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Is Your BBQ Aging You?

Posted on June 13, 2016 at 7:50 PM

I recently came across this article Is Your BBQ Aging You? and wanted to share it, along with some Healthy Grilling Tips from the Association of Skin Care Professionals.

Healthy Grilling Tips

Summertime and grills go together like a hot dog and mustard. But could that hot dog actually be doing you harm? Alice Bender, registered dietician at the American Institute for Cancer, says that diets high in beef, pork, and lamb, as well as processed meats like hot dogs, are linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. She suggests that sticking with chicken and fish can "make this summer's backyard grilling both healthier and more flavorful." Use herbs and spices to amp up flavor, and try marinating for 30 minutes before you grill, which can reduce the amount of heterocyclic amines--the potentially cancer-causing compounds formed when grilling.

Here are some other tips to help reduce health risks associated with the grill:

Trim the Fat
Fat can increase smoke, which may contain carcinogens, so choose leaner meats and trim excess fat.

Don't Burn It
Charred, well-done meat can increase your risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study from the University of Minnesota.

But Cook It Through
Make sure that you hit the USDA recommendations for internal temperature, which can be found at

More Veggies!
Grilling vegetables does not create the same heterocyclic amines as grilling meats. Plus, veggies have less fat and cholesterol in general.

Keep it Clean
Don't let a charred mess build up on your grill, because it will eventually find it's way onto your food.

(Photo by © Rubysunday | / Article courtesy of Association of Skin Care Professionals)

What Is LED Therapy?

Posted on June 6, 2016 at 11:15 AM

As we embark into June, one of the most common questions that I am asked as a skin care professional is, "Do facials really work?" My answer: Yes. Of course she's going to say yes, you're thinking. I mean, I want to sell my services, right? That's true, however, anyone who has come to see me at my skin care studio knows that I am not pushy with product sales or even my services. One of the main reasons that I opened my own skin care studio was so that I could create a comfortable space for my clients to receive professional skin care treatments and waxing services without having to worry about the product pushing pitches given at other waxing salons.

My point -- Yes, facials do "work." I like to break the aftermath of a facial in four seperate parts. The life cycle of a facial is as follows:

Part 1. Immediately Afterward - Your skin radiates a healthy glow.

Part 2. 48 - 72 Hours Later - Skin is hydrated as circulation has been boosted.

Part 3. 28 - 48 Days - Cells regenerate and the long-term benefits of the facial kick in.

Part 4. 4 - 6 Weeks - Time to schedule your next appointment to remove dead skin cells and rid the skin of impurities.

In addition to a variety of facials, I also offer a service called LED Therapy. Clients ask me what it is, and I chose an article from the Association of Skin Care Professionals to share with you, explaining in depth what it is and how it can help you acheive your ultimate skin care goals.

What Is LED Therapy?

By Carrie Patrick

LED therapy is a skin care treatment that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) of various colors, normally red, blue, and infrared, to maintain healthy skin. LEDs produce a low-powered glowing light, which is positioned to shine onto the face or other area being treated. No heat is produced by the LEDs, and it should not be confused with laser therapy.

The skin benefits of different colors of LED light have been identif ied through a broad array of studies. The most often cited study is the Whelan study, published in 2001 by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, which found that LED light helped speed up wound healing.

Red light is most often used for general skin improvement and to reduce the visible signs of aging. Blue light has been shown to destroy acne bacteria. Infrared light may have beneficial effects on the skin's natural supply of collagen and elastin, which are responsible for maintaining skin firmness and resilience. A series of regular treatments will provide the best results.

What Can I Expect?

No special preparation is necessary. Simply arrive to your appointment on time, relax, and enjoy the treatment. Your skin care professional will cleanse your skin and may also apply a serum or other facial products to enhance the benefits of your session, depending on your goals and the range of treatments offered.

The LED device will be positioned on your skin, or up to a few inches away. Your eyes will be covered so that the light does not bother you. Relax and rest while the glow of the LEDs bathes your skin.

