2014 Top Men’s Trends

2014 Men's Trends

Slicked back hair with shaved sides and an undercut back has dominated the runways and magazines since last year. The trend is still going strong, especially for men with wavy, curly, and thick hair that benefit from significant pruning. This clean cut yet edgy look isn’t going anywhere but has constant variations depending on personal style. This style will sit through at least the first quarter of 2014. Click on the photo for the full album!

How Cancer Patients Benefit From Massage Therapy

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By: Ashley Reynoldswww.handsonthesoul.com

There is nothing worse than hearing you have a diagnosis of cancer, no matter what form it may come in. The words are undoubtedly something no one ever looks forward to hearing. However, researchers have found that massage therapy can be very beneficial for cancer patients. Below are some of the ways that patients can benefit from massage therapy:

Pain is one of the main symptoms that frequently accompany mesothelioma and other forms of cancer. There was a study conducted in 1999 by the National Cancer Institute. Approximately half of the cancer centers in the study offered massage therapy along with traditional cancer treatments. The results of the study were that the subjects who received massage therapy noticed that they did not experience as much pain.

A massage can also help improve blood circulation of the patient.  As a result, improved blood circulation allows more oxygen and nutrients to flow to the organs and tissues. This can help speed up the healing process.

On top of experiencing an assortment of body aches and pains, mentally many cancer patients suffer from depression. There has been evidence to suggest that regular massages can alleviate some of the symptoms of depression; however, researchers believe that since a massage can promote relaxation, it can also help a person feel better about themselves physically and mentally.

Both cancer and the treatments can cause a person to suffer from chronic fatigue. Massages have been shown to reduce fatigue and increase energy levels due to the release of endorphins. Additionally, a massage can also help promote restful sleep since insomnia is a leading symptom with cancer patients.

Researches at the National Cancer Institute have also found that regular massages can also help improve a patient’s overall quality of life. They believe that massage therapy helps improve a patient’s quality of life by reducing pain and increasing energy levels. Massage therapy gives a patient a chance to take their mind of off some of life’s every day stresses and gives them the opportunity to relax both their body and mind for a few moments.

All cancer patients need to talk to their doctor about massage therapy to find a treatment that will work best for you and your cancer’s needs. If massage can be beneficial to the healing process, why not soak up all that it has to offer? Give your mind, body and spirit a vacation and start feeling better about yourself from the inside out and go grab a massage today!

Martha Stewart’s Beauty Routine

Martha Stewart’s Beauty Routine. Via askanesthetician.wordpress.com

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart was generous enough to share, in great detail, her daily beauty routine with The New York Times*.  And it is quite a daily beauty routine!  Stewart is a beauty product junkie, and not just any beauty product junkie – a high-end beauty product junkie.  Since she can afford it – more power to her in my opinion, but I digress.  While Stewart also explains her make-up, fragrance, hair, fitness, and diet regimes I’ll focus on her skincare routine in this post.  Let’s start with a few highlights:

I get up a couple hours before I’m supposed to leave in the morning and I’ll put on a mask. …  I’ll do this about five days a week and I don’t repeat the same mask two days in a row. I’ve always done this – well basically since I discovered masks.

Stewart lists four different masks that she uses on a regular basis (just not two days in a row, of course).  I’ll address the fact that Stewart is a product junkie later on in this post because right now I want to address the issue if you need to rotate your skincare products as frequently as Stewart does.  Martha Stewart never outright states that you shouldn’t use the same skincare product each day; I found that idea implied by her beauty routine.  So the answer  to the question if you really need to change your skincare products so often is a resounding no!  I actually wrote about this very issue in my blog almost three years ago in a post entitled How Often Do You Need to Change Your Skincare Products?  In the post I explained:

You need to change your skincare products when something changes with your skin or if you want to treat a specific issue.  For example if you’ve never used or needed a moisturizer before but now you feel that your skin is dry and/or dehydrated you can add a moisturizer to your skincare routine.  Most people might find that they need to change their products as the seasons change. …

Also as the seasons change you’ll find that you need different formulations for your favorite products – instead of a creamy moisturizer you might want to switch to a gel or serum formulation.  You’ll need to change your skincare products/routine as you age since you’ll want to add products with antioxidants, peptides, and other anti-aging ingredients to your routine.  While you are pregnant and nursing you’ll need to stop using certain products like prescription tretinoin creams.

Still not convinced?  Watch this video from WebMD.

