Confused about which sunscreen to buy?
You’re not alone: a recent JAMA Dermatology study  found we’re really dumb when it comes to understanding sunscreen labels.
Just how dumb are we? The study found that only 43% of us understand the definition of sun factor protection (SPF)*.
Worse, only 7% of us know how to tell how much protection a sunscreen product has against early skin aging.
These levels of confusion are alarming given that rates of skin cancer have been increasing in both men and women since 2002 .
Why are We so Confused?
Paradoxically, because science has made significant advances in understanding how the sun can damage skin cells, sunscreen labels have become more complicated, evolving past a simple SPF rating to listing a bunch of confusing ingredients that somehow offer various levels of broad UVA & UVB spectrum protection – it’s no wonder the average consumer is now more than just a little confused.
“We need to do a better job of educating people about sun protection and make it easier for them to understand labels,” said Dr. Roopal Kundu, lead author of the study.
One way to make sunscreen labels easier to understand would be to have a simple star-rating system for UVA protection along with the current SPF system for UVB protection. When test subjects in the JAMA study where shown a 4-star-rating system for UVA protection, nearly 80% could accurately identify how much UVA protection a particular star-rating indicated and 90% could accurately determine the level of UVB protection when represented as an SPF value, all a far cry from the accuracy people have now, with current sunscreen labels.
How to Choose a Sunscreen
While sunscreen labels have become more complicated, choosing the appropriate sunscreen is a relatively simple matter if you keep these three criteria in mind:
- For UVB protection, choose a product with a SPF of at least 30. If you’re going to be in the sun all day, choose one with a SPF of at least 45, ideally 50.
- The sunscreen should be waterproof, esp. if you’re wearing it during the hot, sweaty, summer months.
- For UVA protection, there is no star-rating system, yet, so look for a product that contains at least one of the following ingredients: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide.
Did You Know?
* SPF tries to estimate the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. For example, an SPF of 15 would allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without protection. SPF is only an estimate because how quickly you’ll burn depends upon a number of factors including the time of the year, the time of day, your geographic location, and weather conditions.References:
- Betty Y. Kong, Sarah L. Sheu, Roopal V. Kundu. Assessment of Consumer Knowledge of New Sunscreen Labels. JAMA Dermatology, Published online June 17, 2015. [↩]
- Kohler, BA, Sherman RL, Howlader N, Jemal, A, Ryerson AB, Henry KA, Boscoe, FP, Cronin KA, Lake A, Noone, A-M, Henley, SJ, Eheman, CR, Anderson, RN, Penberthy, L. Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, 1975–2011. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2015;107(6 [↩]
- Gilchrest BA. Skin and aging process. CRC Press. 1984; 124. [↩]
- Hughes MCB, Williams GM, Baker P, Green AC. Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2013 June; 158 (11):781-790 [↩]
Affordable Celebrity Beauty Treatments
Here’s the scoop on the latest celebrity beauty scene from OK! Magazine and Hollywire press. Celebrity beauty is always a hot topic here at SNY because if there’s a new and better way to achieve flawless red carpet and silver screen skin perfection, we want to know! Celebrities show us what measures they are willing to take to look their best. Sometimes celebrities push the bar into unusual over-the-top treatments like placenta facials or caviar cream and others go back to nature for natural beauty secrets like using Demi Moore who uses leeches to detoxify her blood or Blake Livey who uses mayonnaise to retain hydration for her hair. Would you try any of these celebrity beauty secrets for yourself?
OK Magazine and Hollywire shared some of these popular and unusual beauty secrets from Hollywood’s most glamorous beauties. Some treatments are downright scary like vampire facials from Kim Kardashian and placenta face cream used by Katie Holmes and Eva Longoria. Some more expensive treatments include caviar face cream used by Angelina Jolie, and how about the $7K facial that Mila Kunis throws down for that uses daimonds and rubies to exfoliate and brighten the skin. Both OK! Magazine and Hollywire press lists Victoria Beckham and her use of The Geisha Facial to achieve her flawless glowing perfection. Of all the facial treatments mentioned, it’s the most affordable celebrity beauty treatment (aside from Snooki’s cat litter exfoliant–we don’t judge).
