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Are Antioxidants Really Enough?

Turning Back The Hands of Time With Norwegian Salmon Roe

While many all natural and organic anti-aging skin care lines purport to contain a cocktail of antioxidants promising to rejuvenate skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines, the truth is that antioxidants alone are not enough. I’m not knocking antioxidants, they are an important part of a well rounded skin care regimen. However, while they help stabilize already sustained skin damage born of braving the elements and pollution, they have a minimal affect on building and strengthening the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. In other words, they don’t do much in the way of actually turning back the hands of time.

Skin science basics

As we age, our skin’s ability to produce collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid wanes. We see the visible signs of this in the form of wrinkles, fine lines, irregular pigmentation and sagging skin.

What’s a girl to do?

The reality of the situation is that every 365 1/4 days, our skin, along with the rest of our body, ages another year. Enter Sapelo Skin Care Spring Tide Serum. My mother discovered this skin care line, literally as it was launching, two years ago in Savannah, Georgia. At first, I wouldn’t even look at it. “Savannah, Georgia”, I said, “you’ve got to be kidding me”. I’m a serious skin care snob and, with few exceptions, won’t let anything near my face that is not from Europe or Asia.

A month later, I had lunch with my mom and noticed a significant change in her skin. It looked really taught and radiant, like she had just sat for a microcurrent facial. I mentioned that her skin looked great and she said “it’s Sapelo. I’ve been using it for a month and can’t believe the results.” I couldn’t either. I’ve never seen results like this from a topical skin care range.

Naturally, when I learned that Sapelo Skin Care had launched a new revolutionary anti-aging serum, I had to investigate. This silky serum combines the power of nature with science to visibly reduce wrinkles and fine lines by retraining signals in the skin to manufacture increased collagen and elastin. Spring Tide Serum is the latest addition to this all natural, wonder anti-aging line. Similar to the other products in the range, the science is rooted in its Southern heritage.

Founders Cindy Edwards and Stephanie Duttenhaver explained:

“In Savannah, the Southern spring tide signals the season of rebirth and renewal. This nourishing surge tide coincides with a full moon, flooding the wetlands of Savannah with nutrients to last the year through.”

This sounds like exactly what my skin needs! Especially with winter around the corner. In addition to high concentrations of a potent cocktail of proteins, peptides, amino acids, active Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A and E, as well as selenium, magnesium, copper and zinc, the fourth ingredient in the formula is 5% highly blenderized, unfertilized, organic Norwegian Salmon Roe Extract.

Warning! We are about to get a little science geeky…

If you think about the purpose of roe, it is to provide all the nutrition that a zygote needs to become a fry - right? Molecules that stimulate growth are concentrated in the egg. Similarly, this extract stimulates growth in the dermis boosting the skin’s ability to build collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Why is this so important? The skin’s capacity to produce these vital anti-aging proteins and acids begins to diminish at the age 25 and by the time our 80th birthday rolls around our skin has lost 32% of its ability to carry out these cellular activities. So even if you are 25 and still look twelve, listen up! The earlier you start taking care of your skin, the better positioned it will be to age beautifully.

Spring Tide Antiaging Serum

 

The best part is that there is real science to back this up. The highly-concentrated extract that Sapelo uses is taken from the unfertilized salmon roe by an all natural organic solvent which stabilizes this extraordinary biologic activity. The effectiveness has been proven in a Phase 3 Randomized Clinical Trial (The gold standard of scientific proof of principle – we are talking the very same standard that is used to test prescription drugs y’all) to dramatically increase collagen and elastin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and minimize redness and irritation. I won’t get into a scientific dissertation but I can tell you that using the 5% concentration of this new ingredient, dramatically increases collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production by up to 350%. That’s huge! Results can begin to be seen in as little as two weeks and have proven to transform skin in eight weeks. It is also worth noting that Sapelo Skin Care Spring Tide Serum is the only product on the US market to contain this powerful ingredient.