Typically, no sensation is felt. Some people may feel a slight tingling, or see flashes in their vision temporarily as a result of having a light source close to their face. Keeping your eyes closed and covered during the treatment will help avo id this.

(Article and photo courtesey of Association of Skin Care Professionals)

Finding The Right Sunscreen For You: Cut Through The Hype And Find What Works For You

Posted on May 30, 2016 at 8:30 AM

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States each year. There are more than 2,000 over-the-counter sunscreen formulas on the market today. How can you tell which sunscreens are the safest, most effective, and represent the best value for your money? In most cases, the answer comes down to the difference between the two types of filtering ingredients.

Chemical or Physical? The UV radiation in sunlight consists of UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C rays. UV-A and UV-B are both responsible for photoaging, skin cancer, sunburn, tanning, and wrinkling. UV-C is not a factor in skin health, as it is absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere and does not reach us in significant amounts. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UV-A and UV-B. This protection can work in one of two ways: chemical or physical.

Chemical UV FiltersWork by absorbing UV radiation; Require application 30 minutes before sun exposure; Provide partial protection from UV spectrum; May irritate the skin and eyes; Not regulated for safety by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)--some may even be carcinogenic; Not photostable (exposure to sunlight degrades effectiveness); Avobenzone is the most commonly used chemical filter ingredients.

Physical UV FiltersWork by reflecting UV radiation; Start protecting immediately upon use; Provide full broad-spectrum protection; Non-irritating to skin and eyes; Safe, as particles do not penetrate the skin; Highly photostable (exposure to sunlight does not change effectiveness).

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the most commonly used physical filter ingredients. Clothing and shade structures also count as physical filters.

How Stable Is It? One of the most important factors in the effectiveness of a sunscreen formula is also one of the least known to the general public. Photostability is an ingredient's ability to remain effective after exposure to sunlight. Many people are aware that this is an issue for numerous skin care ingredients, but may be surprised to learn that some active ingredients in sunscreen--a product whose sole purpose involves being exposed to sunlight--are not photostable. In addition, the FDA's new rules do not require sunscreen ingredients to be tested for photostability. Yet, many consumers expect that their sunscreen will protect them for longer than one hour.

Physical filters such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are photostable. Studies have shown that these ingredients suffer no degradation after more than two hours of sun exposure. However, the chemical filter avobenzone is not at all photostable, and degrades almost completely in less than one hour. Even worse, avobenzone also degrades on contact with other UV filters such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and with metal ions such as iron oxide, which is commonly found in makeup. This goes a long way toward explaining why many consumers experience sunburn even after applying sunscreen as directed.

Health ConcernsEffectiveness is not the only thing to consider in any product being applied to the face or body. Significant health concerns have also been raised about many sunscreen ingredients. Here are some issues to consider.

Avobenzone has been found to generate free radicals beyond acceptable safety levels after sitting on the skin for just one hour, and children and pregnant women have been advised not to use products containing it.

Octocrylene, which is known to act as an endocrine disrupter, is used in many sunscreens as a stabilizer. It can also cause skin irritation. According to the Archives of Dermatology, "Octocrylene appears to be a strong allergen leading to contact dermatitis in children and mostly photoallergic contact dermatitis in adults."

Chemical UV filters can also have harmful effects on the environment. Octocrylene does not seem to be effectively contained in wastewater treatment plants, and studies in Switzerland have indicated that it accumulates in fish. Oxybenzone, a chemical UV-B filter often used in combination with avobenzone, has been found to negatively impact reef ecosystems and biodiversity.

Physical UV filters, in contrast, have an excellent safety profile. The FDA has long considered zinc oxide to be a safe ingredient for both external use and as a food additive, even in infant formula.

Considering all these factors, physical UV blockers represent the best choice overall. The main challenge in getting consumers to use sunscreens based on physical filters is purely cosmetic: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide tend to feel thick and greasy, and are visible on the skin, leaving a white residue. However, new advances mean there are now an increasing number of sunscreens that use these ingredients in formulations that allow for clear application.

