When considering the idea of holistic skincare, I think we can all agree that the definition is subjective. In some schools of thought, holistic skincare is thought of as simply using natural products and avoiding invasive treatments to improve the appearance of the skin. In my bestselling book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, I define holistic skincare as “treating the skin from the inside out and outside in using nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices, in addition to high-quality, natural skincare products to nourish and protect the skin.” I want to add my thoughts regarding technologies such as nanocurrent or microcurrent as well, because there are holistic aestheticians who do not believe in the usage of devices of any kind for the skin.
In my practice, I don’t mind the use of non-invasive (meaning they do not break the skin or remove layers of the skin) treatments that utilize technology such as LED, ultrasound, and certain currents (I do prefer bioidentical currents, which mimic ones naturally produced by the body) as a support to other holistic measures such as a whole foods-based diet, positive mindset, healthy lifestyle choices, and a natural (preferably handmade) skincare regimen. I do NOT support the usage of any device, treatment, or technology to REPLACE the aforementioned holistic measures. So all that being said, I recently learned about nanocurrent technology for the skin at the recent International Congress of Esthetics and Spa show in Philadelphia (where I was a speaker), from my friend and colleague, Jaclyn Peresetsky. Jaclyn was this year’s Congress host, and speaker and is also the CEO of Skin Perfect Clinic, Colore Me Perfect custom mineral makeup, and was the first US distributor of the NanoFace Pro nanocurrent device. The device is now available exclusively to licensed practitioners. I recently had the opportunity to interview Jaclyn for an episode of The Rachael Pontillo Show, where we definitely talked about nanocurrent, in addition to other therapies such as microcurrent and LED.
Watch my interview with Jaclyn Peresetsky below:
Click HERE to download the audio version of this episode free on my iTunes channel (and subscribe while you’re at it!)
What I especially loved about this interview was that Jaclyn brought up a subject that’s very near and dear to me–the “why” behind skincare in general. We also got really real, just as women and moms (around the 19 minute mark) about the struggles we face as women and moms–and that no matter what your role is in your personal life and professional career, it so important to not play the comparison game! There’s always going to be someone out there who appears to have it all together, whether she’s another mom, a successful entrepreneur, or a beauty expert you see on TV or YouTube. I mention the quote “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.” It’s so true.
Jaclyn and I also came up with our own quote together:
“When we use beauty products and devices to try to look our best and be our best selves, there are underlying reasons that drive us to do that. We have to give those reasons love, just as much as we have to give our skin love.” (Click HERE to tweet that!)
About Jaclyn Peresetsky:
Jaclyn Peresetsky is not only the owner of Skin Perfect Spas in Ohio and Florida, but she is also a noted color expert, makeup artist, master aesthetician, author and speaker. Her multiple books, cosmetic and skincare lines, and training courses allow other beauty pros to learn and add more services combining art and science to become leading beauty experts.
Committed to continuous education, Jaclyn travels the world to learn of new techniques and product lines for skin care and makeup as well as doing speaking events and news segments. Jaclyn’s best accomplishments are hearing her skincare clients swell with confidence as they tell her stories of the compliments they receive about their skin and how happy they are with their results. Through these strong and heart felt connections grows her drive to keep pushing for the best skincare products and treatments for the spa’s clients. She attributes much of her success to her amazing Skin Perfect team (who I’ve also had the pleasure to meet, and yes–they are wonderful) and her cherished spa clients.
Would you use nanocurrent for your skin?
What are your thoughts on using devices to complement your holistic skincare routine in general? Sound off in the comments!
If you’re an avid skincare maker or consumer of small batch, artisan skincare products, I’m guessing that you’ve heard of ultraviolet glass bottles. This is a special type of glass that many natural formulators use to maintain the integrity of their products. Though it’s really violet in color, it appears black, and it’s become the preferred packaging for many of my students and colleagues.
Ready for me to say something shocking about how Miron violet glass actually doesn’t work how you think it does? I’m not going to–well not totally. I actually use the glass myself for many of my products because I believe it is the best quality packaging out there for helping to keep products fresh and pure. I don’t use it for everything, because it can be pricey–but for my clients who reuse their bottles and for my own household personally, I do think it’s worth the investment.
Naturally, I’m always interested to read what the skincare bloggers and formulators have to say about this packaging’s potential.
But through the years I haven’t seen many articles out there that:
Go into the science/mechanism through which this glass works for preservation
Talk about the limits of ultraviolet glass. Specifically, can formulators use fewer preservatives if they are packaging in Miron. How much less?
So to help me demystify the science behind the glass, my friends at Infinity Jars provided me with the research behind their claims of how their UV glass bottles keep natural products and ingredients fresher, longer. They also sent me a nice assortment of their glass cosmetic bottles and screw top jars to use myself–thanks Infinity Jars! Here’s what I learned:
Ultraviolet glass bottles and UV rays
When we expose something to light, it reacts — it allows living plants to grow, it causes dead plants to wither. Light fades our wood decks and wrinkles our skin over time. It’s just as degrading as it is life-giving.
Clear glass (and some other types of glass) allows light in the visible spectrum to penetrate through, causing products to degrade more quickly and encouraging microbial growth.
Here’s where violet glass is different: it filters out light in the visible spectrum, letting in only UV light (UVA and UVB) and infrared.
The absence of visible light helps the product resist degradation, increasing a product’s shelf life.
But that’s just the first piece. While violet glass filters out visible light, it selectively lets in UVA and UVB rays, which actually suppress microbial growth. Many formulators use violet glass (also referred to as Miron glass) because it allows them to use fewer preservatives and antimicrobial ingredients in some types of products, while still maintaining freshness.
So let’s get a few things straight.
Violet glass vs. Amber
As previously mentioned, when you put a product into clear glass, you’re exposing it to light. As we know, light makes plants grow and speeds up the decay process in plants that have reached maturity. So, plant-based products packaged in clear glass are going to experience these visible light effects. Colored glasses, on the other hand (such as amber or cobalt blue), are particular in which types of light they let in.
There’s a big distinction here: amber glass blocks UVB and UVA rays and lets in light in the visible spectrum, whereas violet glass blocks visible light and lets in bacteria-killing UVA and UVB. Both types of glass let in infrared rays.
Ever noticed that beer and kombucha are often packaged in amber glass? Whereas violet glass selectively lets in UVA and UVB rays, amber glass blocks them. Because microbial activity makes beer and kombucha what they are, you actually don’t want to suppress microbial growth. So choosing amber glass for these products helps to block out UV rays and maintain desired fermentation.
For a clear illustration of how these different glasses allow and filter different forms of light, check out the illustrations on page 4 of this document.
The Power of UV
Knowing that the main mechanism of violet glass, championed by the company Miron, is that it selectively lets in light in the UV spectrum, I wanted to look at a few studies that show the effects of UV light on microbial activity.
I spoke with the company Infinity Jars, who pointed me towards some research in UV light being used to combat bacteria in dental applications. According to the Technical University of Denmark, there are multiple bacteria that come together in what is called a biofilm and infect an inflamed tooth root. (Just in case you weren’t already dreading your next visit to Dr. Smiley.) These bacteria have proven difficult to treat through antibiotics, and thus the dental industry is keen on finding and using alternative treatments.
Researchers at the aforementioned DTU experimented with different light wavelengths to eradicate these persistent bacteria and found that UVB was the most effective.
Similarly, the storage of injectable medical fluids (like blood) is a place where UV light can be helpful in staving off microbial growth. When chemicals are added for preservation, they may affect the way the patient receives them. An article in the Journal of Transfusion in 2016 looked at the effect of UV light on bacteria growth in blood plasma and found that UV light at 405 nm was effective in maintaining sterility. This could have huge implications for the way blood is stored and used medically.
And for us, it gives weight to the claims that storing your homemade, organic skincare products in a violet glass bottle could preserve its integrity without the use of excess preservatives.
