Water Therapy

Dermascope Water TherapyClick Here for PDF

Throughout history and across the world, water has been a valuable source of healing and regeneration. Water is the foundation of all life on Earth; it plays a critical role in atmospheric processes and climate. The human body is made up of no less than 75 percent water and some tissues consist of up to 95 percent water. It is essential to existence.

Water therapy is a powerful form of natural medicine with both internal and external benefits. The word “spa” is often affiliated with water treatments and some sources suggest it is an acronym from the Latin phrase sanitas per aquas, meaning health through water. Some people believe that there is positive energy in water that promotes vitality; whether or not that statement is true, water remedies – which are commonly known as spa therapy, hydrotherapy, and balneotherapy – relieve tension and improve immunity, skin appearance, and overall well-being.

Sufficient water intake is critical for skin hydration, elasticity, and firmness. The absence of adequate levels of water in the body can lead to accelerated aging, as well as health issues, such as thickening of the blood, which leads to the deceleration of blood circulation and metabolism. As a result, the body cannot properly cleanse and detoxify itself. An appropriate amount of daily water consumption helps purge toxins from the body through sweat and urine, enhances skin plumpness, and promotes a healthy glow.

The practice of dramatically altering the body’s external temperature from hot to cold (and vice versa) offers an instant boost to the circulatory system by increasing blood circulation. This type of shower promotes longevity and a well-balanced immune system and is a significant natural remedy in the fight against cellulite. The change in temperature initiates a response from the nerves located at the surface of the skin and aids in the restoration of energy and even mental alertness. It is one of the most effective natural solutions to enhance the body’s own detoxification abilities. The accelerated circulation enables a more efficient purification of toxins from the body and stimulates lymphatic drainage.

Many spas and rehabilitation programs take advantage of hydrotherapy. It is a powerful form of alternative medicine that facilitates recovery post-surgery or injury and supports wellness. Hydrotherapy encompasses neutral baths; water exercises, like swimming; water pressure massage; and steam bathing. Depending on water temperature, duration of treatment, water pressure, and the specific area of concern, hydrotherapy has physiological effects that encourage healing and rejuvenation.

Bathing in hot mineral springs or water enriched with Epsom or Dead Sea salt has great capacity to heal the body, mind, and spirit. Balneotherapy bath treatments are effective in improving the condition of many diseases, including psoriasis, arthritis, and fibromyalgia-related chronic pain. Soaking in hot baths reduces swelling and inflammation, lowers fatigue and tension, and even heightens mood. Studies have shown that natural salty seawater eliminates infection, decreases pain, and reestablishes proper cell function.

Water is widely available and is sometimes undervalued for its powerful benefits and many functions. Water therapy may entail an outdoor experience involving soaking in natural springs or grottos, a luxurious visit to the spa, staying well hydrated, or water exercise. It often brings pleasure and relaxation, but, more importantly, it fosters healing, vitality, and health.


Written by Victoria Tabak for Dermascope Magazine.
© All Rights Reserved. Published in April 2017 Issue

Thyme – A Natural Remedy

Thyme Skin is a barrier that serves as one of the body’s first lines of defense against harmful microorganisms. The synergy of several immunity-boosting factors acts as protection for the skin and body. Specialized immune cells within skin tissue are one type of defense, they help fight against invading organisms. Skin is also a host to a diverse group of beneficial bacteria collectively known as skin microbiota. These microbes naturally colonize the skin and are referred to as commensals (normal microflora).

Thymus vulgaris, commonly known as thyme, is a superb plant that enhances skin immunity by improving cells of the immune system and beneficial microflora. Throughout history, thyme has been used for medicinal purposes, having antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious and anti-oxidative qualities. Thyme is rich with polyphenols, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, thymol, carvacrol, p-cymene, and terpinene.

During the cold, windy winter weather, skin withstands a great deal of assault. Skin tends to feel drier, sensitive and dull without proper and season appropriate care. Hippophae Hydration Balm is an ideal skin immunity-boosting companion to combat the winter skin blues. It is abundant with thyme along with a handful of extra-potent botanical extracts. The combination of hippophae berries, emu oil, rose, shea butter, cinnamon, peppermint, lemon and lavender work together to repair, nourish, moisturize and enhance skin appearance in the face of even the toughest winter weather.

Hippophae Hydration Balm is rich with thyme.

Emu Oil: Ancient Remedy for Modern Times


Far back in history live the mysteries of the once existent dinosaurs, yet evidence reveals that their presence is still very much alive in the Australian emu birds. Emu, the second largest flightless bird in the world and part of the ratite bird family, have many similarities to the theropod dinosaurs. Some studies suggest that emu are a transitional species between a dinosaur and a bird, raising the possibility that the healing powers of the emu date back to the Mesozoic Era.

For hundreds of years, the Australian aboriginal people have utilized the benefits of emu oil for medicinal purposes. Emu birds are harvested for nutritional purposes, and the oil is a byproduct that is derived from the stored fat layer. The fat goes through a purification and refinement process, and is then converted to a hypoalle­rgenic and odorless oil. The oil can maintain stability and shelf life for at least two years.

