, typically ranging between 5+ and 25+. Anything above 10+ is considered therapeutic, with prices rising accordingly.

The antibacterial quality is what helps to bestow Manuka with a superfood status. Not only does it provide nutrition but it helps to also prevent disease, just what we like in a superfood. Recent research has shown that in this age of superbugs and bacterial dominance Manuka honey could be the answer. Recent university and medical research has shown that when taken orally, this type of honey can perform duties such as heal mouth ulcers associated with chemo and lessen oxidative DNA damage in rats. In 2013, scientists at United Arab Emirates University found that, in combination with other therapies, intravenous administration of Manuka honey helped inhibit cancer tumor growth in mice. But the most promising research has shown that Manuka can kill more than 80 strains of bacteria, including the most drug- such as MRSA, a deadly type of staph infection, and Streptococcus pyogenes- highly resistant superbugs currently on the rise in hospitals.

Skin saviour

When we understand what medicinal or “medi-honey” such as Manuka does for us internally it really comes as no surprise that it’s external applications are no less impressive. In hospitals we find Manuka honey in the form ‘occlusive honey bandages’—long used by doctors in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK for chronic wounds, infections and burns in trauma centers. As a wound treatment, Manuka not only draws out lymph fluids and helps to eliminate infection, it also acidifies skin’s PH to accelerate healing and sparks cellular rejuvenation by stimulating the production of growth factors and increased fibroblast activity. What does this mean for the rest of us beauty seekers looking to improve our skin and get that glow? Magic.

What Manuka honey will do to treat severe burns will also do wonders for people with all sorts of stubborn skin issues: acne, rosacea, pimples, and generally lackluster skin. How? Manuka helps to shut down the inflammatory cascade that degrades skin over time. It also stops enzymes called cathepsins from destroying collagen; and it has peptides that help cells release a molecule called NADPH, which boosts energy in the cells, a type of energy that, like everything else, slows down with age. The goal of wound healing is to help stimulate damaged cells to repair themselves and behave like healthy cells. In treating aging skin, the same goals hold true—to stimulate collagen production and help aging cells function like they did when they were young. Manuka honey’s unique combination of skin-soothing, hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties are exactly what make it a winner in terms of a skincare ingredient, whether solo or in combination with other botanicals. Looking for a way to solve your skin issues or simply in search of a way that to remove dead skin cells in a nonabrasive way and without disturbing the complexion’s delicate acid mantle? Honey, honey and more honey.

OY-L

For those of you interested in taking the honey trend seriously we present OY-L, a ‘Zero chemical skin care’ that has everything we love in an all-natural, botanically active, small batch brand. Founded by Andrea Pierce-Naymon in Ohio, the cult line is great for what it doesn’t have(preservatives, parabens, and synthetic fragrance). But these days with just about everyone claiming to be ‘clean’ and ‘all-natural’, OY-L stands out because of what it does contain: real, natural, food grade, skin-food ingredients that both nourish the skin and smell ah-mazing. As the name indicates, OY-L products feature great oils but it also generously includes essential oils as well as the coveted Manuka honey. Each bottle or jar is even lovingly stamped with a batch number to indicate it’s homemade like quality and commitment to freshness.

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OY-L Face Wash: oil and Manuka based with a ‘proprietary blend’ of essential oils. We aren’t exactly sure what this blend is but once you smell it you understand why the formula is kept secret. Its aroma is divine and highly addictive: I find myself sniffing it at random because…. well, just because. With the consistency of a buttery emulsion, the honey/oil concoction is highly effective at melting away makeup and debris. You only need a small amount of this potion for it to do its job and we love, love, love it. $18-$36 

OY-L Exfoliating Manuka mask: this sexy little number is my new mask favorite. As with the face wash, the first ingredient is honey and with that instantly earns my full respect. What makes this mask special (apart from the Manuka) is the addition of lavender buds which together with the honey are the active ‘exfoliation’ elements of this mask. Super gentle and enzymatically effective, which when left on long enough (20 minutes is recommended… but we left it on for an hour) the skin soaks up all that superfood goodness. The lavender and frankincense smell is to die for and when you open it up it looks like you might be able to eat it…but probably best you don’t.  $60 "

 
Beauty on a deadline
 

I've got an upcoming special event in just over a week and the ticket was just purchased today. Deep breath...

Ok, here's what I'm going to do to get my skin looking really really good in a short amount of time:

1. ProCell Immediately. I have numbing cream on my face as I type this. Microneedling oneself isn't the most awesome, but I can do it. I have a very brave client who is allergic to all the "caines" so she can't use numbing cream. I did a needling on myself sans numbing cream last year to understand what she would feel. It's doable but not something I would suggest if you have an option. Her results were so fabulous though, totally worth it.

