Featured

Science plays a crucial role in the development of skincare products-Louise Tincombe

Skin Care Louise Tincombe

Louise Tincombe LaMer.

Louise tincombe Cle de Peau Beaute

At last count, I had one drawer full of summer skincare, one drawer full of winter skincare, one cabinet full of skincare that I was “testing” – and one face.

It’s a confusing world out there. We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the myriad lotions, creams, serums, gels and masques that we can put on our face. Each one promises to deliver radiance, moisture, elasticity, smoothness – the proverbial fountain of youth bottled in slick packaging with an alluring name. Looking past the marketing isn’t always easy, and experts in the industry tell us how to focus on the issues that matter and clue us in to the latest technology available.

“Consumer behaviour is changing dramatically these days. They want to see results very quickly,” says Dr Daniel Stangl, director of innovation for La Prairie. He points out that product efficacy is strongly tied to the smart delivery of active ingredients, which is where much of their brand’s research and development is focused at the moment.

“The delivery mechanism is important,” says Dr Joseph K. H. Wong, a specialist in family medicine with a diploma of practical dermatology. “Our skin is very impermeable in order to protect us from contamination such as bacteria or viruses. While small molecules such as vitamin C [can easily] be absorbed through the skin, larger molecules need specific technology to assist in penetration.”

The kind of technology Wong is referring to and that La Prairie is looking at is sub-micron and encapsulation technology. The former, Stangl says, refers to the use of sub-micron-sized crystals to enhance the penetration efficacy of active ingredients – which “will feature prominently in our products in the future”, he promises.

Encapsulation technology, on the other hand, refers to a more efficient way to parcel the active ingredients. “The active is sent to where it’s needed in the skin, targeting specific cells and skin layers,” Stangl explains. “Once we master this technology, we’ll improve efficacy tremendously.”

These echo the sentiments voiced by Dr Yannis Alexandrides, founder of 111SKIN, a brand that first came to Hong Kong in July last year. The brand, named after 111 Harley Street, the address of its cosmetic centre and where Alexandrides practised as a plastic surgeon, is best known for its Black Diamond Collection. The line’s products use nano particles to deliver the brand’s NAC Y2 formula, along with arbutin and hyaluronic acid, into the deeper layers of the skin.

When it comes to skincare, one size doesn’t fit all

Don’t assume that what works best for your friends will work for you – even if you think you have similar skin.

“While skincare needs are more or less the same, consumer behaviour is changing dramatically these days – individualised products and treatments are on the rise,” says Dr Daniel Stangl of La Prairie, pointing out that people are unwilling to compromise and want something that’s just right for their skin.

“We offer different solutions for different consumers, not just in terms of the results and skin benefits [through varying ingredients], but also in terms of the experience of the product – the texture, the sensorial experience. Some consumers prefer heavy creams, some like lighter gels.”

This is an ethos that can be seen among the top luxury skincare brands. Clé de Peau Beauté’s new Basic Care collection, for example, offers an impressive array of lotions and moisturisers alongside its hero product, the sixth-generation edition of La Crème. The moisturisers are available in daytime and nighttime versions, and also in two types – emulsion and cream – for each.

Not only does this ensure that your skin gets the best treatment it needs, but it also means that your daily skincare ritual is that much more enjoyable. As Stangl says: “This experience of the consumer, the emotional aspect of the product, is as important to us as the resulting efficacy of the product.”

A word to the wise: even when you’ve found the potion compatible with your skin’s needs, don’t assume that it can do all the work for you. Slathering on a cream twice a day is only part of it – there’s also staying away from UV rays, cutting out cigarettes and alcohol, and eating healthy in order to combat premature skin ageing.

As Wong says: “A comprehensive anti-ageing approach can’t only be skin deep – it should apply to your whole person.”

“Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians ingested gold to purify themselves; they say Cleopatra slept with a gold mask on her face at night for a glowing complexion. Gold has been revered for centuries, and it’s still valued now,” Stangl says. “Like our Platinum and Caviar lines, it’s rare and precious, and fits with our brand image … but more importantly, from a scientific point of view, these ingredients have very real benefits for the skin.”

This is hardly news to the savvy skincare consumer, as brands have long touted the efficacy of ingredients such as marine elements – the new Genaissance de La Mer features a powerful red algae alongside its potent Crystal Miracle Broth – or even rare teas, with Fresh, Amorepacific and the new Cha Ling conducting a significant amount of research into their properties.

Nevertheless, it’s important to do your homework on brands and their products, as Wong stresses that “good active ingredients should have sound scientific proof of its efficacy in either stimulating turnover of the epidermis – thereby stimulating youthful skin – or increasing the product of collagen through ingredients such as topical vitamin C or A, or slowing down its breakdown, which the MDI marine complex can do”.

“It’s essentially a transportation: the best way I can describe it is that the ingredients adhere to the surface of the Black Diamond nano particles and they travel easier through the skin,” he says. “People are now looking for cutting edge scientific products. The search for the fountain of youth hasn’t changed … but people are now very results-oriented. They’re comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone and trying a new brand.”

With its NAC Y2 formula developed with former chemical engineers of the Soviet space programme, 111SKIN certainly has allure of the science and technology. It doesn’t hurt that it uses black diamond particles in its main line, either – exotic and precious ingredients have long been an attraction for luxury consumers.

La Prairie’s new Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold, for example, draws on the restorative properties of the precious metal. The newest addition to the brand’s Radiance collection is designed to revitalise your skin’s appearance by improving texture, tone and lustre.

Featured

Yoga vs. Pilates: Which One Is Right for You?

My Rants.

louise tincombe yoga

Yoga and Pilates are often thrown into the same category. True, they are similar practices, but they have some major differences that many people don’t recognize.

Note: Keep in mind that there are many different forms of yoga and Pilates, making it difficult to determine distinctions between the two.

Difference No. 1: Origin

The practice of yoga originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. It has evolved over the centuries and cultures into many different types of yoga: Ashtanga, Kripalu, Bikram and Vineyasa, to name just a few.

Pilates is a much younger practice, beginning in the mid-20th century by an athlete named Joseph Pilates. He created the exercises as a form of rehabilitation and strengthening

Despite what some may think, dance is actually what made Pilates really popular. Dancers around the world began modifying and utilizing the practice to help them become stronger in their training and performance.

Difference No. 2: Mind, Body and Spirit

Both yoga and Pilates bring an understanding that the mind and body are connected. However, yoga adds an additional element to the mix—the spirit. Exploring spirituality is a huge part of yoga practice, especially through meditation.

While Pilates focuses on creating an understanding that the mind and body are connected and how this can help in everyday life, yoga focuses on the mind/body/spirit connection.

Difference No. 3: The Class

Each class you walk into will be different, so it’s tough to pinpoint specific distinctions, but this is one of the most frequently asked questions.

Many yoga classes are flexible in routine. Postures, sequences and variations can be combined into tens of thousands of routines to create a class. So it will be up to the style of yoga you practice and the teacher guiding you to decide what’s on the agenda. There are some styles of yoga that have more of a set plan, such as Ashtanga and Bikram.

Pilates classes are a little more structured. Because of this, you will more likely know what to expect when you walk into the door of a Pilates class than in a yoga class.

Another element that is often (but not always) brought into a yoga class is meditation. Many yoga classes use a chant or meditation to bring in the focus and dedication at the beginning, and to seal in and appreciate the benefits of the practice at the end.

Lol, do Blond’s really have more fun? :)

This one Is for my girls who want to go blonde. I personally love blonde! I finally got my hair to about a level 10 ,and my natural is a 7. Here is a number chart for you to see about what that is. Now let me just explain to you in detail the process […]

via But really… Do blondes actually have more fun? — Brooch of Whimsy

Yoga helping chronic Pain-Louise Tincombe

Louise Tincombe

Louise Tincombe

A new systematic review, published in the Cochrane Library today, suggests that yoga may lead to a reduction in pain and functional ability in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain over the short term, compared with no exercise. However, researchers advise that more studies are needed to provide information on long-term effects. Lower back […]

via Yoga may have health benefits for people with chronic non-specific lower back pain — Yoga Lifestyle with Cristina

The Best Foods for Practice-Louise Tincombe

Louise Tincombe

The practice of yoga is inherently individual, directly experienced within the solitary confines of the body’s internal landscape. And why you choose to practice yoga is also personal, with as many goals for yoga as there are different personalities and life histories. But while you approach the sticky mat with your own unique body type, physical geometry, injuries, quirks, and habits, what you are ultimately seeking through the practice of yoga is the universal form. By working with your own individual patterns within the universal form of the asanas, what you probably hope to discover is a place of balance.

Eating can also be considered a practice in which you seek universal balance. Like yoga, eating is a highly personal activity-you learn to adapt your needs to the many popular nutritional systems and diets. Developing a mindful eating practice can provide a ground that truly supports and nurtures your yoga.

But in developing this kind of supportive nutritional practice, one of the joys and challenges is understanding that (as with everything else in yoga) there is no easy “one size fits all” solution for finding the right foods.

For better or worse, within the yoga community there are endless (often contradictory) myths, folk tales, and urban legends asserting what foods are “good” or “bad” for a yoga practice. You’ve probably heard at least some of this yogic eating folklore before: “Feeling stiff? Eat more ghee or more sweets, have only fruit before you practice, and whatever you do, stay away from those potatoes! If you’re eating out, definitely don’t let that errant bus boy put ice in your water, and above all, remember that if you’re practicing in the morning, don’t eat dinner before you go to bed!”

History of Food Myths

To understand the seed of truth that may lie at the heart of these and other food myths which are so prevalent in yoga communities, begin by tracing their roots. Many theories stem from yogic scriptures, and others are aberrations of theories found in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of preventative health and healing. To understand the relevancy of these yogic food myths to your diet, it’s essential to examine them in their original context.

Yoga from its earliest inception has been integrally tied with Ayurveda. Central to Ayurveda is the concept of varying body types, each of which thrives on different kinds of foods.

Vata types, for example, need grounding foods like oils and grains. Pitta types are supported by cooling foods, such as salads and sweet fruits.

Kapha types benefit from heating and invigorating foods, such as cayenne and other hot peppers. A classic premise of Ayurveda is that few people are strictly one type, and most in fact are a blend of at least two types. Each individual must therefore find a personal balance of foods to fit his or her own unique constitution.

Just as certain yoga poses are appropriate for certain people or at particular times, so it is with what you choose to eat. Food should provide energy and clarity. A “good” diet may appear very different from one person to the next, but you will know your diet is working well for you when you feel healthy, sleep well, have strong digestion, and feel your system is supported rather than depleted by your yoga practice.

According to Aadil Palkhivala of Yoga Centers in Bellevue, Washington, the references to food in the scriptures and Ayurveda are meant only as guidelines for practitioners to follow, not rules set in stone.

“Ancient texts served the purpose of providing external standards to be followed until the yoga practitioner became sensitized enough through the practice to intuitively know what was best for them as an individual,” Palkhivala explains.

Teresa Bradford, M.S., a clinical nutritionist and health instructor at Helios Health Center in Boulder, Colorado, has worked for many years to help yoga students find a balanced approach to eating that supports their practice.

Bradford’s background as a yoga teacher for more than 15 years, and her in-depth training in both Western and Ayurvedic nutrition, give her a unique perspective on the issue. “Making general across-the-board statements about what we should or should not eat, such as ‘potatoes make you stiff’ is ridiculous,” Bradford says. “It’s all a matter of personal constitution. Potatoes tend to be pacifying to pitta and aggravating for vata and kapha types, but they are not recommended for people with inflammatory or arthritic conditions.”

Bradford also sheds light on the puzzling ice water folklore. “Cold water can affect certain constitutions. Vata types can have a hard time tolerating it, and it can also amplify sluggish digestion problems in kapha types. But pitta types might find that it actually soothes their digestive systems.”

Fasting Foibles

Going for hours without eating before practicing is something many yoga students find themselves experimenting with. John Schumacher, director of Unity Woods Yoga in Bethesda, Maryland, feels that frequent and extended fasting has an overall weakening effect on the body.

“Though overeating can sabotage your practice by making you groggy and too full to go deeply into the postures, fasting and undereating can have a more debilitating effect,” Schumacher says.

Bradford is especially emphatic about the myths surrounding fasting before practice: “When students get spaced out from food deprivation, they might think they’re heading toward the ‘big merge’ with God, but it’s just that they’re walking around hypoglycemic and dehydrated.” She says that for vata or pitta types, skipping a meal can cause not only low blood sugar and dizziness, but may lead to further health complications such as constipation, poor digestion, and insomnia.

So where do you start in forging your own balanced approach to eating? Just as with a positive yoga practice, it’s a matter of being mindful and intelligent. When approaching either a yoga or a food practice, experimentation and alert attention are the keys to discovering your personal path to balance and growth.

Schumacher recommends that if you find any eating system appealing, either Western or Eastern, try it out to see if it’s a good fit.

“As you continue to practice yoga, an intuitive sense of what is right for your own body will emerge,” he says. “Just as you’d modify a favorite recipe to fit your own tastes as you prepare it repeatedly, so you can adapt a food system to support your practice.”

Palkhivala agrees that intuition and balance are the keys to finding supportive foods. “Start by looking for balance on many levels in the foods you eat,” Palkhivala recommends. “Select foods that feel good to your body both as you eat them and long after the meal is over.”

Notice patterns in your digestion, sleep cycle, breathing, energy level, and asana practice after eating. A food diary can be an excellent tool for charting these patterns. If you’re feeling unhealthy or unbalanced at any time, look back in your diary and consider what you’ve been eating that might be causing the problems. Then adjust your eating habits until you start to feel better.

Conscious Eating

Apply this same careful level of observation to how you plan and prepare your meals. The key here is combining ingredients so that they harmonize and complement one another in taste, texture, visual appeal, and after-effect.

“We need to learn how to use our six senses, our own personal experiences of trial and error,” advises Bradford. “The climate, activities of the day, stressors, and physical symptoms are things that help us determine daily food choices. We, as part of nature, are also in a constant state of flux. An important part of the flexibility we cultivate in yoga is being able to be flexible about our food choices, tuning in every day, at every meal.”

To increase your food flexibility, don’t simply accept the “rules” of others for what, when, and how much to eat. Question and explore for yourself. For instance, if you’re told that yoga practitioners don’t eat for seven hours before a practice, question it: “Does that sound like a good idea for my system? How do I feel if I go without eating that long? What are the benefits for me? What are the detriments?” Getting more and more bound up by rigid rules and restrictions, such as inflexible food dos and don’ts, only serves to further imprison us.

Just as you work in a yoga posture to align and realign with your inner core, so you can learn to recognize what foods your body needs. By bringing attention to your internal sense of what
is appealing and what effects different foods have on you throughout the eating and digestion process, you will gradually learn to recognize exactly what your body needs and when you need it.

But this too should be practiced in moderation-becoming obsessed with tracking every sensation can quickly hinder rather than promote balance.

In both food and yoga practices, it’s essential to remain alive, conscious, and present in the moment. By not adhering blindly to strict rules or rigid structures, you can allow the process itself to teach you the best way to actually go about the practices.

If you are able in this way to keep all of your “systems” open, through the joy of exploration and unfolding curiosity, you can continually rediscover your own individual paths to balance.

Balance is the key, both in your overall personal diet, and in designing each meal. When developing or modifying a recipe to fit your personal tastes, you must take into consideration a number of factors: the balance of ingredients in the dish, your available time to prepare the meal, the season of the year, and how you’re feeling today.