But truthfully, I’m pro preservative
As a formulator and educator, I advocate for using natural, broad spectrum preservation systems to preserve aqueous products. If you’re making something with water, you must use ingredients that naturally suppress the growth of microbes. Because, although light contributes to the growth of unwanted bacteria or mold, it’s not the only factor, and there are so many variables with product formulation, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Further, the studies I mentioned applied UV light directly to target bacteria, rather than violet glass. There isn’t a lot of research (or any, as far as I’ve found) that tells us how strong the antibacterial effect of violet glass is, and whether we can omit preservatives altogether, or use a different type or lower concentration.
As organic skincare formulators, we want to get to the point where we can quantify with certainty how much preservative we should add to our products, depending on ingredients, manufacturing practices, packaging, and other factors. Put differently, the goal for some may be to test the limits of how little preservative they can use without sacrificing the safety and stability of their product. This can only be determined through proper testing.
Ultraviolet glass bottles are a great option
What I will say is that if you’re making an aqueous organic product and want to give it shelf life, Miron or Infinity glass is the best thing you can store it in. The benefits of the glass can only benefit your product.
If you make anhydrous products–products that do not contain water such as facial oils, balms, butters, salves, scrubs, etc–or sell dry herb or tea blends, then we can confidently say that ultraviolet glass bottles will give your ingredients and products the best shelf life. If your customers reuse their glass and resonate with top quality, then glass bottles from Infinity Jars might be a great option for you.
However, if you sell your product and your customer is price conscious, ultraviolet glass bottles might not be a feasible option for you.
Ready to take the plunge and get serious about making your own skin care? I’m here to take away the mystery and help you feel confident in creating products that will make your skin (or your client’s skin) beautiful.
Click HERE to learn more about my course, Create Your Skincare.
Oh and by the way, Infinity Jars offers my Create Your Skincare students an exclusive discount on their screw top jars and glass cosmetic bottles in a variety of shapes and sizes!
Click here to learn more about Infinity Jars and purchase them.
Kettlebell Bombshell, Lisa Balash and I with our awesome event sign
I just got back from the Mecca of the holistic health and wellness industry–Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA. I spoke and did a book signing at the east coast version of this show in Baltimore last fall, which was AMAZING–but this show was just unreal. It was like Expo East on steroids…that is, an all-natural drug-free version of steroids 🙂 I was extremely fortunate and am very grateful to NeoCell for giving me the opportunity to attend, speak at, and sign books at this incredible event. I know not everyone who wanted to go had the opportunity to go so I thought I’d share some of my experience and photos with you.
By the way, I put a larger assortment of photos on my Facebook page, and I know my friends Steph Hendel, Lisa Balash, and of course NeoCell have lots of great photos on their pages too. So enjoy this recap and stick with me to the end because I’m doing a giveaway and the details are at the end of this post.
It was like pilgrims flocking to their holy shrine…
First of all the Anaheim Convention Center is the biggest convention center I’ve ever seen…and there were just people everywhere enjoying the outdoor sample tents and gourmet food trucks lining the streets before even entering the show. Everywhere I looked I saw excited people and vendors giving out goodies. The weather was beautiful–clear skies and warm–but not hot–weather–although it was a bit freezing in most of the exhibit halls. Because of this the exhibitors who were sampling hot tea, soup, and other warm foods had quite a crowd.
There were 5+ exhibit halls filled with 2600+ exhibitors and more 67,000+ attendees. I was there as NeoCell‘s Beauty Brand Ambassador (which I was given a shiny award for!), and I also gave a talk called “Love Your NeoCell Skin” and gave away signed copies of my bestselling book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself.
Giving my #LoveYourNeoCellSkin talk at the booth
I also got to talk about the benefits of collagen, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and other nutrients to curious NeoCell booth visitors, and had the pleasure of listening to truly amazing stories of how these products have improved lives. Many people associate the use of collagen and other nutriceutical ingredients with superficial goals like smoother, plumper, firmer skin (and there’s NOTHING wrong with that!) but truly, the difference the products made to people with joint and muscle issues, eye health issues, and thinning hair due to certain health conditions and medical treatments was inspiring. NeoCell also presented the charity Vitamin Angels with a donation of $192,000.00 which was much appreciated! Vitamin Angels is a wonderful national and international organization that provides at-risk individuals and families with life-saving and life-changing vitamins and minerals.
