Cosmetic companies on the move


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s-l300L’Oréal has announced they have purchased three skin care lines from Valeant.  Valeant is a Canadian cosmetic company located in Quebec but has its headquarters in New Jersey.

Valeant manufactures CeraVe, Ambi, and Acne Free.  CeraVe products include cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreen, healing ointment, and baby products.  Acne Free is a line for acne-prone skin and includes wipes, masks, body spray, spot treatment and a facial brush system.  Ambi, which Valeant purchased from Johnson & Johnson in 2012, includes cleansers, face cream, body soap, and body lotion which are marketed to multicultural consumers.  Valeant has also sold its cancer treatment business, Dendreon, to Sanpower.  The sale of these assets is to relieve financial burden for Valeant.

CeraVe has been marketed to professionals and physicians whereas Ambi and Acne Free can be purchased at wholesale clubs (Sam’s, Costco and BJs) and drugstores.  L’Oréal markets their cosmetics to department stores, wholesale clubs, and drugstores.  This could hurt professionals and physicians if the CeraVe line becomes available through the same outlets.

Coty is getting into multi-level marketing by acquiring 60% of Younique.  Younique is a cosmetics company whose platform is direct sales and multilevel marketing of beauty products online and through social media.  Younique has 200,000+ independent sales reps.

Mary Kay has created an app to promote their products and support their sales representatives.  The app acts as a virtual assistant and allows a shopper to make mobile transactions.  Mary Kay also has two other apps:  Mary Kay Virtual Makeover and Mary Kay eCatalog.  The virtual makeover app includes scenery, accessories, virtual hairstyling, beauty mirrors, and tutorials.

Burt’s Bees is getting into promoting functional foods.  Their functional food products will be comprised of three protein shake lines (Daily Protein, Protein + Gut Health with Probiotics and Protein + Healthy Radiance with Antioxidant Vitamins A, C & E).  The protein shakes will be made with plant-based proteins (peas, rice, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, and oats).  YUM!!!  Hey, isn’t Burt’s Bees  owned by Clorox?

To read more on these topics, click on the following link:

Utroske, D. (2016). Cosmetic Design USA, “Burt’s Bees launces beauty-from-within product line”. Retrieved January 18, 2017, from:

Utroske, D. (2016). Cosmetic Design USA, “Coty to buy 60% of popular cosmetics and skin care ecommerce platform”. Retrieved January 18, 2017, from:

Utroske, D. (2016). Cosmetics Design USA, “L’Oréal pays over $1 billion to acquire Valeant skin care brands”.  Retrieved January 16, 2017, from

Utroske, D. (2016). Cosmetic Design USA, “Mary Kay’s new app helps sell beauty products and supports enterprising consultants”. Retrieved January 18, 2017, from:


Clear skin habits for going to the gym


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Women at the gym

At the beginning of each new year lots of people make resolutions.  Usually the number one on the list is to lose weight either by eating healthier or going to the gym.  If you are planning to become a “gym rat” there are things you should do to protect your skin from breakouts.

  1. Wear a headband because it will keep sweat from running down onto the face. Sweat on the scalp and hair can cause shampoo, conditioner, hair spray or gels to get onto the face and clog pores that can lead to breakouts.
  1. Wipe your face and skin with a clean towel. It is best to bring your own to the gym because towels offered at the gym may contain a high amount of chlorine bleach.  When wiping sweat away, be gentle on the skin and do not rub aggressively because it may cause micro tears in the skin.  It is also best to use a separate, softer towel on the face.  You do not want to wipe the face with the same towel that may have perspiration, deodorant or bacteria from the body.
  1. While working out, put your towel around your neck or belt rather than on the handle of a piece of equipment. You want to prevent cross contamination of germs.  Also be careful to keep your face away from yoga mats or unsanitized hands.
  1. Do not go to the gym right after a facial, chemical peel or exfoliation. The epidermis is  the body’s first line of defense against germs and any of these treatments may make your skin susceptible to germs.  Also raising the body’s core temperature is a contraindication to having a chemical peel.  Advise your skin care therapist if you are planning to go to the gym or swimming before you have a chemical peel.
  1. Be sure to cleanse your face and hands thoroughly after a gym workout. You want to remove germs from the hands if you use gym equipment and you want to remove salt and perspiration from the face.  This is especially important for ladies if you wear makeup.

Keep your New Year’s resolutions, but be smart and you can have healthy skin all year long.

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Donat, E. (2016). Multibriefs, “5 unsavory gym habits to avoid for clear skin”. Retrieved January 4, 2017, from:

Welche’s grape jelly comes to skin care!


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welchs-grape-jellyBlue Marble Biomaterials has announced it is teaming up with Welch’s to formulate fragrances and beauty products focusing on the antioxidizing properties of grapes and apples.

Blue Marble Biomaterials was founded in 2005 and makes esters, sulfur compounds, thioesters, extracts, oils carboxylic acids and terpenes which are used in skin care products. The company make these things from organic waste such as coffee, tea, wood, fruits, vegetables and algae. Blue Marble will use the matter leftover from Welch’s production of apple and grape juice. Yum!

The next time you look at product ingredients and they list apples and grapes, this could be where the manufacturer is getting their raw ingredients.

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Utroski, D. (2016). Cosmetic Design USA, “Welch’s and Blue Marble Biomaterials team up on fragrance and cosmetic ingredients”. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from:

What is Cryotherapy?


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cryotherapyWhen you hear the term cryotherapy what immediately comes to mind is deep freeze.  Traditionally, cryotherapy has been used to treat post-surgery patients or sports injuries.  This treatment is now being offered in wellness centers, doctors’ offices and even day spas.  Some facilities offer cryo-specific treatments while others offer whole-body treatments.

Cryotherapy was introduced in 1978 by Dr. Toshiba Yamaguchi to treat rheumatoid arthritis.  Celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Alba have been reported to use this treatment.

Full body treatments lasts up to 3 minutes inside a cryo-booth in temperatures of -170ºF to -256ºF.  Body treatments can cost $25-$65 per session.

Cryo-facials use liquid nitrogen on the face, scalp and neck with temperatures of -150ºF to -240ºF.  A session can be 6 to 10 minutes.  Cryo-facials are reported to stimulate production of collagen, decrease pore size, improve circulation, repair and brighten hyperpigmentation and approve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  A plus for women is this treatment can be performed without having to remove makeup first.  The cost can run $45 for one session or in packages of $200 for 5 treatments or $300 for 10 minutes.  This treatment does not provide permanent results and requires maintenance sessions.

Safety Concerns:

  • During a session in a cryo-booth, a client should never be left unattended because it may cause dizziness.
  • Blood pressure should be taken before every whole-body session.
  • Gloves and socks should be worn during whole-body sessions to prevent frostbite.
  • Women may have a whole-body session in the nude, but not male clients.
  • No alcohol consumption before a session because alcohol already constricts blood vessels.
  • Clients should not use a sauna, Jacuzzi or consume alcohol for at least six hours following a session. An exercise workout is preferred.


The Big Chill. (2016). Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa.

Spirulina – Green Food for healthy skin


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spirulinaWhen most people hear the word spirulina, the first thing that comes to mind is chlorophyll, because of its blue-green color.  Don’t be turned off by the color, spirulina has great health benefits internally and externally.

Spirulina has detoxifying, calming properties that are beneficial for skin health.  It also has essential amino acids (10 out of 12), vitamins and minerals which makes it great for all skin types.

Spirulina can also be taken as a supplement.  It has beta carotene (Vitamin A), superoxide dismutase and gamma linolenic acid, all of which act as antioxidants to protect the skin from free radicals and premature fine lines and wrinkles.  I have spirulina in my “green” drink every morning.  Add spirulina to your next smoothie, facial mask or cleanse.


Fedotova, E. (February, 2016). Les Nouvelles Esthetique & Spa, “Spirulina in the spa”, pp. 106-109.

Male Spas


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male-pedicureWant to entice more men into your spa or skin care practice?  Men’s Journal magazine recommends dropping the use of floral fragrances and adding services specifically for men.  Better yet, open a spa just for men.

Some spas have seen an increase in the number of male clients, as much as 40%.  Men are beginning to see the benefits of facials, body scrubs and a mani/pedi.  Massage is still their first choice of treatment, but they are willing to combine services (massage and a facial).

A big turnoff is the use of lavender.  Some spas have come up with creative treatments to entice men.  Here are some examples:

  • Timbers Resort in Vail (Colorado) – a foot soak in pale ale, while enjoying a beer
  • Four Seasons Punta Mita (Mexico) – a massage with tequila
  • Calistoga Ranch (California) – a bath soak with a local artisan’s beer
  • Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa (Florida) – a bourbon-based hand & foot treatment
  • Fairmount Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (California) – Turkish salt hand exfoliation

Are you ready to create treatments for male clients?

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Savacool, J. (2016.) Men’s Journal, “Less lavender, more beer: 7 spas designed for men”. Retrieved September 19, 2016, from:

Hand sanitizers under review by FDA


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hand sanitizer - 2The FDA announced they are reviewing the active ingredients in hand sanitizers and wipes.  They are doing this to verify the safety and efficacy of the ingredients.  Product manufacturers have been contacted and asked to supply the FDA with a list of their active ingredients.  Of course, manufacturers have one year to submit their information and review.

The reason for the review is to determine the frequency and long-term use as well as the absorption rate of the active ingredients.  The ingredients in question are: alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol), isopropyl alcohol and benzalkonium chloride.  The FDA want to see if the levels which are showing up in blood and urine are higher than anticipated.  They are also reviewing how effective the active ingredients are in reducing bacteria on the skin.

It would be interesting to see their findings because these ingredients are in other products that an individual may be using.  I hope they take this into consideration when they perform their tests.

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Utroske, D. (2016). Cosmetic Design, “FDA announces investigation of active ingredients in hand sanitizers and wipes”. Retrieved July 13, 2016, from:

Alcohol can rob your skin of vitality


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alcoholic beverageHave you awaken from a hangover and you went “YIKES” when you saw yourself in the mirror?  Alcohol not only plays havoc with your skin but also takes a toll on the body.  Consuming alcohol dehydrates the body by acting as a diuretic.  It makes you go to the bathroom more by forcing water from the body and also prevents the body from re-absorbing fluids.  Mixed drinks contain large amounts of salt and sugar which contributes to bloating and puffy eyes.

Studies have shown there is no correlation between consuming alcohol and the body’s inability to metabolize and absorb glucose or having lower levels of electrolytes.  An article in Scientific American explains the following happens in the body: After a person starts consuming an alcoholic drink, the liver begins its work using an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH).  ADH metabolizes the ethanol in alcoholic drinks into acetaldehyde, which is reported to be 10 to 30 times more toxic than the alcohol itself”.

The flushing, sweating, vomiting and nausea one experiences from a hangover is an even bigger concern because consuming alcohol could elevate the risk of skin cancer.  The intake of 12.8 grams of alcohol could increase the risk of skin cancer up to 22%.  Alcohol dilates blood vessels in the skin which causes blood to rush to the skin and is a trigger for Rosacea flare up.  Alcohol consumption also depletes the levels of Vitamin A in the body.  Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps with cellular turnover and fights free radicals.

