A Natural Source of Collagen...Bone Broth

Good evening! I have been asked by many clients which supplement or product I recommend for the growing interest in collagen supplements. I don't take a collagen supplement, I make it. For the last two years I have been drinking bone broth regularly. I try to drink 3 cups a day. I try to drink 2 cups in the morning in place of coffee and 1 cup in the evening when I get home from work. There are so many wonderful health benefits to bone broth not limited to collagen.

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SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS BONE BROTH?

Bone broth is basically just a "soup" using the most nutrient dense parts of beef or chicken bones. All the healthy parts of the animal that you necessarily wouldn't want to eat like the bones, marrow, feet, ligaments and tendons are boiled in water with vegetables and herbs between 12 and 24 hours. When this blend of ingredients is cooked over an extended period of time the bones and ligaments release collagen and glutamine which are amazing for your overall health, especially gut health. Bone broth is full of nutrients and easy to digest which makes the nutrients easy to absorb.

WHAT IS COLLAGEN, GLUTAMINE AND GLUCOSAMINE?

Collagen provides structure and fullness to the skin and works with elastin to allow skin the flexibility it needs to stretch. Collagen is the most abundant protein found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. When you think collagen, think "plump." Glutamine is a type of amino acid and glucosamine is a type of amino sugar. Think of them as the building blocks of protein. They both work to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain. Glutamine is great for the stomach, especially small intestine, because it fights against disease-causing microorganisms and minimizes the absorption of allergenic molecules. Glucosamine helps to build cartilage which is excellent for joints. As many of you know my little pup Oliver has some joint and arthritis issues and I mix some bone broth in his food to help.

WHAT TYPE OF BONES SHOULD YOU USE?

You can use beef, pork or chicken bones. Short ribs, ox tails, knuckle, neck bones, chicken wings or chicken feet. The butcher will always have some type of bone for a bone broth. I prefer using a chicken bone as the base of my broth because it tastes lighter than beef bones. It tastes like chicken noodle soup frankly. But, I personally use chicken feet. Ewwwwww! Not really. Yes, it looks creepy to see all those little feet with the nails in a package BUT wait...don't stop reading yet. Chicken feet are amazing as the base for the bone broth because there is little to no fat so you don't have to refrigerate your broth and then skim the fat. My butcher at Pike Place Market suggested I try it once and said I would be hooked on the taste alone and he was right. My butcher moved locations so I get my chicken feet from Uwajimaya Market. I get the chicken feet and rinse them in water (even though they have already been cleaned) and clip the nails off. Deep breath, it's ok. I cut them in the sink and use my kitchen scissors. 

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THE RECIPE

If you want the benefits of bone broth just make it yourself. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare. I don't like cooking, making a big mess and doing dishes so I use a crockpot. This is my personal recipe and what I carry in my coffee mug almost every day. 

Fill the crockpot with water but leave an inch from the top to account for the other ingredients. 

8-10 chicken feet

1 large white onion, chopped

1 bushel of parsley, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

5 celery stalks, chopped

1 ginger root, cut in 4 pieces

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar ( I use Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar)

*Salt and pepper optional* (I don't use salt when I'm making the broth because I'm cutting back on sodium so I will add a little salt or seasoning to each cup I drink).

The broth will cook in the crockpot for a total of 24 hours. 24 hours for chicken bones, 12 for beef bones. Turn your crockpot on low for 12 hours. After the timer goes off, stir and pull apart the feet with tongs (optional). Let it cook on low for another 12 hours and when done separate the broth from the chicken feet and vegetables. I try to drink it within 3 days but if I can't I put it in big silicone ice trays and freeze it. In the morning, I melt a few cubes of the bone broth and add a little more salt and seasoning if I'm in the mood and then I'm done! This is a much better alternative to buying the boxed broth that has high sodium and preservatives. Enjoy!

My Inflight Beauty Routine

Tis the season for airline travel.

I'll get to what happens to your skin and how to protect it during the flight but first things first, the conditions of the average airplane. Frankly, planes are nothing short of disgusting although a necessary evil. Simply put they are a breeding ground for bacteria. Around your seat you are prone to MRSA, E. coli, the common cold, flu, staph infections and these can last days and sometimes months on a surface. The dirtiest places on an airplane? The armrest, seat pocket, the air control button, tv screen, bathroom (every single square inch of it), airline blankets and pillows, seat belts, tray tables, window shades and the floor. Don't forget to carry hand sanitizer! When you do get settled into your seat sanitize your hands every time you touch a surface. I even carry alcohol wipes to sanitize my phone. 

Now, what happens to your skin in flight? Bottom line is your skin gets dehydrated because there is little to no moisture in the air. Pimples anyone? Yup, likely because you touched one of the unsanitary surfaces on the plane and then your face. Don't be hard on yourself because everyone does that. Also, the air on planes is not humidified which leads to your skin producing more oil because it's so dry. Eating salty foods (oh those little bags of peanuts) and drinking alcohol contribute to dry skin an excess oil production.

So how do I protect my skin during a flight? I have no shame. I do the exact same thing every time before I get on a plane. I shower the night before and right before I leave for the airport. I wash my face first with an oil, Eminence Organics Stone Crop Cleansing Oil ($52), Dermalogica's Precleanse ($42) or Sephora Collection Supreme Cleansing Oil ($15) and then something with glycolic or salicylic acid. I like to prep my skin for the inevitable. Try Image Skincare's Ageless Cleanser (glycolic acid, $28) or Murad's Clarifying Cleanser (salicylic acid, $30). Next, I use a hydrating serum. My go to is Image Skincare's Anti-Oxidant Balancing Serum ($50) or Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel ($39). Then, I move to a mask. Yes, I wear a mask on the plane. I usually choose something that is clear so TSA doesn't give me a side eye. E.L.F Hydrating Gel Mask ($11.99), Dermalogica's Skin Hydrating Masque ($43), Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator ($52) are some good options. I have this on before I even get to the airport. After I land and get settled into my hotel I get in the shower, wash my hands and remove my mask. I then wash my face with one of the above mentioned cleansers or Image Skincare's Vital C Cleanser ($28).

Second to last step is apply an oil. I like The Ordinary's Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil ($11.50), Coconut Oil ($12), Oil of Olay Regenerist Luminous Facial Oil ($26.99) or Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil ($40). I like to apply the oil in place of a moisturizer because I apply a heavy amount of oil to my skin. I rely so heavily on oils because I consider them food for the skin and because oil attracts oil. It's a magnet for congestion and excess oil. If I'm traveling I want to bring up any new congestion early and use a spot treatment quickly to reduce it. If I feel a pimple coming on I use Dermalogica's Daily Clarifying Mattifier ($49) on the affected area. I find it usually takes new travel induced pimples 1-2 days to completely go away. After day one I resume my usual morning and evening skincare routine including the spot treatment. This is what has always worked for me and the clients I have recommended this routine to.

Safe travels!!

 

Chemical Peels

 

 

What is a chemical peel?

Chemical peels involve the use of a chemical agent to exfoliate the skin and increase cellular turnover. Chemical peels can cause the top layer of the skin (epidermis) to flake off with the end result being healthier and fresh skin taking the place of the removed skin layer. Depending on the skin type and the type of condition to be treated, you may need several peeling sessions that can be done every two to six weeks in order to achieve the desired results.

 

What Conditions Do Chemical Peels Treat?

  • Reduce fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth

  • Treat wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging, and family history

  • Improve the appearance of mild scarring

  • Treat certain types of acne

  • Reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills (melasma)

  • Improve the look and feel of skin that is dull in texture and color

 

Who Is a Good Candidate For a Chemical Peel?

Anyone! From fair-skinned and light-haired clients to olive and darker skin tones, there is something for everyone. It is always recommended to ease into chemical peels by adjusting the strength of the peel and number of passes on the skin.

 

What types of chemical peels do I perform and what do they treat?

  • 40% Lactic Acid & Kojic Acid Blend - Pigmentation, dehydrated skin
  • 20% Lactic Acid - Pigmentation, dehydrated skin
  • 20% Glycolic & 10% Lactic Acid Blend – Pigmented, fine lines, mild acne, dehydrated skin
  • 20% Salicylic - Mild to moderate acne, textured skin
  • TCA – Moderate to advanced acne, textured skin, scarring, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles, dull skin
  • Enzyme Peel - Unbalanced, irritated, sensitive skin

The Importance of Exfoliating

Getting older takes a toll on the ability for our skin to feel and look healthy. Our skin slows down its ability to shed skin cells and regenerate new ones. When old skin cells aren't removed the end result is our skin looking dull and rough. Skin can also feel dry causing excess oil to build and clog pores. 

Exfoliation will remove dead skin and unclog pores exposing the fresh new skin underneath. The main benefit of exfoliation is that serums, moisturizers and corrective products are able to penetrate more deeply and be more effective.  

There are two types of exfoliation: physical and chemical. A physical exfoliation is something containing granules of some type to physically buff off the dead skin. Any time a physical exfoliant is used, you have to apply light pressure to avoid being too abrasive with the skin. A chemical exfoliation uses alpha/beta hydroxy acids (glycolic, salicylic, lactic acids) or enzymes to provide a deeper exfoliation. Exfoliation is recommended 1-2 times a week.

During the summer months I recommend using a lighter exfoliant. However, since we are moving into Fall weather, more aggressive methods, like chemical peels, of exfoliation are acceptable since we don't have as heavy UVA/UVB rays to worry about that would cause increased skin sensitivity.

If you are a regular makeup wearer exfoliation is especially important since so many heavy oil based products can get trapped under the skin if not throughly removed. 

Below are a few of my favorite exfoliants.

Tip: Do NOT apply to heavy or aggressive pressure if you are using a physical scrub. The granules or beads in the product should do the buffing for you, not added pressure from your hands. Too much pressure can result in the skin feeling burned or sensitive. 

Tip #2: Do a double cleanse and apply your physical exfoliation before getting into the shower in the evening. The steam will open pores and force buildup and congestion out of the skin. 

Tip #3: After exfoliating use a hydrating serum and facial oil for a healthy glow!

Amala Beauty Brightening Face Polish http://shopamala.com/brightening-face-polish/

Amala Beauty Brightening Face Polish

http://shopamala.com/brightening-face-polish/

Eminence Organics Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant https://eminenceorganics.com/us/product/strawberry-rhubarb-dermafoliant Eminence Organics Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzfoliant https://eminenceorganics.com/us/product/stone-crop-oxygenating-fizzofolianttm

Eminence Organics Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant

https://eminenceorganics.com/us/product/strawberry-rhubarb-dermafoliant

Eminence Organics Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzfoliant

https://eminenceorganics.com/us/product/stone-crop-oxygenating-fizzofolianttm

Philosophy Microdelivery Peel http://www.philosophy.com/microdelivery-peel.html

Philosophy Microdelivery Peel

http://www.philosophy.com/microdelivery-peel.html

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel http://drdennisgross.com/alpha-betar-medi-spa-peel.html/

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel

http://drdennisgross.com/alpha-betar-medi-spa-peel.html/

SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub http://www.skinceuticals.com/micro-exfoliating-scrub-635494389005.html

SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub

http://www.skinceuticals.com/micro-exfoliating-scrub-635494389005.html

Custom body Bronzing

Imagine a perfect summer day, and you are on the beach with waves rolling in. You are so relaxed you may fall into that near sleep state. You are perfectly content, calm, basking in the warm sun while getting a lovely sun kissed glow on your skin. You are also, unfortunately, getting that unlovely photo aging sun damage. This increases your chances of getting deadly skin cancer and guarantees premature wrinkles, sunspots, loss of firmness, etc.

Since we all know very well the dangers of prolonged sun exposure, why is it so attractive? If we can achieve the same look with self tan products at home or a quick spray tan from the salon why take that risk? The reason is easy to overlook in the modern world we live in: relaxation. The look is only part of the goal. The sunkissed skin is the icing on the cake. But what is another reason for achieving this desired look from a spa? Answer: relaxation. The cake is the relaxation.

What if you have the same feeling of serenity without the damage? What would that look like? It could look like a massage! More accurately, like this... a luxurious full body exfoliation with organic cleanser and cloth mitts followed by a massage application of natural skin tanners. All you need to do is melt into the massage table and  drift to that same serene mind space with expert assistance and some well chosen aromatherapy. At the end of this service you are smooth, "sun-kissed" and relaxed. You can care for the appearence of your skin today and safe guard it for your future while recreating the soul feeding ritual of sun worshipping. 

Custom Bronzing - $100

Hydrating vs. Moisturizing

I am always preaching the importance of hydration to clients and encourage them to moisturize in addition to staying hydrated. There are major differences between hydrating and moisturizing.

Hydrating products are designed to increase the water content of the skin. They contain ingredients to prevent moisture from leaving the skin and increase the absorption of water into the skin. Some of the most common hydrating ingredients are hyaluronic acid, glycerin and honey (most commonly found in organic products), amino acids and water. 

Moisturizing products, on the other hand, are designed to keep the water content and hydration from leaving the skin. The end result of using a moisturizer long term is the skin stays soft, hydrated and looks healthy. Using a moisturizer at night is imperative because when you sleep your body loses a lot of water. When the body is at rest it heals faster and goes into repair mode. It takes about 10 minutes for your skin to fully absorb a moisturizer.

There are many reasons to hydrate your skin. For one, it gives your skin a health glow. Secondly, your skin absorbs the hydrating ingredients which makes your skin look plump and more youthful. It's an instant anti-ager. Hydrators also balance oil production. If your skin is oily and dehydrated, your skin says "give me hydration." If it does not receive hydration, the glands will try to defend the skin by producing more oil in an attempt to hydrate itself. Lastly, when the skin is hydrated makeup and foundation sit better and more evenly on the skin. 

I use a hydrating product morning and night. I like using a beauty oil (Amala Hydrating Jasmine Oil or Aesop Parsley Seed Oil) and a hyaluronic acid serum (Image Skincare Balancing serum). Below are my favorite hydrating products.

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What Does your Sunscreen's SPF Really Mean?

First things first. SPF stands for "sun protection factor." It is an indication of the protection against UVB (ultraviolet B) rays that cause sunburn. It is important to take into consideration the UVB rays when thinking about sun protection but also the UVA (ultraviolet A) rays. UVA rays cause skin cancer, are absorbed by the skin and are responsible for causing visible signs of aging and wrinkles.   

When determining what SPF to use it really comes down to simple math. You want to take the length of time it takes you to burn without sunscreen by the SPF value to get your total sun exposure for the entire day. Say it usually takes 10 minutes for your skin to burn without any sunscreen and you use an SPF 30. You would take the length of time (10 minutes) by the SPF value (30) to get total length of time before you start to burn = 300 minutes. You would have 5 hours of sun exposure for the day before you start to burn. It is important to reapply every 2-3 hours because sunscreen can wear off with sweating, swimming, outdoor activities, etc. Even if your sunscreen claims to be sweat proof and provide all day protection, it can't if it's not fully applied for optimal protection. Also know that reapplying does not restart the clock. Your 300 minutes or 5 hours is it for the ENTIRE day! 

Always apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and don't forget your ears!

I recommend using a physical sunscreen because the main ingredients of a physical sunscreen are Zinc Dioxide and Titanium Dioxide. They sit on the skin and don't cause reactions like many chemical sunscreens can. See below for my favorite sunscreens.

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Wellness Massage

Isn't ALL massage about feeling better and wellness?

Wellness massage has become the common term for massage therapy that is not directly prescribed for a medical condition. It is the bodywork equivalent of going to the gym to stay fit. Basically, it means you are not injured and you do not want to become so. It is used for reducing stress, recovering after a strenuous activity, training for a strenuous activity, improving body image, Increasing lymphatic flow and the most common reason of "just wanting to feel good."

There lots of opinions on what makes your wellness massage session a success. But there is only one that matters, yours. Here are a few reasons why you should have a productive client/therapist partnership when there are no medical concerns to address:

  • Your sessions are not bound by a rigid timeline for improvement. I can adjust treatment for whatever you need in the moment. Meaning if you have a long term goal of eliminating the trigger points and tension in your shoulders but your short term goals are to destress and "zone out" for a mental vacation, I can do that! I I can give you a relaxing treatment and reduce those stress hormones overwhelming your nervous system. Then when you are ready to resume more intense work your body is more receptive to change. You and I will make that call together.
  •  It's preventive. You don't need to wait until you are immobile with debilitating pain and unable to sleep. When your body starts to give you signals that something is a little off act on it right away. Or, if you know you are about to put your body though work that usually leads to pain and soreness get a massage beforehand to avoid those pitfalls.
  • It reduces anxiety
  • Can relieve headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Promote relaxation
  • Lowers blood pressure

Wellness Massage is a powerful tool for your health maintenance. Often we put more thought and energy into taking care of our cars and everything else than our bodies. Thankfully the culture is changing and we are beginning to see ourselves, especially our bodies, as worthy of time and money.

Rebecca Reali, LMT

 

The Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been a staple in my skincare routine for a decade. I personally use a Vitamin C serum and moisturizer daily. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin, and is needed by our bodies to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. There are numerous benefits to the almighty powerful Vitamin C. Vitamin C:

    Increases the effectiveness of your sunscreen and boosts your skins defense against UV exposure

    Brightens and evens skin tone

    Reduces redness and inflammation

    Helps firm the skin as it boosts collagen production

    Reduces hyperpigmentation, sun damage and brown spots

Applying Vitamin C to the skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion. It has been proven that once a topical antioxidant is absorbed into the skin, it cannot be washed or rubbed off. So, even after stopping the application of Vitamin C significant amounts of Vitamin C will remain in the skin for up to 72 hours.

Vitamin C is not only necessary for collagen production and maintenance, but it is also a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals in the skin. Free radicals are atoms or molecules with an unpaired electron (my middle school biology teacher Mrs. Graham would be pleased to know that I was paying attention). Electrons are meant to be paired, and when one electron is left alone, it "searches" to find it's mate. In doing so free radicals attack and destroy nearby compounds. Free radicals can complete its paring by stealing an electron from say, the protein in a strand of collagen. This process of free radicals damaging and breaking protein or collagen strands causes "aging". The final result is the skin starts to sag and wrinkles form. 

My favorite Vitamin C products:

    Image Skincare Vital C Cleanser (a creamy rich cleanser that happens to smell like an orange grove)

 

    SkinCeuticals C&E Ferulic (one of the most popular and effective Vitamin C serums on the market)

 

    Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum (I personally use this as a moisturizer over the C&E Ferulic)

 

    Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Mask (an exfoliating, hydrating and brightening treatment)