Spring Tide Serum can be used as a stand-alone product at night or as part of a bedtime skin care regimen prior to applying face cream. I have been using it morning and night as the second step in a cleanse, treatment, moisturizer regimen. It is so gentle, you can even work it around the eye area.

Spring Tide Serum has multiple applications

It is an excellent, non-abrasive alternative to undergoing a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or laser treatment. These procedures burn and damage the skin in order to initiate repair whereas this serum works to naturally repair the dermis without harming it.

Not convinced enough to forego these abrasive therapies?

Spring Tide Serum is also prescribed as an ideal post-procedure treatment product. It is extremely gentle and can be applied to nourish and protect your skin as it undergoes the healing process.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

Interview With Christophe Robin

Interview-with-Christophe-Robin

I have always had thick, curly hair. Growing up in New York City in the 90s when stick straight hair was en vogue, I always felt like the odd woman out. Make no mistake, when dealing with thick, curly hair, curating the right product selection is a process and finding a hair care expert that is intimately familiar with cutting curls and how they behave is an imperative.

Just as important is finding the right products which can be akin to a science experiment. You have to be patient and willing to try different combinations of products to see how they interact with each other and your hair. I have experimented with many different products in so many categories.

Today, on the precipice of 41, I have learned to appreciate my curly situation. Every day is a little different and even if you have the best products – you’ll always have a day where a little frizz infiltrates the system…until now.

Enter Christophe Robin, colorist of choice to the world’s most celebrated actresses and top models including Natalie Portman, Catherine Deneuve, Tilda Swinton, Kylie Minogue, Kristin Scott Thomas – you get the picture. While working with his clientele to transform their hair color for fashion shows and on the sets of film and television, he began to understand what hair needed to look and feel healthy and beautiful. Robin launched his own hair care line, designed to nourish, strengthen and protect color-treated and sensitive hair and scalps from root to tip.

All Christophe Robin products are formulated with powerful, rare ingredients and inspired by traditional recipes to address the needs of men and women with all hair types, textures and conditions. In addition to restoring hair health, these innovative products are free of parabens, silicone, harsh sulfates, oxidants and ammonia. Best of all, they make hair look outstanding! They are the best I have come across.

Until recently, I had to travel to France or St. Barths to purchase these hair care gems. Lucky for all of us, it can now be found in The US. I can’t say enough good things about these products. It keeps my hair in line, even on the most humid of days. I have also seen it work wonders on friends with fine or even thinning hair. The Volumizing line is bar none, the best I have seen.

I sat down with Christophe to interview the man behind the line.

AW: How did you choose your current career path?

CR: Growing up in the French countryside, I remember spending weekends with my mother and her friends while they coiffed their hair. I started coloring hair when I was 14 years old as an apprentice. The lady who trained me told me that you can’t have a beautiful result if you don’t take good care of the hair. I was passionate about hair color and the craftsmanship that it involved. At the age of 17 I arrived in Paris to work on my first big shoot! Things started to snowball. Everything happened very quickly!

AW: What is your philosophy?

CR: Beautiful hair color cannot exist without good care! A healthy and balanced scalp leads to healthy and beautiful hair!

AW: What do you love most about what you do?

CR: I have always been passionate about enhancing a woman’s natural beauty through hair color. It’s usually very subtle changes, but I love how it can unveil her eye color and enhance her complexion. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love and meet people along the way!

AW: What is the most important piece of hair care advice you give?

CR: Take great care of your hair! It’s the little things that count, brushing your hair before washing it with a gentle hairbrush, protecting your hair with a plant oil before washing it and, once a week, doing a deeply nourishing treatment for your hair (think Cleansing Mask with Lemon or Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil).

AW: What is your process for creating the very best in hair and scalp care?

CR: I listen to what people have to say! In my salon, on movie sets or photo shoots, I always listen to what people have to say, it’s incredibly valuable. My Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt was created for women who experience itchy scalp due to color residue buildup. It’s quite common, and sea salt is known to soothe the irritation!

The same is true for for my Cleansing Mask with Lemon and Moisturizing Hair Oil with Lavender. These were the first products I created. I used to work with models changing their color 4 to 5 times a week. Imagine the damage! I needed something to protect their hair and wash it gently.

