Posts Tagged skin care products

Tips for Smoother Skin – Part II

Posted on June 15, 2009 with No Comments

In the first post on smoother skin, we talked about the “top 3″ of proper care – cleansing, hydrating (moisturizing), and treating. Each are equally important to prevent enlarged pores, avoid rashes and keep your complexion soft and smooth.

Not to get to detailed, but we (the consuming public and manufacturers) can break down each of these areas and take a closer look at some things that work and some that don’t – and why.

There are a lot of skin care products for smoother skin – they come in a wide range of applications, mix of ingredients and a multitude of bases. The market has been segmented to the extreme as everyone looks for the miracle product that will make us look younger. Cream, abrasions, exfoliators and moisturizers all vie for the dollar you are going to spend.

But do they work?…do they help?…really? Well as a researcher, formulator and manufacturer, I would argue that it depends on the ingredients and what your goal is. I’m ot trying to talk in circles, but that’s what it boils down to.

For instance, moisturizers have been considered a regimen staple going back a long time. I remember my Mom applying a mask every night. The general purpose is to rehydrate the tissue. Even years ago, we recognized dryness and tightening and believed re-hydration was good. In fact, it was and is. The cool thing now is we have so many more effective ingredients than 40 years ago.

In the past 10 years, the most popular ingredient for moisturizers has become Hyaluronic Acid. It has found its was into wrinkle creams, solutions for skin rashes, burn treatments, and for chronic or acute drying. It is naturally found in our cells and becomes increasingly depleted as we age.

Many biologist and dermatologists believe it is the accumulated effects of free-radical damage that causes us to lose and produce less hyaluronic acid. If so, it certainly is a convenient response to why tissue becomes thin, dry, and wrinkled as we continue to age. So, to re-hydrate and moisturize look for creams or serums with Hyaluronic Acid. The effects are almost immediate.

Another couple of ingredients to loo for are Aloe and Emu Oil. Aloe most of us are familiar with. It makes a great base for a cream – especially serums. Its widely used in beauty and anti-aging products – working well for facial and wrinkle solutions, especially as an eye smoother.  One of the challenges older men and women have is neck wrinkles.  Particlularly sun damage and natural aging can show premature wrinkles on the neck giving the appearance of unsmooth skin.  If this is what you are experiencing, look for the best neck cream that can add moisture and reduce the sagging wrinkles at the base of your neck.

Emu oil is less well known, but has become a premier (and fairly expensive) ingredient for pitted acne scar treatment, burns, and stretchmarks. I’ve put up a few posts regarding Emu Oil, and at the risk of oft repeating myself, it is great. It has been used for years in Australia and New Zealand for wound healing. It deep moisturizes, and clinical studies have shown it is super-effective at both repairing and improving the complexion. A pretty good combo.

So, there are a few things you should look for when considering products for smoother skin. Each help soften, reduce enlarged pores, help retian moisture, and in some cases, help purify tissue to rid bacteria, oil and dirt.  Another idea you should consider is using skin tightening exercises for the stomach if you have been dealt the hand of flabby skin on the tummy.  These exercises will help give you smoother skin by improving and strengthening underlying muscle and connective tissue.  They will also help improve tissue flexibility, thus tightening the abdominal area.

Oily Skin Cleanser

Posted on June 14, 2009 with No Comments

Oily deposits often accumulate on the forehead, nose, and around the chin where the greatest concentration of sebaceous glands exist on the face. An oily skin cleanser can help regulate oil production and give your complexion a softer, healthier look.

Forming the signature “T” across the brow, down the nose and nostrils, and extending to the chin and neck, sebaceous glands secrete sebum. Heredity plays a pretty significant role as does heat, humidity and products you may or may not use on the facial area – even aging is thought to be a cause.

Oil can combine with dirt and left-over product residue to clog pores that can then lead to acne and sometimes rosacea. You can effectively clear oil skin with a mask, cream, toner or wash. The key ingredients to look for are Zinc or alpha hydroxy.

Zinc naturally, also known as Zinc PCA or Zincidone in its complex form, is well known for controlling oily skin. It helps regulate sebum on applied areas and is effective for use in cleansing and “purify” pores. Alpha Hydroxy behaves in a similar fashion. It is often an active ingredient in exfoliating products such as microdermabrasion creams and for acne care.

A little bit of research can help you find the best oily skin wash – there are several available that are effective. The key is to understand that getting and keeping an oil-free complexion may also require watching what you eat and considering the effects of the environment on your facial tissue.

Foods high in saturated fats are known to invigorate the sebaceous glands. For some, dairy products may not be your friend either. As I mentioned, high humidity and heat play a role as well.

An oily skin cleanser should be considered part or a well-rounded regimen that focuses on tissue health. Keeping your complexion free of dirt and unhealthy makeup is a great start. Using a purifying moisturizer at night works well also.

Anti wrinkle creams can help, though we recommend serums vs. creams. The best are based in Aloe rather than water and often contain ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid that improves hydration without the use of a cream base to address dryness, aging or wrinkles.

Improving Spa Profitability – The Fundamentals

Posted on April 15, 2009 with No Comments

Business is a game. A serious game with real money with real careers, futures and success on the line. But, a game none-the-less.

In this game we have variables we can control and some we can’t. There is little we can do to control weather, suppliers, material costs, and competitors. There are, however, variables in this game we do control and can influence. Those are…

  • Revenue
  • Gross Margin
  • Expenses

While it’s often difficult to focus on these fundamental components as an owner/operator of executive of a mid-sized operation, entrepreneurship sooner or later comes down to these three key components.

For various companies I have been involved in, I have had to stop myself and our team to reminder ourselves to “block and tackle”. Improving a company’s profitability – especially a spa in a down economy – requires putting each of these components under a microscope and identify what you can do to win the game.

I guess if this were a play game, decisions might come easier, but discussion and planning should be fairly helpful.

For instance, sit down and consider all the things you can do to increase revenue. Consider advertising, flyers, partnering programs (with a salon for instance), or developing relationships with civic programs, churches, or schools.

From a gross margin perspective, push higher margin services, introduce new programs (expanding your service or product lines), add ancillary services (skin care products), find less expensive suppliers.

Expenses can be tackled from several angles. Shop for the best deal on office supplies, watch utility bills, opt for lower cost advertising – or free advertising by contributing to local newspaper or magazines; watch staff expenses.

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to break down some details of managing Revenue, Gross Margin and Expenses that might give you a few more ideas – specific to Spa, Salon or MedSpa operations . The bottom-line (literally) is to wake-up every morning and think “what can I do to affect these numbers?” Individually, get sales, margin and costs going in the right direction.

If all works out well, each will move simultaneously, and it will have a great impact on profitability!