Tag Archives: Healthy Aging

The Great Barrier – Skin

skin barrier brick

If you want healthy, beautiful skin it’s really important to understand some of the science behind your skin’s barrier function and how to maintain and protect it.

The Skin Barrier

I like to describe the stratum corneum (the skin’s outer layer) as a brick wall of defense. The study of this barrier is called corneobiology and according to researchers there are 16 separate types of barrier functions operating within this skin layer. They are all interconnected, so if one system is compromised others will also be effected.

The Acid Mantle

This is part of what forms the skin’s barrier. It protects the skin’s “underneath” from germs, pollution, toxins, and bacteria while at the same time  keeping lipids and moisture in. The acid/alkaline spectrum is o-14. Water is neutral at 7 and healthy skin is slightly acidic at 5.5.

This valuable mechanism is driven by a sensitive pH balance. We can easily disrupt it but often don’t pay enough attention to restoring it. Those of you who have been to Star Brows have probably heard me use the analogy of  the skin to a child you’re caring for – too much discipline and not enough skin care TLC or vice versa will create trouble! We unwittingly strip and disrupt the pH system during the all-important cleansing and exfoliating phase of our routine, and as a result it can takes hours to restore.

Too acidic when:

  • Your skin feels oily and not thoroughly clean after cleansing
  • You rarely need or apply moisturizer
  • Your skin is reactive and sensitive to products
  • Your skin is oily and prone to breakouts
  • Your skin often looks red and feels irritated
  • You have a greasy look

Too alkaline:

  • Your skin feels tight and dry after cleansing
  • You need to apply moisturizer more than once a day
  • You sometimes experience dry, rough patches
  • Your skin usually looks dull with more lines first thing in the morning
  • Your skin may sting or feel irritated after applying products
  • Your skin rarely appears plump or dewy

Don’t

  • Use products that contain unwanted chemicals like Sodium Laureth Sulfate (a known skin irritant and cheap foaming agent which strips natural skin lipids also found in the ever popular “Dermatologist – recommended” cleanser Cetaphil [yikes!] as well as Scrubbing Bubbles)
  • Use products that contain parabens which have been linked to breast cancer
  • Do too much exfoliation on your own
  • Forget to wash, moisturize, and protect your skin in the AM and PM

Do

  • Get regular facials
  • Use a soap-free cleanser like my current favorite Ocean Cleanser
  • Look at the ingredient deck on your products and choose more nourishing, gentle cleansers that maintain PH acidity
  • Control transepideral water loss (TEWL) with a “water-binder” like HydrateXS 1000
  • Feed your skin with serums like C-Power and essential oil blends formulated for your skin type like Essential Corrective Complex to build its strength
water loss
Unhealthy Barrier

 

To raise hydration levels in the stratum corneum increase the structure and function of the skin barrier. Essential fatty acids, ceramides, emollients and humectants will reverse the negative effects of water-dry skin by restoring elasticity, leaving the skin smooth and velvety soft.

To support you in your journey toward perfect skin, all of our products at Star Brows have been specially chosen to optimize and encourage skin health. We carry and professionally recommend two complete product lines: OSEA and Tu’el to address every skin type and condition.

See you at the spa!

 

water loss2
Healthy Barrier

Happy Holiday – Drink Up!

water2Holiday weight gain is, hands down, the most unwanted gift of all! Most of us know that a well-hydrated body works better and looks better. Your skin will be brighter and clearer, your body less sore, and the feeling of stress and tension will be lower when you are drinking the right amount of water for your body. But, did you know drinking water (at the right times) is essential, and can even help you with weight management?

1. Drink water when you first get up.
Like a gently flowing stream that pushes along debris and rocks, your circulatory system needs fluid to get rid of stubborn free radicals and residues from burned calories that were used during the night’s metabolism.

2. Drink water before each meal.
Drink water up to 30 minutes before a meal (so you don’t interfere with the action of digestion). It will help you feel fuller, so you may be less likely to overeat.
“Chugging water during meals severely hampers your stomach’s digestive powers and causes insulin levels to fluctuate significantly.” Macroboitic counselor Shonali Sabherwal
In addition, it is best to drink fluids two hours after meals as this helps in the absorption of nutrients.

3. Drink water as a snack.
“The next time you feel hungry, take a big, long drink of water and you may not need to eat. Because the hormones in our intestines that tell us we’re hungry are very similar to the hormones that let us know we’re thirsty, we’re not very good at distinguishing hunger from thirst, which is why we typically reach for food when we should be drinking.” Dr. Oz

4. Drink water before a workout.
Depending on the temperature, humidity, and your body’s fluid levels, you may need one or several glasses of water, each about eight ounces, to arm yourself against dehydration during an indoor or outdoor workout.