AW: Has there been a single defining moment in your career?

CR: The day Catherine Deneuve called me in my salon to make her first appointment!

Pro tip for curly, dry or color damaged hair: Once a week apply, on dry hair, Hair Oil with Lavender through lengths and then apply Cleansing Mask with Lemon right over it. Leave it in for as long as possible. I leave it in all day or sleep with it in my hair overnight. An hour will do the trick as well but the longer the better. Results are astonishing! For more on this moisturizing treatment, see the how-to video below.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

Cupping Therapy Basics

cupping therapy

When Michael Phelps prepared to dive into the pool last summer at the Olympics, millions of spectators were stunned by the rows of large purple circles that adorned his back. In an instant the ancient modality of cupping resurfaced on the global stage. The record breaking olympic gold medalist practices cupping therapy to heal and support his muscles, joints and immune system which are pushed to the limits all year long by his intense training and then days of competition during the games.

Save Michael Phelps, I knew nothing about cupping and wanted to learn more. I sought a master practitioner in New York City and was introduced to Anton Lee, a third generation licensed acupuncturist with extensive cupping training. Acupuncture is an integral part of cupping. Anton educated me on the basics.

What Is Cupping?

Born of a culture that considered surgery, the act of cutting the body, an affront to their ancestors, (I found this particularly interesting as Judaism forbids the practice of tattoo and most piercings precisely for this reason) until the introduction of antibiotics, cupping was the principal modality of healing not only muscular pain in the body but ailment of major internal organs as well. In fact, prior to the introduction of antibiotics, boils were the leading cause of death. Cupping was partly developed as a method for removing the toxic fluids that were contained within the boil. With the introduction of antibiotics cupping began to fall by the wayside where it would become classified, at least in western medicine, as an alternative therapy.

Dispelling Myths

You will read almost everywhere that the practice originated in China. “Not true!” Anton insisted. It has been practiced all over the world for a few thousands years throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Middle East. Cups were made out of whatever natural resources were available in the region. In the Middle East, cups were made of goat horns, while in China they were fashioned from Bamboo. The modern day versions are made of glass and silicone.

What Does This Have To Do With An Olympic Athlete?

Every time we move energy is created which makes blood and fluids circulate through the body. This in and of itself is a good thing. But like anything, too much of a good thing can turn bad. When muscles and tissue are over exerted, it creates a trauma. When there is a trauma to the body, typically blood and fluid flow to the affected area in an effort to repair it. If The body is functioning healthfully, it is extremely efficient and directs energy, blood and fluid to where it is needed to support and heal the area. When this excess fluid is not completely absorbed by the body it can get deposited onto the muscle. This fluid bonds like glue to the muscle and creates a blockage. This can be in the form of a knot that you might get in your neck, or back. This causes pain and is toxic to the body. Just as the person loses his or her typical range of movement, this blockage is stuck. If you’re not an olympic athlete, you may be susceptible to extreme weather, which can also cause trauma to the body. When it’s cold we condense our bodies physically and this energy creates stagnation. This stagnation is perceived by us as pain.

How Can We Break Up The Blockage?

what you need to know about cuppingBy hand. A needle is inserted at the point of pain (Acupuncture is an integral part of cupping) to create the movement of energy, fluid and blood, within the tissue – to break up the proverbial “glue”, then a cup is placed over it and suction is applied to draw it out into the skin. The skin is not only the largest organ of the body, but the largest filtration organ of the body. Just as the liver filters blood, the lungs filter air and the stomach filters food, similarly the skin filters excess fluid. Skin contains millions of micro vessels – this is why, when we get cut, we heal so quickly. Using the skin’s filtration system the body disposes of what it does not need and recycles what it can use.

The Basics

The more toxic your body is the darker the cup marks will be. In general men tend to present with darker marks as women’s bodies are cleaner due to the menstrual cycle which circulates and cleans out blood and tissue from the body regularly.