On this trip to Expo West, I also had a different mission–to truly focus on gratitude and blessings.
The experiment is called: “The Dude Abides: There is an Invisible Energy Force or Field of Infinite Possibilities,” and the task is to simply ask this force/field/source/light/God/whatever word you like to use to give a blessing–and to make it clear so you KNOW it’s the one–within 48 hours. And you can’t just sit idly back or play on your phone all day waiting for the blessing to come–Grout says you have to actually look for it in the same way you’d look for lost car keys when you’re running late–under cushions, in drawers, closets, everywhere–because you expect the keys are there somewhere–they didn’t just vanish. Don’t you usually find the keys? Of course you do–because they’re real–they were just somewhere you weren’t looking.
Lisa, Steph and I having some fun and enjoying some Enlightened Ice Cream while on the hunt for our blessings.
Well Lisa, Steph and I decided to give it a go and we began to look for blessings everywhere at the show–on the floor, in the booths, in the crowd, etc–and we found many. Each time, we asked each other “Is this my blessing?” We agreed that yes, it was a blessing…but was it the blessing? Well we both received our blessings–and both times we knew it it was the blessing with every sense of our beings. But we also realized that on those two days we received more than our share of wonderful blessings and had we not looked for them, we likely would not have received them. Which of course got us thinking…what if we looked for blessings–and gave thanks for them–on a daily basis? Aha! Well done, Pam Grout.
Expressing gratitude for blessings received…as well as those which have yet to manifest is important, and one of the ways I like to do that is to give.
So I decided to do a big giveaway of some of the amazing natural products from NeoCell and other natural product companies I brought home from the show. And I brought home a lot…enough to add 20 lbs of weight to my suitcase! Here’s a sampling of what I brought home–some of which isn’t even available in stores yet!
I already gave away not one but THREE sample prize packs to my email subscribers last night. I send them an email, similar to this post, about the show and said that the first three to respond to the email would win. Guess how long it took for me to give away three prizes? A whopping 30 seconds. And after that I was flooded with enthusiastic emails not just from those who wanted to win a prize, but from those who simply wanted to express how much they value my emails and share their own passions for holistic skincare, health, wellness, and natural products. THAT was a beautiful blessing, for which I’m incredibly grateful!
Grateful for my Best Beauty Ambassador Award from NeoCell! Lisa won for Best Fitness Ambassador.
The subscriber-only giveaway is over, but I wanted to give more goodies away too–so I decided to do a public giveaway with only one prize–and this one’s happening on my Facebook page. We’re going to do another “Like, Guess, and Share” contest–to enter, all you have to do is Like the Holistically Haute Facebook page, Guess which single NeoCell product I recommend the most to my clients, and Share the post with your friends. I’ll have it pinned to the top of my page so you won’t miss it–but the giveaway will end soon so act quickly! I’ll randomly select ONE winner from the list of readers who Like, Guess correctly, and Share and that winner will be notified on Facebook.
By the way…
My subscribers get exclusive giveaways, advance notice of new projects and announcements, and a whole bunch of other goodies in addition to personal insights and my best tips for how to truly achieve beauty, health, and vitality from the inside out and outside in–many of which I don’t share here! If you’d like to be on the list, subscribe HERE–it’s totally free.
**The giveaway has ended. Subscribe for updates for info on future giveaways and bonuses.
Don’t pick at acne–leave extractions to the professionals!
Whether a teenager or adult, acne can happen at any age. Though blemishes fade, they often leave behind scars–physical and emotional scars. The great news is that it’s possible to heal from both! Today I’ll share some of my knowledge of to how to treat the acne and the subsequent physical scars, which make a big difference on their appearance for the long term.
Treat the Acne
Most acne can be treated holistically–through proper diet, lifestyle choices, topical skincare products, certain spa treatments, herbal remedies, and natural therapies. Diet modification is often crucial, as most acne is triggered by the “Skin Trigger Trifecta”–gluten, sugar, and dairy.
Implementing a consistent daily skin care routine both morning and night also helps to keep skin clean, exfoliated and moisturized. Most of all – hands off! Don’t touch your acne or pick at lesions, as you’ll further break the skin and spread bacteria. This will worsen the infection and risk bigger, deeper scars.
From the inside out by drinking enough water. Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to warm water is a great holistic remedy to help clear up acne. It’s just as important to hydrate the skin from the outside in too. The best way to topically hydrate the skin is with a serum and moisturizer that contains humectant ingredients which pull moisture from the air and bind it to the cells. Pure aloe vera gel and hyaluronic acid are fantastic humectant ingredients.
It’s best to use products intended for acne prone skin, as using the wrong product for your skin type may cause more skin issues, such as drying skin out or creating an overproduction of sebum.
Don’t believe the age-old myth that tanning will cause your acne scars to become uniform in color with the rest of your skin. In fact, UV rays cause scars to darken, sometimes even permanently. That’s why it is vitally important that you wear a broad spectrum sunscreen daily and reapply often when you’re going to be outside for longer periods of time. Sunscreen should be applied to your face before all of your other skin care products, even moisturizer. Don’t keep sunscreen only on the shelf for the summer months, it’s important to wear sunscreen all year round, especially if you have acne scars on your face.
Topical scar treatments
Just like anything else, not all topical scar treatments are created equally and not all of them are appropriate for acneic skin. Many contain irritant and potentially dangerous ingredients like hydroquinone, and should be avoided. Ingredients such as onion extract and Vitamin E are sometimes seen in topical scar products. Though they haven’t been proven to effectively treat scars, they are good for hydration and protection, which scars need.
Dimethicone silicone is the only clinically proven ingredient that will increase elasticity in the scar tissue, relieves scar redness, pain and itching and can even treat and prevent hypertrophic scars. While other types of silicone pose risks of toxicity, pharmaceutical grade dimethicone has a relatively low risk factor according to the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
I’ve reviewed InviCible Scars previously, which contains this ingredient, as well as Vitamin C and licorice root (both known to fade discoloration), aloe and essential fatty acids (EFAs) which moisturize and decrease inflammation. InviCible Scars is available in two sizes and they also offer a 30 day risk-free trial. I’ve used it myself and recommended it to many others who have noticed a significant improvement. You can get more information at http://www.inviciblescars.com/.
Different types of acne scars:
Ice pick and boxcar acne scars
When treating your acne scars, it’s important to know the type that you have. Some acne scars are easier to treat than others. Below is a list of the different types of acne scars:
Ice-Pick Scars: These are the most common acne scars. They are narrow with a deep pit in the skin. In severe cases, these ice-pick scars take the form of large, open pore-like skin lesions. They develop after persistent acne or after an inflamed blemish or cyst.
Boxcar Scars: These types of acne scars are wider than an ice-pick scar. They appear as an oval and indented lesion in the skin with angular sides. They usually occur on the cheeks and temple.
Rolling Scars: These have a wave-like appearance. They occur due to fibrous bands between the skin and the underlying subcutaneous tissue which tether and pull on the epidermis. This deforms the overlying skin and causes a scar.
Hypertrophic/keloid acne scars
Hypertrophic Scars: Often confused with keloids, hypertrophic scars are raised, very firm and red and can develop after any skin injury, including acne. They often have an “overgrown” appearance and can be itchy.
Keloid Scars: Like hypertrophic scars, keloids result from an overproduction of collagen, which is a defense mechanism of the skin for some people. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloids can “keep growing” to extend beyond the initial boundaries of the skin injury. These scars are thicker, harder, and red, overly raised and extend beyond the boundaries of the initial skin injury. These are rarest type of scars, the most difficult to treat, and often require facial scar revision.
Dark acne marks: Any form of skin injury, including acne, causes inflammation in the skin that can go on to cause skin darkening in the area. This abnormal pigment is known as “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)” and is often seen with acne.
Do you have acne scars?
I can help you figure out a treatment plan from the inside out and outside in. Click HERE to learn more about my Skin-Self Mastery Method coaching program and schedule a complimentary Curiosity Call..