5. Drink water after a workout.
Following your exercise session, drink up to replace fluids lost by sweating and physical labor.

6. Have water with your medications/supplements.
Water helps to dissolve the medication and supplements and spread them throughout your digestive organs for rapid absorption. Water also prepares the tissues to receive the substance and put it to work right away. (Read the label to make sure water can be taken.)

7. Drink more water to prevent illness following exposures.
A well-hydrated body helps to move along any invaders before they settle down and multiply in your system.

8. Drink more water when you’re ill.
When you do become ill, drink plenty of fluids. The old-time recipe still works.

9. Have a glass of water when you’re tired.
Feeling tired? Fatigued? Need a nap but can’t take one? Have a glass of water instead.
Because of its ability to move quickly throughout the body, water can reach your brain and activate it right before a meeting or other situation in which you need to pay attention.

10. Drink plenty of water before and after a massage or facial.
The purpose of professional spa treatments is to relax, detoxify, increase blood and lymph flow, and generally improve skin tone and your sense of wellness and vitality. Water helps facilitate a healthy treatment outcome.

And by the way, are you wondering whether tap or bottled water is better? Check out The Story of Bottled Water.

See you at the spa!
Linda “Brow Boss” Ruberto

High Frequency Facials

New at Star Brows! Star Brows Fashion Shoot resized-199

Recently we purchased a new skincare-treatment machine that has the capability to perform multiple functions. While we focus primarily on European-style facials (relaxing, hands-on, rather than machine-oriented), we value results too! Below is an explanation of some of the features and benefits you’ll experience during your next facial.

High frequency treatments are a safe, gentle, non-invasive means to achieve acne clarification and skin rejuvenation.  The gentle oscillating, oxygenating power of low level electrical current has been shown to enhance circulation, increase collagen and elastin production, eliminate toxins and acne-causing bacteria, encourage lymphatic drainage, exfoliate dead skin cells, and assist with improved skincare product performance and absorption.

High frequency current stimulation forces an infusion of enriched oxygen molecules into the skin, thus cleansing, massaging, stimulating blood flow, dilating superficial blood vessels, re-texturizing, and increasing lymphatic drainage. This results in an improvement in blood circulation and cell renewal.  Increased production levels of collagen and elastin soften and smooth away wrinkles, reduce pore size, improve overall skin texture,  and promote a pleasant sense of well-being.

The use of low level electrical current also promotes a cleansing, antibacterial action that helps eliminate and prevent the onset of acne.  The skin is left feeling energized, rosy, firm, refreshed, and noticeably softer – even after just one treatment.  The enriched oxygen molecules produced by the high frequency machine are safe and are also effective in treating almost any skin lesion from acne to scars.

Benefits:

  • Gentle, non-invasive resurfacing procedure
  • Effective treatment for acne, enlarged pores, and scarring
  • Consistent treatments can provide a lasting long-term, healthy-aging alternative to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin

The following precautions should be taken:

1. Avoid using AHA or BHA products and unprotected sun exposure at least three days before and after your treatment.

2. Do not schedule a high frequency facial if any of the following are present: pregnancy, cuts and abrasions, diabetes, heart disease or pacemaker, metal pins or plates, dental braces, sunburn, phlebitis or thrombosis, vascular conditions, or any other condition for which you are under a physician’s care.

See you at the spa!

 

Brow Boost – New & Improved: June Product Feature 2013

brow boost

Kelli JuneHi! It’s Kelli, bringing you this month’s Product Feature.

At Star Brows we’re all about amazing eyebrow shape and design and most of us, including me, are doing what we can to get them.  I’ve been using Billion Dollar Brows’ Brow Boost for the last six months to help re-grow my poor hacked-off brows and with this product’s help (and the brow magic that comes from the Brow Boss, Linda), my eyebrows are becoming what I’ve always wanted. Now a reformulation of this product boosts brow growth three times more than before!

This new and improved formula will help you get thicker, fuller brows and can be applied to your lashes too. Buy two (one for lashes and one for brows) while they’re our Monthly Feature!

The deep-conditioning treatment is designed to help strengthen and condition thin, over-tweezed brows and weak lashes. It contains three times the amount of Laminaria Digitata and Pelvetia Canaliculata Extracts, two types of seaweed found off the coast of Brittany, France that are clinically proven to help strengthen weakened hair follicles.

In honor of this new product release, we are offering Double Reward points which you can redeem for Enhancements! I don’t know about you, but I am very excited to try this out. 🙂

 

See you at the spa!