With The Geisha Facial you can receive a celebrity treatment without the celebrity price tag. Shizuka Bernstein, the creator of The Geisha Facial, prides herself and her highly trained estheticians to instill every facial experience with calming and authentic Japanese aesthetics. With SNY’s signature celebrity beauty treatment each client will feel like a celebrity before, during, and especially after their facial!
Part III of How to Avoid the Need for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
In part I of How to Avoid the Need for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, we looked at two simple products to help protect your skin against the effects of sun and age — sunscreen and moisturizer.
In part II, Lifestyle Choices to Avoid the Need for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, we looked at some simple – not necessarily easy – but simple lifestyle changes to help preserve your youthful visage, at any age.
In this final part of the series, we’ll look at what you can do, non-surgically, to take the edge off of any wear & tear that’s starting to take a toll on your skin.
If Age and/or The Mileage Is Starting Show
Despite all the best prevention, age and living on this earth will start to show on you — but there specific things you can do to stay ahead of the aging curve, to age gracefully.
Go Beyond Lotions and Creams: Serums, Retinoids & Brightening Products
Moisturizers are a great first line of defense against aging and will help to restore water and prevent dryness, but as you age, you’ll want to do more – and that’s where serums, retinoids & brightening products come in.
Serums, applied before sunscreen, have high concentrations of active ingredients and powerful doses of peptides and antioxidants, like vitamins C & E. They also contain skin brighteners, such as kojic acid.
Serums are typically made with super tiny molecules, so the skin is able to absorb them rapidly and efficiently.
A retinoid is another product that goes beyond the simple protection of sunscreens and moisturizers: retinoids are effective in keeping wrinkles and sagging skin at a minimum by improving both collagen and elastin production.
Finally, if you have, or are starting to show, age spots, you can reduce their appearance with a good brightening product that contains vitamins C & K.
Top it Off with Facials
French actresses Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche & Catherine Deneuve seem as timeless as they are beautiful – like great magicians, Frenchwomen never reveal their secrets, but a recent New York Times article, Aging Gracefully, the French Way, revealed one surprising trick: facials and facial and body massages – ooh la la!
So, if you feel that age, or just the mileage — or both — are starting to catch up with your skin, take action today: go beyond simple lotions and creams and add serums, retinoids & brightening products to your skin care routine, and take advantage of our highly popular facials, which have been featured on CNN, Fox News, The Today Show, PerezHilton.com, People Magazine, and many more – and, finally, sign up for our newsletter to receive our exclusive spa deals and monthly promotions.
Part II of How to Avoid the Need for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
In part I of How to Avoid the Need for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, we looked at a couple of simple products to help protect your skin against the effects of sun and age: sunscreen and moisturizer.
In part II, we’ll look at some simple – not necessarily easy – but simple lifestyle changes to help preserve your youthful visage, at any age.
Exercise helps protects your skin the way it helps protect every other organ in your body: it helps remove the accumulation of free radicals in the body.
How much should you exercise? A recent study in the journal of JAMA Internal Medicine found that you need only 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, though 450 minutes per week, or a little more than an hour per day, which can be accomplished with activity no more vigorous than walking, is the ideal amount — see The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life.
Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Sleep has a powerful restorative effect on all organs of the body, including the skin, where it restores optimal collagen production and cell repair.
Unfortunately, we are not getting enough sleep — so few of us, in fact, that the CDC has declared our collective lack of sleep both an epidemic and a public hazard.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, try mindfulness meditation: a recent clinical trial published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that those with moderate sleep problems who practiced mindfulness meditation improved their sleep more than those who practiced good sleep hygiene.
If you have a serious sleep problem, however, you should instead first see your doctor to rule out any underlying physical causes; if you have no underlying physical issue, then you should get proactive and make a plan, because chronic sleep deprivation takes a steep toll on both your physical and mental health.
Stop Smoking! Just Stop It!
Smoking pumps massive amounts of free radicals into your blood stream, eventually taking a toll on just about every organ in your body, including your skin, wrinkling and prematurely ageing it.
It is tough to quit smoking — but the stakes for your health could not be higher.
Fortunately, science has made great strides in both understanding addiction and in devising practical strategies to beat it. If you’re struggling to quit, check out these resources:
- The New Science of How to Quit Smoking
- What’s the best way to quit smoking?
