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spa

Skin

Like A Dental Cleaning For Your Face…The FacialFeatured

Safe Pore Purging

Like a deeper dental cleaning…but far, far more pleasant.
If your daily skincare regimen is like brushing your teeth (ok, with those awesome actives, it’s more than just basic hygiene)…a facial is like the deeper cleaning you get at the dentist’s.
A clinically-sound facial gives your skin the deeper cleaning that it needs, purging pores of cloggers that even scrubbing cleansers can’t get to. Besides helping to clear acne, this helps your active treatments penetrate deeper into the skin for better efficacy.
Why clinically-sound? Our facials were based on dermatology acne surgery to ensure the proper tools (no finger popping, for example), plus a procedure that safeguards sterility, hypoallergenicity and anti-inflammatory repair to prevent redness or swelling. We then added our signature spa touches so that this once-painful, purely-utilitarian clinical procedure is now so relaxing, most of our clients find themselves napping in the middle!
Which brings us to another bonus: our facials are so good at helping you zone out, they double as mega stress-relieving sessions of pure, unadulterated, bliss, relaxation, and mindfulness. And we all know the tremendous good that does your skin, brain, and overall health!
Nothing replaces the benefits of your daily, at-home regimen. But to bump it up a notch (and get a power relaxation hour), schedule a facial once a month.

Beauty, Skin, Skinthusiasm

I “Dew”: Julie’s (Hypoallergenic!) Bridal Beauty Success Story

“Most bridal magazines say that wedding planning should include a skin regimen. My very first facial was at the VMV boutique in New York City. Holly, my VMV esthetician, was just amazing! I knew my skin was in great hands. After my 6-month wedding bliss facial package, I couldn’t be any happier! From experience, VMV regimens and make-up are so gentle. I simply love VMV!” – Julie

Julie’s Skin Story:

From rashes to radiance…

Julie had rather severe eczema and a bad allergic reaction to her cleanser when she started coming in for VMV facials. Holly customized a regimen and a 6-month facial package for her. Julie’s skin cleared beautifully and is glowing in her wedding photos & video —  all VMV makeup, natch! — which she emailed to Holly.
Holly’s reaction? “I just wanted to say how thankful I am to have been able to help Julie achieve her beautiful wedding skin!”
Your happy is our happy!
Problem skin may need a little longer time to get ready for the big day, or may need more targeted care. Luckily enough, this is precisely what we “dew”. Give us a call at (212) 217 2762 and we can customize a daily regimen-and-facial program for you. We can even recommend products based on allergens from your patch test results!
Why risk a major rash or acne breakout on the honeymoon? Our allergen-free, non-comedogenic makeup provides powerful performance for stage, TV, and all-day weddings, and is a great way to keep your wedding glow longer.
Congratulations, Julie! 🙂

 


Holly has been licensed in esthetics and manicuring for 14 years. Before joining VMV HYPOALLERGENICS®, Holly held positions in several prestige spas. Known for her professional expertise, affable personality, and ability to anticipate guests’ needs, celebrities in the know ask for Holly by name. With her gentle touch, joyful demeanor and replete knowledge of her trade, Holly defines professional skin care. Holly’s deft abilities have been written about in articles and reviews throughout NY media and beyond.

As our Senior Esthetician-Accounts Manager, Holly leads VMV’s International Development of Spa Protocols + Treatments.

Featured, Skin

VMV Hypoallergenics: The Superman of Skincare

 EmmaWerner

By Emma Werner

The Fashion HotBox in New York City | Jul 11, 2016

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I recently had an amazing spa experience with VMV Hypoallergenics, a skincare company that prides themselves on being the “safest, most proven effective care on the planet,” and it certainly holds up to that mantra. They specialize in sensitive skin and have even developed the first and ONLY hypoallergenic “grading” system–they are the only brand to actually validate and rate its hypoallergenicity. In fact, VMV’s claims of safety and efficacy are backed by over 75 published clinical studies (they NEVER test on animals!), and their products are free of most or all of the 76 top allergens that are present as ingredients in cosmetics. VMV tracks everything that goes into or near a product, and the product itself is patch tested for skin safety. Check out the rest of this post to learn about my personal experience with VMV’s spa (spoiler alert: heavenly) and the products I use.

My Spa Experience

VMV Hypoallergenics - Best Facial in NYC

The location itself is absolutely ethereal. The aesthetic is light, charming and intimate. The sales associates are attentive, welcoming and knowledgable–their willingness to share their knowledge and assess your unique needs is truly unparalleled. VMV (and their associates) are so amazing at not only helping to identify skin conditions and/or skin type, but also finding the perfect product(s) that work for YOU. After my facial, I left with several products that I wouldn’t have thought of trying before my esthetician explained my skin type and what I needed for it (hint: I would never have looked for these products myself because I honestly was clueless about my skin and its needs!).
After arriving at the store, I filled out some quick paperwork (including noting any skin conditions I had), and was quickly whisked into the back room by a lovely esthetician. I was told to remove my top, cover myself with a terrycloth towel, and relax on the table. From the first moment the aesthetician shut the door behind her to begin the facial, I felt like a QUEEN. I was constantly pampered for the entire experience–and I would really choose to call it an EXPERIENCE, because it wasn’t just a facial…it was truly a luxurious hour of complete and total pampering on all ends of the spectrum. I was so relaxed that my body wanted to fall asleep, but my mind wanted to stay awake to continue enjoy the amazing feelings of complete and utter QUEEN-NESS (I know that’s not a word, but it’s the only adjective I can think of to describe how amazing this spa experience was)! I have been to many different spas in my life, and never have I had such an amazing time– VMV truly is on another LEVEL when it comes to pampering.
SO, on to the actual facial I received, which is called the Classic Superskin Facial. This facial is actually designed to be kind a maintenance upkeep “cleaning” for your skin–it is recommended that you get these every few months to give your skin the crucial cleaning and deeper upkeep that it needs to keep it glowing and healthy! My esthetician gave me an initial consultation to see if there were any impurities or irritations she needed to address, and to assess my skin type in order to pick the best products to use on on it during my facial.
I think what makes this facial (and VMV Hypoallergenics itself) so amazing, is that there is a very safe and clinical approach to everything they do. The facial is expertly created and regularly reviewed by the VMV Skin Research Center + Clinic, ensuring clinical safety and effectiveness! The facial has in-depth analysis, consultation and customization components, including a relaxing face, neck and hand massage, pore-opening steaming, light comedone extractions, and one of their special, invigorating, anti-inflammatory masks — freshly mixed on site just for you!