*Image 2 from Olga Berrios, image 3 from InviCible Scars
Bulu Box Co-Founder and CEO and I at Natural Products Expo East 2013
I have something very cool to share with you today. You know my good friends at NeoCell, right? Well they introduced me to a very cool company called Bulu Box because they thought our philosophies were a good fit for each other. I got to meet their CEO and Co-Founder, Paul Jarrett at Natural Products Expo East when I was there with NeoCell giving a talk and signing copies of my book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourselfand got a very good vibe. They invited me to become a Brand Ambassador of Bulu Box and after getting to know the company and their team a bit better I accepted. I’m so excited about this…I’m officially a “Bulugan.”
It’s more than just a fun-sounding name. Bulu Box is a way to try out different supplements and natural health product samples from top quality companies (like NeoCell) without having to commit to buying a full sized product at full price that you don’t know if you’ll like.
Here’s an example of what comes inside a Bulu Box…
It’s only $10 a month, and what I really like is that while you have the option to commit to a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription, you don’t have to–you can try it out on a month-to-month basis if you don’t like committing to a monthly autoship. The $10 fee covers everything–you pay nothing extra for shipping, there are no hidden fees, and you can cancel anytime. Cool, right?
Bulu Box offers subscribers more than just great product samples.
They also offer a supportive and informative social media community of Bulugans, a blog with excellent free resources and articles, and reward system where subscribers earn points on purchases, for taking brief surveys, for getting involved in the community, and for sharing Bulu Box. Points can be used to purchase full-sized versions of any of the sample products from the Bulu Box online store.
Bulu Box makes a great gift too…you can send someone a gift subscription.
Click HERE and use code BULUGAN541 at checkout!
You can find out all about Bulu Box by clicking HERE, and since I’m a brand ambassador, I get to offer YOU a 50% discount on a 3 month subscription–just use the code BULUGAN541 at checkout! The code works on either the regular or weight loss box subscriptions. I’m so excited to be able to offer you this fun new way to try natural products and supplements before you buy–enjoy!
This past week has been amazing…not only has my book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, been published, but it’s already become a #1 bestseller in the skin care category on Amazon! To top it all off, the fabulous Shannon Smyth of one of my favorite beauty blogs, A Girl’s Gotta Spa interviewed me about the book and has published the interview on A Girl’s Gotta Spa!
I’m extremely honored to be on A Girl’s Gotta Spa. Back when I was a wee newbie blogger, I found A Girl’s Gotta Spa and got hooked. I loved commenting on the different product reviews and even purchased some of the natural/holistic featured products after reading her posts. I also really respect Shannon as a fellow busy working mom, and really appreciate the support and guidance she gave me early on when I was still learning the ropes (not that I’ve learned them all…there are just too many ropes in the blogosphere!). So to be featured on A Girl’s Gotta Spa is a humbling experience for which I am extremely grateful, and I am so excited to share it with you.
I’d love for you to join me for the following events:
1:00-2:00pm EDT: LIVE chat and Q & A with me on the Holistically Haute Facebook page
4:00-6:00pm EDT: LIVE Virtual Bestseller Author Spotlight with Alicia Dunams: I’m so excited to have been selected to be featured in Alicia’s Author Spotlight. I did her Bestseller In A Weekend Program which not only helped me get my book finished and published, but also was instrumental in helping it reach the #1 spot in Amazon’s competitive Skin Care category. Alicia’s taught me so muchand I’m tickled that she chose to feature me and Love Your Skin, Love Yourself in this amazing Google Hangout event. Register HERE–it’s free and all attendees who purchase the book will qualify to win amazing free prizes and exclusive bonuses!
ALL DAY LONG: I’ll be giving away 5 signed copies of Love Your Skin, Love Yourself to my loyal fans and readers. To enter to win, all you have to do is “Like” the Holistically Haute Facebook page and share the event with your friends or in groups. Click HERE for more information.
Thank you so much for celebrating my book’s launch with me! I hope to see you at one or all of the festivities on 9/3.