Doing the treatment a week out will mean any redness or sensitivity will definitely have gone away and I'll be left with nothing but juiciness. And truly, you haven't lived until you've introduced 90 needles per second to your own upper lip. Out, out damn lip lines. (book the Procell treatment)

2. Dermaplane in four days. If I happen to peel (not usual) from the microneedling, the dermaplane will remove any flaky dead skin cells, along with the vellus hair (peach fuzz) that's not so subtle in the sunlight. It will also leave a clear canvas for my next treatment. (book the Reflect Light facial)

3. Oxygen facial right after the dermaplane and then again the day before I leave. Both the micro-needling and the dermaplane will have set up my skin to be at its optimum for absorption. The hyaluronic acid infused during the oxygen facial deeply hydrates the skin, lifting and contouring everything and giving a lit-from-within glow. (book the Remedy Signature)

Got a last minute situation? Call me, text me, book online. I've got a game plan. XO

*photo via ITG
A Remedy for Acne Scarring (and much more)

The reason that I first entered into the field of skin care was a lifelong struggle with acne. Beyond the physical discomfort, I deeply understand the emotional toll that constant breakouts take on your mental well-being. It wasn't until my thirties that I finally really got a handle on everything, after working in the field for over ten years. I believe in a balanced approach using chemical peels, targeted light therapy, extractions, a good look at the diet, and a no-bad-thoughts-about-the skin approach. I have a high success rate in getting my beautiful client's skin balanced, and I believe it's from this tiered approach.

A bittersweet realty of acne is you are often left with the reminders of your success. Acne scars are like the ghosts of your hormonal younger years. I brought on micro-needling/micro-channeling last month to treat many skin conditions, scarring at the top of the list. I used to have to suggest deeper laser treatments with profound side effects and downtime to help with scarring. No longer. The photos below show a 22 year-old male before and after 4 treatments.

I am so excited and honored to be offering this treatment at Remedy. If you are a current client, you do not need to book a consultation before your micro-channeling appointment. If you are new to Remedy, let's talk and let me get to know you and your skin a bit first. Book a 30 min consultation or an Alchemy or Clearing facial first and we'll go from there!

Vogue Magazine on the magic of microneedling! XO

Later, Lasers: Why Microneedling Is the Next Big Thing in Skin Care: 

More often than not, the next hot thing in professional skin care tends to be just that: hot. From fractional lasers to radiofrequency devices and nearly every gadget in between, the reigning smoothing-and-tightening workhorses in derms’ offices rely on intensely high temperatures to jump-start wound healing and, thus, collagen production in the skin. But for the great many of us who can’t take the heat—as it flares up conditions like melasma and rosacea and can traumatize skin of color, causing it to darken unevenly—skin specialists are going back to basics. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the numbers for chemical peels are climbing—hello, peel bars—surpassing even those recorded at the peak of their popularity in the ’90s. But it’s a less ubiquitous old-school resurfacing method that’s gaining increasing buzz for those seeking smooth, radiant results without the stinging or flaking: microneedling—a technique that uses a needle-studded wand to drive tiny holes into the skin (potentially down to the dermis) with the goal of spurring collagen growth.

The procedure has been quietly advancing with the times, despite its crude beginnings. “When I first started needling in the ’80s, I was gripping a single 30-gauge needle with a hemostat [clamp] and poking the skin repeatedly to get at fine lines and acne scars—painstaking, but it worked,” says Cheryl Burgess, M.D., a dermatologist in Washington, D.C. The automated stamping pens derms wield today—the Eclipse MicroPen a favorite among them—make for far faster work, of course, and are considerably cheaper than the higher-tech alternative of fractional lasers, which create similar pinpoint channels in the skin. (And not by coincidence: The technology was actually “patterned after the concept of needling,” says Burgess.)

Piercing the skin by any means can open one up to infection, so trust only a reputable derm or medical aesthetician with solid needling experience (and, it goes without saying, sterile tools). While some doctors do microneedling in lieu of laser work—especially for the heat-sensitive set—others perform the two in tandem. Denver dermatologist Joel Cohen, M.D., often uses microneedling as a low-downtime maintenance fix for Fraxel regulars who “want to help their skin stay smooth and taut in between laser sessions,” he says.

Further fueling the resurgent obsession with needling, Cohen notes, is the way it enhances the penetration of whichever hydrating, brightening, or rejuvenating actives are applied post-perforation. Microneedling enthusiast Mashell Tabe, an Albuquerque, New Mexico–based medical aesthetician who tends to Naomi Watts, believes so strongly in the treatment’s power to bolster product absorption, she sends clients home from needling visits with an Environ roller to use nightly along with supercharged serums preapproved by Tabe herself. The roller doesn’t pierce the skin as deeply as pro tools, but rather preserves those microchannels to keep the skin open and receptive to anti-aging nutrients.

