Show Your Neck Some Respect

The most delicate areas on our bodies, the skin of our necks, décolleté and bust, are also the most neglected areas of our bodies. “Due to lack of care and protection, they’re usually the first areas to start sagging and developing age spots,” says Louise Peck, Ph.D. and founder of HydroPeptide in a recent article entitled, “Neck Deep” featured in DaySpa Magazine (Oct. 2010). “The skin on the neck is thin, has virtually no subcutaneous fat, is prone to loss of moisture and circulates blood poorly,” said Peck.

The skin on our necks, décolleté and bust should be treated with the same amount of care that is given to our faces. Though the skin on our bodies tend to differ slightly from that of our faces; the neck, bust and décolleté skin is more fragile. They must be cleansed twice daily, moisturized and protected with SPF 30. Since aging of the skin is connected with a loss of moisture, use products that are extremely hydrating. It’s actually best to use products that are formulated for the face. Hydrating serums, because they penetrate deeper, work great. Simply expand your product application to these areas. In an effort to defy gravitation, it’s best to apply products in an upward, outward direction.

Show Your Neck Some Respect

Look for products, foods or supplements that contain these ingredients:

  • Essential oils containing vitamin F including grapeseed and evening primrose oil, which increases fatty acids providing greater moisture.
  • Nut/Seed oils such as walnut, sunflower and flaxseed.
  • Green tea provides antioxidant protection and increases circulation.
  • Lactic acid gently exfoliates and reduces melanin production.
  • Vitamin A promotes cell turnover.
  • Vitamin C provides antioxidant protection and helps even skin tone.

Originally published on Be Well Blog Oct. 28, 2010



3 Simple Tips to Relieve Dry Hands

We love Shea Butter Hand Cream by L'OCCITANE
We love Shea Butter Hand Cream by

Do you have a hand cream that you love?

Typically, our hands show signs of aging even more than our faces. Scary, right? You may want to invest some time into caring for them on a regular basis. Start with these simple tips:

1. Get rid of harsh, drying hand soaps: Choose moisturizing bars or liquid soaps that contain hydrating oils like olive oil or argan oil would be best.

2. Exfoliate frequently: Sit a small jar of brown sugar scrub on your sink so that it is easily accessible. Two or 3 times a week, after washing your hands, use a small amount of scrub to dissolve dead skin cells. This will help your moisturizing hand creams to penetrate much better. See our DIY Brown Sugar Scrub tutorial to learn how to make your own.

3. Moisturize: Always have a tube of hand cream handy in your purse, at your desk, in your bathroom. As soon as you wash your hands, apply cream. recommends a few good ones. Here’s what they say are some of the best performing hand creams.

Our massage therapist, Donna of, loves Helping Hands Hand Cream by Lush.
Donna of, loves Helping Hands Hand Cream by Lush.

-Avon Skin So Soft Renew & Refresh Age-Defying+ Hand Cream
-L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
-Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream

We would love to know what hand creams you think are the best. Please share in the comments below.



Be Good to Your Skin


The skin is the body’s largest organ. It is what keeps us together, literally that is.

The skin is our body’s FIRST line of defense against parasites and deadly bacteria. It acts as a water-resistant barrier so that essential nutrients are contained within. It regulates bodily temperature; keeping us from overheating or freezing to death. Through a variety of sensations it alerts us of danger. The list goes on and on.

So why do so many people invest more time and money into grooming their hair, nails and stocking up on makeup; then maintaining or improving the well-being of their skin?

In my practice, my clients understand that having regular facials (monthly or bi-monthly) is an important step in improving skin health. Also, having a great home care maintenance program is essential. Almost daily I see women attempting to hide unsightly breakouts, sun damage, acne scarring (often caused by picking) behind thick makeup. Makeup may enhance one’s beauty; but, it can only do so much to hide bad skin. The better your natural skin looks and feels, the more beautiful your makeup will appear.

Here’s my advice …

  • Find a great skin therapist (aka esthetician). One who REALLY cares about your overall well-being. Spas are great, but are often more costly than independent practitioners. Seek out an independent skin-therapist near you.
  • Get advice about skin care products from a licensed professional (skin therapist, dermatologist). Beware of the beauty counters at your favorite department stores. It is best to have your skin analyzed by a skin pro (not beauty sales rep) who can then recommend product/ingredients that will provide real results for your skin.
  • Avoid irritating ingredients in skincare products such as perfumes, parabens, and dyes.
  • For some, money or the lack thereof may be an issue, but remember that cheap is not always the way to go. When shopping for skincare choose products based on performance, not cost.
  • Eat well/Live well: Our skin reflects whatever is going on in our body. Learn to manage stress and be conscious about what you eat. You and your skin will be the happier for it.

I’m pregnant, but why am I not glowing?

Photo by Carlos Saqiid

Everyone knows that glowing skin is one of the nicest effects of pregnancy. But, what everyone does not know is that not every pregnant woman glows. Pregnancy can often cause the body to experience some major changes. Most of these changes are expected like stretch marks and weight gain. But some changes that can occur are unexpected like bad breath, pregnancy mask, and acne. Though these changes can be a bit traumatic to a soon-to-be mom, be comforted in knowing that if you should encounter any of them, the effects are usually temporary. Once you deliver and eventually stop breast feeding, your hormones will likely stabilize and the symptoms will disappear. It can take a few months, even as long as a year, but rest assured you will begin to feel normal again. In the case, however, that symptoms persist, there are solutions that can help correct even the most troubling situations.

1. Bad Breath
Bad breath is a typical symptom of pregnancy. According to experts the changing levels of estrogen and progesterone increases dental plague causing bad breath. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings especially during your second trimester as recommended by most doctors. You might also want to keep some breath mints handy, you know … just in case.

2. Pregnancy Mask
Known as melasma, some pregnant women will notice brownish or grayish brown patches forming on their upper  lip, chin, bridge of the nose, cheeks and forehead. This is a common symptom of pregnancy so don’ t be alarmed. Increased hormonal activity is what triggers it. There are various treatment options for melasma that include topicals; chemical peels; and procedures like microdermabrasion. Careful, though … pregnant women are warned against using any topicals that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, retinols, and hydroquinone. Consult your dermatologist or skin therapist about which course of action might work best for you.

3. Acne
Hormonal shifts and excessive oil production are usually the causes of pregnancy-induced acne. Treatment options are limited as ingredients designed to address these breakouts include retinols and benzyl peroxide, which are contraindications for pregnant and nursing women. The best course of action would be to schedule monthly facials using organic fruit enzymes to treat breakouts. Also, refrain from eating foods that contain ingredients causing inflammation in the skin such as diary products; caffeine; and sugar.