Spring Rituals

Today is my first day of Spring. Finally, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the flowers are blooming. After our Polar Vortex Winter, it feels like life is finally beginning anew.

I wrote earlier this year about the rhythm of the seasons, and once again I was reminded this morning, walking to and from SoulCycle, of how this natural cycle impacts my focus, and my activities.

Here are some of the ways I have begun to celebrate Spring, and how I will continue to.

  • I opened the windows in my house and let in fresh air. Simple, and glorious.
  • I cut 4 inches off my hair and I have never felt lighter. Thank you, Jason Snyder!
  • I cleaned out my closet, thanks to the inspiration of my dear friend Jennifer Mapp Bressan, who is constantly reminding the world that we need less clothing than we think we do.
  • I took a good look at my to-do list and got rid of two items that had been sitting on there since January; one task I (finally) completed, and one task I decided I was never going to complete and just deleted.
  • I switched my evening cream to the lighter Kantic Calming cream from what I use during the winter, our Kantic+ Intensely nourishing cream.
  • I had coffee in my yard, listening to the sounds of Spring, watching the sun rise over Georgetown, watching the world wake up.  
  • I incorporated abs in my exercise regimen, per the inspiration of my friend Anne who does 200 of them five times per week. This should be a year-round ritual (because summer bodies are made in the winter!), but for now, it will start as a Spring / Summer ritual.
  • I went to yoga. I don’t do yoga, but when my friend Kelly DiNardo, owner of Past Tense in DC, invited me. I figured at the very least it would help me get rid of the winter cobwebs in my body.
  • I finalized a new partnership for Alchimie Forever, which will yield its fruit a little bit later this season.
  • I still need to get my first Spring pedicure… I am hoping to make time this weekend to go to Mia Bella, my favorite nail place in New Orleans. 

How do you celebrate the first few days (weeks) of Spring?

What Does Kantic Mean, and Why Do We Use That Word?

If you have been using our products for more than five or six years, you probably remember words such as Nd:YAG, Superpulse, Alexandrite, Q-switch, and one of the most complicated to spell and pronounce, Yttrium. These words are all related to the field of lasers. We loved the idea of highlighting my father’s pioneering role in the field of laser technology (remember, he was the first to introduce lasers for use in dermatology in Europe back in the mid-1980s) by having laser-related words on the packaging.

Feedback from the field suggested that while our idea might have been brilliant and made complete sense to us, our customers were confused. They could not pronounce many of the names. They asked if the Alexandrite product was named such because it was meant to be used after an Alexandrite laser treatment (that would have made sense… but was not the case). So, after many family dinners, internal debates, and a couple of arguments, we made the decision to remove these product names from our packaging and brand verbiage.

We made an exception for the word “Kantic” however. My father was attached to the laser names, and to the idea behind using them, and loved Kantic the most. So, we compromised, and three products still have this laser name – forming the Kantic collection of products:

So what does Kantic mean? Kantic is a “misspelling” of the French word Quantique (we liked the K and the C), which translates as quantum. It comes from quantum physics, which studies how atoms and particles behave, including in the field of lasers. It is true to our heritage and to the pioneering role my father played in the field of laser technology. You can find out more here.

Luckily, Kantic is one of the laser terms that is most easily pronounced (in both French and English).

Luckily, the three products that form the Kantic collection share benefits and appeal to a similar skin type:

  • Anti-aging and antioxidant
  • Nourishing and hydrating
  • Calming and soothing
  • Anti-redness and anti-irritation

And luckily, every year, my father and I get better at debating and compromising.

Moisturizing Tips

Most of us use a moisturizer – but do we use the right one, in the right way? I speak to women every day about their moisturizer choices and habits, here are some of my favorite tips.

  1. Yes, well all should use a moisturizer daily. Choose it based on your skin type – refer to my father’s advice above, I could not put it in better words (to his delight!).
  2. Take seasonality into account when choosing the right moisturizer. This means that you may have to different ones, a light one for the humid summer and a more hydrating one for the dry winter. Also remember climate, in particular if you have recently moved or travel a lot. As I write this, sitting at my hotel desk in Las Vegas, I feel the dryness in my skin all the more than I did two days ago in Washington DC…
  3. The moisturizer that was right for you in your 20s is probably no longer right for you in your 40s. The number of women I speak to who have not changed their cream in 20+ years is staggering. Our skin is a living, breathing organism that evolves and changes with time. As you adapt your wardrobe from your 20s to your 40s, so should you adapt your skin care products.
  4. The perfect morning cream offers hydration, anti-aging benefits, and broad spectrum SPF protection. Look for an SPF of 20 or above for daily use, to protect your skin from 90+% of UV, such as our Protective Day Cream SPF 23.
  5. Do not use a moisturizer with SPF in the evening.
  6. Apply your moisturizer from the clavicle or collarbone to forehead, always moving against gravity. Always remember your face does not end at your chin, but rather mid-chest.
  7. Don’t forget to exfoliate once to three times per week to help slough off dead skin cells – and help your moisturizer really absorb.
  8. If you are looking for the perfect Alchimie Forever facial moisturizer to incorporate in your routine, here are your three choices:

How to combine Alchimie Forever with your WrinkleMD device

I love it when my partners send me a case of Veuve Cliquot just because they love our partnership (and because our best-selling Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask is featured in this month’s Vogue Magazine). I also love it when my spa partners “invent” new ways to use my products, often in conjunction either with other brands they carry or devices they use in their treatment rooms.

This week, one and the same spa partner did both. Progressions Salon Spa Store sent me a case of champagne. And told me about the amazing results they are getting by combining Alchimie Forever products with WrinkleMD advanced ion-infusion technology patches. This brand focuses on enhanced infusions of hyaluronic acid and peptides through the use of ion technology. According to the brand’s marketing materials, “in independent clinical testing, 95% of women experienced an immediate improvement in skin texture and smoothness.”

I asked Teresa Hinton, master aesthetician and the spa director, to tell me more about this treatment she came up with. Here are her pearls of wisdom.

Since this is not out of any “company-approved” protocol manual, she initially tested this concept with guests she has been working with for quite some time, who know and trust her, and are willing to experiment. The ones who have tough, heavily textured, very dry on. She describes them as “those guests that I can go big on.” Here is her protocol:

Step 1: Cleansing of the skin with Alchimie Forever Purifying Facial Cleanser.

Step 2: Exfoliation, which can range from microdermabrasion or other advanced exfoliation, Alchimie Forever Gentle refining scrub, or Alchimie Forever Brightening Peel, or a combination of these.

Step 3: WrinkleMD around the lips; while WrinkleMD is doing its job in that problem area, she applies the Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask to the rest of the face; both remain on her clients’ face for 30 minutes.

Step 4: During these 30 minutes, she performs a massage the hands, arms, neck, shoulders to enhance the guest experience.

Step 5: Mask and WrinkleMD removal; she then follows WrinkleMD’s protocol for the WrinkleMD-treated area before applying the Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask to that area as well and leaving it on for a few minutes.

Step 6: Final removal of the mask with a hot towel.

Step 7: Application of finishing products including our Rejuvenating Eye Balm, Kantic Calming Cream or Protective Day Cream SPF23.

I ask her about the frequency of treatment. “While results are immediate,” she recommends “alternating a series with the professional WrinkleMD treatment exclusively every two weeks, and the full treatment ever four.”

Contraindications include pregnancy, having a pacemaker, peel ingredient contraindications, epilepsy, or any metal in the mouth.

While she started with the lip contour area, she is now performing this treatment on the forehead and in the eye contour area as well. She concludes: “The results are beautiful and transform the skin. The blend of the two brands is really amazing!”

Indeed, the before and after photos speak for themselves!

Screen Shot 2020-07-23 at 3.52.34 PMTry it if you carry WrinkleMD. And if you have your own “special” Alchimie Forever treatment you have created in combination with another product or device brand, please do share!

 

My favorite skin care tips

In honor of  National Wellness Week, which is coming to an end, I thought I would share some of my favorite skin care tips, so that you might add to and enhance your wellness resolutions as they are proposed by SpaFinder.

1. Listen to your skin. If your skin breaks out when you use a product, that product is not for you. If your skin feels uncomfortable, irritated, blotchy, raw when you use a product, that product is not for you. Think of your skin as a baby – it can’t express itself in words, so it finds other ways of telling you how it feels. Listen to it. Try our Kantic Calming Cream which helps to soothe and calm irritation and redness.

2. Always apply products from thin to thick. That means serums first, gels second, creams third, and sunscreens last. Watch this video to learn more about how to layer your skin care products.

3. Don’t mix your treatment product with your protection product. Do you use a shampoo and conditioner in one? I didn’t think so. Why do to your skin what you wouldn’t do to your hair?

4. If you are old enough to have a cocktail, you are old enough to be using an eye cream. No ifs or buts about it. The skin of the eye contour area is the thinnest (other than the skin of our lips), and will start showing age earliest. Check out our eye care products here.

5. Always apply your eye cream or gel with your ring finger (our weakest finger), and from the outside in. That will minimize the likeliness that you will tug at this delicate area, stressing it further instead of treating it with some TLC.

6. Our faces lie, our necks tell our age. Make sure you use your facial products on your neck and décolleté. Even better, invest in a product that is specifically designed for this delicate area such as our Firming gel for neck and bust.

7. Our hands also tell our age. Aging does not happen from forehead to chin, but on our entire bodies. Our hands in particular, which are as exposed to the elements as our faces, deserve the same anti-aging care. Try our Dry skin balm to help soften and nourish any dry skin.

8. Prevention is key. Don’t wait for the brown spots and wrinkles to show up before you start using quality anti-aging products. Our Pigment lightening serum is especially formulated to help reduce the appearance of brown spots and even out skin tone. It’s suitable for all skin types and skin tones.

9. Sunscreen is also key. SPF 15 during the winter months (SPF 50+ on the ski slopes), SPF 30 during the sunny months (SPF 50+ on the beach or by the pool). Check out our Protective day cream SPF 23 for your daily skin care regimen.

10. Don’t expect of your products the same results you will get from treatments in a spa or medical office. Products are a complement to treatments, not an alternative.

Just as National Wellness Week was to serve as a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves, that we need to commit to health and wellness, let us also commit to a healthy skin care regimen. Find the products that work for you, and use them morning and evening. Every day, as part of your self care ritual.