In Part I, “Types of Moisturizers: Everything You Need to Know,” we looked at what moisturizers are, how they work, their health benefits, and how today’s moisturizers do more than just moisturize.
In this post, we’ll take a more in-depth look at moisturizers and talk a bit about which products are probably the best moisturizers for the face — and which you’ll want to avoid.
Applying Vitamins and Antioxidants
While evidence abounds that having a diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants confers health benefits and protects against a variety of illnesses and aliments, the same, unfortunately, cannot be said about taking vitamin and antioxidant supplements (1).
Given the lack of evidence for the health benefits of supplementing with vitamins and antioxidants, does it make sense to put vitamins and antioxidants in moisturizers for the benefit of the skin?
Surprisingly, it turns out that vitamins and antioxidants applied to the skin may indeed help heal and protect it.
For example, derivatives of vitamin A can help repair wrinkles, altered texture, discolored skin, mottled hyperpigmented skin, and epidermal thickness due to photodamage; in addition, these derivatives can increase collagen production improving both the skin’s elasticity and firmness.
Vitamin C and B (niacinamide) work similarly: vitamin C can help repair the skin’s elastic tissue by increasing collagen production, and vitamin B can help repair other damage done to the skin by the sun. Coenzyme Q, alpha lipoic acid, and copper also seem to help repair and protect against sun damage.
There is evidence that combining antioxidants may result in a synergistic effect. For example, research has shown that combining vitamins C, E and ferulic acid helps protect against both sun damage and skin cancer (2).
Other Ingredients that May Help Heal and Protect the Skin
Most moisturizing products have other vitamin and antioxidant substances with purported benefits – we say ‘purported,’ because to date, for most part, there’s scant evidence that these extra ingredients help heal and protect the skin.
- Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) – a compound purported to improve wrinkles. This claim is backed up by some research (3).
- Genistein – an antioxidant purported to protect skin against UVB damage. This claim is also backed up by at least one study, but only for skin cells in cell cultures (4).
- Green tea – another antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that may protect against UV damage and repair photoaging damage. A recent 2013 study (5) has found some evidence for this claim when green tea was combined with lotus extract.
- Growth factors – substances purported to assist in wound healing and to repair sun damaged skin.
- Kinetin – a specific plant growth factor and antioxidant purported to improve skin texture and wrinkles. Scant evidence exists for this claim (6).
- Peptides – an amino acid purported to increase production of collagen and elastin. A 2004 study using a synthetically developed peptide found it had a strong effect in reducing wrinkles (7).
Do You Need a Skin Toner?
Contrary to the name, skin toners will not improve the tone of your skin (for that, you’ll need to use a laser or IPL); instead, skin toners are designed to shrink the appearance of pores, and are meant to be used after cleansing.
So, do you need a skin toner? It depends on the type. For example, as we age, our skin often becomes dryer. In this case, you’ll want to avoid any skin-toning products that contain alcohol or acetone because while they will help firm the skin, they’ll also exacerbate any dryness. Further, some skin toners are also acidic, containing ingredients like citrus, camphor, or menthol. These acidic ingredients can irritate the skin, especially dry, older skin.
To avoid worsening dry skin and minimize irritation, use water and glycerin-based toners as they can help provide extra moisture to the skin.
Avoid Mineral Oil
You’ll want to avoid any moisturizers that contain mineral oil as researchers (8) have found some of those moisturizers have caused skin cancers in hairless mice to grow more rapidly than they otherwise might.
It is important to highlight that the moisturizers tested by these researchers did not cause skin cancer; rather they caused existing skin cancer in UVB irradiated mice to grow faster. This suggest that on non-sun or UVB damaged skin, such moisturizers may be safe to use.
Nevertheless, common sense dictates caution when using the type of moisturizers these researchers tested in their study.
To partially allay any fears that all moisturizers are potentially harmful, the researchers asked the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to make them a “custom blend” moisturizer without two ingredients previously linked to skin irritation (sodium lauryl sulfate) and tumor promotion (mineral oil). The custom blend (on which Rutgers University and Johnson & Johnson hold a patent) did not promote skin cancer.
- Harvard School of Public Health. Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype.
- L. How to Prevent Photoaging? Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2005), 125.
- Grossman R. The role of dimethylaminoethanol in cosmetic dermatology, Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005; 6(1):39-47.
- Barbara L., Maria L., Franco G., Giuseppe M.,4 and Maria B. Synergic Effect of Genistein and Daidzein on UVB-Induced DNA Damage: An Effective Photoprotective Combination. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology Volume 2011 (2011).