My Mini Consultation

Anton is the real deal. Towards the end of our almost two hour meeting, Anton turned to me and asked if he could take my pulse. He told me that I am a worrier. Worry and stress cause the digestive system to slow down. The stomach is considered the mother organ as it filters food that is then distributed to the other organs of the body in order to nourish them. The odd thing is that I have colitis. It turns out that cupping can be used as part of a regimen to heal colitis and other digestive ailments. He also told me to keep an eye on my posture as bad posture wreaks havoc on the body – yes, causing trauma. The odd thing is, as soon as I walked into Anton’s office, I became acutely aware of my posture. It almost felt as if he was communicating telepathically to me, nudging me to sit up straight.

Just Scratching The Surface

Cupping is a practice that is tailored specifically to each individual depending on his or her needs and there are many more tools involved in the modality that I did not delve into here. Above I have merely scratched the cupping surface. To schedule a consultation or appointment with Anton, please call Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté at 212-588-1771.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

6 Must Have Beauty Products For Summer

6 Must Have Beauty Products For Summer

Though we are still experiencing chilly weather in the northeast, summer is just around the corner. Many of us will be spending endless hours outdoors in the sun and heat. Whether we are running errands, sitting on the beach, barbecuing, hiking or just day dreaming, it is important to protect ourselves from the elements during the day, and then nourish our skin later in the evening. Here are some of our favorite products to keep you covered from head to toe all summer long.

For face

Whether you are hitting the golf course or preparing to worship the sun, a sunscreen that will protect your skin from the elements is a must. If the sun is out, sunscreen is in order. Sun tends to accelerate the skin’s aging process so for face, I love Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair Sunscreen For Face SPF 15. This French cult favorite is high tech, anti-aging sun care that enables you to enjoy the benefits of the sun without experiencing its harmful effects. There’s real science behind this line of bio-cosmetics that takes a completely different approach to sun care. It works with aging skin’s biology and the sun’s properties, instead of against these factors, enabling your skin to protect itself from the elements. Institut Esthederm’s sun care products are bar none — the best you can find on the market. And because of active ingredients like beeswax and rice bran oil that moisturize and nourish skin, containing anti-free radical properties, Bronz Repair can be used as your daily anti-aging moisturizer all summer long.

For body

Institut Esthederm Sun Care Oil Extreme Sun is the best sun care for body you can find and also doubles as a luxurious body care oil all year long. It ensures safe prolonged sun exposure in severe conditions, including the intense tropical sun. It allows a deep, intense natural tan to develop without any harmful UV damage. Sun Care Oil Extreme is formulated with UV in-Cellium Technology to protect the skin from the inside by strengthening its self-defense systems. This hi-tech sunscreen is extremely moisturizing and can be used to protect hair from the harmful rays of the sun as well, making it a multi-tasking sun care dynamo.

For eyes

During the summer months, our eye area is usually in need of a little more than just a great under eye cream. Consider Institut Esthederm Lift & Repair Eye Contour Lift Patches your mother’s little helper. This treatment contains caffeine, sodium hyaluronate (the same active ingredient found in injectables) and algae extract to wake up your eyes from the inside out. You won’t believe the difference ten minutes make. They are perfect for après airplane travel or for transitioning from work/beach activities to nighttime play. They are an instant eye opener!

For hair

If you plan on sitting out in the sun, playing outdoor sports or even hiking, Christophe Robin Moisturizing Hair Oil with Lavender is a must. Fact: Your hair and scalp can burn in the sun. This leave-in hair treatment contains SPF 6 to protect your crown from getting scorched and moisturizes your hair in the process. It even provides for a convenient way to style your hair while on the beach or by the pool that keeps it off your face. I apply it in sections and then braid my hair. For short hair just apply and slick hair back. Trés chick! When you wash it out at the end of the day, your hair will feel silky, smooth and nourished.

Après sun

Whether you finished your day a little crispier for the wear or not, remember to treat your skin to some extra added tender loving care. Cosmetics 27 Baume 27 is great as an après sun moisturizer. It is cooling and calming, especially after a day outdoors or in the sun. During the summer, this balm is particularly well suited as a restorative and reparative nighttime face cream. It quite literally slows down the oxidation or aging process as it protects against free radicals, one of the main causes of aging. Don’t forget to massage into your décolleté as well.