Conditioning Brow Treatment



 

 

 

Give Me Some Lip!

ybskinTry this DIY Lip Treatment!

But first, do a mini teeth-whitening by swooshing with some hydrogen peroxide in your mouth and brushing with baking soda.

Step 1: Prepare a mixture of some, or all, of the following:

  • Course ground coffee
  • Brown/white sugar
  • Honey
  • Vanilla
  • Maple surup
  • Olive oil
  • Powdered cocoa

Step 2: Use your finger and gently smooth the mixture on your lips in little light circles for a minute or two

Pop it in the fridge to use again, but be sure you use a clean spoon, and not your fingers, to get it out.

I’m not a fan of petroleum based chapsticks and balms, so after your lips are super-smooth I love these: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics’ Lipstick, Mighty Shiny Lip Gel, Lip Gloss, and Lip Liners and OSEA Eyes and Lips.

See you at the spa!

The Brow Boss

Brow Boss www.vectorimages.org

Youngblood Review: Luminous Creme Blush

Cream Blush ReviewYoungblood has asked me to review their Luminous Creme Blush. Since I’ve professionally and personally been using it since this past summer, I happily said YES!

What’s not to love about this cream-textured blush that combines a shimmering glow with sheer, long-wearing color?  Let me count the ways:

1. Oil-Free

2. Contains healthy, skin-beautifying ingredients:

  • Vitamins C & E – to fight against oxidative stress
  • Allantoin – a moisturizing botanical and anti-irritant
  • Jojoba Esters – an emollient

3. Accentuates bone structure – It illuminates the cheekbone, catching and reflecting light. Most 20-somethings can use it alone, but I like to use it as a base for a powdered blush or bronzer for more color and depth.

4. Seals in lip color – I like my lip treatment to be long-lasting, so I use Lip Liner Pencil with Luminous Creme Blush over it. It stays and stays! I keep a little pot of it in my makeup bag for quick color touch-ups for cheeks and lips.

5. Comes in six luxurious shades – We carry it in Rose Quartz, Tropical Glow and Plum Satin, but it can be ordered in Champagne Life, Taffeta, and Pink Cashmere. .21 oz $26 (price subject to change).

See you at the spa!

 

OSEA Bath Products: January Product Feature 2013

bathA good soak in a warm bath is a wonderful wintertime ritual 

It really is hard to beat the relaxing, cathartic effects of lounging in a warm tub of water, where the mind can so easily find peace and calm. These simple moments of indulgence are a great way to end the day, as well.

The winter months can be harsh on our skin, regardless of our moisturizing regimens. But when done correctly, a nice bath can actually hydrate and re-mineralize your skin.

Ideally, your tub water is not too warm, as that can dehydrate your skin. Around 100 degrees Fahrenheit is where you want it. Turn off the phone, turn on some soft music, and close the door to the day’s problems.

Here are some of my favorite ways to make bathing (or showering) a spa experience

  •   Undaria Algae Oil – We use this for the body massage during Facials at Star Brows! This lightweight marine-based body oil is rich in organic botanical oils, sea minerals, and antioxidants. This is the ultimate skin repair, loaded with luscious seed oils–acai, babassu, passion fruit, sesame–and Undaria Algae, to deliver powerful antioxidant vitamins and essential fatty acids to dry, sun-damaged skin. Check this out for use with tattoos.

 

  •  Gigartina Beauty Bath – “I wanted to bring the ocean into the home,” says OSEA Skincare owner Jennifer Palmer. “In Patagonia, I took a fresh seaweed bath and really wanted to recreate that experience. Most seaweed baths are either straight powders that are difficult to dissolve and smell like low tide, or they are water-based, diluted and laden with preservatives, or they are nothing more than Epsom salts with fragrance. The Gigartina Beauty Bath performs as a true bath therapy product that is tied to the water and the sea – the core concept of spa.”

 

  • Green Marine Detox Bath – This is a potent bath powder that helps heal eczema and psoriasis and is rich in minerals, enzymes, and vitamins that the skin is able to absorb, including phosphorous, zinc, potassium, and calcium. USDA Certified Organic Undaria Seaweed from the pure waters of Patagonia. This purifying, powerful, antioxidant-rich seaweed helps with hormonal imbalance and water retention.

 

  • Salts of the Earth Scrub – Spiked with certified organic botanical oils from around the globe. Salts of the Earth come from the Dead Sea, the Bolivian coast, the Utah desert and the Himalayas. This exotic blend of the purest salt on Earth contains 84 trace minerals and gets its unique pink color from the rich ores they contain. The ingredients in these salts plump up the skin, enticing it to soak up nutrients and look more youthful.

 

  • Undaria Body Polish – Natural exfoliants feel gentle on the skin while delivering a stimulating scrub action. Small and powerful pumice grains help remove dead cells along with a bio-scrub blend of acai and guaraná. Guaraná is recognized for it’s tonifying and astringent properties, as well as reducing cellulite. Acai delivers a powerful synergy of healthy-aging properties to skin, plus hemp and passionfruit seed oils feed the skin Omega 3-6-9 essential fatty acids.

If you’re new to Star Brows, you may not know about The Product Feature or Rewards yet. To put it simply, 10% of all your product purchases, all the time, go toward free Service Enhancements, like Raindrop Therapy, Lash Tint, Chemical Peels, or Star Massage.

When a product is the Monthly Feature, like the OSEA Bath Products this month, you’ll get 20% back in Rewards.

See you at the spa!

 

Keep Calm and Pay Your Dues

In this economy, it’s really tempting to complain and panic about the labor and toil of earning a living. I’m not speaking to the masses here. I know there are people who are legitimately experiencing hard times, and I wouldn’t want to minimize their plight.

My husband is launching a new business. He’s never been a solo-entrepreneur and he’s 61! It’s called: Pulcinella Wood-fired Pizza and Catering, so the topic of keeping calm and paying your dues is hot at our house!

I have 42 blog posts on Healthy Aging. That’s more than I have in any other category.  Clearly, for me at least, it’s a priority. For what it’s worth, here’s my take on making a buck along the way:

Find something you are passionate about. I believe each of us has a special calling or skill-set with an innate desire to fulfill it.  Be Alive!

Spend time dreaming about how you could use that passion to earn a living. You may just start out doing it as a hobby, then move to part-time, and so on. And remember: It’s only money.

Be willing to pay your dues. My dad used to wash his ship-mates’ clothes, and polish their shoes for extra money when he was in the Navy. Later, when he wanted to learn the gas-station business , he offered to work for free, and sometime later he bought the place! Now, at 84, he’s the owner of Robert Hall Winery, and he started the vineyard on virgin land when he was 70 years young!

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! It’s only hard when you look at swallowing it whole.

In Minnesota, I used to garden with a Hmong woman. She asked me something one day: “We think differently than Americans. They work a long day so they can enjoy a short evening – five days to enjoy a weekend or a lifetime to enjoy a few years in retirement?” I’ve never forgotten that. Her people, she went on to explain, consider all of their time “life.” They weave work, family, and play into their hours, days, and years. They don’t portion slots of time out to simply endure so they can get on to what they really want to do. Happiness, after all, is a choice…I say Choose Happy!

I paid my dues when I started out in the spa and wellness profession, and every time I start a new venture – or branch out in a new direction – I pay dues again.  Fresh energy needs to be cultivated, fear checked, and the vision nurtured with each new step.

In fact, in the beginning of last month I was bemoaning a new venture into the wedding market. Now just 7 weeks later, I have a great new employee (Aesthetician – Kelli June), we’ve done a very successful event for the Bridal Show at Madonna Inn,  and I’ve been asked to write another article for Skin Deep Magazine about Wedding Services.

Dare to dream, fellow sojourner. Be fearless. You only go around once, and life’s all about the journey.

See you at the spa!

 

Essential Oils – September Product Feature 2012

This month’s Product Features are OSEA and Tu’el essential oils. As anyone who has had a service at Star Brows knows, we use essential oils in every single service we do! They are truly essential to the spa experience, and I believe irreplaceable in a personal-care routine.

An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aromatic compounds from plants. My favorite application is for the facial skin, and there is one for every skin type and condition.

The oils have many benefits, and each oil has different attributes. Our collection is targeted to skin types, but they are also relaxing, detoxifying, sleep-inducing, and generally tonic for the entire body. Once applied to the facial skin, they actually enter the bloodstream and go to work throughout the body.

The Tu’el lineup of essential oil synergy blends for each skin type are explained in detail here. New to our family of essential oils are the OSEA blends:

Essential Corrective Complex is a pure blend of essential oils that create a disinfecting, absorbent treatment to rapidly heal blemishes.

Essential Hydrating Oil is a 30% blend of pure essential oils that provides deep hydration, working to reduce the appearance of fine lines.

If you’re new to Star Brows, you may not know about the Product Feature or Rewards yet. To put it simply, 10% of all your product purchases, all the time, go toward free service Enhancements, like Raindrop Therapy, Lash Tint, Chemical Peels, or Star Massage.

When a product is the Monthly Feature, however, you’ll get 20% back in Rewards! Oils range in price from $28-$31, with Rewards points totaling $6. Prices quoted may not be valid after September 2012.

See you at the spa!