- Cigarette Break: The Most Effective Ways to Quit Smoking
Need to Lose Weight? Avoid a Crash Diet
The appeal of crash dieting is that one feels one can get it (dieting) over with as quickly as possible. And this is true: you can lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, but it comes at a cost — it’s rough on your body, you can easily gain it all back, and it too takes a toll on your skin, from a sagging face brought on by water loss to a break-down in the skin’s collagen layer due to a shortage of skin-renewal minerals, like zine, copper and selenium.
The best way to lose weight is to eat smart, in a way that supports your body, your health and your goals, and we’ve compiled some resources to help you do just that:
- To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercising More
- Best Weight Loss Advice You’ve Never Heard
- The 6 Weight-Loss Tips That Science Actually Knows Work
In short then, if you want to avoid the need for plastic surgery, get up early, exercise, eat right, and then wind down and get to bed early – all the things your mother probably already told you to do.
In the next part of this series, we’ll look at what you can do, non-surgically, after age and wear & tear have already taken a toll on your skin.
While the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports a 12% increase in surgical procedures from 2012 to 2013, more and more women are also looking for natural, nonsurgical options for their skin problems – in fact, they are looking for ways to prevent those problems.
So — can you really prevent skin problems before they start or is age and wear & tear just inevitable?
It turns out there are several effective strategies – some easy, some hard – that can help you avoid looking like someone who looks like they need plastic surgery.
Looking Your Best as You Age, Before You Age
While it’s not possible to look 20 forever, you can protect what you have — two simple products will help you do just that: sunscreen and moisturizer.
Sunscreen. Wear It, Year-round
Yes, even if it is blizzarding out, you’ll want to wear sunscreen. This is because cloud cover can enhance the amount of UV light that reaches your skin, a phenomenon called cloud enhancement of UV, and it’s well-known that UV light causes the skin to age by interrupting and damaging a skin cell’s ability to repair itself. To protect your skin cells from UV, you’ll want to use a broad-protection (UVB & UVA) sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 for normal daily use; however, if you’re going to be out in the sun all day, you’ll want a SPF of at least 30, and you’ll want to reapply it every couple hours. In both cases, you’ll want to use the cake principle in application, i.e., cake it on your skin like you’re icing a cake.
At Shizuka’s New York Day Spa, we recommend going higher then these minimum SPF’s: for days when you’re in the sun for only brief periods, we recommend a broad-protection product, like our Sensitive skin Sun Protection SPF 30. However, for weekends on a Coney Island beach, we recommend at least a 45+ SPF, like our Sensitive Skin Tinted Sun Protection SPF 45.
A Simple, Great Moisturizer is Key
If you’re not yet showing serious signs of aging and/or skin damage, then a simple moisturizer is your first line of defense – in fact, what NASA recommends as an effective defense for the skin in an environment of microgravity, an environment far more challenging for the skin than all but the harshest environments found here on earth, is a good moisturizer.
A simple, antioxidant enhanced, moisturizer will provide more than enough protection for your skin, one that contains at least C and E. Terrific additional enhancements would be apple stem cells, pomegranate and acai as they help protect the skin’s elastic layer.
In part II of How to Avoid Needing Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, we’ll look at some simple – not necessarily easy – but simple lifestyle changes to help preserve your youthful visage, at any age. In part III (Tackle Lines, Wrinkles, Sags & Spots Now to Avoid Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Later), we’ll look at what you can do, non-surgically, after age and wear & tear have already taken a toll on your skin.
Shizuka New York in American Spa Magazine
Shizuka New York Day Spa is mentioned in American Spa Magazine’s May 2015 issue!
The Geisha Facial is still getting media buzz, almost as much as it did when Shizuka New York Day Spa owner, Shizuka Bernstein, introduced the facial to the beauty and spa industry in 2008.
According to owner and celebrity facialist Shizuka Bernstein, geishas relied on frequent facials using nightingale droppings to not only remove makeup but also to brighten and heal their skin. She attributes the ingredient’s natural enzymes and guanine to helping impart a pearly luster to the skin.
In the article, spa consultant Peter Anderson speaks to how the origin of The Geisha Facial stems from ancient Japanese culture and how “that predates a modern understanding of skincare”.
Many of these facials have their roots in culture and chemistry that predates a modern understanding of skincare.