- Mahmood T. and Akhtar N. Combined topical application of lotus and green tea improves facial skin surface parameters. Rejuvenation Res. 2013 Apr; 16(2):91-7.
- Jacquelyn L. and Saira M. How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. Feb 2010; 3(2): 22–41.
- Bauza E., Oberto G., Berghi A., Dal C.F., Domloge N. Collagen-like peptide exhibits a remarkable antiwrinkle effect on the skin when topically applied: in vivo study. Int J Tissue React. 2004; 26(3-4):105-11.
- Yao-Ping Lu, You-Rong Lou, Jian-Guo Xie, Qingyun Peng, Weichung J Shih, Yong Lin and Allan H Conney. Tumorigenic Effect of Some Commonly Used Moisturizing Creams when Applied Topically to UVB-Pretreated High-Risk Mice. Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2009) 129, 468–475
Who Needs To Moisturize?
Basically anyone who has dry skin, and most often, that means older adults.
Moisturized skin feels better and looks better than dry skin because it is more smooth, flexible and pliable.
Health Benefits of Moisturized Skin
One of the main functions of the skin is to act as a barrier to protect against infection, dry skin, chemical exposure, and mechanical injury. Compromises in this barrier can lead to conditions like atopic dermatitis and other chronic skin diseases. Many skin conditions are preceded by prolonged dry skin.
How Do Moisturizers Work?
Moisturizers work in two ways: 1) first they improve skin hydration by increasing the amount of water in the skin and 2) they create a “protective” or occlusive barrier on the surface of the skin to prevent water evaporating from the epidermis layer.
The main ingredient for improving skin hydration is glycerin, a humectant type of compound that attracts and binds water in the upper layers of the epidermis and makes the stratum corneum (the visible surface of your skin) more flexible.
The main ingredients for keeping for skin hydrated are various types of lipids that create an occlusive barrier to keep water from evaporating from the skin. These ingredients include certain plant oils, petrolatum, and mineral oil.
Today’s Moisturizers do Way More than just Moisturize – Two Main Types of Moisturizers
Most moisturizers also contain ingredients that help improve the appearance of the skin in other ways. Perhaps the most important ingredients are the exfoliants alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).
These two exfoliants improve the appearance of the skin by removing dead surface skin cells. This makes more visible newer skin cells that make the skin appear clearer. In addition to giving the skin a newer, fresher look, AHAs can brighten the skin by evening out discoloration from too much sun exposure. Exfoliants can be particularly useful for aging skin that doesn’t replace dead surface skin cells with new cells as easily as younger skin does; exfoliants can help restore this natural skin rejuvenation process.
AHAs come from fruit (e.g., citrus) and are labeled as either glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, hydroxycaprylic acid, alphahydroxyoctanoic acid, triple fruit acid, or sugar cane extract.
While most moisturizers contain a safe amount of AHA, you should double check that you’re not getting an AHA concentration of more than 10%; additionally, it should have a pH of 3.5 or more. Finally, to protect the new skin cells, you’ll want to use sunscreen each day.
Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are salicylic acids, a close relative of aspirin. Salicylic acids work in the same way as AHAs, but they’re more effective than AHAs on oily skin.
Most moisturizers do not list the concentration of BHAs, so the FDA recommends that you first test an area of skin to make sure a particular product’s BHA concentration won’t irritate you. And, again, you’ll want to use a good sun screen in conjunction with BHA products.
In part II of this post, “What are the Best Moisturizers for the Face?,” well look at some of the more esoteric and controversial ingredients in some moisturizers, and we’ll tell you which products you’ll want to avoid.
An article about Shizuka and The Geisha Facial® appear in MSN Japan!
The article titled, Japanese originated ‘Nightingale Dropping ‘ Facial available at Hilton in England Now. Despite its scent writers praised its effect after giving it a try talks about The Geisha Facial’s “flight” overseas to spas in England and highlights the origin of The Geisha Facial®.
Even before “Bird Poop Facial” was introduced in England for the first time, Shizuka Bernstein, a Tokyo-born master aesthetician, has been offering The Geisha Facial® that includes a customized nightingale dropping exfoliate at her own spa in New York.
Her mother once told her that geishas would use the nightingale droppings to keep their skin clear and blemish-free, and that story inspired Shizuka to create this facial.
Out, damned spot! out, I say! ~ Lady McBeth
What are those Damned Brown Spots Anyway?
Brown spots are flat, oval areas of skin that are darker than the surrounding skin – hence called ‘spots’ – and they are typically tan, brown or black. While brown spots develop most often in people with light to fair complexions, those with darker skin can also experience small areas of increased pigmentation.
What Causes Brown Spots?