My Recommended Products

VMV - Best Anti-Aging Crea

My esthetician ultimately left me with a “skinvestment” plan customized to my skin’s needs after our session–she let me know what products she used on my skin and why, what my skin’s unique needs are, asked me what my own concerns were, and then recommended several products for me to use at home. She recommended the Hydra Balance Gentle Cream Cleanser, Know-It-Oil, ID Gel, and the Red Better Spot Corrector.
The Hydra Balance Gently Cream Cleanser ($22) is perfect for me because I have combination oily/dry skin–it whisks away excess oil, helping to control acne, while simultaneously moisturizing drier areas. I tend to be oily in my T-zone and get acne around those areas, but then drier on other parts of my face and neck, so this has been a really great product for me!
The Know-It-Oil ($17) is clinically-validated, 100% USDA-certified organic virgin coconut oil. It’s an amazing moisturizer because it includes fatty acids that are native to the skin, and it helps repair damage from environmental factors, reducing inflammation and irritation (which I needed, especially in my cheeks). Good news, girls (and boys)–this can be used on ALL skin types!
The ID Gel ($30) is a unique , skin-safe, coconut-derived antibacterial that can provide treatment for all forms of acne on the face, chest, back, arms, thighs, etc.. It also disinfects skin and works as a mattifier to control shine an keep skin feeling cool and fresh! It basically acts as a sanitizer without drying out the skin (the worst).
VMV - Best Anti-Aging Crea

*FAVORITES/MUST-HAVES*

The Red Better Spot Corrector ($25) is one of my FAVORITES. The gel itself is uniquely non-irritating, not drying (even soothing and hydrating!) for ultra-sensisitve skin. This thing zaps away zits and any redness on the face like magic–literal MAGIC. Once you try this you will never go back to using any other brand’s spot corrector; it’s just that good.
The gel’s ingredients include coconut-derived monolaurin, which targets microbes and is an effective anti-inflammatory. Antiflammatory antioxidants and silicones also help prevent scarring. I tend to get redness easily, and when I get acne, it’s RED. I like to put this on at night and when I wake up in the morning, the redness is next to gone. If you choose to buy anything from this post, I would recommend this as a life-long MUST-HAVE.
The Re-Everything Cream ($95) is something I actually asked my esthetician about because I was looking for a new anti-aging ‘potion’. I have kind of bounced, trying out different retinol night creams, and the one I was currently using was actually irritating my skin quite a lot (it turned out the redness in my cheeks was from using it), and so my esthetician recommend the Re-Everything Cream (pricey, I know, but TOTALLY worth it). This stuff is, again, MAGIC. It’s so gentle on my skin and I definitely noticed my skin looking more healthy, glowing and line-free just days after starting to use it. Also, only a little bit is needed so this bottle will last me at least 6 months.
How it works: This is a clinically-proven cellular renewal and regeneration anti-aging therapy forces new and younger cells to the surface. Kinetin growth factor promotes cell rejuvenation, causing skin cells to act younger and is proven to stimulate fibroblasts to produce more elastin + collagen. Ultimately, it minimizes the appearance / severity of fine lines, wrinklesand other signs of (photo) aging, helping to rejuvenate, retexturize and refirm skin.
***
So, there yah go: VMV is essentially an all-in-one-stop-shop to heavenly spa-ville AND school of skincare, with knowledgable employees that guide you along the often confusing and complicated path of aging and troubled skin to a fresher, healthier relationship with your face and body! Worried that this is all too complicated and unsure about how to use the products once you get them? Not to fear! Each product comes with detailed instructions, and the labels themselves even include a super detailed description of ingredients and uses for the product. How thoughtful, am I right? VMV is kinda like my superman of skincare. I can’t wait to book my next appointment with them…
If you’re interested in booking your own super amazing spa experience with VMV, you can call them at (212) 217-2762, book online, or visit them at their NYC boutique location (227 Mott Street NY, NY)!
[Spa services and products c/o of VMV Hypoallergenics, but honest review of such is provided in this article (I promise!)]
 

P.S. Use code “VMVFHB20” for 20% off all VMV products and services!


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This article originally appeared on Fashion HotBox, Emma Werner’s blog on fashion and lifestyle.
Reposted with permission.

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

3 Reasons Why A Facial Makes You A Better PersonFeatured

Can Something So Delicious Be Good For You?

If you break down what really goes on during a facial, the answer is a resounding, YES!
We normally think of spas as pure indulgence…which sounds wonderful but also like a waste of time. Relaxation is down time, but it is anything but a waste of time. Downtime is when the mind processes and cements learning, when “eureka” moments happen, and when both brain and body reboot. And relaxation, in a very real, physical way, is a necessity — arguably as fundamental to your health as a balanced diet. While the discoveries continue, the link between stress, inflammation and  health problems as diverse as acne, aging, eczema, obesity, depression, and cancer, is well established. Decreasing stress is not a luxury. It is a priority.
But why a facial? Believe it or not, for how much good stuff happens in an hour, a facial might be the most efficient health practice next to regular exercise and proper nutrition that you can do. In just 60 minutes, you get a deep de-stressing session, inflammation reduction…and even brain function improvement. You can legitimately tell your boss that your facial makes you better at work, and your family that it makes you a better person.
 

1. Give Your Brain A Facial

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Could your facial make you smarter?

Based on a growing body of research, Ferris Jabr writes, “Mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity” in the “Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime.”  Downtime doesn’t just reduce stress; it allows the brain to become more effective.
Downtime is not sleep which entails different, while also very important, brain functions. Downtime is mental idleness, getting the brain to its “default mode network” (DMN), a mental state of complex functions that allow the brain to digest what it has recently learned and reflect upon itself more profoundly. Being asleep, it seems, is too unconscious for this brain work. Being awake, the brain is too busy for it. When idle in DMN, the brain is in a productive limbo where lessons cement themselves and where we do the deeper work of reflection and self improvement. The brain needs sleep, of course, and undergoes vital reparative and memory work during this time — as an aside, many of our facial clients fall asleep, too! And when we’re awake, we need our brain sharp for obvious reasons — we wouldn’t be able to perform the most basic functions otherwise. But evidence suggests that we should be prioritizing DMN idleness, or waking rest, too, for the powerful work that the brain does during this time.
How does a facial promote DMN? Downtime includes meditation or mindfulness, vacations and naps. A facial is all three. During a typical facialmassage or body treatment, your mind wanders, it slows down. you escape from daily worries and, often, you nap — in perfect increments (studies show that 7-10 minutes of sleep is ideal to reenergize without needing to recover from the “sleep inertia” that follows longer naps).
In addition to relaxation and escape, the research shows that “downtime…is essential to… achieve our highest levels of performance;” downtime can help you become more effective at work and problem-solving. As Jabr writes, “studies have demonstrated that the mind obliquely solves tough problems while daydreaming — an experience many people have had while taking a shower. Epiphanies may seem to come out of nowhere, but they are often the product of unconscious mental activity during downtime.”
If going to the gym gives you 40-60 minutes of sustained physical work that helps lower cholesterol and promote heart health and overall fitness, a facial could be the equivalent for your brain: 60 minutes of Default Mode Network downtime that sharpens your brain and helps you with problem solving. Your Eureka moment might just be waiting for that facial.
 

2. It’s Therapy

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A facial can help you as you work to become a better person.

In the same article, Jabr writes that downtime could be considered a form of self improvement. Citing “Rest Is Not Idleness: Implications of the Brain’s Default Mode for Human Development and Education” by Mary Helen Immordino-Yang of the University of Southern California, Jabr writes, “when we are resting the brain is anything but idle…far from being purposeless or unproductive, downtime is in fact essential to mental processes that affirm our identities, develop our understanding of human behavior and instill an internal code of ethics—processes that depend on the DMN.” Self affirmation, understanding our behavior and strengthening our moral code…if this sounds familiar it’s because we do many of the same things in therapy.
As the mind is freed of distractions, it can make sense of recent learnings and explore unresolved issues that the brain may not be able to focus on during the course of a busy day. Jabr adds, “A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future…we shuffle through all those neglected mental post-it notes listing half-finished projects.” Hello, goal setting!
“We mull over the aspects of our lives with which we are most dissatisfied, searching for solutions. We sink into scenes from childhood and catapult ourselves into different hypothetical futures. And we subject ourselves to a kind of moral performance review, questioning how we have treated others lately.” Self reflection, check. Self improvement, check.
Therapy is considered a valid practice: focused time for self improvement and to work through problems. Unlike talk-therapy (valuable for different reasons), during a facial, your mind begins to drift and self-reflection happens peacefully and organically. You don’t need to work so hard to let go, you just do. You don’t think, “now I’m going to focus on my life and how I can be a better person” — this, plus surprising perspectives and even solutions, just “pop into your head.” And it’s an altogether pleasant experience: self improvement that doesn’t feel like work.
 

3. It Keeps You Younger

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We’re not talking the cult of youthful beauty, but energy and cellular, systemic health.

Other studies such as “Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators” have shown a link between the positive emotional or psychological results of meditation (downtime) and an increase in the longevity of telomerase, an enzyme that is fundamental to the long-term health and youth of cells. While the notion that meditation reduces stress might be an old one, that meditation could affect proteins related to aging, possibly prolonging our cellular health and youth, is relatively new and compelling.

A facial can certainly help you look younger, but (nice as that is) we’re not just talking about aesthetics. A facial’s inherent ability to encourage DMN could promote youth at a more cellular level. The link between stress and inflammation is well proven, and inflammation is linked to a slew of skin, mental and health problems. In addition to the allergen-free, antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory nature of our products, it is the great-mind-escape downtime promoted by our facials that is deeply reparative to skin, brain and, studies imply, more cells throughout the body.

 
Vacations are considered important for your health and well being, as is therapy and reducing stress. A 60-minute facial, in addition to feeling divine, gives you a sustained, uninterrupted DMN session that promotes brain efficiency and heightened performance, self improvement, and anti-inflammatory cellular health. Looking all glowy afterwards is about as awesome as icing can get on an already incredibly-yummy, surprisingly healthy cake!

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

How To Look Good? BE Good.Featured

We all age. That’s just what living organisms do. But what more and more research is showing is that we can affect how we age — how quickly, how severely, how visibly.

We know, for example, that even if you have diabetes in the family, improved nutrition, careful monitoring and daily exercising may keep you from developing it yourself. More kids are getting acne at younger ages and children as young as age 9 are now given simple acne treatments and regimens, reducing the severity of or even preventing acne altogether, even if both parents had it. Genes are not the all-powerful, written-in-stone determinants that we once thought they were. Stunning new studies in epigenetics are showing how gene modifications might be influenced by our actions, too, and that these changes may even be passed along to future generations.
study in the journal Nature and Neuroscience [1] shows how a mother rat’s nurturing can imprint her pup’s DNA with biological characteristics that can be passed on to future offspring. The Learn. GeneticsTM Genetic Science Learning Center of the University of Utah breaks it down:

“Mom’s behavior actually programs the pups’ DNA…The epigenetic code allows certain types of information to be passed to offspring without having to go through the slow processes of random mutation and natural selection. At the same time, the epigenetic code is sensitive to changing environmental conditions such as availability of food or threat from predators…So take heart – your epigenetic destiny is not written in permanent ink.” [2]

Another study [3] showed a link between meditation and an increase in telomerase, an enzyme that is fundamental to the long-term health of cells, meaning their youth. While it might have been obvious that participants would feel less stressed after meditation, that this could also affect our bodies — and specifically proteins related to aging — is compelling. The study showed that these positive “emotional” or “psychological” results can impact how telomeres behave, promoting their longevity, and thereby possibly prolonging our cellular health and youth, too. Even if we don’t go down the seemingly sci-fi road of genetic influence, there is an already solid body of research linking inflammation to several skin concerns from acne to eczema, psoriasis and, yes, aging. And what’s linked to inflammation? Stress.
We know that smoking, a poor diet, comedogens, allergens, pollution and unprotected sun exposure can influence skin. We know that proven active ingredients applied topically can improve the skin’s health and appearance. Now we know that stress management is another key to slowing down the aging process.
While we wait for the cream-pill-yoga pose combo that turns us into a 25-year-old version of ourselves overnight, there are right now, right this second, multiple, totally achievable things we can do to keep us looking younger for longer. And they all (spoiler alert) have to do with being good — to yourself and to others. We’ve chosen the top five here:

1) USE SUNSCREEN. DAILY.
ALL YEAR ROUND. EVEN INDOORS.

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Photo-aging, skin-damaging, immunosuppressive UVA penetrates windows and windshields.

You’re great about sunscreen use at the beach, slathering it on and reapplying every one to two hours. Fabulous. What you’ve done, however, is the minimum you need to prevent skin cancer, but not necessarily to fight aging. And fighting aging — or at least slowing down the natural aging process — is something that sun protection can definitely do. In interview with CNN, Mayo Clinic professor of dermatology Dr. Lawrence Gibson notes, “photoaging is not part of the natural aging process — it’s avoidable.” [4] A recent study [5] published in the Annals of Internal Medicine proves that daily sunscreen use “protects against photoaging: wrinkling, spotting and loss of elasticity.” [4]

But why all year? Because you’re getting more sun than you think. It’s not just the hard core tanning-baking-hours-outdoors that causes photo-aging and skin cancer, it’s the daily exposure that you don’t even think about. Sun damage is cumulative so even the incidental exposure you get from crossing the street counts. What about winter? You might be getting hit by double exposure from snow glare. And while not much UVB gets to you on cloudy days, a good amount of UVA does — rain or shine, summer or winter, UVA is present and it is very damaging. In addition, UVA passes through window glass and windshields. Think of all the sun you get driving to and from work or sitting next to a window at work or at home when reading a good book.

Finally, photo-aging includes dark spots. While the sun causes them, visible and infrared light from indoor sources such as halogens, fluorescents and even computer screens, saunas and stoves are proven to cause melasma and other dark spots which increases the aged look of skin. To learn more about what else causes hyperpigmentations (surprising things like cooking!), check out Shining The Light On What Causes Dark Spots & Blotches.

2) CHOOSE A PROVEN ACTIVE SKIN REGIMEN. BE CONSISTENT.

The benefits of a daily, active regimen are multiple and cumulative, making skin look younger and more vibrant almost immediately, with dramatic results over time, and keeping skin healthier as we age.

What should I expect from a good anti-aging treatment?

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A good at-home regimen isn’t a one-shot deal: it’s meant to keep your skin healthier over time.

As the photographs above show (taken at baseline and week 4 of using Re-Everything Anti-Aging Cream with unbuffered glycolic acid, kinetin, virgin coconut oil and antioxidants in a regimen), at a minimum, you should expect to see brighter, more vibrant-looking skin. Fine lines should appear less pronounced and possibly deeper wrinkles as well. The skin should feel and appear more firm and youthful. With the right actives in the appropriate concentrations, many people report noticing improvements almost immediately. Continued use and proper prevention can deliver more dramatic results in as little as four weeks. And as with exercise and a healthy lifestyle, consistency continues to pay off.

Actives like unbuffered glycolic acid, retinoic acid, and mandelic acid as well as virgin coconut oil and antioxidants like green tea are some of the best studied and most reliable age fighters.

3) REGULAR FACIALS

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Deep cleaning + stress management. Win-win.

So here’s the thing: you brush your teeth daily but see your dentist for deeper cleanings. Your daily at-home skin regimen is like brushing your teeth, and facials are your deeper cleaning at the dentist’s. Which your skin needs. The skin on your face is naked — even with sunscreen, it is (like your hands) the part of your body that is unclothed. Your face gets the most direct and regular exposure to the sun’s damaging rays, indoor light and heat, plus pollution and airborne allergens. Therapeutic facials provide a good, deep cleaning through steaming and a proper extraction to purge it of accumulated dirt and debris that topical products cannot wash away. VMV Facials are allergen-free, feature effective active ingredients — which, with the steaming, pore cleansing and gentle massage, are absorbed better — and end with a therapeutic mask, usually with higher concentrations of actives than what you could use at home, and in a formulation that heightens the absorption of actives and provides barrier therapy, intensive hydration, and anti-inflammatory benefits. If your daily regimen is like taking your vitamins, think of this as getting a booster shot of concentrated actives.

If you’d like to up the therapeutic benefits even more, add a chemical peel (high concentrations of powerful actives applied for a short, very controlled amount of time) — ours also feature allergen-free peels we formulate ourselves plus anti-inflammatory products to reduce downtime and the risk of irritation without sacrificing efficacy. A monthly or quarterly laser procedure can be more expensive and may not be doable as regularly as a facial but can be more instantly dramatic.

Still, nothing replaces your daily regimen — again, think of it like brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t stop daily oral hygiene because you see your dentist every few months, would you?

The fantastic icing on this very healthy cake: facials and spa services are healthy, and not just for your skin. They “dew” double duty as concentrated treatments and stress reducers…which is so, so important for your skin, mind and body! To learn more about how a spa session can physically benefit your brain, check out  4 Reasons You Need Spa Hour.

For more information on VMV’s clinically-sound, allergen-free therapeutic facials and spa treatments, give us a call at (212) 226 7309 or book online at vmv.nyc.

4) REDUCE (SKIN, BODY + MIND) STRESS

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Stress ages you and makes you sick. Stress management isn’t a luxury: it’s a health priority.

As the studies above show, stress reduction can influence our proteins, cell behavior and possibly DNA. The link between stress and inflammation is proven and a growing body of research is strengthening the links between inflammation and a library’s worth of skin and health problems, from depression to obesity, acne, psoriasis, rosacea and eczema to cancer and, again, aging.

It may not be the most obvious thing to think about but for preventing the visible signs of aging, it’s important to avoid skin stressors, too. For example, did you know that irritations, rashes, pimples, allergy flare-ups, itching, severe dryness, and reactions to products are all types of inflammation and are skin stressors? Whether or not you already have sensitive skin, avoiding known allergens can help prevent irritations — even subtle ones which may not yet be obvious— which can thin and stress the skin and contribute to aging.

We know that you know but it’s really important: aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation alone accounts for multiple skin, mental and physical problems. It might seem impossible but it is more achievable than you think. An article that made the rounds online (“If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers”) has gotten quite a bit of attention for its promotion of “deliberate practice.” [6] A few of us at VMV Hypoallergenics have tried this stricter schedule of less hours but more focused work, and have found it remarkably effective at both upping our productivity and giving us more time for relaxation, fun, families, a social life and sleep! To read more about deliberate practice, check out Laura’s (our CEO, a big fan of deliberate practice and balance in life) Happiness Inventory of Five.

Make stress reduction a priority, too. Meditate, keep a gratitude journal, practice yoga, pray — experiment with what works best for you, your schedule and your lifestyle. A quick side note: cocktails with your BFFs can be an awesome way to end a stressful day but don’t make alcohol your go-to de-stressor. While a glass a day can actually be good for you, excessive alcohol can be pro-inflammatory and a depressive. A glass of wine a day should be fine but try other, healthier practices to manage stress on a regular basis.

5) GET HEALTHY ON THE INSIDE

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Your skin shows the state of your body.

Want to know the state of your body? Look at your skin. Frequently, sometimes even before a blood test or MRI, your skin mirrors how your insides are doing. Poor health shows externally in the form of acne, dull skin, dry skin (which can lead to loss of elasticity and a more aged appearance) and even hair loss. Certain signs on the skin can even point to thyroid problems, diabetes or other internal issues (check out My Dermatologist Has X-Ray Vision for a great example of how a good, investigative dermatologist can point a patient in the direction of a specialist for a suspected internal problem, just by looking at her skin). A healthy body, on the other hand, is reflected in glowing, younger-looking skin, nails and hair.

Talk to a nutritionist if you’d like help understanding portion size and if you need assistance choosing healthier alternatives to your favorite foods (like coconut sugar, fresh-squeezed juices or whole grains). As a general rule, banish junk food altogether — the chips, candies and pre-packaged juices and sodas. Cut down on processed, “white”, and pre-packaged food and drinks. Load up on fish (smaller fish like sardines and herring for more good oils and less toxins), nuts, and fresh vegetables. Get your antioxidants from fresh fruits (they don’t tend to survive well in pills and supplements) to help combat the oxidative processes that are huge contributors to aging. And don’t forget your healthy oils like virgin coconut oil (excellent for use on salads, as well as in cooking, in your coffee..and on your skin and hair!)

Exercise is vital for your heart, metabolism and pretty much every aspect of your health. Plus, it’s an excellent stress reducer and mood lifter. In addition, new studies are showing that it’s not about extreme exercise three times a week. Constant activity is the new objective. Some studies are even showing that sitting down for more than a few hours at a time is extremely unhealthy — hence the rise of treadmill desks and the “fad” of standing more at work. Set a timer, get up, and walk around the block if you have to, but get moving. [7]

Mix it up: cardio one day and weights the next, yoga or pilates another day, then perhaps a hike outside. Mixing it up keeps it interesting and keeps your body challenged. Aim to work out every single day — again, you don’t have to kill yourself with a mega soul cycle burn each time, but you do need to do something every day. For example, if you had a hard workout on Monday, make Tuesday a “rest” day but instead of spending an hour in bed watching TV, catch up on your favorite shows while pedaling slowly on a stationary bike.

If you’re having one of those weeks where finding time to brush your hair has you exploring advanced physics for alternate dimensions, try the Scientific 7-Minute Workout [8] which a published study shows can give you maximum results in minimum time. [9] It’s awesome because it takes no time at all (no matter the week, there’s no way you don’t have seven minutes) and all you need is a chair and a wall (unless you’re extreme camping in the Gobi dessert, there’s no way this isn’t doable either). An app that we know a lot of people use is UOVO’s The 7 Minute Workout. It comes with instructions for the simple exercises — all of which you’ve probably at least tried, even in high school gym class — and links to videos so you can practice before you start, voice instructions and timed intervals. Another great, free app is Sworkit, which allows you to choose your workout (strength, cardio, yoga and stretching) and workout duration (5-60 minutes). They’re motto is “no gym, no excuse” so you can “sworkit” anywhere, too (they even have Sworkit options for kids so the whole family can get in on it).

On days so lazy you can’t think let alone manage the pep required for Zumba, do ANYTHING. Pedal like a sloth on valium on a stationary bike while watching a Scandal marathon. Take the slowest walk around one block. Or grab that 7-Minute Workout app and repeat to yourself: everyone has seven minutes. The point is to prioritize some purposeful activity each and every day.

Pay It Forward

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Rescue cat Ming-Ming. Kindness and happiness promote good health.

Here’s something else to remember. Do all the above and the rewards are self perpetuating. One of the more amazing things that all this incredible new research is suggesting, is that you could be influencing far more than your mood and general health — you might be influencing your mind, body and skin at  chemical, protein, biological, and even genetic levels, far more powerfully than previously thought possible. The consistency of all these healthy practices may be teaching your body to maintain a healthier, younger state for longer and longer. If you’ve got kids, here’s the other plus: you might be influencing your genes enough to pass all this good behavior and its benefits along to your kids…and their kids!

Referring back to that study on maternal behavior in rats, another excellent article in Discover Magazine puts it this way: “Call it postnatal inheritance: With no changes to their genetic code, the baby rats nonetheless gained genetic attachments due solely to their upbringing — epigenetic additions of methyl groups…gumming up the works and altering the function of the brain….They found that inattentive mothering in rodents causes methylation of the genes for estrogen receptors in the brain. When those babies grow up, the resulting decrease of estrogen receptors makes them less attentive to their babies. And so the beat goes on.” [10] This applies to bad habits, nutrition and behavior, as well as to good. “If your grandmother was adopted by nurturing parents, you might be enjoying the boost she received thanks to their love and support. The mechanisms of behavioral epigenetics underlie not only deficits and weaknesses but strengths and resiliencies, too.” [9]

Kindness and care could therefore not only impact your health now, but positively influence the health those you love…on a biological, genetic level.

Daily sunscreen, a daily regimen, regular facials, stress management and “skinside-out” health — for your own health and age-resistance, and possibly for your children’s, being healthy is the gift that keeps on giving!
 
#goodnessbegetsgoodness
For more on how to achieve and sustain younger-looking skin, enter “aging” in the search field at skintelligencenter.com.
References:

  1. Weaver, I.C.G, Cervoni, N., Champagne, F.A., D’Alessio, A.C., Sharma, S., Seckl, J.R., Dymov, S., Szyf, M., & Meaney, M. (2004). Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior. Nature Neuroscience, 7, 847-854.
  2. Lick Your Rats. Teacher Resources and Lesson Plans, Learn. GeneticsTM Genetic Science Learning Center, The University of Utah, 2013. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/rats/
  3. Jacobs, T.L., et al., Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2010), doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.09.010 and Positive psychological changes from meditation training linked to cellular health. UC Davis News and Information. Nov. 3, 2010. http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=9669
  4. CNN.com. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/04/health/sunscreen-aging 
  5. Hughes M.C., Williams, G.M., Baker, P., Green, A.C. Sunscreen and Prevention of Skin Aging: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(11):781-790. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-11-201306040-00002.
  6. Cal Newport, If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers. Study Hacks. http://calnewport.com/blog/2011/11/11/if-youre-busy-youre-doing-something-wrong-the-surprisingly-relaxed-lives-of-elite-achievers/#
  7. Susan Orlean, American Chronicles, “The Walking Alive,” The New Yorker, May 20, 2013, p. 44. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/20/130520fa_fact_orlean
  8. Gretchen Reynolds, The Scientific 7-Minute Workout, New York Times, May 12, 2013, p. 20. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/
  9. Klika, B, Jordan, C. High-Intensity Circuit Training Using Body Weight: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment. Health & Fitness Journal. 2013; 17:3. Accessed May 10, 2013. http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2013/05000/HIGH_INTENSITY_CIRCUIT_TRAINING_USING_BODY_WEIGHT_.5.aspx
  10. Hurley, Dan. Grandma’s Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes. (Trace Vs. Fate). Discovery Magazine. May, 2013. http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13-grandmas-experiences-leave-epigenetic-mark-on-your-genes#.UfnNFxbwO-I

 
 

What do you swear by to stay healthy and slow aging?

Beauty, Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Age LESS: Six Things To Do Now To Stay Younger, LongerFeatured

There are many things we can do that are proven to keep us younger, longer — not just looking it but physically being it. Simple steps, sans needles or “miracles.”
Skeptical about how much anything you do can affect your biology? New studies are showing that our actions can influence our genes so much as to alter their behavior, slowing the aging process, preventing diseases we “should” get based on our genetic profile, extending life spans…changes so profound we might even pass them on to our children. We’ve chosen the top six most rewarding, most effective ways to truly, systemically age less.

Beauty, Featured, Skin

Underneath It All…Is Great Skin!Featured

Underneath it all…
under the great fashion, the great makeup, the great selfie, is…

GREAT SKIN.

Hemlines may rise and fall but “naked,” glowing skin is a staple. That’s the thing about beautiful, healthy skin: far more than the little black dress, it is 100% seasonless. We’d say it’s the new black…but great skin precedes — and supersedes — any cut, color or pattern. Skin is your first and most important “apparel.” It’s with you no matter what else you put on, it’s functional (vital, really…not like you “can’t live without” these hot new boots…like really, really you can’t live without it). It’s your ultimate statement piece. And it can be the difference between, “cute outfit” and…”wow, you look…wow!”

Read on to get the most “glow”rious complexion to match any outfit:

SKIN: super fine

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A mainstay on runways year after year: healthy, glowing skin. Up your glow game with targeted treatments with proven actives like kinetin, unbuffered glycolic acid and virgin coconut oil in Re-Everything Anti-Age Treatments.

PEEL: glow deeper

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Give your cell turnover rate a big boost, stimulate collagen production, tighten, and diminish hyperpigmentation, the appearance of large pores, acne and fine lines. With our uniquely Hypoallergenic Glycolic Acid Peel (our own, so it’s sans all allergens, natch) plus our validated hypoallergenic, anti-inflammatory products, you get an instant, incredible vibrancy and clarity with no redness or downtime.

MAKEUP: oil & canvas

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Almost all our makeup already contains our clinically-published, organic virgin coconut oil but to really show off that gorgeous complexion, try this: add pure virgin coconut oil Know-It-Oil to your Skin-The-Bluff Concealer. This trick effectively conceals “quirks in progress” while keeping skin naked-looking — the extra sheen adds additional camouflage by reflecting light. Then, mix the coconut oil in with Skin Bloom Blush highlighter in “Luminous” before applying to skin. Permanent bling.

WEAR WITH:
anything…or nothing.

Skin this gorgeous is above trend, your best neutral. No matter the tresses or dresses, you just can’t go wrong!

 

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

7 Steps To Sublime Summer SkinFeatured

We asked Holly, Senior Esthetician and Brand Educator at VMV Hypoallergenics, to share some tips for summer skin survival. Survival, she scoffed, is so defeatist. And limited. Here are Holly’s top 7 steps to summer skin survival sublime summer skin!

1: SUNSCREEN

InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-SunscreenCollage-20150531Many of us still rely on the SPF that we apply in the morning or think that the SPF in our makeup is enough. That might be fine for the rest of the year when you’re mostly indoors (at this point, you should know that sunscreen is a daily thing, yes?). But in the summer, you need to be more vigilant. Sunscreen does wear, wash and rub off so it is very important to reapply every hour or two, and after swimming or toweling off. That’s whether you’re taking an easy bike ride in the country or strolling through the city, lounging on the beach or at the park, or training hard outside. No amount of sun exposure is damage free. If you want to keep your skin looking young, avoid sun exposure. Hats, sunglasses and protective clothing are also helpful. I use Armada not only for my own personal use, but also after each facial I perform. FYI: don’t dab: make sure to slather sunscreen on for real protection.
 

2: SERENITY

InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Serenity-20150531Serenity, positivity, happiness. Surround yourself with positive people, positive energy and positive summertime experiences. The days are lazier: focus on being in the moment more. When going on a walk, stop to look — really look — at all the beauty that you might normally rush past. Listen to happy, uplifting music. Music can be very inspirational and soothing. Regular exercise and a healthy diet help our bodies process and handle stress better. I like this website for quick guided meditations: just-a-minute.org.
 

3: SKIN TUNE-UP

InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-SeasonalSkincare-20150531Much of our skin’s premature aging can happen over the summer. Don’t wait till after to refresh. Ask your esthetician for a good home skin care regimen. Regular facials should be done throughout the year for optimal skin health. For my clients, I recommend a 60-Minute Superskin Facial every 4 to 6 weeks with a 30-Minute Skin-A-Jiffy Refresher Facial in between or as needed (a nice boost for dull, sun-dried skin). Regular facials plus a skin care regimen adjusted to your skin’s summer needs is like giving your skin a regular tune up. And just like anything else, regular tune-ups and proper maintenance are so much better than trying to reverse bigger problems like acne scars or very dry skin later. To book one of our facials or spa treatments (each starts with an in-depth consultation and is customized to your skin) call (212) 217 2762 in NYC and (415) 255-9510 in San Francisco.
 

4: SANITATION

InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Sanitation-20150531Heat + humidity = microbe heaven. Wash your makeup brushes! Our new Instant No-Rinse Hypoallergenic Brush Cleaner (check vmvhypoallergenics.com — it’s launching soon!) is great for daily cleaning and Essence Superwash for a deeper washing every few days, weekly or monthly (depending on your level of use).
For bugs that bite or cause rashes, try Red Better Flare-Up Balm to quickly bring down redness and itching; Boo-Boo Balm for fast, ouchless healing. For daily use — remember that skin with eczema tends to be prone to microbial infection, which can promote itching — try Essence Hand + Body Smoother, which is ultra-light and comfortable for summer use but still very moisturizing and soothing to very dry or atopic skin.
 

5: SUSTENANCE…SALUD!

InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Sustenance-20150531YOUR SKIN IS WHAT YOU EAT. A good diet can improve your skin’s health and appearance. Control your meat and dairy; increase your essential fatty acids through a regular intake of small, oily fish, olive oils, nuts and avocados. Top off your diet with fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants. I add virgin coconut oil into my diet wherever I can! Know-It-Oil is excellent both topically and as a dietary supplement.
 

6: SMOOTH IT OUT

InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Smooth-20150531(DON’T) DO THE BUMP! If you find yourself with more breakouts in the summer, it could be due to sweat bacteria or a fungus that feeds on sweat going on overdrive. It sounds gross, but this fungus is healthy and natural to our skins. In the summer, however, when we tend to sweat more, the excessive perspiration can offset the skin’s good-microbe balance. When I feel oilier or have breakouts, I use Id Sweat Acne and Overall Antibacterial Monolaurin Gel — you can use it on face and body, and it cools the skin, too.
 

7: SLEEP IT OFF

InSKIN-SummerTips15-HByerly-Sleep-20150531
BEAUTIES SLEEP. The vast majority of people are sleep deprived, particularly women. The lack of sleep can leave one feeling forgetful, drowsy and also grouchy — all of these things can lead to more stress, in turn wreaking havoc on your skin (and, as more studies are showing, your body and brain). Commit to getting your 7-8 hours each night. A facial or spa treatment is a great way to get additional zz’s while taking care of your skin, too. A thorough cleansing with cool water and a SuperSkin Care Cleanser for your skin type and an application of a SuperSkin Care Moisturizer can help refresh tired skin. And our pale yellow No-More-Blues Skin-The-Bluff Concealer is the perfect eyebag camouflager.
 
Holly has a devoted following for good reason. She’s not only excellent at what she does; you’d be hard put to find a more soothing, gentle, good energy to be around. Follow Holly on instagram now for “skinsightful” tips, photos, recipes and more!
 

Featured, Skin, Tip of the Week

The “Wax” Of My Tears

If You Look Closer It’s Easy To Trace, The “Wax” Of My Tears

“Take a good look at my face. You’ll see my smile looks out of place.” Probably because you just got waxed. You’re loving the brows but not the “ow’s.” Waxing is one of the oldest forms of human grooming and beautification…so why the tears? Below are some of the reasons why waxing can be taxing, and some ways you can make it so those tears clear faster than normal.

Rip. Curl (into a fetal position, and cry).

This is what many of us remember of early waxing experiences — eyes closed and preemptive wincing (“make it end quickly, make it end quickly”).
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What first pops into most people’s heads when they think of waxing is the ripping. No matter how beautifully, expertly and soothingly it’s done, it is what it is. You’re uprooting hair from skin and it sounds pretty much like it feels: schwfffftk.

Blog-RedBumpsAfterWax-DSC02833-20140403Plucked Chicken.

Redness and bumps are next to come to mind. Inflammation, plain and simple. As innocuous as waxing is for most people, make no mistake: the ripping up of hairs by their follicles is a physical trauma, and that’s inflammatory. If your wax has allergens, the contact, however brief, is another source of possible inflammation.
Delayed bumps are folliculitis: hairs growing outwards through a distorted hair canal. This can also lead to follicular cyst bumps, which can be infected.

Blog-NudeWax-24710303-20140403Feeling the Heat?

Because the heat in waxing is of a duration and temperature that’s normally acceptable to skin, it isn’t something that blips on your radar. But it can contribute to the ordeal. Heat usually aids in the absorption of anything applied on the skin. If your wax has allergens — fragrance, beeswax, lemon, for example — the heat could up the contact and sensitization. More rare, burns from hot wax can occur. Even if you don’t burn, heat emits infrared light, which research has shown to be a cause of dark spots, melasma and other hyperpigmentations. As common a practice as waxing is, anything dealing with heat should be handled with care.

I’ve Got … Something … Under My Skin.

Blog-Infection-Wax-SNC11409-20140403
Another unseen danger, and the most nefarious: infection. Infection is always a risk whenever there are openings in the skin. Heat opens pores (aka follicles). Waxing uproots hair which can be enough of a break to cause bleeding. Waxing also removes the top layer of skin. If your skin is very dry or sensitive, you could be more at risk as the skin’s barrier layer may be compromised, making it more susceptible to breaks or cracks.
What kind of infections are we talking? Everything from the simple (a topical antibiotic can treat it) to the life-threatening, antibiotic-resistant (MRSA or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). One can get the herpes virus from poorly sterilized equipment, or have underlying herpes infections flare-up due to the heat and physical trauma of a waxing session.

How To Wax, and Wane (the Pain, that is)

1. Spa, Not Salon.

Hair salons can be fantastic, star-birthing holy lands that make you wish you had your own purse-sized wind machine. But there’s a reason why hair conditions, follicles and scalps are handled by dermatologists: past these areas, hair basically consists of dead cells. This is why it hurts when you uproot hair at the follicle but not when you cut it at the shaft.
Although waxing is hair removal, it is primarily a skin-related practice. Particularly if you have sensitive skin or regularly have problems with waxing (redness, bumps, infection), choose a spa whose primary expertise is skin…and ideally, sensitive or complex skin.

2. Waxpertise.

Go to a licensed and experienced esthetician who is up-to-date with best practices and innovations in health care. A great waxer will also take the the time to ask you about your skin and examine your skin for breakage, infection or sensitivity.
If you’re going for more than just simple upkeep, choose an esthetician whose work you’ve seen and liked on others. You want someone who’ll listen to what you’re hoping to achieve and who has a good understanding of aesthetics and anatomy (brow shaping can be an art form and can change one’s look dramatically).

3. Clean Cut. Emphasis on CLEAN.

This time, we’re talking location. Go to a spa that’s known to be meticulous about hygiene and sterilization. One can’t ever be sure, of course, but if the place looks dirty even at a cursory glance, has used cotton, tissues, cloth, supplies or equipment laying about, or doesn’t change sheets and other disposables with each client, it’s probably safer to walk away. Another good gauge: pay attention to the questions you’re asked (if none, again, walk away) and information shared with you. A spa with infection-prevention on the brain might ask or tell you:

  • Have you had an infection (a cold, flu, etc.) or wound recently, or do you have one now?
  • Are you immuno-compromised?
  • Do you have herpes or a similar condition that might require extra care?
  • We’ll be applying a cream with an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial after your session.
  • Apply a topical anti-microbial on the waxed areas for a few days after your session.
  • Call us if signs of infection appear: pain, swelling, redness, bumps with pus, tender bumps, etc.

4. Pre and Post Care:

5. Think: “AAH”: Anti-Inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Hypoallergenic

Check, check, check. Try our Hypoallergenic Waxing Services. Expert, safe, and allergen-free, our hair removal services use patch-tested wax plus our clinically-published (even awarded) anti-microbial, intensive moisturizing and anti-inflammatory remedies help heal compromised barriers and reduce redness, bumps and infection.
Call VMV Soho at (212) 216 2762 to book now.
Let us know: did you find this helpful? Have more questions?

Healthy Living, Skin

4 Reasons You Need Spa HourFeatured

by A. LAGLAGARON & L. BERTOTTO 

A spa hour can seem inessential when compared to other big wellness tips — more of a splurge than a legitimately healthy thing to do. But make no mistake: this bliss can do so much for you. It turns out that a spa hour a month (or a week) might be one of the most efficient things you can do for your overall health in terms of both the number of proven benefits and the importance of those benefits.

1. Brain Efficiency

YOUR “SPA-AHA!” MOMENT: COULD YOUR SPA HOUR MAKE YOU SMARTER?
 In an article for the Scientific American, Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime1, Ferris Jabr explores a growing body of research that reveals how “mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity.” Beyond controlling stress, it seems downtime allows the brain to become more effective.
Downtime includes meditation or mindfulness, vacations and naps. A spa hour is all three. During a typical facial, massage or body treatment at VMV, your mind wanders, it slows down, you experience a real escape from daily worries and, often, you nap — in perfect 10-minute increments (studies show that 7-10 minutes of sleep is ideal to reenergize without needing to recover from the “sleep inertia” that follows longer naps).
In addition to a break and revitalization, the research shows that: “downtime…is essential to… achieve our highest levels of performance.” It can help you become more effective at work and problem-solving. As Jabr writes, “studies have demonstrated that the mind obliquely solves tough problems while daydreaming — an experience many people have had while taking a shower. Epiphanies may seem to come out of nowhere, but they are often the product of unconscious mental activity during downtime.” Your Eureka moment might just be waiting for that facial.

2. Be a Better Person

IT MIGHT MAKE YOUR THERAPIST JEALOUS
In the same article, Jabr shares that downtime could be a form of self improvement, being “essential to mental processes that affirm our identities, develop our understanding of human behavior and instill an internal code of ethics.” As the mind is freed of distractions, it can make sense of recent learnings and explore unresolved issues that the brain may not be able to focus on during the course of a busy day. Jabr adds, “A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future” — perfect for goal setting. Indeed, a spa hour quiets the mind to “shuffle through all those neglected mental post-it notes listing half-finished projects … we mull over the aspects of our lives with which we are most dissatisfied, searching for solutions. We sink into scenes from childhood and catapult ourselves into different hypothetical futures. And we subject ourselves to a kind of moral performance review, questioning how we have treated others lately.”
A big plus is that in a spa hour, this self-reflection happens peacefully and organically. You needn’t concentrate on letting go, you just do. You don’t think, “now I’m going to focus on my life and how I can be a better person” — this, plus surprising perspectives and even solutions, just “pop into your head.” And it’s an altogether pleasant experience: self-improvement that doesn’t feel like work.

3. Age Fighting

DOWNTIME TO REVERSE TIME
Other studies2 have shown a link between the positive emotional or psychological results of meditation and an increase in the longevity of telomerase, an enzyme that is fundamental to the long-term health and youth of cells. While the notion that meditation reduces stress might be an old one, that meditation could affect proteins related to aging, possibly prolonging our cellular health and youth, is new and compelling.
Furthermore, the link between stress and inflammation is well proven, and inflammation is linked to a slew of skin, mental and health problems. In addition to the “great mind escape” that our spa treatments provide, each one features quality time with our products that, besides being allergen-free, are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and are deeply reparative to skin.
Don’t forget: skin stressors age the skin, too. Rashes, irritations, pimples, itching, severe dryness, and reactions to products are all incidents of physical stress on the skin and are all types of inflammation. Whether or not you already have sensitive skin, avoiding allergens can help prevent various problems (even subtle ones which may not yet be obvious) which can thin and stress the skin, and contribute to aging.

4. Skin Renewal

BRAIN…MIND…SOUL…NOW, SKIN!
new-skin-resolutions-03-sqAs your mind is wandering, improving brain function and promoting inner peace, we scrub away dullness, target problem areas and help you reveal fresh, revitalized skin. Nothing revives like a deep-cleaning facial or body treatment (also ideal for jumpstarting your daily regimen). VMV’s clinically-sound treatments, designed and audited by dermatologists and our licensed estheticians, are allergen-free and completely customized for your skin’s varying needs. Top picks for spring:
SuperSkin Facial: Is taking better care of your skin one of your resolutions? Slough away the evidence of last year’s bad habits (sleeping with makeup on, anyone?) with our classic facial. Rushing to a spring fling? Get a quick “perk-me-up” 30-minute Skin-a-Jiffy Facial (a great way to balance skin care duties with a full calendar).
Let Down Your Stresses: Did last year leave you frazzled and scrambled? Escape to “skinvana,” our skin-renewing SuperSkin Facial with tension-melting massages on stress points. Or try our “Oil” Aglow Hydrating Coconut Body Wrap for a thorough exfoliation, ooh-inducing massage and an inconceivably soothing, anti-inflammatory and skin-softening body wrap with our pure virgin coconut oil (why have your mind wander locally when it can escape to a tropical paradise?).
Answer Back: Work the season’s wispy floral dresses with a blemish-free back and shoulders. Our “bacne” buster is a must for clearing imperfections. Also covered up all winter: arms and legs. Make their reveal as gentle and smooth as possible with our expert, safe, and non-irritating Hypoallergenic Waxing services (note: some services are available in select locations).
Deep relaxation, heightened brain efficiency, self improvement and a gorgeous glow. Not bad for an hour!
1. Jabr, Ferris. Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime. Scientific American. Oct. 15, 2013. 
2. Jacobs, T.L., et al., Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2010), doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.09.010 and Positive psychological changes from meditation training linked to cellular health. UC Davis News and Information. Nov. 3, 2010.