Emu oil is rich in monosaturated and polysaturated fats that are high in omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9. Because of its health benefits, it can even be considered a topical nutritional supplement. The characte­ristic fat content of emu oil makes it uniquely similar in composition to that of human fatty tissue, enabling easy and swift topical assimilation. Emu oil is abundant with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids that work effectively to restore, stimulate and beautify the skin.

Reduces Swelling from Inflammation
Emu oil is an excellent natural remedy that promotes healing, calming any injury or irritation related to erythema, which is redness that can occur on the surface of the skin. The skin cells in the lower layers of the dermis, especially the subcutaneous layer, are surrounded by fatty tissue, much like that of the emu. Emu oil can swiftly penetrate up to 3 inches deep into the dermal layers because the skin recognizes it as a familiar substance.

Once the oil is absorbed, the anti-inflammatory properties of linoleic (omega-6) fatty acid enable a calming, pain-relieving effect. In one study performed at the Harner Burn Center in Texas, emu oil was used to treat burn victims only on one side of their body. The study showed that there was faster healing and scar reduction compared with that of a common burn ointment. Emu oil played a significant role in soothing and calming the areas, reducing inflammation and improving skin moisture levels that facilitated an accelerated the healing process.

Improves Eczema, Dermatitis, and Psoriasis
Many skin disorders are accompanied by inflammation, rashes, and uneven skin texture. Emu oil soothes the skin, lessening dermatitis-related redness and irritation. The sapogens concentrate on softening the skin, which disturbs the hard scaly patches that develop as a result of psoriasis. By reducing inflammation and alleviating dry skin, emu oil relieves skin itching and can positively affect the conditions of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

Stimulates Skin Cell Regeneration
Emu oil contains high concentr­ations of oleic acid (omega-9) and palmitoleic acid (omega-7), which play a significant role in boosting cell production and regeneration. With the increased cell turnover rate, skin can better repair itself. In a study that was published in Dermatology Research and Practice, findings revealed that when emu oil was topically applied to skin burns, the healing process was slightly delayed, but had an overall progressive effect on restoring the skin. Emu oil encourages tissue fiber proliferation and increases collagen production, aiding in the healing of wounds and scars.

Repairs Acne
Emu oil does not clog the pores. A small amount of the oil goes a long way. It goes on light and absorbs instantly. It is a non-irritating ingredient, and is gentle on even the most sensitive skin. As acne heals, there is a risk for blemishes and scarring. Emu oil assists in the healing process, and reduces the accumulation of cells that encompass emerging scar tissue. Terpenes, found in the oil, further battle with acne related infections because of their antimicrobial benefits.

Thickens Skin
Studies have shown that regular use of emu oil can increase skin thickness by two to three times. The oil entraps and holds moisture for long periods of time because of the emollient action of palmitic fatty acid. Emu oil also helps oxygenate skin cells. These combined efforts plump the underlying layers of skin and enhance skin elasticity and thickness.

Decreases Age Spots
Emu oil is rich in vitamin A, a type of carotenoid. Through its considerable amount of antioxidants from vitamin A and vitamin E, emu oil can effectively repair skin damage. Age spots and hyperpig­mentation develop as humans get older due to overexposure to ultraviolet radiation or other melanocyte stimulants, such as hormones.

The increased melanin in localized areas of the skin is responsible for the dark spots that develop on the surface of the skin. The restoring qualities of oleic acid (omega-9) and the plethora of antioxidants can easily penetrate into the dermis. Application of emu oil increases the rate of cell renewal of the unhealthy pigmented tissue, resulting in the reduced severity of age spots.

Reduces Wrinkles
Emu oil moisturizes and nourishes the skin, acting as food for the cells deep in the dermis. With unparalleled transdermal capacity, emu oil heightens the potency of any skin care formula. It contains myristic and stearic fatty acids, which are natural emulsifiers, allowing the collaboration of oil- and water- soluble substances.

Emu oil functions as a powerful delivery system—it is able to penetrate through all the layers of skin. As it passes through, it carries along all the nutrients and contents of the oil itself and any other ingredients present. It easily facilitates the penetration of either water or oil soluble substances.

The efficacy of any skin care product containing emu oil becomes significantly enhanced. The oil can quickly and effectively impact and improve damaged, dry, and malnourished skin, directly combating visible signs of aging. The sapogens and oleic acid (omega-9) soften skin and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

Creates Protective Barrier and Enhances Immunity
Emu birds are known for having a strong and resistant immune system after having to adapt to the extreme climate in Australia. Application of emu oil improves skin quality and health, strengthening the skin’s overall immunity. The oil is loaded with flavonoids, which are abundant in antioxidants working to defend the skin against environmental stress. It is a natural skin protectant against harmful ultraviolet rays. Although emu oil is not an antibact­erial, it does have anti-septic benefits from the terpenes. The oil may not be able to destroy the bacteria, but it stunts potential bacterial growth and reproduction by creating a protective barrier on the skin.

Moisturizes Dry Scalp
The intense nourishing action of emu oil is not only favorable for the skin on the face. It is equally conditioning and moisturizing for the scalp. It is also great for relieving itching related to dry scalp. The joint strength of hydration boosting palmitic fatty acid, omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 facilitate optimal scalp replenis­hment.

