Friday, June 29, 2012

Power Plant

via American Spa Magazine by Jessica Lyons

Let aloe vera’s healing properties breathe new life into your sun-weary skin.

If spa treatments were romantic comedies, aloe vera would be the girl next door. She’s a natural beauty, wholesome and content to let some of the flashier flowers and fruits take top billing as the new “it” ingredients. Although unassuming, aloe vera, also called aloe barbadensis or simply aloe, has qualities that do wonders for the skin. The plant is often called “the beautician” because of its beauty benefits, “the family doctor” and “the century plant” because it promotes long life and good health, and even the “plant of life.”

“When people think of aloe, they think pure, organic, soothing, calming, healthy, and beautiful,” says Lisamarie Jaconi, esthetics educator for Naturopathica. “It’s important that ingredients used in spa treatments and products evoke feelings of harmony and balance, one of the many reasons why clients visit spas. Aloe contains a message of healing.”

The succulent plant, grown in subtropical and tropical locations, has been used for thousands of years to heal a variety of conditions, especially burns, wounds, and skin irritations. Aloe was one of the most frequently prescribed medicines throughout most of the 18th and 19th centuries and remains one of the most commonly used herbs in the U.S. today, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It’s available commercially in ointments, creams, and lotions, and aloe gel is included in everything from high-end cosmetics to drugstore brand after-sun lotions.

"Although it has been widely cultivated for its healing and medicinal properties, the process by which aloe vera is harvested is extremely important", says Jaconi. The gel of the aloe plant, when exposed to oxygen for four hours or longer, oxidizes, rendering it worthless. After harvesting, it must be stabilized through a cold-temperature process to retain its nutrients.

Aloe is made up of 99 percent water, however, aloe gel also contains glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Glycoproteins speed the healing process by minimizing pain and inflammation, while polysaccharides stimulate skin growth and repair. Vitamins C and E in aloe gel improve the strength of the skin tissues and pack a powerful, hydrating punch to dehydrated or aging skin. Aloe is also effective on oily and acne-prone skin. It’s antimicrobial, destroying the bacteria that cause acne, while its anti-inflammatory properties reduce redness and help skin heal quickly.

 “Aloe vera helps protect the cell membrane from damage while also acting as a penetration enhancer to allow AHA's (peel) to penetrate deeply into the skin,” says Jaconi, adding that the key to the plant’s greatness is its versatility. “Aloe vera can and will address all skin conditions.”

The plant is, in a word, revitalizing.  Aloe is cooling, hydrating, and provides a comforting slip to the skin when used alone or in serums, creams, and moisturizing gels.

Because of its active compounds, aloe vera is commonly used to treat minor burns.  “Aloe vera is an additional cooling agent that not only helps soothe the skin but also works as a moisturizer,” says Cofino. 

Aloe’s cooling nature also makes it the perfect addition to a waxing treatment. Plus, its refreshing scent isn’t overly sweet or floral, which makes it well suited for men as well.

While negative effects or allergic reactions to aloe vera are rare, aloe is a member of the same family of plants containing onions, garlic, and lilies. People who are allergic to these, or cacti and other plants in the cacti family, could potentially be allergic to aloe vera. Most spa guests, however, will welcome aloe’s healing gel. Whether looking for a soothing treatment after the hot summer sun, the windy winter slopes, or anything in between, let the “family doctor” work its magic on you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A New Story

You may have seen the first version of this smart little movie, but please watch again, the story continues....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Spa Night Beauty Favorites

Our 3waybeauty bar was featured over at Shecky's.

Bring A Threesome (you read that right) To Your Spa Night!

Do you want to try a three way? No, seriously! This special multitasking 3 Way Beauty Shhh! Bar can be used in a trio of different ways including: shaving, showering and shampooing (now that’s a tongue twister). A travel must-have, this eco-friendly seven essential oil blend is perfect for a spa goodie bag idea to give your guests something special to remember the night by!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Healthy Hues

Our contribution to Savvy.MN by Meryn Fluker

As spring ramps up into summer, so do conversations of getting a base and working on that summer tan. Yet the facts are startling: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “studies have found a 75-percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning.” If you’re looking to get a healthy glow without disappointing your dermatologist, there are plenty of cosmetic options. Here, four local beauty industry professionals share their favorite products designed to safely give skin that sun-kissed look:
Becky Sturm, founder and CEO of StormSister Spatique, praises Phytoceane Self-Tanning Lotion ($30.50). “I love that you get a fabulous tan while also getting completely moisturized,” Sturm says. She goes on to suggest exfoliating before using the lotion, which gets rid of “dry, flaky skin and encourages an even application.”....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Skip The Hand Lotion

StormSister Spatique tip via SheKnows

Hand lotion is one of the main reasons polish peels off, as it leaves a film on your nails. Prior to applying a base coat (a must-do for nail polish longevity), take a cotton swab and dip it in nail polish remover. Then go over each nail to remove any residue from hand and nail care prep products. After applying a base coat, allow 2-3 minutes of dry time before adding two coats of polish. Allow the same amount of dry time between each coat, followed by a top coat.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Get Your Fake Tan On!

StormSister Spatique tip via Beauty and Fashion Tech.

To maximize the staying power of a self-tan, take a shower beforehand, shave and exfoliate your skin head to toe. Exfoliation is key to a good self tan, because it removes dead skin and leave a smooth fresh surface for the product.

Exfoliate with an exfoliating bath or shower wash or scrub 3-4 times a week and use an exfoliating mitt every other shower or bath. Apply body moisturizer to skin immediately after each shower or bath.

Do this for a week before using self-tanning products for the softest, smoothest skin for an even application. After the self-tanning process has started, exfoliate body every other day and continue to apply body lotion and tanning gel after each exfoliation.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Improve Your Smile With Whiter Teeth

Whiter Imagine Tooth Whitening Pen

Our contribution to Beauty and Fashion Tech.

...“ Whiter Image is by far the best over-the-counter product I have ever used. I can’t use “strips” because my teeth are so sensitive and I cannot leave the bleach on that long. This pen is perfect for your hand bag or travel and it takes only a MINUTE. It is 3x stronger than strips so it works super quickly so no sensitivity or drooling!”

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Know When to Toss Old Mascara

Our contribution to Beauty and Fashion Tech:

How long can your keep mascara?

If your mascara dries out before the 6 month repurchase date, add a couple drops of saline solution to the tube. The sterile liquid will rehydrate mascara.
FYI, the FDA advises that mascara be replaced every 4-6 months.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Scotch. Neat.

I'm so very excited to be carrying this brand, Scotch Naturals. It's chic. It's luxe, AND it's truly eco-friendly. It isn't often that you get all those attributes together in one brand.

Scotch Naturals is:
Gluten Free
Fragrance Free
Toxin Free
Paraben Free

Scotch Naturals™ polish has a lot in common with the women who wear it. They are smart, fun, and forward thinking. They care about the environment, and they come in a wide variety of colors. When they want to look and feel their best, they choose natural products, knowing it’s not just healthier for them, but for the world around us.

Making the change to non-toxic nail polish is one you won’t regret. Scotch Naturals is a safe and eco-friendly alternative to conventional polish. Their revolutionary water-based formula delivers long lasting, salon-quality results in a stunning array of sophisticated shades.

Their polishes contain none of the chemicals found in typical nail polish. They are “3 Free” as well free of ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetone, and heavy metals. They are truly non-toxic.

A favorite beauty essential for sophisticated eco-chic women who demand a safe polish that still yields salon quality results, Scotch Naturals™ WaterColors releases four new trending shades for Spring 2012.  The Spring 2012 Collection features deep pastel shades including: Canal Street Daisy (geranium pink crème), Lemon Highlander (sunny shimmering yellow), Paisley Martini (not quite neon fuschia crème) and Celtic Mix (subtle sage green crème). 

Scotch Naturals produces the highest quality, truly natural water-based nail lacquers. The product contains none of the chemicals found in typical nail polish.  The product is 100% toxin and solvent free and does not contain Formaldehyde, Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Toluene, ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetone or heavy metals. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Camping Beauty

shhh. is featured on Fab Over Forty

Shhh – I recently met Becky, the creator of Shhh – Shampoo, Shower, Shave. She came up with this brilliant bar that is perfect for travel (and camping). Free of harmful chemicals and packaged in 100% compostable and recyclable packaging, this bar does it all while smelling good, making your skin soft, cleaning your hair and making shaving your legs easy and oh-so convenient! The bar also comes in a 1.5 oz cube that is perfect for taking with you on a weekend away.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dive In

Our contribution to Shecky's by Courtney Leiva.

For Becky Sturm,  CEO of Storm Sister Spatique, those with sensitive skin often see the best results with aquatic-based products. “Skin that is sensitive (a growing population) seems to respond better to marine skincare. Herbal extracts are often quite active and cause sensitive skin to become red. Sea-based ingredients such as Jania rubens (a vegetal coral) are moisturizing and very soothing to the skin,” Sturm says.

Although seaweed gains most recognition other popular sea skincare ingredients include algae and fish oils. “Sea derived ingredients can range from oils and extracts that come from fish (fish oils that contain Omega-3′s) as well as marine plants like algae,” Ron Robinson states.

An avid lover of everything under the sea beauty, Sturm has seen personal results using sea particle-infused beauty products. “There is much science on the similarities between the components of blood and the sea and after working for so many years with herbal and marine based skincare, I have truly become a fan of aquatic-based products,” Sturm says. However, those suffering from shellfish and iodine allergies should take proper precautions when purchasing aquatic beauty products as they may trigger allergic reactions!

 Image Credit:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cool as a Cucumber

via American Spa Magazine.

Due to their cooling effect, many deem cucumbers to be the secret ingredient for radiant skin.

Cucumbers have been consumed in healthy eating regimens and used in beauty products for decades. They originated in India and spread to many other countries, including China, England, France, Greece, and the U.S. Over the years, cucumbers have been used for a variety of purposes due to their many benefits, but it is their high water content that makes them great for use in spas. Their hydrating, cooling, and soothing attributes are beneficial for problem skin, and their high-fiber, low-calorie makeup make them a healthy snack.

According to Lisa Polley, director of education and business development for Jurlique, cucumbers are loaded with B vitamins—B1, B2, B3, B5, B6—and folic acid. “The skin on the cucumber is mostly water, but it also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) plus caffeic acid—these nutrients help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling,” says Polley. “This is the primary reason that cucumbers are an ideal spa ingredient.” Cucumbers also contain silica and vitamin C, both important nutrients for skin health. Additionally, they have been recognized as a tonic for acneic, red, and irritated skin.

COOLA founder and CEO Chris Birchby notes that cucumbers soothe skin irritations, prevent water retention, and are rich in water, fiber, and beneficial minerals. “Cucumbers and the skin share the same levels of hydrogen, so it becomes easy for cucumbers to mask all the problem areas,” he says. “It has been proven that cucumbers contain anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness and eye puffiness.”

The caffeic acid that is naturally found in cucumbers helps to reduce puffiness and water retention in the skin. Because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest, that is where water retention is most prevalent and visual.

Birchby also thinks a cucumber mask is a great way to reduce oily shine, and it’s easy to make. Coarsely chop half of a peeled cucumber, place in a blender, and blend until smooth. Apply liberally to the face, and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water, and pat the face dry.

IWhile cucumbers have many positive attributes, they also present some disadvantages. Polley notes that although cucumbers are a great way to add fiber to the diet, they are also known to have diuretic and laxative effects when taken internally, so use caution when adding cucumbers in abundance. Birchy adds that some people might also be allergic or sensitive. “A cucumber allergy is actually what experts call cross-reactivity, where pollen intolerances are mimicked by the fruits and vegetables that can lead to allergic reactions.”

The benefits, however, make cucumbers a favorite among spa-goers. As Birchy explains, a deflated balloon is wrinkly and flabby, but a full water balloon is tight and firm. The same analogy applies to skin cells. When they are adequately hydrated, they look firm and smooth. When they are dehydrated, skin can become slack. Cucumbers are 90-percent water and thus can help the body and skin remain properly hydrated. 

Pollino adds that spring and summer are great times of the year for cucumber treatments and products, because people are looking for relief from dull, dehydrated skin. —Judy Koutsky

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Survival Kit

We're so proud that some of our 3waybeauty products are featured in the June edition of Twin Cities Metro Magazine. Yay!

Survival Kit - what you need to stay culturally satiated this month - Father's Day edition.

... shhh. shampoo, shower, shave bar keeps things simple, so pops doesn't have to fret over multiple bottles. Add a gorgeous cedar box to hold the bar and you've turned his morning routine into an all out experience. Top it all off with {8}  and  [7], aromatic blends of essential oils that will quickly replace the bottle of Cool Water he's had in the medicine cabinet for a decade...

We're so grateful!