Stewart switches between a anti-aging, a hydrating, and a gommage mask (which is a fancy way of saying a mask that helps exfoliate).  Now are all these masks necessary?  Can’t she just use an anti-aging serum, a moisturizer, and a separate exfoliant?  Adding a hydrating mask to your skincare routine in the winter is a good idea for someone who suffers from extra dry, flaky skin during colder months.  Anti-aging masks are a waste of money in my opinion; invest in a good anti-aging serum with retinol for daily use instead.  I believe that Stewart is mask addicted and intervention might be needed.

Moving along.  Stewart tells The New York Times:

I slather myself with serums.

Serums are wonderful.  Once you find the right one you can treat a myriad of skincare issues with it.  Do you need to slather yourself with serums which are usually quite expensive?  Personally I think not.  (For more information about serums please see my post What’s A Serum?)

And now we’ve reached the part of the article that drove me crazy.  Stewart might be a lifestyle guru, but thank goodness she is neither an esthetician or a dermatologist because the next thing she says in the article is just downright wrong:

I use the same products on my body as I use on my face.  I don’t think there’s really any difference between the two, so the more moisturizers and serums you use, the better off you are.

Oy!  Where do I begin?  Once again Stewart is flaunting her product junkie tendency, but more sinister in my mind is her proclamation that our face and body skin are the same and do not need different products.  This is simply not true.  For example, the skin on our face is always exposed to the elements making it more sensitive to environmental factors such as sun and temperature and thus usually in need of extra TLC, the skin on our faces has more sebaceous glands than the skin on our body, and the skin on our face usually shows the signs of aging much sooner than the skin on our bodies because of its exposure to the elements.  Someone, not Martha Stewart of course, may have oily skin on their face but dry skin on their arms and legs and obviously would then different products for those different areas of their body.  As further explanation please read  The Beauty Brainsexplanation,  in their book Can You Get Hooked On Lip Balm? (page 53), why you can’t use hand lotion on your face or vis-a-versa:

Three Reasons Why Moisturizers For The Hands and Face Should Be Different

Kay’s question: Is there a difference between moisturizers for your hands and for your face?  Also, is there a reason to use specially formulated antiwrinkle creams rather than ordinary moisturizers that you would use on your hands?

This is one of those cases where there really is some science behind the marketing hype.  Here’s why facial lotions should be different than hand lotions:

1.  Skin on the hands and face is different.

Skin is very thin on your face and thicker on your hands.  Also, your hands don’t (usually) develop acne or blackheads.  Therefore, they need to be treated differently.

2.  Drying Conditions are different for hands and face.

You may wash your hands in harsh soap many times a day; you may wash your face only once or twice a day with a gentle cleanser.  Hands are in and our of dishwater or laundry water; your face is not.  The cumulative effect is that your hands can be much dryer, even cracked and bleeding, and therefore they need stronger moisturization.

3.  The hands and face have different cosmetic needs.

You might want to tighten the little crow’s-feet wrinkles around your eyes, but this isn’t the case on your hands.

The Bottom Line:

For the reasons cited above and more, you need to use products designed to suit your skin’s different needs.  Hand lotions should be heavier barrier creams to protect hands from harsh conditions.  Facial moisturizers should be lightweight, noncomedogenic and many have film-forming agents that tighten skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  While hand and face products may share some of the same basic ingredients, the functions they need to perform are significantly different.  Using the right product on the right skin will give you better results.

I hope I’ve sufficiently explained why you need different products for your face and body; as for Stewart’s comment that the more moisturizers and serums you use the better off you are – I have to say that is just silly.  At a certain point your skin simply cannot “absorb” product after product.  The products, instead of performing their function, will sit on top of your skin making make-up application impossible.  Overkill is overkill.  You need the right products for your skin not a crazy number of products.

And now for the good advice from Stewart’s beauty routine.  Stewart uses a hot towel and oils to remove her make-up (she uses either an expensive oil based cleanser or simply Johnson’s baby oil).  This is actually a great way to remove make-up.  I’ve tried a lot of oil based cleansers and still haven’t found a favorite though I do love to use jojoba oil nightly to remove my eye make-up.  Additionally, Stewart is a strong advocate for daily use of sunscreen and proper sun protection when outdoors.  I am glad that she promoted both in this article.  She constantly hydrates while on a plane which is wonderful (for more information about how to care for your skin while traveling see my post: Airplane Travel and Your Skin: How to Care For Your Skin Inflight).  Lastly, Stewart gets monthly facials and how can I argue with that?