The usage of nightingale droppings in The Geisha Facial isn’t the facial’s only element with ancient Japanese origins. A recent article on Vogue.com highlights an ancient Japanese skincare technique known as double-cleansing. The Geisha Facial (and all other SNY facials) incorporates double-cleansing using the all-natural products from the Shizuka New York Skincare System to thoroughly cleanse and refresh the skin before the nightingale droppings are applied. This technique maximizes the “Geisha Glow” effect following the facial.
How to Get Smooth Skin while Beating Cellulite
A recent article in The Hindustan Times mentions our Geisha Facial in an article about celebrity beauty secrets titled: Bird poop and leeches to mayonnaise: 17 bizarre celeb beauty secrets.
While The Geisha Facial is an all-natural way to cleanse the skin, the enzymes in the nightingale droppings work to also gently exfoliate and nourish the skin producing smooth glowing results. Just look at Victoria Beckham!
Victoria Beckham loves a good bird poop facial
Bird poo? No, seriously! The Daily Mail reports that the former pop star’s glossy skin is all about bird poop and smearing it on her face. Also known as the Geisha facial, it is an ancient Japanese beauty practice that uses nightingale droppings to form a cleansing paste. Sounds gross, but it works. What’s more, celebrities (including Posh’s hubby David Beckham) are all about it today as it leaves the skin super shiny and smooth.
Further down the list notes that Halle Berry uses coffee grounds to deeply cleanse and smooth her skin. Coffee grounds is also a natural way to beat cellulite. Halle Berry proves our Coffee Break Mud Wrap is a tried and true way to achieve smooth vibrant skin!
Check out our current spa deals here >>
Geisha Beauty Secrets that Go Beyond Bird Poop
Since Shizuka Bernstein created The Geisha Facial® utilizing the geisha beauty secret of nightingale droppings to cleanse and purify skin. The natural enzymes in the droppings removed the geishas’ heavy makeup while giving the skin nourishment making it smooth and supple.
Ancient geishas who were known for their flawless skin took great care to make sure they treated their skin as a prized possession. As much of a ritual as it was to put on their make up, removing it and prepping the skin before sleeping was another ritual altogether.
Believe it or not, there are geisha beauty secrets that go beyond bird poop. Another ingredient primary to the flawless skin of geisha beauty is rice. Rice has been a staple in Japanese cuisine for centuries so it comes as no surprise that Japanese people would find other ways to incorporate it into their lifestyles. For ancient geishas, it was a primary component to their beauty ritual to keep their skin bright and moisturized. Two ways rice was and still is used for the skin today is in its fermented and raw states.
Geisha Beauty Ingredient Highlight: Rice
Geishas were known to use sake and rice bran to brighten and soften their skin. Sake, which is prepared from fermented rice grains, contains kojic acid, a common ingredient in brightening serums and creams. When used over time kojic acid gradually brightens the skin, evening out skin tone. Additionally, Geishas applied sake to their skin for its natural antibacterial and anti-aging properties to purify (protect against acne) and soften skin.
Rice bran and rice bran oil comes from the bran that surrounds the rice grain. Rice bran is rich in nutrients such as fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamins A and E. This oil naturally moisturizes and protects skin from free radical damage. Rice bran’s ability to retain moisture on the skin’s surface keeps the skin deeply hydrated creating a youthful glow.
You can bring geisha beauty secrets that go beyond bird poop into your skincare regimen everyday. In the effort to keep these time-honored traditions of geisha beauty secrets alive, Shizuka Bernstein incorporated sake and rice bran into the Shizuka New York Skincare System. These products are used in The Geisha Facial® and can be purchased so you can make geisha beauty secrets your own beauty secret!
E! News’ A List Beauty Secrets Red Carpet Edition was televised on February 20th, 2015 showcasing The Geisha Facial® as one of many celebrity beauty secrets.
Host Alicia Quarles samples The Geisha Facial® by spa owner and creator of the facial, Shizuka Bernstein. As touted by Hollywood royalty like Victoria Beckham, the anti-aging properties of the bird droppings used in the facial work to deeply cleanse and exfoliate revealing soft glowing skin.
As Alicia says,
If it’s good enough for Victoria Beckham, it’s good enough for me, right?
Probably no place else on the planet are women and men more preoccupied with health, beauty and culture than in New York City.
Acknowledging this obsession, we’ve rounded up for the week what we hope is the latest and best content the web has to offer . . .
Beauty Tips from around the Web
- For a different take on personal style and fashion, ApartmentTherapy.com has taken their attention off their usual subject, the apartment, and instead put it on the human beings who live inside them. They have compiled a pretty helpful and humorous list of their best personal fashion and style tips from 2014 — don’t skip over the part about the wearable home furnishings from IKEA.
- ThoughtCatalog.com’s Kara Negvig’s been thinking about how to look better with less stress – check out her personal ‘more beauty with less stress’ resolutions for 2015, and we couldn’t agree more with her recommendation for more facials this year.
- Stylelist.com has a pretty snazzy DIY half-moon manicure recipe, all pale pink, golden glitter, and half-moony. And – hey, we can do that for you, along with fashioning other party-ready nails, like our disco ball manicure, a shimmering Swarovski crystals manicure, our French manicure, or just about any celebrity red-carpet manicure you may have your heart set on.
- And last but not least, guys have finally discovered that their skin is not only not indestructible, it could actually use some tender loving care. But – they’re still guys, right? They’re still busy, attention challenged — when not in the thrall of their Xboxes — and, frankly, they just don’t care what they look like when alone or with other guys in the wild, so Business Insider’s Magan Willet has compiled a list of 7 cheap simple beauty hacks for the guys on the go outside in the snow. The only trouble with this list is – no real guy is going to know where to find all this stuff in his bathroom or garage, geeish.
Shizuka NY Day Spa’s Best Blog Content from 2014
Visitors to our blog last year were most interested in posts about our signature Geisha Facial®, massages for jet lag, summer skin care tips, and – along with everyone else it seems – real New Jersey housewives. Check out, or re-visit, our most popular 2014 posts:
- Shizuka’s BeautyZen Corner: Geisha Beauty Secrets.
- Best Natural Jet Lag Cure? A Spa Massage!
- Is There Any Difference Between Laser Vs. IPL When Treating Redness, Rosacea or Veins?
- Summer Facial Care Tips: How to Get Glowing Skin all Summer Long.
- Men Outpace Women As The Fastest Growing Skin Care Demographic Worldwide.
- The Geisha Facial® mentioned in The Times of India.
- The Real Housewives of New Jersey visit Shizuka New York!
From Shizuka NY Day Spa, have a great 2015!
Being a natural beauty means doing basic things like getting enough rest and eating nutritious foods. This can do wonders to enhance your overall mood and lead to a more rejuvenated appearance.
We came up some spa-related beauty tips that will let your natural beauty shine and help you feel better too!
Read on for 5 ways to easily enhance your natural beauty (and share it with the world)!
How to be a Natural Beauty
Facial massage: loosen up tight facial muscles every night before bed.
Most spa facials will incorporate a facial massage into its treatment. Why? Because the massage draws nutrients into the face to prevent signs of aging and gives your face a healthy vibrant tone. A facial massage further increases circulation, oxygenates, and detoxes the skin tissues.
It’s best to massage your face at night when applying moisturizer. Simply incorporate a light massage into your moisturizing routine. As an added bonus, the massage will help relax you before bedtime so you (and your smile muscles) will be rested and ready for the next day!
Loosen up tired “facial-expression” muscles that are hard at working during the day with this simple facial massage.
Open your eyes: open up the look of your eyes with a Japanese eyelash perm treatment or Eyelash Extensions. Both can open up and revive the look of your face anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks! The effect gradually lessens as your lashes naturally grow and fall out.
A Japanese eyelash perm is a temporary way to give your lashes a luscious curl sans an eyelash curler! The treatment is safe and painless and you leave the spa looking bright eyed!
You can choose the tightness of the curl (the tighter the curl the more “glamorous” it will appear).
Eyelash extensions work in much the same way but without the chemical treatment of an eyelash perm. Fake lashes are individually applied to each of your natural lashes to make your lashes look naturally longer, fuller, and darker. So say goodbye to mascara!
Keep lips hydrated and smooth for a youthful smile: exfoliate lips with a sugar scrub to get rid of dead skin on and around the lips. Then be sure to keep them moisturized to protect the new skin with a lip balm throughout the day.
Lips are an important feature of your face as it frames your smile. Exfoliation simply means removing the top layer of skin which is mostly consists of dead skin cells. When this top layer is removed a new layer that soft and even is revealed. Slough off dry skin with a gentle scrub, if the scrub is too harsh you could strip valuable natural oils from the skin causing more damage than good.