Prolonged and repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is the most frequent cause of brown spots in those that are genetically predisposed. UV light causes brown spots because the skin reacts by increasing melanin production in a localized area; increased melanin production is also how you get a tan to help protect deeper layers of skin from UV rays, but with a tan the distribution of pigment is even. Moreover, because it is UV light rather than the entire spectrum of sunlight that causes brown spots, commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can also contribute to their development.
While UV light is the most common cause, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from skin injury, certain skin diseases, and certain medications that sensitize the skin to the sun can also cause brown spots.
The development of brown spots usually happens gradually over time. Because of their gradual development, they are sometimes called ‘age spots,’
Where do Brown Spots Occur?
In the case of UV exposure, brown spots usually occur on those parts of the skin that have had the most sun exposure, e.g., on the back of the hands, the top of the feet, on the face, or on the shoulders and upper back.
How Can I Get Rid of Brown Spots?
Before using a laser or IPL to get rid of a brown spot, see your doctor first to make sure the spot is not pre-cancerous or cancerous.
You’ll especially want to see your doctor if you notice that a brown spot has any one or more of these characteristics:
- It is darkly pigmented
- It is rapidly increasing in size
- It is greater than 5mm
- It has an irregular border
- It has an unusual combination of colors
- It is accompanied by itching, redness, tenderness or bleeding
If your doctor tells you it is safe to remove a brown spot, if you only have 1-2 spots, liquid nitrogen is quite effective. Sometimes, however, more than one treatment may be needed to fully remove a spot and repeated treatment with liquid nitrogen can cause blotchy pigmentation over time.
IPL, on the other hand, is equally effective in removing many brown spots at once while also maintaining skin tone; in fact, the goal of IPL treatments is to make your skin more evenly colored by decreasing the irregular brownish and reddish areas that have developed as a result of aging and sun damage. In addition, IPL also brightens the skin and gives it a more youthful glow.
It should be noted, however, that the effectiveness of IPL in removing brown spots depends somewhat on your skin tone; while IPL can be adjusted to your skin tone, if your skin is too dark, your best bet is to use a Yag or Q-switched Yag laser.
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 >>
Three of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa Guidice, Dina Manzo, and Amber Marchese recently visited Shizuka new york Day Spa to sample The Geisha Facial®!
If you ask around, you’ll hear that lasers are “the gold standard” for both hair removal and for treating skin disorders, such as rosacea; however, this “goal standard” reputation really only holds in a few specific cases.
For example, for hair removal, the diode laser at 810nm is extremely effective for any hair color or type; however, unless you have very light or blond hair, IPL is just as effective.
What’s The Difference Between Laser VS. IPL?
A laser produces an intense beam of light composed of one wavelength that targets a specific body structure, e.g., a hair follicle or a red blood cell; IPL (short for ‘intense pulsed light’), on the other hand, rather than producing a sustained beam of light, produces a series of intense short flashes. Unlike a laser, IPL light is composed of many wavelengths, but to target a specific body structure, technicians use filters to narrow the focus of the light.
The main overall advantage of IPL over lasers is efficiency in treating different skin problems: the pulsed light allows for an accumulation of energy (heat) on the target under the surface of the skin while letting the surface of the skin cool and recover between pulses; this, coupled with the use of filters, allows for rapid shifting of frequencies to treat different conditions.
Additionally, IPL can treat a larger area than a laser which results in less treatment time for large areas of rosacea.
So for Rosacea & Veins, Which is Better, IPL or Laser?
You’re far more likely to experience significant treatment outcomes depending on the quality of equipment used and the skill level and experience of the technician than you are on whether or not you use laser or IPL; in fact, controlling for the quality of equipment and the experience level of the technician, major studies have found either no or little difference in treatment outcomes or a small advantage of laser in special cases.
For example, a 2007 study reported in the Annals of Plastic Surgery found no difference between intense pulsed light versus a long-pulse pulsed dye laser in the treatment of facial skin rejuvenation (Ann Plast Surg. 2007 Nov;59(5):479-83); it did find, however, that laser was superior to IPL in the treatment of lentigines. Other studies have found an IPL advantage over pulsed-dye laser in the treatment of facial acne and port-wine stain.
In short, in the right hands, in most cases, both technologies produce excellent results.
What About Bruising After Treatment?
To be on the safe side, you should probably expect some bruising after IPL treatment for rosacea. However, you can reduce the possibility of bruising by not taking blood thinners, like aspirin, Advil or Aleve within a week of your treatment.
Because we see bruising on some clients after IPL treatment for rosacea, we do not recommend IPL (both hair & photo facial) for our clients during summer.