When evaluating a sunscreen, the most important considerations should be safety and effectiveness. Carefully examine the ingredients and make use of all available information to make the best choices for yourself and your family.

(Article by Jason Barbaria, director of marketing at Dermagenics, a skin care line that includes sunscreen, cleansers, and moisturizers. Article courtesey of Association of Skin Care Professionals)


Spotting Skin Conditions

Posted on April 20, 2016 at 3:35 PM

Being aware of the first signs of skin conditions will help you know when it's time to visit a doctor. Here is a short refresher on five of the most important signs you might see.

1. Butterfly Rash
This is a facial rash characterized by its shape: the middle part of the butterfly is on the bridge of the nose, with "wings" extending onto the cheeks. "It can signify a range of diseases, from milder conditions like rosacea, significant acne, eczema, and psoriasis, all the way to serious autoimmune connective tissue disorders such as lupus," says Joseph Jorizzo, MD, professor and founding chair of the dermatology department at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Salem, North Carolina.

2. Infections
"Look for any sign of infection, such as a cold sore, which is characterized by a painful bump or blister on the face or nose," says Jill Weinstein, MD, clinical instructor of dermatology at Northwestern University in Chicago. "This may be caused by herpes simplex." Both viral and bacterial infections may appear as pustules, or tender lesions. They can sometimes look like acne, but may also be bigger or more isolated than a pimple, Weinstein says.

3. Patchy Hair
Be alert for round, patchy areas of hair loss, which can be a sign of an autoimmune disease called alopecia areata, Jorizzo says. "Alopecia is associated with thyroid disease, but it can also be upsetting to the patient in and of itself," Jorizzo explains. "Prognosis is very good if there is just one little circle, but if they lose their eyebrows or eyelashes, or if it goes around the bottom of the scalp, the condition is likely to be more chronic."

4. Symptoms on the Nails
Nails may also offer evidence of a medical condition. "Signs on the nails include a condition called clubbing, where there's body under the cuticle that changes the angle of the nail, so that it's like an upside down V," Jorizzo says. Clubbing is sometimes accompanied by edema, and the cuticle area may feel wet. It can be a symptom of several lung conditions, ranging from chronic bronchitis to lung cancer.

Pits in the nails can be a sign of arthritis or psoriasis. Pits resemble a mere dent, perhaps 1 millimeter across. Jorizzo explains, "In psoriasis, the outer layers of skin turn over very quickly, and when they come from under the cuticle, little patches fall off, so you get a pit."

Finally, a single dark black streak in the nail that comes up on to the cuticle can be a sign of melanoma.

5. Skin Cancer
The most common source of skin cancer deaths is melanoma, which may be identified using the ABCDE criteria:

Asymmetry. The mole is an unusual shape, not round.
Border Irregularity. The edges of the mole may be jagged, scalloped, or wavy, or very sharp in one area.
Color. The mole shows variation in color from one area to another. There may be multiple shades of tan, brown, black, white, blue, or red.
Diameter. The mole is greater than 6 millimeters in diameter.
Evolving. The mole is new, or an existing mole has changed in size, shape, or color.

A more informal method of spotting a suspicious mole is called the Ugly Duckling Test: when a mole just seems to catch your attention for some reason. "The classic example is when someone has one thing on them that just doesn't look like any other spot on their body," explains Elizabeth Quigley, MD, a physician in the dermatology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New Jersey. "Let's say they have many black moles, but one brown mole. Or most of their moles are round and small, but they have one that is big and a different shape. That should be evaluated by a physician."

The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. There are also some less common varieties that have different symptoms. "Basal cell carcinoma often presents in the form of shiny or pearly bumps, which patients think are pimples," says Quigley. If the lesion has been there for six months, and sometimes bleeds, that's a warning sign that it is not a pimple.

Squamous cell carcinoma, responsible for about 20 percent of all skin cancer deaths, has symptoms that are quite different from those of melanoma. "Squamous cell carcinoma can present as firm bumps, scaly patches, or ulcers that don't get better. The skin is red and the scale is the kind that doesn't go away with moisturizer," Quigley says. "It's different from just dry skin, and the scale is usually thicker." She says squamous cells don't rub off like normal dry skin, and the scaly patch may bleed if it is removed by pulling or picking.

Keep in mind that these are only guidelines, and you should have any concerns checked out by a qualified health-care professional. Knowing the warning signs can be valuable, but nothing replaces a doctor's expertise. 

(Article By John Otrompke, Courtesy of The Association of Skin Care Professionals.vJohn Otrompke is a health-care writer and consultant. / Photo courtesy of ASCP)

Banned: Microbeads

Posted on January 8, 2016 at 10:40 PM

According to Skin Inc, President Barack Obama signed a U.S. Senate approved bill to ban the manufacturing of microbeads in facial scrubs. This new law will take place on July 1, 2017, begining with prohbiting the production of products that include these tiny plastic beads.

Congress believes that the microbeads cause big time pollution. Fish often mistake non-biodegradable plastic microbeads for food and eat them, resulting in toxins further up the food chain.

California has already instituted legislation to ban microbeads prior to the nationwide ban, as well as several companies planning to eliminate the microbeads in their products such as: Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive and L'Oréal. 

Honestly, I can't say that I am surprised. I haven't used a cleanser or exfoliant that has contained microbeads since BEFORE I became an esthetician. After taking classes and experiencing the wonderful results of fruit and plant based skin care products, a product containing hundreds synthetic balls of plastic to exfoliate my face and body just seemed so wrong.

When I am performing a facial, my clients are always asking what that wonderful exfoliant is that I used. I have used a variety of natural exfoliants, including products containing rice, oatmeal, sea salt, etc. Never a plastic bead.

Below are a few of my favorite Skin Script RX:

Retinol 2% Exfoliating Scrub

For all skin types. This scrub exfoliates while brightening to promote a clear, healthy skin tone. Jojoba beads provide the physical exfoliation component of the product. They gently buff away dead surface debris and leave behind jojoba esters, which are a moisture retaining component of natural skin sebum. Kojic acid lightens skin discolorations, slows the production of melanin, and assists in maintaining desired skin coloration after aggressive depigmentation treatments. Retinol dissolves keratinization, resurfaces and smoothes the skin, and stimulates collagen production to improve skin quality and youthfulness. Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon), an astringent that purifies, tones, and brightens the skin. It also promotes taught, toned skin tissue. Malic Acid (L) enhances desquamation of the stratum corneum and improves the appearance of the skin. And, Zanthoxylum Americanum (Prickly Ash) Bark Extract encourages healthy circulation and provides gentle stimulant properties to promote healthy oxygenation. It is also anti-inflammatory.

Retinol 2% Exfoliating Scrub Benefits:

  • Resurfaces and refines the skin
  • Lessens visible aging
  • Brightens skin discolorations
  • Provides chemical and physical exfoliation
  • Enhances cellular turnover
  • Assists in skin rejuvenation

Raspberry Refining Scrub Polish

Polish and energize the skin with the antioxidants raspberry and marionberry which will brighten skin and provide anti-inflammatory-like benefits to soothe skin irritations. Jojoba beads and blue corn meal gently exfoliate to remove surface build-up provides physical exfoliation while exfoliating and lightening ingredients work in tandem to promote a clear, healthy skin tone.

Raspberry Refining Scrub Benefits:

  • Polishes and refines the skin 
  • Anti-inflammatory-like benefits 
  • Brightens skin discolorations

So, next time you're getting a facial, whether it's from myself or another skin care professional, you should always feel comfortable to ask what the ingredients are that are in the products that they're using. A good skin care professional can at least name a few of the ingredients and the benefits of them. And if they contain microbeads, you might want to remind them that they are getting banned very soon.

(Photo by © Photographerlondon |

JANUARY FACIAL: Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Facial

Posted on December 31, 2015 at 7:30 PM

Confection connoisseurs will enjoy the scents of coconut and chocolate in this facial. Coconut and papaya enzymes dissolve dead skin cells revealing healthy, soft skin. Cocoa, glycerin and squalane are excellent emollients, lubricants and humectants to draw moisture to dry, flaky skin. Vitamin E is an excellent anti-aging antioxidant.

Coconut/Papaya Enzyme
: Coconut and papaya enzymes dissolve dead skin cells revealing healthy soft skin. The small molecular structure of coconut allows for easy absorption through the skin giving it a soft, smooth texture. Ideal for dry, rough and wrinkled skin.

Dark Chocolate Mint Mask: Cocoa, glycerin and squalane are excellent emollients, lubricants and humectants to draw moisture to dry, flaky skin. Vitamin E is an excellent anti-aging antioxidant.

Come visit Glow in January and treat yourself to an amazing Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaron Facial!

Younique Product Tutorial: Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+

Posted on December 25, 2015 at 8:05 AM

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I have had several inquiries about the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+, and wanted to share this tutorial on how to apply the lashes in three simple steps. 

What I love about this product is that you get the effect of wearing lash extensions, without the commitment. You can apply the fiber lashes for the day, and then wash them off with the rest of your make-up in the evening. Plus, instead of spending hundreds of dollars getting the extensions put on and then having them filled each month, these lashes are ONLY $29!

Where can you purchase them? From me!

Please visit my Younique Online Shop Laura @ Glow Skin Therapy



To Tint Or Not To Tint? That Is the Question

Posted on May 10, 2015 at 11:40 PM

One of the most popular services that I offer at my skin care studio is eyebrow tinting. Though it's been around for a while, the service is still new to lots of clients.

What can eyebrow tinting do for you?

It's amazing what a difference a nice pair of shapely eyebrows can make to the structure of the face. Having neat, defined eyebrows frames the eyes, boosts facial symmetry and creates an attractive high-contrast look. Pale, translucent hairs can make the eyebrows look thin and straggly. Tinting these hairs could reveal a neat, shapely brow you never even knew was there. Even though the thickness and denseness of your eyebrow hair can of course not be changed in the tinting session alone, the darker colour will make them appear naturally thicker.

The entire service is simple and usually only takes between 20-30 minutes. Usually I perform a short consultation with my client to discuss what shade of color they think would be best for their skin tone and natural hair color. Next, I cleanse the area and protect the skin with petroleum jelly. This prevents the brow dye from getting on the skin, though, because we are tinting the hairs, the dye will get on the skin. Next, I add the dye on the brows and allow it to process for a few minutes. For a more natural look it takes only 2 minutes. For a darker, more drastic look I allow it to process for 3-5 minutes. Afterwards, I rinse the dye with warm water and remove excess dye around the skin with dye remover.  

Eyebrow tint is described as semi-permanent dye not because the colour fades, but because eyebrow hairs have a very short growth cycle. Eyebrow hairs tend to fall out within 6-8 weeks, taking the tint with them. I usually suggest to my clients to avoid washing around the eyebrow area the first few days after the service. This allows the dye to settle and should last for at least 4 weeks.

At Glow Skin Therapy I offer a single eyebrow tint service for $20 or and eyebrow tint and wax package for $30.

(Photo credit: © Diawka | - Woman Brushing Eyebrows With Makeup Brush Photo)

After You Leave The Wax Studio -- Underarm Waxing

Posted on April 22, 2015 at 12:35 AM

One thing that I'm commonly asked while performing waxing services is "What should I do for after care?" There are quite a few tips and tricks that I mention: exfoliating, waiting to exercise, waiting to shower, etc. There are lots of things that you can do to try to prevent ingrown hairs, but sometimes it's inecitable, no matter on what one does.Today, I want to focus on what to do after you leave my wax studio for underarms.

I had a client in my waxing room who had never waxed her underarms before. She came into my waxing studio with long, coarse underarm hair. If I had to exstimate, I'd say that it was at least three weeks worth of growth (which by the way is PERFECT for a first time wax). I asked her what she'd been doing for hair removal. I've heard it all from shaving, tweezing, chemical depilitories, and even those expensive gadgets that you see on infomercials at 2 a.m. When my client told me that she'd been shaving, I wasn't surprised.

