Archives for category: benefits

Have you ever tried to nod your way through a conversation without really understanding what someone is talking about?

It is not your job to understand every skin treatment available but when you receive a service at a spa it is nice to understand what the heck they are doing and why. Paraffin wax is one of those delicious spa terms we hear all the time but may have no clue about what it truly means.

Why is it important to learn? The same reason it is important to read instructions before you take a medicine. Anything that touches or enters your body will have an effect on it and as a wise consumer it is important to know about what a product is doing, why it is being used and most important – any possible side effects.

So what’s the skinny on paraffin wax?

In the simplest terms, paraffin wax treatments are utilized in spas to moisturize and soften the skin. They are usually reserved for the toughest areas of skin on the body such as the hands and feet. Many spas will offer this treatment as part of or as an optional addition to manicures or pedicures.

Paraffin waxes are different from other types of waxes used in spas in that it is softer (due to paraffin oil). It melts at a much lower temperature than other waxes and will not burn or blister the skin when it is submerged. In many spas, the wax is heated in special vats prior to a treatment.

So what does the treatment entail?

Paraffin wax is designed to coat the skin and left to absorb for up to half an hour to see the full benefits. An esthetician or beautician may have the client submerge their hands or feet several times in container of this wax to create an even coat over the surface. The hands and feet would then be wrapped in plastic (or some other type of non absorbent material).

After the treatment the wax is removed in a single piece. Because of the oil, this wax does not bind to the skin and can come off easily without pain. Skin should feel soft and smooth following a paraffin treatment.

When would I get one done?

Paraffin wax treatments can be done all year but they are especially ideal in the winter (colder climates particularly) since they can help to repair dry and cracked skin. Remember the skin needs moisture to stay smooth and during the winter it can lose a lot of moisture throughout the day without being properly replenished.

Who should avoid this treatment?

People with diabetes tend to have trouble with submersion of the feet into warm liquids so this treatment is not recommended.

Pregnant woman can receive this treatment but should remember that chronic foot swelling is common and a treatment that utilizes heat will not benefit this condition. Try looking for treatments that use cold or cooling methods to ease this problem.

If you have any type of foot condition such as fungus or athletes foot it is important to tell your therapist prior to treatment. To avoid contamination of the wax they may need to prepare an alternative way of applying the treatment.

Final Thoughts

Trying out a new treatment is always an exciting prospect at the spa. Paraffin wax is an excellent and soothing choice for those seeking an effective solution for dry or rough skin. Call your local day spa to set up an appointment. Go with confidence now that you know what you need to know!

Other Choices:

After receiving your paraffin wax it is important to maintain that soft and silky skin. Why not try a baby smooth foot creme to keep for toes and heels looking great all year! For your hands try the soothing touch hand cream – guaranteed to keep your fingers luxuriously soft!

The teen years are filled with emotional and physical change, some good and some bad. As your teen grows and develops it is natural, as a parent, to want this experience to be as stress free as possible. Dealing with acne can be a difficult process for both you and your teen. By working together and developing a strategy however, you can help your teen through these awkward years with much less “angst”.

You may find that the most difficult aspect of treating acne is speaking with your teen about the problem. It is natural for people to become sensitive or angry when a skin condition is “called out” and this may create more stress for your teen. Remember that your teen is not unaware of the problem and acting as though they cannot see the acne will not help you communicate better with them. Open up a dialogue where you suggest trying different methods to treat the condition but respect your teen’s boundaries if they are defensive about the topic at first. Don’t exasperate the situation by yelling or forcing your child to confront their problem.

Once you have both agreed to find a sensible solution that will be effective and affordable, now it is time to learn the underlying root of the condition. Believe it or not there are several factors that may be affecting your teen’s skin, not just new hormonal changes (although that is a HUGE factor).

So what may be culprit of this skin care conundrum?

Changes in the body (such as hormones) are one of the primary influences of acne during the teen years. Any informational guide will explain that hormonal changes impact the bodies normal functioning, including the skin. During adolescence a teen’s oil production (the sebum gland) can go into overdrive and produce more oil than necessary. The skin’s normal regulation of this process cannot compensate and thus oil clogs the pores causing acne.
Proper skin care is important, even for teens. Make-up, sweat and general grime build up on the skin’s surface and need to be removed properly. If you’re teen is just using soap and water daily (or maybe not at all sometimes) this will be a major reason why acne is starting to take over their face. Developing a daily skin care routine designed for younger people with oilier skin will go a long way towards alleviating your teen’s condition and reducing future occurrences.
Stress. Stress. Stress. As a parent there is nothing you can really do to combat the stress and emotional changes your child is undergoing but be supportive and helps them through this difficult time. Remember that stress affects the body just as much as anything else and can inhibit healthy body processes (including the skin).

A Call to Action!

Gaining control on an existing or ongoing flair up is crucial for the first step. This does need to be combined with developing a longer skin care regimen that will aid in reducing existing outbreaks and prevents new ones from developing.
Try a “spot treatment” such as this excellent Blemish Fix for existing acne. This will target the existing problem and provide extra strength to those areas that have already developed blackheads, whiteheads or red pustules. There are several over the counter brands for mild to moderate acne or it may be time to consult with an esthetician or dermatologist for more intensive treatment for severe acne.
Take control by developing a simple skin care routine for your teen to follow every day. Set a schedule (wake up, going to bed) and guide them through the steps they should take. Cleanse, exfoliate, tone, correct, moisturize and protect. These are the six hallmarks of any great skin care routine that will keep their skin looking fresh, clean and clear.
Search for products geared towards teen, oily or acneic skin. These will use less oils (no need to add to the problem) and target reducing oily build up on the skin. Don’t forget to emphasize the importance of using a good daily moisturizer to replenish the skin with necessary hydration. If you take it all away without putting any back other skin conditions (dryness, flaking). This step will be crucial in helping your teen maintain clearer skin with greatly reduced acne occurrences.

A Final Thought on the Matter

Acne is no fun for anyone and can be an embarrassing condition to face. Your teen may struggle with peer judgment, self doubt and a general dissatisfaction overall while combating this problem. Be patient with your teen and remember that full results take time (up to 3 months in many severe cases). Reassure your teen that with patience and dedication their skin will clear up. Don’t let acne be what your teen remembers about their high school years –take control today!

Here at Bellanina we receive messages every day from women (and men!) looking for ways to look and feel better about themselves. The most common complaint we receive is just looking “tired” and “worn”. It seems that this New Year is the perfect opportunity to invite people to try something new and different, shake up their routine and not accept aging gracefully. After all, your age is just a number and at Bellanina we think people only improve with age.

Start by taking command. Look into the mirror after a shower and before you apply any make up or lotions. Really look at your skin and ask yourself, “What do I want to change?” Are you looking for smoother skin? Do you hate the sight of lines around your eyes or mouth? Or do you just want to feel and looked refreshed?

It is important to take this step because in order to truly take control, you must take action with this first step.

By being honest with yourself and your goals, it will be easier to target the best way to achieve them. Most people can’t afford or do not want to pursue drastic and invasive medical procedures (such as plastic surgery) and at Bellanina, we don’t think you should have to do this at all. With proper skin care and the right products, smoother and younger looking skin is not just a dream. It is a reality we can all have for our own.

Here is a simple checklist of areas to consider:

1) Eyes: Are there fine lines beginning to form around the corners or lids? This could be from squinting or rubbing this area. The tissue around the eyes is especially fragile and can be easily damaged or show premature signs of aging.

2) Mouth: As we get older the expressions we hold our faces in most often will eventually develop into lines around the face. “Laugh” or “frown” lines are especially common once people reach their mid thirties. This can be caused by a reduced elasticity in the skin and lowered collagen production.

3) Neck: As the skin begins to lose elasticity it can begin to “droop” in certain areas, especially the neck and chin.

4) Hands: The most overused and abused area of the body. Your hands are exposed to chemicals, weather, water, bacteria and all sorts of germs that can affect how their appearance. Lines, dryness and flaking are all common culprits of “old” looking hands.

5) Thighs and Stomach: At any age a common skin problem is cellulite. Small “dimpling” of the skin that can lead to a cottage cheese appearance. This can be minimized with corrective skin care products.

6) Uneven Skin Tone/Pigmentation: Brown spots, freckles or even patches of skin that don’t match your overall coloring can be minimized. If you have been living with these common issues but unsure of how to deal with them, take charge this year!

7) Facial/Body Acne: Blemishes can be an irritating and ongoing struggle. Don’t let this problem go on for another day!

We invite everyone to contact us and let us help you achieve your goals this year. Our highly trained staff welcomes questions and will help you design a daily routine that will reduce fine lines, smooth skin and replenish lost moisture. By taking the time to incorporate this into your morning routine you will begin to see the results faster than you can imagine.

So contact us today and let us help you achieve your New Year’s resolution! E-mail us your questions at operations@bellanina.com to receive expert advice on how to achieve your skin care goals in 2011!

Lotions, lotions everywhere but which one should you choose?

Have you ever stood before an aisle with over a hundred different types of skin lotions and felt that gnawing sense of being in over your head? Just like people are not the same, lotions are not the same either. A body lotion that is meant for your legs and arms has no business being spread across your face and a lotion meant for your eyes won’t have the results you want for dry hands.

Take the time to learn about why different lotions are available and which type to use for your skin. Remember that knowledge is the first step towards becoming a smarter consumer and one step further on the road to better skin care.

Body Lotion

As the name suggests, body lotion is meant to be applied to the larger areas of your body such as your arms, legs, stomach and chest. This area is generally covered by clothes and protected from the harsher elements of nature and sun (this of course changes in warmer months) and does not show signs of aging as quickly as the face, hands or neck.

Although there are many different brands and types of body lotion available, most have similar ingredients and characteristics. A general body lotion (not targeting any one specific skin type) will have more water than specialized lotions and can be used all over the main part of the body on a daily basis.

Facial Cremes

Unlike body lotions which offer the same benefits no matter where it is applied on the body, facial cremes are designed to target very specific problems and skin care issues. Since the skin on your face is thinner, it is more prone to premature aging and other skin issues.

Facial cremes are typically designed for a skin type and concern. If you had oily skin you would want an oil free moisturizer to hydrate the skin without adding excessive oils. If you had naturally dry skin you would want a thicker lotion with added oils designed to rehydrate those cells.

Mature skin that has developed fine lines and wrinkles or sagging tissue requires specialized ingredients designed to penetrate the outer layers and stimulate collagen production and restore elasticity. Although this will take time and dedication, a good skin care routine can help to minimize these issues.

Eye Creme

Even more specific is eye creme. This is usually a light-weight formula that should be applied very delicately. The tissue around the eye is very thin and delicate.  In addition, there are no oil glands directly beneath the eyes so greater moisturization helps keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay.  Select eye cremes with anti-oxidant protection to help with free radical damage from the sun.

Conclusion

Take the time to learn about conscientious skin cares and choose your products wisely. They will not do any good sitting in the cupboard when you realize they are not the best match for you so make an investment in the products that will keep you looking your best!

Are you looking for better ways to care for your skin? As the skin matures it loses elasticity, slows collagen production and can become less smooth to the touch. Fine lines and wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process but can be minimized with the help of high quality skin care products designed for aging, mature or damaged skin. As we move into a progressively more health conscious mind set it becomes more important to seek out natural or organic products to stay healthy and look our best at any age. Learn more about the healing and restorative benefits of Gotu Kola and Coconut Serum with Alpha Lipoic Acid.

What is Gotu Kola?

Vitamins, minerals and plants have been used for their restorative and health benefits for thousands of years. Ancient cultures relied upon different herbs and mixtures to cure disease, increase life span and heal wounds. Its no wonder that today many products still rely on those same natural ingredients to help restore and maintain the body.

Gotu Kola (centella asiatica) is a small plant that is native to several areas of the world including India, Sri Lanka and parts of Asia. It is a tasteless and odorless member of the parsley family.

How does it benefit the skin?

Gotu Kola (not to be confused with cola nut) has many uses in health and skin care. Some of the most important benefits for your skin include boosting circulation, improving the collagen foundation, improving firmness and increasing elasticity. This is beneficial for all skin types, including mature skin.
Gotu Kola serum is applied topically to the face and is worn beneath standard moisturizers and make up. It can be used in place of moisturizer for extremely oily skin types. Typically you would apply 2 to 3 drops on the face and rub in thoroughly. Remember that Gotu Kola, along with all other skin care products, will be most effective when used as directed. Patience is important when using any product and maximum benefits may take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months to be seen.
When used consistently and as directed Gotu Kola and Coconut serum can have wonderful restorative and repairing capabilities for the skin. This unique free-radical fighting blend of natural source vitamins and botanicals are delivered in a potent base of Alpha Lipoic Acid and DMAE that works on a molecular level to redefine and revitalize skin.

Why is Gotu Kola used specifically for skin care?

When selecting ingredients to use for skin care it is important to understand how certain ingredients affect the skin. Remember that different vitamins, minerals and plants will provide different benefits and should be selected carefully. Gotu Kola is used primarily for its impact on the metabolism of connective tissue, thereby stimulating the collagen production of the skin.

Precautions and Warnings

Your skin will absorb whatever products used on it and understanding potential risks and side effects is essential. Gotu Kola is an organic product but that does not mean that some people should not use Gotu Kola or that people with certain conditions should not consult with a doctor before use.
Consult with your doctor or pharmacy if you have liver disease, high cholesterol or diabetes. Children should not use Gotu Kola. The effect of Gotu Kola on unborn children is not known at this time – if you are pregnant consult with your health care practitioner before using products containing Gotu Kola. Consult with your doctor immediately if you develop any reaction or symptoms following use of products containing Gotu Kola such as rash, irritation, nausea, upset stomach, itching or swelling.

Choosing someone to work on your body is an important decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If your like most people, you probably wonder about what sort of training a person has and if they really know what their doing. Knowledge and experience are the cornerstones that make a great therapist or esthetician but how can you choose if you don’t know what those abbreviations following their names mean? LMT, CMT…what’s the difference and how that affects you?

Use this simple guide to understand those credentials and make an informed decision!

LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist)

Most states regulate the practice of massage therapy and require licensure to practice as a massage therapist. Remember that massage manipulates the body and can impact health and functioning. A licensed massage therapist has gone through the training required by the state and has the required knowledge and competency to practice their profession. This process is non-voluntary and is the highest level of regulation.

CMT (Certified Massage Therapist)

This is publicly attesting that a service or person has reached or exceeded a certain level of quality or standard. Certification requires a certain level of educational criteria to be met in order to use this title. Certification can be in a specialized field or bodywork practice and can be received through continuing education later in a massage therapist’s career. Certification is usually through a private institution or agency and is a voluntary process.

In the United States…

Massage therapy is monitored by the states and not the federal government. This means that the standards and requirements can vary by state and should be investigated by those seeking to become massage therapists or those looking to determine what qualifications are required to become a massage therapist in their state. Most massage therapists are required to receive 500 to 1000 hours of massage training including courses on physiology and anatomy. Specialized training can vary and may require additional outside training after their initial program.

You Have Right to Know

Don’t be afraid to ask your massage therapist about their qualifications, education and experience before receiving any type of treatment or service from them. Schools will provide certificates to therapists upon completion of their program to prove they have received the training necessary. Remember that this is someone who will be working on your body and it is important to choose someone who knows what they are doing. Massage, when done improperly, can cause damage (especially to someone with existing health conditions). So learn all you can before making your decision!

Continuing Education Opportunities

As a massage therapist you have the opportunity to expand upon your basic training and become a specialist in your field. Remember that people are looking for a massage therapist that can offer them the maximum results. Try learning something new today such as the Bellanina Facelift Massage program. Offered as both a 3 day seminar or a home study course, this program will make you a leader in your field! Learn more today online at Bellanina Institute!

There is nothing like the feel of hot stones on your back.

Wait a minute, hot stones?

Yes, hot stones. Once considered a novelty in the world of massage, hot stone treatments are now one of the corner stones of massage therapy.

What is it?

Hot stone massage, as the name suggests, utilizes warmed stones of varying sizes and textures. Larger stones are used for larger areas of the body (such as the back) and smaller stones are used on smaller areas. Stones can either be used during the massage or they may be left to sit undisturbed for a specific duration of time. Hot stone massage is used to encourage faster and deeper muscle relaxation during a massage session. The stones used are typically basalt (which has high iron content) and are warmed in sanitized water prior to the massage. This particular stone warms quickly and will retain most of its heat during your massage.

Benefits

The addition of heat during a massage can elevate the relaxation experience greatly. The use of heat through stones provides a unique ability for the therapist to work deeply into the muscles with less strain. Added heat will help to improve circulation throughout the body and if a coarser texture of stone is used it will also gently exfoliate the skin. The spine is not an area of the body that is massaged but allowing heated stones to rest on the spine can calm the central nervous system.

Alternatives

Hot stone massage therapy is well known but a lesser known version utilizes cold stones. This may seem like an odd choice but cooling stones can have wonderful benefits if you have any sort of inflammation that could be aggravated by heat. During the warmer summer months this could also be extremely relaxing to use cool stones instead of their heated counterparts during your massage.

Warnings

Hot stone massage is not for everyone. Pregnant and menopausal women should not get hot stone massage treatments. Certain conditions may be aggravated by hot stone massage such as heart or circulation problems. If you have any concerns, consult with your therapist prior to your appointment.

Find Your Local Spa

Visiting the Ann Arbor area and looking for a hot stone massage? Visit the “>Bellanina Day Spa!

As an esthetician or skin care professional, you may have heard some controversy over the matter of performing extractions during a routine facial service. What may seem like a relatively simple procedure can actually raise great controversy in the world of esthetics. Some estheticians regard extractions as a matter of providing a complete service while others see this as inflicting trauma to the skin. Learning more about both sides of the issue can help you as a professional in making an informed decision and explaining the issue to your clients.

What is an extraction?

As a basic review, an extraction is removing impurity (plug of dead skin or oil) from a pore or pimple. It is the removal of both blackheads and whiteheads from the skin. Extractions occur after the skin has been thoroughly cleansed, exfoliated and sometimes steamed to soften the area prior to extraction.

Why Do It?

Extractions are considered a “must” by many estheticians when performing a routine facial because they want to leave their clients skin looking and feeling it’s best. When done correctly, a simple extraction should be quick and relatively painless. As a trained esthetician it is important to know if your client has sensitive skin which would make them more prone to the damage that can be caused by extractions.

Why Not?

Extractions should only be performed by a trained esthetician and should not be done in excess. Extractions can cause broken capillaries or sin irritations that can lead to more (not less) breakouts. Extractions can also cause discomfort for your client when done incorrectly so you should seek their permission before performing any type of extraction during their facial. Remember your client has the right to know any product or procedure being performed on their skin and make an informed choice.

Who Decides?

As an esthetician it may be entirely up to you or it may be a procedure within your salon to do or not do extractions. It is important to check the guidelines of your employer and know their policies before performing any procedure. Remember to explain extractions and their benefits and possible complications to your client. Trust is an important part of any relationship and your client needs to know you are being open and honest with them. The last thing you want as a professional is a reputation for inflicting unnecessary and unwanted procedures or damage to your client’s skin.

For more great information about home skin care products and acne treatments, check us out online at http://www.bellaninainstitute.com!

When we are young our skin is taught, elastic and naturally firm. Youthful skin carries a natural glow and smooth texture that many women mourn the loss of as they age. Beautiful and healthy looking skin is not a gift for just the young, but the young at heart. It is for people who know that age is just a number and not a reflection of who you “should” be.

The key to beautiful skin in your mature years is by understanding what problems to look for and using products designed for your skin. As we age, our skin loses some its natural elasticity, decreases collagen production and the regeneration of new skin cells begins decrease. This can lead to fine lines and wrinkles developing around the eyes, cheeks and mouth as well as sagging tissue in the cheeks and neck. All these problems develop slowly over time and can sometimes have subtle effects at first but over time their accumulative damage can be significant.

Although a good skin care routine should be maintained from your early twenties, it is not impossible to repair the damage that has already occurred to your skin. This damage may be the natural results of aging or could be from environmental causes (such as sun damage). Whatever the source of the problem, identifying the solution is now key towards regaining that youthful glow.

Reducing Lines and Wrinkles
If fine lines and wrinkles are the cumulative buildup of dead skin cells that are no longer being removed by the body, it makes sense to start by reviving that process. A daily exfoliating cleanser will do wonders towards giving your skin a fresh and clean look. A great exfoliation will have a rough texture, ranging from grainy to more bead-like, depending on its strength. If you have more sensitive skin, you will want to use a mild exfoliant to avoid irritation.
After removing the dead skin cells it is time to re-hydrate your skin and reduce lines around the eyes and mouth. A Cosmeceuticals grade moisturizer is designed to ultra moisturize your skin and provide your skin with the necessary amount of oils needed to stay smooth and soft.

Sagging Tissue
The loss of collagen and elasticity is a battle because you are not only fighting Mother Nature, but simple gravity as well. After years of staying tight on its own, your skin may require a little “boost” to stay firm and toned. Try a product that is specially designed to target this problem and boost collagen production. Although the effects may not be entirely reversible, they can be certainly minimized.

Stay as beautiful as you want for as long as you want by taking control of your skin care routine! Skin care is not just a science, it is an art that requires patience and understanding to master. Study your skin care products carefully and examine your needs. Consult with an esthetician for more great tips and advice about what products are available to keep you looking your most fabulous every day!

Okay, it seems you can’t walk down the street without being hit in the face with a new product that is all natural and organic! Like most trends, this move towards a more “natural” lifestyle has crept up slowly in popularity over the years and now is a dominating force in the Market. From your fruits to your shoes, all natural materials are now the “it” thing to have, to eat and to wear.

Aloe + E Broad Spectrum SPF 30

What you put on your skin is as important as what you put in your body. You wouldn’t drink a gallon of dangerous chemicals would you? So it stands to reason you wouldn’t want to spread hazardous ingredients all over your skin either. Remember your skin is porous and meant to absorb ingredients and nutrients applied directly to it. That means that every time you apply a moisturizer, any chemicals it contains are going right into your body.

Skin care is perhaps one of the most important and overlooked areas of home health care. Your skin is your first and strongest defense against disease and foreign invaders that could cause serious damage to your body. By taking care of your skin you are giving yourself the best chance to stay healthy and look your best for years to come.

So now you may be thinking: Where do Natural Skin Products Come In?

Excellent question! Natural and Organic skin care products utilize ingredients that do not contain hazardous preservatives or chemicals to enhance results. Unlike their Cosmeceuticals cousins, natural skin care products consist of ingredients like fruit, vegetable, mineral and vitamin extracts. They utilize the remedies provided by these ingredients to improve skin tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, cleanse and refresh.

For example: Aloe is a popular treatment for many skin conditions such as rashes or burns and is most effective in its natural, unprocessed state.

When selecting a new product to try on your skin, glance over the ingredients and try to pick out key phrases such as parabens, paraffin, sodium laurel, acrylamide or propylene glycol. These are some of the most common ingredients used in Cosmeceuticals and some of the most important to avoid. The real danger comes from exposing your skin to free radicals which can lead to early aging, tissue damage and in some cases diseases such as cancer.

Tips to Remember:

Natural or Organic products have a shorter shelf life once they have been opened so buy smaller quantities. The average natural product will be good for 1 to 2 months after initial use.

Most skin care conditions have a natural solution! Ask your esthetician or dermatologist for a natural or organic alternative for any particular condition you may wish to treat!

Know your allergies! Organic ingredients can lead to allergic reactions! Study all ingredient labels carefully and do not use if you are the least bit concerned about possible aversive side effects.

As with all skin care products, discontinue use if you develop a rash, itching or swelling after application and seek medical attention.

A Natural Way to Better Skin

Protect your skin and your body by trying natural skin care products today! See the benefits to the look of your skin while knowing you are doing something to protect your health at the same time!