“I want to scream it from the rooftops,” she says. “Done regularly, microneedling will make your skin act like it did in your 20s—it’ll be thicker, it’ll glow, it’ll have the most beautiful tone and texture.” And, really, what could be cooler than that?

http://www.vogue.com/13402411/microneedling-skin-care-next-big-thing/
Dermaplaning video and one week skin check-up after micro-needling!

I am so in love with the results of my micro-needling treatment! I feel like I may become addicted. My skin looks so much more even-toned and "glowy" after just one treatment. I can't wait to offer it to you all in October. Here's a foundation-free photo one week after the treatment: 

A series of at least 6 treatments are suggested and all parts of the body can be treated. The company that I'm working with has some amazing before and afters of stretch marks on the belly from childbirth. I'lI keep you updated!

I also posted a quick video on dermaplaning as it is one of my favorites and I adore the results! Please comment with any questions or comments! XO

Yesterday I had needles in my eyelids, nbd.
5 minutes after the needles in the eyelids. Given what had just happened, the worst thing that I see in this photo is that my lipstick is smudged.

5 minutes after the needles in the eyelids. Given what had just happened, the worst thing that I see in this photo is that my lipstick is smudged.

As someone who has struggled with acne scars left over from some brutal teenage years, mIcro-needling has long been on my radar. I have friends and colleagues who have tried it, with fabulous results, but after seeing someone receive the treatment earlier this year, I lost quite a bit of interest. The poor woman was bloody. She actually had blood dripping down her face. There was no way I was going to put myself through that.

The science though, the science is there. I believe micro-needling is set to take away our reliance on the heavy duty lasers and light machines, and it will do so with none of the downtime and cost associated with laser. We used to believe we had to absolutely torture the dermal layer of the skin to stimulate the fibroblasts to produce more collagen. Not so, says current science. According to the gentleman I spoke to yesterday, we just need to tickle the Dermal-Epidermal junction to stimulate cytokines to send stem cells out for repair and to encourage collagen production. The same results, with less pain. 

For my treatment yesterday, I was prepped with a mild numbing cream. It took about 15 minutes for me numb up, during which time my technician worked the cream into my skin with some deft massage movements. This helped the cream penetrate while helping me relax. I was still thinking of the poor woman I had seen receive the treatment. Turns out, there's different types of micro-needling.

I had nothing to worry about. In just a year, the science and technology has improved so much, that my experience was pretty much blood-free. The needles come down at about 90 per second and are .25 mm long. It feels absolutely bizarre. it's not at all painful, but it's not relaxing. It felt like results. It felt like I'm-gonna-look-better and for that, I'll put up with quite a bit. 

He went over my entire face and neck, paying special attention to places that needed a bit more encouragement, i.e., that looked old or had visible scars. He finished with my eyes. Whoa... the eyes. He had me keep my eyes open while he had the lower lid secure and then treated right up to my lash line. With my eyes open!  Then he treated the upper lid. There were needles right over my eyeballs! Stamping into my skin! That was the part where I had to summon every ounce of Hawaii-learned chill I had in me. Every ounce of vanity too.

The whole treatment took about 45 minutes, start to finish. It wasn't at all painful. It was fascinating above all else. Simply fascinating- and something I am so stinkin' excited about as the future of skincare. I left looking a bit sunburned, and today my skin is more sensitive and a bit more pink than usual. You need to take care post-treatment to keep good products on the skin and bacteria off. As soon as I got home, Daisy ran up and put one dirty puppy paw on my cheek and I thought I was done for. 

As an esthetician, I feel very strongly that your time with me shouldn't just be about relaxation. I want you to walk out of my studio looking good BUT I'll assign you homework (home care and a course of action) to actually change your skin, not just make it look good for the day. This tool is the way to dramatically change the skin. Watch this space for micro-needling to come to Remedy!

 

Babyfeet now in stock! Get ready for summer.
Babyfootbefore andafter.jpg

Spring has arrived in Denver and finally (finally!) we are able to wear open-toe shoes instead of snow boots. I support everyone in the self-care industry, but I have to say that the latest addition to Remedy will make you visit your nail salon less and less often.

Introducing Babyfoot.

The treatment comes from Japan and is at the same time disgusting and glorious. Babyfoot consists of disposable booties that you wear for one hour. Remove, rinse your feet, and then wait about 2 days. Your feet will start to peel (and peel and peel and peel) for about 5 days. Once the initial shedding is over, sometimes Babyfoot comes back to surprise you and your feet may peel a little more. As the dead, rough skin leaves your feet, you’ll start to see the hint of pink peeking through. By 7-10 days out, your feet will be reborn.

 

I’ve done the treatment twice in the past year. One hour in the booties takes care of 6 months of running, hiking, dance, walking through Denver in sandals, and all matter of general foot unattractiveness.

 

Babyfeet, FTW.

 

*Available to take home for $25 or add on to any facial or massage for $20

Green Wonder

Snow falls outside, the heat is cranked inside, and the humidifier is on full blast. Winter in Colorado is no joke and can be absolutely brutal to the skin. The average winter humidity in Denver is 50%, which is detrimental to the barrier of the skin. The skin's barrier function helps protect against trans-epidermal-water-loss (TEWL), keeping the skin supple and hydrated. Sadly, if you look around Denver, you see many instances of how TEWL has taken its toll on our lovely residents. Dry, dehydrated skin is everywhere.

There are many ways to combat this (book a Remedy Signature Facial...) but one of the most effective involves one of my favorite activities; EATING! EFAs can be found in coconuts, olives, fish, and my fav (tied with coconuts, it's the Kauai girl in me), avocados. Avocados are incredibly rich in EFAs and work from the inside out to protect the skin's barrier and keep by skin well-moisturized with high levels of Vitamin E and protected with Vitamin C.

These benefits translate into the topical use of Avocado oil, which is why I use 100% pure Avocado Oil for every massage.

Aim for 1/4 to 1/2 an Avocado daily. I mush mine on toast with olive oil and lots of salt and pepper, topped with an egg, and it keeps me going through a busy morning of massage. Mmmm mmmm. 

Microbeads
image source: http://www.vpirg.org

image source: http://www.vpirg.org

So what's the deal? Microbeads have been in and out of the headlines for the past few years. Many states such as Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii are considering legislation to phase them out. Connecticut, Maine, Colorado, Indiana, MarylandIllinois, New Jersey, and Wisconsin have passed legislation that prohibits their sale and manufacturing. Federally, Congress is considering a move to mandate “microbead-free waters” nationwide.

Why are microbeads bad? Well, they are small particles that make their way into the water stream where they absorb all sorts of nasties like DDT. Then the fish ingest them. Then we ingest the fish. Then everyone ends up poisoned. What an ugly side to the beauty industry.

So what's the good news? Along with the formerly mentioned legislation, corporations such as Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, and L'Oreal have started phasing out microbeads.

What do you do if you find yourself with a facial scrub or toothpaste with microbeads? Look for polyethylene in the ingredient deck. Don't use it, don't open it. Keep it sealed up.

The Sierra Club states the following: So--the safest way to get rid of the stuff is to leave it in its container, tighten the lid, and send it to the landfill with your regular garbage where it's quite unlikely to escape into the environment. But NEVER, ever, not ever, pour it down a drain or flush it down the toilet, because that’s exactly how it spreads into the watershed. http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2014-4-july-august/green-life/how-handle-microbeads

At Remedy, I'll never use or sell anything with microbeads. And I'll make sure anything you currently own is disposed of properly, just bring it in. I got you #skinsorcery.

XO

Antioxidant Serum + SPF. Better together.
photo credit: French Words

photo credit: French Words

Denver summertime during the scorching intensity of the day is not to be taken casually. At a mile high, hovering at 90’ F, and kissed with the carbon excesses of growth, Denver can be like a dry clay oven.  It’s precarious to the skin.

At our altitude, the sun’s rays are filtered very little, making them stronger and more detrimental to the skin. I also don’t know anyone in the entirely of the Front Range who isn’t into running, hiking, climbing, biking, or some other outdoor activity. So what do we do to stay protected? Because evening laps around City Park don’t cut it for everyone.

Sunscreen is the obvious answer. Find one that you like and slather it on.  At Remedy, I carry Sanitas Solar Block because it contains antioxidants, is a physical block, and has additional hyaluronic acid and other moisturizers. I apply it 20 minutes before I head out, not only because it takes about that long to offer full protection, but also because any white residue from the micronized zinc oxide dissipates by that point. 

You need to look for SPF with added antioxidants. Even better, apply an antioxidant serum before you apply your sunscreen. Serums will be more potent and penetrate better, allowing for much better skin protection that just a sunscreen alone. They will also offer you extra – and much needed- hydration to the skin.

Also, eat the rainbow. Internal antioxidants protect us too. More on that in a later post. The take-away on today is that in my opinion, a sunscreen alone isn’t enough, especially in a place like Colorado. Apply an antioxidant serum first (I really like the Intraceuticals Vit C+3 and Antioxidant Boosters) and then your sunscreen. Apply the sunscreen generously. My partner said to me the other day, “You smell like the beach” and I knew I probably had enough on.

Happy summer, Colorado! We really miss you, come February.