After I waxed her, she asked me what I think she should do after waxing, especially since she felt a bit sore. (It's normal!)

1. Exfoliate your underarms at least 3-4 times per week. I'd wait at least 24 hours after the waxing service to start this. because doing so too soon could cause irritation. Exfoliation helps keep the hair follicles open, preventing ingrown hairs and those annoying little red bumps from forming. I suggest using a natural loofa sponge and 1 tbs olive oil and 1/2 tbs sea salt.

2. Wear loose clothing. The best thing to wear after getting your underarms waxed is a tank top or cotton t-shirt. Wearing clothing that is too tight could rub against the area and cause irritation.

3. Avoid applying deodorants, anti-perspirants, perfumes or talcum powder on the waxed area. Sometimes these things irritate the skin and can also clog the open hair follicles. Clogged hair follicles can form as red bumps or blackheads.

4. Apply an aloe gel or hydrocortizone creme to the area. I always put on a post-waxing serum on my clients after I wax them. If the area still feels uncomfortable after the service (which is very rare), I suggest applying a cooling aloe gel or 1% hydrozortizone creme. This will soothe the area.

5. Don't exercise. Sometimes I have clients that see me after work, and are planning to go to the gym after their service. This is something that I do not suggest doing right away. I usually suggest waiting at least two hours after waxing service to exercise, because sweating and rubbing of the skin will cause irritation to the skin.

I hope these tips help you prepare for caring for your next waxing experience!

(Photo credit: © Bialasiewicz | - Woman Showing Her Armpit Photo)

Waxing vs Shaving -- A Quick Look At The Pros And Cons

Posted on March 29, 2015 at 10:45 PM

I'd say about 95% of my new clients come to me after coming off of shaving, wanting to commit to waxing. Of course, as an esthetician, I am going to tell you why I believe in waxing exclusively. I don't even own a razor anymore! However, I know that there's still a few of you out there, avoiding to make that phone call to me because you're just not quite sure, right?

Here's a quick look at the pros and cons of waxing and shaving:

Professional Waxing
How it works: Warm wax is applied to the area and removed in the opposite direction of the hair growth, pulling hairs out at the root.

Best for: All body parts.

Pros: Temporarily removes hair at the root for an average of around three weeks of smooth skin (two to five weeks depending on your hair type/thickness).

Cons: Waxing needs some regrowth in order to be effective, as the wax needs at least 1/4-inch of stubble to adhere to. Treatments can be moderately painful, as hair is being ripped out at the root, but become more tolerable over time. Waxing can also lead to ingrown hairs, however there are home care methods that you can do to prevent this problem.

Cost: Anywhere from $10-65 at Glow Skin Therapy, depending on areas waxed. Prices vary at other waxing shops.

Tip: Don’t drink and wax. Some people come in after consuming alcohol thinking it’ll ease the pain, but alcohol tightens pores, making it much more painful. Stimulants such as coffee can also increase sensitivity.


How it works: Removes hair at the skin’s surface by cutting it off with a razor.

Best for: Legs, underarms and those with fine, lighter hair.

Pros: Inexpensive, painless, quick and easy, and shaving creams used can help moisturize the skin, keeping it soft.

Cons: Regrowth happens quickly, and since hair is cut off at the surface, regrowing hair is blunt, not tapered, so it can appear thicker. Razor burn, nicks and cuts can happen. And regular shavers can also be prone to ingrown hairs.

Cost: Razors and shaving cream can be inexpensively purchased at any grocery or drugstore. Today’s razors, such as Schick’s new Intuition Pure Nourishment ($9.59,, also contain moisturizing strips that help nourish the skin and lather as you shave for a smoother, easier, one-step shaving experience.

Tip: For those who can’t quit their shaving habit, “growth reduction” products promise to help inhibit hair regrowth and thus reduce the frequency of shaving required.

(Photo credit: © Gpointstudio | - Shaving Legs Photo)