Sleep with a humidifier in your bedroom. This will keep your lips and skin hydrated throughout the night.
Get youthful looking lips by exfoliating them daily for a youthful smile.
Kiss those Lip Lines Goodbye!
Optimize your cleansing routine: Find a facial cleanser that works best for your skin type (normal, oily, dry, sensitive, or combination skin).
Finding the right cleanser may take some trial and error but it’s just as important as washing your face. For example, if you have sensitive skin you’ll want to stick to a gentle cleanser with naturally moisturizing components like aloe vera, otherwise cleansers with certain chemicals will cause inflammation and strip skin of natural oils. It’s better to do a little research by asking your esthetician for advice or trying out samples. Choose the best cleanser that works with your skin’s chemistry and wash away dirt and debris without any unsightly side effects. And always remember to moisturize your face immediately after cleansing to rehydrate skin!
Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated and looking healthy throughout the day. If you’re not drinking enough water, your skin will start to look dry and flaky. Dry skin is less resilient and more prone to premature aging. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day will help flush toxins from your body and, overtime, will give you youthful glowing skin.
We all know that staying hydrated is important for overall good health, but for healthy skin it’s a must. Skin, like any other bodily organ, is made up of cells which are made up of water. Without this primary component, cells just wouldn’t be able to function optimally.
In addition to hydrating from the inside out, replenish lost moisture by applying a moisturizer within 2 minutes of showering or bathing. During this short window of time, the skin remains porous allowing for better absorption.
For optimal absorption, use a hydrating serum that contains hyalauronic acid before applying moisturizer. Hyalauronic acid attracts and holds water making your skin look plump and firm.
Check out our current spa deals here >>
A writer for the The Daily Mirror, a UK publication, recently wrote a review about a facial performed by a spa in London, England that’s strikingly similar to Shizuka new york’s Geisha Facial® .
While other spas around the world may imitate The Geisha Facial®, the original was born right here in New York City by Shizuka Bernstein and her husband, the dermatologist, Dr. Robert M. Bernstein. We still think it’s worth responding to her review. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, right?!
While some may believe the facial is effective but not worth the price point, we beg to differ. The years of research Shizuka and her husband put into the treatment process ensures it’s “scientifically correct” and effective for balancing out skin tone, deepening hydration, and to ensure it’s facial-worthy, it’s a highly relaxing and calming experience.
As a master aesthetician herself, Shizuka ensures that every Geisha Facial® is performed with techniques that fit her standard of care and precision for each and every client. “I want to bring Japanese beauty secrets to all my clients so that their skin may benefit from all-natural Japanese ingredients without having to leave the city. I’m not happy until my clients are satisfied with the results”, says Shizuka.
Every Geisha Facial® incorporates all-natural ingredients sourced directly from Japan like green tea, sake, and Mount Fuji water. With the help of Shizuka new york’s highly trained facialists, you’ll be transported to Japan and back in little under an hour!
- Learn more about Shizuka Bernstein’s The Geisha Facial®
- Make an appointment to experience the original facial for yourself!
What’s wabi sabi?
Many people have tried to explain the meaning of the Japanese term wabi sabi but with great difficulty. In the same way that we can’t “catch” or hold onto time, neither can words hold onto wabi sabi’s meaning. Wabi sabi relates to an understanding of natural beauty that dates all the way back to ancient Japanese tea ceremony practices.
The initial idea of wabi sabi stems from the ancient rituals of Japanese tea ceremony where the purity and simplicity of an objects’ natural beauty were honored. Revering the beauty of a handmade tea cup for its uneven glazing and cracks is a basic example of wabi sabi.
In modern times, wabi sabi relates to all aspects of life from relationships to design to beauty. Since all life is constantly changing, honoring life’s impermanence while revering the imperfections in any given situation or item is also considered wabi sabi. A common misconception of wabi sabi is that it connotes carelessness or frivolity, while in fact wabi sabi is revealed and understood only when putting the utmost care and attention into embracing imperfections and change.
Wabi Sabi Aesthetic
Just like tea ceremony masters take impeccable care of their cracked and imperfect tea cups, wabi sabi aesthetic is about embracing the aging process while maintaining impeccable self care and pampering.
When extending the concept of wabi sabi into beauty, wabi sabi honors imperfections such as freckles and laugh lines over perfectly spotless and smooth skin. Wabi sabi natural beauty acknowledges that while skin care is a constant affirmation of self care, obsessing over changing the way we look isn’t.