Encourages Hair Growth
Application of emu oil to the scalp rouses cell restoration around the hair follicles that can potentially stop hair loss and assist in the growth of new hair. The heightened epidermal hair follicle activity fortifies the development of new and healthier hair keratin. To achieve optimal hair growth results, emu oil would be most effective when it is incorporated in products with other scalp-stimulating ingredients that have vasodilation properties or a dihydrot­estosterone (DHT)-blocking effect linked to pattern balding.

Use in the Spa
A treatment containing emu oil is ideal in the post care of harsh procedures, such as chemical peels, dermabrasion and needling because it reduces itching, redness, peeling and scaling. Emu oil would make a dramatic difference in any dry or dehydrated skin-replenishing facial. It works as a transdermal vehicle, getting all the ingredients faster and significantly deeper into the dermis. Any product formulated with emu oil becomes more potent.

Products with emu oil would be preferential for clients hoping to achieve faster visible anti-aging results. Emu oil has become a modern-day gem in the beauty and wellness industry. It is a remedy that dates back to an era even further back than the existence of humans, yet it is still relevant today. It is most beneficial in encouraging healing, repairing and promoting skin and hair health. Emu oil supports wellness from the outside-in, supplying nutrients to cells in the lower skin layers by way of its phenomenal transdermal delivery system.

Originally published at http://www.skininc.com/skinscience/ingredients/Emu-Oil...


Written by Victoria Tabak © All Rights Reserved. Published in November 2016 Skin Inc. Magazine Web Exclusive


A Step-by-Step: Cellulite Blasting Treatment

lipomelt-dermascope-articleClick Here for PDF

Cellulite is an ongoing concern for many clients. It is recognizable for its dimply appearance, which is comparable to the skin of an orange peel; severe cellulite can even resemble cottage cheese. Understanding what cellulite is and its primary cause is important in order for skin care professionals to be able to repair affected areas.

Cellulite is localized lipodystrophy, or damaged fat tissue, that tends to appear in the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Impaired adipose tissue is, ultimately, non-responsive, causing an interruption in the circulation and flow of the lymph, fat, and fibers that exist in the tissue. The key to treating cellulite is to stimulate and trigger a physical response by boosting blood circulation and fat metabolism.

Enhancing circulation will cause affected areas to become flush and sensitive. The increased flow of lymph and fat will break down the accumulated stagnant fibers and proteins in the fat tissue that cause the uneven texture. By activating a healthy internal fat drainage cycle, professionals will be able to break down cellulite and smooth, tone, and contour the targeted areas.

There are a variety of actives that effectively enable fast and dramatic results when combating cellulite. Mustard seed powder, capsaicin derived from red chili peppers, caffeine, theophylline, and rhodysterol from red algae are among the more aggressive active ingredients. High concentrations of powerful, antioxidant-rich ingredients – including aminophylline, aloe, and hippophae – are critical in neutralizing free radicals, which are destructive to healthy tissue. They also work to break down fat deposits that accumulate under the skin and accelerate the process of tissue regeneration.

Assess the client’s specific needs and areas of concern and determine the affected areas. Explain the procedure, being sure the client understands that the treatment will leave the treated areas flush with some sensitivity due to an increase in blood circulation. After the client consents to the treatment, prepare the bed with a plastic disposable sheet. During the service, the client can either remain in their own undergarment or wear disposable underwear.

Some contraindications for this treatment include skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, open lesions or rashes, recently shaven or waxed skin, sunburns, and severe varicose veins.


Put on a pair of disposable gloves to protect the hands from ingredient overstimulation and apply a nickel size amount of an exfoliating body polisher to any areas of dry skin. The body polisher should contain ingredients such as jojoba seeds, citrus extract, aloe, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants. Massage and work the polisher in circular upward and inward motions toward the heart. Continue massaging the skin until all extracts are fully absorbed and only the dry, granular texture remains. With a dry towel, brush the granules off of the skin.

Apply, as necessary, a vitamin-enriched relaxation-promoting, aromatic massage oil and perform petrissage-style massage to the treatment areas. Massage will improve circulation and help the client relax. Oils rich with avocado, squalene, safflower, and vitamins help to nourish the tissue and retain the skin’s natural moisture levels.

Measure approximately a quarter cup of mustard seed powder and mix it with one teaspoon of fir tree oil. Evenly disperse the mixture onto a finely threaded gauze.

Dissolve 500 milligrams of vitamin C into two cups of hot water and place the gauze in one tablespoon of the vitamin C water until the mustard powder has a paste-like consistency.

Apply the gauze over a thin napkin or protective skin liner sheet to the targeted area and press firmly onto the client’s skin. Cover the treated area with a blanket or towel to allow for a thermal reaction and be sure to tuck the blanket under the body to insure insulation of the area. The ingredients will promote deeper adipose tissue heating and stimulation.

Leave the gauze on the skin for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the client’s feedback. Ask the client to rate the severity of the treatment’s intensity. When the client reaches a high intensity level, remove the gauze. For more sensitive clients, 10 minutes will be sufficient. The expected sensitivities should be reviewed during the initial consultation. Performing an upper body massage with the body oil will allow the ingredients to take full effect.

Peel away any remains of the protective skin liner or napkin.

Using the fingertips or a dry brush, manipulate the treated area with long upward and inward strokes to facilitate fat and lymph drainage.

Gently apply a dime to nickel-sized amount of a leave-in contouring and stimulating cream to each treated area. Massage the client’s body using light effleurage strokes until the cream has fully absorbed. This product should contain ingredients that will continue to reactivate and combat cellulite, including capsaicin, theophylline, caffeine, aminophylline, and rhodysterol.

Complete the treatment by applying a teardrop amount of a moisturizing vitamin C and antioxidant-rich product to each treated area to boost the efficacy and strength of the treatment. This product will continue to repair the cellulite fat tissue.


Written by Victoria Tabak for Dermascope Magazine.
© All Rights Reserved. Published in October 2016 Issue

Soy In Skin Care


Soybeans are one of nature’s best-kept secrets to maintaining healthy, youthful skin. Many Asian populations live on a soy-based diet, consuming up to 300 milligrams of soy a day. They also have significantly lower incidents of skin conditions, cardiovascular disease, prostate, uterus and breast cancer, osteoporosis and even hot flashes than any other population in the world. In addition, the residents of Asia are known to maintain clearer and younger looking skin than Western and Eastern European countries.

In the United States, soy grown in the Midwest is the most pure and non-genetically modified form. It’s now making its way into Western diets for its immeasurable health benefits, as well as the skin care industry as a game-changing natural therapy for the skin. Soy contains some of the richest concentrations of isoflavones, phospholipids, phytosterols, saponins, vitamins, omegas, minerals and protein of any food source. As the holistic lifestyle and healing movement continues to grow, the relevance of soy only becomes stronger.


Soy is a highly nutritional plant. It is a clean, pure source of protein rich in iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, copper, folic acid, vitamins and omegas. Eating soy on a regular basis may boost immunity, strengthen bones, support healthy, younger looking skin, and even potentially lower the risk of many widespread diseases.


During the normal maturation process, hormonal imbalances develop, which for women typically involves a decrease in estrogen levels. As a result, skin becomes dehydrated, thinner and less firm due to a decline in collagen and elastin production. There is also a significant drop in hyaluronic acid in the intercellular layers, which is key to keeping skin looking plump.

To understand how soy addresses this problem, visualize a lock and key. Picture the locks as receptors, and the keys as hormones. Ideally, there are uninterrupted cycles of keys being accepted by the locks. As skin matures, however, a shortage of keys occurs in the body, leading to an interruption in the process, where there are locks being neglected. An interruption in this flow ultimately causes visible signs of aging.

The remarkable ability of genistein, a phyto-hormone and the heart of soy isoflavones, is to promote an internal balance. Genistein is a plant compound that has a human hormone-like composition, but is not an actual hormone. Because of this, it does not cause any adverse effects. Genistein has remarkable skin benefits. Genistein, together with phosopholipids, critical to the lipid bilayer of every cell membrane, has the unique ability to generate cell membranes. They can rebuild collagen and elastin, increase skin thickness, enhance skin hydration and improve overall wellness while smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

To illustrate how the balancing process works, keep in mind the example of a lock and key. The chemical structure of real estrogen and the chemical structure of genistein are so similar that when genistein makes contact with the skin, the body accepts it as its own “key”. The skin can actually respond and reactivate the normal flow of receptors being triggered by the genistein, which otherwise are left lingering due to the lack of estrogen. Without ever actually introducing hormones into the body, genistein has the phenomenal properties to initiate internal balance by shifting the equilibrium toward the body’s natural estrogenic side by reactivating stagnant receptors.


Acne commonly affects hair follicles, sebaceous glands on the face, chest and sometimes the back. The sebaceous glands secrete sebum, which reaches the skin’s surface coming through the hair follicle. In the case of excess sebum production, blockages in the pores occur, provoking breakouts and acne.

Androgens, the male hormone, are the only hormones that stimulate the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce greater amounts of sebum, which becomes a culprit that leads to acne. Real estrogen is known for its ability to block the effects of androgens on the sebaceous glands, but that requires a pharmaceutical route, often accompanied by certain side effects. Soy isoflavones have a remarkable adaptogenic ability, and can sense where the internal equilibrium needs to shift, either toward the estrogenic or androgenic side without ever having to implement real hormones. Therefore the skin is able to benefit from exceptional results without the side effects that may accompany pharmaceutical hormone options.


Soy is rich in phytosterols, saponins and phytic acid. Phytosterols and saponins enhance skin’s immunity and resistance to environmental effects and inflammation. Saponins even have anti-viral characteristics, further protecting the skin from external harmful factors. The saponins’ molecule can absorb toxic buildup, boosting the energy and rejuvenation level of every cell.

Phytic acid is an antioxidant rich herbal skin brightener and soother. Phytic acid, along with nourishing topicals omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid), counters skin sensitivities and redness, making soy a remedy that can improve rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and other dermatitis related skin concerns. The combined action of B-vitamins and vitamin K enhances overall blood cell quality and resiliency.


Cellulite is a metabolic disorder of the connective adipose (fat) tissue. It is described as being composed of waste product such as fatty deposits, toxins and fluid between the layers of the connective tissue. Soy isoflavones are a gentle and non-invasive option to reduce the severity of mild grades of cellulite. Daidzein and genistein inhibit adverse rapid cellular growth and encourage the blocking of estrogen when appropriate, which in turn counters the progression and accumulation of cellulite development.


Treatments incorporating soy are ideal for clients distressed by imbalances, as soy works to remedy hormone-associated acne and menopause-related skin changes in synergy with the body’s own processes. Products containing pure hydrolyzed soy, the most active and penetrable form, can regenerate cells and boost skin vitality.

A soy-rich facial treatment is a great option for a wide spectrum of clients depending on their specific skin concerns. A typical 60-minute session can range from $95 to $195. A soy treatment has the potential for immediate and long-term cumulative results, especially when combined with recommended daily home care. Studies have shown that routine treatment and use of soy-based products can be effective enough to substitute some pharmaceutical-based treatments for problem skin and aging.


Written by Victoria Tabak for Les Nouvelles Esthetique & Spa Magazine.
© All Rights Reserved. Published in August 2016 Issue

Nature’s Caress – Healing & Beautifying With Aloe Vera

LNE Aloe

IN THE ABYSS OF DRY DESERT, where not much plant life can survive, resides an oasis with a thriving succulent cactus, the aloe vera plant. Through extreme hot dry climates, aloe vera perseveres, assimilates to its environment and develops impeccable self-sustaining characteristics. It is one of the most nutrient-rich plants, encompassing more than 200 different phytonutrients including enzymes, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, polysaccharides and glycosides. Aloe vera has such powerful healing and beautifying features that it’s no surprise that the ancient Egyptians regarded it as the “plant of immortality” and the Native Americans as the “wand of heaven.”

Aloe vera has been used for centuries for its medicinal qualities. Like any plant that grows in an extreme climate, aloe vera is in a constant state of survival. This forces the plant to develop heightened self-repairing traits and a plethora of immunity boosting bio-actives. For example, if the end of an aloe leaf is cut off, the area seals itself and pulls all of its resources inward so the leaf continues to grow and regenerate from the root. Similarly, aloe vera has remarkable skin benefits when applied topically, and has wellness promoting value when taken internally.

It has become relatively common to consume aloe vera gel in beverage form as part of a regular daily diet. Studies have shown aloe vera to have a positive impact in improving many health issues, including cancer, digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and high cholesterol. Correspondingly, aloe vera as an ingredient in skin care products improves wellness from the outside-in. The plant’s rich composition of phytonutrients allows aloe to play many skin restoring roles.



Aloe vera gel is available in every summer vacation destination where sunburns are common. The cooling sensation of the aloe gel is comforting for the throbbing, sensitive areas overly exposed to ultraviolet radiation. A sunburn is ultimately just inflamed skin, which in most extreme cases can be considered a wound. The high antioxidant concentration in aloe vera scavenges environmentally caused free radicals, which blocks further damage and encourages tissue repair.



The aloe vera plant contains magnesium and salicylic acid, the synergy of which creates analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe contains eight types of enzymes including bradykinase, an enzyme that initiates blood vessel dilation. This process lessens any skin or tissue inflammation.



Aloe vera is famous for its healing capabilities. It is rich in glucomannan, which promotes cell regeneration and collagen production. When aloe vera gel is applied topically, it dries on the skin, which has a sealing effect. Under the insulated cover aloe contracts, along with the surrounding area. The wound is then protected from outside bacteria and can decrease in size. It can then stimulate blood flow and accelerate healing. This allows the cells to continue to proliferate, and ultimately cure the wound.



In addition to boosting collagen production, aloe also alters the existent collagen fiber configuration. It improves the cellular matrix, aiding in stronger collagen fiber interlinking. The stronger collagen bonds assist in breaking hold of cells surrounding stretch marks, which is a type of scar tissue. The area is then advanced into a state of repair, allowing for the tissue to lessen and heal.



The inner leaf of aloe vera is made up of 99 percent water, which is an immense amount of topical hydration if applying the raw inner gel directly to the skin. However, it is not critical to have the raw gel; a well-formulated skin care product with aloe vera has the same effect. The action of amino acids allows aloe to effectively soften hardened cells. It is rich with mucopolysaccharides as well, also known as glycosaminoglycans. This is a naturally occurring substance located in the periphery of the skin, but its production decreases with age. Mucopolysaccharides function as a humectant working to attract and bind moisture into the skin.



Aloe’s high content of antioxidants including vitamins A, C and E help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The mucopolysaccharides in aloe also promote skin elasticity and firmness. The collagen repairing action and tissue healing abilities of aloe make it an appropriate ingredient in any age resisting skin care product.



There are different grades and causes of acne, but the common culprit among all of them is bacteria. Aloe vera contains several phenols. Bacteria, when close to a phenol compound, lose their mobility. Without movement, bacteria become inactive and can no longer spread or provoke inflammation. The powerful bacteria, fungus and virus inhibiting abilities are attributed to the following antiseptic agents present in aloe vera: phenols, salicylic acid, lupeol, cinnamic acid, urea nitrogen and sulfur.



Aloe vera is packed with vitamins and nutrients that are calming, soothing and moisturizing to the scalp, and many hair products now incorporate aloe vera into their formulations. Aloe works as a scalp anti-irritant and conditioner, especially for itchy scalp associated with eczema and psoriasis. The lignins in the plant facilitate deep penetration even through the thickest areas. This enhances the efficacy of the enzymes, allowing them to break down any hardened keratin and further relieve scalp discomfort.


For centuries, aloe vera has improved the well-being of populations across the map. There are virtually no contraindications, with the exception of an aloe allergy. Whether it’s a sunburn, wound or any skin sensitivity, aloe is a fast and effective topical remedy. Consider this plant your spa’s natural first-aid kit!


Written by Victoria Tabak for Les Nouvelles Esthetique & Spa Magazine.
© All Rights Reserved. Published in June 2016 Issue

Synergistic Benefits of Vitamin E

Dermascope Vitamin E Article ImageVitamin E is a major, oil-soluble, naturally-occurring antioxidant in the body. It is a complex substance that exists in eight different molecular forms and is identified by two types: tocopherols and tocotrienols. There also exists an alpha, beta, delta, and gamma molecular form of both tocopherols and tocotrienols.

Vitamin E is most concentrated in the epidermis, specifically the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is the part of the skin that has direct exposure and defense response when exposed to cell-damaging ultraviolet radiation. Vitamin E is guided throughout the skin and body by way of sebum flow.


It is no surprise that vitamin E is effective in protecting the skin against free radicals. It neutralizes and absorbs harmful, external sunlight and environmental, oxidative assaults on the skin. When there is a vitamin E deficiency, the body becomes much more vulnerable to lipid destruction through oxidants, such as free radicals attacking the lipid cells, decreasing one of the body’s natural mechanisms of defense. Vitamin E, when depleting in the body, can regenerate itself, but only in the presence of other antioxidants. Although it is a powerful vitamin, it is supplementary, meaning that it is the most beneficial and has the greatest impact when it is in synergy with other antioxidant-rich vitamins.

Of all of the molecular types of vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol is the one used in most supplements and skin care products because it is the most biologically active. It has one of the most powerful free radical-scavenging abilities of any antioxidant in regard to lipids. Even though it is the most ample, oil-soluble antioxidant in the skin, its availability in the rest of the body is in relatively low amounts. It is one of the primary antioxidants responsible for inhibiting UVB-triggered skin inflammation and immune response. For the ultimate ultraviolet defense, vitamin E must be accompanied by vitamin C.


Over the last five to 10 years, vitamin E has been most recognized for having scar- and stretch mark-smoothing and firming benefits. Because of its oil-based characteristics, vitamin E creates a protective, moisturizing barrier for the skin when applied topically, functioning occlusively. This kind of environmental, external shield can facilitate the skin’s ability to regenerate itself with the powerful doses of antioxidants. Vitamin E can effectively repair and even heal skin cells when it is combined with other vitamins and antioxidants.

Some examples of ingredients with pure and naturally existing vitamin E, in its greatest and most-active form, include hippophae berries, nuts, and avocados.

Hippophae Berries

The abundant hippophae (sea buckthorn) berries are a remarkable example of the maximum potential of vitamin E as they contain the highest single source of the vitamin in nature. In addition, the rich concentrations of vitamin A and vitamin C in the hippophae berries allow for vitamin E to become more potent and to regenerate itself in the skin. Accordingly, the body’s ability to protect itself from environmental ultraviolet damage and the skin’s self-lubricating capability dramatically improves. Hippophae berries contain a multitude of skin- and body-beneficial omegas, including the rare omega-7, which has extraordinary healing power. Alpha-tocopherol works effectively in the preservation of omega fatty acids, promoting health and wellness.

Sunflower Seeds and Nuts

Sunflower seeds and nuts, especially hazelnuts and almonds, are abundant with vitamin E. As a skin care ingredient, the flesh of the nuts or seeds can be incorporated into exfoliation products as a manual exfoliant. The extracted oil from the sunflower seeds or nuts complements any anti-aging or dry skin product formulation. The powerful antioxidant percentage of vitamin E allows the body to combat skin-damaging free radicals, along with magnesium, working to decrease cell vulnerability. Vitamin E action in nuts is optimized because of the balanced, additional value of vitamin A, destressing vitamin B, vitamin C, elastin-stimulating copper, and zinc.


Avocado is another vitamin E heavyweight food, having deeply hydrating and age-defying properties, in addition to being a phenomenal food as part of a regular diet. Avocados are also packed with omegas and vitamins that facilitate the maximum moisturizing, nourishing, and ultraviolet-protecting benefits of vitamin E, especially when co-existing in synergy. Other rich sources of vitamin E include dark-green, leafy vegetables, including kale and spinach, whole grains, oatmeal, flaxseeds, raspberry leaf, and rose hips.


When exposed to significant amounts of direct light, vitamin E-rich oil can darken in color. This change does not necessarily mean that the efficacy of the vitamin decreases significantly, although it may. Typically, most skin care products, if exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time, will change in appearance and effectiveness.


Skin care formulations with vitamin E are meticulously perfected because vitamin E is a hydrophobic ingredient. It is also lipid-soluble, which in some sources may be comedogenic. An effective vitamin E-rich skin care product formula should contain an ingredient where the vitamin is already naturally present in a high concentration. It should also be in combination with other antioxidants, such as in hippophae berries. If a formula does not have an ingredient that already has all the vitamins in it, it would then be necessary to use an emulsifier to integrate vitamin E with a water-soluble ingredient, such as vitamin C. An emulsifier forces oil-based and water-based ingredients to mix.


A deficiency in vitamin E is accompanied by many adverse side effects that can be quite severe. There becomes a detrimental possibility of tissue damage as a result of free radical offense that can even be cancer provoking. In addition, a deficiency in vitamin E can trigger an impairment of red blood cells and nerves. Insufficient vitamin E in the body can also negatively impact the menstruation cycle or even cause fertility problems for both men and women. To maintain healthy levels of vitamin E, it is necessary for the body to have a healthy supply of zinc and selenium, which also promotes the body’s acceptance of vitamin E.


Despite all of its positive effects on a person’s health and skin, vitamin E can also be harmful if it is overused. It is not recommended to have more than 600 international units of vitamin E daily when taken as an oral supplement. Excessive amounts of vitamin E can affect the body’s blood-clotting abilities. Ultimately, there has to be balance to allow the body to acquire and take advantage of all of the benefits that vitamins have to offer.

A 1999 study, which was published in Dermatologic Surgery Journal, introduced the possibility that using vitamin E alone may not necessarily be ideal as a scar- and stretch mark- smoothing ingredient. It even went as far as demonstrating that topical vitamin E caused an adverse response from the skin, actually irritating and worsening the appearance of recently developed scar tissue. It is always a good idea to be aware that there have been cases of people developing contact dermatitis as a result of vitamin E, as there can be such thing as too much of a good thing, even to something that is naturally existent in the body.

Vitamin E alone offers only a portion of potential advantages to the skin. When in collaboration with other high concentrations of vitamins and omegas, the comparison of how much more of a difference vitamin E makes in encouraging the skin’s restoration process is dramatically increased. To truly appreciate the amazing benefits of vitamin E, imagine that the skin is like a building. To shape and sustain the structure, it needs building blocks; those blocks are healthy cells. Vitamin E, with its powerful antioxidant action, stimulates cell repair and regeneration, sourcing the skin with healthy cell building blocks.

Written by Victoria Tabak for Dermascope Magazine.
© Dermascope Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Published in June 2016 Issue

Orange You Beautiful – Hippophae Berries For Holistic Healing

LNE Berries

HIPPOPHAE BERRIES are one of the most abundant natural sources known to man. They provide a plethora of both internal benefits as a supplement and external age-preventative and skin-beautifying properties. They have been used for centuries as a remedy for wellness, health and beauty, predominantly in Europe and Asia. These miracle berries are accompanied by an ancient legend passed down from one generation to the next, originating from Eastern Europe.


The story behind Hippophae berries begins with a young Siberian woman who got lost in the forest. As her anxiety grew, she began running in fear, not seeing anything in front of her. She frantically ran through the woods, not feeling the tree branches and thorns tearing at her skin. When she reached the river, she was terrified by her own reflection; her face was covered in scrapes and wounds. Standing next to her was a beautiful plant with berries. In desperation, she crushed and rubbed the berries all over her assaulted skin and cried herself to sleep. When she awoke the next morning, she leaned to the water to wash her face, and saw in the reflection that her skin was miraculously healed. Those magical berries were Hippophae, also commonly known as sea buckthorn berries.


Hippophae oil, the usable form of hippophae berries, is derived from two sources: the seeds and the pulp of hippophae berries. The seeds contain one of the highest and purest percentages of vitamin E, and the pulp contains extraordinary amounts of carotenoids, including vitamin A, beta-carotenoids and its derivatives.

Carotenoids are responsible for the unique reddish-orange color of the berries. In addition to these powerful carotenoids, hippophae berries’ very long list of bio-active, skin-soothing and anti-aging elements includes flavonoids, organic acids (e.g. folic acid), oleic acid (omega-9), linolenic acid (omega-3 and omega-6), arachidonic acid (omega-6) from vitamin F, palmitoleic acid (omega-7), thiamine (vitamins B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin K, phospholipids and minerals.

Nutritional Boost

Consumed as a liquid oil supplement or tea, hippophae oil helps to boost health, strengthen and stimulate cell regeneration for beautiful hair, skin and nails. In addition, the micro-elements biologically available in the berries — including magnesium, calcium, copper and potassium — encourage healthy bones. Furthermore, its powerful antioxidant properties defend against and neutralize damaging free radicals, making it a potential anti-carcinogen.

wrinkle prevention

Hippophae berries help promote younger-looking skin. Vitamin K in hippophae berries works rigorously to maintain skin elasticity and firmness. The combined action of vitamins K and A enable a skin brightening effect. Furthermore, folic acid in combination with B vitamins stimulates cell proliferation, which helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Acne, Blemish and Rosacea Control

Hippophae effectively encourages the purging of backed-up sebum in the sebaceous glands. Sebum that does not have a way to exit the pores inevitably triggers infection, often resulting in acne. The fatty acids in the berries are non-comedogenic — because they do not clog pores, they are able to treat and decrease the severity of future breakouts as well as combat acne.

Vitamin B is recognized for its anti-stress benefits as well as its effectiveness in maintaining healthy blood cells, both critical in the treatment of rosacea. The balance of natural, self-generating lubricants on the skin is improved through the remarkable action of vitamin B, folic acid and vitamin K.

Natural Sun Protection

The synergistic, combined action of vitamins E and C allow the skin to naturally protect itself against UV sun exposure. With ultraviolet radiation being such a prominent cause of skin cancer, Hippophae berries not only halt sun related tissue damaging, they also function as a powerful skin cancer deterrent.

Scar and Wound Healing

Hippophae berries are known for being nature’s exclusive source of the rare omega-7 fatty acid, which is why they are extensively used for their healing properties across Eastern Europe and Asia in burn victim clinics. The large volume of vitamin F oil-soluble fatty acids (comprising linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids, referring to omega-3 and omega-6) create a barrier for the skin, allowing the skin cells to reproduce and ultimately become smooth and even-textured.


Incorporating products rich in Hippophae berry oil into spa treatments goes hand-in-hand with offering clients a wellness treatment that works from the outside in. It is a safe ingredient that can benefit most clients, whether as part of a signature anti-aging facial treatment utilizing the age-defying actives, or for the breakout-prone client to improve and expedite the healing process of blemishes. With its powerful cell-repairing abilities, Hippophae effectively regenerates scar tissue, even minimizing and preventing mommy-to-be stretch marks.

While Hippophae can greatly enhance the efficacy of skin, body and hair care products, the powerful, rapid healing properties of the berries also make it an effective skin remedy after harsher treatments, such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing and dermal needling. A signature Hippophae-rich facial treatment typically ranges from $85 to $150 for a 60-minute session and can be done to smoothen fine lines and wrinkles, repair breakout-prone skin or simply transform the skin’s vitality and tone, revealing a radiant complexion.

With all the vitamins, acids, omegas, flavonoids and minerals contained in Hippophae berries, consider concluding your clients’ next transformational skin and body wellness treatment with a relaxing, health- promoting cup of Hippophae tea!

Written by Victoria Tabak for Les Nouvelles Esthetique & Spa Magazine.
© All Rights Reserved. Published in May 2016 Issue

The Truth About Hormones

Hormones, which are produced by the endocrine system, regulate a person’s immunity, reproduction, mood, metabolism, growth and overall physical development. There are three types of hormones (estrogen, androgen, and the thyroid hormone) that each have their own responsibilities and obligations. It is well known that some of the most common skin conditions (including acne, dry skin, and hyperpigmentation) can be the result of hormones being out of equilibrium.

Gender Differences

The primary hormones responsible for skin changes are estrogen, (commonly known as the female hormone) and androgen (testosterone or the male hormone), both of which are numerous and exist in both genders. Women generally have much thinner skin in comparison to men because of comparatively lower levels of androgens. This difference is why men are statistically more prone to having severe acne with heightened oil gland activity. Women, on the other hand, have the greater concern of dry skin. Nevertheless, men and women are equally effected by hormone fluctuations. The most critical time when hormone activity decreases occur is when a person grows older; the levels of estrogen for women drop during menopause and testosterone levels decrease during andropause for men.

With such a decline in hormone activity, the greatest impact is on the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing sebum. There is a loss of collagen-, elastin-, and hyaluronic acid-producing abilities, which enable the skin to naturally look plump. The number of blood vessels decreases as well, not allowing as many nutrients to travel to the skin. The skin naturally becomes progressively dry, thin, dull, and lifeless without the assistance of appropriate skin care.


During pregnancy, the hormonal scale is often shifted in the other direction; there is an extreme hike in the levels of estrogen. This is fantastic for the pregnant woman as she sees those changes improve the quality of her hair, skin, and nails. The downside to this spike is a sudden hypersensitivity to the sun and an increased rise of hyperpigmentation, which can lead to melasma. The key is to stay protected from the sun.


Acne is one of the major skin problems that occurs when androgens are excessively active. The higher the levels of testosterone, the greater the oil production. Sebum then continues to build up and gets trapped in the dermis after it is not able to make its way into the epidermis to purge itself. This entrapment creates a breeding ground for bacteria and infection and causes acne to become more severe over time. While many would draw the conclusion that higher levels of androgens exacerbate the acne condition, one study revealed a phenomenon that by increasing androgens, acne actually improved.

The inner workings of hormones is truly a wonder. It is certain, though, that no matter how much is learned about them, there is still so much more to discover. Ultimately, a person is at their healthiest when their hormones are as balanced as possible.

Hormones dermascope article-page-001

Written by Victoria Tabak for Dermascope Magazine.
© Dermascope Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Published in April 2016 Issue

Do Peptides Live Up to Their Hype?

Peptides are most commonly known for boosting collagen production. Scientific studies reveal that peptides in skin care are progressively effective in promoting skin elasticity and firmness, increasing microcirculation, strengthening capillaries, and boosting cell metabolism.

According to a study presented in Paris, France at the 20th World Congress of Dermatology in as early as 2002, the efficacy of peptides in diminishing fine lines and wrinkles proved to be comparable to that of retinol but revealed faster results.

Peptides exist in varying percentages in products, and some research demonstrated that with every increase in the concentration of particular peptides, there would be enhanced advantages; this research showed that improvements flat-lined past 5%. Overall, it is important to understand the product label and that there is only so much of certain actives that the skin can process.

Most peptides are hypoallergenic with the exception of copper peptides – making peptides a safe and potent ingredient that benefits even the most sensitive skin conditions, including rosacea.


Dermascope January 2016 Article Victoria Tabak

Written by Victoria Tabak for Dermascope Magazine.
© Dermascope Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Published in January 2016 Issue