Not just lip service

Be sure to pick up B. Kamins Laboratories SPF 20 Lip Balm. In extreme cold, wind or sun, lips are usually the first place to suffer. Just a few minutes of exposure to extreme weather can lead to days of chapped, cracked lips. Reapply your lip balm frequently to keep your lips comfortable and protected all day and night.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

Protect The Skin You’re In

Protect The Skin You're In

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Beyond your mother nagging you to death to apply sunscreen before you brave the great outdoors, it’s nice to know that there have been many advancements in the field of skin cancer detection. The level of awareness for the disease has skyrocketed within the last generation alone. I still have visions, from my childhood, of my father sitting on a lounge chair, covered in Johnson & Johnson’s baby oil, holding a bright yellow sun visor inches from his face to maximize his exposure to the sun. Whereas today, I apply SPF 30 sunscreen before I slip into my bikini to ensure that I don’t miss an inch on my face or body. I also apply an SPF hair mask and wear sunglasses as both your scalp and eyes can burn and are not immune to Melanoma either. Ocular Melanoma can present as a freckle within the eye.

But let’s go beyond the sunscreen

It’s critical to visit a board certified dermatologist for an annual skin screening and not only if you fall into the high risk group of those with light skin, eyes and a family history of skin cancer. It’s crucial that everyone go. Often, those with dark skin and eyes assume they are immune from skin cancer and wind up with serious issues down the road due to a lack of screenings and late detection. But don’t go to see a derm only because 1 in 5 Americans will have skin cancer in their lifetime, nor because Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, causes one death every hour. And not only because it’s the most common cancer diagnosis in adults 25 – 29. And certainly not only because children that have experienced 5+ sun burns in their lives are 80% more likely to develop skin cancer, nor because each year there are more instances of skin cancer than lung, breast and colon cancer combined. You must go because this is an easy one to prevent.

A technological leap forward in skin screening

Until recently the protocol for conducting skin screenings was a manual, imperfect process. Even with the expertise of a highly-skilled, board certified dermatologist armed with the appropriate screening tools, a manual process left physicians piecing together notes from the year before with no standardized method for tracking changes in the skin over time.

Enter DermSpectra, a revolutionary new breakthrough in technology that has standardized the skin screening process with digital imaging capable of tracking even the most minute of changes in the skin over time. When it comes to skin cancer, picking up the smallest change in a mole or growth can mean the difference between life and death.

DermSpectra skin cancer awareness monthYour 10 minutes of fame

DermSpectra, or The Box, as Dr. Mitchell Kline, a board certified clinical dermatologist who specializes in Melanoma surgery and staging, lovingly calls it, uses high speed, professionally focused cameras and lenses, customized for the patient’s skin type, to capture a 360 degree view of the skin in its entirety. Its akin to E! Live’s 360 degree camera used on the red carpet at The Oscars to give us a virtually 3 dimensional view of the haute couture fashions that the the A list actors are dressed in. DermSpectra is the very first full body digital imaging system in the United States that captures standardized, high definition photography of the skin. This imaging tool enables physicians to objectively review and monitor critical skin changes over time.

How does it work?

You strip down to your underoos at the very least – if you feel at ease bearing more – even better! Melanoma can pop up in the least expected of areas, even in places where the sun don’t shine. Climb into the DermSpectra Imaging Unit and move through a series of 9 poses while dozens of cameras capture 36.7 MP high resolution photos of the body from a 360 degree vantage point. These images are instantly available and become a baseline for the long term evaluation and tracking of even the smallest changes in the skin over time. All the information is stored securely for the patient’s and physician’s eyes only.

DermSpectra can only be found in three locations in The United States – at Travel Beauty’s go to dermatologist, Dr. Mitchell Kline’s Park Avenue practice on the upper east side of Manhattan, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and Oregon Health and Science University in Portland Oregon.

So what are you waiting for?

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie