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  • Stone Crop, The More the Merrier

    Eminence Organics has a NEW Summer launch. Can we ever have too many Stone Crop products? The 4 H’s remind us that Stone Crop can be beneficial to us all summer:

    -Hydrating
    Stone Crop adds hydration when the summer sun takes moisture from our skin

    -Healing
    Stone Crop has regenerative properties that heal damaged skin

    -Hyperpigmentation
    Stone Crop brightens and lightens pigmented skin

    -Heat
    Stone Crop removes heat from sun exposed skin

    My review of the new Stone Crop line:

    Everyone knows I love scrubs and oils. My new farmhouse has a well and septic system. So, while I say goodbye to water bills I also had to say goodbye to my handmade scrubs because we want to reduce how much oil we put into the septic. At first I was skeptical about the new Stone Crop Revitalizing Body Scrub because I love my abrasive salt scrubs and this one by Eminence is so gentle. My skin gets very cracked and dry looking when I go out into the sun. How was this water based exfoliant going to cut it? I was pleasantly surprised that when I applied it correctly (to dry/slightly damp skin) that the fine sugar and rock salt refined my skin surface quite nicely. Aiding in the smoothing and brightening effects are other fabulous ingredients like Green Tea, Turmeric and Lemon Peel.

    After rinsing off a scrub it’s a MUST to apply a lotion or oil. Really, the skin’s barrier function stays much stronger if you apply a lotion or oil after EVERY shower or bath. I prefer oils because their large molecular structure makes them more occlusive to better protect the skin against moisture loss. The Stone Crop Body Oil tends to be a little light for me, even though it has nourishing Avocado and Rosehip oils, making it perfect for those that like a “non-greasy” oil. But mixed with the Stone Crop Contouring Body Cream, I get the perfect amount of hydration!

    Pro Tip from our Lead Esthetician and resident Eminence Organics Training Specialist, Tiffany: Add a few drops of the Stone Crop Body Oil to your bath. The Arnica soothes sore muscles and when you emerge you feel “magical”.

    For those of you who love a lightweight body lotion, the Stone Crop Contouring Body Lotion is lovely. The Caffeine and the Algae doesn’t hurt either, for those of us with some cellulite.

    I give the new summer launch a thumbs up, but only time will tell if my cellulite agrees.

    Aromatherapy Certification

    I have exciting news to share…
    After 20+ years of self study and 3.5 years in my Aromatherapy Certification Program, I am now a Certified Aromatherapist!

    My program consisted of 7 lessons and countless webinars, 20 Case Studies, a research paper, blending exercises, and an anatomy and physiology class. My research paper is now available for download on our website if you wish to read about 10 Essential Oils for Stress.

    What does it mean to be a Certified Aromatherapist? The Aromatherapy field is self regulated, which means there is no governmental oversight (for now). Anyone can say they are an Aromatherapist! I chose to become certified through our only national non-profit aromatherapy organization called NAHA, or the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. My course was a 235-hour program offered through the fabulous Andrea Butje of Aromahead Institute.

    When you choose to become certified through NAHA you agree to abide by their strict safety standards and code of ethics. In addition to my class through Aromahead I just completed the Essential Oil Safety Masterclass offered through the Tisserand Institute. I’m continuing with Robert Tisserand’s Essential Oils for Healthy Skin class which will be completed in June.

    I am now offering an Aromatherapy Consultation for Stress based on my research findings. In this 1 hour Aromatherapy Consultation, I will take you through my 10 Essential Oils for Stress plus other supportive oils and connect you with the ones that will help you most. A personal inhaler, diffuser blend, or body oil will be created for you and can be refilled at any point without an additional consultation. The price of product is not included in the consultation fee.

    In the future, my Aromatherapy Consultations will be moving out to our new Farmhouse. As many of you know we bought a farmhouse in Milan back in December. It has been glorious connecting with the land and watching what is blooming these early spring days. We have a lot of work ahead of us including the creation of a Farmhouse Lab and consultation space. If you would like to keep in touch with what’s happening out there, including all the animals we are aquiring, the best way is to follow us on instagram @stonycreekaromatics.

    Throw back photo of the day. Circa 1997 in Kathmandu, Nepal. No makeup, no sunscreen, bad taste in footwear, but I brought my peppermint essential oil! It has been an amazing journey and it’s only just beginning!

    Layering is a Balancing Act

    Want to know some of my Skin Care 101 RULES plus my new, spring nighttime regimen? Read on!

    Skin requires great attention in order to stay healthy. Some of its needs include nutrients from our blood, supportive fibers like collagen and elastin, and a balance of water and oil. Skin care products can target various concerns but today I would like to talk about moisture retention, specifically the layering of products to balance the skin’s barrier. The barrier in the epidermis is made up of oil and water. When there is not enough oil, especially when our oil production drops in half at night, Transepidermal Water Loss, or TEWL, can occur. TEWL is one of the biggest factors in a dry, dehydrated, chapped skin surface, and even more severe issues like Atopic Dermatitis (as in the article “Skin barrier dysfunction measured by transepidermal water loss at 2 days and 2 months predates and predicts atopic dermatitis at 1 year” in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology by Maeve Kelleher et al). Dryness is the easiest skin condition for Estheticians to address because it usually requires just a shift in one’s home care routine. A little more attention and the right balance of oil and water can quickly change the skin from rough, flat, and gray to smooth, supple, and bright.

    I love having conversations with my clients to problem solve their home care routine. Without giving them specific product or brand recommendations I can offer some basic rules of thumb. My number one rule in preventing dehydration in the skin’s surface is to cleanse with a creamy or oil based cleanser at night and a foaming or exfoliating cleanser in the morning. The reason for this approach is because oil based cleansers remove dirt and excess oil while leaving a protective lipid, or oil barrier. The foaming or exfoliating cleanser, on the other hand, will break down the oil-water barrier which is particularly helpful if you want your next layer (the exfoliant or serum) to penetrate deeper or if the skin is oily or acne prone. On a side note, a cleanser with a natural foaming agent (verses a chemical foaming agent like sodium lauryl sulfate) will be vital to the hydration level of the skin as highly alkaline cleansers more aggressively strip the skin of its hydration. Also, not all exfoliating cleansers are created equal so choose one with acids, enzymes, or a physical component that is best for your skin condition. In the case of a chapped, or dehydrated skin I recommend using a creamy or oil based cleanser both morning and night until the skin barrier comes back into balance. The reason we don’t cleanse twice a day with products that constantly breaks down the oil-water barrier is that it leads to dehydration. And for those of you who insist on cleansing only once per day, you only have one choice and that is a creamy or oil based cleanser!

    Now that you have a cleansing routine thatprevents dehydration in your skin’s surface, we can look at appropriate treatment and protection products. Basic care only requires basic protection, like a light sunscreen product during the day and a rich moisturizer at night in a humid, summer season. However, in winter and for someone who wants a more corrective skin care regimen (one that addresses other issues like acne, hyperpigmentation, or wrinkles) the layering of products is often needed. Serums are used primarily to deliver corrective ingredients to the skin because they are highly concentrated. They can be formulated as water based, oil based, or somewhere in between. If you look at the full spectrum of oil-rich to oil-free, you can determine your need on that spectrum and make sure you also have the ingredients in your products to provide positive change to your skin.

    The basic idea in creating an effective layering system is to first choose a corrective serum and then the right moisturizer to balance you out. In the case of a dry, winter climate someone with dry skin will likely need a lipid based serum plus a rich moisturizer. That same person in a humid summer climate can use a water based serum with a medium weight moisturizer. As spring is approaching in Michigan we now have a little more humidity in the air. It’s a transitional season where some of our rich winter products may need to be used up by applying them at night. We may be looking to lighter serums and adding a sunscreen product back in if we have neglected our UV protection. For myself, I have employed two serums and a moisturizer for my evening routine to provide the correction and barrier protection I need. First, I am using the Eminence Organics Marine Flower Peptide Serum with algae and peptides. Studies have shown this product to increase skin density by 50% in 90 days! I am turning 45 this year and with the decreasing amount of collagen with every decade, skin density is one of the aspects I am choosing to address with my home regimen and in the treatment room. I also have periodic acne breakouts so layered on top of my serum is the Facial Recovery Oil with Tea Tree, Clary Sage and Ylang Ylang. To occlude the skin from losing moisture I finish with the Lotus Detoxifying Overnight Treatment. It contains lotus and microgreens to fight environmental damage (therefore great as a lightweight daytime serum in summer) as well as spheres of jojoba.

    When we choose to invest in cosmetics many considerations need to be made. Your Esthetician is there to help you navigate. Factoring in the season, your skin condition, and individual concerns can be complicated and the application of layers of products is sometimes necessary to achieve your desired results. Layering is a balancing act that can result in the most beautiful, healthy skin!

    Healing While Peeling


    Cleopatra knew best. She bathed in lactic acid (likely from fermented milk) and herbs to soften her skin. Many concoctions have been made since, seeking the perfect recipe for baby smooth skin. Too much exfoliation and the skin ends up thin and raw, too little exfoliation and the skin slows and dulls. Peeling as it was in the 1980’s and 90’s has now been replaced with the understanding that the peeling done to the skins surface needs to be proportionate to the lipid, or oil, nourishment it receives in turn. In other words, the skin needs to be balanced. The healthy “wound” created by a peel needs to be properly treated so the skin barrier can be restored.

    Eminence Organics just introduced a beautiful collection of resurfacing products: The Mangosteen Lactic Collection. The Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser and the Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Concentrate both contain a 2.5% lactic acid. The large molecular structure of lactic acid allows it to stay closer to the surface (verses its deep penetrating counterpart, Glycolic Acid) so it is great for sensitive skin. Lactic is the most hydrating acid and it also helps lighten hyperpigmentation. The “wound” it causes in this formulation is minor and therefore is easily balanced. In this collection, Eminence has provided lipid balance to the skin with vitamin E rich sunflower oil.

    Beyond a healthy skin barrier is the way a product can feed and heal the skin as well as address a variety of concerns one might have. The stand out ingredient in the Mangosteen Lactic Collection is the Indonesian super fruit, the Mangosteen. The 43 phytonutrients in the rind increase microcirculation, which bestows a “glow” to the skin. It’s also naturally astringent, high in zinc (which kills bacteria), and is rich in vitamins B, C, and antioxidants. Eminence Organics has formulated their cold pressed products with active botanicals including Ribose (from organic corn seeds) to increase cellular energy and Red Clover, which refines the texture of the skin. Echinacea soothes the effects of eczema and psoriasis while Seabuckthorn heals cuts and rashes.

    Organic skin care has come a long way. With products like the ones in the Mangosteen Lactic Collection we now have products that offer “healing while peeling” as an easy and effective step in our daily skin routine.

    Algae in Skin Care

    I will admit, you can easily catch me harking back to the 90’s when my adventurous soul craved all the information I could get on health and wellness. Cooking from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest, growing wheat grass, living in a tipi, making clay masks and kombucha… it was all fair game. So when over 20 years later Eminence Organics (our top selling skin care line) came out with their first algae products, you better believe I am almost bathing in in day and night. The first photosynthetic, oxygen producing organism on earth, which is 3.5 billion years old? Of course I’m sold! Algae regenerates the skin; so consider it an alternative to a skin thinning retinoid. It’s rich in vitamins and amino acids so it replenishes as well. The algae in the Eminence Organics Marine Flower Peptide Serum and Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream come from 5 different pure sources around the globe.

    The products also contain the Smart Collagen + Complex to increase dermal thickness (unlike the thinning effects of retinoids). Collagen density is critical to lifting and firming the surface of the skin. Loss of density occurs both intrinsically and extrinsically. Stress and hormones play a huge roll in the intrinsic loss of density, while UV exposure and environmental pollutants (see the Eminence Organics Detoxifying Microgreens Complex) have a drastic extrinsic effect. The Smart Collagen + Complex is made from rice, bulbine leaf, and algae. So, no animal ingredients here.

    Since the Marine Flower Peptide Serum is water based, it should be used on clean, dry skin. A lipid based serum would be layered next, followed by a moisturizer. The Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream, however, is in a beautiful lipid rich emulsion that includes avocado oil, rosehip seed oil, sunflower oil, and shea butter. It also contains the water soluble and ever popular (rightly so) Hyaluronic Acid from rice sugars to plump the skin.

    Organic skin care has come a long way since the 90’s! Though I reminisce my unbound exploration, I am thrilled to find myself a business woman in my 40’s who can still choose health and work to support the wellness of other women in my community. And though I am now tied -or rooted- by work and family I delight in knowing that, because I chose to be part of this great community, a spirulina smoothie is just a short walk away.

    4 Helpful Tips to Transition to Summer Skin Care

    May is the time we want to see our clients transitioning to SUMMER PRODUCTS! We have 4 helpful hints for your spring/summer home care regimen:

    1. Add a sunscreen
    Hopefully everyone is getting outside more often now so if you are not already using a sunscreen, now is the time to make that change. Our Eminence Organics sunscreens are a moisturizer and sunscreen all in one! Use alone or on top of a serum (we prefer the latter).

    2. Lighten it up
    As the humidity in the air increases (we are in Michigan here where winters are very dry and summers quite humid), your products do not need to be as rich and occlusive. Lighten the lipid content in your cleansers, serums, and moisturizers. Your Esthetician can help you make smart purchasing decisions.

    3. Use your winter day cream as your night cream
    One of our favorite tips to help you avoid buying a whole new summer regimen is to use your winter day cream (unless it has an SPF in it) as your night cream. Even on those warm summer nights your skin’s oil production decreases by 50% so don’t forget to wash the day away and use a night cream.

    4. Be less aggressive
    Most people get enough sun exposure to warrant avoiding chemical peels, high percentage glycolic acid formulations, and strong vitamin A products in the summer. Using such products makes your skin more vulnerable to the damaging rays of the sun. Unless you are extremely diligent about protecting your skin from the sun consider using a gentle glycolic, mandelic acid, lactic acid, or enzymes instead.

    Drone Technology

    Glymed Plus is offering us a brand new technology in skin care: DRONE TECHNOLOGY!  If it sounds like something from Star Wars, it is.  The dual encapsulated super peptide knows exactly where to go once it enters your skin.  It’s a targeted treatment with none of the negative side effects (skin thinning, sun sensitivity, drying effects) of its coveted colleages (like Retinoids).

    The NEW Wrinkle Remedy promises softer, plumper skin in 6 days and a firmer face contour and relaxed wrinkles in 28 days.  How does this happen (read on)?  The super peptide in the Wrinkle Remedy formulation works on several levels:
    • Boosts the synthesis of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in the Dermis, offering immediate plumping (crows feet and lines around the lip)
    • Increases fibroblasts in the skin which stimulate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) cells to strengthen the Dermal/Epidermal Junction (replenishing skin volume and lifting jawline)
    • Interacts with neurotransmitter receptors to relax expression lines (“frown” or “11” lines)

    The NEW Diamond Bright Skin Lightener uses cutting edge Drone Technology to brighten skin and lighten unwanted hyperpigmentation.  It promises skin lightening in 30 days by specifically targeting melanocytes in the Epidermis.  The Diamond Bright also reduces inflammation in the skin which contributes to hyperpigmentation. This formulation does not cause normal pigmentation to lighten, is safe for all skin Fitzpatrick’s types, is safe for pregnant and nursing women, and does not cause photo sensitivity.

    I hope you enjoy hearing about new, exciting products and treatments and learning a little more about how skin works!  We all have a passion for it at the Apothecary and love to share it with you.

     

    Spring-Summer Skin Regimen

    This just in from our Esthetician, Tiffany Genter.

    “As we move into spring, now is a great time to adjust your skin care regimen for warmer and sunnier weather!!  While I will be heading into winter when I get to Australia it will still be very sunny and the temperatures will be in the 70’s.  Here is a look at what I am taking down under with me and how I am prepping my skin for the change in season:”

    Morning:

    Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid – it has a Natural Retinol Alternative minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while the coconut water tones and balances pH.

    Eminence Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil – while I usually like a daytime moisturizer this oil absorbs really quickly. The rosehip oil improves moisture and the seabuckthorn oil brightens.

    Jane Iredale Power-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen- since my daytime moisturizer/oil doesn’t contain a SPF, I will be using this dry sunscreen to protect me from the harsh rays. It is a broad spectrum, physical barrier SPF 30.

    Eminence Bright Skin Moisturizer, SPF 32 – I will be taking this SPF with me for my sister. She loves this since it not only minimizes her hyper pigmentation but also protects her from the sun!

    Night:

    Eminence Lavender Age Corrective Night Concentrate – this not only softens fine line and wrinkles but adds hydration along with antioxidants to help with free radical damage.

    Eminence Monoi Age Corrective Night Cream – since my skin is always dry this moisturizer is a staple for me year round. The argan oil, shea butter and evening primrose soften and hydrate my skin, especially if I accidentally get too much sun.

    Eminence Clear Skin Targeted Acne Treatment – this amazing spot treatment will definitely be going with me. This contains tea tree, salicylic acid, and cucumber to reduce redness and inflammation and kill bacteria.

    And of course I will be using the Eminence Tropical Vanilla Body Sunscreen SPF 32 so I don’t get burned while I am there.

    Pharmaceutical and Organic Peels

    Oct 2015 Facial Peelv5

    Pharmaceutical Grade Peels

    Don’t let the word “peel” scare you.  Fruit acids, acids from sugar cane, and pineapple enzymes are all considered peels.  A chemical peel is just a way of exfoliating skin off the surface by dissolving dead skin cells (verses a physical peel which uses beads and hulls to manually remove the skin).  Chemical peels range in concentration and depending on which acids are used, have different attributes.  Scroll down for more information on our new organic peels and what acids are used for different skin conditions.  For our October Special we are offering a Glymed Plus 30% Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) Peel which consists of 15% Glycolic and 15% Lactic.  It is a 3.4 pH which means it will not dry your skin too much but, rather, is hydrating!  If you have never had a peel, we may just apply this one layer.  If you are ready to move on to treating hyperpigmentation and fine lines, we will apply the 2 leave-on peel layers at the end of the facial: the Glymed Plus 5 Berry Peel with 15% TCA and berries to lighten pigmentation (this one doesn’t make you peel), and the Glymed Plus Vitamin A Peel with 15% TCA and Vitamin A (which DOES make you peel).  As you can see this treatment is customized to your skin and what you want out of it.

    exfoliating-peels-1

    Organic Peels

    The NEW Eminence Organics Exfoliating Peels have quickly found their way into our hearts (and our at home skin regimens).  There are 4 peels to choose from: Firm Skin, Bright Skin, Clear Skin, and Calm Skin.  They are ingenious because they pair acids that help each skin condition with botanicals to support each condition.

    Directions for application:  Every other evening after cleansing, apply on face and neck using 2 pumps from the airless jar on cotton round (included), let absorb for 3 minutes, do not remove, apply eye cream, night serum, and night cream.

    Firm Skin Exfoliating Peel– 4% Fruit acids (from lemon and passion fruit), Glycolic acid (from Naseberry), Tartaric acid (from grapes) and Lactic acid (from milk).  Botanicals include grapefruit, goji, acai, noni and sweat pea flower.  Good for fine lines.

    Bright Skin Exfoliating Peel– 3% Azelaic acid (from grains), Lactic acid (from milk), and Mandelic acid (from almonds).  Botanicals include licorice, baobab, and daisy blossom.  Good for hyperpigmentation and fine lines.

    Clear Skin Exfoliating Peel– 3% Azelaic acid (from grains), Salicylic acid (from willow bark), and Lactic acid (from milk).  Formulated with sulfur to help with oil control.  Botanicals include lilac, willow, and tomatoe extract.  Good for oil production and acne.

    Calm Skin Exfoliating Peel– 1.5% Lactic acid (from milk) and Mandelic acid (from almonds).  Botanicals white genepi, chamomile, and arnica.  Good for Rosacea and sensitive skin.
    Having trouble choosing?  Your Esthetician will choose for you!

    Oxygen and Enzymes for Spring Skin

    Spring is upon us, but here in Michigan we are still experiencing the effects of dry, winter skin.  The surface of the skin shows dehydration in the form of flakiness, lines, or a rough, chapped texture.  Even redness and acne is exacerbated by dehydration.  A common mistake people make is thinking that if they have oily or acne prone skin that they need to “dry” it out and in their attempt to reduce oil, they strip water from the surface.  The presence of oil and the presence of water on the surface of the skin are two separate issues, but oil and water work together in balance to form a protective barrier.  So, if the skin is oily it can still be dehydrated (lacking water).  Oily skin needs to be protected with a less occlusive barrier while truly dry (lacking oil) skin needs to be protected in the winter with a highly occlusive day cream.  Protective day and night creams help PREVENT dry, flaky skin but let’s talk about how to TREAT it.

    During the winter and moving into spring, enzymes are most effective at removing dead and dry skin.  Enzymes are made up of long strands that actively digest dead skin cells on the surface without penetrating deeply and causing irritation.  This is important because skin that is prone to harsh Michigan winters need gentle exfoliation rather than deeply penetrating exfoliation (like the kind the skin receives when using Glycolic Acid which causes cell division.  Cell division is good because it encourages cellular regeneration but most people need to nourish their skin and be on a dedicated, supportive home regimen before using Glycolic in the winter.  More on cellular regeneration WITHOUT the cell division with the use of Oxygen products as you read on).

    This March we have created a facial just for early spring.  If you have been feeling dry all winter our March Special will offer relief.  After enzymes exfoliate, breathe new life into your skin with oxygen from the Nasturtium plant.  The NEW Oxygen Treatment Cream by Glymed Plus treats your skin to oxygenation!   All cells are under some kind of stress and can benefit from oxygen, especially this new Oxygen Treatment Cream which has numerous benefits:

    1. Cell turnover.  The Oxygen Treatment Cream rejuvenates skin cells without the use of exfoliants, retinoids, or acids.  THE RESULT is softer skin and reduced wrinkles.

    2. Detoxification.  The Nasturtium plant (flower, leaf, and stem) gives off oxygen which gets into the follicle and has an antimicrobial and antifungal effect that is more gentle than Benzoyl Peroxide.  THE RESULT is a reduction in acne and blackheads.

    3.  Lightening and Brightening.  The Vitamin C (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate) in this formulation has strong antioxidant properties.  It also aids in collagen synthesis and protection and is enormously beneficial to the eye area.  THE RESULT is brighter, firmer skin.

    Treating your skin to enzymes and oxygen are a smart way to keep your skin healthy and in balance!

    by Glymed Plus
    Hydrating Enzyme Mask by Glymed Plus
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    Oxygen Treatment Cream by Glymed Plus