Wabi sabi aesthetic encompasses self care and pampering alongside the three realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Try adding a little more wabi sabi aesthetic into your self care ritual with a pampering skin care treatment like The Geisha Facial®.
Related blog post:
How Prioritizing Self Care Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
The Limoneira Company recognized Shizuka as a Beauty Opinion Leader in their February 2014 newsletter. Shizuka has been offering her expert advice on skin care and beauty for 20 years.
Limoneira’s February Newsletter focuses on ways to promote natural beauty with lemons through their UNLEASH THE NATURAL POWER OF LEMONS CAMPAIGN. Check out Shizuka’s tips for hydrating skin naturally using a lemon juice face mask.
Related Blog Post: How to Hydrate Dry Skin Naturally
For centuries, geishas’ beauty has been likened to their mysteriously flawless skin. Geisha beauty secrets reveal that simple ingredients native to Japan like rice bran, camellia oil, and green tea work together to protect, nourish, and brighten skin. These and other ingredients create the cornerstone of time-honored geisha beauty.
Geisha Beauty Secrets
Many describe geisha’s skin as mochi-hada or baby skin because it resembles skin so soft and flawless like a baby’s. The secret to their flawless skin attributes back to their skincare routine that’s been passed down for centuries.
At one time, the heavy makeup worn by geishas contained harsh chemicals like lead and zinc which led to severe skin problems. Eventually, they discovered nightingale droppings as a natural way to not only remove the makeup but to retexturize and strengthen the bonds of the skin at a cellular level.
Traditional Skincare: Simple Ingredients
After Shizuka learned that geishas used simple ingredients easily sourced throughout Japan to care for their skin, she carefully studied the effects of these ingredients along with her husband, the dermatologist, Dr. Robert Bernstein. From their findings, Shizuka created The Geisha Facial® , which incorporates simple Japanese ingredients like rice bran, camellia oil, green tea, and uguisi no fun or nightingale droppings.
Deep Cleansing Facial
Since ancient times the enzymes from nightingale droppings proved to deeply cleanse and lift away harsh chemicals from the skin leaving it renewed and dewy each time. (Think of it like an enzyme peel). By mixing the droppings proportionally with powdery rice bran, Shizuka created a fine enzyme exfoliate that’s been lauded the world over.
One physical symptom of the cold that gives away you’re sick (besides a red nose!) is dry dehydrated skin. While we all know it takes time for a cold to subside, there are few things you can do to keep your skin hydrated and healthy while your immune system recovers.
Winter Skin Care Tips for When you Have a Cold
- Cool down: Even though a long hot shower can feel heavenly while the steamy water opens up sinuses and soothes body aches, the hot water can actually strip skin of moisture and dry it out.
- Gently cleanse: Instead of using harsh soaps, instead stick with mild cleansers for sensitive skin. These are usually fragrance-free and gentle on the skin, helping it hold onto its natural oils.
- Act fast: Moisturize skin often, especially after showering. Be sure to moisturize within 5 minutes after showering. Pores are most open at this time making them ready to receive and lock in moisture.
- Protect yourself: Always wear protective clothing to shield exposed skin from the windy dry elements. If skin is left unprotected, flaky itchy skin can develop.
- Regulate the air: Use a humidifier indoors to keep air moist. This will help regulate your skin and sinuses when you come in from the dry air outside.
Whether you’re a facial veteran or are about to get your first facial ever—knowing how to prepare your skin for your treatment will help extend the life of the facial keeping your face aglow longer.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a facial:
– Know your skin. While our skilled estheticians will let you know the best treatment upon examining your skin, it’s best to already know which areas you’d like to target. For example: Tone down oily skin, target acne prone areas, focus on lifting, deep cleansing with pore extraction, etc.. Communicate this to your esthetician and your treatment will be specially catered to your needs.
- No scrubbing. Skip harsh cleansers or facial exfoliants before your treatment. Your facial will consist of exfoliation and most likely pore extraction as well, so leave the dirty work to a trained professional!
- Save new products for later. Just clean your face following your usual cleansing routine. It’s best not to experiment with new products right before a facial so that your skin can be examined in its “usual” state. Using new products may have adverse reactions on your skin (i.e. over drying, inflammation, etc.), so it’s best to hold off until after your treatment.
- To steam or not to steam. This is a personal preference that doesn’t positively or negatively affect your treatment. Some like to use a sauna before a facial to relax and open up pores. While this is an option, it’s not necessary since your face will be steamed and cleaned for an hour or more anyway.
- Remove makeup. While estheticians will remove makeup for you before beginning your facial, you can arrive to the spa 5-10 minutes earlier and remove it yourself to save time. Or just arrive without makeup altogether.
It’s never too early to start getting regular facials for optimum skin health! Shizuka began getting facial treatments in her 20’s and says “facials have helped keep my skin clear and firm throughout the years”. See Shizuka’s related post for tips on how to continually refine your skincare routine: Look Great in Every Decade
- What special measures do you take to prepare your skin for a facial?
- Book an appointment ONLINE using our Secure Online Booking System
- Don’t know which facial is best for you, try our interactive facial finder
Related blog post:
Facial Massage for Stress-Busting Rejuvenation
The holidays can bring with it unwonted stress, causing you to look tired even if you’re not!
This happens because facial muscles store tension much like muscles in the body do, so a tired expression can actually start to feel “normal” for your face.
The next time you’re feeling zapped of energy or just need to revive a tired face, try this spa technique (offered in all Shizuka New York Spa Facials) to wake up tired facial muscles and go from Grinch to jolly St. Nick in no time!
At Shizuka New York, a facial massage is incorporated into each facial treatment to help stimulate collagen production and new cell regeneration. It also “wakes up” tired facial muscles making you look more awake by increasing blood flow and bringing oxygen to the skin.
A facial massage works wonders to relax overactive muscles and softens the expression so you APPEAR AND FEEL refreshed.
How to give yourself a Stress-Busting Facial Massage:
Start by applying a moisturizer, cream, or essential oil such as lavender to your face…
- Begin at the cheeks. Use your fingers or knuckles to draw big circles around your cheeks, be sure to always push the skin upward.
- Using upward strokes, firmly rub the skin from the mid jaw to the cheekbone. Apply pressure to the cheekbones for a few seconds.
- Massage smile lines by starting from the corners of the mouth and ending at the corners of the nose.
- Using your fingertips, apply pressure to the brow bones to lift and open the eyes. Apply light pressure around the eye sockets and out to the temples and up to the forehead.
- To plump lips, use forefinger and thumb to pinch upper and lower lips to stimulate blood flow.
- To end, drain lymphatic fluid from the face to the collarbone. Place fingertips under the eyes on either side of the bridge of your nose. Gently apply pressure in a long flowing motion across the under eye area to the temples, down the side of face (along sideburns), and down the neck to the collarbone.
Don’t forget, Daylight’s Savings is right around the corner which means
an extra hour of beauty sleep awaits!
It’s the perfect time to rethink your bedtime routine for a more restful and naturally beautifying sleep. While you sleep, your skin is actually undergoing a deep restorative process, expediting the skin’s natural healing and rejuvenating process. When you’re sleep deprived you’re more likely to wake up with under eye bags or a tired complexion. So the more restful your repose, the better the morning will be for you AND your skin!
Here are some tips to help promote a more restful (& beautifying) slumber:
- Light an aromatherapy candle at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. This will ensure the essential oils have enough time to warm and permeate the air. Let the soothing scents guide you to dreamland.
- Lavender is a popular aromatherapy scent due to its calming and soothing properties. Mist your face, pillow, and/or eye mask with a lavender mist before going to bed.
- For a dull or tired complexion try using nighttime serums to promote cellular renewal:
Apply Shizuka New York’s Nighttime Anti-Aging Repair 1 & 2 to clean skin on alternating days. These products work together to even out skin tone and texture while targeting fine lines and wrinkles.
- Anti-Aging Night Repair 1 contains retinol and Vitamin C to retexturize and brighten skin while you sleep.
- Anti-Aging Night Repair 2 contains a powerful blast of vitamins, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid to smooth, plump, and firm skin.
- Target sagging skin by using Plant Stem Cell Serum (signature product of the Natural Face Lift Facial). This potent product utilizes active plant stem cells to plump and firm skin.
- For tired eyes, try a firming eye cream such as DCL’s AHA Revitalizing Eye Cream to moisturize and firm the fine skin around your eyes.
What’s your restful bedtime routine?