Archives for category: skin care products

Every day we are presented with new articles discussing the drawbacks of consuming too much caffeine. Not so well known however, are the many benefits caffeine provides for your skin. Take a few moments to learn about one of the latest trends in the skin care industry.

We all known that caffeine is commonly associated with drinks and foods we consume such as coffee, tea and chocolate. What might not have caught your attention is the growing number of skin care products which now include caffeine for its many beneficial qualities.

Why caffeine?

Caffeine contains antioxidants which make it very effective when used topically on the skin. It can constrict small blood vessels and reduce inflammation which can be very effective for certain skin concerns such as puffiness and darkness around the eyes. Research has indicated that caffeine has many potential benefits in skin care and has seen an increase in use since 2003.

Potential Benefits:

There are several ways caffeine can be used to help your skin look better. It is important to remember that these results are not long term.

Eyes: Caffeine can decrease the appearance of puffiness and dark circles.

Redness: Caffeine is an anti-inflammatory which means it can help reduce the appearance of redness.

Anti-oxidant: Caffeine is not the strongest anti-oxidant available in skin care but it can help reverse free radical damage.

Oily skin: Many products designed for oily skin contain caffeine because it may block certain enzymes that contribute to acne.

Our Favorite:

Blueberry & Coffee Bean Exfoliating Cleanser: This deep-cleansing lotion contains a multitude of high-powered anti-aging antioxidants, including coffee bean, resveratrol, blueberry, grape, cocoa seed and a papaya enzyme. Small beads gently exfoliate dead skin cells, revealing a smoother more youthful appearance.

Conclusion

Caffeine in skin care products is one of many ingredients used to provide temporary benefits to the skin. Although it cannot “correct” dark eyes in the long run, it can have great short term benefits. Remember that quality skin care products will use a wide range of ingredients to produce maximum benefits. Research new products carefully and always use as directed.

Learn more online at www.bellaninainstitute.com

Did you know that not all skin care masques (masks) are the same? With the right masque, you can keep your skin looking more vibrant all year long.

A masque is typically used as the “treatment” portion in any skin care routine or spa service. It is done less frequently (usually 1-2 times per week at home) and targets specific skin concerns. Although a masque is a great way to deep clean your skin, they serve many other functions as well, including:

Tightening & toning the skin
Nourish skin cells
Hydrate dry skin
Calm irritated skin
Decrease the appearance of blemishes

There are many different types of masques available and they all reply upon different ingredients to obtain maximum results. Some common types include clay, cream, honey and setting masques.

Clay – these are great for drawing out dirt and oil from the skin. This is a good option for people with oily skin that is acne prone.

Cream – these are wonderful for hydrating and refreshing your skin. Choose cream based masques if you have dry or sensitive skin that needs extra nourishment.

Honey – did you know that honey is a wonderful hydrator for the skin? Honey softens and revitalizes the skin while providing antibacterial benefits and immune system support. Honey stimulates the regrowth of tissue, strengthens capillaries and the fibroblasts needed for healing.

Setting – these masques harden after application and then are removed. This masque can be time more time consuming and difficult to use at home but they are extremely effective for many common skin concerns/conditions.

Remember – it is never too early (or too late) to develop a skin care routine. By properly caring for your skin, you can prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging, increase toning and tightening and keep your skin look fresh and healthy. Learn more about better skin are at www.bellaninainstitute.com.

Why use a toner?

Out of all the skin care products on the market today, toners are a mystery to most people.  I think I hear, “why do I need to use a toner”, more than any other question.

Aside from giving your skin an opportunity to be relieved of further makeup and cellular debris, toners give our skin a pH balance.  Our skin should stay between 5 and 6 pH.  After cleansing, the pH balance gets disturbed and when this happens it has to work harder to regain its’ balance, which can also mean it will produce more oil.  Using a toner helps to restore the balance quickly.

Another side benefit of using a toner is to get the hard water residue off of the skin.  That white streak that you see on the side of a freshly washed glass that has just been rinsed is chlorine and hard minerals.  These hard minerals are left on your skin after you rinse off the cleanser products.  These minerals can dry your skin.

Removing oil with toner gives the skin an appearance of smaller pores and smaller pores makes skin look smoother and more youthful.  Toners can help close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing.  This reduces the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin. 

Some toners have humectant qualities, which mean that they help to bind moisture to the skin.  We recommend that if you don’t want to wash your face in the morning, use a toner to get the oil or dirt off of your skin.  Your skin will feel fresh, softened and revitalized.

Some toners include exfoliants, such as Bellanina’s Glycolic Toner 10% to aid in removing dead skin cells.  A glycolic toner will also work very well for men who have ingrown hairs and must deal with ‘bumpy’ skin.

We are happy to announce that our new BELLANINA BOTANICAL TONER with Ginseng & Aloe is now available to ship.  Our new toner is formulated with all natural plant extracts with no parabens. Unlike off the shelf skin care, our Bellanina ‘kit’ products use the freshest ingredients and are made in small batches insuring their freshness.  Some of the featured ingredients of the NEW Bellanina Botanical Toner are:

Panax Ginseng –         Tonic action; revitalizing

Roman Chamomile – Calming

German Chamomile – Soothing for problematic Skin; anti-inflammatory

Witch Hazel – Natural extract from leaves and bark with potent anti-oxidant and anti-irritant properties

Hyaluronic Acid – Superior hydrator

Panthenol – Pro-vitamin B5 is a panthenol is a humectant, emollient and moisturizer.

Organic Geranium essential oil – Antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti-tumorial, anti-inflammatory & anti- fungal.  The aroma of geranium helps to lift the spirits.

Bellanina continues to strive to bring Bellanina Practitioners and loyal skin care customers new and innovative products that keep the skin healthy and vibrant.  We hope you try our new toner soon!

Visit us online at http://www.bellaninainstitute.com!

Are you a massage therapist, esthetician or health/wellness provider seeking a way to build your business and learn a new technique that is less stressful on your body and beneficial for your clients?  Perhaps you are already a Bellanina Facelift Massage Practitioner who is looking for CEs in 2013.

Look no further than the Bellanina Facelift Massage! In 2011, Bellanina  “enhanced” their signature technique by incorporating Thai massage, acupressure and a full body energy release into their already time-tested approach to holistic skin care.  Our homestudy course is NCBTMB approved for 16 CE credits for all new students and for returning practitioners who want to learn the new and improved protocol.

Imagine an all natural, holistic approach to obtaining and maintaining younger, smoother and healthier looking skin at any age. The Bellanina Facelift Massage is the answer you have been looking for to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, tone facial muscles and release unblock stuck energy.

 Since 1989, the Bellanina Facelift Massage has been utilized by thousands of clients around the world. We have seen some amazing results including:

Decrease in bags under the eyes 

Firmer cheeks and jaw line

Neck appears smoother

Naso-labial fold lines soften

Skin looks smoother and skin tone evens

Youthful glow

Our clients tell us that the Bellanina Facelift Massage has been the best choice they have made to improve the look and feel of their skin!
                

Before & After (untouched photos)

What our students say…..
“I have taken many modalities as a massage therapist, reflexologist, etc., but your course hands down has such a fantastic income potential. In addition, I find it very creative and the results are amazing. I have done “Bellanina” on all ages, even those women who are in their 70’s and think this is it and they better make the best of what they have and then there is “Bellanina Facelift Massage.” I have a client who is 76 years old, when I finish the Bellanina Facelift Massage, her attitude and feeling of self worth becomes transformed. She told me, “I feel beautiful!”. I just wanted to share that with you and THANK YOU 100 times over for giving me the opportunity of learning and being certified as a “Bellanina Facelift Specialist”.Lauretta I, New York

Several times each month – Nina Howard (Bellanina Founder) hosts a FREE educational webiner at 3:30 P.M (EST) to explain the many benefits of Bellanina Facelift Massage, how this technique can build your business and answer all your questions at the end!

Visit our website www.bellaninainstitute.com to register for this event! Remember, this is a FREE webinar with master trainer, Nina Howard and a chance to learn about the most exciting approach to skin care available today!

It’s summertime and the sun is finally starting to show. Now comes the time to choose a sunscreen that will protect your skin from those harmful UV rays we hear about all the time. Before grabbing the sunscreen next to the breath mints at checkout however, take some time to learn which sun blocker is going to give you the most bang for your buck.

So, what is an “SPF” anyway?

Sun Protection Factor rates how long the sunscreen is going to remain effective on your skin after application. If you want to work out the math, multiply the SPF by how long it takes your skin to suffer from a burn after being exposed to the sun with no protection at all.

For example: If you normally burn after 10 minutes with no protection, an SPF 15 will provide you with approximately 150 minutes of protection. Now here’s the rub: the effectiveness of a sunscreen can be lessened depending on the activity.

So, what do you need?

A summer tan may be stylish but remember that every time you go into the sun without adequate protection you are increasing your odds of developing serious skin conditions down the line. Not to mention more immediate effects such as burned skin, dryness and irritation. Your skin is a sensitive system that relies on being properly protected in order to function optimally. If you don’t want to develop rough, wrinkled skin that looks like leather, pay attention to the SPF your choosing.

An SPF of at least 15 is recommended but research shows that kicking that up to an SPF 30 will provide significantly more protection during the day. Also, you can’t just apply once and forget it. Sunscreen should be applied at least every 2 hours (maybe more if you are swimming or sweating).

Types of Sunscreens Available

There are two types of sunscreens available: chemical and physical.

Chemical sunscreens will absorb the UV rays but carry the risk on increasing the likelihood of developing certain types of cancers.

Physical sunscreens contain active ingredients that will reflect the harmful rays away from the skin.

What Ingredients to Look For

Search for ingredients such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, red petrolatum, or talc. These are commonly used in physical sunscreens and work well to protect the skin without adverse side effects.

Great Choices This Summer:

Warmer weather means t-shirts, shorts and sandal season is just around the corner. As you start to dig through our summer wardrobe and make sure everything still fits, you may notice that your skin is not looking so hot. No, we don’t mean pale skin from being covered all winter (although we have a solution for that as well).

Winter skin is a common occurrence because during the colder months we tend to cover much of our bodies and therefore fall out of our good skin care habits. As the sun comes out though and the time has come to slip into a pair of shorts however you may notice that your legs are not looking so great. So what can you do to get back to fighting shape?

1) Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!
We can’t emphasize the importance of exfoliation enough when it comes to good skin care. Sure, you may shower every day but that is not enough. Even if you are using a loofah which promises to exfoliate your skin every time you shower…it’s not enough. Exfoliation means using a cleanser that has been specially designed to penetrate those dead skin cells and remove them without causing damage to healthy skin below.

Look for a good cleanser with micro beads to really help your skin to look fresh and ready for summer. A body cleanser will typically use a rougher texture than a facial exfoli-cleanser so shop carefully. Exfoliating cleanser help aid in healthy skin production by removing those built up layers of dead skin. Failing to exfoliate at least 2-3 times per week leads to dryness, flaking and eventually…wrinkles.

2) Moisturize Daily!
Skin thrives on being properly hydrated. If you have dry skin naturally it is even more important to moisturize in the morning and before going to bed. If you have oily skin and are prone to break outs, search for an oil-free moisturizer that will seal in good oils without adding anymore.

3) Cover Up!
Yeah, we know you want to get that fabulous summer tan but don’t lay out in the sun “baking” for hours on end. Not only is that exposing the skin to those harmful UV rays we have all heard about, but it is drying your skin out even more and causing irreparable cellular damage.
A good SPF 30 will protect the skin and keep it looking great all summer. Try a combo moisturizer and SPF to do double the good. If you are really looking for a healthy summer “glow”, try a sunless tanner.

4) Change the products to match the season!
Winter meant heavy moisturizers to combat dry and chapped skin. As summer rolls in it is time to swap out your products for lighter products. A light weight and non greasy moisturizer will feel more comfortable as the temperatures start to rise. Remember, in the summer you will sweat more and (if you’re outdoorsy) be more exposed to dirt, grime and other environmental elements. Your pores will retain much of this build up so don’t increase it more with thick moisturizers.
Bonus Tip – Wash your skin daily to avoid build up and summer acne!

5) Develop a routine and stick with it!
Daily skin care is like a daily workout. At first it may be difficult to get into the habit but eventually you will wonder how you ever went without it. We recommend pairing your daily skin routine with something that you do daily already. Taking the time to wash your face with a good exfoliator right after brushing your teeth (for example) would get it out of the way and eventually just become something you do automatically.
Don’t think of skin care as something that is nice to do but not really necessary. As we age the skin requires just as much maintenance as any other area of the body. Taking care of it now will prevent future problems and keep it looking smoother, younger and healthier as you get older.

6) Do your homework!
A fancy bottle or a name brand does not ensure high quality products. If you are battling a specific skin issue especially, take the time to research the product ingredients and the company. Over the counter moisturizers and cleansers seem like a good deal but not when they are more water than anything else! Investing in high quality products will be more effective and have longer lasting results.
Check with a local esthetician or dermatologist for questions about your specific skin care needs. Remember that a commitment to great skin means taking the time to choose the right products and use them as directed.

Look great this summer with younger, smoother looking skin. Remember these six steps and your skin is sure to look fabulous all year round!

Okay so maybe you haven’t had a chance to hear about the next big thing for your skin but its showing up everywhere! Hyaluronic acid (sometimes referred to as Hyaluronan) is found in the connective tissue of the body. What does it do? It is responsible for the cushioning and lubrication of the joints.

So now you may be thinking…wait a minute, isn’t this article about skin care?

How right you are! The skin actually contains 50% of the hyaluronic acid found in the body. Hylauronic acid is essential for the vital functioning of many key systems including skin, heart valves, joints and even the eyes! Its benefits to the skin lie in the benefits to collagen production and keeping it hydrated.

Collagen keeps the skin looking plump and youthful. Without proper hydration and production the skin (especially facial tissue) will begin to wrinkle and sag. Hyaluronic acid plays a key role in ensuring that skin production continues properly and continues to stay youthful and smooth. Using products containing hayaluronic acid can lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles significantly on the face.

Many skin care products (especially geared towards anti aging) contain hyaluronic acid. It can be a topical application or injection. A great product is Hydra Gel which will replenish moisture for users of glycolic acid or vitamin C products. It provides extra hydration to counteract the damages environment wreak on the skin. Contains a high percentage of hyaluronic acid that naturally softens the skin while helping it attract and retain moisture. Vitamin B5 fortifies giving a silky texture. Willowherb extract naturally calms and revitalizes.

As with all skin care products, speak with a dermatologist or skin care professional for questions relating to any skin or health concerns you have prior to use. It is important to pay close attention to any reactions you have and discontinue use of product if you notice any symptoms such as redness, swelling, itching or burning.

Final Thoughts

Beat your dry skin blues by replenishing the body with products containing hyaluronic acid. Remember that proper hydration is necessary for optimal body functioning and although this is a naturally produced substance in our body, changing hormone levels may effect how well our bodies produce it. Sometimes nicknamed as the “fountain of youth”, remember that this, as with all skin care products, is not a supplement for taking care of your skin with healthy diet, exercise and taking care of your body every day.

Getting up in the morning to head to the gym may not always seem like the most worthwhile plan but here is one more great reason to break out the sweatpants and do a little cardio: smoother, healthier looking skin.

No kidding. Taking care of your body in one way often impacts it (positively) in other ways we can’t even imagine. A cardio routine is great for your heart but its probable you never thought you could also be clearing up acne or preventing premature wrinkles at the same time.

So what’s the catch? It must seem too good to be true that a simple workout could be so beneficial in so many ways. The catch is consistency. Never expect a one time excursion to the gym or following that Jane Fonda workout DVD once will have long term results. Maintaining a regular workout schedule is the only way you are going to see healthier skin.

Now, the science!

Never accept any fact or statement without evidence or explanation. We don’t want you to simply take our word for it that exercise will benefit you in more ways than one, we want to show you!

Skin is the largest organ so the benefits can be pretty substantial. We’ll begin with one of the most noticeable differences people have seen: reduced acne. No joke. Exercise helps to reduce the production of testosterone hormones like DHEA and DHT. Testosterone is a part of why acne flair ups occur. Working out reduces stress levels and lower stress helps decrease production of this particular hormone.

Another great benefit working out provides is an increase in collagen production. Collagen is the connective fiber that “plumps” the skin. As we age and collagen production slows, skin begins to sag and wrinkle. By stimulating increased production it is possible to combat this problem. Exercise increases blood circulation and the delivery of nutrients to the cells: ideal conditions for collagen.

Bonus: Yoga is especially great for better skin because while toning the muscles through controlled movements, you are also “toning” the skin. The different yoga “poses” offer a variety of benefits to tone, tighten and increase blood flow to the face. This will keep skin looking smoother.

Cleansing the body of toxins is the last component we are going to look at (although there are several other benefits not discussed today). When we exercise it helps the body “flush” out toxins that can build up over time. Removing toxins from the body will benefit your health overall but especially help healthy skin cell removal and production. The build up of dead skin cells can lead to dull and wrinkles skin. When your body can remove these build ups and function properly, your skin will look much more youthful and radiant.

So break out those yoga pants and try incorporating a workout into your daily routine. We know that with a job, kids, school or any number of other responsibilities it isn’t always easy to squeeze in a workout but remember that your body needs you to think about the long term benefits it could provide.

Looking for more great skin care advice? Check us out online at http://www.bellanina.com. We have some of the best skin care products available to keep you looking young and radiant.

Have you ever stopped to look at your feet? Feet are one of those areas of the body that are overworked and underappreciated. Whether you sit at a desk or walk around all day, your feet are suffering constant abuse. In the middle of winter you may not care about how your feet look but when summer rolls around you may wish you had spent just a little time preparing your feet for to be showcased in those fabulous new strappy sandals.

Examine your feet carefully:
Does the skin around your toes appear dry and flaky?
Is your heel covered with dry and course skin?
Are there calluses lining the pad of your foot?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you are one of the millions of people with dry skin. Dry skin is a chronic skin type that can come and go and may only affect certain areas of the body (such as the feet or hands). Dry skin is mostly just irritating but can lead to problems such as cracks or infections if left untreated. During the winter dry skin increases due to changes in the environment and increased use of interior heaters which remove necessary moisture from the air.

So what may have caused your cracked heels and dry toes?

Many things can influence your feet such as wearing properly fitted shoes, age, psoriasis, diabetes, athlete’s foot, exposure to outside elements and lifestyle. Your feet develop thicker skin due to constant use (and abuse) but this skin can still be easily damaged. Taking the time to repair this damage will not only make your feet look better but feel better too.

What to do:

A pumice stone is a wonderful investment when trying to combat extremely dry or tough skin. This will help remove build up of dead layers of skin and allow healthy new skin to develop.

Apply a foot cream designed to soften those rough spots. Apply this at night and wear socks to bed to help seal in the moisture and give your feet time to repair while you sleep. Avoid lotions as most contain alcohol which will cause more dryness and may irritate the damaged areas (especially cracked skin).

Examine your shoes and invest in a new pair if you notice any tightness or rubbing against the skin. Improperly fitting shoes can lead to much more significant problems than dry skin in the long run!

Final Thoughts

You may not think your feet need care but remember that taking care of your body is important and neglecting any area will lead to trouble down the line. Most foot care treatments require five minutes or less a day to apply and can be done at night to avoid disrupting your day. Be ready to break out the sandals this summer and have fabulous looking feet that will be the envy of all the toes at the beach!

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!