What About Downtime After Treatment?
While there is very little, if any, downtime after treatment, if you work on camera, especially given today’s high definition cameras, you may have a wait a day or so before you become camera ready; however, if you don’t work on camera, you can apply makeup after treatment and then go right back into your normal routine.
As summer’s sweltering temperatures may make you want to move to cooler shores, you can at least keep your skin glowing throughout the heat wave. Here are some top tips on how to get glowing skin all summer long.
Summer Facial Care Tips: How to Get Glowing Skin all Summer Long
It’s easy to underplay the importance of facials in the summer: why get a facial when I’ll just be slathering sunscreen on it a moment after, you might ask? The skin really takes a beating in the summer and while we protect it with sun screens and blocks, those can easily clog pores and lead to acne. To offset the effect of summertime skincare, facials reset skin by clearing out pores of buildup from sunscreen and makeup that builds up over time. Get a facial at least once during the summer season and one right before autumn begins. This will reset the skin by giving it a deep cleansing while de-stressing the skin.
Related blog post: An Anti-Aging Facial that’s also an Immunity Booster
During the summer be on guard against free radicals that damage skin and cause pre-mature aging. While protecting your skin from the sunlight is of utmost importance, consider adding free radical damage prevention to your summertime skin care routine. It’s just as important to build up skin defenses against free radicals. Stock up on antioxidants and vitamin C serum to keep the skin protected against fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and uneven complexion. These anti-inflammatories also help ward off excess redness (inflammation).
Related blog post: Preserve your Youthful Glow with Vitamin C Power Gel
Even if you’re not acne prone, it’s best to practice keeping skin as oil-free as possible to reduce shine and to prevent against future breakouts. Wash your face as much as possible after sweating (and be sure to reapply sunscreen). Sweating releases the body’s toxins out through the pores and if sweat sits on your face for long it can become a breeding ground for bacteria leading to acne, inflammation, and clogged pores. You can also carry oil blotting sheets, or keep a towel or small rag on hand.
Related blog post: Product Highlight: SHIZUKA new york Clay Cleanser
Most people aren’t aware that going in and out of air conditioned environments and into the scorching sun can severely dehydrate the skin. Dehydrated skin can start to itch and flake leading to other concerns relating to premature aging. Stay hydrated to keep your skin fortified with moisture from the inside out. Drink plenty of water and eat fruits and vegetables and anything else with high water content, like green tea.
Related blog post: Refreshing Spa Water Recipes
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What is IPL? It is short for “intense pulsed light” and it describes a class of devices that deliver high-intensity light for a very short duration at frequencies easily absorbed by red blood cells (hemoglobin) or melanin.
The idea behind IPL is that when high intensity light is absorbed by the hemoglobin inside dilated or broken blood vessels, it can reduce the appearance of redness or rosacea. When it is absorbed by the melanin in freckles or age spots, it can lighten them – in some cases, it can even remove them.
IPL is also claimed to improve the look of one’s skin by stimulating collagen, which is responsible for the skin’s tightness and strength.
Yeah, But Does IPL Work?
Worldwide, each year, women and men spend over US $110.3 billion on beauty and skin care treatment products. Given the amount of money spent on skin care, one has to ask how effective are these products and treatments? Most skin care products are not regulated by the FDA because they only make beauty or skin improvement claims, not medical or health claims. However, this doesn’t mean they are ineffective or a waste of money – many are quite effective.
IPL, on the other hand, does make medical and health claims, so it is an FDA approved treatment for certain conditions and problems — our Lumenis M22™ is an FDA approved device; further, because these treatments result in improved skin appearance, IPL qualifies as a beauty treatment product because it improves skin texture, tone and color.
Specific Claims and Evidence
Does IPL Lighten “Sun Spots”, “Age Spots”, And Brown Blotches?
- According to Harvard’s Skin Care and Repair Special Health Report, IPL can effectively diminish sun and brown age spots, freckles, red spots, and dilated blood vessels; additionally, these effects appear to be long lasting, according to the University of Maryland’s Medical Center.
- According to the University of Utah’s Health Care site, IPL can effectively diminish freckling and skin discoloration caused by sun damage and compounded by aging.
- According to The University of Texas’s Medical Branch at Galveston, IPL is “especially effective” in treating mottling (uneven dark spotting) and dyschromias (hyperpigmentation) caused by sun damage and inflammation from skin injury; additionally, according to a 2008 California State Science Fair project conducted at the University of Southern California under the direction of Dr. Verbin, IPL can reduce a scar’s hyperpigmentation to more “aesthetically pleasing” levels.