If you want to enjoy a drink out with friends, after dinner or at the beach, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Drink plenty of water before consuming alcoholic beverages.  Green tea also works wonders because they help to prohibit the metabolism of alcohol.  You can also drink Sprite or 7-Up before going out because they contain taurine which might help to minimize a hangover.
  • To revive your skin the day after, gently exfoliate the skin to remove dead surface cells that can make your skin look dull and apply a hydrating moisturizer.
  • You may come in dragging after drinking all evening, but sleep on elevated pillows to drain excess fluid and reduce puffiness to the face. Cleanse the face with lukewarm water.  Hot water will cause more redness and deplete the skin of moisture.  If you get a chance, place tea bags over the eyes.  The tannins and caffeine from tea helps to constrict blood vessels, reduce swelling and draws water away from eye tissue.
  • If you do drink, vodka is better than dark liquors or red wine which contains resveratrol.
  • Eat while you consume alcohol because it will help slow the release of sugar.
  • Alternate drinking water with alcohol to lessen the effect of a hangover and it will help keep the body hydrated.

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Grabenhofer, R. (2016). Skin, Inc., “Hungover skin causes and cures”. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from:

Can dermal fillers be reversed?


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dermal fillerDid you get a dermal filler and felt you got too much and now don’t like it?  Can it be removed or reduced?  Before getting any kind of cosmetic procedure, it is important to know your options, dermal fillers are no exception.  You want to go into the procedure with realistic expectations.

Some dermal fillers can be reversed and others are permanent.  When discussing the procedure with your physician, ask about the ingredient components of the filler.  This will determine whether the procedure can be reversed.  Fillers that contain hyaluronic acid are reversible.  Hyaluronic acid is a sugar naturally found in the skin and around joints.  Dermal fillers with hyaluronic acid are manufactured in gel form which is injected into the skin.  It acts like a sponge, absorbs water and expands.  Fillers with hyaluronic acid are Belotero, Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm Voluma XC.  Vitrase is the enzyme that can be injected into the site to immediately reverse any negative effects.

Dermal fillers which contain poly L-lactic acid or are calcium-based are more permanent.  They are not life-long permanent, but cannot be immediately reversed.  Those products include Sculptra (poly L-lactic acid) and Radiesse (calcium-based).

Radiesse is a gel which is injected deep into the dermal tissue and is great for areas where there has been a significant loss of volume.  The product can last for a year or more, but there is no counteracting antidote.  Sculptra is a synthetic lactic acid gel.  The results of Sculptra reveal its effects over time, is not fully permanent and follow-up sessions may be necessary.  The effects can be absorbed and last about six months.  Lactic acid is naturally found in the body, but this is a synthetic product that does not have an effect-reversing antidote.

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Cavallaro, G. (2016). Charlotte’s Book, “Are dermal fillers reversible?” Retrieved July 11, 2016, from:

FDA links mercury poisoning to imported skin care and anti-aging products


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skin-light-mama-africa-natural-whitening-creamThe FDA has released an updated consumer report on skin care and anti-aging products imported or for global travelers who ship product to the U.S. for personal use or to resell.  They announced a direct link to mercury poisoning with these products.  There were no specific skin care lines or brand names mentioned in the release.  The FDA did say, however, “The products are usually marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes or wrinkles as well as acne treatments for adolescents”.  The products are being sold illegally in the U.S. and mostly found in shops that cater to the Latino, Asian, African or Middle Eastern communities.

Even though some of these products are marketed as cosmetics, they may be unapproved drugs.  Ingredients to be on the lookout for are: mercurous chloride, calomel, mercuric or mercurio.  These ingredients can pass the placental barrier and cause harm to the fetus or infant.  Be overly cautious of product labels that are missing or not in English.  Products manufactured in the countries listed above are not a part of the International Nomenclature of Ingredients (INCI).  Countries who are members of INCI use the same chemical terms for all ingredients used in products so they are recognized worldwide.  Also beware of products you purchase via apps, Craig’s List or eBay.

To read more in this topic, click on the following link:

Utroske, D. (2016). Cosmetic Design USA, “FDA links imported skin care and anti-aging products to mercury poisoning”. Retrieved August 1, 2016, from: