Friday, February 25, 2011

Lovely Lips Even In The Dead Of Winter

Though we hope those chapped lips of yours are the result of way too many kisses on Valentine's Day, we at Believe know better...winter winds and temperature changes are more likely the cause. But there are other reasons your pucker may be feeling a bit peckish, so read on and learn a thing or two about keeping your lips luscious.
Chapped lips are, most basically, the result of our lips being too dry, but chronic chapped lips can result from nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, allergies, medication or over-exposure to sun, cold and windy conditions. Whatever the reason, skin has lost its ability to retain moisture. We can't hold moisture, our lips get more chapped, which means more moisture loss and on it goes--a vicious cycle.
Here are some things you can do about the chapping:
  • Avoid licking your lips. When saliva dries on your lips, it leaves them more vulnerable to sun and wind than before.
  • Apply skin moisturizer, vitamin E oil, aloe vera gel, or petroleum jelly to moisturize your lips and then seal it in with lip balm (we carry Zum and Red Bee Lip Balms at Believe. Read all about them them below).
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • The cracks at the corners of your mouth can indicate riboflavin deficiencies; you can treat this with vitamin B-2 supplements.
  • Don't lick envelopes. Use a moistened sponge instead.
  • Use a humidifier while you sleep and a desktop one at work if possible.
  • Don't hold metal objects in your mouth such as paper clips. Allergies to nickel causes chapping.
  • Treat chaffed, chapped, and scaling lips overnight with a homemade ointment mixed from 1 tsp glycerine, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp castor oil. Spread on lips overnight, refrigerating the leftovers for future use.
  • Don't suck on citrus fruit rinds such as orange peels--the fruit acid may cause chapping.
  • Step up to cortisone. If a week of the above suggestions don't do the trick, add over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone ointment to your regimen. Use the hydrocortisone under your emollient ointment. Try this for two weeks.
  • Don't kiss someone on the lips who is wearing lipstick-you may be allergic to red dye found in lipstick (and to the cinnimates found in some candies, gum and mouthwash.)
  • Are you a clarinet player? You might want to stop the music for a time. Chapping can develop at the contact area of the reed.
  • Check your lipstick for for the ingredient propyl gallate which may cause contact allergies. The same goes for guaiazulene in your toothpaste. Also check your toothpaste for sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient that may cause chapping and allergic reaction. (Squigle Enamel Saver Toothpaste is one SLS-free brand.)
  • Quit eating figs. They may react with the sun (phototoxicity) to cause irritation.
  • If all else fails, it's time to take your chelitis (that's doctor-speak for chapped lips) to the dermatologist. You'll possible get a full exam of your mouth, lips, tongue, tonsils and even elbows, knees, scalp and nails searching for psorasis, and tests for allergies, Vitamin A deficiencies, and other conditions that can cause chelitis.

Now you have read that chemicals may be responsible for your chapped lips. That's why here at Believe Beauty Lounge we carry lip balms made from all natural ingredients, like Zum Kiss Shea Butter Lip Balm. Suck up to your lips with this pure pacifier made with almighty shea butter, sunflower and grapeseed oils, honey, beeswax and pure essential oils. If your lips are in the middle of a drought, get ready for a flood of moisture. Zum Kiss Shea Butter Lip Balm comes in fabulous flavors like Tea Tree-Lavender, Chocolate, Lemon-Ginger, Grapefruit, Peppermint, Tangerine and Vanilla.
Or try Red Bee Rossape Lip Balm which packs in hydrating ingredients with a subtle sheen. The lip balm's main ingredients are beeswax and olive oil. If you are a purist when it comes to the products you use on your body or are sensitive to artificial ingredients, you will love the Rossape Skin Care Collection. What you put on your body should be as good as what you put in your body. Feed our Body...Feed Your Skin is Red Bee's operating philosophy. Their recipes are based upon ancient remedies with respect to Apitherapy (honeybee products for restoring and maintaining health). They never use alcohol, paraffin wax, preservatives or animal products, making Red Bee's Rossape beauty line a great natural option for your skin. Essential oils provide the fragrance for the lip balm -- four delicious scents Strawberry, Lavender, Peppermint and Lemon. Red Bee's Rossape Balm's light texture helps it glide on easily, leaving a subtle sheen to your lips. Not too heavy or oily, it absorbs quickly and hydrates your chapped pucker.

Don't let winter get the best of you...stay kissable with some help from your friends at Believe.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How did Valentine's Day come to be?

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest in the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — Valentine defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. He got put to death for his trouble.
According to another legend, Valentine actually sent the first "valentine" greeting himself. While in prison,Valentine fell in love with his jailor's daughter. Before his death, he wrote her a last love letter, which he signed "From your Valentine," --an expression that is still in use today.
Valentine's Day may be celebrated in the middle of February thanks to the Church who may have wanted to divert people from celebrating the Pagan festival of Lupercalia—a beginning of Spring and fertility celebration. The city's bachelors would choose a woman's name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often -but not always- ended in marriage. The Church was not amused but finally gave up and in 498 A.D Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day.
The oldest known valentine still in existence is a poem (in the British Library) was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. According to the Greeting Card Association, about one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, just after Christmas.
We at Believe encourage the sending of mushy cards to your loved ones ANY day.  We also have some gifts we would like to recommend:
  • As there is no one like her anywhere, why not get her a totally unique and hand-made piece of jewelry from Believe? Buy one (or more) pieces from our fabulous collection of Titanium jewelry crafted by the Dutch artist, Jules van der Linden. Jules has been creating gorgeous titanium jewelry, often with touches of gold and silver, since 1989. His work is characterized by a modern and simple style and his metal of choice, Titanium, was chosen by him not only for its beauty, but for the fact that it is virtually indestructible (important in today's busy and bustling world) and, unlike with other metals, virtually no one is allergic to it. It is as strong as steel, but lightweight, and can be colored by a chemical reaction, causing the metal itself to change colors thereby lasting as long as the piece itself (it won't fleck off like enamel.) Or check out the paper jewelry by artist Minh-Thu Leroy (she'll be featured in an upcoming blog.) We guarantee you've never seen anything like her work....
  • Candles are very essence of romance (try some around a shared tub) and we have soy candles, perfumed with exquisite fragrances, like Bajan Fig and Lime Coconut and Nutmeg made especially for us. Compared to paraffin, soy is a favorite of environmentally-conscious people because it is made from a renewable source and doesn't increase the carbon levels in the atmosphere; soy candles burn longer; their fragrance disperses in the air more quickly; and any spills are much easier to clean than wax (in case you get a little rowdy.)
  • Nothing says “I love you” like a massage by your sweetie. Why not both give and receive one? We've got Zum Shea Butter & Meadowfoam Seed Massage and Body Oil to help make it a smooth experience for both of you. Squirt some drops of Zum Oil in that bath (we've got Zum's Love Me, Love Me Not Soap) and then rub your Valentine's squeaky joints and muscles with essential oils, shea butter, and oils of sweet almond, avocado, meadowfoam seed, and hemp. Your sure to have sweet dreams (if you get any sleep, that is...wink. wink.)
  • Or, if you are just flat out of time, do a drive by and grab a gift card. Let your honey choose their own gift from the assortment of great products and fabulous services we have here at BelieveEither way, your Valentine will know you are thinking of them on this special day.

Happy February from all of us at Believe. We love all of you.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Peel Back The Mystery Of Exfoliation

The supernaturally beautiful, Christie Brinkley (honestly--does that woman ever age?) told an interviewer recently that her secret for looking so young was exfoliation. (It had occurred to her, early in her career, that they reason men look so young is that they shave every day, taking off a layer of epidermis every stroke.) Since we women can't be shaving our face everyday, we should heed her advice and learn more about exfoliation...

Exfoliation is the process by which the oldest dead skin cells on the skin's outermost surface are removed-by microdermabrasion or chemical peel in a salon (like Believe) or a doctor's office. Milder at-home peels are also available. (We carry a fabulous one—Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel—which is called a “miracle” by some of our customers.)

Exfoliation has a history. The ancient Egyptians used the surrounding sand for exfoliation (we bet Cleopatra didn't have flaky dry skin) and, in The Middle Ages, wine (with its active agent, tartaric acid) was used. The Romans scraped their skin with blades and oil, rather than use soap for bathing, and their language Latin, is where the word Exfoliate comes from—it means to strip off leaves.

Why is exfoliation so important?

Every month, from skin's lower layer, the dermis, cells migrate to the surface of the skin and become more acidic. This causes the cells to die and become saturated with kertain—the tough stuff that protects skin from outside elements. This (combined with aging, especially for woman post-menopause) causes the skin to become uneven—dry and rough. In order to get rid of this scaly layer, exfoliation is used. This unclogs pores, keeps skin clean, and reduces breakouts (for men, it even exposes the hair follies and allows for a better shave.)

There are basically two kinds of exfoliation: Mechanical and Chemical. Microderambrasion is a mechanical method of exfoliation and we will educate you about how we accomplish microdermabrasion at Believe in a later blog, but for now, let us tell you about Peels.

Peels use salicylic or glycolic acids, also hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) or enzymes that loosen the glue-like substance that holds the cells together, allowing them to ease away. Each of these ingredients has value in exfoliation:

Lactic Acid – is hydrating and helps even skin discoloration.

Malic Acid – aids in hydration. 

Glycolic Acid – has very fast penetration, reaching deeper levels sooner.
Citric Acid – naturally oil controlling, this prevents/corrects the thinning of the skin associated with aging
Tartartic Acid – provides natural antioxidant action from grapes.
Mandelic Acid – helps even skin discoloration.
We use only the PCA Skin line of products like the TCA peels, which use the acids above in Ph-balanced formulas produce dramatic results without discomfort and downtime.

Here are three peels we use at Believe:

Ultra Peel® Forte I Exfoliating Treatment
Those with resilient skin who have more dramatic wrinkling, sun damage and acne scarring are the most suitable candidates for this deeper and more active treatment. Ultra Peel® Forte will effectively treat aging skin, acne, pigment disorders, smoker’s skin and photo-damaged skin. This treatment is ideal for dehydrated and aging skin in need of rejuvenation.

Ultra Peel® I Exfoliating Treatment
Specially formulated to treat dehydrated, maturing skin, Ultra Peel® I is also appropriate for many skin types, conditions and sensitivities. It will help treat smoker’s skin, pigment disorders, sun damaged skin and acne. This treatment is especially ideal for sensitive skin, as it produces only a mild tingling sensation. Moderate to aggressive exfoliation will be experienced, depending on the number of layers applied. Overall, the final result will be plump, hydrated and ultra-soft skin.

Sensi Peel® Exfoliating Treatment
This gentle solution is formulated primarily for ethnic skin, and other extremely sensitive skin types. Sensi Peel® will strengthen and brighten the skin while helping to treat sun damage and other forms of hyper-pigmentation (skin discoloration). This multi-faceted treatment also provides anti-inflammatory, anti-acne and antibacterial action, making it an excellent choice for helping calm rosacea, as redness and inflammation can subside substantially after treatment.

At Believe, we offer facial peels by our master medical aesthetician Jackie. Lay back in our cozy treatment room while years are lifted from your face. These peels will all make fine lines and wrinkles disappear, dramatically lessen deep wrinkles, and encourage the production of new skin cells and collagen, leaving your skin smoother, plumper and glowing. Make an appointment with us at Believe and get on the road to younger-looking skin today.