Is IPL Effective In Removing Hair?
- A recent review of “Current Trends in Intense Pulsed Light” by Dr. David J. Goldberg in the Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology (Jun 2012; 5(6): 45–53) found that IPL “can be used to treat unwanted hair in a variety of anatomic locations,” but its effectiveness varies with both hair color and size: IPL works better on coarse, dark hair rather than on light, fine hair, and it is typically ineffective on blond hair.
- According to The University of Texas’s Medical Branch at Galveston, recent advancement in IPL technology have resulted in these devices having increased hair removal effectiveness.
Can IPL Stimulate Collagen?
According to the same review of “Current Trends in Intense Pulsed Light” in the Journal of Clinical & Aesthetic Dermatology, IPL has been found to trigger a cytokine reaction in the skin which in turn stimulates the formation of new collagen I, III, and elastin. Because wrinkle reducing collagen creams ‘are a waste of money’, say scientists, this cytokine reaction triggering property makes IPL the only technology currently available that can slow the age related loss of collagen; further, this benefit could be combined with Botox for even better anti-aging results.
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The anti-aging benefits of The Geisha Facial® have been garnering acclaim from near and far since its inception January 1st, 2008 when Shizuka Bernstein introduced it to the beauty world. Benefits of this controversial treatment include: reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, firmer skin, brighter and more even complexion. And as our most recent reviewer states in The Daily Mail that the Geisha Facial would even “beat botox”:
“I notice a definite improvement in my dark circles and the sun damage marks on my forehead. I also have bad scarring on my chest following an unfortunate incident with hot oil and a chip pan some years ago and the marks there are also significantly reduced.
Two days later, I meet a friend for her birthday lunch and she tells me I look glowing before miming a needle going into my forehead to suggest I’ve had Botox. But I haven’t actually had any for more than a year.
Since I reckon Botox takes around five years off my face and that my friend thinks the nightingale droppings have done the same, that’s a result I am more than pleased with.”
If botox and The Geisha Facial both take 5 years off the face, in a show down, here’s 5 reasons The Geisha Facial would beat Botox:
5 reasons why The Geisha Facial® Beats Botox
1. All-natural Alternative
The Geisha facial involves no needles, just bird poop. The amino acid present in the guanine enzyme works to brighten skin, lightening dark circles and hyperpigmentation. It also tightens skin and is what gives it that signature Geisha Facial *glow* that lasts for days.
Related blog post: The Associated Press Reports on The Geisha “bird poop” Facial®
2. Uplifting Benefits of a Facial
Feeling refreshed will make you look it too. Facials aren’t just about cleansing, they also help boost immunity and relieve stress. The Geisha Facial is designed to pamper you and melt away stress. Finding the time to relax may be challenging for most, but it can actually trim years off your face. Think about the last time you felt refreshed, didn’t you also look it? Our skilled technicians perform this treatment under the highest standards to make you feel like you are on cloud 9.
- Related blog post: An Anti-Aging Facial that’s also an Immunity Booster
- Related blog post: Does Botox Help Depression? The Latest Research Findings
3. Lower Price tag
The Geisha Facial is priced at $180 per treatment. Every treatment builds upon the other to improve skin elasticity and even out complexion. If you receive a facial once a month, the price tag would still be less than a standard botox injection.
4. Natural Route
The original Geisha Facial incorporates the Shizuka new york Skincare System to cleanse, brighten, and tone the face. These products are made of all natural ingredients sourced directly from Japan such as sake, fermented soybeans, mushrooms, and green tea. They are specially designed to bring you a taste of Japan in a bottle. Escape to Mount Fuji without leaving the city!
- Related blog post: Product Highlight: SNY’s Skin Freshener (Mt. Fuji Water Tonic)
- Related blog post: Rachael Bletchly’s Bird Brained Geisha Facial Review In The Daily Mirror
5. Celebrity Status
Aside from it being a good conversation piece, sleep better knowing you’ve overcome your fear of strange things and that bizarre beauty has got nothing on you now. And hey you now run with the likes of celebrities like Tom Cruise and Victoria Beckham.
“Cruise is “proud” of himself for taking the natural route. Tom [Cruise] doesn’t go in for Botox or surgery .. the [Geisha Facial] results have been fantastic.” ~ Now Magazine
Related blog post: Tom Cruise and The Geisha Facial®
HONG KONG/FRANCE, Paris—Men are now the fastest growing skin care demographic market worldwide according to data compiled by Euromonitor.
The growing male market, however, is highly localized to the Asia-Pacific region. This region accounted for US$2.1 billion last year. This is well over half of the $3.3 billion spent globally by men in 2013 with most of the growth coming from South Korea.
Of the worldwide total spent on skin care, US $110.3 billion, women still dominate in raw dollars spent, almost $107 billion. But this difference, $3.3 billion, is not small change to companies like Estee Lauder who are stepping up their development and marketing of male-targeted products.
Why a specialty men’s skin care product line? It isn’t that men don’t want to stand in a line at a frilly cosmetics department store decorated with fuchsia feather boas fans — they definitely don’t want to do that; it’s that a man’s skin care needs are different from a woman’s.
For one, men have firmer, 25% thicker, skin then women. This is due to having more naturally occurring collagen and elastin in their dermal layer. A man’s skin also ages differently than a woman’s: when a man starts to age, the first signs appear around the eyes with dark circles, bags and wrinkles. Finally men have larger pores and more oily skin than women due to high androgen hormone levels.
All these differences mandate a separate line of skin care products for men.
What Is The Best Skin Care Regime For Men?
- For cleaning, rubbing a bar of soap on one’s face, while easy and convenient, isn’t going to cut it. Because a man has larger pores and more oil, he needs something that will exfloliate, hydrate, and clean his larger pores. And most men will find it easier to shave because exfoliation helps reduce ingrown facial hairs.
- For moisturizing, pick an oil based moisturizer if you have dry skin or a water-based moisturizer if you have oily skin. Keeping skin hydrated is an important step toward keeping it healthy. Facial moisturizers can enhance the functioning of the stratum corneum, the uppermost layer of skin.
- To get rid of wrinkles, use a retinol cream, ideally one with a moisturizer.
- The sun is your enemy. To protect your skin, use a good sunscreen every day, year round. If you work inside, look for a sunscreen in the 15 – 30 SPF range that blocks both UVA and UVB rays; Go for a higher SPF if you work outdoors.
- Consider a regular regime of facials tailored for guys. If you have normal skin, consider one of these: the Classic Men’s Facial, Signature Micro Facial, or the Express Facial; if you have dry skin, try one of these: the Classic Men’s Facial + Collagen Mask or the Collagen Boost Facial; or if you have oily/combination skin, go for a Classic Men’s Facial or General Skin Care + Anti-Aging; or you can fine tune your facial with our men’s facial finder.
- If you want to step out from the pack and engage in some top notch care for your skin, do what the big boys do, like Tom Cruise, and try our renowned Geisha Facial.
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Have you wondered why spa facials leave you feeling better afterwards? Aside from giving you a youthful complexion, a spa facial actually enhances your body’s wellness by increasing immune system functioning. There are a few components of an anti-aging facial that will actually help relieve allergy symptoms like nasal congestion and drain toxins from the face and body.
SNY’s award winning Lifting facial was voted best facial by NY Magazine and most recently awarded Best Facial Massage hot spot by Style.com. The popular anti-aging facial uses microcurrent technology to stimulate and tone facial muscles. Shizuka comments on the correlation between the technology and allergy relief: “We don’t guarantee that the Lifting Facial’s microcurrent technology will clear sinuses, but it can definitely be a side effect as the microcurrents work to rejuvenate tissues in the face.
While medication can bring instant relief, try complimenting your allergy relief routine with this award winning anti-aging facial which includes these three additional sinusitis relieving components:
A spa facial will almost always include a facial massage which stimulates muscles to promote collagen production which simultaneously drains fluids from the face to decrease puffiness. A facial massage generally includes applying gentle pressure to the areas around the nose, forehead, and cheeks to ease muscle strain and provide significant relief from nasal congestion. For sinusitis sufferers, a facial massage breaks up the mucus that collects in nasal cavities thereby increasing blood circulation and allowing for headache relief from pressure build up. This also opens up passageways and is very relaxing and all-natural.
Related blog post>> Facial Massage for Stress-Busting Rejuvenation
Steam can be a powerful aid in allergy relief. During the Lifting Facial a steam machine in placed near the face to open pores to prepare them for extraction. Slowly inhaling the steam opens up passageways allowing fluids to drain from sinuses naturally.
The Lifting Facial provides lymph drainage which allows the release of any toxin buildup in the lymph nodes that have collected over time. The lymph system drains the body of excess fluids but sometimes these fluids pick up allergens that don’t respond well to the immune system. Draining lymph nodes manually boosts immune system functioning by stimulating the flow of lymphatic fluid and draining out harmful toxins.
The dual nature of the Lifting Facial as an anti-aging treatment and an immune booster will leave you looking and feeling your best! Check out what this award-winning facial can do for you!
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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!
Does Botox help depression? The latest research has found that Botox does help depression — but not directly. Rather Botox reduces the symptoms of depression by paralyzing certain facial muscles.
The idea that facial expressions might affect those areas of the brain responsible for emotion, is not new. It goes back to Charles Darwin, who observed: “The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it.” Research today continues to support this idea.
For example, researchers have discovered that people who were asked to frown during a physically painful situation felt more pain than people who were asked to smile. These results suggest that we can reduce the experience of pain by changing our expression.
But physical pain runs along different neural pathways then emotional pain. Can facial expressions affect emotions as well as physical sensations?
Current research suggests they can. University of Groningen psychologist Judith Grob asked subjects to look at disgusting images. Half the subjects were prevented from expressing disgust by holding a pen between their teeth while viewing images. This kept them from frowning. The other half, however, could respond normally. The subjects who could not frown reported feeling less disgust than those who could — but this came at a cost. While they reported feeling less disgust, they also showed symptoms of emotional repression. That is, they performed worse on a memory test and they tended to view ambiguous situations more negatively. This suggests that at some level they were experiencing disgust, but that experience failed to reach the level of conscious awareness.
Botox, like holding a pen between one’s teeth, also prevents the activation of one’s frown muscles. But this raises an interesting question: does Botox alleviate depression or are the negative emotions merely suppressed?
Currently, no one knows.
The world always looks brighter from behind a smile. – Unknown
This latest study found that Botox helped those diagnosed with a major depressive disorder, but does this mean you should get Botox if you’re this depressed? Absolutely not.
First, having major depression is one of the highest risk factors for suicide. If you’re experiencing a major depressive episode, you need to seek out expert medical help, not a Botox injection.
Second, if you have a non-major form of depression, it may be far better to work through it. Many professionals think that non-major forms of depression are a evolutionary adaptations designed to help us solve complex personal and interpersonal problems. These individuals, some scientists argue, are better off working through their emotions and problems, as long as the depression isn’t life threatening.
Finally, abundant research has found that choosing to see the bright side of things, choosing to really smile, can truly make one feel happier.
But, feeling happier won’t erase one’s fine lines and wrinkles — for that, you will need Botox.
Shizuka new York Day Spa Botox Treatment
Shizuka New York Botox injections are performed by Dr. Olivia Hutchinson, one of Manhattan’s leading plastic surgeons, in our tranquil and non-clinical spa. Botox treatments take as little as 5 minutes to perform, they are effective in smoothing wrinkles between the eyebrows, on the forehead and in reducing fine lines under the eyes, and the effects of treatment last 4-6 months.
Experience what Shizuka New York Botox treatment can do for you by scheduling a consultation with our doctors by phone at (212) 644-7400 or book an appointment online today.
- Treatment of depression with onabotulinumtoxinA: A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial, Journal of Psychiatric Research Volume 52, Pages 1–6, May 2014
- Study: For a better workday, smile like you mean it, Brent Scott, Michigan State University, 22-Feb-2011
- Keep smiling: Enduring effects of facial expressions and postures on emotional experience and memory, Cognition and Emotion, 2003, 17 (5), 787-797
- Depression’s Evolutionary Roots, Paul W. Andrews and J. Anderson Thomson Jr., Scientific America, Aug 25, 2009
- Emotion regulation: Affective, cognitive, and social consequences, James J. Gross, Psychophysiology, 39 (2002), 281–291.
How to get your Vitamin D Levels Up While Protecting your Skin
Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” does more for your body than you think: it influences nearly 3,000 different genes in your body. Receptors that respond to the vitamin have been found in almost every type of cell, from the brain to the heart to the bones. The skin also benefits tremendously from Vitamin D. Having a sufficient amount helps minimize acne, boost elasticity, stimulate collagen production, enhance radiance, and lessen the appearance of lines and dark spots. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies’ Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 600 IU (International Units) a day for people between the ages of 1 and 70. This amount can be easily acquired through sun exposure, the most natural method, certain foods, and supplements. While vitamin D is most easily and naturally acquired through sun exposure, waiving skin protection can come with a price. New York City dermatologist Dr. Robert M. Bernstein of Bernstein Medical advises, “Going into the sun without proper protection can have dangerous adverse reactions to the skin over time like sun spots and skin cancer. It’s better to wear sunscreen and protect your skin at all times.”
The Sunscreen Factor
Proponents of getting vitamin D through sun absorption, like The Vitamin D Council, suggest exposing yourself to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes before applying sunscreen. The Vitamin D Council touts: “The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays). This can happen very quickly, particularly in the summer. You don’t need to tan or burn your skin to get vitamin D. You only need to expose your skin for around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. How much vitamin D is produced from sunlight depends on the time of day, where you live in the world and the color of your skin. The more skin you expose the more vitamin D is produced.”
The problem with exposing bare skin to sunlight before sunscreen is that any amount of time in the sun without proper protection greatly increases the risk of skin cancer and causes the skin to age prematurely.
Sunlight Effects Aging Skin
In addition to an increased risk of skin cancer, sun exposure also greatly ages the skin and can cause DNA damage. The sun’s UV rays can greatly effect the skin’s appearance by causing premature aging. Examples of this include wrinkles, hyperpigmentation like sun spots, sagging, fine lines, and leathering. Fortunately, we don’t have to fry our skin to get vitamin D, there are others ways to make sure we get our daily dose of the “sunshine vitamin”.
Vitamin D Foods
While the amount of vitamin D present in these foods isn’t enough to achieve the daily recommended dose, any little bit can certainly help. Vitamin D foods are:
Fatty fish (ex: salmon)
Fortified milk and orange juice
Vitamin D Daily Supplements
There are two kinds of vitamin D supplements on the market today: D2 and D3. D3 is the closest to the what the body produces from sunlight. It’s converted into its active form much faster than D2 and is available in more potent dosages.
Dermatologists emphasize the most effective alternative to sun exposure and vitamin D-fortified foods are daily supplements. Dr. Bernstein concurs: “The easiest and most risk-free way of getting your vitamin D levels up is to take supplements.”
The Times of India included Shizuka new york Day Spa’s The Geisha Facial® in its list of bizarre facials that deliver ‘diva-approved’ results!
Celebrity fans of the facial are Tom Cruise and Victoria and David Beckham.
Here’s what The Times of India had to say:
Glow with bird poop
If there is something other, that Tom Cruise is known to advocate for after Scientology, it’s the bird poop facial. Not one for the botox and surgeries, rubbing a concoction of nightingale poop, rice bran and water gives his face the shine that he is looking for. The nightingale poop facial, also known as the Geisha facial as it originates from Japan, is known to exfoliate the dirt from the skin and leave it shining and squeaky clean. Guess who introduced him to the ways of the nightingale? Good friend David Beckham. He and his wife, Posh are known to be high on the treatment too.
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Have you tried The Geisha Facial® yet?
Even leading make-up artists insist on facial massages before applying make up to stimulate collagen production and wake up facial muscles to lift and firm skin. See what Style.com writes about Shizuka Bernstein’s The Lifting Facial:
The Service: The Lifting Facial
The Pain Is Worth the Gain: “This treatment gently stimulates and tones muscles while oxygenating the skin for a more rejuvenated appearance,” says Shizuka Bernstein. “And in addition to manual massage, we use a microcurrent machine to further stimulate the facial muscles. Its ionization helps products to penetrate farther into the skin. We use ingredients like algae and a collagen fiber mask with green tea. Pore extraction and light massage complete the treatment.”
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We all know that slow deep breathing relieves stress, promotes more restful sleep, and enhances the mood– but did you know that when we practice deep breathing for healthy skin, we are actually slowing down the skin’s aging process? The next time you practice deep breathing, you’ll also be rejuvenating your skin from the inside out.
Practice deep breathing for healthy skin
Slow, rhythmic breathing will help regulate the flow of oxygen and CO2 in your blood stream, ease anxiety by slowing the heart rate, and ensure your circulation is carrying the optimum amount of nutrients around the body.
Providing your skin with the proper pH balance helps keep your complexion even and skin smooth. Practicing deep breathing also lowers cortisol and lactate levels, which the body produces when stressed. These chemicals lower the skin’s defenses to toxins and free radicals. By “just breathing”, you are actually balancing out the body’s alkalinity and increasing oxygenated blood flow throughout the body. As oxygenated blood flows, the body cleanses itself of toxins, reducing the amount of free radicals, and thereby slows down the aging process.
Just another reason to take a breather every now and then!
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Green tea and chocolate for smoother softer skin
We all know green tea is great for the skin, but chocolate too?
Green tea and chocolate contain flavonoids, an antioxidant that protects skin against free radicals. Free radicals build up due to environmental hazards like pollution and sunlight and prematurely age and damage the skin.
Ingesting flavonoids is a great way to target free radicals and potentially ward off cancer and inflammation as well.
Green tea also contains a high concentration of polyphenols, chemicals with potent antioxidant properties that also fight off free radicals!
You can also use green tea bags topically to:
- soothe sunburns
– soothe bug bites
– reduce puffy eyes and dark under eye circles
– calms skin after shaving
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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®.
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How Prioritizing Self Care Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions