Category Archives: Healing

Skin Types Demand Different Care

Personal Skin Care Starts With Analysis

Vibrant, beautiful skin has always been considered an important part of health. But in today’s modern environment, soft, smooth, flawless skin can be difficult to achieve and even more challenging to maintain. Your skin’s health is largely determined by diet, lifestyle habits, and sun exposure, which can sabotage healthy skin and leave lasting effects on skin strength, resiliency, and appearance.

In the early 1900s, four different skin types; dry, oily, combination, and sensitive, were identified and characterized by Helena Rubinstein. Each of those skin types is characterized by its own features and specifications such as:

Dry Skin (Xerosis)
This skin type is characterized by a dull gray-white color, rough texture, and an elevated number of ridges. The oily secretion of the sebaceous glands, which contains wax esters, sterol esters, cholesterol, di- and triglycerides, and squalene is believed to protect the skin from environmental influences and, when production is lower, contribute to dry skin. When the body’s natural oily layer on the skin dries out, the skin is unable to produce enough oil and moisture for the body to replenish the amount being lost. For the most part, the skin is able to replace that which is lost, but sometimes the body’s efforts are not enough and the skin needs more protection.

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Oily skin
Sometimes also known as acne prone skin, Oily skin is particularly common in adolescents and young adults. At this age there is a dramatic increase in sebum production under the influence of the hormones. Oily skin is characterized by the abundance and nature of the sebum excreted at the skin surface by the sebaceous gland, target organ of androgens. It is most frequently encountered in adolescents and young adults. Excess of sebum gives the skin a shiny appearance, particularly on the forehead, the sides of the nose and the chin. In severe cases, various forms of acne can develop. An oily skin is also thick, well moisturized and covered with a protective oily film.

Sensitive skin
Sensitive skin is more common, with more than 40% of people claiming to have such skin. Sensitive skin is generally considered as skin which is easily irritated and probably has a genetic element. Some people with this condition cannot tolerate contact with any cosmetic products, however well-formulated they may be. Sensitive skin can be associated with a medical condition called atopy, where people have an inherited predisposition to eczema, hay fever and asthma. About 15-20% of the population has the genetic ability to develop eczema, asthma and hay fever.

Combination skin
Also known as “mixed” type of skin, this skin form is considered variable when exposed to different external and internal factors such as weather, climate, medicines intake, diet consumption etc.

Source: http://www.healthhotsolution.com/3/category/understanding%20different%20skin%20typesc77530f235/1.html

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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Change Your Thoughts To Change Your Life

Inner Peace Promotes Wellness

The world is going through chaotic changes right now, changes that need to happen since we are in the age of peace, the age of Aquarius. That peace starts with us and our thoughts and beliefs. Is your mind cluttered with fears and anger, a lot of negative beliefs? What you think, affects how you feel physically, mentally, and spiritually. Your fear-based and limiting negative thoughts, can actually cause illness in the body and mind.  Science now knows there is a mind/body connection.

A great book to read about this is “The Biology Of Belief” by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. A quote of his from the book—“Beliefs and thoughts alter cells in your body”. And how do we change our thoughts and beliefs? For a long time it was thought that just thinking and expressing positive affirmations would change all that. It might help some but not enough. A quote again from Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. that explains it best.

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“Our thoughts are mainly controlled by our subconscious, which is largely formed before the age of 6, and you cannot change the subconscious mind by just thinking about it. That’s why the power of positive thinking will not work for most people. The subconscious mind is like a tape player. Until you change the tape, it will not change.”

According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, the fastest and easiest way to change the subconscious is using Psych-K techniques.  This psychological process helps you to communicate directly with your subconscious mind so you can discover your programmed hidden beliefs that could be sabotaging your peace and success.  Psych-K is whole brain integration, a way to work with the conscious and subconscious together.  Studies indicate that 95% of our consciousness is actually in the subconscious. To learn more about Psych-K and the founder Robert Williams, M.A, check out this you tube link.  visit Psych-K       

I have taken the classes and used the Psych-K modalities for years now and have undergone a lot
of changes for the better. It helped me to let go of many of my struggles. I feel peaceful and calm
because of it. It’s a technique that I highly recommend to change those self-sabotaging beliefs thus
changing your life. Please give me a call and I will tell you more.

Skin Care Tips

  • Diet coke causes inflammation in the body. It tends to stiffen the body so you can’t move well.
  • High salt diet can cause acne and clogging in the skin.
  • A zinc deficiency can be the cause of your skin problems

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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Facial Serums Make A Difference

Serums, Cleansers Critical To Healthy Skin

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In the past, I’ve talked about skin cleansers and toners. Cleansers are probably the most important product to use on your skin. If they are too acidic or too alkaline, they tear down the skin, making it irritated and more sensitive. Scrubs can cause the same type of skin damage.

The more you irritate the skin, the more it becomes inflamed, the faster you age and the more you are prone to skin  cancer.

Your skin is a complex organ that serves as a protective barrier. It’s aging not only affects how old you look, but the thinning of the skin exposes you to infections and environmental chemicals and UV radiation.  So you need to know your cleanser. (You can bring it in and I can check it out for you. Know too, that Pevonia’s cleansers are the proper PH.)

Step #2 is skin toner. Toners balance the skin and they also remove tap residue. Depending on your water supply, this residue can cause breakout and problems on the skin.

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On to the third step in your home care routine which is a serum, (also called intensifiers, concentrates, elixirs, and boosters). Clients ask me if they really need a serum. The answer is YES.  The appropriate serum can make a dramatic difference on your face. It can make your skin look and feel younger, help tighten pores, calm redness, hydrate, diminish wrinkles, help acne, lighten, and more.  The best thing about specialized serums, is that they have powerful, concentrated, active ingredients that absorb quickly to deliver these ingredients.  The gel-like product is usually water based so it doesn’t clog your pores.

When you want to target specific skin concerns, serums are the way to go. Not only do they offer targeted results, but they strengthen your cells and give them nourishment and help repair. The one serum I like best, especially in the sun, is Vitamin C Concentrate by Pevonia. It helps prevent and repair sun damage.

These concentrates need to go on immediately after cleansing and toning. The skin needs to be very moist for the serum to be massaged gently (up and out movements) into the skin of the face, neck, and upper chest. If you don’t have toner, then leave your face moist with water (distilled water if possible). A creamy lotion or cream moisturizer over the top is usually recommended to keep serum from evaporating before it delivers its targeted ingredient.

Whatever your skin care concerns are, you can see faster results using the appropriate serum. Not all serums are created equal since manufacturing practices vary from brand to brand. Pevonia has my serums of choice because they are safe and effective.

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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Heart Rhythm Reflects Health, Harmony

Positive Thoughts Critical To Health, Beauty

According to new research from the HeartMath Institute, our thoughts and emotions affect us and others more than we realized. Our hearts are an amazing source of intelligence, the seat of our emotions and the source and messenger of vital information essential for physical health and balance. Research shows that our heart rhythm patterns are more smooth and balanced with positive emotions and more jagged and erratic with negative emotions. This is more positive feedback that our emotions and thoughts affect our body inside and out–including our skin.
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Energy healing facial treatments and sound energy therapy are both great ways to help you with positive emotions to keep your body healthy and younger looking.

Take a look at this short video clip to learn more.
What is heart intelligence? Heart intelligence is the flow of intuitive awareness, understanding and inner guidance we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart. It can be activated through self-initiated practice. The more coherent we are and the more we pay attention to this deeper intuitive inner guidance, the greater our ability to access this intelligence more frequently. Heart intelligence underlies cellular organization and guides and evolves organisms toward increased order, awareness and coherence of their bodies’ systems.

To learn more about integrated health and its impact on anti-aging and overall health, please contact the skin care experts at Skin Care Plus. We offer energy-based therapies and the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles. We also offer the best natural skin care products available. We offer tele-consultation and we can ship beneficial products to you anywhere in the world.

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Reduce Stress With Mindfulness Techniques

Promote Health, Healing With Less Stress

Editor’s Note: Mindfulness techniques can help reduce stress and help you be more aware of your mind and body. Reducing stress helps heal ourselves and stay healthier in body, mind and spirit. Another great way to relax and reduce stress is with Joan’s new treatment, Sound Energy Therapy. Check it out under Services on this site and read the articles below for more information on this technique.

By Nicola Brown

With the hustle and bustle of life stress can erode our emotional and physical health. Mindfulness techniques can help you in many ways, including:

  • Reduced stress
  • Improved attention
  • Better working memory
  • More positive emotions
  • Reduced blood pressure

What is Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice with roots reaching as far back as the ancient traditions of Buddhist meditation. However, mindfulness has assumed a much more secular role in our society today. Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to reveal important health benefits, and it is practiced in many different forms, including traditional meditation.

Mindfulness is essentially awareness. It is the practice of sustaining awareness of our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and external environment in the present moment.

Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness isn’t about trying to attain some sort of nirvana or enlightened state. It’s exactly the opposite: accepting and existing in the present, whatever that present looks like.

While many people think mindfulness and meditation are the same thing, they’re actually quite different.

Meditation: Traditional meditation typically involves sitting, relaxed but attentive with your eyes closed, in a quiet place conducive to peacefulness.

Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of awareness in itself. This means it can be performed anywhere at any time.

Got a busy schedule? No problem. You can practice mindfulness in the shower, on the subway, at the gym, or even during dinner. Just 15 minutes a day is all you need.

mindful breathing technique

Mindful Breathing

  • Step 1: Choose a “down” time on the subway, in the shower, making breakfast.
  • Step 2: Shift your focus to your breathing and pick a single aspect to focus on: the rising and falling of your chest or the sensation in your nose.
  • Step 3: Spend at least five minutes in this state of awareness; when your mind wanders, gently direct it back to your breath.

What you’ll need: A time during your day when you have fewer demands on your attention.

Pro Tip: Notice how your breath changes when you perform different activities and sense new stimuli; note these changes non-judgmentally.

Why it works to reduce stress: Focusing on a single sensation can help still a racing mind. Focusing on the breath can also lead us to breathe more slowly and deeply, leading to a slower heart rate and a more relaxed state. You also will likely experience increased relaxation and reduced blood pressure.

      • Step 1: Choose a convenient mealtime when you won’t be expected to socialize.
      • Step 2: Eat slowly. Focus on each sensation of your first bite in turn: smell, sight, touch, sound, and taste.
      • Step 3: Immerse yourself in the richness of the practice of eating, and try to eat your whole meal slowly with appreciation.

What you’ll need: A meal, snack, or some portion of food and a time when you’re alone or won’t be expected to socialize.

Pro Tip: Start to become consciously aware of the sensations that accompany the practice of eating: hunger, anticipation, salivation, and digestion.

Why it works to reduce stress: Taking time to appreciate the small things we often miss can liberate us from ruminating on our daily concerns. Eating more slowly can give our bodies the proper amount of time they need for digestion to avoid some common physiological triggers of stress.

mindful eating technique

Mindful Eating

      • Step 1: Choose a convenient mealtime when you won’t be expected to socialize.
      • Step 2: Eat slowly. Focus on each sensation of your first bite in turn: smell, sight, touch, sound, and taste.
      • Step 3: Immerse yourself in the richness of the practice of eating, and try to eat your whole meal slowly with appreciation.

What you’ll need: A meal, snack, or some portion of food and a time when you’re alone or won’t be expected to socialize.

Pro Tip: Start to become consciously aware of the sensations that accompany the practice of eating: hunger, anticipation, salivation, and digestion.

Why it works to reduce stress: Taking time to appreciate the small things we often miss can liberate us from ruminating on our daily concerns. Eating more slowly can give our bodies the proper amount of time they need for digestion to avoid some common physiological triggers of stress. You also will likely experience improved digestive function and reduced tendencies to overeat.

body scan meditation

Body Scan Meditation

      • Step 1: Set aside a time and place in your day where you can sit comfortably and won’t be distracted or disturbed.
      • Step 2: Find a comfortable but attentive seated position, close your eyes, and bring your attention to your toes.
      • Step 3: Working up from your toes, bring awareness to each body part in turn: your feet, ankles, calves, knees, etc., up to your head.

What you’ll need: A comfortable, quiet place to sit where you won’t be disturbed.

Pro Tip: If you notice any tension or start to get uncomfortable or bored, don’t get frustrated. Accept these sensations as they are and gently refocus on your body scan without passing judgment on your emotions.

Why it works to reduce stress: Body scan meditations encourage self-awareness of sensations we might otherwise ignore. When you notice excessive tension in your body, you can consciously relax the muscles in that area. You may not even realize how tense you are until you intentionally bring awareness to your whole body. You also will likely experience decreased muscle tension and increased pain tolerance.

Open Awareness Meditation

Step 1: Set aside a time and place in your day where you can sit comfortably and you won’t be distracted or disturbed.

Step 2: Find a comfortable but attentive seated position, close your eyes, and bring your attention to the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing moment to moment.

Step 3: Observe these thoughts and feelings in an open, non-judgmental way; don’t try to change them but simply acknowledge their presence, gently guiding your focus back when your mind wanders.

What you’ll need: A comfortable, quiet place to sit where you won’t be disturbed.

Pro Tip: Try silently referring to thoughts as “thought” and emotions as “emotion” in your head. This will help you separate yourself from these sensations and gain a more open, objective perception.

Why it works to reduce stress: Being able to recognize and separate ourselves from the strong thoughts and emotions we experience can help us learn how to regulate our moods more effectively. You also will likely experience increased self-awareness and improved emotion regulation and resilience

mindful yoga technique

Mindful Yoga

Step 1: Set aside at least 15 minutes in a quiet, open, airy space for your yoga practice.

Step 2: Instead of treating your practice like a session at the gym, treat it like a meditation where you bring your full awareness to both your physical and emotional sensations as you move through the poses.

Step 3: Observe how the physical sensations from each pose give rise to emotional sensations, such as released tension leading to relaxation or even feelings like pain leading to frustration.

What you’ll need: A yoga mat, comfortable clothing, and an open, airy space.

Pro Tip: Try reducing the number of poses and spending more time on each pose to increase the level of mindful awareness you bring to the practice.

Why it works to reduce stress: In addition to all the benefits of mindful meditation, mindful yoga adds a physical element that provides a boost of energy and positive chemicals in the brain. You also will likely experience enhanced Concentration and improved memory.

The best way to get the most out of your mindfulness practices is to perform them regularly. MRI scans have shown that practicing mindfulness regularly actually changes the structure of the brain, making it better wired for awareness and concentration and less prone to overly emotional responses. Reducing stress is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the myriad health benefits of mindfulness.

Read more: http://www.fix.com/blog/mindfulness-techniques-to-reduce-stress/

 

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Sound Therapy Helps Restore Inner Harmony

Editor’s Note: Although this article dates back a few years, it’s as accurate as ever because the concept dates back centuries. At Skin Care Plus, we apply sound therapy with tuning forks. We call it harmonic healing and we recommend it to treat a variety of conditions. 

The Healing Power Of Sound

By Karen Olson

From humming to drumming – research suggests that the influences of certain rhythms, sounds and vibrations can help us resist and recover from a wide variety of ailments. Sound also has a powerful effect on how we feel. Our bodies and minds react differently to the unrelenting noise of a jackhammer than to a trickle of water in a creek.

Whether our conscious minds are paying attention or not, our bodies take their cues from these sounds and rhythms, knowing when to get energized and when to slow down. Research suggests that when used in a directed way, sound can also help us reduce stress, create a deep sense of well-being and even promote healing. From playing Bach in the nursery to yogic chanting in the oncologist’s office, sound therapy is gaining popularity as both a preventative medicine and as a complement to more-traditional treatments. Good for both the mind and the body, it has been shown to help lift depression, clear sinuses and help cancer patients recover more quickly from chemotherapy.

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The idea that sound affects the health of the mind and body is not new. Chanting and mantra recitation have been part of Hindu spirituality and the healing power of yoga for thousands of years. Given the recent interest in mind-body medicine, it’s not surprising that this ancient tradition is experiencing a modern-day renaissance.

So what is sound therapy? Using the human voice and objects that resonate to stimulate healing (think tuning forks and singing bowls), sound therapy is one of a growing number of subtle-energy therapies that make up the field of vibrational medicine. According to the law of physics, everything vibrates: the chair you’re sitting in, the food you eat, the rocks and trees.

“Whether or not we hear it, everything has a sound, a vibration all its own,” writes Joshua Leeds in The Power of Sound (Healing Arts Press, 2001).

That sound is called resonance, the frequency at which an object naturally vibrates. Each part of our bodies has its own natural resonance, and vibrational medicine is based on the idea that disease is a result of those natural resonances getting out of tune – whether due to stress, illness or environmental factors.

As opposed to the highly focused and fast vibrations used in ultrasound (a technology already employed in hospitals to break up kidney stones and check on the health of fetuses, for example), sound therapy works more gently – but just as powerfully – to return the body’s own vibrations to their natural states.

But does it work? Yes, say sound therapists, who have successfully treated everything from stress to Parkinson’s disease to hormonal problems. Jonathan Goldman, director of the Sound Healers Association in Boulder, Colo., has seen tuning forks alleviate many maladies, including headaches and misaligned vertebrae. Diáne Mandle, a certified sound healer in Encinitas, Calif., uses Tibetan singing bowls to bring her clients’ bodies back in tune.

“Using forks and bowls for anything other than dinner may seem to some people like New Age nonsense,” writes Stephanie Rosenbloom in a November 2005 article in The New York Times. “But healers, sometimes called sounders, argue that sound can have physiological effects because its vibrations are not merely heart but also felt. And vibrations, they say, can lower heart-rate variability, relax brain-wave patterns and reduce respiratory rates.”

Stress hormones decrease under these conditions, which is good news for everyone, but especially for people with a serious illness. That’s one reason Mitchell Gaynor, MD, an oncologist and assistant clinical professor at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College in New York, uses singing bowls with his cancer patients. Gaynor sees sound as part of a broader trend toward the humanization of medicine in which the whole person, not just the part that’s broken, is addressed.

“I believe that sound can play a role in virtually any medical disorder, since it redresses imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning,” he writes in his book The Healing Power of Sound: Recovery from Life-Threatening Illness Using Sound, Voice and Music (Shambhala, 1999).

The Future Of Healing

Sound therapy, many experts say, is at the cutting edge of healing. And soon, they insist, like yoga and meditation, it will enter the mainstream.

The truth is, you’re probably already using sound therapy in your life. Several years ago, three out of four people who responded to a Prevention magazine health survey said that they listen to music to ease tension and stress. Of those, 82 percent reported that it brought them significant relief.

So even if you’re not interested in investing in a fancy tuning fork or a singing bowl, sound healing is still available to you. The next time you need a little pick-me-up or mellow-me-out, hum a little tune, or, better yet, go for a walk and enjoy nature’s own healing harmonies.

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Sounds That Can Heal

Sound therapists make music in a variety of ways to promote healing. Here are some common techniques.

Classical Music. Classical music has been show to increase the rate of development of synaptic connections in young children’s minds. It also helps fuel creativity and enhance joy in adults. Classical music can even help address physical ailments like high blood pressure and muscle tension.

Humming. Humming not only lifts your spirits, it clears your head. According to a study conducted by Swedish researcher, and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, humming may actually help keep your sinuses clear and healthy.

Singing Bowls. Whether metal or quartz crystal, a singing bowl sings when you run a felt-tipped mallet around its edge. Along with rhythms produced by striking the edge of the bowl, the vibrations and tones slow down breathing, brain waves and heart rates, producing a deep sense of calm and well-being.

Tuning Forks. Originally used to tune musical instruments to the proper pitch, tuning forks have long been used by orthopedists to detect stress fractures in large bones. Now, sound therapists use the vibrations of tuning forks to increase the amount of energy in parts of the body they are trying to heal or energize. These good vibes can support relaxation, balance our nervous systems and increase physical energy.

Yogic Chanting and “Om”ing. Chanting, the first step to meditation, is also a means of maintaining health and well-being. Research shows that chanting can stabilize heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, produce endorphins and aid the process of metabolism. Chanting can also help the mind focus, which alleviates stress levels. For example, repeating the syllable “om,” considered one of the most important mantras in yoga, is said to foster a deep mental clarity and promote a sense of connectedness with a higher power.

Karen Olson is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor.

Sound Therapy News via https://experiencelife.com/article/the-healing-power-of-sound/

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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Geneva Skin Care Spa Offers Photon Facials

Photons Are The Missing Link In Skincare

“Photon energy (light therapy) is the missing link in the big picture of optimum health and longevity,” said Joan Kesman, founder of Skin Care Plus in Geneva. “You can have the best Diet, the best Exercise, the best Doctor and Health Care program, the best Attitude in the world, and there has always been a missing link.”

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The Best Facial In Chicago. Ask about our Dream Spa–a revolutionary LED light treatment.

 

The benefits claimed by many include:

  • Profound Stress & Pain Relief
  • Energy Renewal
  • Boost Immune System
  • Anti-Aging
  • Sleep Improvement
  • Mood Enhancement
  • Brainwave Entrancement
  • Cosmetic Rejuvenation
  • Inflammation/Allergies
  • Hand (arthritis & age spots)
  • Hair & Scalp Renewal
  • Pet Therapy

The missing link is Photon Energy from the proper light source for your biology. Scientifically, light is food for your biology. Humans photosynthesize light into energy just as plants do.

Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize for this incredible discovery.

Created to help you have more personal control over improving your quality of life, the DreamSpa Photon Energy System, is designed to profoundly enhance your quantum health – the deepest core of your biology.  The DreamSpa represents the ultimate lifestyle maintenance technology that fills the missing link.

Schedule an appointment and give it a try. The impact is profound and immediate on most people.

For more information about the Dream Spa, visit: http://www.lighthealthresearch.com/

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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Heal Your Skin

Heal Your Skin Naturally

Check out this link to a very interesting video about self healing. Scientific proof that we can heal ourselves by activating our own body’s self-repair healing mechanisms. In this short video, Dr. Lissa Rankin talks about her new book, Mind Over Medicine, Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.

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In this video Lissa teaches you to activate your body’s relaxation response with a simple exercise scientifically proven to support healing and prevent disease. Learn how to activate your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms and heal yourself and your skin.

Find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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Acne Bacteria Linked To Pimples

Chicago Skin Care Expert Treats Acne

The bacteria that cause acne live on everyone’s skin, yet one in five people is lucky enough to develop only an occasional pimple over a lifetime. A UCLA study conducted with researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute has discovered that acne bacteria contain bad strains associated with pimples and good strains that may protect the skin.
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The findings, published in the Feb. 28 edition of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, could lead to a myriad of new therapies to prevent and treat the disfiguring skin disorder.

“We learned that not all acne bacteria trigger pimples — one strain may help keep skin healthy,” said principal investigator Huiying Li, an assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “We hope to apply our findings to develop new strategies that stop blemishes before they start, and enable dermatologists to customize treatment to each patient’s unique cocktail of skin bacteria.”

The scientists looked at a tiny microbe with a big name: Propionibacterium acnesbacteria that thrive in the oily depths of our pores. When the bacteria aggravate the immune system, they cause the swollen, red bumps associated with acne.
Using over-the-counter pore-cleansing strips, LA BioMed and UCLA researchers lifted P. acnes bacteria from the noses of 49 pimply and 52 clear-skinned volunteers. After extracting the microbial DNA from the strips, Li’s laboratory tracked a genetic marker to identify the bacterial strains in each volunteer’s pores and recorded whether the person suffered from acne.
Next, Li’s lab cultured the bacteria from the strips to isolate more than 1,000 strains. Washington University scientists sequenced the genomes of 66 of the P. acnes strains, enabling UCLA co-first author Shuta Tomida to zero in on genes unique to each strain.

“We were interested to learn that the bacterial strains looked very different when taken from diseased skin, compared to healthy skin,” said co-author Dr. Noah Craft, a dermatologist and director of the Center for Immunotherapeutics Research at LA BioMed at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center. “Two unique strains of P. acnes appeared in one out of five volunteers with acne but rarely occurred in clear-skinned people.”

“We were extremely excited to uncover a third strain of P. acnes that’s common in healthy skin yet rarely found when acne is present,” said Li, who is also a member of UCLA’s Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging. “We suspect that this strain contains a natural defense mechanism that enables it to recognize attackers and destroy them before they infect the bacterial cell.”
Offering new hope to acne sufferers, the researchers believe that increasing the body’s friendly strain of P. acnes through the use of a simple skin cream or lotion may help calm spotty complexions.
“This P. acnes strain may protect the skin, much like yogurt’s live bacteria help defend the gut from harmful bugs,” Li said. “Our next step will be to investigate whether a probiotic cream can block bad bacteria from invading the skin and prevent pimples before they start.”
Additional studies will focus on exploring new drugs that kill bad strains of P. acnes while preserving the good ones; the use of viruses to kill acne-related bacteria; and a simple skin test to predict whether a person will develop aggressive acne in the future.
“Our research underscores the importance of strain-level analysis of the world of human microbes to define the role of bacteria in health and disease,” said co-author George Weinstock, associate director of the Genome Institute and professor of genetics at Washington University in St. Louis. “This type of analysis has a much higher resolution than prior studies that relied on bacterial cultures or only made distinctions between bacterial species.”
Acne affects 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives, yet scientists know little about what causes the disorder and have made limited progress in developing new strategies for treating it. Dermatologists’ arsenal of anti-acne tools — benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and Accutane (isotretinoin) — hasn’t expanded in decades. Most severe cases of acne don’t respond to antibiotics, and Accutane can produce serious side effects.
The research was supported by a grant (UH2AR057503) from the National Institutes of Health’s Human Microbiome Project through the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

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