And now back to the product junkie point I mentioned at the beginning of this post.  I’ve called myself a product whore or junkie in this blog before but Martha Stewart puts me to shame.  I’ve met more than my share of product junkies since becoming an esthetician as such I have concluded that being a product junkie is definitely a psychological issue not a skincare issue.  Basically it comes down to: “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” feeling.  In my opinion, beauty product junkies always feel that they are missing out if they aren’t trying the newest and greatest products.  I completely understand why someone would want to try the newest products on the skincare market and would chase after trends in skincare.  But please remember the best ingredients for your skin are those with a proven track record, such as retinol and vitamins, and those ingredients have been used successfully in skincare products for years and years.  While skincare products proliferate and the ones you haven’t tried appear shiny and bright take a moment to think: do I really need this?  Does my skin really need this?  Does my skin really look that bad?.  And just because a celebrity or a glossy fashion magazine recommends a product doesn’t mean it is any better than what you are already using.

What more can I say?  Some of Martha Stewart’s skincare routine is excellent but a lot of it is just plain overkill and over the top.  There is no need to go crazy when it comes to your skincare routine or buy multiple soaps or serums.  And please, please remember your face and body DO need different products.

Further Reading:

It turns out I was not the only one intrigued by The New York Times Martha Stewart article.  Here are what some other sources had to say about the article:

*The Gloss points out that Stewart already shared her beauty routine with Allure last year where even more products are listed (spoiler: Stewart is also obsessed with soaps).  The New York Times piece just seems to expand on the lunacy of her beauty regime.  I am hard pressed to understand how she finds the time, while running her lifestyle empire, to devote so much effort her skin.  The routines she details in both publications are that extensive.  (By the way, for an interesting article on how Stewart’s empire is faring read this Vanity Fair article.)

And I have to share two more very “interesting” quotes from the article:

I don’t get clogged pores.

You can be the most beautiful person on earth, and if you don’t have a fitness or diet routine, you won’t be beautiful.

And now I really have nothing else to say.

Image from www.homemadeintheheartland.com

2014 Spa Trends To Watch

Spa Trends

Each year The Spa Association (SPAA) publishes a global trend report for the spa-goer demographic including wellness, hospitality, spa beauty and even travel firms.

Whether you are a student in esthetics school, employed as an esthetician, an owner or even perhaps a spa-goer, you will find some great gems in this years data.

Melinda Minton who is the Executive Director for SPAA gave a quick run down that the Miladyteam thought you might find interesting. For the full Trend Report click here.

Trending:

Green Branding and Guilt Free Consumerism
Spa and Wellness Technology
Smart Wear
Spa Travel
Fast or Slow Spa
Beauty vs. Wellness
Global Brain, Local Tribe
Wellness, Spa Medicine and Longevity
The Enlightened Spa
Ultra Luxury

Truth be told, I think each and everyone of us longs to be cared for, pampered, and shown understanding. As consumers desire to live longer, healthier lives continues to grow, so does the need for life’s little luxury’s. Take for example the trend for ‘fast and slow’. While some consumers will seek a total immersion experience busy professionals and overworked soccer moms, will give rise to express services. How might you bring a little luxury to express services and capitalize on this trend?

I challenge you to read this report and ask yourself how you might apply some of these trends to your own business. Whether it is a direct application or simply a concept, every beauty professional can find a way to connect and improve the quality and care of everyday services.

I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with. Go ahead…toot your horn and share what you are going to apply to your own business.

Dermalogica’s Dr. Howard to Talk About Fact, Fiction in Skin Care

Dedicated to raising the bar in professional education as well as consumer intelligence in every area of skin care, Diana Howard, Ph.D., Vice President of Global Education and Research and Development for The International Dermal Institute (IDI) and Dermalogica will offer a multi-media presentation on Monday, February 3, 2014 from 6pm to 8pm titled, “New Fact, More Fiction, Latest Fantasy – Part 2”.

Dr. Diana Howard

The event is a Guest Speaker Evening (GSE), part of the year-long series of GSEs hosted across the USA by IDI. Dr. Howard will speak at IDI’s world-headquarters located in Carson, CA, and the message will be transmitted globally via a live webcast on IDI’s Facebook page. Viewing parties with refreshments are also being hosted at all 17 IDI locations, topped off by a live Q+A following the event.

Dr. Howard comments, “It’s human nature to be attracted to the next, newest, shiny thing, and professional skin therapists are no exception. Everyone in the business is looking for the Holy Grail, the silver bullet, especially when it comes to anti-aging. As a result, there are a lot of seductive promises, pseudo-science and misinformation that consumers find. As the leading world authority on ingredient formulation and technology, here at IDI we feel that it is our responsibility to offer skin therapists our latest assessment of what’s real and what’s just a manufacturer’s marketing ploy. Knowing the facts is the only way that professionals can manage the expectations of their customers, provide effective treatments, and correctly prescribe products for at-home use.”

Dr. Howard points out that virtually every week, “…a new mystery-fruit from the Amazon or some laboratory synthesized active ingredient is being touted all over the internet as the guarantee to reverse aging. Too often buzzwords that have legitimate science behind them are taken out of context and used to promote high tech skin care. Unless you are a scientist it may be difficult to decipher what is real science or marketing hype. ”

To attend the event, please call 1.888.29.CLASS (25277) or visit www.facebook.com/dermalinstitute to watch the live webcast. For more information on The International Dermal Institute and the GSE series, please visit www.dermalinstitute.com.

Meditation and Your Skin

Meditation and Your Skin

via Meditation and Your Skin.

“In the quest for beautiful skin have we missed out on a technique that can both quiet our mind, improve our health, and help our skin?  Can you meditate your way to perfect skin?

While the health benefits of meditation are well known – reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, strengthening immunity, and inducing calm – what about the skin benefits?

Celebrity esthetician Kate Somerville writes about the connection between meditation and appearance:

I became convinced about the power of meditation after I witnessed significant changes in the skin of several of my clients who practice it.  It really made me aware that I may be able to help someone topically or assist her in altering her diet, but if I can’t help her find a way to stop her brain craziness, she’s simply not going to look her best.

Meditation is a state of deep physical relaxation combined with acute mental alertness, and there are many ways to achieve this state.  Almost every religion incorporates meditative practices such as praying and chanting, and you might be able to find one in your belief system.  Other purely physiological techniques involve sitting and focusing on something that will hold your attention: a word, an image, your breath, or a visual cue.

(From Complexion Perfection! pages 36-37)

According to the online article Meditating for Better Skin as you practice meditation you reduce your stress levels and help your skin:

Meditation is practiced worldwide as an excellent way to reduce stress and improve mental and physical health. Did you know, however, that meditation can also help improve your appearance?
When practiced properly and consistently, meditation is one of the few natural ways to improve the quality and tone of your skin, and even combat any number of skin ailments, ranging from acne to rosacea to premature wrinkling.
How stress affects your skin
The body responds to duress by releasing cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol, while necessary in small quantities to help you deal with “fight or flight” situations, is not meant to be sustained at high levels for prolonged periods of time. Continued production of cortisol can result in a variety of negative health issues including fat gain around the visceral organs, blood sugar imbalance, decreased bone density, higher blood pressure and of course, skin problems.
Cortisol can result in an increase in oil production, which can lead to acne and acne-related problems.
Additionally, when cortisol is released by the body, sugar levels in our bloodstream go up. Increased blood sugar promotes glycation in our skin, which damages collagen. Damage to collagen can lead to more lines and wrinkles.
As soon as cortisol is released by the body, sugar levels in the blood increase. We know that sugar spikes are especially bad for diabetics, but increased blood sugar also promotes a process called glycation in our skin which damages the collagen. Collagen is what makes your skin both firm and pliable. The breakdown of collagen leads to fine lines and eventually wrinkles.
Cortisol acts to dehydrate the skin by decreasing your skin’s production of hyaluronic acid, a natural moisturizer for the skin. And it compromises the skin’s barrier, which allows hydration to evaporate instead of staying in the skin.
Another byproduct of stress that works negatively on the skin is adrenaline, which decreases blood flow to your skin and leads to a pale, wan complexion.
Better skin through meditationResearch has shown that meditation is a powerful stress-reliever. When you meditate, you slow your heart rate and produce less cortisol even as your immune functions improve. While difficult to adjust to initially, a consistent practitioner of meditation reaps myriad mental and physical benefits, including reduced stress responses and improved immunity to stress.

Reduction in stress naturally leads to reduction of stress hormones like cortisol, which allows your skin to continue to regenerate normally .

People have found that after consistent meditation, they see fewer lines and wrinkles, improvement in acne, fewer dark circles or bags under the eyes (due in part to improved quality of sleep that comes with meditation), and a healthy glow.

Note: For maximum benefits to your skin, do not shower immediately after meditation. Some studies have suggested that chemicals produced during meditation can be beneficial to the skin. Showering would not only wash off those beneficial chemicals, but also produce a shock to the nervous system, increasing the stress response which is the opposite of the intended goal. If you must shower post-meditation, try to wait at least half an hour to an hour. Ideally, avoid any kind of water exposure or submersion post-meditation.

There are many, many different ways to meditate.  Personally I suggest starting off slow – trying to sit quietly for 5 to 10 minutes each day if possible.  I’ve found that guided meditations work best for me; I’ve even found some excellent free phone apps such as Take a Break and Omvana that make meditating anywhere easier.”
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